Robot Uprising Begins?
The International Space Station has a cannon that launches tiny CubeSat microsatellites into orbit. Most of the time, those launches are triggered by human scientists on board or back on Earth. But this week, the ISS launched two CubeSats entirely on its own. 
More at Gizmodo, or at Discovery News

Robot Uprising Begins?

The International Space Station has a cannon that launches tiny CubeSat microsatellites into orbit. Most of the time, those launches are triggered by human scientists on board or back on Earth. But this week, the ISS launched two CubeSats entirely on its own.

More at Gizmodo, or at Discovery News

First ever brain-to-brain communication
A human test subject in India has emailed the messages “hola” and “ciao” to three other people in France.
Doesn’t sound too impressive? Well, in this case the words were composed and interpreted using only the brain … along with some high-tech help.At a lab in India, the sender started by translating the letters of the words into a type of binary code, and then entering that code into a computer. The latter was achieved using a brain-computer interface in which an EEG cap measured the electrical activity in their brain. It did so as they performed a mental exercise in which they had to select the 1’s and 0’s that made up the binary-coded letters, in their proper sequence.That sequence was then emailed to a lab in France. There, a robotic device used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to non-invasively transmit the numbers into the brains of the other three people.Depending on whether it was relaying a 1 or a 0, it would stimulate their brain using either one intensity of electromagnetic pulse, or another. This in turn caused the test subjects to either see a phosphene (a flash of light) in their peripheral vision, or not see one – if they saw a flash, they knew it meant 1, while no flash meant 2. By translating that sequence of numbers back into text, they could figure out what the two words were.Although it may have been a lot easier to just use a keyboard and type the words, the researchers are excited about what the experiment represents."By using advanced precision neuro-technologies including wireless EEG and robotized TMS, we were able to directly and noninvasively transmit a thought from one person to another, without them having to speak or write," said Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. "We believe these experiments represent an important first step in exploring the feasibility of complementing or bypassing traditional language-based or motor-based communication."
Text by Ben Coxworth, re-blogged from and copyright © by GizMag and the author. Graphic re-blogged from and copyright © by their source Plos|One.

First ever brain-to-brain communication

A human test subject in India has emailed the messages “hola” and “ciao” to three other people in France.

Doesn’t sound too impressive? Well, in this case the words were composed and interpreted using only the brain … along with some high-tech help.
At a lab in India, the sender started by translating the letters of the words into a type of binary code, and then entering that code into a computer. The latter was achieved using a brain-computer interface in which an EEG cap measured the electrical activity in their brain. It did so as they performed a mental exercise in which they had to select the 1’s and 0’s that made up the binary-coded letters, in their proper sequence.
That sequence was then emailed to a lab in France. There, a robotic device used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to non-invasively transmit the numbers into the brains of the other three people.
Depending on whether it was relaying a 1 or a 0, it would stimulate their brain using either one intensity of electromagnetic pulse, or another. This in turn caused the test subjects to either see a phosphene (a flash of light) in their peripheral vision, or not see one – if they saw a flash, they knew it meant 1, while no flash meant 2. By translating that sequence of numbers back into text, they could figure out what the two words were.
Although it may have been a lot easier to just use a keyboard and type the words, the researchers are excited about what the experiment represents.
"By using advanced precision neuro-technologies including wireless EEG and robotized TMS, we were able to directly and noninvasively transmit a thought from one person to another, without them having to speak or write," said Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. "We believe these experiments represent an important first step in exploring the feasibility of complementing or bypassing traditional language-based or motor-based communication."

Text by Ben Coxworth, re-blogged from and copyright © by GizMag and the author. Graphic re-blogged from and copyright © by their source Plos|One.

Advert from 1952 for the ‘Elecom 110 General Purpose Digital Computer’ which operated at 12Mhz, had roughly 2K of memory and each tape held around 360K. The price of $ 62,500 would be about about $ 540,000 in today’s money. But it did come with a free typewriter.

Advert from 1952 for the ‘Elecom 110 General Purpose Digital Computer’ which operated at 12Mhz, had roughly 2K of memory and each tape held around 360K. The price of $ 62,500 would be about about $ 540,000 in today’s money. But it did come with a free typewriter.

