• Scientists have found a potential new method for 3D printing bones directly inside of human bodies

    From MIT Spectrum's Human OS Blog:

    3D printing living tissue—including corneasblood vessels and skin—is no easy task. But at least it's all living tissue. Bone, by contrast, is a mixture of living and inorganic compounds in a highly structured mineral matrix. 

    3D printing bone, in other words, is a challenge within a challenge. 

    […]

    In an effort to create a synthetic bone material as similar to an autologous graft as possible, Roohani, biochemist Kristopher Kilian and colleagues at UNSW made an ink that could be 3D printed into an aqueous environment like the body. After two years of refining, they created a biocompatible calcium phosphate material that forms a paste at room temperature. When put into a gelatin bath or other solution, a chemical reaction occurs and the paste hardens into a porous nanocrystal matrix similar to structure of native bone tissue.

    The technology is still being perfected, with the designers working on large printer baths and testing their process on injured animals. But the FDA has signaled that such a thing could become more commonplace soon. Pretty cool!

    3D Printing Bone Directly Into the Body [Megan Scudellari / MIT Spectrum]

  • 3D-printed Braille dice

    The DOTSRPG Project started with a few friends looking to improve accessibility in tabletop gaming. From their Patreon:

    While DOTS started with a focus on accessibility for those who are fully blind, we have since branched out to start addressing many different topics. Once we became known for the work we were doing for the visually impaired, people with other disabilities started to reach out and ask for help. Now, we're working on educating ourselves so we can better cater to those who have problems with low vision, color blindness, limited hearing, limited mobility, reading comprehension, mental illness, and whatever other things people may need. We are happy to take the time to learn whatever we can so we can work towards improving accessibility in gaming for all individuals. 

    Some their recent DOTS Gear projects include a collection of 3D-printer designs for Braille Polyhedral and Fate dice. They explain:

    Our current 7 set polyhedral design each feature braille numbering. The four-sided and six-sided dice feature the number sign plus the number (associated braille letter). The rest of the dice have a continuous, ridged edge that will make them feel less busy while providing proper orientation to the bottom of each braille cell. In order to keep the dice reasonably sized, the numbers 11 – 20 are the braille letters K – T. The 12-sided dice is a unique design in that the numbers 1 and 12 are surrounded with the ridged edge. What this does is provide a bottom orientation edge for each of the other faces and still sets the 1 and 12 apart as they can be deciphered without orientation.

    As an able-bodied person, this seems like it should be the easiest, most obvious point of accessibility. Yet, as DOTS notes, "There are hundreds of thousands of styles available for sighted individuals, but less than 10 different styles of braille dice ever created." That alone speaks volumes about the problem with accessibility: more often than not, the lack of accessible options, even the ones that should seem simple and obvious, are due to the fact that the people designing these things just aren't thinking about it. We don't know what we don't know, and unfortunately, that makes it easier to exclude people, even if we don't mean to.

    So it's a good thing there are groups like DOTS to remind us to stop and consider the needs of all kinds of people.

    You can download the Braille dice schematics, or any of the other DOTS Gear projects, for a $1 donation. The DOTS community has more perks available via Patreon as well.

  • Can Blockchain help keep Big Tech's social media power in check?

    After the Great Trump Twitter Ban and Parler Shut Down of 2021, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alluded to ways in which the Blockchain technology that facilitates and regulates Bitcoin could also be used for social media. Writer Nathaniel Popper followed up on this in an article for The New York Times, looking into companies that are actively looking into this kind of collective digital ledger-keeping methodology as a means to counter-act the power of Big Tech companies.

    In other words, it's about de-centralizing power. Ideally, anyway.

    Which means it can be used for righteous purposes:

    Last year, Arweave, a blockchain-based project for permanently storing and displaying websites, created an archive of sites and documents from the protests in Hong Kong that angered the Chinese government.

    But it can also be used to empower some less-than-savory perspectives as well, because that's how free technology works:

    Minds, a blockchain-based replacement for Facebook founded in 2015, also became an online home to some of the right-wing personalities and neo-Nazis who were booted from mainstream social networks, along with fringe groups, in other countries, that have been targeted by their governments. Minds and other similar start-ups are funded by prominent venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.

