Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Essays , Commentary, and Insights

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 ...

**WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Secret Empire storyline. Proceed at your own risk** Captain America, Marvel Comics’ stalwart sentinel of liberty, has been at the center of controversy since he was revealed to have been a lifelong agent of the terrorist organization Hydra on the final page of ...

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the movie The Love Witch. Read at your own peril. Witches have been part of literature from the very beginning. Female connection to supernatural powers can be drawn directly from Medea all the way to modern stories such as The Witch and Charmed. ...

Speculative Insights from the Web...

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  • Octopus-Inspired Material Can Change Its Texture
    There’s a famous viral video in which a diver slowly swims up to a clump of rock and seaweed, only for part of that clump to turn white, open its eye, and jet away, squirting ink behind it. Few videos so dramatically illustrate an octopus’s mastery of camouflage. But ignore, if you can, the creature’s color, and focus on its texture. As its skin shifts from mottled brown to spectral white, it also goes from ... Read more...
    Source: The Atlantic: TechnologyPublished on Thursday, October 12th, 2017By Ed Yong
  • Chatbots – The New Retail Banking Frontier
    Life of the modern Homo sapiens revolves around money and tech. That is why the banking industry is always the first one to adopt the latest trends. A decade ago the digital banking put an end to the three-hundred-year-old ‘tradition’ of waiting in queues. Today, we can run accounts ourselves, […] ... Read more...
    Source: Singularity BlogPublished on Thursday, October 5th, 2017By Branislav Srdanovic
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  • Asteroid Tracking Network Observes Close Approach
    Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 16, 2017 On Oct. 12 EDT (Oct. 11 PDT), a small asteroid designated 2012 TC4 will safely pass by Earth at a distance of approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers). This is a little over one tenth the distance to the Moon and just above the orbital altitude of communications satellites. This encounter with TC4 is being used by asteroid trackers around the world to test their ability to operate as a ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017
  • A star that devoured its own planets
    New York NY (SPX) Oct 17, 2017 A devourer of worlds lurks around 350 light-years away. According to a recent study comparing the chemical composition of a pair of sunlike stars, one of the stars has consumed the rocky equivalent of 15 Earths. "Even if our sun ate the entire inner solar system, it wouldn't come close to the anomaly we see in this star," says study coauthor David Hogg, group leader for astronomical data ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017
  • Heavy elements in neutron star mergers detected
    Darmstadt, Germany (SPX) Oct 17, 2017 On October 16 a team of scientists, including members from the LIGO and Virgo collaborations and several astronomical groups, announced the detection of both gravitational and electromagnetic waves, originating from the merger of two neutron stars. These mergers have been speculated as the yet unknown production site of heavy elements including Gold, Platinum and Uranium in the Universe. I ... Read more...
    Source: Space DailyPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017
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