Thursday, May 21, 2009

Items of Interest (New From Gyre.org, Dwayne Day on Space Colonies, Charles Stross on American Trains)

Gyre.org has identified plenty of interest in recent days, including a piece from Scientific American on the rush on the world's seabed (recently highlighted by Russia's claiming of the North Pole, though this is far from the only instance); work on instilling "ethics" in robots; the ecological impact of space debris (extending to ozone depletion); an article discussing a recent GAO report on the prospect-and implications-of GPS service deterioration; and the capabilities of next-gen telescopes with regard to the spotting of "biosignatures" (like atmospheric water vapor) on exoplanets.

Additionally, Dwayne Day has produced another excellent article on the space colony concept as it was once presented, and their fading from the popular consciousness, in "The God That Failed" (a topic I've touched on in pieces like "Revisiting Island One", where I considered the finances and logistics of trying to realize Gerard K. O'Neill's plans with the space shuttle as we know it); while science fiction writer Charles Stross recently weighed in on his own blog on the subject of his own recent experience riding American rail, and how it stacks up against service in Europe and Japan (a topic timely again with new attention being drawn to American infrastructural deficiencies, and Keynesian policies which may help to correct them).

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