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Koen De Paus has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google Play5,943,266Bestselling 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 19:00:00518 
Fraser Cain909,191To 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 L. 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 05:00:004876 
NASA1,682,294The 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 02:00:002208 

Koen De Paus has been shared in 215 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 Collins17,500Top Active Engager's 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 ?2014-10-13 05:05:40478002
Aahana Priyadarsinee22,011COOKIES CIRCLE SHARE: AVATAR #2!Yeah its The cute COOKIES CIRCLE share this time!The circle is ready for its second journey...only difference is it got biggerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!:DYeah yeah! I know it doesn't contain any sort of yummy cookies ....but a good number of interesting ENGAGERS on GOOGLE+! These people and pages are just so sweet like cookies that one cant avoid them but follow there much interesting pages!So friends, lets enjoy our time on G+!If you wish to get featured in the next circle share kindly do the following :1)Add me i.e. +Aahana Priyadarsinee  and my page +Magnetix Circles!  to your circle!2)+1 , comment and publicly share this circle in your stream.3)Grab a cookie and smile while eating it!@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ #circle   #awesomepeopleongplus   #aahanapriyadarsinee   #bestcircle   #bestcircleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlemenow   #circlesharing   #circlemeup   #dcircle   #engagerscircle   #engagerspeople   #engagerscircleshare   #followback   #followme   #follow4follow   #googlepluscircles   #googlepluscircleshare   #ripplescircle   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircles   #topcircleshare  2014-10-01 19:46:08429635
Becky Collins16,914Healthcare Multifaceted 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 ?2014-09-22 05:21:33436013
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 05:14:394770210
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 19:05:53201036
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 14:24:32343125
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 12:58:0746211960145
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 22:45:17400171221
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 18:30:4740115615
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 13:39:49342755693
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 12:53:45486623171
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 05:53:52479001
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 05:09:154901211
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 06:18:55201172
Ryan Johnson3,346My new some cool, fun & interesting people CirclePlease reshare it#circles           #circlescirclescircles           #circleshare         #circleshare2014-04-25 06:14:362357820
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 06:25:0424522733
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 04:25:4591103
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 06:45:031031015
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:27:36393014
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:50393033
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:17393011
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:52393011
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:16393203
Becky Collins3,213Baseball circle #Baseball  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins 2014-02-26 10:30:413883216
Becky Collins2,634Marketing Circle : Feb 22#circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday +Becky Collins2014-02-22 06:29:4945517724
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 18:41:543253213
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 16:26:4132510888122
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 22:40:36476463690
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 18:31:07494532387
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 18:19:4843218317
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 15:53:38426115
Coyeb Sundel02013-10-24 10:04:35425202
Fabian Weiland433#sharedcircle #sharedcircles #science  2013-10-21 09:58:122936011
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 15:53:26499612966
Tiberiu Igrisan448Science (part 1)#science #sciencecircle #sharedcircles  2013-10-14 18:53:04257123
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:30:23414103
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:39414003
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:27414002
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:04414002
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:59414004
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:16414002
James Steward1,112These are my awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:25:57414103
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 20:14:53415304682
Fabian Weiland145#sharedcircles #science #health2013-09-05 07:24:12497214
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 17:27:32477574284
Fabian Weiland0#sharedcircle #health #science #medicine  2013-08-26 11:59:11426000
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 05:36:251941335
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 17:07:30490452363
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 16:20:334968210287
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 14:36:10626725

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Most comments: 37

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2014-09-28 21:20:33 (37 comments, 54 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

Nasa's keeping it cool, really cool

NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL), scheduled to be installed on the International Space Station early 2016, has succeeded in producing a state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, a key breakthrough for the instrument. 

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. Under such conditions, a large fraction of the bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point quantum effects become apparent on a macroscopic scale.  

CAL researchers used lasers to optically cool rubidium atoms to temperatures almost a million times colder than that of the depths of space. The atoms were then magnetically trapped, and radio waves were used to cool the atoms 100 times lower. The radiofrequency radiation acts like a knife, slicing away theho... more »

Most reshares: 120

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2014-03-28 17:16:03 (28 comments, 120 reshares, 289 +1s)Open 

I don't always link to TED talks but when I do, it pays to watch them

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

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal. 

I am not going to spoil it but chances are high that you'll be fighting tears, in a good way, before you've even made it halfway through this video. If you need to renew your faith in the goodness of mankind or its ability to overcome problems, Hugh Herr has got you covered.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance
... more »

Most plusones: 289

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2014-03-28 17:16:03 (28 comments, 120 reshares, 289 +1s)Open 

I don't always link to TED talks but when I do, it pays to watch them

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

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal. 

I am not going to spoil it but chances are high that you'll be fighting tears, in a good way, before you've even made it halfway through this video. If you need to renew your faith in the goodness of mankind or its ability to overcome problems, Hugh Herr has got you covered.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance
... more »

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2014-10-12 22:18:29 (10 comments, 33 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

Microsoft is in a superposition to change the world

MIT's technology review just published this excellent article on the state of Microsoft's mission to build a quantum computer. This one is definitely worth your time. Check it out in full here;  
http://www.technologyreview.com/photoessay/531606/microsofts-quantum-mechanics/

In 2012, physicists in the Netherlands announced a discovery in particle physics that started chatter about a Nobel Prize. Inside a tiny rod of semiconductor crystal chilled cooler than outer space, they had caught the first glimpse of a strange particle called the Majorana fermion, finally confirming a prediction made in 1937. It was an advance seemingly unrelated to the challenges of selling office productivity software or competing with Amazon in cloud computing, but Craig Mundie, then heading Microsoft’s technology and research strategy,wa... more »

Microsoft is in a superposition to change the world

MIT's technology review just published this excellent article on the state of Microsoft's mission to build a quantum computer. This one is definitely worth your time. Check it out in full here;  
http://www.technologyreview.com/photoessay/531606/microsofts-quantum-mechanics/

In 2012, physicists in the Netherlands announced a discovery in particle physics that started chatter about a Nobel Prize. Inside a tiny rod of semiconductor crystal chilled cooler than outer space, they had caught the first glimpse of a strange particle called the Majorana fermion, finally confirming a prediction made in 1937. It was an advance seemingly unrelated to the challenges of selling office productivity software or competing with Amazon in cloud computing, but Craig Mundie, then heading Microsoft’s technology and research strategy, was delighted. The abstruse discovery—partly underwritten by Microsoft—was crucial to a project at the company aimed at making it possible to build immensely powerful computers that crunch data using quantum physics. “It was a pivotal moment,” says Mundie. “This research was guiding us toward a way of realizing one of these systems.”

...

Microsoft has yet to even build a qubit. But in the kind of paradox that can be expected in the realm of quantum physics, it may also be closer than anyone else to making quantum computers practical. The company is developing a new kind of qubit, known as a topological qubit, based largely on that 2012 discovery in the Netherlands. There’s good reason to believe this design will be immune from the flakiness plaguing existing qubits. It will be better suited to mass production, too. “What we’re doing is analogous to setting out to make the first transistor,” says Peter Lee, Microsoft’s head of research.

...

In the next year or so, physics labs supported by Microsoft will begin testing crucial pieces of its qubit design, following a blueprint developed by an outdoorsy math genius. If those tests work out, a corporation widely thought to be stuck in computing’s past may unlock its future.

Stranger still: a physicist at the fabled but faded Bell Labs might get there first.

read on: 
http://www.technologyreview.com/photoessay/531606/microsofts-quantum-mechanics/

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-10-12 18:56:54 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

Beautiful Chemistry: Amazing Chemical Reactions Filmed with a 4K UltraHD Camera

"Beautiful Chemistry is a new collaboration between Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China that seeks to make chemistry more accessible and interesting to the general public. Their first project was the creation of several short films that utilize a 4K UltraHD camera to capture a variety of striking chemical reactions without the usual clutter of test tubes, beakers or lab equipment."

(via Colossal: http://goo.gl/VqnfEk)
Beautiful Chemistry website: http://beautifulchemistry.net/___ #ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

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2014-10-11 21:02:11 (5 comments, 22 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

Francisco Goya - Crazy like a Genius

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes born in Spain in 1746 was a romantic painter regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. 

Goya's evolution as a painter is one of the most remarkable in all of history. His early paintings such as the ones he produced as court painter to the Spanish Crown or the many magnificent portraits he made on commission for Spanish nobility are, compared to the work he put out later in life, different as night and day. 

At age 14, Goya started his studies under the painter José Luzán. Around 1765, in his late twenties he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate the bare stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real del Pardo, the residences of the Spanish monarchs near Madrid. This brought his artistic talents to the attention of Spain'sruli... more »

Francisco Goya - Crazy like a Genius

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes born in Spain in 1746 was a romantic painter regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. 

Goya's evolution as a painter is one of the most remarkable in all of history. His early paintings such as the ones he produced as court painter to the Spanish Crown or the many magnificent portraits he made on commission for Spanish nobility are, compared to the work he put out later in life, different as night and day. 

At age 14, Goya started his studies under the painter José Luzán. Around 1765, in his late twenties he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate the bare stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real del Pardo, the residences of the Spanish monarchs near Madrid. This brought his artistic talents to the attention of Spain's ruling families who later would give him access to the royal court.

