Category Archives: ideas

Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery

Via: Ted

 

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what’s on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

 

 

transcript

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin C-Infused Showers: Do They Work?

Via: YouTube

There’s been a lot of talk about vitamin C-enriched showers, many touting them as being beneficial in the arenas of both beauty and health as they neutralize the chlorine in water.

Leonardo DiCaprio reportedly had them installed in his new Greenwich Village home and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas features them in what they call their Stay Well rooms.

They’re actually not as expensive as their clientele would imply, with filters and showerheads available for around 40 to 100 dollars.

The jury is still out, however, on if they’re even worth that much.

 


 

 

 

Experts have advised that the showers don’t really work as well as people think they do.

Yes, from a strictly scientific standpoint, vitamin C does in fact nullify chlorine.

The thing with the shower system is that the amount of time the vitamin is in contact with the water isn’t likely enough to make that happen.

 

DiCaprio’s New Pad Has Vitamin C Showers

Vitamin C In The Shower At The MGM Grand

Business Week: Do Vitamin C-Infused Showers Work?

 

 

 

The Impact of Science on Society: Bertrand Russell

“Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.” – Bertrand Russell

“I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology … Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called ‘education.’ Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part … It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.

The subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship … The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black.

… the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.”  (pg 40)

 

 

“Scientific societies are as yet in their infancy … It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fitche laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished … Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible …

“The Nazis were more scientific than the present rulers of Russia … If they had survived, they would probably have soon taken to scientific breeding. Any nation which adopts this practice will, within a generation, secure great military advantages. The system, one may surmise, will be something like this: except possibly in the governing aristocracy, all but 5 per cent of males and 30 per cent of females will be sterilised. The 30 per cent of females will be expected to spend the years from eighteen to forty in reproduction, in order to secure adequate cannon fodder. As a rule, artificial insemination will be preferred to the natural method …

Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organised insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.”  (pgs 49,50)

“After all, most civilised and semi-civilised countries known to history and had a large class of slaves or serfs completely subordinate to their owners. There is nothing in human nature that makes the persistence of such a system impossible. And the whole development of scientific technique has made it easier than it used to be to maintain a despotic rule of a minority. When the government controls the distribution of food, its power is absolute so long as they can count on the police and the armed forces. And their loyalty can be secured by giving them some of the privileges of the governing class. I do not see how any internal movement of revolt can ever bring freedom to the oppressed in a modern scientific dictatorship.”   (pg 54)

“I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists. The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of that? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people’s. However, I am wandering from the question of stability, to which I must return.

There are three ways of securing a society that shall be stable as regards population. The first is that of birth control, the second that of infanticide or really destructive wars, and the third that of general misery except for a powerful minority. All these methods have been practiced: the first, for example, by the Australian aborigines; the second by the Aztecs, the Spartans, and the rulers of Plato’s Republic; the third in the world as some Western internationalists hope to make it and in Soviet Russia … Of these three, only birth control avoids extreme cruelty and unhappiness for the majority of human beings. Meanwhile, so long as there is not a single world government there will be competition for power among the different nations. And as increase of population brings the threat of famine, national power will become more and more obviously the only way of avoiding starvation. There will therefore be blocs in which the hungry nations band together against those that are well fed. That is the explanation of the victory of communism in China.” (pgs 103,104)

“The need for a world government, if the population problem is to be solved in any humane manner, is completely evident on Darwinian principles.”  (pg 105)

“A society is not stable unless it is on the whole satisfactory to the holders of power and the holders of power are not exposed to the risk of successful revolution.”  (pg 110)

“First, as regards physical conditions. Soil and raw materials must not be used up so fast that scientific progress cannot continually make good the loss by means of new inventions and discoveries … If raw materials are not to be used up too fast, there must not be free competition for their acquisition and use but an international authority to ration them in – such quantities as may from time to time seem compatible with continued industrial prosperity. And similar considerations apply to soil conservation.

Second, as regards population … To deal with this problem it will be necessary to find ways of preventing an increase in world population. If this is to be done otherwise than by wars, pestilences, and famines, it will demand a powerful international authority. This authority should deal out the world’s food to the various nations in proportion to their population at the time of the establishment of the authority. If any nation subsequently increased its population it should not on that account receive any more food. The motive for not increasing population would therefore be very compelling.”  (pgs 110, 111)

 

ebook preview: The impact of Science on Society

ebook preview: The Scientific Outlook – Bertrand Russell

CHAPTER XV

EDUCATION IN A SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY

“EDUCATION has two purposes: on the one hand to form the mind, on the other hand to train the citizen. The Athenians concentrated on the former, the Spartans on the latter. The Spartans won, but the Athenians were remembered.

Education in a scientific society may, I think, be best conceived after the analogy of the education provided by the Jesuits. The Jesuits provided one sort of education for the boys who were to become ordinary men of the world, and another for those who were to become members of the Society of Jesus. In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play. Children will be educated from their earliest years in the manner which is found least likely to produce complexes.”

