31 March 2014

Edible Planets ~ Spherical Concentric Layer Cake!

LOL, Spherical Concentric Layer Cakes...
"This tutorial will show you the most basic and least equipment-heavy way of baking the concentric layer cake as seen in both the Earth cake and Jupiter cake. You can stop at half way and just make a hemisphere cake, or make two hemispheres and join them into one as in this video."
http://cakecrumbs.me/2013/08/01/spherical-concentric-layer-cake-tutorial/ P.S. Neatorama's John Farrier spots Beth Klosterboer's Earth Cake with Rock Candy Core... http://www.neatorama.com/2014/04/22/Earth-Cake-with-Rock-Candy-Core/

Slow Life ~ Stoupin's Micro Timelapse of Sealife!

io9's George Dvorsky spots Slow Life timelapse by Daniel Stoupin...
"Corals and sponges are surprisingly mobile creatures, but their agonizingly slow movements are difficult to detect with the human eye. Now, using 150,000 photographs [here's] stunning macro timelapse [where] these subtle movements can be seen"

Guinea Pig Club ~ Dr McIndoe's WWII Patients...

WWII airmen with terrible injuries were cared for by remarkable plastic surgeon, the New Zealander Sir Archibald McIndoe, who pioneered modern reconstructive surgery through bold but careful experimental methods at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, England.  The injured were "human guinea pigs" and proud of it.  With McIndoe's encouragement, these men formed an exclusive drinking club which endures even now, nearly three-quarters of a century later.  The Guardian's Lucinda Marland shares some of their stories.  And the BBC's Nick Tarver writes in 2011 as East Grinstead 'guinea pigs' celebrate 70th anniversary...
"According to the Guinea Pig Club's honorary secretary, Bob Marchant, who worked with the surgeon in the 1950s, it was his focus on young men's future lives, which paid dividends. "He not only treated them for burns, but also psychologically by getting them back into the community," he said. "There were a lot of wealthy people around here and McIndoe went out and asked them to invite the airmen into their homes. He also did the same in the pubs. "Eventually East Grinstead became known as the town that didn't stare."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-13618639 Amazing and holistic healing innovations... Finally, 60 Minutes catches up with two Australian "Guinea Pigs" who met during recovery and are still best mates after all these years!

Future of Play ~ Sand Garden Born in Boston!

Ruth Graham writes in the Globe about the future of play, How the American playground was born in Boston...
"As children’s play spaces evolve, the spirit behind the original 19th-century “sand garden” is on the rise again. [...] in 1885, one charitable group decided to offer something of an experiment to the local children: a pile of sand, deposited for the summer in the yard of a chapel on Parmenter Street. Little did any of them know how much it would change the experience of childhood in America. [...] The spot -- across the street from what is now the North End public library branch -- was an immediate hit with children, who spent long afternoons digging with small shovels and making sand pies. [...] Today, playgrounds look nothing like that simple sandpile. Over the next century, playgrounds were filled in with dangerous but thrilling monkey bars, swings, see-saws, and metal carousels, all on beds of dirt or asphalt. Then, starting in the 1980s, a new trend began, in which these sometimes rusty and risky structures were replaced by standardized plastic structures, the asphalt giving way to rubber matting. Modern playgrounds have become so predictable, cushioned, and programmed that they are now coming under attack as a symptom of everything that’s wrong with contemporary childhood. [...] The most ambitious play thinkers argue that the ultimate goal should be returning the places we live -- or at least neighborhoods -- to kids. [...] Not all opportunities for play, in other words, need to be look like playgrounds. They don’t necessarily need to be permanent, expensive, or complicated. As Johnson puts it, “We ought to have play that comes and goes. We ought to dump some sand piles in the summer.” What people thought children wanted in the 1880s, it turns out, might be the same thing they want today."
Here's just a couple of the Globe's archival playground pictures! http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/03/28/how-american-playground-was-born-boston/5i2XrMCjCkuu5521uxleEL/picture.htmlhttp://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/03/28/how-american-playground-was-born-boston/5i2XrMCjCkuu5521uxleEL/picture.html

