Thursday, August 11, 2016

Friday Thinking 12 Aug 2016

Hello all – Friday Thinking is a humble curation of my foraging in the digital environment. My purpose is to pick interesting pieces, based on my own curiosity (and the curiosity of the many interesting people I follow), about developments in some key domains (work, organization, social-economy, intelligence, domestication of DNA, energy, etc.)  that suggest we are in the midst of a change in the conditions of change - a phase-transition. That tomorrow will be radically unlike yesterday.

Many thanks to those who enjoy this.
In the 21st Century curiosity will SKILL the cat.
Jobs are dying - but work is just beginning.

“Be careful what you ‘insta-google-tweet-face’”
Woody Harrelson - Triple 9


Cycle: A Trippy Experimental Animation About the Human Form by Kouhei Nakama

... I am just as hard core about net neutrality as anyone. I celebrate that the long battle to make the principle into law seems finally over, in both the US and Europe. But it’s only a beginning, and stopping here would be a mistake. It’s a temporizing approach to a deeper, structural dilemma: how much power to give the private providers of what should be a utility service. Where those providers effectively have monopoly control they have a thousand ways to avoid these rules.

Now that the courts have given the FCC authority to regulate internet access, it’s time to exercise that authority. The optimal U.S. approach: put in place city-owned (and, ultimately, federally-regulated) conduits that reach all houses and businesses, or at least get very close to them, and fill them with city-owned dark fiber. (Even insisting on “dark air,” or conduits with lots of space running everywhere, will help a lot.) Require dark fiber assets to be shared with competitors at reasonable prices. Require new construction, apartment buildings, and business buildings to have neutral points in their basements where any network operator can connect to this dark fiber. Then we’ll see competition and unlimited choice.

Europe should adopt a similar stance, ensuring that no home or business is stuck with a single provider of wired (and, eventually, wireless) services.

Both the FCC and the European Parliament have the power to go beyond Net Neutrality and serve the public in a wider sense. It would mean going beyond tinkering with rules and getting to the real problem — limited choices that mean no real competition. I’m rooting for them to do it.

Susan Crawford - The Limits of Net Neutrality

As it happens, this month (August 2016) is the 25th anniversary of Linus' Usenet post announcing the birth of Linux, which at the time had no name and Linus called "just a hobby". He closed that post saying his new OS "probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-("

Now all ten hosts on Netcraft's list of the world's Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites run on Linux :-) is hosted on Linux. According to Netcraft, so are dozens of other Microsoft sites and services

A New Project for Linux at 25

In March 1989, CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal to develop a distributed information system for the laboratory. “Vague, but exciting” was the comment that his supervisor, Mike Sendall, wrote on the cover, and with those words, gave the green light to an information revolution.

The birth of the World Wide Web

“The precise features of distributed ledgers vary depending on the situation,” the authors state. “Some systems, such as Bitcoin, allow any participant to validate transactions, while others, such as Ripple, restrict permissions to a small group of trusted parties.”

…. banks are well positioned to confront the changes triggered by the rise of these disruptive technologies, in theory, while the situation is more complicated in practice.

“More than $150 billion in revenue at risk for banks that cannot overcome technical, adoption hurdles of digital currency,” Bain & Company state in the papers announcement. “Regulatory and other hurdles may have forced most start-ups to partner with, rather than compete against, incumbent banks, but distributed ledgers will create winners and losers within the banking industry.”
“Ultimately, the credit card and automated clearing house industries risk annihilation.”

Bain & Company urges banks to take action on distributed ledgers

a (very) simplified analogy is often used to at least give a slight idea of the magnitude of the technology. In the analogy, today’s conventional computing technology is compared to reading every book in a library, one by one. Quantum computing technology is compared to reading every book in a library, all at once.

Record for Logic Gate Precision Broken: Quantum Computing Milestone!

This is a great 1.25 hr video interview with Kevin Kelly talking about his new book ‘The Inevitable’ (a must read for anyone interested in the future and the trajectories of technology) and his last book “What Technology Wants’. The interviewer is smart and skeptical - which provides a nice testing of Kelly’s reasoning.

“Riding the Edge” Of Technological Change: Cenk Uygur Interview w/ Wired Founder Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor and current “Senior Maverick” of Wired Magazine, and the author of a number of popular books, including his latest, “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.”

