Usually, super-computers installed at academic and national labs get configured once, bought as quickly as possible before the grant money runs out, installed and tested,  and put to use for a four or five years or so.

Rarely is a machine upgraded even once, much less a few times.

But that is not he case with the “Corona” system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which was commissioned in 2017 when North America had a total solar eclipse – and hence its name.

While this machine, procured under the Commodity Technology Systems (CTS-1) to not only do useful work, but to assess the CPU and GPU architectures provided by AMD, was not named after the coronavirus pandemic that is now spreading around the Earth, the machine is being upgraded one more time to be put into service as a weapon against the SARS-CoV-2 virus which caused the COVID-19 illness that has infected at least 2.75 million people (confirmed by test, with the number very likely being higher) and killed at least 193,000 people worldwide.

Great Big Story  explains how Suzanne Vega’s hit song “Tom’s Diner” helped create the MP3 and spark a music revolution.

Karlheinz Brandenburg has listened to Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” thousands of times and never tires of it. In fact, the song holds a special place in his heart because it was instrumental in the creation of the MP3. The German engineer and mathematician is known as the father of the digital audio format. Brandenburg explains how he found a way to compress Vega’s a cappella track into an MP3 file that sounded as good as a CD, forever altering the way music is distributed. 

It’s Okay To Be Smart explains how and why soap is still our best germ fighter.

One of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself from catching a germ and becoming a statistic, whether it’s a global pandemic like COVID-19 or just every single other day of your life, is something that people have been trying to get you to do since you were like 2.

Wash your hands. With good ol’ soap. And do it the right way. That’s it.

Here’s the science of handwashing!

Lex Fridman interviews Ann Druyan, the writer, producer, director, and one of the most important and impactful communicators of science in our time.

She co-wrote the 1980 science documentary series Cosmos hosted by Carl Sagan, whom she married in 1981, and her love for whom, with the help of NASA, was recorded as brain waves on a golden record along with other things our civilization has to offer and launched into space on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft that are now, 42 years later, still active, reaching out farther into deep space than any human-made object ever has. This was a profound and beautiful decision she made as a Creative Director of NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Message Project. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. In 2014, she went on to create the second season of Cosmos, called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and in 2020, the new third season called Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which is being released this upcoming Monday, March 9. It is hosted, once again, by the fun and brilliant Neil deGrasse Tyson.

OUTLINE:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:24 – Role of science in society
  • 7:04 – Love and science
  • 9:07 – Skepticism in science
  • 14:15 – Voyager, Carl Sagan, and the Golden Record
  • 36:41 – Cosmos
  • 53:22 – Existential threats
  • 1:00:36 – Origin of life
  • 1:04:22 – Mortality