msiegel Star

Tags  →  science

This might turn into something really exciting. The prospects for aircraft (or flying cars) are even more amazing!
"Wolfram suggests that the theory of computational irreducibility may provide a resolution to the existence of free will in a nominally deterministic universe. He posits that the computational process in the brain of the being with free will is actually complex enough so that it cannot be captured in a simpler computation, due to the principle of computational irreducibility. Thus while the process is indeed deterministic, there is no better way to determine the being's will than to essentially run the experiment and let the being exercise it."

:D
"Eureqa is a software tool for detecting equations and hidden mathematical relationships in your data. Its primary goal is to identify the simplest mathematical formulas which could describe the underlying mechanisms that produced the data. Eureqa is free to download and use."
these are the Best science lectures; classic Feynman



"The main principle of the constructal theory is that every system is destined to remain imperfect.

According to this, the best that can be done is to optimally distribute the imperfections of the system, and this optimal distribution of imperfection will generate the geometry or shape of the studied system."
chemistry fans: patience, there is a surprise ending. therefore this is good science :)
the singularity won't happen?? no, it almost surely will: humans are part of the machinery and will help do the work. it's just that the rate of progress will be limited to how quickly key experiments can be performed to validate new models.
steady progress. i sure hope we can get fusion power to work
wow, those houses are pretty close to the flight path. snagged from caffeina
From the page: "So now when a cartoon character has a great idea an LED will pop up over their head." Ahhh, Digg comments :D
i'd speculate that we'll see a lot more and cheaper hybrid electric bikes in the near future :)

uh-oh, better update those climate models post-haste :-/

"Recent estimates by Battin's team and others conclude there is a net flux, or outgassing, of carbon dioxide from the world's rivers and streams to the atmosphere of at least two-thirds to three-quarters of a gigatonne (Gt) of carbon per year. This flux has not been taken into account in the models of the global carbon cycle used to predict climate change. "
charming documentary for a cold winter night: the history of central heating technology
this theory is really important... we'll see its application in economics and social networks in the coming decade.
this guy is awesome. every responsible driver must watch this video :) made by billjb
i am amazed: "Until now, scientists assumed that a turbulent flow travelling with a constant speed will always remain turbulent. However, scientists from Gttingen and Delft have now found evidence that points to the contrary. "Our measurements show that every turbulent flow in a pipe will inevitably become laminar"
a well-designed nuclear reactor. the technology was developed by the old guys: dyson and a team led by teller. if manufactured with high quality and good instrumentation, these ought to be great

limited intelligence, but very cool anyway. a single cell is much smarter than expected
we'll figure out how to build an "electronic brain" pretty soon :)
maybe it helps to have more well-rounded perception and social skills
From the page: "Critics warn that the advance could lead to the cloning of historical species such as mammoths and sabre toothed tigers" :)
:( poor thing...
From the page: "Spirit [to Phoenix]: I have survived 5 years on Mars, power malfunctions, and a broken wheel. You, Sir, are FAIL.
Opportunity: Agreed."
the element named after Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics
audio is out of sync, but it doesn't matter -- bronowski is worth watching
too bad. i like the sawed-in-half display model though :)
yikes, the page's comments :( it seems like non-scientists still don't understand that populations of creatures change over time, adapting to their environments. sometimes two populations of creatures grow different enough from each other that they can't interbreed anymore. we call those "species". this process happens continuously, and today we have many many populations of very different creatures that cannot interbreed.
a brilliant hack... although it sounds like it only works at night ;)
one of the websites of tim hunkin, an inspiration to electrical and mechanical engineers, inventors and kinetic artists alike
google may be the only entity capable of modeling and planning this
hungry bacteria chow down on gasoline under the ocean floor
:) i've never seen so many cars passing by my house
(one) explanation is linked to by the page
research like this is very important for future water purification technologies
furl! brake!! awwwwwwwwww poor turbine :(




"The Corpus Clock and The Chronophage"
gorgeous new clock design... video is worth watching all the way to the end
compu-carnage. the shattered travelstar hard drive is interesting... i think the deskstar and travelstar lines use(d) glass disks!
"scientists are posting their data online as they produce them" this is an excellent start... i'm hoping to see a lot more of this in the future
rampant lhc speculation. fun stuff :)
that was nice set to music. next time, we'll be ready :)




flashy... i prefer the simplicity of kraftwerk's lighting/video design
neat comparison charts: engineering properties of different types of materials

i haven't even read the article, but the digg comments are quite interesting
impressive... 10 years later the amount of affordable portable storage has increased by a factor of 500. moore's law in action.
wouldn't it be cool to have a separate, mandatory Creation class, in which several well-known scenarios about the creation of the universe are taught, and then kids debate over which one is best? :D
fantastic shortcut. photo taken without flash, photo taken with flash ;)
church and state don't mix. because in this country the state's job is to ensure individual freedoms; which specifically means freedom of, or from, religion.
what a mess, but this is always the case when re-interpreting existing laws for new technology... especially in an "extremely primitive and paranoid culture" (James T Kirk ;)
i'm impressed, more than by that "invisibility cloak" stuff
let's only use this as a last possible resort... no need to waste a perfectly good last stand
i'll bet this applies to economics as well, with money in the place of entropy. in which case, individuals are being out-competed by giant "money-processing" businesses like banks and investment funds
wow. this is so fricken advanced i can barely understand any of it
also see the gallery, selected shots of body world exhibits (caution: graphic)
super cool technology to greatly improve the light sensitivity of computer-imaged pinhole cameras

lightning and other natural electrical phenomena make low-frequency radio waves we can detect and listen to

an interesting line of study... i'll bet useful results come of this
this is the most bizarre thing i've seen all week... so far... ;)
a classic. conversion and hacking of a payphone. the true hilarity of this video begins at about 25:00, when you realize limor has done the entire conversion for the sole purpose of hacking around the payment mechanism. with continued practice these guys may begin to look like a latter-day secret life of machines :)
these projects that require new infrastructure are remarkably expensive... it helps to be a multi-billionaire or have government funding :) thanks to arielh85
impressive! i'm very glad to have these little guys looking out for me :)
we all know girls aren't good at math. this just shows boys aren't good at math either :)
From the page: "Anyone who has watched one fly chasing another at incredibly high speed, without crashing or bumping into anything, can appreciate the high-end flight performance of these animals. [...] They can update and process visual information more than ten times faster than humans, which is vital for an insect that relies on fast sensory feedback to maintain its agility."
fun! these guys have much patience... plus i suspect they're pyros ;) thanks to stocktrader




nerrrds! this is good :D videos about the chemical elements... check out the ones for bromine, nitrogen and boron
interesting how this stuff is becoming all out in the open nowadays
:D outstanding. good work, scientist ladies & gents
From the page: "The females lay their eggs in February, and then, quite abruptly, the entire F. labordi adult species dies out by the end of March. Between April and October, the species only exists inside well-hidden eggs. "
From the page: "Cooperation blooms whenever the act of giving is more important than the amount given," said Prof Pacheco. // this article was vague, but i like the sentiment
"The Origin of the Valve"
Exerpts from a talk by inventor of the thermionic valve (aka vacuum tube diode) Dr A J Fleming FRS.
Paul MacCready gives a charming talk mainly about his Gossamer human powered aircraft... and how he started that project to win the prizes that got him out of debt :)
great invention, a low cost portable refrigeration unit that can be powered by a cooking fire
awesome! i love sawn-in-half stuff... and had no idea the complexity of cameras' optical systems :O no wonder they're expensive
a printer that erases its own pages? great! send 50 of these to the white house, pronto ;)
Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable
// ouch... but at *that* price, maybe a lambasting is deserved
i'll be curious to see if any volatile organics show up... if present in the soil, they might have evaporated the first time around :)
headline should read "50% of dial-up users want broadband, but don't have affordable access"
good direction for basic research... the results may prove very useful. "these so-called super atoms (clusters of 13 silver atoms, for example) behave in the same way as individual atoms and have opened up a whole new branch of chemistry."
we should probably concentrate on synthesizing milk instead... which might lower the cost by a factor of 10 :-/
we're getting closer and closer to understanding the machinery. the imaging technique they used sounds amazingly high-resolution
these standards should make LED lighting easier to pick out
if this pans out, brown university stands to make a bundle licensing the material for every package of CFL bulbs
"Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects"
well, that's a twist :-/
this scientist works with abalones to design new protein composite materials
extraordinary footage of Taipei 101's 730-ton tuned mass damper reacting to the May earthquake.
wow, astrocytes seem to be doing a lot of work... this gives neuroscientists much more territory to explore
using transistors or opamps to buffer a signal, so the signal doesn't distort (due to too much current being drawn from the signal's source)
it's Evil Mad Scientist Labs' 2 year anniversary! join me in congratulating them... and visit for a great year's roundup of mad science projects.
a nice pic of home, as seen from mars orbit. i love my home :)
great... keep those advancements coming
thomas gold's theory on how petroleum may be created not from fossilized plants, but from methane deep in the earth's crust. meanwhile, bacteria in the crust slowly eat away at the oil as a food source.

this is a great read; see pdf download link on the page.

if the theory is right, we will have an enormous supply of petroleum -- not that i'd advocate wasting any... and yes, we should vigorously pursue alternative, unlimited, nonpolluting energy sources.
hoare's book was fascinating, and the approach he developed could be very important as many-processor systems become commonplace
From the page: "For decades, scientists studying climate change have measured the oxygen isotope ratio in tree-ring cellulose to determine the ambient temperature and relative humidity of past climates. The assumption in all of these studies was that tree leaf temperatures were equal to ambient temperatures.

Researchers at Penn, using measures of oxygen isotopes and current climate, determined a way to estimate leaf temperature in living trees and as a consequence showed this assumption to be incorrect."
Principles of the Microlens-enhanced Nipkow Disk Scanning Technology
really good introduction on where to salvage stepper motors and how to put them to work
*whose* responsibility is this? headline should read "Young Australians Damaging Their Hearing with Loud Music" :-/
good explanation... with a sensitive enough light detector or long enough exposure, this technique eliminates the need for a traditional lens
a method for transmitting images over an audio-frequency channel
design for a refrigerator that's silent, has no moving parts, contains only ammonia, water and butane, doesn't need any maintenance, and requires only heat as a power source
it's still cellulose, made from wood! an impressive discovery
a good and somewhat over-the-top speech from 1886 on the wonders of a new metal, aluminum
A treatise on electricity and magnetism, by James Clerk Maxwell
such an ambitious project -- a homemade scanning tunneling electron microscope for around $100
that is a big electrical repair job -- when megawatt underground cables go bad
brilliant renditions of dna going about its business




curious... a lot of slow-growing cells are living beneath the sea floor, where it's very hot, and there's no light at all
well i'll be. this kid discovered strains of bacteria that eat plastic bags. no wonder he looks so happy. we'll have to wait and see whether this could do any good for our ocean-clogging continents of plastic garbage.
a mathematical discussion of growth and decay, sponsored by the letter E :)
darn it, these guys can make a great cpu core, but have they ever heard of software-based emulation? :-/
From the page: "The Internet helps people eliminate irrelevant alternatives"
neat! plus for some reason, i keep thinking of the doc as looking like don knotts ;)
:( that's the opposite of what they intended to do
was this written by a politician // you can tell it's satire because of item 14
it's something of a relief to feel utterly insignificant
the music and the narrator's voice turn this tour of nanotech humorous. "...brace yourself for a shock..." ok, the writing and visual aids are also hilarious. like Chuck Jones at a dinner party of physicists




From the page: "The quantity of consonants in the English language is absolutely constant. If consonants are omitted in one geographic area, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah", the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells.""
a severe ethical dilemma... in a catastrophe, do we stretch limited resources by not treating people most likely to die?
i wonder if crushed diatoms would be a good source of phosphorus for plants...
i'd venture a guess that collaboration will increase the overall rate of scientific advancement by several times
magic?? ehh, it's got to be physics! :)




uh-oh, this may be bad news for people exposed to EMF, especially people with heart conditions. might be a good idea to rig up an EM meter and scan the bedroom for pulsating fields :-/
since money is getting tight, we may be seeing a lot more collections related technologies
From the page: "This challenges the fundamental assumptions of why such specializations occur in nature, Ungar said. It shows that animals can develop an extreme degree of specialization without the specialized object becoming a preferred resource."
From the page: "Science is brutal...theories that cannot hold up to withering scrutiny do not survive, and scientists are always interested in being the one to discover something new, even if that "something new" is the proof that a theory is wrong."

// yes, how easily we forget that
for a second there i had quite a laugh thinking this was wikipedia. nevertheless, good overview of the technology.
Good thinking... It will probably cost much much more than $1M to accomplish; but still, Go PETA! (i'm cheering them on because i like seeing organizations do something useful)
From the page: "low doses of toxins lead to longer lifespans and enhanced growth"

// an interesting follow-up for that story about toxins a day or two ago
oddly enough, the researchers sound perplexed by this finding... but it makes perfect sense for animals to evolve reward-seeking behavior when the natural toxins are benefiting them
great idea! this is what we need economists for! hmm, i'll bet there's a way to do this on a local level as well. *starts thinking*
blueberries work for me... plus, concord grape juice
great, now ditch the corn and put the genes into a plant that's a much more efficient producer...
sounds like the problems with lead-free solder are even worse than having the lead. yet another vote to keep lead-based solders.
"send us your action shots! click here!" XD
Music File Compressed 1,000 Times Smaller than MP3
yes... getting closer... i know this will work well eventually :)
cool, the laws of physics are wrong. i love when that happens.
low-cost video microscopes bring new views of everyday life to the internet
hopefully the work will yield results that are useful for other applications as well.
low power nonvolatile replacement for DRAM & flash memory, currently in R&D
very good documentary on our understanding of gravity
beautiful time-lapse footage of a weather effect




great talk by craig venter on his genetic-engineering efforts
amazing piloting, please ignore the comments
Fascinating tale of how the 3-prong electrical outlet came to be. Written by billjb!
researchers produce new LED technology with incredible 300 lumen per Watt efficiency! if true, this could revolutionize lighting
sounds good... lower efficiency would be OK at first, to help start the ball rolling
i liked the infra-red section
this is excellent. in science, the biggest head-scratchers can lead to the best new models. with luck, maybe this will help us connect gravity and quantum mechanics (just hoping...)
An important message. I don't have the words to describe this.




a lot of interesting info on how color vision works
documentary by james burke... man this is good. the other parts and other episodes do seem to be up on youtube




as an engineer and not a philosopher, i approve of science because it produces *useful* results... not because it "proves" existential truths :)
whatever this is, i like it!
thumbs up. it's guys like this who save us millions if not billions of dollars in wasted time and energy, in the mundane parts of our lives. here's another good article if you're interested in adding up small savings:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/magazine/09left-handturn.html
congratulations, the newest calculations are great! but... "...even though the six-quark theory explains all experiments carried out to date, its intrinsic asymmetry between quarks and anti-quarks appears to be too weak to account for the matter-anti-matter asymmetry implied by our observable universe. Entirely new ideas and phenomena may well be required before this puzzle is understood." wheee, still have a little way to go :D
inspired by creationist arguments, these mean-spirited yet well-constructed lessons in physics (and other scientific disciplines) are both fascinating and enlightening
i didn't realize we still have some privacy rights left... this seems to be a pivotal case
i wonder if the particles themselves could be used to power an electromagnetic shield
i'm not sure what these results mean exactly, but i think it's something important. i'll be back to re-read... :D
an interesting application of thermoelectric generation
wow... does this remind anyone else of zero-point energy?




