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A Look Back at the Future: This Week in Tech — April 23, 2016


FILE - The Solar Impulse 2 airplane, flown by test pilot Markus Scherdel, flies off the coast of Oahu during a test flight from Kalaealoa Airfield in Kapolei, Hawaii, March 3, 2016.

FILE - The Solar Impulse 2 airplane, flown by test pilot Markus Scherdel, flies off the coast of Oahu during a test flight from Kalaealoa Airfield in Kapolei, Hawaii, March 3, 2016.

When the Islamic State group took over the ancient city of Palmyra, it destroyed some of that city's ancient heritage, which dates to 2000 B.C. The ancient structures, art and architecture were examples of idolatry, IS said, and their destruction was called for by the Quran.

To most of the world, watching IS demolish the ancient palace of Nimrud and other parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site was heartbreaking.

But if you find yourself in London this week, you can get a glimpse of one of the destroyed structures, the "Arch of Triumph," displayed in Trafalgar Square.

London Mayor Boris Johnson (center L) watches as a 5.5-meter (20ft) recreation of the 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, is unveiled at Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, April 19, 2016.

London Mayor Boris Johnson (center L) watches as a 5.5-meter (20ft) recreation of the 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, is unveiled at Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, April 19, 2016.

The 11-ton arch was re-created by students at the Institute of Digital Archaeology. The team used photographs to map the arch in exquisite detail on a smaller scale and then rebuilt it life size using a 3-D printer.

The printer didn't reprint a pristine version of the arch; the model includes all the chips and age lines of the arch as it existed in 2015, making the model an exact replica of the one that was destroyed — flawed by nature and time, but not people.

Take that, Daesh.

Taking flight on eagles' wings

The Solar Impulse Two is back in the air after a nine-month layover in Hawaii.

Tough life.

The plane got some much-needed repairs on its batteries that overheated during its voyage from Japan to Hawaii in July.

Since then, the plane got a new cooling system and new batteries, and it went through some pretty extensive testing. It should be off the ground any day now.

The Solar Impulse 2 team is looking to make history by being the first to fly a fixed-wing solar-powered aircraft around the world.

Next stop is somewhere in the central United States, before making its final journey back to Abu Dhabi, where the whole affair started.

A side goal of the project, which is funded by Swiss businessmen and adventurers Bertrand Piccard and Andres Borschberg, is to demonstrate the world can live without fossil fuels.

Lofty goals indeed.

FILE - An image from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the surface of the planet in this NASA handout released January 15, 2013.

FILE - An image from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the surface of the planet in this NASA handout released January 15, 2013.

Magic schoolbus

This is about the coolest thing we've seen all week.

A bus that can take you on a commute through a Martian landscape.

The trip is part of a science curriculum designed by aerospace company Lockheed Martin. It's called Generation Beyond.

The idea is to get kids excited about careers in science, technology and math.

And a trip across the Martian landscape is part of the fun.

Students get aboard a regular bus, but then the windows dim and suddenly they are looking out across the fields of Mars, 2,000 miles of the Red Planet, just outside their windows.

The bus is touring neighborhoods across the United States.

FILE - The port bow railing of the Titanic as photographed in 1996

FILE - The port bow railing of the Titanic as photographed in 1996

Like watching really interesting paint dry

Do you have an extra 2 hours and 41 minutes?

Even if you don't, take some time to view this oddly mesmerizing, real-time graphic animation of the sinking of the Titanic.

There's very little sound, only the odd bit of dialogue, and sounds of panic with the unnerving creaking metal and rushing water.

On-screen information tells you what's happening as you watch the ship slowly settle and ultimately break apart and disappear underwater.

It's actually a bit terrifying, like a slow-moving monster.

It was put together by the developers of a video game called "Titanic: Honor and Glory."

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