Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ultimate Urbex: Abandoned Soviet-era Particle Accelerator

Caption for the above photo: Once upon a time in a Soviet Union far, far away, Russia set out to build the world's largest particle accelerator under a small town called Protvino. Already plagued by setbacks, the work on the accelerator ceased after the fall of the Soviet Union and it's been abandoned since.

Dvice is reporting on a set of incredible Urbex photos of an abandoned Soviet particle accelerator. It's amazing to see one of the foremost symbols of futuristic science of our current era reduced to an Urbex ruin.  Will this be how future peoples see the wreckage of our research and our civilization?  All photo sources are from the first cited sites for the image above.  Also below is an excerpt from an article about an accident that took place at this site, in which a scientist was exposed to the accelerator while it was in full operation.  This is the only such case in human history.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

End of an Era: Discovery's Last Launch Today

NASA Tribute to Discovery with the insignia of all her missions.  Image Source: Wiki.

A spacecraft that has been vitally important to the history of human exploration is about to be retired.  Up to the last minute, it wasn't clear if the Space Shuttle Discovery would make her launch today.  First flown in 1984, this will be her 39th and final mission.  The Shuttle retires amid discussion that NASA's space program is giving way to private space firms, such as Elon Musk's SpaceX.  According to The Space Review, other companies in the running for significant commercial participation in the American space program are Boeing, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thank You

My blog just passed the 100,000 hits mark tonight.  Thank you very much to everyone who stops in to read my posts.  Time is precious and I appreciate your spending some of it here.

Time Lapses: How Small We Are

Image Source: I09.

I09 recently carried some amazing time lapse videos of Chilean telescopes watching the night skies; the site is "the largest astronomical project in human history."  I've rarely seen star-gazing videos that make our place in the Milky Way Galaxy so clear.  See the videos below the jump.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Google Planning an Interplanetary Internet System

Popsci is reporting that Google is developing an Internet system that can be used between spacecraft (Hat tip: @swadeshine).  Popsci is picking up on an original interview with Google’s 'Chief Internet Evangelist,' Vint Cerf at Network World about the development of an extraterrestrial Internet:
Google wants to install “InterPlanetary internet protocols” (IP IP?) on spacecraft, using them as an interwoven network of new space-based communication nodes. ... Google realized as far back as 1998 that space-based Internet has problems that don’t face the traditional Internet design — speed-of-light communications are instant on Earth, but at interplanetary distances, that’s slow, and can cause problems. An interplantary network could help overcome these problems.

The approach uses delay-tolerant networking, or Bundle Protocol, as distinct from Internet Protocol. The International Space Station uses Bundle Protocol, which defines blocks of data as a bundle, each of which contains enough information to avoid processing interruptions even in a delay.

This year, Google wants to standardize the interplanetary protocols and make them available to all the space-faring countries. ... “Potentially every spacecraft launched from that time on will be interwoven from a communications point of view. But perhaps more important, when the spacecraft have finished their primary missions, if they are still functionally operable — they have power, computer, communications — they can become nodes in an interplanetary backbone.”
The concept of Interplanetary Internet is about a year old.  The Website of the Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group (DTNRG), an open research group on this question, is here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Internets: Democratic Online Revolutions and Not-So-Democratic Internet Hoaxes

Respond to business proposals

Manage relationships

Match your personal style

Image Sources: Gmail Autopilot.

There's a tongue-in-cheek report at Red Gage (here) that Google is experimenting with artificial intelligence technology to help Gmail users field the avalanche of messages in their inboxes with auto-responses (Hat Tip: @Altaire).  This is the kind of funny little Internet story people talk about over the water cooler at work.  But it has huge implications.