Friday, 3 June 2016
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Friday, 27 May 2016
- China's huge workforce and abundant natural resources have driven massive economic change.
- About a third of the population lives in cities, while the remainder live in the countryside.
- At 6,300 kilometres long, the Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world.
- China experiences typhoons each year and also suffers from floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts.
- China has recently abandoned its one child policy.
- China has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget. They've currently got the Pentagon and Japan very worried about their activities in the South China Sea.
- China is about the same size as the continental USA.
- China is home to a cluster of ancient rock pillars called the Stone Forest.
- China is the 3rd largest country by area at 9,706,961 sq km (3,747,879 sq miles).
- China is the second largest economy in the world, after the United States of America. It overtook Japan's back in 2010.
- China was humiliated for many years by the Western powers, especially Britain. Now China controls much of the British economy and is geared up to build its next generation of nuclear power stations.
- Chinese brides often wear red, a colour considered to be lucky.
- For centuries, China was more advanced than most other countries in science, technology, astronomy and maths. The Chinese invented paper, printing, the magnetic compass, tea porcelain, silk and gunpowder, among others.
- Half of all pigs on earth live in China.
- Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world. Think Blade Runner without the gloom - and androids.
- In 2003, China became the third country to successfully send a person to space.
- In the last 20 years, China has changed faster than any other country in the world.
- More people speak Mandarin, a Chinese Dialect, as their first language than any other language in the world.
- Nearly 4,000 species of fish and hundreds of amphibians and reptile species live in the rivers, lakes and coastal waters.
- One-third of China's land area is made up of mountains. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park even inspired the floating peaks in the movie Avatar.
- The capital city is Beijing, while the most populated city is Shanghai.
- The Chinese love of shark fin soup is decimating global shark populations.
- The giant panda lives in the misty mountains of central China and nowhere else on Earth.
- Traditional Chinese medicine is wiping out the last remaining tigers, rhinos and elephants on Earth.
- With a population of over 1.3 billion, China has more people than any other.
Saturday, 14 May 2016
You are standing in a quiet suburb of the near future. Maybe fifty or a hundred years away. How will things have changed in terms of transport?
Certainly the noise of fossil fuel engines will be gone, replaced by quiet self driving cars making up mass transit systems. Emitting sleek, scifi sounds to warn pedestrians. Some head out on special lines towards the edge of the city to link up with the Hyperloop.
What of those bipedal pedestrians? The young and able will still be using their limbs to move but what of the old? Will the omnipresent mobility scooter be a distant memory, replaced by legions of the old strutting around in whirring exoskeletons? Who no longer need a helping hand across the street and if you try to steal that old lady's handbag she'll punch you like Iron Man.
More likely these descendants of the children now playing around us will be using self driving cars door to door. Perhaps aided by a humanoid care assistant to their home.
You'll notice that white van man has disappeared, but look up and you can see his replacement - swarms of drones flying back and forth.
Look higher and you can just see giant, hybrid airships hauling the really heavy stuff.
Higher still will be the jet planes and their contrails. Still around.
Highest of all, out of sight beyond the thin cirrus clouds will be the hypersonic airships whisking the plutocracy between the great global mega cities.
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
'Come on Ethan!' the bigger boy said. 'We can't wait here all day. I'm hungry!'
'Just a little longer said the little one. Any moment now and it'll come back.'
'Too late. I'm going.' Daniel trudged off through the puddles, kicking mud and water as he went.
'Wait! look - it's shifting again!'
Daniel spun round. The ad on the billboard was shimmering, changing.
Golden fields of rye filled the screen.
'That's it! Run now! Quick!'
They both ran and reach out their fingers towards the sunlit field.
'Ethan!' screamed Daniel, as his friend was sucked upwards and disappeared into the landscape.
The field started to fade. the old ad reappeared.
He hadn't made it, if only he hadn't given up at the last moment. been too far away.
He cried under the gloomy light. Still trapped in the gloomy urban wasteland.
'Ethan!, remember me!'
Sobbing, he walked back home alone.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Norm was picking his morning paper up from the front lawn when he heard that familiar whirring, buzzing sound. Another Amazon drone delivery for the neighbors next door. Like some prehistoric dragonfly, it dropped the small package then darted back up into the clear sky.
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
The lead scientist brushed the surrounding sand away grain by grain, revealing the fossilized hand. The delicate fingers still curled around some kind of tool.
