Techniques for controlling the weather (rain on demand)? Suspended animation? Stuff that was science fiction yesterday is becoming real as we speak!
A few blogs ago (hmm, it still seems strange saying things like this), we discussed the fact that some folks predict we could have a fully working Space Elevator by the year 2020. Well, two more stories recently crossed my desk that made me realize that we really are entering the world of science fiction.
There have been many books about the future in which we have the technology to control the weather. Actually, thinking about it, most of these are in the far future when civilization has either collapsed or is in the process of collapse, and the weather control machines are starting to fail, but let's not dwell on that. The reason I mention this is a recent article discussion how an international team of researchers from Israel, Belgium, and America are gearing up to Bring Rain (be aware that this site can be real slow to respond).
The technique involves spreading a large black solar-absorbing surface over several square kilometers of land to generate large scale, induced convection. If this works, it's possible to envision a future where similar areas of some material that can be caused to go black, white, transparent (whatever) are used to control the weather on a highly controlled basis ("Note that a light rain is scheduled between 2:05 pm and 2:35 pm tomorrow afternoon for the following areas .").
Meanwhile, this weekend I revisited an old Science Fiction Favorite Heart of the Comet by Gregory Benford and David Brin. The idea is that Halley's Comet is coming back into the solar system and a team of colonists attempt to create a base there. Initially, most of the folks are transported out there in suspended animation "slots".
As fate would have it, there was a recent post on SlashDot.com about successful animation being performed on pigs. Personally I feel bad for the pigs, but I still think that this could have huge implications for the future in terms of general medicine ("freezing" critically injured accident victims, for example, until you can get them to a large hospital) and – of course – in terms of large-scale missions in space. The furure really is (almost) now!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.