Science! Science Fiction That Stopped Being Fiction In 2012

Have you guys seen this list of 27 things that made the transition from science fiction to reality in 2012? I mean, they aren’t part of everyday reality just yet. But that’s okay. Some of these were big news for everyone (James Cameron’s adventure to the ocean depths, the discovery of the Higgs boson), but I had not heard about a few of these.

The short version of the list? Mentally controlling a robotic arm, robots crossing an obstacle course, silk that is stronger than steel, DNA photographed, invisibility cloaks, spray-on skin, reaching the depths of the ocean, stem cells may extend human life significantly (it worked on mice), 3D printer prints a house, legalized self-driving cars (in a few states; they’re just thinking ahead, really), Voyager I leaves the solar system, a human mandible was printed and given to a patient (as in, it’s part of his body and it works, now), rogue planet found floating through space, monkeys created from more than one embryo, artificial leaves that generate electricity, the Higgs boson discovered, inexpensive solar panels, diamond planet, optical implant to restore sight, Wales recorded the DNA of every flowering plant in Wales, an unmanned commercial flight docked with the International Space-Station, flexible glass, robotic exoskeletons (for NASA), human brain’s practical functions are observed, a planet with four suns, and Microsoft patented real-world virtual reality for games.

So, that’s just the list. You should really read the actual list and look at the pictures (and videos) and read the descriptions. So worth it.

But, for me, there were some definitely highlights. Um, stem cells dramatically extending human life. Obviously, “dramatically extending” is not the same thing as immortality. But, if this treatment is available and affordable within, say, three decades, then that gives me a very good chance of living long enough to, well, never die. This treatment does not confer immortality, but we all know that it’s …4

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Michelle Obama Heading “Women for Obama”

"Women for Obama" Buttons Featuring Michelle Obama
Women played a key role in the presidential victory of Barack Obama, and the stage is set for this to continue into the 2012 fray.  A 48% percent approval rating among women as of an October Gallup poll that showed Obama tanking in many other demographics backs this up.

So where does Michelle Obama fit into this?

From Ms. Magazine:

First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as honorary chair of the 2012 “Women for Obama” initiative, which aims to gather support from women voters for the President’s bid for reelection next year. The initiative is a branch of the Obama campaign’s “Operation Vote,” focusing on targeting minority groups and other voters who traditionally align themselves with the Democratic Party.

In an email sent to Obama campaign supporters, First Lady Obama stated, “Today, we are officially launching Women for Obama – and I am incredibly honored to be serving as its chair. This is a special group dedicated to growing this campaign from the ground up. Because we know better than anyone that movements for real and lasting change have got to start at the grassroots – and they’re sustained by the relationships we develop with one another. Together, that’s what we’re going to do – build relationships with supporters, new and old, and grow this campaign – one woman at a time.”

I know that the decision …

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Hurricane Michele?

Comic Making Fun of Michele Bachmann

I know that making fun of the utterly ridiculous things that come out of the mouths of Tea Partiers is somewhere between art form and cliché.  The fact that this is particularly true of the group’s female members is especially dismaying.

And yet, as was recently pointed out in the case of Christine O’Donnell crying “sexism” over being called to the carpet for saying … well, completely stupid things, they keep doing it.

And Michele Bachmann, who for some reason is being viewed as a serious contender for the 2012 Republican nomination, has really kept the ball rolling with …

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Nalmefene: “Just One Drink” Pill for Alcoholics?

Photo of Drunk Girl Hanging on Toilet
I’ve never had a drinking problem—well, other than the fact that, for a period of time in college, I did a lot of drinking because it was fun and what the cool kids did and alcohol seemed to make me more entertaining and so on.  With just a few exceptions, my alcohol consumption has never impacted anything more than the surface of my life (of course, those exceptions were doozies, but that’s a story for another day).

However, I have spent much of my life living with alcoholics, most recently of course my ex-husband.  I think about how he went from a good, kind, well-intentioned, hardworking, responsible man to a lying, sneaking, abusive, violent waste of space.

In his defense, he has come a long …

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