Posts Tagged ‘science

16
Jun
09

Repurposing at Foulab

Here is a short mini-doc about Foulab in Montreal. Makes me think of NYC Resistor and Free Geek.

28
Feb
09

tangible visual sound manipulation tools

There are more and more inspiring new tools for music creation and sound manipulation being made and they are getting more affordable. Gone are the days of organs that take up whole rooms, and synths have come along way since 1876. Electronic music really took off in the ’80s as company like Yamaha made affordable compact gear, but that was still based on a keyboard.

Now we are entering the age when music can be created and tweeked live visually.  I was blown away years ago when I first saw the AudioPad  by James Pattern

Here is a video of another similar design called the Reactable.

Wavetables have come along since Wolfgang Palm.

Yamaha also has a fun new toy called the Tenori-On. Sort of a visual sequencer. Which sells for about $1000 USD. 

These won’t be showing up on craigslist anytime soon, so better start saving your empties.

18
Jan
09

2008 Mad Scientist Future Technology Seminar

wired

Last August, the U.S. Army held a three-day conference in Portsmouth, Virginia, to look at new developments in military science and hardware. The confab was called the “2008 Mad Scientist Future Technology Seminar.” Really. It was.

 

Presentations covered the following areas:

       Seminar Overview (Bushnell, NASA-Langley)

       Robotics (Jones, iRobot Corporation)

       Human Life Extension (Coles, Gerontology Research Group)

       Quantum Technology (Dowling, Louisiana State University)

       Molecular Manufacturing (Jacobstein, Teknowledge)

       Machine Intelligence (Yudkowsky, Singularity Institute)

       Global Sensor Grid (Orcutt, University of California – San Diego)

       Synthetic Biology (Weiss, Princeton University,

       Virtual Reality (Peterson, The Strategy Augmentation Group)

       Beyond Silicon Computing (Mazumder, National Science Foundation)

       Nano Materials (Sulcoski, National Ground Intelligence Center)

       Alternative Energy (Bushnell, NASA Langley Research Center)

       Brain/Neurologics (Braunreiter, SAIC)

       Emerging Individual Empowerment (Petersen, The Arlington Group)

       Superempowered Individuals (Smart, Acceleration Studies Foundation)

 The Mad Scientist group sees more than just a world of danger in the 2030s. “Most likely results include an increased life span, a solution to the energy crisis, ready availability of food and fresh water to all, a global distribution of technology, education, economics, and — therefore — wealth.  This will reduce the tension between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ while the capabilities of robotics and access to virtual reality to both care for and entertain will create the perception of well-being almost universally around the globe.  Advancements are limited only by imagination and resources.”

Download the doc for a read. The list of participants are a strange bunch complete with Christian Right mad scientists. Hmmm, what are they working on….

12
Jan
09

NASA warns of large radiation storm 2011?

the register

 

A study funded by NASA has flagged up yet another terrible hazard for those no longer able to get excited about nuclear war, global pandemics, terrorism, climate change, economic meltdown and asteroid strike. Top space brainboxes say that even if the human race survives all those, there is a serious risk of civilisation being brought crashing to its knees by a sudden high-intensity solar radiation storm.

solar_storm

In essence, the report, which can be downloaded in pdf here (free registration required) says that sooner or later there will be a solar storm much more powerful than any seen so far in the age of high technology. Such events have occurred in the past, but as the human race then had very basic electrical power grids (or none at all) and made no use of satellites, it didn’t matter.

The next space radiation biggy, however, will hit a human civilisation which is becoming more and more dependent on satellites for essential communication and navigation tasks, and whose electrical grids are much more widespread and heavily stressed. The impact of a bad geomagnetic spike would be somewhat as though an unbelievably powerful electromagnetic pulse bomb – of the sort favoured by movie villains but not yet available – had gone off:

While a severe storm is a low-frequency-of-occurrence event, it has the potential for long-duration catastrophic impacts to the power grid and its users. Impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures, with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in about 12-24 hours; and immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply, and so on …Open access on the transmission system has fostered the transport of large amounts of energy across the power system in order to maximize the economic benefit of delivering the lowest-cost energy to areas of demand. The magnitude of power transfers has grown, and the risk is that the increased level of transfers, coupled with multiple equipment failures, could worsen the impacts of a storm event …

In summary, present U.S. grid operational procedures … are unlikely to be adequate for historically large disturbance events.

The impact on satellites would be even more severe, as spacecraft have less shielding from the Earth’s atmosphere – and in some cases from the magnetosphere. In particular, the present Global Positioning System (GPS) sat constellation, used by almost every navigation system in the world, is regarded as highly vulnerable to a solar event – though new satellites are to go up shortly equipped with a backup signal which will allow errors to be bowled out.

In general, however, the assembled brainboxes considered that a solar event was a much greater threat to essential space infrastructure than any evil foreign power – for instance – could possibly be. The US military has previously warned of the risk of a “space Pearl Harbour” – a devastating surprise attack against America’s space presence, which could leave the world’s sole superpower blinded and crippled. According to the National Academy, though, the USA should forget about a space Pearl Harbour and worry instead about “a space Katrina, a storm that we should have been prepared for but were not”.

I guess we should be working on our force fields.

27
Nov
08

future capitalist dreams

 

02
Nov
08

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth

10.30.2008 NASA

“It’s called a flux transfer event or ‘FTE,'” says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. “Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn’t exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible.”

