There's rarely time to write about every cool science-y story that comes our way. So this year, we're running a special Twelve Days of Christmas series of posts, highlighting one story that fell through the cracks each day, from December 25 through January 5. Today: cosmologist and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees has some worrying thoughts about our future. Human kind has long harnessed the fruits of scientific research into revolutionary technologies, with a few tradeoffs along the way. The benefits have generally outweighed the risks. But we are now in an era when the choices we make over the next two decades really could determine the fate of our life here on Earth—a critical tipping point for the human race, if you will. That's the message from Britain's Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, in his recent book, On the Future: Prospects for Humanity, published by Princeton University Press. While the primary focus of his life has been science, Rees has long been engaged in … [Read more...] about Let’s kick off 2019 by pondering the dismal future prospects for humanity
Future energy technology
President Donald Trump has been busy this year reversing many of the burdensome energy regulations and policies of the Obama era that have hurt Americans and American businesses. Here are Trump’s top seven energy victories in 2018 through his America-First agenda:• On August 21, 2018, Trump introduced the Affordable Clean Energy rule that dismantled the Obama administration’s federal rules over the nation’s coal production and gives authority to the states. “Some states, like California, may propose even harsher targets. But others, such as coal-rich states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are likely to loosen emissions regulations that coal industry leaders have called burdensome and expensive,” National Geographic reported. • On September 18, the Trump administration announced final new rollbacks to reducing requirements for oil and gas companies to monitor and mitigate methane from wells and other production sources. National … [Read more...] about Trump’s Top Seven America-First Energy Wins in 2018
By John C. Roper, Staff writer Published 9:20 pm CST, Sunday, December 16, 2018 Bob Harvey of the Greater Houston Partnership says Houston can leverage oil and gas expertise to take a key role in developing renewables projects such as large-scale offshore wind projects. “That’s kind of where the big bucks are,” he says. less Bob Harvey of the Greater Houston Partnership says Houston can leverage oil and gas expertise to take a key role in developing renewables projects such as large-scale offshore wind projects. “That’s kind of ... more Photo: Jon Shapley, Staff Photographer / Staff Photographer Photo: Jon Shapley, Staff Photographer / Staff Photographer Image 1 of / 12 Caption Close Image 1 of 12 Bob Harvey of the Greater Houston Partnership … [Read more...] about Can Houston keep its title as world’s energy capital?
If you're anything like us, you probably can't wait for the day you can go to the store and easily (and cheaply) buy a robot to clean your house, wait on you and do whatever you want.We know that day is a long way off, but technology is getting better all the time. In fact, some high-tech companies have already developed some pretty impressive robots that make us feel like the future is here already. These robots aren't super-intelligent androids or anything - but hey, baby steps. We've rounded up real-life robots you can check out right now, with the purpose of getting you excited for the robots of tomorrow.SofiaSofia is a humanoid-like robot that's capable of holding a conversation. This robot has appeared in several high-profile interviews and appearances - including a spot on the Jimmy Fallon show. Sofia is also unusual in that she's been given official citizenship in Saudi Arabia and the United Nations title of "Innovation Champion". Sofia is capable of answering a … [Read more...] about Real-life robots that will make you think the future is now
According to a statistic from the University of Chicago, 50 percent of U.S. power goes through a motor. Vehicles like cars and planes rely on motors to transform power, as do household appliances like vacuums and refrigerators. Because this space is so large, more efficient motors could make a significant difference in energy usage. When a motor operates to transform electrical energy to mechanical energy, an alternating current provides a magnetic field to the magnetic materials inside the motor. The magnetic dipoles then switch from north to south, and cause the motor to spin. This switching of the magnetic materials causes it to heat up, losing energy. But what if the magnetic material didn't heat up when spun at a high speed? Michael McHenry, a materials science and engineering (MSE) professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and his group are addressing this problem by synthesizing metal amorphous nanocomposite materials (MANCs), a … [Read more...] about Magnetic Materials for Motors of the Future