How Technology Destroyed The Truth

The promise of the internet was that if we connect the world and give everyone a voice, we could move forward as one. It didn’t turn out that way.

The way we consume information has changed drastically over the years.

For the majority of modern history, newspapers were the arbiter of truth, and people read the newspaper once a day and then talked about the issues with friends, family, and coworkers.

When radio came around, the news was delivered 2-3 times a day, by distinguished and trusted broadcasters like Edward R. Murrow that delivered the news right down the middle.

Broadcast TV increased the amount of news to 3-4 times a day, but still news was just something people ingested in between other forms of entertainment. And different sides of the news were presented evenly thanks to the Fairness Doctrine.

But with cable TV and the first cable news network, CNN, all that changed. Then news became the entertainment and more cable news outlets like Fox News, MSNBC, Headline News, and CNBC split into different ideological camps.

But with the rise of social media, the news became an all-day every day feast, and worst of all, it removed the gatekeepers. Meaning anybody with any viewpoint could get their message heard.

This was supposed to be a good thing. But it has proven to divide us even further and be exploited by troll farms and moneyed interests.

Even more upsetting is this is happening at a time when we need together on the same page to combat various existential threats.

The post-truth era could be one of the contributors to the downfall of humanity if we’re not careful.

Did The US Accidentally Blast A Manhole Cover Into Space?

In 1957, the United States began testing nuclear weapons underground in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada as part of Operation Plumbbob. One underground test, Pascal B, may have put the first manmade object into space.

Robert R. Brownlee engineered the Pascal A underground test to measure the amount of fallout that would occur from underground nuclear explosions. It involved digging a 485 foot shaft into the ground and capping it with a heavy steel plate.

The explosion blew the steel plate off the ground and caused Brownlee to wonder how fast it propelled the object, so he set up a second nuclear test, Pascal B, to measure the speed of the steel cap.

The high-speed camera only recorded the plate in one frame, which led Brownlee to conclude that it must have been traveling at more than 125,000 miles per hour, or 5 times the escape velocity of Earth. The plate was never found, and this has led many to believe it was jettisoned out into space.

If this is true, the steel plate from Pascal B beat Sputnik to space by 2 months and would be the fastest human-made object of all time.

There are many who believe this couldn’t possibly be true though because at that speed the plate would have vaporized in the atmosphere just like a meteor or satellite re-entering the atmosphere at orbital velocity. So the mystery of Pascal B carries on.

Bigelow Aerospace Is Building The World’s First Space Hotel

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Robert Bigelow became a billionaire as the owner of Budget Suites of America hotels. But now he wants to build hotels in space. And his company Bigelow Aerospace is getting closer with their inflatable habitats.

Robert Bigelow grew up in Las Vegas in the 1950s, and saw the nuclear testing that took place nearby. This spurred a love of science that he carries with him to this day.

He vowed to one day spend $500 million to create the first commercial space station, and established Bigelow Aerospace in 2000.

Their focus would be on inflatable habitats, a technology that NASA developed while working on the Transhab module for the International Space Station that was eventually cancelled. Bigelow Aerospace bought NASA’s patents and began working on their own versions.

The first program, GenesisI1 and Genesis II, were unmanned inflatable habitats that tested the technology. The habitats were functional for 2 and a half years and performed well enough that NASA contacted Bigelow to test an inflatable module on the ISS.

Bigelow created BEAM – the Bigelow Experimental Activity Module, which was installed on the ISS in 2016. It has performed perfectly, getting its original 2-year mission expanded beyond 2020, and has shown to stand up to micrometeorite impacts and radiation as well as the rest of the ISS.

Bigelow’s next step is to launch the B330, a 300 cubic meter inflatable habitat that is the centerpiece of their plans. Bigelow wants to use multiple B330s to create commercial space stations in orbit. B330s may even be used as habitats on the moon.

Beyond that, Bigelow plans to build the B2100, a massive habitat with 2 and a half times more volume than the ISS. These would be the first space hotels.

Living Zombies: People Living Without A Heart

20 people die every day waiting for a heart transplant. Luckily science has found a way to keep people alive without a heart while waiting for a new one. Here’s everything you need to know about artificial hearts.

The first artificial heart was received by Barney Clark in 1982. He only survived for 112 days, but subsequent patients lived longer and longer and now go years on a machine.

