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Archive for the ‘fun’ category: Page 5

Aug 5, 2012

NASA’s live coverage of Mars rover landing

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, fun, human trajectories, media & arts, space

Here are links to NASA live broadcast of Curiosity’s landing on Mars. Curiosity is the one ton car-sized rover that NASA is landing on Mars today.

This is another step in Man’s great adventure into interstellar space. Well Done, NASA.

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

NASA Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl

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Apr 14, 2012

Earth’s Titanic Challenges

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, complex systems, economics, ethics, existential risks, finance, fun, geopolitics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, lifeboat, media & arts, rants
RMS <em>Titanic</em> Sails

What’s to worry? RMS Titanic departs Southampton.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster in 1912. What better time to think about lifeboats?

One way to start a discussion is with some vintage entertainment. On the centenary weekend of the wreck of the mega-liner, our local movie palace near the Hudson River waterfront ran a triple bill of classic films about maritime disasters: A Night to Remember, Lifeboat, and The Poseidon Adventure. Each one highlights an aspect of the lifeboat problem. They’re useful analogies for thinking about the existential risks of booking a passage on spaceship Earth.

Can’t happen…

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Jan 16, 2012

Electro-magnetic Vortex phenomena & Industrial Implications…

Posted by in categories: engineering, existential risks, fun, humor, physics

I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the following topic except for the article appearing in an otherwise credible international news agency (MINA).

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/17115/56/
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_gulf_of_aden_vortex

Whilst electro-magnetic disturbances occur naturally — all the time, the suggestion that one in particular has allegedly arose through industrial practices (ionospheric research, wormhole research(??)) lends to curiosity. If anyone on one of the advisory boards for the various science disciplines has a strong knowledge of electro-magnetic vortex type features that can occur in nature, please explain the phenomena, whether there are any implications of these and whether industry of any sort (in particular directed ionospheric heating) can cause such anomalies to appear from time to time.

I understand that there can be certain fluctuations and weakening in build up to magnetic pole reversals, for example (though please correct me if I’m wrong here). That besides one may enjoy the alleged reaction of certain defense forces (surely spoof) which is at least good satire on how leaders of men can often fear the unknown.

Jan 10, 2012

Verne, Wells, and the Obvious Future Part 1

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, business, education, engineering, ethics, events, existential risks, finance, fun, futurism, media & arts, military, nuclear weapons, philosophy, physics, policy, robotics/AI, space, transparency

Steamships, locomotives, electricity; these marvels of the industrial age sparked the imagination of futurists such as Jules Verne. Perhaps no other writer or work inspired so many to reach the stars as did this Frenchman’s famous tale of space travel. Later developments in microbiology, chemistry, and astronomy would inspire H.G. Wells and the notable science fiction authors of the early 20th century.

The submarine, aircraft, the spaceship, time travel, nuclear weapons, and even stealth technology were all predicted in some form by science fiction writers many decades before they were realized. The writers were not simply making up such wonders from fanciful thought or childrens ryhmes. As science advanced in the mid 19th and early 20th century, the probable future developments this new knowledge would bring about were in some cases quite obvious. Though powered flight seems a recent miracle, it was long expected as hydrogen balloons and parachutes had been around for over a century and steam propulsion went through a long gestation before ships and trains were driven by the new engines. Solid rockets were ancient and even multiple stages to increase altitude had been in use by fireworks makers for a very long time before the space age.

Some predictions were seen to come about in ways far removed yet still connected to their fictional counterparts. The U.S. Navy flagged steam driven Nautilus swam the ocean blue under nuclear power not long before rockets took men to the moon. While Verne predicted an electric submarine, his notional Florida space gun never did take three men into space. However there was a Canadian weapons designer named Gerald Bull who met his end while trying to build such a gun for Saddam Hussien. The insane Invisible Man of Wells took the form of invisible aircraft playing a less than human role in the insane game of mutually assured destruction. And a true time machine was found easily enough in the mathematics of Einstein. Simply going fast enough through space will take a human being millions of years into the future. However, traveling back in time is still as much an impossibillity as the anti-gravity Cavorite from the First Men in the Moon. Wells missed on occasion but was not far off with his story of alien invaders defeated by germs- except we are the aliens invading the natural world’s ecosystem with our genetically modified creations and could very well soon meet our end as a result.

While Verne’s Captain Nemo made war on the death merchants of his world with a submarine ram, our own more modern anti-war device was found in the hydrogen bomb. So destructive an agent that no new world war has been possible since nuclear weapons were stockpiled in the second half of the last century. Neither Verne or Wells imagined the destructive power of a single missile submarine able to incinerate all the major cities of earth. The dozens of such superdreadnoughts even now cruising in the icy darkness of the deep ocean proves that truth is more often stranger than fiction. It may seem the golden age of predictive fiction has passed as exceptions to the laws of physics prove impossible despite advertisments to the contrary. Science fiction has given way to science fantasy and the suspension of disbelief possible in the last century has turned to disappointment and the distractions of whimsical technological fairy tales. “Beam me up” was simply a way to cut production costs for special effects and warp drive the only trick that would make a one hour episode work. Unobtainium and wishalloy, handwavium and technobabble- it has watered down what our future could be into childish wish fulfillment and escapism.

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Sep 1, 2011

Instead of God-like…Think of #Singularity as opportunity to design benevolent super-intelligence

Posted by in categories: fun, philosophy

Instead of God-like…Think of #Singularity as opportunity to design benevolent super-intelligence. More effective than the ambiguous Abrahamic #judge #forgiver #guide http://ht.ly/4rSny We’ve got to get away from these old world arguments.

Jun 25, 2010

Lifeboat Foundation in Games

Posted by in categories: existential risks, fun

The RPG Eclipse Phase includes the “Singularity Foundation” and “Lifeboat Institute” as player factions. Learn more about this game!

P.S. In case you don’t know, there is a Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.


Eclipse Phase is a roleplaying game of post-apocalyptic transhuman conspiracy and horror.

An “eclipse phase” is the period between when a cell is infected by a virus and when the virus appears within the cell and transforms it. During this period, the cell does not appear to be infected, but it is.

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