In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Spray-on Rechargeable Batteries Could Store Energy Anywhere

A team of mechanical engineers has published a paper demonstrating its latest invention — spray-on rechargeable batteries that could be combined with solar cells to create self-sufficient, energy conversion-storage devices.

The paper, published in Nature Scientific Reports, explains that by breaking down the different components of a battery — the electrodes, separator, electrolyte and current collectors — and rendering them into liquid form, we could revolutionize the way we power our devices. Rather than being tied to fixed shapes and sizes, batteries could one day take on practically any form, and be applied almost anywhere.

The technology, it says, would enable, “widespread renewable energy capture, storage and utilization.”

(Read more)

Spray-on Rechargeable Batteries Could Store Energy Anywhere

A team of mechanical engineers has published a paper demonstrating its latest invention — spray-on rechargeable batteries that could be combined with solar cells to create self-sufficient, energy conversion-storage devices.

The paper, published in Nature Scientific Reports, explains that by breaking down the different components of a battery — the electrodes, separator, electrolyte and current collectors — and rendering them into liquid form, we could revolutionize the way we power our devices. Rather than being tied to fixed shapes and sizes, batteries could one day take on practically any form, and be applied almost anywhere.

The technology, it says, would enable, “widespread renewable energy capture, storage and utilization.”

(Read more)

God might not heal amputees, but iWalk is working to rebuild the human body from the ground up. 

 

The Biom, bio mechanical ankle uses 3 motors to simulate a natural stride, making a world of difference in the body stress faced by wearers of prosthetic legs.
God might not heal amputees, but iWalk is working to rebuild the human body from the ground up.

The Biom, bio mechanical ankle uses 3 motors to simulate a natural stride, making a world of difference in the body stress faced by wearers of prosthetic legs.

Notice how certain sounds are disappearing from our environment as technology progresses? The Museum of Endangered Sounds is preserving them for future generations. Check it out and take a sonic walk down memory lane.

Notice how certain sounds are disappearing from our environment as technology progresses? The Museum of Endangered Sounds is preserving them for future generations. Check it out and take a sonic walk down memory lane.

vinegarwilliams:

smarterplanet:

Implantable Tumor Tracker Is a Tiny Lab That Lives Inside Your Body And Reports Back | Popular Science
Rather than bringing people into the lab, researchers at MIT are putting tiny labs into people via a tiny implantable capsule that can track the growth of a tumor or detect heart-deterioration or even silent heart attacks from inside the body. The miniature lab is small enough to implant via a needle during a normal biopsy, and can remain inside the body vigilantly watching for increased tumor growth. The inside of the device is filled with nanoparticles, each sporting an antibody specially designed to bind to specific molecules like those that are produced by certain kinds of tumors or by damaged heart muscle cells.

via joshbyard:



Can I be scared of this? Is that ok?

Signs of the Singularity.

vinegarwilliams:

smarterplanet:

Implantable Tumor Tracker Is a Tiny Lab That Lives Inside Your Body And Reports Back | Popular Science

Rather than bringing people into the lab, researchers at MIT are putting tiny labs into people via a tiny implantable capsule that can track the growth of a tumor or detect heart-deterioration or even silent heart attacks from inside the body. The miniature lab is small enough to implant via a needle during a normal biopsy, and can remain inside the body vigilantly watching for increased tumor growth. The inside of the device is filled with nanoparticles, each sporting an antibody specially designed to bind to specific molecules like those that are produced by certain kinds of tumors or by damaged heart muscle cells.

via joshbyard:

Can I be scared of this? Is that ok?

Signs of the Singularity.

unknownskywalker:

Samsung Transparent LCD Window

Regular LCD panels need BLUs (Back Light Units) as a light source in order to display an image; without a light source, nothing would be visible. Transparent LCDs lack BLUs, usesing instead other light sources available (sunlight, in-door lighting). In darkness you can activate the transparent BLU, designed specifically for transparent panels, as a light source.

An advantage to the transparent display is its energy efficiency. When the transparent BLU is not activated, the transparent LCD uses only 10% of the electricity used by a regular LCD screen of equivalent size. Rumor has it, it’s going into mass production in just a few months.

the-star-stuff:

3D Imaging Technique Brings 50 Million-Year-Old Spider to Glorious, Gory Life

Medical researchers typically use Very High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography to compose three-dimensional images of soft tissue. The technique is especially useful for studying cancer, allowing tumors to be modeled in incredible detail. So what happens when you unleash VHR-CT on, say, a 50 million-year-old fossilized spider?

