Collision Detection Restored
Clive Thompson’s Collision Detection is a fabulous expression of love for the wonder to be found in science and engineering. It’s mostly thoughtfully curated references to articles more or less deep in the scientific literature, the kind of thing that I’d never find in the ordinary way. For the geekier, techier person with the compulsion to make stuff it’s riveting, and a refreshing antidote to undifferentiated linklog streams.
So, it’s good to see CD back after a few weeks absence, including this great post about the balls in NASA’s Gravity B Probe:
It was originally proposed 47 years ago (!!) — but was delayed for decades waiting for funding, waiting for the shuttles to be built to get it aloft, then discovering that, whoops, the shuttles couldn’t actually handle that sort of payload, then designing a rocket to finally get it aloft. They also had wait for all manner of engineering breakthroughs to make those spheres. But what a metaphorically lovely finale: The most perfectly round objects ever made by humanity, flying through the void on one of the purest scientific quests ever.