Jul 122012
 

In the movie Star Trek: First Contact, a character asks Captain Picard how much it cost to build the Enterprise, and he replies, “The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity.” What do you think about that? – From Wired interview with Paul Krugman

What’s the goal of BuildTheEnterprise.org?

Exactly what you might hope…

From the BTE site:

We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise – so let’s do it.

Now that’s the spirit.  And based on early projections, it’s only going to cost about a trillion dollars, which at $50 billion a year is pretty much peanuts, particularly considering the scale of the project.

But this is not the first time someone has made such a chart.

Back in 1992, developers were pushing to build a smaller version of the USS Enterprise as a tourist attraction in downtown Las Vegas, but the plan fell through when the studio got cold feet.

This time, however, the studio isn’t involved and the idea is to build it in space, not Nevada, for the purpose of boldly and literally going where no person has gone before.

This first generation Enterprise can have 1g artificial gravity and ample living space. It can be as comfortable to live in as being on earth. A thousand people can be on board at once – either as crew members or as adventurous visitors. While the ship will not travel at warp speed, it can travel at a constant acceleration such that the ship can easily get to key points of interest in our solar system.

What’s the plan?

9 years for research, 11 years for development and then Mars is ours in 90 days. What do you think about that indeed.

While Krugman was not optimistic about the immediately-distant future, why wait three centuries to do something we could technically achieve in our lifetime?  We can create jobs and free up some parking spots all in one go.

What else do you need to know?  How can you help?  You’ll find it all at BuildTheEnterprise.org.

[Thanks, Pete!, Vegas images from the Goddard Group via BoingBoing]

The Two for Tuesday Coffee Break

 Posted by on January 3, 2012
Jan 032012
 

Looking for something to track this month that doesn’t involve you eating better or exercising more?

Better understand your caffeinated ways with this DIY print from Column Five Media, on which you can paint the results using your coffee.  If your wallet is light (and your eyes are good), you can try working with this preview image and check out their blog for clues on what you can’t read.

Meanwhile, if you’re not the tracking type, Coop is here to let you in on a little secret that can make a difference every day of the year.

[Chart via Laughing Squid]

Yes, Affirmative

 Posted by on December 9, 2011
Dec 092011
 

It’s easy to forget that humanity has been worried about the prospect of robots taking over for a while now.  Below, we have an image from a 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions:

Of course, as we know, the Robotic Uprising of the mid-90′s worked out a little differently…

[Image via Slate; Thanks, Pete!]