Tag Archives: everything

An IoT Company Founded On A Radical Premise: Products Built To Last

Smart kids’ products parents won’t toss after six months? That’s the promise of Bleep Bleeps, a small British company that sells toothbrushes, nightlights, and other items that age with the child.

Nearly five years ago, Tom Evans, a young parent and veteran creative director, noticed what seemed like a branding problem with kids’ gear: Parents buy a ton of stuff, but none of it fits together. A toothbrush is a different thing from a nightlight, for example–but they’re all part of this universe of problems that parents solve everyday. His solution was Bleep Bleeps, a company founded on the idea of making everything parents need into a suite of cheerful products that kids could recognize–and want.

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Up close and personal with the stunning new Rolls-Royce Phantom

The nose of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom

A new Rolls-Royce Phantom is big news. The company is arguably the most recognizable luxury brand in motoring, and the Phantom is an embodiment of everything it stands for. The latest, the Phantom VIII, is a significant step on from its predecessor, from the way it looks to the luxurious cabin. We donned our finest suits and headed to Rolls-Royce in Melbourne, Australia to take a closer look at the car.

Continue Reading Up close and personal with the stunning new Rolls-Royce Phantom

Category: Automotive


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Pamela Adlon Talks Mining Her Life For “Better Things” (& Defends Louis C.K.)

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who have no problem delegating tasks and those who know it would be easier if they just did it themselves. The latter type may give off control freak vibes, but that’s exactly what’s needed at times–as Pamela Adlon can attest to with her critically acclaimed FX series Better Things.

Adlon’s own life provides the framework for Better Things: a single mother of three daughters who’s balancing parenting, her acting career, and taking care of her increasingly dependent mother. The semi-autobiographical nature of the series helps explain why she’s so protective of it. Only her longtime collaborator Louis C.K. in on the creative process as the show’s co-creator, co-writer, and co-producer. For the second season, though, Adlon decided to direct everything herself.

“I knew that I was going to direct one or two episodes last season, and then this year it was a no-brainer for me to do it [all],” says Adlon, whose performance in the first season of Better Things earned her an Emmy nomination. “This season was easier because everything flowed through me. There was no committee. We didn’t have to wait. I made the decisions. I chose my frames. I was able to work with my actors. Like I said a million times, being the single mom of three girls is the best kind of boot camp for anything like this.”

Pamela Adlon in “Better Things.” [Photo: Beth Dubber, courtesy of FX]

In fact, Adlon’s jam-packed life is precisely what led her to create Better Things. “I’m fully engaged in everything that I’m doing and I’m living my life very hard with my kids. I cook and I take care of my mom,” Adlon says. “But I see the beauty in everything around me. I always see things like I’m in a movie, but it’s my real life. So it’s probably the natural way that I would end up making a show.”

Related: Inside FX’s “Fearless” Rise To TV Domination

Adlon’s slice-of-life approach to creating Better Things is what makes the show so endearing. It doesn’t try to blow everyday situations into something bigger than what they actually are–it allows the natural humor, heartbreak, and absurdity of life to exist as is.

“I used to say that the log line for my show, if there was one, is ‘Life is what happens to you when you’re too busy to make any other plans,'” she says. “It’s like you think you can make plans, but then some insane, earth-shattering things happen. And then the next day you wake up and it’s just normal life again.”

Adlon and her on-screen kids (Olivia Edward, Mikey Madison, and Hannah Alligood). [Photo: Pamela Littky, courtesy of FX]

As close to her material as Adlon is, she doesn’t downplay Louis C.K.’s influential role as a collaborator. The two have worked together and starred in Louis C.K.’s previous television projects: the short-lived HBO sitcom Lucky Louie and the acclaimed FX series Louie. So when it came time to launch Better Things, she knew who to call. “We speak the same language,” Adlon says.

As for what she thinks of the recent allegations of sexual misconduct on Louis C.K.’s part and whether they have affected her relationship with him, Adlon says, “All I can tell you is that he is the best, most generous, collaborative, brilliant writer in the world,” she says. “And you can ask anybody who works with him that he’s just the best guy. That’s all I have to say.”

Adlon with her “Better Things” daughters. [Photo: Pamela Littky, courtesy of FX]

Running a show that rides parallel to her life has given Adlon some creative catharsis–a process she honed with her father Don Segall, a screenwriter who worked primarily in television, penning scripts for such series as Diff’rent Strokes and The Love Boat.