In this fascinating, wide-ranging interview from the 2016 South by Southwest conference, Kelly and The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur discuss how technological change mirrors biological evolution, why in 100 years we will be ashamed we ever let people drive trucks, how the solution to the loss of privacy means having even less privacy, just how long it will take before Cenk can have virtual sex with Dianna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation and much more.

Everyone should have experienced at least one moment of using Google Maps and its street view. Here’s something coming soon that will bring this perspective to an ever increasing part of the globe.
“We can fly a drone along at 30 knots and create a map as we go,” says John Molberg at Lockheed Martin.
At that speed, Hydra Fusion creates maps at a resolution of 30 centimetres per pixel, clearly showing trees and buildings. Higher resolutions – up to 2.5 cm per pixel – can be generated at slower speeds and low altitudes.
Lockheed Martin is looking into mapping changes as small as 6 millimetres in the position of railway tracks

Stitching a drone’s view of the world into 3D maps as it flies drones can create highly detailed 3D maps as they fly, using just an ordinary video camera.

The system, called Hydra Fusion and developed by researchers at Lockheed Martin in Canada, will make drones better at aerial surveillance.

Hydra Fusion is based on a form of image-based mapping,  or photogrammetry, known as “structure from motion”. The procedure involves stitching together multiple images – in this case, consecutive frames of video footage – to form a detailed 3D map. It previously took hours of postflight processing to do this with footage from a drone.

The bottleneck was processing power, says Germ├ín Arroyo at the University of Granada in Spain, who works on 3D modelling from photographs. This challenge has been met by harnessing the power of GPUs – fast image-processing chips originally developed for games. With these, the Lockheed Martin team can make maps from a drone’s video feed while it is still in the air.

The self-driving car still seems like a lot of hyperbole - but here’s something that is promised to hit the streets next year. A lot of attention will be on this.

Delphi, Singapore launch test of self-driving taxis

Delphi Automotive Plc will launch a small test fleet of automated taxis in Singapore next year, aiming to ferry passengers around a city district in one of the first real-world tests of automated rides on demand, the company said on Monday.

The project, run in partnership with the Singapore Land Transport Authority, will road test a concept that many companies investing in automated driving believe offers the fastest path to making such technology commercially viable.

A cab ride in a dense urban area can cost $3 to 4 a mile, Delphi vice president of engineering Glen DeVos said in an interview. “We think we can get to 90 cents a mile” with an automated vehicle.

That drops the price of transporting goods and people, and allows for the costs of automated driving systems to be spread over hours of operation and multiple users.

New computing paradigms and approaches continue to advance - here’s a recent breakthrough by IBM.

IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons

They behave like biological neurons, including low power usage and dense scaling
IBM Research in Zurich has created the world's first artificial nanoscale stochastic phase-change neurons. IBM has already created a population of 500 of these artificial neurons and used them to process a signal in a brain-like (neuromorphic) way.

This breakthrough is particularly notable because the phase-change neurons are fashioned out of well-understood materials that can scale down to a few nanometres, and because they are capable of firing at high speed but with low energy requirements. Also important is the neurons' stochasticity—that is, their ability to always produce slightly different, random results, like biological neurons.

...these phase-change neurons are the closest we've come to creating artificial devices that behave like biological neurons, perhaps leading us towards efficient, massively parallel computer designs that apply neuromorphic approaches to decision-making and processing sensory information. IBM says that their new work is complementary to research being carried out into memristor-based synapses, too.

There is an increasing number of ways to begin mapping the world, especially based on the massive growth of complex data-information - here’s an very interesting one - that could be used to compare many other dimensions and concern. The Maps are well worth the view.
Life in North America appears relatively boring. So boring that Canadians are chiefly interested in the cost of a passport for leaving the country. Better to go to Mexico where everyone has great abs.

Cost Obsessions Around the World

Google’s autocomplete function provides suggestions derived from common Google searches by other users. Comparing autocomplete results for searches on different countries reveals how certain places are perceived by people around the World.

It turns out that Google searches for the cost of something vary widely depending on the country of interest. For example, people are most interested in the cost of a passport or a patent in North America. As for Europe, many are concerned about practical things like the cost of living, studying, or buying a beer. Google users are interested in basic necessities such as food, livestock, and fuel in Africa. But if you look closely, you will find some more controversial search results, such as prostitution in Brazil, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Latvia; slaves in Mauritania; a kidney in Iran; in vitro fertilization in Australia; and rhinoplasty in Korea.

