from the world's big
Hologram technology finally advances to Blade Runner levels
Get ready for images projected in mid-air to start appearing in the next few years.
According to pop culture, weren't there supposed to be more holograms by now? The 1970s and '80s were full of holographic wishes. Back to the Future II told us that we'd have holographic movie trailers. A major Star Wars plot point involved a holographic Princess Leia. Even erstwhile cartoon pop star Jem's backup band was called The Holograms. But in the 30+ years that your correspondent here has been alive — with the exception of a quasi-holographic Tupac Shakur at Coachella 2012 — we've been stuck with either tacky 2D holograms or projections onto gauze.
Until now. Brigham Young University is developing a technology called an Optical Trap Display that will allow projected object to exist in real space. To do so, the base releases a tiny opaque particle into the air and moves the particle in a predetermined path, illuminating it with a laser. If the particle moves faster than a certain speed, it gives the illusion of a solid object. If you speed the particle up even further, it creates the illusion of movement. >Still confused? Me too, and I'm the guy writing this. One easy way to visualize this process is to think about how a 3D printer scans an object and "draws" the outline. Try to imagine a single opaque particle doing all the work, and you have the basic idea behind the technology.
Image c/o Nature Journal
The good news? The tech is a lot more affordable than the elaborate set-up that bankrupted the Tupac hologram technology. The bad news? Right now, Brigham Young's holograms are about as big as your fingernail, according to Gizmodo.
This is still incredible news for futurists. Once this OTD technology progresses, perhaps we'll be able to see Blade Runner: 2049-style projections right on time in 2049.
Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.