discovery

Steve Woz on our closed source education system

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A very succinct message from Steve Woz on how our education system(s) kills creativity in its quest for a one size fits all approach to education…

This is so true all over the world… the waste of human potential is the greatest waste

Via EEtimes and DangerousPrototypes

Earth Day & Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot

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This gives me goosebumps every time I watch it…. Happy Earth Day !

 

If neurons talk using RFID…are we zapping our brains with our phone yapping?? !!

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I stumbled across this article today about how neurons in brains do not rely just on physical connections to talk to each other. They interact with each other with their version of electro-magnetic coupling similar to Near Field Communication (NFC)or RFID.

NFC or RFID type technologies can be prone to interference from various gadgets or devices. This new discovery about neural communication may bring into focus how electronic devices affect our brains and cognitive abilities. Is it time to think about how our society designs and uses the billions of cell phones ?

Here is the article from Caltech:

Neurobiologists Find that Weak Electrical Fields in the Brain Help Neurons Fire Together – Caltech Media Relations.

Leave it as it is…

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Leave it as it is. You cannot improve it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it….

President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt commenting on seeing the Grand Canyon

Read more about the US National Parks and President Teddy Roosevelt at http://www.nps.gov and  http://blogs.nashualibrary.org/reference/2009/09/leave_it_as_it_is_1.html

Forward Osmosis- revoluntionary water treatment?

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Cleantechnica has a post on Forward Osmosis. It is better explained here. The authors description in a gist:

…conventional desalination and reuse technologies use substantial energy. “forward osmosis,” exploits the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane. Their process “draws” pure water from its contaminants to a solution of concentrated salts, which can easily be removed with low heat treatment — effectively desalinating or removing contaminants from water with little energy input.

The concentrated salt solution is probably a mixture of ammonia and/or carbon dioxide dissolved in water. The ammonia and CO2 are later easily boiled off and reused. The energy required for this quite less even low-cost solar heaters may be sufficient.

Fighting hunger with flood-tolerant rice

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CNN reports that scientists after over 10 years of research have successfully developed a new strain of flood-tolerant rice through precision breeding. Read the article to know more about the inspiring work being done to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions.

Knowledge Gap of How We ‘Fit In’ is Greatest Threat to Environment

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The article does a much better job of describing one of the great questions facing humanity – ‘How do we fit in?’ Maybe we need to ask native cultures around the world the answer to this mystery. Anyway here is the article from Treehugger.

TED | Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

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This is a spectacular talk… one of the best yet on TED so far.

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

TED Talks- Matthieu Ricard: Habits of happiness

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What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with his talk are stunning photographs of the Himalayas and of his spiritual community.

Another thoughtful (and humorous) TED talk was the one given by Bob Thurman sometime ago. It is one of my favorite TED talks and I have blogged about it previously. But it is probably appropriate to include it once more:

Rising from the deep: Hydrogen economy

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All the major petro-companies are pushing for the hydrogen economy as a replacement for fossil fuels….some argue that this would allow them to keep their existing monopoly on transportation fuel.

My gut feeling is this an over-simplification. I came across the concept of ‘deep hydrogen reserves’ sometime ago. Apparently the Kola Superdeep Borehole, the deepest hole drilled by man at 12+ kms (~7.5miles) has been found to be bubbling with hydrogen. So do you think, the petroleum companies will simply shift from petroleum drilling to hydrogen drilling? Or maybe even methane drilling? I would be interested in your thoughts / opinions.

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