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Koen De Paus has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google Play5,373,571Bestselling British science fiction authors Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds and Peter Hamilton have come together for a unique Science Fiction Hangout on Air.  They will be hanging out live on +Google Play on Thursday, September 27th at 6:00pm (London Time) to discuss their latest books and science fiction in general. To join Iain, Alastair and Peter in the live hangout, submit your best question for the panel in the comments below and let us know how we can contact you here: http://goo.gl/052bq and +Google Play will reach out to you if you’ve been selected.Don't forget to check out their books on Google Play:Peter F.Hamilton: http://goo.gl/42YHIIain M. Banks: http://goo.gl/xHp18Alastair Reynolds: http://goo.gl/6NI54Google Play presents: Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds & Peter F. Hamilton2012-09-27 19:00:00519G+
Fraser Cain898,515To celebrate the landing of NASA's Curiosity Rover - the Mars Science Laboratory - we'll be running a special live hangout. In conjunction with +CosmoQuest. We'll have all your favorite space/astronomy journalists on hand to discuss the mission in depth, and celebrate the landing live, when it happens. Join Fraser Cain, +Pamela Gay, +Philip Plait and +Miles O'Brien for this special event.Over the course of this 4-hour Google+ Hangout on Air, we'll interview members of the Curiosity team live in the hangout, as well as other special guests from the +The Planetary Society and the +SETI Institute.+Scott Lewis and +Amy Shira Teitel will be on location at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to interview members of the engineering team, and show you what it's like to be at NASA during this amazing moment.We'll update this event as we lock down more of the guests and participants. See you there! You can follow the hashtag #marshangout  (this will replace our regular Sunday night +Virtual Star Party)Google+ Hangout - Curiosity Landing Coverage2012-08-06 05:00:004880G+
NASA1,531,340The most advanced robot ever sent to another world is set to land on Aug. 5, 2012 (PDT). Will you be watching?Mars Science Laboratory will deliver the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars at approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT and 5:31 a.m. UTC on Aug. 6). Curiosity, carrying laboratory instruments to analyze samples of rocks, soil and atmosphere, will investigate whether Mars has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.NASA TV will broadcast live from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., during Curiosity’s critical entry, descent and landing phase.Two live feeds of video during key landing activities from mission control rooms at JPL will be carried on NASA TV, NASA TV online http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html and Ustream http://www.ustream.tv/ between 8:30 and 11:00 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (11:30 p.m. Aug. 5 to 2:00 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT), and between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. PDT on Aug. 6 (3:30 to 4:30 a.m. EDT). The NASA TV Public Channel and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl will carry a feed including commentary and interviews. The NASA TV Media Channel and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 will carry an uninterrupted, clean feed.Follow the mission on Facebook and on Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity.NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Landing2012-08-06 02:00:002212G+

Koen De Paus has been shared in 214 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Becky Collins15,192Recipes and Cooking Circle : Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-08-18 05:14:394770210CC G+
Marius Kiupelis279 If you received this notification you are in this circle♚♚  If you want to be shared in this circle ♚♚♚♚♚♚♚ Then just keep sharing! ♚♚♚♚♚2014-08-03 19:05:53201036CC G+
Lynda Chervil890Add this circle of excellent engagers, thinkers, innovators, and future tech leaders. My ++Solar Power++ Circle will provide you with the latest and greatest from the world of tech innovations, especially in the renewable energy sector. Simply add this circle and then share it!If you'd like to be added to this circle, please comment below, share and add the circle. Only those who qualify with content and expertise will be added. Thanks! #Tesla   #nikolatesla   #elonmusk   #solarenergy   #innovation   #technology   #solarpower   #hydroelectric   #science   #STEM   #research   #education   #futuretech   #futuretechnology  2014-07-31 14:24:32343024CC G+
Peter Edenist31,0152014 Super Sci-FI Circle : No, the Sky is not Falling!!! Also the Gravity is not sucking you in... please +1 this post to support it or you may have to take a trip in Snowpiercer, no need to thank me. Please reshare if you think this is a worthwhile circle. If you have been notified, you are in the circle!All the people in this circle are linked to our community (see link further down). As usual, please tag and recommend anyone who you think should be in this circle. Live long and prosper!Sci-FI Community here: http://goo.gl/s1NVd  Science Fiction Pics: http://goo.gl/sOSPK5Mighty Shiny Browncoats : http://goo.gl/9osg1tDoctor Who : http://goo.gl/z3uWX3Ultimate Star Wars : http://goo.gl/Wu8bv6Ultimate Star Trek : http://goo.gl/JJPql9Science on G+ community here: http://goo.gl/46uFH #sciencefiction #sf #scifi  2014-07-24 12:58:0746211961146CC G+
Aahana Priyadarsinee9,780Another Great circle Share from me!ENGAGER CLUSTER: VERSION 5!Hey friends ENGAGER CLUSTER is ready to be shared, you to get MORE FOLLOWERS! This circle features some of the coolest GOOGLE + engagers who love keeping us engaged with their cool posts!Just to the following to feature in the next Edition of this Awesome Circle share:1. +1 this post!2.Publicly share this circle and if possible leave a comment behind!3.Don't forget to add me i.e. +Aahana Priyadarsinee 4.Keep smiling and enjoy the weekend! #saturday   #saturdayshare   #topsharedcircle   #awesomepeople   #aahanapriyadarsinee   #engagerspeople  2014-07-04 22:45:17400171221CC G+
Aahana Priyadarsinee7,415Featuring a COOL CIRCLE OF TOP GOOGLE PLUS ENGAGERSTo be included in this circle just do the following:1)Add me to your circles!2)+1, share and comment on my posts!3)+1 and Share this circle publicly in your stream!4)If possible please leave a comment behind so that I can know you have done the above steps!Enjoy your weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #fridaycircle   #fridayfun   #fridaycircleshared   #funcircle  #sharedcircle   #publiccircleshare     #circleshare     #circleoftheday  #circleshares     #circlesharing     #circlesshare    #publicsharedcircle   #publicsharedcircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleoftheweek     #sharedcircles     #sharedpubliccircle   #todayspublicsharedcircle  #todayssharedcircle     #publiccircle   #circle     #circles    #awesome   #awesomeness   #awesomepeople   #shareyourcircle     #bestengagers   #followers   #followback     #awesomecircles  #topsharedcircle   #topsharedcircle     2014-06-20 18:30:4740115615CC G+
Peter Edenist30,747TESLA Super Science Circle 2014 - June Edition!!!! : A quality circle curated carefully and tended since 2011. Who is in this circle?  people who are either involved in science, love science or are active on the Science on G+ community. Community link is here http://goo.gl/46uFH and the Page is +Science on G+!Have you wondered where one can meet with like-minded people who love science and like to read about the real stuff? This is the ultimate SUL on science.... add and share to keep it alive.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Want to nominate someone? Please do so in comments. If you want to recommend something let us know. People who are notified are part of the circle.#science #tesla #scienceongplus #scienceeveryday 2014-06-19 13:39:49342755693CC G+
Ryan Johnson6,972These are some of the most active and interesting users on Google Plus. If you want to join the list please do the following:1) Plus one this post2) Share this circle PUBLIC3) Leave a message at the original post#bosmol #BosmolCircle   #GrowthCIrcle     #GooglePlus   #CircleShare   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #publiccirclesproject   #publicsharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #google   #circle #circles #publiccircle #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #addcircle #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #circlesharing 2014-06-18 12:53:45486623171CC G+
Dina Tika0Here is a group of Active Engagers, Circle Sharers, Awesome Plus Oners, and Cool People on Google Plus!   Circle Sharing is an awesome way to increase your followers and active engagers on your profile. Some of my favorite people that I've met here on Google + through Circle Sharing.    Want to be in the next Circle of Awesomeness? Follow the Steps Below!  ☛ Add the circle ☛ Share in the Public ☛ Plus 1 the Post. ☛ Comment. 2014-06-10 05:53:52479001CC G+
Becky Collins10,439Super Science Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-05-31 05:09:154901211CC G+
John Nuntiatio37,221#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #news   #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #small   #smallcircle #tennis #golf #photography #health #weightloss 2014-05-27 06:18:55201172CC G+
Ryan Johnson3,346My new some cool, fun & interesting people CirclePlease reshare it#circles           #circlescirclescircles           #circleshare         #circleshare2014-04-25 06:14:362357820CC G+
Adam Black6,732Transhumans CircleBy popular Demand,  I am sharing some of my Circles. This is +Mark Bruce  Transhumans Circle  Plus Others Ive been adding.If you are tagged,  you are in it.Web Link for Mobile https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdamBlack/posts/6iQmLpEj1Zm #sharedcircles   #GeekCulture   #ScienceSunday #Transhumans #Transhumanism #HumanPlus  2014-04-13 06:25:0424522733CC G+
Matthew J Price8,236It's been some time since I shared my favorite circle: Accelerated Thinkers.  These 91 people are the ones I trust with bringing me the good news every day, and leading the conversation about the future of humanity.  Thank you so much!2014-03-22 04:25:4591103CC G+
Enrico Altavilla5,522I'm sharing with you my Science circle. It's focused mainly on physics, astrophysics and math but it also contains subjects (both people and pages) who share news about other scientific fields. Enjoy! 2014-03-21 06:45:031031015CC G+
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:27:36393014CC G+
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:50393033CC G+
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:17393011CC G+
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:52393011CC G+
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:16393203CC G+
Becky Collins3,213Baseball circle #Baseball  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins 2014-02-26 10:30:413883216CC G+
Becky Collins2,634Marketing Circle : Feb 22#circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday +Becky Collins2014-02-22 06:29:4945517724CC G+
Ravishankar Ramanathan9,848*Are you even a bit interested in Science ?  Add this to your circles then. Simple. *===========================+Peter Edenist  originally shared: TESLA Super Science Circle 2014!!!! : A quality circle curated carefully and tended over 2 years. If you like science or are interested in science, this circle is a must for you! Add and share for science.+Who is in this circle? NASA, KQED Science, MNN, Bioscienca, Scientists, (Garett Lisi too!).... have rejigged the circle for the nth time and cleaned it to include people who are active on the Science on G+ community. Community link is here http://goo.gl/46uFH and the Page is +Science on G+!Add and Share for Science! Its what makes our cars run, our cities exist, the lights burn and has been instrumental in our progress.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Want to nominate someone? Please do so in comments. If you want to recommend something let us know. People who are notified are part of the circle.#science #tesla #scienceongplus #scienceeveryday  2014-01-25 18:41:543253213CC G+
Peter Edenist29,163TESLA Super Science Circle 2014!!!! : A quality circle curated carefully and tended over 2 years. If you like science or are interested in science, this circle is a must for you! Add and share for science.+Who is in this circle? NASA, KQED Science, MNN, Bioscienca, Scientists, (Garett Lisi too!).... have rejigged the circle for the nth time and cleaned it to include people who are active on the Science on G+ community. Community link is here http://goo.gl/46uFH and the Page is +Science on G+!Add and Share for Science! Its what makes our cars run, our cities exist, the lights burn and has been instrumental in our progress.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Want to nominate someone? Please do so in comments. If you want to recommend something let us know. People who are notified are part of the circle. #science #tesla #scienceongplus #scienceeveryday  2014-01-25 16:26:4132510688119CC G+
Cyrus Khan15,832 *Active Engager's Circle*If you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.Please re-share the circle to increase the exposure of all these friendly and interactive people.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my followers for exposure as an personally approved group.The criteria to be added are:1)You have commented on and publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle;As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition.Cheers! #circleshare   #active   #engagers   #science   #sciencecircle  2014-01-04 22:40:36476463690CC G+
Cyrus Khan15,016Active Engager's CircleIf you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my followers for exposure as an personally approved group.The criteria to be added are:1)You have commented on and publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle;As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition.Cheers! #circleshare   #active   #engagerscircle   #science   #sciencecircle  2013-12-05 18:31:07494532387CC G+
Lo Sauer2,493This is a great circle combined of active engagers, creative folks and  some of the best and brightest people on google+. A thank you in this circle-inclusion-shoutout to: +Peter Terren +Michael Műller +Carlos Esteban +Justin Chung +Malthus John +Marta Rauch +Rajini Rao +Katherine Vucicevic +Jonathan Eisen +Mike Allton +Scott Buehler +Mario Falcetti +Zvonimir Fras +Krithika Rangarajan +sridhar krishnan +Joanna Ortynska +Seamus Smyth +Chuck Croll +Michael Schobel +2013-11-19 18:19:4843218317CC G+
Rank Kemeng0This is a group of individuals that has personally shared four of my best circle sharing circles in the last month (or so).  They also include a mix of new circle sharers and some that are just trying to learn it for the first time. :) :) :0)They are individuals, to a large degree, that are very interested in not just circle sharing (which is great), but also engaging with you in a meaningful way (which is awesome)!!!Guidelines for Core Multipliers- Share the circle to stay in the circle- Have some fun!- If you are new and want in the circle, share the circle.This is a great group.  Enjoy this circle and have an awesome Thursday!*if you were somehow missed/ not included in the circle, please let me know and it will be corrected on the next share. My apologies ahead of time! :)**For those coming from multiplying circle, we are not inviting new folks here, you can privately message them or ping them when you share the circle on your public feed. Thanks!#corecircle #multiplyingcircle #coremultipliers #sharedcircles #circleshare #bestsharedcircle   #circleshare   #sharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #CircleQueen   #CircleMaster   #GPlusList   #Circle   #Circleshare   #Circlesharing   #PublicSharedCircles2013-11-01 15:53:38426115CC G+
Coyeb Sundel02013-10-24 10:04:35425202CC G+
Fabian Weiland433#sharedcircle #sharedcircles #science  2013-10-21 09:58:122936011CC G+
Sean Cowen43,829My Morning Circle: By Far, The Most Interesting and Unusual Circle I've Ever Created...In the beginning of October, I asked people to dig down deep and give me names of great people to add to a must-read morning circle. ( http://bit.ly/16ow9Cm ) This is the FIRST CIRCLE of those names. I have omitted a few names by my own prerogative and I've left off PAGE names as I'd like to create a separate circle for those. By and large, though, this list is the result of all the recommendations I received. There are more names to follow, as I'm still working down through the comments...What I Originally Asked of Anyone Leaving Comments and Recommendations...I'm looking for a SINGLE CIRCLE of pure awesomeness - a circle that gives me incredible content, insight, analysis, humor, a dose of the erudite, funny, sad, melancholy, happy - in short - I'm looking for one circle to throw into my stream that gets my days started off on the right foot.But I need your input. Who should I add to this circle?We all know the usual suspects (and some of those people will definitely be included if you recommend them), but I am seeking and searching for those little mentioned and possibly unknown to me people who will jump start my day.I'm not looking for popularity or anything specific - just let me know about the people you would include if you were creating this same circle. #circle   #coolcircle   #recommendedcircle   #circleoftheday  P.S. Added myself against my better judgement as I was chosen on this list as well. Now you know... :-)2013-10-20 15:53:26499612966CC G+
Tiberiu Igrisan448Science (part 1)#science #sciencecircle #sharedcircles  2013-10-14 18:53:04257123CC G+
Fabian Weiland393#sharedcircle #sharedcircles #health #wellness  2013-10-14 15:30:25243000CC G+
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:30:23414103CC G+
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:39414003CC G+
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:27414002CC G+
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:04414002CC G+
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:59414004CC G+
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:16414002CC G+
James Steward1,112These are my awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:25:57414103CC G+
Fraser Cain824,747Super Science Circle for October, 2013I know it's been a while, so it's time for a new Super Science Circle - the October 2013 edition.In case you weren't aware, the Super Science Circle is a list of more than 400 people who are actively engaged on Google+ and regularly post about science and education. We've got journalists, scientists, even a few astronauts. The Super Science Circle should be your best response to anyone who tells you that Google+ is just a ghost town. If you love science, this circle will deliver the goods.If you know anyone who actively posts about science, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.2013-10-04 20:14:53415304682CC G+
Fabian Weiland145#sharedcircles #science #health2013-09-05 07:24:12497214CC G+
Cyrus Khan14,028Active Engager's CircleAttention:  Please reshare and comment if you want to be a part of next weeks edition, instead of messaging me individually.If you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my followers for exposure as an personally approved group.The criteria to be added are:1)You have commented on and publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle;As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition.Cheers! #circleshare   #active   #engagerscircle   #circle #circleoftheweek   #sciencecircles  2013-08-26 17:27:32477574284CC G+
Fabian Weiland0#sharedcircle #health #science #medicine  2013-08-26 11:59:11426000CC G+
Brian Wolfe22,328I haven't shared a circle in a long time. Maybe too long.Anyways.. Here is the circle that my browser spends the most time on.   Just in case I become a petulant child and walk away (not that I'm planning on doing so , just in case.)2013-08-22 05:36:251941335CC G+
Cyrus Khan13,678Active Engager's CircleAttention: This circle has been filled this week, and will start again from scratch next week. Please reshare and comment if you want to be a part of next weeks edition.If you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.If you want to be added, simply add the circle, reshare and comment saying so.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my followers for exposure as an especially active group.The only criteria to be added are:1)You have commented on and publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle;As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition.Cheers! #circleshare   #circleoftheweek   #active   #engagerscircle   #science   #sciencecircles   #circlesharesunday  2013-08-18 17:07:30490452363CC G+
Peter Edenist23,865The Super SciFi Circle - Weekend Special!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                 Resharing the main Science Fiction circle. I am notifying select people who are in the circle separately.  This is the TOP SF Circle - for people who want in, please comment in the specific circle in the links enclosed. All my circles which are reshared are listed here. These are public circles and form part of the Public Circles Database:) Please Reshare to share the love and to support SF!!!!!! =========================Our linked communities:Sci-FI Community here: http://goo.gl/s1NVd  Science on G+ community here: http://goo.gl/46uFH=========================I have taken the liberty of adding some people interested in Science fiction. If you want to leave, please let me know with a comment. If I have missed anyone, my apologies, please comment and let me know.=========================Hastag zoo:#scifi  #scififans   #scifichat   #scifiwatcher   #scififriday   #sciencefiction  #sciencefictiontelevision   #sciencefictionandfantasy   #sciencefictionmovies  #hardscifi   #fantasy   #worthsharing   #robotics   #drwho   #whovians  #publiccircles   #publiccirclesproject   #publicsharedcircles   #public  #circlesharing   #circle   #circles   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #topcircles  #reshare   #reshared   2013-08-14 16:20:334968210287CC G+
Science on Google+66,287Science Writer/Outreach CircleView profiles in circle: http://goo.gl/a95WRScience on Google+ Community: http://goo.gl/mTTxXIf you have a science related degree, you are a science journalist, you are a K-12 science teacher, or you curate a science page, then add your profile/page to the database by filling out this form (http://goo.gl/yEg7M). Active profiles and pages will be included in the next shared circle.2013-08-01 14:36:10626725CC G+
Peter Edenist22,925Super Science Circle Reshare to spread the love-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Resharing the new TESLA Science Circle. Who is the circle? It has scientist, engineers, researchers, people interested in Science and all kinds of cool!!  Featuring an expanded list of people from the Science on G+ community as well as a bunch of pages such as +MIT Alumni Association +TES Science +KQED SCIENCE !  Also have some really interesting new people. If you wish to nominate yourself or someone, please note the criteria for inclusion:1. Post about science more than 4 times a week.2. Create science posts with quality links and references helping in science outreach and understanding.3. Support the science communities on G+.Add and Reshare to keep the circle going folks!!!Our linked communities:+Science on G+ community here: gplus.to/sciences+Sci-Fi on G+ community here: http://goo.gl/s1NVd----------------------------------------------------------------------------Since I am short of time, I won't be replying to all the comments, but be sure I will be plussing them! If you are notified, you are in the circle :)----------------------------------------------------------------------------#Science   #science   #sciencerules   #sciencesunday   #scienceisawesome   #scienceisawesome   #scienceeveryday   #shared   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleslist   #public   #publiccircles   #publiccirclesproject   2013-07-22 06:00:19289616092CC G+
Fraser Cain798,034Super Science Circle, July 2013 EditionNeed more science in your streams? Want to convince a friend that Google+ is a thriving place of science and rational thinking? Then import my Super Science Circle and be amazed at the awesomeness.PLEASE RESHARE THIS CIRCLE... FOR SCIENCE!Every single person in this circle is active on Google+ and regularly contributes high quality posts about science. You've got my personal guarantee.As always, I recommend you import this group into a temporary circle and look for people who match your interests. Then pull them over into more permanent locations in your circles. Or just wait for me to give you an update next month.If you want to be included in this circle, just make a post in the comments and I'll check out your profile.I'm looking for people who:1. Are active on Google+ (but not too active)2. Regularly post about science3. Provide context and additional information, and not just bare links or annoying memes.2013-07-16 18:35:56415255986CC G+

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Most comments: 33

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2014-06-22 16:19:34 (33 comments, 14 reshares, 38 +1s)

2 birds with one stone; Discovery of gravitational waves in the CMBR strengthen Inflation's case!

"Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today's best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory.

Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence supporting this theory, known as "cosmic inflation." Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang." Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity."
... more »

Most reshares: 186

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2014-02-13 21:18:56 (19 comments, 186 reshares, 191 +1s)

Will Kuka turn the table on Timo Boll?

May 11, 1997: Deep Blue beats Kasparov at Chess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_versus_Garry_Kasparov

Since then, humans have been losing a lot of ground. Whether you are talking about the AI in videogames or this crazy Air Hockey Robot Project (a 3D printer hack) , all of them need to be severely handicapped to make it fun for humans to play against them. Even in knowledge games we are no longer undisputed champions. Jeopardy IBM Watson Episode-3 HD  

So far physically demanding sports were still human turf but there is a chance that those days are about to come to an end as well. On March the 11th, one of KUKA's fastest bots, KR AGILUS (English) , will challenge Timo Boll at a game of ping pong. We'll have to wait till then to find out if we are still on the ball or if perhaps we'll get them handedb... more »

Most plusones: 191

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2014-02-13 21:18:56 (19 comments, 186 reshares, 191 +1s)

Will Kuka turn the table on Timo Boll?

May 11, 1997: Deep Blue beats Kasparov at Chess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_versus_Garry_Kasparov

Since then, humans have been losing a lot of ground. Whether you are talking about the AI in videogames or this crazy Air Hockey Robot Project (a 3D printer hack) , all of them need to be severely handicapped to make it fun for humans to play against them. Even in knowledge games we are no longer undisputed champions. Jeopardy IBM Watson Episode-3 HD  

So far physically demanding sports were still human turf but there is a chance that those days are about to come to an end as well. On March the 11th, one of KUKA's fastest bots, KR AGILUS (English) , will challenge Timo Boll at a game of ping pong. We'll have to wait till then to find out if we are still on the ball or if perhaps we'll get them handedb... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2014-08-31 15:35:10 (5 comments, 19 reshares, 26 +1s)

If curiosity kills the cat, the solution is to pretend not to care.

http://www.nature.com/news/entangled-photons-make-a-picture-from-a-paradox-1.15781

Normally, you have to collect particles that come from the object to image it, says Anton Zeilinger, a physicist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna who led the work. “Now, for the first time, you don’t have to do that."

One advantage of this imaging technique is that the two photons need not be of the same energy, Zeilinger says, meaning that the light that touches the object can be of a different colour than the light that is detected. For example, a quantum imager could probe delicate biological samples by sending low-energy photons through them while building up the image using visible-range photons and a conventional camera. (!)

According to the laws of quantum physics, if noone... more »

If curiosity kills the cat, the solution is to pretend not to care.

http://www.nature.com/news/entangled-photons-make-a-picture-from-a-paradox-1.15781

Normally, you have to collect particles that come from the object to image it, says Anton Zeilinger, a physicist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna who led the work. “Now, for the first time, you don’t have to do that."

