Category Archives: Interesting Items

Things the staff found interesting, or fun.

Witnessing a Technological Revolution

Technological progress is usually as visible as plants growing in a garden. That is, growth happens to everything, but so continuously and gradually incremental it can’t be observed as it occurs. Just the results get noticed from time to time. Yet occasionally there are dramatic moments where something new bursts forth like an unexpected sprout from the soil, and affects all around it. Recently, as I have been a few times before, I was privileged to witness just as such a breaking point, a technological leap that vividly illustrates the way the world is going. It was a demonstration of the nature of progress at this time in history, and a harbinger of things to come. A tale of two crowns Last month, a tooth fell apart and I had to go in for a new dental crown. The procedure was the same as it had been the several times I had it done before. Flexible molds were made of the tooth from which a temporary crown was cast right there. Another mold was sent to a laboratory, which made a plaster cast which was then used to create the permanent crown. So back I come for another visit. Yet my dentist is a true perfectionist, and wasn’t satisfied with how it fit next to the remaining teeth, so he sent it back to the lab to be redone.  So a temp crown had been put in, taken out, and … Continue reading

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Cool Projects: September is Tech Fiesta Time

For a lot of people, September is “back to school” time. But it’s not just the little ones who can have their minds expanded with new ideas this year.  Since last year’s events proved to be so successful and well-received, the Albuquerque Technical Fiesta is back again to inspire and illuminate. Now called Tech Fiesta ABQ 2014, it features over a week of panels, presentations, and meetings by and with some of the brightest people in town from September 5-14. The schedule really kicks off with TEDxABQ on Saturday the 6th at Popejoy Hall at UNM. Now in it’s fifth year, TEDxABQ is an independently organized, officially-licensed TED event to showcase a full day of big local ideas and innovative thinkers who are making a difference. This year with the theme “Whispers and Roars”, there’s a roster of 18 dynamic speakers. Tickets are necessary and can be purchased at the site. The week following features various events at our own coworking space, Ideas and Coffee. On Wednesday, September 10 at 7pm, Quelab maker space hosts Ignite New Mexico. These are a free series of quick presentations on community chosen topics, designed to be fast, fun, and fascinating.  Then on Friday evening at 5:30pm at the City of Albuquerque Library Special Collections, there’s a talk by James S.A. Corey, sci-fi authors of the exciting The Expanse space opera series recently purchased by the SyFy Channel. The Tech Fiesta finishes up with … Continue reading

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New Mexico, for all its fame for ancient Indian cultures and rich Spanish tradition, is also a magnet for people who look not to the past but the future. After all, Robert Oppenheimer and Robert Goddard both lived and worked in our state, and the development of the atomic bomb and pioneering rocketry put our state on the map long before that infamous crash occurred at Roswell. (Who knows? It was probably that kind of science which drew them here, too – that, or the green chile.) It should come as no surprise then, that this proud technological heritage has been reflected in science fiction. The late Jack Williamson, a professor of English at ENMU, wrote novels where Albuquerque is the capital of the solar system because of all the cutting-edge technology being developed here. He was not alone, either. Robert Silverberg, Frederic Brown, and others also wrote stories in that vein. It made sense at the time, and once flights start taking off from Spaceport America, it might again. A lot of very smart and talented writers have been drawn to the Land of Enchantment, and being so bright, a fair number of them have elected to use Southwest Cyberport. Perhaps it was because for years our Director of Technical Support was none other than Daniel Abraham, who with Ty Frank, writing together under the pen name James S. A. Corey, have recently sold their The Expanse series to … Continue reading

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