Bioluminescense

Originally shared by Tom Anderson on Google+

Bioluminescense is light produced by a chemical reaction which originates in an organism. There are a variety of examples of it, but most come from creatures in the ocean. This image comes from this National Geographic website: http://bit.ly/GS1jav and what you’re seeing here is phytoplankton.

I did not take this shot, but I’m sharing it because I want to seek out something like this… Anyone know where this is going on in the world right now? I’d love to go see it and photograph it. If you start searching and finding other cool photographs, please hashtag them so I can see what you find. #bioluminescence

Here’s an old-school website about the phenomena: http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/

Photographing photons

From Google+

This was amazing to me. It’s a reconstruction of samples, plus some compositing of imagery to fill in the full image of what they had set up, but what they show is light in motion. They recorded the reflected or refracted light of laser pulses “at time t” as individual images, and then “ran the movie” to indirectly show light moving through space over or through translucent objects they had in the setup.

From what I can gather in the description, all they really captured were the laser pulses. In the videos they composited in the other objects in the setup to show you what the light was reflecting off of, or refracting from.

For a science buff like me, this is really cool!

http://web.media.mit.edu/~raskar/trillionfps/

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Cold War, and trying to talk about having a future

From Google+

Evan Schurr created this great video, splicing together some audio from Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson explains very well how we got the technological and economic development of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It wasn’t just NASA’s contribution that did it. There were other agencies that were brought on line as well to do R&D after Sputnik. A good part of what we got was a by-product of the Cold War. Strange how that turned out. Not that I’d like to see a repeat of history, but Tyson tries to make the point that a “half a penny” in tax revenue going to NASA would do a lot, without an adversary to drive it. Unfortunately, that may be pollyannish. I don’t get a sense that our culture is willing to look at financing science and engineering research for its own sake. Hope I’m wrong.

Related post: Are we future-oriented?

Trying out Windows 8

From Google+

Hmm. Microsoft might want to look at this. It seems that when newbies go into the old Windows desktop on Windows 8 they get “trapped” there, because they can’t see a way back to the Metro interface.

This other guy manages to get back, but only when his son shows him how. Upon seeing this you realize Microsoft introduced a new “feature” in the interface: Hidden “portals” to other screens. You have to know where to look for them, because they’re hidden. It doesn’t sound like a great UI strategy to me, even for a touch interface.

James Delingpole and the EU

From Google+

Whether you agree or disagree with him, this is an articulate, knowledgeable guy, James Delingpole. I found his analysis…well, not wild-eyed and radical, despite the stark and scary pictures he paints. He uses the situation in Europe as an example of where we’re headed if we don’t change direction politically–not just in small steps, but in a major way.

His analysis of the EU is interesting, because I’ve heard this from a few other knowledgeable sources as well: The elite designers of the EU designed it to go into crisis! They didn’t expect it to go into the crisis it’s in now for another 10-20 years, but here it is. The idea was to use the crisis, when it hit, to get European nations to hand over more power to the EU government, and get them to give up some of their autonomy and identity, the goal being to forge an EU nation state more or less like the United States is today, where the states have a little autonomy, but the real action happens in the central government. Most of what the European states would do is implement what’s been centrally planned by the central government. This process of trying to wrench autonomy from the European states is going on now as the debt crisis there continues.