Saturday, April 10, 2010

Potpourri CXXVIII

Got a couple of things from Darlene the Science Cheerleader, but let's start with this since odds are that Your Humble Narrator might be cited or quoted in it:

*Save the Date*


A 21st Century Model

Around the world the pace, complexity, and social significance of technological changes are increasing. Yet the broad social ramifications are often not considered until after new technologies become widely adapted and entrenched. This makes the need for technology assessment (TA) greater than ever, sparking renewed interest in TA models, practices, and evaluation.

Join us on Wednesday, April 28th, at 3:00 p.m. for a discussion of a new report that explores possible future options for technology assessment and ways to use citizen participation, collaboration, and expert analysis to inform and improve decision-making on issues involving science and technology.

You must register to attend the event.

Please RSVP at

*** Webcast LIVE at  ***

No RSVP required to view the webcast.




Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (reception to follow)


Richard Sclove, Ph.D., Founder and Senior Fellow, The Loka Institute

Commenter: Paul Stern, Ph.D., National Research Council

Moderator: David Rejeski, Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room

The real prize item from Dar, however, is this site, wherein groups or individuals post problems they would like solved and pony up money to the person(s) who come up with a solution. This is technology crowdsourcing at its best. I'm looking forward to reading this site in more detail!

Robert Zubrin has a new editorial in The New Atlantis on the Obama administration's current plans for NASA. As usual, Bob's stuff is worth reading. Alas, the odds of this nation sending humans to Mars are slim within my lifetime. But it's still good for the soul to swing for the fences when you're dreaming. Someone needs to; the folks in Washington aren't.

For years intelligence has been measured by I.Q., a general "intellingence quotient." However, D2 suggested that I might find research into "multiple intellgences" worth investigating. What are "multiple intelligences?" The links provide some clue, but what the theory states is simply that intelligence can be broken out into different types, like linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, and not everyone has them all in the same quantities. I recall a great line from Green Mars (I believe), which stated that "the truly remarkable people are the ones who are smart in more than one way." For example, you could be the greatest theoretical physicist on Earth, but if you're a crass boor, you are severely lacking in interpersonal intelligence because no one wants to be in the room with you.

From Martin: a great pic of a Martian landslide caught by one of NASA's orbiters. Speaking of planetary explorers, data from the Venus Explorer suggests that Venus might be geologically active. Cool stuff!
Also, if you're so inclined, a group in India is offering a $2,000 prize to the individual or group that comes up with the best design for a solar power satellite.
I will be at Yuri's Night in Huntsville this evening. Drop on by, visit a Yuri's Night party in your area, or start your own!

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