20050630

RealClimate

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RealClimate - Climate Science: "RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science"

This looks line a nice site to get familiar with the science behind global warming. I admit that beyond the basics, I'm kinda in the dark here. The recent article The Wall Street Journal vs. The Scientific Consensus is an interesting display of how myths about global warming get propagated.

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20050621

CNN.com - Solar spacecraft blasts off - Jun 21, 2005

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CNN.com - Solar spacecraft blasts off - Jun 21, 2005: "A privately funded and experimental spacecraft blasted off on Tuesday from a Russian submarine in a venture funded by space enthusiasts who see their solar-driven orbiter as a way to reinvigorate a race to the stars.
Cosmos 1, the world's first solar sail spacecraft, launched in the tip of a converted Russian intercontinental ballistic missile from the Barents Sea for the start of a mission that cost just $4 million."

Up, up, and away....

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COSMOS 1

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ON JUNE 21, 2005, THE WORLD'S FIRST SOLAR SAIL SPACECRAFT WILL BE LAUNCHED BY OUR PLANETARY SOCIETY LED TEAM - "Cosmos 1 is part of a grand new age of exploration that is unfurling about us. This is not a government funded mission -- nor do we expect a huge cash prize at the end. This is a mission of true exploration, sponsored by Cosmos Studios, and supported by Members of The Planetary Society from all over the world.

What do we expect? We expect to test a truly new type of technology – a Solar Sail Spacecraft. A technology that could some day take us to the stars."

In less than seven minutes from the time of this posting, COSMOS 1 is scheduled to launch...

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20050609

Wired News: Race for Next Space Prize Ignites

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Wired News: Race for Next Space Prize Ignites: "Five to orbit is a significant number; it's the number required to win the next big space prize. America's Space Prize is a $50 million purse established last year by Las Vegas hotelier and, yes, space entrepreneur, Robert Bigelow. Bigelow will award the money to the first U.S. company to build, without government funding, a spaceship that can send five people into orbit twice within 60 days. Bigelow has more than an academic interest in commercial spaceflight; through his Bigelow Aerospace, he's expanding his real estate empire off-planet with the first commercial space stations. While he can launch his stations on existing unmanned commercial rockets, he needs an orbital passenger vehicle to succeed in his venture."

It looks like people and companies are getting into position for the next big economic bang. This time it will be space ventures competing to get off the ground. A number of successful billionaires are running this space rush to orbit. It shouldn't be too much longer for the Moon, Near Earth Objects, and Mars to be within reach.

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When Fox canceled 'Firefly,' it ignited an Internet fan base whose burning desire for more led to 'Serenity'

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When Fox canceled 'Firefly,' it ignited an Internet fan base whose burning desire for more led to 'Serenity': "When 'Firefly' was canceled, fans -- dubbed Browncoats in honor of the doomed-but-noble Independents -- campaigned to have it moved to another network. True to Browncoat tradition, they failed -- but their efforts convinced Fox to release the show as a DVD set that included three unaired episodes and behind-the-scenes extras. The DVD quickly sold more than 200,000 copies. Impressed, Universal Pictures climbed onboard, enabling Whedon to make 'Serenity' (due out Sept. 30), which picks up where the series left off."

Here are some links from the article for "Firefly" and "Serenity" Online:

And a couple more links:

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Massive Reorganization Underway at NASA; Craig Steidle Resigns

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Massive Reorganization Underway at NASA; Craig Steidle Resigns | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "A massive reorganization has begun at NASA. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has begun the process by sending out formal notices to more than 50 senior NASA managers aprising them of pending changes in their job titles. "

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20050603

Space Settlements

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Spreading life throughout the solar system: "Humanity has the power to fill outer space with life. Today our solar system is filled with plasma, gas, dust, rock, and radiation -- but very little life; just a thin film around the third rock from the Sun. We can change that. In the 1970's Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill with the help of NASA Ames Research Center and Stanford University showed that we can build giant orbiting spaceships and live in them. These orbital space colonies could be wonderful places to live; about the size of a California beach town and endowed with weightless recreation, fantastic views, freedom, elbow-room in spades, and great wealth. In time, we may see hundreds of thousands of orbital space settlement in our solar system alone. Building these settlements will be an evolutionary event of a magnitude similar to, if not greater than, ocean-based Life's colonization of land half a billion years ago."

This gives a detailed look at the process of colonizing the solar system through orbital space settlements. Although I believe a complete ecological model of space colonization will involve colonizing all bodies of the solar system in addition to orbital space settlements, I agree that the most important form will be the orbital colonies. This is the most universal and portable model here as well as in other star systems.

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Earth as Seen from Mars

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Earth as Seen from Mars | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "On its 449th martian day, or sol (April 29, 2005), NASA's Mars rover Opportunity woke up approximately an hour after sunset and took this picture of the fading twilight as the stars began to come out. Set against the fading red glow of the sky, the pale dot near the center of the picture is not a star, but a planet -- Earth. "

One day, this view will be taken in by human eyes...

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20050602

CNN.com Special Report: Today's Visionaries

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CNN.com Specials - Vision

People from many fields present their visions of the future. Topics range from the future of Martian exploration to the coming 'care' economy.

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CNN.com - Brain downloads 'possible by 2050' - May 23, 2005

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CNN.com - Brain downloads 'possible by 2050' - May 23, 2005: "Ian Pearson, head of British Telecom's futurology unit, told the UK's Observer newspaper that the rapid advances in computing power would make cyber-immortality a reality within 50 years.
Pearson said the launch last week of Sony's PlayStation 3, a machine 35 times more powerful than the model it replaced, was a sign of things to come.
'The new PlayStation is one percent as powerful as the human brain,' Pearson told the Observer. 'It is into supercomputer status compared to 10 years ago. PlayStation 5 will probably be as powerful as the human brain.'"

Ok, so the PlayStation 5 will have human equivalent brain power. I do have a few questions.

Question 1: Will the PS5 be powerful enough to play Xbox 4 games and vice versa?

Question 2: What year will the PS5 be available? 2012-14?

Question 3: How long will it take to develop software to approach human intelligence?

Question 4: At what PS generation will it become unethical to kill or mistreat a video game character?

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