During the 1780s, his circle of patrons included many of the kingdom's most notable people, including the Duke and Duchess of Osuna and even the King, Charles III, himself. It was the king who in 1786 gave him a salaried position as court painter. After the death of Charles III in 1788 and revolution in France in 1789, during the reign of Charles IV, Goya reached his peak of popularity with royalty.

His luck was not made to last. At some time between late 1792 and early 1793, a serious illness left Goya deaf, and he became withdrawn and introspective. Worse, French forces invaded Spain in 1808, leading to the Peninsular War of 1808–1814 which he documented in a series of 82 prints, known collectively as the Desastres de la Guerra, a masterpiece of studied ambiguity.

The horrors of war, the death of his wife, and the loss of his hearing made him shy away from the world. He isolated himself from others, locking himself in his home, and as he grew ever more pessimistic, so did his art grow darker and darker. 

It was there, in his own home, that the then 75 year old Goya, alone and in mental and physical despair, created frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy. Most notably the so called black paintings, a series of 14 with intense, haunting themes, reflective of the artist's fear of insanity and his outlook on humanity. Several of these, including Saturn Devouring His Son, were painted directly onto the walls of his dining and sitting rooms.

Goya did not intend for the paintings to be exhibited, did not write of them, and likely never spoke of them.

Through his works he was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of artists of later generations, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprichos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Disasters_of_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Paintings

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  ___

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2014-10-05 18:54:57 (10 comments, 90 reshares, 88 +1s)Open 

13.7 Billion years in the making - Feel reality clawing its way through the depths of time right up to this very moment.

Our reality is so utterly mindblowing in its beauty and complexity that we tend to bury our head in the sand and confine our view and thinking to the mundane drudgery of daily life. With the passing of time, we have constructed this glorious human reality of ours, layer upon layer, out of a shitload of different ideologies and technologies. Consumerism, religion, traditions, our own individualistic hopes and dreams about money, power and love, ... Lady Gaga and Ashton Kutcher, tv dinners and coca cola,... These have become our day to day reality, a reality that blinds us from nature.

"Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless." -B.F.Skinner

It's not just the stars that our cities and their lights obscure from our... more »

13.7 Billion years in the making - Feel reality clawing its way through the depths of time right up to this very moment.

Our reality is so utterly mindblowing in its beauty and complexity that we tend to bury our head in the sand and confine our view and thinking to the mundane drudgery of daily life. With the passing of time, we have constructed this glorious human reality of ours, layer upon layer, out of a shitload of different ideologies and technologies. Consumerism, religion, traditions, our own individualistic hopes and dreams about money, power and love, ... Lady Gaga and Ashton Kutcher, tv dinners and coca cola,... These have become our day to day reality, a reality that blinds us from nature.

"Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless." -B.F.Skinner

It's not just the stars that our cities and their lights obscure from our mind's eye. Sometimes I feel as if we are about to lose ourselves in the entertainment jungle that we have created. With so many Bells and whistles fighting for your attention, you have to really make time to think about something deeply. From rainbows to atoms and black holes, there are vast worlds worth exploring hiding behind such easy to use labels.

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." -Confucius 

Put on some of your favorite inspiring and hopeful music, darken the room and then just kick back and enjoy this stunning collection of photos which I compiled with the specific reason to stimulate thinking about the bigger picture. These are imo 500+ of the most thought inducing pictures out there so it could take you quite a while to get through them but please take your time!

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives." -Albert Einstein 

Now and then, people could use a reality check. Something that allows you to momentarily break free from the shackles of modern popular thinking. Yes we live in houses but we also live as self organizing neural patterns in biologically evolved machines powered by a massive nuclear fusion engine on a tiny life rich planet on one of the outer arms of the milky way in our 13.7 billion year old universe. I want you to look at these pictures and forget that you are looking at pictures. This is the universe we are living in. How the hell does all this fit together? Think about deep time. How did all this come to be? What does all this accumulated knowledge mean for our future? We are truly privileged to be able to access this wealth of information. 

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller

I started collecting these pictures a long time ago but I never wrote down their source. In other words, I wish to thank the makers of these pictures and I want you to know that I love your work! If you would like your picture credited or removed, just send me a message and I will get right to it. 

Did I miss anything? Do you know of some other mindblowing picture that belongs here? Let me know!

"Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite. " -Francis Bacon 

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday   ___

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2014-10-05 17:23:42 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

The Future Markets Making up the Market of the Future

Exponential Finance, an intensive 2-day conference, hosted by Singularity University in partnership with CNBC, brought together top experts to inform financial services leaders how technologies—such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, quantum computing, crowdfunding, digital currencies and robotics—are impacting business.

Want to find out what Wall street got to hear? You are in luck because all talks have been made available online for free. There are quite a lot of them but you can check the short descriptions to figure out which ones might tickle your fancy.

Exponential Thinking (Peter Diamandis) - Exponential Finance 2014
Opening talk from Peter Diamandis, the Greek-American engineer, physician, and entrepreneur best known for being the founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation.He&... more »

The Future Markets Making up the Market of the Future

Exponential Finance, an intensive 2-day conference, hosted by Singularity University in partnership with CNBC, brought together top experts to inform financial services leaders how technologies—such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, quantum computing, crowdfunding, digital currencies and robotics—are impacting business.

Want to find out what Wall street got to hear? You are in luck because all talks have been made available online for free. There are quite a lot of them but you can check the short descriptions to figure out which ones might tickle your fancy.

Exponential Thinking (Peter Diamandis) - Exponential Finance 2014
Opening talk from Peter Diamandis, the Greek-American engineer, physician, and entrepreneur best known for being the founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. He's also the co-founder and chairman of Singularity University, CEO and co-founder of the Zero-Gravity Corporation, the co-founder of Planetary Resources, vice-chairman & co-founder of Human Longevity, Inc and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think.


> Artificial Intelligence <
Understanding the AI Landscape (Neil Jacobstein) - Exponential Finance 2014
Neil Jacobstein will discuss how businesses, financial institutions and individuals are utilizing AI to address credit risk analysis, investment decisions, sentiment analysis, high frequency trading and avoiding corporate/market flash crashes. Neil will also provide an overview of AI—from 50 years of successful AI applications to augmenting humans with AI—and what this means for the world at large.

Will IBM's Watson and Other AI's Overtaketake Wall Street (Rhodin) - Exponential Finance 2014
Michael Rhodin of IBM will explain how Watson has moved beyond Jeopardy into finance, and what this and other AI solutions mean for Wall Street. Specifics include: The Watson Applications Ecosystem; Automating finance sector jobs; Role of AI on global financial centers; and the future of Watson.

Is AI Your Enemy or New Best Friend? (Daniel Nadler) - Exponential Finance 2014
Daniel Nadler describes the virtual artificially intelligent, financial industry-focused assistant that his company, Kensho, is creating. Why is this possible now for the first time, and what will this mean for the playing field in five years’ time? This high-level conversation will cover the implications of these Virtual AI Assistants—from the labor market to risk management to financial advisors.


> Data Science & Analytics <
The Data Science Revolution (Jeremy Howard) - Exponential Finance 2014
Data Science (Big Data, Data Analysis, Machine Learning) is said to represent a larger potential disruption than the industrial revolution. This session will address the impact on the financial world by data driven decision-making, predictive modeling, machine learning, intelligent computing and more.

Harvesting Gold from Your Data - Finally! (Collins, Caruso-Cabrera) - Exponential Finance 2014
Keith Collins, CIO of SAS, takes a look at the applications available now and those of tomorrow that will assist you in making the most of your data. How do you differentiate between relevant/representative data and “big” data?

Disruptive Tools In The Data Science Toolkit (Dr. Gurjeet Singh) - Exponential Finance 2014
Gurjeet Singh of Ayasdi, named Fast Company’s 2014 Most Innovative Company in Big Data, addresses the cutting edge of big data and how machine learning/big data is and will be used in business going forward.

Will The Robo-Advisors Take Your Job? (Diamandis, Edelman) - Exponential Finance 2014
A conversation between Peter Diamandis and acclaimed financial advisor Ric Edelman. The discussion will focus on the future of the financial advisory business and how Ric sees exponential technology changing his business and the overall landscape.


> Networks and Computing Systems <
The Global Evolution of Networks and Computing Systems (Brad Templeton) - Exponential Finance 2014
As processing power continues to grow exponentially, as trillions of devices and sensors come online, and as technology costs continue to decrease dramatically, we are entering an era of new possibilities. In this session, Board Member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), founder of the first internet-based business, Brad Templeton will dive into Moore’s Law, abundant bandwidth, the trillion-dollar impact of autonomous vehicles, the network of everything, and more.

Living In A Virtual World (Philip Rosedale) - Exponential Finance 2014
As we saw with the recent $2B acquisition of Oculus Rift, virtual reality (VR) is big business. In this session, Philip Rosedale, one of the pioneers of VR, as well as the creator of Second Life and CEO of his latest venture, High Fidelity, will take us through why VR has the potential to have such an outsized impact over the coming decade.  Learn how virtual reality will change almost every aspect of our life, such as: how we interact with others, how we learn, how we conduct business, who we are friends with, and where we spend our free time.


> Quantum Computing <
Quantum Computing: A Threat to Leading Financial Players (Vern Brownell) - Exponential Finance 2014
As the former CTO of Goldman Sachs, Vern Brownell understands the technical challenges facing large financial institutions. He’ll share his unique perspective as the head of the leading quantum computer manufacturer, D-Wave, to provide an understanding of quantum computing and its radical impact on present and future computing.

