Monday, July 30, 2012

Atlanta Loves Onyxcon


August 17-18, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia
Be There!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Starship Africa




An African American woman is making plans to travel to the distant stars and go where no man or woman has gone before.

The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to receive seed funding to form 100 Year Starship (100YSS), an independent, non-governmental, long-term initiative which will ensure that the capabilities for human interstellar flight exist as soon as possible, and definitely within the next 100 years. The winning 100YSS proposal, “An Inclusive, Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth and Beyond,” was created by Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence with team membersIcarus Interstellar and the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

Former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison will lead the global multi-partner organization. Dr. Jemison, the world’s first woman of color to travel in space (1992′s Space Shuttle Endeavour), brings to her leadership role her vast experience as an engineer, physician, professor, former Peace Corps medical officer, and entrepreneur. Known for achieving the improbable, Dr. Jemison also brings a spirit of audacity, innovation and inclusion to 100YSS.

“Yes, it can be done. Our current technology arc is sufficient,” says Dr. Jemison. ”100 Year Starship is about building the tools we need to travel to another star system in the next hundred years. We’re embarking on a journey across time and space. If my language is dramatic, it is because this project is monumental. This is a global aspiration. And each step of the way, its progress will benefit life on earth. Our team is both invigorated and sobered by the confidence DARPA has in us to start an independent, private initiative to help make interstellar travel a reality.”

100 Year Starship will bring in experts from myriad fields to help achieve its goal - utilizing not only scientists, engineers, doctors, technologists, researchers, sociologists and computer experts, but also architects, writers, artists, entertainers, and leaders in government, business, economics, ethics and public policy. 100YSS will also collaborate with existing space exploration and advocacy efforts from both private enterprise and the government.

In its first year, 100YSS will seek investors, establish membership opportunities, encourage public participation in research projects, and develop the visions for interstellar exploration. A 100 Year Starship Public Symposium will be held in Houston September 13-16, 2012, inaugurating what will be an annual event open to scientific papers, engineering challenges, philosophical and socio-cultural considerations, economic incentives, application of space technologies to improve life on earth, imaginative exploration of the stumbling blocks and opportunities to the stars, and broad public involvement.

The 100 Year Starship also will include a scientific research institute, The Way whose major emphasis will be speculative, long-term science and technology.

Alongside the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, a non–]profit organization that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) awareness and achievement, the principal 100 Year Starship team members are:Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit research and development organization dedicated to the research that will enable interstellar flight; and the Foundation for Enterprise Development centered on governance, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and R&D based organizational planning, management, and strategic planning. The SETI Institute, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to astronomy, life sciences, education, and public outreach, will hold a permanent seat on the 100YSS Advisory Council.
To sign up for e-mail alerts from 100 Year Starship or learn more about the 100YSS Public Symposium visitinfo@100YSS.org . Follow 100 Year Starship on Twitter (@100YSS). Contact 100 Year Starship at info@100YSS.org.

http://100yss.org/ -- The 100 Year Starship Website

Friday, July 27, 2012

Africa's New Mega City




Nigeria has ambitious plans to build a futuristic  community on land reclaimed from the Atlantic ocean.Within Lagos with a population of more than 10 million residents, Eko Atlantic City is literally rising up out of the waves. Daily, giant dredgers from China pump 400,000 tons of sand into a space between the shore and giant sea wall constructed of granite boulders. Reportedly, a project this size has never been seen in West Africa before. The result could be a modern, gleaming city that would turn the Wizard of Oz green with envy.

This oil-rich country may have big ambitions along with its big population of mostly poor people. Lagos with the addition of Eko Atlantic could become Africa's model mega-city. The builders and private investors seek to create a clean city with reliable power, sanitation, rapid transportation, financial and entertainment districts along with housing for hundreds of thousands of residents. This could bring jobs, education and healthcare for many citizens in the country. However, every big  urban renewal project has its big problems.

Construction of Eko Atlantic may be the cause of flooding in  sections of Lago's older slums. In news reports, some local citizens wonder if they will get a piece of the hi-tech addition to Lagos or simply be pushed away into new ghettos elsewhere and out of sight. Already, government forces have been destroying floating shacks with apparently no compensation to the inhabitants.

This brings to surface the clammy question: "Who will live in Eko Atlantic? Who will benefit from its luxuries and lifestyle elegance?" Nigeria has a very, very tiny super rich upper class, while the majority of the country is waist deep in poo and poverty. Crime and Internet scams are the norm. In Eko Atlanta not only would there be a wall to hold back the raging Atlantic surf; ordinary people who are merely seeking a day-to-day survival, may be prevented from entering and not allowed to walk the wide boulevards and  enjoy tea at an al fresco cafe under brilliant blue African skies. Rich foreigners  from the east and west stand to make a lot of money as well as own substantial real estate in  "walled"  communities that cater  to their affluent expectations.


But there is also a bright side. Eko Atlantic is still seeking investors and innovators. There are many African Americans who have the wealth and consciousness to influence this project; perhaps pool resources to build neighborhoods within Eko Atlantic. Schools and night clubs will be needed. Small consulting firms could thrive on the crumbs that the supercorps leave on the table.

Eko Atlantic is still in a larval form. This is an opportunity, now. African's new mega city could use guidance.



http://www.ekoatlantic.com/index.htm -- Eko Altanta, a new place to live and work

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eko_Atlantic_City -- Wikipedia is always a good place to start

http://www.citiesalliance.org/ -- The Cities Alliance is a global partnership for urban poverty reduction and the promotion of the role of cities in sustainable development.

http://www.cwcnic.com  -- 4th Nigerian Infrastructure & Construction Exhibition




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Visitas



After several years, I decided it was time to change my Web appearance. Actually, the decision was forced upon me when my long-time hosting service decided to up their fees. So, goodbye, and hello to the new me on line.

My views and opinions are wide and varied. I consider myself a writer and futurist, mostly; and citizen of the world whenever i find the time. Therefore, the following are the websites that I will be building to accommodate my ambitions:
  • sbattle.com is where I will be blogging; daily!
  • staffordbattle.com will be the home of my writing endeavors. Sample of my stories as well as links to my online bookstores (Amazon and Lulu).
  • AfricanAmericanScienceFiction.com will focus on the sci-fi genre with an African flavor
  • Nubianfantastic.com offers a peek into the world of sword and soul, black steampunk, horror, and fantasy
  • AfroSciFi.net is current events, interviews, special announcements and social networking.