Resource-Crisis

Resources for pregnant women who need help

Option Line

Birthright International

Heartbeat International

Teen Mother Choices International

Human Coalition

Sisters of Life

Pregnant On Campus

Get Your Care

Care Net

Save the Storks

Feminists For Life

Maggie’s Place

The Nurturing Network

Single Mother Help

Good Counsel Maternity Homes

The Good Counsel Network (UK)

LIFE Charity (UK)

Cardinal Winning Pro Life Initiative (UK)

National Life Center

American Pregnancy Helpline

Teen Mother Choices

Life Call

Vifac (Mexico)

Life Pregnancy Care (Ireland)

Cura Crisis Pregnancy Support (Ireland)

SOS bébé (France)

Donne-moi la vie (France)

Sos Futures Mamans (Switzerland)

Pregnancy Counselling Services (New Zealand)

Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre (New Zealand)

Voice for Life New Zealand

SOS Vita (Italy)

Centri di Aiuto alla VITA (Italy)

La quercia millenaria (Italy)

Bethany Christian Services

Independent Adoption Center

Catholic Charities Adoption

Gladney Center for Adoption

Cúnamh Adoption Services (Ireland)

Also check your local United Way or YWCA for parenting support, baby supplies, medical assistance, and shelter.

Reblogging links from: @patron-saint-of-smart-asses​ and @silent-arrow

PSA mental health services!

TUMBLR YOU HAVE FAILED ME FOR NOT TELLING ME ABOUT CRISIS TEXT LINE SOONER

Q: HOW DOES CRISIS TEXT LINE WORK?

A:

  1. You text 741741 when in crisis. Anywhere, anytime.
  2. A live, trained crisis counselor receives the text and responds quickly.
  3. The crisis counselor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested referrals – all through text message using Crisis Text Line’s secure platform.

Q: WHO SHOULD TEXT IN?

A: We exist to help anyone in crisis at any time.

Q: WHO ANSWERS THE TEXT MESSAGES?

A: Crisis Text Line crisis counselors are both rigorously trained volunteers and employees of our crisis center partners.

Q: WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I TEXT IN?

A: You’ll receive an automated text asking you what your crisis is. Within minutes, a live trained crisis counselor will answer your text. They will help you out of your moment of crisis and work with you to create a plan to continue to feel better.

Q: HOW MUCH DOES CRISIS TEXT LINE COST?

A: We do not charge texters. If your cell phone plan is with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon, texts to our short code, 741-741 are free of charge. If you have a plan with a different carrier, standard text message rates apply.

Based in the US, but they’re actively recruiting people to set up services in other countries. Another wonderful resource for those of us who hate telephones.

savethestorks.com
When Women Don't Have a Choice - Save the Storks
The following was written by Deborah Muse, an English Instructor at Crowder College in Webb City, Missouri.

To cap off the discussion, I summarized, “So, what you all are showing me is that you know a pregnant woman has three choices, but you really only seem to know the most about one of these. Why don’t you know as much about adoption as you do abortion?”

No one answered for a while; however, one student offered an idea, “We just don’t learn or even talk about it as much. We hear about abortion all the time in the media and how people are either for or against it.”

Another student chimed in, “The focus is on abortion – when does life occur, what about rape victims, are they harvesting stem cells, and all that. Sure, that other information may be out there, but that’s not the focus.” I could see them processing the information.

This is why I made that one master post about resources for mothers/parents (which @by-grace-of-god has compiled much more neatly here.)  SO many people are not fully aware of them, pro-choice or pro-life.

I’d also like to note that Bubbled has further contextualized the resource crisis here- or rather, Eyeball’s reaction to Steven’s healing powers as something mythic that she didn’t believe until she experienced it personally- and took as something only Rose Quartz would be capable of. 

Effectively the popular fanon Homeworld as an organization that frequently or even regularly executes Gems cannot exist.

Getting a crack is a death sentence and Homeworld is already struggling for enough people to fill all the jobs they have. Rhetoric’s like what Jasper’s holding onto- that ‘weak’ or ‘flawed’ people don’t deserve good things- are dying out and we already know Jasper herself isn’t a very staunch defender on it, given she actively points out that Peridot’s been deprived of her assistive technology and (implicitly, thus) her dignity. 

