Lots of Positive Things Which Have No Connection.
1) Have you ever wanted a personal elevator? What about just having the opportunity to be naked in a big plastic tube? Maybe this is for you.
2) As a Canadian it is a ritual of spring to watch lane after lane of traffic shut down while the lines which were scoured away by winter salt and sand are painted back on. Once the lines look nice, the potholes are filled which temporarily cover the lines and then lines and patches are torn up along with the road as the damage from frost heaves is repaired by a complete resurfacing. I have always wished that someone would do a little research into engineering roads that last longer than a cheap pair of socks. If the Romans could make roads that are still in use today, surely... But then there need to be temporary seasonal work for road repair crews to distract them from the fact that if we were not spending all this money on roads we might be able to build some infrastructure. Well shiver me timbers they have come out with bendable concrete. The only problem is that it is only cheaper in the long-term as it does not need to be replaced as often. Since public works budgets don't operate on a long-term basis it will probably never be used for public roads and highways. But it should be useful enough to improve the private construction industry. Now if they can just find a way to keep the snow off the road we could save huge amounts of money.
3) One of the biggest let downs to those of us who were science and or technology geeks in the late 1980's is that the room temperature superconductor has not come out and changed the world. Advances in superconductors, and more crucially, methods of keeping them cool in the real world environments have made short distance and high load electrical "pipes" possible by pumping cryofluids down lengths of 'pipe wire' but the hand held MRI machines and near zero resistance power lines are not in the near future. But for some uses a better conductor could bring about huge changes while we wait. With these, we know they can exist, all we need is a way to make them long enough. That is what this project is about. It has a much better near term likelihood because its chemical structure is known. Not to mention that nanotubes have lots of great properties for everything from molecular computers to building and product materials.
4) More good news for those who study ancient civilizations. While restoring a Christian era Ethiopian obelisk to its original site after a long stay in Rome, a set of vast pre Christian era funerary chambers were found. Other such finds had already been looted but this one remains unpillaged. Also, one knock-out of a mummy was discovered in Egypt recently. Every time finds like these are made, one of the greatest hopes is that the increase in hieroglyphics and imagery will add to our knowledge of their mythology and society, though missing pieces of their history are also often supplied by common household technology and tools. You never know when some simple new piece of information will open a window on something that was never suspected about these civilizations. One more story about ancient civilizations is the newest technologies being used to see below the ground before a shovel hits the dirt. It might not be too long before shovels are the last tool used rather than the first. With new aerial and satellite imaging making the invisible visible, we will soon see huge portions of human history made plain to modern minds.
5)Will nations like China, who want to have all the benefits of a technological society but who can just not bring themselves to allow people to communicate freely, be able to maintain the Chinese firewall when people are sending jpegs and audio files while they play video games. Are they going to have all video games run through central servers with people constantly watching to see if anything subversive gets through as they try to do with other forms of electronic expression? It sounds pretty laughable but then banning all video games while hoping to attract I.T. businesses to your country is pretty laughable too. (No offence to Greece which tried banning video games in the attempt to combat online gambling - He he he!) This is just about the Xbox right now but how long will it be before someone makes an open source PC application that does the same thing?
6) They have Zarqawi's computer. They have this charming soul. The end of Al-Qaeda, when it comes will not make the world free from terrorism (God knows that my people - the Irish - are still about.) but it will make it a much nicer place. Then we can get back to worrying about the neo-Nazis, the Christian Dominionists and the Maoist. To update, someone claiming to be Zarqari made some statements which I initially thought were so stupid that they had to be a hoax but when I read them in context sounded like how Z-man would probably try to justify his actions.
7) I have always wanted to switch to Linux but I never thought that using Windows and Linux on the same machine was practical given my experience with P.C. emulators at work. I am a bit of a gamer after all so Windows is kind of necessary. Intel may be on to a solution though. On a larger scale, the open source movement is finding converts in science, industry and just about every project that anyone is working on anywhere. Open source combines the entrepreneurial spirit with the "compassionate" mentality that until now lead people to the socialist nonsense. Perhaps, combining these two human traits can unleash a lot more of humanity's potential.
8) When the Republicans came back to power the military thought that the good times were back. It turns out that they were just as civilian as the last lot. While the military was a professional high-tech organization which had kicked ass in Desert Storm v1.0 and who's leaders read The Art of War by Sun Tzu ( a book which I am currently enjoying) the new Republican administration were draft dodging Vietnam era civilians who were reading Curious George flings his Poo by... Ok there was never a Curious George book by that name but it would have been cool. Anyway -
Now the Republicans are trying to cut the military off at the knees by cutting bases (okay maybe there is a need for that but it can not be going down well in the towns which loss their base) and now trying to ditch the chicks. Now if you move out of the "Jesus hates ladies" area of the country and ask the military they will say that the women who they are trying to ban are doing a great job but politicians are not the type to listen to those who ought to know better. (Like geologists know how old the earth is or biologists know anything about biology or the army knows about army stuff- ha, the hubris) Until know everything in this post has been good news. Why the change? Because this is good news. The military is learning that it can not trust Christian fundamentalists to be their best friends. While they are trying to make sure new recruits are Christian as all hell (pun intended)
9) Limbaugh embarrasses himself. Whether you are on the right or the left this is always good news if you care about intellectual discourse.
10) Here is a cheap way to filter your water and here is a cheap way to keep your veggies cool. Both developments have the potential to save poor people time, money, and prevent health problems. Good for them.