The Great Courses started offering free resources on the coronavirus outbreak back in March, with a brief “What You Need to Know” explainer and a free lecture course on infectious diseases. After catching up on the history of epidemics, we’ll find ourselves naturally wondering why we learned little to nothing about the Spanish flu.
Via Open Culture
After an epic struggle with the weather for 35 days, Geoff Mackley, Bradley Ambrose, Nathan Berg, became the first people ever to get this close to Marum Volcano’s famed lava lake on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu. Coming within 30 metres of the lava lake down a watercourse, it was possible to stand the heat for only 6 seconds. With Fire Brigade breathing apparatus and heat proof proximity suit it was possible to stand on the very edge and view the incredible show for over 40 minutes.
“They are called excavator mulchers. That’s polite. What they really do is swallow trees. This one, a DAH Forestry Mulcher from Quebec’s manufacturer Denis Cimaf, consumes a 30-foot-tall, mature spruce (starting at the top, landing at the bottom) in 15 seconds. The tree that was, suddenly isn’t.”
Text via NPR
This project aims to raise public awareness of the environmental pollution by artistic means. Digioxide is a portable wireless device equipped with sensors of air pollution gases and dust particles that is connected to computer via bluetooth. This allows a person with digioxide to freely move around a city, seek out ecologically problematic places and turn their data into digital artworks.
More info via vtol
Humans have sought immortality since at least the 22nd century B.C., if the ancient story “Epic of Gilgamesh” is any indication. And if we’re looking for biological immortality, we might have to keep looking. But if you don’t mind living a virtual life, immortality might be yours for the taking.
Our new digital lives have opened up countless ways for us to express thoughts and share ideas, particularly on social media. While you’re busy posting your latest selfie, something much more meaningful is happening. With each photo you take or message you write, technology is slowly capturing digital artifacts of your life. Artifacts that someday not too far from now might be reassembled into your virtual avatar.
Instead of flipping through photo albums, imagine if your great-grandchildren walk over to the latest voice-controlled computer of their day and say, “I want to talk to grandma.” In just seconds, a “virtual you” is projected into the room ready for a quick conversation. Your thoughts, stories, favorite phrases and even mannerisms are all correct. Sounds far-fetched, but not as much as you might think.
In fact, there are several companies who promise to collect your digital content and create a virtual you, including Eterni.me, LifeNaut and LIVESON.
Read full article by HuffPost HERE
The TellSpec laser scanner appears, at least in its demo form, to have potential. The device is a raman spectrometer that uses an algorithm to calculate what’s in your food. You point the laser at a potato chip for instance, and the accompanying app on your smartphone gives you a read-out of the ingredients.
The creators raised more than $380,000 on Indiegogo at the end of last year. Now the company has to take some big steps towards getting the device on store shelves.
According to TellSpec: TellSpec is a three-part system which includes: a spectrometer scanner, an algorithm that exists in the cloud; and an easy-to-understand interface on your smart phone. Just aim the scanner at the food and press the button until it beeps. You can scan directly or through plastic or glass. TellSpec analyzes the findings using the algorithm and sends a report to your phone telling you the allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients in the food. TellSpec is a fast, simple, and easy-to-use way to learn what’s in your food. We need your help to make it smaller and manufacture it as a handheld device.
Image via Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Right now, there about 1,100 satellites whizzing above our heads performing various functions like observation, communication, and spying. There are roughly another 2,600 doing nothing, as they died or were turned off a long time ago.
How did each of these satellites get up there? And what nations are responsible for sending up the bulk of them?
The answers come in the form of this bewitching visualization of satellite launches from 1957 – the year Russia debuted Sputnik 1 – to the present day. (The animation starts at 2:10; be sure to watch in HD.) Launch sites pop up as yellow circles as the years roll by, sending rockets, represented as individual lines, flying into space with one or more satellites aboard.
Read Full article at CityLab
Sure, at this point we just continue with Facebook because it is interesting to see the collapse of a city, we were brought into, from within.
“It is very unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is proving you wrong and proving himself, wrongly, right.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
― Leo Tolstoy, A Confession
“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”
― Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
“It is not truth that matters, but victory.”
― Adolf Hitler
Desktop interface plugin developed from 2011 by Oliver Hamann has a file management system which requires zooming in and out the folders you wish to access.
