Posts

October 14, 2014

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3:09 PM | The Artificial Tree Electric Generator (patent)
HRL Laboratories – formerly the (Howard) Hughes Research Laboratories – have just been granted a US patent for their ‘Power generation through artificial transpiration ‘ invention. The power system – which could perhaps be described as an ‘artificial tree’ – generates power by drawing water through a turbine, driven by pressure differences caused by transpiration […]
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2:43 PM | Further findings in the matter of Stronzo Bestiale
Vito Tartamella, in Parolacce, his blog about science and profanity, provides further information in the matter of Stronzo Bestiale (the question of the existence of whom we wrote about a few days ago, prompted by a report in Retraction Watch). Tarmatella’s Stronzo Bestiale report begins: Would you read a paper written by Stronzo Bestiale (Total Asshole)? A […]
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2:40 PM | Further finger news from Prof. Manning: Gender Inequality across nations
Still more finger-ratio insights from Professor John T. Manning, the father of finger-length studies. He has a new study: “Digit ratio (2D:4D) and gender inequalities across nations,” John T. Manning, Bernhard Fink, Robert Trivers, Evolutionary Psychology, 12(4), 2014, 757-768. The authors write: “Gender inequality varies across nations, where such inequality is defined as the disproportionate representation […]
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1:48 PM | Why Spirituality?
One very important aspect of recovery is the “maintenance of our spiritual condition”. Now, as a person who is not religious and not even particularly spiritual in any traditional sense (though I used to be), I have to consider deeply what that means. Why do we associate sobriety with spirituality? How does that help me […]
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12:32 PM | ‘Fat fingers’ and computer programming languages
No summary available for this post.
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5:00 AM | A Bird's eye view of Compressive Sensing, Advanced matrix Factorization, Randomized Numerical Linear Algebra, Big Data and more ...
  As one can see from reading Nuit Blanche, it is becoming clear that Compressive Sensing has affected in some fashion or another the way we think and aim to solve problems when there are plenty of data. Subjects like Advanced Matrix Factorization  or Randomized Numerical Linear Algebra (RandNLA) are examples of that. Today, we have a few review papers that provide this bird's eye view. It is as much useful to the newcomers as it is for the practicing researcher or Machine […]

October 13, 2014

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9:48 PM | Extra-dimensional conversations
The younger son occasionally has band lessons after school.  Recently, I picked him up and he said that his band teacher hadn’t been in her office when he was supposed to have his lesson.  The next comment surprised me. You know, in an alternative universe, I forgot my instrument but she was in her office. […]
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8:01 PM | Quick Ebola Test, Not Quarantine, Could Be Best Defense
A test involving polymerase chain reaction, or P.C.R., could be used to amplify genetic information, including that belonging to the virus. Continue reading →
Editor's Pick
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6:51 PM | Johnson Matthey Highlights: October 2014
EMISSION CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES Formation of Reactive Lewis Acid Sites on Fe/WO3–ZrO2 Catalysts for Higher Temperature SCR Applications R. Foo, T. Vazhnova, D. B. Lukyanov, P. Millington, J. Collier, R. Rajaram and S. Golunski, Appl. Catal. B: Environ., 2015, 162, 174 LINK http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2014.06.034 An active ammonia-SCR catalyst can be prepared by impregnating WO3–ZrO2 with Fe. WO3–ZrO2... The post Johnson Matthey Highlights: October 2014 appeared first on […]
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6:51 PM | 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition: Part II
Introduction American Chemical Society National Meetings and Expositions are held twice a year in spring and autumn and constitute the largest gathering of chemical scientists at any point in the conference calendar. This year the 247th meeting (1) was held from 16th–20th March 2014, hosted at the Dallas Convention Centre, Texas, USA. The overarching theme... The post 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition: Part II appeared first on Johnson Matthey Technology […]
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5:45 PM | Tentacle Robots Could Aid Space Exploration
Robotic systems inspired by elephant trunks, octopus arms and other structures found in nature could have a variety of space applications.
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3:58 PM | Alrighty: Wrong upon wrong
No summary available for this post.
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2:05 PM | Computer First: Silicon Chip Holds Quantum Data
For the first time, scientists have demonstrated silicon quantum technology capable of holding data with over 99 per cent accuracy.
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1:44 PM | Does it matter for men (and pharma companies) whether they sit or stand?
A new Dutch study on an old question — should men stand or sit when urinating? — just might weaken the revenue stream of pharma companies that offer treatments for male urinary ailments. The researchers suggest (that is their word) that altering a man’s stance when urinating can sometimes be effective at treating some prostate-related (and similar) problems. Sometimes as effective, even, as treating the […]
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1:05 PM | Map Monday: Global Pesticide Scorecard Launched
The prevalence of pesticides may seem like something of a bygone era, one marked by Silent Spring and the Bhopal Disaster, but the grim reality is that they are unfortunately very much around.... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:00 AM | On the Effective Measure of Dimension in the Analysis Cosparse Model
On the Effective Measure of Dimension in the Analysis Cosparse Model by Raja Giryes, Yaniv Plan, Roman Vershynin Many applications have benefited remarkably from low-dimensional models in the recent decade. The fact that many signals, though high dimensional, are intrinsically low dimensional has given the possibility to recover them stably from a relatively small number of their measurements. For example, in compressed sensing with the standard (synthesis) sparsity prior and in matrix […]
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5:00 AM | Thesis: Approximate Message Passing Algorithms for Generalized Bilinear Inference, Jason Parker
Here is a new thesis: Approximate Message Passing Algorithms for Generalized Bilinear Inference by Jason Parker Recent developments in compressive sensing (CS) combined with increasing demands for effective high-dimensional inference techniques across a variety of disciplines have motivated extensive research into algorithms exploiting various notions of parsimony, including sparsity and low-rank constraints. In this dissertation, we extend the generalized approximate message passing (GAMP) […]

