Here’s an interesting essay by physicist Michio Kaku on the physics of extra-terrestrial civilizations. A very lucid article and some great comments on Dr. Kaku’s essay can be found on this website. Some of the idea’s Dr. Kaku touches upon reminded me of a novel I read last year, Diaspora, by Greg Egan. This novel was ‘hard’ sci-fi, full of physics and mathematics, and a little like in character development. The ideas Egan puts forward, sentient cyber intelligences exploring the galaxy, basically hibernating during the millennia of interstellar travel, then unleashing a horde of nanotech robots to establish a beach head in new solar systems for exploration and industry, is remarkably similar to Kaku’s discussion of Von Neumann probes exploring the galaxy.
The best part about the comments are the great links to other articles about the development of mankind and human civilization. Especially read the article about the origins of human language. It is very informative.
The New York Times has a piece on the 13 year old surfer attacked by a shark last Friday in Hawaii. She’s gone through a couple surgeries, and needs your support.
Another work related goodie link: Data Warehousing at the Speed of Business. An interesting read, especially since I am involved in the development and implementation of a data warehouse right now.
Everybody loves Pivot Tables. Here’s a nice simple introduction to how pivot tables work in Excel. Pivots are handy for summarizing data.
John Robb, one of my favorite bloggers, notes the very cool science website hosted by Wolfram Research. Glad to see him spreading the word, Mathworld and ScienceWorld are a couple of my favorite sites on the internet.
After reading the brouhaha last week over Diebold’s Access based electronic voting system, glaring lapses in security on that system, and promises by Republican management at Diebold to deliver as many Republican votes as possible, it is refreshing to hear about a system that actually works.
A progression of wildfire maps – California Wildfire Maps