Tag Archives: nature

The amazing aerial shots of a photographer who hates heights

A nine-year adventure over the skies of Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and Iceland.

Fran Gormley is a New York City-based photographer who is fascinated by the dreamlike nature of aerial photography. Her work transforms natural landscapes into otherworldly abstract pictures printed in large format. Her latest solo show at the Chase Edwards Gallery in Bridgehampton, New York, which comes with a 125-photo book, is proof of this obsession–an obsession made notably strange by the fact that she is terrified of heights.

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general design discussion • http://www.healthysuppreviews.com/rapid-tone-diet

Rapid Tone Diet: If it absolutely was unhealthy, the system wouldn’t exist because it came to be through evolution and nature. The fittest survive, and people with fat storage systems survived longer when there’s no food.Well here is how this method got bastardized. After we tend to went through the ice age and have become agrarian in our economy, an abundant food supply existed. We didn’t starve anymore, and we have a tendency to don’t starve anymore as a result of right currently we tend to have lots of farms and excess food stores to supply us with nourishment. The supermarkets have been larger and supersized as has our readily available quick food. It’s funny we tend to call it fast food as a result of although it is quick due to the speedy service, this can be the very food that prevents us from fasting anymore since it’s readily obtainable. In fact we overindulge and never starve, and that leaves us with huge food stores in our body through obesity.

Read more: http://www.healthysuppreviews.com/rapid-tone-diet


r2d2_c3po_770-770x459

5 big questions about the science of ‘Star Wars’

As Star Wars: The Force Awakens cleaned up at the box office, researchers from Georgia Tech took a closer look at the science of the films. They answered five big questions about the worlds depicted in the movies and what’s possible in reality. We’re revisiting their responses to celebrate the release of the 2018 installment in the series, Solo: A Star Wars Story.

1. Is light speed even possible?

Han Solo isn’t a bashful hero. So it’s no surprise that it took him only a few moments after we first met him to brag that his Millennium Falcon was the “fastest ship in the galaxy.” But how fast is fast? Solo said his ship can go .5 past light speed.

Deirdre Shoemaker, associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Physics, explains in this video how fast light speed really is, why it’s not fast enough, and what needs to happen for something to actually travel 186,000 miles per second:

2. Could these new worlds exist in our universe?

The Star Wars universe depicts a diverse set of worlds containing a variety of inhabitants. John Wise, assistant professor in the School of Physics, studies early galaxies and distant objects in the universe. He wonders if there are planets somewhere out there that resemble the ones imagined by George Lucas:

“Until 1991, the only planets known to humans were in our Solar System. In that same year, astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planet, now dubbed as exoplanets, by measuring the Doppler shift of stellar spectral lines, effectively witnessing the planet play gravitational tug-of-war with its parent star as it orbits. Over the next decade or so, astronomers refined their planet hunting skills and found more than 30 exoplanets.

“Imagine how many planets are littered among the 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Perhaps planets from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?”

“This all changed with the launch of NASA’s Kepler Mission, which continually monitored a patch of sky for brightness variations in 150,000 stars. Any dip in brightness can be caused by a planet passing in front of its star, blocking a small fraction of its light. In its four-year run, Kepler detected and confirmed nearly 2,000 planetary systems, ranging from “Hot Jupiters” to frozen, rocky worlds. Intriguingly, a select few lie within the Goldilocks zone where liquid water could exist because the planet isn’t too hot or too cold.

“This planetary diversity is also seen in Star Wars—Endor, the home of the Ewoks, that orbits a gaseous giant planet; Hoth, where Luke Skywalker almost froze to death; Alderaan, a blue-green orb not unlike our Earth until it was destroyed by the Death Star; and Tatooine, Luke and Anakin Skywalker’s home planet. One of the most vivid scenes of Episode IV happens when Luke gazes toward the horizon at a binary sunset. When the original was released in 1977, such a scene was restricted to the sci-fi realm, but this is no longer the case. Kepler has now discovered 10 planets that orbit binary star systems, whose possible inhabitants see a similar sight every day.

