Daily Plus 2014-04-20

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shared on Google Plus on 2012-03-19 18:01:34 by

Fraser Cain

Lunar Eclipse Over Yosemite Valley South Rim
I caught the lunar eclipse behind trees high on the cliffs  of Yosemite Valley Monday night.  There are so many similar pictures of eclipses of the moon alone... I like to add something extra when I can. I chased the edge of the shadow of this ridge line for 15-20 minutes as the moon entered eclipse and turned red, moving, shooting, and moving again to place the moon by or behind the trees on the ridge.

This is a single exposure captured for 0.5 seconds at f/8, ISO 3200, but I also have brighter, bracketed exposures in case I have time to better recover the ridge line detail in +Adobe Photoshop at some future date.
Captured on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera, EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens +2x Teleconverter II.

Yosemite photography workshops: http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/yosemite-national-park-photography-workshops/
#lunareclipse   #lunareclipse15thapril   #astronomy   #astrophotography  
Jeff Sullivan Jeff Sullivan

Gravity Check

Newton’s law of gravity states that between any two masses there is a gravitational force.  The strength of that force depends not only on the masses, but on the distance between those masses, following what is known as an inverse square relation.  That is, if you double the distance between two masses, their gravitational attraction will be a quarter of what it was.  If you halve the distance between two masses, their attraction will be four times stronger.  Newton felt that this inverse square relation was exact, but is it?

One of the ways we know Newton’s gravity works is through the motion of the planets.  Masses like the planets and Sun are attracted to each other by gravity’s inverse square relation, and thus their motion follows a relation known as Kepler’s laws.  We have seen that this holds not only for the planets and moons in our solar system, but also for other stars orbiting each other, exoplanets orbiting their star, and even stars orbiting the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy.  So Newtonian gravity works very, very well.

For large masses we know that the inverse square relation for gravity isn’t quite exact.  For example, Mercury and the Sun are massive enough and close enough that Mercury’s orbit deviates slightly from a simple elliptical orbit.  This deviation was the first evidence of general relativity.  We also know that the orbit of massive neutron star orbiting with another star will decay in a way that violates Newtonian gravity (but agrees with general relativity).  Newtonian gravity works very well, but for massive objects general relativity is more accurate.

What about for small masses on very short scales?

We know that on very small scales Newtonian physics is inaccurate, and we need to use quantum mechanics. One common feature of quantum mechanics is that rather than being smooth and continuous, objects can be constrained into discrete (quantum) states.  We see this, for example, in the light emitted by an atom.  Rather than being a continuous range of wavelengths, the emitted light can only be at particular wavelengths.  This is due to the fact that an electron in an atom can only have particular energy levels.  When an electron drops from a higher energy level to a lower one, it releases a photon of a particular wavelength.

On very small scales, gravity is also be quantized. We don’t have a complete theory of quantum gravity, but for weak gravitational fields such as Earth’s, it can behave similar to the quantum energy levels of an electron in an atom.  In a new paper in Physical Review Letters, this fact was used to measure Newton’s inverse-square gravity to the highest precision yet.

What the team did was to create a “gravitational atom” by bouncing between two mirrors (not mirrors in the way we usually think, but rather a surface that can reflect neutrons). These particular neutrons were ultra-cold, so their bounces were very small and were very low energy.  Because of this the energy of these neutrons were quantized. Basically, instead of being able to bounce to any height like a rubber ball, they could only bounce to specific (quantum) heights.  In other words, the gravitational energy of the neutrons were quantized in much the same way that the energy of electrons are quantized in an atom.

The team was then able to measure these energy levels very precisely, using a method known as resonance spectroscopy.  Since the energy levels of the neutrons depend on gravity, any deviation of gravity from Newton’s inverse square relation would show up as a shift in the energy levels.  What the team found was that the energy levels matched Newtonian gravity to the limits of their measurements.

What’s interesting about this result is that it puts constraints on certain forms of dark energy and dark matter.  For example, one model of dark energy, known as quintessence, proposes that dark energy is a scalar energy field.  One prediction of quintessence is that it would cause gravity to deviate from an inverse square relation at small energy levels.  This experiment rules out quintessence unless its interaction is very weak.  One idea for dark matter is a particle known as an axion.  This type of particle would also interact at low energy levels, causing a deviation from Newton’s gravity.  This experiment rules out axions unless their interaction is extremely weak.

