29 Jun 04:01


by David M Willis
27 Jun 15:48

Highly Active Au/δ-MoC and Cu/δ-MoC Catalysts for the Conversion of CO2: The Metal/C Ratio as a Key Factor Defining Activity, Selectivity, and Stability

by Sergio Posada-Pérez, Pedro J. Ramírez, Jaime Evans, Francesc Viñes, Ping Liu, Francesc Illas and José A. Rodriguez

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b04529
28 Jun 13:49

I made you something.

by thebloggess
I’ve been working on a big project that I really hope you’ll love since so many of you have given me the encouragement to finish it and share it with the world, but I can’t really announce it yet because … Continue reading →
28 Jun 05:06

Comic for June 28, 2016

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28 Jun 16:00

How Sony, Microsoft, and Other Gadget Makers Violate Federal Warranty Law

by manishs
Reader citadrianne shares a Motherboard article: There are big "no trespassing" signs affixed to most of our electronics. If you own a gaming console, laptop, or computer, it's likely you've seen one of these warnings in the form of a sticker placed over a screw or a seam: "Warranty void if removed." In addition, big manufacturers such as Sony, Microsoft, and Apple explicitly note or imply in their official agreements that their year-long manufacturer warranties -- which entitle you to a replacement or repair if your device is defective -- are void if consumers attempt to repair their gadgets or take them to a third party repair professional. What almost no one knows is that these stickers and clauses are illegal under a federal law passed in 1975 called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act . To be clear, federal law says you can open your electronics without voiding the warranty, regardless of what the language of that warranty says.

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28 Jun 02:32

They Also Accept PayPal

29 Jun 14:30

This Infographic Lists 128 Words You Can Use Instead of “Very”

by Kristin Wong

Our English teachers told us to avoid the word “very” because it’s weak and vague. They were right, and many times, we use “very” as a modifier for a word that could easily be replaced with a stronger, more accurate word. This infographic tells you what to use instead.


29 Jun 15:26

Bioinspired Graphene-Based Nanocomposites and Their Application in Flexible Energy Devices

by Sijie Wan, Jingsong Peng, Lei Jiang, Qunfeng Cheng

Graphene is the strongest and stiffest material ever identified and the best electrical conductor known to date, making it an ideal candidate for constructing nanocomposites used in flexible energy devices. However, it remains a great challenge to assemble graphene nanosheets into macro-sized high-performance nanocomposites in practical applications of flexible energy devices using traditional approaches. Nacre, the gold standard for biomimicry, provides an excellent example and guideline for assembling two-dimensional nanosheets into high-performance nanocomposites. This review summarizes recent research on the bioinspired graphene-based nanocomposites (BGBNs), and discusses different bioinspired assembly strategies for constructing integrated high-strength and -toughness graphene-based nanocomposites through various synergistic effects. Fundamental properties of graphene-based nanocomposites, such as strength, toughness, and electrical conductivities, are highlighted. Applications of the BGBNs in flexible energy devices, as well as potential challenges, are addressed. Inspired from the past work done by the community a roadmap for the future of the BGBNs in flexible energy device applications is depicted.

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Nacre provides an inspiration for constructing graphene-based nanocomposites through interfacial interactions, including hydrogen, ionic, and covalent bonding plus π–π interactions, resulting in ultrastrong 1D fiber and ultratough 2D film nanocomposites. The functional ternary graphene-based nanocomposites feature excellent fatigue and are fire-retardant. Many others were fabricated through synergistic toughening. These integrated high-performance bioinspired graphene-based nanocomposites show promising applications in flexible energy devices.