Insights from the World's First Quantum Computer Software Company (Dr. Phil Goddard)
By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, quantum computers offer the potential to solve extremely large- scale optimization problems faster than traditional computers. Dr. Goddard will provide us with insight into some of these problems that are now becoming addressable with a particular emphasis on the financial world.


> 3D Printing <
The Imminent Disruption of the $10T Manufacturing Industry (Reichental) - Exponential Finance 2014
With applications ranging from cars, décor and consumer products to custom implants, jet engines and hearing aids—3D printing is revolutionizing product design and supply chain management, and opening a world of possibilities for creatives. This talk will also touch on the potential unintended consequences of 3D manufacturing technology, such as fraud and 3D printed weapons.


> Synthetic Biology and Digital Medicine <
Digital/Synthetic Biology (Raymond McCauley) - Exponential Finance 2014
The digitization of biology is driving massive disruption in the life sciences field. Human genome sequencing is the single best example of faster, better, cheaper. Previously confined to research tools, these new solutions are now entering the clinical and consumer markets. This session will shine light on the drivers in this field, new business models, where technology costs are trending, and innovative startups that have the potential to be significant disruptors.

The Technological Disruption of Healthcare (Dr. Daniel Kraft) - Exponential Finance 2014
Convergence of fast-moving technology is rapidly changing the face of health and medicine. From mobile health and wearable sensors to artificial intelligence and personal ‘omics, this talk will explore implications for personal health, workforce health and the corresponding areas of emerging investment opportunity.


> Capital Formation <
Innovations in Capital Formation (David Rose) - Exponential Finance 2014
David Rose, a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor in New York, as well as the founder and CEO of Gust, will share his insights on the rapidly evolving world of capital formation—from crowdfunding to peer-to-peer lending to the growth and rebirth of equity capital markets. David will illustrate how it’s never been easier to raise capital and why these new innovations create significant threats, as well as opportunities, for incumbents and startups alike.

Crowdfunding (Koplovitz, Barnett, Cox, Fitzgerald, Millman) - Exponential Finance 2014
Kay Koplovitz leads a panel discussion addressing how crowdsourcing models are impacting and disintermediating traditional capital sources. Participants include industry experts Chance Barnett of Crowdfunder, Luan Cox of Crowdnetic, Katie Fitzgerald of CircleUp. and Michael Millman of JP Morgan.

Innovative Regulations: Not an Oxymoron (David Weild) - Exponential Finance 2014
The “Father of the JOBS Act,” David Weild will offer insights into what Congress, the SEC and other regulatory groups are doing to keep America competitive and foster innovation.


> Robotics <
Robots: Changing Everything (Rob Nail) - Exponential Finance 2014
Rob Nail will provide an overview of robotics technology, the far-reaching impact this technology is having throughout the world, and how what is coming will change business globally. As robotics use accelerates, many branches of the financial world will change. In this session we’ll address: Why companies like Google are making massive bets on Robotics; Massive labor force implications; Machine to machine payments; and Insurance and liability issues.

Robots: Changing Everything (Scott Hassan) - Exponential Finance 2014
In this talk, Scott Hassan, CEO of Suitable Technologies, will “beam” around the world in 80 seconds, hopping between continents and traveling across time zones—instantly. Scott will demonstrate how to fulfill the need for shared awareness with other people, places and things.


> Digital Currencies & Smart Contracts <
The Transformative World of Digital Commerce and Finance (Staci Warden) - Exponential Finance 2014
Executive director of the Center for Financial Markets at the Milken Institute, Staci Warden provides an overview of digital commerce and how this emerging area has the potential to radically change how we bank, how payments are made, what a trusted transaction means, and more.

The Evolving Digital Commerce Ecosystem (Warden, Barhydt, Hill, Silbert) - Exponential Finance 2014
As Bitcoin and other alternative currencies capture our imaginations, new possibilities for digital commerce and financial services are emerging. This panel provides a glimpse into how new opportunities including digital derivatives, smart contracts, wire based settlement, cross border payments and peer to peer banking are being enabled by new technologies and gives us a glimpse of what’s next in the world of digital commerce and finance. 


> Financial Futures <
Bankers Beware (Caruso-Cabrera, Lyons, Milne, Sidhu, Weissbluth) - Exponential Finance 2014
Exponential technologies are presenting a 360 degree assault on every part of the banking business. It couldn’t come at a worse time, as the industry tries to respond to regulatory pressures and rebuild trust in the wake of the financial crisis and great recession. Hear from emerging leaders— Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of Hightower; Jay Sidhu, CEO of Customers Bancorp; Ben Milne, CEO of Dwolla; and Karen Pascoe, Senior Vice President at MasterCard – Emerging Payments Group — who are  all bent on transforming the banking experience by embracing accelerating technologies and new business models.

Ray Kurzweil - Exponential Finance 2014
Ray Kurzweil has been called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine. In his role as a Director of Engineering at Google, Kurzweil heads up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding. During this session, renowned CNBC reporter Bob Pisani will chat with Ray about accelerating technology with a particular focus around artificial intelligence and machine understanding.

Dan Hesse (Diamandis, Caruso-Cabrera, Hesse) - Exponential Finance 2014
Large incumbents are increasingly threatened by new innovations and the quickening pace of change. Many ventures that used to require a large multinational company can now be successfully pulled off by a few individuals. In this fireside Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Peter Diamandis will chat with Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse, on how he is building a winning organization in an era of rapid technological change.

The Long and Short of Trading the Future (Pisani, Maguire, Ruegsegger) - Exponential Finance 2014
CNBC’s Bob Pisani talks with Ed Maguire, Senior Technology Analyst at CLSA, and Ben Ruegsegger, Senior Thematic Analyst for AllianceBernstein’s Global and Thematic Portfolios, on how investors get exposure to technology trends early in the cycle, but also the tricky business of investing in “valley stocks” – publicly traded stocks with large maturing businesses as well as small, growth businesses not yet large enough to have major impact. Key topics include how to judge the maturity of an industry, how to determine the future value of a new technology, what opportunities exist for investing now in “maturing” disruptive technologies like genomics, big data, and the internet of things, the critical importance of early legwork, and how to anticipate and judge investment “bubbles”.

Future Proof (Caruso-Cabrera, Concannon, Frank) - Exponential Finance 2014
When technological innovation moves faster than regulation infrastructure can be put in place, are some innovators at risk of missing their opportunity?  This panel looks at balancing the regulatory environment as technology reinvents our financial markets. We’ll hear from Barney Frank, one of the architects of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Chris Concannon, President and COO of Virtu Financial, the trading firm COO whose IPO was scrapped in the wake of the negative national attention on high-frequency trading.


> Exponential Organizations <
Exponential Organizations: The New Breed of Business (Salim Ismail) - Exponential Finance 2014
Salim Ismail takes you through a new breed of organizational structure that has started to emerge over the last few years. “Exponential Organizations” leverage externalities like big data, community, crowd, user engagement, gamification and other techniques to achieve 10x performance benchmarks relative to their competitors.

Jay Rogers - Exponential Finance 2014
Crowdsourced car designs, micro factories, small batch production: Local Motors has definitely gone a very different route for a vehicle manufacturing company. In this keynote speech by Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers, we’ll hear about his journey to create this different kind of company—an exponential one. Understand how he has created this highly successful organization and utilized some of the principles that Salim Ismail touched on in the previous session.

Picture by Ryohei Hase - http://ryoheihase.com/

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-10-04 21:23:39 (17 comments, 68 reshares, 190 +1s)Open 

Simon Stålenhag - A past pregnant with the future

Stålenhag operates from the countryside just outside of Stockholm, Sweden. He's been involved with a lot of different projects, ranging from films, commercials and book covers to art directing and concepting for video games.

His images of a 1980s Sweden populated by fantastic machines and strange creatures spread across the internet like wildfire when he published them a couple of years ago and it's easy to see why. He has a unique talent that allows him to depict an unbelievable world in a believable way.

The world he created might be teeming with monstrous life and dangerous machines but for the people that live alongside them they seem to be nothing but a tedious part of everyday life. They are the backdrop against which normal human affairs play out. Where in our world we would scramble to capture thesew... more »

Simon Stålenhag - A past pregnant with the future

Stålenhag operates from the countryside just outside of Stockholm, Sweden. He's been involved with a lot of different projects, ranging from films, commercials and book covers to art directing and concepting for video games.

His images of a 1980s Sweden populated by fantastic machines and strange creatures spread across the internet like wildfire when he published them a couple of years ago and it's easy to see why. He has a unique talent that allows him to depict an unbelievable world in a believable way.

The world he created might be teeming with monstrous life and dangerous machines but for the people that live alongside them they seem to be nothing but a tedious part of everyday life. They are the backdrop against which normal human affairs play out. Where in our world we would scramble to capture these wonders on camera, the people in Stålenhag's are more likely to curse them for blocking the road or disturbing the piece during a picnic. His work just radiates a vibe that can only be described as casual.

Many of his images manage to get across bits and pieces of what a childhood spent among dinosaurs and advanced technological marvels would have been like. In fact, especially if you are a child of the 80s, you might even feel somewhat nostalgic for this past you've never been part of. 

http://www.simonstalenhag.se/

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  ___

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2014-09-28 21:20:33 (37 comments, 54 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

Nasa's keeping it cool, really cool

NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL), scheduled to be installed on the International Space Station early 2016, has succeeded in producing a state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, a key breakthrough for the instrument. 