So it turns out that on very small scales Newtonian gravity still works, and that means that dark energy is not likely to be due to quintessence, and dark matter is not likely made of axions.

Image: The quantum gravity energy levels for a neutron. 
Credit: T. Jenke et al.

Paper:  T. Jenke, G. Cronenberg, et al. Gravity Resonance Spectroscopy Constrains Dark Energy and Dark Matter Scenarios. Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 151105 (2014)
Brian Koberlein Brian Koberlein

Geek Question of the Day: Fiction is full of characters that manage through luck, magic, science or force of will to return from the dead. With that in mind, tonight's question is; Who are your favorite fictional characters that have died and came back? Why? #gqotd

Image source: http://bit.ly/1jgxWyW .

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Charlie Hoover Charlie Hoover


It's time.  The primaries are approaching and you and all your friends have a chance to vote in the 2014 elections that matter… the ones in the spring, not the fall!  Tell everyone you know to use this one little trick and we all, as individuals, can help defeat gerrymandering and de-radicalize American politics.  YOU can help do it.  By getting all your friends to re-register using this one little trick… though it may require that you hold your nose…

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/20/a_modest_proposal_to_neutralize_gerrymandering/
David Brin David Brin

Rich Pollett -
+62 - 44 shares - 6 comments


Rich Pollett Rich Pollett

Geekscape of the Day: Getting Away From It All
Artist: Gabriel Barbabianca   Source: http://bit.ly/1lkhtk0 .

A tiny little place on an uncharted world with a wonderful view... Sold! =)

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Got nominees? Let me know!
#gsotd #scifi   #fantasy   #ocean   #beach   #sunset   #island   #sailing   #hidden  
Charlie Hoover Charlie Hoover

After Hunger games and Divergent and Ender's Game and Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, is it possible to see a theme? Other than a fetich for the word "game"? How about this:

"I am a misunderstood undiscovered demigod/chosen-one who is being hemmed-in by authority figures who demand that I crush my uniqueness into their square-peg system, and BOY are they gonna be sorry when I find my true (rebel) friends and discover my hidden/latent talents!"

Does that about sum up the core message of just about every teen exploitation film?  The irony is so rich that almost no one ever actually groks or discusses it.  That preaching romantic versions of Suspicion of Authority does not make free thinkers.  It does not make independent-minded citizens.  It makes bitter, angry people who will march to whatever drummer feeds their resentment. And this trait encompasses both left AND right.

Is there anyone in mass media anymore suggesting lessons that preach: "Buck up!  Stop whimpering.  Change what's bad. And start by admitting some folks already did some of that before you.  And there are things about the society you live in -- including some of your institutions and neighbors -- that might be smart enough to discuss solutions with you."  Do YOU know anyone saying that?

Nah.
http://www.davidbrin.com/idiotplot.html
David Brin David Brin

I always was a fan of Mr Spock.
Jan Moren Jan Moren

There are fewer brown dwarf stars in the universe than we expect, and we aren't sure why.
Brian Koberlein Brian Koberlein

Do Texan Ninjas Have Jingly Spurs?

Me: Know what would be funny?  A ninja playing peekaboo.

Corran: How would you know?

Me: Exactly.

Peo: Why not?

Corran: Because one of the defining characteristics is that ninjas can remain unseen.  There could be one playing peekaboo with you right now.

Peo: But this isn't ninja country!

#conversationswithmyfamily   #ninjacorecompetencies  
Kimberly Chapman Kimberly Chapman


So who is talking here^^
Rich Pollett Rich Pollett

mary Zeman - Teehee.
+42 - 9 shares - 4 comments

Teehee.
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Greek Easter

Easter eggs are dyed one color only: blood red

Someone from my hometown shared this older post (written by Rita Wilson) on another social network.  It explains a little about "Greek Easter," and it brought back a lot of memories:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rita-wilson/the-joys-of-greek-easter_b_93739.html
 
Perhaps tomorrow I'll challenge a guest to an "egg duel" and see whose egg survives when the two are smashed into one another because there can be only one

