Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

CIA joins Twitter

cia-twitter-tweet I read with interest recently that the CIA has just joined Twitter (and no doubt is now monitoring my blog because I used the term “CIA” – which means I need to be careful not to include the “T” word (terr0r1sm) in this blog, for fear of having my emails monitored too.

 

It’s refreshing to know that the CIA has a sense of humour though. Its first tweet read: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet”, followed up by, “Thank you for the @Twitter welcome! We look forward to sharing great #unclassified content with you.”

 

It is interesting to learn why the CIA should wish to start tweeting, an organisation that takes very careful control of what, if anything, is communicated to the general public. Normally it is angry ex-employees (#Snowdon, or as he may soon become known internally, he-who-must-not-be-named) who go public with CIA communications. Which may be precisely why they have decided to hit social media themselves, not so much driven by he-who-must-not-be-named, but because public opinion, whether they like it or not, is as important to them as it is to most organisations or companies. One slip-up can lead to bad press that can last weeks or months, and take even longer to fix.

 

If you care to take a look at their tweets, you’ll see that before drones and satellites taking photos, we had pigeons!!

 

I’ve had conversations with Directors, experienced of course, who do not see the need, or who cannot justify the return on investment, the time involved, or the expense of social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. My answer?: if the CIA is on twitter…..

 

Or as the CIA puts it: “The world is grappling with a new breed of challenges enabled by advancing technology”

Advertisements

July 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Suspended Animation….. now

Suspended Time  You have been involved in a severe accident. You are on the brink of death. Surgeons don’t have time to save your life – that should be it. Patients in Pittsburgh may find themselves the guinea pigs of a revolutionary experiment that involves replacing their blood with chilled salt water, a process that sounds more Sci-Fi than Sci-Fact

 

Medical researchers are experimenting with a process called induced hypothermia. The method involves draining a patient’s body of blood (if s/he hasn’t already lost a lot of it through injury) and pumping it with a chilled saline solution, so cooling it by more than 20C below the normal body temperature. It thus protects against the potential damage caused by blood or oxygen loss. The process places the patient in a state where s/he he is neither dead nor alive, buying surgeons time.

 

Once the injury is fixed, blood is pumped back through the veins, and the body is slowly warmed back up.

 

However, at the mention of the phrase, “suspended animation” one would likely think of Buck Rodgers, Aliens, (perhaps Austin Powers….) Though, if the process still sounds more Sci-Fi than Sci-Fact, it is about to begin medical trials in the USA on patients where no alternative exists. If all goes well, then scientists behind it hope to export the process globally.

 

 

Read the full article on the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140704-i-bring-the-dead-back-to-life

 

Image from: http://www.artpalestine.org/2011/03/taysir-batniji-suspended-time/

Taysir Batniji’s Suspended Time (2006)

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Science Fiction in Architecture and Design

Foundation-Building-by-Oscar-Niemeyer

I lifted this one from the blog of one of the best known Science Fiction Dark Fantasy authors around today, David J Rodger. Architecture has fascinated me for years and as time goes on, I see the cityscapes envisaged in Blade Runner and other Sci-Fi movies and William Gibson novels coming closer to reality. Architects have been building the skylines of the future, whether they are the high-tech concepts of Sir Norman Foster and others, or the concrete of the late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. For me at least, there is something of a Frank Lloyd Wright influence in Niemeyer’s work, at least in his exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete. Lloyd Wright is a favourite of mine, and not just for the Guggenheim in New York: Google the Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence).

 

If you want to relax for a few minutes over the last hours of the weekend, see some photos of Niemeyer’s work: http://www.yellowtrace.com.au/brazilian-architect-oscar-niemeyer/

 

If you are interested in Science Fiction & Dark Fantasy, go to this link: http://davidjrodger.wordpress.com/

 

 

July 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment