Here we go:
1. It took a little warm water to freeze Antarctica - that doesn't mean it will happen again.
2. Oldest hominid fossil is 7 million years old.
3. Maya wiped themselves with climate change - maybe we can learn from their mistakes.
4. Rain making bacteria - one step closer to the gaia hypothesis.
5. Bats fly like bugs. You are what you eat after all. (Yes, I know a good number of bats aren't insectivores. Can't you take a joke?)
6. Searching for Dark Matter in Minnesota.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Here we go:
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Radiolab is back with a whole new season! Episode 1 is about laughter, with stories about tickling rats, the professional laughers on "The Nanny," and mass hysterical-laughing in Tanzania.
Listen to the episode and be amazed by compelling radio.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Here we go:
1. There are seas of fuel on Titan - I wonder how the U.S. will invade?
2. Colossal Dark Matter sheets detected. How big? Try 270-light-years across.
3. Pythons on the move... to New Jersey. Finally, something to keep the mutagenic sewer alligators down.
4. Better solar cells through industrialization of moth eyes. The future isn't in plastics anymore.
5. Hormones can make you look like you're covered in crap, but only if you are a caterpillar. What's your excuse?
6. More proof that we are all from Africa, so let's stop with the "white people do this, but black people do that" jokes.
As for the picture - we are going to need robot oil derricks for Titan. It's just plain logic.
A clever little animated doc about evil.
We need more work like this - maybe one day the future soon will be animated.
Maybe one day...
found via one of the best sites on the internets
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Shooting War might be coming to British TV. All I can say is yes, yes, yes. That's if they don't water it down, but given UK television's strength with police procedurals and journalism dramas, I hope for the best.
From the Press Release
Power is going ahead with the development of a brand new state-of-the-art series on the war on terror, the media and the rise of “citizen journalism” after optioning the film and television rights for Anthony Lappé’s critically-acclaimed graphic novel SHOOTING WAR, illustrated by Dan Goldman.
The graphic novel, which was recently published by Grand Central Publishing in the US and Wiedenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, is a near-future political thriller/dark satire about a young blogger whose greatest dream becomes his worst nightmare when he finds himself in over his head trying to cover an out-of-control front of the war on terror.found via Newsarama
I saw a cluster of long, white trailing debris in the sky this morning at 5:34 am PST.
Unlike the meteor the other day, the burn was white and not as intense. Although I have no confirmation that this was part of the bus-sized US spy satellite, it is definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
From the Associated Press:
"...the satellite and the kill vehicle collided at a combined speed of 22,000 mph about 130 miles above Earth's surface, and that the collision was confirmed at a space operations center at 10:50 p.m. EST.
(Military Officials) estimated there was an 80 percent to 90 percent chance that the missile struck the most important target on the satellite — its fuel tank, containing 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, which Pentagon officials say could have posed a health hazard to humans if it had landed in a populated area."
This is the VEX - Versatile Environment Explorer.
Designed by Syd Mead, legendary futurist who worked on Blade Runner, Alien and Tron, designed this vehicle for Mars.
I guess this was back in the good old days when we though we would rocket to Mars in big, chemically propelled ships.
This isn't the future I wanted to desperately escape to...
Anyway, even though this design was passed over, I think that it could do yeomen service here on Earth.
I just want to have one.
found via Dark Roasted Blend
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Studio 360 has a great little piece on the photography of rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
Four years into their mission, and these robo-ansel's are still sending back pics.
I love these machines. If you get the chance to see Roving Mars at a local IMAX, do it.
The Florida Board of Education passed an amendment yesterday that can be viewed as a great victory for science.
Florida's textbooks previously made no mention of evolution, and the board was looking at changing that. Creationists got their knickers in a knot and had all references to evolution changed to "the scientific theory of evolution."
This Wired makes a very good argument as to why this is such an important victory
for science. (Hint: scientific theory is key to the victory celebrations.)
Posted by Chris at 2/20/2008 09:20:00 PM
I was up very early this morning, delivering the news up on a hill, when a green flash lit up the eastern sky. That's right, a green streak that increased in brightness to an arc-welder burning white light. During the fall, you could see the atmosphere briefly illuminated in red, leaving a corkscrewing vapour trai. I heard a faint pop.
