“Considering the possibilities of preserving the Earth during the Sun’s transition into a brighter and much larger object, the authors discuss alternatives like raising the Earth’s orbit to a safer distance or using a parasol to shield the planet from its rays. That might tide us over for a few billion years beyond the point where an unprotected Earth could survive as a habitable place. But the paper only begins here. After the sunshade, the authors go on to discuss their plan to create an artificial sun in the Kuiper Belt, where an Earth slowly moved into an outer orbit by gravitational swing-by techniques can eventually find its new home in a stable orbit around a life-giving source of heat and light. Call it an ArtSun, as they do, and ponder how much science fiction it might inspire.”
via Centauri Dreams.
“What if it were possible… to make a pair of glasses which, instead of requiring an optician, could be “tuned” by the wearer to correct his or her own vision? Might it be possible to bring affordable spectacles to millions who would never otherwise have them?”
via The Guardian.
“Here is some terrific video of a bioluminescent deep-sea siphonophore — an eerily fantastic creature that appears to be a single, large organism, but which is actually a colony of numerous individual jellyfish-like animals that behave and function together as a single entity. The individual units, called zooids, all share the same genetic material and each perform a specialized role within the colony. The best-known siphonophore is the poisonous Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis), which lives at the surface of the ocean, unlike the one shown in this video (filmed at a depth of 770 meters). Some siphonophore species can grow up to 40 meters (130 ft) in length.”
via Pink Tentacle.
‘An unexpected, thick layer of solar particles inside Earth’s magnetic field suggests there are huge breaches in our planet’s solar defenses, scientists said.
These breaches indicate that during the next period of high solar activity, due to start in 2012, Earth will experience some of the worst solar storms seen in decades.
Solar winds—charged particles from the sun—help create auroras, the brightly colored lights that sometimes appear above the Earth’s poles.
But the winds also trigger storms that can interfere with satellites’ power sources, endanger spacewalkers, and even knock out power grids on Earth.’
via National Geographic News.
“William Mark Felt, the infamous ‘Deep Throat’ of Watergate fame, was no hero. Sometimes portrayed as heroically risking his job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expose President Richard Nixon’s illegal ‘Plumbers’ unit that burglarized Democratic National Committee headquarters, Felt coveted the job as director. Felt, who had engaged in and covered up dirty tricks and illegal conduct of FBI agents for years, was making a move to become the new boss.”
‘In an “urgent message” to supporters, the Republican National Lawyer Association accuses Franken and his “liberal allies” of “working feverishingly [sic] to steal the Minnesota Senate election.” ‘
via Huffington Post.