The Syncardia Total Artificial Heart is the go-to artificial heart these days. It replaces the left and right ventricles with two bifurcated bladders through which fluid is pumped in and out, forcing the blood up into the atriums like a normal heartbeat.

The fluid is piped into the body through tubes that protrude from the abdomen that lead to a backpack. The backpack carries the pump device and the batteries that power it. Each battery lasts 6 hours.

Another, simpler device is called the Left Ventricular Assist Device, this is a continuously flowing pump that leads blood out of the left ventricle directly into the aorta, meaning people with this device have no pulse.

The Oort Cloud: The Solar System’s Disaster Factory

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5 People With SUPERHUMAN Abilities

They walk among us.

While movie-style superheroes are unfortunately just a fiction, there are in fact people with stunning superhuman abilities. Here are 5 of them.

1. Veronica Seider is a woman with superhuman vision.
She has the ability to recognize a person from a mile away, and can actually see individual pixels on the TV from across the room. Her eyesight is roughly the same as that of an eagle, which earned her the nickname the Eagle-Eyed Woman.

2. Daniel Tammet is a high-functioning autistic savant with a superhuman memory.
He is able to recite Pi to over 25,000 digits and speaks multiple languages. One of the secrets to his success is the fact that he has synesthesia, which means he can perceive numbers and words as colors, textures, and shapes.
Daniel’s TED talk:

https://bit.ly/2jXNejK

3. Rajmohan Nair has the superhuman ability to conduct electricity.
While most people would die at even a tenth of an amp of current flowing through them, Nair can take several amps at a time, enough to power a lightbulb or power tools. Do not try this at home.

https://bit.ly/2A30eSb

4. Joy Milne has a superhuman sense of smell.
For reasons that nobody seems to understand, Joy Milne’s sense of smell is so acute, she can smell Parkinson’s disease. She smelled it on her husband 10 years before he showed any symptoms. Researchers are now trying to determine exactly what molecules she is smelling to help detect Parkinsons earlier and possibly save lives.

https://bit.ly/2HYkit9

https://bit.ly/2Gd30GV

5. Isao Machii has superhuman reaction speed.
A modern-day samurai, Machii holds 6 world records involving the katana, and can even split a BB that has been fired at him in mid-air while unsheathing his sword.

World Record: https://bit.ly/2UJgLQP
Pellet: https://bit.ly/1yv2hpX
Bean: https://bit.ly/2DXcNP4

My Prediction About Autonomous Cars

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You’ve been hearing a lot about autonomous, self-driving cars lately. Here I take a look at where we are, when we’ll get there, and how it will change the world.

Our transportation system is due for a massive disruption and it’s coming in the form of self-driving cars.

Autonomous cars have been in the works for a while now, with semi-autonomous options like collision avoidance, traffic-aware cruise control, and lane keeping becoming more and more common in even mid and low-price cars.

But thanks to companies like MobileEye, Cruise Automation, and Tesla, we are on the cusp of full Level 4 autonomy in the next few years. In fact, Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and more carmakers are planning to release fully autonomous cars in the years 2021 to 2025.

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft stand the most to gain by this transition, which, according to technologist Tony Seba, will see the end of individual ownership of cars and become a Transportation as a Service model, where almost all travel is carried out through autonomous, shared vehicles.

And when these companies begin buying up fleets of self-driving cars, the cars they will lean on will be electric vehicles, due to the cheaper cost of electricity and the lower maintenance costs, as shown by the company Tesloop and their Tesla Model X that recently hit 350,000 miles.

Combine that with the lower cost of solar PV panels and Lithium-ion batteries, and we are setting the stage for a disruption of our transportation system like we’ve never seen before.

The Condition That Makes People’s Faces Disappear

Prosopagnosia is a rare condition, usually brought on by some kind of damage to the brain that causes people to lose the ability to recognize faces.

This is a type of visual agnosia, which prevents people from recognizing objects or shapes.

People with these conditions are functional in every other way, with normal intelligence and mental aptitude, but must adjust their way of perceiving through the world by relying on other senses, much like blind people.

With a little extra planning and care, these people can go on to live relatively normal lives.

The Fringe Theory That Could Disprove Dark Matter

Quantized Inertia is a type of modified relativity theory that explains inertia as a fundamental force of the universe that could do everything from explain the rotation of galaxies without using Dark Matter, to the expansion of the universe without Dark energy, and may even allow anti-gravity propulsion. If it’s true, that is.