30 Jun 05:02

Comic for June 30, 2016

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28 Jun 18:21

Highly Efficient, Selective, and Stable CO2 Electroreduction on a Hexagonal Zn Catalyst

by Da Hye Won, Hyeyoung Shin, Jaekang Koh, Jaehoon Chung, Hee Sang Lee, Hyungjun Kim, Seong Ihl Woo


Electrocatalytic CO2 conversion into fuel is a prospective strategy for the sustainable energy production. However, still many parts of the catalyst such as low catalytic activity, selectivity, and stability are challenging. Herein, a hierarchical hexagonal Zn catalyst showed highly efficient and, more importantly, stable performance as an electrocatalyst for selectively producing CO. Moreover, we found that its high selectivity for CO is attributed to morphology. In electrochemical analysis, Zn (101) facet is favorable to CO formation whereas Zn (002) facet favors the H2 evolution during CO2 electrolysis. Indeed, DFT calculations showed that (101) facet lowers a reduction potential for CO2 to CO by more effectively stabilizing a .COOH intermediate than (002) facet. This further suggests that tuning the crystal structure to control (101)/(002) facet ratio of Zn can be considered as a key design principle to achieve a desirable product from Zn catalyst.

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CO2 conversion: A design strategy for efficient carbon dioxide reduction is suggested using a well-synthesized hierarchical hexagonal Zn catalyst which shows highly selective and, more importantly, stable performance towards carbon monoxide production (see picture). The manipulation of the Zn crystal structure and its facet ratio (101)/(002) can be used as a key control factor for product selectivity.

29 Jun 05:15

Comic for June 29, 2016

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28 Jun 17:41

Fresh Air

27 Jun 16:49

Ctrl+Alt+Del: Oh, so close

by tim@cad-comic.com (Tim Buckley)
28 Jun 04:01

Burger King

by David M Willis

As with the previous featured worship song, here’s an embedded YouTube video for music to accompany the lyrics.  Also, you know, in case you have a pressing need to see Bill Murray circa What About Bob Rich Mullins perform a song he wrote that was incredibly important to me when I was 12.   The song is more memorably performed with the hammered dulcimer, but I felt like leading with the live performance.

Rich Mullins died in a car accident on September 19, 1997, which was just nine days into my first webcomic, Roomies!.  Sometimes I wonder if this was the catalyst of my descent into depravity and squalor.

27 Jun 16:14

Zinc–Air Batteries: Metallic Cobalt Nanoparticles Encapsulated in Nitrogen-Enriched Graphene Shells: Its Bifunctional Electrocatalysis and Application in Zinc–Air Batteries (Adv. Funct. Mater. 24/2016)

by Min Zeng, Yiling Liu, Feipeng Zhao, Kaiqi Nie, Na Han, Xinxia Wang, Wenjing Huang, Xuening Song, Jun Zhong, Yanguang Li
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On page 4397, Y. Li and co-workers demonstrate that metallic cobalt nanoparticles encapsulated within nitrogen-enriched graphene shells can be prepared using cobalt-containing Prussian blue as the single precursor. This facile method affords products with excellent bifunctional activity for both oxygen reduction and hydrogen evolution reactions. They can also be integrated into primary zinc–air batteries to enable high power density and long operation durability.

27 Jun 13:49

Revealing the Origin of Fast Electron Transfer in TiO2-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

by Hai Wei, Jun-Wei Luo, Shu-Shen Li and Lin-Wang Wang

TOC Graphic

Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b03524
28 Jun 01:45

Physicists Confirm a Pear-Shaped Nucleus, and It Could Ruin Time Travel Forever

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader writes from a report via ScienceAlert: Physicists have confirmed the existence of pear-shaped nuclei, which challenges the fundamental theories of physics that explain our Universe. "We've found these nuclei literally point towards a direction in space. This relates to a direction in time, providing there's a well-defined direction in time and we will always travel from past to present," Marcus Scheck from the University of the West of Scotland told Kenneth MacDonald at BBC News. Until recently, it was generally accepted that nuclei of atoms could only be one of three shapes: spherical, discus, or rugby ball. The first discovery of a pear-shaped nucleus was back in 2013, when physicists at CERN discovered isotope Radium-224. Now, that find has been confirmed by a second study, which shows that the nucleus of the isotope Barium-144 is also asymmetrical and pear-shaped. In regard to time travel, Scheck says that this uneven distribution of mass and charge caused Barium-144's nucleus to "point" in a certain direction in spacetime, and this bias could explain why time seems to only want to go from past to present, and not backwards, even if the laws of physics don't care which way it goes.