Hope everyone has a great weekend :-)
mary Zeman mary Zeman

For +Corran Webster and others I know who seriously want their organization to be able to hire more women coders/engineers/other techs.  Watch this.  Etsy did some interesting things that really worked. 
Kimberly Chapman Kimberly Chapman

mary Zeman -
+38 - 2 shares - 4 comments


mary Zeman mary Zeman

For +Kimberly Chapman and others...
For a few seconds I was somewhat bemused, but then I became muchly *a*mused! :D
Kimberly Chapman Kimberly Chapman

Top of the morning! Cheers to a great weekend!
Justin Matthew Justin Matthew

How is it possible that I've only just found out about the Biodiversity Heritage Library? They provide free access to biodiversity books and journals: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/

And boy, do they have some nifty image sets on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/sets/

Image: Onze vogels in huis en tuin /Leyden :P.W.M. Trap,1869-1876.
biodiversitylibrary.org/page/41754697

On Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/12367278595/in/set-72157640640754493
Mindy Weisberger Mindy Weisberger

New sign on the front of my office building.
Jürgen Hubert Jürgen Hubert

Ok; what the hell is ethergraph?
There's this pen that's supposed to have an inkless metal alloy tip that writes forever.  The alloy is called ethergraph.
I can't find any sensible info about it anywhere.  Searching google scholar for ethergraph alloy yields precisely zero hits.
Anyone got a clue what it is?

#materials   #technology  
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

Here's why it's easy to argue that even totalitarian, godless regimes can be thought of as "religious."
Clearly, there are psychological phenomena here that are common to both religious and non-religious situations.

#humanism  
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

This is very interesting and unusually interactive. I haven't checked all the underlying data, but am still exploring.

Via:
RT @ShoaClarke: Brilliant interactive data visualization of how Americans die, past & present. #dataviz #epidemiology #medicine http://t.co/spNKgHSTih .
Mary Mangan Mary Mangan

So God sacrificed himself to himself so we could bypass a rule that God made himself and that God deliberately designed us to never be able to meet?  

#Easter  
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

A first pass editing of the photos from yesterday- I'll probably take some out that I don't like as well. 
:) for true golf addicts only. LOL
#northwest  
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Ambiguous Fried Rice Recipe

1. Make some leftover rice, I don't care what kind, make the kind you like.
2. Saute in some oil some veggies, use what you want, cook them on a temperature that wont burn them until done for you.
3. Dump the rice in and stir it around a bit without making a mess of things.
4. Add some liquid of your choice, hint: chicken or vegetable stock tastes better than chlorinated tap water.
5. You can add meat if you want at this point, there's no meat police at your house...unless you are one.
6. Put in some nice seasonings of your choice. If you are from the Midwest then that means more salt and too much black pepper.
6. Cook it some.
7. Add an egg, or don't, I don't care.
8. When it looks done, scoop it out and eat it with something. Or feed it to the cat when it cools, not the rice silly, the cat. If that doesn't work, try the dog.

There you have it, easy huh? ;)
#FwideWiceWecipe  
Jim Carver Jim Carver

This is awesome and hilarious.
Ciro Villa Ciro Villa

"In fact, back in the early days of winged, heavier-than-air flight, pilots used to carry sextants with them, and actually navigated by the stars, the same as seafarers did in the days before GPS! [...]

If it weren’t for the lights of the plane itself, you would, in fact, be able to have some of the best skies available to humans. Astronomers know this fact very well, in fact, and we actually have an airplane-mounted telescope that NASA flies: SOFIA!"

Finally, the answer to the world's most pressing question: why can't you see stars out of an airplane window at night?
Ethan Siegel Ethan Siegel

Re-posting last year's #caturday  ... cause today is a busy day... :-) #happyeaster   to all of you!! And keep on smiling!!! :)))
-----
Je re-poste le #chamedi  de l'an passé.... car aujourd'hui c'est une journée très chargée.... :) #joyeusespaques  à vous tous!! Et gardez le sourire!!! :))
mary Zeman mary Zeman

What utter nonsense. This is why people laugh at creationists.
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

Scott Maxwell - Hilarity.
+14 - 5 shares - 1 comments

Hilarity.
Scott Maxwell Scott Maxwell

Moore’s law gives way to Bezos’s law

Cloud providers Google, AmazonWeb Services (AWS) and Microsoft are doing some spring-cleaning, and it’s out with the old, in with the new when it comes to pricing services. The latest cuts make it clear there’s a new business model driving cloud that is every bit as exponential in growth — with order of magnitude improvements to pricing — as Moore’s Law has been to computing.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Do as I say not as I do...

