It isn't just sea turtles and waterfowl. On my way to work yesterday I looked into a field and saw a cow munching on a plastic bag that had blown into its pasture. We should eliminate plastic bags. I've already stopped accepting them at stores -- I always carry a messenger bag with me where I put all of my purchases (think globally, act locally).
Religion and science do not stand in opposition to each other
This is false. Science does indeed stand in opposition to Religion. At least, to anything that Religion says is "true".
Science is the pursuit of truth using the scientific method, which relies on reason, logic, and proof by experimentation and examination of evidence. Meanwhile religion is faith in traditional "truths" that typically lack supporting evidence, or fly in the face of the evidence. Therefore the false "truths" of religion will constantly be under attack by the advancement of science and any true "truths" that religion happens to have will ultimately be supported.
Unfortunately, the history of science's triumphs over religious doctine informs us that religion is mostly myth and superstition and contains very few true "truths".
Maybe the DOE should bid on that supercomputer being liquidated by the US state of New Mexico.
The science fiction novel called Diaspora by Greg Egan had some interesting mathy sections. It wasn't rigorous, as I recall, but it certainly went into more "depth" than your average sci-fi story.
It's an international reverse psychology gambit to fool the US population into electing Romney.
As many have mentioned already, such an air-to-petrol might be viable in the middle of the Sahara where sunshine is plenty and access is poor. Anywhere where plants grow well, and can be dried, there a more efficient way...
(1) Grow plants to create biomass
(2) Let the biomass dry
(3) Put the biomass into a sealed container
(4) Add heat to evaporate the biomass
(5) Pump the air out of the container through a condensor
What you end up with is a mix of hydrocarbon oils that can be refined into petrol and many other things. The collection of the CO2 is done for you by vegitation in the sun. You can use waste biomass (stems and leaves) from a crop that actually produces something useful besides biomass.
Here is another idea... the UK is experimenting with storing energy as liquified air (1), which can be heated later to propel turbines just like steam. One of the byproducts of freezing air (at 77K or lower) is solid CO2 which freezes at 174K. The dry ice is a concentrated source of CO2 that can be liquified at pressures above 5 atmospheres and chemically combined with hydrogen to produce hydrocarbon oils.
Of course, such a system would require more energy input than it would produce, but this is about energy storage and the production of clean hydrocarbon oils rather than energy efficiency. There are a few locales that will be able to produce more clean energy than needed and might have difficulty selling/exporting it -- such places might eventually be able to produce their own hydrocarbon fuels for more self sufficiency.
I'm a Californian who just bought an electric bicycle conversion kit: 350W hub motor, 36V + 12Ah lithium battery. I'm hoping I can use it for my commute which is 40 km each way. This bike's range should be about 50 km, but I'll be able to recharge it at work.
I already have one electric bicycle but it is not a good solution for a long commute. It has a big motor (1.9kW) and 48V of lead acid batteries --> It can go plenty fast (60 km/hr) but it is rather heavy (45 kg) and doesn't have the range (25 km).
Several months ago I met someone from the Internet Archive (archive.org) who told a similar story. The weren't expanding their storage at the same pace as Backblaze, but they were also resorting to shucking external drives to build their rack mounted servers.
Personal computers (since 1997): Redhat -> Debian -> Knoppix -> Ubuntu -> Kubuntu -> Xubuntu -> Debian -> LinuxMint
Work servers (since 2000): Debian
Above is correct.
I just recently received a MacBook Air at work to replace my MacBook Pro that died. I installed Linux on it and was pleasantly surprised by how much more responsive is was -- when I launch a web browser the windiow immediately pops up. This was clearly not because of a faster CPU so I concluded it was the SSD drive.
Since then I've also installed an SSD (120GB Intel drive capable of 6Gb/s, for $130 from BestBuy) on another, older laptop. Again a measurable performance boost, but not quite as much -- turns out the older laptop only supports 1.5Gb/s transfer rates on SATA drives. Neverhteless, I'm happy and I think the upgrade was worth price.
This cyborg baby article reminds me of another that I saw recently: a child with a muscle condition can move her arms with the help of some exoskeleton support whose parts were printed out with a 3D printer:
In my opinion math knowledge definitely comes in handy for understanding the world, but then I trained as a physicist. Studying math (and physics) opens up a whole new area of "metaphor" and language -- an extra set of memes at your disposal, if you will. I agree with most of the summaries above but I would add Linear Algebra to the list:
Linear Algegra is good for understanding natural phenomena and systems in general.
My career is more or less "game programmer" so I use a lot of 3D vector math and rotations at work. In my personal day-to-day experience I've used linear algebra only twice (financial estimate and carpentry design), calculus twice (proof of optimal pinewood derby strategy and some other "find the local max/min", the details of which I forget), and algebra and geometry a great deal, monthly if not weekly.
My kids also enjoyed listening to stories at bedtime, until they were almost teenagers. We had some great times and it certainly helped them develop a love for reading books.
Among the stories that I remember as being most fun were The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn which have moments that are even more entertaining when read out loud and shared with a group. There is no need to focus on science fiction. Just pick good books that will keep them interested and you can't go wrong.