Sunday, January 31, 2010

This and That

Just some interesting things I've come across:
  • Stoat has a great picture of wind turbine wakes.
  • Every so often a book comes along that is unlike anything else you've ever read. One such recent book is David Eagleman's Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. If you're of even a slightly scientific/sci-fi bent, but also like to think about the really big questions in life, you will be happy to have encountered this book. Check it out.
  • In 1993 Richard Gott of Princeton wrote a Nature paper that got a lot of press attention. Based on elementary reasoning, it seemed to say everything and nothing. In particular, he reasoned that man would probably (95% certainty) exist for at least another 5100 years, but only had a few more decades to make it off our planet and permanently to (at least) Mars. It seems a little hard to believe... but it also seems it's coming true.
  • Speaking of which, doesn't it seem a shame that in a country with annual income of about $15 trillion, we can't find $25B or so to explore space? I don't mean exploring by either manned or unmanned missions -- but by doing both. Why don't we have plans to drop a probe onto Titan? What does it say that we can't even make it back to the Moon? We can't seem to solve anything anymore.... Has the size of our civilization surpassed some kind of tipping point where we just can't get it all together?

1 comment:

mike said...

We have computers, the internet, really neat on-line games, and 3-D movies. What other kind of technology will US citizens ever need?

And on the bright side of things, we can sit back and root for the Red Chinese to colonize the planets and stars. It's just never been better for patriotic Ammericans!