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AuthorGus Mitchell

Author Archive: Gus Mitchell

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August 21, 2017

First synthesised in 1938, LSD has had an interesting experimental history, depending on your definition of “experiment”. While the ’70s counterculture took it to expand their minds, the CIA was using it to control them, exploiting LSD’s believed capacity to put people in a highly suggestible state to start an arms race of psychological warfare. […]

August 7, 2017

I’ve been wanting to do a SPAAAAAAAAAACE column since I started writing Super Science Trends. The only issue is “everything outside of Earth” is a pretty broad category to cover, so here’s a smattering, a constellation if you will, of news stories about the final frontier. SpaceX’s reusable rocket, the Falcon 9, achieved a successful […]

August 7, 2017

In an increasingly secular age, we often look to technology as our salvation. In borrowing that narrative from religion, we treat every new development, from the steam engine to CRISPR, as either the Second Coming or the herald of an apocalypse. Social media is a complicated case of this. While it is restricted by programming […]

July 24, 2017

A few columns back, I brought up the recent development of artificial wombs. Created at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, these plastic “BioBags” are filled with electrolyte fluids and outfitted with an oxygenator and nutrient-carrying tubes to better simulate the chemical and bacterial environment of a womb than an ordinary hospital incubator. While these artificial […]

June 6, 2017

Anyone patiently awaiting the next season of Mr. Robot (gestures wildly at self) should have found the news as entertainment enough this month, as the world’s technological infrastructure was hacked as part of the Wannacry attack. First detected on Friday, May 12, the attack sent governments scrambling to recover and patch their outdated software systems […]

June 6, 2017

Writers and critics have praised Rick and Morty for its sharp character writing and absurdist take on sci-fi tropes, and I count myself in that number. But there is a mounting backlash against it that I can’t help but pick a bone with. On one of the many, many pop culture podcasts I listen to, […]

May 22, 2017

There’s an old writing adage that a good sci-fi writer imagines the car, but the great sci-fi writer imagines the traffic jam. And now that we’re beginning to make science fiction into science reality, we have to start working out how to prevent those traffic jams before they happen. When it comes to self-driving cars […]

May 8, 2017

The initiative to resurrect the extinct woolly mammoth is, appropriately enough, back in the news again. Its chief campaigner is Harvard professor George Church, and while he has claimed that he and his team are “two years away” from a reborn mammoth since 2014, it’s now increasingly more likely to happen.

April 10, 2017

Come With Me, and You’ll Be, in a World of Total Automation! You know what my favourite part of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is? It’s not the Everlasting Gobstopper or the ironic punishments doled out upon the rotten children. It’s the reason why the Bucket family is in poverty. Charlie’s father loses his job […]