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Giovanni Bordiga
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A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must e
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must e

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Interesting...I had never heard of Project Daeduls!
Big Dreams

In the early 1970s, as the Apollo missions to the Moon were coming to a close, there were plans to explore even further into the Universe. Not simply to Mars, or even the outer solar system, but a mission to another star. It became known as Project Daedalus.

Project Daedalus was hugely ambitious. In order to reach Barnard’s star within 50 years, Daedalus would rely upon nuclear fusion rather than chemical rockets. Pellets of deuterium and helium-3 would be detonated 250 times a second, and the plasma exhaust would be directed away from the rocket by a magnetic field. As a two-stage rocket this would accelerate the ship to 12% of the speed of light.

To gather the 50,000 tonnes of fuel necessary for the journey, there were plans to harvest helium-3 from the atmosphere of Jupiter using hot air balloons. The helium-3 could also be mined from the lunar surface. Construction of the spacecraft itself would require the development of new materials capable of surviving a range of temperatures from 1,600 K to the cold of deep space. Since there would be no crew for the mission, robotic technology would need to be developed to explore the Barnard system.

Needless to say, the Daedalus mission never got off the ground. It was so ambitious that it was intended more as a proof of concept rather than a mission feasible for its time. But the project inspired later ideas for interstellar missions, and when the first human spacecraft reach the stars their success will be based in part on the efforts of wild ideas like Project Daedalus.

As we focus more practical ideas on a return to the Moon and a mission to Mars, it’s worth keeping in mind that big dreams like Daedalus can spur us to keep pushing the envelope of what is possible.


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Is it possible to systematize innovation?

What makes this really difficult is that innovation is a delicate thing. You can’t over-process it; you have to respect weird creativity and serendipitous discovery. But if someday you’re going to harvest the fruits of that innovation in the form of revenue and profits, you need to find just the right amount of structure. Here are some of the factory processes we’ve developed over the years to keep ourselves in the sweet spot between high-risk/idealistic (where most research lives), and safe-bet/pragmatic (where most big companies live).

https://goo.gl/BBiPFq

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Really impressive! #deeplearning  
AlphaGo won its third straight game, claiming overall match victory against Lee Sedol. AlphaGo created a large territory on the board but Lee used innovative tactics to start a huge all-or-nothing kō fight and complicate the situation. In the resulting kō fight, AlphaGo prevailed. Two more games will be played to determine the final match score → goo.gl/O2c480
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Actually impressive! I'll give it a try...
Use your voice to type, edit and format in Docs—no keyboard needed! goo.gl/aD6nWH #GoogleDocs

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Very interesting!

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Finally!
...has General Relativity passed its 'last' test? Science obviously requires more than one confirmation...but what a great news! 🙋

Recorded live stream from the National Science Foundation: https://youtu.be/aEPIwEJmZyE.
Gravitational waves have been detected, which is a really big deal. But what causes gravity to produce waves?


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Looking forward to see some landing tomorrow! 
Rocket is vertical in advance of tomorrow's 1:42pm ET launch attempt of Jason-3 science satellite http://www.spacex.com/webcast/
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2016-01-16
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"...Enroll in Nanodegree Plus, and we guarantee you’ll get hired within 6 months of graduating, or we’ll refund 100% of your tuition..."

This is kind of amazing actually! I wonder when they'll be able to extend the program outside the US...

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