Intrigued by the results of our U.S. state-by-state analysis of Google autocomplete results, we decided to see what the worldwide results look like. We began by googling a simple question for each country:

The concepts of cost versus investment or cost vs expenditure (we always know what we’ve spent - but if we don’t know what the benefits are we can’t know how much they’ve cost) efficiency vs debt and some many other opposites are tensions we have to live with. Here’s a useful discussion about a perspective on ‘cost saving’ and a demonstration of the power of metaphor.
Because of the metaphor’s power and subsequent effectiveness for business concerns, it is often used to describe the health of projects, particularly vis a vis deadlines and milestones.  The developers may communicate that an aggressive deadline will result in technical debt, making features in the future take longer to ship.  Analysts and project managers might account for technical debt when discussing slipped deadlines.  IT upper management might ask for an assessment of the amount of technical in an application when making a strategic, replace/retire/rewrite decision.

The Human Cost of Tech Debt

If you’re not already familiar with the concept of technical debt, it’s worth becoming familiar with it.  I say this not only because it is a common industry term, but because it is an important concept.

Coined by Ward Cunningham [developer of the ‘Wiki’], the term introduces the idea that taking shortcuts in your software today not only means paying the price eventually — it means paying that price with interest.  In other words, introducing that global variable today and saving half a day’s work ahead of shipping means that you’re going to pay for it with more than half a day’s labor down the line.
I’ve spent significant time doing IT management consulting in recent years, after spending years and years writing code.  And I can tell you that this metaphor for shortcuts in the codebase is a powerful one when it comes to communication between the business and the software development group.  When you explain software decisions to managers and MBAs using the language of economics, they get it.

There are many critics of blockchain or distributed ledger technology in terms of a particular visioned potential implementation - the ‘Smart Contract’.
Fans of smart contracts should curb their enthusiasm. Rather than creating “a new breed of human organisation”, as the now dissolved DAO promised, the best uses of the technology are for now more mundane: escrow, automatic transfer of funds and the like. Sophisticated smart contracts will emerge within old-style organisations long before they replace them—on private blockchains maintained by groups of companies, such as banks. The furthest along in using smart contracts, Symbiont, a startup, for instance, has built a trading platform for “smart securities” such as syndicated loans and catastrophe-insurance swaps.

Not-so-clever contracts

For the time being at least, human judgment is still a better bet than cold-hearted code
BUSINESS could be such a breeze—if it weren’t for those pesky humans. Imagine contracts that enforce themselves and are not subject to interpretation by, for instance, rent-seeking lawyers. Or envisage autonomous corporations, made up of bundles of automatic agreements, which could send their investors dividends whenever profits reach a certain, specified level and not just when the board of directors has had a good lunch.

Such “smart contracts” are all the rage among futurist backers of the blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin, a digital currency. In simple terms, these are pieces of software that represent a business arrangement and execute themselves automatically under pre-determined circumstances. As well as making businesses more efficient, some see them as a way to bypass human decision-making altogether. Faster than you can say “techno-Utopia”, however, the idea has collided with reality.

Automating contractual relationships is an old dream. The term “smart contracts” was coined in 1994 by Nick Szabo, an American computer scientist and legal scholar. But the concept remained obscure for lack of the right technology. Then, in 2008, along came bitcoin and the blockchain, a special kind of peer-to-peer database that provides a secure, public and trusted record of transactions. It enables new data to be added and prevents historical data from being tampered with. But the potential of the blockchain goes much further than ensuring the same bitcoin are never spent twice. It also allows users to “bake in” information, including the precise instructions needed for smart contracts.

While the hype around smart contracts and Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) may have been inflated and far too premature for the current state of the software - the blockchain-distributed-ledger technology still have very serious possibilities.
“We are looking forward to working with UK public sector organisations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their services for UK taxpayers,” adopting distributed ledgers, government departments could see a reduction in illegal activities, such as benefit fraud, and the ability to securely register documents such as pensions, healthcare data, intellectual property or wills.

Government awards blockchain G-cloud contract to startup Credits

The UK government has awarded a contract for the supply of blockchain platform as a service (PaaS) to startup company Credits.

