Apr 15, 2014

Five Thirty Eight breaks down the statistics of Bob Ross paintings

posted by Larra Morris

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Statistical analysis site Five Thirty Eight has analyzed the artwork of Joy of Painting host Bob Ross, discovering that 91-percent of the works he created on the show featured at least one of the “happy trees” for which he is remembered. Author Walt Hickey further breaks down the 381 episodes on which Ross painted by conditional probability — i.e., what is the likelihood that he painted another object after he painted a first.

There’s a 93-percent chance that Ross paints a second tree given that he has painted a first […] Ross was also amenable to painting friends for mountains. Sixty-percent of paintings with one mountain in them have at least two mountains.
via Laughing Squid

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Image: Five Thirty Eight 

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Apr 15, 2014

MIT whizzes invent magical furniture that changes shape on demand

posted by Larra Morris

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Just imagine if your sofa could sense how you’re feeling when you get home from work. To stave off marathon TV sessions, it could transform from a cushioned pile of pillows to a rigid lounge as encouragement to go outside and move around. This exact shape-shifting scenario is an unlikely reality, but a new project from MIT’s Tangible Media Group envisions more realistically what might happen when our furniture is finally able to respond to us.

Called Transform, this table-like structure metamorphoses based on the motions and emotions of the humans around it. Developed by Sean Follmer, Daniel Leithinger and Hiroshi Ishii, the magical device was on show at the Lexus Design Amazing display during Milan Design Week.
via Wired

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Image: MIT

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Apr 15, 2014

Was this the world's first emoticon?

posted by Larra Morris

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The emoticon might be older than we thought. This passage of text, which includes a cheeky smiley, is taken from Robert Herrick's 1648 poem To Fortune—and it might be the first ever use of an emoticon.

Literary critic Levi Stahl thought the punctuation might be a typo in his copy of of Hesperides, but he checked out the authoritative two-volume edition of Herrick's work published last year by the Oxford University Press and found the exact same thing. Stahl has since claimed that that it could well be an intentional invention of the smiley, as the poet's work is generally cleverly written with smart, underlying humor.
via Gizmodo

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Apr 15, 2014

Paper airplane folding & launching machine

posted by Laura Domela

via Geekologie

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Apr 14, 2014

Disney & Relativity Media are now in a bidding war over Maker Studios

posted by Laura Domela

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Looks like YouTube network Maker Studios is even hotter than we previously thought — entertainment company Relativity Media just started a bidding war to purchase it.

Although Disney made its own bid a few weeks ago and the Maker board is slated to vote on it this week, Relativity Media has just made an offer for $500 million in stock, plus $400 million in stock if Maker meets certain financial targets, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Relativity has also reportedly offered an additional $100 million “bonus pool” to “key talent and executives” at the network.
via Venture Beat

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Image Credit: Photo via NoBizPlan

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Apr 14, 2014

New Banksy art explores the role of technology in our lives

posted by Laura Domela

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One new confirmed piece by graffiti artist Banksy, as well as one new suspected piece, in the United Kingdom has been revealed. The confirmed piece — currently featured on Banksy’s website — is a stencil of two lovers embracing with mobile phones behind each other’s backs. The specific location of this piece is currently unknown.
via Laughing Squid

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Apr 14, 2014

Dutch test glow-in-the-dark road of the future

posted by Laura Domela

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There's a half-kilometer stretch of road in the Netherlands that looks a bit like something out of the movie Tron, thanks to new luminescent markings that glow green in the dark.

The photoluminescent paint, a sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches, charges up during daylight hours and then turns emits the green hue at night along the short test patch of N329 highway in Oss, according to Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, a road construction firm.

"It's almost radioactive," says artist Daan Roosegaarde, who envisioned the project as being a sort of "Route 66 of the future," according to Wired, which says part of the ultimate vision is for "weather markings — snowdrops, for instance, [to] appear when the temperature [reaches] a certain level."
via NPR

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Apr 14, 2014

This tiny generator can power wearable devices using your body heat

posted by Larra Morris

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Many wearables have decent enough battery life, but you know what'll make them even better? If we never have to recharge them at all. That's why researchers have been developing small power sources that can generate electricity using body heat, including a team from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. This particular group has designed a new light and flexible generator made out of thermoelectric (TE) substances printed on glass fabric. It's far from being the first TE generator out there, but it's a huge departure from the usual bulky and rigid ones.
via Engadget

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Image: KAIST

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Apr 14, 2014

Lab-grown cartilage used to perform nose reconstruction surgery

posted by Larra Morris

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Researchers from Switzerland's University of Basel have performed the first successful nose reconstruction surgery using engineered cartilage grown in the laboratory. The cartilage was spawned form the patient's own cells in an approach that could circumvent the need for more invasive surgeries.
via Gizmag

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Image: University of Basel

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Apr 14, 2014

Anybody with a printer can make these origami-inspired robots

posted by Larra Morris

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Robots are really expensive and hard to build. Two MIT scientists want to change all that with inkjet printers and techniques borrowed from origami.

MIT robotics experts Ankur Mehta and Daniela Rus recently published a paper that describes a system for designing and building print-and-fold robots. That's 2D printing, too, not 3D printing. Their process "uses cheap and easily available software and hardware tools and raw materials, making [building robots] accessible to a casual hobbyist."
via Gizmodo

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