No wonder Homeworld’s main focus at this point, rather than apprehending the Crystal Gems, is trying to get Jasper off the planet. They’re trying to lose as few people as they possibly can and Peridot has made it clear she’s not exactly playing for Homeworld any more.

And this, quite potentially, leads to a huge incentive that may spur one or more reform arcs: because at this point entirely outside of whatever Peridot has in mind about sustainably accessing Earth’s resources, Steven stands to be an incredibly important asset to Homeworld’s current crisis.

He’s a healer- and implicitly, it was Rose’s healing power that let her set up the fountain, so Steven could do the same. And moreover he’s making real headway on repairing the corrupted Gems, not all of which are going to want to settle down and live on Earth forever given it’s the site of an incredibly dark, traumatic chapter of their lives. And there are a lot of them on Earth. One of which is that “perfect” quartz that Homeworld has been trying really hard to get back.

And quite possibly someone else

problemglyphs.org
Problem Glyphs Now Has a Crisis Resource Page

Since it takes weeks or months to get a glyph in response to a problem submitted to our ask box, and because so many of these problems are medically urgent, Problem Glyphs now has a page with a list of crisis resources, including crisis support that does not require you to speak to anyone on the phone. If you have a resource that you think should be added to this page, please let me know.

I apologize for not doing this a long time ago.

10

"As I've been telling Jim, we have a serious resource crisis to deal with. Day's coming when there won't be enough food to sustain us."

4

Seizure of the SS Mayaguez

U.S. Marines successfully recovered the SS Mayaguez and her crew on May 15, 1975. After his safe return, Captain Charles T. Miller sent a telegram from the ship to the White House thanking President Ford and “all the brave military forces who are fighting and dying to save our lives.”

Major Ray E. Porter and Captain Walt Wood raised a U.S. flag on the SS Mayaguez. One of the ship’s crew members later gave a framed photograph of the moment to President Ford.

Two months later in July 1975 Miller met with President Ford in the Oval Office and presented him with the helm’s wheel from the SS Mayaguez. The captain remarked to President Ford that the “American planes looked like angels coming out of the sky” during the rescue operation. President Ford thanked him and all the naval personnel who were strong and resourceful throughout the crisis.

For Ford, the efforts of the military during the ordeal were in the “best spirit of America.” 

kyotoreview.org
The Real Crisis of Philippine Democracy

The Philippines is one of the poster boys for democracy’s disintegration in Southeast Asia. Current President Noynoy Aquino’s successive blunders, from pork barrel scandals to the Mamasapano incident, are the latest episodes in the story of a decaying political system. Competition for power remains confined among the elites and political dynasties at the expense of the marginalized poor. Elections are less than a year a way, but the growing distrust in the government dampens the ordinary Filipino’s desire for a Messiah to deliver her from poverty and misery. Does this reneder Philippine democracy hopeless? Is it a fading cause for those who want to change the status quo? A look at the state of democratic politics might shed light on the real crisis of democracy, that is, its futility in severely fracturing the country’s oligarchic system.

Southeast Asia’s oldest, but dubious “democracy”

More than a decade ago, the Philippines was the Southeast Asia’s flag-bearer for democracy. Technically, it had all the prescribed democratic institutions in place, such as the congress and mechanisms for popular participation, from the national down to local levels. Free elections have been the mode for selecting government leaders since 1946. Its history was even immortalized during the 1986 EDSA Revolution where the Filipinos showed how “people power” could peacefully topple the oppressive Marcos regime. This was a period of democratic high in the Philippines that soon inspired other nonviolent revolutions in the region and in Latin America.