The contract for the supply distributed ledger technology for use in the UK public sector was awarded through the G-Cloud 8 framework.

Credits was given the contract by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) due to its successful application of its blockchain platform for the Isle of Man Government and its recent partnership with UKCloud, which provides the cloud infrastructure Credits’ distributed ledger sits on.

This is a significant event - one that presages huge advances in our knowledge - when Big Data meets the gene pool.
“The big story is that 23andMe got us over the inflection point for depression,” says Douglas Levinson, a psychiatrist and gene researcher at Stanford University involved with the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, another gene-hunting group. “That is exciting. It makes us optimistic that we are finally there.”

23andMe Pulls Off Massive Crowdsourced Depression Study

Trove of consumer gene data yields breakthrough in search for depression genes.
A scientific expedition into the DNA of more than 450,000 customers of gene-testing company 23andMe has uncovered the first major trove of genetic clues to the cause of depression.

The study, the largest of its kind, detected 15 regions of human genome linked to a higher risk of struggling with serious depression. The study was carried out by drug giant Pfizer as part of an alliance with 23andMe, the California company whose gene reports have been purchased by more than 1.2 million people.

So far the vast majority of efforts to locate genetic risks for depression have failed, probably because the efforts have been too small to find anything.

The results emerged from what is termed a “genome-wide association study.” In this approach, the DNA of many people with a disease is compared to that of healthy controls, using a computerized search. Any genetic differences appearing more often in sick people can hint at what genes are involved.

Here’s a weak signal for a potentially new way to develop treatments for a range of diseases - perhaps chronic ones as well.
"It isn't just a one-trick-pony, it is something that if we get it right could have a new class of therapies on our hands," Mr Famm said.
But he said the field was only "scratching the surface" when it came to understanding which nerve signals have what effect in the body.

'Hacking nerves can control disease'

Controlling human nerve cells with electricity could treat a range of diseases including arthritis, asthma and diabetes, a new company says.
Galvani Bioelectronics hopes to bring a new treatment based on the technique before regulators within seven years.

GlaxoSmithKline and Verily, formerly Google, Life Sciences, are behind it.
Animal experiments have attached tiny silicone cuffs, containing electrodes, around a nerve and then used a power supply to control the nerve's messages.
One set of tests suggested the approach could help treat type-2 diabetes, in which the body ignores the hormone insulin.

They focused on a cluster of chemical sensors near the main artery in the neck that check levels of sugar and the hormone insulin.
The sensors send their findings back to the brain, via a nerve, so the organ can coordinate the body's response to sugar in the bloodstream.

GSK vice-president of bioelectronics Kris Famm told the BBC News website: "The neural signatures in the nerve increase in type 2-diabetes.
"By blocking those neural signals in diabetic rats, you see the sensitivity of the body to insulin is restored."
And early work suggested it could work in other diseases too.

This is an very interesting advance in the domain of domesticating DNA and bio-computing.
“Imagine you were on Mars or in a remote desert, without access to a full formulary, you could program the yeast to produce drugs on demand locally,”

Portable device produces biopharmaceuticals on demand

System would use microbes for manufacturing small amounts of vaccines and other therapies.
For medics on the battlefield and doctors in remote or developing parts of the world, getting rapid access to the drugs needed to treat patients can be challenging.

Biopharmaceutical drugs, which are used in a wide range of therapies including vaccines and treatments for diabetes and cancer, are typically produced in large, centralized fermentation plants. This means they must be transported to the treatment site, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and challenging to execute in areas with poor supply chains.

Now a portable production system, designed to manufacture a range of biopharmaceuticals on demand, has been developed by researchers at MIT, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
In a paper published today in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers demonstrate that the system can be used to produce a single dose of treatment from a compact device containing a small droplet of cells in a liquid.

In this way, the system could ultimately be carried onto the battlefield and used to produce treatments at the point of care. It could also be used to manufacture a vaccine to prevent a disease outbreak in a remote village, according to senior author Tim Lu, an associate professor of biological engineering and electrical engineering and computer science, and head of the Synthetic Biology Group at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics.

