Math Challenge: Light Bulbs Count

Today’s Nasty Mathematics Challenge: Watch this video (taken by astronauts on the International Space Station with a camera that picks up low-intensity light, and then edited by Michael König, and sped up), and estimage the number of light bulbs whose light is visible: [vimeo]32001208[/vimeo] HINT: The task is easier (but not much) if you enlarge […]

Tidy Swiss garbage collector up, up in the sky

Just as certain computer scientists and engineers dream of doing better garbage collection in computers (for a dream come true, see Microsoft’s “Fundamentals of Garbage Collection“), scientists and engineers at Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne dream of doing better garbage collection in space. Dead satellites. Detritus from collisions between now-dead satellites and whatever slammed into them. Junk that […]