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SpaceX: private space vehicle supplies the Space Station and brings engineering talent back to Earth


Elon Musk is a pretty exceptional individual: he was the founder of PayPal, which has transformed the financial services sector, was the founder of Tesla Motors, which is producing some of the most exciting motor vehicles in history and was the founder of SpaceX, which is the private sector space vehicle company that the US … Continue reading

Highlander: There can be only one and the impact of longevity on society


Highlander, staring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, is one of best movies of the 1980s.  I watched it again last night and, although it is dated and cheesy, it remains a great film with some fantastic music sung by Freddie Mercury.  The primary concept of the film is what it would be like to be … Continue reading

Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria: why Planetary Resources is so important for the future of mankind, but not its investors


A few weeks ago Planetary Resources, a start up company founded by millionaires and billionaires Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, James Cameron and similarly endowed friends, announced plans to take its first steps into the realm of commercial space exploration and resource exploitation.  Their initial aim was to strike it rich by mining asteroids in near … Continue reading

Are you past oriented or future oriented? – YouTube


As a column devoted to studying the past in order to make sense of the future, we are drawn, like moths to a light, to interesting studies on the past and the future.  Some people are focused on the past, others on the future.  This makes a difference to how they live their lives today. … Continue reading

The past, present and future of education


Great animated lecture on the past, present and future of education.  Main thesis is that modern education took off at the same time as the industrial revolution and so it has retained many of its rote, repetitive task orientated approach.  This is failing children today and in particular boys. RSA Animate produces great lectures, all … Continue reading

What my 8 year old can teach us about the Roman Army and Hadrian’s Wall in 6 minutes


Join my 8 year old daughter as she stars in a six minute long documentary about Hadrian’s Wall. There seems to be a stong focus on the latrines. Anna Kate Roman Army on Hadrian’s Wall from Tristan Fischer on Vimeo.

Shale Gas: cheap domestically produced natural gas or nothing but hot air?


Shale gas has been seen as the saviour of the US energy market, delivering large volumes of cheap natural gas.  This has upset many of the incumbents, including coal power stations and wind energy farms.  There are a number of environmental issues with shale gas, including the large amount of water needed and chemicals that … Continue reading

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