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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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The ray-cat solution

14 minutes

Could the weirdest solution to the problem of nuclear waste also be the best?

In 1981, the US Department of Energy and the civil engineering company Bechtel Corp assembled a task force to help tackle the problem of how to warn future humans to stay away from radioactive nuclear waste sites thousands of years into the future. Perhaps the strangest solution came from the French author Françoise Bastide and the Italian semiologist Paolo Fabbri, who proposed genetically engineering cats to change colour in response to radiation, and creating a mythology of danger around those cats. An exploration of unusually creative problem-solving, the French director Benjamin Huguet’s film probes how the once-obscure, decades-old ‘ray-cat solution’ has recently found new life.

Director: Benjamin Huguet

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Data & Information

The information age traffics in speed. To adapt to it wisely, we must slow down

5 minutes

Video/Mathematics

Going from A to B isn’t always a straight line – but it can be very good fun

2 minutes

Video/Agriculture

One man’s quixotic quest to bring American bison to his Scottish homeland

16 minutes

Essay/Data & Information

The bit bomb

It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of ‘information’. His answer was both a revelation and a return

Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni

Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

Quantum cryptography is unbreakable. So is human ingenuity

Joshua Holden

Video/Making

How to build a no-frills protected bed in the wild, from top to bottom

7 minutes

Essay/Technology & the Self

Natural, shmatural

Mother Nature might be lovely, but moral she is not. She doesn’t love us or want what’s best for us

Molly Hodgdon

Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

The body is the missing link for truly intelligent machines

Ben Medlock