Saturday, January 23, 2010

Inspiration

While I may not usually write what most would consider the more science-fictional end of the SF-fantastic continuum, and while I never really enjoyed science classes when I was in school, I find myself frequently reading the science, space, and tech articles in popular press venues. Little interest in the specs of such things, but the fact that they can do this or have learned that is fascinating. Probably my two favorites are archaeological findings and biological discoveries, especially zoological and botanical. New animal species, new understanding of evolutionary trends, new plant mechanisms, rediscovered relics and foundations and the things they say about those who lived there...

So while I don't have any new insights from any nonfiction books this week, I will link to one article, about an armor-plated, deep-water snail, nicknamed the iron snail. The article is primarily about how the snail's armor could inspire new approaches to bullet-proof vests and similar things, which is interesting itself--it seems we're constantly finding new things in the plant and animal kingdoms that then influence technology. But also, just the snail itself inspires me to refresh my memory on the fascinating ecosystems that have evolved in places like deep sea vents. Really, even the most imaginative SF stories are no more wild and strange to human imagination than places like that, far underwater.

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