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Augmented (Hyper)Reality
02.04.2010
09:03 am

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From Keiichi Matsuda:

The latter half of the 20th century saw the built environment merged with media space, and architecture taking on new roles related to branding, image and consumerism. Augmented reality may recontextualise the functions of consumerism and architecture, and change in the way in which we operate within it.

A film produced for my final year Masters in Architecture, part of a larger project about the social and architectural consequences of new media and augmented reality.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Hubble Spots Spaceship?
02.03.2010
03:18 pm

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Apparently the Hubble telescope just spotted what appears to be a flying saucer. No kidding. Gizmodo reports:

Hubble has discovered a mysterious X-shaped object traveling at 11,000mph. NASA says that P/2010-A2 may be a comet, product of the collision between two asteroids. Or a Klingon Bird of Prey. Either way, UCLA investigator David Jewitt is excited:

“This is quite different from the smooth dust envelopes of normal comets. The filaments are made of dust and gravel, presumably recently thrown out of the nucleus. Some are swept back by radiation pressure from sunlight to create straight dust streaks. Embedded in the filaments are co-moving blobs of dust that likely originated from tiny unseen parent bodies.”

OK, David, we will believe you until Jerry Bruckheimer finish his next movie, in which a “comet” suddenly stops, turns to Earth, and starts firing anti-matter rays against our underpants.

The weirdest thing, however, is not only the prettyful X-shaped debris pattern, but the fact that its 460-foot-wide nucleus is outside the dust halo and separated from the trail. This behavior is something which has never been seen before in a comet or any other solar-system-swooshing object.

(Gizmodo: Hubble detects mysterious spaceship)

(Hubble: Imaging Space and Time)

Posted by Jason Louv | Discussion
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The Internet is Depressing
02.03.2010
10:51 am

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A UK-based study has found that Internet addiction, specifically replacing normal social functions with social networking, porn, and message boards, is linked to depression and addictive behaviors. Surprise. I woke up yesterday and realized we’d lost the better part of a decade to social media alone. Internets is a two-edged sword…

British psychologists have found evidence of a link between excessive internet use and depression, research published today has shown.

Leeds University researchers, writing in the Psychopathology journal (abstract here – subscription required for full pdf), said a small proportion of internet users were classed as internet addicts and that people in this group were more likely to be depressed than non-addicted users.

The article on the relationship between excessive internet use and depression, a questionnaire-based study of 1,319 young people and adults, used data compiled from respondents to links placed on UK-based social networking sites.

(Guardian: Excessive internet use linked to depression, research shows)

Posted by Jason Louv | Discussion
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Hidden Dimensions: Alien implants and conspiracy theories in Burbank
01.31.2010
06:20 pm

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Belief
Kooks
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Do space aliens “tag” us with implants the same way we microchip our beloved pets? Are we their pets?

The jury’s still out on that front, but if you are an Angeleno and suspect you’ve got an alien implant, then next weekend, at the Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, Dr. Roger Leir, M.D., a SoCal-based podiatrist, well-known to UFOlogists, George Noory fans and Fortean-types will be on hand to help.

Leir no longer feels the need to debate the existence of UFOs; it’s the implants he’s more concerned about, considering them proof positive of the alien reality. What Leir’s research wants to get to the bottom of is, what are their motives? What are their plans for us? And how the heck did those otherworldly implants get there in the first place?

Also appearing at the event is conspiracy theorist Jordan Maxwell, a fellow who describes himself as “a preeminent researcher and speaker in the fields of secret societies, occult philosophies, and UFOlogy since 1959.” Maxwell is scheduled to lecture about “The Hidden Dimensions in World Affairs.”

The tinfoil-hat brigade should be out in force at the event, which will be hosted by Noory himself. A lil’ zany? Perhaps, but something tells us that the people-watching will be very interesting.

The Hidden Dimensions in World Affairs event, Feb. 7, 2 to 9 p.m. (doors open at noon), Pickwick Gardens, 1001 Riverside Drive, Burbank. $50

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Worshipped As A Deity, Eight-Limbed Girl Starts School With Four
01.28.2010
01:16 pm

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Lakshmi Tatma

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Born with eight limbs and two torsos fused at the hips, Lakshmi Tatma was named after—and worshipped from birth as the reincarnation of—the Hindu goddess of wealth and fertility.  Now, two years after the ground-breaking operation which separated her from her parasitic twin, Lakshmi’s a happy four-year old and has just started school:

‘When I think of the way she was, never in a million years would Lakshmi have been able to go to school or have the life she does today,’ said her mother Poonam, 26.  ‘All the things she’s capable of now were impossible two years ago.  ‘I often try to think what she might be like today if she hadn’t had the operation—she couldn’t even sit up before and now she runs around like other children.

