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News Briefs 15-10-2010

“At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded…”

  • 800 trillion suns.
  • Astronomers see planets in a whole new light.
  • Cracking the mystery of Saturn’s walnut moon.
  • Meanwhile, Saturn’s moon’s play cosmic paintball. More here on Saturn’s odd moons.
  • A pulsar… with powers.
  • ’Big bounce’ set to dethrone ‘Big bang’.
  • The truth about Roswell (scroll down).
  • NYC UFOs turn out to be UFBs from a terrestrial engagement party.
  • Sir Isaac Newton, public astronomer and secret alchemist.
  • Is cancer entirely man-made?
  • Current demands on natural resources will require two earths by 2030.
  • The singularity… or not?
  • The end… in 3.7 billion years.
  • History of religious tolerance in America is more myth than fact.
  • 5-year trial is over but jury’s still out on the ‘Jesus Box’.
  • Sea Monster in Tokyo shares strange similiarity with NYC UFOs… it’s something else.
  • Heavy metal embraces our reptoid leaders.
  • In search of rare earths.
  • Did da Vinci hide fossils in his work?
  • Ames rooms via male bower bird nests.
  • Humpback Whale’s 6,000 mile journey sets new record.
  • New fish discovered in Peru-Chile Trench.
  • ”X” marks spot of recent asteroid collision.
  • Good thing “X” wasn’t the Atlantic… Oceanic impact events linked to ozone holes.
  • Blowing up asteroids — no longer just in movies.
  • Toffler’s 40 drivers of change for the next 40 years, 40 years later.
  • Love, the ultimate painkiller.
  • The reasons behind the ring of fire.
  • BPA, banned.
  • CO2, the true temperature gauge.
  • Drug or placebo, same effect.
  • Solving the energy crisis one block at a time.
  • The first billion dollar home.
  • And in this week’s evidence of the looming robot revolution: Teaching babies to identify ‘bots as sentient beings.

Many thanks to RPJ, Kat, Olympus and Greg!

Quote of the Day:

“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push. ”

L. Wittgenstein

    1. Gojiraaaaa!
      The sea monster was most likely an unusual mound of mud, with two jellyfish placed in such an equidistant manner, as to appear like preternatural eyes 😉

  1. Reptoid
    I don’t find myself gravitating to the Reptoid theory either, but I mean how much different is this idea “in kind” from some of my other ideas such as that Sasquatch is a multidimensional genetically engineered “project” of our ET friends? And how improbable is it that a civilaztion many millions of years ahead os us technologically could be capable of donning human disguises or “possessing” the human frame. We believe in demonic possession but then draw the line at ET/human possession?

  2. The leach factor
    In re:

    “Dealing with the “Obsoledge”
    The report anticipates that mass production will be replaced by on-demand custom manufacturing of highly complex products and services. As a result, small, agile companies will be able to compete effectively with large manufacturers. It also anticipates that companies will increasingly turn away from creating products and instead host marketplaces and charge to connect consumers with producers.”
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/on-fortieth-anniversary-of-alvin-tofflers-future-shock-toffler-associates-announces-forces-that-will-drive-change-over-next-forty-years-104939289.html

    To me, this sounds more than a little like those past futuristic predictions of flying cars, self-cleaning kitchens and lunar transit by tube-rails in space. It all so much depends on certain technology but totally neglects the ever-present but unforeseen additives that will act to steer the future in unpredictable directions.

    In this case, the forecast is for there to be a horde of middlemen leeching between the consumer and the market. And as if we really need a reminder, this is exactly what we have already with the health insurance industry firmly entrenched (and grazing) between the patient and the caregiver.

    Anytime you tack on that third party feeder, the costs rise to support the same. The health insurance industry employs millions with a payroll in the billions. Where does that money come from? The consumer, of course.

    Maybe I’m wrong but… unless the world of tomorrow discards the free market system – thus embracing an inflamed bout of the stupids – producers will quickly recognize the profit to be made through bypassing the leach in the middle and creating a direct line to the consumer.

    1. mass production
      There are some factors other than free market and middlemen at work in today’s industries.

      One factor is the scale of production. You can’t start much of an electronics business today without a few billion dollars. People think that microchips are cheap – that is not entirely true.

      Microchips are tremendously expensive to make. They are only cheap per chip when you can sell them in multiple millions of them. To do that you need a manufacturing and marketing chain that is big.

      Since these things are big, you need big investment, which all translates into very few players in the market.

      With few players on the supply side, there goes your free market.

      If manufacturing small quantities can be done without investing billions first, the market would become a little more free.

      1. Hegemonies, Wedgies and Parasites (Oh My!)
        Well, I’m not by any means a Reaganite market purist. More than anything, I am a consumerist and often disgruntled with the way the corporate/industrial/government hegemony just runs roughshod over the spending public.

        The table is nowhere near balanced… and anything that works against the consumer tends to give me a mean wedgie. One of those now is (obviously) middlemen; parasites to what could otherwise be a far better deal for everyone.

        So, no debate on your points… except that things work best when the field between the seller and buyer is as pristine as possible. I don’t think that most basic of concept changes.

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