Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Carnival of the Optimists #15: Future Dreams

So, I'm sitting around wondering "where on earth is my hovercar?"

And (the oh-so not-safe-for-work) Satire sends me his latest missive about a cool new nicotine-enhanced beer that smokers can use to quit the habit... I have obviously sensed a theme.

Welcome, to the Carnival of the Optimists.

This week's carnival is fairly small, following upon Satire's footsteps.

Plain Good News.
Over at Technogypsy, Son #1 is at the Boy Scouts Jamboree, and is doing fine outside of a light heat injury. (Contains some politics, but how can you argue with "be prepared" and "can do?")

Bootstraps.
Harvey over at Bad Example, has a serious suggestion. If you have a list of items to be achieved that's as long as the alphabet, and you finish even more frazzled than you started... why would you call that vacation?

This week is going to be a touch heavy on Progress.

First, a double-whammy from Wired, simply too good to ignore.
#1: What happens when nanotech won't do the job, and your own field is failing to figure it out, too? You go interdisciplinary, that's what you do. And in the process, create yet another means of snuffing out cancer not only within our lifetime, but theoretically within the decade.

#2: Living animals have regained locomotion as their spinal cords were mended in the lab with stem cells -- theoretically highly-adaptible to humans. Unfortunately, this particular case is embryonic stem cells, which carries truly significant ethical issues when taken to humans... but as a precedent, this is clearly a step in the right direction.

The Third entry is a political entry by Tony Blankley, appearing on RealClearPolitics. Now, I know what you're thinking. Half of you are thinking "finally, he's breaking down and coming out with the politics," and the other is dreading the emergence of the Almighty Political Snarkitude. Well, "I heart the snarkitude." But not in this particular Carnival. This is Blankley pointing out that the debate over abortion, one of the most horrifically, viciously divisive battles in American politics, may go the way of the dodo not because one side or the other triumphed... but because the stellar advance of embryonic viability technology made it a near non-issue. If you've ever known a woman who desperately wanted children in spite of the looming threat of miscarriage... read this link.

And that's it for today, folks. Keep 'em coming, and we'll see you next week.

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