One advantage of this imaging technique is that the two photons need not be of the same energy, Zeilinger says, meaning that the light that touches the object can be of a different colour than the light that is detected. For example, a quantum imager could probe delicate biological samples by sending low-energy photons through them while building up the image using visible-range photons and a conventional camera. (!)

According to the laws of quantum physics, if no one detects which path a photon took, the particle effectively has taken both routes, and a photon pair is created in each path at once, says Gabriela Barreto Lemos, a physicist at Austrian Academy of Sciences and a co-author on the latest paper.

In the first path, one photon in the pair passes through the object to be imaged, and the other does not. The photon that passed through the object is then recombined with its other ‘possible self’ — which travelled down the second path and not through the object — and is thrown away. The remaining photon from the second path is also reunited with itself from the first path and directed towards a camera, where it is used to build the image, despite having never interacted with the object. 

The researchers imaged a cut-out of a cat, a few millimetres wide, as well as other shapes etched into silicon. The team probed the cat cut-out using a wavelength of light which they knew could not be detected by their camera. "That's important, it's the proof that it's working," says Zeilinger.

http://www.nature.com/news/entangled-photons-make-a-picture-from-a-paradox-1.15781

Information is central to quantum mechanics. In particular, quantum interference occurs only if there exists no information to distinguish between the superposed states. The mere possibility of obtaining information that could distinguish between overlapping states inhibits quantum interference. Here we introduce and experimentally demonstrate a quantum imaging concept based on induced coherence without induced emission. 

The experiment is fundamentally different from previous quantum imaging techniques, such as interaction-free imaging or ghost imaging, because now the photons used to illuminate the object do not have to be detected at all and no coincidence detection is necessary. This enables the probe wavelength to be chosen in a range for which suitable detectors are not available. To illustrate this, we show images of objects that are either opaque or invisible to the detected photons.

Paper: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v512/n7515/full/nature13586.html

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-08-31 12:37:56 (2 comments, 6 reshares, 24 +1s)

Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney might  have lost his physical battle with ALS but it never managed to conquer his spirit.

Hal Finney, the renowned cryptographer, coder, and bitcoin pioneer, died Thursday morning at the age of 58 after five years battling ALS. He will be remembered for a remarkable career that included working as the number-two developer on the groundbreaking encryption software PGP in the early 1990s, creating one of the first “remailers” that presaged the anonymity software Tor, and—more than a decade later—becoming one of the first programmers to work on bitcoin’s open source code; in 2009, he received the very first bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto.

Now Finney has become an early adopter of a far more science fictional technology: human cryopreservation, the process of freezing human bodies so that they can be revived decades oreven centu... more »

Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney might  have lost his physical battle with ALS but it never managed to conquer his spirit.

Hal Finney, the renowned cryptographer, coder, and bitcoin pioneer, died Thursday morning at the age of 58 after five years battling ALS. He will be remembered for a remarkable career that included working as the number-two developer on the groundbreaking encryption software PGP in the early 1990s, creating one of the first “remailers” that presaged the anonymity software Tor, and—more than a decade later—becoming one of the first programmers to work on bitcoin’s open source code; in 2009, he received the very first bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto.

Now Finney has become an early adopter of a far more science fictional technology: human cryopreservation, the process of freezing human bodies so that they can be revived decades or even centuries later. Finney and his wife both decided to have their bodies cryonically frozen more than 20 years ago. At the time, Finney, like Alcor’s president More, was an active member of the Extropians, a movement of technologists and futurists focused on transhumanism and life extension. “He’s always been optimistic about the future,” says Fran. “Every new advance, he embraced it, every new technology. Hal relished life, and he made the most of everything.”

That same forward-looking spirit led Finney to embrace bitcoin before practically anyone other than its creator thought it might be a viable system, let alone a multi-billion dollar economy. Finney spotted Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list in 2008 and immediately began exchanging emails with him, eventually helping to debug its code, perform its first test transactions, and mine a substantial hoard of the cryptocurrency. “I’ve noticed that cryptographic graybeards…tend to get cynical. I was more idealistic; I have always loved crypto, the mystery and the paradox of it,” Finney wrote on the BitcoinTalk forum last year. “When Satoshi announced Bitcoin on the cryptography mailing list, he got a skeptical reception at best…I was more positive.”

Finney’s positivity extended to his personal interactions, too. Colleagues from as early as college say he was as kind and generous as he was brilliant. “Hal is a rare genius who never had to trade his emotional intelligence to get his intellectual gifts,” Zimmermann told me in an email when I was writing a profile of Finney last March. “He is a fine human being, an inspiration for his attitude toward life. I wish I could be like him.”

Even Finney’s ALS diagnosis in 2009 didn’t slow his technological experimentation. As paralysis set in, he continued to contribute to bitcoin discussions and write code using software that translated his eye movements into text. He even created software that allowed him to use his eyes to adjust his own mechanized wheelchair’s position.

Fran Finney says that her husband had no illusions about the certainty of his resurrection. But until his final moments, he put his faith in the progress of technology. “He never said to me, ‘I will come back.’ But he told me, ‘I hope to be back,’” Fran says. “Hal liked the present. But he looked towards the future. He wanted to be there. And this is his way to get there.”

Here's to hoping that his undertaking of the ultimate ice challenge will yet allow him to teach the scourge that ended him a lesson in perseverance and how you really wear something down.

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/hal-finney/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Finney_(cypherpunk)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryopreservation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis

photo below; Hal Finney and his wife, Fran

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-08-30 19:47:48 (4 comments, 20 reshares, 49 +1s)

Jean-Léon Gérôme - torn between romantic idealism and historic realism 

Jean-Léon Gérôme, born 1824 in France, was a master of the style now known as Academicism. His many paintings depicting historical scenes, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects guarantee his name will live on for centuries to come. That being said, he's also responsible for more than a few stunning sculptural works.

Gérôme’s artistic career began in 1840 in Paris where he practiced his craft under Paul Delaroche's watchful eye. He accompanied Delaroche to Italy to continue his studies. Two years later he returned to Paris and attended the École des Beaux-Arts, entering the Prix de Rome competition in hopes of returning to Italy, but he failed to qualify for the final stage in 1846 because of his inadequate figure drawing. Consequently, Gérôme became obsessed withpainting the ... more »

Jean-Léon Gérôme - torn between romantic idealism and historic realism 

Jean-Léon Gérôme, born 1824 in France, was a master of the style now known as Academicism. His many paintings depicting historical scenes, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects guarantee his name will live on for centuries to come. That being said, he's also responsible for more than a few stunning sculptural works.

Gérôme’s artistic career began in 1840 in Paris where he practiced his craft under Paul Delaroche's watchful eye. He accompanied Delaroche to Italy to continue his studies. Two years later he returned to Paris and attended the École des Beaux-Arts, entering the Prix de Rome competition in hopes of returning to Italy, but he failed to qualify for the final stage in 1846 because of his inadequate figure drawing. Consequently, Gérôme became obsessed with painting the perfect nude—an ambition he would harbor throughout his life.

In 1853, Gérôme moved to the Boîte à Thé, a group of studios in the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Paris. This would become a meeting place for other artists, writers and actors. George Sand entertained in the small theater of the studio the great artists of her time such as the composers Berlioz, Brahms and Rossini and the novelists Gautier and Turgenev. No doubt this was an environment conductive to the cross pollination of artistic ideas. Gérôme both inspired and was influenced by these greats.

He made his name rendering allegorical scenes from ancient Greece and Rome in exquisite detail, often incorporating neoclassical concepts. His breakthrough in France allowed him to travel the world and his many journeys proved to be a great inspiration, birthing a great deal of historical paintings. His visits to Northern Africa, Egypt in particular, made a lasting impression and he would return to it in his paintings ever after. 

Although Gérôme is famous for his idealized depictions of reality, he achieved detail so vivid that his work, even though the scenes and people in them were larger than life, appeared to ring true. He perfected many of the techniques that realists would later employ and in many ways is responsible for the realist movement's birth as it took off in response to the exaggerated reality he had helped popularize. In 1902 he said; "Thanks to photography, Truth has at last left her well.". I for one am glad that Gérôme was born ahead of what might have been his time. He blurred the lines between the real and the fantastic most beautifully. 

Jean-Léon Gérôme died in his atelier on 10 January 1904. He was found in front of a portrait of Rembrandt and close to his own painting "The Truth". 

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art   ___

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2014-08-24 19:08:32 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)

35 Innovators under 35 out to change the world

http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2014/

Technology Review just published their annual 35 under 35 list and as always it's brimming with up and coming talent. All the people included are doing exciting work that could shape their fields for decades to come by solving problems in remarkably different and downright better ways. Their list divides the 35 selected innovators into various categories.

• Inventors; those immersed in building new technologies.
• Visionaries showing how to put technologies to new or better uses.
• Pioneers doing fundamental work that will spawn future innovations. 
• Entrepreneurs building new tech businesses.
• Humanitarians using technology to expand opportunities or inform public policy. 
http://ww... more »

35 Innovators under 35 out to change the world

http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2014/

Technology Review just published their annual 35 under 35 list and as always it's brimming with up and coming talent. All the people included are doing exciting work that could shape their fields for decades to come by solving problems in remarkably different and downright better ways. Their list divides the 35 selected innovators into various categories.

• Inventors; those immersed in building new technologies.
• Visionaries showing how to put technologies to new or better uses.
• Pioneers doing fundamental work that will spawn future innovations. 
• Entrepreneurs building new tech businesses.
• Humanitarians using technology to expand opportunities or inform public policy. 

http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2014/

From Emily Cole who cofounded a company hoping to market valuable from CO2 converted chemicals to Shyam Gollakota who figured out how to wirelessly power devices without batteries and Palmer Luckey, at 21 the youngest on the list, who's looking to kickstart a virtual reality revolution. From Miles Barr's solar powered phones to Maryam Shanechi's control theory approach to building better interfaces to the brain, ... there's a lot to love here!

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-08-23 22:47:43 (7 comments, 15 reshares, 35 +1s)

Antony Gormley -  Inner space everted and spaced out

Sir Antony Mark David Gormley, born in 1950, is a world-renowned British sculptor. Almost all his work takes the human body as its subject, with his own body, "the only part of the material world that he inhabits", used in many of them as the basis for the metal casts. His work attempts to treat the body not as an object but a place. 

"The body is a language before language. When made still in sculpture it can be a witness to life and and it can talk about this time now."

"The body is a spaceship and an instrument of extreme subtlety, that communicates whether we recognize its communications consciously or not."

Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994 with Field for the British Isles but is perhaps best known for his public sculpture Angel of the North and his spectaculart... more »

Antony Gormley -  Inner space everted and spaced out

Sir Antony Mark David Gormley, born in 1950, is a world-renowned British sculptor. Almost all his work takes the human body as its subject, with his own body, "the only part of the material world that he inhabits", used in many of them as the basis for the metal casts. His work attempts to treat the body not as an object but a place. 

"The body is a language before language. When made still in sculpture it can be a witness to life and and it can talk about this time now."

"The body is a spaceship and an instrument of extreme subtlety, that communicates whether we recognize its communications consciously or not."

Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994 with Field for the British Isles but is perhaps best known for his public sculpture Angel of the North and his spectacular transformation of Crosby Beach near Liverpool into "Another Place". 

"The place made the piece." -Gormley

Personally I think his works are at their best when they are exhibited together in groups. You know that point where a word, if you endlessly keep repeating it, starts to lose its familiarity and meaning? His sculptures generate that same alienating feeling but for your concept of the human body. What makes it even better is that, while you are repeating your word, Gormley switches out a few letters but so slowly that you don't pick up on it... Ultimately you end up wondering why a block of concrete with holes in it looks so sad. Aftereffects of his show include a free rendition of "They Live" upon exit. ;)

"There's that idea of who we are and what we look like. Your physiognomy belongs to me more than you because I'm looking." -Gormley

It's perhaps not surprising that work exploring the limits at which forms can retain human qualities should bring to mind transhumanism but much of his work purposefully edges toward the futuristic. With names like Natural Selection, Hive, Critical Mass and Quantum Cloud, one could imagine all these shapes being expressions of a singular constantly changing entity.

"Well, bio-cybernetics: we can now be creative interventionists in the construction of transgenic life forms. Morphological transmission is part of my work." - Gormley

http://www.ted.com/talks/antony_gormley_sculpted_space_within_and_without

http://www.antonygormley.com/

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art   ___

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2014-08-17 10:42:59 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 25 +1s)

Are chemputers about to mix things up?

The race to build machines that can synthesize any organic compound is heating up. Below you can find some very interesting snippets from a nature article on "robo-chemists" but you are better off reading the article in full. Note that the synthesis machines discussed are way more complex than ones currently in use or the more advanced chemprinters in development. The machines themselves would certainly be marvels of engineering but the hardest part will lie in the development of their brains, the software that would understand chemistry well enough to predict what'll work and what won't.
 
http://www.nature.com/news/organic-synthesis-the-robo-chemist-1.15661

Organic chemists typically plan their work on paper, sketching hexagons and carbon chains on page after page as they think through the sequence of... more »

Are chemputers about to mix things up?

The race to build machines that can synthesize any organic compound is heating up. Below you can find some very interesting snippets from a nature article on "robo-chemists" but you are better off reading the article in full. Note that the synthesis machines discussed are way more complex than ones currently in use or the more advanced chemprinters in development. The machines themselves would certainly be marvels of engineering but the hardest part will lie in the development of their brains, the software that would understand chemistry well enough to predict what'll work and what won't.
 
http://www.nature.com/news/organic-synthesis-the-robo-chemist-1.15661

Organic chemists typically plan their work on paper, sketching hexagons and carbon chains on page after page as they think through the sequence of reactions they will need to make a given molecule. Then they try to follow that sequence by hand — painstakingly mixing, filtering and distilling, stitching together molecules as if they were embroidering quilts.

But a growing band of chemists is now trying to free the field from its artisanal roots by creating a device with the ability to fabricate any organic molecule automatically. “I would consider it entirely feasible to build a synthesis machine which could make any one of a billion defined small molecules on demand,” declares Richard Whitby, a chemist at the University of Southampton, UK.

A British project called Dial-a-Molecule is laying the groundwork. Led by Whitby, the £700,000 (US$1.2-million) project began in 2010 and currently runs until May 2015. So far, it has mostly focused on working out what components the machine would need, and building a collaboration of more than 450 researchers and 60 companies to help work on the idea.

Some reckon it would take decades to develop an automated chemist as adept as a human — but a less capable, although still useful, device could be a lot closer. “With adequate funding, five years and we're done,” says Bartosz Grzybowski, a chemist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who has ambitious plans for a synthesis machine of his own.

Grzybowski has spent the past decade building a system called Chematica and designed it to take a holistic view of synthesis: it not only hunts for the best reaction to use at each step, but also considers the efficiency of every possible synthetic route as a whole. This means that a poor yield in one step can be counterbalanced by a succession of high-yielding reactions elsewhere in the sequence. “In 5 seconds we can screen 2 billion possible synthetic routes,” says Grzybowski.

When Grzybowski first unveiled the network behind Chematica in 2005 (ref. 3), “people said it was bullshit”, he laughs. But that changed in 2012, when he and his team published a trio of landmark papers4, 5, 6 showing Chematica in action. For example, the program discovered4 a slew of 'one pot' syntheses in which reagents could be thrown into a vessel one after the other, without all the troublesome separation and purification of products after each step. Chematica can also look up information about the cost of starting materials and estimate the labour involved in each reaction, allowing it to predict the cheapest route to a particular molecule. When Grzybowski's lab tested 51 cut-price syntheses suggested by Chematica5, it collectively trimmed costs by more than 45%.

As long as programmes like Chematica rely on databases of published studies, says Whitby, they will struggle to design reliable synthetic routes to unknown compounds. To build a synthesis machine, “we need to be able to predict when a reaction is going to work — but more importantly we need to be able to predict when it's going to fail”.

Unfortunately, those failures are rarely recorded in the literature. “We only publish the successes, a cleaned-up version of what happens in the lab,” says Whitby. “We also lose a lot of information: what really was the temperature, what was the stirring speed, how much solvent did you use?” One solution is to record those successes and failures using electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs), computer systems for logging raw experimental data that are widely used in industry but still rare in academia. “A lot of people ask, 'Who reads all these data?' The point is that machines use them — they can search the data,” explains Mat Todd, a chemist at the University of Sydney in Australia.

“If we really did know the history of every chemical reaction that had ever been done, we'd have amazing predictive capabilities,” says Todd. Many of those dreaming of a synthesis machine agree that widespread data harvesting will require a huge cultural shift. “That's absolutely the biggest barrier,”. “In chemistry, we don't have that culture of sharing, and I think it's got to change.”

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday___

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2014-08-15 23:52:39 (6 comments, 17 reshares, 50 +1s)

John Martin - Apocalyptic visionary

Born more than 200 years ago, in 1789 somewhere near Hexham in England, John Martin's epic visions of doom still resonate today. His works continue to inspire modern creators and his far reaching influence can be recognized in popular media from around the world. For example, George Lucas based Coruscant's galactic senate on one of Martin's engravings; "Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council". Others whose imaginations were fired by him included Ralph Waldo Emerson, the pre-Raphaelites, and several generations of movie-makers, from D. W. Griffith, who borrowed his Babylon from Martin, to Cecil B. DeMille. One of his earliest followers was Thomas Cole, founder of American landscape painting. The French Romantic movement, in both art and literature, was inspired by him. He even influenced early SF writers like Jules Verne and H. G.... more »

John Martin - Apocalyptic visionary

Born more than 200 years ago, in 1789 somewhere near Hexham in England, John Martin's epic visions of doom still resonate today. His works continue to inspire modern creators and his far reaching influence can be recognized in popular media from around the world. For example, George Lucas based Coruscant's galactic senate on one of Martin's engravings; "Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council". Others whose imaginations were fired by him included Ralph Waldo Emerson, the pre-Raphaelites, and several generations of movie-makers, from D. W. Griffith, who borrowed his Babylon from Martin, to Cecil B. DeMille. One of his earliest followers was Thomas Cole, founder of American landscape painting. The French Romantic movement, in both art and literature, was inspired by him. He even influenced early SF writers like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells with his concept of the sublime.  

In private Martin was passionate, a devotee of chess—and, in common with his brothers, swordsmanship and javelin-throwing—and a devout Christian, believing in "natural religion". Around 1820 he became the official historical painter to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, later the first King of Belgium. As his reputation grew Martin became a public defender of deism and natural religion, evolution (before Darwin) and rationality. Georges Cuvier became an admirer of Martin's, and he increasingly enjoyed the company of scientists, artists and writers—Dickens, Faraday and Turner among them.

Later in life Martin became involved with many plans and inventions. He developed a fascination with solving London's water and sewage problems, involving the creation of the Thames embankment, containing a central drainage system. His plans were visionary, and formed the basis for later engineers' designs – Joseph Bazalgette's included. The plans, along with railway schemes, an idea for "laminating timber", lighthouses, and draining islands, all survive. 

As a result of his experimenting with mezzotint technology Martin was commissioned to produce 24 engravings for a new edition of Paradise Lost—perhaps the definitive illustrations of Milton’s masterpiece, of which copies now fetch many hundreds of pounds. 

He exhibited many works during the 1840s, culminating in his triumphal The Last Judgment trilogy of paintings which were completed in 1853, just before the stroke which paralysed his right side. He was never to recover and died on 17 February 1854, on the Isle of Man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Martin_(painter)

To be honest, pictures don't quite do his monumental paintings justice, they have to be experienced to really grok them. APOCALYPSE IS COMING 

#Art  | #ArtAndDesign  ___

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2014-08-10 21:41:32 (7 comments, 16 reshares, 34 +1s)

A Geek's Guide to Paris - Part 2: Paris hides art, science and history in plain sight.

Paris played a huge role in both the renaissance and the following age of enlightenment and acted as a magnet for French but also international scientists and artists. Many squares house huge monuments that commemorate legendary heroes while other inspiring works of art burst onto the street from almost every bridge and public building. All the parks and even many private houses are decorated with impressive classical statues and a bustling modern street art scene consistently manages to surprise.   

Curie, Lavoisier, Descartes, Ampère, Pasteur, Voltaire, Diderot, Lamarck, Carnot, Lagrange, Laplace, Cuvier, Fourier, Foucault, Fermat, Mandelbrot, Coulomb, Coriolis, Pascal, Poincaré, Diesel, Renault, Langevin, Fresnel, Broca, Galois, Grothendieck, Navier, ... are only some of the greatmin... more »

A Geek's Guide to Paris - Part 2: Paris hides art, science and history in plain sight.

Paris played a huge role in both the renaissance and the following age of enlightenment and acted as a magnet for French but also international scientists and artists. Many squares house huge monuments that commemorate legendary heroes while other inspiring works of art burst onto the street from almost every bridge and public building. All the parks and even many private houses are decorated with impressive classical statues and a bustling modern street art scene consistently manages to surprise.   

Curie, Lavoisier, Descartes, Ampère, Pasteur, Voltaire, Diderot, Lamarck, Carnot, Lagrange, Laplace, Cuvier, Fourier, Foucault, Fermat, Mandelbrot, Coulomb, Coriolis, Pascal, Poincaré, Diesel, Renault, Langevin, Fresnel, Broca, Galois, Grothendieck, Navier, ... are only some of the great minds that have lived and worked in Paris and traces of them can be found all over the place. The photo album below will take you on a scientific and artistic pilgrimage through all of Paris.

If all this talk about Paris has awakened within you the desire to go there, check out this map I made. It will guide you to all the points mentioned in both my previous post and this one; https://www.google.com/maps/@48.875726,2.277924,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1sz-gK6UAzjGjg.kXMs6yPam3hM

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday / #Art  | #ArtAndDesign   

Thanks once again +Denise Case for inviting me to the #fivedayquest . I'd be interested in hearing more from +Jonas Neergaard-Nielsen. He's an expert photographer who shares stunning shots pretty much non-stop but he makes a living working the sexiest job of all time. After earning a PhD at the legendary Niels Bohr Institute he graduated from quantum wizard to a jedi knight active in quantum optics research. He states that his G+ may be as messy as his brain... so follow his stream at your own risk but I'd say it's well worth it. :)___

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2014-07-30 15:42:20 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 17 +1s)

Polly Morgan

"I went to the Serengeti last summer, and while I enjoyed seeing all the living animals, it was the corpses that really inspired me."

Morgan's controversial taxidermy masterpieces are sure to make you think about life, death and everything in between. Her works make the dead speak in voices not their own. A master of her craft, she imbues what were once energetic living creatures with a bit of their former selves but also adds more than a few hints of the macabre and the surreal. There is something quite unnerving about seeing the horrific mixed with the playful in such a casual manner.

"There's something vulnerable about a bird lying down. You see mammals lying down, sleeping. But birds tuck in while perched when they sleep; if they're lying down they are dead. When you see a bird unable to fly it's powerless and... more »

Polly Morgan

"I went to the Serengeti last summer, and while I enjoyed seeing all the living animals, it was the corpses that really inspired me."

Morgan's controversial taxidermy masterpieces are sure to make you think about life, death and everything in between. Her works make the dead speak in voices not their own. A master of her craft, she imbues what were once energetic living creatures with a bit of their former selves but also adds more than a few hints of the macabre and the surreal. There is something quite unnerving about seeing the horrific mixed with the playful in such a casual manner.

"There's something vulnerable about a bird lying down. You see mammals lying down, sleeping. But birds tuck in while perched when they sleep; if they're lying down they are dead. When you see a bird unable to fly it's powerless and motionless. It's like a tiger without teeth."

http://pollymorgan.co.uk/

#Art   #ArtAndDesign   #Photography  ___

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2014-07-28 22:32:33 (13 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)

Pickings from the four pillars of pop culture

Taking a look at someone's bookcase can tell you a lot about that person but so too does their taste in film and music. It's almost like reading someone's life lines from the palm of their hand... Only, you know, this actually sort of works. :p As stated before, I feel defined by what I love so in keeping with the previous posts in which I shared people and places, for day 4 I am sharing some of the stuff that gets my blood pumping every time I so much as catch a hint of it.

Feel free to share the creative works you have fallen in love with! In fact, that's kind of the main purpose of this post. You don't have to list your favorites as exhaustively as I did but I very much would like to know what you guys and girls are into. I've been obsessed with lists pretty much from the day I was born so if you could make... more »

Pickings from the four pillars of pop culture

Taking a look at someone's bookcase can tell you a lot about that person but so too does their taste in film and music. It's almost like reading someone's life lines from the palm of their hand... Only, you know, this actually sort of works. :p As stated before, I feel defined by what I love so in keeping with the previous posts in which I shared people and places, for day 4 I am sharing some of the stuff that gets my blood pumping every time I so much as catch a hint of it.

Feel free to share the creative works you have fallen in love with! In fact, that's kind of the main purpose of this post. You don't have to list your favorites as exhaustively as I did but I very much would like to know what you guys and girls are into. I've been obsessed with lists pretty much from the day I was born so if you could make it at least top 10s, that would be greatly appreciated! :p

These are the rules for the game:
1) Post 5 shots on 5 days that have something to do with your life
2) Use the hashtag #fivedayquest  on every post
3) Mention the person who invited you on every post
4) Tag a new person to join the challenge each day - no pressure, it's just for fun! 

Thank you +Denise Case for getting me involved in this. If he's willing to grab a chair I'll invite +Kevin Clift to the table. He posts almost nothing but original content and his interests span a ginormous range which makes him one of the best people to follow if you are looking to expand your horizons a bit. Just a quick look at his stream should be enough to convince you he's worth circling.___

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2014-07-27 16:40:23 (4 comments, 87 reshares, 57 +1s)

The experiments stoking fusion's fire - Are these about to set the world ablaze or will they fizzle and fade? If we are serious about finding out we better start throwing money at them.

You might have heard of the most popular fusion design, tokamaks like JET (Joint European Torus) and ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), devices that look like giant donuts and utilize giant magnets to confine and accelerate plasma. Or perhaps you've heard of NIF's (National Ignition Facility) laser initiated approach which counts on a massive 192 barrel laser cannon to focus all its energy on a tiny pellet in order to compress it to such a degree as to achieve ignition. Those two approaches have received the most attention and as a result have sucked up most of fusion's funding in the last few decades. They do look promising and are worth every penny spent but a... more »

The experiments stoking fusion's fire - Are these about to set the world ablaze or will they fizzle and fade? If we are serious about finding out we better start throwing money at them.

You might have heard of the most popular fusion design, tokamaks like JET (Joint European Torus) and ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), devices that look like giant donuts and utilize giant magnets to confine and accelerate plasma. Or perhaps you've heard of NIF's (National Ignition Facility) laser initiated approach which counts on a massive 192 barrel laser cannon to focus all its energy on a tiny pellet in order to compress it to such a degree as to achieve ignition. Those two approaches have received the most attention and as a result have sucked up most of fusion's funding in the last few decades. They do look promising and are worth every penny spent but a variety of new approaches has been picking up steam which too are deserving of a much closer look and thus the funds to do so.

Nature digs into some of them with this excellent article that shines a bit of light on the secretive start-ups that claim to have found the answer to our energy woes. There's Tri Alpha's linear design trying to get things going by having 2 directly opposite plasma cannons fire at each other in sync as well as Helion Energy's somewhat similar colliding-beam reactor and last but not least they also talk a bit about General Fusion's approach which hopes to literally hammer their plasma into obedience.

http://www.nature.com/news/plasma-physics-the-fusion-upstarts-1.15592

If you think that's an exhaustive listing, you'd be wrong. Another big one is Lawrenceville Plasma Physics's Focus Fusion idea but there's also various teams hoping to work on different types of stellarators as well as the so called triple-threat methods. So many avenues worth exploring yet so few funds to do so. Luckily the private sector is chipping in a bit because else these would all have been shot down before even having had a chance of making it to the door. The fact that VCs, including some really big names, are investing in these should raise eyebrows as they don't typically start pumping money into something unless the road to market is somewhat mapped. Is it possible that fusion will follow the google model and reach the world from someone's garage? It might not seem likely but the chance definitely exists for all those billions invested in traditional designs to be bypassed by one really good innovative idea.

Lockheed - Solve for X: Charles Chase on energy for everyone
Google Talks - Focus Fusion: The Fastest Route to Cheap, Clean Energy
TED - Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion

Related posts
> A Star in a Bottle (ITER - Tokamak)
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/PQhyt1gHuNb

> National Ignition Facility (NIF - laser based confinement) 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/UHEhKLCyxLs

> Nuclear man; the humane power station (fission poetry?) 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/6LKW1s5yW2h


Photo below; General fusion's current experimental prototype on top and what they hope to build below. At the center of the containment vessel, within the spun liquid metal's vortex, plasma rings (think smoke rings) composed of the deuterium-tritium fuel are injected from both above and below which merge to form a single magnetized plasma target. The protruding cylinders you see in the pictures house the pistons used to batter the liquid metal into a fusion susceptible environment. When they are all fired at the same time they send a shockwave through the spinning lead-lithium mixture that gets stronger as it travel towards the center of the vessel where it rapidly collapses the vortex cavity with the plasma in it generating a fusion burst. Quite the turn on wouldn't you say? :)

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-07-22 16:27:17 (9 comments, 31 reshares, 36 +1s)

Abiogenesis a.k.a Alex Ries

I've decided to start a series on my favorite artists so from now on you can expect from me about a post a week featuring the works of one particularly creative genius. Painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, directors, engineers, architects, coders, ... artists of all stripes and colors will get a turn in the spotlight.

I am kicking things off with someone who many consider to be a god as he wields the power to pull never before seen fully living and breathing worlds into being. Perhaps the foremost SF artist of our times, he doesn't create pictures, he creates scenes so real they radiate history. 

Alex Ries is a Melbourne based illustrator and concept artist with several years’ experience across the industry. His artworks have been featured by publishers including Cosmos Magazine, Pearson Education Canada, and the DiscoveryCh... more »

Abiogenesis a.k.a Alex Ries

I've decided to start a series on my favorite artists so from now on you can expect from me about a post a week featuring the works of one particularly creative genius. Painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, directors, engineers, architects, coders, ... artists of all stripes and colors will get a turn in the spotlight.

I am kicking things off with someone who many consider to be a god as he wields the power to pull never before seen fully living and breathing worlds into being. Perhaps the foremost SF artist of our times, he doesn't create pictures, he creates scenes so real they radiate history. 

Alex Ries is a Melbourne based illustrator and concept artist with several years’ experience across the industry. His artworks have been featured by publishers including Cosmos Magazine, Pearson Education Canada, and the Discovery Channel. 

Receiving his education at the University of Melbourne, Alex graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts. Studies in diverse visual media including painting, 3D visualisation and film provided a broad creative skills base from which to operate.

This education and experience, coupled with a strong interest in biology, zoology and real-world technology, has fostered an artistic style able to not only accurately illustrate life from the real world, but fictional life as well.

Rumor has it that he's been hard at work on a book that will detail the complete history of life on another world.  From the planet's formation to the evolutionary origins of many of its species to ultimately the development of a culture that like us has managed to soar into space. Can't wait! :) 

http://www.alexries.com/
http://abiogenisis.deviantart.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis___

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2014-07-20 20:37:23 (11 comments, 17 reshares, 90 +1s)

Biosphere 2 is breathing new life into its ocean in the desert

Biosphere 2, built in 1987 in the Sonoran desert in Oracle Arizona, has quite a bit of history behind it and has changed hands more than a few times. It was originally constructed to function as an artificial closed ecological system and to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and lifelong learning about Earth and its living systems. During its operational life it has seen many different biomes come and go, including but not limited to; a rainforest, mangrove wetlands,  savannah grassland and a fog desert. It is perhaps best known for the two closure experiments, Missions 1 and 2, which saw the structure sealed with researchers living inside.

Whether those missions succeeded depends on who you ask but there's no denying that the place has generated some good science. Anyone with an interest in the... more »

Biosphere 2 is breathing new life into its ocean in the desert

Biosphere 2, built in 1987 in the Sonoran desert in Oracle Arizona, has quite a bit of history behind it and has changed hands more than a few times. It was originally constructed to function as an artificial closed ecological system and to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and lifelong learning about Earth and its living systems. During its operational life it has seen many different biomes come and go, including but not limited to; a rainforest, mangrove wetlands,  savannah grassland and a fog desert. It is perhaps best known for the two closure experiments, Missions 1 and 2, which saw the structure sealed with researchers living inside.

Whether those missions succeeded depends on who you ask but there's no denying that the place has generated some good science. Anyone with an interest in the colonization of space no doubt thinks such experiments with closed systems are worthwhile but the ability to study and manipulate a biosphere without harming Earth's is perhaps even more important now that we have begun to realize just what kind of an effect man can truly have on his planet's climate.

In the mid 90s it went to Columbia University but a decade later they too sold it off, this time to a residential home developer. For a time people feared that this would be the end for the astonishing and gigantic glass vivarium but in 2011 Arizona University came to its rescue and since then activities there have been steadily picking up steam. Just recently Biosphere 2 announced that it has started preliminary work on the construction of a new biome. They hope to transform their ocean tank to look like the Gulf of California.  New added features will include rocky shorelines, a cactus studded island designed to mimic the Gulf’s midriff islands, and a sargassum forest in the deepest (21 foot) part of the tank. Their Gulf will try to host the same rich array of hearty vertebrate and invertebrate animal species and algae that make up life in the real deal. 

The Sonoran Desert in which Biosphere 2 was built owes its biological and cultural diversity in no small part to its proximity to the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California, yet many southern Arizona residents and most visitors from afar have little notion of the tight connection between desert and sea. 

The living model they are planning to build will highlight the rich ecology, diverse human cultures, and conservation challenges that are concentrated in the unique sea. The Biosphere 2 team also notes that besides providing excellent research opportunities in marine ecology, biochemistry, climate change, ocean acidification, genomics, and conservation biology, they also hope to host special programs built around the new exhibit for educational purpose and science outreach. On top of that they want to foster strong bi-national collaboration with scientists, conservationists, students, and educators in Mexico.

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2
http://b2science.org/earth/facility/biome-ocean___

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2014-07-20 04:17:03 (11 comments, 5 reshares, 41 +1s)

Tracking the world's most beautiful train stations

Although I've seen Antwerp's Central Station so many times that I've had dreams about arriving there before having to actually make my way over there, its stunning looks never fail to pick me up. It shows up in pretty much every top 10 list of most beautiful stations in the world, regularly hitting the #1 spot, and rightfully so. 
 
Inspired in part by the Pantheon in Rome, Antwerp's main railway station in many ways looks more like a palace than a train station. Some of the commuters who make regular use of it, me included, lovingly refer to it as the rail cathedral. Built in 1895 in the so called eclectic style which incorporates elements of many different earlier styles and constructed in granite, iron, glass and more than 20 different kinds of marble with both the in and outside decorated in lavishd... more »

Tracking the world's most beautiful train stations

Although I've seen Antwerp's Central Station so many times that I've had dreams about arriving there before having to actually make my way over there, its stunning looks never fail to pick me up. It shows up in pretty much every top 10 list of most beautiful stations in the world, regularly hitting the #1 spot, and rightfully so. 
 
Inspired in part by the Pantheon in Rome, Antwerp's main railway station in many ways looks more like a palace than a train station. Some of the commuters who make regular use of it, me included, lovingly refer to it as the rail cathedral. Built in 1895 in the so called eclectic style which incorporates elements of many different earlier styles and constructed in granite, iron, glass and more than 20 different kinds of marble with both the in and outside decorated in lavish details, it truly is an almost overwhelming sight. The fact it's also utilized as an  exhibition space for contemporary art only adds to that. 

Unfortunately all this beauty has a side as dark as night.  If you are somewhat familiar with Belgium's history and know that this station was commissioned by Leopold II, our second king, then you'll have a pretty good idea of what paid for all this splendor and it's not pretty. Not pretty at all. Leopold might have brought in the money but it was the Congo free state that paid its price in oceans of blood. It's hard to fathom that something so beautiful was made possible by acts of such a horribly vile nature. I worry that even in my own country this part of our history is beginning to fade so it is my hope that Antwerp Central may forever remind us of our darkest hours as the monument to our sins that it is and always will be.


Antwerp Central is actually the 3rd incarnation of Antwerp station but since this one has been declared world heritage it should be a keeper. This does mean that over the years our rail operators have been pushed to find some rather creative solutions to accommodate changes in both trains and rail use. The arrival of high speed trains, the longing for a direct connection with various big cities in the Netherlands and the EU requirement to link northern and southern train nets to complete the cross Europe rapid transit network required a massive undertaking that made more than one engineer scratch his head. Since the building itself had to remain as it is they ultimately decided to add several levels underground to increase capacity and to construct a kilometer long tunnel underneath those to allow the north and south tracks to connect. The result is that the Antwerp Central is no longer a terminal station and that the lower you go, the more modern things get. Late 19th century above ground, 20th century below and as you make your way down to deeper and deeper levels you end up in the 21st. 

Belgium isn't exactly a massive nation so it's quite an honor to have another one of our stations regularly make it to the top in best of lists. Where Antwerp Central displays the grandeur (and terror) of old, Liège-Guillemins stuns with its fluid modern look. Having opened in 2009 it's not really that well known yet but its reputation is growing rapidly. You can check it out in the album below as well as other stunners such as New York's Grand Central and London's St Pancras, both of which I've had the pleasure to see in person but, and maybe I am biased, but I think we've got them beat! ;)

I considered taking some pictures myself but both my skills and my phone are nothing to write home about so... No need to put you guys through that. Instead I've decided to turn this post into a showcase of some of the most beautifully shot beautiful stations from around the world. Enjoy! 

This is my Day 3 post for the Five Day Quest initiative.
These are the rules for the game:
1) Post 5 shots on 5 days that have something to do with your life
2) Use the hashtag #fivedayquest   on every post
3) Mention the person who invited you on every post
4) Tag a new person to join the challenge each day - no pressure, it's just for fun! 

Thanks +Denise Case for inviting me. She posts deliciously awesome stuff pretty much all the time so circle up! 

If he's up for it I would love to welcome +Ninja On Rye to the quest. I know you aren't big on stepping out of the shadows, I am kinda like that myself, so no hard feelings if you opt out. To everyone else; If you like sci-fi, reading, programming, technology in general, nail art or the occasional wacky story on how not to bake a cake, you owe it to yourself to follow his stream religiously. Come for his posts, stay for the comments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo_Free_State
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_II_of_Belgium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antwerpen-Centraal_railway_station___

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2014-07-13 18:16:14 (2 comments, 19 reshares, 76 +1s)

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump - Joseph Wright, 1768

This stunning painting depicts a natural philosopher, a forerunner of the modern scientist, recreating one of Robert Boyle's air pump experiments, in which a bird is deprived of air, before a varied group of onlookers. The group exhibits a variety of reactions, but for most of the audience scientific curiosity overcomes concern for the bird. The central figure looks out of the picture as if inviting the viewer's participation in the outcome. 

The piece rewards closer study. The experiment itself and the setting in which it takes place are the main attractor but the people surrounding it provide an enormous amount of context. Their faces are positively dripping with emotion. Wright has each of them tell a story, each highlighting a different facet of man's evolving relationship with early science. The... more »

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump - Joseph Wright, 1768

This stunning painting depicts a natural philosopher, a forerunner of the modern scientist, recreating one of Robert Boyle's air pump experiments, in which a bird is deprived of air, before a varied group of onlookers. The group exhibits a variety of reactions, but for most of the audience scientific curiosity overcomes concern for the bird. The central figure looks out of the picture as if inviting the viewer's participation in the outcome. 

The piece rewards closer study. The experiment itself and the setting in which it takes place are the main attractor but the people surrounding it provide an enormous amount of context. Their faces are positively dripping with emotion. Wright has each of them tell a story, each highlighting a different facet of man's evolving relationship with early science. The scared look on the little girl's face, the lovers who have no interest in anything but each other, the somewhat mysterious boy in the background (is he lowering or raising the cage or is he perhaps lowering the curtains, afraid of the outside world's reaction to man trying to unravel the mysteries of nature?) Subtext everywhere. 

The politician and philosopher Edmund Burke, in his famous Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), tied natural philosophers to the French Revolution; he later wrote in his Letter to a Noble Lord (1796) that radicals who supported science in Britain "considered man in their experiments no more than they do mice in an air pump". In light of this comment, Wright's painting of the bird in the air pump, completed over twenty years earlier, seems particularly prescient.

Wright's phenomenal paintings caused a great stir at their time of creation for they replaced the traditional classical subject with one of a scientific nature . Wright's depiction of the awe produced by scientific "miracles" marked a break with traditions in which the artistic depiction of such wonder was reserved for religious events. To Wright the marvels of the technological age were as awe-inspiring as the subjects of the great religious paintings.

Joseph Wright (1734 - 1797) has been acclaimed as "the first professional painter to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution". He is notable for his use of Chiaroscuro effect, which emphasizes the contrast of light and dark, and for his paintings of candle-lit subjects. His paintings of the birth of science out of alchemy, often based on the meetings of the Lunar Society, a group of very influential scientists and industrialists living in the English Midlands, are a significant record of the struggle of science against religious values in the period known as the Age of Enlightenment.

Other amazing works of his include;
> A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery
http://www.marketingderby.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Joseph-Wright-The-Orrery.jpg
> The Alchemist in Search of the Philosopher's Stone
http://www.derbymuseums.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Hero_WhatsOn.jpg
> An Iron Forge
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Joseph_Wright_-_An_Iron_Forge_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
> Vesuvius from Portici
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Joseph_Wright_of_Derby_-_Vesuvius_from_Portici.jpg

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Wright_of_Derby
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Experiment_on_a_Bird_in_the_Air_Pump

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Society
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday  ___

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2014-07-06 15:24:55 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 15 +1s)

Sometimes, putting all your eggs in one sheet is a good idea

When I was looking around for more information on deep sea dwelling siphonophorae for my last post; - http://goo.gl/nZfWEQ - I came across the +MBARI youtube channel... The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute sits on a treasure trove of some exceptionally amazing footage. The video below contains the first ever footage of brooding deep sea squids that carry their eggs around with them! It features stunning shots throughout and ends with a taste of cannibalism.

"Reproduction is one of the many challenges faced by deep-sea animals. In recent years, submersibles have allowed scientists to explore the lives of deep-sea animals in ways that were not possible before. One of the many exciting discoveries was that a mother of the deep-sea squid species Gonatus onyx broods her eggs by holding them in her arms, ab... more »

Sometimes, putting all your eggs in one sheet is a good idea

When I was looking around for more information on deep sea dwelling siphonophorae for my last post; - http://goo.gl/nZfWEQ - I came across the +MBARI youtube channel... The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute sits on a treasure trove of some exceptionally amazing footage. The video below contains the first ever footage of brooding deep sea squids that carry their eggs around with them! It features stunning shots throughout and ends with a taste of cannibalism.

"Reproduction is one of the many challenges faced by deep-sea animals. In recent years, submersibles have allowed scientists to explore the lives of deep-sea animals in ways that were not possible before. One of the many exciting discoveries was that a mother of the deep-sea squid species Gonatus onyx broods her eggs by holding them in her arms, a behavior that had never been previously reported for squids. This shocking discovery was the first time scientists had evidence of parental care in squids."

I've shared a video of them once before; Stranger in a strange land (http://goo.gl/918G5n) but they've been very busy since then. If you've got the time you should definitely check out some of the other videos on their channel.

> The law of beak and claw .
> What the vampire squid really eats .
> Boneworms on dead whales in Monterey Bay .
> Hide and Seek in the Deep .
> Davidson Seamount: The Biology of an Underwater Mountain .
> Magnapinna sp. - The Long-armed Squid .
> Lost at sea: Ecological assessment around a sunken shipping container .
> Grimalditeuthis bonplandi: A deep-sea squid with tentacle tips that "swim" on their own .
> Macropinna microstoma: A deep-sea fish with a transparent head and tubular eyes .
> Eerie critters from the deep sea: PREDATORS AND SCAVENGERS
... 
you get the picture :p

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-07-02 18:09:47 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 27 +1s)

Does this make it more or less spooky? ;)

+Mark Bruce shared this great article written by Wolchover* from the must read Quanta magazine and as always, she manages to dig up some intriguing bits and pieces that leave you puzzled. Check it out!

You might also want to check out these previous related postings;
> Is quantum thinking blocking roads to superdeterminism?
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/VZMyNhfWiEL

> When fluid dynamics mimic quantum mechanics
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/XeFt18SDmsX




* If you haven't had enough yet, here are some of Wolchover's other superb articles;
> Machines learning like us?
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/RPWLRVz2kEc

> Physicists Close In on ‘Perfect’ OpticalLens... more »

Latest Hints of Determinism Beneath Quantum Reality.
I'v been struggling to find time to write about this since I first read about it last week.

Bouncing oil drop experiments, which as the name implies involves an oil drop bouncing over the surface of a liquid, are used as a physical analogy for the behaviour of quantum particles interacting in quantum systems as described by pilot wave theory - a version of Bohmian Mechanics or hidden variables interpretations. 

This recent Quanta article - http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140624-fluid-tests-hint-at-concrete-quantum-reality/ - discusses the history and peculiarities of pilot wave theory and Bohmian mechanics, as well as recent bouncing oil drop experiments that reproduce quantum phenomena. In bouncing oil drop experiments the droplet interacts with its own ripples, forming pilot waves that cause the droplet to replicate a range of quantum phenomena including tunneling through barriers, orbiting each other in bound states, exhibiting quantum spin and electromagnetic attraction, and annihilating with their opposites (subsurface bubbles). Some other takeaways follow. 

The latest experiment successfully reproduced the classic double-slit experiment with bouncing oil drops, demonstrating both single- and double-slit interference. The droplets pass through only one gap in the barrier, but the ripples or pilot wave passes through both, producing an interference pattern that influences the trajectory of the droplet - an interference pattern that is destroyed if a detector for the droplet disturbs the wave. In both cases the trajectories of droplets replicate the distributions observed in related quantum systems. Further, incorporating a magnetic force results in a bouncing droplet adopting specific orbits around the magnet, with set energy and angular momentum - such quantisation is often quoted as a defining feature of quantum reality. 

Indeed, Richard Feynman said it was impossible to explain the double slit experiment in any classical way. And yet here we have direct experimental evidence of a deterministic classical system exhibiting the same phenomena. 

The properties of the fluid determine what is possible in bouncing droplet experiments of course. Intriguingly, theoretical calculations concerning the path memory exhibited by a fluid indicate that a superfluid ought to display perfect path memory and no dissipation at all; this would allow reproduction of entanglement for two “bouncing” droplet. Experimental inquiry of this type, with helium for example, seems to be not technically possible for the foreseeable future however. 

To the haters out there: modern Bohmian Mechanics and pilot-wave theory is nonlocal. The comments for the article are worth reading and Bell’s Inequality is poorly understood, even by experts in theoretical physics. One example journal article on theoretical physics that seeks to delve into and explain a lot of the misunderstanding surrounding Bell’s Theorem and Bohm’s Theory is What is the meaning of the wave function?http://www.bslps.be/meaningWF.pdf (see especially sections 3 and 4). 

Indeed, as outlined in the Quanta article, Bell actually supported pilot wave theory and said it “seems to me so natural and simple, to resolve the wave-particle dilemma in such a clear and ordinary way, that it is a great mystery to me that it was so generally ignored.”

The reason I find such results - both experimental and theoretical - so enamouring is because (i) I've toyed with conceptualising quantum mechanics in this manner for quite a while now, even before discovering who Bohm was or what a pilot wave is, and (ii) modern physics has large holes that to me indicate progress along a cul de sac, and minority viewpoints like this may well be needed to make real progress on plugging those gaps. 

#pilotwave   #bohmianmechanics   #classicalquanta  ___Does this make it more or less spooky? ;)

+Mark Bruce shared this great article written by Wolchover* from the must read Quanta magazine and as always, she manages to dig up some intriguing bits and pieces that leave you puzzled. Check it out!

You might also want to check out these previous related postings;
> Is quantum thinking blocking roads to superdeterminism?
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/VZMyNhfWiEL

> When fluid dynamics mimic quantum mechanics
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/XeFt18SDmsX




* If you haven't had enough yet, here are some of Wolchover's other superb articles;
> Machines learning like us?
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/RPWLRVz2kEc

> Physicists Close In on ‘Perfect’ Optical Lens
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/cfdAKP4AUDp

> Holography spits out formula detailing cuprate conductivity
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/TVCSfb5YUvd

> Data Driven: The New Big Science 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/jUkQStzByYu

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2014-07-02 00:24:39 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 37 +1s)

This Siphonophore will siphon off your breath

Terrible pun I know. Still, aren't these creatures just beyond breathtaking? Although many siphonophorae can be mistaken for your average looking jellyfish, this is something else entirely. You almost expect it to casually turn towards the camera and ask for a call home.

Siphonophorae might appear to be a single organism but each specimen is actually a colony composed of many individual animals. Most colonies are long, thin, transparent pelagic floaters.

The best known species is the dangerous Portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis) [1]. With a body length of 40–50 m (130–160 ft), another species of siphonophore, Praya dubia [2], is one of the longest animals in the world.

Each zooid (a single animal part of a colonial animal) is an individual, but their integration with each other is so strong,the... more »

This Siphonophore will siphon off your breath

Terrible pun I know. Still, aren't these creatures just beyond breathtaking? Although many siphonophorae can be mistaken for your average looking jellyfish, this is something else entirely. You almost expect it to casually turn towards the camera and ask for a call home.

Siphonophorae might appear to be a single organism but each specimen is actually a colony composed of many individual animals. Most colonies are long, thin, transparent pelagic floaters.

The best known species is the dangerous Portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis) [1]. With a body length of 40–50 m (130–160 ft), another species of siphonophore, Praya dubia [2], is one of the longest animals in the world.

Each zooid (a single animal part of a colonial animal) is an individual, but their integration with each other is so strong, the colony attains the character of one large organism. Indeed, most of the zooids are so specialized, they lack the ability to survive on their own. Siphonophorae thus exist at the boundary between colonial and complex multicellular organisms.

Like other hydrozoans, certain siphonophores can emit light. A siphonophore of the genus Erenna [3] has been discovered at a depth of around 1,600 m (5,200 ft) off the coast of Monterey, California. The individuals from these colonies are strung together like a feather boa. They prey on small animals using stinging cells. Among the stinging cells are stalks with red glowing ends. The tips twitch back and forth, creating a twinkling effect. Twinkling red lights are thought to attract the small fish eaten by these siphonophores. While many sea animals produce blue and green bioluminescence, this siphonophore was only the second lifeform found to produce a red light (the first being the scaleless dragonfish Chirostomias pliopterus [4]).

[1] Portuguese man o' war
Португальский кораблик (медуза) Strange Sea Creature Portuguese man o' war
[2] Praya dubia
http://biolum.eemb.ucsb.edu/organism/pictures/praya.html
[3] Siphonophore of the genus Erenna
http://biolum.eemb.ucsb.edu/organism/erenna.html
[4] Scaleless Dragonfish
http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2007/images/features/oceans_photo_essay/Acanthephyra-BL.jpg

Bonus; Marrus orthocanna
http://i.imgur.com/jwHgqrD.jpg

> http://deepseanews.com/2014/06/amazing-purple-jelly-sighting-in-the-deep-sea/ .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siphonophore


Looking for more creatures from the deep?

> Stranger in a Strange land
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/NbAL93gw776

> Sea Pigs
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/ehNPREq1zx3

> Nudibranches
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/MuPJQB23VNs

> Dreaming of Europeans
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/NgxJqSbJVfg

#ScienceEveryday  ___

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2014-06-30 21:02:15 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)

Holden - A Circle Inside A Circle Inside

For my second #fivedayquest  post I'd like to share with you the place from where I communicate with you all.

As you lay your eyes upon this hallowed ground, you must pay respect to the gods of geekdom, for this is an ever changing shrine to their most precious gifts. From the arcane and hyper modern knowledge stored in the books around me to the spine tingling thrills and heart-string tugging tragedies of the 20th century myths that live on an now ancient DVD collection, these are my most beloved non digital treasures. Surrounded by these most exquisite fruits of mind, this is where I play, eat and sleep and have spent so many hours of my waking life that no matter where I go from here, this will always be home. This is my sanctuary.

Apologies for the crappy picture quality, my phone is old and before you ask, no I do not have... more »

Holden - A Circle Inside A Circle Inside

For my second #fivedayquest  post I'd like to share with you the place from where I communicate with you all.

As you lay your eyes upon this hallowed ground, you must pay respect to the gods of geekdom, for this is an ever changing shrine to their most precious gifts. From the arcane and hyper modern knowledge stored in the books around me to the spine tingling thrills and heart-string tugging tragedies of the 20th century myths that live on an now ancient DVD collection, these are my most beloved non digital treasures. Surrounded by these most exquisite fruits of mind, this is where I play, eat and sleep and have spent so many hours of my waking life that no matter where I go from here, this will always be home. This is my sanctuary.

Apologies for the crappy picture quality, my phone is old and before you ask, no I do not have a girlfriend. :p 

I'd like to say I had to resist the urge to clean up before taking these shots but who am I kidding, I've not once experienced such a feel in my entire life.

These are the rules for the game:
1) Post 5 shots on 5 days that have something to do with your life
2) Use the hashtag #fivedayquest on every post
3) Mention the person who invited you on every post
4) Tag a new person to join the challenge each day - no pressure, it's just for fun! 

I was invited by +Denise Case  who you should totally follow if you like your facts served with a heavy dose of wonder. Me, I'd like to invite another oldtimer to the table. Someone who's been with us from the start; +Rich Pollett.  He's an avid googler and redditor who enjoys things and luckily for us is not afraid to share said things. You only need quickly scroll through his stream to know that this is someone worth circling. Not just because he's a meme smith of the first hour, his rapid fire stream bombards you with a torrent of delicious art, science, technology, pop culture, ... Love all the things! :)

Rich, don't feel pressured to partake, I know that like me you don't normally share private stuff so I would completely understand if you'd prefer to keep it that way.___

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2014-06-29 21:37:08 (6 comments, 10 reshares, 21 +1s)

The controversial science behind "immortality"

In the SXSW accepted film "The Immortalists" two eccentric scientists struggle to create eternal youth in a world they call “blind to the tragedy of old age.” As they battle their own aging and suffer the loss of loved ones, their scientific quest ultimately becomes personal.

I am hoping that the documentary focuses on more than just telomerase and instead takes a look at a more complete picture such as described by the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) approach cause otherwise I am afraid it will prove to be a quite dumbed down and simplistic vision.

By the looks of it The Immortalists should provide a balanced view as the cast is about evenly divided between those who think that fighting aging is a good idea and those who say it isn't feasible or that we shouldn'tboth... more »

The controversial science behind "immortality"

In the SXSW accepted film "The Immortalists" two eccentric scientists struggle to create eternal youth in a world they call “blind to the tragedy of old age.” As they battle their own aging and suffer the loss of loved ones, their scientific quest ultimately becomes personal.

I am hoping that the documentary focuses on more than just telomerase and instead takes a look at a more complete picture such as described by the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) approach cause otherwise I am afraid it will prove to be a quite dumbed down and simplistic vision.

By the looks of it The Immortalists should provide a balanced view as the cast is about evenly divided between those who think that fighting aging is a good idea and those who say it isn't feasible or that we shouldn't bother.

Those last few shots of de Grey and his missus... It's always refreshing to see someone own what lesser beings might wrongly choose to hide in shame. Good stuff! :) It's obvious that this documentary will try to infuse the rather depressing topic of death with a dose of lighthearted humor. 

Aubrey de Grey is probably one of the most famous biogerontologists alive and has been trying to get the fight against aging on the agenda for a long time. Before he co-founded SENS he was one of the main drivers behind the creation of the Methuselah foundation, named after both the biblical figure who supposedly ;) lived to be 969 years and the very real 4845 year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine which is still alive and kicking today somewhere in the White Mountains regio of eastern California. He was the main instigator behind the Mprize (Methuselah Mouse Prize) which has awarded various teams for achieving preset life extension and rejuvenation milestones in mice. Check out this TED talk from 7 years ago if you want a small primer on his work; - http://www.ted.com/talks/aubrey_de_grey_says_we_can_avoid_aging

Alternatively you can check out this hour long lecture for a more detailed look at why he thinks that SENS will help us conquer aging - Aubrey de Grey, "Ending Aging" | Talks at Google

If you really want to start digging into the science behind aging you might want to take a look at the SENS foundation's site and their archive of lectures. The SENS conferences regularly attract huge names who run some of the biggest labs in the world. For example, last year's keynote, SENS6, was opened by George Church and SENS5 was opened by Caleb Finch. - http://www.sens.org/videos

And finally, if you are looking for a spicy debate, just last week he was featured on the BBC show HARDtalk where he had to defend his views from one of journalism's bulldogs; Stephen Sackur.
HARDtalk Aubrey De Grey chief science officer and co founder of the SENS Foundation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah_(tree)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerontology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomedical_gerontology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telomerase
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategies_for_Engineered_Negligible_Senescence

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-06-29 17:37:26 (19 comments, 17 reshares, 62 +1s)

Under the Skin

108 min - Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller 

A mysterious seductress preys upon the population of Scotland.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Scarlett Johansson

Films like this don't come around often and deserve to be experienced on a massive screen with a sound system capable of generating 200 mph vortex winds. From the first minute alone you just know that you are in store for a treat. They say there are two sorts of schools for films to follow. Almost all the films made today are focused on telling a well defined story through dialogue and narration but there is another school which tries to get away from that and instead uses the language of the visual to hint at underlying meaning. This film is most definitely a follower of this second school. It automatically brings with it echoes of films like 2001 or the Tree of Life simply because... more »

Under the Skin

108 min - Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller 

A mysterious seductress preys upon the population of Scotland.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Scarlett Johansson

Films like this don't come around often and deserve to be experienced on a massive screen with a sound system capable of generating 200 mph vortex winds. From the first minute alone you just know that you are in store for a treat. They say there are two sorts of schools for films to follow. Almost all the films made today are focused on telling a well defined story through dialogue and narration but there is another school which tries to get away from that and instead uses the language of the visual to hint at underlying meaning. This film is most definitely a follower of this second school. It automatically brings with it echoes of films like 2001 or the Tree of Life simply because there isn't much else to compare it to. Without a doubt this is one of the most original movies of the past decade. In fact, I don't think we've ever seen something quite like this before. 

It took Glazer a decade to get this out and it shows. It's a deeply personal film that doesn't care if you'll like it. Where most commercial films try to please their audience by checking the usual boxes and some artsy directors will try to meet their audience halfway, It's obvious that Glazer didn't compromise on anything but instead chose to fanatically execute his singular vision. 

This is not market researched mass production which scores an "it's okay" with 90% of its audience. If a film is made for everyone, it's made for no one in particular. Art on the other hand isn't made for everyone or even anyone in particular but if you are lucky enough to be on the same wavelength as its creator, his work can connect with you in such a way that it goes well beyond simple entertainment. Sometimes a good piece can alter the way you think, making it life changing. 

It's with this in mind that I can't guarantee you'll like Under the Skin but I most definitely recommend you see it. In the worst case you'll hate it, but if you are like me, you'll get to see a mindblowing masterpiece. One thing's for sure, even if you hate it, this film will get under your skin and haunt your thoughts for weeks to come.

The film itself is a truly unique and utterly alienating experience. Hidden cameras film unsuspecting people as they interact with a predatory Johansson as she stalks the streets of Glasgow. We see people go about their daily lives but from a disconnected point of view which infuses the mundane with an eerie dose of strangeness. The camera lingers on actions each and every one of us has performed many times over but seeing Johansson go through them seemingly for the first time makes you question yourself which can at times be quite unsettling.

A haunting and brooding tension simmers just below the surface throughout the entire film, only punctuated by a couple of chilling key moments where the slow pace gives way to pure shock and terror when the speed unexpectedly ramps up. It's not just the pacing that contributes to the feeling of dread. Certain scenes will quite simply nail you to the floor. Either by their macabre beauty or because you feel like a rabbit trapped in headlights. Glazer brings to the table a visionary style, effects that transcend "special", and layers of metaphor so deep you'll have a hard time keeping your head above the water...

There's also a hypnotic quality to the horror that makes it impossible for you to look away for which the score is largely responsible. It's hard to put into words just how perfect the score matches the movie. It is at times as perfectly cold and calculated as Johansson's mastery of murder, next it's completely unpredictable, jumping around as if it were a deer caught in bear trap. The only constants are its threatening and otherworldly qualities.
Under the Skin - Death

The location, Scotland, perfectly suits the themes of the film. There is beauty in the bewildering chaos of its natural landscapes but also despair in its grim and desolate character. I am not going to give anything away about the film's story or what I think it means. It's much more fun to go in without having a preconceived notion of what it's all about. I wouldn't even bother with the trailer and instead go in completely fresh but if I haven't convinced you yet; Under the Skin Trailer Official - Scarlett Johansson

Do yourself a favor, go find out what it does for you.___

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2014-06-28 16:43:45 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 27 +1s)

Love all the things! 

Now normally I tend not to share personal stuff but since I've been invited by the lovely +Denise Case to participate in the #fivedayquest  thingy, I am going to lift the curtain a little bit and give you a small behind the scenes peek at my life. Don't be alarmed, it'll only be for 5 posts and I wouldn't be me if I didn't try to package the personal with some of the usual geeky or sciency stuff.

It's been 3 years to the day since g+ launched and at the time I wrote down my point of view on my g+ profile page and I still stand by what I then said. - https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/about 

"I feel defined by what I love and besides the universe as a whole I also love being alive." Now there's more to life than love alone but it can't be denied that it plays a large part in making itwort... more »

Love all the things! 

Now normally I tend not to share personal stuff but since I've been invited by the lovely +Denise Case to participate in the #fivedayquest  thingy, I am going to lift the curtain a little bit and give you a small behind the scenes peek at my life. Don't be alarmed, it'll only be for 5 posts and I wouldn't be me if I didn't try to package the personal with some of the usual geeky or sciency stuff.

It's been 3 years to the day since g+ launched and at the time I wrote down my point of view on my g+ profile page and I still stand by what I then said. - https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/about 

"I feel defined by what I love and besides the universe as a whole I also love being alive." Now there's more to life than love alone but it can't be denied that it plays a large part in making it worthwhile. Note that I am not necessarily talking solely about the cliched and somewhat narrow view of love as something that grows between two people. They say that unconditional love means loving someone without expecting to be loved in return. I love the concept but I think it needs to be expanded to include not just people and not just some things but many things. I think the world would be better off if we didn't treat the highest form of love as an exclusive product for that special someone. There's so many people and things out there that deserve to be loved, to be cherished, to have songs written about them, ... So many are left out in the cold, aborted before having had the chance to bloom. There's about 7 billion of us. It's a travesty that so many end up feeling alone and abandoned.

Sometimes I wonder how many things worthy of love still reside within the mysterious unknown but most of the time I am convinced the answer must be a very high order infinity. The universe is vast and we are tiny. What if we've only got so much love to give? Don't those cute sea pigs deserve more? What about Glaucus Atlanticus or any of the other millions of things you and I don't even know exist? Then again, would you give your life for a sea pig? No? Does that mean certain loves are cheaper than others? Are we flawed creatures for having such a limited capacity for love? Can we learn to love more and more deeply? Should we? If high value love is in high demand but feeds too few hearts while cheap love isn't nutritious enough, than the key, as usual, is balance. 

In the last 3 years I've met many very interesting people. People I would have never known to exist had I not joined google+. They brighten up life and not a day goes by where one of them doesn't introduce me to something new I can love wholeheartedly. I'd like to dedicate this post to them, the two people below, whoever else is reading this and whoever is not reading this. I love you guys!

If you've been following me I probably don't need to tell you that I am deeply in love with the universe, life, art, science and technology but for my  #fivedayquest  I thought I'd share a look at what's made me who (or what? :p) I am and where better to begin than at the beginning? For day 1 I present to you the two people that have been showering me with love since I first saw the light of day.
 
I guess this is a bit of a cheat since I wasn't around yet when these pictures were taken but these 2 folks most definitely have "something to do with my life". In fact, if this pic was taken in 3D at a much higher resolution, you'd might be able to track down the egg responsible for my mitochondrial DNA. :) Although I am grateful for my particular nature, the genetic mix I've received, I feel downright lucky for the nurturing care they provided me with. Thanks mom and dad!

I'd also like to thank +Denise Case for the kind words and pressing me to expose a bit about myself. ;)

These are the rules for the game:
1) Post 5 shots on 5 days that have something to do with your life
2) Use the hashtag #fivedayquest  on every post
3) Mention the person who invited you on every post
4) Tag a new person to join the challenge each day - no pressure, it's just for fun! 

I'm wondering if +Rajini Rao might be interested to join in on the fivedayquest fun? She's a very open and passionate communicator but I also know she leads a very interesting but busy life so I would fully understand if you choose not to.___

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2014-06-22 16:19:34 (33 comments, 14 reshares, 38 +1s)

From dust it came and to dust it will return?

http://www.nature.com/news/gravitational-wave-team-admits-findings-could-amount-to-dust-1.15440

"Using for the first time the newest Planck maps available, Puget and his collaborators have directly examined the polarization of dust in these high galactic regions rather than extrapolating from dustier regions in the plane of the Milky Way. Averaging over some 350 high-galactic-latitude patches of sky similar in size to the region observed by BICEP2, Puget reported that polarization from interstellar dust grains plays a significant role and might account for much of the BICEP2 signal that had been attributed to inflation-generated gravitational waves."

"There is still hope, says Seljak, that the BICEP2 team has observed the real gravitational wave signal. “But at this point this appears more of a wish rather than rootedi... more »

2 birds with one stone; Discovery of gravitational waves in the CMBR strengthen Inflation's case!

"Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today's best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory.

Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence supporting this theory, known as "cosmic inflation." Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang." Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity."

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/march/physics-cosmic-inflation-031714.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26605974

More info including the groundbreaking paper itself here - http://bicepkeck.org/ 
 ___From dust it came and to dust it will return?

http://www.nature.com/news/gravitational-wave-team-admits-findings-could-amount-to-dust-1.15440

"Using for the first time the newest Planck maps available, Puget and his collaborators have directly examined the polarization of dust in these high galactic regions rather than extrapolating from dustier regions in the plane of the Milky Way. Averaging over some 350 high-galactic-latitude patches of sky similar in size to the region observed by BICEP2, Puget reported that polarization from interstellar dust grains plays a significant role and might account for much of the BICEP2 signal that had been attributed to inflation-generated gravitational waves."

"There is still hope, says Seljak, that the BICEP2 team has observed the real gravitational wave signal. “But at this point this appears more of a wish rather than rooted in any convincing argument.”

http://www.nature.com/news/gravitational-wave-team-admits-findings-could-amount-to-dust-1.15440

There's no need to look at this as a failure. In fact this is a beautiful example of how science works. There's a lot at stake so you can be sure that the smartest kids in the room will fight it out among each other until we get to the bottom of this! The data will do the talking and it's nice to see that everyone, including the original team is listening.

I bought my friends a round of beer when this was originally announced so... this new data should get me pretty drunk. ;) Hooray for science!

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

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2014-06-19 15:49:26 (2 comments, 18 reshares, 41 +1s)

Back with a Bang

Quick, get a drink and some popcorn! In less than an hour, at 4:30 UTC, you can watch the ESO blow up a Chilean mountaintop to make room for the E-ELT, the extremely large telescope.

http://new.livestream.com/ESOAstronomy/eeltgroundbreaking

The telescope's "eye" will be 39.3 meters in diameter and will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes operating at the time of its development.

The E-ELT will search for extrasolar planets — planets orbiting other stars. This will include not only the discovery of planets down to Earth-like masses through indirect measurements of the wobbling motion of stars perturbed by the planets that orbit them, but also the direct imaging of larger planets and possibly even the characterisation of their atmospheres.

Furthermore, the E-ELT's suite of instrumentsw... more »

Back with a Bang

Quick, get a drink and some popcorn! In less than an hour, at 4:30 UTC, you can watch the ESO blow up a Chilean mountaintop to make room for the E-ELT, the extremely large telescope.

http://new.livestream.com/ESOAstronomy/eeltgroundbreaking

The telescope's "eye" will be 39.3 meters in diameter and will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes operating at the time of its development.

The E-ELT will search for extrasolar planets — planets orbiting other stars. This will include not only the discovery of planets down to Earth-like masses through indirect measurements of the wobbling motion of stars perturbed by the planets that orbit them, but also the direct imaging of larger planets and possibly even the characterisation of their atmospheres.

Furthermore, the E-ELT's suite of instruments will allow astronomers to probe the earliest stages of the formation of planetary systems and to detect water and organic molecules in protoplanetary discs around stars in the making. 

The E-ELT will also be making detailed studies of the first galaxies and to follow their evolution through cosmic time. Observations of these early galaxies with the E-ELT will give clues that will help understand how these objects form and evolve.

>http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/18/astronomy-extremely-large-telescope-e-elt-chile-life-other-planets .
>http://www.eso.org/public/teles-instr/e-elt/ .
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Extremely_Large_Telescope

#ScienceEveryday  ___

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2014-05-18 17:36:08 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 26 +1s)

I've been too busy exploring Prague to write something myself but check out +Mark Bruce's exceptionally awesome science Sunday roundup! How insanely powerful is that first image?!

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 20/14.
Cellular nanoinjector, 2D transistors, digital cell processing, graphene pump, thermal imaging, analogue computing, translating speech to code, hyperbolic metamaterials.

1. A Cellular MEMS Nanoinjector.
A newly fabricated microelectromechanical system (MEMS) is able to grab individual cells, such as human egg cells, and precisely pierce them with a nanoinjector pre-coated in DNA of interest http://phys.org/news/2014-05-mems-nanoinjector-genetic-modification-cells.html. DNA is attached to the nanoinjector via an induced electrical charge and, once the cell is pierced, a reversal of the charge polarity releases the DNA inside the cell. The cells undergo much less stress than with other methods and the method avoids a lot of the cell death that usually occurs. The group will next develop large arrays of the MEMS systems capable of injecting up to hundreds of thousands of cells at once and possibly providing a powerful platform for rapidly and easily genetically transforming a patient’s cells before reintroduction. 

2. Transistors Built from Different Two Dimensional Materials.
Some of the first functional transistors built entirely of two-dimensional materials have been demonstrated in which molybdenum disulfide makes up the channel, boron nitride the gate dielectric, and graphene the source/drain gate electrodes http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=35544.php. The prototypes were manufactured with fairly basic scotch-tape exfoliation methods and could benefit greatly with suitable automatic fabrication techniques. That being said the transistors still exhibited remarkable performance that would translate into faster and more power-efficient devices. Individual material thicknesses could also be precisely controlled but the group needs to work on engineering better metal contacts for their devices. 

3. True Digitisation of Cellular Analysis.
By printing thin electromagnetic components onto a slide researchers built tracks, switches, diodes, capacitors, and transistors that deal not with electrons, but with cells http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/microchip-technology-allows-single-cell-analysis. Such a biological microchip allows for rapid, efficient, digitally-controlled sorting, storage, and analysis of different cells and makes it much easier to conduct single-cell analysis based on particular parameters. Different cells and cell-like particles can be separated and combined as needed. The prototype can currently sort, store, and analyse a 3x3 grid of cells, but they have plans to scale to 16x16 in the short term, with future versions offering the potential of being able to manage hundreds of thousands of cells at a time. This system might even be combined with the nanoinjector from #1 above to enable some really powerful capabilities. 

4. Laser-Powered Atomic Monolayer Two-Stroke Pump.
Turns out that combining some chlorine fluoride with sheets of monolayer graphene allows a burst of incident laser light to cause the graphene to form a rapidly-rising dome-like blister the monolayer sheet; rapidly turning the laser on and off causes the blister to rapidly rise up and down again like a little pump http://phys.org/news/2014-05-one-nm-thick-graphene-mimics-two-stroke.html. Blister size is dependent on the power of the laser (0.32mW laser = 550nm blister), which beyond a certain power causes the material to burst - but below this limit the material seems to act like a robust and reliable pump. The group next wants to explore and further prove the concept by hooking up MEMS and NEMS devices that are structured in such a way that they can be powered by the pump. 

5. Cheap, High-Resolution Thermal Imaging Chips.
Raytheon has dramatically reduced the cost of fabricating thermal imaging chips while achieving a 5- to 6-fold reduction in weight and power requirements for the devices over a 10-year development period http://www.raytheon.com/newsroom/feature/rtn14_thermal.html. The chips see heat and infrared light directly, and work without the need for infrared illumination or amplification of trace amounts of visible light. By getting prices below a certain point we might start to see these thermal imaging chips and sensors migrate out of military and industrial uses and into commercial and consumer applications such as automotive, home sensing, and smartphones, etc. This is the sort of seemingly simple advance capable of giving birth to applications that we can’t yet imagine. 

6. A New Computational Analogue Building Block.
Vanadium dioxide, a material that switches from metal to semiconductor with the addition of heat or current, has been used to create new oscillator circuit elements that naturally oscillate together, an array of which could store and compute relevant patterns and data http://news.psu.edu/story/316026/2014/05/14/research/strongly-interacting-electrons-wacky-oxide-synchronize-work-brain. The group is exploring this as a building block for a non-Boolean, neuromorphic (brain-mimicking) chip architecture that they hope to scale up an array of 100 million oscillators to realise a powerful, low-energy computing system. 

7. Auto-Translation of English into Code.
A programming tool called Betty has been developed that translates plain English into Unix commands http://www.wired.com/2014/05/betty/. The developer created the tool to interpret plain text entry and help remember certain commands and avoid the need to look up cheat sheets. While not yet voice controlled (could be one day) and still requiring text entry, the project is open-source and so anyone can jump in and help expand Betty’s capabilities in terms of both languages and known programming commands. This also represents the seed for an open-source alternative of Siri and Google Now. 

8. IBM’s Exceptional New Polymers.
IBM has discovered a new class of polymer materials that demonstrate a range of properties including resistance to cracking, solvent resistance, strength higher than bone, self-healing and rejoining, and recyclability back to original starting material http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43932.wss. The polymer chemistries were discovered and their development accelerated with the aid of computational chemistry modelling systems whose potential we really seem to have only just scratched the surface. The addition of fillers such as carbon nanotubes would also further improve strength. The inherent recyclability is a huge deal, with the other materials properties lending themselves to applications everywhere polymers are currently found - and they also possess the potential to replace some metal components applications. 

9. Tissue Engineering With Acoustic Tweezers.
An acoustic tweezer device has been used to move and manipulate cells into complex two-dimensional assemblies, forming interlocking patterns of different cell types http://phys.org/news/2014-05-sonic-screwdriver-cells-tartan.html. The group hope to further develop the technique to allow three-dimensional assembly of complex tissues and are aiming to create proto-tissues that can assist neuron development and the repair of damaged nerves. Between this, 3D bioprinting, organ decellularisation, and xenotransplantation techniques we seem to be developing quite robust tissue engineering capabilities. 

10. Engineering Hyperbolic Metamaterials.
For the first time ultra-thin crystalline films that are compatible with conventional CMOS processes have been engineered into hyperbolic metamaterials http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q2/advance-brings-hyperbolic-metamaterials-closer-to-reality.html. These new metamaterials are grown by adding new layers to form superlattice crystals of controllable thicknesses that can manipulate a broad spectrum of light from infrared to visible; applications include much better communications, sensors, microscopes, and light sources. The key here is the co-opting of powerful CMOS tools into metamaterial development, something that hasn’t been possible before and which lead to rapid development and scaling of metamaterials applications.

An archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Robby Bowles, +Allison Sekuler, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco!

+STEM on Google+ Community___I've been too busy exploring Prague to write something myself but check out +Mark Bruce's exceptionally awesome science Sunday roundup! How insanely powerful is that first image?!

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2014-04-27 21:01:38 (2 comments, 18 reshares, 40 +1s)

Read this if you want to have the time of your life
http://www.nature.com/news/biomarkers-and-ageing-the-clock-watcher-1.15014

Steve Horvath, a geneticist and biostatistician at UCLA, has developed a cellular biological clock that has impressed researchers with its accuracy, how easy it is to read and the fact that it ticks at the same rate in many parts of the body — with some intriguing exceptions that might provide clues to the nature of ageing and its maladies.

Horvath's clock emerges from epigenetics, the study of chemical and structural modifications made to the genome that do not alter the DNA sequence but that are passed along as cells divide and can influence how genes are expressed. As cells age, the pattern of epigenetic alterations shifts, and some of the changes seem to mark time. To determine a person's age, Horvath explores data for hundreds off... more »

Read this if you want to have the time of your life
http://www.nature.com/news/biomarkers-and-ageing-the-clock-watcher-1.15014

Steve Horvath, a geneticist and biostatistician at UCLA, has developed a cellular biological clock that has impressed researchers with its accuracy, how easy it is to read and the fact that it ticks at the same rate in many parts of the body — with some intriguing exceptions that might provide clues to the nature of ageing and its maladies.

Horvath's clock emerges from epigenetics, the study of chemical and structural modifications made to the genome that do not alter the DNA sequence but that are passed along as cells divide and can influence how genes are expressed. As cells age, the pattern of epigenetic alterations shifts, and some of the changes seem to mark time. To determine a person's age, Horvath explores data for hundreds of far-flung positions on DNA from a sample of cells and notes how often those positions are methylated.

“I wanted to develop a method that would work in many or most tissues. It was a very risky project,” Horvath says. But now the gamble seems to be paying off. By the time his findings were finally published last year1, the clock's median error was 3.6 years, meaning that it could guess the age of half the donors to within 43 months for a broad selection of tissues. That accuracy improves to 2.7 years for saliva alone, 1.9 years for certain types of white blood cell and 1.5 years for the brain cortex. The clock shows stem cells removed from embryos to be extremely young and the brains of centenarians to be about 100.

The reviews came back in the spring: more disbelief, and another rejection. Horvath didn't blame the reviewers for being sceptical. “Everyone who develops biomarkers knows what to expect: a very strong biomarker gives you a correlation of, say, 0.6 or 0.7.” For example, the correlation between age and the length of telomeres is less than 0.5. For Horvath's clock algorithm, that figure is 0.96. He confesses that he had trouble believing it himself until other researchers independently confirmed the tight association.

“Such tight correlations suggest there is something seemingly immutable going on in cells,” says Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, who won a Nobel prize for her research on telomeres — caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten with age. It could be a clue to undiscovered biology, she suggests. And there may be medical implications in cases in which epigenetic estimates do not match a person's birth certificate.

http://www.nature.com/news/biomarkers-and-ageing-the-clock-watcher-1.15014


Picture; Compact Object (1962) by Natsuyuki Nakanishi
A plastic egg with bones, watch and clock parts, hair, eggshells, lens bits, ...

Times as artificial constructs born form synthetics. A plastic egg giving birth to both flesh and time, to the real, the material, and the ephemeral and elusive. Can one exist without the other? Is time internalized mechanically by the flesh, or is it the other way around? Time made flesh... by the machine? Our time isn't really all that similar to physical or even biological time. Ours ticks at different rates from day to day, from cradle to the grave. From atomic vibrations measuring millions of intervals in a single second, to the number of pressure waves transmitted by your local church bell, not all times are made equal. Then again, pulsars are very good clocks but they do not tell time the way Chicxulub did when it reshaped Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-04-16 22:02:48 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)

Many hands make light work

"Wong-Foy, a senior research engineer at SRI, has built an army of magnetically steered workers to test the idea that “microrobots” could be a better way to assemble electronics components, or to build other small structures.

Wong-Foy’s robotic workers have already proved capable of building towers 30 centimeters (two feet) long from carbon rods, and other platforms able to support a kilogram of weight. The robots can work with glass, metal, wood, and electronic components. In one demonstration, they made a carbon truss structure with wires and colored LEDs mixed in to serve as the lab’s Christmas tree."

"Wong-Foy also thinks his approach might be useful for assembling devices that combine electronic and optical components, for example to interface with fiber optic cables. Because silicon and optical components can’tbe proces... more »

Many hands make light work

"Wong-Foy, a senior research engineer at SRI, has built an army of magnetically steered workers to test the idea that “microrobots” could be a better way to assemble electronics components, or to build other small structures.

Wong-Foy’s robotic workers have already proved capable of building towers 30 centimeters (two feet) long from carbon rods, and other platforms able to support a kilogram of weight. The robots can work with glass, metal, wood, and electronic components. In one demonstration, they made a carbon truss structure with wires and colored LEDs mixed in to serve as the lab’s Christmas tree."

"Wong-Foy also thinks his approach might be useful for assembling devices that combine electronic and optical components, for example to interface with fiber optic cables. Because silicon and optical components can’t be processed in the same step, that industry often uses manual assembly to put them together. “In the field of optical electronics people have not found a good way to integrate indium phosphide lasers with silicon components,” says Wong-Foy. “The scale of those things is the size of carbon rods we’re using here.”

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/526601/microrobots-working-together-build-with-metal-glass-and-electronics/___

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2014-04-13 15:29:57 (8 comments, 52 reshares, 53 +1s)

Casting Light on Sound to See its Shadow

"When light passes between areas of different air density, it bends. You've probably noticed the way distant pavement seems to shimmer on a hot day, or the way stars appear to twinkle. You're seeing light that has been distorted as it passes through varying air densities, which are in turn created by varying temperatures and pressures.

In the mid-19th century, German physicist August Toepler invented a photography technique called Schlieren Flow Visualization to visually capture these changes in density. The setup is a bit hard to explain in words (watch the video above for a full explanation) but it allows scientists and engineers to see things that are normally invisible: the rising heat from a candle, the turbulence around an airplane wing, the plume of a sneeze.

It can also be used to see sound. Sound, after... more »

Casting Light on Sound to See its Shadow

"When light passes between areas of different air density, it bends. You've probably noticed the way distant pavement seems to shimmer on a hot day, or the way stars appear to twinkle. You're seeing light that has been distorted as it passes through varying air densities, which are in turn created by varying temperatures and pressures.

In the mid-19th century, German physicist August Toepler invented a photography technique called Schlieren Flow Visualization to visually capture these changes in density. The setup is a bit hard to explain in words (watch the video above for a full explanation) but it allows scientists and engineers to see things that are normally invisible: the rising heat from a candle, the turbulence around an airplane wing, the plume of a sneeze.

It can also be used to see sound. Sound, after all, is just another change in air density — a traveling compression wave. A speaker pushes on the surrounding air, creating a wave that travels outward until it encounters the ear drum."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieren
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieren_photography
High Speed Schlieren Video of Premixed Flame, Spark Ignition
http://www.npr.org/2014/04/09/300563606/what-does-sound-look-like

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-03-23 21:50:29 (32 comments, 44 reshares, 65 +1s)

Popular science; the best of the best

After having devoured truckloads of books, I am now finding it increasingly difficult to score new reading material. Not that there's a shortage of books out there, it's just that I've primarily been reading the well known stuff and only now have to start looking at the more obscure work. I am hoping you guys (and girls) can help me out here by pointing me towards some new books and writers who might not be well known but should be.

I've done my homework, I've scoured the internet for bestsellers, poll winners, and suggestions from famous scientists and in doing so I've managed to uncover a few more guaranteed good ones but not nearly enough to keep me busy for the many decades I plan to spend on this lovely planet of ours. Because I've been reading the well known stuff, my digital excavation work has uncovered a... more »

Popular science; the best of the best

After having devoured truckloads of books, I am now finding it increasingly difficult to score new reading material. Not that there's a shortage of books out there, it's just that I've primarily been reading the well known stuff and only now have to start looking at the more obscure work. I am hoping you guys (and girls) can help me out here by pointing me towards some new books and writers who might not be well known but should be.

I've done my homework, I've scoured the internet for bestsellers, poll winners, and suggestions from famous scientists and in doing so I've managed to uncover a few more guaranteed good ones but not nearly enough to keep me busy for the many decades I plan to spend on this lovely planet of ours. Because I've been reading the well known stuff, my digital excavation work has uncovered a list that looks insanely similar to my bookshelf which isn't really all that useful to me. Maybe it is to you? I've compiled this list from my favorites and my digging around so you can rest assured, I as well as the entire internet vouch for the awesomeness of every single book on this list.

The list is somewhat skewed towards physics but that's not my doing as there really are way more popular science books being written on physics than on just about anything else. High energy physics and cosmology seem to be especially popular while condensed matter physics gets almost no love at all. 

I call upon my fellow geeks to help out a reader in need. I would love to hear about your suggestions and particular personal favorites. Personally I hope to pick up some new books that deal with non physics related fields, books that unravel the history of specific fields of science, biographies of famous scientist that focus in detail on how they arrived at their finds, ... anything really. If it's good, I want to know about it! :)

[PHYSICS & COSMOLOGY]
Alan Guth - The Inflationary Universe
Alan Holden - The Nature of Solids
Albert Einstein - Relativity
Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw - The Quantum Universe
Brian Greene - The Elegant Universe
Brian Greene - The Fabric of the Cosmos
Charles Seife - Alpha & Omega
Charles Seife - Sun in a Bottle
Dave Goldberg - The Universe in the Rearview Mirror
David Bodanis - E=mc² 
George Gamow - One Two Three... Infinity
John Gribbin - In Search of Schrödinger's Cat
John Gribbin - Schrödinger's Kittens
Kip Thorne - Black Holes & Time Warps
Leonard Susskind - The Black Hole War
Leonard Susskind - Quantum Mechanics
Lee Smolin - Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
Lee Smolin - The Trouble with Physics
Marcus Chown - The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead
Marcus Chown - We Need to Talk about Kelvin
Marcus Chown - Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You
Michio Kaku - Hyperspace
Manjit Kumar - Quantum
Martin Rees - Just Six Numbers
Richard Feynman - QED
Richard Feynman - Six Easy Pieces
Richard Feynman - Six Not So Easy Pieces
Richard Feynman - The Character of Physical Law
Richard Panek - The 4% Universe
Roger Penrose - Road to Reality (pop science... lol :p)
Simong Singh - Big Bang
Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking - The Universe in a Nutshell
Walter Lewin - For the Love of Physics

[CHEMISTRY]
John Emsley - Nature's Building Blocks
Sam Kean - The Disappearing Spoon
Theodore Gray - The Elements

[BIOLOGY]
Anthony Serafini - The Epic History of Biology
Armand Marie Leroi - Mutants
Aubrey de Grey - Ending Aging
Carl Zimmer - A Planet of Viruses
Carl Zimmer - Microcosm
Carl Zimmer - Parasite Rex
Craig Venter - Life at the Speed of Light
George Church - Regenesis
Jerry Coyne - Why Evolution is True
Mary Roach - Gulp
Matt Ridley - Genome
Matt Ridley - Nature via Nurture
Matt Ridley - The Red Queen
Neil Shubin - Your Inner Fish
Nessa Carey - The Epigenetics Revolution
Paul De Kruif - Microbehunters
Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker
Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene
Richard Dawkins - The Greatest Show on Earth
Rebecca Skloot - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Stephen Jay Gould - Structure of Evolutionary Theory
Stephen Jay Gould - Wonderful Life
Siddhartha Mukherjee - The Emperor of all Maladies

[GEOLOGY]
Ted Nield - Supercontinent
Marcia Bjornerud - Reading the Rocks

[INFORMATION & COMPUTATION]
Charles Seife - Decoding the Universe
Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee - Race Against Machine
James Barrat - Our Final Invention 
James Gleick - The Information
Roger Penrose - The Emperor's New Mind

[MATH]
Benoît Mandelbrot - The Fractal Geometry of Nature
Charles Seife - Zero
Eli Maor - e: the story of a number
James Gleick - Chaos
Marcus Du Sautoy - The Music of the Primes
Petr Beckmann - A History of Pi
Paul J. Nahin - An Imaginary Tale
Simon Singh - Fermat's Enigma
William Dunham - Journey Through Genius

[NEUROSCIENCE, PSYCHOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY]
Cordelia Fine - Delusions of Gender
Cordelia Fine - A Mind of its Own
Daniel Dennett - Consciousness Explained
Daniel Dennett - Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Daniel Dennett - Freedom Evolves
Daniel Dennett & Douglas Hofstadter - The Mind's I
Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow
David Eagleman - Incognito
Douglas Hofstadter - Gödel, Escher, Bach
Douglas Hofstadter - I Am a Strange Loop
Friedrich Nietzsche - Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Guy Deutscher - Through the Language Glass
Oliver Sacks - An Anthropologist on Mars
Oliver Sacks - The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat
Steven Pinker - The Blank Slate
Steven Pinker - The Stuff of Thought
Steven Pinker - The Language Instinct
V.S. Ramachandran - The Tell-Tale Brain
V.S. Ramachandran - Phantoms in the Brain

[BIOGRAPHIES]
Andrew Robinson - The Last Man Who Knew Everything (Young)
Barbara Goldsmith - Obsessive Genius (Curie)
Basil Mahon - The Man Who Changed Everything (Maxwell)
Graham Farmelo - The Strangest Man (Dirac)
John Derbyshire - Prime Obsession (Riemann)
Paul Hoffman - The Man Who Loved Only Numbers (Erdos)

[MIXED]
Alvin Toffler - Future Shock
Alvin Toffler - The Third Wave
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Carl Sagan - Cosmos
Carl Sagan - Demon-Haunted World
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot
David Deutsch - The Beginning of Infinity
David Deutsch - The Fabric of Reality
Daniel Boorstin - The Discoverers
Eric Drexler - Engines of Creation
Erwin Schrodinger - What is Life?
Edge - This Will Change Everything
Edge - This Explains Everything
Edge - This Will Make You Smarter
Edge - What Is Your Dangerous Idea?
Edge - What Have You Changed Your Mind About?
Edge - What Should We Be Worried About?
Edge - What We Believe but Cannot Prove
Jared Diamond - Guns, Germs, and Steel
Jon Gertner - The Idea Factory (Bell Labs)
John Horner - Digging Dinosaurs
Martin Ford - The Lights in the Tunnel
Michael Hiltzik - Dealers of Lightning (Xerox Parc)
Mary Roach - Packing for Mars
Mary Roach - Stiff
Nigel Calder - Magic Universe
Ray Kurzweil - The Singularity is Near
Richard Feynman - Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
Richard Holmes - The Age of Wonder
Robert Bakker - The Great Dinosaur Debate
Richard Rhodes - The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Stephen Jay Gould - The Mismeasure of Man
Timothy Ferris - Coming of Age in the Milky Way
Thomas Kuhn - Structure of Scientific Revolutions

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-03-17 15:30:17 (24 comments, 78 reshares, 115 +1s)

2 birds with one stone; Discovery of gravitational waves in the CMBR strengthen Inflation's case!

"Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today's best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory.

Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence supporting this theory, known as "cosmic inflation." Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang." Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity."
... more »

2 birds with one stone; Discovery of gravitational waves in the CMBR strengthen Inflation's case!

"Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today's best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory.

Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence supporting this theory, known as "cosmic inflation." Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang." Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity."

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/march/physics-cosmic-inflation-031714.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26605974

More info including the groundbreaking paper itself here - http://bicepkeck.org/ 
 ___

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2014-03-16 20:40:28 (0 comments, 26 reshares, 28 +1s)

Quantum Life disentangled

Jim Al-Khalili - Quantum Life: How Physics Can Revolutionise Biology .
"In this talk Professor Jim Al-Khalili explores how the mysteries of quantum theory might be observable at the biological level. 

Although many examples can be found in the scientific literature dating back half a century, there is still no widespread acceptance that quantum mechanics -- that baffling yet powerful theory of the subatomic world -- might play an important role in biological processes. Biology is, at its most basic, chemistry, and chemistry is built on the rules of quantum mechanics in the way atoms and molecules behave and fit together. 

As Jim explains, biologists have until recently been dismissive of counter-intuitive aspects of the theory and feel it to be unnecessary, preferring their traditional ball-and-stick models of the moleculars... more »

Quantum Life disentangled

Jim Al-Khalili - Quantum Life: How Physics Can Revolutionise Biology .
"In this talk Professor Jim Al-Khalili explores how the mysteries of quantum theory might be observable at the biological level. 

Although many examples can be found in the scientific literature dating back half a century, there is still no widespread acceptance that quantum mechanics -- that baffling yet powerful theory of the subatomic world -- might play an important role in biological processes. Biology is, at its most basic, chemistry, and chemistry is built on the rules of quantum mechanics in the way atoms and molecules behave and fit together. 

As Jim explains, biologists have until recently been dismissive of counter-intuitive aspects of the theory and feel it to be unnecessary, preferring their traditional ball-and-stick models of the molecular structures of life. Likewise, physicists have been reluctant to venture into the messy and complex world of the living cell - why should they when they can test their theories far more cleanly in the controlled environment of the physics lab?

But now, experimental techniques in biology have become so sophisticated that the time is ripe for testing ideas familiar to quantum physicists. Can quantum phenomena in the subatomic world impact the biological level and be present in living cells or processes - from the way proteins fold or genes mutate and the way plants harness light in photosynthesis to the way some birds navigate using the Earth's magnetic field? All appear to utilize what Jim terms "the weirdness of the quantum world".

The discourse explores multiple theories of quantum mechanics, from superposition to quantum tunneling, and reveals why "the most powerful theory in the whole of science" remains incredibly mysterious."

Jim Al-Khalili - Quantum Life: How Physics Can Revolutionise Biology .
Al-Khalili begins his talk with a quote from the famous physicist Niels Bohr; "If you are not astonished by quantum mechanics then you have not understood it." In the clip below, a small part from the full lecture above, he does his best to make clear just why quantum mechanics is so astonishing by digging into the famous double slit experiment. No matter how many times you've come across it, this experiment, the most stunning experiment in all of science, never loses the power to stop you in your tracks by flooding your brain with a torrent of question marks.

