The RoboTuna’s latest iteration comes by way of MIT, and cloaked in soft teal silicone. The fish, which keeps all of its computation and sensors in its head, contains a carbon dioxide canister that puffs pockets of gas to different parts of the body, making it undulate. It can also do something called a C-turn, an escape mechanism real fish pull off to avoid predators.
“American achievement (in space) has mainly been a response to the Russians saying or doing something. We’ve been more reactive than proactive.”
What if you could see inside someone’s mind? It’s not possible to know exactly what another person is thinking, but neuroscientists from UCSD and UCSF are on their way. They created a “glass brain”: software that shows a person’s brain reacting to stimuli in real time. The implications for virtual reality and digital communication are tremendous, according to Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, who has been collaborating with the neuroscientists.
“We’re trying to identify which critical factors can most help people feel like they’re face to face,” says Rosedale, whose new company, High Fidelity, is currently working on a next generation virtual world.
Andrew Zolli: Why have art in space at all? What does it say about us as a species?
Forest Stearns: Symbolic mark-making has always been an important part of the human experience. From caves to canvases to satellites, we all have an ambition to tell our story. And as we migrate upwards and outwards with space technology, we felt it was important to take this expressive instinct with us.
Neuroscientist Bevil Conway believes scientists can learn a lot from examining the strategies artists use to clarify color. “The best access we have of what color is and what it does to us is by studying the work of people who have studied it obsessively. Matisse is one of those people,” he says. “I think it’s extremely valuable, and there’s been very limited work treating that corpus as the sort of scientific evidence that it will turn out to be.”
“After the TED talk, Hadfield met with press to discuss all things space. And I had to ask: what does Hadfield think about all the private space companies, like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, that are popping up? Can they really democratize spaceflight?
"You could ask the exact same question a century ago about airplanes. We’re at 1912 or maybe 1915 in spaceflight. The shuttle is a ridiculous vehicle, and yet it’s the best in the world.”
“Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today.”
“So even as we kind of hate child prodigies, we remain in awe of their gifts. For a long time, scientists had little insight into the nature of these talents. But over the past several years psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz has assembled what she calls the “largest sample” of prodigies on record—a list more than 30 deep and growing—and what she’s found points to one factor that’s consistently off the charts among prodigies regardless of their area of focus: working memory.
“They all have exceptional memories,” Ruthsatz tells Co.Design. “I think it’s the piece that allows for their abilities.”
Seen from space, cities look incredibly detailed at night, when streetlights and buildings glow brightly enough that it’s possible for astronauts to clearly see individual streets. Photos taken from the International Space Station inspired London-based animator Marc Khachfe to spend hours creating this artwork in homage.
“One of the crimes of sequels is thinking that making it bigger means better. Here, Cosmos is bigger, because we know more about what’s happened in last 14 billion years and here’s a venue in which to place real phenomena. It’s bigger, because the universe is bigger and we can tell that story.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Code.org is putting the incredible popularity of Flappy Bird to good use. It just released a new initiative to help young people (or whoever, really) learn how to code by building their own customized version of the absurdly simple yet highly addicting game.
"Sound is physical in some fundamental way. It’s actually a physical vibration. When I’m talking, my voice is moving through the air and actually touching you in a real way … It just feels good when you hear a noise you like.”
@—wnycradiolab’s Jad Abumrad on storytelling with sound
Pour one out for Facebook, which in a few short years may become a shell of its current, blue-bordered self. According to a new study out of Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Facebook will see a dramatic drop in usage rates before the end of the decade, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.
- "…it snaps a photo of the fridge’s contents whenever you open the door, allowing you to check what food you already have before you stop off at the store on your way home from work.”
- “Your SmartThings hub could detect that you’ve woken up, either through a motion sensor outside your bedroom or a biometric wristband like the Jawbone Up, and turn on the lights in your kitchen and activate the outlet to which your coffee pot is connected, starting the coffee brewing if you had the foresight to put the grinds in the night before. When you enter the kitchen, motion sensors could trigger a Sonos speaker to give you a weather report and play the news. When you leave for work, the home senses that you are gone and shuts everything down.”