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A Defiant Palestine, LCD Contacts and Cyborgs

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This column is designed to offer a platform to discuss national stories on a local level. Share your opinion in the comment section!

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The political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, now says that an Islamic Palestinian state will replace the land of Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to the New York Times. 

He spoke in Gaza on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, claiming that Israel will be "wiped away."

“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation, and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said. “We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.”

These are not new threats. But they are "fighting words," and won't do anything to relieve the tension between the two entities. 

It was Meshal's first trip to Gaza since his exile decades ago. 

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Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a ... computer in my eye? Apparently a contact lens with a computer screen could be available in as little as five years.

They could potentially show things like text messages and road maps, according to Jelle De Smet, the chief researcher on the project.

Other advances have been in the contact lens field. For example, scientists have discovered a way to repair the human cornea by using stem cells in a contact lens implant. According to RT.com, "stem cells have the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiation into a diverse range of specialized cell types," allowing the cells to multiply in the eye once the lens degrades. 

These advances are also available for entertainment. Rumor has it that Sony may soon offer contact lenses for gamers. The lens would allow Playstation to read your eye movements and react accordingly. 

Would that make us cyborgs?

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Speaking of cyborgs, maybe we already are. A cyborg is defined as a human that uses an external prosthetic device. So maybe we're low-tech cyborgs, as cyber anthropologist David Hess asserts.

Consider how much we already rely on technology that's been around for decades - microwaves, telephones, airwaves, hair dryers... Who would we be as a civilization without it all? 

Mobile technology has taken it to an entirely different level. Our phones alone are like an extra brain, set of hands and legs, on top of adding a bit of telekenisis to our human experience.

In 1888, an astronomer named Simon Newcomb said that "we are probably nearing the limit of all we can know about astronomy." While laughable now, it is tempting to say the same thing at this stage of our evolution. 

How far do you think it will go? How dependent do you imagine we'll be in 2050? What advances do you imagine? Or do you fear becoming part of the "Hive"? 

Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case has some interesting thoughts on this subject. 

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