However, this admirable image of Philippine democracy abroad proved to be skin deep, especially after a series of coup attempts against the “People Power President” Corazon Aquino. The country is not exempted from Southeast Asia’s “regression from democracy”. 1 Today, there is no sign of a return to democracy in Thailand, while in Indonesia the controversial law on restricting direct local elections has diminished the expectation for democracy to flourish. Cambodia is still under a 79-year-old ruling Cambodian People’s Party that shows no sign of opening the political space. And the world has yet to witness Myanmar’s sincere commitment to democratic transition, a process that is still highly dependent on the fate of Aung San Suu Kyi. The only thing that may be saving the Philippines’ democratic skin is that it is the “best among the weakest” – a description too pejorative to appreciate.

The oldest democracy in Southeast East Asia is indeed impaired. In 1992, David Timberman pointed out a paradox in his book A Changeless Land: Continuity and Change in Philippine Politics: despite a change in the form of government from authoritarian to democracy in 1986, Philippine politics was mired with enduring patterns of corrupt governance, electoral fraud and poverty. This claim still holds. A quick glance at development indicators shows that 25.2 per cent of Filipinos are still living in poverty, lagging behind Vietnam (with its one-party system led by communists) and Sri Lanka, 2 and it ranks 38/100 in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI). 3 Neither figure has significantly improved in the last decade. Socio-economic inequality remains a major issue and taxpayers wonder where their contributions go: to improve public service or to fill politicians’ pockets.

Today’s “People power”

The Filipinos’ once proud democratic innovations are decaying. First, street protests in the metropolis are rendered ineffectual, if not harmful. If Thailand has become notorious as the home of coups, then the Philippines is now viewed as an “EDSA state”. 4 The viability of replicating the first EDSA Revolution in the twenty-first century has lost its appeal after attempts to first oust and then bring back President Joseph Estrada, euphemistically labeled as EDSA II (January 2001) and EDSA III (April 2001) respectively. This exposed the nation’s “crowd mentality” ala Gustav Le Bon. By the time Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was suspected of electoral fraud, questioning her legitimacy to rule, the majority of the Filipinos had lost the vitality to participate, or even appreciate those who tirelessly protested on the streets.

Second, elections have become an apparatus for extracting political power from the voters. Previously ousted leaders or their family members, like Imelda Marcos and her son, as well as Estrada and Arroyo, hold significant government positions. The number of incidences of vote-buying and electoral violence increased, raising doubts about the efficacy of elections to keep dominant political groups and clans in check. Whereas the oligarchs, the few who hold much of the nation’s wealth and power, are guilty of these electoral crimes, their mass market, composed of the the poor and “uneducated” is demeaned as “bobotante” (ignorant voters) by the elite establishment. The “elites” question the political underclasses’ ability to make sound leadership choices because of their vulnerability to selling votes and to populism. With the majority being thus exploited with only a number in control, our elections are nothing short of a mockery of democracy.

Finally, the social media highway certainly provides a quick route to awareness and whipping up a crowd. Some would argue that the Filipinos have found in cyberspace a new alternative to the streets. Here, attacking a corrupt politician to glorifying a celebrity virgin bride is made easier. Political participation becomes an act of indiscriminate knowing and compulsive reaction. It puts a new twist to an old Marxist motto: All netizens unite separately in our own homes, we have nothing to lose but 5GB of our data! The convenience of having just a smartphone as a weapon against the state makes the netizen’s voice appear more piercing than the analog street protesters.

Yet, while the nation might be the world’s social networking capital for four consecutive years, a spectacular Facebook community does not make a vibrant democracy. Whether a pithy message means anything more than a string of ones and zeros remains a big question. In the furious online expression in the Philippines two things transpire: First, demands online call for more policies, more regulations, more laws – a bigger government not bigger people – which downplays democracy’s crucial role in keeping politics from solely being a legislative, rubber-stamping domain; second, there springs a naïve belief that the Internet and other media outlets belong only to the people as weapons against tyranny. As free as they seem, social media networks are little different to other media forms. The highest bidders can propagate their own agendas. Tyrants, moguls, and bogus operators can pursue their interests in guise of serving the public good.

