Gotta love it:
Except for the accent, this guy reminds me so much of my step-brother Patrick. He was always doing wildly insane but pretty cool crap like this.
Needed a chuckle, after being subject to more abuses of the medical-test variety this morning. Just a CAT scan trying to sort out the ongoing pleuritic pain, so nothing to worry about. Still, having to stay off coffee until after the test was annoying, and the above vid helped.
Filed under: Astronomy, NPR, Predictions, Science Fiction, Space, Titan, UFO
Lights in the sky. Strange lights. Lights that don’t move . . . right.
Must be aliens, stopping off for a visit, right?
Over at the Two-Way a UFO sighting over Colorado has been generating discussion and heat. In looking over the comments a question has come up which really strikes at the heart of the UFO issue. Someone astutely asked something along the lines of “Why do UFOs need headlights?”
Yeah. Good point. Are the aliens scared of running into a deer?
Pretty much the most crucial plot point in Communion of Dreams is that the alien artifact discovered on Titan is using some kind of stealth technology. (I’m not giving anything away by saying this, for those who haven’t yet read the book.) How and more importantly why this is the case is what drives the story.
I agree with the author of the blog post cited: “…any civilization with technology capable of spanning light-years ought to be able to hide themselves well enough to avoid detection from hairy apes with jet-planes like us.”
And that’s all I’ll say, or I will give away some spoilers for those who haven’t yet read the book. (And why haven’t you?? C’mon – it’s brilliant!)
Filed under: Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Babylon 5, Predictions, Science, Science Fiction, tech, Wall Street Journal
That is the core message of Michio Kaku’s “Physics of the Future.” Despite its title, the book is not so much about physics as it is about gadgets and technology, described by Mr. Kaku—professor, blogger and television host—on a wide-ranging tour of what to expect from technological progress over the next century or so.
Much of the terrain Mr. Kaku surveys will be familiar to futurists, but less technically oriented readers are likely to find it fascinating—and related with commendable clarity. The changes that Mr. Kaku expects range from the readily foreseeable to the considerably more esoteric.
Augmented reality—in which useful data overlay what we see with our eyes—already exists in rudimentary form on smartphones, but Mr. Kaku predicts a time, only a decade or two away, when a much denser information stream will be fed directly to our retinas by contact lenses or optical implants. Want to fix a car, perform emergency surgery, or prepare a gourmet meal? The app will tell you what to do—and guide your work. Have trouble learning a foreign language? Expect a useful universal translator to do the work for you. And the ability to connect computers directly to human nervous systems will drastically improve the lives of those who are paralyzed, blind or deaf—as it is already beginning to do. Eventually, we may know the sort of virtual worlds illustrated in science-fiction novels like Greg Egan’s “Permutation City.”
Fun. I may have to get a copy of that book.
(Thanks to ML for the link!)
3.5 million square miles of desert: a meteorite-hunter’s dream. Here’s an excerpt from this fascinating account:
Dar al Gani
Small in size at 80 x 50 km (50 x 30 mi), Dar al Gani is the most important Saharan strewnfield, with nearly a thousand itemized meteorites, Lunar and Martian rocks, various achondrites, etc. At least 150 different falls are represented. When you approach Dar al Gani from the west, the first thing to strike you is its whiteness, as if you were looking out over mountain-tops covered in snow: a mirage in the desert. First comes a succession of terraces which then open on to a smooth, rolling expanse of white, without rocks or vegetation. Meteorites have been falling here for thousands of years, and it goes without saying that strewnfields like this one are of scientific interest. Unlike Antarctica, where ice shifts concentrate meteorites and wind scatters the fragments, things here stay in the same place from one millennium to the next. I often think of Dar al Gani as a photographic plate recording all falls over a significant time-scale of 20,000 years or more. The terrain is gentle and preserving, so that thousands of years worth of data are at present accessible.
The author and his brother make one of the most important finds ever. Very cool, and with some great pictures.
Been a busy few days.
Got through close editing (formatting, typos, similar such) of both Her Final Year and His First Year, all except one chapter which needed more work from my co-author and his wife to tighten up some passage. I’m still waiting to hear back from the ‘beta readers‘ whether there are major problems from their perspective, but I am generally very pleased with the book(s).
Why the (s)? Because we still need to decide whether we will offer an e-book version which has the two together as the only option, or whether we’ll offer the two titles separately with a discount incentive to buy both. Any thoughts on this would be welcome.
Well, was just taking a break from getting some much-needed yardwork done, thought I should post an update. Not much else to tell, though I always seem to find things to post on facebook.