A "drone" to monitor beaches and forests

I have just seen in the French press that this summer our neighbors to the north have launched a drone that will watch over the coasts of its coastline and its forests.French army drone

They are small, completely autonomous airplanes that travel following a pre-established route and that are relaying images and telemetry. The new ones drones in addition, they have the capacity to detect anomalies in the images they broadcast, hence they are considered “drones”And not miniature airplanes.

The first to use this type of drone It was the United States and they obviously did it for military purposes. Since last year in this country, this technology began to be used for the surveillance and prevention of forest fires.

The French claim to have developed at the ENAC (Ecole Nationale de Aviation Civile) in Toulouse a small drone similar to the American who will look for banks of jellyfish, oil remains floating in the sea, will warn of any anomaly that it detects and like its American counterpart, it will also carry out forest surveillance tasks when they are not flying along the French coast. The French army has also just incorporated this type of drone to its army, although with less "green" purposes than that of the ENAC (it was presented during the celebrations of July 14 of this year).Drone developed by ENAC

(All of this is going to further confuse UFO spotters)

I love that this type of technology is being developed and I find it super useful, although I am afraid this is moving towards the “paparazzi drones"Programmed to follow with their cameras whoever, instead of towards the"drone verdes ONG”.

Looking for images of the drone French I found this ENAC wiki created for the community of software and hardware developers to drones: ... I fear the worst, not from this community, of course, but it is inevitable that this ends up leading to people's control.

(By the way, as a curiosity and for those who are interested, these drones work with Linux [Debian] operating system).

Review of "THE HEART OF THE MATTER" Ignacio Garcia-Valino, Plaza Janes

He Heart of the Matter Ignacio Garcia-Valino, is not a book of science fiction, although part of his argument takes place in scientific circles and many of the dilemmas posed the protagonist are rooted in particle physics.The Heart of the Matter

The book tells the life of Lucas Frias, a promising specialized in quarks and subatomic particles, working at CERN and who has sacrificed everything for his career scientist. The death of his partner in a car accident that Luke used to make a parenthesis in his life and while trying to investigate the causes of the accident of your partner realize that almost did not know.

At the same time, the author places the character in various settings around the world (Geneva, Madrid, Paris, Chile, etc.) and makes him interact and discuss Science with such diverse types as psychics, mentalists, ultra skeptics, and of course, other particle physicists.

The book contains an interesting quote that the author extracts from a fable by John Godfrey Saxe and that reads as follows:

Hace mucho tiempo, en un bosque del Indostán, se reunieron cuatro ciegos que presumían de sabios, porque podían reconocerlo todo a través de las manos. Fue a visitarlos un estudiante, para aprender de su sabiduría, pero antes decidió probar si su fama era cierta. Se internaron en el follaje y el hombre les pidió que reconocieran lo que les ofrecía.
One of them said he had a snake in his hands, as he touched something elongated that was moving. The second said he was touching a stout tree with a rough bark. The third claimed that it was tied to a rope hanging from some high branch. The last one hit a firm and solid surface, and concluded that it was a wall. Everyone believed they were right.
The student warned that the four were wrong, therefore, playing only the parts, had been unable to recognize the whole. Thus one had felt a trunk; the other, a leg; the third, the tail, and the fourth, the elephant's side

This fable is used by the author to illustrate the state of Particle Physics, indicating that scientists, like the sages of Hindustan, try to understand the nature of this branch of science as the elephant of the fable: fragmenting and crumbling it. In the end, as in the fable, they fail to unify the theories.

Although the author does not openly indicate this, he is making a clear allusion to the theories of the Weak Nuclear Force, the Strong Nuclear Force, the Electromagnetic Force and the Force of Gravity, which separately all make sense, but there is still no theory the only one that can explain them together.

The book is entertaining, and the scientific speculations are interesting and treated from a very rational point of view.

The only criticism is that at the plot level, the book is simple and only develops one plot line. At the character level, again it is simple, and only two characters gain dimension: the protagonist and his partner.