    […]

    At LBRY, the blockchain-based alternative to YouTube, the number of people signing up daily has surged 250 percent from December, the company said. The newcomers appear to have largely been a motley crew of Trump fans, white supremacists and gun rights advocates who violated YouTube's rules.

    When YouTube removed the latest videos from the white supremacist video blogger Way of the World last week, he tweeted: "Why do we waste our time on this globalist scum? Come to LBRY for all my videos in HD quality, censorship free!"

    There's definitely some interesting potential there, regardless of how it's mostly being used right now.

    They Found a Way to Limit Big Tech's Power: Using the Design of Bitcoin [Nathaniel Popper / New York Times]

    Image: Public Domain via Public Domain Pictures

    (Full Disclosure: I also write for Wirecutter, which is part of the New York Times Company, which also owns the New York Times.)

  • A brief history of the best video game title screens

    The Washington Post has a delightful new breakdown of the most influential video game title screens in history.

    Video game title screens are an artform. Their layout, design, imagery and sounds are the first impression players get of a gaming experience, and certain developers have taken title screen concepts to incredible, immersive levels. Launcher took a look at some of gaming's greatest title screens to see what makes them work so well. We considered multiple factors — cinematography, aesthetics, sound design, nostalgia, gaming legacy and how the title screen sets player expectations. Here's our breakdown of some of the best and most memorable video game title screens.

    The article by Jhaan Elker includes some thoughtful analysis on each screen's inclusion, but you can also watch the highlight reel in the clip video above.

    The best video game title screens [Jhaan Elker for Launcher / The Washington Post]

  • The real-life Schitt's Creek mansion is for sale, and wow, it's something

    First of all, if you haven't watched Schitt's Creek yet: get on that, it's delightful. It's one of those rare shows that's built on an inherent sense of optimism—even the most ridiculous characters (of which there are many) are still genuinely trying to be good people and make the world a little better. It's a little slow to start, but it pays off in just how much you end up caring about these people, absurd as they may be.

    At the beginning the series, the wealthy and successful Rose family loses their mansion and most of their belongings after being defrauded by their business manager. The mansion is opulent—a clear contrast to the joke town of Schitt's Creek where they end up.

    And now that very same mansion is for sale in real life. This 24,000 square foot 17th century Canadian monstrosity with 12 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms and Sistine Chapel-inspired frescos in the central foyer could be yours for just $15 million!

    Honestly, it's not that crazy at that price.

    30 Fifeshire Rd, Toronto, Ontario [Zillow]

  • Did Kurt Cobain fake his death and re-invent himself as Rivers Cuomo? Producer Rick Rubin asks Rivers Cuomo.

    There have been a lot of different conspiracy theories about Kurt Cobain in the nearly-30 years since his unfortunate death by suicide. But a new one that I just learned about is Kurt actually faked his death and re-invented himself under a new name: Rivers Cuomo, the frontman of Weezer.

    To be clear: this is utterly absurd, and arguably even a little insensitive, both to Cuomo, and to Cobain (though I suppose it's no less insensitive than any of the other Cobain conspiracies that have haunted his family and friends for decades).

    I learned about this conspiracy on a recent episode of the Broken Record podcast, hosted by famed music producer and Def Jam Records co-founder Rick Rubin, as well as others. Rubin interviewed Cuomo about the new Weezer record, OK Human, but starts off the conversation by asking him if he's familiar with the conspiracy theory.

    Naturally, Cuomo then proceeds to conduct the (almost) entire interview in character as Kurt Cobain Who Faked His Death And Re-Invented Himself As Rivers Cuomo.

    Rubin had previously produced the Weezer albums Make Believe and Red Album. He has an established relationship with Cuomo's particular brand of eccentricity, and there's clearly a sense of fun and dark humor in this weird interview style. Most of the podcast focuses on Cuomo's algorithmic, spreadsheet-driven approach to songwriting—which already makes for a pretty fascinating conversation, even if you don't particularly care for Weezer or Cuomo's robot-like workmanship. But commitment to the gag is pretty remarkable as well. Cuomo sticks with it, even as he reflects on his own development as a songwriter, going so far as to relate his meditation practices and piano playing back to "Kurt's" efforts to further distance himself from his past life.

    It's weird. But also interesting.

