Category Archives: Science

The Atlantic Launches Three New Video Series

Produced for their younger audience, two titles of three will be called “The User’s Guide to Energy,” and the  “Economics in Plain English.” Maybe Schoolhouse Rock was ahead of its time?

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NASA Poses Question To The Public: What Should We Do About That Pesky Asteroid Problem?

So, you know budget cuts have forced some serious belt tightening everywhere…..but as if all of us aren’t working hard enough, the smarty pants at NASA finally decided to “crowd source” their knowledge and have asked for the public’s help regarding this whole asteroid thing. In particular, the scientists would like help keeping an eye on the sky to 1) spot asteroids and 2) and how to corral an asteroid (mainly, so NASA can put it in an orbit around the moon to study it. 

All joking aside, posing the question to the public can exponentially advance (or rule out ideas) faster than the scientists sitting by themselves looking at data. In particular, having additional eyes on the sky is very advantageous–both for quickly recognizing threats, and thinking about how best study it.

Want to help out humankind on a historic mission? Watch above….

Hey Grads–If You Haven’t Learned Code, Now Might Be A Good Time

matrix-code

If you’re graduating this May and haven’t learned some basics regarding computer coding, this summer might be a good time to brush up.

Of course, this isn’t about becoming as proficient as someone who “codes” for a living, but knowing your way around a couple of coding languages could quickly mean the difference between employed and still looking. After all, as digital workflows and projects become all consuming in the work place, understanding how they operate (at their core) is quickly becoming the norm, and not just for the “tech” guys anymore. If we live in a digital world, at some point you need to learn they language, or risk being illiterate.

Kirk McDonald, who currently is the President of PubMatic, an ad tech company in Manhattan, recently said in an article he won’t even hire grads who aren’t familiar with basic coding principles, and he gives a solid reason why:

Consider this example: Suppose you’re sitting in a meeting with clients, and someone asks you how long a certain digital project is slated to take.

Unless you understand the fundamentals of what engineers and programmers do, unless you’re familiar enough with the principles and machinations of coding to know how the back end of the business works, any answer you give is a guess and therefore probably wrong. Even if your dream job is in marketing or sales or another department seemingly unrelated to programming, I’m not going to hire you unless you can at least understand the basic way my company works. And I’m not alone.

If you want a job in media, technology or a related field, make learning basic computer language your goal this summer. There are plenty of services—some free and others affordable—that will set you on your way.

I believe McDonald is on to something, and I it seems a lot of people are seeing the need for earlier, and much more hands on, learning of code in the U.S.

Amazing Bug-Eyed Camera Could Revolutionize Hi-Def Devices

camerabee

Scientists have developed a “bug’s eye” digital camera, and they developed it from a model readily available–the compound eye of bugs. Via TechNewsDaily:

The compound eyes found in most insects consist of long, cylindrical units called omatidia: a cornea connected to a photosensitive organ and surrounded with a dark pigment to prevent light from one lens leaking into neighboring lenses. These omatidia are clustered together in a dome shape with the lenses facing outward, and collectively, they form the compound eye of the insect.

To duplicate nature’s technology, tiny microlens were connected to a photoreceptive computer chip, and embedded in a sheet of flexible rubber. One item to note, scientists were only able to use 200-500 of their artifical omatidia, as opposed to the 10,000 to 20,000 omatidia found in some bugs. Talk about high resolution.

The camera’s advantages are significant. With a flexible, curved lens, multiple subjects can be photographed simultaneously. The camera also handles 160 degree views, without suffering any distortion in peripheral distance or light distortion.

Sounds like the future of hi-def is here.

Looks Like We’ve Found Another Home…

kelpler

in case Earth can’t make it through. Scientists announced today the discovery of two “earthlike” planets–named Kepler-62f (seen above) and Kepler-62e (see bright star to the right of Kepler-62f). We might be looking due to statements like the kind made by this guy. Just a guess.

image via nasa.gov

How Can Astronauts Sleep In Space?

Ever wondered? I know I have. Although I can’t cosign Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s view on how “relaxing” weightlessness in space is. Just wouldn’t work for me. Besides, can you imagine waking up and looking over to see Hadfield sleeping like this?

scaryastronaut

Seriously, not a good look, and it ever-so-slightly reminds me of someone. No offense to Hadfield (I wouldn’t want anybody to see me sleeping).

mmyers

The Return Of The Cicadas Will Be “Twittervised”

cicada

That’s right, the cicadas are coming, and this time we’ll know exactly when to expect them–at least if we’re following twitter.

The social media site hopes tweets documenting the appearence of the buzzing insects will help pinpoint where the swarms will call home (and where they’re going next) as they travel up the east coast. Supposedly the bug-eyed monsters taste like asparagus–or even shrimp-when eaten. But I can guarantee you I’ll never know.

OMG, This Freaks Me Out: Can An Airplane Really Be Hacked? Really?

airplane-1980-cockpit

Hold on, let me put the paper bag away that I’ve been breathing into….because when I read this, I seriously got the vapors. As an individual who already suffers from a fear of flying, this news could honestly send me over the edge. But frankly, when I think about it–in the digital age what can’t be hacked? 

Hacker Claims He Can Hijack Any Airplane Using a Mobile App.