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. Under such conditions, a large fraction of the bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point quantum effects become apparent on a macroscopic scale.  

CAL researchers used lasers to optically cool rubidium atoms to temperatures almost a million times colder than that of the depths of space. The atoms were then magnetically trapped, and radio waves were used to cool the atoms 100 times lower. The radiofrequency radiation acts like a knife, slicing away theho... more »

Nasa's keeping it cool, really cool

NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL), scheduled to be installed on the International Space Station early 2016, has succeeded in producing a state of matter known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, a key breakthrough for the instrument. 

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. Under such conditions, a large fraction of the bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point quantum effects become apparent on a macroscopic scale.  

CAL researchers used lasers to optically cool rubidium atoms to temperatures almost a million times colder than that of the depths of space. The atoms were then magnetically trapped, and radio waves were used to cool the atoms 100 times lower. The radiofrequency radiation acts like a knife, slicing away the hottest atoms from the trap so that only the coldest remain.

The research is now at the point where this process can reliably create a Bose-Einstein condensate in just seconds.

CAL is designed to study ultra-cold quantum gases on the space station. In the station's microgravity environment, interaction times and temperatures as low as one picokelvin (one trillionth of one Kelvin) should be achievable. That's colder than anything known in nature, and the experiments with CAL could potentially create the coldest matter ever observed in the universe. These breakthrough temperatures unlock the potential to observe new quantum phenomena and test some of the most fundamental laws of physics.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-325

ScienceCasts: The Coolest Spot in the Universe

http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose%E2%80%93Einstein_condensate

#ScienceSunday  | #ScienceSunday  ___

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2014-09-27 20:57:47 (9 comments, 48 reshares, 65 +1s)Open 

Zdzisław Beksiński - Master of arts so dark they require souls to bathe in light after exposure

Beksiński, born in 1929, was a Polish painter, photographer and sculptor. He studied architecture in Kraków, completing his studies in 1955, and started out working as a construction site supervisor immediately after. It didn't take him long to realize he hated that kind of work as he found himself more interested in what else he could create with site materials such as plaster, metal and wire. It's during this period that he also developed an interest in montage photography and painting.

Beksiński had no formal training as an artist. His paintings were mainly created using oil paint on hardboard panels which he personally prepared, although he also experimented with acrylic paints. 

In the late 1960s, Beksiński entered what he himself called his"... more »

Zdzisław Beksiński - Master of arts so dark they require souls to bathe in light after exposure

Beksiński, born in 1929, was a Polish painter, photographer and sculptor. He studied architecture in Kraków, completing his studies in 1955, and started out working as a construction site supervisor immediately after. It didn't take him long to realize he hated that kind of work as he found himself more interested in what else he could create with site materials such as plaster, metal and wire. It's during this period that he also developed an interest in montage photography and painting.

Beksiński had no formal training as an artist. His paintings were mainly created using oil paint on hardboard panels which he personally prepared, although he also experimented with acrylic paints. 

In the late 1960s, Beksiński entered what he himself called his "fantastic period", which lasted up to the mid-1980s. This is his best-known period, during which he created very disturbing images, showing a surrealistic, post-apocalyptic environment with very detailed scenes of death, decay, landscapes filled with skeletons, deformed figures and deserts. These paintings were quite detailed, painted with his trademark precision. At the time, Beksiński claimed, "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams".

Beksiński was adamant that even he did not know the meaning of his artworks and was uninterested in possible interpretations; in keeping with this, he refused to provide titles for any of his drawings or paintings. Before moving to Warsaw in 1977, he burned a selection of his works in his own backyard, without leaving any documentation on them. He later claimed that some of those works were "too personal", while others were unsatisfactory, and he didn't want people to see them.

In the latter part of the 1990s, he discovered computers, the Internet, digital photography and photomanipulation, a medium that he focused on until his death.

The late 1990s were a very trying time for Beksiński. His wife, Zofia, died in 1998; a year later, on Christmas Eve 1999, his son Tomasz committed suicide. Beksiński discovered his son's body. Unable to come to terms with his son's death, he kept an envelope "For Tomek in case I kick the bucket" pinned to his wall.

On the 21st of February 2005, Beksiński was found murdered in his flat in Warsaw with 17 stab wounds on his body.

It's hard for me to say I like his work, it is after all nightmare fuel, but I can definitely appreciate the genius of it. If Dali and Giger ever would have made a baby together, I imagine their spawn would have produced work similar to Beksiński's. Even though most of his paintings depict tormented souls and surreal hellscapes, it's not all bad as even his darkest visions tend to make you feel for their subjects. 

Most of his work can be found here;
http://beksinski.dmochowskigallery.net/galeria_past.php

Zdzisław Beksiński

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  ___

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2014-09-22 15:09:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

It's amazing how deeply you can miss a place you've never been

"The quality of a civilization is measured not by what it has to do, but by what it wants to do." -Bruce Murray

It's amazing how deeply you can miss a place you've never been

"The quality of a civilization is measured not by what it has to do, but by what it wants to do." -Bruce Murray___

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2014-09-22 00:56:23 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Killer songs stave off murder on the dancefloor

In line with my previous post on tiny critters (http://goo.gl/HB1x7b), check out these itsy bitsy peacock spiders doing their thing. 

Thumb for scale; http://goo.gl/WE6wrT

Hat tip to +ScienceSunday for this excellent share.

The Dance of the Peacock Spider

A fascinating 5.5 minute video segment on #sciencefriday  about Australia's dancing male Peacock Spiders.

#nature   #science  ___Killer songs stave off murder on the dancefloor

In line with my previous post on tiny critters (http://goo.gl/HB1x7b), check out these itsy bitsy peacock spiders doing their thing. 

Thumb for scale; http://goo.gl/WE6wrT

Hat tip to +ScienceSunday for this excellent share.

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2014-09-21 22:59:43 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

One size fits all? Nature disagrees.

If someone ever asks you whether you'd rather fight a thousand salamander sized somethings or one something sized salamander, you should probably first check just exactly which kind of salamander you're both talking about because otherwise you could be in for one hell of a surprise. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorius_arboreus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_giant_salamander

Size matters.

fun fact; The almost 2 meter long giant salamander is known to make barking, whining, hissing and crying sounds. 

If you are looking for a fun read to spend your Sunday afternoon on you might want to check out Wikipedia's lists on the smallest and largest organisms to have ever lived on this lovely planet of ours.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallest_organisms... more »

One size fits all? Nature disagrees.

If someone ever asks you whether you'd rather fight a thousand salamander sized somethings or one something sized salamander, you should probably first check just exactly which kind of salamander you're both talking about because otherwise you could be in for one hell of a surprise. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorius_arboreus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_giant_salamander

Size matters.

fun fact; The almost 2 meter long giant salamander is known to make barking, whining, hissing and crying sounds. 

If you are looking for a fun read to spend your Sunday afternoon on you might want to check out Wikipedia's lists on the smallest and largest organisms to have ever lived on this lovely planet of ours.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallest_organisms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_organisms

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookesia_minima
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookesia_micra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-09-21 15:05:21 (2 comments, 8 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Juice Rap News - History is Happening

Giordano Nanni and Hugo Farrant have been broadcasting their satirical news show from a suburban backyard home-studio in Melbourne, Australia for quite a while now. Given how awesome their productions are it amazes me that they still aren't household names! I've shared some of their shows before (check http://goo.gl/4vsdP for example) but their latest creation just might be one of their best yet. ;) 

"Today we travel into the pure world of sci-fi to investigate the much vaunted, mysterious potential future event known as 'The Singularity'. What will a machine consciousness mean for humanity? What are the ethical, political, military and philosophical implications of strong A.I.? And what would an AI sound like when spitting rhymes over a dope beat? All this and more shall be revealed in Rap News 28."

Net... more »

Juice Rap News - History is Happening

Giordano Nanni and Hugo Farrant have been broadcasting their satirical news show from a suburban backyard home-studio in Melbourne, Australia for quite a while now. Given how awesome their productions are it amazes me that they still aren't household names! I've shared some of their shows before (check http://goo.gl/4vsdP for example) but their latest creation just might be one of their best yet. ;) 

"Today we travel into the pure world of sci-fi to investigate the much vaunted, mysterious potential future event known as 'The Singularity'. What will a machine consciousness mean for humanity? What are the ethical, political, military and philosophical implications of strong A.I.? And what would an AI sound like when spitting rhymes over a dope beat? All this and more shall be revealed in Rap News 28."

Net Neutrality [RAP NEWS 25]
The Energy Crisis - feat. Copernicus [RAP NEWS 22]
Big Brother is WWWatching You - feat. George Orwell [RAP NEWS 15]
"THE NEWS" - feat Sage Francis [RAP NEWS 21]___

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2014-09-20 21:41:56 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Cai Guo-Qiang - Firing the imagination with explosive art

Internationally lauded “explosives artist” Cai Guo-Qiang has already amassed some stunning stats: He may be the only artist in human history who has had some one billion people gaze simultaneously at one of his artworks. You read that right, one billion. I’m talking about the worldwide televised “fireworks sculpture” that Cai Guo-Qiang—China-born, living in America now—created for the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. If you’re one of the few earthlings who hasn’t seen it, either live or online, here’s Cai’s description: “The explosion event consisted of a series of 29 giant footprint fireworks, one for each Olympiad, over the Beijing skyline, leading to the National Olympic Stadium. The 29 footprints were fired in succession, traveling a total distance of 15 kilometers, or 9.3 miles, within a periodof 63 seconds.
... more »

Cai Guo-Qiang - Firing the imagination with explosive art

Internationally lauded “explosives artist” Cai Guo-Qiang has already amassed some stunning stats: He may be the only artist in human history who has had some one billion people gaze simultaneously at one of his artworks. You read that right, one billion. I’m talking about the worldwide televised “fireworks sculpture” that Cai Guo-Qiang—China-born, living in America now—created for the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. If you’re one of the few earthlings who hasn’t seen it, either live or online, here’s Cai’s description: “The explosion event consisted of a series of 29 giant footprint fireworks, one for each Olympiad, over the Beijing skyline, leading to the National Olympic Stadium. The 29 footprints were fired in succession, traveling a total distance of 15 kilometers, or 9.3 miles, within a period of 63 seconds.