I'm always telling my students to stay away from a computer before they start coding anything. That it's important to make sure they understand what they want to do before rushing in to code...

Finally had a couple of hours of quiet time this am to work on some code and it took me about 30 minutes to do something I had been trying to get done all week by fitting in 15 minutes of coding here and there... This morning I stayed away from my computer for 20 minutes and wrote the code in 10...
Vincent Knight Vincent Knight

A little #autoawesome   of the snapping turtle that lives in the park pond.  it is a big 'un. 
#maydale  
mary Zeman mary Zeman

"How many theoretical physicists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two. One to hold the bulb and one to rotate the Universe".

#science #jokes 
Ciro Villa Ciro Villa

Jason Goldman - Poor P-22...
+8 - 7 shares - 1 comments

Poor P-22...
Jason Goldman Jason Goldman

Austin Powers - English English

It's a good job I'm also able to speak "American English" for use in my written posts and in Hangouts otherwise most of you wouldn't be able to understand me.
Trev Warth Trev Warth

An infant at my son's daycare has whooping cough. Please vaccinate so that kids too young to get the vaccine do not suffer unnecessarily.
Sheril Kirshenbaum Sheril Kirshenbaum

Fireball explodes over Russian sky!

A suspected meteroid lights up the sky in the Russian city of Murmansk, according to +RT.

There have been no confirmation of a meteorite being found on the ground, but having all of those dash-cams in Russian vehicles is paying off with observations! 

Have you ever seen something like this light up your sky? Let us know! Keep Looking Up!

Read more: http://rt.com/news/meteorite-murmansk-explosion-space-588/

#Meteor   #Russia   #Meteoroid   #Fireball   #dashcam   #Murmansk  
Ciro Villa Ciro Villa

I don't even know where to start. Killing Jews was legal in Nazi Germany, you idiot; the question of legality doesn't just miss the point by a country mile, it misses by intergalactic distances.

You just need to listen to this guy defend himself by saying he was just doing what his country asked of him, to see the mindset at work in the entire Nazi structure.

Godwin, my ass. Sometimes the comparisons are called for -- not often, but sometimes. And this is very definitely one of those times.

You belong in prison forever, you monster.
Scott Maxwell Scott Maxwell

Pollute locally; screw people over globally.
#environment 
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

The palo verde trees are all in bloom. It's pretty gorgeous. (And no, he's not allergic in the slightest.)

A palo verde tree in bloom, and my son, at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, Gilbert, AZ.
Kimberly Hosey Kimberly Hosey

I think I've exceeded the blocking limits of my apartment. This shawl is a monster! 
Jaime George Jaime George

19%

oof

This movie had such promise. Has anybody seen it?
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

APOD - Earth-size Kepler-186f
Jenny Winder Jenny Winder

This weekend I put together a Tkinter GUI for labeling images data for machine learning applications. I'm working on digit recognition, and I have a ton of data in the form of PNG images that I need to label. This application allows me to quickly associate labels with images. #python   #tkinter   #machinelearning  
Vincent Knight Vincent Knight

The Easter Bunny never saw it coming... 

#easter 
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

Putting the "Oo.." into loo rolls!
Gail Barnes Gail Barnes

Scientists discover brain's anti-distraction system

This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping us prevent distraction.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Always have a Plan B. That's why I like this meshnet thing.
#internet 
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

Baloney. Wear Glass everywhere. Maybe not use it everywhere, but the luddites don't know the difference. 
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

Oh. If you are a history buff...
Omar Loisel Omar Loisel

Between Ape and Artilect is a new collection edited by noted AI researcher Ben Goertzel, and produced by futurist organization Humanity+. During 2010-12, Dr. Goertzel conducted a series of textual interviews with researchers in various areas of cutting-edge science -- artificial general intelligence, nanotechnology, life extension, neurotechnology, collective intelligence, mind uploading, body modification, neuro-spiritual transformation, and more. Included are interviews with lifespan augmentation researcher Aubrey de Grey, catastrophic risk expert Paul Werbos, posthumanist explorer Natasha Vita-More… and me.

