Posts filed under “Science”

Jay Walker: A library of human imagination

Jay Walker, curator of the Library of Human Imagination, conducts a surprising show-and-tell session highlighting a few of the intriguing artifacts that backdropped the 2008 TED stage.

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About Jay Walker:

It’s befitting that an entrepreneur and inventor so prolific and acclaimed would curate a library devoted, as he says, to the astonishing capabilities of the human imagination. TIME twice named him one of the “50 most influential business leaders in the digital age,” and he holds more than 200 patents. Jay Walker’s companies — under Walker Digital — have alone served tens of millions of people and amassed billions in value.

A chunk of his net worth went into building this enchanting library space, whose exhibits (please touch!) go back, roughly, to the point our species learned to write, with a slight post-moveable type bias. Brimming with exquisitely illustrated books and artifacts (Enigma machine; velociraptor skeleton), the library itself is a marvel. Is it the glowing etched glass panels, or the Vivaldi piped from hidden speakers that gives it that je ne sais quoi? Maybe it’s Walker himself, whose passion for the stuff just glows. It’s apparent to those lucky enough to snag a tour.

At the 2008 TED Conference, Walker lent many of his priceless and geeky artifacts to decorate the stage — including a real Sputnik artificial satellite, a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet and a Gutenberg bible. After you’ve watched his talk, the WIRED article is a must-read.

“Walker shuns the sort of bibliomania that covets first editions for their own sake … What gets him excited are things that changed the way people think.”    –Steven Levy, WIRED

Category: Psychology, Science, Video

Do You Have a ‘Risk-Taking’ Brain ?

This time of year, many investors are looking at their asset allocation, and stock selection. Perhaps they should be asking themselves, “How dense are my dopamine receptors?” As it turns out, some people process the brain’s “reward” chemicals differently, depending upon the number of receptors they have, The BBC reported on a recent study by…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Psychology, Science, Trading

Aurora Borealis from Orbit

Astronaut Don Pettit created an astounding video using a sequence of still images he shot of the aurora borealis (northern lights) from the International Space Station.

Category: Science, Travel, Video

Coal Ash Sludge

Pretty insane stuff in Tennesse: courtesy of NYT > Source: Coal Ash Spill Revives Issue of Its Hazards SHAILA DEWAN NYT, December 24, 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/us/25sludge.html

Category: Digital Media, Energy, Science

Age of the Earth

So cool: via U.S. Geological Survey

Category: Digital Media, Science

Global Warming? What Evidence Do You Have?

I’m no expert, but a century worth of data shows the change in global temperatures: > Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change Source: NASA ~~~ Global Air Temperature Source: Climatic Research Unit : Information sheets ~~~ Global Temperatures of the Last Five Centuries Source: NOAA Paleoclimatology Program ~~~ Global Glacier Thickness Change Source: The…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Science, Technical Analysis

Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension

Nova discusses fractals, and the significance for various disciplines, such as Physics, mathematics and even markets:

Click for Video

In five parts:

FRACTAL BASICS
They’re odd-looking shapes you may never have heard of, but they’re everywhere around you—the jagged repeating forms called fractals. If you know what to look for, you can find them in the clouds, in mountains, even inside the human body.
running time 11:36

THE MANDELBROT SET
In 1958, Benoit Mandelbrot begins using computers to explore vexing problems in math. They help him to understand repeating patterns in nature in an entirely new way. He coins the term fractal to describe them and develops the Mandelbrot set in 1980.
running time 9:51

ON THE DEFENSE
Though many colleagues initially scorned Mandelbrot’s work, his mesmerizing fractal images launched a popular culture fad. More importantly, his book The Fractal Geometry of Nature explained how his ideas could be applied in the real world. Mandelbrot’s ideas inspire an ever-increasing number of applications, including the fractal antenna.
running time 10:40

FRACTALS IN THE BODY
Fractal patterns turn up everywhere in biology, from the irregular rhythm of the heart to basic eye function. The fractal nature of such physiological processes, which obey simple mathematical rules, offers hope of better diagnosis and treatment of problems as well as new insights into how such processes work.
running time 10:15

NATURE’S FRACTAL NATURE
With carbon dioxide levels around the world rising, a team of American scientists travels to a rain forest in Costa Rica. They employ fractal geometry to analyze how much CO2 the rain forest can absorb.
running time 7:52

(Full transcript here)

Category: Mathematics, Quantitative, Science, Video

Hurricane Tracker

Category: Science

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

Randy finally lost his battle to cancer early Friday morning . . .

For more, visit www.cmu.edu/randyslecture.

 

Previously:
Randy Pausch, Final Lecture
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/writing/2008/05/randy-pausch-re.html

Randy Pausch Reflects   
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/writing/2008/05/randy-pausch-re.html

Category: Psychology, Science, Video

Manhattanhenge

Category: Science