Sunday, July 6, 2014

Venus, miracles and quantifying imagination

Colonize Mars, sure, but Venus?  Maybe, says Selenian Boondocks via CityLab.  To summarize their suggestions, the rocky planet would be way too hot but around 50 km up there is a sweet spot of one atmosphere pressure and survivable temperature.  At this altitude, earth atmosphere (nitrogen and oxygen) would float so exotic gases wouldn't be needed.   Pretty cool ideas and I'll be reading more of Selenian Boondocks.
I just finished reading Age of Miracles and loved it, reading it faster than any other book this year.  in tone and style, it is quite different from The Road but their tales of the slow collapse of civilization are similar.  Both 'end' but the problems aren't resolved.  As an adult, I definitely understand that real life is like that but I generally don't like my fiction to follow life so closely.  And yet, I liked the story a lot.  It has always been clear that knowing where to start a story is challenging and whether to use flashbacks to extend the timeline backward.  I hadn't really considered the ending to be as difficult to pinpoint.  The evil is defeated, the good guys are on top and ....a wedding? 
Scientific American introduces the Imagination Institute.
In 2015, up to fifteen (15), two-year grants in the range of $150,000 to $200,000 will be awarded to scholars from around the world. The awards are intended to generate new scientific information in order to further clarify the construct of imagination and its measurement for the purpose of advancing an understanding of the human mind and its role in the optimization of human potential and flourishing. The award recipients will be brought together for a retreat at the conclusion of the program in the summer of 2017 in order to compare the results of their projects and to discuss longer-term efforts at generating an “Imagination Quotient”.

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