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Koen De Paus has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google Play8,748,250Bestselling 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 @106886664866983861036 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/42YHI Iain M. Banks: http://goo.gl/xHp18 Alastair Reynolds: http://goo.gl/6NI54Google Play presents: Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds & Peter F. Hamilton2012-09-27 19:00:00538  
Fraser Cain966,779To celebrate the landing of NASA's Curiosity Rover - the Mars Science Laboratory - we'll be running a special live hangout.  In conjunction with @106911959181067745693. 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, @109036978092446954908, @108952536790629690817 and @102887292457967781591 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 @111419948721791453320 and the @108759765804984663877. @109479143173251353583 and @107051665537162034944 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 @100902337165997768522)Google+ Hangout - Curiosity Landing Coverage2012-08-06 05:00:004861  
NASA2,540,518The 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 02:00:002193  

Shared Circles including Koen De Paus

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 37

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2014-09-28 21:20:33 (37 comments, 51 reshares, 133 +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: 95

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2014-10-05 18:54:57 (10 comments, 95 reshares, 87 +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 »

Most plusones: 176

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2014-10-04 21:23:39 (17 comments, 65 reshares, 176 +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 »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-03-14 17:15:54 (6 comments, 10 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Denis Peterson breaks reality to bring you back to it

It might be hard to believe that the photos below are in fact paintings but they are. Denis Peterson was one of the first Photorealists to emerge in New York. He is widely acknowledged as the pioneer and primary architect of Hyperrealism, which was founded on the aesthetic principles of Photorealism. Peterson distinguished hyperrealism from photorealism by making meticulous changes to a work's depth of field, color, and composition in order to emphasize a socially conscious message about contemporary culture and politics.

Originally, his floor-to-ceiling sized paintings centered around a single figure, with his monochromatic subjects characteristically cropped to appear as enlarged black and white photographs. Later, he developed a diverse number of original painting series, such as multiple phone booths in New York City.... more »

Denis Peterson breaks reality to bring you back to it

It might be hard to believe that the photos below are in fact paintings but they are. Denis Peterson was one of the first Photorealists to emerge in New York. He is widely acknowledged as the pioneer and primary architect of Hyperrealism, which was founded on the aesthetic principles of Photorealism. Peterson distinguished hyperrealism from photorealism by making meticulous changes to a work's depth of field, color, and composition in order to emphasize a socially conscious message about contemporary culture and politics.

Originally, his floor-to-ceiling sized paintings centered around a single figure, with his monochromatic subjects characteristically cropped to appear as enlarged black and white photographs. Later, he developed a diverse number of original painting series, such as multiple phone booths in New York City. Although not a professional photographer, he has relied on his own camera shots to maintain a consistency of composition and subject matter as reliable reference studies. Several years ago, Denis utilized photorealism as a visual medium through which to portray the unthinkable: genocides. As with his controversial painting series on homelessness, his work centered on the indefatigable human spirit rather than on political and economic crucibles. 

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." Arthur C. Clarke

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Painting  ___

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2015-03-01 18:25:19 (13 comments, 3 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Welcome to a new reality

HTC has just announced the Vive, a virtual reality headset developed in collaboration with Valve. It will be available to consumers later this year, with a developer edition coming out this spring. The company has promised to have a significant presence at the Game Developers Conference next week, where devs will have a chance to play with Valve's VR technology.

The Vive Developer Edition uses two 1200 x 1080 displays that refresh at 90 frames per second, "eliminating jitter" and achieving "photorealistic imagery," according to HTC. The displays are said to envelope your entire field of vision with 360-degree views. The company says in a press release that it's the first device to offer a "full room-scale" experience, "letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every... more »

Welcome to a new reality

HTC has just announced the Vive, a virtual reality headset developed in collaboration with Valve. It will be available to consumers later this year, with a developer edition coming out this spring. The company has promised to have a significant presence at the Game Developers Conference next week, where devs will have a chance to play with Valve's VR technology.

The Vive Developer Edition uses two 1200 x 1080 displays that refresh at 90 frames per second, "eliminating jitter" and achieving "photorealistic imagery," according to HTC. The displays are said to envelope your entire field of vision with 360-degree views. The company says in a press release that it's the first device to offer a "full room-scale" experience, "letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings."

The device uses a gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor to track your head's movements as precisely as one-tenth of a degree. Most surprisingly, there will be something called the Steam VR base station, which will let you walk around the virtual space instead of using a controller. A pair of the base stations can "track your physical location ... in spaces up to 15 feet by 15 feet."

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/1/8127445/htc-vive-valve-vr-headset

http://www.htcvr.com/

Of course we don't yet know the precise specs that Oculus' consumer headset will launch with. The specs of this headset are leaps beyond those of their current crescent bay prototype. Considering we still don't have a firm idea of when the rift will launch, it's beginning to look like Oculus might have spent just a bit too much time perfecting their HMD. Unless they've got something in the works that blows this out of the water, their drive for perfection might just have lose them the race to market. Either way, Google, Sony, LG, Apple, ... are all working on VR headsets as well so this space was bound to get increasingly hot... We as consumers will no doubt benefit from this heated competition.___

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2015-02-28 17:37:27 (3 comments, 11 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Peter Paul Rubens fleshed out the body of classical myths

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality. Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England.

His father, a Calvinist, and mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Spanish Netherlands by the Duke of Alba.
Jan Rubens became the legal advisor(... more »

Peter Paul Rubens fleshed out the body of classical myths

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality. Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England.

His father, a Calvinist, and mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Spanish Netherlands by the Duke of Alba.
Jan Rubens became the legal advisor (and lover) of Anna of Saxony, the second wife of William I of Orange, and settled at her court in Siegen in 1570, fathering her daughter Christine. Following Jan Rubens' imprisonment for the affair, Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. The family returned to Cologne the next year. In 1589, two years after his father's death, Rubens moved with his mother Maria Pypelincks to Antwerp, where he was raised as a Catholic.

In Antwerp, Rubens received a humanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city's leading painters of the time, the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen. Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists' works, such as woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi's engravings after Raphael. Rubens completed his education in 1598, at which time he entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master.

In 1600, Rubens travelled to Italy. He stopped first in Venice, where he saw paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. The coloring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens's painting, and his later, mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian. With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he studied classical Greek and Roman art and copied works of the Italian masters. The Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and his Sons was especially influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. He was also influenced by the recent, highly naturalistic paintings by Caravaggio.

Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian that had been collected by Philip II. This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined art and diplomacy.

Upon hearing of his mother's illness in 1608, Rubens planned his departure from Italy for Antwerp. However, she died before he arrived home. His return coincided with a period of renewed prosperity in the city with the signing of the Treaty of Antwerp in April 1609, which initiated the Twelve Years' Truce. In September 1609 Rubens was appointed as court painter by Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, sovereigns of the Low Countries.

He received special permission to base his studio in Antwerp instead of at their court in Brussels, and to also work for other clients. He remained close to the Archduchess Isabella until her death in 1633, and was called upon not only as a painter but also as an ambassador and diplomat. Rubens further cemented his ties to the city when, on 3 October 1609, he married Isabella Brant, the daughter of a leading Antwerp citizen and humanist, Jan Brant.

In 1610, Rubens moved into a new house and studio that he designed. Now the Rubenshuis Museum, the Italian-influenced villa in the centre of Antwerp accommodated his workshop, where he and his apprentices made most of the paintings, and his personal art collection and library, both among the most extensive in Antwerp. During this time he built up a studio with numerous students and assistants. His most famous pupil was the young Anthony van Dyck.

Rubens used the production of prints and book title-pages, especially for his friend Balthasar Moretus, the owner of the large Plantin-Moretus publishing house, to extend his fame throughout Europe during this part of his career. 

In 1621, the Queen Mother of France, Marie de' Medici, commissioned Rubens to paint two large allegorical cycles celebrating her life and the life of her late husband, Henry IV, for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. although he began work on the second series it was never completed. Marie was exiled from France in 1630 by her son, Louis XIII, and died in 1642 in the same house in Cologne where Rubens had lived as a child.

After the end of the Twelve Years' Truce in 1621, the Spanish Habsburg rulers entrusted Rubens with a number of diplomatic missions. While in Paris in 1622 to discuss the Marie de' Medici cycle, Rubens engaged in clandestine information gathering activities, which at the time was an important task of diplomats. Between 1627 and 1630, Rubens' diplomatic career was particularly active, and he moved between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces. He also made several trips to the northern Netherlands as both an artist and a diplomat.

At the courts he sometimes encountered the attitude that courtiers should not use their hands in any art or trade, but he was also received as a gentleman by many. Rubens was raised by Philip IV of Spain to the nobility in 1624 and knighted by Charles I of England in 1630. Philips IV confirmed Rubens' status as a knight a few months later. Rubens was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from Cambridge University in 1629.

Rubens's last decade was spent in and around Antwerp. Major works for foreign patrons still occupied him but he also explored more personal artistic directions. In 1630, four years after the death of his first wife Isabella, the 53-year-old painter married his first wife's niece, the 16-year-old Hélène Fourment. Hélène inspired the voluptuous figures in many of his paintings from the 1630s.