a side note: tests performed on certain AI systems, exposing them to large numbers of complex patterns (language, like music) show very clear results -- check out this man's work: Professor Robert Hecht-Nielsen. i'm fascinated by his "sentence continuation" experiments
i appreciate the effort these guys put into keeping science free to maintain its integrity
good news, this may help reduce the production cost of electric vehicles
this is the first time i remember seeing the argument that a president must be rational in order to be effective
From the page: "findings suggest that women who are depressed are also losing their sense of smell"
a cheap way to treat and prevent all sorts of problems, including Alzheimer's
this made me lol. i'm guessing newton had a lot of cats

tim hunkin... i never get enough of this guy :) hunkin demonstrates trial and error in industrial design
Gell-Mann is amazingly smart -- a funny and engaging speaker, in this quick talk about how the complexity of the physical world rests on incredibly simple fundamental physics
great, this solves the problem of *storing* energy in an efficient form. now we need gasoline fuel cells!
excellent, as always - history of the watch




see clearly through a pinhole instead of glasses
amazing, it actually works
i love these shows... this one is a fascinating look at the technology & history of fax machines




using gray codes to locate the light sensors is a brilliant idea
new experimental results imply "...if we wish to maintain the view that reality exists independent of our measurements (e.g. the moon is there even if we don't look at it), we are forced to accept that the world is nonlocal"
how radio works, & history of its development




$100 DIY Scanning Tunneling Microscope? Maybe! I really like the "Disk Scanner" piezo-disc hack this uses, in any case.
ugh! we've already established that there's *less* genetic variation between "races" than within them... Watson, read your research, man!
Q: Exactly how fast do electrons travel? A: Slower than you might think!
energy from a radioactive source emitting beta particles (electrons)
interesting historical info... plus, this guy claims to have purchased one of the original sputniks on ebay! :)
...Edison invented the electric company... classic!




yes! just another 10 years, and they'll have a small-enough, nice-enough looking OLED watch...
after reading this, bill shatner's twilight zone episode comes to mind :O nooooooooooooooooo!
she may not know whether the world is flat, but fortunately, she can just look it up: Search Google...
i use this for the compilation of descriptions they've got... all sorts of electronic components are defined here
"Since some mammals clearly use androstenone to communicate sexuality and dominance within a social hierarchy, it's intriguing to think whether the same thing may happen in humans," Vosshall says. "If so, what happens to humans who can't get the signal because they have the nonfunctional copy of the gene? Or the hyperfunctional one? What could be the social and sexual implications of this on one's perception of the smell of fellow humans?"
6 tiny homemade electrical generators, including a neat piezo experiment
spare salmon sperm makes bulbs burn brighter.
eminent electrical engineer enthused about enhanced efficiency
haven't done this since i was a kid... it might be time again :)
it's easy to get mixed up... this article reminded me how *much* more valuable experience is than facts. worth reading!
Neuroscience! New guy in town, I like where you're headed :) Welcome, and keep up the fine stumblin'
Check out the names of the pheromones -- classic! :)
this makes a lot of sense... have you ever seen that homunculus with the gigantic hands (representing how much of the brain is associated with different parts of the body)
http://www.cs.uta.fi/~jh/homunculus.html
aha! i *knew* there was something funny going on in this universe... just couldn't put my finger on it until now ;)
I like how the researchers approached this problem
Very interesting -- videos of plants growing and responding to light, gravity and other stimuli. They're alive!! :)
great story about using logic to solve difficult problems. i'd say the moral is: when faced with an intractable problem, use brute force! ;)
Bezos compares the current state of the Internet to the gold rush and the early electric industry. He's a good speaker... I like that guy. :)
FTA: The Pareto Principle is broadly applicable concept that states: 80 percent of the "effects" comes from 20 percent of the "causes."
here's one for Jeremy -- IBM Model M Keyboards. over 10,000 spring-activated keys are in this shot :)


more ancient, advanced shoe technology

Great! Measurements of the NET amount of stuff that's inside packages of stuff. I've ALWAYS wondered how much Just "How Much is Inside?" :)