“The Kepler Mission was just the first step in humankind’s discovery of planetary systems in the Milky Way. It only observed 1/400th of the sky. It could only detect planets out to 3,000 light years, which is tiny compared to the Milky Way’s size of 100,000 light years. Using Kepler’s detections, astronomers have estimated that there could be as many as 40 billion planets in our galaxy. But that is only one galaxy! Imagine how many planets are littered among the 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Perhaps planets from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?”

r2-d2 and c3po watch sunset
(Credit: Michael Li/Flickr)

3. Are C-3PO and R2-D2 coming soon?

Even though C-3PO and R2-D2 lived (in a galaxy) a long time ago, today’s roboticists still haven’t found a way to create their current-day cousins. The College of Computing’s Sonia Chernova is one of many on campus trying to bring robots out of the lab and into the world so that people can have their own droids. She says:

“Robots tend to be on one extreme or the other these days. One kind is found on Mars, battlefields, and in operating rooms. These robots are extensions of humans—they’re rarely autonomous because a human is always in the loop.

“As for R2-D2 and his friends, we’re not that far from personal robots.”

“Others are autonomous. We see this mostly on manufacturing floors, where machines are programmed to do the same repetitive task with extreme precision. Not only are they limited by what they can do, but they’re also often separated from people for safety reasons.

“I’m focused on something in the middle. Full autonomy for personal robots would be great, but it’s not yet practical given today’s technology. Humans are too unpredictable and environments are ever changing. Rather than setting 100 percent autonomy as the goal for getting robots into our lives, we should deploy them when they’re simply “good enough.” Once they’re with us, they can learn the rest.

“Here’s an example: in hospitals, a delivery robot could pass out towels and medication. If it were to get stuck leaving a room, the machine could call a command center where a human technician would figure out the problem and free the robot. Here’s the key: every time a person made a fix, the robot would keep that new information and use it to perform differently the next time it leaves the room. With humans in the mix, this robot could learn from its mistakes and continually push toward 100 percent autonomy.

“As for R2-D2 and his friends, we’re not that far from personal robots. I don’t think we’ll have to clean our houses in 20 years because we’ll have robot helpers. I’m not sure what they’ll cost or if people will psychologically be ready to give up that part of their lives, but we’ll have the software and hardware in place to make it happen.

4. What would it be like to master the Force?

Imagine lifting a spaceship with the tip of your finger like Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Nepomuk Otte of the School of Physics says there are a few things you might want to consider: 

“Didn’t we learn from physics classes about Newton’s third law? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If true, it would mean that when Yoda exerts a force on the X-wing, Luke Skywalker’s spaceship should also exert the same amount of force on Yoda. So why doesn’t the little fella get squished like a mosquito?

“Violating action and reaction would shatter one of the most sacred laws in physics—momentum conservation. But Yoda moves the spacecraft with ease and shuffles away unscathed. The Jedi Master must be surrounded by some sort of shield that absorbs the reaction part of the force. When you attempt to use the Force, make sure you have one of those shields, too, or you might suffer the consequences.”

5. Can the Force be a new interaction that we haven’t discovered yet?

Flavio Fenton of the School of Physics responds—and offers a few questions of his own:

“When the Death Star’s superlaser destroyed Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan, Obi-Wan Kenobi delivered one of the saga’s most famous quotes: ‘I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.’

“…if we were to study the Force from a subatomic level, we should consider that, like any other interaction we know in nature, there exist force carriers.”

“The death of the entire planet sent shock waves through the Force, weakening those who were able to feel them. That included Obi-Wan, who briefly became faint. This action at a distance is explained in physics by what is called a field. For example, we are well aware of gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Objects that are affected by a field carry “something” that allows them to interact. For gravity, it is mass. For electricity, it is charge.

“Because there is a Light and a Dark Side of the Force, a field would require that we assume two types of charges, similar to positive and negative charges in the electromagnetic force. Here’s an example: Darth Vader can strangle people by using the Force without physical contact. That means his victims would have to carry both types of charges in equal amounts, and the effects of the two types cancel each other. How does it happen?

“One explanation is that the dark force Vader unleashes attracts the light charge of his victim, leaving the person unbalanced with an excess of dark charge. In this case, all the dark charges then try to come together along the neck, squeezing and nearly choking the person to death. This means that unlike electric charge, particles with equal force charges attract and repel when they have different charges. This could explain why a neutral force charge is common to all objects. It could also explain why the Dark Side has an addictive aspect: when a Jedi turns to the Dark Side, it’s a slippery slope filled with continuous evil.