Rubens died from heart failure, which was a result of his chronic gout on 30 May 1640. He was interred in Saint Jacob's church, Antwerp. The artist had eight children, three with Isabella and five with Hélène; his youngest child was born eight months after his death.

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Painting  ___

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2015-02-22 18:47:04 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Still waters run deep

The below clip is a trailer of sorts for an upcoming non-verbal film titled Prograve by Italian filmmaker and documentarist Sandro Bocci. The feature is billed as (translated from Italian) “an experimental film orbiting scientific and philosophical reflections on time and space, and that through various shooting techniques, fields of magnification, and an exciting soundtrack, weaves a web between science and magic.” The section shown here depicts beautiful macro timelapses of coral, sponges and other aquatic wildlife filmed under ultraviolet light.

It looks to be a film in the style of those like Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

via http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/02/prograve-aquatic-wildlife/

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

Still waters run deep

The below clip is a trailer of sorts for an upcoming non-verbal film titled Prograve by Italian filmmaker and documentarist Sandro Bocci. The feature is billed as (translated from Italian) “an experimental film orbiting scientific and philosophical reflections on time and space, and that through various shooting techniques, fields of magnification, and an exciting soundtrack, weaves a web between science and magic.” The section shown here depicts beautiful macro timelapses of coral, sponges and other aquatic wildlife filmed under ultraviolet light.

It looks to be a film in the style of those like Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

via http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/02/prograve-aquatic-wildlife/

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2015-02-14 18:56:07 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

David Černý - revolting?
1. rise in rebellion.
2. cause to feel disgust. 

Born in 1967 in Prague, Černý learned his trade from 1988 to 1996 at the Academy of Applied Arts in the country’s capital. He spent several years abroad, studying in Boswil during 1991 after receiving a grant from the Swiss government. He lived in New York City from 1994 to 1996 where he first enrolled at P.S.I  Artists Residence New York and later took part in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Lots of his work can be seen in many locations throughout Prague. His output tends to be somewhat controversial and often shocks those who unexpectedly bump into it while strolling through Prague's late medieval alleys. He gained notoriety in 1991 by painting a Soviet tank pink, to serve as a war memorial in central Prague. As the Monument to Soviet tank crews was still a nationalcultural... more »

David Černý - revolting?
1. rise in rebellion.
2. cause to feel disgust. 

Born in 1967 in Prague, Černý learned his trade from 1988 to 1996 at the Academy of Applied Arts in the country’s capital. He spent several years abroad, studying in Boswil during 1991 after receiving a grant from the Swiss government. He lived in New York City from 1994 to 1996 where he first enrolled at P.S.I  Artists Residence New York and later took part in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Lots of his work can be seen in many locations throughout Prague. His output tends to be somewhat controversial and often shocks those who unexpectedly bump into it while strolling through Prague's late medieval alleys. He gained notoriety in 1991 by painting a Soviet tank pink, to serve as a war memorial in central Prague. As the Monument to Soviet tank crews was still a national cultural monument at that time, his act of civil disobedience was considered "hooliganism" and he was briefly arrested. 

When asked why he created a fountain sculpture featuring male figures that urinate into an enclosure shaped like the Czech Republic he stated that “I just enjoy pissing people off”. I am not sure if his statements should be taken at face value. I often get the feeling that he's just putting on a show, wanting to create the impression that he's punk, that he doesn't think before he does, that he's all about fucking with authority, consequences be damned... Although those elements sure play a large part in many of his creations I also get the feeling there is a very different side to Černý. The side that made works like Metalmorphosis and Speed seems to be much less concerned with pissing people off and more with depicting aspects of the human condition we take for granted but perhaps should not.

Apologies for the sometimes poor quality of the included pictures. I've searched far and wide for decent ones but he does not seem to have a huge online presence. In fact, some of his best stuff is missing from this album. His art travels the world though so if it ever shows up in an exhibit near you, make sure to go take a look! :)

http://www.davidcerny.cz/

Kafka - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm15Qb4NFwg

London Booster - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbRlcPdwPU

Soldiers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10R0kHWiZH0

2 men pissing -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf69QlFy3oY

Cerny sculpture work - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uojg9gZvpJc

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Sculpture  ___

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2015-02-01 16:30:20 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

The odd jobs worked on the periphery of scientific endeavor

http://www.nature.com/news/not-your-average-technician-1.16785

From Snake Milkers to Glass Blowers, Squid collectors and data mechanics, scientists often depend on peculiar people doing peculiar jobs. Nature talks to some of them to highlight their careers and to find out what drives them.

Beneath the polished exterior of published academic papers and university press releases lies another world. And it is a world that can be glimpsed, more often than not, in the brief acknowledgements of a PhD thesis.

Alongside the praise (through gritted teeth?) for a (largely absent?) academic supervisor and the earnest gratitude showered on parents, spouses and pets for pastoral support, there is usually a list of thanks for Angela, Juan, Denise, Samuel, Ernie and a directory of other essential first-named... more »

The odd jobs worked on the periphery of scientific endeavor

http://www.nature.com/news/not-your-average-technician-1.16785

From Snake Milkers to Glass Blowers, Squid collectors and data mechanics, scientists often depend on peculiar people doing peculiar jobs. Nature talks to some of them to highlight their careers and to find out what drives them.

Beneath the polished exterior of published academic papers and university press releases lies another world. And it is a world that can be glimpsed, more often than not, in the brief acknowledgements of a PhD thesis.

Alongside the praise (through gritted teeth?) for a (largely absent?) academic supervisor and the earnest gratitude showered on parents, spouses and pets for pastoral support, there is usually a list of thanks for Angela, Juan, Denise, Samuel, Ernie and a directory of other essential first-named extras. This cast of thousands is made up of the support staff and lab technicians who work behind the scenes to hold up the entire research enterprise, and who rarely get the attention they deserve.

"Harrison never believed that he could have a career involving snakes, so he became a police officer instead. But he continued extracting venom in a home laboratory equipped with a centrifuge to purify venom and a lyophilizer for freeze-drying it. At 26, after getting mown down by a stolen car while trying to make an arrest, Harrison's heart stopped. He decided that policing was too dangerous, so he retired early and dedicated his career to snakes. Since then, snake bites have stopped Harrison's heart three more times." 

"He will do this [milk snakes] on between 600 and 1,000 snakes per week. If everything goes as it should, he says, then milking snakes is methodical — “boring”, even. In fact, according to data that a physician friend gathered on him, Harrison's heart beats faster when he is driving to the supermarket than when he is milking."


"Computational biologists the world over rely on Dawn Johnson even though most do not know her. That's because Johnson is a computer-hardware engineer at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Hinxton, UK. The servers that she keeps running hold one of the world's most extensive collections of molecular databases — from an archive of DNA-sequencing data to the leading repository of protein structures. The machines that she and her colleagues maintain hold a whopping 60,000 terabytes of data, and people at around half a million unique Internet addresses use these data each month."

Johnson and her colleagues install, maintain and repair the machines that feed the centres' seemingly insatiable hunger for data storage — which is projected to reach 2 exabytes (2 × 1018 bytes, or 2 million terabytes) by 2016.

She remembers a celebration to mark the completion of a draft human-genome sequence. “I saw that happening and thought I would like to be a part of that,” says Johnson. A hardware-engineer job opened up five years ago, and she jumped at the opportunity. “It's great when I drive into work and hear people on the radio talking about the latest studies,” she says. “I'm very proud and lucky to be part of it.”


 “They really become not just suppliers, but almost collaborators in a sense.” says Steven Aird at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

http://www.nature.com/news/not-your-average-technician-1.16785

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2015-01-31 20:21:21 (2 comments, 55 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

Henryk Siemiradzki - A forgotten master of academicism

Siemiradzki was a Polish 19th-century painter known for his depictions of scenes from the ancient Graeco-Roman world and the New Testament. He was born in 1843 to a Polish noble family near the city of Kharkiv in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine).

He entered the Physics-Mathematics School of Kharkov University and studied natural sciences there with great interest, but also continued to paint. After graduating from the University with the degree of Kandidat he abandoned his scientific career and moved to Saint Petersburg to study painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts in the years 1864–1870. Upon his graduation he was awarded a gold medal. In 1870–1871 he studied under Karl von Piloty in Munich on a grant from the Academy. In 1872 he moved to Rome and with time, built a studio there on Via Gaeta.

At one pointhis... more »

Henryk Siemiradzki - A forgotten master of academicism

Siemiradzki was a Polish 19th-century painter known for his depictions of scenes from the ancient Graeco-Roman world and the New Testament. He was born in 1843 to a Polish noble family near the city of Kharkiv in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine).

He entered the Physics-Mathematics School of Kharkov University and studied natural sciences there with great interest, but also continued to paint. After graduating from the University with the degree of Kandidat he abandoned his scientific career and moved to Saint Petersburg to study painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts in the years 1864–1870. Upon his graduation he was awarded a gold medal. In 1870–1871 he studied under Karl von Piloty in Munich on a grant from the Academy. In 1872 he moved to Rome and with time, built a studio there on Via Gaeta.

