"Dimes on Mars is a private radio station by slobek and tomaz. We specialize in news, storys and radio magazine pieces.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Hell Bent by Kenna

Topic today: Trans-humanism

Moving towards a society where man plays God. Are we sure this is what we want? Do we know what we are getting into with nanotechnology, GMo foods, computer chips embedded in humans, pharmacology, and the abundance of other technological advances?

Celebrate Non-GMO Month in October

Raise awareness around you. We do not know what goes into GMO foods. These products have not been properly tested. They are not natural. Once introduced into our ecosystem, they cannot be removed. Think about it. We are playing with fire. Let’s get this topic on the table. The dinner table. The public needs to speak out before it’s too late. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sherringford Sherlock and Count Wampyr

We’ve talked about alternate universe book titles for the past couple of days, but sometimes it’s just the characters who have undergone name changes (and in some cases, sex changes). Here are 10 of them!

1. Scarlett O’Hara was almost named Pansy. In fact, the iconic character didn’t receive her iconic name until just before the story went to print.

2. In early drafts of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly was named Connie Gustafson. That’s an entirely different character, in my opinion. Side note: Truman Capote is thought to have based Holly on several different women, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Oona Chaplin, and Walter Matthau’s wife, Carol Grace. His own mother was probably also an inspiration.

3. Bram Stoker’s notes on Dracula reveal that he had been referring to his famous vampire as “Count Wampyr.” During research, Stoker came across Vlad II of Wallachia, who went by the name Vlad Dracul. He was intrigued enough to change his character’s name.

4. Similarly, Arthur Conan Doyle made notes that indicated he had been considering the name “Sherringford” for Detective Holmes.

5. If that doesn’t throw you for enough of a loop, consider this: Holmes’ assistant was originally going to be called “Ormond Sacker.” Arthur Conan Doyle decided the name was a bit too bizarre and changed it to the decidedly duller “John H. Watson.”

6. Batman’s alter ego was named for Mad Anthony Wayne because the creators were looking for sturdy, historical names that suggested gentry and entitlement. Before “Wayne” was determined, Bruce Adams and Bruce Hancock were considered. Bruce, by the way, came from Scottish patriot Robert Bruce.

7. Before “Nancy Drew” was decided upon, names kicked around for the plucky young heroine included Stella Strong, Diana Drew, Diana Dare, Nan Nelson, Helen Hale and Nan Drew.

8. Small Sam, Little Larry and Puny Pete were all in the running before Charles Dickens settled on “Tiny Tim” for the sickly sad sack in A Christmas Carol.

9. Little Orphan Annie was nearly Little Orphan Otto, until Harold Gray’s publisher at the newspaper syndicate suggested his character looked more female than male and told him to stick a skirt on it.

10. It may have been a much different story if George Lucas had gone with his original “Luke Starkiller” name. Although the Skywalker name prevailed, “Starkiller” has since popped up for other characters.

from Mental Floss

Just Another Michelangelo on the Mantle

Imagine the painting that you’ve always kept on the mantle above the fireplace is suddenly found to be a rare painting by the most famous painter of all time, worth somewhere between 10 million and 300 million dollars. 

This impossibility could be the case for the Kober family in upstate New York. 

They called the painting “The Mike.” Rumor of its origin passed between family members as it changed hands with the generations. Finally in 2003 Martin Kober, newly retired and with time on his hands, decided it was high time to solve the mystery. So he set out, contacting Renaissance art scholars, auction houses, archives and even traveling to Italy to meet with museum directors. There he found Antonio Forcellino, an Italian art historian. 

Forcellino traveled to Buffalo to view the piece, assuming he would report back to his colleagues about this crazy American who thought he had a Michelangelo. 

Forcellino could not believe what he saw. The painting of Mary holding a wounded Jesus is the same moment Michelangelo depicted in the famous Pieta sculpture housed in St. Peter’s Basillica in Rome. Forcellino was dumbfounded. He says, “This painting was even more beautiful than the versions hanging in Rome and Florence.”

The art historian gives several reasons why he believes the painting to be authentic. X-ray examinations revealed that the painting had many alterations, showing that the artist changed his mind. A copy artist, obviously, would not change his mind. Secondly, there is an unfinished portion near the Madonna’s right knee. “The evidence of unfinished portions demonstrate that this painting never, never, never could be a copy of another painting,” Forcellino said. “No patron pays in the Renaissance for an unfinished copy.” 