Cai was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. His father, Cai Ruiqin, was a calligrapher and traditional painter who worked in a bookstore. As a result, Cai Guo-Qiang was exposed early on to Western literature as well as traditional Chinese art forms.

“My father,” Cai says, “was a collector of rare books and manuscripts,” and an adept at the delicate art of calligraphy. But when the Cultural Revolution began in the mid-’60s, Mao Zedong turned his millions of subjects against anyone and any sign of intellectual or elite practices, including any art or literature that was not propaganda.

“Intellectuals” (meaning just about anyone who read, or even possessed, books) were beaten, jailed or murdered by mobs and all their works burned in pyres. “My father knew his books, scrolls and calligraphy were a time bomb in his house,” Cai recalls. So he began burning his precious collection in the basement. “He had to do it at night so that no one would know.”

Cai grew up in a setting where explosions were common, whether they were the result of cannon blasts or celebratory fireworks. He also “saw gunpowder used in both good ways and bad, in destruction and reconstruction”. It seems that Cai has channeled his experiences and memories through his numerous gunpowder drawings and explosion events.

By the time of the political explosion of Tiananmen Square in 1989, Cai had left China and was in Japan, where “I discovered Western physics and astrophysics.” And Hiroshima.

“Spiritual mediums,” he tells me, “channel between the material world and the unseen world to a certain degree similar to what art does.” And he sees his art serving as a similar kind of channel, linking ancient and modern, Eastern and Western sensibilities. Feng shui and quantum physics.

> Daytime fireworks - Cai Guoqiang .
> 2005 Black Rainbow by Cai Guo-Qiang

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/meet-the-artist-who-blows-things-up-for-a-living-4984479/?all

http://caiguoqiang.wordpress.com/

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art   ___

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2014-09-14 21:19:30 (3 comments, 36 reshares, 100 +1s)Open 

Construction of the ESS, the European Spallation Source, has begun!

The town of Lund, in Sweden, is already home to a number of major scientific facilities, including one of the most advanced synchrotron X-ray sources, the MAX IV, scheduled for inauguration in 2016. Now Lund will also be the site of the world's most powerful neutron source, the €1.8 billion European Spallation Source (ESS).

Spallation is the process for producing neutrons by means of a particle accelerator and a heavy metal target. The ESS's 600-meter long linear accelerator will fire protons derived from hydrogen gas at a velocity just below the speed of light at a target made out of the metal tungsten.

The metal target absorbs the proton beam and transforms into fast neutrons. Which is basically just a really polite way of saying that the proton beam rips the target a new one which causesi... more »

Construction of the ESS, the European Spallation Source, has begun!

The town of Lund, in Sweden, is already home to a number of major scientific facilities, including one of the most advanced synchrotron X-ray sources, the MAX IV, scheduled for inauguration in 2016. Now Lund will also be the site of the world's most powerful neutron source, the €1.8 billion European Spallation Source (ESS).

Spallation is the process for producing neutrons by means of a particle accelerator and a heavy metal target. The ESS's 600-meter long linear accelerator will fire protons derived from hydrogen gas at a velocity just below the speed of light at a target made out of the metal tungsten.

The metal target absorbs the proton beam and transforms into fast neutrons. Which is basically just a really polite way of saying that the proton beam rips the target a new one which causes it to spill its guts all over the place, showering its environment with fast neutrons. To contain the extreme level of highly penetrating gamma and fast neutron radiation the target chamber is surrounded by a radiation shielding system, a 7000 ton sphere of steel. If that kind of talk doesn't get your heart racing I don't know what will! ;)

When the neutrons are slowed down they are, guided by beam lines, lead towards experimental stations where they allow us to see through matter on the smallest of scales. Because neutrons have no charge, they don't scatter on electrons and can penetrate deep into atoms and probe atomic nuclei directly, which is not possible with X-rays.

Two factors make neutrons especially interesting. With X-rays you only "see" the heavy elements, but with neutrons, which interact with light elements such as hydrogen and carbon, you can probe a wider range of materials, with applications in molecular biology, biomedical research, and even food science.

The second factor is that neutrons carry a magnetic moment. They interact with the magnetic moments of atoms and thus can assist researchers investigating materials like superconductors.

A big thanks to the more than a dozen European countries that are funding the project, especially Sweden and Denmark, the two biggest backers. If all goes well first light should be produced in 2019.

http://europeanspallationsource.se/science-using-neutrons

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

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-09-13 23:17:17 (2 comments, 22 reshares, 50 +1s)Open 

Hieronymus Bosch - Master of the monstrous 

Around 1450 Hieronymus Bosch, born Jheronimus van Aken, was squeezed into being in the Duchy of Brabant, a state of the Holy Roman Empire, at the time part of the Burgundian Netherlands and near the end of his life part of the Habsburg Netherlands. Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries. Neither is anything known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art.

What we do know is that in 1463, 4000 houses in his town of 's-Hertogenbosch were destroyed by a catastrophic fire, which the then approximately 13-year-old Bosch presumably witnessed. Perhaps this event provided the foundation for some of the hellish scenes he came up with? We can only guess.

Fewer than 25 paintings remain today that can be attributed to him. In the late sixteenth-century, Philip II ofSp... more »

Hieronymus Bosch - Master of the monstrous 

Around 1450 Hieronymus Bosch, born Jheronimus van Aken, was squeezed into being in the Duchy of Brabant, a state of the Holy Roman Empire, at the time part of the Burgundian Netherlands and near the end of his life part of the Habsburg Netherlands. Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries. Neither is anything known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art.

What we do know is that in 1463, 4000 houses in his town of 's-Hertogenbosch were destroyed by a catastrophic fire, which the then approximately 13-year-old Bosch presumably witnessed. Perhaps this event provided the foundation for some of the hellish scenes he came up with? We can only guess.

Fewer than 25 paintings remain today that can be attributed to him. In the late sixteenth-century, Philip II of Spain acquired many of Bosch's paintings, including some probably commissioned and collected by Spaniards active in Bosch's hometown; as a result, the Prado Museum in Madrid now owns most of his best work including; The Adoration of the Magi, The Garden of Earthly Delights, the tabletop painting of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, the The Haywain Triptych and The Stone Operation.

His Garden of Earthly Delights is probably one of the most famous paintings ever created and it's easy to see why. 500 years after Bosch introduced it to the world, the explosively colored fantastical scene it depicts is no less remarkable. It grabs attention instantly and effortlessly holds it for within its frame there is so much going on that the harder you look, the more details you uncover.

Art historians and critics frequently interpret his painting as a didactic warning on the perils of life's temptations. However, the intricacy of its symbolism, particularly that of the central panel, has led to a wide range of scholarly interpretations over the centuries. Twentieth-century art historians are divided as to whether the triptych's central panel is a moral warning or a panorama of paradise lost. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haywain_Triptych
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hermit_Saints
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triptych_of_the_Temptation_of_St._Anthony
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Judgment_(Bosch_triptych,_Bruges)

#ArtAndDesign   #Art  ___

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2014-09-07 18:40:34 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

New Horizons to expand yours

Last year I shared a list featuring the best documentaries of all time; 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/RousEJM4rMF . If you take a look you might notice that Horizon episodes are very well represented. Just what exactly is Horizon? Oh, only one of the longest running shows ever. The first episode, "The World of Buckminster Fuller", was aired in 1964 and now, 50 years later, they are still going strong! If you ever have 50 minutes to kill, just type BBC horizon into youtube and before you know it you'll be wading knee deep through delicious investigative science reporting.

"The aim of Horizon is to provide a platform from which some of the world's greatest scientists and philosophers can communicate their curiosity, observations and reflections, and infuse into our common knowledge their changing... more »

New Horizons to expand yours

Last year I shared a list featuring the best documentaries of all time; 
https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/RousEJM4rMF . If you take a look you might notice that Horizon episodes are very well represented. Just what exactly is Horizon? Oh, only one of the longest running shows ever. The first episode, "The World of Buckminster Fuller", was aired in 1964 and now, 50 years later, they are still going strong! If you ever have 50 minutes to kill, just type BBC horizon into youtube and before you know it you'll be wading knee deep through delicious investigative science reporting.

"The aim of Horizon is to provide a platform from which some of the world's greatest scientists and philosophers can communicate their curiosity, observations and reflections, and infuse into our common knowledge their changing views of the universe." 
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Horizon_episodes

You can check out their amazingly rich backlog but I'd also like to give you all a heads up as the 51st season has just started with new episodes airing on BBC2 every Wednesday. Last week we got a look into the seeding underbelly of the web and saw how both criminals and governments are abusing new technologies but also how we can defend ourselves against them with encryption; BBC Horizon 2014-2015 Episode 4: Inside the Dark Web .