29 March 2014

Changing Faces ~ Beat Prejudice, Value Equality

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2592254/Adam-Pearson-hopes-beat-prejudice-Under-The-Skin.htmlThe DailyMail shares Adam Pearson's OpEd TV's Beauty and the Beast star hopes to beat prejudice after big-screen debut...
"My genetic condition, neurofibromatosis, causes excess body tissue and non-cancerous tumours. [...] As a teenager, I was called Elephant Man, Scarface and Quasimodo. All three of these film characters with a scar, mark or illness is either a victim or psychotic killer. I could probably act the part, but in real life I am neither of these things. It’s all about context. [...] What I hope I can do is help to create a society where grown-ups don’t hold these immature, naive prejudices."
Towards this end, Adam supports Changing Faces and the Face Equality campaign...
"...calling for balanced portrayals of people with disfigurements in films. [...] James Partridge, CEO of Changing Faces, said: “We’re so used to seeing people with disfigurements portrayed as the villain in films that it may be hard for people to imagine they could ever play someone’s friend, the Dad picking up his kids from school, the US President, or a lover. [...] “The problem is that, for those who actually do have facial scars or whose faces are asymmetrical as a result of cancer, strokes or birth conditions, the way that people react in the cinema can spill over into the way they are treated in everyday life. It can encourage people to make moral judgements based on what they see on the screen."
Here's the short film Leo to provoke thought... What did you think was going to happen?

Creative Routines ~ Visualizing Daily Rituals...

Thanks to HuffPo's Kevin Short for spotting the Creative Routines infographic by MIT alum RJ Andrews at Info We Trust -- building on Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey -- offering...
"...enlightening visualizations of how history's most creative and influential figures structured their days. Unfortunately, there is no common prescription for the perfect schedule, and each person had a very different set of rituals. Based on the charts, we learn that some of history's icons had more eccentric habits than others."

Blowfly Flight Motor ~ In Vivo Microtomo Imaging!

Thanks to io9's George Dvorsky for spotting new PLOS Biology research article In Vivo Time-Resolved Microtomography Reveals the Mechanics of the Blowfly Flight Motor...
"Here we present the results of a synchrotron-based study performing micrometre-resolution, time-resolved microtomography on the 145 Hz wingbeat of blowflies. These data represent the first four-dimensional visualizations of an organism's internal movements on sub-millisecond and micrometre scales. This technique allows us to visualize and measure the three-dimensional movements of five of the largest steering muscles, and to place these in the context of the deforming thoracic mechanism that the muscles actuate. Our visualizations show that the steering muscles operate through a diverse range of nonlinear mechanisms, revealing several unexpected features that could not have been identified using any other technique."
Amazing work by the researchers, including Simon Walker, Daniel Schwyn, Rajmund Mokso, Martina Wicklein, Tonya Müller, Michael Doube, Marco Stampanoni, Holger Krapp, Graham Taylor! Here's the experimental setup... http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001823

R.I.P. Kevin Brooks ~ Storyteller & Adventurer...

Tragic to hear that Kevin Brooks has passed away after fighting a fast, cruel cancer. Media Lab alumnus, storyteller, adventurer, friend, and especially a deeply engaged mentor to next generations, his joie de vivre will be missed but the high bar he set long remembered.

28 March 2014

BeetleCopter ~ Burrard-Lucas Shoots Serengeti

Thanks to The Kid Should See This for spotting nature photographer (and crafter of Camptraptions including the original BeetleCam) Will Burrard-Lucas's BeetleCopter in the Serengeti...

New Skull ~ 3DPrinted Replacement Braincase!

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-03/26/3d-printed-skull Wired's Nicholas Tufnell notes that Neurosurgeons successfully implant 3D printed skull at the UMC Utrecht hospital...
"A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder -- which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches -- has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant. The operation, which took 23 hours, was led by Dr Bon Verweij. The patient's skull was so thick, that had the operation not been performed, serious brain damage or death may have occurred in the near future. [...] The lead surgeon had previous experience with 3D reconstructions of skulls, but such a large implant had never been accomplished before. "It is almost impossible to see that she's ever had surgery," said Dr Verweij in the university's official statement. It is hoped this technique can also be used for patients with other bone disorders or to repair severely damaged skulls after an accident or tumour.
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-03/26/3d-printed-skull And here's UMC Utrecht's surgery video...

