I Love Science

Weekly Science Links Pt. 4

In this week’s “Science Links” post I share a number of articles covering topics ranging from a man with an artificial heart surviving for 555 days, to NASA’s move to create a fully electric x-plane, to giant holes produced by methane opening up in the Siberian permafrost, a clear sign of accelerating climate change. There are also several tech and industry news articles covering topics such as Microsoft’s foray into blockchain technology and Google’s latest plan to deliver gigabit broadband to consumers. Enjoy!

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Current vs PETM temperature change

A Scary Prediction: Catastrophic Climate Change

Today’s prediction is unfortunately a gloomy one. I predict that there will be one (or more) climate shocks that will likely accelerate the warming of the planet beyond what is already anticipated. Related to this would be a dramatic loss of biodiversity in the oceans due to the acidifying of oceans, coral bleaching and overfishing.

Our planet is/was in natural equilibrium when it came to global temperatures. Now it seems the equilibrium has been disturbed by manmade activity. The signs are that our current models are too conservative and have not sufficiently accounted for the effect of methane – a greenhouse gas 25 times worse than CO2 – being released from melting permafrost and the possibility of reaching a tipping point / feedback loop situation.

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VANTEC Process Outline 2

Raising Money from Angel Groups in Vancouver (An Unofficial Process Outline)

In today’s post, I address the question: what is the process of raising money from angels / angel investing groups? The process I describe is based on the VANTEC angel group (of which I am a member) as well as e-Fund (a vehicle through which I invest in startups). This process will be similar to what startups experience with other angel groups.

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the_hobbit_the_battle_of_the_five_armies

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies Review

The last couple of Wednesday’s I have reviewed The Hobbit Pt 1 and Pt 2 so for today’s post I complete my review of the trilogy. If you read my review of the Unexpected Journey I found the movie a snoozefest and a bit too Disney for my liking. My review of The Desolation of Smaug comes to a similar conclusion, at 2 hours and 41 minutes the movie is way too long though it is slightly darker than the first.

Fortunately, The Battle of the Five Armies, at 2 hours and 24 minutes is the shortest of the lot; unfortunately, though it is shorter, it is also less enjoyable than Pt 2 and only slightly more enjoyable than Pt 1.

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Global Catastrophic and Existential Risks

The Wikipedia page on “global catastrophic risks” has the following definition: “A global catastrophic risk is a hypothetical future event that has the potential to damage human well-being on a global scale. Some events could cripple or destroy modern civilization. Any event that could cause human extinction is also known as an existential risk.” Another definition from the “Global Challenges Foundation” is any risk that can eliminate 10% of the population. No points for guessing what percentage of the population dies in an existential risk.

Arthur Raind is particularly concerned about four risks in 2030, two existential and two catastrophic: 1) super-intelligent AI, 2) engineered pandemics, 3) severe climate change, and 4) food scarcity (caused by ocean ecology collapse).

What do you think are the most significant risks that humankind needs to prepare for over the next 15 years?

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Love-Business-Triangle

Weekly Business Posts Pt. 3

Here are my “Business Links” for the week. The first set of articles pertain to entrepreneurship and angel investing while the second set pertain to tech industry news and analysis. Make sure you scroll to the end for the two bonus references: 1) the “BC Innovation Council Newsletter Directory”, and 2) DBTA list of 100 companies that matter in data.

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A Bold Prediction: (Almost) Free Energy in 20 Years

Today is the second of my “Prediction Saturday” blog posts. The intent of my “Prediction Saturday” posts are to put forward bold predictions about the near future, e.g. 15 – 20 years from now. These tie into the sci-fi novella that I am writing, “2030 ET: Tribulation.” Today I make a bold prediction regarding the future of energy. The prediction is that over the next 20 years, the price of oil will crash as demand for oil will virtually be non-existent. The energy revolution will happen as we learn to efficiently exploit the only fusion reactor that matters, the Sun. Advancements in 3D printing, materials science, and bioengineering will drop the cost per kilowatt of solar and biofuel energy close to zero.

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