Monday, July 04, 2011

BMU # 268 now online!

This week in episode 268 I start with the July 4th episode of Earth Sky. This week’s article is about the seasons and why the summer in the northern climes and winter in the southern are longer and why the winter in the north and summer in the south are short, even though it seems just the opposite. The Earth Sky article is fun as well as informative.

Our first story of the afternoon is a piece of flash fiction from Duncan Shields called Silicon Valley. Duncan’s story tells the tale of a future where all the humans have disappeared in-explicitly. While the robot take up where the humans left off. Duncan’s tale is a curious journey to self awareness, from a most unusual subject.

Before I play the last story, I take a jaunt to the BMU blog at

Since the shuttle program is coming to an end shortly I begin by discussing an end to the space age. During a short break, Barry weighs in with the point that the military was the driving force in the earlier programs and until the military decides once more that we need the high frontier, we may never get there again…

On another really fascinating front, is it possible that bio-mechanical frameworks like those developed for yep, you guessed it, the military, be a boon to the handicapped? The inventor of the Segway thinks that many of the devices can be ported to aide in rehabilitation.

A two hour flight across the Atlantic may be possible within 10 years. Employing new hyper speed engine technology the HyperMach’s proposed ultra high speed plane the SonicStar will be able to fly at 3.6 mach and do so at altitudes above 60 thousand feet but only carrying 20 people?!!!

on June 27th of this year. A bus sized asteroid flew so close to the Earth that it was well inside many of satellites orbits.

A bus sized asteroid 2011 MD, passed within 7500 miles of Earth, passing over the coast of Antarctica before being slingshot back into deep space.

Scientists at Tokyo University with assistance from Sony, have developed PossessedHand which consists of a pair of wrist bands that deliver mild electrical stimuli directly to the muscles that control your fingers, with hopes of say teaching your body how to properly position your fingers to play an instrument. Or other equally creepy uses….

And for our last story, Gary Cuba has let me read his excellent story Manifest Error. What would you do if you found that a delivery is late… a century! I describe the tale as an “uplift” story for the real world.

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