Do you love YouTube channels about science? Wish I had one? Well, maybe if I get that Kiln People self-copier machine! A close second to that would be these great channels! First, an interesting interview for your weekend listening pleasure or edification. Singularity Radio - from Singularity University - I offer perspectives on The Value of History, Criticism and Science Fiction.
Set to launch next year, the agency’s Psyche spacecraft will explore a metal-rich asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Alas, another example of where the excellent TV series Expanse got things wrong and didn't need to.
“A lonely meteorite that landed in the Sahara Desert in 2020 is older than Earth. The primeval space rock is about 4.6 billion years old, and is the oldest known example of magma from space. Its age and mineral content hint that the rock originated in our early solar system from the crust of a protoplanet.” Around 75% of these protoplanet remnants seem to have originated from one source — possibly the asteroid 4 Vesta, but this one stands out. "No object with spectral characteristics similar to EC 002 has been identified to date."
Phil Plait (“Bad Astronomy”) reveals how sophisticated are the new programs being created by clever researchers like Jean-Luc Margot, that let radio astronomers sift for “signals” out there… and more important, eliminate the artifacts that originate from our own civilization. Hint, the latter is 100%... so far.
== More fermis… Phos-scarcity? ==
Among the few people who actually know about the shortage crisis of the 2030s - Phosphorus - many first heard about it in my novel Existence, wherein the king of Morocco is the richest man in the world because of it. Now come estimates that Earth may be exceptionally well endowed with the stuff, compared to elsewhere in the galaxy. Does this help to explain the Fermi Paradox / Great Silence?
"Dr. Brin, you brought to our attention the looming phosphorus crisis. It turns out, in regards to alien life and civilizations, that the crisis might be literally universal and Earth has life only because it has a local cache of phosphorus. What is really depressing is a galactic shortage of phosphorus severely limits the amount of life, human or otherwise, can expand through the galaxy."
== Technologic marvels ==
With robotically constructed foundation, walls, and utility conduits, this 1,407-square-foot Riverhead, New York house cost half as much to build as a normal one.
Incredible scientific advances… including those that gave us covid vaccines… have been propelled by nanopore technology: breaking up samples into tiny constituents that can then be appraised and tallied and then – using computers – that data recombined to model, say, a whole genome! A fantastic technology… that a startup now wants to turn into a gaming console! Yes, taking the amateur science trend (See my past postings about the “age of amateurs”) and combining it with gaming, Huh. Well… it is a game console you’re gonna have to clean and resupply pretty often. But are we on our way to Existenz? See the Wefunder video.
See Ten Breakthrough Technologies of 2021, such as messenger RNA vaccines and hyper-accurate positioning.
Fascinating progress in analyzing and modeling the fabulous brass Antikythera Device that (it seems) hand cranked models of the motion of 7 planets. An incredible glimpse of lost technology and science… which (to me) raises the twin issues of “how much else was lost from ancient Chinese, Roman and other civilizations?” and more important “Why were their memories of such skills so fragile?” I think I know why.
Speaking of spinning disks, spin-memory disks aren’t extinct yet! In order to stay ahead of flash memory for cloud storage use, the solution may be two new techniques called microwave and heat-assisted magnetic recording, or MAMR and HAMR. These use an energy source, either a microwave-generating device called a "spin-torque oscillator" or a laser, or change the platter material's coercivity. This, coupled with a more stable platter material and a smaller write head, lets you pack more data – 20TB or much more - onto each platter.
And yes, analog disk computation plays a crucial role in letting six refugee/immigrant races do calculations and change their fate, without access to digital computers... all in the Second Uplift Trilogy of Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore and Heanven's Reach. Now all refreshed, updated with beautiful new covers!
The newest U.S. Army night vision goggles are wow.
Amazing images of Sicily’s Mt. Etna erupting...
Finally, are you concerned about the mania that is driving many of our neighbors to recite anti-science and anti-fact incantations? There are ways we could restore the role of facts and objective, verifiable reality in politics, society and a recovered notion of grownup negotiation. See the Fact Act.