Eagle Mode is an advanced solution for a futuristic style of man-machine communication in which the user can visit almost everything simply by zooming in. It has a professional file manager, file viewers and players for most of the common file types, a chess game, a 3D mines game, a netwalk game, a multi-function clock and some fractal fun, all integrated in a virtual cosmos. Besides, that cosmos also provides a Linux kernel configurator in form of a kernel patch.
By featuring a separate popup-zoomed control view, help texts in the things they are describing, editable bookmarks, multiple input methods, fast anti-aliased graphics, a virtually unlimited depth of panel tree, and by its portable C++ API, Eagle Mode aims to be a cutting edge of zoomable user interfaces.
Eagle Mode is distributed under the GNU General Public License version 3.
There are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux (and possibly one for Android too).
You can find out more at the project’s website HERE
German based watchmakers NOMOS Glashütte are known for their high caliber of watchmaking and this video proves it. Aptly titled Look over the watchmakers’ shoulder we get an intimate look at the intricate process that goes into the making of a watch.
They say: “Plenty of tradition and handcraft—combined with high-tech, where it outperforms handcraft: That is NOMOS Glashütte. All our movements are built in-house and by ourselves in Glashütte. This also applies to our watches—Tangente, Orion, Zürich and all the other models—many of which are already considered classics. You can find out how we do this by visiting us in Glashütte and taking a tour. In the meantime, this short film can give you a first impression of what we do.”
ORIGINS OF THE MOONWALK
Dancers (in alphabetical order):
Fred Astaire, Bill Bailey, Buck and Bubbles, Cab Calloway, Clark Brothers, Sammy Davis Jr., Daniel L. Haynes, Rubberneck Holmes, Patterson and Jackson, Eleanor Powell, Bill Robinson, Three Chefs (only the feet), Tip Tap and Toe (feat. Ray Winfield), Earl Snakehips Tucker
Video edited by CFJ
For more info go to YouTube.
Copenhagen Suborbitals is a suborbital space endeavor, based entirely on private donators, sponsors and part time specialists
According to them: “Our mission is to launch human beings into space on privately build rockets and spacecrafts. The project is both open source and non-profit in order to inspire as many people as possible, and to involve relevant partners and their expertise. We aim to show the world that human space flight can be different from the usual expensive and government controlled project. We are working full time to develop a series of suborbital space vehicles – designed to pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft. The mission has a 100% peaceful purpose and is not in any way involved in carrying explosive, nuclear, biological and chemical payloads. We intend to share all our technical information as much as possible, within the laws of EU-export control.
They work in a 300 sqm storage building, called Horizontal Assembly Building (HAB), placed on an abandoned but yet historic shipyard in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The areas around HAB provides them with enough space to test their own rocket engines, and being situated close to the harbour of Copenhagen makes it easy for them to go into sea for our sea launch operation.
They have no administration or technical boards to approve our work, so they move very fast from idea to construction. Everything they build is tested until they believe it will do. Then they (attempt to) fly it!
Some of their main design drivers are:
– Keep as much work in-house as possible
– Choose mechanical solutions over electrical
– Use “ordinary” materials for cheaper and faster production
– Cut away (anything), instead of adding
Images and Text via Copenhagen Suborbitals
Co-chief movie critics for The New York Times Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott discuss their list of 20 great filmmakers 40 years and younger.
This is a list of 20 filmmakers to watch. Other than their relative youth — one turned 40 a few months ago, and several more will join him soon — they share little besides passion and promise. But bringing them together, and shining a light on their accomplishments and their potential, seems especially urgent as another new season of serious moviegoing gets under way. Here’s why: We are living in a time of cinematic bounty. In multiplexes and beyond, movie lovers have a greater, more dizzying variety of choices — and of screens, large and small — than at any time in history.
Read the story, and watch examples of these directors’ work HERE
Tel Aviv University researchers use a zoological method to classify symptoms of OCD and schizophrenia in humans.
Because animals can’t talk, researchers need to study their behavior patterns to make sense of their activities. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University are using these zoological methods to study people with serious mental disorders.
Prof. David Eilam of TAU’s Zoology Department at The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences recorded patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and “schizo-OCD” — which combines symptoms of schizophrenia and OCD — as they performed basic tasks. By analyzing the patients’ movements, they were able to identify similarities and differences between two frequently confused disorders.
Published in the journal CNS Spectrums, the research represents a step toward resolving a longstanding question about the nature of schizo-OCD: Is it a combination of OCD and schizophrenia, or a variation of just one of the disorders?