Deliberately inconvenient everyday objects

The Uncomfortable is a collection designed by Athens based architect Katerina Kamprani.

Re-blogged from the wonderful Twisted Sifter

Micro-art by the amazing Hasan Kale from Turkey.

Fantasy steampunk contraptions made entirely from cardboard (and glue) by Daniel Agdag: “The Captain” (top), “The Seventy-Eight” (bottom)

Re-blogged from the always amazing WIRED magazine.

Eric Standley, an associate professor of studio art at Virginia Tech, is an artist who creates 3D laser cut paper art.

Standley’s stacked paper sculptures can take up to six months to plan. Many of his artworks involve more than 100 sheets of stacked paper, every layer a meticulously drawn vector design. The ‘paper architect’ must account for structural elements, overlaps, curves and unsupported arches.

Once satisfied with his design, Standley uploads his complex vector drawings to a laser-cutting machine. The cutting process itself can take up to 60 hours to complete.



[via TwistedSifter and MAKE Magazine] the artists’s website

Not your everyday balloon poodle … Jason Seconda’work is a little more elaborate; this piece uses 15,000 inflatables.

Not your everyday balloon poodle … Jason Seconda’work is a little more elaborate; this piece uses 15,000 inflatables.

… and that’s why I play guitar every day.

The Writer’s Retreat by Grant Snider. Re-blogged from the author’s site, the drawing appears in the NY Times Book Review on 20 July 2014.

The Writer’s Retreat by Grant Snider. Re-blogged from the author’s site, the drawing appears in the NY Times Book Review on 20 July 2014.

Joshua Westbury’s very nicely done kinetic typography video for John Anealio‘s “Steampunk Girl” song.

The “Steampunk Girl” song (and the rest of the Laser Zombie Robot Love album) can be downloaded for free from the composer’s site.

'Early Days', a great new folk/blues-song by Paul McCartney about his early days in Liverpool with John Lennon, re-enacted as a black and white movie in the American South in the 1950s by director Vincent Haycock.

The gentleman with the day jamming with Paul is none other than Johnny Depp by the way.

The Suck Fairy - by Jo Walton

I believe I’ve mentioned the Suck Fairy a few times here but without ever discussing her in depth. I first heard of her in a panel on re-reading at Anticipation, when Naomi Libicki explained her to the rest of us. Naomi has since said she heard of her from her friend Camwyn. Wherever she came from she’s a very useful concept. This post is directly related to that panel, and also one at Boskone this year.

The Suck Fairy is an artefact of re-reading. If you read a book for the first time and it sucks, it’s nothing to do with her. It just sucks. Some books do. The Suck Fairy comes in when you come back to a book that you liked when you read it before, and on re-reading—well, it sucks. You can say that you have changed, you can hit your forehead dramatically and ask yourself how you could possibly have missed the suckiness the first time—or you can say that the Suck Fairy has been through while the book was sitting on the shelf and inserted the suck. The longer the book has been on the shelf unread, the more time she’s had to get into it. The advantage of this is exactly the same as the advantage of thinking of one’s once-beloved ex as having been eaten by a zombie, who is now shambling around using the name and body of the former person. It lets one keep one’s original love clear of the later betrayals.

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In this breathtaking underwater photograph by Kurt Arrigo, Japanese two-time Olympic synchronised swimmer Saho Harada is freediving (= no breathing aid) with a school of tuna fish at a depth of approximately 18 meters (60 ft). This is not a composite or digitally manipulated. 

It is entitled Set me free, which makes sense once you notice the faint mesh pattern in the background and realize the fish and diver were inside a large fishing net. 
via TwistedSifter and 500px

In this breathtaking underwater photograph by Kurt Arrigo, Japanese two-time Olympic synchronised swimmer Saho Harada is freediving (= no breathing aid) with a school of tuna fish at a depth of approximately 18 meters (60 ft). This is not a composite or digitally manipulated.

It is entitled Set me free, which makes sense once you notice the faint mesh pattern in the background and realize the fish and diver were inside a large fishing net. 

via TwistedSifter and 500px