This all happened within a second.
People across B.C., Washington, Oregon and Idaho reported seeing the event.
There are no verifying reports that the meteor was found.
And that was the highlight of my day
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Here we go:
1. Humans flock like sheep and birds - all it takes is a pushy 5 percent of the population.
2. Forty percent of the ocean has been altered, for the worse, by humans.
3. NASA is being pushed top get people on Mars - more than 45 people have to show up at meetings to change this.
4. Blizzards in China mean big fires this summer - just when you thought the air-quality in Beijing couldn't get worse.
5. Engineering projects for the 21st Century.
6. Antibodies linked to development of autism.
Now I'm off to interview a puppet.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Here is a nifty little flick about nuclear weapons from Good Magazine. See who has nukes, how many, and what would happen to New York if someone blew it up (other than the obvious "being blown-up" outcome.)
I guess New York was chosen as an example because; a) WTC, b) destroyed on film so many times that we expect it c) the one city everyone recognizes.
found via information aesthetics.
In the 21st Century, kids are definitely going to take the future seriously.
Unlike the future of the 50's, with high space opera adventure and shooting hostile aliens,
these kids are altering their perceptions.
They are becoming alien and becoming more human in the process.
The kids, from left to right:
Ant - feeling 50x smaller (those black dots are her "eyes")
Bird - retrain the sense for magnetic fields
Giraffe - child to adult converter
found via dezeen, and later spotted on BoingBoing gadget
Monday, February 11, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
This is the Schoener Boot Fahren Wooden Boat, designed by Max Koriath. This little beauty just won the Volvo Sports design 08.
From ispo sports design:
The production process for wood boats is comparable to that of fibreglass-reinforced plastic boats: It is a modular concept, with the boat produced in parts not as a whole hull. No chemical emissions result and there is less health risk to the workmen.
The boat is made of beech wood, which is forested in Germany and other countries. The beech wood is worked in an industrial process that makes three-dimensional rounded freeform surfaces possible. Crafted in this way, it may substitute for common fibreglass-reinforced plastic materials currently used for boats. Another process makes the wood resistant to mildew, making it viable on the water. In the end, the comfortable wood characteristics are still maintained.
And all parts can be composted.
Make sure you check out Max's site fore amazing 3D renderings of this boat.
found via Core 77 design
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I like doing these science rolls.
Anyway, here we go -
1. NASA is looking ahead to seven new science adventures exploring the outer solar system, the sun, and dark matter.
2. When your kids don't get out of the house, eat them.
3. A galaxy with no dark matter.
4. Want to eat a quarter of your own body weight? All you have to do is shut down your lungs like a crocodile.
5. The coming age of super telescopes.
6. Last six for science we had nanoscale radios. This time we have nanoscale remote controlled pistons for tiny, tiny robots. I like little things.
And a little bonus - Cat designer declares war.
A Klingon selling happy meals... man I wish I had a bat'leth to send this traitor to Sto-Vo-Kor.
Wow, did I ever just out myself.
found via SciFi Scanner
For some reason, the readers of the Future Soon -- or at least those who like to vote in completely unscientific polls -- have chosen the establishment of a Moon base as the most important current or planned space mission.
But really, the Moon? I'm curious to know why people would choose the Moon base over two other strong choices.
Exploring under Europa's ice is the best chance we have to find life (Martian sasquatches excluded) on a celestial body other than our own.
(Sterling and I each voted for the Europa option.)
And, speaking of Mars, the rovers and probes are providing a wealth of information about the red planet -- some of which may come in handy when trying to figure out what will happen to the Earth as a result of global warming.
Anyway, if you voted for the Moon base, please write in to tell us why. We'd really like to know.
And other picked up nine per cent of the vote. Who voted for other? What is this other, and why is it so important? Tell us!
The February poll is up, so make your picks and let us know why you're picking what you are. Science is the future. And the Future is Soon. So get interactive!
Posted by Chris at 2/06/2008 05:02:00 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Nikola Tesla is a hero of the Future Soon, if not the hero of the Future Soon. He was Serbian genius who invented the modern world, fought Edison, looked good in a suit and died penniless and alone in a New York Hotel.