The mass media, moreover, no longer embodies the critical mediator in public discourse. It simply recycles memes to use as clickbait. The emphasis on what is entertaining or, better still, paid for reduces serious political debates to flimsy spectacle, rendering the tagline “objective, critical, in-depth analysis” a meaningless puffery. In sum, the Philippine media landscape reinforces what political philosopher Sheldon Wolin describes as, “the virtual disappearance of the culture of participation and its replacement by a culture of privatism, isolation, and… consumerism”. 5

This is the face of today’s “people power” in the Philippines. Protests, elections and netizenship are the three powerful forces thought to be outside the oligarchic and weak institutions that infest the country’s political system. Yet these things have actually made the people more disenchanted, and their ability to contest is incorporated into a Huxleyan dystopia. What if these tools contribute to the worsening of Philippine politics, rather than flushing away its rotting parts? What if they are transforming spaces for inspiration into mere outlets for the cynical? Or worse, what if the corrupt system has already co-opted these mechanisms to further strengthen their hold on power, silencing voices in the guise of a good listener?

A Tirade of Adjectives

Scholars trying to make sense of Philippine democracy’s paradox find themselves trapped in a predictable formula: The Philippines is democratic but with caveats. The only thing that changes in analyses of democracy in the country is the modifier: “cacique”, “clientelist”, “elite”, “oligarchic”, and “bourgeois”. These studies, focusing on the weakness of democratic institutions and the stronghold of powerful groups, describe the country’s political condition so to explain how it works and why it is good or bad. They have been useful in providing well-grounded and comprehensive discussions of what is detected on the surface. Yet the way this mainstream discourse treats political issues also warrants critical attention. 6 Addressing the glaring contradiction of having an oligarchy within a democracy surely calls for normative interjections to move from what Max Weber classifies as “passive” democratization towards an inventive democracy. While the former concentrates on governance via professional politicians, specialists and legislation, the latter is more appreciative of the creative capacity of various agents to challenge our commonplace, pessimistic understanding of politics as the domain of the few. 7

When linked to poverty alleviation and development, the negative view of the corrupt government becomes the backbone of the lingering neoliberal assumption called “marketization of governance”. Privatization, deregulation and adherence to external policy prescriptions, such as those of the IMF and WTO, are taken as the basic requirements for socio-economic progress and considered indicators of an improving government. 8 Accordingly, a set of palliative, complex reform policy strategies that give less government responsibility, more power to the private sector and demand for “experts” can avert the spread of malignancy. In this world, people are numbers and statistics, their voice drowned in a sea of technicalities. Business clubs and policy “specialists” accumulate power and control, while ordinary citizens become recipients of negative externalities of their prescriptions.

Expertise is unnecessary to gather information and evidence for this. Spending a day or two in Metro Manila is enough to know what is wrong. It is where opulence and demeaning poverty co-exist side by side, as if in a parallel universe. Gated communities and buildings are fortresses to fend off the feted stench, dirt and miserable, conditions that sum up the reality for the majority. While the upcoming Forbes CEO Conference will be held in the safety and comfort of a five star hotel, the Smokey Mountains grow as a forgotten fixture in the Manila landscape. It is almost laughable that the successful indie film, “Metro Manila”, carried the subtitle “The most dangerous city in the world” (sekai de mottomo kiken na machi), when released in Japan. An offensive addition as it may be, it captures the message of the story: crime is sometimes the only way out of poverty in the metropolis, even for those who have the conscience to do otherwise.

The Filipinos’ dire everyday plights are consequences of treating democratic politics as merely a means to choose their government. Legitimacy is reduced to an issue of legality and of concrete and formal institutions. Suffice it to say for now that it leads to two severe implications. First, to speak of oligarchy can as a mainstay of democratic politics undermines its critical purpose of contesting the ruling elite. It becomes a sitting duck for those who want to correct the corrupt system. Second, it perpetuates the elitist idea that the “people” who can make decisions are small group of specialists, policy-makers and organizations exchanging notes in their privileged and “gated” enclaves. It has been forgotten how the people, as in the general public, post-EDSA can create a significant fissure in the country’s seemingly changeless system.

