TED Talks are available in 100 languages, from Albanian to Vietnamese, thanks to the tireless work of our translators. So far, more than 9,400 volunteers have created the upwards of 40,000 translated talks. To celebrate this huge accomplishment, every week the TED Blog will be bringing you a Q&A with one of our most prolific translators. Today, meet Elena Montrasio…
AN: As one who relishes inspiration in many forms , lo, much that is inspirational comes from the people who are and exercise their creativity….. Fast Company has compiled a representative list of 100. Peruse and enjoy !
AN: full infographic provides the list of Nations….a visual comparison of the carbon footprint is informative in a relative sense and impactful.
” “Black Hole” is a series of images, which shows paint modeled by the centripetal force. The setup is very simple: Various shades of acrylic paint are dripped onto a metallic rod, which is connected to a drill. When switched on, the paint starts to move away from the rod, creating these amazing looking structures.
The motion of the paint happens in a blink of an eye, the images you see are taken only millisecond after the drill was turned on. To capture the moment, where the paint forms that distinctive shape, I connected a sensor to the drill, which sends an impulse to the flashes. These specialized units are capable of creating flashes as short as a 1/40000 of a second, freezing the motion of the paint.”
Physics wizard reveals ‘invisibility cloak’ at TED conference | MNN – Mother Nature Network Leave a comment
“In ancient times, Julius Caesar painted his fleet of reconnaissance boats entirely in a blue-green wax — including the sails, ropes and even the crew — making the vessels virtually invisible against the sea. In a sense, camouflage is the original invisibility cloak, one that animals have evolved to such stunning perfection that they can disappear before our very eyes. It’s a marvelous trick for survival.
But beyond hiding from the view of hungry predators or opposing soldiers, the idea of invisibility has long captured our imagination, notably the imagination of “Harry Potter” fans and random physics geniuses who strive to create real-life invisibility cloaks. One such brainiac, Baile Zhang, an assistant professor of physics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, showed off his “invisibility cloak” on Monday at the TED2013 talks in Long Beach, Calif.
Presenting as part of TED Fellows Day, a day when young researchers, artists, and other assorted brilliant minds are selected to give four-minute talks, Zhang awed the audience with his awesome cloak.
Zhang’s device is in its early stages; just a small gizmo in prototype phase — but it works. Speaking to Carla Sinclair of Boing Boing, Zhang explained that the cloak is made out of two pieces of natural calcite (optical crystals) that are joined together. The calcite bends light and suppresses shadows, tricking the eye into seeing nothing.
Sinclair writes of the demo, “The cloak’s ability to conceal an object so that both the cloak and the object become invisible was astonishing. Zhang placed the cloak over a bright pink Post-it note and voila! Nothing! The pink paper disappeared. And the cloak itself wasn’t really visible in the first place.”
As inventors generally have a purpose in mind for the innovations they conjure up, it’s logical to assume that Zhang’s extreme camouflage machine is being developed for the military or some other high-end application, but no. When asked what his plans were, he said that it had no purpose, he “just created it for fun.” Such are the hobbies of whiz-kid wizards.
AN : writers have written, concocted the thoughts and ability of invisibility from comic book characters to science fiction. It is not altogether beyong capability, as this TED Talk participant demonstrates. If one thinks about it, the visible spectrum of light is what we operate in….yet the electromagnetic spectrum is much broader than just our visible light receptor spectrum . Think , for example, infrared spectrum. We cannot see that spectrum but with instrumentation, we can “see” in the IR range. It should not surprise that we then can de-visualize. The applications of this are intriguing.
See (or don’t see) a demo of the device below:
The view from the top of the Shard: London panorama of sights and sounds – interactive | Art and design | guardian.co.uk Leave a comment
“The view from the top of the Shard: London panorama of sights and sounds – interactive
To mark the opening of the Shard, we’ve produced a 360-degree, augmented-reality panorama of London’s newest view, from the building’s public observation deck.
Read Antony Gormley, Tony Benn, Diana Athill and other famous Londoners on their favourite places, find the capital’s landmarks, listen in to the sounds of the city and gain a new perspective from the viewing platform of the EU’s tallest building.”
