Archive for November, 2011


Behold the breathtaking sculptural work of Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre who deftly extracts the most delicate anatomical forms of humans and animals from common objects.

Incredible Anatomical Sculptures by Maskull Lasserre wood sculpture art anatomy

Incredible Anatomical Sculptures by Maskull Lasserre wood sculpture art anatomy

Incredible Anatomical Sculptures by Maskull Lasserre wood sculpture art anatomy

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In seeking to protect copyright holders from online piracy, especially from sites overseas, bills in both the House and Senate go to risky extremes.

To avoid the reach of U.S. copyright laws, numerous online pirates have set up shop in countries less willing or able to enforce intellectual property rights. Policymakers agree that these “rogue” sites pose a real problem for U.S. artists and rights holders who aren’t getting paid for the rampant distribution of their music, movies and other creative works. The question is how to help them. Lawmakers keep offering proposals, but they don’t seem to be getting any closer to the right answer.

The latest, HR 3261, comes from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and a dozen co-sponsors. Dubbed the Stop Online Piracy Act, it’s designed to isolate foreign websites that commit or “facilitate” willful copyright infringements by cutting off their funding and shrinking their U.S. audience. In that sense, it’s similar to its counterpart in the Senate, S 968, the PROTECT IP Act, which the Judiciary Committee has approved.

Both bills go to risky extremes, however, in their efforts to stop these sites from attracting an audience. Of the two, the House bill goes further down the wrong path, weakening protections for companies — including those based in the United States — that enable users to store, publish or sell goods online. The change could force such companies to monitor everything their users do, turning them into a private security force for copyright and trademark owners.

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Scientist Mohamed Babu from Mysore, India captured beautiful photos of these translucent ants eating a specially colored liquid sugar. Some of the ants would even move between the food resulting in new color combinations in their stomachs.

Translucent Ants Photographed Eating Colored Liquids photography insects

Translucent Ants Photographed Eating Colored Liquids photography insects

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Worms have survived their first space mission in liquid form.

The result, published in a Royal Society journal, means worm colonies can be established on space stations without the need for researchers to tend to them.

The animals are helping scientists understand the effects of weightlessness and high radiation levels experienced in space.

Lessons learned could one day assist humans to explore the Solar System.

In 2001, Stephen Hawking is reported to have said: “I don’t think the human race will survive the next 1,000 years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”

But space is no easy amble. Humans must first learn to cheaply and safely propel themselves into space regularly, and then, once there, must adapt to high levels of radiation and to weightlessness.

In preparation for longer spaceflight, scientists have designed shields to deflect harmful energetic particles, and continue to study the ill-effect of weightlessness on astronauts.

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Stellar by Ignacio Torres photography gifs

Animations by Texas photographer Ignacio Torres.

As protests against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue <i>(Image: </i>PLoS One<i>)</i>

The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue

The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.

The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere. But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).

“Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.”

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Artist Cassanda C. Jones has just completed a new series where she meticulously arranges long-exposure photographs of stormy skies, using small fragments of lightning strikes to form line drawings of electrified rabbits and circles.

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones photography lightning collage art

Laffoley’s Odyssey is a short five minute film that documents Paul Laffoley. He’s a 64 year old man who works in a small windowless room where he creates intensely detailed paintings of futuristic engineering projects, diagrams of time machines and portals to other dimensions.

Astronomers have used radio interferometry to obtain a radio astronomical photograph of a cosmic explosion, the youngest supernova SN2011dh, just 14 days after a star exploded in the Galàxia del Remolí (M51) galaxy last June. The international astronomer team coordinated telescopes around Europe to achieve this feat.

The Galaxy and the supernova SN2001dh through a telescope. In the extension, image of SN2001dh captured by a European network of radio telescopes on 14 June, two weeks after its explosion.

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Russian digital artist Ruslan Khasanov, uses his liquid type experiments by producing this wicked series of animated gifs called Liquid Type in Motion, showing what happens when he produces these beautifully organic letterforms. Almost looks like something that belongs in the opening credits forSe7ven.

Yes/No by Markus Raetz typography sculpture

Incredible Spiral Illustrations by Chan Hwee Chong for Faber Castell drawing art advertising

Incredible Spiral Illustrations by Chan Hwee Chong for Faber Castell drawing art advertising

Incredible Spiral Illustrations by Chan Hwee Chong for Faber Castell drawing art advertising

Sculptures Built from Repurposed Objects and Hammer Formed Steel by Greg Brotherton sculpture

Sculptures Built from Repurposed Objects and Hammer Formed Steel by Greg Brotherton sculpture

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Call it a two-for-one special in renewable energy. A new concept for marine solar cells could harness energy from both the sun and the waves at the same time.

“They work on many different levels. They can be scaled up to as big a project as you want it to be,” said British designer, Phil Pauley.

The idea came to him during a brief brainstorming session, he said. Usually his eponymous firm, located near London, develops interactive 3D models and visualizations for clients that include Deutsche Bank, Hamptons International, and Eurostar.

floating solar cellssolarcells

His design calls for floating dome-shaped solar cells to be linked together in web-like patterns. Wave energy will be captured as the buoyant floats bob up and down in the water, Pauley said. Waves will also act like mirrors to bounce sunlight back on the floating cells and increase solar capture by 20 percent, he estimated. The type of photovoltaics that would cover the domes hasn’t been specified yet.

“The wave force will be moving the domes up and down, which in turn will be moving the bars that connect the cell, which will be creating energy 24-7,” Pauley said. The plan is for that energy to then go into storage units until it’s needed.

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Japanese performance artist Kenichi Kanazawa taps a rubber mallet on a steel table to make sound vibrations that create beautiful transforming sand patterns. Using a scientific sound-visualizing process called Cymatics, he is able to manipulate the complex sand shapes by making frequencies visible through these vibrations: the higher the frequency, the more complex the design.

A chemical variation of a “fuel-gauge” enzyme that senses energy in yeast acts like a life span clock: It is present in young organisms and progressively diminished as yeast cells age.

In the case of yeast, the discovery reveals molecular components of an aging pathway that appears related to one that regulates longevity and lifespan in humans, according to Jef Boeke, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology, genetics and oncology, and director of the HiT Center and Technology Center for Networks and Pathways, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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Paris-born artist Cedric Le Borgne creates these illuminated human figures (Les Voyageurs) and deer (La Biche) using delicately sculpted chicken wire. The figures are often installed in highly visible public places, suspended in the air in parks or in busy urban centers.

Cedric Le Borgne: Les Voyageurs sculpture art

Cedric Le Borgne: Les Voyageurs sculpture art

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