Sep. 5th, 2012

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Scientific American and partnered to get Obama and Romney to answer 14 questions on major scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. You can read their answers at the link, and decide what you think of them yourself.
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In October 1927, the Fifth Solvay International Conference was held. From it, there's a semi-famous picture of many of the greatest minds in physics and chemistry of the day*, who had gathered to discuss that new and interesting thing: quantum mechanics.

A redditor (called "mygrapefuit") has done a major work in colorizing the original black and white image, and is making her version of it available for free.

*Einstein, Curie, Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, Compton, deBroglie, Plank, Lorentz - half the collection eventually got Nobel Prizes (and Mme Curie is still the only scientist to have ever won the prize in two different fields!)...
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I seem to be a chatterbox today...

A couple interesting-looking books coming out in September (stolen from io9):

The Moon Maze Game by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (Tor)
LARPers on the Moon! Seriously. In a nutshell, it's the year 2085, and humanity is living all over the solar system — and a lunar colony is seeking independence. When the young heir to a small African country, Ali Kikaya, visits the Moon for a Live Action Role Playing event, a man who grew up on the Moon comes along as a bodyguard. But soon enough, terrorists target Ali — and how do you tell the terrorists from the LARPers?

Slow Apocalypse by John Varley (Ace)
What if all the oil was just gone? It's a particularly provocative take on the apocalypse — and possibly, an especially relevant one, if the Peak Oil theorists are correct. A scientist named Eddie Parker develops bacteria to clean up oil spills, and then works on a method for increasing oil production by boosting the pressure — but Eddie has a secret agenda, to punish Saudi Arabia for 9/11 by getting rid of all the Saudi oil. Unfortunately, Eddie's plan works too well, and soon all the oil in the world is becoming a thing of the past. Screenwriter Dave Marshall, in Los Angeles, discovers that his disaster-movie script is coming true — and he has to find a way to safeguard his family.


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