Monday, July 24, 2017

Get into the State of Flow

When a writer, a software developer, or an artist is completely engaged, they exeprience flow, also known as "the zone" In this mental state a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

"Scientists are still learning why people say they feel increased amounts of unity, reverence, and happiness in the water, Nichols told me. But if you look at the scientific recipe for flow states—the psychological term for when people are fully and pleasantly absorbed in what they're doing—being in water checks a lot of the boxes."
Read more at The Atlantic...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bird Watch: Ravens are super smart

Birds are smart -- and ravens are very smart. Until recently, planning for the future has generally been considered to be unique to humans. Studies in the past 10 years have suggested that apes and scrub jays are also able to make such plans.

Studies have suggested that corvids rival chimps in cognitive self-control. Ravens can imagine being spied on, and crows display puzzle-solving skills comparable to those of apes and human children.... Scientists from Sweden’s Lund University found that ravens appear to have the ability to plan for the future...

Read more here...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fusion - in another research area, China is pulling ahead

Chinese experts have passed yet another world fusion record using the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). The experimental fusion system managed to maintain a stable plasma state for 101.2 seconds, with the temperature peaking at 50,000,000 Kelvin (89,999,540°F, 50,000,000°C), we're told. By contrast, the temperature at the core of our Sun is around 15,000,000 Kelvin (26,999,540°F, 15,000,000°C). This beats the previous sustained fusion record at this temperature, also held by the Chinese.

Read more at The Register...

Thursday, July 6, 2017

China Ahead in the Autonomous Car Race

Baidu said it hoped to have autonomous cars on China's roads by 2019 - so long as the law allowed it - before expanding to other markets including the US.
Earlier this year Baidu also opened up its self-driving car codes to software developers via the 'Apollo' open-source platform in the hope it would spur innovation.
Two of its autonomous vehicles using Apollo version 1.0 were on display at the developers conference, the Wall Street Journal said.
Google parent company Alphabet, Ford and GM have also built and are among those testing self-driving cars.

Read about his misadventures here...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Osprey-Like Drone with Variable Angle Thrust

A traditional quadcopter is designed to achieve 6 degrees of freedom — three translational and three rotational — and piloting these manually can prove to be a challenge for beginners. Hexacopters offer better stability and flight speed at a higher price but the flight controller gets a bit more complex.


Sunday, July 2, 2017


In the movie The Abyss, there are scenes in which oxygenated liquid has a mouse dropped in it. The mouse almost drowns, but then adapts to the liquid it has inside of it and breathes using that water. Is such breathing via some specialized water possible? The scene with the rat breathing an oxygenated perfluorocarbon fluid was real. The rat was breathing a liquid, and some countries actually censored that scene due to perceived animal cruelty. This is real technology -- perfluorocarbons are routinely used today in liquid breathing ventilators for premature newborns with severely underdeveloped lungs.

Read more at...

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Long Arm of the U.S. Law Extends Across the Atlantic?

The request for Supreme Court intervention concerns a 4-year-old legal battle between Microsoft and the US government over data stored on Dublin, Ireland servers. The US government has a valid warrant for the e-mail as part of a drug investigation. Microsoft balked at the warrant, and convinced a federal appeals court that US law does not apply to foreign data. The government told the justices that US law allows it to get overseas data, and national security was at risk.

Read more....