Tag Archives: future farms

Futurology ~ Solar mission, space crew, future farms, Mayan drought, inner diamonds


Solar mission about to leave — NASA is scheduled to send human technology closer to a star than ever before from August 11th. What they learn could change our understanding of, well, the whole galaxy.
The Parker Solar Probe is a mission set to orbit the Sun at just 6.1 million kms. Earth’s average distance is 149.6 million kms; Mercury’s average distance is 57.9 million kms. The spacecraft will need to shield itself from temperatures as high as 1377C in order to find answers to the many questions scientists still have about our Sun and stars in general.
~ I guess it will have to leave during the day, or it won’t be able to find it … [lol]

Commercial space crew announced — NASA has announced the first astronauts who will head to the International Space Station on a commercially built spacecraft. These US astronauts previously flew aboard Russian spacecraft to get to the ISS. The coming launches will be the first from American soil since the Space Shuttle’s 2011 retirement, according to a NASA news release. The astronauts will travel in the new Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon. The team consists of 9 men and women from across the US.
~ Commercial, hey? So it should be called the Starship Enterprise. 

Future faming — How do you feed an increasing number of people without harming the environment? As it turns out, growing as much food as possible in a small area may be our best bet for sustainably feeding the world’s population, according to new research. It all comes down to how we manage greenhouse gases and climate change …
~ Didn’t see that coming. Well, OK, but didn’t we all?

Mayan drought may have ended them — The ancient Maya were an innovative people who constructed intricate cities throughout the tropical lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, communicated using one of the world’s first written languages, and created two calendar systems by studying the stars. But despite their achievements, the thriving Mayan civilisation mysteriously collapsed sometime between the eighth and ninth centuries. We still don’t know exactly why.
The general consensus is that the Mayan collapse was caused by a number of things, including disease, war, and other sociopolitical conflicts. One natural factor may have contributed to all of these issues: drought. A particularly bad drought would have made it difficult for the Maya to collect enough drinking water and to irrigate their crops. It also could have encouraged the spread of disease and increased the strain between Mayan leaders and their people.
~ And I reckon the Russians were involved. 

Rare blue diamonds deep in the Earth — Just 1 out of 200,000 diamonds are blue, and  eventually reach the surface through volcanic eruptions. Like all diamonds, they are made when carbon comes under intense pressure and extreme heat deep inside the Earth. As they form, they can trap tiny bits of rock inside – like fossils in amber. Steven Shirey, a geochemist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, and his colleagues used lasers to examine the diamonds’ imperfections – slivers of embedded rock – at the Gemological Institute of America. The researchers suggest that boron in the ocean floor was pushed down when plates that make up the Earth’s crust collided. The element allows the stone to absorb some red light, so the diamond looks blue.
~ So, once they can dig deep enough, they won’t be rare any more.

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Futurology ~ Titan, Europa, 3D thruster, kid upgrades, future farms, Earth videos, anti-drones, chip-heart, snakebot, emobot


The future farming looks pretty bleak
The future of farming looks pretty bleak, with the number of total days capable of growing plants is likely to drop by a total of 10%

Titan’s methane lakes — A radar scan of methane-filled lakes on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, was taken by the international Cassini mission as part of a study into what forms depressions on Titan. Although scientists have a handle on why the lakes are filled with hydrocarbons — turns out it rains liquid methane, thanks to the -180°C climate — the origins of the depressions are less obvious.
~ It’s the economy.

NASA is heading for Europa — Jupiter’s moon Europa is covered in a thick layer of constantly-shifting ice which appears to be floating atop a deep, warm ocean. Scientists have long suggested that it’s the most likely place that life might have evolved beyond Earth. NASA has just confirmed its first mission to Europa has entered the development phase.
~ I await the report. 

The world’s first 3D-printed platinum spacecraft thruster — More than 600 ignitions and an hour of firing  was the heavy test for the world’s first spacecraft thruster with a platinum combustion chamber and nozzle made by 3D printing. And it successfully passed its baptism of fire.
~ I wonder if they started with a mug.

Your kids will need upgrades to go to space — In the six decades we’ve been sending humans into space, scientists have learned just how truly bad it is for us to live off-planet. So we need a redesign.
~ I have a much better idea: sort out Earth. 

This map of 2100 should make you nervous about the future of farming — When we imagine the farms of the next century, the images tend to be cleaner, more clinical, perhaps more akin even to a laboratory than a field. But the future that’s actually on our horizon looks much darker and messier than all that.
~ Asia under pressure.

Earth videos from space — UrtheCast published three videos captured by its ISS-mounted ultra HD camera, which Gizmodo compiled into a short montage. The camera (named Iris) can zoom into an area of about 1.92km x 1.08km. You can see footage of London, Boston and Barcelona, almost as animated maps: freeways buzzing with cars, colourful container yards in motion, boats drifting …
~ These things can also be seen from ground level – if you go there. 

Russia develops anti-armed-drone tech — A state-owned Russian engineering company has developed, and is now testing, a new kind of super-high-frequency gun that is said to be capable of deactivating unmanned aerial vehicles from 10km away.
~ There goes that particular US advantage. 

Heart-on-a-chip uses gravity to mimic a human pulse — A small, clear block may not look much, but it uses some of the world’s most basic physics to accurately recreate the rhythms of the human heart in the laboratory. A team from the University of Michigan has turned to gravity to help recreate the biological phenomena of the heartbeat.
~ I just watch rom-coms to replicate the affect of a human heart. 

Slithering modular snakebots the future of robotics — Snakebots could change robotics as we know it – they are modular robots that look and move like snakes. They aim to make robots both reprogrammable and responsive.
~ What about our instinctive snake revulsion?

PepperJapanese robot reads your emotions — Starting this weekend in Japan, people can buy a talking, person-shaped robot that reads your body language and gets sad when you turn off the lights. Pepper has its own emotions, a feature that’s been added since the robot was initially announced last year. In Tamagotchi fashion, Pepper gets lonely if you ignore it, and laughs if you tell it a joke. It cann’t do manual labour – it’s more an app-customisable animated computer.
~ US1600 and it’s yours.