Monday, July 11, 2011

My Flying Car is almost here!

Australian creator, Chris Malloy, and his hover bike.

It is literally the seat and the 1,170cc 4-stroke boxer engine of a
BMW motorcycle welded to two massive 80kW rotor blades.
Put a clear Plexiglass dome on it, and I have my Jetson-like flying car!
[read the whole article here]

Friday, July 8, 2011

1st Step to Birth Right lotteries?

Perhaps my favorite book(s) of all.

IVF Lottery Raises Eyebrows in U.K.

By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: July 07, 2011
Starting next month, couples in the U.K. will be able to slightly raise their odds of having a baby -- by buying into an in-vitro fertilization lottery.

The country's gambling commission recently approved the lotto, run by a U.K. charity called To Hatch. A ticket price of $32 (£20) will hold the promise of about $40,000 (£25,000) in fertility treatments.

[read the entire article here]

Just a bit different from Larry Niven's Birth Right Lotteries, as mentioned in the Ringworld Trilogies.  According to the story in Ringworld, Puppeteers intervened (indirectly) with the birth control laws of Earth five generations previously. The right to reproduce was strictly limited: with some exceptions, everybody was entitled to reproduce exactly once. This did not result in a replacement rate of fertility, so the system also included a Birthright Lottery whereby any person could enter and win the chance to reproduce more often. The Puppeteers set this up specifically as a program of breeding human beings for luck. They believed luck to be a genetic (thus inheritable) psionic ability, and they regarded humans as unusually lucky to begin with. "Your species has been incredibly lucky. Your history reads like a series of hair-breadth escapes", Nessus (a Puppeteer) says to Louis (a Human).

This series is a great read, I suggest you put it on your 'must read' list.