Nick points out things are a bit quiet lately, both on his blog and elsewhere. I was actually thinking the same thing the other day as I looked at how many blog posts I had done this month compared to this time last year.
This was before I did the little flurry of posts today, however I've got several long and in-depth posts which have been on the go for quite a while which I haven't had time to get finished, perhaps I'm suffering from a little bit of the Mondays. These blog posts include......
/insert drum roll
How Venezuela is an example to the world! Yup that sounds interesting, It's about half written and I started it 13 months ago. Stay tuned for at least a couple of years for that at the rate I'm working on it.
An article about the conspiracy mindset, how once you fall into the trap everything becomes evidence of a conspiracy and so on, largely seems to be an American fascination, covering the Moon Hoax nonsense, JFK assassination nonsense etc.
An article explaining that Planet X, Niburu, Vulcan or Nemesis is not about to swing into the inner solar system and destroy the Earth. Although the Nemesis stuff (a brown dwarf companion star to our Sun on an orbit of tens or hundreds of millions of years), is feasible - minus of course its going to kill us argument (if it exists its probably about a light year away at the moment). It was originally put forward by geologists to explain a semi-regular pattern in mass extinction events. What's really interesting is we may of already discovered it, the trouble is we don't know the distance and motions of all the stars, particularly things like brown dwarfs. Perhaps I could get some funding to do research into the probability of this planet existing based upon the existing data we have (the funding can go on a new telescope and help plug the hole in my seemingly increasing money haemorrhaging situation). Heck may be just some funding to do supernova surveys - at least a lot of that can be automated. Yeah as this paragraph implies it is a pretty big topic.
Two articles on a semi related note. One on that I expect we'll find evidence of alien life within 20 years. We've got projects under way using space telescopes, which we should have the results from in 2 to 3 years, I'm confident these projects will show a significant number of stars have terrestrial planets. That will give the Darwin infra-red telescope which hopefully will launch in 5-7 years hundreds, if not thousands of targets to look at. All we need to do is find oxygen which will be a strong indicator that life is present. Oxygen will naturally bind with other atoms forming H2O, CO2 etc. Free oxygen can only exist if it is being constantly replenished, aka by life. There's also places like Europa and Enceladus within our solar system look quite promising, but we could share a common ancestor with them, so in that case it won't really be alien. Finding another Genesis will shake the world.
The other topic was on simulating the human brain, this I think we could of done in 30 years. Amazing research has already been done simulating one hemisphere of a mouse brain, which very well modelled the activity in an actual mouse brain. I think this is important because once we can pull this off, it'll be like dropping an atom bomb on the dualists. The materialist model of the brain, although fitting with every prediction and observation. Still won't convince those who think there needs to be a ghost hiding in the brain somewhere, and that a physical brain alone cannot lead to conciousness despite the obvious evidence that it is. Simulated human brains - with no ghosts, will demolish dualism in everybody but the most ideologically committed.
I'd like to do a rant against pop-psychologist Tanya Byron's stupid conclusions regarding video game ratings too, but if that doesn't get done soon it'll be too late. Maybe tomorrow, time permitting.