Gongol.com Archives: September 2007
Brian Gongol

September 13, 2007

Graphics Graphic of the day: Break Down the Firewall

Humor and Good News No, there's really no plan for a 12,000-foot skyscraper in Tokyo
The "X-Seed" was just supposed to be one of those crazy ideas that people sometimes use to stretch their imaginations. But the Internet rumor mill got out of control and some people apparently believed it.

Science and Technology Natural gas flares wasted $40 billion last year

Computers and the Internet Google Earth now includes an embedded flight simulator

Aviation News Google offers $20 million prize for unmanned mission to the Moon by 2012
They've already mapped the Moon, and now they're using the outstanding tool of inducement prizes to make exploration happen. The prize falls as the time-to-achieve increases, but there's also a $5 million second-place prize, along with other bonus prizes.

Agriculture US corn production will set a new record in 2007
But on the macro scale, a study suggests that up to 20% of the world's agricultural potential could be lost by 2080 if Earth's atmosphere warms up. In some countries, food production could decline by 50%.

The United States of America Not married by age 30? You're in the vast majority.

Water News Lightning sparks quarter-million-acre fire in Idaho

Business and Finance Greenspan says he didn't see sub-prime lending problems until it was too late

Health Fewer Americans are dying
The age-adjusted death rate is at an all-time low, which is pushing US life expectancy to an all-time high of 77.9 years. Progress is being made -- rather quickly -- at reducing mortality from stroke, coronary heart disease, and cancer alike, which makes a huge difference. We may not be reaching immortality yet, but progress against the three leading causes of death is progress for everyone. There are certainly more than ten reasons to live as long as possible, and the quest for maximum longevity is a special one.

Science and Technology Batteries made from paper
Rensselaer Polytechnic has come up with a way to align carbon nanotubes within a sheet of cellulose (that is, ordinary paper) in a way that creates a battery that can be folded, bent, and cut. One possible application: Pacemaker batteries.

Computers and the Internet The Great Firewall of China may be shaky
The harder it's pushed, the less effective the country's firewalling tends to be. Gongol.com is still blocked, as it has been since at least March 2007.

Science and Technology UK researchers say we should burn oil and plant trees to reduce greenhouse gases
They think the net impact would be a greater reduction in greenhouse gases than switching to biofuels. Lots of environmental "best practices" may turn out to run counter to intuition -- like the thought that personal airplanes could be much more environmentally friendly than passenger cars, especially for long trips. Then again, lots of futuristic visions of air travel have turned out to be completely wrong. Related: Researchers in London think that the city would have to ban all cars from the central districts in order to meet planned carbon dioxide reduction goals. Far too many Americans are undertaking preposterous commutes to make it to work; it's unfortunate more businesses haven't figured out how to spread out beyond the downtown areas.

Iowa West Des Moines city councilmember arrested
It's over a charge of auto theft

Aviation News Peace through superior firepower
(Video) Footage of a 1959 airshow proves that deterrence can be fun

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