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The Spill: 3-D David

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Michelangelo’s David By 3-D Printer?

One of the most recognizable works of art in the world, Michelangelo’s David, may soon have a clone – or dozens – for view all around the globe. A team of experts used a 3-D printer to recreate the 17-foot statue finished in 1504. Curators are saying it is the most accurate copy of the iconic piece of artwork to date.

This latest version of David is made from acrylic resin. It weighs at least ten times lighter than the original sculpture and displays all the minuscule surface characteristics and details. Copies of David have been made in the past through the process of plaster casting – a close representation minus the finger strokes and subtle nuances of an artist’s style. High-resolution cameras were used to capture every detail before scanning every inch of the statue to create a digital version. The scans were passed to the University of Florence and researchers and technicians at Hexagon Italia, a company dedicated to cutting edge technology in a variety of industry sectors including the arts. Hexagon then used a tracer combined with a laser to create the image.

Not only does this statue beautifully depict the heroic figure of David confronting Goliath, but it does so by combining state-of-the-art technology with skilled craftsmanship. The 3-D David is now on its way to Dubai for a 182-day expo showcasing creativity and technology.

Derek Chauvin Conviction – Now What?

In May 2020 a man named George Floyd was killed by a police officer in an incident that shocked the nation. Almost a year later, former officer Derek Chauvin has faced trial and a jury has found him guilty of murder and manslaughter over the death of Floyd.

Floyd was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit bill at his neighborhood convenience store. Police officers including Chauvin then attempted to arrest Floyd. Thanks to numerous cell phone cameras and Minneapolis Police Department bodycam footage, America witnessed the disturbing treatment of Floyd and his death. The case brought the issues of police brutality and racism to the front of the national conversation – as Floyd was black and Chauvin was a white officer. The event also led to hundreds of protests and riots nationwide, costing billions of dollars to business owners in several cities.

According to Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Chauvin will probably spend between 128 and 180 months in prison.

Since the conclusion of the trial, violent protests appear to have been paused. However, the Chauvin defense team may appeal the jury’s decision – it’s not clear whether they would be successful at reversing the verdict or not.

President Joe Biden praised the verdict, saying, “for so many, it feels like it took all of that for the judicial system to deliver just basic accountability. This can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America.”

Ground Control to … MOXIE

Perseverance, the rover working on the planet Mars, has MOXIE. Not the noun meaning grit and fortitude so much as a proper noun. MOXIE is short for Mars Oxyverb In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. That’s a mouthful, hence the cute nickname. On Tuesday, MOXIE turned heads as she successfully converted carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen. It was a test passed with flying colors and a lot of excitement.

The Martian atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide, whereas the earth is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and about 1% a mixture of other gasses, including about 0.03% carbon dioxide.

MOXIE spent about two hours splitting carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and enough free oxygen to sustain an astronaut for about ten minutes. Jim Reuter of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate said that “results from this technology demonstration are full of promise as we move toward our goal of one-day seeing humans on Mars.”

Oxygen is also used in rocket fuel – which will be needed to take the next step in space research: putting people on Mars. Around 15,000 pounds of rocket fuel is needed to blast four astronauts into space for the journey – and about 55,000 pounds of oxygen are needed for the trip. Once there, oxygen necessity will be far less, until it’s time to go home.

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