The dog that didn't bark? Universe Today reports Hubble Looks at Sedna, but suprisingly the object/planet does not appear to have a moon. "When Sedna's existence was announced on March 15, its discoverer, Mike Brown of Caltech, was so convinced it had a satellite that an artist's concept of Sedna released to the media included a hypothetical moon." I find it amazing that we can even tell whether Sedna has a moon, let alone that we know enought about it to be surprised it doesn't have one. After all, it is 7 billion miles away.
NewScientist suggests Big Bang glow hints at funnel-shaped Universe. "Could the Universe be shaped like a medieval horn? It may sound like a surrealist's dream, but according to Frank Steiner at the University of Ulm in Germany, recent observations hint that the cosmos is stretched out into a long funnel, with a narrow tube at one end flaring out into a bell. It would also mean that space is finite." Sub-regions of the shape have the inverted saddle characteristic of heated thin layers (like potato chips). This is called a Picard topology, no relation to Captain Picard :)
A Japanese inventor claims to have a new super-efficient electrical engine, based on magnets. Pardon me for being skeptical, I don't think the laws of physics have been repealed. But you never know...
Here's an inside look at the patent examination process, from a former patent examiner. "The successful prosecution of a patent application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires not only a novel invention and adequate prosecution skills, but a bit of luck." As someone who just spent several weeks filing four patents, this is tough to take. Engineers and scientists spend a lot more effort creating the patent applications than the patent office can spend reviewing them. The result is bad; unworthy patents are allowed, and prior art is ignored. To someone on the outside it feels a bit like a lottery.
Andrew Lee diagrams the Universal Invention Space [ via razib ]