2009

2009 August: "Dark Side of the Moon" -- Considering Space on the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, I've written about the space program in general, where it stands today, which nations have plans for their own space programs, and what I think about a manned mission to Mars.
To access the full article, click on the link => Dark Side of the Moon


2009 May: "What Will Change Everything?" -- The 2009 Edge Foundation World Question
I've written about the Edge Foundation's World Question in the past. Each year's question is provocative and the answers come from disparate and often controversial points of view. Regardless of whether I agree with the stated opinions, the answers to the Edge question always make me think. This year's question is no different. Not surprisingly, it has made its way onto my annual list of "must have" topics.
To access the full article, click on the link => 2009 World Question
2009 April: "DBpedia" -- Why we need lots more data!
You may not know who Tim Berners-Lee is, but if you use a computer to surf the web, you should thank him. Twenty years ago, while working at CERN (the nuclear physics research facililty in Switzerland that's looking for Higgs) he singlehandedly invented the first web browser and the "hypertext transport protocol" (that's what the "http://" at the beginning of a link stands for) to make it work. Today he has a new idea -- that we all need lots more data and we need it to be raw and unfiltered so we can find out for ourselves what relationships there may be among the bits.
To access the full article, click on the link => DBpedia
2009 March: "Siftables" -- Tiny computer modules that interact with each other.
David Merrill, a grad student at MIT's Media Lab, and his colleagues have created a collection of smart, cookie-sized, spatially aware computer modules called "siftables". They can interact, form networks, store images, do math, and create music. Who knows what else they'll be taught to do.
To access the full article, click on the link => Siftables
2009 January: "FRIB" -- The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is coming to East Lansing.
December 11, 2008: Press Release:
The Department of Energy announced that Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan has been selected to design and establish the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a cutting-edge research facility to advance understanding of rare nuclear isotopes and the evolution of the cosmos. The new facility—expected to take about a decade to design and build, and to cost an estimated $550 million—will provide research opportunities for an international community of approximately 1000 university and laboratory scientists, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students.
Facts about FRIB
To access the full article, click on the link => FRIB