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April 19, 2007

A Big Tunnel

How's about we build a tunnel under the Bering Strait to connect Russia with Alaska. A little something like this, if you will:

beringstraitbridge.gif

Some ambitious Russians are working on getting it done:

Russia plans to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, as part of a $65 billion project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia.

The project, which Russia is coordinating with the U.S. and Canada, would take 10 to 15 years to complete, Viktor Razbegin, deputy head of industrial research at the Russian Economy Ministry, told reporters in Moscow today. State organizations and private companies in partnership would build and control the route, known as TKM-World Link, he said.

A 6,000-kilometer (3,700-mile) transport corridor from Siberia into the U.S. will feed into the tunnel, which at 64 miles will be more than twice as long as the underwater section of the Channel Tunnel between the U.K. and France, according to the plan. The tunnel would run in three sections to link the two islands in the Bering Strait between Russia and the U.S.

Interestingly, this is not a new idea:

Tsar Nicholas II, Russia's last emperor, was the first Russian leader to approve a plan for a tunnel under the Bering Strait, in 1905, 38 years after his grandfather sold Alaska to America for $7.2 million. World War I ended the project.

Of course, this will not just be a road connecting Alaska with Russia. This will be the Hemespheric Highway! It will become possible to drive from Paris, Texas to Paris, France; from Indianapolis to Istanbul; from Beijing to Buenos Aires. I'm not saying a lot of people will start making these drives -- then again, maybe they will -- but at least they'll have the option.

Anyway, it will be a good alternative to this. (See step 24.)

(Via InstaPundit.)

UPDATE: Stephen has additional thoughts over on The Spec.

UPDATE II: Whoa, it's a Speculist / L2si double Instalanche. Stephen, we need to get a third blog going and try for a hat trick one of these days.

April 06, 2007

Just Like a Mouse, Only Better

It's a little something called the human hand:

Technovelgy comments:

A camera focused on the user's hand above the keyboard detects when the user touches his forefinger to his thumb. When that "circle" is made, the software maps the gesture to the screen, allowing control in the same way that a mouse can drag and drop, and so forth. Gesture recognition using video frames grabbed in real time has been around since the early 1990's. The interesting thing about this story (to me) is not necessarily the PodTech software, but the fact that now all of the hardware components (built-in cameras, powerful processors) are standard equipment on many computers, and are cheap in any case.

Seems like a step in the right direction.

April 04, 2007

Interchangeable Blood

I've often wondered when this would become a possibility:

Blood groups 'can be converted'

The technique potentially enables blood from groups A, B and AB to be converted into group O negative, which can be safely transplanted into any patient.

The method, which makes use of newly discovered enzymes, may help relieve shortages of blood for transfusions.

blood.jpg

Of course, this is just a step along the way to fully synthetic blood, which will not only be interchangeable between all the different blood types, but will also provide other benefits as well

Via GeekPress.