|This ladybug is trying to fly, but she’s trapped by the ultrasound field in which she has been levitated:|
After the investigators got the ultrasound field going, they used tweezers to carefully place animals between the emitter and reflector. The scientists found they could float ants, beetles, spiders, ladybugs, bees, tadpoles and fish up to a little more than a third of an inch long in midair. When they levitated the fish and tadpole, the researchers added water to the ultrasound field every minute via syringe.
Annalee Newitz, a “surly media nerd who will be celebrating the holidays by eating your brain,” has come up with some rather wonderful predictions for future bad holiday gifts.
Peer-to-peer brain distribution client: Everybody is uploading and downloading their brains via the Internet. It’s certainly the best way to travel — just upload your brain in San Francisco and download it into another body in France. The problem is bandwidth. With everybody uploading and downloading their brains around the holidays, the network gets awfully slow. That’s why Yahoo! BitTorrent has introduced the P2P brain distribution client, which allows you to store several copies of your consciousness on multiple computers across the network.
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The TV Land cable network has compiled a list of the 100 greatest catchphrases in TV, from the Walter Cronkite’s nightly “And that’s the way it is” to “We are two wild and crazy guys!” Star Trek made the list three times, with:
- “Live long and prosper” (Spock, “Star Trek”)
- “Resistance is futile” (Picard as Borg, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
- “Space, the final frontier …” (Capt. Kirk, “Star Trek”)
The entire list is here.
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Last Sunday’s User Friendly.
From Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars to The Dark Side of the Moon, Space.com’s Spacebox features what they’re calling “the best, worst, and weirdest music inspired by space.”
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The United States, the European Union, China, India, Russia, Japan and South Korea have signed a pact to harness the fusion process that powers the sun to make clean, safe and limitless energy.
Amazon.com’s Best of 2006: Books has SF & Fantasy selections by Charles de Lint, Chris Adrian, Terry Brooks, Jeff VanderMeer, Martin Millar, Avram Davidson, Charles Stross, Tim Powers, Bill Willingham, and Neil Gaiman, while the Editors’ Top 50 list includes Cormac McCarthy, Max Brooks, Stephen King, Chris Adrian, Kevin Brockmeier, and Maurice Sendak.
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As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, New Scientist published brief comments by more than 70 scientists about what the next 50 years may hold. A few clips from longer essays:
The biggest breakthrough in the next 50 years will be the discovery of extraterrestrial life.
— Freeman Dyson
Within 50 years, lives will be significantly enhanced by automated reasoning systems that people will perceive as “intelligent”. Although many of these systems will be deployed behind the scenes, others will be in the foreground, serving in an elegant, often collaborative manner to help people do their jobs, to learn and teach, to reflect and remember, to plan and decide, and to create.
— Eric Horvitz
The biggest breakthrough in my field will be the development of an efficient and convenient means of storing a young woman’s ovarian tissue or eggs to be used years later.
— Carl Djerassi
Establishing a self-supporting colony on Mars would change world history – it wouldn’t be just “world” history any more.
— J. Richard Gott
Continuing the Chip’s Picks series, my next author to recommend will be Dan Simmons.
Simmons has done quite a bit of work in the horror genre (Summer of Night, Song of Kali), and his science fiction is tinged with a lot of cringe-inducing imagery. However, his descriptions are amazingly rich and detailed, and his characters seem like real people instead of coatracks to hang ideas on (a complaint I always have about Asimov).
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From the site:
Baen Books (www.baen.com), a publisher of science fiction, will provide its books to fans who are blind, paralysed, or dyslexic, or are amputees, in electronic form free of charge, effective immediately.
Baen Books is making this offer in recognition of Veterans Day, and all our disabled military veterans. Many Baen authors are veterans themselves, using a military setting as the setting of their tales. Right now convalescing vets might welcome an exciting, fast-action tale to pass the time.