“From [ages] 11 to 18, it was rocky goings. And then I got out of the house, and my dad and I started working together and we would sit down and record our conversations very similar to the way Louis and I do now,” she says. “We were able to laugh and work through horrible family issues in our writing. It’s an amazingly cathartic thing to be able to make art out of something that feels shitty. It’s one of the greatest gifts of my life right now–that I can tell these stories for my daughters and their friends and my friends.”

Season two of Better Things premieres Thursday, September 14, on FX.


Molecular ‘time machine’ shows chance’s role in evolution

By studying a massive set of genetic variants of an ancient protein, scientists have been able to examine the myriad other ways that evolution could have turned out. Their work reveals the key role random chance plays in the history of evolution.

The study is the first to subject reconstructed ancestral proteins to deep mutational scanning—a state-of-the-art technique for characterizing massive libraries of protein variants. The strategy allowed them to compare the path that evolution actually took in the deep past to the millions of alternative routes that could have been taken, but were not.

Starting with a resurrected version of an ancient protein that evolved a new function some 500 million years ago—a function critical to human biology today—the researchers synthesized a massive library of genetic variants and used deep mutational scanning to analyze their functions. They found more than 800 different ways that the protein could have evolved to carry out the new function as well, or better than, the one that evolved historically.

molecular time machine
Tyler Starr holds a vial of yeast cells engineered with a library of proteins comprising millions of possible evolutionary paths from our ancient ancestor to its modern function. (Credit: Matt Wood/U. Chicago)

The researchers showed that chance mutations early in the protein’s history played a key role in determining which ones could occur later. As a result, the specific outcome of evolution depended critically on the way a serial chain of chance events unfolded.

“By comparing what happened in history to all the other paths that could have produced the same result, we saw how idiosyncratic evolution is,” says Tyler Starr, a graduate student in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago, who performed the paper’s experiments.

“People often assume that everything in biology is perfectly adapted for its function. We found that what evolved was just one possibility out of many that were just as good, or even better, functionally than what we happened to end up with today,” he explains.

Back through time

Over the last 15 years, Thornton, senior author on the new study and a professor in ecology and evolution and human genetics at the university, led research that pioneered “molecular time travel” using ancestral protein reconstruction.

In 2013, his team resurrected and analyzed the functions of the ancestors of a family of proteins called steroid hormone receptors, which mediate the effects of hormones like testosterone and estrogen on sexual reproduction, development, physiology, and cancer. The body’s various receptors recognize different hormones and, in turn, activate the expression of different target genes, which they accomplish by binding specifically to DNA sequences called response elements near those targets.

“There’s nothing special about the history that happened, except that a few chance steps brought us to this singular chance outcome.”

Thornton’s group inferred the genetic sequences of ancient receptor proteins by statistically working their way back down the tree of life from a database of hundreds of present-day receptor sequences. They synthesized genes corresponding to these ancient proteins, expressed them in the lab, and measured their functions.

They found that the ancestor of the family behaved like an estrogen receptor—recognizing only estrogens and binding to estrogen response elements—but during one specific interval of history, they evolved into a descendant group capable of recognizing other steroid hormones and binding to a new class of response elements. The researchers found that three key mutations before the emergence of vertebrate animals caused the ancestral receptor to evolve its ability to bind to the new target sequences.

Evolution pop quiz: How much do you know?

That work set the stage for the current study. Knowing precisely how evolution played out in the past, Thornton’s group asked: Was this the only evolutionary path to evolving the new function? Was it the most effective one, or the easiest to achieve? Or was it simply one of many possibilities?

Paths not taken

Starr began working on the project during his first year as a graduate student, developing the technique to assess massive numbers of variants of the ancestral receptor for their ability to bind the new response element.

First, he engineered strains of yeast in which the ancestral or new response elements drive expression of a fluorescent reporter gene. He then synthesized a library of ancestral proteins containing all possible combinations of amino acids at the four key sites in the receptor that recognize DNA—160,000 in all, comprising all possible evolutionary paths that this critical part of the protein could have followed—and introduced this library into the engineered yeast.

