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Posts

April 01, 2014

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5:01 AM | Carnival of Evolution #70: the game of evolution
"It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game" -- Grantland Rice, in an oddly prescient and hypothetico-deductive capacity.This month's Carnival of Evolution (#70) theme will be evolutionary games, broadly defined. Games are generally associated with strategy and intentionality (e.g. having a brain). In fact, formal game theory (the kind developed by John von Neumann and John Nash) arises from the mathematical study of human decision-making and economic theory […]

March 31, 2014

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8:59 PM | Students’ Virtual Salvage Project Could Save a Sinking Ship
Ever wondered what it would have been like to take a tour of the Titanic before its disastrous maiden voyage? While the demise of the legendary ship has long been a tragic allegory, its ocean-liner kin, the SS United States has been sinking in its own slow and painful way for almost two decades. Docked … Continue reading →
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6:05 PM | From the DIY Movement to Saving Lives — Skilled Trades Pack a Powerful Punch! Learn How With Mike Rowe!
Mike Rowe star of TV’s Dirty Jobs series and founder and CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, would like to add “skilled” trades to the well-known acronym of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). “Adding an ‘S’ to the end of STEM would further get across the vital role that training and jobs in skilled trades are playing in the future…
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3:33 PM | A dark, yet sunny, techno-apocalyptic paper
No summary available for this post.
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3:24 PM | An Undo Thesis [Ctrl-Z]
Dr. Chuk Moran has recently completed his dissertation on the undo command (ctrl-z) and received his PhD in the Department of Communication at UC San Diego. Unfortunately, Improbable has not been able to track down an online copy of the dissertation, but we did find this short essay on the implications of ludological undoing. BONUS: […]
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3:15 PM | Solar Desert Tower 3D-Printed From Sand
Rising like a skeletal tree in the desert, this skyscraper design calls for 3D-printed components made from sand and sun power. Continue reading →
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3:13 PM | Smart Door Handles Sanitize Your Hands
PullClean incorporates hand sanitizer dispenser directly into door handles. Continue reading →
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12:54 PM | Is “MacBeth Effect” research cursed?
By happy, horrified tradition, theater folk hesitate to name a certain Shakespeare play, for fear bad things will then happen. A noted psychology study that (albeit not being a theatrical endeavor) did explicitly name that play now seems to have had something bad happen. A new study brings (and is!) the bad news: “Out, Damned […]
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12:29 PM | April Fools: Justified or Not Justified?
Should well-respected journalistic outlets publish ‘April Fools’ items? For Dr. Moira Smith, writing in the scholarly journal Folklore, Volume 120, Issue 3, 2009, such media hoaxes flout journalistic ethics. “On April Fools’ Day, journalists from every media take advantage of the occasion to pass off fabricated stories as news. While entertaining, these media hoaxes flout […]
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11:00 AM | Tech Targeting Wildlife Poachers: Photos
From sensors and camera traps to DNA testing and drones, here’s the arsenal wildlife protectors are using in the battle against poachers.
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8:43 AM | Nuit Blanche in Review (March 2014)
I always look back at these monthly reviews and I am always in awe on how much has been explored, discovered. This month is no exception (last month's review is at Nuit Blanche in Review (February 2014)). Among the many good surprises like the meetup speakers we hosted in Paris, here is another instance: Citing Nuit Blanche. A comment also led to this entry on thinking of the SKA as an Atmosphere Monitoring Station (more on that later). From the focused entries and implementations and meetups, […]
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7:12 AM | Homeopathic medicine possibly contaminated with actual drugs
No summary available for this post.