The results are above. They mark the first use of VHR-CT on a fossil preserved in amber, and the Belgian researchers who took the pictures say that the technique, which “generates full 3D reconstructions of minute fossils and permits digital dissection of the specimen to reveal the preservation of internal organs,” could revolutionize the study of these otherwise clouded windows into prehistory.

Image: University of Manchester

jtotheizzoe:

gjmueller:

10 year Forecast Map of the Future of Science, Technology and Well-being
Great visualization of how science and technology can help encourage building well-being in our bodies, networks, and environments.

Adjust your college plans accordingly.

jtotheizzoe:

gjmueller:

10 year Forecast Map of the Future of Science, Technology and Well-being

Great visualization of how science and technology can help encourage building well-being in our bodies, networks, and environments.

Adjust your college plans accordingly.

Scientists have succeeded in using 3D optical scanning technology to effectively lift the voices from 125 year old recordings created by researchers working in Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta laboratory.

abaldwin360:

(PhysOrg.com) — Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have succeeded in using 3D optical scanning technology to effectively lift the voices from 125 year old recordings created by researchers working in Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta laboratory. The recordings were made on various media as researchers tried to improve the sound quality of Thomas Edison’s recently invented phonograph.

Bell, made famous by his invention of the telephone, was working with a team of researchers in his Volta laboratory in the 1880’s in Washington D.C. and as a precaution against having his ideas stolen by competing teams, periodically sent samples of the results of his and his team’s efforts to the Smithsonian Institute, also in Washington, for safe-keeping. Unfortunately, devices to play the  were not sent along as well, which meant the recordings sat unheard in storage for a century and a quarter.

Now however, thanks to a special optical scanning technique, those voices can once again be heard. Restoration specialists Carl Haber and Earl Cornell working with digital conversion specialists and museum curators, used a hardware/software system called IRENE/3D, to first take high resolution images of the spinning discs and then to remove errors introduced by damage to the discs or cylinders. They then finished by mimicking a stylus as it moved over the media, on a computer, reproducing the originally recorded voices. Using such a system, the early recordings can be played without anything actually touching the original media, which could conceivably be damaged in the process.

Using the technique, the team was able to hear human voices reciting Shakespeare, or reading from a book or newspaper. It’s not known if any of the voices heard is actually Bell, but historians believe Volta Laboratory only had three inventors: Bell, Bell’s cousin Chichester and Charles Sumner Tainter. Thus it seems possible that one or more of the voices is his.

An example of an extracted audio file.

Another attractive feature of the IRENE/3D system, which was developed at Berkley nearly a decade ago, is that it is able to scan discs made of various materials. In the case of the discs from the Smithsonian, some were made of wax, others of glass, with would have required developing unique individual players if each was to be actually played to hear what was on it.

Thus far the team has succeeded in reproducing the recordings on six discs, but have many more to work with as the Smithsonian has some 400 such and cylinders from Volta Laboratory and several others.

More information: http://bio16p.lbl.gov/

— Playback: 130-year-old sounds revealed

[SOURCE]

IBM: Mind reading is less than five years away. For real.

veritaschronicle:

The world is changing fast—maybe faster than we ever thought. And within five years, science fiction is going to turn into non-fiction. We’ll be able to read each other’s minds, forget all our passwords, and create all our own homes’ energy.

The list is meant to promote long-term work being done under Big Blue’s Smarter Planet initiative—and the company says “5 in 5” already has a track record of success. In 2008, IBM says, it suggested that within five years, consumers would talk to the Web—and the Web would respond.

This time, the predictions are perhaps a bit more fanciful:

  • Mind reading is no longer science fiction.
  • You will be able to power your home with the energy you create yourself.
  • You will never need a password again.
  • The digital divide will cease to exist.
  • Junk mail will become priority mail.

It would seem the most interesting idea posited by IBM is the one about reading minds. But lest you think that what its scientists are saying is that you’ll be able to glare at a friend—or perhaps more importantly, an enemy—and know what he or she is thinking, that may be more than five years off. Rather, this is about how our brains might someday be synced with computing devices:

Read More: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-57344881-52/ibm-mind-reading-is-less-than-five-years-away-for-real/?fb_ref=fbrecT&fb_source=profile_oneline

Once the brain is completely mapped and modeled (it’s getting there) AI and human/computer integration will be off to the races because we’ll be able to use the exact same method of computing that the human brain does. The Singularity this way comes.

