Earth

Category archives for Earth

Universe Q&A: Frank White

A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece here on Universe exploring the ideas of the futurist Gerard K. O’Neill, who designed far-out but ultimately quite pragmatic environments for human habitation in space in the mid-1970s. In that article, I touched briefly on the notion of the “Overview Effect,” a phrase coined by the…

In the mid-1970s, the U.S. State Department prohibited the internal use of the term “space colony,” due to the global bad reputation of colonialism. Instead, the government opted for “space settlement.” Of course, as Stewart Brand pointed out at the time, the last thing you do in space is settle. Quite the opposite! Making the…

Livin’ In A Mycelial World

Mushrooms and their mycelium are quiet allies that are essential for our healthy existence. They are enigmatic, have a sense of humor, and socially as well as spiritually, bond together all that admire them. They have much to teach us. -Paul Stamets If the ego is not regularly and repeatedly dissolved in the unbounded hyperspace…

This is the first in a series of posts about art, the moon, and art on the moon. You would think this would be a fairly limited subject, but… Art on the moon has been happening for a long time. In 1969, a coterie of American contemporary artists devised a plan to put an art…

Something From Nothing

Science, as a discipline, is driven by the desire to understand everything. The immensity of such a project necessitates that science be undertaken not by one group of men and women in one time, but all men and women for all time. However, the final goal always eludes us: to understand this, we must first…

Ask Universe: LHC

It always tickles me when people email me to ask my opinion of pressing science issues, and I’ve decided to start posting selected exchanges for the benefit of all my readers. Remember, if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to jaw at me about all things science, feel free to write. On Sep…

Book Review: A Cosmic Samizdat

In our increasingly worldaround world, it is a rare, if not obsolete, occurrence for two wildly disparate and equally sophisticated cultures to meet for the first time. That’s probably for the best, of course, because when it did happen in spades, during the centuries on Earth before instantaneous global communication, all bets were off, and…

Happy Birthday, Mr. Clarke!

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY,ARTHUR C. CLARKE! I’m personally indebted to Mr. Clarke for so many reasons: his profound optimism, particularly about our race as a unified system and our inevitable future contact with extraterrestrial life, has bolstered my ability to think globally; his unshakable commitment to the popularization of science and the dry elegance of his…

UFO Maps

I’m surprised that I haven’t come across this before: a Google-maps rendering of UFO sightings in the US, dynamically updated as-it-happens. Preliminary perusal seems to indicate that UFOs tend to stay away from the landlocked mountains, preferring to pop by the Pacific Northwest, the California coastline, and, in droves, the East Coast and the area…

Evacuating Myspace Before It Recycles from universe on Vimeo.