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Ape-Artilect-Conversations-Transformative/dp/1496138171/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=contbrin-20
David Brin David Brin

PZ Myers has had it with Salon.
I can't blame him; it really is nothing but a cesspool of click-bait.
#science #atheism 
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

Added photos to Pancakes for Pelotonia.
Chris Robinson Chris Robinson

Cyanide, deadly nightshade and pesticides have disturbingly similar symptoms to the toxin that took a powerful character's life
Jennifer Ouellette Jennifer Ouellette

Talk about your filthy lucre.
Mindy Weisberger Mindy Weisberger

"Zoologists of Reddit, what animal do you think most people don't know exists?"

So begins a thread full of some of the weirdest-looking creatures on the planet. Prepare to get lost on the Internet for a while.

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/23cmo9/zoologists_of_reddit_what_animal_do_you_think/

(The creature below is something called a Saiga Antelope, which lives in a few small areas of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mos Eisley Spaceport.)

h/t +Bridget Spitznagel.
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

A sobering look at the PhD pyramid scheme by the numbers: Where will a biology degree take you?
Greg Laden Greg Laden

Sad. the vice-principal in charge of the South Korean students who are believed to have perished in the ferry disaster, has killed himself.  he left a note saying how terrible he felt that he was rescued and they were not, and to accept responsibility for their deaths.
mary Zeman mary Zeman

The inspiration for the Torpedo scene in Star Wars Episode IV.
Jürgen Hubert Jürgen Hubert

"Scientists know that it's not just our DNA structure that determines how we look and what we're capable of doing, there's another factor involved—the expression of our genes—they can be turned on or off at some point, allowing or preventing certain traits from developing. This process is known as DNA methylation—where methyl group chemicals attach to DNA and prevent them from behaving as they would otherwise. In this new effort, the researchers looked at methylation in Neanderthals and Denisovans to learn more about how they might have been different from us.
Studying methylation in preserved fossils involves noting the way the methyl chemical cytosine decays over long periods of time. Unmethylated cytosines decay to one type of chemical while unmethylated cyctones decay to another. By measuring the amounts of the two resultant chemicals found in fossilized bone fragments, the researchers were able to create methylation maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans, which they then compared with similar maps for modern humans.
The comparisons revealed differences in approximately 2000 different regions, though one in particular stood out—an HoxD cluster that prior research has shown plays an important role in the development of body structure—a finding that could help explain the shorter, stouter limbs (and other features) of our extinct cousins. Interestingly, the team also found that some of the highly methylated regional areas that appear in modern humans do not appear in either Neanderthals or Denisovans, regions that have been associated with neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and autism—a finding that may help shed some light on their source".
rasha kamel rasha kamel

One of the contests at this 50th anniversary of the golf course was to see who could hit the longest drive onto the fairway with these old Persimmon clubs from the 60's.  (217 yards was the winner)
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Surf, Sun, and Startups – San Diego is Becoming a Major Player
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Tuesday! +Neil Shubin , the author of "Your Inner Fish" and star of the +PBS series of the same name, and the book's illustrator, +Kalliopi Monoyios join us for a Read Science! chat! Stay tuned for more details!

 +Jeff Shaumeyer 
Joanne Manaster Joanne Manaster

So excited for today's weSTEM (Women Empowered in STEM) event here at the iHotel and Convention Center at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I'm one of the featured speakers, but judging from the women I met last night, I think I will learn much more than I'll be offering!

"weSTEM (Women Empowered in STEM) will provide a forum through which current and future STEM leaders can motivate and inspire each other to excel at the frontier of scientific advancement and develop solutions for the next generation of technical challenges. Women engineers and scientists with advanced degrees will share experiences from their academic and professional career paths and provide insight into their personal successes in STEM.

The program features:
 Two keynote lectures for all participants to attend
 Session talks where attendees may decide between concurrent talks in two tracks
 Break out sessions for students and speakers to have open discussions on topics relevant to the conference talks
 Social/cocktail hour for all attendees to mingle
 Brunch and dinner 
The speakers have been specially selected by members of the planning committee; they are people who have had an important impact on the academic/professional careers of the committee. We hope that weSTEM attendees will be motivated and inspired by these individuals, just as we were. We are excited to welcome students from the University of Illinois and SWE members from around the country to attend."
Joanne Manaster Joanne Manaster

"[...] so you can meet your death with grace and understanding. [...]" - +Emily Graslie.
Wolfgang Alexander Moens Wolfgang Alexander Moens

Dennis Lehane has something to say about the crazy and stupid.
The birther who believes global warming is a hoax because she still feels cold in February holds an opinion substantially less worthy than the scientist with the PhD in environmental science. And we used to know that.

