Getting In Is Easy

November 24th, 2007 | researchmaterial

Flash fiction by Simon Bisson:

A feral Matrioshka Brain is a dangerous place. The wild evolution of self-replicating machines makes it a playground for Darwin – and deadly for anyone that tries to venture in. But if you’re scavenging the ruins of dead civilisations, there’s really no other place to go.


The Mistakes Of Rikki Simons

November 24th, 2007 | people I know

See if you can guess what he did:

It is as if your two best friends in the world, who also happen to be symbiotic twins, suddenly turn into sizzling ultraviolet sunbags. The pain moves at the speed of hurting straight to your neuromatrix, and immediately your cerebellum attempts to find an exit. But it is no use. The only destination is the House of Delirium at the corner of Oh, My God I?m Going to Die.


Vostochny

November 24th, 2007 | researchmaterial

Putin has signed the decree for construction of a new Russian-soil cosmodrome capable of handling human spaceflight by 2018. The launch centre, in Russia’s Far East region of Amur, will be called Vostochny.

In 1994, Russia agreed to rent the Baikonur base from Kazakhstan ? which became an independent state after the collapse of the Soviet Union ? for an annual fee of $115 million (?87 million). According to the terms of an agreement signed in 2004, the lease of the base should continue until 2050. But the agreement came under threat in September, after an uncrewed Proton rocket crashed near a city where the Kazakh president happened to be visiting…

Rocket porn:


The Imprint Of Another Universe

November 24th, 2007 | about warren ellis/contact

The entire article is behind a paygate, but the two available paragraphs (bold type is mine) are mindbending enough:

In August, radio astronomers announced that they had found an enormous hole in the universe. Nearly a billion light years across, the void lies in the constellation Eridanus and has far fewer stars, gas and galaxies than usual. It is bigger than anyone imagined possible and is beyond the present understanding of cosmology. What could cause such a gaping hole? One team of physicists has a breathtaking explanation: “It is the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own,” says Laura Mersini-Houghton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It is a staggering claim. If Mersini-Houghton’s team is right, the giant void is the first experimental evidence for another universe. It would also vindicate string theory, our most promising understanding of how the universe works at its most fundamental level…


What’s Zo Wearing

November 24th, 2007 | people I know

And why is she being bent over a forklift truck? Just a reminder that I split Sundays with Zoe at Suicide Girls while normal people are asleep.