Sunday, July 17, 2011

Space Lawyers and Hiding Outside of Time

Haven't written in a while, so.... hi!!!

Here's something that caught my interest recently- apparently researchers at Cornell University are saying that they've come up with a set of lenses that actually cloaks events in time. In their experiments, a beam of light is used along with a set of lenses which leave the flow of the beam apparently unchanged, while, in truth, extremely small, unobserved events have occurred within it. Apparently the current technique only allows events to be cloaked which last about 120 nanoseconds.
I'm a little more slow and bumbly than that, so they're going to have to find a way to stretch that cloak time out a bit if I'm going to be able to use it to get into real trouble...
Anyway, cloaking time is cool.
I think.
I'm sure that people in the military are already coming up with various terrifying applications for more advanced versions of this technology.

In other news, there was a sort of interesting bit on NPR this week about the likely expansion of "space law" as a growing area of legal practice. Given ongoing efforts to expand space travel and exploration as a private sector business, the FAA and other federal regulatory agencies are likely to see a much greater need for a whole new set of laws and rules in the relatively near future. (Spaceport America is already under construction near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and Virgin Galactic and other companies are planning space flights with purposes ranging from tourism to satellite deployment and repair to resupply trips for the international space station.) Everyone knows that more rules, laws, and regulations mean that there will be more disagreements and arguments about their implementation.
Enter the space lawyer.
I always new that this criminal justice thing was just sort of a temporary gig, anyhow.
I look forward to the day when I rocket into orbit in my suit (perhaps while wearing some sort of bubble helmet) to take depositions from private sector astronauts. It'll be difficult because I'll have to try not to become distracted by the view of earth out the space station windows. Or maybe I'll arguing pretrial motions before a space judge while a robot court reporter takes down my arguments.
But probably earthbound space lawyers will mostly just start out quarrelling over FAA regulations regarding spacecraft design and operation. Entrepeneurs involved in private sector space programs are already expressing concerns about the development of potentially restrictive rules that might hamper the development of new space travel vehicles. Of course, people on the ground might not want giant rockets landing on their homes.
At any rate, space lawyering sounds kind of interesting.
And I know I'd look good wearing a tie in my space suit, with my zero gee briefcase and bubble helmet.

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