Month: June, 2017

The Coral Reefs Are Showing Signs Of Global Warming Stress But We Can Still Do Something About It

With coral reefs all over the world suffering ongoing bleaching and death at the hands of warming ocean waters from remote coral atolls in the Indian Ocean to Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, the future of these beloved marine ecosystems appears increasingly grim.

But while experts almost universally agree that global warming will continue to shape the future of the world’s corals, some scientists insist that there’s still hope for them.

In a paper out last Wednesday in the Journal Nature, more than a dozen experts from around the world say that coral reefs are likely to undergo major changes as a result of continued global warming and other human activities, like fishing.

But while future coral ecosystems might look a lot different than they do today, from the species they contain to the places they live, they aren’t necessarily doomed. In fact, accepting this transition and helping them through it might be the best and even only way to save them.

Scientist also recommends an updated approach to the research of coral reefs one that focuses increasingly on the cumulative impact of multiple disturbances working together (for instance, warming waters combined with pollution and over-fishing) instead of focusing on one single factor at a time.

With a commitment to active management and an open mind about what the future of coral reefs might look like, scientists say we can now allow ourselves a little more optimism.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

A Tactical 360° Ball Camera That Can Be Thrown Into Danger

A camera startup called Bounce Imaging has just launched the Explorer, a tactical 360° camera that looks like a black softball with lenses scattered across the surface.

The device is designed to help law enforcement scope out risky environments before entering them, capturing a spherical panorama to reveal hidden dangers.

On the outside of the Explorer is a thick rubber covering and six lenses pointed in different directions. There are also powerful 240W white LED lights that illuminate the scene and disorient potential attackers.

After being tossed into a location, the camera snaps several photos per second simultaneously with all six cameras. The images are then stitched together into a spherical panorama in the camera and beamed to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet on the police officer.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science

A Dutch Designer Has Designed A 3D Printed Pedestrian Bridge

Dutch designer Joris Laarman has designed a pedestrian bridge for Amsterdam that will be 3D printed by robots.

The ornate metal structure, which will span a canal in the Dutch city, will be printed in-situ by robotic arms. The location of the bridge will be announced soon and completion is set for 2017.

The versatile six-axis robots which are able to rotate their arms along six different planes of movement will print a load-bearing structure that will support their own weight as they work.

This will allow them to start on one bank of the canal and work their way across to the other side, printing steel as they go.

The project has been developed by MX3D, a technology startup launched by Joris Laarman Lab to investigate ways of printing large, sophisticated structures.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popsci

4 Steps to Immortality: From Neuralink to Nirvana

I submit this humble plan for your consideration.

Step 1: Create a brain/computer interface

The first step in getting our minds outside our body is creating a conduit through which it can travel.

Elon Musk is already working on this of course, with his company Neuralink, which I covered in detail on a previous video.

Ultimately the idea is we’ll be able to integrate our minds with the internet, have instant seamless access to information, store our memories, communicate telepathically, and enter virtual worlds in our own mind.

New technologies required to get there would be advanced brain mapping technologies and developing the ability to interface with enough of the brain’s surface to be able to fully integrate it. And that would require nanobots.

Really the only viable option for doing that would be microscopic bots that would travel to the brain cortex and build themselves into a lace across the surface and the folds of the brain. Anything else would just be too invasive to be feasible.

This leads us to the second step:

Step 2: Replacing neurons with synthetic circuitry

The only way to ensure that your continuity of consciousness goes unbroken is for your brain itself to become computer hardware.

So in the same way that the nanobots formed a neural lace across the surface of your brain, the next step would be for them to build synthetic neurons at the cellular level, slowly over time replacing your organic circuitry with digital ones.

This whole thing should be painless because there are no sensory nerves in the brain. And the experience could produce a feeling of heightened cognition, enhanced creativity and memory retention… If everything goes right.

If things don’t go right, you could expect massive feelings of deja vu, mood swings, fogginess, hallucinations, and maybe even seizures.

Nobody ever said immortality was free, son.

In order to get here we’d need to see advancements in synthetic neurons and nanotechnology.

Step 3: Build simulated worlds

Virtual reality and simulated worlds are everywhere these days, and video games have become near photorealistic.

But still those experiences only involve two senses: Sight and sound.

There are some tactile devices that simulate touch in the works but still, that’s interfacing through the body.

We’d need to be able to hack all the senses, sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and pair those sensory stimuli with the physics of the virtual world.

Want to play basketball on Pluto? You could do that.

Want to engage in all manner of sexual perversions? You will do that.

An endless number of doorways you could step into that lead to different worlds with different rules, some free, which means they’ll be filled with billboards and advertising, and some premium rooms you pay for.

Everything that we use the internet for today will take real, physical form that we can step into and interact with.