“Going just a bit deeper for my fellow physics fanatics—if we were to study the Force from a subatomic level, we should consider that, like any other interaction we know in nature, there exist force carriers. These are particles that give rise to forces between other particles. For example, the electromagnetic force between two electrons can be explained by the exchange of virtual photons and gravitation by the exchange of virtual gravitons. Therefore the two Force charges should have a carrier. Should we call them Jedi-nos? Should the Large Hadron Collider search for these new particles now that it has found the Higgs particle?”

Source: Georgia Tech (Originally published December 30, 2015)

The post 5 big questions about the science of ‘Star Wars’ appeared first on Futurity.

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Tool locates the best fishing spots while avoiding turtles

A new software tool can help fishers locate the most productive fishing spots while avoiding unwanted or protected species such as sea turtles and dolphins.

Worldwide, fishing fleets discard as many as two of every five sea creatures they catch. The new system, called EcoCast, combines satellite data of ocean conditions, records from fisheries observers, and species tracking data to pinpoint ideal fishing areas on a daily basis.

Resource managers can adjust the weighting of each species as risks change and the fishing season progresses. This helps fishers optimize their harvest of target fish, while reducing the risk of inadvertently catching and killing sensitive species.

fishing boat
Gillnet fishing boats ply the California coast. A dynamic management tool can be up to 10 times more efficient for protecting species than previous management styles. (Credit: Craig Heberer via Stanford)

A new study, which appears in Science Advances, shows that this type of dynamic management tool and approach can be up to 10 times more efficient for protecting species than previous management styles.

“EcoCast is leading the way toward more dynamic management of marine resources,” says coauthor Larry Crowder, professor of marine ecology and conservation at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. “We’re putting the information directly in the hands of the fishers and managers.”

Fisheries managers currently protect species by creating static areas that fishers must avoid.

However, these protected areas don’t reflect the dynamic nature of life in the ocean, where protected fish and other creatures regularly migrate out of the no-fishing zones and into fishers’ nets.

“Fishers will be willing to try this because they’re always looking for ways to do things differently, and better,” says Gary Burke, a drift gillnet fisherman in southern California who collaborated on the research. “It’s not going to be perfect, because it’s a prediction, but it is giving us access to information we haven’t had before.”

See an almost real-time map of global fishing

EcoCast doesn’t just provide fishers with better information. It also informs scientists, resource managers, and researchers working with big data to advance more sustainable fisheries practices.

“By pioneering a way of evaluating both conservation objectives and economic profitability for sustainable US fisheries, we’re simultaneously advancing both conservation and economic objectives,” says lead author Elliott Hazen, a visiting scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

Badly timed fishing seasons mess with fish

“We’ve had to settle for static management in the past,” Crowder says. “Now, we can consider this novel approach to address one of the most significant barriers to global fisheries sustainability.”

Researchers from San Diego State University; the University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of the Sunshine Coast; Old Dominion University; the University of Maryland; and Moss Landing Marine Lab are coauthors. NASA, California Sea Grant, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded the work.

Source: Nicole Kravec for Stanford University

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Lab-grown living muscles help robots lift a finger

Japanese researchers have developed a way to integrate living muscle tissue into robots

When it comes to building robots, why start from scratch when nature has already designed better materials and parts than our artificial ones? Japanese researchers have now developed a new way to integrate living muscle tissue onto a robotic skeleton, and make it move in a realistic way that takes some of the strain off.

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Category: Robotics

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sketching • Re: doodling

Rodrigo,

I love the frequency with which you are posting. It does take a lot of time to improve, but it is an investment that pays off exponentially! I still have a long way to improve as well, but the benefits I have seen from investing the time are amazing. The best part is to not think about sketching technique as much when you are working on a real project, you can focus your attention on your ideas and not as much on line weight and perspective because that becomes second nature. The second big pay off is speed. There are many times when I get clients who have a rush, sometimes they need something in 48 hours. Or sometimes 3 clients call the same day and all of a sudden you are swamped. Being well practiced alleviates some of the stress associated with that, and gives you the confidence to deliver.