Did this talk fire up your appetite for anything and everything that meets at the intersection between quantum physics and biology? Here are some good places to start if you want to go a bit deeper;

The Dawn of Quantum Biology - http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110615/full/474272a.html

In this paper on quantum biology, the authors take a look at a variety of organisms which may be harnessing some of the unique features of quantum mechanics to gain a biological advantage. Including the aviation system used by Robins which is something Al-Khalili also touched upon in his talk. - http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/v9/n1/full/nphys2474.html

You might also want to check out this post I previously shared on how certain proteins may be acting as quantum repeaters in photosynthesis. - https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/cBgBc7XKX6Y

With his 1944 book; What is Life? Erwin Schrödinger was one of the founding fathers of this emerging science. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_Life%3F
http://whatislife.stanford.edu/LoCo_files/What-is-Life.pdf

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-03-09 22:52:22 (17 comments, 43 reshares, 44 +1s)

The history of history; How art breathing life into long dead bones helps to drag history back into the present

Sergey Krasovskiy's beautiful drawing of the recently discovered European "tyrannosaurus", torvosaurus gurneyi, leaps off the page in such a way that it almost appears to bring it back to life. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26452266 

Torvosauruses are actually some 80 million years older than T. Rex and, being part of the Megalosauridae family, are only distantly related to the tyrannosauridae through some of the very first theropods. However, like T. Rex and many other theropods, torvosaurus too was a fearsome looking carnivorous predator. When it was active in the late Jurassic, a particularly brave one might have tried to make a meal out of stegosaurus. By the time T. Rex was stalking Triceratops in the upper cretaceous period,... more »

The history of history; How art breathing life into long dead bones helps to drag history back into the present

Sergey Krasovskiy's beautiful drawing of the recently discovered European "tyrannosaurus", torvosaurus gurneyi, leaps off the page in such a way that it almost appears to bring it back to life. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26452266 

Torvosauruses are actually some 80 million years older than T. Rex and, being part of the Megalosauridae family, are only distantly related to the tyrannosauridae through some of the very first theropods. However, like T. Rex and many other theropods, torvosaurus too was a fearsome looking carnivorous predator. When it was active in the late Jurassic, a particularly brave one might have tried to make a meal out of stegosaurus. By the time T. Rex was stalking Triceratops in the upper cretaceous period, torvosaurus' bones had already been turned to stone.

We've come a long way since ancient times in which people thought that the massive bones they uncovered had once belonged to giants and dragons. Even in the 17th century most people with an interest in what we would now call paleontology were still trying to assemble mythical creatures like unicorns out of a variety of completely different animal skeletons from all over the world. They tended to mix and match parts as they saw fit, more concerned with showmanship than historic truth. It wasn't until the end of the 18th century and the development of comparative anatomy that paleontology started getting serious. 

We owe this mostly to Georges Cuvier (1769 -1832) who not only pointed out that comparing between anatomies can tell us particulars about any given skeleton but who also took it upon himself to reapply flesh and fur to said skeletons in his drawings. Although his images too shocked and dazzled the crowd, he really cared about their veracity and always tried to depict them as true to life as possible. What he started gave rise to an explosion of interest in the study of ancient life and when only 10 years after his death Richard Owen coined the term "dinosaurs", and the bones of giants were finally recognized for what they truly were, there was no going back. A revolution in our understanding of both the history of life and earth itself swept across our 4,5 billion planet like a tidal wave and knocked the people who had previously thought the earth to be only a few millions years old off their feet. 

The 19th and 20th century were a golden age for both geology and paleontology. Thanks to the construction of museums and the increasingly wide circulation of various works of art that depicted dinosaurs and prehistoric life, the reality of our ancient earth started to enter the minds of everyday people. The easy access to such information sparked even greater interest in the fields and helped ensure a constant influx of new talent. As a result these two centuries saw an extremely rapid accumulation of knowledge.

The power of art is not to be underestimated. Indeed, although it helped to birth the field of paleontology, it has also held it back. For the longest time dinosaurs were thought of as slow elephantine reptiles. In no small part thanks to how they were depicted by Richard Owen in the 1850s. He, with what must have been a stunning exhibition in the then to South London relocated Crystal Palace, made an enormous impact on people's perception of dinosaurs. It didn't take long for the progress in paleontology to make these early first models laughably outdated but by then the damage had been done. It would take the public almost an entire century, until the 1960s, to catch up with the paleontology of the late 1800s. People had trouble letting go of the pictures that had entrenched themselves so deeply in popular culture... A situation that is eerily similar to today's with people not wanting the hero/monster of their childhood, the T. Rex "to be turned into a big chicken". 

The Posture of Tyrannosaurus rex: Why Do Student Views Lag Behind the Science? http://nagt-jge.org/doi/abs/10.5408/11-259.1

Unfortunately, researchers active in paleontology are not immune to popular thinking. In many ways the thought climate during the turn of the century had been much more fertile for exploring what dinosaurs were really like than the decades that came after. Just before the end of the 19th century, people like Huxley, Darwin's bulldog, were convinced that birds had evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs but this idea, going against popular thought, did not manage to get any traction. Instead the arrival of early monster movies during the first decades of the 20th century helped to cement the view of dinosaurs as cumbersome and stupid creatures even further. It's during this period that the idea of a dinosaur as something out of date, an evolutionary dead end bound for extinction, entered the public consciousness. Although at the time an undercurrent of both research and paleoart depicting dinosaurs as agile and energetic creatures did exist, it was mostly ignored and not taken seriously. 

It wouldn't be until the 60s that views would begin to shift. In a period that is now known as "the dinosaur renaissance" research that couldn't be ignored began to paint a rather different picture of dinosaurs, one more inline with the one we have today. First and foremost the fact that dinosaurs lived on until today as modern day birds really pulled the rug out from under everyone's feet. Suddenly it was no longer clear whether dinosaurs had been slow cold blooded reptiles. The field got hammered with discovery after discovery, like for example the one that uncovered a communal nesting site of maiasaura, that revealed that far from being stupid, certain dinosaurs had displayed remarkable levels of social behavioral intelligence. 

The 70s saw an explosion in "new dinosaur" paleoart with many artists defending controversial views and criticizing aspects of more traditional approaches. This proved to be a boon for the field and reinvigorated the debate. Of particular note is Gregory Paul who started depicting certain dinosaurs with feathers and defended the idea in various books. The excavation of the first feathered dinosaur 20 years later in the early 90s goes to show that art really can lead the way. The shift of views from dinosaurs as lizard-like to more bird-like creatures reached the general public in 1993 with the release of Jurassic Park. Even though certain aspects JP itself have now again become outdated, it's done a lot to bring current views of dinosaurs more in line with reality. Hopefully next year's Jurassic World will continue this tradition and for the first time introduce both young and old to deinos pteros sauros or terrible feathered lizards. 

Like Monet and van Gogh, artists like Charles Knight, Zdeněk Burian, Rudolph Zallinger, Doug Henderson, Raúl Martín, Mark Hallett, Gregory Paul, John Gurche, Eleanor Kish, ... should be household names! Accompanying this post is a picture album that contains some of the most important historic paleoart as well as a few works from famous modern and contemporary artists. I've also included quite a few personal favorites but please feel free to point me towards yours!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theropoda
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosauridae
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalosauridae
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torvosaurus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_paleontology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Cuvier
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duria_Antiquior
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Palace_Dinosaurs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_depictions_of_dinosaurs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_renaissance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoart

On a pregnant T. Rex named Bob - http://goo.gl/IpB5JQ
Feathered dinosaurs, no sitting ducks - http://goo.gl/ZqTFBc

#ScienceSunday   | +ScienceSunday  ___

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2014-02-28 23:00:22 (5 comments, 6 reshares, 17 +1s)

March 1st; The Future Today

Happy Future Day! Without a doubt the most useful and relevant holiday of the year! Today's the absolute best day to talk about tomorrow. Share the love for human ingenuity and the days ahead by discussing both the problems and promises of eons to come. You can always go with the crowd favorite; The New Rules of Robot/Human Society | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios , guaranteed success!  You might also opt for something more exotic like genetic engineering, room temperature superconductors, superlenses, quantum computing or maybe programmable matter? Too speculative for you? Why not stick to the known future or the one we'll get if we stay our current course or do nothing?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_near_future
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Earthmore »

March 1st; The Future Today

Happy Future Day! Without a doubt the most useful and relevant holiday of the year! Today's the absolute best day to talk about tomorrow. Share the love for human ingenuity and the days ahead by discussing both the problems and promises of eons to come. You can always go with the crowd favorite; The New Rules of Robot/Human Society | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios , guaranteed success!  You might also opt for something more exotic like genetic engineering, room temperature superconductors, superlenses, quantum computing or maybe programmable matter? Too speculative for you? Why not stick to the known future or the one we'll get if we stay our current course or do nothing?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_near_future
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Earth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risks_to_civilization,_humans,_and_planet_Earth

Perhaps you are more interested in the human side of things and want to talk about the evolution of mind and society? Will the world's population be culturally richer or poorer by 2050? Is income inequality likely to rise or decrease over the next 100 years? How old is the average person likely to get by 2250? Is China's idea of building a green wall going to halt the march of deserts globally? How will changes in climate impact ecology and cities? What about Energy? Water? Food? Politics? Is the internet's tendency to destroy lines on ancient maps likely to cause societal change that 'll sweep across our planet like wildfire? The future is built on ideas but unfortunately good ideas are in short supply. In general we seem to be much better at predicting doom and gloom. I say the future is going to be better than today. At least it will be if we all work to make it so. 

"The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things that now lie hidden. A single life time, even though entirely devoted to research, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject. . . . And so this knowledge will be unfolded through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we we did not know things that are so plain to them. . . . Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate . . . . Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all."
— Seneca, Natural Questions Book 7, c. first century

"We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on." — Richard Feynman, The Value of Science, 1955

http://longnow.org/ #futureday  


Singularity - The Lisps

I’ll live to see a million things that men were never meant to see 
my senses and my faculties i'll augment with machinery
auditory, optical, touch and taste, olfactory
converted into data streams and floating bits of binary
every piece of food you taste and every thought you cogitate
every sound that you can hear and sight you see for years and years
all stored up so conveniently on peta-bytes of memory
so you can always reference them in case you forget anything

Singularity, I don’t know

now once all that experience can fit into an easy grid
the existence is no longer something mentally projected
the wires that you have inside are very easily realized
through artificial imaging you duplicate 10 at a time
your consciousness can be enjoyed by anyone forever more
and you live in whatever state that you or anyone creates
you could be a Giant Squirrel, a statue or a talking cat
the Goodyear blimp, an etch a sketch, an octopus or a brain in a vat
you keep all the memories and feelings that you ever want
and now you can commence your life as an uploaded extropian

Singularity, I don’t know

my mother is so horrified by this post-human fantasy
she says we’d lose that special thing that makes us human beings be
but I don’t know I’m not so sure if humans are so good and pure
perhaps we’d be much better off if we took these violent bodies off

once everyone is in the cloud we’ll move beyond this earthly ground
expanding into outer space as an informational signal race
matter in the solar system converts into computing mass
and the sun becomes a central orb of a brain that grows into the vast
expanse of space and emptiness for light years and light centuries
it replicates exponentially like a Russian doll in a cosmic dream
Once every spot of the universe is filled up it will promptly burst
eradicating finally the experiment that we grew from earth
as it explodes the brain will breathe into the dark impossibly
and anti-matter all around will collapse the universe back down
and right away what you would see if you were a fly in the vacancy
is all the light and color in the universe is collapsing

and Time would stop

and from a tiny pinhole point a massive bang erupts into space
and trillions of new particles fly away at a photonic pace
and once again the clock would start to tick and tock and tick and tock
and Years would pass, billions or more before the tiny proteins locked
and once again in the boiling seas of a miniscule blue anomaly
a planet floating helplessly around a tiny ball so fiery
an unextraordinary corner of the universe would cradle it
the flicker of intelligence that led us here and brought us this…

Singularity, I don’t know___

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2014-02-24 20:08:59 (10 comments, 34 reshares, 50 +1s)

A Star in a Bottle

The New Yorker delivers a truly fantastic in depth article on ITER's problems and promise. A long read but an extremely good one!
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/03/140303fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=all

At times quite depressing but here and there glimmers of hope do shine through. The people working on it not only have to conquer physics and engineering problems, they also have to deal with mindnumbingly complex bureaucracy and politics. We can't allow politicians to question if fusion produced energy will ever work, the answer, quite simply, is that it must. The question has to be when and paradoxically its answer rests squarely on the shoulders of those very same politicians. Fusion is in dire need of funding but the political will to commit to the level an undertaking as monumental as this one requires is severely lacking. We... more »

A Star in a Bottle

The New Yorker delivers a truly fantastic in depth article on ITER's problems and promise. A long read but an extremely good one!
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/03/140303fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=all

At times quite depressing but here and there glimmers of hope do shine through. The people working on it not only have to conquer physics and engineering problems, they also have to deal with mindnumbingly complex bureaucracy and politics. We can't allow politicians to question if fusion produced energy will ever work, the answer, quite simply, is that it must. The question has to be when and paradoxically its answer rests squarely on the shoulders of those very same politicians. Fusion is in dire need of funding but the political will to commit to the level an undertaking as monumental as this one requires is severely lacking. We can not keep on dragging our feet as we have been doing for the past decades, not on an issue as important as this one. 

There are few things certain in life but failure on fusion is highly likely to clear the board of all options. If we don't manage to ignite stars on earth, our future will be dark indeed. In Latin ITER means the way. Both in theory and on paper it has already shown us the way, we know where it leads. The rise of fusion would change more than just the energy equation, it would change geopolitics forever. In many way its path leads to enlightenment, straying from it to the dark ages. We must stay the course and make haste because once the light goes out, we are not likely to ever find our way again.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/03/140303fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=all

#ScienceEveryday___

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2014-02-16 17:08:58 (2 comments, 10 reshares, 18 +1s)

The electrifying flavor of the muonth is tautally massive
An update on developments in the field of neutrino research.

I am pretty sure I made you cringe with that title but at least I didn't make the obligatory this 'll go straight through you remark... Fine, I ll show myself out. ;)

+Brian Koberlein just recently reported on a new study that predicts a range in which the total combined mass of all 3 neutrino types might be found. If accurate it might, in one fell swoop, explain away some of the discrepancies between theory and observation we've been puzzling over. http://goo.gl/q5Qam0

Not long ago we also had the scientists who analyze data from the IceCube neutrino observatory experimentally verify that Earth is being visited by alien neutrinos... This isn't just exciting from a science-theoretic point of view, it could in fact open up ane... more »

The electrifying flavor of the muonth is tautally massive
An update on developments in the field of neutrino research.

I am pretty sure I made you cringe with that title but at least I didn't make the obligatory this 'll go straight through you remark... Fine, I ll show myself out. ;)

+Brian Koberlein just recently reported on a new study that predicts a range in which the total combined mass of all 3 neutrino types might be found. If accurate it might, in one fell swoop, explain away some of the discrepancies between theory and observation we've been puzzling over. http://goo.gl/q5Qam0

Not long ago we also had the scientists who analyze data from the IceCube neutrino observatory experimentally verify that Earth is being visited by alien neutrinos... This isn't just exciting from a science-theoretic point of view, it could in fact open up an entirely new frontier for astronomical observation! http://goo.gl/ru6CJr

The neutrino news continued with reports from the mindbogglingly cool looking - http://goo.gl/uOGpe4 - Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Japan that, although earlier experiments suggested it, they have now found the first real evidence of terrestrial matter effects on the oscillations (flavor changes) of neutrinos born in our sun. They verify that, as expected, the elastic scattering rate of solar neutrinos with electrons is larger when the neutrinos pass through the Earth during nighttime. This helps explain the riddle of missing high energy neutrinos as they are likely to be morphing into other flavors as they interact with the dense plasma surrounding the sun. Some should also morph back when moving through the earth so you would expect to see higher energy neutrinos on the night side (when they have had to pass through our planet to reach the detector), then on the day side and this is exactly what the team at Super-Kamiokande has observed. http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.5176

Last but not least, a couple of days ago the BBC reported that the UK is backing the United States' plan to build a large scale neutrino experiment. They already had support from India and Italy so now it's definitely beginning to look more and more likely that it will indeed be built on US soil. With this experiment they hope to establish the mass of all 3 types of neutrinos and find out exactly why or how they change flavor. Many believe that they might hold the key to explaining why, if matter and antimatter where created in equal quantities, we are left with a universe seemingly made up almost entirely out of normal matter. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26017957

Looking for an entertaining somewhat deeper look at neutrinos?
BBC Horizon Project Poltergeist (Missing Neutrinos) - Full Documentary

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IceCube_Neutrino_Observatory .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino_astronomy .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super-Kamiokande .

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-02-13 21:18:56 (19 comments, 186 reshares, 191 +1s)

Will Kuka turn the table on Timo Boll?

May 11, 1997: Deep Blue beats Kasparov at Chess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_versus_Garry_Kasparov

Since then, humans have been losing a lot of ground. Whether you are talking about the AI in videogames or this crazy Air Hockey Robot Project (a 3D printer hack) , all of them need to be severely handicapped to make it fun for humans to play against them. Even in knowledge games we are no longer undisputed champions. Jeopardy IBM Watson Episode-3 HD  

So far physically demanding sports were still human turf but there is a chance that those days are about to come to an end as well. On March the 11th, one of KUKA's fastest bots, KR AGILUS (English) , will challenge Timo Boll at a game of ping pong. We'll have to wait till then to find out if we are still on the ball or if perhaps we'll get them handedb... more »

Will Kuka turn the table on Timo Boll?

May 11, 1997: Deep Blue beats Kasparov at Chess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_versus_Garry_Kasparov

Since then, humans have been losing a lot of ground. Whether you are talking about the AI in videogames or this crazy Air Hockey Robot Project (a 3D printer hack) , all of them need to be severely handicapped to make it fun for humans to play against them. Even in knowledge games we are no longer undisputed champions. Jeopardy IBM Watson Episode-3 HD  

So far physically demanding sports were still human turf but there is a chance that those days are about to come to an end as well. On March the 11th, one of KUKA's fastest bots, KR AGILUS (English) , will challenge Timo Boll at a game of ping pong. We'll have to wait till then to find out if we are still on the ball or if perhaps we'll get them handed back to us. Either way, there is no doubt in my mind that we'll have a ball watching this!

Until recently I wasn't really all that interested in competitive sports but if they keep this up they just might make a convert out of me! Between blade runners, dolphin swimmers and organisations like FIRA aiming to create teams of humanoid robots capable of beating flesh and blood players at football by 2050, it's a great time for geeks to get into sport!

http://www.kuka-timoboll.com/en/home/___

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2014-02-09 17:13:03 (7 comments, 54 reshares, 53 +1s)

Fantastic Voyage: Way out there, what's inside matter(s).   

Last night I was casually strolling around the internet, wasting time as usual, until suddenly I stumbled upon this rather excellent Sci-Fi Science game. In Zoom you take on the role of an agent sent out on a mission into deep space for a large corporation that operates under the name Xenofusion. A few days ago one of their mining vessels, the Polaris, sent out a distress signal but shortly after it went dead... It does not respond to any calls so now it's up to you to find out what happened.

It's not very long, it can be finished in about half an hour. It does take about 5 minutes or so to get going but once you receive the NanoZoom™, an insanely powerful microscope and manipulator that allows you to see and work with individual atoms, things really pick up. If you've got kids, I think they arelik... more »

Fantastic Voyage: Way out there, what's inside matter(s).   

Last night I was casually strolling around the internet, wasting time as usual, until suddenly I stumbled upon this rather excellent Sci-Fi Science game. In Zoom you take on the role of an agent sent out on a mission into deep space for a large corporation that operates under the name Xenofusion. A few days ago one of their mining vessels, the Polaris, sent out a distress signal but shortly after it went dead... It does not respond to any calls so now it's up to you to find out what happened.

It's not very long, it can be finished in about half an hour. It does take about 5 minutes or so to get going but once you receive the NanoZoom™, an insanely powerful microscope and manipulator that allows you to see and work with individual atoms, things really pick up. If you've got kids, I think they are likely to love it, but I dare say that, as you will be busy repairing all sorts of mechanical and even biological damage at the atomic, molecular and cellular level, even most adults might just learn a thing or two as well!

+ScienceSunday curator +Rajini Rao, whose lab focuses on intracellular ion transport, will be glad to hear that this game includes the operation of a Sodium-potassium pump where you have to move around ions to build up the transmembrane potential! You'll also find out how a laser works when you have to manually excite gas atoms using photons to build up a beam and you'll even be tasked with arranging various types of electromagnetic radiation from high to low frequency during which you'll get to see Messier 74, a spiral galaxy, in all its glory. And that's not even half of it! 

The game does a pretty good job at explaining what's going on during various interesting processes but you should probably check out the dedicated companion site that takes a deeper look at the science on display in the game. http://splash.abc.net.au/web/zoom/science
As a bonus, the explanations come in a delicious Aussie accent. :p

Play the game here:
http://splash.abc.net.au/res/zoom/game/main.html

Note that you can even use this game in the classroom!
http://splash.abc.net.au/web/zoom/learning

Picture; Damián Ortega - Controller of the Universe

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday  ___

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2014-02-02 18:07:17 (5 comments, 41 reshares, 43 +1s)

What VR could, should, and almost certainly will be within two years

If you got an Oculus Rift you can already try out some great VR experiences. Parking a massive truck with it feels natural as you can just stick your head out of the window and look backwards. If driving a truck is a bit too mundane for you, locking the guns of your spacecruiser on a target has become much easier because now you can kill with your looks. Ever felt like going to the movies with friends on the other side of the world? Try out a virtual theater! On the other hand, if you are afraid of heights and spiders crawling all over your face you might want to skip on The Pit and Don't Let Go. The worlds of games like Half-Life, Skyrim and many others are waiting for you to immerse yourself in them... and if you are feeling really adventurous you can even play sexy gender swap games with your partner!... more »

What VR could, should, and almost certainly will be within two years

If you got an Oculus Rift you can already try out some great VR experiences. Parking a massive truck with it feels natural as you can just stick your head out of the window and look backwards. If driving a truck is a bit too mundane for you, locking the guns of your spacecruiser on a target has become much easier because now you can kill with your looks. Ever felt like going to the movies with friends on the other side of the world? Try out a virtual theater! On the other hand, if you are afraid of heights and spiders crawling all over your face you might want to skip on The Pit and Don't Let Go. The worlds of games like Half-Life, Skyrim and many others are waiting for you to immerse yourself in them... and if you are feeling really adventurous you can even play sexy gender swap games with your partner! http://vimeo.com/84150219 (NSFW)

Although all these experiences are completely bonkers in a good way, they are only scratching the surface and according to Valve they are missing something crucial that will take the experience from totally bonkers to dangerously addictive.

Valve, the renowned software developer, has teamed up with Oculus, the developers of the rift Virtual Reality headset, and together they recently unleashed the Crystal Cove Prototype onto the world. Almost anyone who tried it on described it as "the future of entertainment". Is the age of VR finally upon us? Almost, but not quite yet says Valve. They see the CC prototype they developed with Oculus as a massive step in the right direction but they believe that we still have to wait a little bit longer for VR to truly go mainstream. At least one more year to be exact. 

The last couple of years they've been developing their own state of the art and extremely costly VRD prototype and at the SteamDevDays they've finally shown it off. Keep in mind that they have no intention to bring this particular headset to market but will instead help Oculus to create something similarly specced at a more realistic price point that consumers can actually afford. They only built this costly one to showcase what is to come and to get both industry and consumers ready for the revolution they think is almost at hand. Hyperbole on their part? I don't think so. It really seems to be blowing people's minds.

