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5 Mind Memes for February 21: Google Glass, Asteroid Tugging and More

Google Glass. Life Extension. Life Extinction. These are among the brainiest memes included in the inaugural post of our new blog, Mind Memes, which offers quick reads on the Internet sensations that people are talking about and that are also truly worthy of your attention. So here are our top five for today.

To kick things off, how would you change the course of an Earth-threatening asteroid?

1. Tugging an Asteroid

NASA’s photo of the day shows one possibility, which involves “tugging” an asteroid using a gravitational tractor:

To learn more about this hypothetical scenario, click here. Here’s an opposite scenario: some people see an opportunity when asteroids come close to Earth. Why? To harvest precious resources such as iron, nickel and water. Peter Diamandis, whose company Planetary Resources is backed by the likes of Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Ross Perot, Jr., wants to send robotic miners to asteroids as they cross Earth’s orbit. 

2. Life Extension

Facebook and Google might be battling for Web supremacy, but Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin, along with the Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner, have joined forces by funding scientists engaged in research “aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.” The awards are to be given five times annually to scientists who, according to Brin’s wife Anne Wojcicki, are the ones “who think big, take risks and have made a significant impact on our lives.”

Read more about the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize here

3. The Selfish Meme

Are Internet memes a perversion of the concept that Richard Dawkins introduced in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene?

4. Has the Higgs Boson Bubble Burst?

First there was euphoria surrounding the discovery of the Higgs boson, and now there’s this:

“If you use all the physics that we know now and you do what you think is a straightforward calculation, it’s bad news.” That warning comes from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory theoretician Joseph Lykken, who told the NBC News Cosmic Log, “a little bubble of what you might think of as an alternate universe will appear somewhere, and it will spread out and destroy us.'”

5. Through the Google Looking Glass:

If the first Google Glass teaser video was a bit creepy (the video was described as “some version of hell” by Big Think blogger Austin Allen), the second teaser takes its cues from a GoPro commercial, featuring skydiving, snake-handling, skiing, biking through New York City traffic and roller coaster rides. 

Want to see how much fun it is to wear Google Glass? Watch here:

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If you now feel like you have to have your own Google Glass, Google has set up a website for an #ifihadglass contest here.

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