Chronos is one of the many Smalltalk-related blogs syndicated on Planet Smalltalk

Discussion of the Essence# programming language, and related issues and technologies.

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Self-assembled materials form mini stem cell lab

Self-assembled materials form mini stem cell lab from

Imagine having one polymer and one small molecule that instantly assemble into a flexible but strong sac in which you can grow human stem cells, creating a sort of miniature laboratory. And that sac, if used for cell therapy, could cloak the stem cells from the human body’s immune system and biodegrade upon arriving at its destination, releasing the stem cells to do their work.


Quadruped Rough Terrain Robot Prototype

Boston Dynamics: Quadruped Rough Terrain Robot Prototype from

Boston Dynamics has released a prototype of an all-terrain robot, BigDog. The quadruped robot is equipped with a computer featuring sensors that aid its movements over harsh terrain. The robot is powered by a gasoline engine that drives the hydraulic system.



Artificial photosynthesis moves a step closer

Artificial photosynthesis moves a step closer from

J├╝lich scientists have made an important step on the long road to artificially mimicking photosynthesis. They were able to synthesise a stable inorganic metal oxide cluster, which enables the fast and effective oxidation of water to oxygen.


Version 2008b of the Chronos Time Zone Repository has been published

Version 2008b of the Chronos Time Zone Repository has been published. It is based on version 2008b of the Olson Time Zone Database.



Birth of an enzyme

Birth of an enzyme from

Mankind triumphed in a recent 'competition' against nature when scientists succeeded in creating a new type of enzyme for a reaction for which no naturally occurring enzyme has evolved. This achievement opens the door to the development of a variety of potential applications in medicine and industry.



Easter Dates From 2000 to 2020

Since it's Easter today (according to the rule for computing Easter established by Pope Gregory in the late sixteenth century,) I thought I would post the occurrence dates for Easter from 2000 to 2020 AD (Gregorian):


And here's the Chronos code that computes the list above:

2000 to: 2020 
do: [:year |
show: (GregorianEaster canonical inYear: year) printString]

Note, however, that not all Christians use the Gregorian calendar, or don't use Pope Gregory's rule for determining the date on which Easter occurs. Some still use the first "universal" Roman Catholic rule (which was established in 325 AD.) Before that, Easter was celebrated at various dates in different locales and cultures. Originally, it coincided with the day just before Passover (which is 14 Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, since Passover starts on 15 Nisan; also note that Hebrew calendar days start at sundown.)

2008-03-23 AD @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Gregorian]
0165-01-03 BE @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Bahai]
1724-07-14 AM @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Coptic]
2000-07-14 ZH @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Ethiopic]
5768-13-16 AM @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Hebrew]
1930-01-03 AS @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Indian Civil]
1429-03-15 AH @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Islamic (Fatimid)]
2008-03-10 AD @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Julian]
2761-03-10 AUC @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Julian (Imperial)]
1387-01-04 AP @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Persian]
6244-04-04 SY @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Solarian]
2008-083 @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Gregorian-ordinal date]
2008-W12-7 @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [ISO]
J.D. 2454549 @ 12:55:09 pm -0700 [Julian Day]
39163:19:55:09.771325 days:hh:mm:ss.s.. since 1901-01-01T00:00:00Z (ST80 epoch)
1206302109 seconds since 1970-01-01T00:00:00Z (Unix epoch)
128507757097713250 100-nanosecond ticks since 1601-01-01T00:00:00Z (MS WIndows epoch)
weekend (Sunday)


Physicists Bring Quantum Computing Closer to Reality

Physicists Bring Quantum Computing Closer to Reality from

Researchers at the U. S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Microsoft Station Q have made significant advancements in understanding a fundamental problem of quantum mechanics – one that is blocking efforts to develop practical quantum computers with processing speeds far superior to conventional computers. Their respective theoretical and experimental studies investigate how microscopic objects lose their quantum-mechanical properties through interactions with the environment.



Information Storage in Three Dimensions

Information Storage in Three Dimensions from

For the first time, researchers have successfully turned a glass material into three-dimensional information storage using a light-based technique. This achievement may be a big step forward for the real-life implementation of such materials, which have the potential to store terabits of data (1,000 gigabits, or about 125 gigabytes) in just a single cubic centimeter.



Nanophotonic switch

Nanophotonic switch device for routing light on a chip scale from

IBM scientists today took another significant advance towards sending information inside a computer chip by using light pulses instead of electrons by building the world’s tiniest nanophotonic switch with a footprint about 100X smaller than the cross section of a human hair.



Tiny Brain-Like Transistor Controls Nanobots

Tiny Brain-Like Transistor Controls Nanobots from

For years, researchers have been building tiny nanobots that could one day serve a variety of purposes. But, until now, nanobots couldn't work together.



NIST 'Quantum Logic Clock' Rivals Mercury Ion as World's Most Accurate Clock

NIST 'Quantum Logic Clock' Rivals Mercury Ion as World's Most Accurate Clock from

An atomic clock that uses an aluminum atom to apply the logic of computers to the peculiarities of the quantum world now rivals the world's most accurate clock, based on a single mercury atom. Both clocks are at least 10 times more accurate than the current U.S. time standard.