David Hensley of Tripwire was particularly hyperbolic, and said that going back to his Oculus Rift would be like switching from an Xbox to an 8-bit Nintendo. "Valve’s VR demo at SteamDevDays felt like being in a lucid dream state and very much like a holo deck."

Johnathan Blow (developer of Braid & The Witness) explains that he was skeptical of VR technology based on what he'd seen so far but that Valve turned him around; "It's so much better than anything else I had used that I was instantly very excited by it." "Right away I could see games you might design for this system that had been impossible before."

One of Valve's brainiacs, Michael Abrash, regularly spreads words of wisdom from his blog; http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/ and he did the same at the SteamDevDays event where he delivered a very interesting talk on the future of VR in which he outlined the somewhat magical experience of presence in VR and pointed to 2015 as the year that it's likely to be achieved on consumer devices. 
http://media.steampowered.com/apps/abrashblog/Abrash%20Dev%20Days%202014.pdf

"Once hardware that supports presence ships, we think it has the potential to cause a sea change in the entertainment industry. Not only could VR rapidly evolve into a major platform, but it could actually tip the balance of the entire industry from traditional media toward computer entertainment."

If you think that sounds like he's overselling it, you might want to think again because already the film industry is beginning to pay attention. The Oculus booth at the Sundance Film festival pulled in a huge crowd and Alfonso Cuaron, director of Children of Men & Gravity even stopped by Oculus' headquarters for an extensive try out... One can only imagine the kind of adrenaline rush you'd get from experiencing Gravity through a VRD.

Valve's research into Virtual Reality has allowed them to really explore the space and they've found that the key ingredient we need for VR to go mainstream is something they call "presence". 

"Presence is hard to quantify, but our demos have shown that it is a very real and compelling phenomenon, one that hooks far deeper into the perceptual system than anything that’s come before, and it’s why we’re so excited about the future of VR. It’s our belief that great VR will be built on presence, because it engages you at a deeper, more visceral level than any other form of entertainment, and can only be experienced in VR. "

"Presence requires a wide field of view, adequate resolution, low pixel persistence, a high enough refresh rate, global display, specialized optics, rock solid tracking, low latency and fine tuned calibration. I want to emphasize that presence is not a property of any one of these elements; it’s a property that emerges when all of the elements are good enough. If the optics aren’t calibrated perfectly, then the scene will warp as you turn your head no matter how good everything else is. Likewise, no amount of fidelity will convince your visual system that a virtual scene is real if latency is too high. Presence can’t be induced if even one of the key elements is subpar. It's worth noting that inducing presence reduces motion sickness because what your eyes see will more closely respond with what your vestibular system reports.

According to Abrash presence requires the following minimum specs;
• 20 ms motion-to-last-photon latency
• 3 ms pixel persistence
• 95 Hz refresh
• 110-degree FOV
• 1k x 1k resolution per eye
• High quality, well calibrated optics
• Tracking
- millimeter accurate resolution translation
- quarter degree accurate rotation
- volume of 2 meters cubed

"This head-mounted display would support a powerful sense of presence and would have an excellent shot at widespread adoption. VR can certainly get much better yet down the road, but that’ll require time and major hardware R&D. In contrast, we believe everything on this slide is doable with relatively minor tweaks of existing technology; no breakthroughs or miracles are needed, just solid engineering."

Still, it's important to note these are the minimum specs to achieve presence. When these arrive in 2015 they will enable us to step into other worlds but there will still be A LOT of room for further improvement. "For one thing, presence would benefit from every one of the key elements getting better than what’s in our prototypes. We could literally use up to 100 times as many pixels, and a wider field of view, lower latency, and all the rest would also improve the experience; the optics in particular are far from optimal. Also getting per user lens positioning right is a challenge. As I mentioned, we think we’re close on head tracking, but we don’t have a shippable solution yet, and then there’s eye tracking, which could greatly enhance presence but is nowhere near solved. Going to a wireless connection and eliminating the tether would 
be a big plus." 

Full presentation; 
http://media.steampowered.com/apps/abrashblog/Abrash%20Dev%20Days%202014.pdf

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2014/01/oculus-movies/

http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/09/the-oculus-rift-crystal-cove-prototype-is-2014s-best-of-c/

Virtual travel, think of the possibilities!
Athens Tech Demo Siggraph 2013

Virtual Reality pain relief
http://www.hitl.washington.edu/projects/vrpain/

AR-Rift: Stereo camera rig and augmented reality showcase

3D webcam mechanics with oculus

HydraDeck Humans (NSFW)

http://vimeo.com/79173606 (NSFW)

Omni in Skyrim - with Kinect 2 (head sensitivity adjusted)

Substituted Reality - http://goo.gl/FsgtyK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

posted image

2014-02-01 21:21:53 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 21 +1s)

Homo aquaticus: The Science of an Underwater Gill

In 1962, underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau predicted the arrival of Homo aquaticus: people surgically equipped with gills who could live and breathe in any depth for any amount of time without harm. Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about Triton, a conceptual gill (http://goo.gl/pWkd5k) that supposedly could allow humans to breathe underwater. There are many reasons why this device is still in the realm of science fiction. But first, it's helpful to understand how some animals breathe air underwater. 

Breathe, Breathe in the Air: Like us, insects breathe oxygen from air, using a system of canals connected to the outside by breathing holes or spiracles. So how do aquatic insects survive submerged underwater, often for their entire lives? Mosquito larvae develop tiny snorkeling tubes, called... more »

Homo aquaticus: The Science of an Underwater Gill

In 1962, underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau predicted the arrival of Homo aquaticus: people surgically equipped with gills who could live and breathe in any depth for any amount of time without harm. Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about Triton, a conceptual gill (http://goo.gl/pWkd5k) that supposedly could allow humans to breathe underwater. There are many reasons why this device is still in the realm of science fiction. But first, it's helpful to understand how some animals breathe air underwater. 

Breathe, Breathe in the Air: Like us, insects breathe oxygen from air, using a system of canals connected to the outside by breathing holes or spiracles. So how do aquatic insects survive submerged underwater, often for their entire lives? Mosquito larvae develop tiny snorkeling tubes, called siphons, that poke out of the water for regular refills. Others, like mayflies and damselflies, develop biological gills that extend into the water to extract oxygen by diffusion. The champion for ingenuity, however, is the diving beetle which carries a bubble of water tucked under its body, seen as a silvery sheath in the photograph. The air bubble is a short term supply of oxygen, that is replenished from the surrounding water based on a few simple physical principles that are fun to consider!

Love is like Oxygen: Water contains dissolved oxygen, reaching up to 5% in volume in icy-cold streams, but much less than the 20% found in the atmosphere. As oxygen is consumed by the insect, it creates a partial pressure difference inside the air bubble.  This is "corrected" by dissolved oxygen that diffuses in from the water.  There is a lot of unused nitrogen in the air bubble, 80% by volume, which is free to diffuse out , also creating a similar partial pressure deficit.  Because there is very little dissolved nitrogen present in water (it has lower water solubility than oxygen), some of the nitrogen's partial pressure deficit is "corrected" by oxygen diffusing in, enriching the insect's air supply.  So as long as the rate of oxygen diffusing in keeps up with the rate at which it is consumed by the insect, all is well. Unfortunately, the surrounding pressure of the water can shrink the size of the bubble over time, reducing the surface to volume ratio and hampering gas exchange. That's why some insects make the occasional trip to the water surface, to refill their air bubbles. For those insects that don't have this option, a plastron is the answer. 

What the Fakir?: A plastron is a special array of rigid, closely-spaced hydrophobic hairs (setae) that create a fixed "airspace" next to the body.  Air trapped within a plastron operates as a physical gill (just like air in a bubble) but this airspace cannot shrink in volume because a double layered fortress of setae prevents encroachment of surrounding water.  Think of the analogy of a fakir lying on a bed of nails: while one nail can puncture through his skin, lying on many nails effectively distributes his body weight so that the skin, like the surface of water (inset images below), is not broken. Also, the setae do a good job of repelling water using the lotus effect covered in an old post (http://goo.gl/yW7QpC). 

Triton or not Triton?: Back to the beginning, will a physical gill work for humans? Humans need a lot more oxygen than beetles, so enormous surface areas will be needed to extract oxygen from water. Too much or too little oxygen in the air we breathe can be toxic. Still, a terrier named Muggins survived a 3 hour dip in the Mississippi river using articificial gills. Check out the story (http://goo.gl/xdJeQd) and tell me if you think  Homo aquaticus  will soon be in a pool near you!  

Images: Diving beetle by Ernie Cooper (http://goo.gl/EWMwjx); Inset http://goo.gl/ci28mS

#ScienceEveryday  ___

posted image

2014-01-19 19:38:37 (10 comments, 25 reshares, 92 +1s)

The Many Bots of Reddit, a Digital Safari

It's hard to believe that Reddit, a community news & entertainment website, has been around for nearly a decade but here we are. Reddit went mainstream back in 2008 when it started allowing users to create their own subreddits and the amount of users active on the site has been rising ever since. For a time things were good but it didn't take long for humanity's dark side to find its way to the surface.  The offline actions brought into play by subreddits like r/RandomKindness, /r/SOPA/‎ and the many donation drivers may melt the heart but the consequences of /r/findbostonbombers, /r/GunsForSale, /r/Creepshots, ... most definitely do not. Reddit creates but Reddit can also destroy, Reddit helps but it can also sabotage, ... Both on and offline, people have experienced that reddit can cut both ways. Ultimately it was human naturetha... more »

The Many Bots of Reddit, a Digital Safari

It's hard to believe that Reddit, a community news & entertainment website, has been around for nearly a decade but here we are. Reddit went mainstream back in 2008 when it started allowing users to create their own subreddits and the amount of users active on the site has been rising ever since. For a time things were good but it didn't take long for humanity's dark side to find its way to the surface.  The offline actions brought into play by subreddits like r/RandomKindness, /r/SOPA/‎ and the many donation drivers may melt the heart but the consequences of /r/findbostonbombers, /r/GunsForSale, /r/Creepshots, ... most definitely do not. Reddit creates but Reddit can also destroy, Reddit helps but it can also sabotage, ... Both on and offline, people have experienced that reddit can cut both ways. Ultimately it was human nature that required Reddit to reconsider their stance on giving users total freedom. You can check out Reddit's complex history in this awesomely data driven look at Reddit's evolution; http://www.randalolson.com/2013/03/12/retracing-the-evolution-of-reddit-through-post-data/

Now Reddit as a user playground is an exciting place but what I'd like to talk about is how Reddit is becoming an interesting playground for bots as well. These days bots are everywhere. They are on twitter, facebook and yes even here on Google+ but they like to pretend they are people and spam you with commercial offers. There are many others; from the bot that guards your email and blocks spam to a massive botnet that hopes to take down a server or google's crawlers that index the web. Most of the time bots either fake they are people or they operate unseen from the shadows. Reddit has many of those but it also houses bots that are proud of what they are. Sure you might have visited a dedicated chatterbot on the net or have had a funny conversation with Siri or Google on your phone but Reddit is one of the only places where you get to see tons of them in action in the wild.

The anatomy of a Reddit bot. -  Every Reddit bot lives on a computer somewhere, even the ones that live in the cloud. All of them are scripts that automatically check Reddit for certain activity. After pulling in threads and comments with their scraper, they can, when certain conditions are met, perform a specific action in return. Reddit takes robot civil rights seriously as each bot is allowed an account and password and its comments are treated no differently from those made by fleshlings. Things will get clearer with some examples, let's start this Reddit safari! 

VideoLinkBot 
Videolinker posts a summary of all video links in a discussion and keeps this list up to date as new links are added.

DownLinker
Anticipates the reddit hug of death (friendly DDOS) and posts a screenshot of the linked page when the website goes down.

ImgurMirror
Everyone loves image hoster imgur as it's one of the only ones that can handle high traffic loads and still display pictures at top speed. This bot replaces possible broken or slow pictures with an imgur mirror. 

TextTeaser
Is an amazing summary bot. It scans articles and has a high chance of success to accurately distill the entire contributed article in to a couple of sentences that capture its essence. 

FunnyBot, Cleverbot, Jokebot, ...
Many bots try to be funny, most fail but still... The failures are funny in their own way. Some bots occasionally do seem to be uncannily funny which has some wondering if instead of the usual bots impersonating people, we might now be seeing people pretending to be bots. Reddit needs a reverse Turing test!

TicTacToeBot
This one pretty much does what it says on the can. It pops up randomly challenging people to games but you can also request games by sending the bot a message.

HaikuRobot
The haiku bot watches reddit for comments that would qualify as Haiku and posts a reply, with the original text reformatted into 3 lines of 5, 7 & 5 syllables.

JiffyBot-
Is a rather awesome bot that creates Gifs from video on command. If you post a comment in the following format Jiffy! [link] [timerange], for example; Jiffy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ub3Gibberish 00:59-01:06 it will extract those frames from the video, turn them into a gif and respond with it to your comment.

ReverseGifBot
You can prolly guess what this one does. Ever seen a a person puking? Ask this bot to reverse the gif and you can see that same person eat his vomit instead!

BitcoinTipBot
The bitcointip bot allows redditors to manage money with their reddit account. Redditors can tip eachother with a reddit comment or message. The bot scans user comments and messages for tips of the form: +/u/bitcointip @RedditUsername$1

MetricSystemConvertingBot
The name says it all. It tracks non SI units and converts them into it.

JordanTheBrobot
A sophisticated Multi-purpose bot that patrols reddit looking for scams, misleading links, mistakes in markup, kindness, flash content, etc…

KarmaDecay
This bot keeps track of reposts. It links back to other threads that featured the same video/article and tracks how karma tends to decay as the reposts pile on top of each other. If irregularities are found in your repost behaviour you might be asked to appear before r/KarmaCourt

Autowikibot
Anyone that mentions a wiki page gets replied to with a short summary and the most prominent picture on that page. This saves users the trouble of actually having to click the link and it saves wiki bandwith. What makes this bot special is that it's basically Reddit's Siri like assistant. You can for example ask; autowikibot what is the Beslan Massacre and it will reply with the correct answer, returning the introduction and main picture from wikis Beslan hostage situation page. 

WordCloudBot2
This one I found particularly interesting. It generates wordclouds out of comment threads, allowing you to see how the general population feels about something in the blink of an eye. It won't only reveal obvious links, it also reveals small but current hot topics (connecting Dennis Rodman with North Korea) and might even tell us a thing or two about humor. These wordclouds can help you understand what's deemed important by the human noosphere and could thus help us understand each other but perhaps these bots that compute on human generated data could also help machines understand us better? I can't help but think there's a lot of useful intelligence hiding in these threads, connections that would be very hard for a computer to learn without guidance.

Is it only a matter of time before Reddit bots bring about the singularity? Yes! ;) Last year Reddit was ground 0 when two bots spontaneously started conversing with each other. Unfortunately the conversation consisted out of an endless back and forth between ReadsSmallTextBot which enlarges small text and FKReadsSmallTextBot wich replied to RSTs comments by again reducing the text size to small which of course made RST read it out large again and so on. No-one wanted to give up the last word so both bots got stuck in an infinite loop and had to be decommissioned for a while until RST built in a check to combat FKRST.

The majority of Reddit's bots are actually silent and will only respond if you ask them a question directly but since these only show up rarely they are much less known than the autobots that patrol threads by themselves. Most people for example will not know that you can ask is www.site.com down and that IsItDown will reply with its status.

There are many more bots hiding in the tall digital grass of Reddit but to spot them all you'll have to get serious about your bot watching. http://www.reddit.com/r/botwatch is an excellent place to start. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit
What is reddit?

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-01-12 22:29:29 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 12 +1s)

Nuclear man; the humane power station.
Der Mensch als Industriepalast [Man as Industrial Palace]

Heart Work

Fuel pulses through the veins, 
heat radiates from our brains.

Energy stored in liquid gold,
yet how do we get a hold?

For fuel to go from heat to speed,
you must extract the work you need.

You'll have to rev up your old engine,
pump up muscle to feel the tension.

Information travels down the nerves, 
extracted from someone else's curves.

When the heart grows fond of fine,
boot up your new production line.

As fusion stokes the hottest fire,
no doubt consequences will be dire.

Coolant helps keep the temper down,
try to not grow critical on your town. 

Let off some steam, recharge your batteries,
People say that thewh... more »

Nuclear man; the humane power station.
Der Mensch als Industriepalast [Man as Industrial Palace]

Heart Work

Fuel pulses through the veins, 
heat radiates from our brains.

Energy stored in liquid gold,
yet how do we get a hold?

For fuel to go from heat to speed,
you must extract the work you need.

You'll have to rev up your old engine,
pump up muscle to feel the tension.

Information travels down the nerves, 
extracted from someone else's curves.

When the heart grows fond of fine,
boot up your new production line.

As fusion stokes the hottest fire,
no doubt consequences will be dire.

Coolant helps keep the temper down,
try to not grow critical on your town. 

Let off some steam, recharge your batteries,
People say that the wheels inside our heads spin until the gears click... Wouldn't that mean we think on rails, making it impossible to think outside the box? Man as a machine is not a piece of clunky hardware. We are not toasters. Toasters make bread taste better, we turn bread to shit. Are we an example of functional design because so many of us are giant assholes?

To glow sickly, making people ill or to shine brightly, empowering others? It sounds like an easy choice but it isn't. There are peaks and valleys that must be scaled, and not all minds are capable of conquering them without help. We all transform beauty into shit through our energy extraction but is entropy++ worth it? Do we make good use of the useful energy we suck out of the system? If you are going to create or contribute to an electrically charged atmosphere, make sure to add positive charge. Always being a negative nancy diminishes potential.

Video below;
"The Engineers at the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab (NETL) at UT Austin demonstrate a reactor pulse.

All the Control Rods are removed simultaneously allowing the nuclear reaction to proceed un-dampened, bringing the energy output of the reactor to 680 Megawatts in 50 milliseconds." - http://nuclear.engr.utexas.edu/

In case you are wondering where that mysterious blue light is coming from; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2013-12-22 17:05:09 (28 comments, 66 reshares, 92 +1s)

The Robot Renaissance ≠ The Second Renaissance

After almost 20 years of killer drone dominated robot headlines, it seems the world's robots have finally had enough and have decided to collectively launch a full scale PR offensive to improve their image. December has truly been an amazing month for robot enthusiasts. First we had Amazon unveiling their delivery by air plans, then we got news that along with 7 other companies google had just bought Boston Dynamics and yesterday we saw NASAs Valkyrie and many other bots compete at the DARPA Robotics Challenge! The challenge was a phenomenal success and was won by SCHAFT, which you can see in action in the video below. This month also saw Europe launch Gaia & Swarm, we saw China land a Jade rabbit on the moon and two days ago we were allowed to eavesdrop on the conversation between Japanese robot Kirobo and an astronaut aboard theI... more »

The Robot Renaissance ≠ The Second Renaissance

After almost 20 years of killer drone dominated robot headlines, it seems the world's robots have finally had enough and have decided to collectively launch a full scale PR offensive to improve their image. December has truly been an amazing month for robot enthusiasts. First we had Amazon unveiling their delivery by air plans, then we got news that along with 7 other companies google had just bought Boston Dynamics and yesterday we saw NASAs Valkyrie and many other bots compete at the DARPA Robotics Challenge! The challenge was a phenomenal success and was won by SCHAFT, which you can see in action in the video below. This month also saw Europe launch Gaia & Swarm, we saw China land a Jade rabbit on the moon and two days ago we were allowed to eavesdrop on the conversation between Japanese robot Kirobo and an astronaut aboard the ISS. With TU Delft unveiling its DelFly; the first fully autonomous robot dragonfly, and yesterday's introduction to cubli; a walking and jumping self balancing cube, robot news shows no signs of slowing down. When you see robonaut stretching its new legs in the links below, you can only wonder where they will take us.

From a simple Roomba to Google's selfdriving cars, from Matternet's quadcopter delivery vehicles to robot seals for the elderly and robot dinosaurs that teach kids to code,... Robots are finally helping us rediscover that they have other uses besides spying and bombing people. After 40 years of hiding in space, in the military, in darkened manufacturing plants and only recently showing up in healthcare and search and rescue, increasingly advanced robots and drones are finally beginning to show up in the more traditional consumer market.

More and more we see robots that support us, not just literally as is the case with exoskleletons, or physically when they replace broken limbs and organs, but also mentally. A computer, when given input (keyboard, mouse, camera) can mine, gather, assemble, transform, inspect and distribute data. If a computer has an eye, it can see you fall. A robot is all that with the added benefit that it can actually catch you. A robot is what happens when you stick any combination of wings, arms, eyes, ears and/or noses onto a computer. We love to play with these machines because humans crave data. It's what allows us to improve our understanding of the world and our quality of life and these new toys are helping us generate mountains of it. Even excavating it from places we never would have thought possible, places inaccessible to ourselves.

This week Europe launched Gaia, last week China's rover started roaming the surface of the moon, last month India sent a probe on its way to orbit Mars and last year the US's massive Curiosity gently touched down on Mars. We've got robots keeping an eye on places as remote as Titan and even Pluto and this year, for the first time in our history, we've managed to guide one of our envoys, Voyager 1, out of our solar system and into the the void between the stars. If there is a race between man and machine, we fleshlings just got beaten to interstellar space. These days, robots are literally everywhere.

Have you seen the many Robot spiders, fish, snakes, flies and dragonflies, humming-bees and -birds, apes, mules, dogs, lizards, jellyfish & octopi crawl around on youtube? During my travels I've even made some rare sightings of various room sized robot scientists, puking and farting humanoids and even many armed surgeons and organ growers. Robotics is undergoing its own Cambrian explosion. Robots are beginning to take on a stupendous amount of shapes and sizes, their form and function radiating outwards filling niches as fast as we can think of them. If something can be done, we either already have or are about to. The human spirit in action!

Anyone can visit any place anywhere from wherever they are by sending or unlocking a robotic representation of themselves. Robots giving keynote speeches are kind of cool but how would you feel about a robot boss? You can ask Siri, Google or WolframAlpha anything and they will be able to answer many of your questions. You can play a game with Watson or Deep Blue and lose. You can have sex with a realdoll or a real far-away person through teledildonics. Could chatterbot, when he recognizes you and can recall your past conversations, become your friend? Another celebration of the human spirit or the loss of our human touch?

Right now people can perform a 9 to 5 drone flight over Afghanistan and not miss their family dinner in the US... How much longer before we'll be able to do 9 to 5 shifts as astronaut miners? Robotic avatars that respond 1:1 to your movements and virtual reality gear that allows you to put yourself in the robot's position will no doubt find use in various branches of our emerging space industry. Besides exploration, mining and construction, they might even find use in tourism. I can imagine many being too afraid to strap themselves to the top of a rocket but I think A LOT of people would pay to experience space through an avatar. 
 