At one point his paintings were loved through most of the western world. He even received the French National Order of the Legion of Honour in 1878, but today he has been largely forgotten. Most likely because all his work is on display in the national museums of Poland, Russia and Ukraine which draw relatively small crowds when compared to museums like the Louvre or the Metropolitan.

Siemiradzki died in 1902 and was buried originally in Warsaw, but later his remains were moved to the national Pantheon on Skałka in Kraków.

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Painting  ___

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2015-01-25 21:55:06 (4 comments, 15 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Microbes given a new lease on shelf life

http://www.nature.com/news/gm-microbes-created-that-can-t-escape-the-lab-1.16758

Critics of genetic engineering have long worried about the risk of modified organisms escaping into the environment. A biological-containment strategy described this week in Nature has the potential to put some of those fears to rest and to pave the way for greater use of engineered organisms in areas such as agriculture, medicine and environmental clean-up.

The new approach gives GMOs an Achilles heel. The researchers who have produced the organism have built in vital dependency on an artificial nutrient. If the nutrient is withdrawn, or the organism spreads to where it is no longer available, then the organism cannot survive.

The research marks an elegant step forward for the growing field of synthetic biology. In the first paper,... more »

Microbes given a new lease on shelf life

http://www.nature.com/news/gm-microbes-created-that-can-t-escape-the-lab-1.16758

Critics of genetic engineering have long worried about the risk of modified organisms escaping into the environment. A biological-containment strategy described this week in Nature has the potential to put some of those fears to rest and to pave the way for greater use of engineered organisms in areas such as agriculture, medicine and environmental clean-up.

The new approach gives GMOs an Achilles heel. The researchers who have produced the organism have built in vital dependency on an artificial nutrient. If the nutrient is withdrawn, or the organism spreads to where it is no longer available, then the organism cannot survive.

The research marks an elegant step forward for the growing field of synthetic biology. In the first paper, Farren Isaacs and his colleagues at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, describe how they have produced various GMOs whose growth is restricted by the expression of multiple essential genes that depend on synthetic amino acids (A. J. Rovner et al. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14095; 2015). In the second, separate study, George Church at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and his colleagues redesigned essential enzymes in a GMO to make it metabolically dependent on synthetic amino acids (D. J. Mandell et al. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14121; 2015). The modifications are made throughout the genome to make it harder for the altered sequences to be ejected.

The new technique originated in the laboratory of George Church. Two years ago, Church and his team (which included Isaacs) reported the synthesis of a strain of Escherichia coli that had a reprogrammed genetic code3. Instead of recognizing a particular DNA triplet known as the amber stop codon as an order to terminate protein synthesis, the recoded bacterium read the same instruction as a directive to incorporate a new kind of amino acid into its proteins.

Church and Isaacs have independently made this engineered microbe reliant on unnatural amino acids. The Isaacs team used genomic sequencing to identify sites in essential bacterial proteins where the microbes could incorporate synthetic amino acids without affecting overall function, whereas Church’s group started with the protein structures and added elements to help integrate and accommodate the artificial amino acids. “This is really the culmination of a decade of work,” says Church.

These organisms are also more resistant to viruses than their natural counter­parts because of the mismatch between the genetic code of the virus and that of its host3. Looking ahead, Church and his team are working to co-opt seven different codons, instead of just one. 

The research in both papers is with bacteria, but there seems no reason why the techniques they describe could not be used to engineer more-complex, multicellular organisms — including crops — in the same way.

So what is the downside? Much of the controversy over genetic modification relates to early, clumsy, attempts by big business to commercialize crops, and to gain control over where, when and how they were grown to maximize profit. A crop that needs constant nourishment with a bespoke foodstuff — unavailable elsewhere and with manufacture protected under probable patents — could be presented as a way of tying vulnerable farmers still closer to largely unloved seed companies.

http://www.nature.com/news/gm-microbes-created-that-can-t-escape-the-lab-1.16758

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2015-01-24 20:15:56 (7 comments, 53 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

Patricia Piccinini's monstrously beautiful works

Piccinini was born in 1965 In Sierra Leone but moved to Australia in 1972 with her family. She initially studied economic history before enrolling at art school in Melbourne. Since 1991 her work has been exhibited around the world.

Piccinini works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, video, sound, installation and digital prints. She has an ambivalent attitude towards technology but enjoys exploring what she calls... the often specious distinctions between the artificial and the natural. She is keenly interested in how our changing understanding of these concepts will effect the further evolution of our society. Specific works have addressed concerns about biotechnology, such as gene therapy and ongoing research to map the human genome. She is also fascinated by the mechanisms of consumer culture. 
more »

Patricia Piccinini's monstrously beautiful works

Piccinini was born in 1965 In Sierra Leone but moved to Australia in 1972 with her family. She initially studied economic history before enrolling at art school in Melbourne. Since 1991 her work has been exhibited around the world.

Piccinini works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, video, sound, installation and digital prints. She has an ambivalent attitude towards technology but enjoys exploring what she calls... the often specious distinctions between the artificial and the natural. She is keenly interested in how our changing understanding of these concepts will effect the further evolution of our society. Specific works have addressed concerns about biotechnology, such as gene therapy and ongoing research to map the human genome. She is also fascinated by the mechanisms of consumer culture. 

Probably one of my all-time favorite artists, each and every one of her works invites and rewards closer study. What at first sight appears shocking often reveals something surprisingly tender. Most of her work is very layered and can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. 

http://www.patriciapiccinini.net/

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Sculputure     ___

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2015-01-18 19:17:58 (1 comments, 17 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

How to map a billion frames of mind?

Shortened edit of an article worth reading in full;
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/magazine/sebastian-seungs-quest-to-map-the-human-brain.html
 
In 2005, Sebastian Seung suffered the academic equivalent of an existential crisis. Seung was growing increasingly depressed. He and his colleagues spent their days arguing over how the brain might function, but science offered no way to scan it for the answers. “It seemed like decades could go by,” Seung told me recently, “and you would never know one way or another whether any of the theories were correct.”

That November, Seung sought the advice of David Tank, a mentor he met at Bell Laboratories. Over lunch Tank administered a radical cure. He informed Seung of a former colleague in Heidelberg, Germany, Winfried Denk, who had just built a device that imaged brain tissuewith enou... more »

How to map a billion frames of mind?

Shortened edit of an article worth reading in full;
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/magazine/sebastian-seungs-quest-to-map-the-human-brain.html
 
In 2005, Sebastian Seung suffered the academic equivalent of an existential crisis. Seung was growing increasingly depressed. He and his colleagues spent their days arguing over how the brain might function, but science offered no way to scan it for the answers. “It seemed like decades could go by,” Seung told me recently, “and you would never know one way or another whether any of the theories were correct.”

That November, Seung sought the advice of David Tank, a mentor he met at Bell Laboratories. Over lunch Tank administered a radical cure. He informed Seung of a former colleague in Heidelberg, Germany, Winfried Denk, who had just built a device that imaged brain tissue with enough resolution to make out the connections between individual neurons... Less than a month later Seung arrived at the Max Planck institute where Denk introduced him to the high-resolution brain-imager he had built.

Now, eight years later, Seung has become the leading proponent of a plan to create a wiring diagram of all 100 trillion connections between the neurons of the human brain, an unimaginably vast and complex network known as the connectome. 

If science were to gain the power to record and store connectomes, then it would be natural to speculate, as Seung and others have, that technology might some day enable a recording to play again, thereby reanimating a human consciousness. The mapping of connectomes, its most zealous proponents believe, would confer nothing less than immortality.

For now he hopes to prove that he can find a specific memory in the brain of a mouse and show how neural connections sustain it.

What makes the connectome’s relationship to our identity so difficult to understand, Seung told me, is that we associate our “self” with motion. We walk. We sing. We experience thoughts and feelings that bloom into consciousness and then fade. “Psyche” is derived from the Greek “to blow,” evoking the vital breath that defines life. “It seems like a fallacy to talk about our self as some wiring diagram that doesn’t change very quickly,” Seung said. “The connectome is just meat, and people rebel at that.”

When Seung started, he estimated that it would take a single tracer roughly a million years to finish a cubic millimeter of human cortex — meaning that tracing an entire human brain would consume roughly one trillion years of labor. He would need a little help.

In 2012, Seung started EyeWire, an online game that challenges the public to trace neuronal wiring — now using computers, not pens — in the retina of a mouse’s eye. Seung’s artificial-­intelligence algorithms process the raw images, then players earn points as they mark, paint-by-numbers style, the branches of a neuron through a three-dimensional cube.

Ultimately, Seung still hopes that artificial intelligence will be able to handle the entire job. But in the meantime, he is working to recruit more help. In August, South Korea’s largest telecom company announced a partnership with EyeWire, running nationwide ads to bring in more players. In the next few years, Seung hopes to go bigger by enticing a company to turn EyeWire into a game with characters and a story line that people play purely for fun. “Think of what we could do,” Seung said, “if we could capture even a small fraction of the mental effort that goes into Angry Birds.”

https://eyewire.org/signup

To explain what he finds so compelling about the substance of the brain, Seung points to stories of near death. Like the one of a young doctor named Anna Bagenholm who miraculously recovered from being clinically dead for more than 2 hours. Even after the cold arrested Bagenholm’s heart and hushed her crackling neuronal net to a whisper, her connectome endured.


