Weekly Editorials Page
5/17 to 5/23, 2001

5/22/2001:  Looking toward outer space, there has to be a view of the universe at distances, red shifts, and ages that represent ever-earlier times in its history. Eventually, light is red-shifted into the far infrared, and then into the microwave regions of the spectrum. And it will be there that Astronomers reach the 'edge' of Universe .
   IBM to unveil higher-capacity hard drives. IBM is poised to quadruple the densities of disk drives, from 25.7 gigabits per square inch to 100 gigabits per square inch. According to my estimates, IBM's 75-gigabyte, three-platter, 3.5" disk has about 60 square inches on both sides of the three platters, or about 1.25 gigabytes per square inch, corresponding to a disk density of about 10 gigabytes per square inch. If that's so, then their new 3.5" disks should provide about 750 gigabytes of storage. However, IBM is projecting 400 gigabytes for these disks, deliverable in 2003. In the meantime, 150 gigabyte disks should be available later this year. It's heartening to see the 62.5-Gb-per-square-inch storage density ceiling breached. Perhaps it can be breached again.
    The article New Hope For Cancer
offers hopeful prospects.
   Robotics Goes Mainstream: Robotic Combat Becomes the Latest TV Craze is, I think, important because it broadens the base of participation in robotics, and turns it into entertainment. It interests teenagers in pursuing careers in robotics.
    Young Voices From The Cellblock addresses people problems, and I think that solving people problems could be one of the best gifts that science and/or high intelligence could give the world.     
5/19/2001:  As you can see, I am reworking the front page of this website. I have moved all the links that were on this page onto pages accessible from "Intelligence Site Map", "Computers & Internet", and "Science & Technology" in order to reduce the clutter on the front page, and to make it easier to find what's on this website. It's all there; the site maps have been updated to include it.
    Today's "feature topic" is energy. I'm sure that the Bush-Administration's policy isn't that of flacks for global business. I'm sure they're doing their best for worthy causes. The Bush administration is halving the budget for energy conservation and for solar power R&D. The Bush administration is encouraging energy production rather than energy conservation. The Bush Administration is showing the world that we are the most powerful nation in the world, and that we can do whatever we want and make our own rules. Might makes right. A relaxation of automotive energy conservation measures has brought us to Gas mileage hits 20-year low
.The Bush Administration is pushing for more coal and oil production, with none of this goody-goody environmental protection. After all, carbon dioxide buildup and global warming is just a fairy tale told by a bunch of bigdomes who are tooting their own horns. Although the country is in good shape with regard to energy supplies, we need to bail out poor California, with its failed deregulation experiment. And the Pacific Northwest has had a period of extended drought, and New York City needs power reserves. But above, all our global energy companies need a bigger piece of the pie.
    We could reduce our national utility bill considerably--enough to bring our power demands back in line with existing power sources--by implementng a few simple economy measures. If, as a nation, we are urged to conserve energy, we'll work toward it as a national goal. We've done this in the past with considerable success. However, over time, if we don't hear a lot about it, we tend to backslide.
    Power conservation measures will not only help save energy, but will also pay for themselves by reducing our utility bills  How can you improve on a deal like that?
    Tommy and I are taking additional power conservation measures. We're replacing heavily used incondescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. As soon as we can, we'll insulate under the floor, and add storm windows to our thermopane windows. We're using electric fans to complement our air conditioning. Nest year, when we replace our hot water heater, we'll replace it with a higher efficiency unit, or a tankless hot water heater. We're running our clothes dryer only when we have a full load. We're taking our clothes out of the dryer still damp, and air-drying them. (There's a fresh, clean smell to sun-dried clothes.) We're also paying a small monthly subsidy to TVA to help fund solar power sources. This winter, we quit heating the downstairs when no one was downstairs, warming it in the evening when we were downstairs, and letting it cool down again at night. That reduced our heating bills by about 50%. These measures aren't hardships, because we keep these economies this side of discomfort or inconvenience. It's really just avoiding meaningless waste. And the pockets we'll line will be our own.
5/17/2001:  One of the interesting topics in tonight's news is the suggestion of a gravitational anomoly acting upon our deep-space probes, in:Mysterious force tugs at distant interplanetary probes. Producing metal parts on a printer might someday be cheap enough to permit home fabrication  Deconstructing Dimensions describes new ideas about space and time Vendors join wireless forces to fight car theft is an idea I've had for many years now. A GPS system in a car or a robotic lawnmower, coupled with a radio transmitter that could call your phone number and/or your cellphone and give a running account of its location would go a long way to thwart theft.  
5/16/2001:  I hardly need to amplify on tonight's lead story, Is Fish Oil the Key to Schizophrenia? I've eaten my salmon today. Have you had yours?