Stephen Hawking, one of the world's greatest physicists and cosmologists, is once again warning his fellow humans that our extinction is on the horizon unless we figure out a way to live in space. Not known for conspiracy theories, Hawking's rationale is that the Earth is far too delicate a planet to continue to withstand the barrage of human battering. "We must continue to go into space for humanity," Hawking said. "We won't survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet."
For years, Hawking has advised people to begin the search for new planets to inhabit. In 2006, he iterated some of today's sentiment saying the survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe. In 2011, he said, "Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space."
Hawking has achieved success in published academic works of popular science in which he discusses personal theories on the universe, its creation and cosmology in general. His book “A Brief History of Time” was on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
Article Extract It took 120 hours of observing 40 cat-human pairs for scientists to conclude that the bond between the two can be similar to other human relationships. And, yes, I know that most of you who have cats—or know someone who has a cat—will not find that surprising, so let’s delve into the details. It turns out that this study isn’t as simple as it appears.
The scientists (whose study appears in the journal Behavioural Processes) sent a team of researchers repeatedly into the homes of cat-human pairs in Vienna, Austria. The team would visit for about 45 minutes around the cat’s feeding time, with one person interacting with the cat and human and the other wielding a video camera. They evaluated the personalities of both the human (with a personality test) and the cat, through both observations (e.g., did the cat accompany the human to the door?) and a series of tests that included the cat’s reaction to being picked up. The video of the cat’s behavior and interactions with the humans in the room was later coded and the researchers analyzed it all with a computer program that looked for patterns in the behaviors of the cats and the humans.
The scientists found some correlations between human personality and the behaviors of the cats—such as that cats with humans classified as “extroverted” or “conscientious” exhibited more complex patters of behaviors—and concluded that “it seems that an important area of negotiation between the owner and the cat is mutual attention and friendly tactile interactions” and that the patterns in the relationships between the cats and humans resemble other long-term and complex relationships, “such as those between humans.”
Cyberdyne's robot-suit "HAL" (Hybrid Assistive Limb) is being mass produced at 500 units per year. It has been available for rent for around three years in Tokyo. Enquiries are coming in from around the world for use in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. At around $2000 per month, the HAL exoskeleton helps the wearer carry out everyday tasks, including walking, climbing up and down stairs, and lifting heavy objects. The suit can operate for almost five hours before it needs recharging.
1. I have found that posting quality does not get you followers - not really, which is counter intuitive and surprising.
2. What gives you more people circling you? Circle shares... astonishingly. I circle shared aggressively in the past, and people hooping me jumped. I stopped sharing, and the numbers dropped by 90%. Some will say now I'm getting the more relevant people circling me. I seriously don't know.
3. Over time, the very people who pointed out that me sharing circles just creates followers with no relevance, have themselves moved to the SUL and they seem to also get random adds, but somehow this does not bother them.
4. My core group of people who follow me for my posts have gotten smaller and more topical. They are pretty awesome people, and I am honored to now start Notification circles for them (18 people in total).
5. Actually I'm quite at a loss - what am I doing right, what am I doing wrong.... Yes in one way it has not been about numbers, in another it is about numbers. I've tried to reinvent myself, but with limited success!
There are already sites now dedicated to Cyborg rights and conversion. It is the harbinger of the future, in my opinion.
No reason why Cyborgs should not have rights just like everyone else... read on!
Cyborg citizenship is a conception of rights based on personhood rather than on"humanness.” Not all persons are humans, and not all humans are persons. Cyborg citizenship is the opposition to conceptions of rights based on Human racism.
As a form of Non-anthropocentric personhood ethics, cyborg citizenship recognizes the rights of cyborgs, but also the rights of the more cognitively complex animals with extensive capacities for feeling, and the rights of posthumans. On the other hand, cyborg citizenship is not concerned with the rights of humans who have not reached or are past the point of being persons, such as embryos and the brain dead.
Cyborg citizenship also recognizes the rights of cryonics patients to be preserved and revived when the appropriate technologies become available.
Neil Harbisson helped found The Cyborg Foundation in 2010 and stepped up in his role as a cyborg activist. The Cyborg Foundation aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights, and promote the use of cybernetics in the arts. The Cyborg Foundation also provides support to sense development projects like those Harbisson and Montandon collaborated on. Other Cyborg Foundation works include the speedborg, which lets people detect movement through vibrations, and the earborg, which translates sound into color.
First Tests For Fusion-Powered Spaceship Propulsion Successful
University of Washington researchers and scientists at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company are currently building components of a fusion-powered rocket, which could enable astronauts to travel to Earth’s neighboring planet Mars within weeks instead of months, at speeds considerably faster than feasible until now. The current travel speeds using fuel rockets make Mars travel a journey of about four years but the new fusion technology being tested by researchers at the University of Washington promises that in 30 to 90 days.
“Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” said lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “We are hoping to give us a much more powerful source of energy in space that could eventually lead to making interplanetary travel commonplace.”
The team has developed a technology using a special type of plasma that will be encased in a magnetic field. When the plasma is compressed with high pressure by the magnetic field, nuclear fusion takes place. The process has successfully been tested by researchers and they plan on having the first full test to be done by the end of this summer.
Nuclear fusion, in which the nuclei of atoms are forced to join together, could produce vast amounts of energy. Most designs for fusion reactors drive the reaction by confining the fuel in a magnetic field, using a device called a tokamak.
Unfortunately, tokamaks are prohibitively heavy, so designs for fusion rockets tend to focus on another method of triggering fusion, called inertial confinement fusion.
Plasma Device Could Revolutionize Energy Generation and Storage
Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage. Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation.
"Launching plasma in open air is the 'Holy Grail' in the field of physics," said Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Missouri's College of Engineering. "Creating plasma in a vacuum tube surrounded by powerful electromagnets is no big deal; dozens of labs can do that. Our innovation allows the plasma to hold itself together while it travels through regular air without any need for containment." The plasma device at MU could be enlarged to handle much larger amounts of energy, according to Curry. With sufficient funding, they could develop a system within three to five years that would also be considerably smaller. He noted that they used old technologies to build the current prototype of the plasma-generating machine. Using newer, miniaturized parts, he suggests they could shrink the device to the size of a bread box.
“We have a world-class team at MU’s Center for Physical & Power Electronics, but that team will evaporate without funding.”
Some good news for coffee lovers: a cup of joe may get you going in more ways than one. A new study shows that brewed coffee contains soluble fiber, the roughage found in oatmeal and apples that aids digestion, helps the body absorb vital nutrients and keeps a lid on cholesterol.
More about coffeechemistry
Joseph Rivera is the founder and creator of coffeechemistry.com. He began his career with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) over 10 years ago after receiving with a degree in Food Chemistry. As Director of Research with CQI, he utilized knowledge of chemistry with practical coffee science to develop a number of testing methodologies currently in use today. As such his work has allowed him to play a key role in the development of numerous international training and certification programs including the Q.
Joseph served as the Director of Science and Technology for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) from 2001-2009 and served as the coffee industry’s coffee scientist/expert.
He has been a frequent contributor to numerous trade publications and has been featured on the History Channel’s Coffee documentary, Discovery Channel, National Public Radio (NPR), Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Love this concept; how often do you hear Car and Photosynthesis in the same sentence?
The concept vehicle features solar panels, which are located on the rooftop and small wind turbines, placed on its wheels. Besides the solar panels, the roof of the YeZ will benefit from an innovative system that will capture carbon dioxide from the surrounding air and then release oxygen in the atmosphere.
The electric energy generated by the solar panels and the wind turbines it’s going to be stored in onboard batteries that will power the vehicle. No technical specifications are available, since the YeZ concept is only a dream of eco-friendly cars that will be used in 2030.
Not much info has been made available in the YeZ, but SAIC claims it will “work during both sunny and overcast days while also being able to leverage wind power”, enabling “mobility with zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Unless solar panel efficiency evolves massively in the next two decades, we expect the YeZ will have a regular appointment at the powerpoint, but, that isn't all that bad.
1. Have more than one picture attached to a post (embedding). 2. Ability to search within a certain stream. 3. Ability to move a circle into another (embedding). 4. Have links to posts within the link window (multiple links). 5. Search for interests (within and across circles). 6. Specific word search for posts.
Just thinking of how one would like to have things arranged from a user perspective, while I have the highest respect for people at G+, one can always wish!
Misadventure though it was, the agency's Operation Acoustic Kitty was a visionary idea 50 years ahead of its time.
n the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited an unusual field agent: a cat. In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon transformed the furry feline into an elite spy, implanting a microphone in her ear canal and a small radio transmitter at the base of her skull, and weaving a thin wire antenna into her long gray-and-white fur. This was Operation Acoustic Kitty, a top-secret plan to turn a cat into a living, walking surveillance machine. The leaders of the project hoped that by training the feline to go sit near foreign officials, they could eavesdrop on private conversations.
The problem was that cats are not especially trainable—they don’t have the same deep-seated desire to please a human master that dogs do—and the agency’s robo-cat didn’t seem terribly interested in national security.
Operation Acoustic Kitty, misadventure though it was, was a visionary idea just 50 years before its time. Today, once again, the U .S. government is looking to animal-machine hybrids to safeguard the country and its citizens. In 2006, for example, DARPA zeroed in on insects, asking the nation’s scientists to submit “innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect-cyborgs.”
