Science of Future Past: Dune (Part 1)
@12 and @13, I agree. The nice thing about seeing the movie first and thinking "Wow, this is pretty cool." is that when I read the book, I was left thinking, "Wow, this is even cooler than I thought."
Science of Future Past: Dune (Part 1)
I actually did consider mentioning the ADS, but I cut that bit out before writing the post. Here's some ADS bonus content from the original draft for those that are interested: --------------- At first I thought of the military's much talked about Active Denial System (1), which uses millimeter energy waves to cause the top layer of skin to heat up. If you haven't heard of the ADS, it's basically a fancy heat ray that costs $5 million dollars per device (on top of the $60 million dollar initial R&D cost). Nobody knows how well the ADS works as a crowd-deterrent, because it has never actually seen real use in combat. Hopefully this decision was based on the fact that this device (which was designed as a non-lethal method of force against civilians) has been shown to cause second-degree burns (2) and can have potentially severe biological side-effects (3) which haven't been fully studied. More likely reasons include troublesome quirks (4) such as taking sixteen hours to turn on; an inability to work in adverse environmental conditions (such as heavy dust, fog, snow or rain); and the fact that using shiny objects for shielding can completely thwart the effects of the device. Since direct energy weapons like the ADS can cause physical damage after long-term exposure, and don't work by nerve induction, we have to look for another possibility. 1. http://1.usa.gov/12riHdH 2. http://bit.ly/14J1qAS 3. http://bit.ly/13044xQ 4. http://bit.ly/9ogNCL
The Science of Future Past: Part 6
@Gerry__Quinn We also occasionally cook vegetables in the microwave. I also think that bacon is much easier to cook in the microwave than in a frying pan. (We usually use the papertowel method: http://www.wikihow.com/Cook-Bacon-in-the-Microwave)
The Science of Future Past: Part 6
@o.m. You would hope so, but often the scale of the disaster can overwhelm the ability of rescue workers to assist. See for example the red cross response to Hurricane Sandy in New York (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228432/Hurricane-Sandy-2012-Red-Cross-apologizes-reaching-thousands-victims.html) Some disasasters can last even longer, causing wide-spread economic collapse without affecting the deer and rabbits at all. For just one example look at the current economic conditions of Haiti. Three years after the earthquake, 3/4 of the population is still unemployed ( http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21569026-three-years-after-devastating-earthquake-republic-ngos-has-become-country). Some people in Haiti have returned to a "back to basics" approach of share cropping and farming cooperatives in order to feed themselves and their families (http://hunger.cwsglobal.org/site/News2?id=9147).
The Science of Future Past: Part 3
@entirelyalive Actually it was Rosalind Franklin that "imaged" DNA as you put it, solving its crystal structure using x-ray crystallography, prior to Watson and Crick's publication. As for knowing that DNA contained genetic information, that had been widely known for some time prior to the 1950's, having been shown in 1944 by the landmark Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment. Considering that Asmiov was a professional biochemist and professor of biochemistry at Boston University prior to becoming an author, I think his knowledge of the most important biological research going on in the 1940s and 50s probably went well beyond merely "being pretty tuned in to the science world". Incidentally, he wrote a children's book on DNA research (How Did We Find Out About DNA) and a parody of The Double Helix called The Holmes-Ginsbook Device. For more information on the history of DNA research, both The Double Helix by Watson, and The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox are excellent resources.

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