He sorted hundreds of millions of yeast cells by their fluorescence using a laser-driven device, and then used high-throughput sequencing to associate each receptor variant with its ability to carry out the ancestral function and the new function.

Most of the variants failed to function at all, and some maintained the ancestral function. But Starr found 828 new versions of the protein that could carry out the new function as well, or better than, the one that evolved during history. Remarkably, evolution could have accessed many of these even more easily than the historical “solution,” but it happened not to, apparently wandering around the space of possible mutations until it arrived at the version of the protein in our bodies today.

“We all share the same gene sequence for this protein, so it might seem like evolutionary destiny, as if we’ve arrived at the best possible version. But there are hundreds of other directions that evolution could just as well have taken,” Thornton says. “There’s nothing special about the history that happened, except that a few chance steps brought us to this singular chance outcome.”

Evolution’s winning groups have these 3 traits

Thornton says that deep mutational scanning will be a powerful tool for evolutionary biologists, geneticists and biochemists, and he looks forward to using the approach on successive ancestors at different points in history to see how the set of possible outcomes changed through time.

“We have a molecular time machine to go back to the past, and once we’re there, we can simultaneously follow every alternate history that could possibly have played out,” Thornton says. “It’s a molecular version of every evolutionary biologist’s dream.”

The study appears in the journal Nature.

Source: University of Chicago

The post Molecular ‘time machine’ shows chance’s role in evolution appeared first on Futurity.


general design discussion • Re: What makes a product desirable, and another not?

How about this…why does EVERYTHING on the LeManoosh blog make me drool with desire?


I just read the article about the beautiful chair by Benjamin Hubert on Core77. No mention of the delicious way the chair back curves into the seat, the soft finish, or elegant stance of the legs – just the story of the materials. I remember as a freshman in design school, seniors telling me that by the time I graduated, I would need to be able to explain the reason for every curve of my design. Do designers really do this? Do we even have the language to do this?


It’s ok, you can tell me just stick around and read up on what everybody is talking about :)

students and schools • Re: Looking For A Cheaper Alternative

The great thing about an education is, besides the degree, the team-based environment encouraging you to put in those 40 hours, critical feedback and fuel for your design cycles during presentation sessions and the conversations you have with experts and your target users. If you think you can fill that in with a private study I think it can work as well. For one, more and more schools such as MIT have started this year to publish their course materials online, for free under the OpenCourseWare Consortium. The MIT classes alone will get you a long way, they include everything from materials science, manufacturing knowledge, design projects, furniture, new product development and research processes, CAD (Solidworks), rapid prototyping, sculpture, toy design and sustainability. Then there are the classes on electronic textiles by Leah Buechley, Neri Oxman for biomimetics and Roz Picard for affective computing.

design employment • Re: Beginner in MEDICAL device design_Advise/Books/website/.

Samuel_Desprez wrote:
The company specializes in drug delivery injection product.
For what I know, I need to worry about mostly everything (haha..). We do product strategy, on field observation, front end conceptualization, prototyping (in-house and external manufacturer), quality test, documentations (FDA approval).

I think it’s gonna be a very good formation for me.

It is amazing to me a simple piston syringe, with or without a needle requires a 510K. And if you are a unit dose device, an NDA will be required. All pertinent information on submissions will be on fda.gov.

If you are going into the field, you’ll need credentialing through VendorMate, MedReps and a third one that escapes me. You have to update once a year for all three with shots and documentation of shots.

For any 510K or NDA most of the 1-5 years it will take to launch a product will be used on testing and trials. I would highly suggest speaking with your regulatory group on finding a way to say yes (they typically say no) to trying product on people in the field. I can’t tell how many bad ideas come out of the lab, untested on actual users, that get rammed through because of the high cost of investment only to miserably fail in sales. That company will quickly become a follower.

What typically happens in the medical field, you’ll have the leaders, with a good innovation system, and the followers who knock-off the innovators. There are only a few innovators and being in the NPD group of a follower sucks.

How An Apple Vet Helped Solve One Of VR’s Biggest Problems–For Facebook-Owned Oculus

Oculus had to “get everything wrong over and over” to get things right with Touch, the breakthrough VR controllers that are a finalist in the 2017 Innovation By Design Awards. Oculus’s Caitlin Kalinowski explains why.

