28 December 2014

Gapminder World 2013 ~ Life Expect vs GDP/cap

Gapminder shares latest global figures comparing...
"Life Expectancy & GDP per capita of 187 countries in year 2013. Each bubble is a country. Size is population. Color is region. [Produced Nov 2014. Click to download PDF]"

26 December 2014

Tsunami 2004 ~ Recalling Boxing Day Disaster...

The Boxing Day 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean -- ten years ago today, December 26th -- was one of the biggest natural disasters in modern memory, killing over a quarter-million people without (much) warning within 4-6 hours in at least a dozen countries -- and triggering unprecedented humanitarian relief efforts. There are several retrospective documentaries of note, but here's a sampling... For those interested in quantifying the catastrophe, first note this NOAA simulation of the tsunami wavefront... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_and_tsunami Second, look at this seismographic plot from around the world showing the Earth literally ringing from the rupture of the Sunda megathrust off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia...
We're learning ever more about quakes and tsunamis and NOAA's research and warning system is on the frontline... Nevertheless, the colossal power of plate tectonics is only one of the deadly natural perils mankind faces. Just one modest-sized asteroid hit, say like Eltanin or Chicxulub, would create quakes and tsunamis that make the Boxing Day disaster seem like ripples in a puddle. Simulate this for yourself via ImpactEarth! For civilizational survival, we need to figure out how to move humanity well beyond our cradle, ASAP.

Fishhead Nebula ~ NASA Spots Star Formations

NASA APOD spots the Fishhead Nebula! http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141224.html

22 December 2014

Urban Change ~ Half-Century Foto-Comparisons

Thanks to Robin Chase for spotting Shane Hampton's post at the Institute for Quality Communities, 60 Years of Urban Change: Midwest...
"60 years has made a big difference in the urban form of American cities. The most rapid change occurred during the mid-century urban renewal period that cleared large tracts of urban land for new highways, parking, and public facilities or housing projects. Fine-grained networks of streets and buildings on small lots were replaced with superblocks and megastructures. While the period did make way for impressive new projects in many cities, many of the scars are still unhealed. We put together these sliders to show how cities have changed over half a century. In this post, we look at Midwestern cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio."
http://iqc.ou.edu/2014/12/12/60yrsmidwest/ http://iqc.ou.edu/2014/12/12/60yrsmidwest/http://iqc.ou.edu/2014/12/12/60yrsmidwest/

Betabook ~ Portable Pocket or Handy Whiteboard!

Afrigadget shares A Tablet for Africa which is the Betabook, a portable pocket or hand-holdable whiteboard which one can just digitize with a smartphone and camera. It's Kickstarting...

Five Jetliners ~ Epic Airbus Formation Flying!

Wow, Sploid's Jesus Diaz and Andrew Gorenstein spot an epic Airbus stunt, the formation flying of five new A350-900 XWB passenger jets!

Liquid Rainbow ~ Colombia's Vibrant River!

The BBC's Karen Catchpole writes of central Colombia’s 100 Km long Caño Cristales river -- the Liquid Rainbow. Check out photos by Eric Mohl of the river's natural shades of red, blue, yellow, orange and green due to the many hues of the Macarenia Clavigera plant! http://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbowhttp://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbowhttp://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20140903-colombias-liquid-rainbow

Amsterdam Light Festival ~ Timelapse Photonicity!

Thanks to 24oranges for spotlighting the Amsterdam Light Festival 2014-15 and Jack Fisher's lovely timelapse!

20 December 2014

Vestas Skipper Nico ~ Learning From Shipwreak...

At end November 2014, skipper Chris "Nico" Nicholson's nine-man Volvo Ocean Race team Vestas Wind ran their 65 foot racing yacht aground at 19 knots onto the charted Cargados Carajos Shoals, a reef nearish to Mauritius (which is roughly 200 nautical miles away) in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to gCaptain for sharing the saga and spotting his insights as shared with Sailing Anarchy's Alan Block... Here's some of the crash and context video... Vestas navigator Wouter comments on errors. Finally, some formal comments from CEO Frostad at Volvo Race Control...

18 December 2014

Prosthetic Mods ~ Double Amputee Fully Armed!

Amputee Makes History with APL’s Modular Prosthetic Limb!
"A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) this summer when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Most importantly, Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs, performing a variety of tasks during a short training period."

Prelude Progress ~ Epic Ship Construction Porn!

gCaptain spotlights my favorite current gigaproject, the Shell Prelude! Here's earlier intro to Prelude FLNG.

Roboparty ~ ETHZ's Autonomous Xmas Lab 2014

MissC spots Robot Christmas Party from ETHZ!

07 December 2014

R.I.P. Ralph Baer ~ Father of TV Video Games

Kokatu and Gamasutra report the sad news that Ralph Baer, widely considered the father of video games, has passed away at age 92.
"A renowned inventor, and holder of over 150 patents, Baer's most famous work was designing the machine that would become the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's very first home video games console. Every console and handheld that's come since, well, you can trace it all back to the Odyssey."

Rolltop ~ Computing Sceptre Concept Video...

This Rolltop concept video from 2010 is still compelling...