27 February 2012

Global Transportation System ~ Nice Map Porn!

Map Porn spots Global Transportation System...

Printing Functional Materials ~ Lewis Visits MIT...

Just saw very cool talk by Prof Jennifer Lewis from Materials Science at UIUC about Printing Functional Materials. Many interesting examples including self-healing materials, tissue scaffolds, printing of flexible electrodes, small 3D antennas, origami in metals and ceramics, and finally her collaboration with Media Lab colleague Leah Buechley doing pen-on-paper electronics...

26 February 2012

Scalable Display ~ Photostitch Video Projectors!

MIT alumco Scalable Display Technologies has been perfecting their solution to stitching multiple projectors into one superdisplay for ~15 years! It's still an epic approach! Here's how scalable multi-projector stitching works... Here's their immersive two-screen 180 field 3800x1200 pixel screen... Finally, here's calibration of an 8 projector Planetarium dome...

25 February 2012

Ancient Climate Change ~ Modeling Mayan Times

LiveScience spotlights NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies climatologist Benjamin Cook whose team computer modeled forest-clearing by ancient Mayans and its effect on climate...

Local Food Growing ~ Kibera Sack Gardens...

The French NGO Solidarités works in Nairobi's Kibera, Mathare and Mukuru with its garden in a sack project...

NYC Grand Central ~ Timelapse Trainstation!

Timelapse trainstation ~ NYC's Grand Central! And here's a couple more timelapses of NYC for good measure...

23 February 2012

CineSquid ~ MIT Imaging Venture Product #2

Brilliant! MIT Imaging Ventures alum Justin Jensen and his Kickstarter rockstar venture Cinetics have just announced product #2, the CineSquid suction cup tripod-based camera mount. Check out their epic DIY demo video...

22 February 2012

ACCELERATE ~ MIT $100K Competition Dial Up!

Excellent to see MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition's new ACCELERATE showcase and awards tonight! Congrats to SolidEnergy for sweeping.

21 February 2012

Bunny Chow ~ South African Veggie Curry Dish!

CNN spots South Africa's Bunny Chow, in this case created by the immigrant Patel family the better part of a century ago...
"No, it's not made from rabbit. "Bunny chow" originated in the city of Durban, South Africa, and is a vegetarian fast-food dish made from a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry."

20 February 2012

Cry Freetown ~ Samura on Sierra Leone Civil War

Earlier today I posted promo videos emphasizing the emerging and promising future possibilities for Sierra Leone and its peoples. But we should never forget that just over a decade ago this beautiful country was being hacked apart by rebels and defenders alike in a brutal civil war. Photojournalist Sorious Samura was caught in the middle of it all and captured some truly horrifying footage. His Cry Freetown documentary pulls no punches and demands your attention...

Venture Sierra Leone ~ Investment & Tourism++

Just thought I'd assemble several promo videos about Sierra Leone business perspective, investment climate, tourism possibilities, starting with this World Bank piece on Rebuilding Business and Investment in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone... Next, SLIEPA -- the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency -- made a general promo video in 2009... And here's the fairly recent SLIEPA promo piece on SL as Africa's New Investment Destination... Highlights of Investors Conference held on Nov 16th, 2011... Here's a tourism promo piece... The intro to the multi-part Road to Change... Concluding here... And finally, some pro-development but cautionary comments on Salone as we head on...

The Technologists ~ Pearl’s MIT Historical Thriller

I have no idea how good it will be, but I'm most definitely a sucker for any MIT yarn, so I'm going to the MIT Museum for the book launch of The Technologists, Matthew Pearl’s new historical thriller, this Tuesday night February 21 starting 6pm. The story is set in...
"Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. [...] shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides -- rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training. Led by “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist struggling to find his footing in rarefied Boston society, the group is rounded out by irrepressible Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; Edwin Hoyt, class genius; and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow, the Institute’s lone, ostracized female student. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city."
Watch the terrifying trailer...

MatterPort ~ Easy 3D Capture+Model Via Kinect!

Thanks to Ramesh Raskar for spotting MatterPort!
"New point-and-shoot 3D scanning system [consisting of] software, combined with inexpensive 3D capture hardware [such as Microsoft Kinect], [to] allow anyone to create 3D models of physical objects and interior spaces quickly and easily."

Man in Space ~ A Decade From Disney to Glenn!

Walt Disney hosts Man in Space program on his TV show in 1955... First American spaceflight by John Glenn exactly 50 years ago today!

19 February 2012

Qatar ~ 60 Minutes Spotlights Powerful Force

CBS's 60 Minutes spotlights Qatar, a tiny country asserting powerful influence and internal inconsistency...

