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Blog Archive for the ‘Long Term Science’ Category

Resetting the Zero Point of Civilization

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on March 5th, 02010

The good folks at Atlas Obscura pointed me to this fantastic story on an archaeological find near the Syrian Border in Turkey that pushes back the date of great stonework, and in effect the beginning of known civilization, by many millennia. (snippet below) Standing on the hill at dawn, overseeing a team of 40 Kurdish…  Read More

No More New Old Knowlege

by Austin Brown on February 18th, 02010

King’s College London president Rick Trainor announced recently that the university would be closing the chair of paleography, the UK’s only one.  Held by Professor David Ganz, the chair of paleography is the position that overseas a discipline many consider to be a vital component of historical research.  Paleography is the study of ancient manuscripts…  Read More

Rosetta and Long Now on Life After People

by Bryan Campen - Twitter: @bryancampen on February 4th, 02010

Rosetta Project Director Laura Welcher recently took part in a segment on The History Channel’s Life After People series. In an episode titled “Crypt of Civilization,” Laura discusses the Rosetta Disk and The 10,000 Year Clock.   

The central question of the series is “How long would it last?” The series explores various materials, systems…  Read More

Flesh and blood long-term library

by Bryan Campen - Twitter: @bryancampen on January 12th, 02010

Great piece in the Washington Post on the future of ancient books in Timbuktu. “A sort of ancient-book fever has gripped Timbuktu in recent years” as outsiders encounter large, family-owned collections of ancient manuscripts which remain in private hands. at the same time, Timbuktu’s residents “hope to lure the world to a place known as the…  Read More

Generation starships: they’re not fast

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on January 4th, 02010

Ross Shulman sent in this great post by (one of my favorite) current science fiction writers Charles Stross about how you might design a generational starship to handle the vast distances and time involved in space travel.  Excellent read.  (excerpt below) If you can crank yourself up to 1% of light-speed, alpha centauri is more…  Read More

Mumble in the Jungle

by Austin Brown on December 11th, 02009

This week, the New York Times ran an article about a recent scientific discovery in the predator alert calls of Campbell’s monkeys.   Strikingly, they seem to have the ability to create complex calls out of multiple elements – a “morphological” (word building) process previously thought to only take place in human language. Human languages…  Read More

The technology of 10,000 years

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 7th, 02009

Back 02002 Peter Schwartz wrote a great piece about our visit to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste site.  We often refer to it as “the other 10,000 year project”.  However 10,000 years is just the legally binding time congress set forth.  They actually have a design problem that spans millions of years.  This week several…  Read More

Human Language as a Secret Weapon

by Laura Welcher on November 25th, 02009

Earlier this month, a small group of World War II Navajo Code Talkers – who are today in their eighties and nineties – marched as a group for the first time in the New York City Veteran’s Day Parade as a way to raise awareness in the US about their wartime contribution. The Code Talkers…  Read More

Bristlecone Pines Feeling Rushed

by Austin Brown on November 17th, 02009

Global warming seems to be speeding up the growth of the longest living organisms we know of.  Bristlecone pines can live for almost 5,000 years and the information stored in the growth of their rings is a treasure trove of climate data.  Because their growth is a function of the weather, analyzing the size of…  Read More

Rosetta’s Final Flyby

by Austin Brown on November 15th, 02009

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe made its final flyby of the Earth on Friday in order to fling itself off towards its target: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Launched in 02004, Rosetta has made several planetary flybys in order to gain the velocity necessary to approach and eventually orbit the comet so that a small landing craft…  Read More