The Five Biggest Threats To Human Existence In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. I use the word “hope” because we face risks, called existential risks, that threaten to wipe out humanity. These risks are not just for big disasters, but for the disasters that could end history. Not everyone has ignored the long future though. But had these pioneers or futurologists not thought about humanity’s future, it would not have changed the outcome. We are in a more privileged position today. Future imperfect Yet, these risks remain understudied. If humanity becomes extinct, at the very least the loss is equivalent to the loss of all living individuals and the frustration of their goals. With that in mind, I have selected what I consider the five biggest threats to humanity’s existence. 1. The Cuban Missile crisis was very close to turning nuclear. 2. eneas, CC BY 3. 4. gi, CC BY-SA
Warp drive looks more promising than ever in recent NASA studies "Interstellar travel may still be in its infancy, but adulthood is fast approaching, and our descendants will someday see childhood's end." The Starflight Handbook The first steps towards interstellar travel have been taken, but the stars are very far away. Voyager 1 is about 17 light-hours distant from Earth and is traveling with a velocity of 0.006 percent of light speed, meaning it will take about 17,000 years to travel one light-year. The warp drive broke away from being a wholly fictional concept in 1994, when physicist Miguel Alcubierre suggested that faster-than-light (FTL) travel was possible if you remained still on a flat piece of spacetime inside a warp bubble that was made to move at superluminal velocity. An Alcubierre warp drive bubble, showing spatial compression ahead of the bubble, and spatial expansion behind (Image: NASA) The warp effect uses gravitational effects to compress the spacetime in front of a spacecraft, then expand the spacetime behind it.
Hovercraft Coming To Market in 2017 No matter what anyone tells you, it is never too early to make your Christmas list for 2017. California-based tech company Aerofex has developed the Aero-X hovercraft that is slated to undergo flight tests in 2016 and—assuming no setbacks—they will hit the market in the US in 2017. They are expected to go for about $85,000. If you would like to be one of the first to get your hands on the Aero-X (or if you would like to sponsor a certain IFLScience writer…) you can reserve yours now for only $5,000 down. The Aero-X hovercraft rides like a motorcycle and allows two riders with a combined weight of 140 kgs (310 lbs) to ride in tandem. Safety is an obvious concern with this vehicle and Aerofex has covered all the bases. The Aero-X will not require a pilot’s license, though individual states may require certification, similar to the process required for boats and other off-highway vehicles like quads, dune buggies, or snowmobiles. Check out these videos of the Aero-X in action.
Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of evil Philosophers, dramatists, theologianshave grappled with this question for centuries:what makes people go wrong?Interestingly, I asked this question when I was a little kid.When I was a kid growing up in the South Bronx, inner-city ghettoin New York, I was surrounded by evil,as all kids are who grew up in an inner city.And I had friends who were really good kids,who lived out the Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde scenario -- Robert Louis Stevenson.That is, they took drugs, got in trouble, went to jail.Some got killed, and some did it without drug assistance. So when I read Robert Louis Stevenson, that wasn't fiction.The only question is, what was in the juice? So I want to begin with this this wonderful illusionby [Dutch] artist M.C. One, the world is, was, will always be filled with good and evil,because good and evil is the yin and yang of the human condition.It tells me something else. Immediately the Bush administration military said ... what? You're a good person. So I want to thank you.
'Impossible' Space Engine May Actually Work, NASA Test Suggests It's really starting to look as if an "impossible" space propulsion technology actually works. Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston have found that a microwave thruster system that requires no propellant does indeed generate a small amount of thrust, Wired UK reported Thursday (July 31). If the technology pans out, it could make spaceflight far cheaper and speedier, potentially opening up much of the cosmos to exploration, advocates say. "Test results indicate that the RF [radio frequency] resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and, therefore, is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma," the NASA team wrote in their study, which they presented Wednesday (July 30) at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland. [Superfast Spacecraft Propulsion Concepts (Images)]
Wearable submarine to hunt for 2000-year-old computer - tech - 04 June 2014 Read full article Continue reading page |1|2 Like an underwater Iron Man, a diver will fly around the wreck of an ancient Greek ship later this year, looking to shed light on the Antikythera mechanism THE world's most advanced robotic diving suit is getting ready to help search for one of the world's oldest computers. Called Exosuit, the suit has a rigid metal humanoid form with Iron Man-like thrusters that enable divers to operate safely down to depths of 300 metres (see photo). Though designed for diving in the bowels of New York City's water treatment plants, earlier this month it underwent its first trials in seawater at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. – from the wreck. Marine archaeologists normally wear scuba gear to explore underwater sites in person, but the time that divers can spend at depth is limited by the dangers of decompression sickness, or the bends. The $1.5 million Exosuit falls somewhere in between. New Scientist Not just a website!
