Archives for Space

A Universal Classification of Intelligence

I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not it is possible to formulate a scale of universal cognitive capabilities, such that any intelligent system — whether naturally occurring or synthetic — can be classified according to its cognitive capacity. Such a system would provide us with a normalized scientific basis by which to quantify and compare the relative cognitive capabilities of artificially intelligent systems, various species of intelligent life on Earth, and perhaps even intelligent lifeforms encountered on other planets.…

New Photon Thruster: Get to Mars in 1 Week!

An interesting new patent pending design for a photon thruster appears to be the real deal. Check out the article and who is behind it. (A fellow SRI alumnus!). Getting to Mars in a week means getting to the moon, as well as other nearby planets would be quite fast as well.…

Plans for a Lunar Ark to Save Humanity

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.…

Speed of Light Broken?

Let’s hope this is true. That would be seriously exciting!

From this source

A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the
speed of light – an achievement that would undermine our entire
understanding of space and time.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921

to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, it would require an
infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000
miles per second.

New Simulation Explains Why Extraterrestrial Life Hasn't Found Us Yet

Interesting new study…

It ranks among the most enduring mysteries of the cosmos. Physicists
call it the Fermi paradox after the Italian Nobel laureate Enrico
Fermi, who, in 1950, pointed out the glaring conflict between
predictions that life was elsewhere in the universe – and the
conspicuous lack of aliens who have come to visit.

Must-Know Terms for the 21st Century Intellectual

Read this fun article that lists and defines some of the key concepts that every post-singularity transhumanist meta-intellectual should know! (via Kurzweil)

British Ministry of Defense Chief Resigns; Cites Concerns About UFO's

Ok, here’s a very unusual news item:

During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick
Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth
and, more specifically, Britain.

His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.

How to Build a Landspeeder

So as a kid you watched Star Wars and since then you’ve wanted your very own Landspeeder. The problem is, how to make things hover without using fans, magnets, or special effects? Well, a maverick UK scientist may have invented a way to do it.…

I'm Addicted to StumbleUpon

Ack. Thanks to prodding by Josh, I finally made the mistake of installing StumbleUpon in Firefox … and now I’m really seriously addicted to it!  Help… all I can do is sit around clicking the "Stumble!" button all day long. I’ve already found so many cool things that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.…

Neurons and Universes

This is a cool pair of images showing a striking similarity between the structure of neurons and that of our universe. I’ve often wondered whether the entire universe isn’t some kind of a mind or a brain in which we are like subatomic particles.…

A Problem with Space Travel

As the distance a spaceship travels through space increases, so do the odds that it will collide with debris in its path – such as interstellar dust, micrometeorites, asteroids, dark matter, dark stars, etc.

If you are traveling at super high-speed, through uncharted territory, there is no way to know what is out there.

What is in frame 2:19, Anyone?

Can anyone figure out what is in frame 2:19 of this old Apollo program video. Is it a flagpole? Well, it seems quite far away to be a flagpole. And if it’s that far away it would also be really really big.…

Physicists Plan to Create New Universe in Lab

Ok, this will be pretty interesting… as long as nothing unexpected happens, like for example, our universe starting to drain out through the wormhole they are making…that would suck…

2 August 2006

radical new project could permit human beings to create a "baby
universe" in a laboratory in Japan.

Scenario: What would Happen if US got in a War with China?

This is a very interesting scenario showing how China could potentially trounce US forces in a single, calculated strike. While it doesn’t consider the option that US would retaliate nonconventially, shifting the game to a new playing field, it certainly makes a compelling case for China winning in a conventional conflict in their territorial waters at least.…

Russia Plans to Mine Helium-3 On Moon

The head of the Russian space corporation, Energia, has been quoted as stating that Russia is planning on setting up a permanent mining base on the moon to mine Helium-3. Helium-3 is a non-radioactive isotope of helium that is rare on earth but plentiful on the moon.…

Beautiful Images of Insides of Meteorites

Check out these microscope images of the insides of meteorites. Beautiful, and strange. Some of them are reminiscent of bacteria and computer circuit boards.

New Quantum Propulsion Being Researched By Air Force

A radical new form of propulsion is being researched that may enable travel from Earth to Mars in 3 hours, and travel to nearby stars in just 80 days. The system is based on a novel quantum theory termed Heim quantum
theory (HQT).…

Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas

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.

Does the Cosmic Background Radiation Contain Hidden Message?

This is a cool idea — some researchers are considering whether the cosmic background radiation may contain an encoded "message from God." OK I doubt it. I think it is more likely to be somewhere in our DNA, or in the digits of Pi, or perhaps in the distribution of the prime numbers.…

NASA Makes Plans to Deflect Possible Asteroid Hit in 2036

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 to head off threats from near-Earth objects.

New Russian Stealth Fighter Uses Plasma Shield

The Russian air force has invented a next-generation stealth technology based on surrounding the aircraft with a plasma shield that completely disperses radar waves. This technology offers significant benefits over existing stealth technology and also enables higher-performance aircraft since the shape no longer has to be altered to achieve stealth.…

Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness

Researchers in Europe have completed the first phase of what may be the largest computational physics experiment in history: They built and ran a simulated universe through 14 billion years of development. The experiment used up 25 million megabytes of memory, and the biggest supercomputer in Europe for a month.…

How to Talk to Aliens

Here is an interesting article, written by a chess grandmaster, on how to trade information with alien civilizations, assuming they are ever contacted. The article proposes that at interstellar distances, the only realistic form of trade would be a trade in information — such as technology and scientific knowledge.…

Creator of Sim City Previews Amazing New Game

Many years ago I spoke with Will Wright — one of the most interesting visionaries I’ve met (and who happens to be the creator of Sim City) about his dream of a universe game — one in which the player could evolve life from the simple cellular level all the way up through galactic scale civilizations.…

Powers of Ten: The Simpsons Version

Watch the Simpsons version of the classic Powers of Ten film.

Now You Can Place Phone Calls to Aliens

This is funny — a new site called now offers intergalactic long-distance telephone service. Simply dial their toll number and record your message. They will then beam it towards a region of high-density stars on a common frequency in the hopes of reaching any intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations that be may listening.…

Invisibility Shield Proposed

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have proposed a new approach to making objects invisible, by tuning special materials such that they cancel the scattering of light. The technology has a few drawbacks — it only works for specific wavelengths of light at various scales — but it’s a start.…

Device to Generate "AC Gravity"

A group of respected mainstream scientists are forming a venture to commercialize a device that can generate a gravity-like force that they call "AC Gravity" — an interesting project.

An Incredible Flash Production — Must See!

I was fortunate enough to wander across this amazing online Flash presentation that reveals the hidden meaning of the film, "2001." It’s a thoroughly engaging, brilliantly produced, fascinating production — one of the best uses of Flash animation that I’ve ever seen.…

Scientists Discuss their Beliefs in the Unknown

The New York Times has published a wonderful and fascinating set of mini-essays by leading scientists about their beliefs in the unknkown and unexplained — from consciousness, to God, to life on other worlds, and the existence of true love.  There are some terrific thoughts in it — one of thoses rare articles that breaks through stereotypes and opens the door to new paradigms.…

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