Against prescriptive limitations to democracy

It is thus typical to see Philippine democracy as excessive where the institutions are being ripped apart by the free willing powerful. During a debate between Lee Kwan Yew and Fidel Ramos in 1992, the late former Singaporean Prime Minister told the Philippine President that the “exuberance” of democracy in the country is counterproductive for its development. A couple of decades later, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammad reiterated Lee Kwan Yew’s words, stating that that while democracy is the “best system of governance devised by men” it will only work if there are proper limitations. Both Southeast Asian leaders believe that Philippines is exercising too much democracy, and that injecting some authoritarian measures would not hurt the country. This is not purely an Asian prescription – it is endemic in most Western conservative critics of what Samuel Huntington misleadingly labels “democratic distemper”.

Lee’s and Mahatir’s prescriptions carry weight, given their success in digging their countries out of poverty. However, the democratic institutions they castigate are the vital means to dispute oligarchic governments, and to let democracy flourish for the people. What we see in the Philippines today is an oligarchic system posing as democracy, not “too much” democracy. By understanding democracy in terms of parliamentary and other formal procedures, the conflictive, antagonistic side of democracy – the necessary tonic that keeps it alive – is subverted for the sake of preserving the status quo. The real crisis of Philippine democracy (and even of other countries’) is the oligarch’s unstoppable usurpation of participatory means disguised in the” name of the people” to maintain their positions. 9

Still waiting after 400 years …

Both the anti-colonial revolutionaries’ search for a Messianic figure and the late political scientist Remigio Agpalo’s prescription to cure the ills of Philippine politics, the “Pangulo Regime”, demonstrate the nation’s dependence on a single, authoritative person to save the country. After almost 400 years of waiting, the Messiah has not arrived. Still, the false prophets urge Filipinos to wait in vain as they gamble for and with their future.

Yes, the Filipinos are becoming indifferent. Yes, the poor and weak are exhausted. Yet, what appears to be growing apathy can also be seen as a moment of awakening. It is perhaps times to consider the possibility of political salvation without a unifying figure. In the margins, individuals and groups are beginning to form their own political culture of resistance against various forms of subjugation and marginalization, while others seek refuge outside the country to create their own “Philippines”.

In a true democracy, the power to make decisions is shared indiscriminately, it is not concentrated on the few and the privileged. It is capable of tirelessly challenging frozen assumptions and prevailing worldviews. It is not only about formal procedures and policy reforms, but also the infinite potential of the people to discredit these existing institutions through their own in search for better means of governing that does not curtail freedom. The Philippines, in other words, has yet to prove the real power of democracy, that resides in the possibility of a new collective salvation.

Carmina Yu Untalan
Carmina Yu Untalan is from the Philippines and is currently undertaking her PhD at Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.

YAV, Issue 18, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. September 2015

Notes:

  1. See Joshua Kurlantzick, “Southeast Asia’s Regression From Democracy and Its Implications,” Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/democratization/southeast-asias-regression-democracy-its-implications/p33023
  2. World Development Indicators, http://data.worldbank.org/country/philippines
  3. Transparency International, http://www.transparency.org/country#PHL
  4. Walden Bello et. al., The Anti-developmental State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. (New York: Zed Books, 2005). Also see his essay, “Requiem for the EDSA State?” at http://www.waldenbello.org/requiem-for-the-edsa-state-part-2-regime-change-and-the-political-economy-of-development/
  5. Sheldon Wolin, Toqueville between in Two Worlds: The Making of a Political and Theoretical Life. (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2003), 9. ↩
  6. See Santino Regilme, “Why Asia’s Oldest Democracy is a Failure”, Journal of Developing Societies 31, no. 4 (January 2015), for a good examination of the theoretical shortcomings of dominant approaches in the study of Philippine democracy and politics. ↩
  7. Among known scholars on the subject, only Nathan Quimpo managed to veer away from this institutional, elite-centric focus study of Philippine politics. By calling Philippine democracy “contested”, he argues that the left are an indispensible actor in shaping the country’s democratic politics. There is however a growing criticism against the left’s ability to challenge the status quo. For more, see See Patricio Abinales, The Revolution Falters: The Left in the Philippines After 1986. (New York: Cornell University Press, 1996); Susan Quimpo’s “Why we dismiss the Left” http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/25996-why-we-dismiss-left and, Rigoberto Tigalo’s, “Tragedy of the Philippine Left”, http://www.manilatimes.net/the-tragedy-of-the-philippine-left/84791/
  8. See Walden Bello et. al., The Anti-developmental State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. (New York: Zed Books, 2005) ↩
  9. This assertion is inspired by Jacques Ranciere’s Hatred of Democracy. (New York: Verso, 2014). ↩
5