Keep working on it! I’m seeing big gains for you already. And remember, it isn’t a strictly linear progression. You will have days where everything is going great, then a setback. It’s ok, just keep plowing forward.


icon_biggrin

sketching • Re: doodling

yo wrote:
Rodrigo,

I love the frequency with which you are posting. It does take a lot of time to improve, but it is an investment that pays off exponentially! I still have a long way to improve as well, but the benefits I have seen from investing the time are amazing. The best part is to not think about sketching technique as much when you are working on a real project, you can focus your attention on your ideas and not as much on line weight and perspective because that becomes second nature. The second big pay off is speed. There are many times when I get clients who have a rush, sometimes they need something in 48 hours. Or sometimes 3 clients call the same day and all of a sudden you are swamped. Being well practiced alleviates some of the stress associated with that, and gives you the confidence to deliver.

Keep working on it! I’m seeing big gains for you already. And remember, it isn’t a strictly linear progression. You will have days where everything is going great, then a setback. It’s ok, just keep plowing forward.

Never going to get tired of your feedback Yo! Specially when you put some real life examples :D


Eye Candy: The Dark Lord of Heavy Metal Logos

The work of Christophe Szpajdel, a legend in heavy-metal, blends nature, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau.

Among the skulls, flames, and epic band names, the artwork of Christophe Szpajdel–known as the Lord of the Logos among the underground metalhead crowd–stands out not only for its incredible detailing, but also for its ability to fuse the recognizable gothic aesthetic of metal band identities with such themes as nature and art history.

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Maybe introducing Google Duplex at I/O wasn’t such a hot idea

At Google’s I/O keynote last week, the most memorable moment was unquestionably the teaser for Duplex, a dazzling bit of AI and voice technology which the company says will come to its Google Assistant this summer. In two recordings, Duplex called local businesses—a hair stylist and a restaurant—and carried on coversations with an astounding degree of simulated humanity. But since the keynote concluded, most of the discussion of Duplex has shifted toward questions about the nature of the demo and the ethics of the technology. Google has done little-to-nothing to address them.

Onstage, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the calls were to real establishments. But as Dan Primack of Axios noted yesterday, the recordings don’t include the businesses identifying themselves or asking for contact information, and are free of the background noise one typically hears when calling a place of business. There’s also the question of whether the demo and the technology violate California law about recording phone calls without the consent of both parties.

There may be answers to such questions that aren’t particularly troubling; I’d be amazed if Google didn’t edit the audio of the calls for length and clarity before playing it onstage. But so far, the company seems to prefer staying mum to clearing the air.

These issues are on top of the matter of how Duplex will identify itself when it makes phone calls. Google started out acknowledging that “transparency” was important, then talked about disclosure. But the company says that it’s still mulling over how the service will explain that it’s a computer.

I expect that Google will come around to spelling out the nature of demo and what it intends to do to ensure that Duplex complies with laws and avoids being a sort of highly evolved form of phone spam. If it can’t do that, it shouldn’t launch the service at all.

And maybe there’s a lesson here: Being able to demo Duplex onstage on a specific date was, in retrospect, far less important than figuring out all of the service’s implications before other people started asking about them.

Listen: What biology can teach us about designing better stuff

From the smallest proteins to entire ecosystems, nature might be the most sophisticated engineer on Earth. Researchers like Rama Ranganathan are trying to uncover the basic design principles that govern biology and apply them through engineering.

He calls the field “evolutionary physics,” and the goal is to unlock the secrets of evolutionary history.

“Evolution has taken millions and millions of years,” says Ranganathan, a professor in the biochemistry and molecular biology department and the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. “How do we reproduce that in the laboratory?”

Ranganathan says biology has built “high-performance” systems that can adapt to their environment in ways of which human-designed technology could never dream. He believes there is a unifying theory that can explain the phenomenon and be utilized in bioengineering—from designer medicines based on individual genomes to biofuels driven by the same processes as photosynthesis.

“The problem is: If you start taking apart biological systems, since they are evolved systems, we don’t necessarily understand their design,” Ranganathan says. “The question is: How do you learn the simple rules that are underneath these seemingly very complex systems?”

On this episode of Big Brains, Ranganathan shares his pioneering research on evolutionary physics and explains why he believes biology is at a similar point today as engineering was two centuries ago during the Industrial Revolution.

Source: University of Chicago

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