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Interstellar Travel Is Hard, Why Bother? (Imagine an island long, long ago, in an ocean far, far away…) Intercontinental travel will never happen.

Interstellar Travel Is Hard, Why Bother?

The nearest shore is thousands of miles away. Looking Back: The Wonders We Didn’t Expect. Paul Saffo It has been a wild ride of a century full of expected wonders.

Looking Back: The Wonders We Didn’t Expect

Molecular manufacturing became a reality well before 2050, turning all sorts of once-valuable materials into commodities, and yes, we even eventually got flying cars. But the century also with came a rich harvest of utterly unexpected surprises and the stubborn persistence of some things we thought had been left behind in the twentieth century. What a Plant Knows. By Maria Popova How a plant can tell whether you’re wearing a blue or red shirt as you’re approaching it.

What a Plant Knows

As I was planting my seasonal crop of tomatoes last month, a good friend (and my personal gardening guru) informed me that they liked their leaves rubbed, “like petting a pet’s ears,” which I received with equal parts astonishment, amusement, and mild concern for my friend. Remember How Tiny We All Are : Starts With A Bang.

“The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space.

Remember How Tiny We All Are : Starts With A Bang

As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine.” -James Irwin. Greetings from the Children of Planet Earth : Universe. In 1977, NASA sent a pair of unmanned probes named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 into space.

Greetings from the Children of Planet Earth : Universe

Among the infrared spectrometers and radio receivers included on each probe were identical copies of the same non-scientific object: the Voyager Golden Record. Sheathed in a protective aluminum jacket, the Record is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images chosen to portray the diversity of life on Earth: bird calls, whale songs, the sounds of surf, wind, and thunder, music from human cultures, and some 55 greetings in a range of languages, alive and dead. ...But What If There Was More Time? : Starts With A Bang.

“Well you run and you run to catch up with the Sun but it’s sinking,racing around to come up behind you again.The Sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,shorter of breath and one day closer to death.” -Pink Floyd For the last four-and-a-half billion years, the Earth has spun on its axis, orbiting its parent star: our Sun. Happy Future Day! March 1st, 2012 Marks the Start of this Soon to be Great Tradition. Celebrate Change! March 1st, 2012 – Today is the best Future Day that’s ever been.

Happy Future Day! March 1st, 2012 Marks the Start of this Soon to be Great Tradition. Celebrate Change!

It’s also the only Future Day that’s ever been, but that’s besides the point. Future Day is the new holiday focused on celebrating all the wonderful possibilities, responsibilities, and joys that await us in the years ahead. Conceived of by Humanity+, this first annual event may yet to be in the public conscious, but it’s starting off with a bang. There are local events to be held in major cities all over the globe including Sydney, Hong Kong, Berkeley, Washington, Sao Paolo, Brussels, and Paris. Of course, it’s only fitting for such a forward-thinking holiday to be celebrated online as well, so there will be a special gathering in the virtual realm of Second Life with guest speakers like AI specialist Ben Goertzel, telecomm entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt, and transhumanist Natasha Vita-More. Most holidays celebrate ancient events, changes in seasons, or serve as days of recognition for special people in our society.

NYC to create the world’s first underground green space. Q&A with Filmmaker Jason Silva as He Preaches the Philosophy of the Singularity. 'The Cosmic Connection' How Ignorance Fuels Science and the Evolution of Knowledge. By Maria Popova.

How Ignorance Fuels Science and the Evolution of Knowledge

What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions. By Maria Popova.

What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions

Edge : Conversations on the edge of human knowledge. Future Timeline. New passenger service to the Moon for $100M. Excalibur Almaz has announced that it is selling tickets to lunar orbit.

New passenger service to the Moon for $100M

The price is $100 million. Your golden ticket will entitle you to a complete astronaut experience. The Many Names of Mars. The Secret to Writing Your Dissertation. “I spent every night until four in the morning on my dissertation, until I came to the point when I could not write another word, not even the next letter.

The Secret to Writing Your Dissertation

I went to bed. Eight o’clock the next morning I was up writing again.” Things Carl Sagan taught me. Up Goer Five. So just what is out there beyond the Standard Model? “Other than the laws of physics, rules have never really worked out for me.” -Craig Ferguson Earlier this week, evidence was presented measuring a very rare decay rate — albeit not incredibly precisely — which point towards the Standard Model being it as far as new particles accessible to colliders (such as the LHC) go. In other words, unless we get hit by a big physics surprise, the LHC will become renowned for having found the Higgs Boson and nothing else, meaning that there’s no window into what lies beyond the Standard Model via traditional experimental particle physics. Image credit: Fermilab, modified by me. But that by no means is the same thing as saying “the Standard Model is all there is.”

