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Aug 29, 2019

Black hole warning: Astronomer’s dire prediction over Earth’s future revealed

Posted by in categories: cosmology, futurism

A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing can escape, not even light. These cosmic phenomena are said to form when massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. Then, they can continue to grow by absorbing mass from their surroundings, engulfing stars in their path and merging with other black holes.

Aug 29, 2019

Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor Who actor

Posted by in category: futurism

Aug 29, 2019

The Serial-Killer Detector

Posted by in category: information science

A former journalist, equipped with an algorithm and the largest collection of murder records in the country, finds patterns in crime.

Aug 29, 2019

Report outlines SpaceX’s plans for Starship launches from KSC

Posted by in categories: food, space travel, sustainability

WASHINGTON — SpaceX plans to build facilities at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A for launches and, eventually, landings of its next-generation launch vehicle, according to a newly released report.

An environment assessment prepared by SpaceX, and released by NASA Aug. 1, discusses plans to develop additional facilities at LC-39A, which currently hosts Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches, for use by the company’s Starship vehicle and its Super Heavy booster.

The plans outlined in the document call for the construction of a new launch mount at the complex near the existing one used by the Falcon 9 and Heavy. The modifications to the pad would also include a tank farm for the methane fuel used by the Raptor engines that power Starship and Super Heavy.

Aug 29, 2019

Samsung patents ‘smart’ contact lenses that record video and let you control your phone just by blinking

Posted by in categories: electronics, mobile phones

Of interest?


Contact lenses capable of recording video and taking pictures could one day become a reality after Samsung was granted a patent in the US to develop the technology.

The lenses feature motion sensors, which means that wearers could control devices with their eye movements and potentially give commands to their devices remotely when blinking or using their peripheral vision.

Continue reading “Samsung patents ‘smart’ contact lenses that record video and let you control your phone just by blinking” »

Aug 29, 2019

SpaceX’s first Super Heavy hardware is already being built at Florida Starship campus

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

Based on some basic analysis of recent photos of SpaceX’s East Coast Starship facility, situated in Cocoa, Florida, SpaceX has almost certainly begun fabricating and staging hardware that will eventually become part of the company’s first Super Heavy booster prototype.

This is by no means surprising but it does confirm the reasonable assumption that SpaceX is already working hard to ensure that the first Super Heavy booster(s) can be assembled as quickly as possible. Additionally, SpaceX appears to have started clearing brush in the process of preparing to transport the Florida orbital Starship prototype (“Mk2”) to SpaceX’s Pad 39A launch facilities, dozens of miles away.

The aforementioned “basic analysis” is more or less comprised of looking for and counting the massive steel rings that SpaceX has decided to build its Starships (and Super Heavy boosters) out of. By all appearances, SpaceX is doing nearly everything short of milling and preparing the raw materials (steel) internally. In Florida and Texas, giant rolls of stainless steel are delivered to the worksite by semi-truck, where SpaceX technicians prepare the rolls for sectioning (likely with a plasma torch or laser) and any necessary machining.

Aug 29, 2019

How We Could Make Mars Habitable, One Patch of Ground at a Time

Posted by in category: space

Terraforming would be a monumental task. How about this instead?


Humanity could make patches of the Red Planet habitable relatively cheaply and efficiently by placing thin layers of silica aerogel on or above the Martian surface, a new study suggests. The insulating aerogel would warm the ground enough to melt water ice and would also block harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, potentially creating an environment where plants and other photosynthetic life could flourish.

Aug 29, 2019

Carl Sagan on why he liked smoking marijuana

Posted by in category: futurism

Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.

Aug 29, 2019

Nanoparticles could grant humans permanent night vision

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space

Aug. 27 (UPI) — Built-in night vision may not be far off. Scientists have developed nanoparticles that allow mice to see near-infrared light.

Researchers are scheduled to describe the technological breakthrough on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. ET at the American Chemical Society’s fall meeting, held this week in San Diego. Their presentation will be streamed live online.

Continue reading “Nanoparticles could grant humans permanent night vision” »

Aug 29, 2019

Scientists See Human-Like Brain Waves in Lab-Grown Mini-Brains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, neuroscience

One way that scientists can non-invasively study the human brain is by growing “mini-brains,” clusters of brain cells each about the size of a pea, in the lab. In a fascinating progression of this line of research, a team this week reports that they observed human-like brainwaves from these organoids.

Previous studies of mini-brains have demonstrated movement and nerve tract development, but the new study from researchers at the University of California San Diego, led by biologist Alysson Muotri, is the first to record human-like neural activity. In their paper, published in Cell Stem Cell on Thursday, the researchers write that they observed brain wave patterns resembling those of a developing human. This sophistication in the in vitro model is a step to enable scientists to use mini-brains to study brain development, model diseases, and learn about the evolution of brains, according to Muotri.