Recently in Science Category

Thanks to chezfugu, who mentioned it in a comment, I now listen to the Long Now Foundation podcast (iTunes Link). The one I started listening to today is very interesting: it is the presentation of Rusty Schweickart titled “The Asteroid Threat Over the Next 100,000 Years”. It is a very refreshing and down to Earth approach to a problem that we will have to face, in the long term. I find that it is a very good example of what the Long Now Foundation is all about.

If you're more into science fiction, I recommend Manifold: Time, by Stephen Baxter (non-affiliated Amazon link). It opens up some very interesting perspective about the future of mankind.

I don't know why this fascinates me, as I probably won't see the 2100s. But these major events could happen tomorrow. Anyway, in the meantime, there is this looming energy crisis that is going to be very “interesting”. Much change lies ahead!

Teaser

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Tonight is TED talks night. I first watched the new Gore talk, which was pretty good. My next talk is going to be Nicholas Negroponte's 1984 talk (well, the part of it that still available).

But in between I just watched Jill Bolte Taylor's talk. And this just floored me. It's ... well, it's just something you have to watch. The whole thing.

Stephen Fry » Blog Archive » Getting Overheated: "For the eco-believer it’s no-lose situation: we all survive if they’re right and we’ve acted on their belief, we survive if they’re wrong and we’ve acted on their belief. Whereas for the eco-denier we survive if they’re right and we’ve done nothing but we perish if they’re wrong and we’ve done nothing."

The really interesting bit start around the middle of the post, you can search for "It started amicably enough" to get to this part.

What I find really interesting in the argument is that it does not forget the forest (what may be going on) for the tree (the science that tells us, with some uncertainty, what may be going on). We can be so used to focusing on details, numbers, and small facts that we forget what we're really talking about. This post reminded me this quite clearly.

Earth from afar

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There is a Japanese probe orbiting the moon right now, and it took an amazing movie of the Earth rising. This is just beautiful.

I also recommend watching this talk at TED by Carolyn Porco, on the Cassini probe to Saturn: Fly me to the moons of Saturn. The last image of this talk has become my desktop picture. See the little dot on the left of Saturn, right outside of the rings? It's Earth.

Pour la Science

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Une des revues que je prends beaucoup de plaisir à lire chaque mois est Pour la Science. J'ai par exemple lu ce matin un article passionnant sur les dernières découvertes concernant l'évolution des poissons vers les amphibiens pouvant marcher.

J'avoue qu'en lisant ce genre de choses je me prends à rêver qu'un jour, peut-être, on pourra raconter (et argumenter) comment tout cela s'est passé ...

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