Helium could become the clean energy source of the 21st century. Colossal reserves of the gas are waiting to be mined from the moon’s surface, and returned to Earth as a fuel for 100% green, radioactive-free nuclear power. So what are the hurdles to this endeavour? And why isn’t mainstream media screaming about this revolutionary answer to the world’s energy and climate crisis?
Theoretical physicist and one-man-phenomenon Stephen Hawking contributed a wealth of knowledge to mankind during his lifetime. One of his recommendations was that humans would need to colonise other planets in the next hundred years to avoid annihilation. His fears took the form of deadly viruses, nuclear war, asteroid impacts, and global warming. In order to avoid another Dark Age – or altogether extinction of the human species – we need to become a multi-planetary civilisation.
Modern culture is really bad at teaching us how to be happy. The picture it paints is founded on consumer-driven advertising and fictional movie portrayals of life. It tells us that happiness is hedonistic: becoming a multi-millionaire mega-consumer, having a private jet, living on a tropical beach with a cocktail in hand, and having zero life stress to upset the apple cart. What utter crap. After one month of living on a beach with a steady flow of Margaritas, you wouldn’t be happy. You’d be an alcoholic. Meanwhile all your friends would be running their busy lives back in the real world, oblivious to your sense of emotional isolation. Your days would become hollow and pointless, and you’d have nothing to talk about with your equally bored spouse. So if lavish consumption isn’t the answer, what is the recipe for happiness?
For an awfully long time, hominids lived in hunter-gatherer societies. This highly social way of living is thought to have evolved the origins of language, culminating in our species, Homo sapiens, coming to dominate all others. Was it our language that set us apart? How can we find out?
Most people have heard of gene therapy, especially when research was ramping up during the 1990s. But few have any idea about how gene therapy actually works and where it is today. That’s because the science of gene therapy is kind of technical and the mass media don’t do technical, so we rarely get that side of the story. It’s in the same category as understanding how bioluminescence works, or how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I hate Rubik’s cubes, as much as I hate figuring out where the apostrophe goes in the plural possessive of Rubik’s. Rubickses’ cubes? That could work.
The chemical, DNA, is the basis of all life on Earth. The process of evolution has created some mind-boggling systems to record such biological data, replicate it in all living cells, and execute that code in order to create and maintain life. Today I want to give you a glimpse of the amazing facility of DNA.