Thu January 26, 2012
Introducing ATX Index: A Look at Austin Around the Web
In which we serve a heaping helping of links for your reading pleasure:
- A controversial article in Outside magazine questioning the mission of Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong foundation is getting another round of attention. Article author Bill Gifford can be heard discussing his piece in an interview with CBC/Radio-Canada’s Jian Ghomeshi. The LiveStrong foundation shared much of its financial information online.
- The Forbes website says that with the impending arrival of Formula One, Austin’s striving to become “an automotive capital.” But they point to more than the F1, noting the city’s recent economic development agreement with auto-parts maker US Farathane, Austin’s history in the semiconductor industry, and the proximity of San Antonio’s Toyota assembly plant.
- Our reporting partners at StateImpact Texas have welcome news for oyster fans: Harvesting of Texas Gulf oysters is starting up again. Oyster harvests were suspended due to a noxious tide of algae in the gulf, exacerbated by the ongoing Texas drought. The Texas Parks and Wildlife department says harvesting may not be open for long though, so get some while you can.
- UT researchers have engaged the cloaking device. While it’s probably not ready for a starship, website Live Science writes UT engineers have crafted a cloak, or a tube lined with special “metamaterial,” that “makes three-dimensional objects invisible without using reflective surfaces or specialized microwave chambers:”
"We don't need mirrors, we don't need waveguides, we just built a cloak with a cover around an object," said Andrea Alù, an engineer at Texas-Austin who led the research.
The cloak makes objects invisible to microwaves from all angles, Alù and his colleagues found. They aimed microwaves at an 18-centimeter-long cylinder, fitted inside the invisibility chamber, from different angles. They found reduced microwave reflection from the cylinder no matter where they observed it.
You can read the researchers’ highly-technical explanation, “Experimental verification of three-dimensional plasmonic cloaking in free-space,” in the New Journal of Physics.