• Red/Blue:Bad people want to steal Pokemon to take over the world.
  • Gold/Silver:Bad people want to be bad people group again. Goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Ruby/Sapphire:Bad people have stupidly idealistic perceptions about the concepts of drought and deluge.
  • Diamond/Pearl:Bad people want to become God.
  • Black/White:Bad people think they are ASPCA but are actually PETA.
  • XY:Bad people whose idea for world peace is killing everyone.
I am officially banned from the local plasma donation centers

Oh, excuse me… “permanently deferred”. After spending nearly five hours in there on my day off, I was finally told that my being trans made me ineligible to donate. You know, because of the hormones? You know, the hormones that everyone has? The ones that probably aren’t even in plasma because plasma is just a liquid medium with no cells? I’m not a scientist, but that seems like fucking bullshit to me.

So, can I take them to task for this shit? Like, where’s the ACLU when I need them? Or the HRC? Guess they’re too busy patting themselves on the back while eating rainbow wedding cake.

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The Alcator C-Mod Tokamak

For 40 years MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) has been exploring nuclear fusion as a source of energy through a series of tokamaks. The C-Mod is the third in a series of Alcator tokamaks developed at MIT since the 1960s. Characterized by a donut-shaped vacuum chamber wrapped in high-field magnets, the Alcator approach makes it possible to produce very dense and well-confined plasmas in a relatively compact device. (The name “Alcator” comes from alto campo torus = high field torus.)  Its metal (molybdenum) walls can accommodate high power densities. Alcator C-Mod has made significant contributions to the world fusion program in the areas of plasma heating, stability, and confinement of high field tokamaks.Alcator C-Mod is the only tokamak in the world operating at and above the ITER design magnetic field and plasma densities, and it produces the highest pressure tokamak plasma in the world, approaching pressures expected in ITER.

Image source & credit: Dave Mosher/Tech Insider 

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Make Your Own Plasma Cutter!


Build your own tiny metal-slicing plasma cutter at home. All it takes is a pencil lead, a couple of batteries, some alligator clips and aluminum foil. The National Science Foundation series Little Shop Of Physics presents a simple science experiment anyone can complete to learn about this common manufacturing process. 

While this little device is only powerful enough to slice through foil, industrial-sized units can cut through 6-inch-thick steel plates. Big or small, the process works by sending an electrical arc through gas to ionize it and turn it into a super-hot plasma.  

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This mid-level (M1.2) solar flare was accompanied by a magnificent prominence (filament, if observed on the solar disk) eruption that turned into an impressive coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 18, 2015.

During the rising phase of eruptions, prominences often exhibit complex pre-flare disturbances, typically showing short-lived helical structures in the lower corona. 

Watch the video

Credit: NASA/GSFC

Lasers Tame Unpredictable Electric Arcs, Steer Current Around Obstacles

If you’ve taken a high school physics class or have seen an old horror film featuring a mad scientist, then you’re familiar with an electric arc. The current that moves through air from one electrode to another unpredictably dances and slithers on its own accord. A viewer is treated to a mesmerizing light show when the electricity ionizes the gas it touches, turning it into a glowing plasma.

(Jacob’s ladder and a plasma globe shown in the 1931 film Frankenstein.)

Now researchers say they have been able to tame the undulating electric arc. Using lasers, they have been able to guide an electric discharge through midair and even steer it around obstacles. Their work isn’t just a cool update to Dr. Frankenstein’s lab–it could be used for advances in machining, electric welding, electromagnetic jamming and delivering current through the air to specific targets. Read more and see images below.

Keep reading