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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released the first footage (embedded below) from inside a hurricane taken by an unmanned watercraft:
The Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 was directed into the midst of Hurricane Sam, a category 4 hurricane, which is currently on a path that fortunately will miss the U.S. east coast. SD1045 is battling 50 foot waves and winds of over 120 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, is giving us a completely new view of one of earth's most destructive forces.
For anyone who wants to know more, there is an interesting thread at Hacker News that includes discussion of why this is such an impressive accomplishment.

2. On what might sound like the opposite end of the ruggedness scale, the European Space Agency will be launching a wooden satellite at year's end:
Samuli Nyman, the project's chief engineer and also a co-founder of Arctic Astronautics, says, "The base material for plywood is birch, and we're using basically just the same as you'd find in a hardware store or to make furniture."

"The main difference is that ordinary plywood is too humid for space uses, so we place our wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to dry it out," he says in the ESA news release.
A Japanese group is also working on a wooden satellite in the interest of minimizing reentry debris.

3. What's the most common search term on Bing? Google, of course.

4. If you're really bored, or, say, really, really desperate for that last item in a roundup post for your blog, you might mosey on over to the Hasty Reader, where you can find instructions on How to Summon & Sell Your Soul to Satan and Other Devils.

Amusingly, eBay prohibits such transactions, and I think it's not the only platform to do so.

-- CAV

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