Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Wooly : Close to Ressurection??

-- Their groundbreaking achievement has them contemplating a once unimaginable future when certain prehistoric species might one day be resurrected.

"It could be done. The question is, just because we might be able to do it one day, should we do it?" asked Stephan Schuster, the Penn State University biochemistry professor and co-author of the new research. "I would be surprised to see if it would take more than 10 or 20 years to do it." --

The philosophical and ethical questions will certainly arise in the near future to address the implications and potential cultural and social reaction to reconstructing this massive ancient animal. But, more often than not, if we CAN do it, we become more likely to do just that.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fossil Fuels were Good??

We didn't hear much about climate or global warming during the recent political campaigns. And understanding the truth about the nature and cause of global warming is as puzzling as politics itself. In fact, the political advocates often spin the story to reflect their own personal or partisan ideologies. Imagine that.

I think that the truth is that global warming, it's ramifications and causes, are complex. Too complex. If someone tells you that man has caused this or that man did not cause this really has a bias. Scientists differ on this matter of climate change. And it is no wonder. The climate has so many complexities that we are simply not able to accurately define the conditions and causes for such a great problem. There is much more work to be done. Until then, I would lean to being conservative. Develop alternative energies. Conserve and minimize carbon emmissions. And so on.

But I haven't even got to the point of this post yet. And that is an interesting idea. This article posits the idea that perhaps we were heading for another great plunge into ice-age conditions and we inadvertently side-stepped it with the mass consumption and burning of fossil fuels. This dumped huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere heating the planet. And rescuing us from another ice world and perhaps from extinction.

Just when you think you are starting to understand something. Thats what you get for thinking I guess.

Quest for the Blue Dot

News Flash:

Although controversial still at this point (as science always tends to be), it appears that we have actually taken a picture of an exoplanet circling a star. This also celebrates the last mission of the Hubble Telescope as accomplished.

It is quite a revelation being able to see further and more clearly into the universe. It will still take some time to be able to detect something as small as an Earth, but we appear to be on the right track. Right now these planets are large in magnitude and in luminosity. Appearing several times larger than Jupiter. But you can sense the excitement and potential of more. When and if we do discover the "pale blue dot, what next??

BTW, what a beautiful image. These eye-like images, as well as many others, of areas around our universe are simply stunning.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks Phoenix

So it didn't catch a jackrabbit sprinting across the Martian plains. But it collected a lot of important data about the red planet. The mission was slated for 3 months and lasted 5. The Phoenix lander has stopped communicating with the scientists at NASA. How rude. Maybe its just telling NASA to "talk to the hand". The robotic hand. Wait, I mean the scooper/scratcher/scraper extendomatic oven placement modular shovel. It's a long shot, but maybe that bucket of bolts has developed an attitude.

So it's been a long day. Catch up with the news about this here.

And here is how it got to Mars in the first place.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

CNN Hologram fizzle

Yes, apparently my excitement was a bit premature. Turns out there really was no hologram. When Blitz and Anderson were looking at, and commenting about, the holograms apparently in front of them they were actually looking at nothing. There was no hologram in front of them. There was a blank space. This is a bit of a let down I might say.

Blitz says, "You're a terrific hologram". Anderson desribes what he is apparently witnessing in front of him. In either case, both broadcasters are lying or, at best, having fun fooling the viewing audience. Ignorance is bliss. I wondered, as I watched the interview, why neither of them walked up to the hologram to look at it. I would think this might be the first thing someone would do when witnessing a real hologram.

Oh well. It's not as if holograms don't exist. They just require a lot more money. Someday we'll see the real deal. I'll give it a decade. Maybe two.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

CNN Hologram

The hologram on CNN lately has featured a number of different people.

I just have to say, this is the coolest thing. I wonder what it really looks like in person. And, of course, I wonder how long it will be before we are watching our family members and friends in hologram form. How long before TV, movies, radio personalities, etc come along as well. I'm guessing it can't be that far off.

Ever since Star Wars, I've wondered if we'd have anything similar someday. Well, someday has passed us by. Probably because the holgram isn't getting stuck in some kind of loop. At least for Princess Leia, ... "Obi-won, you're my only hope"

Now, in retrospect, I don't really know how all this stuff works. And I've recently seen some articles by people bashing this effect. There will always be these kinds of people that bash any type of new gizmo or technology. But to understand some more about the technology itself, I'll do a little searching and reading to understand it more. But if you let your imagination wonder a bit, it isn't too hard to see the important and perhaps revolutionary ways of using it. Think education. Or entertainment. Whichever you think is more revolutionary.
Anyway, here is the CNN Hologram technology. See what you think.