Thursday, November 23, 2017

Essays , Commentary, and Insights

**Warning: This article contains major spoilers for A Nation Under Our Feet, a Black Panther story by Ta-Nehisi Coates** “…neither cities nor States nor individuals will ever attain perfection until the small class of philosophers, whom we termed useless but not corrupt, are providentially compelled, whether they will or not, to ...

A human population approaching 8 billion can be maintained only if wild habitat is given over to human cultivation and habitation, if rain forests can be turned into green deserts, if genetic engineering enables ever higher yields to be extorted from the thinning soils – then humans will have created ...

Change, or die: that’s the stark choice most protagonists face in literature, whether they recognize it or not.  Change is constant, and stasis is only an illusion.  What is true of people is also true of civilizations.  Cultures evolve, or they follow the lead of Ozymandias. Neal Stephenson’s epic and ...

Speculative Insights from the Web...

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  • Small Eruption at Indonesia’s Agung After Weeks of Unrest
    After weeks of unrest that has waxed and waned, Agung in Indonesia finally produced an explosive eruption today. This blast wasn't anything close to the large blast that some media organizations have been claiming, but rather a relatively small eruption (see below) that was driven by water flashing to steam at the summit crater. pic.twitter.com/gJYqXhdaA9 — Ali (@Ali_Di_Bali) November 21, 2017 Drone footage (below) taken not long after this explosive eruption shows the steaming crater. ... Read more...
    Source: Discovery – Technology – AIPublished on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
  • Six Years After Fukushima, Robots Finally Find Reactors’ Melted Uranium Fuel
    The Japanese government and companies used radiation-hardened machines to search for the fuel that escaped the plant’s ruined reactors. ... Read more...
    Source: NY Times – Science – AIPublished on Sunday, November 19th, 2017By MARTIN FACKLER
  • Watch the Boston Dynamics Atlas Robot Do a Backflip. Yes, a Backflip
    The Atlas humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics can now do backflips. That's one hell of a feat for a bipedal machine. ... Read more...
    Source: Wired – Science – AIPublished on Thursday, November 16th, 2017By Matt Simon
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  • Basil II
    Basil II (aka Basilius II) was the emperor of the Byzantine empire from 976 to 1025 CE. He became known as the Bulgar-Slayer (Bulgaroktonos) for his exploits in conquering ancient Bulgaria, sweet revenge for his infamous defeat at Trajan’s Gate. With a tight hold on Byzantine purse strings and a private army of giant Vikings, Basil got the better of at least two significant usurpers for his throne, reconquered ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Thursday, November 9th, 2017
  • The Crisis of the Third Century
    The Crisis of the Third Century (also known as the Imperial Crisis, 235-284 CE) was the period in the history of the Roman Empire during which it splintered into three separate political entities: the Gallic Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Palmyrene Empire. These breakaway empires, as well as the social turmoil and chaos which characterized the period, resulted from a number of factors: a shift ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Thursday, November 9th, 2017
  • Ancient History Encyclopedia in Armenia
    Last fall, Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) received a grant from the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) to complete a grant project that would entail the writing and publishing of content on topics related to ancient and early medieval Armenian history and culture. Generous funding from the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research also permitted me to travel ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
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  • Writer’s Commentary: Landry Q. Walker Talks Clash Of Kings #6
    Dynamite has given us a writer’s commentary from Landry Q. Walker for Clash of Kings #6, part of the Game of Thrones series. The cover is by Mike S. Miller with interiors by Mel Rubi. Pages 1/2: The first challenge when adapting George R.R. Martin’s books is the most obvious – the sheer volume of material, two chapters limited to 21 pages. On these first two pages, we have to convey several days of ... Read more...
    Source: BleedingCool (comics and superheroes)Published on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017By Dan Wickline
  • Thanos #13 Review: A Thrilling Jumping-On Point With An Entertaining New Character
    Thanos #13 8 Reviewer 0 Users (0 votes) BC Rating Summary A fun and intriguing start to a new direction and new creative team on the Mad Titan's series, with a delightfully fun new character introduced too. <!-- ... Read more...
    Source: BleedingCool (comics and superheroes)Published on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017By Joe Glass
  • Jude Law’s CAPTAIN MARVEL Character Revealed to Be Mar-vell!
    Well, that was fast! Shortly after it was revealed that Jude Law was in negotiations to take on a lead role opposite Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, Variety updated their post revealing who he will be playing!In the original report, they said not much was known about who he would be playing. Now they are saying that he will play Doctor Walter Lawson, a.k.a. Mar-Vell! He becomes a mentor of sorts to Danvers is learning ... Read more...
    Source: Geek Tyrant (comics and superheroes)Published on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017By Joey Paur
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  • New Gene Treatment Effective for Some Leukemia Patients
    By genetically altering a patient’s T-cells to attack more than one site on cancer cells, researchers hope to devise better treatments. ... Read more...
    Source: NY Times – Science – GeneticsPublished on Monday, November 20th, 2017By DENISE GRADY
  • 80 Percent of Patient’s Skin Replaced With Genetically-Modified Grafts
    Doctors have replaced the majority of a patient's damaged skin using genetically-modified grafts. In 2015, a seven-year-old boy was admitted to a German hospital with lesions and blisters across nearly his entire body. He suffered from a rare genetic condition called junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) that prevents the epidermis, the outermost layer of our skin, from properly attaching to the underlying base. It results in extremely fragile skin prone to breaking and tearing, and pati ... Read more...
    Source: Discovery – Medicine – GeneticsPublished on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
  • Pain medicine and addiction: A reading list
    On the 10 August 2017, President Donald Trump declared a ‘national emergency’ in the United States – the cause: the country’s escalating opioid epidemic. This drug crisis has rapidly become one of the worst in American history, with data showing that in 2016 up to 65,000 people died from drug overdoses. Officials state that for citizens under 50 they are the leading cause of death, and opioid-specific overdoses make up two-thirds of all those recorded. ... Read more...
    Source: Oxford University Press – Science and MedicinePublished on Monday, November 6th, 2017By DanP

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  • Developing the ABCs for exploiting new phenomena in light-matter interactions
    Washington DC (SPX) Nov 21, 2017 A unique class of engineered light-manipulating materials, known as metamaterials or structured materials, makes use of patterns of strongly interacting wavelength or sub-wavelength-sized elements. Because of these intricate internal and surface structures, new properties have emerged, some exhibiting behavior that has resulted in rewriting long-understood "laws" for how light and other el ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
  • Recurring Martian Streaks: Flowing Sand, Not Water?
    Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 21, 2017 Dark features on Mars previously considered evidence for subsurface flowing of water are interpreted by new research as granular flows, where grains of sand and dust slip downhill to make dark streaks, rather than the ground being darkened by seeping water. Continuing examination of these still-perplexing seasonal dark streaks with a powerful camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (M ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
  • Previous evidence of water on Mars now identified as grainflows
    Washington DC (SPX) Nov 22, 2017 Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new article published in Nature Geoscience by the U.S. Geological Survey. These new findings indicate that present-day Mars may not have a significant volume of liquid water. The water-restri ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
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