Tag Archives: society

Science-Fiction Made Real: The Origami Microscope

Recently I looked at past technologies; today I came across a TED video that is simply mind-boggling:  An Origami microscope that is cheap, powerful (magnifications up to 2,000x), waterproof, durable, and can be made available to anyone.  It sounds like science fiction, but it’s real, today; think of the possibilities for early diagnosis for the remote people of the earth who have all too often been neglected due to a lack of funds.  Click on the image below to see a 9-minute presentation by Stanford bioengineering professor Manu Prakash, PhD.

origami-microscope

 

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The Future in the Past

I love keeping up with the latest technologies, scientific developments, astronomical discoveries and the like; it informs my novel-writing and plot development.  But what did our present look like in the past (if one could say that)?  What did past generations look forward and envision for our time?  How much of it was humorously inaccurate, and how much of it could be inspiration still?  For a glimpse into the minds of the past, click on the photo below.

Future Guess, 1920s

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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Like something out of a Science Fiction film, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault looks like a monolith rising out of the snowy mountains in Norway.  Its purpose could be out of the same film:  It’s a depository for seeds from around the world, to preserve plants in case of global disaster, whether fire, flood, ice or nuclear.  To read the whole story, check out the Wikipedia article by clicking on the image below.  If you write Science Fiction, be inspired!  If you are into gardening, global environmental issues, or simply worried about the direction society is heading, take comfort… there are people planning ahead.

Svalbard Seed Vault

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60 Uncommon Things Men Find Attractive About Women

Here’s a list that proves attraction is just weird, and that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder! I find this interesting especially because of the possibilities for finding that quirky element for building fictional characters. Enjoy, and be inspired to write depth and breadth!  Click on the image below to view the article:

Shutterstock

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It’s a Small World After All

What happens when complete strangers, from enemy-nations, meet face to face?  Or in this case, screen to screen?  Smiles, and the realisation that at the core, humanity transcends race, colour, creed, nationality, culture and language.  Coca-Cola engineered the experience; unfortunately it’s not a permanent installation due to the complex technology involved, but what if it one day could be a permanent fixture?  So many people are alone in a crowd; it would be a possibility to connect with a stranger face to face, and maybe in the process, even meet a new friend.  To read the article and see the video, please click on the image below.

Small World 2

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5 Inspiring Gadgets

Once in a while I like to go surfing… internet, that is.  I like to search for inspiring images, whether people, architecture, Hi-Tech, transportation, or whatever floats my boat.  I come across them through a wide range of sites, and I’ve collected them for so long that I have no idea where some of them are from, but I hope that they will inspire you to go surfing, and find them on the original sites, read the articles, and be amazed, awed, or just dumb-founded.  So without further ado, here are a few gadgets:

1:  Airless tires.  How cool is that?!

Airless Tires

2: Blood-powered tattoo display.  It’s perhaps just a matter of time.  I wonder what all of those people will do who are already covered with tattoos? “Oops, lost the phone again… I know it’s on my arm somewhere…”

blood-powered-tattoo-display-gadget

3: Insect Spy Drone.  Whether or not it’s really in production by the US government, it’s either a frightening thought, or inspiring for Sci-Fi writers… either way, feel free to swat mosquitoes, even if they’re multi-million dollar ones.

Insect Spy drones

4:  The Skin Gun was developed by Jörg C. Gerlach and colleagues at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin.  It replicates the healthy skin of burn victims, injecting it straight onto the burn area to grow new skin, avoiding skin-graft rejections.

The Skin Gun, developed by Jörg C. Gerlach at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin

5:  Duluth, GA-based global systems integrations firm Polytron – transparent cell phone.  I know a lot of teenagers who already have enough trouble keeping track of where they saw their phone last.  Now make it invisible… that’s either a fun prank, or just mean.  Either way, it’s cool.

Duluth, GA-based global systems integrations firm Polytron - transparent cell phone

 

 

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Food and a Hug

There are restaurants, and then there are places that serve experiences.  Here is an amazing story of Tim Harris, restaurant owner, 10-time Olympic medalist, and a hugger.  Yep.  He serves food and a great hug.  And he might also have the distinction of being the only owner of a restaurant who also happens to have Down Syndrome.  And he’s so right:  People with disabilities are a gift to the world.  Through their perspectives and challenges, love of life and courage to face it with a smile (even though they have moods along with the rest of us!), we can learn to appreciate what we have, and take each day as a gift.  Click on the photo below to follow the story, and come out smiling!

Tim Harris's Restaurant

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On Getting an Education

Christmas is over and schools are starting back up this coming Monday here in Switzerland.  We all know the adage of the older generation answering the complaints of the younger generation about going to school with, “When I was your age, I (fill in the blanks)____________ (had to cross a snow storm on my hands and knees every day / rode a horse sixty miles one way / had to eat the horse halfway to avoid starvation…).”

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here children need to know what they want to do with their careers by the time they’re 12 or 13 so that they can begin training specifically in maths or sciences toward that goal.  I don’t know about you, but I never thought that far ahead at that age!  I don’t know a child who does; so it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on them at a far too early age, if you ask me.  Having said that, children here don’t have to traverse war zones, landmine fields, or floods to get to their school here.  Some may have to cross mountains, but they do so in a school bus.  Yet for all of that, education is one of the most precious assets on the planet; with it, the world lays open before us; without it, opportunities often remain just out of reach, or so far away that they’re completely out of sight.

So the next time you hear a teenager you know complain about going to school, just show them the photos from the link by clicking on the images below, and may we all remember to count our blessings!

risking-lives-for-school[2]

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Winning with Kindness

In a world of virtual contact, communication and anonymous cities and neighborhoods, it’s easy to lose touch with what’s really important. It’s easy to lose touch with others, and when they (or we) go through difficulties, the distance can seem insurmountable.  We may live in a global village, but at the heart of all of us is a longing for relationships, for friendships, for connecting with other humans on a deeper level than superficial social politeness.  Here’s a woman who overcame her own depression by focusing on others, and it’s amazing to see how much it has snowballed since that one act of kindness to a stranger.  Click on the photo below to watch the story unfold.

Simple Kindness

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Of Books & Diamonds

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may seem dated in this computer age, and it’s certainly not what marketing gurus who earn bucks on book cover layout and sales want you to believe; but here’s a story that proves that adage in spades!  Just remember, diamonds start off as coal under a lot of pressure.  Click on the image below for the story:

homeless man with a computer

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