Short Attention Span Blogging; Wednesday, August 4, 2010

By | August 3, 2010

…where science, futurism, and anything else Stephen finds interesting are

thrown together in an informational stew for your consumption.


Follow Stephen on Twitter: @stephentgo

  • Incredible 1930s motorcycle that could have inspired Tron’s light cycles.


  • An interview with Aubrey de Grey: “We don’t have to get sick as we get older”
  • Favorite makers at Maker Faire Detroit:


    Alix Stuart, age 19, was homeschooled. She’s about to attend college as a music major, but also likes to build robots like this spherical critter designed to run away from a “chaser bot” built by her friend.

  • Brain Wang talks Flying Cars.

    Here’s a man driving this car from Florida to Airventure Oshkosh:

  • NPR – Food For Thought: Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter.
  • “Shrimp of the land?”

    In order to allow us to continue to get enough animal protein, some argue that Humanity needs to start farming bugs for food:

    In a new policy paper being considered by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Belgian entomologist Arnold van Huis [recommends] that the western world eat more insects.

    And here’s Marcel Dicke at TEDxAmsterdam advocating the same thing:

    Add a garlic butter sauce and I’ll give it a try.

  • Michael Shermer: Free excerpt from Richard Milner’s “Darwin’s Universe (A-Z encyclopedia).” (pdf link)

    The entry we get at that link is about Barnum Brown – an Indiana-Jones-like dinosaur bone collector. Great story.

  • Thomas Frey’s blog post, “When the Smart Grid Meets the Smart Home”

    Electric power is the same stagnant business it was a hundred years ago. We’re still connected by copper wires to the same lackluster grid our grandparents knew.

    With homeowner’s growing dissatisfaction, and an eye on the possibilities stemming from a vibrant online computer industry, a similar scenario awaits the power industry. Despite its leader’s disinclination to change the “status quo,” innovation will be driven from the bottom up, where the digital world meets the physical world. And, innovation will be driven by the creation of a better interface.

  • Plants and Animals School Us in Energy Efficiency

    …it all comes down to the fact that we’ve yet to figure out how to effectively store electricity. Plants can do it. Bears can do it. Human civilization, however, is still developing and refining the technology. But until we can effectively store energy on a large scale, we’ll have to use (or waste) electricity the moment we generate it.

  • Singularity primer: “The Intelligent Universe” by Abou Farman
  • DNA Wrapping and Replication Video

    H/T Michael Anissimov

  • Stanford University scientists are developing a process to make solar power production greater than 2 times as efficient – up to 60% efficient. The process actually works better as heat rises.
  • Graphene gets weirder and more remarkable the more its studied. Scientists were able to create magnetic fields greater than 300 tesla by simply straining graphene. Fields greater than 85 were once thought impossible.
  • Michael Anissimov: “Futurist Ray Kurzweil and magician-skeptic James Randi will be speaking in San Francisco this August 14-15!!!”
  • News: The whimsical inner city airports that never came to pass

    past future airport.JPG

    What could go wrong?

  • Popular Mechanics: Behind the Scenes of the Race to Sky Dive from 120,000 Feet

    This account includes the story of how Joe Kittinger set the 50-year-old sky diving record when he piloted the Excelsior III up to 102,800 feet… and then jumped.

  • Stan Lee: Some have asked the meaning of “Excelsior.” Pride wells within me as I reply–”Upward and onward to greater glory!”
  • 106 awesome, sexy and weird costumes from Comic-Con 2010


  • Faster please: Protein found in the human body appears to be able – when paired with nanoparticles – to find & kill certain cancer cells.
  • Interested in designing the next “Farmville?” Check out this article: “The New Games People Play: How Game Mechanics Have Changed In The Age Of Social.”

    (Video at link)

  • Plugless Power soon to arrive for electric and hybrid vehicles.

  • A very strong review for the new Batman animated movie “Under the Red Hood.”
  • Crowd-Tracking Noise and Air Pollution with GPS enabled personal monitors.
  • 70 billion pixels. The largest photo ever taken. Budapest. Zoom in and out, click on the boxes for specific landmarks. Click the picture to get started.