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Carnival of Tomorrow 5.0

Time travel is one of our favorite topics here at the Speculist. Whenever we take a moment to reflect on what might be or what might have been, we journey through time, if only in our imaginations. That's a good start, but of course it isn't enough.

What we really want is time travel of the practical variety. Some kind of do-it-yourself approach.

However, we have to watch out for shoddy substitutes that the unscrupulous will try to pass off to the unsuspecting:

Napolean Dynomyte Time Machine.jpgUncle Rico: Kip, I reckon... you know a lot about... cyberspace? You ever come across anything... like time travel?

Kip: Easy, I've already looked into it for myself.

Uncle Rico: Right on... right on.


Kip: So are you ready?

Napoleon: Yeah. Hold on. I forgot to put in the crystals. OK, turn it on. Ow! Ow! Ow! Kill it! Turn it off! Turn it off Kip! It's a piece of crap! It doesn't work!

Uncle Rico: I coulda told ya that.

Don't let that happen to you. If you want to travel to the future, right now the only way to get there is to live to see it. But it's definitely going to be worth the trip.

Here are some previews of what you'll find when you arrive.

On our list of favorite accessory items of the future, solar-sail-spacecraft would have to be right up there with time machines. Emily Lakdawalla has been dutifully reporting the ups and downs of the launch of Cosmos 1, the first space vehicle ever to be powered by solar sail. The story ends on a poignant note:

With failure of Cosmos 1 virtually certain, the team members that have been staffing Project Operations Pasadena have elected to return to their homes. Thanks to the Internet, if our spacecraft miraculously reappears, each of us will still be able to keep watch over the mission from our individual remote locations. Greg returns to Berkeley, Jim and Brent to Utah, and Paul to his usual life at the Jet Propulsion Lab, just up the valley from Pasadena. Lou will be returning from Moscow in a couple of days. I took off for home a couple of hours ago in order to begin to catch up on sleep.

The team may be scattering, but it's not over. The search for the spacecraft continues. The search continues in the present, as several observatories have offered to try to look for a signal from the spacecraft. (If you, too, have a spare observatory, feel free to search at a frequency of 401.5275 Hz, but I am afraid that I can't offer any advice on where to point your antenna.) The search also continues into the past, as Strategic Command is working through its "unknown objects bucket" (as Jim called it this morning) to find where the spacecraft and its launch vehicle ended up.

Too bad. Even if they never find Cosmos (and it hardly seems possible that they will) we can hope that the investigation reveals what went wrong and that we're better prepared next time.

Some say it's our mortality that makes us human. Reason from Fight Aging! counters that it's our mortality that makes us dead.

Want a smart baby? Eat fish. But go easy on the mercury. FuturePundit explains.

Curmudgeons Corner has the scoop on an intriguing scenario (one we've explored here recently): the moon as the Persian Gulf of the future.


Well, if that's the case, maybe this isn't such a hot idea after all.

Rand Simberg directs us to an article about anti-hurricane technology. Sounds like a good idea.

In the future, we won't have time for lengthy IQ tests. (We aren't sure precisely why this is the case, but work with us, here.) Eric of Eric's Grumbles Before the Grave directs us to a "quick and dirty" IQ Test. Can you guess which member of the Speculist team's results are shown below?

Your IQ Is 135

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

W.E.C.: Obviously, this is Phil -- seeing as his general knowledge is only "exceptional."

Allow me to present my card:


Chris Phoenix of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has some thoughts on the new roadmaps for nanotechnology recently published by the Foresight Nanotech Institute.

Speaking of nanotechnology, Howard Lovy has taken a hiatus from his nanobot site while he continues his job hunt. Here's hoping it's a short hiatus.

Best wishes, Howard.

Meanwhile, let's get a six degrees of separation thing going, here. If you need the services of the USA's leading nanotechnology journalist, the "the best documentor of the nanotech political scene" (per this impeccable source), then you need to get in touch with Howard.

Moreover, if you know someone who needs such services

Or if you know someone who knows someone who does

Or if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who does...


Then you know what to do, right?

Virginia Postrel on the relationship between technology, science, and art:

The burgeoning demand for aesthetic expertise overturns the cultural assumptions we’ve inherited from the romantics, who opposed art to technology and feeling to rationality; from the modernists, who treated ornament as crime and commerce as corruption; and from the efficiency experts, who equated function with value and variety with waste. In the age of look and feel, technology and art cooperate

Oh, yeah. She has pictures to back it up, too.

Paul Hsieh directs us to an article on the amazing Japanese plans to build a full-scale lunar colony where all the colonists are robots. Diana Mertz Hsieh of Noodlefood comments:

Overlord master robots, I hope? I mean, if it's not with overlord master robots, it's not worth doing...

We couldn't agree more. We offer a hearty welcome to our new lunar robotic overlords.

robot.jpgSpeaking of Robotic overlords, Project Nothing! points us to this article about real-life Robocops in Japan.

Equipped with a camera and sensors, the "Guardrobo D1," developed by Japanese security firm Sohgo Security Services Co., is designed to patrol along pre-programmed paths and keep an eye out for signs of trouble.

The 109-cm tall robot will alert human guards via radio and by sending camera footage if it detects intruders, fires, or even water leaks.

This is less an issue of taking human jobs than filling jobs that there are insufficient people around to do. Read the whole thing.

Apparently we weren't the only ones inspired by the latest Batman movie. For all of you who would like to be a super-hero in the future, the Winds of Change points to a must-read Forbes article on the cost of Being Batman.

In our Forbes Fictional Fifteen, we estimated [Bruce Wayne's] net worth at $6.3 billion. If he were a real guy, he'd be the 28th richest person in America, right behind News Corp.'s (nyse: NWS - news - people ) Rupert Murdoch...

But you don't have to be a billionaire to become a caped crusader. Using commercially available training, technology and domestic help, the average guy could conceivably equip himself to become a real-world superhero, provided he's got at least a couple million to spare.

And we thought they had no fun over at Forbes.

Want to participate in the next edition of the Carnival of Tomorrow? Just write to us:

mrstg87 {@ symbol} yahoo {dot} com or
bowermaster {@ symbol} gmail {dot} com

Don't forget to check out the all-new (and unplugged) edition of FastForward Radio.

See you in the future!


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Carnival of Tomorrow 5.0:

» Two Carnivals Of The Future from Transterrestrial Musings
One at the usual place and the other at...The Onion.... [Read More]

» To The Future ... And Beyond from Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave
The 5th ever Carnival of Tomorrow is up at The Speculist. Yours truly has an entry in there, and there's lot of other good geek stuff.... [Read More]

» Future Blogging from Dynamist Blog
I'm a bit late with this, but there's a new Carnival of Tomorrow up, featuring future-related items from around the blogosphere.... [Read More]

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