Consider two of the tiny, completely synthetic drones that engineers have managed to create: The Nano Hummingbird, a flying robot modeled after the bird, with a 6.5-inch wingspan, maxes out at an 11-minute flight, while the DelFly Micro, which measures less than 4 inches from wingtip to wingtip, can stay airborne for just 3 minutes.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking to build a lunar base with 3D printing using local materials on the moon. The 3D structures are built layer-by-layer. The lunar material would be combined with magnesium oxide, which turns it into a "paper" to be printed with. Then, for the "ink," a binding salt is added to transform the material into a solid. The architects are trying to create a structure that can handle the harsh weather and environment that the moon can have. “3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” said Scott Hovland of ESA’s human spaceflight team.
Dini's Plans for a Moonbase Dini has lunar plans for the D-shape, and is in discussions with La Scuola Normale Superiore, Norman Foster (a UK architecture firm), and Alta Space, as part of the Aurora program run by the European Space Agency (ESA), to build a modified D-Shape that could use lunar regolith (moon dust) to build a moon base. Dini will carry out trials in a vacuum chamber at Alta Space’s facility in Pisa to ensure the process is possible in a low-atmosphere environment such as the moon.
Giant NASA spider robots could 3D print lunar base Sintering is quite cheap, in terms of power as well as materials, and an Athlete rover should be able to construct a bubble volume in only two weeks, Rousek estimates. He said: "It would have a very good cost-value ratio as you don't need to import as much material from Earth. The whole expandable module, with the membranes to cover the base when built, would be carried by the same rocket that would bring other modules of the outpost, but it can build a volume four times bigger than a rigid cylindrical module. Since we don't have the necessary transport capacity to the Moon at the moment, estimating a price now would be very inaccurate.
If you’re waiting to see when wireless power will hit the mass market, then you’re not alone. Delivering power wirelessly is perhaps one of the most hyped, long anticipated changes to the way we design and use products and machinery since the invention of electricity itself. But if you’ve been watching this space, you’ll know these solutions have been slow in coming to market and are anything but commonplace.
Why is that? What’s it going to take for this technology to hit the mainstream? Over the past two years we have witnessed first generation implementations of wireless power, mostly in the smartphone after-market. These come in the form of sleeves and charging pads but are rarely sighted amongst early adopters. Each claims to be supporting the best technology — the one that will lead the world in becoming completely unplugged. Yet, in my view, what we have seen and heard so far are a combination of impossible claims and poor end-user functionality.
WiTricity CEO Eric Giler imagines a future where power devices are embedded in the walls and carpets of homes, making for a truly wire-free household. He says with a big enough power supply and small wireless repeaters, one could even power a grocery store or office building. Conventional charging devices such as the cord for a cell phone use electromagnetic induction to transmit power. Through electromagnetic induction, an electric current is sent through a magnetic field generated by a power conductor to a smaller magnetic field generated by a receiving device. (See related quiz: "What You Don't Know About Electricity")
Coffee isn’t just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you.
Coffee Can Make You Smarter: The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Many controlled trials have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function.
Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance There’s a good reason why you will find caffeine in most commercial fat burning supplements. Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids.
Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes In observational studies, coffee has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67%. A massive review article looked at 18 studies with a total of 457.922 participants. Each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%. The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk.
Even though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful. The author would also like to point out that many of the studies above were epidemiological in nature. Such studies can only show association, they can not prove that coffee caused the effects.
Bees and plants communicate via electric signals, say scientists
Plants use electric fields to communicate with bees, scientists have learned.
Bees are able to find and decipher weak electric signals emitted by flowers, according to the study. Tests revealed that bees can distinguish between different floral fields, as if they were petal colours. The electric signals may also let the insects know if another bee has recently visited a flower.
How bees detect the fields is unknown, but the researchers suspect the electrostatic force might make their hair bristle. A similar hair-raising effect is seen when placing one's head close to an old-style TV screen. Plants are known to emit weak negatively charged electric fields, and bees acquire a positive charge of up to 200 volts as they fly through the air.
But bees -- busy as they famously are -- don't have time to waste visiting pretty flowers whose nectar has just been taken by another insect. "The last thing a flower wants is to attract a bee and then fail to provide nectar," said Daniel Robert, co-author of the study, in a statement. "Bees are good learners and would soon lose interest in such an unrewarding flower."
So flowers, the researchers confirmed, emit a different electrical signal after their nectar has been harvested. They found that petunias became slightly more positively charged after a bee visited them, according to ScientificAmerican. That revised electrical charge acts as a kind of "No Vacancy" sign to other bees, which learn to trust the signals that the flowers emit.