Still, it is a book that reads quickly and leaves a good taste in your mouth. Perhaps I would not give a 100% recommendation, but 90%.

Review of "THE CODEX OF ATLANTIS" Stel Pavlou of - The Factory

codice atlantidaFollowing my "Year Atlantis", this Christmas I read "The Codex of Atlantis" No. 1 in sales in the United States and Italy (as indicated by the editors in Spain). Just in case, the editors have published Thrillers collection rather than on Science Fiction, which is where it really should be, I guess to see if the sales figures are emulated in other countries. (I get? ... I think you go for the 5th edition).

The book is interesting and well written to be read evasion.

A nivel de teorías sobre la Atlántida es bastante original. Parte de la base de que los atlantes eran una sociedad avanzada, con conocimientos más allá de los de nuestro tiempo en campos como la nanotecnología, conductividad, estados físicos, etc. Sus construcciones eran a escala planetaria y aún quedan algunos restos de ellas. Como en las teorías de Platón, fueron destruidos por el Diluvio… aunque en el libro vemos que el Diluvio es la consecuencia de una catástrofe a nivel de Sistema Solar, que puede volver a repetirse.

According to the thesis of the book, all the monuments of antiquity are connected and are actually part of a machine on a planetary scale, capable of saving humanity or condemn it. The task of the players is to try to be the first of these premises, rather than the total annihilation of the human species.

... And they do, but just barely.

As a curiosity, commenting at one point in the book, talking about the biological timing of the banks of jellyfish, the author uses to explain the resonance and makes one of the protagonists explain how Huygens in 1660 when he was ill in bed, he noticed that the pendulums of two of its timepieces ranged at the same time when the clocks were coming. If they moved causing them to lose the pace, they came back after a while to move in coordination. If the clocks are separated, they not tuned.

This reminded me of a video demonstration of this same effect, but this time, illustrating tuning 3 metronomes.

This tuning approach is the same that governs the movements of groups of animals: groups of fireflies, flocks of birds that change direction, fish stocks, etc.

I like to find non-academic books that leverage to popularize science!

Invent a robot that hunts flies for energy and self-sufficient

Although it seems a joke, it is not. The New Scientist magazine has published in its Monday edition, this great invention. A robot that uses the sugar in the exoskeleton of the flies and allows (while flies from view) the robot does not need another power source.

If we read well the article we see that the thing is not as simple as it seems at first glance. Input power the robot obtained by breaking polysaccharide chains of the exoskeleton of the flies is very low and only allows the robot to move 2 centimeters every 12 minutes.

On the other hand, there is the problem of making the flies come ... but that have worked out well. The robot uses a flavor, synthesized from human feces, which attracts flies into a funnel that sucks up the digestive tract. Hahahaha ... you can not deny that is well thought out.

Robotic Anecdotes aside, the investigations that led to the invention of this robot open up endless possibilities:

  • The energy of the polysaccharides can be used to supplement the solar energy to manufacture any kind of "thing" that needs to be energetically autonomous. (How about a robot that when not shine, eat potatoes, beets, ... or GM soy?).
  • Production of electricity for households may attempt be made from the feces and organic waste, home users own: which would reduce the amount of waste that cities need to collect, process and eliminate. The most abundant polysaccharide in nature are starch and cellulose ... our wastes are filled with them. 50 gr. sugar can remain alight 40w bulb for 8 hours.
  • The use of sugar batteries to replace batteries in mobile phones and other devices that need to be recharged by plugging into the mains.
  • How about a water filter potabilice waste and generate electricity? Ideal for a spacecraft or orbital station. In general, ideal for any closed ecosystem.

Links to deepen the topic:

The New Scientist article where the invention of the robot is explained, and where they explain in detail how the energy of a sugar is transformed into a stream of electrons capable of producing the energy needed by the robot.
The New Scientist (

website where they explain how the energy of sugar (or any polysaccharide) into electrical energy is transformed:
Geobacter (

Article about bulbs that run on sugar cubes:
Sugar batteries (