Of all the many spaceflight concepts NASA has studied, the most enormous was the Solar Power Satellite (SPS) fleet of the 1970s. Czech-born physicist/engineer Peter Glaser outlined the concept in a brief article in the esteemed journal Science in November 1968, and was awarded a patent for his invention on Christmas Day 1973. In October 1976, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA began a three-phase, four-year joint study of the SPS concept. Total study cost was $19.6 million, of which DOE paid 60%.
(Solar Power Satellites: A Visual Introduction by WIRED)
Teju Cole (via kateoplis)
I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
One event that illustrated the gap between the Africa of conjecture and the real Africa was the BlackBerry outage of a few weeks ago. Who would have thought Research In Motion’s technical issues would cause so much annoyance and inconvenience in a place like Lagos? But of course it did, because people don’t wake up with “poor African” pasted on their foreheads. They live as citizens of the modern world. None of this is to deny the existence of social stratification and elite structures here. There are lifestyles of the rich and famous, sure. But the interesting thing about modern technology is how socially mobile it is—quite literally. Everyone in Lagos has a phone.
Fine, detailed and subtle animated artwork created by New York illustrator Rebecca Mock. Apparently the animated gif back to stay, gradually more and more people are exploring this old format and customers asking for shouting. Several of these illustrations were created for the New York Times or The Warlus magazine.