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Category Archives: Futurism

NASA Had to Chase an Alligator Off the SpaceX Launchpad – Futurism

Star Gator

Coronavirus in space? Terrible. Gator in space? Possibly worse.

Officials had to chase a six foot alligator away from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday the same day SpaceX was scheduled to make history by launching two NASA astronauts into space.

The launch later had to be scrubbed. But while preparations for the launch were still in progress, the alligator waltzed over and parked himself near the launch pad.

NASA called in gator guru Frank Robb, the same man who previously caught internet-famous alligator called Chance the Snapper in Chicago last July.

There are gators that end up in the craziest places, Robb told WGN9 news. They still have the ponds on the pad that they use to cool the pads off those are natural ponds in that secure area that gators end up in all the time.

He had walked in the security gate and was just taking a stroll, Robb added. I put a rope on him, caught him and he loaded up in the truck pretty easy.

SpaceXs launch had to be scrubbed due to less-than-favorable weather conditions. But the company will try again on Saturday afternoon with or without gator removal.

READ MORE: Gator guru Frank Robb catches alligator on launch pad to make way for liftoff [WGN9]

More on the launch: Mission Control Is Socially Distancing During Todays SpaceX Launch

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Interstellar Visitor May Be One of Rarest Objects In Universe – Futurism

Hailstorm

Scientists say that Oumuamua, the giant space object that came from outside our solar system, could actually be an extremely rare chunk of hydrogen ice.

Its an out-there idea Wired reports that there are only a few places in the universe capable of creating a hydrogen iceberg. But the Yale scientists behind the theory say that if the interstellar visitor were a giant iceberg, many of its more bizarre properties would suddenly make sense.

One of the hardest things to explain about Oumuamuas path through our solar system is how it accelerated as it traveled. Comets accelerate, but there was no indication that Oumuamua relied on that mechanism.

But if Oumuamua were a hydrogen iceberg, the gradually-sublimating ice would propel it forward, according to research accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

Even though the hydrogen iceberg thing is a little exotic, it explains every single mysterious thing about Oumuamua, recent Yale Ph.D. graduate Darryl Seligman told Wired.

These hydrogen icebergs are extaaordinarily unusual. Hydrogen doesnt solidify unless it drops to just a few degrees above absolute zero, the lowest theoretical temperature in the universe. Only cosmic structures called giant molecular clouds reach that temperature.

The Yale scientists plotted Oumuamuas course back through one of these clouds, where it may have initially formed as a blob of dust and hydrogen sticking together. But unless astronomers manage to intercept the bizarre object, it will bea tough theory to actually prove.

READ MORE: Oumuamua Might Be a Giant Interstellar Hydrogen Iceberg [Wired]

More on interstellar visitors: NASA: Something Is Off About This Interstellar Comet

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New Telescope Will Watch Entire Southern Sky in Infrared – Futurism

Constant Surveillance

When its complete, a new infrared telescope in Australia will give astronomers an unprecedented glimpse of the universe.

The Dynamic Red All-Sky Monitoring Survey (DREAMS) is expected to be completed early next year, at which point scientists will be able to watch supernovae, star mergers, and other epic cosmic events in real time giving scientists a more detailed understanding of the universe than ever before.

DREAMS camera will be able to map the entire southern sky in surveys that take just three days, allowing astronomers to rapidly find and track cosmic events.

By monitoring the sky continuously and rapidly, we will be able to search for varying and explosive phenomena, Anna Moore, Director of the Australian National University Institute for Space, said in a press release. This real-time astronomy, which allows us to study events taking place over months, weeks or days instead of millions of years, is a window into the great unknown.

In this case, real-time doesnt mean astronomers will see things like an exploding star when the actual explosion happens that light still needs to travel for untold millions of years to reach Earth. Instead, the camera will let them gather more data of the event as its signal reaches Earth, sort of like upgrading from a single photograph to a flipbook.

DREAMS will allow us to see the universe in an entirely new way, Moore added.

