Category Science

We are losing the war against cancer.

Half a century ago, the story goes, a person was far more likely to die from heart disease. Now cancer is on the verge of overtaking it as the No. 1 cause of death.

Divergent Thinking

With the occasion of the University of Cambridge planning to raise the tuition fees to home/EU students to £9K/year, and the increasingly flawed, purely economics-based view of education, here's another one of the RSAnimate sketches, based on a lecture by (Sir) Ken Robinson.

Υψηλό Δυναμικό. Χαμηλή Απόδοση.

Γράφει το σχετικό άρθρο του BBC: But to meet targets on renewable energy, the scientists say a grid is required that will take energy from the areas with an abundance of sun, wind and tidal power to those without. Βρίσκω…

Central planning and Research

Diomidis Spinellis wrote earlier today about the EUs planning priorities for research and how he thinks that’s bad for innovation. I agree with his thesis, but I find his complaint somewhat naïve. Let me explain myself: If I could only…

Ραντεβού στον Άρη.

Η ουσιαστική παρακμή της NASA άργησε να φτάσει στη συνείδηση του κόσμου, παρά το γεγονός πως μετά το καλοκαίρι του 1969 και τη προσσελήνωση του Απόλλο 11, το ενδιαφέρον, τόσο του κοινού όσο και των πολιτικών που ενέκριναν ή απέρριπταν…

Thirty years of Voyager

The most distant ambassador of human civilisation, the Voyager probes, turn thirty. Wired has an excellent image set covering schematics and planetary imagery. I think we need more programmes like these. More on the Voyagers here.

Dangerous Knowledge

In order to break the stream of posts helping me vent my frustration about Hellenic politics and the upcoming elections in that country, here's an excellent documentary by the BBC (who else?). Its subject matter covers the work and lives of some of the most brilliant scientific minds of the last 200 years and specifically those of Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. A common theme among them is the fact that they all committed suicide. The documentary vaguely attempts to link their prolific scientific and intellectual output and the primitive social environment in which they lived to their death, something which while possible, is vastly more complex correlation to what is presented in this documentary. Still, it is an interesting presentation, especially for those interested in the biographical details of these brilliant thinkers.

Αυτόνομα Οχήματα: Urban Challenge 2007

Το 2004 η Υπηρεσία Εξελιγμένης Έρευνας των Ενόπλεων Δυνάμεων των ΗΠΑ (DARPA), ο απόγονος της υπηρεσίας που δημιούργησε σειρά τεχνολογιών μέρος της καθημερινότητος μας (με πιο γνωστό ίσως το διαδίκτυο και τις βάσεις γι’αυτό προ τριαντα πέντε περίπου ετών), ξεκίνησε…

Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle

I got to know of Neal Stephenson from a good friend in the winter of 1999, some months after Cryptonomicon was published. He used to read it during the long boring lecture days at Imperial and over the course of…

IEC Fusion and Polywell.

Dr. Robert Bussard is a former Assistant Director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The video that follows is a presentation at Google from late 2006. This is a fascinating lecture on the alternative to thermonuclear fusion research and the…