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The Majestic Plastic Bag

The Majestic Plastic Bag
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Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog Search is a lot about discovery—the basic human need to learn and broaden your horizons. But searching still requires a lot of hard work by you, the user. So today I’m really excited to launch the Knowledge Graph, which will help you discover new information quickly and easily. Take a query like [taj mahal]. But we all know that [taj mahal] has a much richer meaning. The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. The Knowledge Graph enhances Google Search in three main ways to start: 1. 2. How do we know which facts are most likely to be needed for each item? 3.

Species of Invasive Bee Leaves Carnage in its Wake Photo: Ersin Uyanik When Terry Allen planted a flowerbed outside his home 20 years ago, he could never have imagined it would become the sight of a blood-soaked bee battleground. Terry, an entomologist from Sacramento, discovered some European wool carder bees had taken up residence in his front yard, the first time the species had been spotted in California -- ravaging native honeybees. European Wool Carder bees were originally shipped in from Europe to the United States because of their great pollinating ability, but it didn't take long before they went rogue. To make matters worse, the bees are known to be quite aggressive, territorially killing other insects with the help its five deadly stingers. Terry plans to continue his flowerbed observations, but he's met with some unexpected resistance. Honeybees, evidently, aren't the only ones bothered by the bullying invasive counterparts.

The Omnivorous Mind — John S. Allen In this gustatory tour of human history, John S. Allen demonstrates that the everyday activity of eating offers deep insights into human beings’ biological and cultural heritage. We humans eat a wide array of plants and animals, but unlike other omnivores we eat with our minds as much as our stomachs. This thoughtful relationship with food is part of what makes us a unique species, and makes culinary cultures diverse. Drawing on the work of food historians and chefs, anthropologists and neuroscientists, Allen starts out with the diets of our earliest ancestors, explores cooking’s role in our evolving brain, and moves on to the preoccupations of contemporary foodies. To explain, for example, the worldwide popularity of crispy foods, Allen considers first the food habits of our insect-eating relatives.

uld Scottish salmon farming be transformed by moving to dry land? | Environment Scottish salmon is facing a challenge to its reputation as one of Britain's best loved everyday luxuries, with scares over diseases and sea lice, heavy use of pesticides and seal killing raising fears about its environmental impact. A new fish-farming company called Fishfrom believes it can help solve the industry's problem, and even partly solve future crises over food shortages. Its answer: take salmon farming entirely out of the sea. It is planning to build a vast new warehouse on the west coast of Scotland where it hopes to farm salmon on dry land, cultivating thousands of tonnes of fresh salmon untainted by chemicals, sea lice and seal-control, in a self-contained facility run on renewable electricity. That factory, at Tayinloan, just opposite the Hebridean island of Gigha, will be powered largely by solar panels and a small hydro scheme nearby, feed its salmon on its own supply of a specially farmed marine animal called ragworm, and will recycle nearly all the water it needs onsite.

The future of UI Synopsis It's 10 years since Minority Report hit our screens. The film's science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak – the real-life version of the eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface that Tom Cruise used to whoosh through video clips of future crimes. About the Speaker Remember the data interface from Minority Report? untitled Source: Jouni A. Smed Introduction Much of the discussion of out-of-body experiences has centered around the recounting of experiences and speculation on the nature of those experiences. Some articles have questioned whether the experiences are of an hallucinatory nature or purely a function of biochemical processes that occur in the brain, and, at the other extreme, some have linked them with notions of the existence of an immortal soul and other ideas generally associated with religious interpretations of human existence. Most readers are intrigued by the thought of being able to have and control OBEs, and see them as a potentially interesting experience, though some smaller number of people taking part in discussions are interested in trying to figure out their nature and function and their possible implications for the understanding of what it means to be fully human. What is an out-of-the-body experience? Not all OBEs occur spontaneously. What are ESP, PK and psi? What is animism? G.