27 March 2014

Upsee ~ Harness Enables Kids to Walk & Play!

Thanks to John Farrier at Neatorama for spotting the Upsee...
"Debby Elnatan's young son, Rotem, has cerebral palsy. He has very limited mobility. She wanted to find a way to help him experience upright movement, so she invented the Upsee. It's a harness that straps a child to the legs and waist of an adult. Both the child and the adult wear sandals that are joined together and slip over their shoes. With the adult's assistance, the child can step, walk, dance and even kick. Both can keep their hands free while doing so. Elnatan took the Upsee to Leckey, a child accessory manufacturer in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. On Monday, the company released Upsee for global distribution."
The DailyMail shares more parent+child experiences...
"Short-term, the Upsee improves special needs family participation and quality of life, while research suggests it has the potential to help with physical and emotional development in the longer term,' she said. 'It has been humbling to see the progress and happiness the Upsee is creating; watching children to do simple things for the first time such as kicking a ball or playing with a sibling is wonderful for everyone involved, but especially the families."

CycloCable ~ Reengineered Bike Escalator!

Steph at WebUrbanist spots that Norway's Trampe has been reengineered and rebranded as the CycloCable...
"Trampe is the world's first bicycle lift intended for urban areas. The prototype was built in 1993. During its 15 years of operation, Trampe pushed more than 200,000 cyclists up the 130m long hill Brubakken in Trondheim. Already from the beginning, it became one of the most popular tourist attractions."
The creation and venture escalation story is compelling...
"The inventor of the Bicycle Lift [...] Jarle Wanvik, is a true bicycle enthusiast. He always finds an excuse for parking his car and using his bicycle instead. [...] In 1992, Wanvik got luminous visions about a bicycle lift that could carry cyclists uphill. Inspired by the ski lift technology, he visualized a lift design by which the cyclists could be pushed uphill without having to descend the bicycle. [...] Wanvik joined forces with the experienced mechanical engineer Stein Løvold and the electrical engineer Magnar Wahl. The local ski lift manufacturer, Protek AS, was picked to manufacture and assemble the world’s first bicycle lift. More than 2.000 people enjoyed the opening ceremony of Trampe on August 18 1993. 15 years and 220.000 trips later it was time to renew the lift. In 2010, the POMA GROUP contacted Design Management AS. After having tested Trampe they asked for a worldwide license. The license agreement was signed on the July 22 2011. Trampe had been authorized by DNV (Det Norske Veritas) in 1994. However, in spite of no accidents during 15 years of operation, International Cableway authorities claimed a more secure design for the next generation of lifts. The answer was CycloCable, a new bicycle lift developed by SKIRAIL (a company member of POMA GROUP), and Design Management AS. CycloCable is based upon the same patent as Trampe but with new, retractable foot plates. The CycloCable in Trondheim is the very first installation of its kind, so Trondheim keep on being the true pioneer of bicycle lifts."
http://trampe.no/en/home http://trampe.no/en/home

26 March 2014

Cyborg Drummer ~ Barnes w/ Power Prosthetic!

UD spots "one arm" Jason Barnes playing drums with his prosthetic! Maybe it's obvious after you see it, but it gets you wondering what other kinds of performances could be uniquely enabled with similar power tools for those classically considered "disabled"? Hear more about his saga straight from the source...