And while Lakshmi can now play cricket and hang out with friends, her doctors are just getting started.  Lakshmi still requires a number of operations, ranging from spine correction to the creation of buttocks, which, because she was connected in the womb to her “twin,” never managed to form.
 
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The Little Girl Who Had Eight Limbs And Was Worshipped As A Deity Starts School

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Discussion
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The Known Universe
01.26.2010
07:24 pm

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Rubin Museum
Known Universe


Via the American Museum of Natural History / Rubin Museum.

(Thanks, Evonne Heyning!)

(Previously on Dangerous Minds: Rubin Museum Tracks Cosmic Cycles)

Posted by Jason Louv | Discussion
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UK Police Implementing Spy Drones
01.24.2010
11:30 am

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Science/Tech

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UK
Surveillance
Drones

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Oh for f’k’s sake… not content with covering the whole country with surveillance cameras, the UK police are now planning on implementing US-style spy drones to catch suspected pedophiles (read: everybody in the country) or something. Drones are planned to be implemented by 2012.

Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the “routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.

Documents from the South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE, have been obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.

They reveal the partnership intends to begin using the drones in time for the 2012 Olympics. They also indicate that police claims that the technology will be used for maritime surveillance fall well short of their intended use ?

Posted by Jason Louv | Discussion
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Coke-powered cellphone: It’s the real thing, seriously!
01.21.2010
03:32 pm

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Environment
Science/Tech
Thinkers
Unorthodox

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Daizi Zheng

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You’ll never have to fear your cellphone running out of juice again as long as you’re near a 7-Eleven or a vending machine, thanks to brilliant London-based designer Daizi Zheng. But maybe “juice” is the wrong word; Zheng has produced a cellphone that runs on Coca-Cola. Or Mountain Dew or Pepsi or whatever sugary, fizzy beverage you happen to have handy. Yes, you read correctly, this is a cellphone that runs on soda. It’s the call that refreshes!

As Zheng explained to Tree Hugger:

“Through my research, I found that phone battery as a power source, it is expensive, consuming valuable resources on manufacturing, presenting a disposal problem and harmful to the environment. The concept is using bio battery to replace the traditional battery to create a pollution free environment. Bio battery is an ecologically friendly energy generates electricity from carbohydrates (currently sugar) and utilizes enzymes as the catalyst. By using bio battery as the power source of the phone, it only needs a pack of sugary drink and it generates water and oxygen while the battery dies out. Bio battery has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium batteries and it could be fully biodegradable.”

Three to four times longer than a lithium battery? Sounds good to us. Now all Zheng has to do is come up with a way to run a cellphone on booze, for a sort of unholy cellphone/hip flask hybrid.
 
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Cross posting this from Brand X

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Are Plants Really Using Quantum Entanglement?

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io9 reports on a recent Scientific American article that suggests that plants use quantum entanglement in photosynthesis. The mind doth boggle. The original Scientific American article is here.

A recent article in Scientific American suggested that plants use quantum entanglement in photosynthesis. What can this mean? The answer is more (and less) than expected. Take a quick look at quantum entanglement and find out why.

Quick Quantum Entanglement Facts:

a) Quantum entanglement happens when the quantum status of two particles is intertwined, like two cats in a sack.

b) As with two cats in a sack, determining the state of one particle (say, by lightly nudging the sack with your toe until one side twitches and says ?

Posted by Jason Louv | Discussion
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Charting the Beatles
01.20.2010
08:26 am

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

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Beatles
Infographics
Michael Deal

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Exploration of Beatles music through infographics:

These visualizations are part of an extensive study of the music of the Beatles. Many of the diagrams and charts are based on secondary sources, including but not limited to sales statistics, biographies, recording sesion notes, sheet music, and raw audio readings. Join this project here.

Charting the Beatles
 
(via J-Walk Blog)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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