WeatherMachine: Weather APIs that are rock solid with no hassle
Weather Machine is a simple, all-in-one adapter for the world’s most powerful forecast APIs. It’s the quickest and most straightforward way to incorporate weather data into your app.
The Mystery of the Dune Font
Identifying the typeface that served as the series’ and its author’s visual identifier, Frank Herbert.
GE Answer Center TV commercial from 1989, digitized from VHS
The Definitive Visual Guide to Pandas, Illustrated
Pandas is the industry standard for data analysis in Python. You can load, filter, restructure, and visualize gigabytes of disparate data with a few keystrokes. Pandas is built on top of the NumPy library and borrows many of its concepts and syntax conventions, so if you’re familiar with NumPy, you’ll feel right at home with Pandas. Even if you’ve never heard of NumPy, Pandas offers a great way to tackle data analysis problems with little or no programming experience.
Dynamic Text-to-4D Scene Generation
MAV3D (Make-A-Video3D) is a method for generating three-dimensional dynamic scenes from text descriptions. Our method employs a 4D dynamic Neural Radiance Field (NeRF) that is optimized for scene appearance, density, and motion consistency by querying a Text-to-Video (T2V) diffusion-based model. The dynamic video output generated from the provided text can be viewed from any camera location and angle, and it can be composited into any 3D environment. MAV3D does not require any 3D or 4D data, and the T2V model is trained solely on Text-Image pairs and unlabeled videos.
DARPA moving forward with DRACO nuclear thermal engine
Early last month, DARPA issued an RFP for the next phase of their Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) nuclear thermal engine program. This follows on their selection, one year ago, of an early engine design by General Atomics and two spacecraft concepts from Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin. Now they’re moving on to the development and assembly of the engine through a new open RFP (not limited to the aforementioned companies). They hope to have a test flight in 2026, with NASA participating out of interest for use with future crewed deep space missions, as nuclear thermal propulsion can achieve both the required high thrust-to-weight ratio and 2-5 times the efficiency of a chemical engine. One key challenge with nuclear reactors in space is the risk of contaminating Earth. While systems are designed to be safe even in the case of a launch failure, once they’ve been activated, an accidental re-entry could be a radiological disaster. We’ve written about this DARPA program a number of times, as well as NASA’s related efforts and NIAC awards. We also took a dive into the history of nuclear reactors in space in Issue 85 (which we feel is worth a re-read). Relatedly, the DIU just funded two in-space nuclear power research projects as well.
InSight’s Final Selfie
NASA’s InSight Mars lander took this final selfie on April 24, 2022, the 1,211th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The lander is covered with far more dust than it was in its first selfie, taken in December 2018, not long after landing – or in its second selfie, composed of images taken in March and April 2019.
What’s new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9 is now generally available (GA). This release is designed to meet the needs of the hybrid cloud environment, and is ready for you to develop and deploy from the edge to the cloud. It can run your code efficiently whether deployed on physical infrastructure, in a virtual machine, or in containers built from Red Hat Universal Base Images (UBIs).
How sleep helps to process emotions
Researchers at the Department of Neurology of the University of Bern and University Hospital Bern identified how the brain triages emotions during dream sleep to consolidate the storage of positive emotions while dampening the consolidation of negative ones. The work expands the importance of sleep in mental health and opens new ways of therapeutic strategies.