The Future Is Here Mash-Up

Science/Fantasy Monday: The Future Is Here Mash-Up

Over the last 2 weeks I have gathered up a plethora (heh, I love that word… plethora…) of news articles and blog posts on various science-y topics that I just find too damn cool to keep to myself.  So, for those of you who don’t generally have the time/patience to sift through Wired.com, etc, I offer a fun mash-up of a few of the of the articles/posts that really caught my eye.  I’ve often heard some scifi writers and scientists make comments along the lines of “The Future is already here.”  These articles remind me of this.

This article from Space.com, “Space Junk Threat Will Grow for Astronauts and Satellites”, highlights one of the biggest concerns for scientists and space programs world-wide.  What is interesting to me is that many recent articles on this topic have been making the rounds on Yahoo and various news sites in the last 2 weeks, as if this is a brand new problem.  But the problem has been around for awhile, and was even the subject of a fantastic Japanese manga called Planetes, written in 1999-2004.

“How Microsoft Researchers Might Invent a Holodeck”: This blog featured on Wired.com is about a bit more than a holodeck.  It is a survey of a variety of strange, complicated, awesome discoveries/inventions being worked on at Microsoft’s big “think tank” lab Building 99.  For example, there’s the “Skinput” wrist device that could theoretically control electronic devices by reading muscle movements in your hand.  And there’s The Wedge, a large acrylic prism that could change the way we interface with computer displays.  Just for starters.

This article about the possibility of a “Diamond Planet” that may be a stripped star, from National Geographic, is a little older, but it was such a COOL idea I had to share it for people who might have missed it.  Also, here’s something for the scifi writers out there to think about: assume this planet really is made of diamond, and suppose humans from Earth found a way to reach the planet… how well do you think that’s gonna end, huh?

Another article from National Geographic: “When Aliens Attack” asks what would really happen if aliens made contact with humans in light of the fact that humans seem intent on destroying their own planet.  Would they eat us, enslave us, or exterminate us for the greater good of the galaxy?  It is a strange, amusing little article.  To say the least.

“Attack of the Brain-Controlling Parasites”: I had to include this one because, seriously, who doesn’t LOVE the idea of Zombie Ants?  Really?  It’s the weirdest, creepiest, coolest thing I’d heard about in the last year or so.  And these pictures are awesome. (Also thanks to Wired.com.)

“Sidney Gottlieb proved to the world that there are few things more dangerous than a chemist with a metaphysical streak” — so says io9 post entitled “Every Crazy CIA Plot You’ve Heard of Originated With One Man” which is about CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb, who is apparently the man behind the infamous “poison cigar” scheme to assassinate Fidel Castro.

And finally: the COOLEST damn photo I think I have ever seen.  Saturn.  As seen from the NASA Cassini Orbiter.  It just goes to prove that sometimes real life really CAN be as amazing as science fiction, possibly even better.

If you have any cool science-related articles/posts to share, add them in the comments! I can always use more, and my other readers might just be interested too.