In this episode of Horizon, the show investigates what causes allergies. New research seems to be pointing toward changes in our bacterial ecosystems as the most likely culprit. The horizon team tries to get to the bottom by conducting a unique experiment with two allergic families to find out exactly what in the modern world is to blame. With a raft of mini cameras, GPS units and the very latest gene sequencing technology, the show unravels how the western lifestyle is impacting their bacteria. Why are these changes making people allergic? And what can be done to put a stop to the allergy epidemic? Find out below!

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


Next week Horizon will cast its light on Ebola, the virus and the disease, the epidemic currently plaguing Africa and the efforts to halt it as well as the search for a cure. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04hcthj

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-09-07 13:09:06 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 


Dreadnoughtus Today is so exciting for a ton of palaeontologists, students, researchers, and dinosaur fans. The video gives a bit of history to where this titanosaur was discovered back in 2005. Almost ten years later and it’s finally gone public.

These fossils spent a lot of time being excavated out of the matrix they were found in; around 4 years with multiple labs working tirelessly to clean and repair them. With such a huge specimen, a lot of man power was required.

You can read the article about Dreadnoughtus here on Drexel University’s website: http://drexel.edu/now/archive/2014/September/Dreadnoughtus-Dinosaur/

the scientific paper on Nature: http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140904/srep06196/full/srep06196.html

.___ #ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

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2014-09-06 21:30:56 (0 comments, 16 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

Frank Gehry - Cutting into the past to make some room for a future

Frank Owen Gehry, born Frank Owen Goldberg in 1929 in Canada's Toronto, is a Pritzker Prize winning architect whose buildings have become world renowned tourist attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age".

He moved to California in 1947 where he got a job driving a delivery truck while studying at Los Angeles City College. In 1954 Gehry graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Afterwards, he spent time away from the field of architecture in numerous other jobs, including service in the United States Army.

The renovation of his own private residence in Santa Monica, California,... more »

Frank Gehry - Cutting into the past to make some room for a future

Frank Owen Gehry, born Frank Owen Goldberg in 1929 in Canada's Toronto, is a Pritzker Prize winning architect whose buildings have become world renowned tourist attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age".

He moved to California in 1947 where he got a job driving a delivery truck while studying at Los Angeles City College. In 1954 Gehry graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Afterwards, he spent time away from the field of architecture in numerous other jobs, including service in the United States Army.

The renovation of his own private residence in Santa Monica, California, jump-started his career but it can be argued that it was the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain that truly put his name on the map. Gehry's best-known works include the MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles; The Vontz Center for Molecular Studies on the University of Cincinnati campus; Experience Music Project in Seattle; New World Center in Miami Beach; Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis; Dancing House in Prague; the Vitra Design Museum and the museum MARTa Herford in Germany; the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; the Cinémathèque française in Paris; and 8 Spruce Street in New York City.

Much of Gehry's work falls within the style of deconstructivism. Deconstructivist structures are not required to reflect specific social or universal ideas nor do they reflect the belief that form follows function. The style is characterized by fragmentation, an interest in manipulating a structure's surface and skin and non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of architecture. The finished visual appearance of buildings that exhibit deconstructivist "styles" is characterized by unpredictability and controlled chaos.

I think of his buildings as similar but different to those of another legendary architect, Zaha Hadid. Both their styles seem to spring from that same futuristic well but where Hadid often opts for aggressive flowing curves, Gehry tends to love brutal straight cut lines. It's hard to really describe his style as it has manifested itself in many different forms. Sometimes he does incorporate curves into his structures but when he does they don't look purposeful like Hadid's. His curves give the impression that they started out as straight lines that ended up warped, almost as if erased by heat or pulled down by weight. Both Gehry and Hadid's buildings look natural but from different perspectives. Where Hadid's give me the impression that they sprang into existence, perhaps similar to how a seashell emerges from the void bottom up, Gehry's on the other hand remind me of a top down approach, appearing as if they were cut out of their surroundings the way wind shapes a mountain or water erodes a rocky coast line. Together with others like Daniel Liebeskind and Rem Koolhaas, they belong to a specific class of architects who all seem dead-set on materializing the future one building at a time. 

Sketches of Frank Gehry
http://www.ted.com/talks/frank_gehry_as_a_young_rebel

Zaha Hadid; https://plus.google.com/108487783243149848473/posts/ECEuXrhACfY

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Architecture  ___

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2014-08-31 15:35:10 (5 comments, 20 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

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, 26 +1s)Open 

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 (5 comments, 21 reshares, 53 +1s)Open 

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 (6 comments, 3 reshares, 30 +1s)Open 

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, 37 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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, 16 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

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, 17 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

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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2014-08-10 13:43:23 (8 comments, 18 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

A Geek's Guide to Paris - Part 1: Paris through the ages

People have lived in what is now Paris for at least 10,000 years but the region had to wait for its name until a Celtic tribe that called itself the Parisii built a settlement there in 250 BC. When the Romans conquered the area in 52 BC and started expanding the town they called it Lutetia Parisorum. Around 305 AD the city began to be called Civitas Parisiorum, ("The City of the Parisii") but by the end of the Roman Empire, it was known simply as Parisius in Latin and Paris in French. What started as a small settlement on the banks of the Seine is now a metropolis with more than 12 million inhabitants, one of Europe's largest population centers. With a GDP of €607 billion (US$845 billion) it's a true economic juggernaut, a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to its rich history, world renowned cuisine andf... more »

A Geek's Guide to Paris - Part 1: Paris through the ages

People have lived in what is now Paris for at least 10,000 years but the region had to wait for its name until a Celtic tribe that called itself the Parisii built a settlement there in 250 BC. When the Romans conquered the area in 52 BC and started expanding the town they called it Lutetia Parisorum. Around 305 AD the city began to be called Civitas Parisiorum, ("The City of the Parisii") but by the end of the Roman Empire, it was known simply as Parisius in Latin and Paris in French. What started as a small settlement on the banks of the Seine is now a metropolis with more than 12 million inhabitants, one of Europe's largest population centers. With a GDP of €607 billion (US$845 billion) it's a true economic juggernaut, a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to its rich history, world renowned cuisine and fashion houses, as well as its leading role in the development of film, it has managed to retain its place as one of the cultural heavy weights of the world.

Its political history is long and complex. It has been the seat of power in France from the 4th century onwards but the power it held over surrounding lands has waxed and waned considerably throughout time. Many of the most famous kings that held their court in Paris have wielded enormous religious and economic power and managed to project military might around the world. From the rule of kings such as Clovis I of the distinguished Merovingian dynasty or the "father of Europe", Charlemagne of the Carolingian dynasty who went on to become Holy Roman Emperor... From royals like Hugh Capet of the Capetian line who in many ways founded modern France to Louis XIV, the Sun king, who helped put an end to feudalism and emperors like Napoléon Bonaparte who birthed much of the modern world... All of them have shaped history in ways seemingly beyond what a mere mortal should be capable of.

In cities as old as Paris, every square inch has been stage to the joys of life as well as the terrors that precede death. When people weren't being taken by natural disasters that were at the time outside of human control; Paris for example got ravaged by the Black Death in 1348 and by the plague in 1466, they had no problem slaughtering each other for religious differences such as was the case during the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre or the many larger wars between Catholics and Protestants in general. Perhaps one of the biggest wars France ever fought was the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) in which the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, fought the House of Valois for control of the Kingdom of France. Both sides drew in allies from all over Europe and the result was pretty much hell on earth.

It would have been nice if things had quietened down after the age of enlightenment but we all know it didn't turn out that way. Paris' reputation grew on the writings of its intellectuals such as the philosophers Descartes, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau. These bold thinkers fueled not only the enlightened thinking that spawned the modern world, they also lit the fuse under the establishment, sparking the French Revolution (1789) which saw France get rid of its kings and declare itself a Republic. What started as something beautiful turned dark real quick with a period known as "the reign of terror" (1793). Standing on the beautiful Place de la Concorde it's hard to believe that it was once the site of France's most active guillotine. You can now only guess where exactly the heads of people like Lavoisier or Marie Antoinette were severed from their bodies but the thought alone is enough to send chills up your spine.

France stopped being a republic when this little guy called Napoleon decided he wanted to be Emperor and not just of France but of most of modern Europe. He turned out to be a tactical genius with considerably organisational skills which allowed him to realize his rather crazy dream. He steamrolled pretty much all forces that opposed him and is widely regarded as one of the greatest commanders in history. To this day his campaigns are studied at military academies worldwide. His Napoleonic Code influenced civil law worldwide and he pushed for the adoption of international measurement standards by demanding that the metric system be taught at all levels of education. After Napoleon's loss at the hands of the Russians and their scorched earth tactics and ultimately his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, Paris was briefly occupied by the allied forces who had brought him to his knees. Although the restoration period saw the return of the monarchs with Louis XVIII and Charles X, it didn't take long for another revolution to uproot them. Considering that France is currently on its fifth republic, this cycle played out quite a few times.