I see this every day. I wish he offered a solution. That said, he's right and the facts will stand in the end. But the stupid blooms for a long time before that.
Mary Mangan Mary Mangan

Outgoing behavior makes for happier humans: Across cultures, extroverts have more fun

Happy is as happy does, apparently -- for human beings all over the world. Not only does acting extroverted lead to more positive feelings across several cultures, but people also report more upbeat behavior when they feel free to be themselves.
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Phil Plait looks at a planetary nebula in his latest blog for Sen
Jenny Winder Jenny Winder

Betsy McCall -
+6 - 2 comments


Betsy McCall Betsy McCall

The Human Cognition Project (HCP) is a collaboration between Lumosity’s in-house science team and various academic scientists, clinicians, and educators interested in understanding and exploring human cognitive abilities.

HCP researchers receive free access to Lumosity’s tools and, in certain cases, limited access to select portions of Lumosity’s database of cognitive game performance. Currently, there are 43 ongoing HCP studies exploring topics such as age-related cognitive decline, interventions for PTSD, and the relationship between physical exercise and Lumosity training.

Well, we'll see...the games are kind of fun so far. I haven't signed up for the paid version. It's a little early to see if I want to do that.
#
Jim Carver Jim Carver

"The ability to stick objects to a wide range of surfaces such as drywall, wood, metal and glass with a single adhesive has been the elusive goal of many research teams across the world, but now a team inventors describe a new, more versatile version of their invention, Geckskin, that can adhere strongly to a wider range of surfaces, yet releases easily, like a gecko's feet".
rasha kamel rasha kamel

"Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But in the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More than just an insurance policy against late frosts or unexpected dry spells, it turns out that seed dormancy has long-term advantages too: plants whose seeds put off sprouting until conditions are more certain give rise to more species".
rasha kamel rasha kamel

Slides and References for my recent lecture series on Social Networks.
Bruno Gonçalves Bruno Gonçalves

Interesting if somewhat decadent #design

So long as other buildings don't encroach on the site - killing the privacy of the place - this should be a really nice place to live, especially if you like the sound and smell of the sea. 
Filippo Salustri Filippo Salustri

"University of Georgia researchers led by Yiping Zhao recently published three papers documenting a simple method to fabricate metamaterials that could lead to industrial-scale production. The first two studies appeared in the journal Nano Letters and the third in the March issue of Advanced Optical Materials.
Zhao is a professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of physics and astronomy and director of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. His co-authors on the studies were research assistants George Larsen, Yizhuo He and Whitney Ingram.
"What we do in the lab is try to think about simple, scalable methods," said Larsen, who along with He is supported by the National Science Foundation. Ingram is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Ph.D. Scholar and a Southern Regional Educational Board State Doctoral Scholar. "Metamaterials depend on good optical properties and precise arrangements, so our work interfaces with nanotechnology and microtechnology because we design these structures smaller than the wavelength of light."
Most materials in nature take their properties from the atoms of which they are made-we can see through glass because it is made from silicon dioxide, which has an atomic structure that does not impede visible light. Scientists can arrange matter to interact differently with light, or to interact in specific ways. The resulting metamaterials take their properties both from their structure and the materials from which they are made.
A specific class of metamaterials, known as chiral metamaterials, represents an opportunity to design structures that interact with polarized light, holding all manner of possibility for new methods for sensing and detection on the molecular level. Chirality, or the lack of mirror image symmetry, is a hallmark of living systems and represents one of the unsolved mysteries in science".
rasha kamel rasha kamel

Computational Photography Starts to Mature.

Computational photography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_photography), the use of advanced algorithms and software to simulate powerful (and expensive) cameras such as DSLRs, starts to make an impact in the latest update to the Google Camera application on current Android (4.4+) phones. The default Google Camera for Android already shipped with an impressive second-generation HDR mode (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging), but the latest update includes a Lens Blur mode that allows tiny phone camera sensors and lenses to simulate a big lens and big aperture in order to reproduce shallow depths of field or "bokeh" effects. This is another great example of software eating the world.

