Secret Genius Conference to Be Held on a Pacific Island

A collection of the world's top engineers and tech entrepreneurs will be invited to a hush-hush conference somewhere in the Pacific this May. Eccentric venture capitalists are behind the idea.

What's the Latest Development?

A venture capital fund worth $625 million will organize a sort of genius conference this May somewhere in the vast Pacific. Called Founders Fund, partners like Peter Thiel and Sean Parker, both early investors in Facebook, plan to invite the world's 50 most promising engineers and tech entrepreneurs to design the future of technology. "The event, which has no official name, is intended to be thought-provoking, though thinking for thinking’s sake isn’t the end goal—action is." The three-days gathering will 95 percent unstructured, say organizers. 

What's the Big Idea?

Conversations within business environments tend to be too structured to allow truly innovative ideas to emerge. Or at least that is the theory driving the Founders Fund. "The chance to think about things more broadly is extraordinarily rare," said one of its partners, Bruce Gibney. "It's basically non-existent." Gibney likens the event to a combination of TED, Davos, the Nobel Prize and a dorm chat session all in one package. Participants will be whisked away to a '5-Star' location where they will consider how progress will progress next.

Photo credit:

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less