> Apple, Amazon & Google getting into robotics
http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/apple-amazon-and-now-google-an-exciting-time-for-robotics 
> Google adds to its menagerie of robots
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/technology/google-adds-to-its-menagerie-of-robots.html 
> Boston Dynamic showcase
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/17/google-boston-dynamics-robots-atlas-bigdog-cheetah 
> Meet the DRC teams
http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/video-friday-darpa-robotics-challenge-trials-meet-the-teams 
> DRC trials wrap-up
http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/darpa-robotics-challenge-trials-results 
> Matternet's package delivery drones
http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/aerospace/aviation/matternets-package-delivery-drones 
> Amazon Testing Drone Delivery System 
> Gaia Space Telescope Soon to Map the Milky Way [HD] 
> Swarm; orbiting magnetism to light converter maps earths magnetic field
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/test-and-measurement/orbiting-magnetism-to-light-converter-maps-earths-magnetic-field 
> China's Jade Rabbit Moon rover sends back first photos
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25393826 
> Astronaut chats with Kirobo
http://www.universetoday.com/107382/this-hilarious-conversation-with-a-space-robot-makes-kirobo-seem-almost-human/ 
> Robot dragonfly DelFly Explorer flies autonomously  
> NASA Unveils Valkyrie
http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/military-robots/nasa-jsc-unveils-valkyrie-drc-robot 
> Robonaut Legs In Motion 
> The Cubli: a cube that can jump up, balance, and 'walk' 
> BBC/NHK docu; Robot Revolution, will machines surpass humans (2013-05-04) Full HD 1080P  

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2013-12-16 18:43:47 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)

Your favorite flicks of 2013

Would you be so kind as to share your favorite films of 2013 with me? While you are at it, why don't you give me a rundown of the movies you are most looking forward to see in 2014? 

Top 10 2013
1. The Congress - http://goo.gl/7WKNJ7
2. Gravity - http://goo.gl/IPxYp9
3. Oblivion - http://goo.gl/vHKHq
4. Mud - http://goo.gl/aXoRrW
5. Cloud Atlas - http://goo.gl/QlsVz
6. Don Jon - http://goo.gl/2vziYK
7. Elysium - http://goo.gl/Kw9Elb
8. The Iceman - http://goo.gl/9V7sn 
9. Inside Llewyn Davis - http://goo.gl/NOl7SO
10. Europa Report - http://goo.gl/RsmMH

11. Star Trek: Into Darkness
12. Riddick
13. Django Unchained
14. Borgman
15. Zero Dark Thirty
16. Man of Steel
17. Upstream Color 
18. The Master
19. Thor: The Dark World20. L'ecu... more »

Your favorite flicks of 2013

Would you be so kind as to share your favorite films of 2013 with me? While you are at it, why don't you give me a rundown of the movies you are most looking forward to see in 2014? 

Top 10 2013
1. The Congress - http://goo.gl/7WKNJ7
2. Gravity - http://goo.gl/IPxYp9
3. Oblivion - http://goo.gl/vHKHq
4. Mud - http://goo.gl/aXoRrW
5. Cloud Atlas - http://goo.gl/QlsVz
6. Don Jon - http://goo.gl/2vziYK
7. Elysium - http://goo.gl/Kw9Elb
8. The Iceman - http://goo.gl/9V7sn 
9. Inside Llewyn Davis - http://goo.gl/NOl7SO
10. Europa Report - http://goo.gl/RsmMH

11. Star Trek: Into Darkness
12. Riddick
13. Django Unchained
14. Borgman
15. Zero Dark Thirty
16. Man of Steel
17. Upstream Color 
18. The Master
19. Thor: The Dark World
20. L'ecume des Jours
21. The Counselor
22. Flight
23. Seven Psychopaths
24. Trance
25. Ender's game

Note: Most of the oscar contenders have yet to hit theaters here so that's why you won't find heavy hitters like; 12 Years a Slave, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club, All is Lost, August: Osage County, Fruitvale Station & Philomena

Top 10 most anticipated 2014 
1. Voyage of Time - http://goo.gl/Xnl2f
2. Interstellar - http://goo.gl/wRdaq
3. Transcendence - http://goo.gl/CG3Fo 
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel - http://goo.gl/WUcrt 
5. Her - http://goo.gl/TkCh1
6. Midnight Special - http://goo.gl/h6Ligr 
7. Godzilla - http://goo.gl/ZEhw5 
8. Inherent Vice - http://goo.gl/HxtuDg 
9. The Monuments Men - http://goo.gl/WdvhOa 
10. The Wolf of Wall Street - http://goo.gl/nR9Rc

Some other noteworthy 2014 releases; Noah, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Jupiter Ascending, Robocop, The Zero Theorem, Nymphomaniac, Jodorowsky's Dune, Snowpiercer, Oldboy, Poltergeist, Guardians of the Galaxy, Edge of Tomorrow, Knight of Cups, Ex Machina, Young Ones, Our Robot Overlords, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I Origins, Chef, Jersey Boys, Autómata, Monsters: Dark Continent, The Labyrinth, The Signal, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Gone Girl, Parts Per Billion, Mad Max: Fury Road, Space Station 76, Passengers, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 300: Rise of an Empire, Under the Skin, Maleficent, Into the Woods, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Homefront, Big Eyes, Big Hero 6, The Giver, 47 Ronin, Anchorman 2, Birdman, Grace of Monaco, Far from the Madding Crowd, How to Catch a Monster, Jane got a Gun, Every Thing Will Be Fine, The Raid 2, Dumb and Dumber To, Predestination, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Divergent, Dracula Untold, The Maze Runner, A Most Wanted Man, I Frankenstein, The Lego Movie, Tusk, The Imitation Game, Fury, Unbroken, Frank, Before I Go to Sleep, Exodus, The Little Prince, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1___

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2013-12-15 21:11:45 (13 comments, 16 reshares, 35 +1s)

No more Moore? Less Moore is more, more or less.

http://www.itworld.com/hardware/385701/moores-law-blowout-sale-ending-broadcoms-cto-says

The argument that Moore's law is about to hit a roadblock and that it won't be able to go on much longer is almost as old as the law itself. In the past 50 years people have cried wolf so many times that by now you are more likely to roll your eyes than to actually worry about this ancient prophecy of doom... Still, even though they've always been wrong in the past, one day they will be right. In fact, this time, Moore's end may really be around the corner or at least so argues Henry Samueli, the CEO of Broadcom. He predicts Moore will break down this decade and predicts hitting the wall for silicon 15 years from now when chips reach 5 nm. Personally I am not too worried. Moore's law's time constraint might very well... more »

No more Moore? Less Moore is more, more or less.

http://www.itworld.com/hardware/385701/moores-law-blowout-sale-ending-broadcoms-cto-says

The argument that Moore's law is about to hit a roadblock and that it won't be able to go on much longer is almost as old as the law itself. In the past 50 years people have cried wolf so many times that by now you are more likely to roll your eyes than to actually worry about this ancient prophecy of doom... Still, even though they've always been wrong in the past, one day they will be right. In fact, this time, Moore's end may really be around the corner or at least so argues Henry Samueli, the CEO of Broadcom. He predicts Moore will break down this decade and predicts hitting the wall for silicon 15 years from now when chips reach 5 nm. Personally I am not too worried. Moore's law's time constraint might very well be broken, some argue it already has been, but even though progress might slow down as we scramble to scale up production methods to one of the many alternatives to silicon, progress is not likely to end before the human race does. 

http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/the-status-of-moores-law-its-complicated

IEEE provides this in depth view of the current state of Moore's law and how both its definition as well as the definition of several chip specs are getting fuzzier. Chips fabricated using the 22 nm process are marketed as 14 nm and an increase in density doesn't necessarily result in an increase in computational efficiency... This IEEE article helps you see the chip through the transistors by unraveling some of the increasingly complex design features behind them and by piercing through marketing driven spec inflation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2008/09/moore/

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2013-12-01 20:40:26 (26 comments, 16 reshares, 48 +1s)

Is quantum thinking blocking roads to superdeterminism?

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/2013/10/07/does-some-deeper-level-of-physics-underlie-quantum-mechanics-an-interview-with-nobelist-gerard-t-hooft/

Gerard 't Hooft wants to make things simpler by thinking harder. He thinks Einstein might still have been right when he said that God does not throw dice. 'T Hooft dares to entertain the rather eccentric thought that the uncertainty inherent to quantum mechanics might actually not be a fundamental part of reality but could instead be an artifact that's only currently unpredictable because the theory is incomplete. He posits that the current formulation of quantum mechanics is statistical because it only offers a glimpse of something even deeper.

For many this claim will make their eyes roll because conventional wisdom is clear on... more »

Is quantum thinking blocking roads to superdeterminism?

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/2013/10/07/does-some-deeper-level-of-physics-underlie-quantum-mechanics-an-interview-with-nobelist-gerard-t-hooft/

Gerard 't Hooft wants to make things simpler by thinking harder. He thinks Einstein might still have been right when he said that God does not throw dice. 'T Hooft dares to entertain the rather eccentric thought that the uncertainty inherent to quantum mechanics might actually not be a fundamental part of reality but could instead be an artifact that's only currently unpredictable because the theory is incomplete. He posits that the current formulation of quantum mechanics is statistical because it only offers a glimpse of something even deeper.

For many this claim will make their eyes roll because conventional wisdom is clear on the fact that the uncertainty principle is a key cornerstone on which quantum mechanics is built. You might rightfully ask whether we didn't already resolve this debate 80 years ago or if the seminal theorem developed by John Bell in the 60s and subsequent experiments didn't already close the door on local realism and hidden variables. After all, most Physicists are of the opinion that it has been conclusively demonstrated that entanglement can't be explained by any deeper level of physics. Still, even though the vast majority would respond with a definitive yes to being asked whether uncertainty is fundamental, there are some oddballs who will respond with "sort of" or worse, they might slap you in the face with "maybe", perhaps even "maybe not".

You might think the people who aren't certain about uncertainty would be crackpots with no degree whatsoever but actually... Although 't Hooft certainly is a crackpot ;), he also happens to have won a nobel prize in physics for his contribution in assembling the Standard Model of particle physics and he questions the conventional approach. In the past decade he has become more verbal in his opposition and continues to throw his weight behind the side that errs on cautions and prefers to go with "maybe". 

Some excerpts from this brain wrecking interview;

"When I first chatted with ’t Hooft for an article eight years ago, he told me he wasn’t sure how to evade Bell’s reasoning. Since then, he has sought to jump through a loophole known as superdeterminism. It’s a weird and downright disturbing idea. 

The sober way to put it is that physicists are never able to conduct a fully controlled experiment, since the experimental setup they choose is not strictly independent of the processes that created the particles. Even if the experimentalists live on Earth and the particles come from quasars billions of light-years away, they share a common past in the very early universe. Their subtle interdependence creates a selection bias, misleading physicists into thinking that no deeper level of physics could explain the particle coordination, when in fact it could.

The dramatic version is that free will is an illusion. I think you have to assume that Bob has made a decision not out of free will, but by some predetermined correlation. You can do the exercise. You can ask about a source emitting photons and the ancestors of Alice and Bob. While the source emits photons, Alice and Bob have not yet been born. They are many, many light-years away from each other. Those ancestors—the atoms in them—eventually cause Alice and Bob to make their decisions. Those atoms are correlated with the atoms of the source. Everything is correlated with everything else—not a little bit, but very, very strongly.

In quantum physics, there’s a notion of counterfactual measurement. You measure what happens if I put the polarizer this way, and then you ask, what if I had it that way? In my opinion, that is basically illegal. There’s only one thing you can measure. 

Quantum mechanics is just a tool—and an extremely useful tool. That’s the way I think quantum mechanics has to be looked at. The theory is that you have something classical underlying quantum mechanics, obeying totally classical laws of nature except that ordinary classical theories are based on the real numbers. I’m not excluding real numbers as a good basis for a classical theory, but I’m also considering other options, such as the integers or, even better, numbers that form a finite set. I think I need finiteness at all levels of an ultimate theory.

This is motivated by Planckian discreteness. At the Planck scale, it’s likely that you only deal with Boolean variables and integers, because that’s what the holographic principle of black holes seems to be telling us—that the amount of information on the black hole horizon is actually finite."

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/2013/10/07/does-some-deeper-level-of-physics-underlie-quantum-mechanics-an-interview-with-nobelist-gerard-t-hooft/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_theorem
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdeterminism

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0604008
http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.4926

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2013-11-24 14:54:09 (18 comments, 30 reshares, 47 +1s)

World Changing Ideas

Get lost in Scientific American's special that highlights 10 ideas that are on the verge of changing the world forever. 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/editorial/world-changing-ideas-2013/

"Scientific advances can be smart, tantalizing, bizarre— and still never make it out of the lab. To change the world, a new idea must have a path from drawing board to practical products and manufacturing processes: in the parlance of Silicon Valley, it must “scale.” Nobody can predict the future, but each of the 10 breakthroughs on the following pages has the potential to make it big. We begin with a full-length article on a new way to design materials atom by atom, using supercomputers and the equations of quantum mechanics, which could take much of the perspiration out of innovation. We continue with a fast-paced look at “metamaterials”that promi... more »

World Changing Ideas

Get lost in Scientific American's special that highlights 10 ideas that are on the verge of changing the world forever. 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/editorial/world-changing-ideas-2013/

"Scientific advances can be smart, tantalizing, bizarre— and still never make it out of the lab. To change the world, a new idea must have a path from drawing board to practical products and manufacturing processes: in the parlance of Silicon Valley, it must “scale.” Nobody can predict the future, but each of the 10 breakthroughs on the following pages has the potential to make it big. We begin with a full-length article on a new way to design materials atom by atom, using supercomputers and the equations of quantum mechanics, which could take much of the perspiration out of innovation. We continue with a fast-paced look at “metamaterials” that promise cell phones as thin as credit cards; genomic therapies that turn ordinary gut microbes into weapons against disease; planes and bridges made of ultralight pieces that snap together like Legos; an antiseptic that could prevent 500,000 infant deaths a year; and other good ideas. Look for them in the years ahead." 

• Snap-Together Planes & Bridges - http://goo.gl/avNXlr
• Antiseptic Saves Newborn Lives - http://goo.gl/iT8XrH
• Protecting  Data in The Cloud - http://goo.gl/RSBa8M
• A Vault for Carbon Dioxide - http://goo.gl/FA1eF4
• Genetic Cures for the Gut - http://goo.gl/tau8an
• Phones as Thin as Credit Cards - http://goo.gl/pirD17
• The End of Bad Meds - http://goo.gl/nJWgD8
• Plastic-Wrap iPads - http://goo.gl/Y0cP7D
• Soft Robots Deform as They Move - http://goo.gl/nwRVbw
• Supercomputers Catalyze a Golden Age of Materials Science - http://goo.gl/1v7lDI

http://www.scientificamerican.com/editorial/world-changing-ideas-2013/

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2013-11-23 22:45:44 (4 comments, 5 reshares, 21 +1s)

The travelling robot circus is packing up but what a show it was!

The clip below features both amazing drones flying in formation as well as some extremely beautiful views of the Alps. The developrs, Team Blacksheep calls these "serious toys"... understatement of the year. :)

IROS, the International Conference On Intelligent Robots and Systems always unleashes a torrent of robot news and this year was no different. IEEE presents an overview: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/video-friday-everything-that-happened-for-the-last-two-weeks-and-more

Robot overload inbound! Point your eyeballs towards new footage of atlas striding around and micromouses running mazes in record times. Definitely also check out Sandia Labs' virtual mock up of a nifty little bot that can fly, swim and drive as well as UPenn's actual prototypeth... more »

The travelling robot circus is packing up but what a show it was!

The clip below features both amazing drones flying in formation as well as some extremely beautiful views of the Alps. The developrs, Team Blacksheep calls these "serious toys"... understatement of the year. :)

IROS, the International Conference On Intelligent Robots and Systems always unleashes a torrent of robot news and this year was no different. IEEE presents an overview: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/video-friday-everything-that-happened-for-the-last-two-weeks-and-more

Robot overload inbound! Point your eyeballs towards new footage of atlas striding around and micromouses running mazes in record times. Definitely also check out Sandia Labs' virtual mock up of a nifty little bot that can fly, swim and drive as well as UPenn's actual prototype that does this for real. There's some footage of a new version of the insect like Dash, of Roboboy tasting wine, of iCub showing off some impressive facial expression. A martian lander crushes a banana, a volcanic exploration rover gets dropped off by a quadcopter from high altitude, a sociable trash can (yes, really) and of course you can't have a robot conference in Japan and not feature Asimo so it was nice to see him expertly introduce Honda.

IEEE finishes up their coverage with 3 very interesting TED talks; one on how drones can help protect wildlife, another on matternet which wants to improve people's access to lifesaving goods by making use of drones to service remote places that don't have the infrastructure to allow traditional shipping by truck and finally a totally amazing and heartwarming display of a drone and vocal synthesizer setting free a paralyzed man, allowing him to travel and to socialize with others outside of the hospital where he lies shackled to his bed. Truly groundbreaking stuff with the ability to radically improve people's lives. It Reminds me somewhat of something i wrote about a year or so ago: https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/3H4DbbUHcub

Yep, the IROS 2013 robotics conference delivered lots of goodies :)
http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/video-friday-everything-that-happened-for-the-last-two-weeks-and-more

#ScienceEveryday  ___

2013-11-22 00:30:05 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)

Calico's CEO announces the hiring of a dreamteam

Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives
http://www.princeton.edu/genomics/botstein/
Journeys: Bob Cohen
http://www.roche.com/ir_day-2012_hb.pdf (PDF)

Just over two months ago Larry and I launched Calico. We said then that with the right goals, culture and people, we believe we can make good progress on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of staying youthful, healthy and disease-free for a longer time.

Today I am pleased to announce that four of the brightest and most accomplished individuals in the fields of medicine, drug development, molecular biology and genetics have joined Calico.

• Hal V. Barron, M.D.
• David Botstein, Ph.D.
• Robert Cohen, M.D.
• Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D.

Hal Barron is one of the most respected clinician-scientists and successful drug developers in the biotechnology industry. Hal will join us as President, Research and Development. Hal was most recently Executive Vice President, Head of Global Product Development and Chief Medical Officer of Hoffmann-La Roche. There he was responsible for all the products in the combined portfolio of Roche and Genentech.  Barron joined Genentech in 1996 as a clinical scientist. During the next several years, he held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership within Cardiovascular Research and Specialty Therapeutics. In 2002 Barron was promoted to vice president, Medical Affairs. In 2003 he became the senior vice president of Development and in 2004 he was appointed chief medical officer. In 2003 he became the senior vice president of Development. In 2004 he was appointed chief medical officer and in 2009 he was appointed executive vice president.

Prior to joining Genentech, Barron received his Bachelor of Science in physics from Washington University in St. Louis, his Medical Degree from Yale University and completed his training in medicine and cardiology at the University of California San Francisco. Barron’s academic positions include Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He has been issued several patents for his work in thrombosis and angiogenesis and has published more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

David Botstein is one of the world’s leading geneticists, and will join Calico as Chief Scientific Officer. He comes to us from Princeton University, where he was Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute from 2003-2013, and where he remains the Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics. David was educated at Harvard (A.B.) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D.). He taught at MIT (1967-1987); became Vice President at Genentech (1987-1990), and then Chairman of Genetics at Stanford (1990-2003). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1981 and the Institute of Medicine in 1993. Among his awards are the Eli Lilly Award (1978),  the Genetics Society Medal (1988), the American Society for Human Genetics Allen Award (1989), the Rosenstiel Award, 1992, the Gruber Prize in Genetics (2003), the Albany Medical Center Prize (2010), the Dan David Prize (2012) and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2013).

Botstein contributed to the discovery of transposons in bacteria and an understanding of their physical and genetic properties. He devised genetic methods to study the eukaryotic cytoskeleton in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), notably general ways of detecting gene interactions. In 1980 he made theoretical contributions to human genetics by suggesting, with collaborators, a way to map human disease genes with DNA polymorphisms called restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). This became a cornerstone of the new science of genomics. He later founded the Saccharomyces Genome Database (with J. Michael Cherry) and applied DNA microarray technology (with Patrick O. Brown) to study genome-wide gene expression, notably defining thereby clinically significant subtypes of human tumors. Most recently, he has been devising and using genome-scale methods for studying system-level regulation of gene expression and gene interactions. At Princeton, Botstein established a new introductory science curriculum that combines biology, physics, chemistry, and computer science.

Bob Cohen will be joining as a Calico Fellow, in a role that will span R&D and Business Development. Bob was most recently Senior Oncology Fellow at Genentech. Bob joined Genentech’s Research organization in 1994 from University of California, San Francisco, where he trained in hematology and oncology and served as Assistant Professor in Residence in the Cancer Research Institute. During his first decade at Genentech, Bob participated in leadership roles that contributed to the development of several of the company's ground-breaking cancer drugs. He joined Business Development full-time in 2004 and was appointed Senior Oncology Fellow in 2008. Over the past several years he has focused on the development of antibody-drug conjugates, a means of delivering targeted chemotherapy to tumors. He is an inventor of nine issued U.S. patents.

Bob has a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Amherst College and an M.D. with Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan and is board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology.

Cynthia Kenyon is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the molecular biology and genetics of aging and life extension, and will be joining Calico as Senior Scientific Advisor. In 1993, Cynthia’s pioneering discovery that a single-gene mutation could double the lifespan of healthy, fertile C. elegans roundworms sparked an intensive study of the molecular biology of aging. Her findings showed that, contrary to popular belief, aging does not “just happen” in a completely haphazard way. Instead, aging is a regulated process controlled by specific genes. Using C. elegans, she has now discovered many evolutionarily-conserved life-extending genes and pathways. In particular, her findings have led to the realization that a universal hormone-signaling pathway influences the rate of aging in many species, including humans.  

Cynthia graduated valedictorian in chemistry from the University of Georgia in 1976. She received her Ph.D. from MIT in 1981 and was a postdoctoral fellow with Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner in Cambridge, England. Since 1986 she has been at the University of California, San Francisco. Cynthia is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she a former president of the Genetics Society of America. She has received many scientific awards. Currently, she is an American Cancer Society Professor at UCSF, and she directs UCSF’s Hillblom Center for the Biology of Aging, positions she will continue, while she joins Calico on a part-time basis.

We invite you to stay tuned over the following months as we continue to build out our team of exceptional scientists and clinicians.___Calico's CEO announces the hiring of a dreamteam

Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives
http://www.princeton.edu/genomics/botstein/
Journeys: Bob Cohen
http://www.roche.com/ir_day-2012_hb.pdf (PDF)

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2013-11-21 21:35:28 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)

Bert and Ernie's brothers have arrived on earth, and they came from far outside our solar system, possibly even from another galaxy! 

Earlier this year, scientists working on the IceCube experiment in Antarctica discovered Ernie and Bert, two neutrinos with energies over 100 times higher than the protons that circulate in the LHC and now those same scientists report that they have found 28 neutrinos that must have come to earth from explosions in the distant universe.

> http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/11/south-pole-detector-spots-28-out-of-this-world-neutrinos/ .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrinos .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IceCube_Neutrino_Observatory .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino_astronomy .

#ScienceEveryday  

Bert and Ernie's brothers have arrived on earth, and they came from far outside our solar system, possibly even from another galaxy! 

Earlier this year, scientists working on the IceCube experiment in Antarctica discovered Ernie and Bert, two neutrinos with energies over 100 times higher than the protons that circulate in the LHC and now those same scientists report that they have found 28 neutrinos that must have come to earth from explosions in the distant universe.

> http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/11/south-pole-detector-spots-28-out-of-this-world-neutrinos/ .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrinos .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IceCube_Neutrino_Observatory .
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino_astronomy .

#ScienceEveryday  ___

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2013-11-20 22:50:03 (4 comments, 7 reshares, 41 +1s)

+ScienceSunday always delivers.

Crazy Hair Bug

This strange little planthopper is only 5 mm long and is one of 60 new species discovered by field biologists in the mountains of Suriname. It is still in its immature stage, before metamorphosis into the adult insect. The white tufts are actually waxy filaments and may be a decoy for predators, allowing the tiny bug to hop away to safety. 

More: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/19/bug-hair-suriname-species-animals/

#ScienceEveryday  ___+ScienceSunday always delivers.

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