At the Janelia Research Campus you can find MERLIN, a pair of hulking beige devices, a next generation brain-imaging system. The system combines slicing and imaging: An electron microscope takes a picture of the brain sample from above, then a beam of ions moves across the top, vaporizing material and revealing the next layer of brain tissue for the microscope. It is, however, a “temperature-­sensitive beast,” said Shan Xu, a scientist at Janelia. If the room warms by even a fraction of a degree, the metal can expand imperceptibly, skewing the ion beam, wrecking the sample and forcing the team to start over. Xu was once within days of completing a monthslong run when a July heat wave caused the air-­conditioning to hiccup. All the work was lost. Xu has since designed elaborate fail-safes, including a system that can (and does) wake him up in the middle of the night; Janelia has also invested several hundred thousand dollars in backup climate control. “We’ve learned more about utilities than you would ever want to know,” Hess said.

Here at Janelia, connectome science will face its most demanding test. Gerry Rubin, Janelia’s director, said his team hopes to have a complete catalog of high-resolution images­ of the fruit-fly brain in a year or two and a completely traced wiring diagram within a decade. Rubin is a veteran of genome mapping and saw how technological advances enabled a project that critics originally derided as prohibitively difficult and expensive. He is betting that the story of the connectome will follow the same arc. Ken Hayworth, a scientist in Hess’s lab, is developing a way to cleanly cut larger brains into cubes; he calls it “the hot knife.” In other labs, Jeff Lichtman of Harvard and Clay Reid of the Allen Institute for Brain Science are building their own ultrafast imaging systems. Denk, Seung’s longtime collaborator in Heidelberg, is working on a new device to slice and image a mouse’s entire brain, a volume orders of magnitude larger than what has been tried to date. 

As connectomics has gained traction, though, there are the first hints that it may be of interest to more than just monkish academics. In September, at a Brain Initiative conference in the Eisenhower building on the White House grounds, it was announced that Google had started its own connectome project. Tom Dean, a Google research scientist and the former chairman of the Brown University computer-science department, told me he has been assembling a team to improve the artificial intelligence: four engineers in Mountain View, Calif., and a group based in Seattle. To begin, Dean said, Google will be working most closely with the Allen Institute, which is trying to understand how the brain of a mouse processes images from the eye. Yet Dean said they also want to serve as a clearinghouse for Seung and others, applying different variations of artificial intelligence to brain imagery coming out of different labs, to see what works best.

It’s possible now to see a virtuous cycle that could build the connectome. The artificial intelligence used at Google, and in EyeWire, is known as deep learning because it takes its central principles from the way networks of neurons function. This could, in the coming decades, lead to more insights about neural networks, improving deep learning itself — the premise of a new project funded by Iarpa, a blue-sky research arm of the American intelligence community, and perhaps one reason for Google’s interest. Better deep learning, in turn, could be used to accelerate the mapping and understanding of the brain, and so on.

Eve Marder, a prominent neuroscientist at Brandeis University, cautions against expecting too much from the connectome. She studies neurons that control the stomachs of crabs and lobsters. In these relatively simple systems of 30 or so neurons, she has shown that neuromodulators — signaling chemicals that wash across regions of the brain, omitted from Seung’s static map — can fundamentally change how a circuit functions. If this is true for the stomach of a crustacean, the mind reels to consider what may be happening in the brain of a mouse, not to mention a human.

“If we want to understand the brain,” Marder says, “the connectome is absolutely necessary and completely insufficient.”

Seung agrees but has never seen that as an argument for abandoning the enterprise. Science progresses when its practitioners find answers — this is the way of glory — but also when they make something that future generations rely on, even if they take it for granted. That, for Seung, would be more than good enough. “Necessary,” he said, “is still a pretty strong word, right?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/magazine/sebastian-seungs-quest-to-map-the-human-brain.html

https://eyewire.org/signup

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2015-01-17 19:01:15 (14 comments, 56 reshares, 128 +1s)Open 

Albert Bierstadt's unnatural second nature  

Born in Germany in 1830, Albert Bierstadt was brought to the United States at the age of one by his parents. He developed a taste for art early and made clever crayon sketches in his youth. On his twentieth birthday, he began to paint in oils. After a trip to Germany where he studied painting for several years he returned to the US where in 1858 he began painting scenes in New England and upstate New York, including in the Hudson River valley.

In 1860 he was elected a member of the National Academy; he received medals in Austria, Bavaria, Belgium, and Germany. During the American Civil War, Bierstadt paid for a substitute to serve in his place when he was drafted in 1863. 

Throughout the 1860s, Bierstadt used studies from his many westward travels as the source for large-scale paintings for exhibition. He continued tov... more »

Albert Bierstadt's unnatural second nature  

Born in Germany in 1830, Albert Bierstadt was brought to the United States at the age of one by his parents. He developed a taste for art early and made clever crayon sketches in his youth. On his twentieth birthday, he began to paint in oils. After a trip to Germany where he studied painting for several years he returned to the US where in 1858 he began painting scenes in New England and upstate New York, including in the Hudson River valley.

In 1860 he was elected a member of the National Academy; he received medals in Austria, Bavaria, Belgium, and Germany. During the American Civil War, Bierstadt paid for a substitute to serve in his place when he was drafted in 1863. 

Throughout the 1860s, Bierstadt used studies from his many westward travels as the source for large-scale paintings for exhibition. He continued to visit the American West throughout his career. In 1867 he traveled to London, where he exhibited two landscape paintings in a private reception with Queen Victoria.

A trip to the Yellowstone region in 1871 yielded numerous drawings of the area's geysers and picturesque topography. These works were instrumental in convincing the United States Congress to pass the Yellowstone Park Bill in 1872, thus establishing the first national park in the world. 

Despite his popular success, Bierstadt was criticized by some contemporaries for the romanticism evident in his choices of subject and his use of light was felt to be excessive. His exhibition pieces were brilliantly crafted images that glorified the American West as a land of promise.

In 1882 Bierstadt's studio at Irvington, New York, was destroyed by fire, resulting in the loss of many of his paintings. By the time of his death in 1902, the taste for epic landscape painting had long since subsided. Bierstadt was then largely forgotten.

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." -Aristotle

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Painting  ___

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2015-01-11 21:22:05 (0 comments, 15 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

The many hands that make light work want you to see it anew

Physicists around the world are gearing up for the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL), which kicks off later this month at an official opening ceremony at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. Some 1500 delegates are set to converge on the French capital for the event, which runs from 19 to 20 January, and will include representatives from the UN and UNESCO as well as the Nobel laureates Zhores Alferov, Steven Chu, Serge Haroche and William Phillips.

Honestly, they couldn't have picked a better year. 2015 marks the anniversary of several important milestones in the study of light, including the 1000th anniversary of the publication of Ibn al-Haytham's seven-volume treatise on optics. Alhazen's work transformed... more »

The many hands that make light work want you to see it anew

Physicists around the world are gearing up for the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL), which kicks off later this month at an official opening ceremony at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. Some 1500 delegates are set to converge on the French capital for the event, which runs from 19 to 20 January, and will include representatives from the UN and UNESCO as well as the Nobel laureates Zhores Alferov, Steven Chu, Serge Haroche and William Phillips.

Honestly, they couldn't have picked a better year. 2015 marks the anniversary of several important milestones in the study of light, including the 1000th anniversary of the publication of Ibn al-Haytham's seven-volume treatise on optics. Alhazen's work transformed the way in which light and vision was understood, earning him the title the "father of modern optics". 200 years ago Fresnel proposed that light behaved like a wave, 150 years ago James Clerk Maxwell published his Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, a 100 years ago Einstein embedded light in cosmology through general relativity and it's been 50 years since Wilson and Penzias discovered the cosmic microwave background.

"One of the most exciting aspects of this International Year is the way in which it brings together such a wide range of different communities, from astronomy to medicine and photonics to arts and culture," says Beth Taylor, chair of the UK National Committee for the IYL. "It creates a unique opportunity to cross traditional cultural divides and engage new and different audiences with the excitement of light and its applications."

The IYL will consist of a series of co-ordinated events around the world to communicate the importance of light and optical technologies in society – ranging from the Story of Light Festival in Goa, India, to Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Hundreds of events are planned in countries all around the world. 

You can find out about events near you using light2015's event programme; http://www.light2015.org/Home.html

If you haven not yet seen the amazing BBC4 series Light Fantastic, make this the year you do. - http://goo.gl/PyK8YC

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” -Plato

Some other interesting links;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eEyTw4wylk
A History of Light - http://goo.gl/2Q483w
The electromagnetic radiation spectrum - http://goo.gl/bdq752
The Light of my Life - http://goo.gl/ZbHA4O

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday   ___

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2015-01-10 19:59:51 (1 comments, 13 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

Max Ernst and his wild art that rampantly grows on you

Ernst, the German painter, sculptor, and poet was a prolific artist. He was one of the great pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism. He was born in Brühl, near Cologne, in 1891 as the third of nine children of a middle-class Catholic family. His father Philipp was a teacher of the deaf and an amateur painter, a devout Christian and a strict disciplinarian. He inspired in Max a penchant for defying authority, while his interest in painting and sketching in nature influenced Max to take up painting himself.