25 March 2014

Beneath Cities ~ Decaying Infrastructure & Death

In NYTimes, Patrick McGeehan, Russ Buettner, and David Chen share scandal: Beneath Cities, a Decaying Tangle of Gas Pipes...
"It is a danger hidden beneath the streets of New York City, unseen and rarely noticed: 6,302 miles of pipes transporting natural gas. [...] The perilous state of New York City’s underground network, one of the oldest in the country [is] a glaring example of America’s crumbling infrastructure. [...] Communities across the country have been struggling to replace thousands of miles of these old, metal pipes with pipes made of plastic or specially coated steel that are less prone to leakage. Few, however, face as daunting a challenge as New York City. To replace all of the old mains in its network right now would cost as much as $10 billion, Con Edison estimates. Much of that expense would fall on the residents and businesses that use the gas for heating and cooking. [...] “Some of this aging infrastructure has reached the end of its useful life” [...] “It’s a major ordeal in a city like New York to just start digging things up.”
Yikes, surely there's a better way to design, build, and maintain cities?! Here's the mess below as visualized by Larry Buchanan's infographic and Robert Stolarik's photos... http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/23/nyregion/the-network-of-pipes-under-manhattans-streets.html?_r=0

23 March 2014

California Soul ~ Lovely Video for Kevin Brooks!

Lovely video from Birago for MIT's one-and-only Kevin Brooks who can surely use a little Soul right now, certainly from California, plus parts beyond!

22 March 2014

India Beats Polio ~ CNN on Public Health Victory!

CNN's Moni Basu reports India beats the odds, beats polio...
"When a global effort to end polio was launched in 1988, the disease crippled more than 200,000 children every year in India. Almost two decades later, in 2009, India still reported half of the world's new cases -- 741 out of 1,604. India has millions of poor and uneducated people. The population is booming. Large areas lack hygiene and good sanitation, and polio spreads through contaminated water. Many health experts predicted India would be the last country in the world to get rid of polio. They were wrong."

21 March 2014

Timelapse A'dam ~ Emergence of NL Vital City!

Velo Mondial spots timelapse Amsterdam anime... P.S. Oops, looks like some efficient asshole Dutch lawyer-type asserted IP rights. I'll look for alternative replacement. P.P.S. And here it is, courtesy 24Oranges... P.P.P.S. Also check out this older but more comprehensive timelapse or this one... Finally, here's year-by-year building construction timelapse...

Slo-Mo Goshawk ~ BBC Spots Animal Extremes!

C spots BBC's Goshawk Flies Through Tiny Spaces in Slo-Mo!

20 March 2014

Best Cycling City ~ Wagenbuur on Top Nominees

BicycleDutchman Mark Wagenbuur created these video portraits reviewing the pros and cons of five top nominee candidates for Best Cycling City in the Netherlands 2014. First, Zwolle... Second, Velsen... Third, Enschede... Fourth, Eindhoven... Finally, Almere... P.S. Check out Mark's Recap including portraits by the Cyclists’ Union which make the cities look their best!

R.I.P. Pat McGovern ~ MIT Venture Philanthropist

Very sad to hear MIT alum Pat McGovern passed away yesterday March 19th.  Founder of IDG, Pat later reconnected with his early passion for all things neuro and became philanthropic financier of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.  On a personal note, he not only hosted me and a couple dozen peer new-admits to MIT at his Silicon Valley mansion -- an eye-opening and inspiring occasion -- but also inspired the various venture Salons I've been part of organizing since the mid-1990s, including thematic ones with Bob Metcalfe (e.g. NanoSalon, SocioSalon, NeuroSalon) and the later MIT Chairman's Salons.

19 March 2014

First Dance ~ Haslet-Davis on MIT Leg @ TED14

Kate Torgovnick May writes on the TED blog that Boston Marathon bomb-amputee Adrianne Haslet-Davis dances on new MIT Leg...
"In 3.5 seconds, the criminals and cowards took Adrianne off the dance floor,” [MIT's Hugh Herr] says. “In 200 days, we put her back.” With that, Herr calls Haslet-Davis out for what will be her first dance since the bombing [...] on stage with her partner, professional dancer Christian Lightner. The two begin to dance a rumba, Haslet-Davis performing intricate back-and-forth footwork. [...] she twirls around her partner as the white fringe of her skirt flaps in the air. Her body looks lithe and unimpaired. Her bionic foot is encased in a white dancing slipper, just like her right foot. It’s a stunning moment. One that underscores Herr’s ultimate point. “Bionics are not only about making people stronger and faster,” he says. “Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into our electromechanics.”
http://blog.ted.com/2014/03/19/a-first-dance-on-a-next-generation-bionic-limb-hugh-herr-and-adrianne-haslet-davis-at-ted2014/ Aha, TED has posted it online!

