Sunday, September 14, 2014

Scotland Makes "Once in a Lifetime" Decision on Thursday

A West Highland terrier scampers past Scottish independence graffiti on a World War II defensive emplacement, near Pitternweem, on the east coast. Photo: by Kieran Dodds, Panos via National Geographic

A day to come seems longer than a year that's gone. -- Scottish proverb

SNP leader Alex Salmond has said the Scottish referendum is a "once in a generation opportunity".

Speaking to Andrew Marr he said that a simple majority, however close, would be accepted by both sides in the campaign and there would be a "generational" gap before another independence referendum.

The latest opinion polls ahead of the 18 September referendum have suggested the vote is too close to call.

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10 questions on Scottish independence you were too afraid to ask

From passports to pandas, your questions answered about how an independent Scotland could change our lives.

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The Simpsons' groundskeeper Willie has a few things to say prior to the Sept 18 Scottish elections.

The Only Existing Photo of Einstein Blackboarding His E=MC2 Formula

At a public lecture Einstein gave in Pittsburgh in 1934, four hundred students were present when Einstein mathematically derived his famous mass-energy equivalence equation: E=mc2. This is thought to be the only surviving photo that shows Einstein working on that derivation, pulled from a halftone newspaper clipping by David Topper and Dwight Vincent of the University of Winnipeg, who discovered it in 2007.

If you look closely, you’ll see the mass-energy equivalence in the lower left hand corner of the blackboard on the right. You might notice that the famous equation says Δ E0=Δ m and E0=m instead of the expected E=mc2, Topper and Vincent explain in their paper: "It is the right blackboard that contains the equation. But its format may disappoint or confuse the average viewer, because from the start of the lecture Einstein employed the convention of setting the speed of light c to unity. Hence a close look at the lower left section of the right blackboard in [the picture] reveals the relation Δ E0=Δ m, and below it is E0=m. As far as we know, [this photo] is the only extant picture with Einstein and his famous equation."

h/t The Daily Galaxy via

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Farmed Humans

As an attempt to save millions of animal lives that are lost during laboratory testing, scientists are creating artificial micro humans that would replace these animals. Up to 90 million animal lives are lost each year due to experiments conducted on them.

The artificial human machines that are being developed will be as small as a microchip. Researchers also said that they would produce the same responses that humans would when exposed to certain substances, “either when inhaled, absorbed in the gut or circulated through the bloodstream.”

Uwe Marx, a tissue engineer from Technische Universität Berlin and founder of TissUse, a firm developing the technology said that if their system is approved by the regulators, then it would result in the shutting down of several animal testing laboratories in the country. The Times reported that within three years this machine would become a substitute for the animals.

Read More:

h/t: cryptogon

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Christine Lee Hanson

Christine Lee Hanson

She was flying to Disney World with her parents on United 175. Her father was on the phone with her grandfather, holding her in his arms as the plane impacted the World Trade Center.

She was 3.

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Connect the World?

Appropriately photographed under "WE TRUST" and at the end of Lincoln's nose. - c

A Stanford engineering team has built a radio the size of an ant, a device so energy efficient that it gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna – no batteries required.

Designed to compute, execute and relay commands, this tiny wireless chip costs pennies to fabricate – making it cheap enough to become the missing link between the Internet as we know it and the linked-together smart gadgets envisioned in the "Internet of Things."

"The next exponential growth in connectivity will be connecting objects together and giving us remote control through the web," said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering who recently demonstrated this ant-sized radio chip at the VLSI Technology and Circuits Symposium in Hawaii.

Much of the infrastructure needed to enable us to control sensors and devices remotely already exists: We have the Internet to carry commands around the globe, and computers and smartphones to issue the commands. What's missing is a wireless controller cheap enough to so that it can be installed on any gadget anywhere.

"How do you put a bi-directional wireless control system on every lightbulb?" Arbabian said. "By putting all the essential elements of a radio on a single chip that costs pennies to make."

Cost is critical because, as Arbabian observed, "We're ultimately talking about connecting trillions of devices."

Read More:

h/t: cryptogon