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Blog Archive for the ‘Long Term Science’ Category

Edge Question 02016

by Andrew Warner on January 12th, 02016

It’s been an annual tradition since 01998: with a new year comes a new Edge question. Every January, John Brockman presents the members of his online salon with a question that elicits discussion about some of the biggest intellectual and scientific issues of our time. Previous iterations have included prompts such as “What should we…  Read More

MIT Paleoclimate Study Reveals When the American West Dried Up

by Charlotte Hajer on November 3rd, 02015

We know that the American West was once much wetter than it is today; the region is riddled with ancient lake beds and fossilized aquatic creatures. At some point in the last 15,000 years, these inland seas disappeared and turned to desert – but exactly when this happened was not well known. Until recently: a…  Read More

Live audio stream for Andy Weir at The Interval on October 27, 02015

by Mikl Em on October 24th, 02015

Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast of this sold out event starting at 7:15 PT, October 27 Andy Weir author of The Martian speaks in Long Now’s “Conversations at The Interval” series this Tuesday. Andy will talk about the real science of a Mars colonization mission. What would Martian colonization…  Read More

Mount Tambora Eruption in 01815 Reverberated Across the Planet

by Charlotte Hajer on September 18th, 02015

In April of 01815, Mount Tambora – an active volcano in what is now Indonesia – erupted after a few hundred years of dormancy. For several days, it spewed hot lava and ash into the air, casting its environment in pitch black darkness. The largest observed eruption in recorded history, it was heard and felt as far as 1,600…  Read More

2,000-Year Old Termite Mounds Found in Central Africa

by Charlotte Hajer on August 28th, 02015

Much like ants, termites are a testament to the adage that a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A single termite is an almost translucent creature, no more than a few millimeters long. But put several thousand of them together, and they become capable of building expansive structures, some reaching up as…  Read More

Himawari-8 Satellite Offers A New Look at Our Planet – 144 Times Per Day

by Charlotte Hajer on August 5th, 02015

A sense of perspective is unavoidable from 22,000 miles out. Looking down at Earth from that distance — almost three times farther than the diameter of the planet itself — allows a view of the globe as a massive organic system, pulsing with continuous movement. (NY Times) Last month, Japan’s new Himawari-8 weather satellite began…  Read More

The Really Big One

by Andrew Warner on July 13th, 02015

On the face of it, earthquakes seem to present us with problems of space: the way we live along fault lines, in brick buildings, in homes made valuable by their proximity to the sea. But, covertly, they also present us with problems of time. The earth is 4.5 billion years old, but we are a…  Read More

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk needs researchers

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on April 6th, 02015

Former Long Now speaker Sir Martin Rees just wrote in to let us know that the new Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (At the University of Cambridge) is recruiting four postdoctoral researchers to work on the study of extreme risks arising from technological advances. Specific projects include: responsible innovation in transformative technologies; horizon-scanning…  Read More

1,000 Year Old Recipe Effectively Kills MRSA (An Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug)

by Andrew Warner on April 2nd, 02015

A 1,000 year old treatment for eye infections, recreated from a recipe recorded in the 9th Century, killed up to 90% of MRSA bacteria, suggesting a new path of research against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The treatment is made up of onion, garlic, wine, and cow bile, and was recorded in Bald’s Leechbook, an early medical…  Read More

The Cosmological Limits of Information Storage

by Charlotte Hajer on February 12th, 02015

An important part of long-term thinking is the never-ending search for very long-lived methods of information storage. A perfect, eternal storage medium still eludes us; most of the ones we’ve invented and used over the course of civilization have had their limitations – even stone, nickel, and sapphire have a shelf life. But new research…  Read More