This War of Mine

I’ve been playing this game and I have to say that it’s fantastic. It’s an apocalypse survival game based of the events of civilians during the siege of Sarajevo. You play with a random group of NPC’s using your precious time during the day to build and maintain contraptions to help gather and create resources as well as doing chores and comforting your fellow group members that might be going thru a depressive mood swing (they can commit suicide). At night it’s frantic scavenging, often thru occupied buildings. I personally follow the smash and grab approach of get in, get the stuff, avoid contact, get out. You can only carry a small amount of resources every run and the list of things you need only piles higher and higher adding to the stress of trying to survive. After a while you start to rationalize stealing medicine from a resource barren crisis hospital. Better you than them right?

Seriously guys you need to play this game it’s amazing.

Interstellar may be the first movie that shows a "real" warp drive

External image

At last we got to see the full trailer for Chris Nolan's Insterstellar. The drama seems centered around a worldwide food crisis fired by climate change and resource depletion—a quite probable future. The space travel part seems equally plausible, showing what may be the first realistic depiction of a real warp drive.

Of course, warp drives are not realYet (hopefully?) But physicist have theorized about it and NASA has a small group of people working on them. I’m firmly in the camp of “if we can imagine it, we can build it.” But we will get to that later. 

I completely buy the trailer’s vision of a future weather and resource global crisisThe global data is unquestionable. Man-made or not, I don’t care, the fact is that climate change is happening. It’s drastic and it’s accelerating, and we may not be able to stop it at this point.

Computer simulations show that we are headed to a place where humanity hasn’t been before. The projections are so bad that the military have deemed it a national security threat already. And trust me, the men and women of the Pentagon are not tree-hugging hippies.

As climate changes, everything changes. We are already seeing the effects on agriculture, with ruined crops and food scarcity in many parts of the world. Or better said, we are not seeing it—people who live in third world countries are. Our oceans’ fisheries are also dwindling quickly, with many species on the verge of exhaustion.

Combine this with the millions of poor people getting out of poverty conditions in China, India, South America and Africa. They are consuming more and more of resources that are already scarce. More food. More energy. More oil. More everything. Even if the population doesn’t go up, the demand will keep increasing at a fast rate. It’s not going to stop.

Still, I’m an optimistic person who thinks that science may save us at the last minute. Perhaps that’s Nolan’s thesis—or perhaps it’s the contrary. We don’t really know yet. But I have no doubt that we are headed into this direction.

The realistic intergalactic travel scenario

In the trailer we can see the space crew going into this:

External image

It’s some sort of portal, some gravitational bubble that looks very much like this picture of a gravitational lens seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.

It’s been reported that Nolan has been talking to astrophysicists and aerospace experts about it. I’m sure one of them has been Dr. Harold “Sonny” White, at the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. Back in 2012 I wrote this article about his efforts, explaining why something like the type of travel portrayed in Interstellar may become a reality. It’s reproduced below:

“Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.” These are the words of Dr. Harold “Sonny” White, the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. Dr. White and his colleagues don’t just believe a real life warp drive is theoretically possible; they’ve already started the work to create one.

Yes. A real warp drive, Scotty.

When it comes to space exploration, we are still cavemen. We got to the Moon and sent some badass robot to Mars. We also have those automatic doors that swoosh wide open when you get near them, but that’s about it. It’s cool, but we are far from being the space civilization we’ll need to become to survive for millennia.

