M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

RIP – Vonda N McIntyre

April 7, 2019
MThomas

I bought her Star Trek novelizations when I was a teenager. At the time, I had no idea that (a) she was an original Trekkie (b) had studied genetics and (c) had won both the Nebula and the Hugo Award (the Nebula multiple times).

She also made it a point to prove that women could write science fiction just as well as men, in a completely male-dominated science fiction landscape.

She managed to finish her final novel less than two weeks before she died.

RIP.

(Read here if you don’t have access to or don’t care for the NYTimes: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/vonda-n-mcintyre-1948-2019-seattle-science-fiction-star-dies-cancer/)

Sea Levels Are Rising. Time to Build … Floating Cities?

April 6, 2019
MThomas

At the core of Oceanix City is a 4.5-acre hexagonal floating platform that is meant to host up to 300 people. 

Hmm, where have I seen this before….

And just think, to accommodate all of Manhattan, we only need to make…uh…

another 5,549 of them!

Compared to convincing the powers that be that climate change is real and we’re all screwed…piece of cake!

— Read on www.wired.com/story/sea-levels-are-rising-time-to-build-floating-cities/amp

The Race for Your Face: Recognize this?

April 4, 2019
MThomas

Face

The Chinese government uses facial recognition for large-scale surveillance in public CCTV cameras, both to catch criminals and monitor the behavior of all individuals with the intent of turning the data into a score. Seemingly harmless offenses like buying too many video games or jaywalking can lower your score. China uses that score for a sort of “social credit” system that determines whether the individual should be allowed to get a loan, buy a house or even much simpler things like board a plane or access the internet.

Yeah. That’s a real advantage for human rights and democracy. And when the hackers get involved, it’ll lead to an entirely new definition of the term “face lift.”

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/facial-recognition-apple-amazon-google-and-the-race-for-your-face-facebook/?ftag=CAD-04-10aac3a&bhid=100000000000000000000000000831528

On to Triton. With Trident. Finally.

March 29, 2019
MThomas

IMG_1856We’ve learned a lot about Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, since it was first discovered in 1846. Some scientists believe it could be an “ocean world” with liquid water — and maybe even harbor life.

And now, pending approval, we might soon get our best glimpse yet. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed on Tuesday [19 March 2019] at a conference in Texas to send a spacecraft called “Trident” to Triton — with the goal of sussing out whether it’s a habitable world.

A low-cost mission that would give us decent photos and even video of Triton, Io, and even Venus. Let’s do this.

futurism.com/nasa-mission-neptune-moon-triton/

Bennu’s Intergalactical Glitterspray Show!

March 27, 2019
MThomas

asteroidmoons

OK, not actually glitterspray. Lots of tiny moons. Micromoons?

Exploding out of Bennu, which is an asteroid circling way out near Pluto right now, but will intersect Earth’s orbit in September 2060. And in 2135. And in 2175. And maybe soon again after that.

Doomsayers, prepare yourselves!

(Cumulative 1 in 2700 chance it’ll hit Earth by then. Too bad Bruce Willis won’t be around to save us.)

www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/03/nasa-bennu-osiris-rex-asteroid/585256/

New Earth discovered only 70,000 years away

March 24, 2019
MThomas

new-earth-2

Welp, it’s official. NASA announced they have confirmed another “Earth” (really, an “Earth-like planet” simply means it has enough water and is in the right orbit from its star to hypothetically support life).

Too bad it’s 500 light years away, which currently would take us a mere 70,000 years to reach.

But it’s a start…

http://www.scienceinsanity.com/2019/03/its-official-astronomers-have.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR0l7pzDPR1XQvk7Ka4CDZafWuoB6q0RxqTBmb5Yleu0Lx0rAPs3tWKB0sM

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