A random walk of interesting stuff
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I'm very pleased to announce the launch of the Data Science Toolkit . It's a collection of the most useful open source tools and data sets I've found, wrapped in an easy-to-use REST/JSON interface, and available for download as a turnkey virtual machine image. Over the past few years I've discovered some amazing open-source tools, and built a few I'm pretty proud of myself, but they've always required a lot of effort from developers to use. Take Boilerpipe for example. It's by far the best approach I've found for extracting the main text from a news story or blog post, a vital first step for many data processing operations.
Jennifer Ouellette, contributor As The New Cool by Neal Bascomb shows, classroom robot wars can inspire the celebration of invention "IT IS almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry," Albert Einstein once observed, expressing his frustrations with his early formal education. "For what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom." He would have found a kindred spirit in Amir Abo-Shaeer, a physics teacher at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, who is the heart and soul of Neal Bascomb's new book.
Menlo Park, Calif. — Scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that a puzzling gap in the electronic structures of some high-temperature superconductors could indicate a new phase of matter. Understanding this “pseudogap” has been a 20-year quest for researchers who are trying to control and improve these breakthrough materials, with the ultimate goal of finding superconductors that operate at room temperature. "Our findings point to management and control of this other phase as the correct path toward optimizing these novel superconductors for energy applications, as well as searching for new superconductors," said Zhi-Xun Shen of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES), a joint institute of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. Shen led the team of researchers that made the discovery; their findings appear in the March 25 issue of Science .
By Robert Frank Researchers and journalists (myself included) often refer to the rich as a fixed group. There are the “the rich” who keep getting richer, with ever-rising shares of the nation’s income and wealth. And then there are “the rest,” who aren’t getting much of either. The rich also fall At a time when the American Dream is supposedly dead for most Americans, while Wall Streeters are seen as permanently ensconced in government-backed luxury, the chances of moving up or down would appear slim.
Melinda Beck explains why for a small number of people getting a full night of sleep is a waste of time and the reasons behind it. For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time. Natural "short sleepers," as they're officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine. They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them.
Geologists routinely find themselves in some of the most remote, beautiful and strange spots on Earth. Photographing geological features is an important aspect of the science, and every now and then every geologist captures an image that is scientifically interesting and stands out aesthetically as well. We asked the geologists among our Wired Science and Clastic Detritus readers, and anyone else who had a great photo of some nice rocks, to send them in. There were far too many awesome shots among the almost 350 submissions, but we've included the 11 that we thought were the best (in no particular order) in this gallery. Above: Photographer: Andrew White Location: Southwestern Jordan Date: January 4, 2011
Graphene is an unusual single-atom thick carbon semiconductor. (Source: i09) Researchers measured the heat of a graphene transistor for the first time using atomic force microscopy. The results were surprising -- the material significantly self-cools.
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Editor’s Note: When the members of the class of 2010 entered business school, the economy was strong and their post-graduation ambitions could be limitless. Just a few weeks later, the economy went into a tailspin. They’ve spent the past two years recalibrating their worldview and their definition of success. The students seem highly aware of how the world has changed (as the sampling of views in this article shows).
<img alt="Photo: Guillaume Herbaut" src="/magazine/wp-content/images/19-05/ff_chernobylb_f.jpg" title="Limor Fried— building the DIY revolution one resistor at a time." width="660" height="612" /> This mutant pig fetus was collected near Chernobyl in 1988. Photo: Guillaume Herbaut The pine trees framing the entrance to the forest appear to be normal.
Sandrine Ceurstemont, video producer Few people would venture up close to an erupting volcano. But photographer Dr Richard Roscoe specialises in capturing volcanoes in action so he was eager to be one of the first to spend a night on the rim of Mount Bromo in Eastern Java, Indonesia. Since November 2010, the volcano has entered an unusually long active phase , displaying strombolian activity , towering ash columns and occasionally powerful shockwaves.
Thirty five years ago I had yet to be born, but artist Scott Weaver had already begun work on this insanely complex kinetic sculpture, Rolling through the Bay, that he continues to modify and expand even today. I have used different brands of toothpicks depending on what I am building. I also have many friends and family members that collect toothpicks in their travels for me.
Back in 2009, we wrote about a little robotic dashboard companion called AIDA (for Affective Intelligent Driving Agent), an MIT creation that essentially read a driver’s facial expressions to gauge mood and inferred route and destination preferences through social interaction with the driver. Apparently that was deemed too distracting, so now MIT is back with AIDA 2.0 , which swaps the dashboard robot for a massive 3-D interactive map that covers the entire dashboard--because that’s not distracting at all. But it is pretty cool. Essentially, AIDA 2.0 would aid the driver by turning all of that unused dashboard real estate into a gesture-controlled three-dimensional display that can control everything from the stereo to the AC, as well as display mapping information in the driver’s peripheral. Like its predecessor, AIDA 2.0 also learns your route and destination preferences and habits.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the artist responsible or if these posters were available for purchase. However, I did find some really fascinating Star Wars items, including a gigantic, room-sized mural of all the Star Wars characters , a 6 foot Storm Trooper decal , a beautiful canvas print of the original Star Wars characters , and the Turkish placard for Empire Strikes Back . UPDATE: Artists for the below posters include Mike Kungl , Cliff Chiang , Joe Corroney , and Dane of Monkey Minion . For the Imperial Forces:
An incredible model airport has gone on display in Germany. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images A detail shot at the opening of the new miniature model Knuffingen Aiport. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images PLANES take off, passengers wander through terminals and workers tend to the jets, but this is no ordinary airport. The world’s largest model airport/railway, the Knuffingen Airport, has gone on display in Germany.