Cloning. If there’s something that people of a variety of different political stripes can get together and grand stand it’s that (and GMOs to a greater extent). When people talk about cloning, they call forth images from science fiction like cloned warriors from Star Wars, clones grown for body parts like Never Let Me Go and, of course, clones replacing people like in Invasion of … Continue reading Cloning, it’s not bad at all
Cassini-Huygens is approaching the end of its days. Launched Oct. 15, 1997, the craft is preparing to crash into the atmosphere of Saturn on a kamikaze mission that will hopefully expand our knowledge of the might-ringed planet. This is to prevent a decaying probe from crashing into one of the moons that could potentially hold life. Images will continue to be taken and sent back … Continue reading Cassini enters final months in space
Remember that heart pounding and nightmarish scene from Planet Earth II where the baby iguana fled from what seemed to be a never ending stream of snakes? Man, that was more intense than anything you’d find the typical cgi-bloated film coming out of all corners of the world nowadays. Seeing all the snakes rush out in pursuit of the iguana raised some questions for me. … Continue reading Snakes hang out in gangs to hunt
This is part four of a four-part series of columns written to mark Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Man, government in the Star Wars universe is confusing. Until the late 1990s it was pretty simple. The oppressive Galactic Empire, led by the Emperor and his righthand cyborg Darth Vader, controlled the majority of the galaxy and it fought with the Rebel … Continue reading How possible is Star Wars: How’s that empire work again?
So, it looks like Facebook is planning to get into the video game. I’m sure that back in the day when it was just Youtube, Hulu, Netflix and Crackle in the game, people would be like “cool!” But my reaction is “ugh, another one.” Facebook Inc (FB.O) has signed deals with millennial-focused news and entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others … Continue reading Is Facebook going to create original programming?
Another inevitable crack has formed in the wall of conservative cultures, which the Far East is known for. Already an outlier of sorts, despite being stuck in the middle of much of the region’s political chess playing, Taiwan has made the first step of legally recognizing same-sex couples. [Taiwan’s] Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that current laws, which say that marriage is between a man and … Continue reading Taiwan may be first in Asia to recognize same sex marriages
Ever hear of CRISPR? If not, you should have. Not that I’m going to bash you for your ignorance. After all, unless you go looking for it, you’re not going to get much science news. The best you can expect from the likes of Fox News, CNN and MSNBC is usually in the realm of “a comet is coming close to Earth (but won’t hit … Continue reading Gene editing may get speed boost
The race to build the first fully functional quantum computer moved ahead this week. The step forward? Well, the thing that’s been holding it back is that a quantum computer has to be kept very, very cold. We’re not talking about freezing, we’re talking about near absolute zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit or -273.15 degrees Celsius). Now, scientists at IBM (a company we don’t really hear much about anymore) … Continue reading Quantum computing gets a little warmer
When it comes to the Yulin Dog Meat festival, even small victories can feel like great accomplishments. The Yulin government has banned the city’s dog meat vendors from selling the meat for one week starting June 15, the U.S.-based Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project and Humane Society International (HSI) said in a joint statement, citing unidentified local contacts. The 10-day festival is slated to begin … Continue reading Yulin Dog Meat festival dealt blow by weeklong ban
This is part three of a four-part series of columns written to mark Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary. Read Part 1 and Part 2. Anyone who has the least bit of familiarity with Star Wars knows that many of its most beloved characters aren’t flesh and blood. These characters, made of metal, are robots, or “droids” as they are called in the movies. While droids like … Continue reading How possible is Star Wars? Part III: Would droids leave humans without any work to do?