BBC Learning English | Talk about English - Insight plus
Cloning / artificial intelligence
Barry Schwartz is a sociology professor at Swarthmore and author of The Paradox of Choice . In this talk, he persuasively explains how and why the abundance of choice in modern society is actually making us miserable . (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK.
"Paradox of Choice" author Barry Schwartz on TEDTalks
Behind the Poster: 'One Arm'
A boxer turned hustler with a missing arm seems like an unlikely subject for a play, considering that the pool of one-armed actors is probably small, even in New York. (How do you make an actor’s arm disappear on stage?) But that’s exactly what the New Group and the Tectonic Theater Project have collaborated on in “One Arm,” a show based on a 1948 short story and unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams. Adapted for the stage and directed by Moisés Kaufman (“The Laramie Project”), “One Arm” stars Claybourne Elder as Ollie, a young boxing champion who bitterly turns to hustling and a life of violence after he loses his limb in an accident. The back story of the poster for the show includes elements that would be at home in a (late) Williams play.
The meaning of 9/11's most controversial photo | Jonathan Jones | Comment is free
Thomas Hoepker chose not to publish this photograph in a book about 9/11. Photograph: Thomas Hoepker/Magnum In the photograph Thomas Hoepker took on 11 September 2001 , a group of New Yorkers sit chatting in the sun in a park in Brooklyn. Behind them, across brilliant blue water, in an azure sky, a terrible cloud of smoke and dust rises above lower Manhattan from the place where two towers were struck by hijacked airliners this same morning and have collapsed, killing, by fire, smoke, falling or jumping or crushing and tearing and fragmentation in the buildings' final fall, nearly 3,000 people. Ten years on, this is becoming one of the iconic photographs of 9/11, yet its history is strange and tortuous. Hoepker, a senior figure in the renowned Magnum photographers' co-operative , chose not to publish it in 2001 and to exclude it from a book of Magnum pictures of that horribly unequalled day.
Darren Kitchen, 29, founder of Hak5 and creator of the WiFi Pineapple Mark IV honeypot. (Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET) AUSTIN, Texas--Some funny things were happening at the South by Southwest conference here today. My virtual private network connection kept getting disabled, and even stranger, on a friend's laptop a window popped up showing an animated cartoon cat flying through the air with a rainbow in its wake. The image, known as Nyan Cat after a popular 2011 Internet meme, immediately alarmed me because it was used by the hacker group LulzSec on at least one occasion.
SXSW: 'Hot-spot honeypot' hacker's heaven | InSecurity Complex
Japan tsunami pictures: before and after
The Alma – Crystal Palace – Mark Blundell - South London Photographer
10 March 2012 Last updated at 19:31 ET One year ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck off the coast of north-east Japan. Thousands of people lost their lives and many more were injured as torrents of water swept through coastal cities, towns and villages. Twelve months on, the Japanese people are making progress in repairing the damage to their country and rebuilding their lives. Scroll through the 10 images below, dragging the slider at the top of each one to see to see how some of the worst affected areas looked at the time of the quake and how they have recovered. Several waves engulfed the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, killing hundreds.
Japan quake: Images of then and now
Ed Boyden's background is in electrical engineering and physics. Photograph: Quinn Norton Ed Boyden heads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group at MIT Media Lab . He is working on developing technologies and tools for "analysing and engineering brain circuits" – to reveal which brain neurons are involved in different cognitive processes and using this knowledge to treat brain disorders.
Ed Boyden: The brain is like a computer, and we can fix it with nanorobots | Science | The Observer
Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Alan Zorfas, the co-founder and CMO of Motista , a VC-backed consumer intelligence service. Prior to co-founding Motista, Alan spent 25 years in senior roles at advertising agencies like Interpublic Group, DBB, and Earle Palmer Brown. The most recent commercial for the BMW i3 and i8 concept cars is a great example of something enlightened marketers have known for years: emotion is the key driver behind purchasing decisions. Yet, today, most businesspeople still follow the old adage, “Emotions and business don’t mix,” relying on rational data to drive decisions instead. Doesn’t the advertisement make you want to buy a BMW? Don’t you want to feel cool or look more successful, technology-forward and progressive?
A group of students and professors from Yale University have found a fungi in the Amazon rainforest that can degrade and utilize the common plastic polyurethane (PUR). As part of the university’s Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory educational program, designed to engage undergraduate students in discovery-based research, the group searched for plants and cultured the micro-organisms within their tissue. Several active organisms were identified, including two distinct isolates of Pestalotiopsis microspora with the ability to efficiently degrade and utilize PUR as the sole carbon source when grown anaerobically, a unique observation among reported PUR biodegradation activities. Polyurethane is a big part of our mounting waste problem and this is a new possible solution for managing it. The fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and is uniquely able to do so in an oxygen-free environment.
A New Approach to Wind Energy
<dense wind farming>
Modern wind farms have a power density of 2-3 W/m^2. That means every square meter of land used on a wind farm can generate 2-3 watts of power when the wind is blowing. Typical wind turbines must be spaced far apart to reduce aerodynamic interference.
What if you could increase wind farm power density by 10x by placing wind turbines close together? And, what if these turbines instead of being 300' tall, difficult to transport, noisy, and unsightly were instead, 30' tall, modular, and easy to transport?
Such a solution might allow us to unlock vast new areas to place wind farms particularly closer to urban areas.
John Dabiri's team at CalTech is working on exactly this solution. Learn more in the video below. by Mar 11
Tennessee Williams - THE YELLOW BIRD on Vimeo
By JONAH LEHRER Creativity can seem like magic. We look at people like Steve Jobs and Bob Dylan, and we conclude that they must possess supernatural powers denied to mere mortals like us, gifts that allow them to imagine what has never existed before. They're "creative types." We're not. The myth of the "creative type" is just that--a myth, argues Jonah Lehrer.
Photos - Google+
his is how everyone should exercise, go for a bike ride until you get to a park bench and then sleep.. Come back home in a couple of hours and everyone things you have been slogging it out on the bike..
My kind of exercise regime, get on the bike stop and nap... by Mar 11
Google photos - Sacred Sunday
Back in 1986 we were exploring the ruins of Sukhothai by bicycle. Though it was VERY hot, we enjoyed the quietness and serenity of the landscape. It seemed to us then, we were the only tourists in the whole city.
To the south of the Old City we came to the ruins Wat Chetuphon, where a farmer brought his cow to graze. So here you are: in the background you can barely recognize the relief of a walking Buddha in the typical Sukhothai Style.
This is for #SacredSunday (+Charles Lupica, +Manfred Berndtgen and +Bill Wood ) by Mar 11
Photos - Google+
Google Photos - Paris