Four of this week's best articles are depicted in Baarbarian's newest This Week in the Future creation, combining for a work of serene violence, with a spaceship. You could win a t-shirt with the painting on it--provided you follow our (incredibly easy to follow) instructions.
Here's the deal: One lucky reader will win this week's TWitF shirt. All you have to do is tell us which of these stories is your favorite and why, either on Twitter (follow us at @PopSci, and use the hashtag #TWitF so we can find you) or in the comments section on this post. One winner will be chosen through a complex algorithmic selection process (involving me putting a piece of duct tape indicating the winner on my computer monitor while blindfolded and possibly inebriated) and be sent this glorious t-shirt (which you can also buy here, if you're so inclined). Here are your choices:
- Secretary Chu Says U.S. Administration Remains Committed to Nuclear Power
- New Silkworm Dye Method Could Help Build Silks With Medicinal Properties
- After Earth: Why, Where, How, and When We Might Leave Our Home Planet
- Can Next-Generation Reactors Power a Safe Nuclear Future?
And here are our other favorite stories of the week:
- How Nuclear Reactors Work, And How They Fail
- Archive Gallery: PopSci Fights Natural Disasters
- Meet Japan's Earthquake Search-and-Rescue Robots
- FYI: How Does Nuclear Radiation Do Its Damage?
- How One Man Waged War Against Gravity
- FYI: Could a Layperson Land a Jumbo Jet?
- After Messenger Spacecraft's Successful Orbital Burn, Mercury Now Has Its First-Ever Satellite
- Stunning Video: A Series of Cassini Images Stitched into a Swirling Saturn-Scape
- Scientists Say They May Have Found Lost City of Atlantis Near Spain
I think that the first article is the best, mainly because it means that the United States is not being scared into submission in terms of nuclear power by the earthquake in Japan. Nuclear power remains a very viable source of power, despite the recent disasters. The fact that these distasters happened, while undeniably scary and tragic, are actually rather a good thing for those countries that choose to keep nuclear power. They have shown them how nuclear power plants stand up to a disaster like this, and given them insight on how to make them safer for all areas in which they may be built in the future.
“Can Next-Generation Reactors Power a Safe Nuclear Future?” is the article that I liked the best, mainly because I am a supporter of nuclear power and all other clean energies. The article seemed to match my feelings about how we should react to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. In the future I hope to get involved with nuclear power and so I don’t really want to see the world dismiss it as “too dangerous.” Besides, when the offshore oil platform sank into the ocean and caused the worst oil spill ever, there wasn’t a massive push to end all fossil fuel energy sources. Basically, I’m tired of double standards in the energy business and I hope that some-day we will be able to look past the profit and see the green energy solutions. Next year I will be going to MIT to major in Fusion Related studies so that some-day this world can run without the need of fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the more we wean ourselves off from oil now, the easier it will be to adjust to a green energy future. Nuclear power is a reasonable and safe way to do that, and this article expressed that.
The article, “After Earth: Why, Where, How, and When We Might Leave Our Home Planet,” was definitely my favorite, probably because I love everything involving space.
I really enjoyed reading about the possible situations that we will/might face in the near future. It is important that we seriously start thinking about space exploration and colonization. Earth can only support humanity for so long. It’s time to start preparations for the future.
after earth, because i like to travel
Maybe I'm being a buzzkill (and also too lazy to go look it up to be sure), but I'm almost certain that the Kanagawa wave was not a tsunami.
I'll say that Chu's attitude towards nuclear power going forward is reassuring. It has horrified me how we've invested billions of dollars and countless man-hours of research and work in technologies that are not ready for large-scale use. Like natural gas, nuclear power is an ugly solution, but it's better than a lot of the other alternatives and it's not hardly as horrible as its given credit for being.
That there are cooler heads out there and that they are somewhere in the power structure gives me some sense of hope that, just maybe, we're not going to shoot ourselves in the foot. Plus, I've never been a big fan of Chu's in the least, but this is one of those nice "such an agreeable point even I can agree" moments, so that's great too!
I like the After Earth story, because it reminds us that we are to the brink of setting foot in a 'space age' that no other specie has achieved before us... And that we can still go further!
“After Earth: Why, Where, How, and When We Might Leave Our Home Planet,” is my favorite article. This is due to the fact of how interstellar space travel offers a new category for engineers to develop new concepts and ideas for such space travel. The seemingly inevitable self-destruction of mankind prompts us to leave Earth in hope of a better future, a "re-birth" of some sorts. But all this requires new sources of energy and concept designs in order for this idea to succeed. Hopefully someday, I may be able to contribute to this field, for it greatly interests me, and this is why the "After Earth:" article is my favorite. Thank you