In 1909 Ernst enrolled in the University of Bonn, studying philosophy, art history, literature, psychology and psychiatry. He visited asylums and became fascinated with the art of the mentally ill patients. After he completed his studies in the summer, his life was interrupted by World War I. Ernst was drafted and... more »

Max Ernst and his wild art that rampantly grows on you

Ernst, the German painter, sculptor, and poet was a prolific artist. He was one of the great pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism. He was born in Brühl, near Cologne, in 1891 as the third of nine children of a middle-class Catholic family. His father Philipp was a teacher of the deaf and an amateur painter, a devout Christian and a strict disciplinarian. He inspired in Max a penchant for defying authority, while his interest in painting and sketching in nature influenced Max to take up painting himself.

In 1909 Ernst enrolled in the University of Bonn, studying philosophy, art history, literature, psychology and psychiatry. He visited asylums and became fascinated with the art of the mentally ill patients. After he completed his studies in the summer, his life was interrupted by World War I. Ernst was drafted and served both on the Western and the Eastern front. Such was the devastating effect of the war on the artist that in his autobiography he referred to his time in the army thus: "On the first of August 1914 Max Ernst died. He was resurrected on the eleventh of November 1918."

Ernst was demobilized in 1918 and returned to Cologne. He soon married art history student Luise Straus, whom he had met in 1914. In 1919, Ernst visited Paul Klee in Munich and studied paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, which deeply impressed him. The same year, inspired partly by de Chirico and partly by studying mail-order catalogues, teaching-aide manuals, and similar sources, he produced his first collages (notably Fiat modes, a portfolio of lithographs), a technique which would come to dominate his artistic pursuits in the years to come. 

Ernst's marriage to Luise was short-lived. In 1921 he met Paul Éluard, who became a close lifelong friend. A year later the two collaborated on Les malheurs des immortels. In 1922, unable to secure the necessary papers, Ernst entered France illegally and settled into a ménage à trois with Éluard and his wife Gala in Paris suburb Saint-Brice, leaving behind his wife and newly born son, Jimmy.

Although apparently accepting the ménage à trois at first, Éluard eventually became more concerned about the affair. In 1924 he abruptly left, first for Monaco, and then for Saigon, Vietnam. He soon asked his wife and Max Ernst to join him; both had to sell numerous paintings to finance the trip. After a brief time together in Saigon, the trio decided that Gala would remain with Paul. The Éluards returned to France in early September, while Ernst followed them some months later, after exploring more of South-East Asia. 

Ernst developed a fascination with birds that was prevalent in his work. His alter ego in paintings, which he called Loplop, was a bird. He suggested that this alter-ego was an extension of himself stemming from an early confusion of birds and humans. He said that one night when he was young, he woke up and found that his beloved bird had died, and a few minutes later his father announced that his sister was born. Loplop often appeared in collages of other artists' work, such as Loplop presents André Breton. Ernst himself appeared in the 1930 film L'Âge d'Or, directed by self-identifying Surrealist Luis Buñuel.

In September 1939, the outbreak of World War II caused Ernst to be interned as an "undesirable foreigner" in Camp des Milles, near Aix-en-Provence, along with fellow surrealist, Hans Bellmer, who had recently emigrated to Paris. Thanks to the intercession of Paul Éluard and other friends he was released a few weeks later. Soon after the German occupation of France, he was arrested again, this time by the Gestapo, but managed to escape and flee to America with the help of Guggenheim and Fry. He left behind his lover, Leonora Carrington, and she suffered a major mental breakdown. Ernst and Guggenheim arrived in the United States in 1941 and were married the following year. Along with other artists and friends (Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall) who had fled from the war and lived in New York City, Ernst helped inspire the development of Abstract expressionism.

"The virtue of pride, which was once the beauty of mankind, has given place to that fount of ugliness, Christian humility." - Perhaps it should not surprise  that he often referred to himself in the 3rd person. :) Ernst, a man larger than life, died at the age of 84 on 1 April 1976 in Paris.

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Sculpture  ___

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2014-12-14 17:53:21 (8 comments, 17 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Finding touch with reality

Apologies for the bait and switch tactic. I am just using the below video of the built for VR FPX game Adr1ft to reel you in. What I am actually trying to sell are the technologies being developed by Nimble and 13th Lab, the 2 companies Oculus just bought. Trust me when I say that the fruits of their labors are worth checking out!

► Nimble VR was founded in 2012 and since then they’ve been developing machine learning and computer vision capabilities to enable high-quality, low-latency skeletal hand tracking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_U3BmDlmtc

► The 13th Lab has been focused on developing an efficient and accurate real-time 3D reconstruction framework. The ability to acquire accurate 3D models of the real-world can enable all sorts of new applications and experiences, like visiting a one-to-one 3D model of thepyram... more »

Finding touch with reality

Apologies for the bait and switch tactic. I am just using the below video of the built for VR FPX game Adr1ft to reel you in. What I am actually trying to sell are the technologies being developed by Nimble and 13th Lab, the 2 companies Oculus just bought. Trust me when I say that the fruits of their labors are worth checking out!

► Nimble VR was founded in 2012 and since then they’ve been developing machine learning and computer vision capabilities to enable high-quality, low-latency skeletal hand tracking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_U3BmDlmtc

► The 13th Lab has been focused on developing an efficient and accurate real-time 3D reconstruction framework. The ability to acquire accurate 3D models of the real-world can enable all sorts of new applications and experiences, like visiting a one-to-one 3D model of the pyramids in Egypt or the Roman Colosseum in VR.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA2NI4NgsV0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7bjsIqlbS0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3EMgGI6E5s

It's been a while since I've raved about the coming virtual reality revolution but these clips really speak for themselves. The potential here is simply staggering. I have my doubts that the first consumer version of the rift will come equipped with features like these but we can all look forward to the kind of experiences they will enable in a very near future that is hurtling towards us at breakneck speeds.

What VR could, should, and almost certainly will be within two years - http://goo.gl/v67LnS

Facebook's Oculus Acquisition, the Future of VR & the Coming Creative Explosion that Will Birth Our Magnificent Metaverse - http://goo.gl/W5YsFh

More information on Adr1ft: http://www.polygon.com/2014/11/28/7303899/how-first-person-shooter-fatigue-led-to-the-serene-beauty-of-adrift

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-12-14 13:40:12 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Physics World's top 10 breakthroughs of the year

http://replygif.net/i/870.gif
It's that time of year again!

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2014/dec/12/comet-landing-named-physics-world-2014-breakthrough-of-the-year

Are they missing anything? Which breakthroughs do you think they should have included?

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

Physics World lists the top 10 physics breakthroughs of 2014:
1.  Philae spacecraft's touchdown on comet 67P (Nov)
Light on the cosmic web (Jan)
Laser fusion milestone (Feb)
Holographic memory (Feb)
A better fibre for images (March)
Acoustic tractor beam (May)
Supernovas in the lab (June)
Electron magnetism (June)
Neutrinos from the Sun (Aug)
Quantum compression (September)

The runners-up, 2-10, were unordered (I've ordered by month, above).

The criteria for judging:
* fundamental importance of research;
* significant advance in knowledge;
* strong connection between theory and experiment; and
* general interest to all physicists.

I don't see anything to clarify the date of eligibility: do breakthroughs last December fall into this year's pool?

Anything they missed?___Physics World's top 10 breakthroughs of the year

http://replygif.net/i/870.gif
It's that time of year again!

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2014/dec/12/comet-landing-named-physics-world-2014-breakthrough-of-the-year

Are they missing anything? Which breakthroughs do you think they should have included?

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

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2014-12-13 17:47:46 (16 comments, 4 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Your favorite flicks of 2014

Would you be so kind as to share your favorite films of 2014 with me? While you are at it, why don't you give me a rundown of the movies you are most looking forward to see in 2015? 

Top 10 2014
1.   Under the Skin - review: http://goo.gl/HHdsSO
2.   Her - http://goo.gl/TkCh1
3.   Interstellar - http://goo.gl/wRdaq
4.   Only Lovers Left Alive - http://goo.gl/bm06X
5.   12 Years a Slave - http://goo.gl/wAqA0
6.   Guardians of the Galaxy - http://goo.gl/EWLve
7.   Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - http://goo.gl/Fl5Ok8
8.   Captain America: The Winter Soldier - http://goo.gl/gd9Pf
9.   The Grand Budapest Hotel - http://goo.gl/WUcrt
10. Fury - http://goo.gl/A2dusp

11. Les Combattants
12. Nightcrawler
13. Zulu
14. A Most Wanted Man
15.Snowpiercer
16.... more »

Your favorite flicks of 2014

Would you be so kind as to share your favorite films of 2014 with me? While you are at it, why don't you give me a rundown of the movies you are most looking forward to see in 2015? 