Researchers have long known that the Earth and sun must be connected. Earth’s magnetosphere (the magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet) is filled with particles from the sun that arrive via the solar wind and penetrate the planet’s magnetic defenses. They enter by following magnetic field lines that can be traced from terra firma all the way back to the sun’s atmosphere.

“We used to think the connection was permanent and that solar wind could trickle into the near-Earth environment anytime the wind was active,” says Sibeck. “We were wrong. The connections are not steady at all. They are often brief, bursty and very dynamic.”

There are many unanswered questions: Why do the portals form every 8 minutes? How do magnetic fields inside the cylinder twist and coil? 

27
Oct
08

nanosolar meltdown

video of a piece of steel being melted by the Sun.

-from James May’s “Big Ideas” recent BBC show.

At the focal point, solar furnaces can achieve temperatures of 5,430 ºF (3,000 ºC). The idea is not new—coming from ancient Greece—but their potential is starting to become more relevant now as we try to cut dependency on fossil fuels.

solar power is a relatively untapped energy which is abundant. with recent developments in the  manufacturing of the collectors, like nanosolar, perhaps there is hope we can figure out cheap/open solar systems.

 steel starts at 1:08 in

27
Oct
08

‘a non-cooperative human subject’ vs. autonomous armed robot

what would darpa do?

you know darpa. they invented the internet that became the world wide web.  and who doesn’t love autonomous vehicle racesunmanned surveillance, laser RIFL’s‘combat zones that see’, and total information awareness? they’re making the future robot wars possible.

one of the new projects is the “Multi-Robot Pursuit System”. which basically is to make a pack of robodogs to hunt down ‘a non-cooperative human subject’. Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons?

20
Oct
08

the black knight satellite

Black Knight is the name given to a radar blip discovered in 1960. This mystery satellite was found in a polar orbit, something neither the US nor the Soviets had accomplished. It was several times larger and several times heavier than anything capable of being launched with 1960 rockets. It shouldn’t have been there, but it was.

If that weren’t enough, ham operators began receiving odd messages from the Black Knight. One operator decoded a series of these messages as a star map. The map centered on Epsilon Bootes as seen from the earth 13,000 years ago. Remember, stars don’t move very far even after 13,000 years, and Epsilon Bootes is moving towards us. Only the neighboring stars appear different after that amount of time. Was the Black Knight an alien calling card?

Perhaps the strangest effect associated with the Black Knight is the Long Delay Echo (LDE). The effect observed is that radio or television signals sent into space bounce back seconds (or even days) later, as if recorded and retransmitted by a satellite. They didn’t begin with the Black Knight, but they were part of its mystery. Keel places the earliest LDEs in the 1920s. It’s not in Keel’s book, but in 1974 another mystery entered earth orbit. No radar saw it. No ham operator listened to it. One man contacted it- or rather, was contacted by it. That man was science fiction author Philip K. Dick (1928-1982).

Phillip Kindred Dick blew my mind when I discovered his works through a friend in the early 1990’s. At the time Blade Runner was the cyberpunk classic film, but PDK’s books still seemed obscure to most. since then several more films have been made based on his books have stacked up, Total Recall, Confessions d’un Barjo, Screamers, Imposter, Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly, and Next.

In production is a adaptation of Radio Free Albemuth one of my favorite of his books. It deals with his 1974 experience of being contacted by the Black Knight, or what he called VALIS, the Vast Active Living Intelligence System. VALIS revealed itself to Dick as an ancient satellite from another world. It was sent here long ago by three-eyed, crab-clawed beings from a planet orbiting Fomalhaut. They built our civilization, taught us writing and science, then returned to their own world. VALIS was left behind to prod certain individuals when civilization needed a boost. 

Dick wrote down his many “mystic” experiences. When he died eight years later, he was still unsure of their origin or their meaning. Left behind was what he called the Exegesis, an 8000- page, one-million-word continuing dialogue with himself written late, late at night. This is where we go to find the Black Knight’s return.

Exegesis remains unpublished in its original form but became the material for several other book. Radio Free Albemuth being one of them. Go and read the book now.

There are also 2 more movies based on PDK in the works, a sequel to Screamers, and PDK biopic, called The Owl in Daylight. Maybe all this new activity is actually being created by the PDK Android that is M.I.A.? is this english model Actroid now his new wife?

Here is a pic from the movie production, Radio Free Albemuth.

“Friends of the American People”

Read an interview with the director.

test your total recall with the PDK quiz.

20
Oct
08

Solfeggio Frequencies

What Are The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies?

These original sound frequencies were apparently used in Ancient Gregorian Chants, such as the great hymn to John the Baptist, along with others that church authorities say were lost centuries ago. The chants and their special tones were believed to impart tremendous spiritual blessings when sung in harmony during religious masses.

The Six Solfeggio Frequencies include:

UT – 396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear 
RE – 417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change 
MI – 528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles (DNA Repair) 
FA – 639 Hz – Connecting/Relationships 
SOL – 741 Hz – Awakening Intuition 
LA – 852 Hz – Returning to Spiritual Order 

Sound, Vibration and Form

For more than 200 years, researchers have been validating the connections of Sound and Vibrations on physical form. The first to make that connection was German scientist Ernst Chladni, who, in 1787, detailed his research in his book “Discoveries Concerning the Theory of Music.” In that pioneering work, he explained ways to make sound waves generate visible structures. He detailed how a violin bow, drawn at a right angle across a flat plate covered with sand, produces patterns and shapes. Today, those patterns and shapes are called Chaldni figures. 

Telliard de Chardin tells us that we are not a human being trying to attain a spiritual experience, but, rather, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

read more




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