Evidence of Abundance #1: More Leisure, Less Work Is technology making you work harder? Or giving you more time off? Seriously, it feels like it’s enabling me to work around the clock! Heck, I’m writing this email at 37,000 feet on a Virgin America flight from DC to LA at 11 p.m. ET. So that being said, I want to share the actual DATA with you about Work vs. This first blog in my “Evidence of Abundance” series is about an Increasing Abundance of Leisure. Evidence of Abundance: Work and LeisureIt’s easy to forget that for centuries — for millenia — the “workforce” was ALL of us. A few people lived in luxury, but the vast majority were slaves and serfs who did the work. Let’s look at the numbers. You’ll notice that by 2000, the global percentage of slaves and serfs in the world is down to 10 percent. That’s how work has been redistributed and slavery nearly eradicated, but what about leisure? The following chart shows us hours worked per person between 1850 and 2000. Here’s another piece of data that I love.
New Propulsion System could Revolutionize Space Travel NASA has announced that an experimental propulsion system that needs only energy from sunlight appears to produce sufficient thrust to power spacecraft. This means that, once a spacecraft is in orbit, it will be able to accelerate away from the earth to the edges of the solar system, without fuel. This means that travel throughout the solar system is going to become much more possible and far cheaper. Researchers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston have determined that a microwave thruster system that requires no propellant generates a small but useful amount of thrust. The engine has been named the ‘Cannae Drive’ by engineer Guido Fetta. This is not the only such engine. So it appears that the laws of physics are being demonstrably violated--which means only one thing: they aren't complete.
untitled New Study Suggests The World Is On The Brink Of The Next Great Extinction Just as we all die, all species eventually go extinct. However, the rate of extinction varies dramatically, and a new estimate suggests we are currently running at 1000 times the normal rate. This rate of extinction is only seen in the fossil record after incredibly dramatic and unusual occurrences, such as huge asteroid strikes or supervolcano eruptions. In order to calculate the effect humans are having we need to know two things – how many species are disappearing each year, and how many vanish as part of the normal background. Estimating the number of current extinctions is hard enough, since some species disappear without us ever knowing they were there in the first place. Professor Stuart Pimm of Duke University has published a paper in Science in which he and his coauthors, “Document what we know, how it likely differs from what we do not, and how these differences affect biodiversity statistics.” “We start by asking how many species are known and how many remain undescribed.
NASA gives the go-ahead to the world's most powerful rocket It's not a Saturn V but it will make a big noise and be a cool sight to see. It will make a bigger noise because it's more powerful than a Saturn V. The Block I crew carrier they are launching first has 4 main engines and is just a little bit smaller but the Block II has 5 engines and is the real beast that beats it. That one will be well worth the trip to see it
untitled NASA Believes Newest Telescopes Could Spot Extraterrestrial Life Within 20 Years “Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” -Arthur Clarke Some of NASA’s top scientists held a public panel at the headquarters in Washington, D.C. earlier this week (July 14). They discussed the possibility of extraterrestrial life and how NASA’s current and future technology used for studying exoplanets could aid in its detection; an announcement that could possibly come even within the next twenty years. The first confirmed exoplanet was discovered in 1988. "What we didn't know five years ago is that perhaps 10 to 20 percent of stars around us have Earth-size planets in the habitable zone," Space Telescope Science Institute director Matt Mountain stated. Life, as we know it, requires the presence of liquid water. "This technology we are using to explore exoplanets is real," said John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate and an astronaut who was part of five Space Shuttle mission.