Top 10 2014
1.   Under the Skin - review: http://goo.gl/HHdsSO
2.   Her - http://goo.gl/TkCh1
3.   Interstellar - http://goo.gl/wRdaq
4.   Only Lovers Left Alive - http://goo.gl/bm06X
5.   12 Years a Slave - http://goo.gl/wAqA0
6.   Guardians of the Galaxy - http://goo.gl/EWLve
7.   Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - http://goo.gl/Fl5Ok8
8.   Captain America: The Winter Soldier - http://goo.gl/gd9Pf
9.   The Grand Budapest Hotel - http://goo.gl/WUcrt
10. Fury - http://goo.gl/A2dusp

11. Les Combattants
12. Nightcrawler
13. Zulu
14. A Most Wanted Man
15. Snowpiercer
16. Gone Girl
17. The Homesman
18. Mommy
19. Magic in the Moonlight
20. Tracks
21. X-Men: Days of the Future Past
22. Nymphomaniac
23. Une Nouvelle Amie
24. Boyhood
25. Dallas Buyers Club

If you ask me 2014 was one of the best years in film of all time! 2015 brings with it the return of many aging franchises but hopefully it too will have more than its fair share of yet unknown wholly original surprises up its sleeve. If it manages to deliver even half as many good flicks as 2014 I'd be more than happy. :) 

Top 10 most anticipated 2015
1.   Star Wars: The Force Awakens - http://goo.gl/6Bwe5
2.   Inherent Vice - http://goo.gl/HxtuDg
3.   Midnight Special - http://goo.gl/h6Ligr
4.   The Martian - http://goo.gl/Ko9AV6
5.   Chappie - http://goo.gl/oksCqU
6.   Avengers: Age of Ultron - http://goo.gl/yzilm
7.   Tomorrowland - http://goo.gl/0gxuAu
8.   Ex Machina - http://goo.gl/ZSKHDo
9.   Birdman - http://goo.gl/MWsCc4
10. Selfless - http://goo.gl/ZHeikZ

Some other noteworthy 2015 releases; Ant-Man, The Hateful Eight, Spectre, The Lobster, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Blackhat, Big Hero 6, Silence, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Good Dinosaur, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, The Revenant, Mission:Impossible 5, Terminator: Genisys, The Fantastic Four, Pixels, Inside Out, Black Mass, The Imitation Game, Nailed, High-Rise, Pride and Prejudice and zombies, Absolutely Anything, Spielberg's Cold War Spy Thriller, Eye in the Sky, That’s What I’m Talking About, Far from the Madding Crowd, In the Heart of the Sea, Poltergeist, Still Alice, Unbroken, Jupiter Ascending, American Sniper, Force Majeure, Elle, Crimson Peak, Whiplash, Mortdecai, A Most Violent Year, Knight of Cups, Joy, The Salt of the Earth, While We're Young, Regression, The Visit, Selma, Macbeth, Big Eyes, Jane got a Gun, The Walk, Demolition, The Little Prince, Victor Frankenstein, Friday the 13th, The Sea of Trees, Furious 7, Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything, The Jungle Book, Into the Woods, Grimsby, The Interview & The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2___

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2014-12-07 15:35:53 (4 comments, 8 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

Natural gas: The fracking fallacy - The United States is banking on decades of abundant natural gas to power its economic resurgence. That may be wishful thinking.

http://www.nature.com/news/natural-gas-the-fracking-fallacy-1.16430

How much gas and oil is down there? Predictions about future shortages and abundances of various fuels are tricky, because although the geological presence of resources can be surveyed to some degree, how much would be profitable to extract is a moving target. Academic journals are filled with earnest projections about future energy dynamics, which usually turn out to be wildly inaccurate. Even worse, govern­ments and companies wager billions of dollars on dubious bets. This matters because investment begets further investment. As the pipework and pumps go in, momentum builds. This is what economists call technology lock-in.

This week,... more »

Natural gas: The fracking fallacy - The United States is banking on decades of abundant natural gas to power its economic resurgence. That may be wishful thinking.

http://www.nature.com/news/natural-gas-the-fracking-fallacy-1.16430

How much gas and oil is down there? Predictions about future shortages and abundances of various fuels are tricky, because although the geological presence of resources can be surveyed to some degree, how much would be profitable to extract is a moving target. Academic journals are filled with earnest projections about future energy dynamics, which usually turn out to be wildly inaccurate. Even worse, govern­ments and companies wager billions of dollars on dubious bets. This matters because investment begets further investment. As the pipework and pumps go in, momentum builds. This is what economists call technology lock-in.

This week, Nature presents previously unpublished data suggesting that the lock-in of technology into shale-gas production may be a riskier bet than previously realized. The US government and much of the energy industry may be vastly overestimating how much natural gas the United States will produce in the coming decades.

Also of note is that all parties invloved are failing to keep up with environmental concerns. For each well, drillers use tens of millions of litres of water, as well as untold amounts of chemical additives — and most states do not require them to report which compounds they use. There have been few government or academic studies so far, but some research has found evidence of contamination associated with shale-gas production. Similar environmental problems plague fracking of shale deposits for oil, which has led to a sharp rise in US petroleum production in the past five years. And then there is the bigger picture: the extra greenhouse-gas emissions that come from new sources of fossil fuels.

Fracking has momentum. It will probably continue to grow to become an important part of the energy mix in many parts of the world. But for strategic, economic and environmental reasons, all involved should take a hard look at the numbers.

http://www.nature.com/news/natural-gas-the-fracking-fallacy-1.16430

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 

picture; http://www.amazon.com/Snake-Oil-Frackings-Promise-Imperils/dp/0976751097

Heinberg separates the hype from the facts, demonstrating that fracking is not a panacea for the world's energy needs. Rather, it is the last short-lived gasp of the fossil fuel age as the industry seeks out ever more expensive and difficult-to-extract oil and natural gas deposits in order to forestall an inevitable decline--a decline which must be addressed decades in advance if we are to make a successful transition to an alternative energy economy.___

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2014-12-06 20:51:24 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Clark - "merging techno, electro, noise, classical, ambient, and post-rock with the skill of a virtuoso" -Pitchfork

Clark was born Christopher Stephen Clark in 1979 in England. He started making music as a teenager, and also began experimenting with building his own primitive equipment, including a "home-built stylus made out of a hook and some masking tape". He went on to attend Bristol University. As a student, his music teacher told him that if Chris were to buy a drum machine, he would give up all hope in Chris' musical ability. Whilst still a student, Chris first impressed staff at Warp Records playing under the moniker Chris From St Albans at their Nesh party in December 2000. He was subsequently signed to Warp, and released his debut album Clarence Park in April 2001. He currently resides in Berlin.

Clark's music is generally considered to fall... more »

Clark - "merging techno, electro, noise, classical, ambient, and post-rock with the skill of a virtuoso" -Pitchfork

Clark was born Christopher Stephen Clark in 1979 in England. He started making music as a teenager, and also began experimenting with building his own primitive equipment, including a "home-built stylus made out of a hook and some masking tape". He went on to attend Bristol University. As a student, his music teacher told him that if Chris were to buy a drum machine, he would give up all hope in Chris' musical ability. Whilst still a student, Chris first impressed staff at Warp Records playing under the moniker Chris From St Albans at their Nesh party in December 2000. He was subsequently signed to Warp, and released his debut album Clarence Park in April 2001. He currently resides in Berlin.

Clark's music is generally considered to fall under the genre of electronic music, although Clark himself finds this label ambiguous and describes Turning Dragon as a "techno album". He often experiments with forms of degradation, distortion and decay associated with different mediums, employing techniques such as re-recording samples and field-recordings in different environments. Describing such processing, he has said "What I tend to do is just jam stuff through as many boxes as I can, until everything sort of bleeds into itself and all its surrounding parts".

For your convenience I've made a playlist collecting some of what I believe to be his best work. Check it out!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_Nan3ssuLc&list=PL66pTItrNDlMzuDGVBv0dPkLARx_w2RM2&index=1

If you only have time for one track, make it this one if you are in the mood for something heavier; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IgTJjxkfqg or this one if you are feeling melancholic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92I_q0ZwlKY

#Art  | #Music    ___

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2014-11-30 18:20:11 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

We're in dire need of new horizons if we don't want NASA's plutonium powered rendezvous with Pluto to be one of the last deep space missions. 

Nature brings us an in-depth look at how NASA's dealing with its dwindling supply of Plutonium.

“Everybody took it for granted that it was out there and would always be there. Life’s a little more complicated than that.”

"Last year, in a move that was unprecedented for both agencies, NASA started paying the DOE US$50 million a year to reactivate its long-stalled capability for making 238Pu. That is a tall order: the DOE is now grappling with having to produce the material in facilities that were never set up for it; interviewing retired plutonium technicians for tips on how to manufacture and store the isotope; and designing machines and workflows that can accommodate more than a kilogram ofpluton... more »

We're in dire need of new horizons if we don't want NASA's plutonium powered rendezvous with Pluto to be one of the last deep space missions. 

