aepxc

Thoughts and finds of the day

Month: November, 2011

The Psychology of Nakedness | Wired Science | Wired.com


After looking at these pictures and reading a brief description of Erin/Aaron, subjects were asked to evaluate the mental capacities of the person. They answered six questions, which took the form, “Compared to the average person, how much is Erin capable of X.” The X was filled in by various agency-related capacities, such as “self-control,”“acting morally,” and “planning” and a slew of experience-related capacities, such as “experiencing pleasure,” “experiencing hunger,” and “experiencing desire.” Participants answered these six questions on a 5-point scale from 1 (Much Less Capable) to 5 (Much More Capable).

It turns out that a glimpse of flesh strongly influences our perception of Erin/Aaron. When the pictures only showed a face, they had lots of agency. But when we saw their torso, we suddenly imagined them as obsessed with experience. Instead of being good at self-control, they were suddenly extremely sensitive to hunger and desire. Same person, same facial expression, same brief description – but a hint of body changed everything.

Stradivarius violin recreated from CAT scan, ‘sounds amazingly similar’ — Engadget

We’ve seen all kinds of crazy things being printed — from bones to blood vessels — and now you can add antique violins to that list. Music loving Radiologist Steven Sirr popped his into a CAT scanner to see what it was made of, then showed the results to a violin-making friend. Curiosity soon led them to scan everything from guitars to mandolins, so when the chance to take a peek inside a 307-year-old Stradivarius came up, how could they resist? 1000 scans later, the files were converted to 3D CAD format and another violin maker enlisted. Crucially, the images show the density of the wood all the way through, allowing a CNC machine to carve out copies of each section, with different woods used to match the differing densities. With all the parts in place and a lick of varnish, the replicas were complete. Sirr claims the copies sound “amazingly similar” to the original, but we are unsure if he plans to make it open-source

Neil DeGrasse Tyson interviewed by out-of-character Stephen Colbert – Boing Boing

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/YXh9RQCvxmg?rel=0

The Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey hosted a fascinating, one-hour chat between Neil DeGrasse Tyson — Hayden Planetarium director, TV science host, and all-round good guy — with Stephen Colbert in a rare, out-of-character appearance.

Freakonomics » Risk = Hazard + Outrage: A Conversation with Risk Consultant Peter Sandman

One fascinating interview that didn’t make the final cut was with Peter Sandman, a “risk-communication consultant” whose work was also cited in Freakonomics. (Here is how he came to be what he is.)

Sandman breaks his work into three areas: scaring people who are ignoring something that is legitimately dangerous and risky; calming down people who are freaking out over something that’s not risky; and guiding people who are freaking out over something that is legitimately risky. To accomplish all this, Sandman came up with a useful equation: Risk = Hazard + Outrage

Venn Diagram: “Using a tent is not always just camping.” – Boing Boing

Sexy, Simple Sony: The TR-1825 Radio – Core77

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From 1970!

Image Tool Catches Fashion Industry Photo Alterations | Wired Science | Wired.com

Image Analysis

A new photograph-analyzing tool quantifies changes made by digital airbrushers in the fashion and lifestyle industry, where image alteration has become the psychologically destructive norm.

“Publishers have legitimate reasons to alter photographs to create fantasy and sell products, but they’ve gone a little too far,” said image forensics specialist Hany Farid of Dartmouth University. “You can’t ignore the body of literature showing negative consequences to being inundated with these images.”

In a Nov. 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, Farid and doctoral student Eric Kee debut a computational model developed by analyzing 468 sets of original and retouched photographs. From these, Farid and Kee distilled a formal mathematical description of alterations made to models’ shapes and features. Their model then scored each altered photograph on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 signifying heavy retouching.

Startup hopes to hack the immigration system with a floating incubator

Startup hopes to hack the immigration system with a floating incubator

Some of the Silicon Valley’s most important companies, including Intel, Google, and Yahoo, were cofounded by immigrants. Yet America’s creaky immigration system makes it difficult for talented young people born outside of the United States to come to the Bay Area. There have been various proposals to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to come to the United States, but they’ve made no progress in Congress.

So a new company called Blueseed is seeking to bypass the political process and solve the problem directly. Blueseed plans to buy a ship and turn it into a floating incubator anchored in international waters off the coast of California.

Ars talked to Blueseed founder Max Marty. He acknowledged that it would be better for America to reform immigration laws and thereby make his company unnecessary. But in the meantime, Marty and his team are hard at work tackling the practical obstacles to making their vision of a floating, year-round hack-a-thon a reality. Within the next year, they’re hoping to raise a venture capital round large enough to lease or buy a ship with space for around a thousand passengers. If Blueseed’s audacious hack of the immigration system is successful, it will not only open up Silicon Valley to a broader range of entrepreneurs, it will also shine a spotlight on the barriers American law places in the way of immigrants seeking to start businesses in the United States.

Seconds Of Beauty – 1st round compilation on Vimeo

Seth’s Blog: A decision without tradeoffs…

A decision without tradeoffs…

isn’t a decision.

The art of good decision making is looking forward to and celebrating the tradeoffs, not pretending they don’t exist.

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