It’s been an amazing week -- In the space of a few days, we’ve landed a robot on another planet and watched some of our own world’s superheroes push the boundaries of human sporting achievement in the Olympics. It's like we’re living in the future, man.
You probably saw Usain Bolt storm to victory in the 100m final in the second fastest time ever, but just how quick is that time compared to past winners in his event? This NY Times infographic highlights just how much has changed in 116 years of Olympic sprinting history, and makes you wonder what time the 2128 Olympians will clock.
This video highlights just how risky and spectacular the Curiosity landing really was - we can't believe that NASA pulled off a plan that involved a supersonic parachute, module thrusters and an elaborate “sky crane” all firing automatically while NASA waited helplessly back on Earth. And don’t even get us started about the fact that yet another awesome robot managed to capture a photo of the whole thing going down. Space explorers: consider the bar well and truly raised.
As the threat of climate change and rising sea levels looms for many low-lying coastlines and islands, one country has decided to fight back: the Maldivian government is considering some radical plans to save its country from future extinction, including replacing the Maldives altogether with artificial islands. Check out the artist impressions; they’re amazing.
Imagine what the world will look like in 100 years - and then look at these amazing illustrations to see how wrong you’re likely to be. 20th century French artists were asked to imagine the year 2000, and the result is a beautifully-illustrated paradox of humanity’s incredible capacity for imagination and our inability to see beyond the context of our own time.
This series from MIT's Technology Review rounds up an exciting crop of ideas that are shaking up the world of finance, from mobile payment systems like Square to smart banknotes that wirelessly connect to your bank account. It’s been a great week for these disruptive systems - Starbucks announced that they would use mobile payment processor Square in 7,000 U.S. stores, and closer to home, FreeAgent launched an online payment portal with payment startup GoCardless.