As far as great projects go, it’s hard to top the Human Genome Project (HGP). Still the largest collaborative biological endeavor in history, it has given us the first complete look at the blueprint for building human beings, and with that knowledge, it’s hard to think of anything that is contributing more to human health in our modern world. [Read more...]
You’ve heard about it before: the Large Hadron Collider, often referred to as “one of the great engineering milestones of mankind,” it is also one of the largest, encompassing a 17 mile circumference tube buried 330 feet under the border of France and Switzerland. But just what is it intended to discover? The behemoth project is tasked with unlocking the secrets of particle physics, giving us a look into what happened at the dawn of time by recreating the conditions when it all began.
This graphic – a collaboration between Microsoft Project and Column Five – looks at the massive scope of the experiments being undertaken and the equally massive implications to everyday life when we find out what’s really going on. [Read more...]
As part of an interesting content development initiative to showcase their new Surface Pro product, Microsoft just announced the launch of a new 3-part documentary series that features “behind the scenes” looks at the work of three influential artists from various fields. The series notes it will be chronicling New York City filmmaker Chayse Irvin, NY-based animator Christy Karacas (Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Superjail!), and architect Marc Kushner (Hollwich Kushner).
Nostaliga. I just love the way the word slips off the tongue, and excites my memory banks. Just the mention of the word sends images racing through my mind at breakneck speeds. I grew up a child of the 90s. Nirvana was one of the first bands I ever really got into (In Utero was the first album I ever slipped into my my Sony Discman® and prayed the skip stabilizer would hold). My shoes either pumped up so I could run faster and jump higher during the day — or — lit up to light my way at night, when I stayed out after the street lights came on. Internet Explorer was born in the 90s, and as they grew up, a generation known as Millennials did too. Which makes this campaign tug a little harder on the heart strings — for those who remember. [Read more...]
The world has exploded with hacks of the Microsoft Kinect and its ability to track the body’s movements, but the majority of examples use a conventional screen. The aptly titled IRIS breaks this trend, using a very unique and beautiful matrix of clear LCD screens. Each monochromatic unit has the ability to display a phased, opening and closing, black “iris” of either solid or concentric circles. Linking this to the Kinect, you get a screen which can roughly emulate the shape of peoples bodies using a artful halftone like pattern. [Read more...]
From augmented reality video games to Apple’s Siri digital assistant, technology continues to zip along at lightening speed. Many of the most wild science fiction stories later become real life. Jules Verne came up with the idea of a fax machine, Arthur C. Clarke conceived the idea for satellites, and Edward Bellamy dreamed up the telephone before its time. Back in 2002, Phillip K. Dick’s short story was produced into the Hollywood movie Minority Report. In the film, a computer is featured that allows the user to interact with the screen in 3D, grabbing images and items virtually and moving them around the screen. Now that wild piece of sci-fi is quickly on its way to reality. [Read more...]
What defines a comeback? By most accounts, it’s overcoming apparently insurmountable odds stacked against success, pushing through all boundaries, and dramatically trouncing the competition. In sports, figures like Lance Armstrong and George Foreman come to mind… while in the celebrity world people like Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr. could top the list. But, what if that comeback came from an internet browser? [Read more...]
After Japan’s tsunami, much of the positive light shed on nuclear energy since Chernobyl has vanished. It is likely hard to find many people with confidence in the safety of nuclear energy these days. Concerns ranging from waste, to meltdowns, to terrorist attacks have nuclear power on par with apocalypse and while those concerns are blown wildly out of proportion, they are still valid. Nuclear power has gotten a bad rap over the years, but a rebirth is on its way.
In comes TerraPower. The company’s mission to develop a sustainable and economic nuclear energy system while greatly reducing proliferation risks and creating new options for converting low-level waste into vast energy resources, puts the company in a world that many would deem as science fiction. Their new technology is still in development, but boasts the ability to turn nuclear waste (depleted uranium) into vast sources of power. TerraPower projects their traveling wave reactor (TWR) to turn an 8-metric-ton canister of depleted uranium into 25 million megawatt-hours. That is enough power for 2.5 million households for an entire year. [Read more...]
Bill Gates has credit for a lot of things. Even after Microsoft, he continues to push the limits of giving with his Gates Foundation, but what about all of the other incredible people that made Microsoft the technology behemoth that it is? Where are all the other incredible minds from the company now? Former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer, Nathan Myhvold, like Gates, is pursuing some mind boggling endeavors in his post Microsoft life. He holds degrees in mathematics, geophysics, and space physics from UCLA, and PhDs in mathematical economics and theoretical physics from Princeton University. Besides starting successful invention incubator Intellectual Ventures, he has nearly 250 patents issued or pending of his own. Many of those patents are related to food technology, which has led to his publication of Modernist Cuisine: The Art of Science and Cooking. The incredible tome is a 2,438 page, six-volume set of books set out to “reinvent cooking.” [Read more...]