Dating the Moon, Mission to Mars, Wiki houses
Dating the Moon
New work by planetary scientists from France, Germany and the US, has given the most accurate date yet for the birth of the moon. The Moon is believed to have formed out of debris from a massive collision with another Mars-sized planet. The date of this event has always been controversial as radioactive decay readings have produced wildly different results. But this clock uses a different approach, and rules out an early-forming moon. The later the moon formed, the less time for life to evolve.
WikiHouse is an online, open-source construction kit that lets people design and build a house from scratch in a few days. It’s easy, you download a pattern, cut out the parts in plywood and start building – that is the plan being worked on in Christchurch New Zealand, a city that was devastated by a series of earthquakes in 2010. Its early days for the global WikiHouse movement, but two local designers have started business to make the WikiHouse a reality. Simon Morton met Danny Squires and Martin Luff in Christchurch.
A team of psychologists investigate the power of placebo on the effects of sleep. They wondered if simply by making people think that they had slept badly, or soundly, they could influence their mental performance as a result. The experiment they came up with involved tricking some students into thinking they had either slept poorly or well, and they used an ingenious set of impressive sounding tests to convince them.