[ futurism.com ] Meet the Craziest Fire Truck in the World

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Meet the Craziest Fire Truck in the World

This incredible 4×4 tanker fire truck can go anywhere to put out fire. Thanks to it’s heavy duty parts, it can carry 4 times more water than the average brush truck.

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[ futurism.com ] From the Makers of Final Fantasy, This VR Game Is Set to Release

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From the Makers of Final Fantasy, This VR Game Is Set to Release

Virtual reality continues to suffer from a lack of immersive gaming experiences, especially in the RPG genre. Million Arthur is an upcoming JRPG for the HTC Vive from Square Enix, the makers of Final Fantasy, that appears to have one of the most promising gameplay experiences for VR yet. The JRPG is coming to Japan in spring, but there’s no word yet on a potential western release.

The post From the Makers of Final Fantasy, This VR Game Is Set to Release appeared first on Futurism.

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[ futurism.com ] In D.C., Tens of Thousands March for Science — and Survival

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In D.C., Tens of Thousands March for Science — and Survival

As part of 500 marches worldwide, throngs of people braved soggy, rainy weather in the nation’s capitol on Saturday to both celebrate Earth Day and participate in a historic show of support for science. I attended the flagship march, which was held in Washington D.C., but demonstrations were worldwide, on every continent — even Antarctica.
It was the D.C. march that had some of the most high-profile speakers, all of whom came from diverse educational, social, and professional backgrounds. Hosted by Derek Muller and musician Questlove, the series of speeches that preceded the afternoon march covered a wide-range of inspiring topics, from astronomy to medicine to environmental science. 

Our Warming World: The Future of Climate Change [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Speakers ranged from the aspiring to the esteemed figures in the scientific community.
One of the most inspiring of the former was Taylor Richardson, 13, who raised enough money for 1,000 young girls to go see the film Hidden Figures. Richardson, an aspiring astronaut herself, saw the film at a screening at the White House in December and was so inspired that she wanted to be sure her peers back home in Florida would have the chance as well. She ended up raising enough money for several screenings and over 700 copies of the book upon which the film was based.
Astronauts past and present joined the march, too: Leland Melvin (perhaps most well-known to Twitter for taking his official NASA portrait with his dogs) and Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American engineer who became the first female “space tourist” in 2006. Consequently, she was the first Iranian astronaut as well. At 91, Dr. Nancy Roman, known as “Mother Hubble”, was the oldest honoree. In addition to her work on the Hubble Telescope, Roman was also the first female executive at NASA.
Later in the day, Dr. Jon Foley and Dr. Michael Mann spoke about perhaps one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change and humanity’s impact on the environment. A topic that — despite hard evidence — is still being contested. Politicians and science-deniers have worked hard to discredit not just the work of scientists, but the scientists themselves.
This weekend, the world marched to show their support for these scientists and the work that they do.
There were also several special guest speakers who spoke about the value of science beyond the realm of researcg, highlighting its importance in relation to our everyday lives. After speaking about her work that ultimately connected the water in Flint, Michigan to elevated levels of lead sickening the kids in her clinic, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha introduced 9-year-old Mari Copeny — known throughout the country as Little Miss Flint — who spoke passionately to the crowd about how “when we reject science, kids get hurt.”
Artist Maya Lin, best known for creating Washington’s Vietnam War Memorial when she was just 21 years old, spoke of her latest — and final — memorial, entitled “What Is Missing?” The multi-site installation uses science-based artworks to convey the immediacy and profundity of mass extinction.
Denis Hayes, who organized the first Earth Day in 1970, was somewhat amazed to think that he was standing in front of a group assembled to fight the same battle he began over 40 years ago. “Our job is clear,” Hayes told the crowd, “Today is the first step in a longterm battle for scientific integrity, a battle for transparency, [and] a battle for survival.”
And, of course, one of the most anticipated speakers was science communicator Bill Nye, who reiterated the ongoing importance of scientific inquiry, discovery, and persistence. Nye then lead the fray as it spread exponentially through the streets of D.C., marching toward the Capitol.
I was lucky enough to be there marching myself and spoke with several scientists, all of whom came from diverse backgrounds not just in terms of their education and careers, but their life experiences. What everyone seemed to have in common, though, was their response when I asked how they felt about leaving their work for a day in order to attend the march (in chilly, damp weather, no less). Unanimously, their answer was some variation on, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
In truth, the world needs those tens of thousands of chanting, sopping-wet scientists. In any case, most of the marchers were well-prepared for the weather. After all — science predicted it would rain.

The post In D.C., Tens of Thousands March for Science — and Survival appeared first on Futurism.