 

 

Imagine A Time When America Is Again Governed By The Constitution

Rand Paul:

“Imagine with me for a moment, imagine a time when liberty is again spread from coast to coast. Imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty. You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans. I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.

It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action, who will lead us back to greatness.”

 

 

“Our rights are inherent. They are inseparable from our person. Our rights are innate, they come from our Creator and no government can take them away from us.

The Constitution merely codifies what exists before all time. Mr. President, we will not let you run roughshod over our rights. We will challenge you in the courts. We will battle you at the ballot box. Mr. President, we will not let you shred our Constitution.

Our future hangs in the balance. ”

Read the full transcript

 

Balance Art by Michael Grab

Via: Wikipedia

Rock balancing is an art, discipline, or hobby (depending upon the intent of the practitioner) in which rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions. There are no tricks involved to aid in the balancing, such as adhesives, wires, supports, or rings.

Rock balancing can be a performance art, a spectacle, or a devotion, depending upon the interpretation by its audience. Essentially, it involves placing some combination of rock or stone in arrangements which require patience and sensitivity to generate, and which appear to be physically impossible while actually being only highly improbable. The rock balancer may work for free or for pay, as an individual or in a group, and their intents and the audiences’ interpretations may vary given the situation or the venue.

Read the full article

 

 

 

A Very, Very, Very Delicate Balance

Website: Gravity Glue 

Filmmaker James Cameron: “Curiosity – It’s The Most Powerful Thing You Own!”

Via: ted

James Cameron:  Before ‘Avatar’ … a curious boy

James Cameron’s big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

 

Raffaello D’Andrea: The astounding athletic power of quadcopters

Via: ted

In a robot lab at TEDGlobal, Raffaello D’Andrea demos his flying quadcopters: robots that think like athletes, solving physical problems with algorithms that help them learn. In a series of nifty demos, D’Andrea show drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together — and watch out for an I-want-this-now demo of Kinect-controlled quads.

Roboticist Raffaello D’Andrea explores the possibilities of autonomous technology by collaborating with artists, architects and engineers.

 

 

 

Raffaello D’Andrea quote:

My work is focused on the creation of systems that leverage technological innovations, scientific principles, advanced mathematics, algorithms, and the art of design in unprecedented ways, with an emphasis on advanced motion control.

By their very nature, these creations require a team to realize. Many are enabled by the research I conduct with my graduate students. Many are also the fruit of collaborations with architects, entrepreneurs, and artists.

My hope is that these creations inspire us to rethink what role technology should have in shaping our future.”

 

Dynamic Works – Highlights from Raffaello D’Andrea on Vimeo.

Website:  Raffaello D’Andrea – Dynamic Works

Jerry Seinfeld – Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

Jerry Seinfeld is a very entertaining comedian. I missed his show entirely during it’s NBC run, but I have enjoyed the show on DVD.

Jerrys’  new series is ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee’.

This online series is just starting it’s 3rd season, and his first outing is with Louis C.K. 

I plan on catching up with the 1st and second seasons.

 

Online: Jerry Seinfeld studies comics ‘in the wild’

Season 3: Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee – Louis C. K.

 

Why It’s Awesome To Be A Nerd!

At The Calgary Comic Expo 2013  someone asked Wil Wheaton to explain to her newborn daughter: “why being a Nerd is awesome.”

Checkout his response:

“Hi Violet, my name is Wil Wheaton. It’s 2013 and you have just joined us recently on planet Earth, so welcome. I’m an actor, and I’m a writer, and I’m a dad, and your mother asked me to tell you why it’s awesome to be a nerd. And that’s an easy thing for me to do, because that’s who I am.

I don’t know how the world will be like by the time you understand this. I don’t know what’s going to meant to be a nerd when you’re a young grown woman. For me, when I was growing up, being a nerd meant that I liked things that were a little weird, that took a lot of effort to appreciate and understand. It meant that I loved science and I loved playing board games and reading books and really understanding what went on in the world instead of just kinda [riding] the planet through space. And when I was a little boy, people really teased us about that, and made us feel like there was something wrong about us for loving those things. Now that I’m an adult, I’m kind of a professional nerd, and the world has changed a lot, and I think a lot of us have realize that being a nerd, or being a geek is another word you’ll hear and I should use the words interchangeably. It’s not about what you love, it’s about how you love it.

So there’s gonna be a thing in your life that you love. And I don’t know what it’s gonna be. It might be sports, it might be science, it might be reading, it might be fashion design, it might be building things, it might be telling stories or getting pictures. It doesn’t matter what it is. The way you love that, and the way that you find other people who love it the way you do is what makes being a nerd awesome. The defining characteristic, of us, the people in this room, and I’m gonna ask your mom to turn this camera around in a minute. Go there go on. The defining characteristic that ties us all together is that we love things. ” (transcript)

full transcript