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  • Mein Schatz 9:37 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink  

    Artificial Leaf, the Future of Energy 

    Researchers at MIT have recently developed a tri-metal-coated silicon chip, that when placed in a glass of water and exposed to light changes good old H2O into H2 and O2 at a 5% efficiency. Considering the shear volume of energy that is emitted from the sun on a daily basis, any efficiency level is a giant step forward for the future of hydrogen fuel production.

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  • Mein Schatz 11:33 pm on March 27, 2011 Permalink  

    Travel to Mars on a Water Powered “Space Coach” 

    I would like to go to Mars someday, as I have mentioned once or twice in the past. This article promises that a new design for a solar-powered, steam-driven space ship. I would think this would require a pretty wicked paddle-wheel and the captain would of course have to change his name to Mark Twain.

     
  • Mein Schatz 4:28 am on November 18, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , cybernetics,   

    Eyes in the Back of My Head 

    The future proto-human will most definitely have 360 multi-ocular vision, as either a genetic adjustment to the fairly standard and less than effective mammalian binocular variety, or perhaps as a cybernetic implant, or some telepathic supervision ala Miss Cleo. One art professor at NYU is actually implanting a small video device in the base of his skull and transmitting the footage over the internet to prove some pedestrian point about time or perception or some nonsense to his class of doe-eyed undergrads. While his motives seem a little suspect, I am seeing the opening of a brand new future for scientific self-enhancement. Say goodbye to tattoos, piercings, branding, and hello to the future of adolescent self-expression: personal experience broadcasting. I can’t honestly think of many things more self-indulgent or screaming for attention, perfect for the upcoming generation of the pampered and entitled. I think I may open my own internet enhancement shop right here in Seattle. Imagine the hipsters going wild over this one. But I digress. I’m more excited for the prospect of cybernetic superhumans than anything else. Youthful misconceptions of self-expression are just hiccups on the road to adulthood. But cybernetic supermen, they are the future.

    Arnold, you were a visionary.

     
  • Mein Schatz 6:27 am on November 17, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Back to poking fun at the TSA 

    “It is both inappropriate and inefficient for the TSA to serve as the administrator, quality assurance regulator, operator and auditor of its own activities,” Rep. John Mica, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

    Really? who’d-a-thunk it? Would I rather have my balls groped by some faceless government official than get blown up by some Allah-yodeling terrorist? Yes, I suppose. Are millions of dollars spent on irradiating passengers and molesting old ladies really efficient uses of our limited capital? Well, I suppose the Fed can just print up a few billions more.

     
  • Mein Schatz 11:01 am on November 15, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: dengue fever, , ,   

    Fighting Dengue Fever by Releasing More Mosquitoes 

    Mosquitoes are the bane of the tropical world. They bite, they itch, they spread countless diseases among the human and animal populations. The builders of the Panama Canal around the turn of the 20th century found that massive amounts of DDT temporarily solved the annoying pestilence, but dumping untold volumes of poison in the environment is hardly a long-term solution. Like any smart assemblage of genetic material, the mosquito knows that if it just keeps breeding, even in the worst of times, eventually one or a billion of its offspring will find a way around mankind’s chemical solutions. Right alongside the ever-burgeoning mosquito population rides a tidal wave of evolving bacteria, viruses, and parasites, each becoming more and more resistant to our anti-biotic warfare. One such is dengue fever, which admittedly has never blinked an eye at the lackluster attempts at controlling it medically, a disease with no treatment, prophylactic, or cure save avoiding the buzzing bloodsuckers that carry it. Now Oxford scientists have developed a genetically modified male mosquito, which born in captivity to be dependent on tetracycline to survive, once released into the wild can breed with normal females and pass this trait on to unwitting offspring. Since there are few mosquito-sized pharmacy windows in the deep bush of Africa and Southeast Asia, the now genetically doomed children of these captivity-born males are fated to a short and painful life, if they are ever born at all. Since the female that spawns them only mates once then dies, this ultimately means that each essentially sterile male released into the population serves at a genetic endpoint for the female as well. Of course, you could ask the question: what happens when one of these offspring develops a suppressing trait for this genetic handicap?

    So we filled in the gaps with frog DNA...

     
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