Nature brings us an in-depth look at how NASA's dealing with its dwindling supply of Plutonium.

“Everybody took it for granted that it was out there and would always be there. Life’s a little more complicated than that.”

"Last year, in a move that was unprecedented for both agencies, NASA started paying the DOE US$50 million a year to reactivate its long-stalled capability for making 238Pu. That is a tall order: the DOE is now grappling with having to produce the material in facilities that were never set up for it; interviewing retired plutonium technicians for tips on how to manufacture and store the isotope; and designing machines and workflows that can accommodate more than a kilogram of plutonium per year moving through the system.

With 35 kilograms of plutonium dioxide on the shelf, NASA might seem in a good position to fuel many future nuclear-powered spacecraft. But the stockpile has aged, and less than half of it now meets NASA specifications in terms of how much heat it produces. Given the long lead time in planning planetary missions, and the challenges in maintaining the plutonium supply for missions not yet even dreamed of, the agency is less well-off than it might appear.

Whereas a planetary mission might require 300–900 watts of power, the much larger spacecraft needed for human deep-space exploration would require several tens of kilowatts, Schurr says. An internal NASA report, due out early next year, has been evaluating the needs for nuclear power in space. It may well conclude that it needs a self-sustaining power source, such as a fission reactor, which the United States has not used in space since 1965."

http://www.nature.com/news/nuclear-power-desperately-seeking-plutonium-1.16411

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-11-23 19:18:09 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

A whole new ball game

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/this-is-how-close-we-are-to-a-baseball-playing-robot

"We (IEEE) 've been writing about robots from the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo for years. They’ve always had very cool demos, like robots throwing balls, robots tracking balls, robots catching balls, robots hitting balls, and robots running really really fast. 

I’d just sort of figured that these demos were simply fun and interesting ways of highlighting the capabilities of high-speed actuators and vision systems.

Evidently, I don’t know anything, because it’s now totally obvious that they’re working on a humanoid robot that plays baseball.

Here’s what the researchers say:

We have been developing robotic systems that individually achieve fundamentalactions of b... more »

A whole new ball game

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/this-is-how-close-we-are-to-a-baseball-playing-robot

"We (IEEE) 've been writing about robots from the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo for years. They’ve always had very cool demos, like robots throwing balls, robots tracking balls, robots catching balls, robots hitting balls, and robots running really really fast. 

I’d just sort of figured that these demos were simply fun and interesting ways of highlighting the capabilities of high-speed actuators and vision systems.

Evidently, I don’t know anything, because it’s now totally obvious that they’re working on a humanoid robot that plays baseball.

Here’s what the researchers say:

We have been developing robotic systems that individually achieve fundamental actions of baseball, such as throwing, tracking of the ball, batting, running, and catching. We achieved these tasks by controlling high-speed robots based on real-time visual feedback from high-speed cameras. Before integrating these abilities into one robot, we here summarize the technical elements of each task.

“Before integrating these abilities into one robot.” I can’t even put into words how awesome that’s going to be, and putting awesome things into words is (supposedly) my full-time job."

http://www.k2.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/fusion/Baseball/index-e.html


On a related note, just a few days ago the IEEE published this article taking a look at some of the work that goes into creating a robotic hand. http://spectrum.ieee.org/robotics/humanoids/inexpensive-durable-plastic-hands-let-robots-get-a-grip 

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-11-22 22:52:16 (0 comments, 17 reshares, 50 +1s)Open 

Andy Goldsworthy - Letting nature take its course

Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. 

He was born in Cheshire in 1956 and grew up on the Harrogate side of Leeds, West Yorkshire, in a house edging the green belt. From the age of 13 he worked on farms as a labourer. He has likened the repetitive quality of farm tasks to the routine of making sculpture: "A lot of my work is like picking potatoes; you have to get into the rhythm of it."

Photography plays a crucial role in his art due to its often ephemeral and transient state. According to Goldsworthy, "Each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity abouta ... more »

Andy Goldsworthy - Letting nature take its course

Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. 

He was born in Cheshire in 1956 and grew up on the Harrogate side of Leeds, West Yorkshire, in a house edging the green belt. From the age of 13 he worked on farms as a labourer. He has likened the repetitive quality of farm tasks to the routine of making sculpture: "A lot of my work is like picking potatoes; you have to get into the rhythm of it."

Photography plays a crucial role in his art due to its often ephemeral and transient state. According to Goldsworthy, "Each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit."

Goldsworthy is generally considered the founder of modern rock balancing.

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

Goldsworthy's absolutely stunning documentary " Rivers and Tides " is available on youtube in full. ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0307385/ ). It might take a while to get into but if you just go with the flow it'll take you on a journey. 

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #sculpture___

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2014-11-16 15:05:44 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

TESS gets green light to scout neighborhood in preparation for the new worlds mission

http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/nasa-tess-exoplanets-mission-cleared-next-development-phase-1110

NASA has officially confirmed the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, clearing it to move forward into the development phase. This marks a significant step for the TESS mission, which would search the entire sky for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets.

TESS is expected to find more than 5,000 exoplanet candidates, including 50 Earth-sized planets. “Although earth-sized planets are small and harder to detect from so far away, this is exactly the type of world that the TESS mission will focus on identifying.”

“TESS should discover thousands of new exoplanets within 200 light years of Earth,” said Ricker, a senior research scientist atthe MIT ... more »

TESS gets green light to scout neighborhood in preparation for the new worlds mission

http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/nasa-tess-exoplanets-mission-cleared-next-development-phase-1110

NASA has officially confirmed the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, clearing it to move forward into the development phase. This marks a significant step for the TESS mission, which would search the entire sky for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets.

TESS is expected to find more than 5,000 exoplanet candidates, including 50 Earth-sized planets. “Although earth-sized planets are small and harder to detect from so far away, this is exactly the type of world that the TESS mission will focus on identifying.”

“TESS should discover thousands of new exoplanets within 200 light years of Earth,” said Ricker, a senior research scientist at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. “Most of these will be orbiting bright stars, making them ideal targets for characterization observations with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.”

“The Webb telescope and other teams will focus on understanding the atmospheres and surfaces of these distant worlds, and someday, hopefully identify the first signs of life outside of our solar system,” Volosin said.

http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/nasa-tess-exoplanets-mission-cleared-next-development-phase-1110

Youtube - Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transiting_Exoplanet_Survey_Satellite
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Worlds_Mission

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-11-15 21:34:37 (3 comments, 18 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

Chesley Bonestell - Out of this world art takes you over the moon

Chesley Bonestell, born in 1888, was an American painter, designer and illustrator. His paintings were a major influence on science fiction art and illustration, and he helped inspire the American space program. Along with the French astronomer-artist Lucien Rudaux, Bonestell was dubbed the "Father of Modern Space Art".

Together with Warren Straton Bonestell designed the art deco façade of the Chrysler Building as well as its distinctive eagles. During this same period, he designed the Plymouth Rock Memorial, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the New York Central Building, Manhattan office and apartment buildings and several state capitols. His illustrations of the Golden Gate Bridge convinced the wealthy to build it.

In the late 1930s he moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a special... more »

Chesley Bonestell - Out of this world art takes you over the moon

Chesley Bonestell, born in 1888, was an American painter, designer and illustrator. His paintings were a major influence on science fiction art and illustration, and he helped inspire the American space program. Along with the French astronomer-artist Lucien Rudaux, Bonestell was dubbed the "Father of Modern Space Art".

Together with Warren Straton Bonestell designed the art deco façade of the Chrysler Building as well as its distinctive eagles. During this same period, he designed the Plymouth Rock Memorial, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the New York Central Building, Manhattan office and apartment buildings and several state capitols. His illustrations of the Golden Gate Bridge convinced the wealthy to build it.

In the late 1930s he moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a special effects artist, creating matte paintings for films, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).

Bonestell then realized that he could combine what he had learned about camera angles, miniature modeling, and painting techniques with his lifelong interest in astronomy. The result was a series of paintings of Saturn as seen from several of its moons that was published in Life in 1944. Nothing like these had ever been seen before: they looked as though photographers had been sent into space. 

Bonestell's last work in Hollywood was contributing special effects art and technical advice to the seminal science fiction films produced by George Pal, including Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, The War of the Worlds and Conquest of Space, as well as Cat-Women of the Moon.

When Wernher von Braun organized a space flight symposium for Collier's, he invited Bonestell to illustrate his concepts for the future of spaceflight. For the first time, spaceflight was shown to be a matter of the near future. Von Braun and Bonestell showed that it could be accomplished with the technology then existing in the mid-1950s, and that the question was that of money and will. Coming as they did at the beginning of the Cold War and just before the sobering shock of the launch of Sputnik, the 1952–54 Collier's series, "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!", was instrumental in kick-starting America's space program.

In 1986, Bonestell died in Carmel, California, with an unfinished painting on his easel. His name lives on not only through his children but also as asteroid number 3129 and as a crater on Mars.