READ MORE: New infrared telescope to spot cosmic hidden treasures [Australian National University]

More on astronomy: NASA Telescope Idea Could Spot Vegetation on Distant Exoplanets

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This Cafe Is Using a Robot Barista to Avoid Spreading COVID – Futurism

Robot Barista

As South Korea recovers from the deadly coronavirus, businesses are getting creative to ensure their customers are safe. Case in point: a caf in Daejon, South Korea has hired a robot barista to take care of making and busing drinks around, Reuters reports.

Thanks to the robot, the caf only has to employ a single human, who takes care of making pastries, as well as servicing and refilling their robot coworker. The robot can make 60 different types of coffee and deliver them to customers around the caf.

The company behind the robot, Vision Semicon, is hoping its fleet of mechanical workers could help while South Korean society adjusts to what officials are calling distancing in daily life the next phase of the governments efforts to relax social distancing rules.

Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables were sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits will with the current untact and distancing campaign,Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, told Reuters.

A downside: even more jobs could be lost as a result of the coronavirus. South Koreas unemployment rate was not spared by the pandemic, which in April saw its largest decline since 1999.

READ MORE:South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing [Reuters]

More on robots: Biobots Will Serve Alongside South Korean Soldiers by 2024

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Folk’s Jason Wilber Examines the World Through a Futurist Lens in ‘Time Traveler’ (album stream) – PopMatters

Before he was known for his own songwriting, Jason Wilber played many musical stages alongside the legendary John Prine. As Prine's guitar player, Wilber cut his teeth on the live circuit in a big way, more recently becoming his musical director. Upon the country-folk icon's passing due to complications of COVID-19 earlier this year, Wilber reflected on his time with his boss and friend for an American Songwriter piece. Now, a small piece of the "Zen of Prine" lives on in Wilber. He is exmplary roots artist with his own collection of world-weary reflections and offbeat poetic to share, and he's been doing so since 1998's Lost in Your Hometown.

Now, Wilber is hot on the release of an all-new cluster of songs. Titled Time Traveler, his latest is a contemplative collection of acoustic folk and Americana. When it comes to the allegories that he weaves, Wilber is unafraid of the supernatural and intergalactic. If the album title weren't hint enough, Time Traveler features such songs as "The Disappearance of Bigfoot" and "Living in Space". Musically, it's serious, straight-shooting roots done up in a traditional style, making for a juxtaposition fully intended by the artist. At times irreverent, pensive, and worldlyand, at other times, all three at onceTime Traveler is a more-than-worthy new addition to Wilber's expansive catalog.

Wilber reflects, "Time Traveler is about the science fiction that has become our modern world. Futurism contrasted with some of our traditional musical forms. I had no idea how timely the themes would be now as the album is coming out. Living together and living in isolation, living on the earth and living off the earth; the seasons and cycles we live through in our own lives, and that we see played out in history."

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The Conversation: Beware of Unemployment Insurance Scammers – Hawaiipublicradio

Unemployment Claims Update; Futurist Ponders New Normal; Interisland Shipper Seeks Funding Aid; Foster Parenting

Unemployment Claims Update

Thousands of jobless are still waiting for their unemployment checks but scammers may be trying to jump in line in front of them. State Labor Director Scott Murakami reviews the progress in processing the record-breaking number of claims. He assures the public that safeguards are in place to make sure the money gets into the right hands.

ThePandemic Unemployment Assistance websiteis available 24/7.

Scott Murakami, Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director

Futurist Ponders New Normal

With all the talk about reopening our economyhow can futurists studies help as we make tough decisions about what is going to be the new normal? Political scientist and Hawaii Research Center of Futures Studies Director Jairus Groves studies alternatives.

HPR Reporter Noe Tanigawa

Interisland Shipper Seeks Funding Aid

Today's RealityCheck is about one of the lifelines in our community, Young Brothers and the financial assistance needed to keep its interisland service running. Click here to read Stuart Yertons story at CivilBeat.org.

Chad Blair, Politics & Opinion Editor, Honolulu Civil Beat

Foster Parenting

During this health and economic crisis, children from broken homes are still in need of safe care from foster families. Jonathan and Danielle Mendoza have years of experience with foster care within Catholic Charities Hawaii, and they say that the challenging times have complicated what was already a tough situation. Click here to learn more about CCH's program, which connects foster parents with children in need.

Foster parents Jonathan and Danielle Mendoza with Catholic Charities Hawaii

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