September 18th, 2002

The "An Awfully Big Book" Review: The Year's Best Science Fiction: Nineteenth Annual Collection

There's a certain bittersweet quality to this year's choices in Gardner Dozois' regular The Year's Best Science Fiction collection. Reflecting today's uncertain world, his selection of stories show us a world that is changing faster than we can see yet still provides more and more opportunities for humanity's values to shine through. And like tasting a good wine, we dip into Dozois selection to find that, yes, after all, 2001 was a good year...

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An idea from codepope

Videoblogging - web cams with framestores and 802.11 links, along with bluetooth PDAs. Warwalk your way into an open 802.11 hotspot, and away go the latest images. It's straight out of David Brin's Earth, but hey, I don't mind the idea of The Transparent Society.

If there's to be no privacy, let it be individuals who control it, not the government...

[follow up to the original posting - codepope recommended me the Momus lyrics for the song "Age Of Information" which includes the lines:

Axiom 3 for transparency:

In the age of information the only way to hide facts
Is with interpretations
There is no way to stop the free exchange
Of idle speculations


I think these lyrics say what I'm trying to say in a very interesting way, and the whole song is well worth reading...]
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50,000 Anti-Hydrogen Atoms hanging on the wall...

...and if one should fall it would mutually annihilate an equivalent number of particles.

From the AIP's always interesting Physics News email newsletter:

"COLD ANTI-HYDROGEN ATOMS have been made, stored, and detected for the first time in an experiment at CERN. The ATHENA collaboration makes the anti-H atoms when a swarm of antiprotons is loosed upon a cloud of positrons held within the same 16-cm-long cylindrical trap."

It takes a lot of energy still, and there are storage problems, but this means that it's another step along the road to usable antimatter creation techniques.

Click here for more information from the Athena project, along with some very fascinating diagrams and information.
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