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Archives for August, 2007

Machines on a Beach

“The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds,” says artist Theo Jansen. For over 14 years, Jansen has been engaged in the production of animari, or beach animals—massive kinetic sculptures constructed of light materials. After a firm push to begin, the wind takes over, and the skeletally beautiful ‘animals’ walk unaided over…

ScienceBlogs Weekly Recap

8.20.07 to 8.26.07 Announcements Welcome Zooillogix! Please welcome the newest addition to ScienceBlogs, Zooillogix. Brothers Andrew and Benny Bleiman author Zooillogix, "a hobby and a secret outlet of forbidden passion" that showcases their shared obsession with zoology. Check out the Bleimans’ recent Gallery d’Bug Arte post, and their Video of the Week, where a male…

Singularity Summit 2007

“Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended.” – Vernor Vinge, 1993 Unless you’re an avid science fiction fan or futurist, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of “the Singularity“—broadly speaking, a hypothetical point in the future where technological development accelerates…

Why, Thank You! We Like the Times, Too.

Flattering news from elsewhere on the web: The New York Times has just launched a beta version of My Times, a personalizable homepage feature that allows users to mix their favorite Times content with widgetized utilities and news and entertainment items from around the internet. One of the niftiest features is the Times Journalists’ Selections—recommended…

Hello, Zooillogix

Please welcome the newest addition to ScienceBlogs, Zooillogix. Brothers Andrew and Benny Bleiman author Zooillogix, “a hobby and a secret outlet of forbidden passion” that showcases their shared obsession with zoology. Check out the Bleimans’ recent Gallery d’Bug Arte post, and their Video of the Week, where a male jumping spider dances for a foxy…

Google Moon

After Google Mars, perhaps this was inevitable: Google Moon celebrates the anniversary of the first manned moon landing by presenting a swath of the lunar surface, mapped in the familiar Google style, with red flags marking the locations of six Apollo landing sites. The project, explains Google Moon’s about page, is part of Google’s Copernicus…

The Week in ScienceBlogs

8.13.07 to 8.19.07 Homepage Buzzes 8/13: Science Panel on C-SPAN On Saturday, C-SPAN aired a televised broadcast of the “Science, Politics, and Activism” panel that took place on August 3 at the YearlyKos Convention. The video of the panel, moderated by Tara Smith and featuring science bloggers Sean Carroll, Chris Mooney, and Ed Brayton, is…

A Short Introduction to Outer Space

The volume is slim, just seventeen pages long–an elegant, tall rectangle of cream-colored paper. Looking at the scanned pages, it seems almost possible to reach out and touch the yellowed crease of the cover, the rusted staples. “INTRODUCTION TO OUTER SPACE,” the booklet reads. “THE WHITE HOUSE; March 26, 1958.” What follows is a primer…

Science Semantics

Science is perhaps the academic discipline most dependent on acronyms, from the common NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to the less recognized laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). In fact, Wiley Publishers’ dictionary of “Scientific and Technical Acronyms, Symbols, and Abbreviations” includes more than 200,000 entries!

Phoenix Off to Mars

Just before 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning, a Delta 7925 rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral carrying an important payload for planetary exploration: the Phoenix, NASA’s latest mission to Mars. If all goes well, Phoenix should land in the northern polar region of Mars in May 2008, giving scientists the first close-up views of this relatively…