June 4th, 2008
I have been thinking about the situation in the Middle East and also the rise of oil prices, peak oil, and the problem of a world economy based on energy scarcity rather than abundance. There is, I believe, a way to solve the problems in the Middle East, and the energy problems facing the world, [...]
September 16th, 2007
This is a really great invention — a hand held water bottle that can purify a year’s worth of water. It removes not only parasites and bacteria, but also viruses. It was just announced recently at a defense industry tradeshow and was a big hit among military commanders who need a better way to get [...]
September 7th, 2007
Russian scientists in the Khibinsky Mountains in the Arctic Circle have made an important scientific discovery. They’ve found a new mineral which absorbs radiation. It does not yet have an official name and is known only as number 27-4. It can absorb radioactivity from liquid nuclear waste. Read the rest here.
August 19th, 2007
Whenever a scientist says something like, don’t worry our new experiment could never get out of the lab, or don’t worry the miniature black hole we are going to generate couldn’t possibly swallow up the entire planet, I tend to get a little worried. The problem is that just about every time a scientist has [...]
August 19th, 2007
Researchers at the International Space University (ISU), of which I am an alumnus, are proposing an interesting initiative to build an ark on the moon to preserve human civilization and biodiversity, and the Internet, in the event of a catastrophe on earth, such as a comet impact, nuclear war, etc. This project is similar to [...]
August 15th, 2007
A new finding has discovered that the human genome may be highly networked. That is, genes do not operate in isolation, but rather they are networked together in a far more complex ecosystem than previously thought. It may be impossible to separate one gene from another in fact. This throws into question not only our [...]
July 4th, 2007
Steorn, the Irish company that claims to have invented a mechanical device that generates unlimited free energy with no fuel, is scheduled to demonstrate their device publicly for the first time in London tomorrow. A panel of 22 independent world experts has been recruited to study the device. It should be an interesting demo!
January 7th, 2007
Go see the film Children of Men — it’s a bleak, brilliant, entirely convincing vision of the near future — and has great action too. Here’s a YouTube video that makes the case for why this film should win an award.
November 6th, 2006
NOTES Master Copy can be found at this URL or http://tinyurl.com/yynb93 Last Update: Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 10:17AM PST License — This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Deed. If you would like to distribute a version of thisarticle, please link back to http://www.mindingtheplanet.net from yourversion, thanks. Printable version — Click here to download [...]
November 3rd, 2006
New research suggests that all the world’s ocean seafood stocks will be gone by 2050… WASHINGTON (AP) – Clambakes, crabcakes, swordfish steaks and even humble fish sticks could be little more than a fond memory in a few decades. If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, the populations of just about all seafood face [...]
October 28th, 2006
This is so sad. Elephants are increasingly being wiped out due to encroachment by nearby human populations, and also by inept human attempts to help them — and of course by poaching. As their species is increasingly backed into a dead-end corner, and as older elephants are separated from their herds, younger elephants are developing [...]
October 16th, 2006
For an interesting read — download this wonderful presentation on zooming out in time as a way to predict the future. It’s from a talk given at the Long Now Foundation. Nice visual slides illustrate how the world changes over vast timescales.
September 6th, 2006
This is an interesting article about recent evidence of deep thinking by dolphins: At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when [...]
August 27th, 2006
Russian scientists are now predicting a period of "Global Cooling" will begin in 2012. Well at least the good news is that Al Gore can make a sequel. And I guess this means San Francisco will have even colder summers…er winters…now? But all jokes aside, this is something to track. The term "global warming" is [...]
August 21st, 2006
It has just come out that supplies of rice in the USA have been contaminated with a gene that was not approved for human consumption.
July 29th, 2006
Amazon Rainforest Faces Desertification Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’ And that could speed up global warming with ‘incalculable consequences’, says alarming new research The Independent (U.K.), July 23, 2006 The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the [...]
May 8th, 2006
Are you living in a cloud of electronic smog? New research has shown that fields from electrical wiring and devices in the home and office should be considered to be a form of pollution. Recent studies are finding that many cancers and other diseases may be directly related to exposure to these electrical fields.
March 30th, 2006
New research into the mathematical properties of whale songs reveals that they have a complex language: The songs of the humpback whale are among the most complex in the animal kingdom. Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form [...]
January 13th, 2006
The Norwegians are planning to create a deep underground vault near the North Pole to house a backup copy of seeds for all known varieties of crops. The goal is to ensure food supplies and enable humanity to regenerate in the event of nuclear war, global warming or other catastrophes. It’s a good idea. This [...]
January 4th, 2006
The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading. The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about [...]
November 6th, 2005
A new source of inexpensive, renewable energy that depends on a modified form of hydrogen has quantum theorists up in arms: they say it violates the laws of quantum mechanics. The inventors, on the other hand, claim they have extensive proof that it works. It seems too good to be true: a new source of [...]
October 31st, 2005
This just in… NASA has outlined what it could do, and in what time frame, in case a quarter-mile-wide asteroid named Apophis is on a course to slam into Earth in the year 2036. The timetable was released by the B612 Foundation, a group that is pressing NASA and other government agencies to do more [...]
June 2nd, 2005
It just snowed in tropical Somalia, for the first time in history. Is this further evidence of chaotic global climate change? Read the article here.
June 2nd, 2005
I read the an article today about how Brazil is gradually losing the fight to save the Amazon. The worlds’ rainforests are a global resource — not only are they directly important to the air we all breathe, they also harbor a huge, still untapped, reservoir of species diversity which could be of profound importance [...]
May 15th, 2005
Here is a thought-provoking article that discusses several possible directions for the future evoloution of the human species. It includes comments by Richard Dawkins, as well as several scenarios with pictures of what humans might look like in the distant future.
May 10th, 2005
Significant new research findings indicate that a new ice age may be starting sooner than anyone expected… CLIMATE change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing. They have found that one of the “engines” driving the Gulf [...]
March 11th, 2005
A new study claims that life on earth emerges and is wiped out in 62 million year cycles. The dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago. That implies we are 3 million years overdue for a mass-extinction cycle. Or maybe we’re 3 million years into one? Data indicates that species are presently going extinct at an [...]
January 4th, 2005
A new study has found that exposure to even low levels of second-hand smoke at home had a significant negative impact on children’s reading and math performance at school.
December 1st, 2004
If you are interested in alternative energy, here’s something new to look at — a new magnetic motor based on ideas that originated with Nikola Tesla. The makers claim it is an "economical solution for the world’s power and energy needs." Well, we’ve heard that before, but it’s good to keep an open mind — [...]
November 23rd, 2004
Here is an interesting true story about how a group of humans were saved from a shark attack by a group of dolphins.