Instantaneous brains, nanotech magic and beer

Lest anyone should accuse the patent-pending Weekender Science Desk TM of being cynics, we thought we’d start off this week with some good news for a change.

That being that an 18-year old has invented a gizmo that could potentially charge a phone in 20 seconds.

Esha Khare of Saratoga is the clever-head in question, and she’s already won $50,000 at the Phoenix Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her ‘supercapacitor.’ NBC News asked her how she was inspired to make this tiny device and she replied, fairly reasonably, that her cellphone battery kept dying.

The nanodevice is flexible, she explained, so it can be used in clothing, fabric and roll-up displays. Google is already sniffing around Esha’s cool tool.

Another literally cool tool is the Chillsner, a new widget from Orlando’s Corkcickle. That terrible name is due to the fact that the device looks like a cross between a cork and an icicle and sits in the neck of your beer bottle, keeping it cold to the last gluggage has passed your grateful oesophagus. It’s filled with a thermal gel which has to be frozen for 90 minutes before you use it. That’s the gizmo, not your oesophagus. That would probably not work.

Anyway the Corkcickle can also serve as a stopper to keep the beer from becoming flat, said the inventors.

Course, there’s another device called a ‘fridge’ that we tend to use for this purpose, and beers are never usually around for long enough to go flat in our experience, but kudos nonetheless.

Look! A Cat!

String Theory: a scientific definition for the reasons cats are attracted to dangling power cords. It’s also the reason that bizarre instantly-appearing conscious entries may not form spontaneously in outer space. That concept, the Bolzmann brain, is not completely ruled out by physics, said New Scientist magazine.

“Most models of the future predict that the universe will expand exponentially forever. That will eventually spawn inconceivable numbers of Boltzmann brains, far outnumbering every human who has ever, or will ever, live.

“This means that, over the entire history of the universe, it is the Boltzmann brains’ experience of the universe and not ours that is typical. That’s a problem, because the starting point for our understanding of the universe and its behaviour is that humans are typical observers. If we are not, our theories begin to look iffy,” wrote the magazine’s Adam Becker.

But according to string theory there may be a multiverse, that is, a pool of universes which constantly ‘bud’ off a parent universe. In this model, the human consciousness prevails because the Boltzmann brains don’t exponentially choke all the matter out of the universe. Hooray! No, we don’t understand it either. Anyone got a Boltzmann we can borrow? Ta.

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