The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.
The Future And You--March 27, 2013

Stephen Euin Cobb (author and futurist) is today's speaker.

Topics: News and commentary concerning: The first implanted brain-computer interface which is wireless (it's from Brown University); The Human Brain Project intends to simulate an entire human brain; A new Exoplanet-Hunting Telescope which takes adaptive optics to a whole new level; A 3-D Printer which creates microscopic objects; And the world’s smallest implant for monitoring blood chemistry can tell your smart phone when you’re about to have a heart attack. 

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 27, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 28 minutes] 

NOTE: In today's commentary about 3-D printers, the professor I mentioned interviewing some years ago was Dr. Adrian Bowyer (inventor of the RepRap Machine, an open-source 3-D printer any hobbyist can make). If you'd like to learn about Dr. Bowyer's pioneering work in open-source 3-D printers check out the September 17, 2008 episode. That episode is 83 minutes long because we went onto a lot of detail.

Stephen Euin Cobb is an author, futurist, magazine writer and host of the award-winning podcast The Future And You. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he is also a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. His novels include Bones Burnt BlackPlague at Redhook and Skinbrain.

Direct download: TFAY_2013_3_27.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27am EDT

The Future And You--March 20, 2013

Robert G. Kennedy and Kenneth I. Roy (engineers and researchers) are today's featured guests.

Topic: Building Shell Worlds. Shell Worlds are a method of building comfortable biospheres over the entire surface of celestial bodies which are too small to retain an atmosphere by their natural gravitational attraction. Such objects include the moon, the planets Mercury and Mars, and the moons of Jupiter and other gas giant planets, perhaps even some asteroids. Sub-topics discussed include: the methods, benefits, difficulties and vast natural resources this would make available.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 20, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 57 minutes] This panel was recorded on July 21, 2012 in Chattanooga Tenn, at the science fiction and fantasy convention LibertyCon.

Robert G. Kennedy is an author, speaker, and engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Kenneth I. Roy is an author, speaker, and engineer with the US Department of Energy. (Neither is speaking for their respective agency in this discussion.)

Direct download: TFAY_2013_3_20.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08am EDT

The Future And You--March 13, 2013

Robert G. Kennedy, Dr. Gregory L. Matloff, Les Johnson, Dr. Ben Davis and Phillip R. Cox are today's featured guests.

Topic: Building a Dyson Dot, which is a very small segment of a Dyson Sphere.  A Dyson Sphere is an object Freeman Dyson suggested we look for if we wish to discover alien civilizations in our galaxy. It is a spherical device which completely surrounds a star, and collects all the radiant energy from the star so the energy can be used by the civilization which built it.  Such objects would be large and glow brightly in the infrared. 

Sub-topics: Reasons we should build a Dyson Dot (it would solve for Global Climate Change and pay for itself by providing our civilization with more energy than we currently use); reasons we should not build a Dyson Dot (it may break space treaties and it's scary-big); and the engineering hurdles its construction would require us to overcome.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 13, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 55 minutes] This panel was recorded on July 21, 2012 in Chattanooga Tenn, at the science fiction and fantasy convention LibertyCon.

Robert G. Kennedy is an author, speaker, and engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Dr. Gregory L. Matloff is assistant professor of physics at New York City College of Technology. He has consulted for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, is a Fellow of the British interplanetary Society, is a Hayden Associate at the American Museum of Natural History, and is a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Les Johnson is the Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Dr. Ben Davis earned his PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of Notre Dame. For several years he then taught mathematics, programming, astronomy and physics. He now works in the biometrics industry.

Phillip R. Cox has been an engineer in the military-industrial complex for the last thirty years. His career has included the development of many fine spacecraft and weapons of mass destruction.

Past episodes which feature one or more of today's guests include: Space Law pt1 & pt2Space Junk pt1 & pt2Trends in Space Exploration pt1 & pt2, and What if we lose all our satellites and how might that occur?
Direct download: TFAY_2013_3_13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:20am EDT

The Future And You -- March 6, 2013

Dr. James K. Woosley (physicist and lecturer) is our featured guest.

Topic: Areas within particle physics which still offer the promise of discoveries in the near and distant future. Some of these discoveries may yield new energy sources to power our growing civilization, or the propulsion methods needed for interstellar travel to become reality. Some may even allow us to engineer our way around the light barrier and build faster-than-light spacecraft.

Sub-topics Dr. Woosley covers: Antimatter, Tachyons (particles that can only travel faster than light), Neutrinos, Quarks, Quantum Chromodynamics, String Theory (manifolds and membranes), higher and lower dimensions of space, Supersymmetry, Preons, the Rishon Model (by Haim Harari), and a bit about the Higgs Boson.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the March 6, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 66 minutes] These audio segments were recorded on June 21, 2012 in Chattanooga Tenn, at the science fiction and fantasy convention LibertyCon.

Dr. James K. Woosley received his bachelors in Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics from Western Kentucky University. From Vanderbilt he received a masters in electromagnetic analysis of nerve impulses, and a doctorate in experimental particle physics. After which he went on to a career in the aerospace industry in Huntsville.

[Side note:] Dr. Woosley's description of preon theories surprised me because I had created a preon theory myself back in the 1980s and 1990s, though I did not call it a preon theory since I'd never heard of such a thing. I called my fundamental particle a pip, and described in detail how all the known subatomic particles were made of pips and nothing else; as well as how the fundamental forces of nature were created by the behaviour of pips and nothing else. In the mid 1990s I tried to get some attention for my theories by mailing them to a couple of scientific journals, but they were never published. Eventually I used my preon theory as backstory and local color in my novel Skinbrain. I did this by summarizing it into the rantings of an alien physicist being tortured by a human physicist who kidnapped him for his advanced scientific knowledge. If you're curious and wish to read MY version of a preon theory, Skinbrain is available from Amazon, in Kindle format, for just $2.99. The reviews have been excellent.   They average four and a half stars.

Direct download: TFAY_2013_3_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38am EDT