Forcellino has just finished a book about the piece titled, “The Lost Pieta.” He believes the painting was done around 1545 as a gift for Michelangelo’s friend Vittoria Colonna. Additional evidence includes a letter from the Vatican library discussing a Pieta painting for Colonna. Some experts disagree, saying the painting is a masterpiece from the 16th century, but not a Michelangelo.  

Forcellino, however, is “absolutely convinced” that the painting was a Michelangelo. His main concern became the conditions that the painting had been living in for the past century - air condition, fireplaces, central heating, and stray tennis balls. 

Rest assured, potentially worth millions, the painting is now in a vault and is being prepared for an upcoming exhibit.


20-year-old frozen embryo is born

A 42-year-old Norfolk, Virginia woman has given birth to a healthy boy from an embryo that had been frozen for almost 20 years, reports the journal Fertility and Sterility. The woman received the embryos from a couple who had also undergone the IVF, in vitro fertilization process and successfully conceived. The distinction came in the fact that these leftover embryos have been frozen for nearly 20-years! This means that this newborn has a sibling out there who was conceived at the same time, but is 20 years old.

Oh, the head spinning that happens when technology is applied to the nuances of life. In a separate procedure, a mother froze embryos for her 7-year-old daughter, who was born with condition that could leave her infertile. If the daughter uses these embryos, she will give birth to a half-brother or sister!

In fact, there are roughly 400,000 frozen embryos in existence today. A doctor at the Infertility Center in St Louis (naming it fertility clinic would have been the half-full option) actually advises women to have eggs and ovarian tissue frozen as a sort of safety net in case cancer, life, or age strikes. 

Let us know what you think about these new developments. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

– Masdar City, Arcosanti and PlanIT Valley all vying for a piece of the Eco-Pie

Paolo Soeri’s Arcosanti

Ecocities, those green pasteurs of postmodern living, are the latest in technological midwivery.  The concept being, we can save the earth by wedding technology directly to micro-managing our lives and eventually our very organisms, through H+.  What began in Brave New World, continued through THX 1138 and landed eventually in Arcosanti, masdar city and PlanIT Valley is the realization of this idea, this need to tackle our expansion and consumption problem.

A view of the arcosanti cafe

In Arizona, USA, we have Arcosanti, an urban eco city based on the “Arcology (architecture and ecology)” philosophy of Paolo Soleri, located about 70 miles north of phoenix, that while only a model, attempts to actualize the theory behind urban sustainability.  A key feature being it’s beehive like living quarters where might residents take up housing nestled together in a space-friendly manner.  Everything else one needs, is just downstairs -like living in a mall with it’s own garden if memory serves.  The site has been in development since 1970 and is actually quite neat, aside from my disdain for the proposed living quarters. 

UAE/Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City

Masdar City

Soon to follow, Masdar’s masdar city, an eco energy cluster which again is an uber planned community with a focus on sustainability.  Admist the UAEs recent financial fiascos not drastically unlike ours here, the push for nation states the world over is to shift towards sustainable development as the next innovation, the internet or realestate boom of the 21st century, if you will.  The government of Abu Dhabi is therefore investing directly into building a new Palm City of sorts hedging on the what’s admittedly best for all, while vying for a leadership position in the future of energy development.  Two birds with one stone on this front.  The inhabitants have already moved into the community, though it’s not slated for completion until around 2020.  Masdar City will have universities and innovation centers onsite, a true Silicon Valley made of vegan cheese and tofurkey.

PlanIT Valley

Planned view of PlanIT Valley

Jumping ahead of either of these two, straight from Portugal, is PlanIT Valley, an eco urbia with all the technology you shake a tweet at.  Executive Steve Lewis of Living PlanIT has great ambitions for Europe’s new Silicon Valley. Set for completion around 2015, PlanIT Valley is hoping to have all the eco sustainability of solar panels and grass covered homes with the added benefit of 24 hour all encompassing CCTV surveillance for the safety of it’s inhabitants.  That makes PlanIT especially frightening.  What makes it interesting is it’s model: it is designed using the human body as a framework.  The city has a brain, a nervous system, a stomach and of course, eyes and ears.  A central computer controlling everything from water usage to energy consumption, a stomach which thrives on its own waste and even a set of kidneys to divert water from tanks in need from those with excess.  And the Petabytes of information and heat from processing all the data from the millions of sensors required to manage the city?  It will be used to heat buildings and manage climate.  Did we mention the weather will be monitored and managed to ensure complete control?  What happens when the system catches Rhinovirus, or worse yet, someone develops AIDS (not saying we think that happened or anything.

Chew on that for a while.  The ideas might almost be exciting if it weren’t for the realization that we are ruining our food supply with our love of all things artificial.