The Second Empire (Napoleon III) ended in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) but not long after peace had returned, Paris became home to a small scale but extremely brutal civil war in which anarchists and radical socialists murdered their way to power but ultimately lost to the french army in "the bloody week". The start of the 20th century brought with it the first world war and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now that we've dealt with the past, we'll get the obvious attractions out of the way. if you visit Paris you have to get up close and personal with; the Eiffel tower, Sacré-Cœur, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, Panthéon, La Grande Arche de La Defense, Centre Pompidou, Gare du Nord, Conciergerie, the Louvre, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Musée des Arts et Métiers, La Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Musée d'Orsay, Hôtel de Ville, Sorbonne, Palais Garnier, Palais de Chaillot, Le Grand & Petit Palais, Pont Alexandre, Pont Neuf, Pont Mirabeau, Notre-Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Saint-Sulpice, L'église de la Madeleine, Sainte-Clotilde, Sainte-Trinité, Saint-Augustin, Les Arènes de Lutèce,Tour Montparnasse, Hôtel de Sens, Place de la Concorde, Place Vendôme, Place de la Bastille, Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg & Les Catacombes de Paris. If you find the time you should probably also visit Versailles, Château Vincennes, Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace & La basilique de Saint-Denis just outside of the Paris Center. Pictures and links to more information about all these places can be found in the album below.

All of the above you will find in pretty much every guide to Paris but for #ScienceSunday , my final 5 day quest post and my weekly art share I'd like to present you a picture of Paris focused on science and art. However, I am saving that for Part 2 which I hope to finish today so check back later! :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_France
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Paris
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_I
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Capet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Years_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Wars_of_Religion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bartholomew%27s_Day_massacre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XIV
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_Bonaparte
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune___

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2014-07-30 15:42:20 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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, 85 reshares, 57 +1s)Open 

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, 37 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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, 42 +1s)Open 

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, 77 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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)Open 

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 (5 comments, 4 reshares, 71 +1s)Open 

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, 26 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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, 60 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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 (26 comments, 13 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

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, 17 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

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, 2 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

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, 19 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

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)Open 

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)Open 

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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2014-04-03 18:58:50 (12 comments, 18 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

Facebook's Oculus Acquisition, the Future of VR & the Coming Creative Explosion that Will Birth Our Magnificent Metaverse

Not long ago I wrote about about current VR experiences, about "presence" and about what VR will be like less than 2 years from now. http://goo.gl/v67LnS - In many ways not much has changed since that post although if you've been following the news, you might just be thinking that the VR dream has been killed in its cradle or even that the earth itself has been torn asunder. I've read a ton of complaints concerning Facebook's gobbling up of Oculus and while some of them have merit, most of them do not. Allow me to explain why I think this storm in a teacup is not likely to take the wind out of Oculus' sails and why the deal with Facebook might actually increase their seaworthiness in such a way that it'll ensure much smoother... more »

Facebook's Oculus Acquisition, the Future of VR & the Coming Creative Explosion that Will Birth Our Magnificent Metaverse

Not long ago I wrote about about current VR experiences, about "presence" and about what VR will be like less than 2 years from now. http://goo.gl/v67LnS - In many ways not much has changed since that post although if you've been following the news, you might just be thinking that the VR dream has been killed in its cradle or even that the earth itself has been torn asunder. I've read a ton of complaints concerning Facebook's gobbling up of Oculus and while some of them have merit, most of them do not. Allow me to explain why I think this storm in a teacup is not likely to take the wind out of Oculus' sails and why the deal with Facebook might actually increase their seaworthiness in such a way that it'll ensure much smoother sailing from here on out.

First and foremost, people who feel betrayed because they had other things in mind for Oculus' future when they helped kickstart it should get off their high horse and stop thinking that just because they contributed Oculus should now follow their lead and long term vision. Contributing to a kickstarter is a donation, not an investment. It does not turn you into a member of their board. Not all projects offer rewards for donating but Oculus did. It was clear from the get-go that the kickstarter was set up to fund devkit 1 and backers got those a long time ago. If we for a second entertain the thought that the funds we managed to gather do count as an investment it still wouldn't count for much. Even before Facebook's 2 billion dollar capital infusion they had already scored 300 million in first and second round VC funding. The 2,4 million kickstarter was always going to be peanuts compared to the budget they were going to have to amass in order to make it to market. We can always be proud of how we helped Oculus make a name for itself, how we helped get the project off the ground, indeed how we helped to kickstart it.

To the people up in arms about how they sold out, I don't think you realize just how much money it takes to get a product from being a prototype into consumers' hands. They had been talking from the start about how their biggest problem was not going to be technology but scaling problems. They know they have a huge market on their hands but You don't get to 500 Million Rifts Without making a few $billion. Billions Oculus did not have. To give you an idea, MS dropped 1 billion on marketing alone for the launch of the Xbox One and hardware costs are even higher. With Facebook stepping in as their sugar daddy, its moneybags have just steamrolled their biggest barrier to market.

Before we tackle the big question; "Why facebook?", we should first take a look at "Why not someone else?". Let's be honest here, someone else would have been either; Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon or maybe but less likely IBM, Samsung & Sony. These usual suspects are the only players because only these tech giants are the ones with enough money, infrastructure, mainstream consumer reach and leverage over hardware manufacturers to actually be able to push VR into the market in a big way. These things are always hush, hush but Oculus has hinted that multiple players were angling for them yet they explicitly chose for Facebook. To understand that you have to look at the big picture and at the strings that would have come attached to any deals they would have struck with the others.

All of them, except Google are less open than facebook. They own their own software ecosystems and stores and would have required Oculus to be locked to the platform they provide. There's no way Apple, Amazon, Microsoft or Sony would have allowed Steam or others to play a big part. Google on the other hand is, like MS, Apple and Sony, likely already working on its own VR hardware in their secretive labs. 

"Why would we want to sell to someone like MS or Apple? So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have?" -Palmer Luckey (Oculus Founder)

"We have even more freedom than we had under our investment partners because Facebook is making a long term play on the success of VR, not short-term returns."
"We promise we won't change. If anything, our hardware and software will get even more open, and Facebook is onboard with that."
"Facebook is going to be putting a lot of resources into Oculus going forward, this was not a one-time thing."
"This deal specifically lets us greatly lower the price of the Rift."

"We have not gotten into all the details yet, but a lot of the news is coming. The key points:
1) We can make custom hardware, not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. That is insanely expensive, think hundreds of millions of dollars. More news soon.
2) We can afford to hire everyone we need, the best people that fit into our culture of excellence in all aspects.
3) We can make huge investments in content. More news soon."

"My primary goal is the long term success of VR, not short term warm and fuzzy feelings."-Palmer Luckey (Oculus Founder)


No, to truly understand why Facebook has an interest in the future of VR you have to see the big picture and think a decade ahead. I've seen many gamers complain that because of Facebook, Oculus will no longer be that good for gaming. Someone on reddit; "I don't really care about whatever second life BS Facebook plans to do with VR, I just want the device as new gaming technology." This is, imo, incredibly shortsighted. We hear the same sentiment with every technological convergence. When smartphones were released many were annoyed with the addition of "gimmicks" such as a camera and music player because they took away from what a phone was all about, making calls. When the Xbox-One was released MS took a lot of heat for talking about its mediacenter functionalities. It was supposed to be a gaming device and it playing music and video was going to ruin it. I'll once again quote Luckey to take away some of the fears surrounding the Rift's future as a gaming interface; "Almost everyone at Oculus is a gamer, and virtual reality will certainly be led by the games industry, largely because it is the only industry that already has the talent and tools required to build awesome interactive 3D environments. In the long run, though, there are going to be a lot of other industries that use VR in huge ways." It's wrong to think of VR as just a gaming interface.

Another quote from reddit; "The set of people who buy VR headgear and the set of people who like logging into things via Facebook do not intersect." While this is true today, the same would have at some point been true for every emerging market. If you go back far enough the set of people who bought modems didn't intersect with your average Joe either. Facebook is hoping to create an entirely new market and wants to get in on the ground floor by betting on the future of VR as the next paradigm in interfaces. So why facebook? Social is going to be one of VR's killer apps. Connecting with people and services from all over the world in crazy virtual spaces is what VR is all about. As the hardware shrinks and eyetrackers can be incorporated they'll be able to digitally filter the glasses from our view so that at some point we'll be able to meet face to face in Moe's Tavern, Quark's, Cheers, The Green Dragon Inn, Monk's, Central Perk or any other famous hangout.

It might be hard to envision but in the not so distant future we could be walking down one of Titan's beaches or exploring Jurassic Park with family and friends from all over the world. School children will walk around inside the human body and manipulate the contents of cells in their biology class. Instead of dragging yourself through a crowded store after a long day of work you could make it fun - shop from the privacy of your home with friends in a virtual replica of a store around the corner which you can destroy! Japan has already shown us that teledildonics is likely to revolutionize long distance relationships. One day we might be embodying robots working on asteroids in orbit or performing other dangerous jobs on earth! We won't be just traversing space, 360 degree documentaries and home videos will take us back to moments in time. You could even visit ancient Greece if you are willing to settle for a simulation. Tourism, Healthcare, Transport, Defense, Education, Entertainment, ... There is not a single industry that doesn't have the potential to be touched by this technology.

Both the Oculus founders as well as the Zuck himself have read Snow Crash, Neuromancer, Ready Player One, ... That is the end game, that is what they are going for. The first iterations of the rift will be gaming peripherals but Luckey talks about VR as a platform. A platform that will enable all sorts of experiences that will go way beyond gaming. If you've read those books you know that the end game plays out in the metaverse. They do not hide this, this is what they ultimately hope to create. What is the metaverse? "A collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet." Imagine worlds beyond worlds, new worlds, old worlds, worlds with and without rules, worlds grounded in reality or fiction, shopping worlds, business worlds, entertainment worlds, private worlds, personal worlds, ... Think of an advanced version of minecraft on a scale beyond what you can really fathom. One day virtual reality will harbor more worlds than there are grains of sand on all our beaches.

