big ideas

New concept for 10x rocket thrusters

“[The] new plasma thruster concept can generate exhaust with velocities of hundreds of kilometers per second, 10 times faster than those of other thrusters.” That’d help us get to Mars faster! Much faster, in fact, because the gains of faster […]

big ideas

Interplanetary biomining

“We are not short of evidence that microbes can survive in space for extensive times. A favored way to find out is to carry out often multinational studies by placing sample organisms on the surface of the International Space Station.” | learn […]

big ideas

Developments in the desert

There are two distinct stories here sharing the common ground of desert. First, donor nations have pledged $14 billion dollars for a ‘Green Wall’ to hold back the desertification of land on the edges of the Sahara. “The project covers a strip […]

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Information Theory for intelligent people

This is certainly easier to grok than Claude Shannon’s original paper. Even this simplified version requires some thinking space, making me question at times if I qualified as intelligent! | learn more

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To fund people or projects?

Here’s a deep discussion of the merits of two different scientific funding paradigms. Are we better off funding scientists and giving them a lot of freedom, or funding specific research projects with a tight leash? | learn more

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Intersystems biology

“In every ecosystem, including the human body, life enforces both a division of labor between species and unceasing war. Organisms work together and against each other to maximize resource utilization. Biologically, this manifests as a continuous bidirectional exchange of molecules: […]

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Former CIA director on UFOs

“The major reason I take UFO reports seriously is simply the “gradient” of other people who take them seriously — the people with the very highest security clearances!” | learn more