And just like professional gamers make a living in these virtual worlds, entire economies and job markets will spring up in the simulation with opportunities that we can’t even imagine right now.

The earliest versions of this VR world would probably be like recalling a memory. Later versions may feel more like stepping into a dream, ultimately one where you can interact like lucid dreaming.

This is a direction that many, many futurists believe we’re headed, a future with multiple layers of reality, both simulated and real where we can choose which reality we want to exist in. This will be an interesting time.

Step 4: Permanent Residence in the Simulation

Now, ultimately, one way or another, our consciousness has to get inside that computer. Luckily, our brains have become computers.

So when time has its way with you and your body finally kicks, your digital brain can be removed and physically connected, permanently, to the supercomputer housing the simulation.

One of the arguments many people give for this kind of simulated immortality, that it would still be a kind of death because you’d be leaving all your loved ones behind.

But maybe not. For one thing, they would be able to visit you in this world.

They could come by your simulated house, you can take simulated trips together, when grandma dies, she really would just be going to another place. A place you can actually visit.

But she could also visit you through an avatar. A humanoid robot that an expired person could step into. One that translates all the senses of the outside world back to the person in the simulation.

Just like real people enter the virtual world, virtual people could enter the real world.

How You Can Help Fight Climate Change In Your Daily Life with Tom Mills of Green Shortz

Today I’m talking with Tom Mills from Green Shortz, Tom is a fellow YouTuber and environmental advocate, he runs a few YouTube channels where he teaches people the ups and downs of sustainable living, including one where he’s building a house from scratch with green practices.

We’re going to be talking about how where you live makes a difference to your carbon footprint, why composting is awesome and the little things you can do in your daily life that can make a big difference for the environment and society as a whole.

5 Reasons Not To Freak Out About The US Backing Out Of The Paris Accords

Trump’s announcement that he wants to pull out of the Paris Accord has rattled environmentalists and climate scientists, but there are some reasons to not worry too much about it.

Turns out there are a lot of reasons to believe that this action is not the threat to climate progress that we think it is. Here’s 5 of them.

1: The US shift is market-driven. There are two ways to enact change.

One is to legislate it and force people and companies to comply through laws, penalties and tax credits. The other is through a disruption in the market.

Legislated change comes slowly and incrementally over time as companies begrudgingly readjust their budget priorities to make their mandated milestones.

But adoption of new technologies follows an S-curve, where slow early adoption rates becomes exponential as the new technology proves itself, then flattening out once it dominates the market.

2: Wind and solar are cheaper than coal.

Nine of the top 10 wind energy states are traditionally red states, with Texas the reddest of them all, at the very top.

These aren’t tree-hugging lefties embracing wind energy because they want to save the polar bears, they’re doing it because it’s way cheaper and easier.

The market will embrace the solutions that are the most profitable, that’s why even amongst the fossil fuel industries, natural gas is becoming more popular than coal, because it’s much cheaper to produce.

In fact Gary Cohn, Trump’s own director of the National Economic Council – his top economic advisor – recently told reporters that coal, quote, doesn’t make sense anymore.

The US is, in fact, the second largest producer of wind energy in the world behind China, which leads me to number 3:

3: China and India taking leadership roles.

Not only do China and India have 36% of the world’s population, they are emerging economies where more and more people have access to electricity every day.

But luckily since they are still building their infrastructure, they have the ability to build it clean from scratch, instead of rebuilding it after decades of going in a different direction.

These efforts are likely to create whole economies around sustainable energy in those countries that will leak out and spread around the world.

4: Cities and states stepping up

Within hours of Trump making his announcement, the mayors of cities around the country and even some governors pledged that they would keep up their end of the Paris Accord.

This group has since called themselves the United States Climate Alliance and as of this recording includes nine states with eleven more voicing support for the Alliance, and more than 200 cities have signed on in support.

With 80% of the US population living in cities, that means the vast majority of the country’s population would still be abiding by the Paris agreement.

And now that you’re feeling all happy happy joy joy, let’s talk about the 5th reason this action doesn’t matter…

5: The Paris Accord was never strong enough to save us in the first place and we’re just as doomed as we’ve always been.

How you like that wet blanket?

Scientists say that in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to keep the temperature rise under 2 degrees by the end of the century.

But according to the UN Emissions Gap report released at the end of last year, even if all member countries follow the Paris Agreement perfectly, we’re still expected to see an increase of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees.

They said that it was an important step, but that’s all it was, just a step. It was never meant to be THE solution.

Trump’s goal is to renegotiate the US role in the Climate agreement, he felt that our current obligations are too high.

But since he made his announcement, both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the new French President Emmanuel Macron have both stepped forward and said, no. There will be no renegotiation.

Merkel and Macron stepping up means that Europe is now taking a leadership role on the world stage, and they’ll be incentivized to trade with countries that are members of the agreement.