17 March 2014

Escherian Leidenfrost ~ Stairclimbing Waterdrops!

io9's Robert Gonzalez writes There's something strangely satisfying about watching water roll uphill...
"Researchers at the University of Bath recently demonstrated that water dropped on a very hot ridged surface would cause the droplet to not only float, but climb along an inclined surface, as though ascending a flight of stairs. [The video below] produced by the folks at Science Friday, features some really beautiful closeup shots of the [Leidenfrost] effect."

Verdant Cladding ~ Emergent Urban Greenery!

Some more verdant loveliness from Urban Greenery! http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/http://urbangreens.tumblr.com/

16 March 2014

Pantheon ~ Mapping Global Cultural Production

MIT Media Lab colleague Cesar Hidalgo's Macro Connections group offers up the Pantheon ~ Mapping Global Cultural Production including such visualization as this long-term trendscape of the Cultural Production Index (Fraction)... http://pantheon.media.mit.edu/methods And matrices of Domains vs Places...http://pantheon.media.mit.edu/matrix/matrix_exports/all/both/-4000/1990/25/pantheon Here the team explains a bit more...

Fin ~ Ring Enabling Palm & Gestural Interface!

http://www.wearfin.com/Check out the Fin finger frob that's Indy'd...
"Fin is a tiny hardware product that you can wear on the thumb of your hand as a ring and it will make your whole palm as a gesture interface."

Container Stacking ~ Tiltshift Timelapse Logistics!

UD spots Container Stacking tiltshift timelapse! Looks just like a Lego-assembly machine!

15 March 2014

Europe 24 ~ Day of Air Traffic Data Visualization!

Wired's Kyle VanHemert says Watch an Entire Day of Air Traffic in One Astonishing Visualization...
"The folks at NATS, responsible for handling much of the air traffic control in Great Britain and elsewhere, know the delicate dance better than just about anyone. To give us a sense of what keeps them busy day to day, they put together this stunning video. Running at 1,440 times regular speed, the viz is striking as pure laser light spectacle. But the closer you watch, the more fascinating details you’ll find. The clip combines UK radar data from June 21 of last year and flight plan data from the rest of the continent from July 28."

In Science We Trust ~ Al-Ghaili's Homage!

Masdar Prof Hector Hernandez shares In Science We Trust compiled by Hashem Al-Ghaili...

WiTricity ~ Wireless Power Transfer on CNN

CNN's Ponsford and Glass spot Wireless electricity? It's here...
"In the house of the future, wire-free energy transfer could be as easy as wireless internet. If all goes to WiTricity's plans, smartphones will charge in your pocket as you wander around, televisions will flicker with no wires attached, and electric cars will refuel while sitting on the driveway. WiTricity have already demonstrated their ability to power laptops, cell-phones, and TVs by attaching resonator coils to batteries -- and an electric car refueller is reportedly in the works."

Masdar ~ Abu Dhabi's Green City on Bloomberg

Masdar: A Green City on Bloomberg Brink...

Africa's Youth ~ BBC Debate: Asset or Liability?

The BBC debates Is Africa’s young population a risk or an asset?
"Africa has more people aged under 20 than anywhere in the world and the continent's population is set to double to two billion by 2050. Two analysts put forward rival arguments about what this means for the Africa. Researcher Andrews Atta-Asamoah believes it poses a major challenge unless properly managed, while below economist Jean-Michelle Severino argues it is a massive potential work force that can drive development."

In The Eruption ~ Quapter Shoots Active Volcano!

Kottke spots quapter footage from inside+above the volcano erupting!

12 March 2014

Epic Flythrough ~ Journey Past Mapped Galaxies!