    Rivers Cuomo on Weezer's new approach and a wild Nirvana conspiracy [Rick Rubin / Broken Record podcast]

    Image: DoD photo illustration by EJ Hersom (Public Domain)

  • This cool new arts residency wants to transform interstellar space waste into sculpture art

    Greywood Arts is a wonderful artist residency and workshop in Killeagh Village, County Cork, Ireland. Like many places in both the hospitality and arts industries, they've been at a standstill during the pandemic, using the time as best they can to continue renovating and modernizing the historic Georgian property they call home.

    But now, another neat opportunity has arisen: they've teamed up with the National Space Centre of the European Union at the nearby Elfordstown Earthstation to establish a unique new artist residency program specifically aimed at sculpture artists working with space technology debris.

    And yes, "Elfordstown Earthstation" is a real thing.

    From the press release:

    "Greywood Arts is centred around the idea of artists and community coming together to explore the creative process," said Jessica Bonenfant Coogan, Greywood's Artistic Director. "Having the National Space Centre in our area means we can offer this exceptional opportunity for an artist to utilise unusual materials to create art that investigates reuse." 

    "We're excited to share space communications components including circuit boards, assemblies and data subframes with a sculptor, as well as preserved panels from our recently dismantled 11-metre EU-5B4 dish," explained NSC CEO Rory Fitzpatrick. "The decommissioned dish is a great example of the kinds of space sector refuse being generated as technology accelerates. This residency is a chance to cooperatively re-purpose what we can't recycle and see what emerges creatively from space waste." 

    The residency will see the selected artist on site at the NSC, collecting materials and investigating the other-worldly campus environment, before returning full-time to Greywood to begin a sculptural piece. It will conclude with an exhibition of the completed work at the end of the year, open to the public and planned to take place at the National Space Centre.  

    Full disclosure: I've known Jessica Bonenfant Coogan of Greywood Arts since before I could drive. She's a wonderful human and an endlessly passionate champion for the arts (plus, her and her husband are responsible for introducing me to the Cork Butter Museum where I had one of my most singularly wonderful museum experiences). But even if we weren't friends, I would still be fascinated by this unique opportunity to re-purpose junked space exploration hardware into installation art. And I'm excited for the day when I can travel overseas again and see what they've come up with!

    If you're interested in fiddling with space junk, applications should be available soon on the Greywood Arts website.

    Space Waste in the Spotlight as National Space Centre Announces Artist Residency with Greywood Arts [National Space Centre / Greywood Arts]

  • Ammon Bundy launches Uber, but for armed paramilitary protests

    [Update 2-19-2021: the sentence about a "shoot-out" with the Bureau of Land Management has been corrected. There was no shoot-out. There was an armed stand-off]

    From the Los Angeles Times:

    They had descended on Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash., the evening of Jan. 29 to protest the quarantine of Gayle Meyer, a 74-year-old patient who had refused to take a test for the coronavirus.

    Police in riot gear guarded entrances as the activists — who authorities said were armed — insisted that Meyer was being held against her will, a claim the hospital denied.

    Meyer's 49-year-old daughter, Satin, an anti-mask activist licensed as her caregiver, had summoned the demonstrators, foot soldiers in a rapidly expanding network called People's Rights. With the tap of a thumb on a smartphone, members can call a militia like they'd call an Uber and stage a protest within minutes.

    Behind the organization is a familiar name: Ammon Bundy.

    Ammon Bundy is the radical Mormon leader of such separatist movements as the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Takeover, which was inspired by what Bundy and his followers saw as unfair charges in an arson case (the actual arsonist disagreed with the occupation). He's also the son of rancher Cliven Bundy, whose 21-year-long dispute over unpaid federal cattle gazing fees climaxed in 2014 in a tense standoff with the Bureau of Land Management.

    In other words: Bundy's "People's Rights" app, which he describes as "neighborhood watch on steroids," was really the next logical step for him.

