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Stephen Akins

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  • "The full-body wetsuit-style garment from Yamamoto Corporation is made from a biorubber material that contains microscopic bubbles which deflect almost 100 percent of beta particles. The swimwear is designed to protect the wearer from complete submersion in radioactive water..."

    I wish I'd thought of this.  There needs to be a version that just covers our "vitals" and they need to hire a fashion designer.  

  • Source:

  • According to this article, In the 2011 general elections, 24.3 percent of the votes cast were done so online.

  • Is the universe natural or do we live in an atypical bubble in a multiverse?

    "What the LHC does or doesn’t discover in its next run is likely to lend support to one of two possibilities: Either we live in an overcomplicated but stand-alone universe, or we inhabit an atypical bubble in a multiverse. “We will be a lot smarter five or 10 years from today because of the LHC,” Seiberg said. “So that’s exciting. This is within reach.”

    "Despite these seemingly successful explanations, many physicists worry that there is little to be gained by adopting the multiverse worldview. Parallel universes cannot be tested for; worse, an unnatural universe resists understanding. “Without naturalness, we will lose the motivation to look for new physics,” said Kfir Blum, a physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study. “We know it’s there, but there is no robust argument for why we should find it.” That sentiment is echoed again and again: “I would prefer the universe to be natural,” Randall said.

  • Great view of Spaceship Two's unique wing "feathering" technique.

  • Chilling, sickening... and oddly beautiful.  This video will rob you of your dignity.

    ... maybe you shouldn't watch this one.

  • Here's some of my favourite speculative pics of my favourite type of space settlement.  It's called an O'Neill Cylinder (designed by Gerard K. O'Neill)

    Each O'Neill Cylinder is a complete ecosystem; usually the design has three lengthwise strips of land and window.  The cylinder rotates to provide the equivalent of gravity (using centrifugal force).  O'Neill's original design was to be five miles (8 km) in diameter, and capable of scaling up to twenty miles (32 km) long.  

    One of the things I really like about this design is the mirror system.  The cylinder faces the sun "nose first"; and each mirror, positioned outside the windows, reflects the sunlight into the cylinder.  This allows each window to have a fixed sun (rather than if you had no mirrors and just faced the windows towards the sun, which would make the sun streak across the "sky").  "Night" is created by opening up the mirrors so they don't point into the cylinder.  During the day, the reflected Sun appears to move as the mirrors move, creating a natural progression of Sun angles.

  • Feeding the fallen apples to the monster steers.

  • Sorvagsvatn lake, Faroe Islands

  • A new use for your printer: Instant Inkjet Circuits at home

    Recently, during the Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) conference in Zürich, University of Tokyo Associate Professor +Yoshihiro Kawahara  ( presented a low cost, fast, and accessible technology to support the rapid prototyping of a variety of functional electronic devices that works with common household inkjet printers, providing an economical alternative to current methods of conductive pattern fabrication.

    In the paper Instant Inkjet Circuits: Lab-based Inkjet Printing to Support Rapid Prototyping of UbiComp Devices, recipient of a UbiComp Best Paper award, Kawahara along with co-authors Steve Hodges of Microsoft Research and Benjamin Cook, +cheng zhang, and +Gregory Abowd of the Georgia Institute of Technology, characterize a new sintering-free ( silver nanoparticle ink that can be printed onto flexible media, readily supporting designs requiring large area sensors and high frequency applications.

    In doing so, the authors provide a widely accessible alternative to current fabrication of conductive patterns, allowing anyone to quickly print designs made with commonly available software. As current methods are expensive, require specialized equipment, and/or are time intensive, the authors hope that this technology will not only appeal to researchers in the UbiComp community, but also provide an economically viable introduction of basic electronic principles to the general academic community.

    Future work will investigate the ability to print multiple layers of circuits on a single sheet, printing on cloth, as well as combining inkjet printing with laser cutting to allow the creation of 3D prototypes. The authors hope the approach of Instant Inkjet Circuits will facilitate the design and prototyping of a wide range of sensing devices and touch enabled devices, cheaply and quickly, by the scientific community.

    To read the full paper, visit