Oculus Touch is an honoree in the 2017 Innovation By Design Awards, Fast Company‘s annual celebration of the best ideas in design. See the rest of the winners, finalists, and honorable mentions here.

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design employment • Re: Beginner in MEDICAL device design_Advise/Books/website/.

iab wrote:
Depends on which devices you do. Diagnostics are not the same as the surgical suite which in turn is not the same as the equipment on the medsurg floors, which in turn is not the same as radiology, and so on and so on.

Wait until you actually get a project to provide the direction you will need to narrow down the hundreds of potential sites.

I also don’t know if you will strictly be on the front end conceptualization or on the back end documentation, or both. Do you need to worry about credentialing so you can walk through the door to observe users or do you need to worry about the quality system.

I’ve been doing this for 20 years and still don’t know much when compared to what’s out there.

The company specializes in drug delivery injection product.
For what I know, I need to worry about mostly everything (haha..). We do product strategy, on field observation, front end conceptualization, prototyping (in-house and external manufacturer), quality test, documentations (FDA approval).

I think it’s gonna be a very good formation for me.


general design discussion • The Human Aura

Since ancient times we have seen images and paintings of diverse spiritual leaders crossways various traditions however one thing that is common amongst all of them is the halo that environs their head which is recognized as the Aura- energy arena. It not only surrounds just the head however also extends all round your body. This aura signifies your physical, emotional mental, as well as divine energies.

The aura is frequently seen a mix of fine colored frequencies wherever each color defines its own distinct nature plus characteristics. The shaking of this aura is actually fine and delicate so we need very fine tools to detect it otherwise may be we can use our inborn instinctive mechanism plus our latent psychic perspective to train ourselves not merely to see the aura however also to interpret the diverse colours and forms in the aura which can disclose us a lot of unspoken information

What Is the Human Aura?

The human aura is an area of subtle, glowing radiation adjacent us and spreading outer from our physical form. Auras are connected to the electromagnetic area of the body plus serve as a visual amount of our mental, expressive, physical plus spiritual states.

Everything that we do otherwise think touches the aura so it is typically in a state of flux, always changing, founded on our mental meanderings plus physical health. The aura is moreover affected by the energies of the atmosphere, the force fields of the world and the radio frequencies that interpenetrate all methods of a matter. The aura is an electric signature of who we are.

The Color of the Human Aura

The colors of the aura might glow and discharge with joy and energy as we keep a state of holiness in God. Or the colors might become dull, constructed and stultified once we are gloomy, while we allow ourselves to be unhappy when we criticize or see life as less than lovely.

Appreciation strengthens the aura as the heart originates a pink plus golden sun-like happiness. And at other times while we put ourselves down otherwise enter into the criticism of others, the size and happiness of our auras lessen. Holding imageries and ideas of ourselves as well as others as less than entire also impinges on our aptitude to send out auric areas of light energy that bless plus uplift.

Thoughts, Feelings, Diet as well as the Human Aura

Diet has an influence on the aura. But more prominently, what we take in with our eyes and ears and whatever we think affects the power and pattern of the aura. While we put our courtesy upon God and all that this period represents for us, the rotating of our chakras quickens and a resonance with the potentials of God starts to cleanse the aura plus expand it.

The Human Aura as well as the Chakras

The chakras are similar generating stations inside us. Alike to the mitochondria, those organelle control houses which reside inside each human cell, these places of light can be an excessive self-regenerating emphasis.

We can imagine our chakras every day. And as we emphasis on a precise chakra, we see its petals rotating and then quickening in perfect balance and equilibrium. We see the entire radiance of these seven main generating stations increasing and blessing ourselves as well as all those who drive within our range of influence.

The excellence of our prayers is reliant on the excellence of our heart, our awareness…and, so, our aura. If we wish to be of superior service and efficacy, if we wish to perform alchemical feats for the good of manhood, we must first go inside, self-assess as well as get in balance. We must appear to our chakras and wash them every day in the light of God. In order, their acceleration will make a rise and expansion in an awareness that is transformational.

The entirety of who we are is transmission to the world over the aura that discharges out from us, even though maximum persons do not see this aurora borealis-similar light show around themselves and others. And if we wish to upsurge the beauty, intensity as well as a size of our aura, it will definitely occur as we emphasize more and more on all that is optimistic, kind, considerate, forgiving, and just as well as loving.
spirit Secret