Ria Misra at io9 spots an Epic Flythrough ~ Every Known Galaxy in the Universe, As Seen From a Spaceship...
"It's the work of Will Parr, Dr. Mark Swinbank and Dr. Peder Norberg of Durham University, who assembled it using data from both the Galaxy and Mass Assembly catalogue and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. "This simulated flythrough shows the real positions and images of the galaxies that have been mapped so far," they write. "Distances are to scale, but the galaxy images have been enlarged for your viewing pleasure."

11 March 2014

Ping Pong Fauxbots ~ Handy Robo Partners?

At first I got all excited about these ping pong-playing robots but MIT colleague Steven Keating called "BS" and points out these are either fake CGI or crafty editing with limited actual repeated back'n'forth gameplay. Even the Bruce Lee advert is a fauxmercial. Blah. And here, not a robot, but almost equally godly!

Menu Table ~ Pizza Hut's Interactive Pie Picker;-)

Pick your pie with Pizza Hut's menu table...

10 March 2014

Boston Cluster ~ On BBC's Next Silicon Valleys...

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26430312The BBC's Richard Taylor reports in the Next Silicon Valleys series that Boston breaks through: Speed reading and life-size robots making a lot of noise over the supposed east vs west coast rivalry...
"What grates here is that Mark Zuckerberg famously started Facebook from his Harvard dorm room, but before long took the social network to the other side of the country [...] all too often Boston start-ups end up being snapped up by their bigger, West Coast brethren; witness Google's recent purchase of another local robotic success story, Boston Dynamics. The challenge for Boston, it seems, is not just to develop the talent, but to hold on to it too."
Sorry, what most grates is that Taylor entirely missed the real story which is that Boston has intentionally been exporting innovation -- i.e. successfully distributing the enabling pieces, processes, and philosophy of progress and prosperity -- for over a century.  MIT people, for instance, went out to co-found Stanford University and then later Stanford's Research Park, Hewlett-Packard, Watkins-Johnson, Shockley Semiconductor, Fairchild Semi, Intel, Kleiner-Perkins, and dozens more essential elements which actually made Silicon Valley possible in the first place.  The problems of our planet are too many for us to be geographically parochial and not spread the innovation ethos everywhere.

08 March 2014

Tragic Memorial ~ Dahlberg's Bold Norsk Cut...

Norway honors youth killed by religious extremist via memorial...
"Dahlberg proposes creating a massive gap of water and air. By slicing a huge section of the island's landmass away, he would create a steep fjord through the site where the shooting occurred -- a void that he describes as "a wound or a cut within nature itself." [...] Rather than building a monument or structure, he would focus on nature itself. A 70-foot-wide gap carved out of the island, separating the headland from the main island, would serve as the ideal spot to reflect and memorialize. On the jagged edges of the cut, the names of those who died in the attacks would be inscribed into smooth stone."

04 March 2014

R.I.P. Alex Zaffaroni ~ Great Biotech Entrepreneur

Very sad to hear Uruguayan immigrant-entrepreneur Dr Alejandro Zaffaroni passed away at 91 this past weekend. A pioneer in drug delivery systems and innovative medical technology and co-founder of a dozen Silicon Valley biotech ventures including ALZA, Dynapol, DNAX, Affymax & Affymetrix, and more, he was a magnet for talent and creative provocation for thousands of people.

02 March 2014

Sweet Science ~ Reinventing Maple Harvesting!

The Globe sez in A jolt for the science behind harvesting maple sap...
"Scientists find way to harvest without taps or buckets or, even, what you’d call trees. Cutting-edge maple syrup production experiments at the University of Vermont show that maple sap can be vacuumed from the slashed-off trunks of saplings."

01 March 2014

Life After Pi ~ Changing World of VFX & Film...

See here Life After Pi documentary about...
"Rhythm & Hues Studios, the L.A. based Visual Effects company that won an Academy Award for its groundbreaking work on "Life of Pi" -- just two weeks after declaring bankruptcy. The film explores rapidly changing forces impacting the global VFX community and the Film Industry as a whole."