October 12, 2014

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11:42 PM | Coffee: Healthful or harmful? An emphatic maybe
No summary available for this post.
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3:30 PM | Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (Oct 12)
This week, we take to the skies with technology that will put the wind in your sails.
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1:40 PM | The Dunning-Kruger Effect and the vast evo-bio expertariat
No summary available for this post.
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12:07 AM | Pills from the elders, Sausages from the extremely young
No summary available for this post.

October 11, 2014

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4:09 PM | The Butcher’s Tongue Illusion (from the chip-crunch manipulator)
Charles Spence (who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for earlier work, and who is pictured here) and his colleagues have demonstrated the “butcher’s tongue illusion”. Nicola Twilley, writing in Elements, conveys some of the new study’s flavor: The tongue in the title of Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory’s new paper, “The Butcher’s Tongue Illusion,” does not […]
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3:26 PM | A denture-friction scientist analyses the banana-skin paper
Maria Pettersson, a friction scientist at the Ångström Laboratory at Uppsala University, who is professionally focusing on dentures these days, discusses the Ig Nobel physics prize-winning study that measured the slipperiness of a banana peel. You can listen to the discussion on Sverige Radio [P4]. The discussion is in Swedish. This action photo shows a moment […]
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1:40 PM | What’s up Watson? Using IBM Watson’s QAAPI with Bluemix, NodeExpress – Part 1
In this post I take the famed IBM Watson through the paces (yes, that’s right!, this post is about  using the same  IBM  Watson which trounced 2 human Jeopardy titans in a classic duel in 2011).  IBM’s Watson (see  What is Watson?) is capable of understanding the nuances of the English language and heralds a […]
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1:09 PM | “Inappropriate”: Old vs. young vs. differing senses of humor
This study documents a great lesson of some sort that was sought and perhaps learned: “Age-related differences in judgments of inappropriate behavior are related to humor style preferences,” Jennifer Tehan Stanley, Monika Lohani, Derek M. Isaacowitz, Psychology and Aging, Vol 29(3), Sep 2014, 528-541. (Thanks to investigator Erwn Kompanjie for bringing this to our attention.) The authors […]
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12:30 PM | Ebola-Zapping Robots Unleashed in Hospitals
A disinfecting robot pulses UV-C light, which kills pathogens in five minutes. Continue reading →

October 10, 2014

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8:23 PM | How Do You Get to Antarctica?…Study…Study…Study
The Earth’s polar regions are holy lands for environmental researchers. Relatively pristine and preserved by their remoteness and shielded from many of humanity’s atmospheric impacts, the Arctic and Antarctic are environmental samples as close to “unadulterated” as any on the planet. Peter DeCarlo, PhD, an environmental engineer and atmospheric chemist at Drexel, will make his … Continue reading →
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7:52 PM | Camel Captures Google Street View of Liwa Desert
Raffia the camel wore a smaller, lightweight camera known as the Trekker to collect images of the desert around Liwa Oasis in Abu Dhabi. Continue reading →
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6:00 PM | I Have Seen the Future of Transit and It Is in Raleigh
We long ago lost the skill of paying for the things we need: I won’t bore you with the statistics of how far we are behind in our infrastructure investments. You’ve heard them from me... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:59 PM | Levitating Building Gobsmacks Londoners
Art installation appears to show section of a historic market building broken off and hovering in mid-air. Continue reading →
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