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LanceList - Issue #172

World's Largest Airplane; Space Mice; An AI-Built Sport; Trolls Attack Scientist


April 15 · Issue #172 · View online
Stuff that matters.

World’s Largest Airplane; Space Mice; An AI-Built Sport; Trolls Attack Scientist

Taking flight. With a 385 ft wing-span, Stratolaunch is the largest plane in the world, but, until last Saturday, it had never taken flight. The brainchild of the late Paul Allen (he helped found Microsoft with Bill Gates), Stratolaunch soared effortlessly at 189 mph over the Mojave Desert. Eventually, the unusual-looking aircraft will soar to 35,000 ft as a sort of flying launchpad for satellite-bearing rocket ships. Allen would be proud.
Stratolaunch, the world’s biggest airplane, takes flight | Ars Technica
Space mouse. Astronauts aren’t the only mammals living on the International Space Station. NASA scientists sent up a collection of mice to see how they handle and adapt to near weightlessness. Not only did the mice survive, they thrived and even learned how to use micro-gravity to their advantage. These findings open the door to extended space-based mouse research studies.
Video Shows How Mice React To Microgravity While Aboard International Space Station | Tech Times
Robo sport. What if you fed an artificial intelligence with rules and other details from hundreds of sports and then asked the AI to develop a new sport based on those concepts? You’d end up with design agency AKQA’s Speedgate. Like most sports, Speedgate has a ball, but the AI did come up with some smart twists, like a center gate that the ball has to travel through before players can score on the gates at either end of the field. The game is playable and might survive this experiment, especially because AKQA was smart enough to not implement all of the AI’s ideas: it left off the exploding frisbee.
AI developed a whole new sport
Getting it wrong. Last week’s most exciting story, the first image of a black hole got a bit of a black mark from the dark corners of the Internet (sort of their own black hole). As much of the world was busy celebrating 29-year-old scientist Katie Bouman for helping to develop the algorithm that created the first image of a black hole, Internet Trolls tried to create a different narrative that shifted credit to a male scientist, Andrew Chael. The good news is that they didn’t get any help from Chael, who set the record straight. Bouman, by the way, has made it quite clear that it took a large group of scientists to deliver the Event Horizon Telescope’s historic black hole Image.
Online trolls hijack scientist’s image to attack Katie Bouman; they pick the wrong astrophysicist -
P.S. Bad robot
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