Whether you're new to Think Inc. or you've been with us from the beginning, thanks for being part of our community.
Our mission with Think Inc. Thursdays is to select the most interesting and important stories from the week, and give you the basics on them to pique your interest to learn more.
As always, let us know about any interesting news you come across – we love hearing from you!
Suzi Jamil | Owner and Director of Think Inc.
FIRST MARS SAMPLE
The Mars Perseverance rover has successfully taken the first sample EVER from Mars.
The sample comes from the Jezero Crater, which scientists believe could have been a lush lake bed some billions of years ago. Not only will the regolith sample show what the past climate was like, but it may also provide signs of ancient microscopic life!
The sample is a bit thicker than a pencil and will be stored in an airtight titanium container until it returns to Earth in about 10 years time.
FUTURISTIC WIND TURBINE
Surprise, surprise, the Norwegians have come up with another genius idea.
Norwegian company Wind Catching Systems has designed a floating, multi-turbine mill that could generate five times the annual energy of the world’s largest wind turbine.
As you can see, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill mill. Instead of three big blades, it’s a square grid composed of over one-hundred small blades, and it stands on a floating platform anchored to the ocean floor, making the most of the strongest offshore winds.
This futuristic design will be fitted with bird radars to prevent collisions with any migrating birds. The team hope to have a prototype ready for next year.
ONLINE PRIVACY TAKES A HIT
The Australian Government has passed The Identify and Disrupt Bill, which is part of a complete overhaul of our digital surveillance laws.
This Bill essentially gives government agencies ‘hacking’ powers, in which they can gain access to encrypted data, before its relevance can be determined.
Technically, police will be able to log into your account, post content and chat with your contacts. There is also an ‘emergency authorisation’ procedure, which allows agencies to do all this without a warrant!
The Department of Home Affairs says this Bill is needed due to the increasing amount of criminal activity that’s done through ‘anonymising’ technologies, or through the dark web.
Agencies will be able to require service providers such as Facebook, Instagram or Reddit, to hand over copies of your data, without notifying you.
Are you concerned about this Bill? Or are you the type to think “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about”?
METZL INVITES K RUDD
You may know Jamie Metzl for his advocacy in demanding transparency on the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, but did you know that he’s also founded an organization called OneShared.World?
Metzl was concerned with the isolated, individualistic way that countries (or states, if you’re Australia) were handling the COVID pandemic, which could have been much better managed if countries had united and worked collaboratively.
OneShared.World will be holding the 2021 “Rise or Fall Together” Interdependence Summit at the end of this month, with the aims of developing new strategies and recommendations on how leaders can work together on a global scale to solve massive problems.
This year former Aussie PM, Kevin Rudd, is a featured speaker. If you want to watch his speech, you can attend the online event for free – just register on their website (linked below).
Check out the Lex Fridman interview with virologist, immunologist and microbiologist, Vincent Racaniello.
Vincent lives and breathes viruses (too soon?) and his insights into rabies, ebola and the flu are very interesting. Of course they discuss COVID-19 and vaccines as well.
If you want a really in-depth and honest conversation with an expert in virology (not a Facebook expert in virology) give it a listen.
Another great podcast comes from our mates Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer. They discuss evangelizing for evolution, skepticism, philosophy, and the incredible amount of books that Dawko has written over his lifetime, including his latest book, Books Do Furnish a Life.
We’ve still got a few signed copies of his book Science in the Soul, one of my favourites, on the Think Inc. Shop, so grab yours today!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Some people can't even keep their terrestrial plants alive, but already astronaut Megan McArthur has mastered the art of space gardening. Here you can see her with her chilli plants on the ISS.
Check out her Instagram, it's a unique glimpse into the life of an astronaut.