    Ammon Bundy is leading an on-demand, anti-mask militia. Some members have ties to far-right organizations [Richard Reed / LA Times]

    Ammon's Army: Inside the Far Right "People's Rights" Network [Institution on Research & Education on Human Rights and the Montana Human Rights Network]

    Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC 2.0)

  • Clarion Writer's Workshop announces new winter sessions with Cory Doctorow, Sanjena Sathian, Andrea Hairston, and others

    I had the privilege of attending the prestigious Clarion Writer's Workshop at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD in 2013, where I learned about writing from Cory Doctorow, MacArthur Award-winner Kelly Link, and other fantastic speculative fiction authors.

    Clarion not only taught me that I could make a living as a writer, but it also introduced me to a wonderful community of other writers, who cared about the things I did. Clarion has been a kind of "training ground" for a lot of successful sci-fi and fantasy writers, but it's also a pretty scrappy program, with not a lot of extra funding lying around. As such: it's been tremendously hurt by the pandemic, and the inability to host its usual 6-week workshop on campus at UCSD. (As the rare person who worked through my Clarion experience, I can assure you: the communal aspect is hard to replicate remotely.)

    This year, Clarion is trying several new strategies to expand its programming, including a new winter writer's series in 2 parts:

    • Writing the Magic and the Real – February 24, 2021, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
      On February 24th, join us for a conversation between Andrea Hairston, Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi and Sanjena Sathian about how they approach blending elements of realism—including historical events and contemporary culture—and the fantastic in their fiction.
    • Science Fiction: Balancing Worldbuilding and Narrative – March 24, 2021, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
      Join us for a conversation about the art of creating science fictional worlds and the stories that bring them to life with Cory Doctorow, Karen Osborne, and Kali Wallace, three incredible writers and Clarion alumni.

    The winter writer's series will be presented over Zoom, co-sponsored by San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. They're both free and open to the public, and will include some Q+A time with the audience.

    Clarion Workshop Winter Writer's Series

  • History of Prisencolinensinainciusol, the gibberish English song that charmed Italy and the world

    NPR wrote about Adriano Celentano's 1972 faux-English-language-hit "Prisencolinensinainciusol" (previously and previously at BB) on its 40th anniversary in 2012:

    Celentano, now 74 years old, says that he wanted to break down language barriers and inspire people to communicate more.

    "Ever since I started singing, I was very influenced by American music and everything Americans did," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, through interpreter Sim Smiley.

    "So at a certain point, because I like American slang — which, for a singer, is much easier to sing than Italian — I thought that I would write a song which would only have as its theme the inability to communicate," he says. "And to do this, I had to write a song where the lyrics didn't mean anything."

    "Prisencolinensinainciusol" is so nonsensical that Celentano didn't even write down the lyrics, but instead improvised them over a looped beat. When it was first released in 1972, Celentano says no one noticed it. But that didn't stop him from performing it several years later on Italian television. The second time was the charm: it immediately became No. 1 in Italy, as well as France, Germany and Belgium.

    I can't exactly speak to the authenticity of the gibberish words as sounding like English to a non-English speaker. But as an English-speaker, I think it does a pretty damn impressive job.

    It's Gibberish, But Italian Pop Song Still Means Something [NPR]

    (Here's a recent remix of the song. Same old gibberish, hot new beat. — Ed.)

  • What happened in the racism scandal at Bon Appetít

    The Condé Nast-owned Bon Appetít was a hit, bringing GQ-like hipster sexiness to food coverage. And in the summer of 2020, the magazine came under fire from a blitzkrieg of racist allegations—a scandal that many people who worked at the magazine believed was a long time coming. As Vox summed up at the time:

    Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport wrote a column about George Floyd's killing, his magazine's editorial mission, and the intersection of justice, inequality, and its discontents.

    "In recent years, we at BA have been reckoning with our blind spots when it comes to race," he wrote. "We still have work to do."

    Now, less than two weeks later, Bon Appétit is still working to address its blind spots — just not with Rapoport.

    After 10 years on the job, Rapoport resigned as Bon Appétit's top editor on June 8, after writer Tammie Teclemariam found a 2013 photo of Rapoport in brownface. Simone Shubuck, Rapoport's wife, originally posted the photo with the caption "me and my papi" and used the hashtag "boricua," a term for a person from Puerto Rico. But as offensive and embarrassing as that mistake of a photo is, it's not the entire reason Rapoport resigned.

