The Yin-Yang of Technological Advance
Lots of interesting stuff has passed across my desktop since I got back from P.R., but the contrast of these stories really struck me:
First, we have a micro-satellite from Tartu University in Estonia, just launched into space on a European Vega rocket, designed to test an innovative new design to harness solar protons for propulsion, by repelling them. It's interesting to see something like this come from a first-time space-faring country like Estonia. It'll be even more interesting if it works. The concept might help us explore the solar system.
If we don't kill ourselves first, that is. Our second, and definitely yang entry, is a plastic handgun made almost entirely in a 3D printer. Just what we need, handguns that may be undetectable by existing screening methods.
But then again, let's cheer ourselves up with news that the flying car continues to approach reality (if not affordability). In fact, Terrafugia, creators of the soon-to-be-released Transition flying car, announced recently that they're now working on a vertical takeoff and landing model, so you could theoretically take off in your driveway and land in a parking lot. Whee!