Friday Futures: launching starships, liquid mirrors, thin gold

SpaceX
Image credit: freestyle images / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: Musk to launch starships; the deepest ocean; liquid mirrors; thin, thin gold; CGI in real time and Ancient Rome

Musk’s Starships could be ready to go this month

Two separate prototypes of SpaceX’s Starship rocket could be ready to fly before the end of August, CEO Elon Musk revealed to the Twittersphere on Saturday — though it’s not clear whether the debut would be a short hop or a historic orbital adventure. Read more…

Meanwhile, here is how we get to the bottom of the ocean

Scientists made gold 2 atoms thick – or thin!

Scientists at the University of Leeds have created a new form of gold which is just two atoms thick — the thinnest unsupported gold ever created. The researchers measured the thickness of the gold to be 0.47 nanometres — that is one million times thinner than a human finger nail. Read more…

This tech can create CGI in real time

New technology from a computer graphics company called Cubic Motion can turn a motion-capture performance into a fully-rendered computer-generated character in real-time. In a flashy demo for video game studio execs, Cubic Motion had a CGI character recite a script before suddenly addressing individual spectators. Read more…

Pouring a liquid mirror

The Barrier Reef might be shoring up its defences

A phenomenon that makes coral spawn more than once a year is improving the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. The discovery was made by researchers investigating whether corals that split their spawning over multiple months are more successful at spreading their offspring across different reefs. Read more…

Making a knife (and other kitchen stuff) with a milk bottle

Here’s a grape turning into a fireball in a microwave (in case you haven’t seen it)

THE INTERNET IS full of videos of thoughtful people setting things on fire. Here’s a perennial favorite: Cleave a grape in half, leaving a little skin connecting the two hemispheres. Blitz it in the microwave for five seconds. Watch now…

And why we believed the notorious Ancient Roman doctor for so long

 

(Compiled by Alex Leslie)

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