Wednesday, February 6, 2013

La fine del mondo

I read in the Italian January National Geographic about a new concept for a spacecraft that can travel to other stars. Les Johnson, a NASA physicist, has proposed a laser-propelled, unmanned ship with a huge canopy of lightweight reflective material (for the laser to bounce off of). The pros of this concept are: The technology to make it already exist, and it doesn't have combustible parts (other starship ideas involve atomic bombs for propulsion, etc). The cons are that it would take centuries to reach a star (but that's not so bad) and that the canopy would have to be roughly as large as Mississippi and Alabama together, or a little smaller than Italy (260,000 km squared).

There's also an image of a gigantic tubular spacecraft for thousands of humans, who would take a trip to a different star that would last generations. The spacecraft would rotate to make gravity. It makes me sad that I won't live to see whether it works out or not.

Bergen, Norway, 2012

In other news, my favorite Italian idiom might be "la fine del mondo," as in, "questa torta e' la fine del mondo." It means literally "the end of the world," but in that context it means "extremely delicious." They usually use it for food.

Also I finished Two Girls, Fat and Thin which was, along with Dennis Cooper's Closer, basically la fine del mondo for me. 

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