Gongol.com Archives: April 2010
Brian Gongol

April 6, 2010

Science and Technology How soon will humans colonize other planets?
Reading predictions for how human colonization of other parts of the Solar System makes for pretty fanciful-sounding stuff today. But the simple fact is that we have evolved over thousands of generations in ways that are intended to keep our genetic heritage intact. And it's significantly likely that sometime between now and the time billions of years from now when the Sun destroys the planet that we'll encounter some kind of planetary catastrophe, like a massive volcanic eruption or an asteroid strike that could kill off the entire human species. And, were that to happen, we'd look pretty stupid for having done nothing to keep our species going. (Who would be the onlookers judging us is another question altogether, but it's enough to presuppose a third-party perspective on the subject.) While there's still enormous work to be done to improve the quality of life on Earth for billions of people, it's worth considering what we should be endeavoring to do to get an insurance policy of sorts on our genes by exporting a few people off this pale blue dot.

Socialism Doesn't Work North Korea uses open-source programs to build its own OS
It's technically illegal to export programs to North Korea, but it's impossible to stop them from downloading open-source software, which they have apparently done in the process of building the "Red Star" operating system. Communists can be such amusement. Meanwhile, China appears to be aggressively continuing to use its technology resources to spy on its rivals and enemies. Food for thought: Decades after the college students and hackers of free countries built their own software (and some massive fortunes from doing so), Communists are still just copying and stealing free people's work.

Iowa Batten down the hatches! Tornado watch is coming
It could be an interesting afternoon and evening in central Iowa

Weather and Disasters Waves: They aren't just for oceans
A time-lapse video from a skycam in Iowa yesterday shows gravity waves moving overhead.

Water News Farmers might be off to a slow start this spring