    The photo, and Rapoport's behavior, was a symptom of bigger, unaddressed toxic work culture at the food magazine, according to staffers — one that many say extends to the food world at large, which has slowly become more diverse in recent years but is bedeviled by white gatekeepers.

    Now, Gimlet Media's Reply All podcast has just launched a 4-episode investigation into what, exactly, happened with the racist culture at Bon Appetít, beginning with its reinvention under Editor-In-Chief Adam Rapoport, who took over in 2010.

    But what makes the podcast stand out—aside from its topical subject matter—is its format. It centers the voices of people of color—and only people of color—in a unique and remarkable way. They rightly realized that no one needs to hear about structural racism from Adam Rapoport or Anna Wintour; it's more informative to hear the story from the people who experienced it. There's an "upstairs-downstairs" element to the story, too; literally, many of the interviewees worked in the test kitchen at Bon Appetít, which was downstairs from the editorial offices, and it was there that so many people of color struggled and strived, hoping to some day move upstairs and make it into print.

    There's also a refreshing candidness to the interviews, as various grapple with what, exactly, bigoted behavior and structural racism entail. The people telling this story readily admit that there were instances that—at the time—didn't seem particularly problematic, or at least, weren't necessarily indicative of a racist culture. But those subtle behaviors became more insidious over time, and in hindsight, especially after the full scope of Bon Appetít's long-standing problems was revealed.

    The first 2 episodes are available now, wherever you get your podcasts. The next 2 parts will presumably follow in the weeks to come.

    "The Test Kitchen, Chapter 1: Original Sin" [Reply All / Gimlet Media]

    "The Test Kitchen, Chapter 2: Glass Office" [Reply All / Gimlet Media]

    Bon Appétit's editor in chief just resigned — but staffers of color say there's a 'toxic' culture of microaggressions and exclusion that runs far deeper than one man [Rachel Premack / Business Insider]

    Image: Ken Lund / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

  • Industrious Swedes invent wind-powered cargo ship that's definitely not a sailboat

    The Oceanbird Wallenius is a 200-meter long, 40-meter wide "wind Powered Car Carrier" created by Sweden-based Wallenius Marine Services.

    Thousands of years have passed since we learnt to harness the wind so that ocean-going vessels could travel faster and further. The wind helped us discover our planet – now it can help us preserve it. 

    Innovative Swedish technology will make it possible to power the largest ocean-going vessels by wind, reducing emissions by 90 percent. Sails are no longer the issue – this time the rigging has more in common with airplane wings. Oceanbird is about revolutionizing technology that will put an end to the era of fossil-driven cargo ships in maritime transport. The wind is back.

    Or, to be more precise, the wind has always been there, but no one has been able to use it to power a cargo ship crossing the Atlantic with 7,000 cars in its hull. Until now. 

    When the first ship makes its maiden voyage, it will be a historical occasion for maritime transport. The international seafaring organization IMO has set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping by 40 percent by 2030. Oceanbird will contribute to changing, updating, and remodeling an entire industry.

    With telescoping "wing sails" that can extend from 20 meters tall all the way up to 80 meters, the Oceanbird claims it can cross the Atlantic in just 12 days thanks to the innovative power of wind. Yet, according to the Maritime Post:

    transatlantic crossing with 7,000 cars onboard will take around 12 days (today's crossings takes about 8 days).

    Oceanbird is a technically challenging project where the rigging and hull work together as a single unit to harness the wind in the most efficient way possible. The hull has been designed for a large sailing cargo vessel and everything has been developed from this; speed, steering technology, hull shape and appearance, and the design and construction of the rigging. It is a mix of aerodynamic and shipbuilding technology. When the first ship is completed, it will be the world's largest sailing vessel.

    In other words: it's the startup version of a sailboat.

    This Wind-Powered Gigantic Cargo Ship Will Carry 7,000 Cars Across the Atlantic [The Maritime Post]

    Oceanbird Wallenius

  • This white collar dot-com true crime story about Stan Lee's media company is absolutely wild

    True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee is a brand new biography from author Abraham Riesman about the life of Stan Lee, with all its complications. Riesman conducted more than 150 interviews and sifted through thousands of pages of private documents—legal paperwork, family voicemails, and more—to paint a much more nuanced portrait of the iconic Marvel spokesman that goes beyond the occasional cheeky cameo by an old man in sunglasses. "Stretching from the Romanian shtetls of Lee's ancestors to his own final moments in Los Angeles," the book cover reads, "True Believer chronicles the world-changing triumphs and tragic missteps of an extraordinary life, and leaves it to readers to decide whether Lee lived up to the responsibilities of his own talent."

