Click here for more of Feeney's "musical anatomy" drawings.
(Hat tip: Boing Boing.)
"We're just very proud to build this, do some testing and demonstrate to America that we're moving beyond the space shuttle onto another generation of spacecraft," said Don Pearson, project manager for the Post-Landing Orion Recovery Test or PORT.
NASA plans to use Orion to carry astronauts to the International Space Station by 2015. The capsule will rotate the crew at the station every six months "to work out the kinks" before heading to the moon and Mars, Pearson said.
Trips to the moon are scheduled for 2020, while a journey to Mars is believed possible by the mid-2030s.
The system was not demonstrated on Tuesday but Honda did release a video of experiments. It shows a controller sitting in a chair with a large hemispheric scanner over his head, like the sit-down hair dryers you find in hair salons.
Both the EEG and NIRS techniques are established but the analyzing process for the data is new. Honda said the system uses statistical processing of the complex information to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion.
Such generators could be used to power sensors for detecting cancer or measuring blood sugar level for diabetics, Wang says. He adds that within five to 10 years, the technology will mature to the point that these generators could be placed in the soles of shoes or the fabric of clothes so that people will be able to power their iPods and cell phones using the mechanical energy created by the rustling of their clothes or compression of their shoe insoles as they walk.
Actually, I'm not sure if it's actually made of ethernet cables, or if it just looks like the back of a server rack at my local data center. Either way, this outfit makes me think of a future world where people store infringing wares on their bodies, and a buyer can download just by grabbing a cable and sticking it into her laptop right on the street corner.
Though I could not see her eyes due to the large Jackie-O style sunglasses she wore, other aspects were evident: an unusually long pointy chin. Exaggerated cheekbones out of proportion to the rest of the face. Practically no lips, only enough to discern that there was any mouth. A nose that was almost not there: there was very little structure to it, a small bridge area, and some structure around the nostrils, but not much.
The campus building concepts combines a static learning center for libraries, offices, lecture halls, and an auditorium, with flying workspaces and off-site "zeppelins" to allow for more dynamic collaboration and exchange. This concept might sound crazy, but it is certainly a great example of a minimal footprint.
Ninety percent of the world's charismatic megafauna is gone. Hormone disrupters are turning the fish off Lakeshore into hermaphrodites, if the tumors don't get them first. The Arctic is heading for ice-free status by 2030, the Wilkins Ice Shelf is a measly six kilometers away from disintegration, air pollution in this miserable dick-ass excuse for a country alone helps kill 16,000 people a year. How do we rise to this challenge? How do we lie in this bed we have made?
Earth Hour. Sixty minutes during which we turn out the lights and pat ourselves on the back for saving the planet.
"We've grown plants in space before, but this will be the first time we'll attempt to grow a plant on another world," MacCallum told Universe Today. "It's not just a great vision, but interesting science, too."
Another time when I was 17 I was working in a small convenience store, when a "woman" came in to buy cigarettes. At first I didn't pay any attention to her until I saw her hand (when she handed me the money) - it was not like a normal human hand. This startled me so I looked up and saw a very pale entity, wearing a thin black coat (like a rain coat) with collar turned up to cover her neck, a heavy long haired wig, and very large black glasses. This did not entirely hide her strange face: a very pointed chin, scant lip and nose. She did not speak. Took her cigarettes and left! I was kinda stunned. Oddly I cannot remember the details of her hand (though it was the first thing I noticed). Nor do I think she left in a car which was odd since most patrons drove up the store (it was somewhat isolated).
A man police caught performing a sex act with a car wash vacuum has been sentenced to 90 days in prison.
Jason Leroy Savage must also submit to drug testing.
At first, the young robot spent a lot of time crashing into things. But after a few weeks of practice, its performance began to improve as the connections between the active neurons in its brain strengthened. "This is a specific type of learning, called Hebbian learning," says Warwick, "where, by doing something habitually, you get better at doing it."
Hurricane Katrina's societal and economic impact has been measured at $81 billion to $125 billion. According to the NAS report, the impact of what it terms a "severe geomagnetic storm scenario" could be as high as $2 trillion. And that's just the first year after the storm. The NAS puts the recovery time at four to 10 years. It is questionable whether the US would ever bounce back.
"I don't think the NAS report is scaremongering," says Mike Hapgood, who chairs the European Space Agency's space weather team. Green agrees. "Scientists are conservative by nature and this group is really thoughtful," he says. "This is a fair and balanced report."
In the future your doctor might call you before you have a heart attack, responding to an alarm sent out by monitoring systems in your body that have detected the precursors to a heart attack hours or days ahead of time. With body 2.0, medicine dosages could be tailored precisely to your body chemistry and metabolism. Real-time monitoring of chemical concentrations in your blood could allow for increasing or decreasing dosages accordingly.