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29 Jun 17:44

Ctrl+Alt+Del: Cheers

by tim@cad-comic.com (Tim Buckley)
29 Jun 07:21

Comic: The RegurgiStation

by Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho)
New Comic: The RegurgiStation
28 Jun 18:20

Monofluoroalkenylation of Dimethylamino Compounds through Radical–Radical Cross-Coupling

by Jin Xie, Jintao Yu, Matthias Rudolph, Frank Rominger, A. Stephen K. Hashmi


An unprecedented and challenging radical–radical cross-coupling of α-aminoalkyl radicals with monofluoroalkenyl radicals derived from gem-difluoroalkenes was achieved. This first example of tandem C(sp3)−H and C(sp2)−F bond functionalization through visible-light photoredox catalysis offers a facile and flexible access to privileged tetrasubstituted monofluoroalkenes under very mild reaction conditions. The striking features of this redox-neutral method in terms of scope, functional-group tolerance, and regioselectivity are illustrated by the late-stage fluoroalkenylation of complex molecular architectures such as bioactive (+)-diltiazem, rosiglitazone, dihydroartemisinin, oleanic acid, and androsterone derivatives, which represent important new α-amino C−H monofluoroalkenylations.

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Privileged products: A α-C(sp3)−H monofluoroalkenylation of unactivated tertiary amines through a mild, efficient, and redox-neutral route delivers privileged tetrasubstituted monofluoroalkenes under photoredox catalysis through the radical–radical cross- coupling of α-aminoalkyl radicals with monofluoroalkenyl radicals. This method enables the challenging late-stage monofluoroalkenylation of complex molecules.

28 Jun 17:39

Why the world is better than you think in 10 powerful charts

by Mark Frauenfelder


Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, presents 10 charts that show progress in absolute poverty, child labor, income spent on food, infant mortality rate, guinea worm infections, teen births, homicide rates, violent crime, education, and literacy.


29 Jun 21:20

Google's My Activity Reveals How Much It Knows About You

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader writes: Google has released a new section to Google's account settings, called My Activity, which lets users review everything that Google has tracked about their online behavior -- search, YouTube, Chrome, Android, and every other Google service. Best of all, users can edit or delete their tracked behaviors. In addition, the My Activity tools come with new ad preferences. Google is now offering to use its behavioral information to tailer ads shown across the wider non-Google internet and Google's search pages, which until now was purely done through the use of cookies. The difference between Google and other companies that offer ads like Facebook is that Google is making this interest-based advertising extension optional, or opt-in, not opt-out. There are two separate behavioral advertising settings for users to switch on or off: signed in ads and signed out ads. Signed in ads are those on Google services, and signed out ads are those served by Google on third-party sites. However, if you're conscious about your privacy, you'll probably want to stay opted out.

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28 Jun 10:00

AI Downs 'Top Gun' Pilot In Dogfights

by BeauHD
schwit1 writes from a report via Daily Mail: [Daily Mail reports:] "The Artificial intelligence (AI) developed by a University of Cincinnati doctoral graduate was recently assessed by retired USAF Colonel Gene Lee -- who holds extensive aerial combat experience as an instructor and Air Battle Manager with considerable fighter aircraft expertise. He took on the software in a simulator. Lee was not able to score a kill after repeated attempts. He was shot out of the air every time during protracted engagements, and according to Lee, is 'the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI I've seen to date.'" And why is the US still throwing money at the F35, unless it can be flown without pilots. The AI, dubbed ALPHA, features a genetic fuzzy tree decision-making system, which is a subtype of fuzzy logic algorithms. The system breaks larger tasks into smaller tasks, which include high-level tactics, firing, evasion, and defensiveness. It can calculate the best maneuvers in various, changing environments over 250 times faster than its human opponent can blink. Lee says, "I was surprised at how aware and reactive it was. It seemed to be aware of my intentions and reacting instantly to my changes in flight and my missile deployment. It knew how to defeat the shot I was taking. It moved instantly between defensive and offensive actions as needed."

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