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« How Not To Listen | Main | The Echo Chamber »

May 22, 2008



It would be nice to see the bumblebee meme finally die a well-deserved death. Bumblebee flight was considered UNEXPLAINABLE (not impossible) when high-speed cameras weren't available and people didn't actually know the rotation involved in the bee's wingbeats. Once those erroneous assumptions were corrected with better data, the bee's flight was understood and could be readily modeled. All the happy thoughts in the world won't change laws of physics, and real scientists know that if something that looks impossible clearly exists, it's an invitation to find what you're missing, not a miracle.

California Guy

@numenaster, the key message is embedded within your comment. Through the application of the scientific method, yesterday's impossible problems and puzzles quickly (or slowly) become today's academic case studies. Likewise, today's impossible problems and puzzles will also become tomorrow's academic case studies. And so on and so forth. Whether it's yesterday's bumblebee flight puzzle or today's manned mission to Mars, we should not stop aspiring to or inpiring others to accomplish or solve the impossible for the benefit of humanity.


Just imagine if bumblebee knows physics during the era without digital camera, will it brave enough to fly ??? Whatever so-caled law of physics or law of chemistry is limits to what we know ... Are we brave enough to explore beyond our known limits before we are able to explain human potential with science ?

Friend from Penang

One example from Semicondctor Industry is the way we push the limits of the technology … many years ago, people is questioning if the silicon technology can go beyond 0.1um … and in reality, we have proven that it can be executed at half of this “limit” (45 nm)

I have chance to talk to the designer of the project you referred in this article during my last visit to Singapore, I can see fire in his eyes on how proud he feel to be part of the team. He admitted that the beginning is challenging, tough … but he has achieved a satisfactory level that never in his career after they gone through it ….

When I visited the raw wafer manufacturing plant, one thing really amazed me : Look at how tiny the neck that holding the whole ingot ….

Thanks and rgds

A friend from Penang

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