One of the most frightening images that comes to mind before the emptiness of sleep is the monstrous Pacific Garbage Patch opening its rotting mouth and sinking sharpened plastic teeth into my ship during the ONE time I win a radio contest for a trans-Pacific cruise. This may be my own personal nightmare, but it should be universal. I’m surprised there’s no current series of horror films that centers on giant ocean trash monsters. Inventor and vacuum innovator James Dyson wants to tackle the growing problem of water-bound plastic garbage with a real world solution, instead of just nuking everything like they inevitably would in the movie. Enter the M.V. Recyclone.
After this brutal, seemingly endless winter, we better be in for a summer of sunny days and warm temperatures. I know I’m deluding myself, Boston summers are humid and swampy, but a girl can dream, right? That is, until scientists had to go and announce that El Nino might return this year. All I ask is that my perfect summer not be compromised.
El Nino, the warm phase (La Nina is the cool phase), is a recurring weather pattern associated with warmer ocean temperatures, particularly in the Pacific. The results are often dramatic, and include everything from floods to droughts. Generally, surface pressure rises around Australia, Indonesia, and the Indian Ocean, while air pressure falls over the central and eastern Pacific. South Pacific trade winds are affected. They move east and/or decrease, and as the warm water moves from west to east, the western Pacific experiences drought and the eastern Pacific sees a huge increase in rainfall—as well as mudslides and all of those fun rain-related events. All of this also impacts fishing, among other trades.
UPDATE: A helium leak nixed plans for today’s launch. It has tentatively been rescheduled for 12:25PM PT/3:25 PM ET on Friday, April 18.
This afternoon, SpaceX plans to launch an unmanned Dragon capsule on a cargo run to the ISS. The launch is scheduled for 4:58 pm, and you can watch live here. This isn’t the first time SpaceX has made a cargo run for the ISS, and it certainly won’t be the last—the company has a 12-mission contract. It does make me wonder, though, what exactly the payload is. Sure, there are supplies the astronauts on the ISS need, but surely not 5,000 pounds worth. What else is riding in the Dragon?
Aboard the capsule is a mini space farm that will, if successful, allow astronauts to start growing their own veggies in space. The taste and quality of space food has certainly improved over time, but fresh vegetables would I’m sure be a welcome addition.
I haven’t had the opportunity to try Google Glass, (though they’re on sale this coming Tuesday for one day only for $1,500, in case you want to pool your resources and nab a pair), but I have seen people walking around MIT with them on, and I have to say they look kind of silly. I already figure that everyone in Technology Square is plugged in to one device or other, and as much as I love Cambridge’s geek culture, there’s something very self-involved about it. A new set of even sillier looking wearable technology seeks to change all that. AgencyGlass are wearable eyes designed to make users seem like they’re friendly and in a good mood, even if they’re seething inside. They’re a little more advanced than Homer’s strategy of cutting ping pong balls in half and sticking them in his eyes.
One of the ways technology will change our lives is by affecting where live. Whether it’s smart appliances or 3D printed houses or micro-houses, our dwellings will evolve with us as we head into the future. While all of the above examples are interesting and impressive, none are really paradigm-shifting, but that is definitely coming too. Case in point: a biogenetically inspired, 3D-printed blob house. I don’t really know how else to describe it. Eat your heart out, Gaudi.
In a world of unbelievable medical advances, from scientists growing a human brain in a petri dish to 3D printing a new foot for a disabled duck, we keep vaulting the line that separates the impossible from the possible. Even so, this story is really out there, or as my colleague Nick pointed out, really “in there.” Scientists grew and implanted new vaginas in four women.