(Source: veritaschronicle)

TRANSCENDENT MAN (Trailer)

chronicles the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist that presents his bold vision of the Singularity, a point in the near future when technology will be changing so rapidly, that we will have to enhance ourselves with artificial intelligence to keep up. Ray predicts this will be the dawning of a new civilization in which we will no longer be dependent on our physical bodies, we will be trillions of times more intelligent and there will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality. Human aging and illness will be reversed; world hunger and poverty will be solved and we will ultimately cure death.

But the obvious question is: will this create a utopian universe or a Terminator Skynet or Matrix situation?

Watch the full length movie:

Part 1

Part 2

A new generation of contact lenses that project images in front of the eyes is a step closer after successful animal trials, say scientists.

The technology could allow wearers to read floating texts and emails or augment their sight with computer-generated images, Terminator-syle.

Researchers at Washington University who are working on the device say early tests show it is safe and feasible.

But there are still wrinkles to iron out, like finding a good power source.

Currently, their crude prototype device can only work if it is within centimetres of the wireless battery.

And its microcircuitry is only enough for one light-emitting diode, reports the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

infoneer-pulse:

Engineering the 10 000-Year Clock

The year is 12011. Two hikers cut through a stretch of cactus-filled desert outside what was once the small town of Van Horn, near the Mexican border, in West Texas. After walking for the better part of a day under a relentless sun, they struggle up a craggy limestone ridge. Finally they come to an opening in the rock, the mouth of what appears to be a long, deep tunnel.
As they head into the shadows, not quite knowing where the tunnel will lead, the sudden darkness and the drop in temperature startle their senses. After a few minutes the hikers reach a cool chamber dimly lit from above. A tall column of strange shiny metal gears and rods rises hundreds of meters above them. Steps cut into the walls spiral upward, and the hikers ascend until they reach a platform. A black globe suspended above depicts the night sky, encircled by metal disks that indicate the year and the century.
A giant metal wheel sits in the middle of the platform, and the visitors each grasp a handle that juts out from its smooth edges. For the next several hours, they push and walk and push and walk in a circle, methodically, silently, until the wheel will turn no further. Exhausted, they rest on the platform and drift off to sleep. At noon the next day, they’re suddenly awakened by the ethereal tones of chiming bells.
It sounds like science fiction, but this is the real vision for the 10 000-Year Clock, a monument-size mechanical clock designed to measure time for 10 millennia. Danny Hillis, an electrical engineer with three degrees from MIT who pioneered parallel supercomputers at Thinking Machines Corp., worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, and then cofounded the consultancy Applied Minds, dreamed up the project in 1995 to get people thinking more about the distant future. But the clock is no longer just a thought experiment. In a cluttered machine shop near a Starbucks in San Rafael, Calif., it’s finally ticking to life.

» via IEEE Spectrum

infoneer-pulse:

Engineering the 10 000-Year Clock

The year is 12011. Two hikers cut through a stretch of cactus-filled desert outside what was once the small town of Van Horn, near the Mexican border, in West Texas. After walking for the better part of a day under a relentless sun, they struggle up a craggy limestone ridge. Finally they come to an opening in the rock, the mouth of what appears to be a long, deep tunnel.

As they head into the shadows, not quite knowing where the tunnel will lead, the sudden darkness and the drop in temperature startle their senses. After a few minutes the hikers reach a cool chamber dimly lit from above. A tall column of strange shiny metal gears and rods rises hundreds of meters above them. Steps cut into the walls spiral upward, and the hikers ascend until they reach a platform. A black globe suspended above depicts the night sky, encircled by metal disks that indicate the year and the century.

A giant metal wheel sits in the middle of the platform, and the visitors each grasp a handle that juts out from its smooth edges. For the next several hours, they push and walk and push and walk in a circle, methodically, silently, until the wheel will turn no further. Exhausted, they rest on the platform and drift off to sleep. At noon the next day, they’re suddenly awakened by the ethereal tones of chiming bells.

It sounds like science fiction, but this is the real vision for the 10 000-Year Clock, a monument-size mechanical clock designed to measure time for 10 millennia. Danny Hillis, an electrical engineer with three degrees from MIT who pioneered parallel supercomputers at Thinking Machines Corp., worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, and then cofounded the consultancy Applied Minds, dreamed up the project in 1995 to get people thinking more about the distant future. But the clock is no longer just a thought experiment. In a cluttered machine shop near a Starbucks in San Rafael, Calif., it’s finally ticking to life.

» via IEEE Spectrum