Inventor Nathan Myhrvold, of Intellectual Ventures, recently unveiled a mosquito death ray -- part of a plan to eradicate malaria, funded by Bill Gates. Using a Blu-ray playe’s laser and a laser printer’s fast-moving mirror, controlled by a sensor that measures wingbeat frequency and size the of flying insect and decide whether it is worth killing.
Sound familiar? Writes tech pundit Jamais Cascio: “Okay David, so it's mosquitos and not killer bees, but I'll give this EARTH prediction to you anyway.” (Aw man... how many of these do I need, before people gimme respek? I mean sheet, I got a better record than Sterling, Doctorow an’ all dose guys combine! Sigh. ;-)
While we’re at it... see progress toward Tru-View Goggles (shown in my novel EARTH).
And another predictions registry item... people looking hard for the last remaining “quiet places” on Earth. (Forecast in my novel of that name.) Doug Moran suggests that “you should consider releasing a 25th anniversary edition of "Earth" in 2015 (when we're halfway there), with an afterward that talks about things that have happened.”
Another prediction from EARTH (1992) -- Tidal power is taking off, in Europe. (Now a further prediction. These “snakes” will also be designed to stir bottom mud and fertilize currents. )
See a list of predictive hits (and misses) from Earth at: http://earthbydavidbrin.pbworks.com/w/page/15607657/Predictions
Speaking of predictions, see my classic article about Psi and telepathy and precognition and all that: Parapsychology and the need to believe in a new transcendence
Jamais Cascio and Mike Treder hold a fascinating conversation about environmental ethics. See Jamais work out the fact that each big cheesburger results in the emission of 4.5 kilograms of greenhouse gas! (From farmers' fuel to fertilizer to cattle farts to transport etc.) Leading to about 20 million tons of co2 coming from America from just the cheeseburgers it eats. (I don't think he included the resulting human farts.)
President Obama’s new space plan offers a huge boost to commercial space operations, including manned flight. Exactly what all my libertarian buds have said they wanted, for ages. Watch. He’ll still be called a socialist. (On the other hand, Buzz Aldrin was wonderfully cogent in arguing for an approach that the President seems to have adopted, whole cloth.
See a “One Minute Critic” summarize KILN PEOPLE.
You can catch a clip of me on History Channel’s Life After People. You may have to actually paste in this address:
The Age of Amateurs pushes forward. How crowdsourcing is helping in Haiti. This article discusses how (mostly) volunteer response in other countries helped (and still is, to a degree) the ground based workers.
I’ve posted a couple of education-related pages. Science Fiction that Teaches.
Movies for Teaching Science.
Learn about Solar Probe Plus, a planned mission to study the Sun with a brave probe from near distances where it will appear 23 times wider than it does in the skies of Earth. I have been asked to be a sort of honorary “inspirational consultant” member of the team, Among the mysteries to be studied are the origins of the solar wind and the reasons for the superheated temperatures of the corona, which reach more than a million degrees. As a former solar astronomer myself, and author of Sundiver, I’ll be pleased to help in any way. Read more.
This covers the nitty-gritty of using Hexayurts in Haiti. It's a research doc, but has good, clear descriptions of the cleverness required to put together a cheap shelter that stands some chance in a serious storm. Pass it on, they're going to need it.
A fun - if long-winded - take-down of the Star Wars prequels. Makes the same point that I did, years ago... that The Phantom Menace has no hero. None at all, and during Lucas’s “Joseph Campbell Period!” Hilarious.
READ this very informative article about how easy it is to subpoena web records and find out about your identity, if you post anything anonymously defaming. Of course there’s Anonymizer.com...
“Krugman explained that he’d become an economist because of science fiction. When he was a boy, he’d read Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy and become obsessed with the central character, Hari Seldon.”
I tried to reach Krugman and offer him a copy of FOUNDATION’S TRIUMPH, which ties together ALL of Isaac’s loose ends... but could not get through his protective layers with the message. If any of you happen to be within two degrees of separation and care to pass on a message...?
=== SCIENCE!! ===
Son of Big Dog... the Army will deploy Boston Dynamics robo-mule for a test in less than 3 years.
Betty Jones has posted a list-link to “100 Eye-Opening Lectures on the Future of Engineering” - quite a compilation and well worth several impulse clicks.
A fascinating Youtube about mythbusting Climate Change assertions.
Fun engineering games.
In less than one billionth of a second, plants transform 95 percent of the sunlight that falls on them into energy stored chemically as carbohydrates. The quantum key to doing that lies in a phenomenon known to physicists as quantum coherence, where more than one molecule interacts with the same energy from one incoming photon at the same time.
Is the solar-system sized bubble in the Consellation Cygnus a planetary nebulae or could it be an "AC" or astroengineering construction, also known as a Dyson sphere? (Sigh, obviously the former.)
Scientists have found a striking similarity in the DNA that enables some bats and dolphins to echolocate.
Connecting the dots in algae-to-fuel!
Calling all Hugo Award voters. Podcasts are now allowed! Have a look and then try some of the casts from Glasgow’s “Starship Sofa.” (including some stories of mine!) Consider for Best Fanzine.
And now that's done. Phew! Now please forgive me if I stay mostly off of the comments section for a while....