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
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:
If you now feel like you have to have your own Google Glass, Google has set up a website for an #ifihadglass contest here.
Tweet of the Day:
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Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
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