The huge amounts of data that would be accumulated from hundreds of thousands of continuously monitored people would be nothing short of a revolution for medical research and analysis. This data could be harvested to understand the minute by minute changes in body chemistry that occur in response to medication, stress, infection, and so on.
But the roadster is a 'hybrid' in a more metaphorical sense as well: drawing design inspiration from a diverse swath of automotive eras. The F-Cell Roadster provocatively merges design elements from the most futuristic Formula One racing cars with the most old-school, turn-of-the-century, original Benz motor car.
While encampments and street living have always been a part of the landscape in big cities like Los Angeles and New York, these new tent cities have taken root -- or grown from smaller enclaves of the homeless as more people lose jobs and housing -- in such disparate places as Nashville, Olympia, Wash., and St. Petersburg, Fla.
Artistically, of course, it is wonderful to work with characters who come from an uplifted species. I get to stretch my imagination, and the reader's, exploring what sapient dolphins or chimps might feel and think, under the pressure of such development, tugged between both the ancient instincts of their forebears and the new template being imposed upon them by their "patrons."
"Our modular JHPSSL design makes it straightforward to scale laser weapon systems to mission-required power levels for a variety of uses, to include force protection and precision strike missions for air-, sea- and land-based platforms," said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
Cambridge-based researchers provide new evidence that the human brain lives "on the edge of chaos", at a critical transition point between randomness and order. The study, published March 20 in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology, provides experimental data on an idea previously fraught with theoretical speculation.
The virtual light, displayed by the monitor, is transferred to the light environment in the room and stimulates the plant. The botanical reactions are then sent back to the controlling of the first person shooter. Through this feedback loop, game real-time and botanic real-time are melted into each other.
What quantum mechanics tells us, I believe, is surprising to say the least. It tells us that the basic components of objects -- the particles, electrons, quarks etc. -- cannot be thought of as "self-existent". The reality that they, and hence all objects, are components of is merely "empirical reality".
This reality is something that, while not a purely mind-made construct as radical idealism would have it, can be but the picture our mind forces us to form of . . . Of what? The only answer I am able to provide is that underlying this empirical reality is a mysterious, non-conceptualisable "ultimate reality", not embedded in space and (presumably) not in time either.
(Via DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age.)
Three new species of bacteria, which are not found on Earth and which are highly resistant to ultra-violet radiation, have been discovered in the upper stratosphere by Indian scientists. One of the new species has been named as Janibacter hoylei, after the Distinguished Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, the second as Bacillus isronensis recognising the contribution of ISRO in the balloon experiments which led to its discovery and the third as Bacillus aryabhata after India's celebrated ancient astronomer Aryabhata and also the first satellite of ISRO.
"It's a perfect storm," Prof Beddington told the Sustainable Development UK 09 conference.
"There's not going to be a complete collapse, but things will start getting really worrying if we don't tackle these problems."
Dark pits on Mars are fascinating -- probably because they provide mysteries and possibilities. Could anything be inside? Or could this be a place where humans could set up a base since it would provide shelter from Mars' harsh environment?
I am attempting to recount a very short memory. The incident described in this post lasted, maybe, less than 20 seconds. The implications of this event has been difficult for me to integrate into my life. I've been terribly conflicted about the truth of this foggy incident. It could have been a dream, true enough. I cannot allow myself to discount that.
By the time the first extraterrestrials arrived on Earth, they found only the ruins of human civilization. But the landscape, at least outside in the deserts, was beautiful. Want to see what else they found?
Rather than changing the genome letter by letter, as most genetic engineering is done, George Church and his colleagues have developed a new technology that can make 50 changes to a bacterial genome nearly simultaneously -- an advance that could be used to greatly speed the creation of bacteria that are better at producing drugs, nutrients, or biofuels.
"What once took months now takes days," says Stephen del Cardayré, vice president of research and development at LS9, a biofuels company based in South San Francisco of which Church is a founder.
(Via The Keyhoe Report.)
Manufactured under the tagline "It's what they don't see that's important!" Ghillie suits are made for paintball -- but they are an amazing example of fashion design and landscape simulation together in one. Less a style of dress, they use garments to represent -- and thus blend into -- the earth's surface.
From Polish product designer Maja Ganszyniec comes a boon for late workers: "Pillows for working late." The three-piece set includes a tie, sleeve and and collar, so matter how you fall asleep at your desk you're covered.
