Archive for February, 2008
In a move that could be the most enduring imprint of U.S. influence in the Arab world, American military officials in Baghdad have begun a crash program to outfit the entire Iraqi army with M-16 rifles.
Imagine if, after defeating Japan in WWII, the U.S. military trained every Japanese soldier in our military tactics, and handed them our latest rifle. That would be insane, right? Right?
It happens every day on the streets of Tehran: a police squad grabbed a young woman for dressing immodestly. But this time, the young woman fought back, and a crowd defended her and attacked the police. Thanks to cell phone video, the Internet, and brave Iranian citizen reporters, Ardeshir Arian is able to tell the story.
According to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study, 71% of Americans believe that nanotechnology is immoral.
Here is a video and photos from Nokia portraying some of the features of a nanotechnology-enabled concept phone. In terms of its scope, the design is very anachronistic, but it does demonstrate some current and near-term applications. Here is a list of more practical applications of nanotech.
A year ago I wrote:
A number of researchers are working on video cameras integrated into clothing or eye-ware that can record a 24/7 video stream from the wearer’s perspective. They predict that an entire lifetime of such recordings will be able to fit into a small device within 10 years..
Here is a design concept.
The creationist ignoramuses on the Florida Board of Education officially upheld evolution yesterday when they voted to approve “the scientific theory of evolution” as the “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology.” Presumably, they thought that the inclusion of the word “theory” is a slight to science – demonstrating an utter ignorance of the scientific process. In the battle against theocracy, this episode reinforces the lesson that a proper epistemology is more desperately needed than knowledge of any particular theory. Hopefully, students will now learn the meaning of “scientific theory” in addition to evolution.
If you’ve heard about the recent submarine cable outages, you might enjoy reading this fascinating 1996 article by science fiction genius Neal Stephenson on the first world-spanning fiber-optic network. It includes some background on the brilliant and daring 19th century inventors and entrepreneurs who created the first world-spanning communications networks. I’ve been reading it for the last nine hours, but I’m still not done because of all the historical and future (for 1996) places, technologies, and events it describes.