Six Famous Thought Experiments, Animated in 60 Seconds Each By Maria Popova From the fine folks at the Open University comes 60-Second Adventures in Thought, a fascinating and delightfully animated series exploring six famous thought experiments. The Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles comes from Ancient Greece and explores motion as an illusion: The Grandfather Paradox grapples with time travel: Chinese Room comes from the work of John Searle, originally published in 1980, and deals with artificial intelligence: Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel, proposed by German mathematician David Hilbert, tackles the gargantuan issue of infinity: The Twin Paradox, first explained by Paul Langevin in 1911, examines special relativity: Schrödinger’s Cat, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, is a quantum mechanics mind-bender: For more such fascination and cognitive calisthenics, you won’t go wrong with Peg Tittle’s What If….Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy . via Open Culture

5 Mind-Blowing Projects by College Kids College graduates may still have a tough time finding a decent job in this economy, but some students are trying to make the best use of their time in the classroom. We've rounded up five mind-blowing projects by college kids for your viewing enjoyment. Continue reading to see more. 5. Arcade Game Washing Machine File this under: top 10 student inventions. 4. Called the JediBot, this innovative Kinect-controlled robot, developed by Stanford University students, "can wield a foam sword (light saber, if you will) and duel a human combatant for command of the empire." 3. Students from Dartmouth College and the University of Bologna have developed WalkSafe, an innovative app that's designed to alert smartphone users when a car is near. 2. Believe it or not, particle engineer Paul Luckham and fashion designer Manel Torres from Imperial College London combined cotton fibers, polymers and a solvent to form a liquid that becomes a fabric when sprayed. 1.

Top 10 Student Inventions You don't have to be a famous researcher or engineer to come up with the next big invention. These ten student projects prove just that. They range from a homemade nuclear reactor to a 300mph electric vehicle. Continue reading to see them all. 10. Spokesless Bicycle Engineering students at Yale University wanted to build a bicycle unlike any other, so what did they do? [Source] 9. Making a mimosa (champagne and orange juice) just got easier, with this nifty wireless automatic drink mixer, built by University of Washington students. 8. Two students from India have developed an innovative cell phone-controlled tractor. 7. Built by MIT student Nathan Linder, the LuminAIR is a robotic lamp that essentially "combines a Pico-projector, camera, and wireless computer in a compact form factor." [Source] 6. This awesome semi-automatic NERF Longshot gun was built by engineering student -- and TechEBlog reader -- Philip H. specifically for his university's Humans Vs. [Source] 5. [Source] 4. [Source] 3.

Rare Color Footage of Depression-Era New York In the same year that The Wizard of Oz hurtled Dorothy from a black-and-white Kansas into a Technicolor Oz, Jean Vivier, a French tourist, was filming the streets of New York in all of their own glorious color. A rare 16-mm Kodachrome film from the summer of 1939 that was recently released by the Italian Romano Archives shows swinging signs advertising 5¢ piña coladas, elevated trains whizzing overhead, and boys playing in the fountain of a public park. Archivist Vincente Romano says the clips of Rockefeller Center, Chinatown, and other areas are only a portion of the film Vivier took over the course of his trip from Marseilles to the Big Apple at the close of the Great Depression. Due to its excellent longevity in dark storage, Kodachrome is a favorite of archivists, and much of even the old stuff survives today in everything from home movies to award-winning National Geographic photos. A lot has changed in New York since Jean Vivier first stepped off the S.S. Via the Huffington Post .

gatewurm » The Abrahadabra Institute superlight and magnetic sculpture gallery by gatewurm Many of these devices were featured in the Transmutational Alchemy show at Olympia Arts Walk, Spring 2012, where they delighted everyone. Gatewurm is the House Director for The Techneion of The Abrahadabra Institute, and an independent researcher and developer of ‘Radiant Energy & Magnetic Energy Technologies’. He has built and designed several energy devices which are powered by, operated by, and even levitated by, magnetic radiant energies. His experimental machines theoretically generate varying degrees of influence over The Body of Light and create some fairly spectacular visual effects.

Midway: A Sobering Message from the Plastic Gyre The arresting photography of Chris Jordan is the type which, once seen, one can no longer be the same. His work deals with mass culture: specifically the enormity and power of humanities collective behaviors. In his ongoing project, Midway, he deals with the shocking consequences modern society has even on remote and distant shores. Jordan explains his important project best: “On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. Through the disturbing photographs you see here and a feature film currently in production, Jordan has taken the sobering project upon himself to let the world know. The trailer for Midway, the upcoming film from Chris Jordan (warning, very disturbing imagery):

A Film Shows How La Sagrada Familia Will Look When Completed (as Soon as 2026!) Just when you thought Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia basilica couldn’t get any bigger, another tower goes up. The master work of Antoni Gaudi, the fantastic structure is on a truly classic building schedule. Started in 1882 (just 131 years ago) the structure was only half completed in 2010. That means there’s far more to complete, and even at its current dizzying height, there’s far more upward growth to be seen. See Also Beautiful Black and White Photos of La Sagrada Familia The exciting film We Build Tomorrow (below) shows the vision for the completed project, including a surprising amount of additional towers, roofs and spires. via: It’s Nice That Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea.

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