    I was hoping to have a full review of the book up in time for its release this week, but I've unfortunately fallen behind on a few things. However, did time to read this jaw-dropping excerpt, courtesy of Vulture, which details the shady financial dealings around Lee's turn-of-the-millennium business venture, Stan Lee Media, which other journalists have described as "a sleazy Internet start-up that could function as the poster child for the excesses of the turn-of-the-century era."

    This wasn't necessarily Lee's fault, as Riesman explains, but had more to do with his business partner, Peter Paul:

    To hear him tell it, Peter Paul was a con man by age 13 — though he'd never use that term, of course. […] Paul has multiple felony convictions from the '70s and '80s: one from cocaine possession, another from trying to bilk the Cuban government in an elaborate scheme involving the fraudulent sale of 3,000 metric tons of coffee, a third from using a dead man's ID to cross the Canadian border. These, he claims, stemmed from secret missions he was performing on behalf of the U.S. government in the global struggle against communism.

    […]

    Paul's life story comes out in an overwhelming torrent when you speak with him: Spanish surrealists, Russian mobsters, Iranian nuclear officials, Nicaraguan death squads, Cuban counterrevolutionaries, Brazilian arsonists. These are the people who populate his self-professed personal chronicles. Who knows how much of it is true? Paul is charismatic and intimidating, the sort of man who could alternatingly charm and bully you into starting a business with him. And that's exactly what Stan Lee did, in 1998.

    […]

    In October 1998, Paul presented Stan with an employment agreement (formatted, for some reason, in Comic Sans) that would make Stan chairman, publisher, spokesman, and chief creative officer of a company Paul had registered, called Stan Lee Entertainment, Inc. The agreement stated that Stan would forever assign to the company "all right, title, and interest I may have or control, now or in the future" to all the characters and concepts he held any rights to, as well as his name, likeness, and special verbiage. Such a wide-ranging agreement was, as Paul puts it, "not usual, but it's not exceptional, either."

    More important, Paul says he had done research and found that the legal ambiguities of Marvel in the early '60s meant Stan, in fact, actually owned all of the characters he claimed to have created there, meaning this new company would own them. Paul says he planned to make a move on Spider-Man et al. eventually, but that Stan didn't want to do it right away, out of residual loyalty to Marvel. Stan signed the document.

    The story gets crazier from there, and even ends up twisting around some financial embezzlement tied to Hillary Clinton's first Senatorial campaign. Like I said: it's wild. I still hope to have a full book review up here soon, but in the meantime, this sample chapter should keep you satisfied.

    Stan Lee and the Dot-Com Disaster [Book excerpt via Vulture]

    True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee [Abraham Riesman]

    Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

  • Nevada bill would allow Big Tech to make their own Factory Towns and local governments

    From the Associated Press:

    Planned legislation to establish new business areas in Nevada would allow technology companies to effectively form separate local governments.

    Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a plan to launch so-called Innovation Zones in Nevada to jumpstart the state's economy by attracting technology firms, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday.

    The zones would permit companies with large areas of land to form governments carrying the same authority as counties, including the ability to impose taxes, form school districts and courts and provide government services.

    In other words: they're Factory Towns, where the workers earn money from an employer, which they then pay back to the employer in exchange for real estate, groceries, education, etc.

    The bill is reportedly designed to attract big tech companies to setup shop in Nevada. The businesses would have to commit to buying at least 78 square miles of undeveloped, uninhabited land within a single county, with plans to invest at last $1 billion dollars in their zone over 10 years. Blockchains, LLC is mentioned as one company that's already committed to such a project—which basically means that the aforementioned cyclical financial exchange probably won't even involve any physical currency.

    It's like the Industrial Revolution all over again. But this time with smart phones!

    Nevada bill would allow tech companies to create governments [Associated Press]

    In Nevada desert, Blockchains LLC aims to be its own municipal government [MarketWatch]

    Image: Public Domain via NASA Ames Research Center