Reality TV, Infotainment, and Apocalypse…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Fascism, Human Rights, Politics, Star Trek What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell’s 1984, Neil’s Postman’s essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever. “It’s unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, butContinue reading “Reality TV, Infotainment, and Apocalypse…”

Gene Centennial…

Topics: Planetary Science, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Star Trek NASA is helping the legacy of inspiration, hope, and diversity fostered by the creator of Star Trek to live long and prosper. The agency will observe the late Gene Roddenberry’s 100th birthday with a special program called, Celebrating Gene Roddenberry: Star Trek’s Bridge and NASA – aContinue reading “Gene Centennial…”

Nearing Ignition…

Topics: Energy, Environment, Modern Physics, Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Power More than a decade ago, the world’s most energetic laser started to unleash its blasts on tiny capsules of hydrogen isotopes, with managers promising it would soon demonstrate a route to limitless fusion energy. Now, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) has taken a major leap toward thatContinue reading “Nearing Ignition…”

Roaming Goldilocks…

Topics: Astrophysics, Planetary Science, SETI, Space Exploration Even as a child, before he devoted his life to the search for extraterrestrial life, Frank Drake wondered whether Earth was alone in its ability to harbor life. He wasn’t the first or the only one to wonder. There’s a reason so many are fascinated by the question:Continue reading “Roaming Goldilocks…”

ISAAC…

Topics: International Space Station, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight In April 2021, Bumble, one of the free-flying Astrobee robots aboard the International Space Station, was put to the test to investigate a simulated anomaly. In the simulation, the station’s life support systems detected a high concentration of carbon dioxide. A similar situation, in reality, could be very dangerousContinue reading “ISAAC…”

Critical Thinking…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, COVID-19, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987. Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation,Continue reading “Critical Thinking…”

Cooling Computer Chips…

Topics: Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Semiconductor Technology A novel semiconducting material with high thermal conductivity can be integrated into high-power computer chips to cool them down and so improve their performance. The material, boron arsenide, is better at removing heat than the best thermal-management devices available today, according to the US-based researchers who developed it. TheContinue reading “Cooling Computer Chips…”

On Fire…

Topics: Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming The hundreds of climate experts who compiled the mammoth new climate report released today by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had to work under unprecedented pandemic conditions. At vast meetings forced online, scientists wrestled with how to convey the extent of the global crisis and the urgent needContinue reading “On Fire…”

Stop-Motion Efficiency…

Topics: Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Semiconductor Technology A new ultrafast imaging technique that captures the motion of atoms in nanoscale electronic devices has revealed the existence of a short-lived electronic state that could make it possible to develop faster and more energy-efficient computers. The imaging technique, which involves switching the devices on and offContinue reading “Stop-Motion Efficiency…”

Flatland…

Topics: Particle Physics, Quantum Computer, Quantum Mechanics, Theoretical Physics Flatland: “The book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to comment on the hierarchy of Victorian culture, but the novella’s more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.” Source: Wikipedia After decades of exploration in nature’s smallest domains, physicists have finally found evidence that anyonsContinue reading “Flatland…”