How could we use a neural computer? Meier stresses that digital computers are built on principles that simply do not apply to devices modelled on the brain. To make them work requires a completely new theory of computing. Yet another FACETS group is already on the case. "Once you understand the basic principles you may hope to develop the hardware further, because biology has not necessarily found the best solution."
The idea of a living wall conjures up all sorts of images, but in reality it is nothing more than a wall completely covered in vegetation. In order to create a living wall pre-vegetated or fabric panels containing plastic containers, or geotextiles, as well as irrigation systems and vegetation are attached to the wall or supporting structure. This form of urban gardening is often designed as an art form to decorate buildings in cities and has been hailed as one way to make cities more enjoyable, healthier and ultimately greener places.
(Via Reality Carnival.)
Japanese scientists have unveiled a female humanoid walking robot at Tsukuba City, north east of Tokyo.
The robot, named HRP-4C, has 30 motors in its body that allow it to walk and move its arms as well as eight motors on its face to create expressions like anger and surprise.
She will also make a special appearance in a Tokyo fashion show and will go on sale for around $200,000 (£142,000).
The planets in our Solar System rotate around the Sun more or less in a plane (the ecliptic) that is tilted some sixty degrees with relation to the galactic disk. It's interesting to speculate that this could have ramifications in terms of the SETI hunt. Shmuel Nussinov (Tel Aviv University) considers the possibility that any extraterrestrial civilizations might try to contact us only after they had a fair idea we were here. And just as we are now trying, via Kepler and CoRoT, to track down small planets using the transit method, so too might extraterrestrials try to observe our transits, and having done so, to transmit a message.
Laboratories across the world are closing in on a "second genesis" - an achievement that would be one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time.
Prof David Deamer, from California University, said although building a new lifeform from scratch is a daunting task he is confident it can happen in five to 10 years.
The worst-case scenarios on climate change envisaged by the UN two years ago are already being realised, say scientists at an international meeting.
In a statement in Copenhagen on their six key messages to political leaders, they say there is a increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climate shifts.
Exposure to UV light creates reactive spots on sections of the chitosan molecules which then combine with the broken oxetane rings to form new chemical cross links that close up the damage. The process appears to begin at the bottom of a scratch, pulling it closed like a zipper.
The fantastic folk over at DNA-Rainbow have rendered the entire DNA code in audio form and are livestreaming it from their site 24/7. It's not a sound file or a download, it's a live broadcast (thinking about it, probably the "livest" thing ever to be broadcast) of a computer reading out the code, and at three characters per second it will take twenty three and a half years to complete. It will run all the time until 2032. That's how much information is carried in almost every cell in your body.
The aliens may indeed be fallen angels.
The very first Christian symposium on aliens will address this idea July 3-5, organized by Guy Malone, author and co-founder of Alien Resistence - an organization that studies Biblical ideas on the UFO and alien abduction phenomena.
Malone's "In a Nutshell" web page at alienresistence.org walks readers through a quick explanation - citting Biblical chapter and verse.
"The Bible contains relevant information about what many believe to be a recent phenomenon, that neither most modern churches, nor most modern ufologists, are well informed about," Malone says on his web site.
By 2030, nearly half of the world's people will be living in areas of acute water shortage, said a report jointly produced by more than two dozen U.N. bodies and issued ahead of a major conference on water to be held in Istanbul next week.
The report, "Water in a Changing World," made "clear that urgent action is needed if we are to avoid a global water crisis," said a foreword by Koichiro Matsuura, head of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Autonomous flying quadcopter robots built from off-the-shelf parts in €300 kits (US$380), could establish radio networks for phones and wireless Internet in disaster zones. The system is being developed by German researchers at the Ilmenau University of Technology, which is seeking phD students to assist with the project.
When infrastructure is damaged or destroyed, it's vital that people are able to access information or call for help, and that teams on the ground can communicate efficiently. The quadcopter bots could provide ad-hoc, temporary networks for communication more quickly than technicians on the ground.
The U.N.'s climate change panel may be severely underestimating the sea-level rise caused by global warming, climate scientists said on Monday, calling for swift cuts in greenhouse emissions.
"The sea-level rise may well exceed one meter (3.28 feet) by 2100 if we continue on our path of increasing emissions," said Stefan Rahmstorf, professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "Even for a low emission scenario, the best estimate is about one meter."
Famed paleontologist Jack Horner says that if you want to grow a dinosaur, you have to start with a chicken egg. As descendants of dinos, chickens carry some of the same DNA. So if chicken embryos have their genes reversed-engineered for every trait that they share with dinosaurs -- like long tails, teeth, and three-fingered hands -- you can grow living animals with dinosaur traits.
(Via The Keyhoe Report.)