March 30, 2014

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4:05 PM | Glorious graphene
Nature Materials 13, 394 (2014) The ability to switch the optical properties of thermotropic liquid crystals by an applied electric field has been key to their widespread use in display devices. While it is known that flakes of graphene oxide can form a lyotropic liquid crystal, their optical properties have previously been found to be relatively insensitive to applied electric fields. Now Shen and colleagues report that dilute systems of graphene oxide, which are on the verge of becoming […]
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4:03 PM | Chiral coalescence
Nature Communications 5, 3063 (2014) The coalescence of droplets and vesicles is a staple area of research in soft matter physics. Now Zakhary and colleagues investigate an interesting twist on this phenomenon with a study of coalescence in chiral membranes formed from rod-like virus particles [1]. The authors show that the chiral liquid-crystalline order induces novel routes to coalescence, including two routes that result in metastable states with a topological barrier to completion. […]
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3:05 PM | Generating predictions while watching the movie Moonraker
No summary available for this post.
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12:02 PM | For sleep-and-monks-and-nuns enthusiasts
Rare is the study that focus on how monks and nuns sleep. One is: “Ring the Bell for Matins: Circadian Adaptation to Split Sleep by Cloistered Monks and Nuns,” Isabelle Arnulf [pictured here], Agnès Brion, Michel Pottier and Jean-Louis Golmard, Chronobiology International, Dec., 2011, Vol. 28, No. 10 , pp. 930-41. (Thanks to investigator Yvette […]
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11:00 AM | Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (Mar 30)
This week, we present a host of tech meant to save people and perhaps save the planet.

March 29, 2014

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4:48 PM | Saturday Morning Videos: The Long Waits
The long waits   Joanne Milne's Implants are turned on and she hears for the first time   André Rieu - And The Waltz Goes On Join the CompressiveSensing subreddit or the Google+ Community and post there ! Liked this entry ? subscribe to Nuit Blanche's feed, there's more where that came from. You can also subscribe to Nuit Blanche by Email, explore the Big Picture in Compressive Sensing or the Matrix Factorization Jungle and join the conversations on […]
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1:23 PM | Robot Guesses Mood, Wears Your Friend's Face
SociBot-Mini's contoured plastic face can assume many identities, bringing a more human feel to telepresence. Continue reading →
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12:02 PM | Math Challenge: Light Bulbs Count
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9:54 AM | How whales can soon be like Roller Derby skaters
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March 28, 2014

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7:33 PM | Firefighting Robot Prepares To Walk Through Flames
The bot is designed to learn a ship's layout, move around autonomously and see through smoke. Continue reading →
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7:02 PM | Dimensionality reduction: Spectral Sparse Representation for Clustering and a survey
From The Princess Bride. A note on why the name of an algorithm is not the same as the implementation of that algorithm.  Last week, on top of doing a presentation at Paris IoT #5 on Making Sense of IoT data where I articulated, through three examples, that data sharing among sensors (and algorithms mentioned on Nuit Blanche) was really the only way to "produce business opportunities and save the world" (TM); I was also presenting a poster at JIONC (abstract is at From […]
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6:49 PM | At the Festival Expo’s Two-Day Book Fair, Meet the Authors Who Are Inspiring America in STEM!
In an eventful two-day affair hosted by Anderson’s Bookshops, don’t miss the opportunity to meet and hear some of the nation’s most exciting and inspiring authors in STEM at the Festival Expo’s Book Fair. Hear these authors talk about their books and adventures, April 26-27, 2014, plus get your favorite must-have books autographed. The Book Fair will…
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2:00 PM | MH370: When Tech Isn't Enough
The limits of technology are conflicting with human expectations in the hunt for Malaysian Airlines flight 370.
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1:24 PM | Grills, ‘Grillz’ and dental hygiene implications
No summary available for this post.
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1:17 PM | How Dank Is Your Nug: Kit Tests Weed Purity
Besides cannabis, this handheld kit also plans to test the quality of fruits, vegetables, water and air. Continue reading →
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12:25 PM | Photo Friday: Nuclear Power Lands on Mars (2012)
NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. Its primary goals were to gather geological and environmental data from the planet. This photo was taken by a navigation camera located... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:15 AM | Citing Nuit Blanche
Logan Grosenick just sent me this most excellent photo and comment: Hi Igor, You might enjoy this (poorly taken) photo of David Donoho citing Nuit Blanche in a talk at Stanford. He did remark that this is not the correct way to do matrix-vector multiplication though, as the vector should be on the right :) Best,LoganCool! Although, for the sake of setting the record straight, I simply, for the life of me, cannot even draw those vectors/matrices with all their color and/or the nice looking […]
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10:30 AM | Stewart Walker joins Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS)
No summary available for this post.
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