‘White smells’ are to odors what white noise is to sound. The featureless soundscape known as white noise is effectively as neutral as music can get for humans—too many frequencies are combined in one waveform and the human ear just isn't able to pick any specific detail out. The same thing happens with white light, which contains all the colours of the visual spectrum.

Now it seems that it's possible to create "white smells"—that is, smells that don't smell of anything specific. White noise isn't just a hum in the background—it specifically refers to a kind of frequency spectrum that's completely flat (and has previously explored the different "colors" of sound). Giving thanks for our place in the Universe. “We live in an atmosphere of shame. A Visual History of Nobel Prizes and Notable Laureates, 1901-2012. The Universe Beyond Our Reach. The Overview Effect and the Psychology of Cosmic Awe. New Software Makes Synthesizing DNA As Easy As ‘Drag and Drop’ With Icons. Just as operating systems create a ‘layer of abstraction’ between the computer user and data, Genome Compiler will allow users to reprogram DNA data without the need to understand genetic language. Omri Amirav-Drory wants to be the Bill Gates of the DNA world. Windows revolutionized personal computers by providing a graphic user interface for MS-DOS.

Afterwards people didn’t need to be trained in the arcane logic of computer language to be able to use computers. String Theory Finally Does Something Useful. String theory has finally made a prediction that can be tested with experiments — but in a completely unexpected realm of physics. Richard Feynman on the Role of Scientific Culture in Modern Society.

A Spectacular Chance for Gravitational Waves. Geology and Genesis: how Noah’s flood shaped ideas but not landscapes. While helping at a science outreach booth for a local county fair recently, I became engaged in exactly the joust I had hoped to avoid. Carl Sagan's Childhood Drawing of His Vision of Outer Space. Begins Its Search for Life at Gale Crater. Carl Sagan’s Message to Mars Explorers, with a Gentle Warning. How Big Is Infinity? An Animated Explanation from TED. This is why we must invest in ourselves! Curiosity lands on Mars. The Solar System's Missing Boundary. What questions are keeping astronomers up at night? Earthshine. What is this all about? Epic Breakthrough? A New Form of Quantum Matter Created. Teen Solves Quantum Entanglement Problem for Fun. Enough Luminosity For A Higgs Discovery!

Now that we’ve got the Higgs, what’s next? How the Higgs gives Mass to the Universe. What is the Higgs boson and why does it matter? - physics-math - 13 December 2011. Cern scientists announce Higgs boson discovery - video. Hot Box: Explaining the Higgs boson. Two New Alien Planets Discovered in Andromeda. A 'New Species' "Unlike Any Planet We Know Of"

How Fast Are You Moving When You Are Sitting Still? So, you've learned that the Sun is going to explode... : Starts With A Bang. Rogue Warp-Speed Planets Escaping Milky Way at 30-Million MPH! Huge 'Ocean' Discovered Inside Earth. A Brief History of Alchemy, Pseudoscience, and Transmutations, from Ancient China to Craig Venter. Cargo Cult Science: Richard Feynman's 1974 Caltech Commencement Address on Integrity. E.O. Wilson's Advice to Young Scientists. Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why We're Wired for Science and How Originality Differs in Science and Art. Happy 100th Birthday, Alan Turing: Church, State, and the Tragedy of Gender-Defiant Genius. Ray Bradbury on Space, Education, and Our Obligation to Future Generations: A Rare 2003 Interview. Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. The Dalai Lama on Science and Technology. The Detailed Universe: This will Blow Your Mind.

Powers of Ten. 12 Visualizations That Will Change the Way You View Scale in Your World. The Scale of the Universe. How Big is the Entire Universe? How Big Is Our Galaxy? Cosmologists Try to Explain a Universe Springing From Nothing. It's supposed to hurt to think about it! : Starts With A Bang. ‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss. 7 Must-Read Books on Time. 2012 Annual Question. The Most Distant, Dark Galaxy Ever Found! : Starts With A Bang.

The Universe - Redshifts. Redshift and Distance in the Expanding Universe : Starts With A Bang.

The Science of Music