Tuesday, 22 September 2015

DARPA’s prosthetic hand allows paralyzed patient to “feel” pressure on fingers

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A 28-year-old quadriplegic is the first person to experience tactile sensation through a prosthetic hand, according to DARPA. The organisation accomplished this feat by routing signals from torque sensors housed in the mechanical prosthesis to electrode arrays attached to the volunteer's sensory cortex—the part of the brain that identifies stimuli like touch.

"By wiring a sense of touch from a mechanical hand directly into the brain, this work shows the potential for seamless bio-technological restoration of near-natural function," said DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez in a press release.

The prosthesis used in the experiment was created by the Applied Physics Lab at John Hopkins University, and is capable of detecting when pressure is applied to a finger. DARPA reported nearly 100 percent accuracy in an initial set of tests. Despite being blindfolded, the volunteer, whose name is being withheld, was able to tell which extremity was being touched, and even when researchers were attempting to trick him.

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 » see original post http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/darpas-prosthetic-hand-allows-paralysed-patient-to-feel-pressure-on-fingers/

#NYFW Machi Shoes Giveaway


Enjoying your NY Fashion Week? How many fabulous outfits have you debuted in your street style parade? Did you ever think you deserved to be rewarded for that? Machi Footwear is giving away shoes from their new collection for the best looks.

 It doesn't matter if you were actually posing in front of the official runways or killing the OOTD game at home. If you can post a great photo or have already posted an awesome look, just tag @machifootwear #alleyesonyou from Instagram, Twitter or on their Facebook page to tell us you want the shoes. Here is a tiny sampling of some of Machi's offerings this season: 


Do you need more incentive? Check out their entire Machi shoes fall catalog online. They have already dressed socialites, fashion bloggers and models at NYFW this season. Don't miss out! More details on the Machi Footwear NYFW getaway here. 

 
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New Cubist Tattoos by Peter Aurisch

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Based in a quiet undisclosed studio a short train ride outside of downtown Berlin, artist Peter Aurisch creates some of the most original tattoos in the city—and in a place with an estimated 2,000 tattoo artists, that's saying something. To keep his ideas fresh and original, Aurisch may only begin planning a new piece when the client first arrives. He tends to work freehand without sketches or source imagery, and instead draws inspiration from stories and details provided by his customers.

Aurisch is also printmaker and painter and his works (both on skin and off) are influenced in part by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and the cubism of Picasso. We first featured his tattoos over three years ago here on Colossal, and in that time it's easy to see a dramatic evolution of his style to much bolder lines and more geometric figures.

Aurisch's studio is called Johnny Nevada, a space he shares with Jessica Mach whose tattoos you should also definitely check out. He takes only a single appointment daily and you can get in touch here. Explore more of his most recent work on Instagram.

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Scientists: Matter and their antimatter counterparts are similar

If there's one thing in science that is constantly dividing scientists, it is the truth behind antimatters' existence

The post Scientists: Matter and their antimatter counterparts are similar has been published on Technology Org.

 
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Mysterious, massive, magnetic stars

A Canadian PhD student has discovered a unique object – two massive stars with magnetic fields in a

The post Mysterious, massive, magnetic stars has been published on Technology Org.

 
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Ta-Nehisi Coates' surprising explanation of climate change

Ta-Nehisi Coates' excellent new book Between the World and Me has been getting a lot of attention for what it says about racial injustice, white supremacy, and the American Dream. However, my favorite part of the book comes near the end, when he leaves the question of race to examine other issues, particularly climate change.

A great many American problems, by Coates' lights, come from the fact that the nation was simultaneously founded on a messianic self-conception and gruesome injustice — the high moral principles of the Declaration of Independence grafted onto an agrarian slave state. Ever since, brief, halting efforts at redressing the original sins of slavery and the extermination of Native Americans have run aground on the shoals of America's colossal self-regard.

Coates takes this tendency and applies it to climate change. America has always had an energy-gulping lifestyle of tank-sized cars, sprawling houses always set to 70 degrees, and big food portions with lots of meat. Climate policy is all but impossible if major changes to that lifestyle are ruled out as an infringement on the American Dream. It's long been clear that this will come back to bite us very soon — in fact, it's happening already.

[T]he damming of the seas for voltage, the extraction of coal, the transmuting of oil into food, have enabled an expansion in plunder with no known precedent. And this revolution has freed the Dreamers to plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the Earth itself... Something more fierce than Marcus Garvey is riding on the whirlwind. [Between the World and Me]

Of course, such an argument must come with some caveats. Other nations struggle with carbon emissions as well — Australia recently repealed its carbon tax, with disastrous results, and China is by far the world's top emitter today. But when you take historical emissions into account, America is by far the worst culprit overall.