With our current propulsion technologies, interstellar flight is impossible. Even with experimental technology, like ion thrusters or a spaceship’s aft pooping freaking nuclear explosions, it would require staggering amounts of fuel and mass to get to any nearby star. And worse: it will require decades—centuries, even—to get there. The trip will be meaningless for those left behind. Only the ones going forward in search for a new star system would enjoy the result of the colossal effort. It’s just not practical.

So we need an alternative. One that would allow us to travel extremely fast without breaking the laws of physics. Or as Dr. White puts it: “we want to go, really fast, while observing the 11th commandment: Thou shall not exceed the speed of light.

Searching for warp bubbles

The answer lies precisely in those laws of physics. Dr. White and other physicists have found loopholes in some mathematical equations—loopholes that indicate that warping the space-time fabric is indeed possible.

Working at NASA Eagleworks—a skunkworks operation deep at NASA’s Johnson Space Center—Dr. White’s team is trying to find proof of those loopholes. They have “initiated an interferometer test bed that will try to generate and detect a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble” using an instrument called the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer.

External image
It may sound like a small thing now, but the implications of the research huge. In his own words:

Although this is just a tiny instance of the phenomena, it will be existence proof for the idea of perturbing space time-a “Chicago pile” moment, as it were. Recall that December of 1942 saw the first demonstration of a controlled nuclear reaction that generated a whopping half watt. This existence proof was followed by the activation of a ~ four megawatt reactor in November of 1943. Existence proof for the practical application of a scientific idea can be a tipping point for technology development.

By creating one of these warp bubbles, the spaceship’s engine will compress the space ahead and expand the space behind, moving it to another place without actually moving, and carrying none of the adverse effects of other travel methods. According to Dr. White, “by harnessing the physics of cosmic inflation, future spaceships crafted to satisfy the laws of these mathematical equations may actually be able to get somewhere unthinkably fast—and without adverse effects.”

He says that, if everything is confirmed in these practical experiments, we would be able to create an engine that will get us to Alpha Centauri “in two weeks as measured by clocks here on Earth.” The time will be the same in the spaceship and on Earth, he claims, and there will not be “tidal forces inside the bubble, no undue issues, and the proper acceleration is zero. When you turn the field on, everybody doesn’t go slamming against the bulkhead, which would be a very short and sad trip.”

The energy problem, solved

There was only one problem with all this: where does the energy come from? While we knew that warp drives were theoretically possible, physicists have always argued that they would require a ball of exotic matter the size of Jupiter to power it. Clearly, that was not practical. But thankfully, Dr. White has found a solution that changes the game completely.

External image

The Eagleworks team has discovered that the energy requirements are much lower than previously thought. If they optimize the warp bubble thickness and “oscillate its intensity to reduce the stiffness of space time,” they would be able to reduce the amount of fuel to manageable amount: instead of a Jupiter-sized ball of exotic matter, you will only need 500 kilograms to “send a 10-meter bubble (32.8 feet) at an effective velocity of 10c.”

Ten c! That’s ten times the speed of light, people (remember, the ship itself would not go faster than the speed of light. But effectively it will seem like it does).

That means that we would be able to visit Gliese 581g—a planet similar to Earth 20 light years away from our planet—in two years. Two years is nothing. It took Magellan three years to circumnavigate around our home planet—from August 1519 to September 1522. A four year roundtrip to see a planet like Earth is completely doable. And there are even closer destinations where we can send robots or astronauts.

The important thing is that there is now a door open to a different kind of exploration. That, like Dr. White says, “perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.” We may be witnessing the very beginning of a new age of space exploration, one that would finally take us from our pale blue dot back to where we belong.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more excited than when Captain Kirk got his first unobtonanium underpants.

So yeah, I am really excited for Interstellar

I keep reminding myself not to build up my expectations because I may get disappointed, but I can’t. This movie is going to be scary and exciting. Scary because this future may be around the corner and we may not find a solution in time. And exciting because this may be the first science fiction movie that shows interstellar travel in a plausible way.

It’s just a movie, of course, but at least this is better than the usual science fiction crap that Hollywood shoves down our collective throat.

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/interstellar-may-be-the-first-movie-that-shows-a-real-1577548722