Let's see... no we have jelly-tech to go along with squid-tech.
I like it!
See more at Festo.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Clear Cut is your salvage-logging-fire fighting mecha of choice.
Designed by Jordan Guelde, this concept bot might be a little too big to surgically remove trees, but when you need to chop down a few acres of "sudden oak death" or the millions of hectares of dead and dying pine, a legion of Clear Cuts just might do the trick.
Found via coroflot
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Here we go:
1. New protected seamount off British Columbia.
2. Tiny waves on our seismographs show that oceans are getting stormier.
3. Climate Change will make San Francisco a different city.
4. Babes in the stellar woods - young stars on the edges of the galaxy
5. The US NAVY is going to the moon with robots and telescopes...maybe.
6. Doom and gloom - math model says aliens not likely. Don't believe everything you compute.
BONUS - New Radio Lab show! - Pop Music
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I was a very angry and sarcastic baristo.
I spent three years behind the green apron, serving espresso drinks and fraps to mostly okay people. And then there was the small and vicious multitude of upper-middle class drek. If you were one of these people, I never made your drink right. In fact, I made it opposite to your request, yet you never noticed.
Anyway, I did a number of things to keep my brain from melting - making customers sing Immigrant Song, doing rolls behind the bar, throwing things, punching garbage cans. You know, the usual.
But I never thought of this - a printer for milk foam! Oh the delight I could of had with one of these - tirades from Bakunin, lyrics from Chuck D, Transmetropolitan panels, the TARDIS. What would you put on the latte?
Found via boingboing
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The Victoria singularity will be coming in any decade now! The Difference Engine No. 2 i son it's way to a Pacific Californian city near you. Now, when will the home prefabs be able to make me one of these? Or am I going to learn how to build one with smart drugs, lesson uploads, temporally osmotic yeoman service, and/or opening a book?
Check out IO9 for the specifics.
This is Finnegan the robot turtle, and one day his descendants will swim the oceans, eating floating plastic refuse like his biological counterparts eat jellyfish.
But until then here is a little info from MIT:
“Finnegan” is an agile and aggressively maneuvering biomimetic autonomous underwater vehicle, propelled entirely with biologically inspired oscillating foils. The field of biomimetic robotics attempts to observe, adapt and apply the design and behavior of biological examples to improve the performance of man-made devices. Biomimetic propulsion in general, and oscillating foils in particular, have been extensively studied as a possible means for improvement of underwater vehicle agility and maneuverability.
In developing Finnegan, we take advantage of a growing body of knowledge into the “why?” and “how?” of fish, bird, reptile and mammal swimming to extend the state of the art in underwater vehicles, demonstrating tangible results from a biomimetic approach.
Now if we can only get Finnegan and Popo the robot fish together, we might have a brand new kids show.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
From the Washington Post:
Science and technology form a two-headed, unstoppable change agent. Problem is, most of us are mystified and intimidated by such things as biotechnology, or nanotechnology, or the various other -ologies that seem to be threatening to merge into a single unspeakable and incomprehensible thing called biotechnonanogenomicology. We vaguely understand that this stuff is changing our lives, but we feel as though it's all out of our control. We're just hanging on tight, like Kirk and Spock when the Enterprise starts vibrating at Warp 8.
What's unnerving is the velocity at which the future sometimes arrives. Consider the Internet. This powerful but highly disruptive technology crept out of the lab (a Pentagon think tank, actually) and all but devoured modern civilization -- with almost no advance warning. The first use of the word "internet" to refer to a computer network seems to have appeared in this newspaper on Sept. 26, 1988, in the Financial section, on page F30 -- about as deep into the paper as you can go without hitting the bedrock of the classified ads....The future is often viewed as an endless resource of innovation that will make problems go away -- even though, if the past is any judge, innovations create their own set of new problems. Climate change is at least in part a consequence of the invention of the steam engine in the early 1700s and all the industrial advances that followed.
Look again at the Internet. It's a fantastic tool, but it also threatens to disperse information we'd rather keep under wraps, such as our personal medical data, or even the instructions for making a fission bomb.
We need to keep our eyes open. The future is going to be here sooner than we think. It'll surprise us. We'll try to figure out why we missed so many clues. And we'll go back and search the archives, and see that thing we should have noticed on page F30.
So the lesson - don't dismiss the small stuff of innovation, and READ THE GHETTO SECTIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER!
And here is a quote to go away with today - Read science fiction, especially "hard science fiction" that sticks rigorously to the scientifically possible. "If you look out into the long-term future and what you see looks like science fiction, it might be wrong. But if it doesn't look like science fiction, it's definitely wrong."
From the BBC:
The Sochi Institute of Medical Primatology, at Vesyoloye near the Black Sea, has a proud history of involvement in the Russian - formerly Soviet - space programme.
The institute will select macaques that may eventually fly to Mars before humans do. After two years of experiments the most suitable 40 monkeys will be sent to the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow, where scientists study aerospace biomedicine.