The image below demonstrates the new camera application using the crappy front-facing 1.3MP camera on my Nexus 5 and delivers a believable depth of field. Look closely and you can see some artifacts on the edges of the foreground subjects; a good DSLR with a good lens is obviously going to still produce superior images. But those algorithms will get better with time; results will improve and image artifacts will be taken care of. While DSLRs will always have superior light capture capabilities the best camera is always the one you have on you. More details can be found here http://googleresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/lens-blur-in-new-google-camera-app.html and I'm particularly interested in the ability of this app and its algorithms to produce depth maps of an image like the Lytro camera and adjust the point of focus as needed after the image is taken.

Further advances might allow these depth maps to be used in 3D scanning applications for 3D modeling and printing, 3D imaging for 3D TVs and Oculus Rift devices, and might even tie in with Project Tango to help more accurately model our world.

If you have a recent phone running the latest version of Android and don't have a Nexus device then head over to the Play Store to grab the app and have a play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.GoogleCamera. This is also the first time that non-Nexus devices get access to the amazing PhotoSphere capability that I've been enjoying and wowing people with for the last 18 months now.

#googlecameraapp   #computationalphotography   #lensblur  
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

Climate change trolls threaten journal; journal caves and retracts paper because.....reasons?; reviewers complain; scientists complain; editorial board resigns; Trolls win either way. UGH.
Bug Gwen Bug Gwen

Must-see meteor videos from Murmansk! This wasn't as big a deal as last year's Chelyabinsk blast, but it's still an awesome fireball: 
Alan Boyle Alan Boyle

Bitcoin 2.0: Unleash The Sidechains

Sidechains are new blockchains which are backed by Bitcoins, via Bitcoin contracts, just as dollars and pounds used to be backed by cold hard gold. You could in principle have thousands of sidechains “pegged” to Bitcoin, all with different characteristics and purposes … and all of them taking advantage of the scarcity and resilience guaranteed by the main Bitcoin blockchain, which in turn could iterate to implement experimental sidechain features once they have been tried and tested.

#bitcoin  
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Internet use may cut retirees' depression

Spending time online has the potential to ward off depression among retirees, particularly among those who live alone..
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Art is everywhere!
Gail Barnes Gail Barnes

Vitamin D deficiency contributes to poor mobility among severely obese people
mary Zeman mary Zeman

Intense farming for two days trying to hack a capsule. No luck so far. Well... At least my inventory is full. The idea for the #ingresswear  shirt came to my mind when trying to find stuff to recycle.
+Anne Beuttenmüller +Brandon Badger +Ingress
Matt Uebel Matt Uebel

Religious or sacrilegious? Something to meditate on for Holy Week:
Alan Boyle Alan Boyle

Tom Sargent economizes on words brilliantly.
Dimitrios Diamantaras Dimitrios Diamantaras

So this happened today down the street from me. Strongman Jerry Bowser pushed a ton from one part of Broadway to another as a fundraiser for a family injured during the Marathon bombing last year.

It was very strange to watch. Strongmen and feats-of-strength sound like something from another time. But it was a fun bit of local color for a good cause.
Mary Mangan Mary Mangan

People continue to rebuild their lives five months after Typhoon Haiyan struck the coast of the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, leaving more than 6000 dead and many more homeless. 

Read more: http://nbcnews.to/1ngj8XI 
Photo: Getty Images
Mary Mactavish Mary Mactavish

Vitamin D deficiency contributes to poor mobility among severely obese people
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Mum's diet mirrors child's food allergies

In particular, the conclusions from a long-term study of a cohort of young people, now six years old, who have been tracked from birth and whose diets and allergies have been recorded, are now in sight. "Our aim is to see the allergy outcomes of their diet in early life, and even before they were born, as we have information on their mothers' diets and on their weaning," Mills tells CommNet, "This work has been coordinated at the Charité in Berlin and involves 12,000 people in samples from Iceland to Greece."
Ward Plunet Ward Plunet

Epic cherry blossoms.
Gail Barnes Gail Barnes

Daily Circles check it out

Name Author Members

Austrian Photographers

54

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111

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152

Super Science Circle

220

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100

Food, Beer, and Wine Circle

165

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25

Google+ Pages and interesting people

241

Android Pages

31

Banken und Finanzen

170

Think different: the interaction circle

200

Play Ball! Baseball

31

some great people

501

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90

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99

Science Circle

300

Google Services

48

Daily Fine Art

199


© Siegfried Hirsch 2012 - 2013
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