Here is something to watch - a move to change mosquitos to prevent the spread of disease.
Xi and his colleagues have released mosquitoes infected with wolbachia bacteria, which make the males sterile and limit the insects’ ability to carry dengue.
Global warming and globalisation are also a factor. Mosquitoes flourish in warmer temperatures and lay eggs in water. Though they fly a few hundred metres at most, their dried eggs can travel across the ocean in cargo and rehydrate months later; and as people travel, they take the illness to new locations, where local mosquitoes can transmit the virus to others.

Sterile mosquitoes released in China to fight dengue fever

Scientists carry out trial in southern province of Guangdong aimed at reducing population of insects that carry the disease
This spring, a team of scientists has been driving around a small island in Guangzhou, southern China, releasing more than half a million mosquitoes from plastic pots on board trucks.

Rather than chasing the researchers away, families have welcomed their incursion: “Some residents have even asked to get mosquitoes from us to release in their own home,” said Xi Zhiyong of Michigan State University, who heads the project.

The sight of the insects might set the skin crawling, but people know the alternative could be worse: this is one of several innovative attempts to tackle dengue fever by diluting the mosquito population with insects that don’t carry the disease.

The mosquito-borne sickness causes pain so agonising it is also known as “breakbone disease” and last year saw China’s worst outbreak in two decades, with more than 47,000 cases, almost all in Guangdong province.

Catch one strain and you will be immune to the virus in future – but if bitten by a mosquito carrying another of the strains, you are more likely to develop severe dengue, also known as dengue haemorrhagic fever. No vaccine or treatment is available and recently it has caused about 22,000 deaths a year worldwide, mostly among children.

Before 1970, only nine countries had severe dengue epidemics; now it is endemic in more than 100 countries. Two-fifths of the global population – across Africa, Asia and Latin America – could be at risk. In the past few years, dengue has reached the United States and Europe.

And China isn’t the only one preparing for GM mosquito disease control.

FDA-Approved Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Will Combat Zika Virus

A biotech company called Oxitec proposed a method that uses genetically modified mosquitoes to eradicate ones that carry the Zika virus. The FDA approved field testing, but the firm has yet to get approval from other local, state, and federal agencies to start the trial.

Here’s something that definitely has a high ‘yuck’ factor when thinking about bio-computing and domesticated DNA - but it could change our view of cockroaches.

Scientists think cockroach milk could be the superfood of the future

An international team of scientists has just sequenced a protein crystal located in the midgut of cockroaches. The reason?

It’s more than four times as nutritious as cow’s milk and, the researchers think it could be the key to feeding our growing population in the future.

Although most cockroaches don’t actually produce milk, Diploptera punctate, which is the only known cockroach to give birth to live young, has been shown to pump out a type of ‘milk’ containing protein crystals to feed its babies.

The fact that an insect produces milk is pretty fascinating – but w
hat fascinated researchers is the fact that a single one of these protein crystals contains more than three times the amount of energy found in an equivalent amount of buffalo milk (which is also higher in calories then dairy milk).

This is fascinating - socio-economic inequality in microbial diversity - what can we do about it?

Richer Homes Are Also Richer in Biodiversity

Scientists find that wealthier neighborhoods sport a greater diversity of bugs
You might think that homes in wealthier neighborhoods—with newer and better-maintained houses—would be better at keeping out bugs and pests. But scientists are finding that affluent areas actually sport a larger diversity of critters, including spiders, ants, beetles, flies and other creepy crawlies.

"There's this mindset in America that only poor folk have pest problems—they’ve got all the bad guy bugs," says Vernard Lewis, an entomologist at the University of California at Berkeley. “The creatures are just out there. And depending on where you're at, what's going on outside is going to influence the inside."

A new paper published in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters illustrates how interconnected humans are with their environment, regardless of fences and walls. The research expands on a previous census of arthropods found in 50 homes around Raleigh, North Carolina. That study, published in January, revealed an astounding array of indoor critters—most of which are hidden and harmless.

The most significant factor was the size of the house, a statistical analysis revealed. As you might expect, the bigger the house, the more corners, crevices, and habitats there are. But size wasn’t the only thing that mattered. Their analysis found that mean income was also a key factor.

As if we need science to tell us that truth is stranger than fiction - this is so interesting - however far away it is from primetime optic computers.
Dr Giannini said: “The results of this research will have a huge impact on the way we conceive light. Topological insulators were only discovered in the last decade, but are already providing us with new phenomena to study and new ways to explore important concepts in physics.”

Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form

New research suggests that it is possible to create a new form of light by binding light to a single electron, combining the properties of both.
According to the scientists behind the study, from Imperial College London, the coupled light and electron would have properties that could lead to circuits that work with packages of light – photons – instead of electrons.

It would also allow researchers to study quantum physical phenomena, which govern particles smaller than atoms, on a visible scale.
In normal materials, light interacts with a whole host of electrons present on the surface and within the material. But by using theoretical physics to model the behaviour of light and a recently-discovered class of materials known as topological insulators, Imperial researchers have found that it could interact with just one electron on the surface.

This would create a coupling that merges some of the properties of the light and the electron. Normally, light travels in a straight line, but when bound to the electron it would instead follow its path, tracing the surface of the material.

Currently, quantum phenomena can only be seen when looking at very small objects or objects that have been super-cooled, but this could allow scientists to study these kinds of behaviour at room temperature.

Equally fascinating - information squared - note just code is important - but the ‘dance’ as well.

Second layer of information in DNA confirmed

Leiden theoretical physicists have proven that DNA mechanics, in addition to genetic information in DNA, determines who we are. Helmut Schiessel and his group simulated many DNA sequences and found a correlation between mechanical cues and the way DNA is folded. They have published their results in PLoS One.

The sequence of the letters G, A, T and C in the famous double helix determines what proteins are made in your cells. If you have brown eyes, for example, this is because a series of letters in your DNA encodes for proteins that build brown eyes. Each cell contains the exact same letter sequence, and yet every organ behaves differently. How is this possible?

Since the mid 1980s, it has been hypothesized that there is a second layer of information on top of the genetic code consisting of DNA mechanical properties. Each of our cells contains two meters of DNA molecules, and these molecules need to be wrapped up tightly to fit inside a single cell. The way in which DNA is folded determines how the letters are read out, and therefore which proteins are actually made. In each organ, only relevant parts of the genetic information are read. The theory suggests that mechanical cues within the DNA structures determine how preferentially DNA folds.

For the first time, Leiden physicist Helmut Schiessel and his research group provide strong evidence that this second layer of information indeed exists.

This is a key milestone - for Japan and a significant signal for what’s coming.

In Japan, electric car charging sites surpass gas stations

A survey by the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan revealed that there are more than 40,000 recharging points for electric cars across Japan, surpassing the 34,000 petrol stations scattered around the world’s third largest economy.

The figure includes private Japanese homes with charging points as well as the publicly available rapid charge stations that are now numbering 3,000.

To encourage the establishment of more public and private charging points, the government has been offering subsidies for those who buy electric, hybrid and other low-emission vehicles.

However, a gas station has numerous pumps and can serve more cars in a day than an electric vehicle charging site, a thing that Nissan failed to consider in its survey.

For Fun
Anyone who knows me well - has seen me do this either in the office or on the street or mall - fewer have seen me do this while walking a dog through the woods, stepping over roots, rocks and other potential hazards.
I have a couple of disagreement with the article - I do walk with ‘two-handed’ books and use a pencils for commenting or marking key passages (I do have to stop walking to do this) and I love using my Kindle at night provides very easy reading (adjusted font and light).
This is easier than one would think and I highly recommend it - a nice way to get your body into gentle exercise and your mind wandering other worlds more productively.

How To Read A Book And Walk At The Same Time

It can’t be too heavy, and you shouldn’t use an e-reader.
When I had a real job a few years ago, my friend and coworker the food writer Peggy Grodinsky convinced me that it’s possible to read and walk at the same time. She was routinely reading and walking to and from work and exhibited no rips in her hemlines from having listed into a bush, no bruises from having confronted a lamppost. I had to try it.

This is a fascinating - sometime creepy 2.5min video - well worth the view just to glimpse the emerging frontiers of art and science.

Cycle: A Trippy Experimental Animation About the Human Form by Kouhei Nakama

Cycle is a new animation from art director Kouhei Nakama that uses a wide range of physics-based particle animations to explore the human form. We’ve seen a number of similar short films in recent weeks including the AICP award video and Asphyxia, both of which also used motion capture techniques. If you liked this, see Nakama’s prequel of sorts titled Diffusion. Music by Kai Engel.

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