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[ futurism.com ] Turn Your Entire Body into a Touchscreen

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Turn Your Entire Body into a Touchscreen

Soon you’ll be able to answer your cell phone by touching your tattoo. Researchers at Saarland University in Germany have developed iSkin, a sensor worn on the skin like a tattoo. Just in case tattoos and cell phones weren’t already cool.

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[ futurism.com ] Futuristic “Smart Bandages” Use 5G Data and Track Human Health

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Futuristic “Smart Bandages” Use 5G Data and Track Human Health

Injury-prone people, rejoice! A new technology could make it so you never need to redo your bandages again. The tech will use real-time 5G technology that can monitor treatment and track patient activity levels.

The work comes from Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science. The university has made a £1.3 billion-dollar deal to create a 5G test hub for digital innovation. The new bandages will allow for customized treatment due to their nano-technology sensors. 5G wireless data will be used to instantly transmit information about your health to your doctor, thereby allowing physicians to provide customized health care recommendations.

Bioprinting: How 3D Printing is Changing Medicine
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The constant flow of information to health care providers would allow patients to understand their own condition better. Since many people heal at different speeds, the 5G will provide, as the school’s professor Marc Clement told Engadget, “a resilient, robust bandwidth” that can notify patients immediately if they are due for health care changes from their physicians.

The university expects to hold trials within the next 12 months, but the 5G test hub and nanotech sensors still have some time until completion — meaning potential delays on testing.

If proved successful, the smart bandage could take the guesswork out of medicine, leaving doctors with more accurate data to work with rather than only relying on self-reported patient data. This could mean a health care regimen that is tailored to your location, activity, and overall lifestyle. As healthcare innovates other aspects of bandages, including design and rehabilitative time, we may see a new age of health.

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[ futurism.com ] The “Google of China” Is Releasing a Self-Driving Operating System for Free

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The “Google of China” Is Releasing a Self-Driving Operating System for Free

We’ve been hearing a lot about autonomous driving nowadays. Tesla’s leadership in the field seemingly spells the end times for standard driving practices. Now it looks like Baidu, the popular Chinese-American web services company, is taking a swing at mass-marketing its own autonomous driving software.

The president and chief operating officer of Baidu, Qi Lu, mentioned to MIT Technology Reviews that he wants to “innovate at a higher level.” By releasing their self-driving platform, “Apollo,” this July, the company hopes to lower the bar for developing advanced driver-assist systems while leading to a more collaborative approach for the future of driving.

Qi Lu believes that much of the tech in self-driving vehicles continues to “reinvent the wheel.” By supplying other companies with the Baidu self-driving software, the company can establish itself as the brains that power vehicles on the road.. This is similar to Google’s decision to release Android for free in 2008, making it one of the most popular operating systems in the world.

Many of China’s domestic car producers lack the resources to develop self-driving cars themselves. Baidu’s technology could provide these companies with the competitive edge they need while giving Baidu the data it needs. Baidu is confident that they will see their technology operating on highways and regular roads by 2020. Lu said, “The fundamental motivation is [to create] an open ecosystem that will accelerate the pace of innovation toward fully autonomous driving, which will have profound changes to our society.”

Autonomous Car Forecasts: When Will They Actually Be on Our Roads?
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This transparency in research could mean a lot for the normalization of self-driving cars. With more companies getting the jump on the tech, the quicker we’ll see the tech taking over.

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[ futurism.com ] Parallel Universes May Be the Only Hope of Surviving the Death of the Cosmos

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Parallel Universes May Be the Only Hope of Surviving the Death of the Cosmos

While the little that we know about the universe usually leads us to more questions than answers, the philosophy governing the universe is full of so much intrigue that we can’t seem to help ourselves. Renowned futurist, physicist, and bestselling author Dr. Michio Kaku takes a moment to explain the end of the universe on Big Think’s YouTube channel.

Kaku introduces the concept of a Big Freeze, in opposition to another popular theory, the Big Crunch. He suggests that due to the current rate of expansion, where the universe is actually accelerating further apart,  the universe may experience a period of complete and utter darkness. It would be impossible to see anything in any direction because everything would be too far apart.

But rest assured, unless you intend on living for hundreds of billions of years, you won’t experience the day that everything, as Kaku puts it, “becomes totally black.” He says that this moment in the history of the universe would be full of lonely neutron stars, black holes, temperatures near absolute zero, and no existing consciousness.

However, let’s say that you do intend on living for hundreds of billions of years — what could you do to survive? Kaku says that if humans harvest something known as Planck energy, an energy that was essential in the Big Bang, we may be able to manipulate space itself so that we can transcend the planes that separate differing universes. He says, “The energy needed to reach a parallel universe would be the Planck energy, ten to the nineteen billion electron volts.” He continues, “I would suppose that, trillions of years from now, intelligent life, facing the ultimate demise of the universe itself, might decide to leave the universe.”

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