Those many earths as well as those many other planets that might not even obey the laws of physics will require stable servers for their continued existence. A globe spanning metaverse can only run on truly massive infrastructure. There are only a few players that might one day be capable of providing that. Facebook has already done some amazing work in infrastructure R&D and with initiatives like its OpenCompute project, has an excellent reputation when it comes to open source development. They actually have a real shot at making this happen. Rome wasn't built in a day. As long as humanity remains creative, the metaverse will keep on expanding. A hundred years from now historians will look back upon this moment in time and describe it in terms almost similar to how we describe the Big Bang. Worlds will explode into being, birthed by code and artistry, never ending creation will radiate outwards across multiple dimensions in digital space.

So far I've only talked about the complaints that don't have merit but I've also said that there are some worries that do. Those are, of course, privacy and ads. Now personally I am not really worried about ads. VR is all about immersion, they are not going to break that spell by interrupting a user's VR experience with pop-up ads. Facebook is smart enough not to shoot itself in the foot like that. That being said, they have no real control over content but just like gamemakers today can get money for incorporating ads into their games, so too will gamemakers of the future and if those games that do this run on servers hosted by facebook, they could take a percentage on the revenue they generate. This is no different from today, we will have to punish game creators that take this too far. If facebook does end up injecting ads it will likely be into a dashboard launcher similar to the Xbox. Sure it sucks but it's no dealbreaker. Considering the Rift has sworn allegiance to the open source community and has more in common with a pc than a console, it's likely that both alternative launchers as well as adblockers will be available even before launch.

Now what I am most worried about is privacy. I can imagine that all sorts of for profit entities are getting excited just thinking about persistent virtual spaces and perhaps even more so when thinking about eyetrackers, a technology with huge benefits for VR & AR experiences. It's easy to imagine a dystopian future where ads are forced upon you because they pause when you are not looking but that's nothing compared to what kind of information you could datamine from such devices. You would no longer have to press the like button, they would know by tracking what gets your attention and for how long. Such technology is not inherently bad, it could be used for good if it assists the user, but we all know that today this is not the case as it just gets sold to companies who hope to financially exploit it by knowing who to target when and with which ads to bombard them. Not to mention that even today non commercial entities like the NSA have access to this data as well and god know's what they are doing with it or will do with it in the future.

I am most definitely worried about that, and definitely don't think these worries should be swept under the rug but I do believe it's somewhat premature to be screaming that the sky is caving in on us just yet. The first few iterations of the Rift consumer version are pretty much guaranteed to be completely Facebook free so it's really only something we'll have to worry about further down the road. If Facebook does ever become invasive, we should drop it right there and then. By then others will have noticed just how big this market is so by that time we might have alternatives to choose from. I am willing to cut Facebook some slack here because there is no reason why Facebook, like Google, can't pivot and morph into something much bigger than social and ads. 

Although Facebook's current business model is based on ads and selling user information, it doesn't have to be that way for VR and the Oculus Rift. Now it's only normal that when thinking of VR's future in Facebook's hands, people simply extend its current monetization schemes but for FB, taking that route would be a pretty stupid move. VR is something completely new and should be approached with an open mind if anyone wants to see where new revenue streams are going to be found. Attracting business or partnering with event organizers could earn them a hell of a lot more than ads. Imagine facebook running virtual replicas of stores on their servers and taking a percentage of every good sold through them. Imagine them emulating steam, allowing users to sell their content to each other and skimming a percentage off of those transactions. Think about how much money they would make teaming up with the IOC and selling front row seats for the Olympic games. They could put you on the stage next to your favorite artist or give you a ride on a rocket to orbit.

We should at least wait to boo it off the stage until we really know what we are booing at and not kill it before it's even left the starting gate.
 
As Zuckerberg said in their investors call; "Gaming is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court-side seatat a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, consulting with a doctor face to face, or going shopping in a virtualstore where you can touch and explore the products you're interested in."
 "We still have a lot of work to do on mobile, but at this point we feel strong enough in our position that strategically we also want to start focusingon building the next major computing platform that will come after mobile." 
"Today's acquisition is a long-term bet on the future of computing." 
"This is really a new social platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imaginesharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures. These are just some of the potential use cases."
"If you think about the social applications alone, this can change the way we communicate with our friends, families and colleagues. Little detailslike being able to make eye contact with someone with zero latency makes you feel like you're really present together."

The team over at Oculus had this to share; "Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate." 
"This partnership is one of the most important moments for virtual reality: it gives us the best shot at truly changing the world."

Facebook has more than 1 billion active users. For Oculus, in many ways this was not a sell out but a market buy-in. 

Oculus has assembled a dream team of code wizards and hardware visionaries. They already had John Carmack on board, one of the founders of Id and the creator of games like Doom and Quake, a true industry legend and now, just days after the facebook acquisition, they've scored another legendary heavyweight coder with Michael Abrash. Because of all the groundbreaking stuff these guys have developed in the past, they are pretty much swimming in it. In their spare time they launch rockets for their privately funded Armadillo Aerospace company and not long ago they won the Level One Lunar Lander X-Prize Challenge. These guys are no longer working for the money, they follow their heart. They've been talking about VR for decades and really do want to see it succeed. To finish off this post, I'll let Abrash do the talking.

The Path to the Metaverse
http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/introducing-michael-abrash-oculus-chief-scientist/

"Sometime in 1993 or 1994, I read Snow Crash, and for the first time thought something like the Metaverse might be possible in my lifetime."
"We're on the cusp of what I think is not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform – the platform to end all platforms."
"The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday. A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it's engineering, not research; hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach. However, it's expensive engineering. And, of course, there's also a huge amount of research to do once we reach the limits of current technology, and that's not only expensive, it also requires time and patience – fully tapping the potential of VR will take decades. That's why I've written before that VR wouldn't become truly great until some company stepped up and invested the considerable capital to build the right hardware – and that it wouldn't be clear that it made sense to spend that capital until VR was truly great. I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff.

That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can.

It's great to be working with John (Carmack) again after all these years, and with that comes a sense of deja vu. It feels like it did when I went to Id, but on steroids – this time we're working on technology that will change not just computer gaming, but potentially how all of us interact with computers, information, and each other every day. I think it's going to be the biggest game-changer I've ever seen – and I've seen quite a lot over the last 57 years.

I can't wait to see how far we can take it."

Warner Bros. bought the film rights for Ready Player One. “They’ll need to hurry up and make it while it’s still science fiction,” -its author, Ernest Cline, after having experienced the latest Rift prototype. http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/03/28/ready-player-one-author-ernest-cline-believes-in-facebooks-oculus/

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

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2014-03-30 15:39:12 (0 comments, 22 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

The next leap in synthetic life

"It took geneticist Craig Venter 15 years and US$40 million to synthesize the genome of a bacterial parasite. Today, an academic team made up mostly of undergraduate students reports the next leap in synthetic life: the redesign and production of a fully functional chromosome from the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

As a eukaryote, a category that includes humans and other animals, S. cerevisiae has a more complex genome than Venter's parasite. "

“I wasn’t sceptical about whether it could be done,” Boeke says. The question, he explains, was: “How can we make this different from a normal chromosome and put something into it that’s really going to make it worthwhile?”

• Nature - First synthetic yeast chromosome revealedhttp://www.na... more »

The next leap in synthetic life

"It took geneticist Craig Venter 15 years and US$40 million to synthesize the genome of a bacterial parasite. Today, an academic team made up mostly of undergraduate students reports the next leap in synthetic life: the redesign and production of a fully functional chromosome from the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

As a eukaryote, a category that includes humans and other animals, S. cerevisiae has a more complex genome than Venter's parasite. "

“I wasn’t sceptical about whether it could be done,” Boeke says. The question, he explains, was: “How can we make this different from a normal chromosome and put something into it that’s really going to make it worthwhile?”

• Nature - First synthetic yeast chromosome revealed
http://www.nature.com/news/first-synthetic-yeast-chromosome-revealed-1.14941
• BBC - Scientists hail synthetic chromosome advance
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26768445
• Rajini Rao - Artificial Chromosomes: Care for a Pair?
https://plus.google.com/+RajiniRao/posts/ZeSdsdyaT4i
• Wiki - Yeast artificial chromosome
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast_artificial_chromosome

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-03-28 17:16:03 (28 comments, 120 reshares, 289 +1s)Open 

I don't always link to TED talks but when I do, it pays to watch them

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

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal. 

I am not going to spoil it but chances are high that you'll be fighting tears, in a good way, before you've even made it halfway through this video. If you need to renew your faith in the goodness of mankind or its ability to overcome problems, Hugh Herr has got you covered.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance
... more »

I don't always link to TED talks but when I do, it pays to watch them

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

Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal. 

I am not going to spoil it but chances are high that you'll be fighting tears, in a good way, before you've even made it halfway through this video. If you need to renew your faith in the goodness of mankind or its ability to overcome problems, Hugh Herr has got you covered.

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

picture; Aimee Mullins wearing Hugh Herr's Biomes
Aimee Mullins: It's not fair having 12 pairs of legs___

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