The researchers concluded that schizo-OCD is a combination of the two disorders. They noted that the behavioral differences identified in the study could be used to help diagnose patients with OCD and other obsessive-compulsive disorders, including schizo-OCD.
The taxonomy of mental disorders
“I realized my methodology for studying rat models could be directly applied to work with humans with mental disorders,” Prof. Eilam said. “Behavior is the ultimate output of the nervous system, and my team and I are experts in the fine-grained analysis of behavior, be it of humans or of other animals.”
The main features of OCD are, of course, obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurring and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted and cause marked distress or anxiety. In contrast, compulsions are repetitive motor behaviors, such as counting, that occur in response to obsessions and are performed according to strictly applied rules. Schizophrenia is marked by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, abnormal motor behavior, and diminished emotional expression, among other symptoms.
Eilam and graduate student Anat Gershoni of the Zoology Department and Prof. Haggai Hermesh of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine set out with Dr. Naomi Fineberg of the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in England to resolve the controversy. To this end, they recorded and compared videos of diagnosed OCD and schizo-OCD patients performing 10 different mundane tasks, like leaving home, making tea, or cleaning a table. The patients met the criteria of the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
A matter of space
The researchers found that both OCD and schizo-OCD patients exhibited OCD-like behavior in performing the tasks, excessively repeating and adding actions. But schizo-OCD patients additionally acted like schizophrenics.
For a typical OCD patient in the study, the task of leaving home involved standing in one place and repeatedly checking the contents of his pockets before finally taking his keys and cell phone and going to the door. In contrast, a typical schizo-OCD patient traveled around the apartment — switching the lights in the bathroom on and off, then taking his keys and phone to the door, going to scan the bedroom, then taking his keys and phone to the door, going to empty the ashtray, then taking his keys and phone to the door and so on. A typical healthy person would simply pick up his keys and phone and walk out.
Overall, the researchers found that the level of obsessive-compulsive behavior was the same in OCD and schizo-OCD patients. This suggests that both types of patients had the difficulty shifting attention from one task to another that helps define OCD. The schizo-OCD patients, though, did more divergent activity over a larger area than did OCD patients. This suggests that the schizo-OCD patients were continuously shifting attention, which happens in schizophrenia but not OCD.
“While the obsessive compulsive is obsessed with one idea; the schizophrenic’s mind is drifting,” said Eilam. “We found that this is reflected in their paths of locomotion. So instead of tracking the thoughts of the patients, we can simply trace their paths of locomotion.”
Eilam plans to conduct research comparing repetitive behavior in OCD and autism patients.
In the below video provided by the researchers, an animation describes the paths of traveling performed by an OCD patient who is about to leave his apartment (left) and by a co-morbid OCD and schizophrenia patient performing the same behavior (right). Black circles indicate the number of acts performed in each location. As shown, the COD patient is mostly stationary, while the schizo-OCD patient travels all over the apartment. All text and video via AFTAU
The Leidenfrost Maze was designed and built by University of Bath undergraduate students Carmen Cheng and Matthew Guy to demonstrate the self-propulsion of Leidenfrost droplets at public outreach events and schools. The video was created by Carmen Cheng as part of her undergraduate project. Learn More HERE
Music by Boris Blank
Video by Ruslan Khasanov
Via Rus Khasanov
he Poo Printer consists of a wooden cage sized 170x120cm and 100cm high with a removable tray in the center. This tray has interchangeable parts looking like tree branches with integrated food dispensers. According to the order of placement of these pieces it creates the shape of each of the characters of the Latin alphabet. The birds will hang out there most of the day, eating, pooing and even eating and pooing simultaneously.
Directly under the cage an extended roll of paper is located over the entire surface of the cage. The birds in their pooing performance from the mobile structure, with an angle of 90° to the paper surface, are generating, one by one, poo after poo, the latin character shape desired.
A group of male zebra finches underwent this experiment with rigorous commitment. The author/captor, taking the role of some kind of 1984´s Big brother, is providing the implementation guidelines for the transformation of this countercultural attitude into a marketable artsy product. The observation of this group of non-breeding birds in captivity and the experimentation with induced behaviors has been rigorously documented for this task. This project researches in a hybrid, artistic and scientific framework the physiological, mechanical and social dynamics of birds under captivity in a simulated factory-chain environment.
The result is the Poo Printer, an analog generative typography printer using the bird-poo as the particle substance in order to slowly generate the Latin alphabet characters over a large paper roll.