A second loud boom may have rattled windows in parts of Rockland County yesterday - and its origin remains as mysterious as the explosive noise that blew through southern Westchester County over the weekend.
"It was about 5:15 a.m., and it woke up the whole house," said Nanuet resident Keith Wallenstein. "The house was shaking. It sounded like someone had flown an F-16 over the house."
Because it is no longer possible to definitively conclude that any digital video is authentic, we cannot confirm the authenticity of these videos. However, the extremely bizarre nature of the figures and the way they move are so strange, and so completely unlike anything that has ever been offered before as "alien video," the suggestion is strong that these are real images of unknown bipedal creatures, whose body morphology is so radically different from what has evolved on earth that the conclusion is almost inescapable that they are aliens.
Lurking the halls of Buddhist temples and museums across Japan are a host of monster mummies -- the preserved remains of demons, mermaids, kappa, tengu, raijū, and even human monks. Here are a few remarkable specimens for the adventurous and brave at heart.
At an anti-gay marriage rally Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, David Gibbs III, the Christian fundamentalist lawyer who fought to keep brain-damaged Terry Schiavo on life support in 2005, publicly expressed his deep-seated fear of machine love.
As the name suggests, Birthmark Tattoos, are fake - but permanent - birthmarks that you can add to your body. Aside from its decorative potential, birthmark tattoos makes it possible for your and your partner to 'exchange' birthmarks or to imprint your body with a secret message in braille.
(Via Next Nature.)
You may be forgiven in thinking that the search for life in the Solar System has gone a little crazy, after all, we haven't found life anywhere else apart from our own planet. However, if we do discover life on other planetary bodies apart from Earth, perhaps the panspermia hypothesis is more than just an academic curiosity. So why is Ceres suddenly so interesting? Firstly, it probably has water. Secondly, the ex-asteroid is so small that fragments of Ceres could have been kicked into space by meteorite impacts more readily than other larger planetary bodies, making it a prime candidate for seeding life on Earth . . .
Co-author Dan Nepstad, a forest ecologist from the Moore Foundation in San Francisco, suggests that it may be climate warming that's causing the Amazon to dry up. He says some climatologists think "the warming of the northern tropical Atlantic of 2005 may have been more intense because of global warming." And that warming is believed to have shifted hotter, drier air over the Amazon.
(Via The Keyhoe Report.)
The old rig would be transformed from environmental hazard into something of an environmental savior through the use of wind, wave and solar power, all easily integrated into the existing structure.
"The big idea is that an icon of non-renewable energy will be powered by totally clean and renewable power," said Douglas Oliver, Director of Design at Morris Architects.
The Arctic is warming up so quickly that the region's sea ice cover in summer could vanish as early as 2013, decades earlier than some had predicted, a leading polar expert said on Thursday.
Warwick Vincent, director of the Center for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec, said recent data on the ice cover "appear to be tracking the most pessimistic of the models", which call for an ice free summer in 2013.
Does the word postcapitalism look odd to you? It should, because you hardly ever see it. We have a blank spot in our vision of the future. Perhaps we think that history has somehow gone away. In fact, history is with us now more than ever, because we are at a crux in the human story. Choosing not to study a successor system to capitalism is an example of another kind of denial, an ostrich failure on the part of the field of economics and of business schools, I think, but it’s really all of us together, a social aporia or fear. We have persistently ignored and devalued the future -- as if our actions are not creating that future for our children, as if things never change. But everything evolves. With a catastrophe bearing down on us, we need to evolve at nearly revolutionary speed.
(Via Beyond the Beyond.)
Ron, who has not revealed his surname, told the BBC: "For 30 years I've seen absolutely nothing at all, it's all been black, but now light is coming through. Suddenly to be able to see light again is truly wonderful.
"I can actually sort out white socks, grey socks and black socks."
"My one ambition at the moment is to be able to go out on a nice, clear evening and be able to pick up the moon."
A key factor in how well we deal with a warmer world is how much time we have to adapt. When, and if, we get this hot depends not only on how much greenhouse gas we pump into the atmosphere and how quickly, but how sensitive the world's climate is to these gases. It also depends whether "tipping points" are reached, in which climate feedback mechanisms rapidly speed warming. According to models, we could cook the planet by 4 °C by 2100. Some scientists fear that we may get there as soon as 2050.
If this happens, the ramifications for life on Earth are so terrifying that many scientists contacted for this article preferred not to contemplate them, saying only that we should concentrate on reducing emissions to a level where such a rise is known only in nightmares.