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  | #Space  ___

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2014-10-26 20:22:56 (7 comments, 14 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

Where there's a will, there's a way

Many of you have likely heard a thing or two about the recent Nobel prizes awarded for the development of the blue LED (physics), the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain (Physiology/Medicine), and the super-resolution fluorescence microscopy technique (chemistry). If not, I've included some links below that will bring you up to speed. 

One article I particularly enjoyed was one from nature that, apart from digging into the incredibly awesome science behind the discovery of the specialized brain cells that enable us to navigate our surroundings, also took some time to cast a light on the lives of the husband and wife team largely responsible for the breakthrough.

http://www.nature.com/news/neuroscience-brains-of-norway-1.16079

If anyone knows how we navigate home, it is the... more »

Where there's a will, there's a way

Many of you have likely heard a thing or two about the recent Nobel prizes awarded for the development of the blue LED (physics), the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain (Physiology/Medicine), and the super-resolution fluorescence microscopy technique (chemistry). If not, I've included some links below that will bring you up to speed. 

One article I particularly enjoyed was one from nature that, apart from digging into the incredibly awesome science behind the discovery of the specialized brain cells that enable us to navigate our surroundings, also took some time to cast a light on the lives of the husband and wife team largely responsible for the breakthrough.

http://www.nature.com/news/neuroscience-brains-of-norway-1.16079

If anyone knows how we navigate home, it is the Mosers. They shot to fame in 2005 with their discovery of grid cells deep in the brains of rats. These intriguing cells, which are also present in humans, work much like the Global Positioning System, allowing animals to understand their location.    

In 2007, while still only in their mid-40s, they won a competition by the Kavli Foundation of Oxnard, California, to build and direct one of only 17 Kavli Institutes around the world. The Mosers are now minor celebrities in their home country, and their institute has become a magnet for other big thinkers in neuroscience.

The Mosers' work has also given them traction at one of the most challenging twenty-first-century research frontiers: how the brain computes. Just as computers use programming languages such as Java, the brain seems to have its own operating languages — a bewildering set of codes hidden in the rates and timing with which neurons fire as well as the rhythmic electrical activities that oscillate through brain circuits. These codes allow the brain to represent features of the external world — such as sound, light, smell and position in space — in a language that it can understand and compute. With their grid-cell work, the Mosers have been the first to crack one such code deep in the brain; now the challenge for the field is to find all the rest.

The Mosers grew up on different Norwegian islands in the North Atlantic, where summer days seem eternal and the long winter nights are brightened only by the dancing Northern Lights. They were both from non-academic families and they went to the same school. But they didn't get to know each other until 1983, when both were at the University of Oslo, both were wondering what to study and both were starting to realize that their true passion was for neuroscience and the brain.

Suddenly, everything sparked: romance between the two of them, intellectual curiosity and the beginnings of their mission in life — to find out how the brain generates behaviour. The Mosers visited one of the university's more famous faculty members, electrophysiologist Per Andersen, and asked to do their undergraduate projects with him. Andersen was studying the activity of neurons in the hippocampus — a brain area associated with memory — and the two students wanted to try to link this precise activity of cells with the behaviour of animals. Andersen, like most neuroscientists at the time, was sceptical about making such a big leap across the black box of the brain. But the pair wouldn't leave his office until he gave in and offered them an apparently simple project: how much of the hippocampus could you cut away before a rat could no longer remember new environments?
...

In 1984, while still undergraduates, the couple got engaged on top of the dormant volcano Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. (The bitter temperature at the peak forced them to rush their exchange of rings, the quicker to get their gloves back on.) The pair had decided how their joint lives should be: children early, postdoc experience abroad and then their own lab together, somewhere in the world. These plans panned out — just a little faster than they had anticipated.
...

Not every couple would find it easy to work together in such apparent harmony. The Mosers ascribe their ability to do so in large part to their patient temperaments and shared interests — in science and beyond. Both love outdoor activities: May-Britt runs every other day across the rugged hills around their coastal home, and Edvard hikes at weekends. They share an obsession with volcanoes — hence their engagement at the top of one — and have climbed many of the globe's most spectacular peaks.
...

Edvard and May-Britt Moser: A journey into entorhinal cortex

It took some months before it dawned on them that they needed the rats to run around bigger boxes, so that the pattern would be stretched out and easier to see. At that point, it came into view: a near-perfect hexagon lattice, like a honeycomb. At first they refused to believe it. Such simplicity and regularity was the last thing they had expected — biology is usually a lot messier than this.

There were no physical hexagons traced on the floor; the shapes were abstractly created in the rat's brain and imposed on its environment, such that a single neuron fired whenever it crossed one of the points of the hexagon. The discovery was exciting for more than its pleasing pattern. This representation of space in brain-language was one of the long-sought codes by which the brain represents the world around us. “It was a long-drawn-out eureka moment,” recalls Edvard. 

The Mosers also found that the different cells in the entorhinal cortex generate grids of many different types, like overlapping honeycombs — big, small and in every orientation and position relative to the box's border. And they ultimately came to see that the brain's grid cells are arranged according to a precise mathematical rule.

The cells that generate smaller grids, with narrower spacing, are at the top of the entorhinal cortex, and those that generate bigger grids are at the bottom. But it is even more exact than that: cells that make grids of the same size and orientation seem to cluster into modules. The modules are arranged in steps down the length of the entorhinal cortex, and the size of the grid represented by each module expands by a constant factor of 1.4 with every step.

The discoveries also astonished and thrilled theoreticians, because the hexagonal pattern is the optimal arrangement for achieving the highest-possible spatial resolution with a minimum number of grid cells. This saves energy, showing how beautifully efficient the brain can sometimes be. “Whoever would have believed that such a beautiful hexagonal representation existed so deep in the brain?” says Andreas Herz, a computational neuroscientist at the University of Munich in Germany.

Mindblowing stuff. There's a lot more where that came from so check out the article in full!

http://www.nature.com/news/neuroscience-brains-of-norway-1.16079

> http://www.nature.com/news/nobel-for-microscopy-that-reveals-inner-world-of-cells-1.16097 .
> http://www.nature.com/news/through-the-nanoscope-a-nobel-prize-gallery-1.16129 .
> http://www.nature.com/news/nobel-for-blue-led-that-revolutionized-lighting-1.16092 .

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday ___

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2014-10-25 19:15:24 (5 comments, 26 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

René Magritte - Lover of birds, hats, women and fishpeople

René François Ghislain Magritte, born 1898, was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality.

Little is known about Magritte's early life. In 1912, when he was just 13 years old, his mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre. This was not her first attempt at taking her own life; she had made many over a number of years, driving her husband Léopold to lock her into her bedroom. One day she escaped, and was missing for days. Her body was later discovered a mile or so down the nearby river.

Supposedly, when his mother was found, her dress was covering her face, an image that has been suggested asthe... more »

René Magritte - Lover of birds, hats, women and fishpeople

René François Ghislain Magritte, born 1898, was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality.

Little is known about Magritte's early life. In 1912, when he was just 13 years old, his mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre. This was not her first attempt at taking her own life; she had made many over a number of years, driving her husband Léopold to lock her into her bedroom. One day she escaped, and was missing for days. Her body was later discovered a mile or so down the nearby river.

Supposedly, when his mother was found, her dress was covering her face, an image that has been suggested as the source of several of Magritte's paintings.

The paintings he produced during his early years were influenced by Futurism and by the figurative Cubism of Metzinger. It wasn't until 1926 that he made his first surreal painting, The Lost Jockey. He grew to be a close friend of André Breton, and became involved in the surrealist group of which he ended up being a leading member.

During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II he remained in Brussels, which led to a break with Breton. He briefly adopted a colorful, painterly style in 1943–44, an interlude known as his "Renoir Period", as a reaction to his feelings of alienation and abandonment that came with living in German-occupied Belgium. 

In 1946, renouncing the violence and pessimism of his earlier work, he joined several other Belgian artists in signing the manifesto Surrealism in Full Sunlight. During 1947–48, Magritte's "Vache Period", he painted in a provocative and crude Fauve style. During this time, Magritte supported himself through the production of fake Picassos, Braques and Chiricos—a fraudulent repertoire he was later to expand into the printing of forged banknotes during the lean postwar period. 

Popular interest in Magritte's work rose considerably in the 1960s, and his imagery has influenced pop, minimalist and conceptual art. 

Magritte died of pancreatic cancer on 15 August 1967 in his own bed, aged 68, and was interred in Schaerbeek Cemetery, Evere, Brussels.

"If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream." -René Magritte

#ArtAndDesign  | #Art  ___

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2014-10-12 22:18:29 (10 comments, 32 reshares, 70 +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, 15 +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, 23 reshares, 50 +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, 95 reshares, 87 +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, 28 +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, 65 reshares, 176 +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, 51 reshares, 133 +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 (10 comments, 50 reshares, 68 +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 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +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, 4 reshares, 20 +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, 32 +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, 21 +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, 6 reshares, 25 +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, 34 reshares, 98 +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, 21 reshares, 49 +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, 3 reshares, 19 +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, 10 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, 15 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, 28 +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, 27 reshares, 56 +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, 32 +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, 34 +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, 26 +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, 17 reshares, 50 +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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