Text and Images via POO PRINTER by Fabrizio Lamoncha.
In a green outfit with silver trim and matching mask, a superhero waits by the stairs of a Tokyo subway station, lending his strength to the elderly, passengers lugging heavy packages and mothers with baby strollers.
“Japanese people find it hard to accept help, they feel obligated to the other person, so the mask really helps me out,” said Tadahiro Kanemasu.
The slender 27-year-old has spent three months being a good Samaritan at the station on Tokyo’s western side. Like many in the city, it has neither elevators nor escalators and a long flight of dimly lit stairs.
Inspiration came from the children he met at his job at an organic greengrocer, which also prompted the color of his costume. He picked up the green Power Rangers suit and two spares at a discount store for 4,000 yen ($41) each.
Since Kanemasu can set aside only a couple of hours each day for his good deeds, he hopes to recruit others in different colored suits. Already he has inquiries about pink and red.
Hayato Ito, who works alongside Kanemasu at the greengrocer, said his kindness to others over the years meant his alter ego did not come as a complete surprise.
“There were hints of this from a long time ago but finally he flowered as a hero,” Ito said.
Kanemasu admitted he got off to a bit of a rocky start.
“When I first began, people basically said ‘Get away from me, you weirdo’,” he said. “Now they still think I’m weird but in a good way.”
($1 = 97.6850 Japanese yen)
Text by Tokyo Reuters. Via Huffington Post
SkyHouse is residence constructed within a previously unoccupied penthouse structure at the summit of one of the earliest surviving skyscrapers in New York City.
With its steep hipped roof of projecting dormers and chimneys set over a base of enormous arched windows, the exterior of the penthouse gives the impression of an ornate Beaux-Art mansion suspended midway within the iconic vertical cityscape of Lower Manhattan. But this exterior shell was essentially an ornament for the skyline; inside was a raw space with only the original riveted steel structure -among the earliest steel frame of any surviving tower in New York- providing evidence of the late 19th century when the building was built.
The enormous angel caryatids at the corners of the four-story penthouse which crowns this building serve to advertise its original role the headquarters of the American Tract Society, a publisher of religious literature which constructed this early skyscraper in 1895.
All Text and Images via http://hotson.net/
Eidos consists of two pieces of experimental equipment that give you superhuman sight and hearing.
Eidos Vision enhances the way we see motion, while Eidos Audio lets us hear speech more selectively.
Eidos has broad application in areas where live audio and video analysis is valuable. For example, sportspeople can visualise and improve technique in real time. Eidos also has healthcare benefits where it can be used to boost or refine sensory signals weakened by ageing or disability. In the arts, Eidos can augment live performance such as ballet, fashion or music concerts. It allows us to highlight previously invisible or inaudible details, opening up new and customisable experiences.
Text and Image Via Tim Bouckley
Celebrating the landmark 1977 Eames film, Powers of Ten™, The Powers Project invited 40 innovative artists from around the world to produce original segments for each power of ten using a variety of digital and film techniques. This new, collaborative homage playfully transplants the film’s journey from the physical universe to a unique, imagined universe of graphic abstractions.
The Powers Project is a wildly creative re-imagining of the film featuring the contributions of dozens of the most innovative artists working in moving image today. While the structure and narration of the original film remain, the visual journey is transplanted from our physical universe to an imaginary, collaboratively-created universe of dynamic and continually changing abstractions. Rather than a strict remake of the original’s realistic journey (a remake of a perfect film would be pointless!), this is more like Powers of Ten at a party. The Powers Project is a hearty nod to an important film, a celebration of Charles and Ray Eames’ love for creative play, and a reflection of the exponential influence of their landmark film over the past 35 years.
Text and Images via The Powers Project
Cube with Magic Ribbons is a computer visual and synthesised sound composition for live performance. The piece takes its title from a drawing of M.C.Escher which is rich with contradictory perspectives but it is also inspired by the wrapped spaces found in the two dimensional graphics of early computer games such as Asteroids and Pac-Man. It was created using a custom visual sequencer SoundCircuit, which rather than employing a conventional DAW layout, allows multiple virtual tape-heads to travel through a two-dimensional wrapped space along tracks that can be freely inter-connected. As the tape-heads travel through the resultant network, the topological layout of the tracks comes to directly influence the macro form of the music. Furthermore, as the piece unfolds the nature of this already confusing space reveals itself to be increasingly elastic and complex, yet inexorably intertwined with the musical form.