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Blog Archive for the ‘Long Term Science’ Category

The Other 10,000 Year Project: Long-Term Thinking and Nuclear Waste

by Ahmed Kabil on March 16th, 02017

With half-lives ranging from 30 to 24,000, or even 16 million years , the radioactive elements in nuclear waste defy our typical operating time frames. The questions around nuclear waste storage — how to keep it safe from those who might wish to weaponize it, where to store it, by what methods, for how long,…  Read More

The 10,000-Year Geneaology of Myths

by Ahmed Kabil on February 8th, 02017

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SCENES in the Paleolithic cave paintings in Lascaux, France depicts a confrontation between a man and a bison. The bison appears fixed in place, stabbed by a spear. The man has a bird’s head and is lying prone on the ground. Scholars have long puzzled over the pictograph’s meaning, as…  Read More

Edge Question 02017

by Ahmed Kabil on January 20th, 02017

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

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