His assistant gasped. Looking on in awe, eyes glinting like that of a madman.
‘I knew we would eventually find them! The nanotech swarms devoured everything on the surface, we just had to dig deeper’.
Both wore bulky, strong spacesuits to protect themselves from the poisonous gases and intense gamma rays all around them.
‘Observe its opposable digit, the key to advanced tool design’ remarked the scientist.
‘Can you make it out what it’s holding?’
‘Likely some primitive communication device. Made of a colourful plastic, still intact after millions of years’.
‘Is that a symbol on one side?’
‘Hmm, resembles a fruit that would have grown here before the poisons were unleashed. See the little leaf?'
‘Is that a bite taken out of it? Touching. But sad when I look around now’ the assistant signed.
‘Well, don’t get too emotional now. Anyway, won’t be long before we resurrect this species from their trace DNA’.
The two intergalactic explorers walked back to their ship to break the news to the rest of the crew.
Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Under a hot power shower
In a busy coffee shop
At a secluded peaceful spot in the countryside. The lazy sound of buzzing bees, light aircraft overhead etc
Alone in your car on a regular commute
Listening to ambient music on a cycling machine in the gym
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
1. Get away from stress, distractions. Get away from family and people you know. On the other hand strangers on the street and in shops/cafes can make good characters. Turn off the squawk box. Come offline. Lock that door. Put on your headphones.
2. Don't think too hard. Don't think at all. Daydream
3. Find your way to write, be it on paper or computer.
4. If you do type on a computer, DISCONNECT it from the Internet - the biggest distraction and time waster of all. Install Ommwriter instead.
5. Think of 'what if' scenarios -
what if you completed your full profile on Google, but sold your soul to the devil
what if you could commit genocide by taking a sledgehammer to a datacenter (destroying millions of uploaded minds)
what if you could have force lightning like Palpatine
what if you were a murderer from a pre-apocalyptic world, now set free in a desolate wasteland. Would it mean a new beginning? A second chance?
what if you could go back in time to the dark ages and show off your tablet. Would it terrify or enrapture the masses?
6. Let the stories flow, don't worry about plot.
undergo anti-oxidant therapy
use biomarkers - take blood samples detecting traces of future lifestyle diseases
restrict your calories
under DNA screening for diseases later in life
get an electronic tattoo - temporary and flexible for body monitoring and lifelogging
take an elixir of life
get a hand held NMR device to scan your body for possible problems
submit your personal data for health data mining
go into suspended animation
get into wearable robotics AKA exoskeletons - mobility scooters are so yesterday
Friday, 1 March 2013
BBC World Report - Wire Release 6 August 2080
The last known Terran shark in the wild was eaten today, by a group of Chinese businessmen from the rich and powerful technology sector.
Others, like a man from Arkansas, screamed at a Luddite gathering: 'I hope ET comes down one day, chops off all their arms and legs, throws away the screaming carcasses and makes soup out of them!'.
1. Enter the afterlife, heaven, utopia - this is the ideal solution. But requires faith. And it might not happen.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Sunday, 20 January 2013
They could in fact look remarkably similar to ourselves, according to the following logic:
they come from worlds similar to our own, and our bodies are an optimized design for an intelligent creature that lives on Earth
standing upright, their limbs are free to manipulate tools for developing technology
a head on top is better for self defence and gathering food
having eyes in their head allows a short nerve pathway to the brain. Those hoping for eyes on wavering stalks could be disappointed!
their eyes would be relatively small like ours to avoid injury - stereotypical large eyes would be at more risk of injury in combat or hunting prey
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Thursday, 1 November 2012
All these events at one time or another have changed or will change the world forever, respectively:
Discovery of extra dimensions
Machine self-awareness - the Singularity
New ice age
Nuclear war - World War III
Room temperature superconductivity
Synthetic life creation
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
For thousands of years the Neanderthals had shivered on the frozen European continent. The women tore flesh from animal skins with their teeth, preparing clothes for the tribe. The men hunted beyond the safety of their cave in dangerous, predator-filled valleys. Hungry wolves howled in the darkness. Infants born crying in the dim, stinking cavern looked forward to but a cruel, merciless future. A new animal had stepped into their valley overnight, steadily making its way closer. An animal that would ultimately wipe them all out.
'Come on Ethan!' the bigger boy said. 'We can't wait here all day. I'm hungry!' 'Just a little longe...