What the Interwebs Have Brought
Via National Geographic, scientists find a lost continent off the coast of Brazil.
The Atlantis-like lost, hidden, or fantastic world is a common theme in fiction. There are J. R. R. Tolkein's Middle Earth and James Hilton's Shangri-La, not to mention Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. The original lost land, Atlantis, was firstmentioned by Plato around 360 B.C. According to Plato, Atlantis sank into the earth and drowned beneath the seas. Real continents rarely disappear in such dramatic fashion. "Continents by definition are made of low-density rock and cannot be subducted deep into the earth," explained Staci Loewy, a geologist at the University of Texas at Austin.
A bit of news that would do H. P. Lovecraft and Erich Von Däniken proud...as would this pictoral essay on the Argenine village of Epecuen, which has resurfaced after being submerged for 25 years.
In space news, a loophole in Einstein's theory of relativity could provide spaceships with the ability to travel faster than light.
The Alcubierre warp drive is still theoretical for now. "The truth is that the best ideas sound crazy at first. And then there comes a time when we can't imagine a world without them." That's a statement from the 100 Year Starship organization, a think tank devoted to making Earth what "Star Trek" would call a "warp-capable civilization" within a century.
And, lastly, Henry Markham discusses how to build a supercomputer replica of the human brain.
Understanding the brain writ large is what drives Markram. It has been his only serious interest since the age of 13, when his mother sent him from the Kalahari game farm where he’d spent his childhood to a boarding school outside Durban. His first year there, he stumbled across some research on schizophrenia and other mental disorders and directed his youthful energy into studying the mind. “It was just amazing to me that you could have a little more or less of some chemical and your whole worldview would be different,” he recalls, smiling with boyish wonder. “If you can switch a chemical and your personality changes, who are you?”
Excuse me, I have to begin mapping stories...
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Derek Austin Johnson has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. His work has appeared in The Horror Zine, Rayguns Over Texas!, Horror U.S.A.: Texas, Campfire Macabre, The Dread Machine, and Generation X-ed.
He lives in Central Texas.