Hello and welcome to The Edge, the newsletter that brings you groundbreaking stories from the frontiers of technology and science.
We’ve got some great stories for you today including the most extravagant laptop we’ve ever seen, a plea from Bill Nye and exciting news about the oil industry. As always, we’ve added extra stories under each article should you find yourself in a curious state of mind.
Today in history
What happened on February 13th in the past?
February 13th, 1867 - In Belgium, work begins on covering the river Senne, which makes way for modern central boulevards.
February 13th, 1880 - Thermionic emission is observed for the first time by Thomas Edison.
February 13th, 2012 - The Vega rocket is launched by the ESA from Kourou, French Guiana for the first time.
Promising predictions from Shell
Making way for renewables. Image credit: Zbynek Burival
Shell, the world’s fifth-largest oil company has said that, from now on, its oil production will drop.
Specifically, the company expects oil production to decrease by one to two percent every year going forward. The announcement comes as the company works towards producing cleaner energy. If Shell follows through with these goals in the short term, it’s reasonable to assume that their corporate goals are starting to align with the fight against climate change.
Previously, Shell announced that they would reach net-zero emissions by 2050. To reach this goal, the oil giant will invest in clean energy, carbon capture technology and reforestation. This new announcement adds fuel to that fire. However, even at the rate indicated, Shell’s oil production will still be incredibly high by 2050, at one million barrels per day.
Other incredible stories from the world of science and technology.
The hole in the ozone layer is back on track towards closing.
Apple Glasses coming soon? Possibly.
Gamings pigs help us understand animal intelligence even better.
An over-the-top laptop
Who needs extra monitors anyway? Image credit: Expanscape
Expanscape has created a gargantuan laptop - one with seven screens attached to it. The monster is known as Aurora 7 and will give you more screen real estate than (probably) any other laptop.
The devices comes with a central 17-inch display and three 17-inch monitors attached at the top, left and right of the central screen. Two extra screens pop out of the top of the left and right displays and the final seventh display can be found right below the keyboard .
Expanscape calls the laptop a “proper mobile Security Operations Center”. It should come as no surprise that the device weighs a whopping 11.7 kg and is almost 11 cm thick. Additionally, the laptop requires a 148 watt-hour secondary battery to keep those displays going. A huge device by any means, designed for a specific purpose, but incredibly cool nonetheless.
Video of the week
“Viking Expert Breaks Down Famous Viking Movies & TV Shows”
Vikings never seem to go out of style. These fearsome warriors from the North have inspired countless stories, epics and these days, even TV shows and films. But how accurate are the depictions of Vikings?
In this great video by Penguin Books UK, archeologist and Viking expert Neil Price breaks down modern depictions of the ancient Scandinavian people and describes where media got it right - and where it didn’t.
For the Slackers
We don’t need to tell you that a lot of people are working from home these days. Many of us will likely continue to do so for the for foreseeable future. That’s why things like Bored for Slack are welcome additions to our current working lives.
Bored for Slack is a series of mini games that you can integrate with your Slack workspace letting you play games with your distanced coworkers. A great way to pass the time and free while in the beta testing phase.
Biden, hear Nye out
Nye’s recommendations are worth listening to. Image credit: Planetary Society
Everyone’s favourite scientist and Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye released an open letter recently, addressed to Joe Biden. In the letter, he and the society implore the Biden administration and the White House to commit more strongly to NASA’s science programs.
In a related video uploaded to YouTube, Nye outlined five Planetary Society recommendations, one of which is to take “active steps to protect the planet from dangerous asteroids and comets.”
The Society has asked for an approximate $50 million increase in the budget allocated to NASA’s Planetary Defence Programs. Doing so would, according to the society, allow NASA to “better support the detection, tracking, and characterisation of threats by supporting a permanent flight program in addition to ground-based observation efforts.”
Nye also called on Biden to increase emphasis on NASA’s science programs, as well as crewed missions to Mars and the Moon.
Bill Nye - scientist and entertainer.
What we’ve been reading
A small selection of the articles we read this week.
Thanks for reading!
We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Edge.