Experiments on the monkeys will be carried out at the same time as the Mars-500 project. That project - due to start early next year - is aimed at simulating the conditions of interplanetary flight. Volunteers will have to spend 17 months in a mock-up "spaceship" in Moscow.
Kosh is a 16 year veteran of the Russian space programme. This guy went to space in 1992 for a two week trip - and he is still healthy and in fighting form.
"Old man Krosh is about 60 years old, if we translate his monkey age to a human life span. He is very active. He responds well to food and is aggressive with his female partners," says Ms Shaginyan.
"After rehabilitation he produced offspring. And that's proof that spaceflight did not harm his health," she added.Do you think the new space chimp movie will have Russian cosmo-apes
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Here we go:
1. Big Beaver Dam - really big beaver dam.
2. Mussel glue
3. "Hobbit" was a flat-foot.
4. Neanderthals speak from beyond to veil of extinction.
5. 99% chance of massive earthquake in California - will I feel it on Vancouver Island?
6. Rocket league is ready for take-off - August will be a good month.
Video found via Pink Tentacle:
Located 20 meters (65 ft) underground, the 1,480 square meter (16,000 sq ft) space contains emergency supplies to be distributed to the public in the event of a major earthquake. Items include 5,000 blankets, 8,000 rugs, 4,000 candles, 300 cooking pots, 200 t-shirts, and emergency medical supplies. A conveyor belt system is installed to help transport the supplies up to street level.
The underground warehouse is connected to an unnamed station on the Oedo line, Tokyo’s deepest subway. Apparently, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government maintains more than one of these warehouses, but the locations are kept secret.
Now this is the way to be ready for a disaster. And maybe a lesson for everyone in their city - next time you see a key shaped whole in the sidewalk, put you ear down to the cover and listen to the city beneath.
There's a lot going on, underground.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Here we go.
1. Clear skies and little asteroids bad for dinosaurs. Really bad.
2. Early animals were more complex than we thought.
3. Cloud formations connected with earthquakes?
4. Frog with no lungs... yet it breeds!
5. It's not a planet, it's not a star, it a plar? A stanet? Welcome to the coldest known brown dwarf ever observed.
6. Phoenix Mars lander gearing up for final approach.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
There is a new land of super-heavy stable elements out over the horizon of the known periodic table.
From Science Daily:
...researchers now are eying other islands on the more-distant fringes of the periodic table.
"Now that it has been shown that the 'island of stability' of superheavy elements exists, it would be interesting to predict the position of other islands," said Yuri Oganessian, Ph.D., of Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna. He is the scientific leader at the Institute's Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions.The first 92 elements on the table exist naturally. The rest -- which now extend to element 118 -- were created by scientists in atomic nuclei collision with the aid of particle accelerators. Aptly named, these machines accelerate atoms to nearly 1/10 the speed of light and smash them into other so-called "target" atoms. Sometimes the nuclei of two colliding atoms fuse and a new element is formed.
Oganessian and his colleagues are currently using Dubna's particle accelerator in an attempt to synthesize yet another superheavy element, No. 120, to add more territory to the island of stability. Strikingly, Oganessian believes that another, more distant, island of stability lies further out in that sea at the periodic table's fringes.
"The next island is located very far from the first one," said Oganessian. How far away might that next island be" In terms of numbers on the periodic table, it could lie around atomic number 164, as some theorists predicted, certainly a long way from where researchers are exploring today in hopes of discovering element 120.So... where will I put these elements on my shirt?
Monday, April 7, 2008
Here we go:
1. Life came from outer space, or at least left-handed amino acids.
2. By wind and by compass go I, a moth into the night.
3. The sleepy-rocket to the outer solar system - hibernating cosmonauts
4. Deformed bird beaks on the rise.
5. What do coroner's do when they retire? Go into the private sector.
6. Lunar nomads and their robotic steeds.
Friday, April 4, 2008
It's been a while, but Phoenix is back on the future soon.
NASA is revving up the press machine for the May 25th landing.
Chris and I are very attached to this explorer, and we can't wait for the lander to touch down.
Two Phoenix exclusives
Chris - Phoenix
Sterling - Martian Lander
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Happy April 1st, 2008!
No jokes or spoofs or flying penguins - you've heard them, seen them, been amused etc.
Instead, here are a few of my favorite covers.
I love cover songs, almost as much as, or more than, the original songs. Usually they are different, with a bit of the farcical about them. And at other times, they are more beautiful and powerful than the original song could ever be.
When I finally become a producer, in a broadcast sense of the word, I plan to institute a "cover band only" rule.
But until that day, here are a few of my favorite songs.
Toxic, by Nickel Creek
Baby Got Back, inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan
Walking on the Moon, Cas Haley
Life on Mars, Seu Jorge
Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley
Sweet Home Alabama, The Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Chorus
I Don't Feel Like Dancing, Hayseed Dixie