brain-to-brain

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/08/27/researcher-controls-colleagues-motions-in-1st-human-brain-to-brain-interface/
http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~rao/brain2brain/

This is another one that I think speaks for itself, at least in terms of “Oh holy crap, that’s amazing.”

It also kind of writes its own conspiracy theories, especially since the experiment itself funded partially by the US Army research office) involved a video game that shot missiles at airplanes. I mean, srsly.

But, that not-so-subtle hint toward some of the answer to “What evil things could this technology potentially be used for in the future?” question (and mental images of our future penitentiary system allowing people to serve as mind-controlled slaves and/or weapons rather than sitting around in cells- what, was that not what you immediately thought of?) aside, this technology does definitely have the potential to do a lot of good, and a lot of awesome.

Like almost everything else, it’s not so much going to be an issue of whose “hands” it falls into, or is best-developed by. It’s going to be a question of the profitability of its potential applications.

So here’s hoping that in The Future (which I think, with this kind of stuff happening, is kind of…. now), good somehow becomes more profitable than evil.

TL;DR /LESS THOUGHTFUL COMMENT: You *know* that offscreen and off-the-record, the researchers must have tried the good ol’ “stop hitting yourself” routine. Because, like, who wouldn’t?

U-7

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/12/tallying-the-unemployed-where-in-the-world-is-u-7.html
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2012/12/great-jobs-numbers-u-7-says-it.html

So here’s a heavier topic than radioactive bananas, but I think it’s worthy of a post, anyway. (Or, rather, worthy of resurrection from my stockpile of “interesting factoids I found on teh internets.”)

One of my pet hates is bad research; closely following on its heels is my loathing of the way that research is reported upon in the media.

Unemployment statistics that are most often reported are also most often pretty much meaningless, because they leave huge chunks of the population out. Like, huuuuuuuge. So, when I stumbled across this, it gave me at least an eensy bit of hope that somewhere, someone really *was* doing data collection a little less stupidly. It’s just that it’s the stupider statistics that get reported on most. Of course. Anyway, have a look at the above links, while I contemplate the state of research, statsics and reporting in the media (aka while I bang my head against my desk).

banana equivalent dose

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose

This is a very silly link that I stumbled across while looking up a very serious subject (Fukushima). Fukushima is too depressing for the purposes of this blog, but using bananas as a unit of measurement for radiation exposure? Man, I can’t *wait* till the next time I see a friend eat a banana.

What I find most amazing is that bananas, in large enough amounts, can actually set off false alarms for nuclear detection devices. Like, srsly? Is there a comic book hero yet that got his superpowers from bananas? Cuz, I totally see a workable storyline, there. Or, at least, a storyline that is, on some level, rather a-peel-ing.

Hyperloop

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130813-elon-musk-hyperloop-praise-skepticism/

http://techland.time.com/2013/08/12/elon-musks-hyperloop-5-things-you-should-know/

So, really, the links speak for themselves. The bigger question- and this is one that I can’t answer, and, amazingly, google doesn’t immediately dreg this up- is just how many moves/shows/books/stories in scifi the concept rips off simultaneously.

Some nice starter source material for that question below. Yes, the propulsion system for the hyperloop is different, but, admit it, you *totally* thought of one of these when you first read or heard about the hyperloop:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatic_tube#In_fiction

Apparently, it also rips off someone else’s real idea:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3015704/futurist-forum/how-much-did-this-hyperloop-lookalike-inspire-elon-musk

portable brain scanning headsets

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130801-tan-le-portable-brain-scanning-headsets-neuroscience/

This is cool and terrifying for many different reasons.  (Example of terrifying- well, ask yourself, how far would this technology have to progress before we were able to *literally* have thought police?)

That said…. I still totally want one.

and now for your daily dose of depressing

http://cironline.org/reports/climate-study-predicts-watery-future-new-york-boston-and-miami-5085

Man, I’m not sure there’s even an adequate way to comment on this one. But, for those of us who live in coastal areas, g’head an take a second, and think that maybe, within your lifetime, damn near everything that you currently value, use, live in, and think of as normal will literally be doomed to be buried underwater.

OK, so now that I’ve ruined your day, watch the following video and feel better (and feel your teeth instantly decay away to nothing):

(if for some reason the link dies, google “how to stop a nightmare.”  You’ve probably seen it before.  It’s worth watching again anyway.)