Monday, 16 March 2009

Johnald's Fantastical Daily Link Splurge

Johnald's Fantastical Daily Link Splurge

Growth in Super Computer Power Over 40 Years

Posted: 15 Mar 2009 01:10 AM PDT

Doubling time = 1.2 years.

Teenage Tourette's Camp

Posted: 15 Mar 2009 12:56 AM PDT

(11 votes - 5 comments - 181 views)
YT: Timothy Spall narrates a documentary following five young people with Tourette syndrome as they spend a week in a US summer camp with other young people who share their behaviour, which is characterised by involuntary movements and noises. Campers are encouraged to explore their syndrome through a variety of activities, rather than suppress it as society often demands. What are the challenges of living with Tourettes, and will the teenagers leave better equipped to deal with their condition?

Berti The Robot Has Human Touch

Posted: 15 Mar 2009 12:56 AM PDT

(10 votes - 2 comments - 160 views)
LiveLeak: One of the most sophisticated robots created in the UK has made its public debut - with a game of rock-paper-scissors.

Berti is less than two years old but will help scientists develop artificial intelligence outstripping anything previously seen before.

The robot, created by Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Elumotion, a robotics firm based in Bath, will spend the next three days meeting and greeting the public at London's Science Museum.

It was created to mimic human gestures as part of a study into how humans react to lifelike robots.

Berti, whose name stands for Bristol Elumotion Robotic Torso 1, has already been programmed to play the game rock-paper-scissors and a sensor glove worn by its competitor means the robot can even tell whether it won or not.

Dr Graham Whiteley, co-director of Elumotion, said research into this kind of technology is invaluable.

He said: "We are working towards the design of future humanoid robots that will be intuitive and natural for people to interact with.

"Robots like Berti could be used in the development of prosthetic limbs for people who have been in car accidents or to carry out extremely dangerous jobs such as land mine clearance."

Visitors to the Science Museum will see Berti give a short speech, using a computer generated voice, and make hand gestures before they are asked to rate the "naturalness" of its performance.

Craig Fletcher, also a co-director of Elumotion, said Berti cost around £200,000 in parts and technology to build but the effort in terms of man hours and scientific research was incalculable.

Hubert Dreyfus on the Founders of Existentialism

Posted: 15 Mar 2009 12:56 AM PDT

(10 votes - 2 comments - 279 views)
While Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus get most of the credit for existentialism, the real intellectual powerhouses behind the movement were Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. This video features a brief introduction to the ideas and historical importance of these seminal figures.

Proofing Fermat's Last Theorem

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 11:07 PM PDT

(12 votes - 4 comments - 250 views)
A documentary on one of the greatest breakthroughs in 20th century mathematics.
From Wikipedia: Fermat's Last Theorem is strikingly different and much more difficult to prove than the analogous problem for n = 2, for which there are infinitely many integer solutions called Pythagorean triples (and the closely related Pythagorean theorem has many elementary proofs). That the problem's statement is understandable by schoolchildren makes it all the more frustrating, and it has possibly generated more incorrect proofs than any other problem in the history of mathematics. No correct proof was found for 357 years, until one was finally published by Andrew Wiles in 1995.

mental illness is a widespread problem in somaliland

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 10:36 PM PDT

(10 votes - 1 comment - 142 views)

Ancient Mayan relics discovered

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 10:00 PM PDT

(10 votes - 0 comments - 173 views)
Via Reuters: Mar 13 - Rare panels showing monsters, gods and serpents in an ancient creation myth are found in El Mirador, the ruined Mayan city in Guatemala.

The Ride of a Lifetime

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 09:02 PM PDT

(13 votes - 2 comments - 148 views)
I've been a little depressed the last couple of days for reasons that aren't relevant here, but this helped to put it in perspective a bit. Maybe you'll like it too. A brief look at our place in the scheme of things.

Mythbusters Adam Savage on the Art of Extreme Obsession

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 07:59 PM PDT

(21 votes - 4 comments - 230 views)
I watched this video 11 times and now I'm gonna go blog about it and touch my Mythbusters poster inappropriately.

half snail, half plant - or - solar powered slug

Posted: 14 Mar 2009 05:55 PM PDT

(20 votes - 2 comments - 140 views)
this slug eat algae, and then becomes solar powered so it doesnt have to eat again ever.

"It's the ultimate form of solar power: eat a plant, become photosynthetic. Now researchers have found how one animal does just that";=online-news