Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Simulating a human brain

by Warren

Bluebrain | Year One from Couple 3 Films on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Noah Hutton is working on a documentary chronicling the quest to reverse engineer the human brain and then create a simulation of that brain. The potential for AI, medicine, and philosophy is essentially limitless if these eggheads pull it off, and there’s a good chance they will. Once the project is successfully completed, the film will also be finished. But the trailer above is as enticing as the possibilities of silicon-based intelligence. (grabbed from Boing Boing).

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Sci-fi lied to us!

by Warren

Well, no surprise there. But many a year has been pegged as “the year we (fill in the blank)” in the sci-fi realm, and as we reach those years we’re filled with a crashing sense of disappointment. Here’s some of the best sci-fi years and how they actually panned out.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Fast Company slams gene research

by Warren

Fast Company has come out with a well-written but flawed story about how little genetic research has done to improve our health. Which would be fine and dandy, were it true or if the writer of the article, David Freedman, had the slightest bit of foresight. Freedman delineates how many promises were made once the human genome was decoded, and how far we’ve come in the 10 years since that event. And to be fair, there hasn’t been a huge leap in progress…yet. But biotech is roughly at the place computing was in 1980. Today we carry around the equivalent of a Cray supercomputer in our pocket, use cameras that recognize faces, shoot HD video onto tiny cards and network with people around the world. We have made some progress, with recent gene therapy breakthroughs ending color blindness in monkeys and restoring immune systems. We’re on the bottom end of a big curve with genetics and biotech, and I think ten years from now people will look back at this article and scoff, if they even remember it all.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Preparing for a global future

by Warren

Ian Goldin, one of the many smart people to speak at the always excellent TED conference, lays down the challenges facing us in the next 30 years. The takeaway? The coming decades are full of amazing technologies, but if we don’t find new ways to co-operate, we’re all screwed.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Stewart Brand on the importance of cities

by Warren

Stewart Brand made a name for himself with the Whole Earth Catalog and the “back to the land” movement (though always with the caveat of networked communication and other high-tech innovation), but he’s now changed his opinions, and says that cities actually help the environment by reducing population (less kids born in cities than in the countryside) and letting subsistence-framed land go back to its natural state.

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Wu-Tang Neurobiology

by Warren

Yes, I’ll bet you never thought you’d see a tribute to the Wu-Tang Clan involving a detailed breakdown of the synaptic cleft…but here we are.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Time lapse of the Milky Way

by Warren

As Eleanor Arroway would say, “no words.”

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Art film created from solar wind imagery

by Warren

Black Rain from Semiconductor on Vimeo.

Coronal mass ejections and solar wind make for a film reminiscent of something from the deepest depths of the NFB circa 1965.

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Stephen Wolfram’s neat new search engine

by Warren

Not really news at this point, but check out this article by esteemed math-guy and scifi author Rudy Rucker with Stephen Wolfram, who has used his prodigious smarts to come up with a new search engine that takes in questions in complete sentences, and spits back the same. Neat.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Insanely cool biology with Juan Enriquez

by Warren

I’ve really been getting into the latest developments in biotech, and Juan Enriquez, an eminent smartypants who runs the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project, gave an amazing talk at the TED conference about the frankly astonishing things developing in the field that promise serious medical breakthoughs in the next 20 years. Check it out below.