No Thanks, I’ll Hold It

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

An artsy public toilet in Switzerland is made with one-way mirrors.  This is what it looks like from the outside: So far, so good.  But like I said, these are one-way mirrors, so this is what it looks like from the inside: Um, not for me.  More here.

Reconciling Evangelicalism And Science

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Science & TechnologyLeave a Comment

You have to click through Salon’s annoying "ad", but this article is very worthwhile.  It’s an interview with Francis Collins, the former head of the Human Genome Project (which attempts to map the DNA of humans). A man of science and a former atheist, Collins discusses his religious views.  He seems to sit comfortably within both realms, although to do … Read More

iPod Accessories

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Emily’s blog post about iPod-compatible backpacks got me doing a little googling*. I think it’s now possible to spend 24 hours with your iPod. Imagine.  You wake up all snug and warm after a good night’s sleep in your iPod-compatible bed. Wiping the sleep from your eyes, you wander into the bathroom to make use of your iPod-compatible toilet paper … Read More

Web’s 15th Birthday Approaching

Ken AshfordHistory, Science & Technology1 Comment

On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, a consultant at a physics lab in CERN in Switzerland, made  — for the first time — computer files available to the public which allowed people to build their first web pages. The first web page appeared at  It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own … Read More

But Clay Aiken Says He Already Am

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Scientists think that invisibility may be possible in the near future: LONDON (Reuters) – It’s unlikely to occur by swallowing a pill or donning a special cloak, but invisibility could be possible in the not too distant future, according to research published on Monday. Harry Potter accomplished it with his magic cloak. H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man swallowed a substance that … Read More

Earth Orbit Unaffected, No Thanks To You

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

In case you missed it (I know I did), today was World Jump Day.  An organization of people with nothing better to do decided to get everybody in the western hemisphere to jump at the same time, in an effort to see if the simultaneous impact of 600 million pairs of feet would shift the planet’s orbit. (For obvious reasons, … Read More

It’s A Woman’s World

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Yup.  Men are becoming more superfluous than ever before. Why do I say that?  Because of the rapid advances in the development of artificial sperm: Scientists have raised hopes of an end to male infertility after producing mice using artificial sperm. Artificial sperm have been used to create living animals for the first time, in an experiment that promises an … Read More

Shuttle Launch Okay

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

You can track the Shuttle in real time here. Winston-Salem residents can view the Shuttle (possibly) at these times: THE FOLLOWING ISS SIGHTINGS ARE POSSIBLE FROM MON JUL 03 TO SAT JUL 15 SATELLITE LOCAL DURATION MAX ELEV APPROACH DEPARTURE DATE/TIME (MIN) (DEG) (DEG-DIR) (DEG-DIR) ISS Mon Jul 03/09:16 PM 1 10 10 above NNE 10 above NE ISS Mon … Read More

Brave New World: The Ethics Of Robot Sex

Ken AshfordScience & Technology, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

Interesting times we live in. Science ethicists are weighing the question of, yup, robot sex: Other dilemmas may arrive sooner than we think, says [techno-ethicist Henrik] Christensen. “People are going to be having sex with robots within five years,” he said. So should limits be set on the appearance, for example, of such robotic sex toys? The greatest danger, however, … Read More

Remember The Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia Explosions?

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

I do. NASA apparently doesn’t: NASA managers have rejected last-ditch pleas from their top safety officer and chief engineer to scrap next month’s shuttle launch, saying that they will press ahead despite potentially catastrophic risks. *** Dr Griffin said: "I do not see the situation we’re in as being a crew-loss situation. If we are unlucky and we have a … Read More

The Future Of Air Travel

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

This is how we may travel across the continent or oceans in the future.  Because it is not lighter-than-air, it is not a blimp.  On the other hand, it requires no runway, because it takes of vertically with massive jet engines. Unlike a plane, you don’t sit in passenger seats.  Instead, it’s similar to a cruise.  The interior cabin is … Read More

Mona Lisa Speaks

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Criminologists can determine what a person’s voice would sound like (within a 90% degree of accuracy) by the shape of their head and face.  For example, a wide lower face will mean lower tones and a pointed chin adds mid-pitch tones to the mix. So the Japanese, using this "science", have figured out what Mona Lisa would sound like if … Read More

Set Phasers On Kill

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

It’s a standard part of all science fiction: lasar weapons (or "phasers" in Trek-ese). It’s not science fiction anymore.  We’re working on a technology to shoot satellites out of the sky.  Presumably, once perfected, we will be designing satellites which shoot lasars from space hitting a target with pinpoint accuracy.  Want to kill the next Saddam without a messy and … Read More