The Fertility Institutes recently stunned the fertility community by being the first company to boldly offer couples the opportunity to screen their embryos not only for diseases and gender, but also for completely benign characteristics such as eye color, hair color, and complexion. The Fertility Institutes proudly claims this is just the tip of the iceberg, and plans to offer almost any conceivable customization as science makes them available. Even as couples from across the globe are flocking in droves to pay the company their life's savings for a custom baby, opponents are vilifying the company for shattering moral and ethical boundaries. Like it or not, the era of designer babies is officially here and there is no going back.
It's almost a year since Nicolas Gisin and colleagues at the University of Geneva announced that they had calculated that a human eye ought to be able to detect entangled photons. "Entanglement in principle could be seen," they concluded.
That's extraordinary because it would mean that the humans involved in such an experiment would become entangled themselves, if only for an instant.
Research has shown that words are stored in our memories not as isolated entities but as part of a network of related words. This explains why seeing or hearing a word activates words related to it through prior experiences. In trying to understand these connections, scientists visualize a map of links among words called the mental lexicon that shows how words in a vocabulary are interconnected through other words.
However, it's not clear just how this word association network works. For instance, does word association spread like a wave through a fixed network, weakening with conceptual distance, as suggested by the "Spreading Activation" model? Or does a word activate every other associated word simultaneously, as suggested in a model called "Spooky Activation at a Distance"?
Last night I half-watched "Veronica Mars" while Web-surfing, then promptly collapsed into bed. I experienced a fleeting episode of sleep paralysis in which an "alien" seemed to lift my fingers to its mouth and lingeringly kiss them. (We swapped some sort of garbled telepathic dialogue which, at the time, I thought was marginally interesting and perhaps blog-worthy, but now I can't remember what was "said.")
The "alien" left quickly, and I tried to turn my head to watch it depart through my bedroom door. I honestly don't know if I "saw" anything or not, but my impression was that the being was pale -- possibly luminous -- and taller than the gray, drone-like beings that feature in so many accounts.
Rest assured this "encounter" was pure hynopompic cinema, not an actual visitation. I more or less knew this when it was happening, and it's abundantly clear now. So here I am playing "debunker" again, describing an event that I insist never really happened except on a semi-conscious level. Yet -- and this is critical -- I'm not about to claim that all reported alien visitations are neurochemical anomalies. For all I know, some are all-too-real.
In a bittersweet sense, I wish last night's episode had been the real thing; the idea of an (evidently) friendly alien darting into my room to give me a quick display of affection, unencumbered by forbidding probes and weird lights, isn't entirely unpleasant.
No one knows if there is life on Mars, but if all goes well with a Russian science mission later this year, there will be life on the Martian moon Phobos -- for a short time anyway.
An assortment of critters and microbes are scheduled to make a round-trip journey to Phobos as passengers aboard a Russian spacecraft, scheduled to launch in October.
The ground-breaking model, which recognises and responds to human emotions, uses 31 motors and a patented flesh-like material called Frubber to make lifelike facial expressions.
Scientists hope it will defy the perception that human-like robots are "creepy" and could be the first step to making robots emotionally sensitive, preventing a "Matrix"-style war between man and machine.
Einstein, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist noted for his theory of relativity, was chosen for the model because he appears "lovable and emotionally accessible", as well as being a universally esteemed scientist.
Nadya Vessey lost her legs as a child but now she swims like a mermaid.
Ms Vessey's mermaid tail was created by Wellington-based film industry wizards Weta Workshop after the Auckland woman wrote to them two years ago asking if they could make her a prosthetic tail. She was astounded when they agreed.
For his final student project presented last month at Rice University, Viktor Ramos produced The Continuous Enclave: Strategies in Bypass Urbanism.
The project explores how new forms of habitable infrastructure might be extrapolated from a geopolitical agreement -- in this case, materializing architectural form from the legal interstices of the Oslo Accords.
The result is a fantastic example of architectural speculation: genuinely massive -- and impossibly cantilevered -- bridges used as transport links, aerial housing, and skyborne agricultural complexes, all in one.
"A stunning survey of the latest evidence for intelligent life on Mars. Mac Tonnies brings a thoughtful, balanced and highly accessible approach to one of the most fascinating enigmas of our time."
--Herbie Brennan, author of Martian Genesis and The Atlantis Enigma
"Tonnies drops all predetermined opinions about Mars, and asks us to do the same."
--Greg Bishop, author of Project Beta
"I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in the search for extra-terrestrial artifacts, and the political intrigues that invariably accompany it."
--David Jinks, author of The Monkey and the Tetrahredron
"Mac Tonnies goes where NASA fears to tread and he goes first class."
--Peter Gersten, former Director of Citizens Against UFO SecrecyAnd don't miss...
(Includes my essay "The Ancients Are Watching.")
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