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Carnival of Tomorrow #15


From the fevered swamps of Skull Island to the dazzling skyscrapers of Manhattan, and all points in between, everybody's talking about exactly one thing: the controversial new gay cowboy flick, Brokeback Mountain.

Naw, just kidding. They're all talking about Kong! Kong is King! Kong rules! So in honor of everyone's favorite giant gorilla -- and in no way as some kind of cynical attempt to cash in on a fad -- we have asked the big ape to be our host in this week's journey into the future. So, let the journey begin!

Recently Stephen wrote about Gigantopithecus blackii - a ten foot tall ape that once roamed the Pleistocene.  Stephen suggested that legends of this animal might have have inspired the American Sasquatch myths even if the animal never made it to this continent.

Since methods to clone animals from that era are being perfected, will we one day see a real Kong up close and personal?  We're hopeful...just not too close or too personal...please.

Risk-taking aviators need not ponder buzzing the world's tallest building while being swatted at by a giant simian: Jay Manifold reports that attempting to land at Chicago Midway is plenty dangerous enough, and he's got numbers to back it up.

We all know 'twas beauty killed the beast, but had Kong hooked up with a Girl Geek rather than your garden-variety blonde hottie, said alternative S.O. might just have figured out a way to avoid that whole tragic Empire State Building/buzzing biplanes/nasty fall scenario. Melody tells us all about the women of the future, the aforementioned Girl Geeks, both at her own blog and at Multiple Mentality .

Speaking of women of the future, Virginia Postrel is recommeding a book on the subject of urban sprawl. The book deals with the evolution and adpation that takes place in city design over time; reading it we might well find some clues as to what we can expect cities to look like in the future:

But Bruegmann's book is grounded in a history lesson--one that finds the roots of present-day Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles in Augustan Rome or Restoration London. People of means, he writes, have always tried to get some distance from urban centers, often inhabiting villas outside city walls."

I'm sure you would have found it in the very first city ever established," he says. "Living in cities has almost always been unpleasant and unhealthy--not something most people wanted. If you were in imperial Rome, crowded into dark, dingy, polluted apartment buildings, it would have been a nightmare. Most cities I looked at had just crushing density until about the 18th century."

So cities will probably continue to spread out into clean, safe, sprawling suburbs that provide everything the residents need. And that are free, we might add, from those tempting and dangerous skyscrapers.

Whether Kong decides to go for a Geek Girl or stick with the supermodel type, he needs to focus on getting along okay, especially leading such a high-risk life. Joshua Zader at Mudita Journal has the latest on new research indicating that a marital spat can significantly reduce the body's ability to heal :

The stress a married couple experiences during a 30-minute argument can delay their bodies’ ability to heal a wound by at least a day, according to a new study.

And if the couples’ relationship endures routine hostility, the delay can be increased yet further. There could be important implications for people suffering from chronic wounds, such as skin ulcers.

The Big Guy must down an awful lot of bananas to keep his huge frame moving. This puts us in mind of the exciting Second Generation Biofuels recently reported on by Green Car Congress.

As Kong gets older, he may be concerned, as many of us are, about the loss of muscle mass. Sci-Tech Daily points us to some new information indicating that part of the answer may be to lay off the bananas in favor of meat .

While we're on the subject of life extension (sort of) Fight Aging! reports that our good friend Aubrey de Grey will be appearing on 60 Minutes in January.

MattG at "Press the buttons" recalls his childhood love of all things Donkey Kong.  Lately the character has had cameo appearances in other games, but...

For all his moonlighting, however, I continue to look forward to his next traditional adventure.

Mike at TechDirt warns of a new software trend that may slow the introduction of new Kong adventures, as well as innovation generally -- copy protection. Meanwhile, BoingBoing directs us to a report detailing how Congress is working to build copy protection in at the hardware level. On the other hand, Lawrence Lessig reports that Sun is trying to open things up at the hardware level. Open-source hardware? Apparently.

FuturePundit reports that power plant operators have decided to take a serious look at nuclear energy.

[Please redo. Need Kong angle.-- Ed.]

FuturePundit reports that power plant operators have decided to stop monkeying around and take a serious look at nuclear energy.

GeekPress directs us to this New Scientist article about how neural networks are being used to determine whether new movies will be a hit.

While the crime rate overall seems to be going down, some crimes are getting bigger. A lot bigger. The Minstry of Minor Perfidy , who will be hosting next week's carnival, reports on a brazen criminal act of King Kong proportions: grain silo theft. Could this be the future of crime?

Mark at Curmudgeon's Corner , while not explicitly addressing the issue of cloning a gigantopithecus, directs us to commentary from a noted paleontologist who raises serious questions about whether a creature such as Kong could ever exist. Then Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings joins the fray with these pertinent thoughts:

Even if he could get enough to eat, for a body with that much mass to move that fast, the heat generated would be much greater than could be radiated out through the skin (mass goes up as the cube of the major dimension, whereas surface area only goes up as the square), particularly through that fur coat, so he'd cook from the inside if he maintained the kind of activity levels presumably depicted. Also, he wouldn't be able to maintain his own weight on those (relatively) spindly legs, once scaled up to that size--they'd splinter like toothpicks.

No point in seeing the movie, folks--it's just not realistic...

A devastating analysis. For those who will now skip the Kong movie as it has been thoroughly debunked, might we recommend a more plausible hit film from last summer, recently out on DVD?

Carnival of Tomorrow #16 will be hosted by The Ministry of Minor Perfidy.

If you would like to contribute to or host an upcoming Carnival of Tomorrow, please write to:

mrstg87 {@ symbol} yahoo {dot} com


bowermaster {@ symbol} gmail {dot} com


Regarding my own experiences flying into Midway, I could never get on the ground at the right speed to avoid crashing. Half the time, I don't even think I had the wheels down. After a while, I would get tired of trying to land and just go crash my Piper Cub into the Sears Tower, which was equally uninteresting. But for crying out loud, what else was there to do besides fly off into oblivion for hours on end? I think that was Flight Simulator 1.0 on my old Mac 512e. It was only suppose to run on the Mac Plus. But I got it to work. Good times.

That wasn't oblivion,it was Lake Michigan. Did you ever attempt a water landing? Or maybe fly on into Detroit and attempt a landing on the roof of one of the auto plants?

Lots of options...

I remember that first version of flight simulator too. The only building shown in the entire city of Chicago was the Sears tower. It it was some shade of purple.

Once you left Chicago flying south it was oblivian - a completely featureless landscape unless you knew enough about navigation to find the airports.

MS Flight Simulator has come a long way.

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