More good stuff on the open frontiers – 11-9-13

I’ve used the analogy of a newly opened frontier in the areas of :

  • education,
  • space,
  • energy, and
  • publishing.

This post starts a new “good stuff” series.  Don’t have time to write a full post commenting on all the cool articles I see, so sometimes I’ll just link to articles and give a brief comment.

Here are some articles talking about the open frontier.


Via Meadia – Four in Ten College Grads Don’t Need a Degree for Their Work – Gallup poll reports the info in the headline. Many grads aren’t working in their field. Perhaps as many are working in a place where their employer requires a degree to show the potential employee has drive and some minimal level of perseverance. Article mentions need to separate training from classical education.


France 24 – NASA identifies three asteroids for potential capture – This is a small step in the long effort to mine asteroids. Finding suitable asteroids comes next, then pulling them into moon orbit, then testing them to verify they are mineral-rich, then the commercial mining can start.

Wall Street Journal – Startup to Sell Balloon Trips to Edge of Space– Cheaper than a ride on spaceship, Arizona-based Paragon Space Development Corp plans to offer a balloon ride to 100,000 feet in a specialized gondola. The price for each of the eight passengers? $75,000. Rides hopefully available starting in 2016.

Behind the Black – Private space in control – Calls attention to SpaceX signing a contract with the Stennis Space Center to test SpaceX’s new methane engine. Point of the story is the extent the private sector has taken the lead in space exploration. Picture it: a NASA space center is hunting for projects from the private sector to keep it busy. Places like SpaceX is where the R&D is going on.


Popular Mechanics – Urbee 2, the 3D-Printed Car That Will Drive Across the Country– In about 2 years, a mostly 3D printed car will make the cross-country trip using 10 gallons of gas. Then the duo taking the trip will turn around and cross the country again.

CNN – Texas company makes metal gun with 3-D printer – Company printed an M1911 semi-automatic pistol in metal. Claims to have fired 50 rounds through it. The video shows a visibly slow cycle. And 50 rounds? That’s barely enough to get warmed up on an average day at the range. How will it be functioning after the first 1,000 rounds?


Carpe Diem – Five jaw dropping facts about the Permian Basin. An amazing field. Two of the five jaw-droppers:

1New discoveries in the Permian could make it the world’s largest oil field.

2. The Permian is like six Eagle Ford shales stacked on top of the other . 

There are three specific areas inside the Permian Basin (Cline, Wolfcamp, Spraberry) which each could contain more oil that Bakken.

Since I’m now calling “Bakken” a unit of measure, that would suggest it is a possibility that 8 Bakkens could be coming on-line in the next few years. Just in Permian. And that would be new production.


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