PRI's Studio 360 put together an excellent show that documents Tesla's life and legacy of creative spirit.
Here is a segment on the creation of the death ray, from Mike Daisy's "great Men of Genius."
I so loved this show so much that I listened to it twice in a row, and a couple times since then.
And if you want a fictional bit of Tesla's life, read Matt Fraction's "Five Fists of Science."
Do you want to live in a star shaped harbour-city-island? Do you like cargo ships? Well then, this video is for you.
This is Superharbour, a project by the BIG / Bjarke Ingels Group. The goal is to move all of Denmark's harbour activity to one island city, with automated cargo unloading facilities around the island.
I like it, but I don't think it will ever happen. People love their cities, and to think that a floating ready-built Atlantis, no matter how attractive or efficient, will make people give up their geography is unachievable.
But I do think that integrating new geographies into existing cities is the way to go.
There is a lot of intelligent design in this project. Go to Big's site to see more projects.
Found via We Make Money Not Art
Thane Heins, a mildly dyslexic chef from the Ottawa area, is turning heads at North American universities with his invention called the Perepiteia.
The contraption appears to magnify magnetic fields and violate the law of conservation of energy. It sounds pretty neat, especially since, after witnessing the machine in action, MIT professor Markus Zahn told the Star.
"To my mind this is unexpected and new, and it's worth exploring all the possible advantages once you're convinced it's a real effect," he added. "There are an infinite number of induction machines in people's homes and everywhere around the world. If you could make them more efficient, cumulatively, it could make a big difference."Yes, Heins may be a mildly dyslexic chef from Ottawa, but Einstein was just a patent clerk from Zurich. Hopefully this turns out to be as exciting as it has the potential to be.
Posted by Chris at 2/05/2008 02:49:00 PM
I found this photo on ffffound - at least I think I found it there.
Anyway, what you see is a field of grains with daisies growing along the contour lines. I really like this pic, because you get smacked in the face with watershed mechanics, not by cliffs, but by flowers.
Here we go.
1. The difference between chimps and humans can be partly explained through diet.
2. Nanometre radios - good for your remote controlled bacteriplankton.
3. More CBC stuff - you can blame rain on Wednesdays... or is it the other way around?
4. The better the baboon dad, the more grandkids he has.
5. Better health through cybernetic teeth.
6. Elephants create gecko habitat.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Radio used to be wild.
From the late '20s to the early forties, the U.S. Gov't was against private radio. If you weren't preaching about Jesus or putting out soap operas, you weren't going on the air. Or at least from inside the US.
Pirate stations, or "border blasters" started broadcasting from Mexico, Canada and offshore ships, selling everything from bunk medicine to little chicks and bootleg liquor. And playing country and "black" music.
In this time of recession and prohibition, Popular Mechanics published a story about the future of pirate radio, imagining bobbing fleets of floating radio stations, called "X stations", broadcasting music and advertising from international waters into wholesome American homes.
Well, the floating stations never took hold, but the pirates won out and became the roots of public and private broadcasting in North America.
For some compelling radio, listen to On the Media's doc on the border blasters.
X-station pic from Modern Mechanix via BoingBoing Gadgets.
My GoogleReader addiction shows no sign of abating, but believe me friends, it is all for your benefit.
Over on Gorilla Artfare there are some pictures from the Israeli CG forums. One of the weekend projects was to come up with mashup animals.
Above is my favorite, the Cheesloth, but the rest are very close to my heart.
Here are a couple more...
These pics make me think of my book collection of odd speculative biology and paleolithic megafauna, but I 'll leave my reverence for my library to another day.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Do you ever wonder how drugs work, but have never had cartoon mice to show you before?
Well, now you too can enjoy animated science. The University of Utah's genetic lab has put together an interactive flash animation that lets you put drugged up cartoon mice into a machine and see how their neural physiology changes.
Choose from the dopehead mouse, drunk mouse, coked-out mouse, LSD mouse, tinker mouse, smack mouse and E-mouse.
Believe me, it's educational.
found via neatorama
In 1969, Nixon was trying to cut the funding of public broadcasting by half. Mister Rogers stopped him. I never realized how powerful Roger's presentation was until I saw this video.
found via good evening