Reprint: Making your own superconductor.

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Disclaimer: Times have changed since this article was written so seek legal and scientific advice from qualified personnel if you plan to try making your own superconducting materials.  I am not qualified personnel or a lawyer.  Do not try this at home.  We live in a world in which possession of basic chemistry apparatus is illegal in some places, so do your homework.

Process reprinted from OMNI Magazine, November 1987, page 76.  (local PDF) (local CBR) (right-click -> save as to download))

From How To Make Your Own Superconductors, by Bruce Schecter.  Retyped as faithfully as possible.  Hyperlinks mine, added for …

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HacDC at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

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A week or two ago it was announced on one of the HacDC mailing lists that we'd been given a pair of tables at the second USA Science and Engineering Festival which was held this past weekend. It was a call to members who wanted to exhibit their work during the festival, and not a few of us threw our headgear into the ring. Rather than hold a Byzantium development sprint this weekend Sitwon, Haxwithaxe, and I met at HacDC to mass-produce demo CDs of Byzantium Linux to give out at our table along with the HacDC stickers, postcards, and …

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On transhumanism.

  agi ai augmentation brain_emulation computers devices genetic_engineering hosting intelligence_enhancement life_extension media medicine philosophy portable_computing prosthetics sapience science singularity software_services technology transhumanism

I've been wrestling with this post for weeks now because, at its heart, transhumanism isn't a simple set of beliefs, actions, or ideas. It encompasses many disciplines, from cybernetics to engineering to computer science to biology and many things in between. I say that not as a cop-out but because practically every discipline is covered in some way and informs the body of knowledge somehow. It is also a deeply personal philosophy, often attracting adherents who attempt to lead by example as well as participating in the research, development, and deployment of the technologies which originally inspired it (such as …

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Arthur C. Clarke, requisat en pace.

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Sir Arthur C. Clarke, famous for writing novels such as 2001: A Space Odyssesy and Rendezvous With Rama died today at his home in Sri Lanka. Clarke was 90. A prolific author during his lifetime, he penned over one hundred texts, science fiction and otherwise. Clarke had been confined to a wheelchair since the year 1995 due to the onset of post-polio syndrome, an affliction that plagued another famous author some time ago, one Robert Anton Wilson. Clarke is also widely credited for the invention of something we take for granted today, telecommunication satellites in geostationary orbit around the planet …

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Anybody for some high voltage Christmas cheer?

  christmas_tree electricity high_voltage mad_science science sculpture tesla_coil yule

This is possibly the most awe inspiring thing that I've seen all year; in fact, I think it's a fitting way to close out the year and celebrate the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. This guy rigged up a Tesla coil and a framework into a Christmas tree.

No, I'm not kidding.

Fun Fever constructed a large Tesla coil (a multiple circuit resonant electrical transformer) and a metal framework that would shape the electrical discharges in a particular way, namely, a tree with a star on top. Quite a bit of experimentation was required to get the …

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Memorium, et al.

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See you next time, Crusher.

Last night Lyssa, Orthaevelve, and I decided to go out to dinner to celebrate things looking up at work these days after work. It was something of a snap decision, you see - I got a call from my boss while I was at the Metro station headed for home, and immediately told Lyssa as soon as she arrived. After going to the doctor's office so that she could get her weekly allergy inoculation, we called up Orthaevelve and asked about the wherabouts of any good Chinese restaurants in the area. Much to our surprise, there …

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