It's doubly damning when you consider that the science of climate change has been fairly clear for over 30 years. As the top emitter for most of that time and as the world's most powerful nation, we would have been ideally placed to negotiate a binding international climate treaty. Instead, we dithered and procrastinated so long that the action required to keep warming under the internationally agreed limit of 2 degrees Celsius is looking all but impossible. We have begun some limited action, but given that one of two political parties has decided the whole thing is a socialist conspiracy, the prospect of achieving the necessary vigor looks dim.

Why? Because, as the first President Bush said at the Earth Summit in 1992, "The American way of life is not negotiable." It's hard to imagine someone from, say, Denmark saying something like that.

We should also note that a robust, critical self-examination does not entail admitting that America is a uniquely terrible, hateful place. On the contrary, since no nation is perfect, being and doing good is the result of consciously atoning for the sins of the past — not a self-indulgent wallowing in guilt, but concrete action.

But historically, Americans have not been too keen on this. As Rick Perlstein wrote in The Invisible Bridge, the greatest political asset of Ronald Reagan was his soothing argument that the Vietnam War implied nothing about the rottenness of the national character. Instead, we could just pretend it never happened!

Turns out it's easier to shout loudly about how America is the greatest nation that has ever existed than it is to undertake the painful, costly action that would make that claim true.

 
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 » see original post http://theweek.com/articles/568210/tanehisi-coates-surprising-explanation-climate-change

Mars Panorama from Curiosity Shows Petrified Sand Dunes

Some of the dark sandstone in an area being explored by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows texture and

The post Mars Panorama from Curiosity Shows Petrified Sand Dunes has been published on Technology Org.

 
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#NYFW: Zang Toi in Santorini Spring 2016


What is the most beautiful place on Earth? Designer Zang Toi and I clearly agree. His Spring 2016 collection was inspired by the Greek island of Santorini.  When I visited the island, I was struck by the blue and white of the architecture being lit by spectacular sunsets.

Zang Toi translated that feeling in the vibrant shades of blue, aqua, white and green in his clothing. He had many of his elegant long silhouettes and capes. In chatting with him backstage, he deliberately stayed away from the cliche "goddess" dresses, togas and gladiator sandals associated with a "Grecian" inspired collection. Instead, he paid tribute to the breezy climate with the feather-light tulle gowns that rippled as the models walked.


Some of the print and embroidery motifs used were a nod to the crochet handicrafts of the island as well as its pottery arts. I love that Zang manages to take his fans away on an exotic escape each season. His daywear looks were accessorized with dramatic hats to strike an image (or protect you from the sun). The shoes of choice were a beaded heels with clear straps, like a post-modern update of the ancient Greek sandal.

While Zang Toi has an entire entourage of Real Housewives devoted to him, the real star in the audience was the legendary Patti Labelle. She was so excited to see him that she leapt up at the finale and practically snatched him off the runway. Very cute. (Even more adorable was the report that she accidentally dropped a tic-tac on the runway and panicked that it would disrupt the show).

Bravo on another beautiful journey Zang Toi!
all photos by Mariana Leung

 
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Large Wire-Frame Sculpture Shows the Glowing Forms of Children Trapped Within Adult Bodies

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Photo by Andrew Miller

Ukrainian sculptor, blacksmith, and designer Alexander Milov has produced a large wire-frame sculpture that features the forms of children that glow when day turns to night. The outer sculpture is two adults sitting back to back while the inner sculpture displays the two children touching hands through the metal wires.

Milov's sculpture titled Love depicts a scene of conflict with hope and innocence rising from within. "It demonstrates a conflict between a man and a woman as well as the outer and inner expression of human nature," said Milov. "The figures of the protagonists are made in the form of big metal cages, where their inner selves are captivated. Their inner selves are executed in the form of transparent children, who are holding out their hands through the grating. As it's getting dark (night falls) the children chart to shine. This shining is a symbol of purity and sincerity that brings people together and gives a chance of making up when the dark time arrives."

The giant sculpture was produced for this year's Burning Man and is the first time in 30 years that Ukraine has received a grant to produce work for the festival. You can see more examples of this year's sculptures on the festival's art installation archive here. (via Bored Panda)

Image via Ruslan Kuznetsov

Image via Ruslan Kuznetsov

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Photo by Andrew Miller

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Silicon photonics meets the foundry

Lionel Kimerling, Rajeev Ram, and other MIT researchers explore practical ways to bring optical interconnection toward and directly

The post Silicon photonics meets the foundry has been published on Technology Org.

 
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Understanding of complex networks could help unify gravity and quantum mechanics

Mathematicians investigating one of science's great questions — how to unite the physics of the very big with

The post Understanding of complex networks could help unify gravity and quantum mechanics has been published on Technology Org.

 
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