Future of Games ~ Will Wright @ UCSC IFOG'11

SimCity creator Will Wright on Future of Games at UCSC IFOG'11...

Transcendent Man ~ Kurzweil Singularity Trailer...

Trailer for 2009 film Transcendent Man... And here Kurzweil explains Singularity...

World Population ~ Regional Forecasts to 2050

Science of Steel ~ NatGeo on Amazing Alloy!

Nice NatGeo show on Science of Steel...

16 February 2012

Inventing on Principle ~ Bret Victor on Creativity!

Thanks to MIT's one-and-only Star Simpson for spotting this delighter!

Replan It Philippines ~ Brandis & Diaz on Shelter

MyShelter founder and social entrepreneur Illac Diaz just dropped by and shared some latest news, including the trailer of his appearance on Jock Brandis' Replan It!

Gotham Defender ~ Theft-Resistant Bike Light!

MIT alums Slava and Brad are rockin' Kickstarter with their Gotham Defender, a theft-resistant bike light! Check out their promo video and back them!

15 February 2012

Covered Arcades ~ Lovely Inner-City Street Malls

Lovely views of various Covered Arcades...

Pig Moradi ~ Filthy Iranian Terrorist Scumbag...

The DailyMail helps us witness a religious wingnut and evil incarnate, the filthy Iranian terrorist pig Saedi Moradi who managed to blow off his own legs in a failed Bangkok bombing. He and his mad mullah minders are all scumbag swine -- impure, inhuman, unworthy... The only worse wingnuts are those who perpetuated the King David hotel massacre and their contemporary messianic missionary successors.

13 February 2012

NYC Energy ~ Visualizing Building Consumption

Mike Orcutt writes in TechReview about The Energy Use of New York City's Buildings, Visualized...
"...researchers from Columbia University [...] used publicly available data to develop a detailed picture of how energy consumption in New York City buildings -- which account for two-thirds of the energy the city uses every year -- varies by location. Such spatially distributed information, the researchers argue, can illuminate good candidates for cost-effective retrofitting to increase energy efficiency, and can inform strategies for future distributed generation systems. [...] Below is an interactive visualization, posted online recently by the Columbia researchers, that shows the total kilowatt-hours used per square meter of the land area of each tax lot."

Entitled US ~ Geomap of Government Benefits

Check out NYTimes interactographic on The Geography of Government Benefits spotlighting Entitled US...

Forkless Bicycle ~ Surprisingly Provocative!

UniqueDaily spots Forkless Bicycle!

Esplanade 2020 ~ Boston's Charles River Future!

Excellent to see Boston's Esplanade Association release their Esplanade 2020 report...
"To forge a shared vision for the park’s future -- one rooted in its nineteenth century origins, but looking forward to address the needs of the broad contemporary public."

12 February 2012

Resource Nationalism ~ Economist on Africa...

The Economist writes Wish you were mine about the growing and troublesome resource nationalism in Africa...
"African governments are seeking higher rents and bigger ownership stakes from foreign miners. [...] in the past year resource nationalism has jumped to the top of the list of things that worry the 30 biggest global miners. [...] In Africa mining companies are often especially vulnerable -- they are usually the biggest corporate beasts around. Widespread poverty has provided a ready excuse for governments dependent on income from resources. The trick for miners is to ensure not only that the money keeps flowing but also that the miners agree to the spending on roads, railways, schools and hospitals that are now a customary part of the package the industry offers to acquire mineral rights."
On the one hand, I loathe the kleptocratic corruption and wasteful incompetence of the typical nation state and its minions. On the other hand, most big corporates have a disproportionate skill and knowledge advantage and have a track record of exploitation. Surely there's a third alternative which embraces strategic CSR and allows everyday citizens to participate in the bounty?

08 February 2012

MIT Media Ventures ~ Thurs 10a-12n Spr 2012

MIT Media Ventures ~ Media Lab Entrepreneurship & Digital Innovations Seminar is the flagship Spring semester "Action Lab" course within the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program. We survey a broad landscape of emerging media technologies interwoven with live- and historic-cases of inter- and entrepreneurship-based on Media Lab ideas, culminating in a term project. The core goal is to gain increased understanding of how emergent media and digital innovations translate into commercial reality and transform society. We survey case examples of both successful and failed businesses and generally grapple with the difficulties of deploying and diffusing products and as a means of exploring a range of business models and opportunities enabled by emerging Media Lab and related innovations. This year we will be especially emphasizing personal health care, financial service innovations, mobile transactions, and social media generally with special focus on social networks, quantified self and society, and "Big Data" analytics. First class this Thursday morning February 9th, 2012 in Media Lab E14-633.

Bullet of Light ~ Raskar et al Ultrafast Imaging!

MIT's Ramesh Raskar & colleagues capture visual data at a rate of one trillion frames per second. Watch here a bullet of light moving through a Coke bottle!

Glass Day Unpacked ~ Behind Corning Vision

Paul at GeekPress spots A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked...

06 February 2012

MIT Imaging Ventures ~ Wed 10a-12n Spr 2012

Ramesh Raskar and I are running MIT Imaging Ventures ~ Cameras, Displays, Visual Analytics & Apps again this Spring 2012! This is an Action Lab class designed to help students conceive of and launch startups based on new imaging opportunities. We study the landscape of imaging developments, plan and prototype new ventures & products, and brainstorm towards a startup, business unit, non-profit or citizen sector organization. To bring imaging research to the real world, the students will be encouraged to build teams and craft a business plan. The class will include live case studies of established and emerging businesses, through talks by invited business speakers, as well as surveys of commercialization and the innovation landscape in every arena of imaging including Mobile Camera Phones, Cameras in Developing Counties, Image-Search, Scientific Imaging, Medical Devices, Online Photo Sharing, Portable Displays, Large format visual interfaces, Computational Photography, and more. Please spread the word to those you think might be interested. First class is this Wed morning February 8th, 2012 in Media Lab E14-525.

04 February 2012

Dutch Cycling ~ Wagenbuur Shows Civilization!

Mark Wagenbuur shows What defines Dutch cycling!

Watts Next ~ Worldwide Primary Energy Use...

The Economist shares Watts Next in world energy use...
"The amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP will also converge as globalisation drives energy efficiency, making economic growth far less energy intensive everywhere in the world."

02 February 2012

Ant Megalopolis ~ Nature’s Secret Power Docu

Thanks to DailyMail for spotting Nature’s Secret Power documentary on an incredibly complex Ant Megalopolis!

NOAA OSCURS ~ Ocean Surface Current Sims

Thanks to gCaptain for spotting NOAA's efforts to understand ocean currents through the tracking of tsunami-related marine debris...
"Citizen monitoring and reporting can help NOAA scientists better understand the location and nature of the debris generated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Ships traveling the Pacific Ocean and beachcombers on the coast can now report significant sightings. If reporting a sighting, be sure to include what you saw, when you saw it, and where it was located."
They've got tracker apps and emailables plus they've tried to model what will happen via OSCURS...

01 February 2012

R.I.P. Don Cornelius ~ Soul Train Creator Suicide

Tragic to hear that Don Cornelius is gone. Creator of Soul Train, inspiration to millions of us. CBS reports...
"Soul Train" began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006. It introduced television audiences to such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the show's executive producer and its host from 1971-1993."
It's terribly sad that our combined love for his work couldn't translate into something supportive and meaningful to him.

Power of Charisma ~ CBS on Engaging Politicians

Interesting to see MIT colleagues Alex "Sandy" Pentland and now-alumnus Daniel Olguin of startup Sociometric Solutions on CBS show about politicians and charisma...
"...at MIT's Media Lab, researchers say that with a little device they actually can use science to measure your charisma... assuming, of course, that you have some to measure. It's called the Sociometer [...] It measures NOT what you say, but how you say it. "So the first thing is energy. You have to be energetic," said Pentland. "It shows up in your hands. It shows up in the voice, the way you sort of carry yourself and do things."

Global Startups ~ MIT GSW in Istanbul, Turkey!

If you're interested in new venture development, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and cluster crafting, be sure to attend the MIT GSW -- the Global Startup Workshop -- this year in Eurasian bridge-nation, Turkey. Since I helped start this conference at MIT in 1998 -- and every year since -- the MIT GSW brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs and supporters from dozens of countries for intensive discussions, panels, keynotes, etc. This Spring 2012, together with the MIT Enterprise Forum Turkey and Ozyegin and Sabancı universities, the GSW spotlights new technological, global market, and strategic directions. And all this in Istanbul one of the top global supercities! Go!

Quadrotor Swarms ~ UPenn's GRASP Lab Flies!

Thanks to Alex Willisson for spotting these Quadrotor Swarms!
"Experiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvania. Vehicles developed by KMel Robotics. Special thanks to Professor Daniel Lee..."

Over Africa ~ NASA ISS Spaceflight Timelapse!

NASA shares beautiful view flying over Africa in the ISS!