AN: Superb sights from the heights of the Shard !
“The Wuppertal Northern Railway in Germany retired from its original function in the late 1990s and the ‘Nordtrasse’ was officially reopened as a cycle and pedestrian path in June 2010. The ten mile route is maintained by the Wuppertal Bewegung Association e.V., an Eingetrangener Verein or registered charity, that continues to look for exciting ways to use the space (which is sensible considering the success of New York’s High Line). Enter street artist MEGX.
As part of the redevelopment, Martin Heowold (MEGX) transformed 250 square meters of grey concrete into several giant toy bricks. MEGX is a street artist with a real interest in projects that can help people to perceive their surroundings more positively. In this case, paint has proved to be a relatively cheap way to transform a dull bridge into a talking point…..”
AN : do look up the reference article and see the before and after pictures. Public Art can be constructive and transformational !
Mathemusician Vi Hart Explains Space-Time with a Music Box and a Möbius Strip | Brain Pickings Leave a comment
Mathemusician Vi Hart Explains Space-Time with a Music Box and a Möbius Strip
by Maria Popova
“The fabric of the universe via backwards Bach.
If mathemusician Vi Hart — who for the past three years has been bringing whimsy to math with her mind-bending, playful, and illuminating stop-motion musical doodles — isn’t already your hero, she should be, and likely will be. (Cue in the GRAMMYs newly announced search for great music teachers.) In her latest gem, Hart uses music notation, a Möbius strip, and backwards Bach to explain space-time:
Music has two recognizable dimensions — one is time, and the other is pitch-space. … There [are] a few things to notice about written music: Firstly, that it is not music — you can’t listen to this. … It’s not music — it’s music notation, and you can only interpret it into the beautiful music it represents.
Also see Hart on the science of sound, frequency and pitch, and her blend of Victorian literature and higher mathematics to explain multiple dimensions.
For a decidedly less whimsical but enormously illuminating deeper dive, see these 7 essential books on time and watch Michio Kaku’s BBC documentary on the subject, then learn how to listen to music.”
AN : Just as the author , Maria Popova , writes of mathemusician Vi Hart : “If mathemusician Vi Hart — ….- isn’t already your hero, she should be, and likely will . “….so you would be enamoured with the effervesent writings and curations of Maria through her site “BrainPickings.com ” . Absolutely a gem of ideas, innovation and thought leadership !
“It sometimes seems as though the world of classical music doesn’t change. Most of the music is from a canon that may be hundreds of years old; most of the time the musicians are still formally clad, the men in the evening dress of a century ago.
In one important area, however, new ways of doing things are starting to appear. Technology is changing the ways in which musicians rehearse and perform.
Pianist Kirill Gerstein sparked intermission discussions late last year when he performed Thomas Adès concerto “Seven Days” with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra using an iPad with a wireless foot pedal in lieu of a conventional score.
In an interview, Gerstein said he’s been using his iPad for 2½ years, the first, he thinks, among classical pianists. He uses it with contemporary music, where memorization is not expected, and in chamber music.
The tablet has practical advantages: It is lit, making reading it easier and eliminating concerns about lighting. It also eliminates the need for page turners. “They may turn the page too soon or too late, or make noise,” Gerstein said. “In cases like this, it is helpful to play with the iPad. I know exactly when I want to turn, and I turn it for myself.” His system has never crashed.
To do the turning, Gerstein uses a Bluetooth-enabled foot pedal called an AirTurn. He gets new scores from their publishers, or makes PDFs of older music by scanning scores from his own library.
In the case of out-of-copyright works, he recommends IMSLP.org. The International Music Score Library Project is community-sourced, like Wikipedia, and Gerstein calls it “an amazing resource.”
The site is copyright compliant, so there’s nothing from after 1923, and it’s free. “There are the most imaginable and unimaginable things,” Gerstein said. “Maybe you won’t find the edition of the Franck sonata from 1980, but you will find the original (edition) and four others. Things that used to be difficult to find are up there.”
Otherwise, Gerstein works from paper versions. “I do think it’s very important to keep buying paper versions of sheet music. We do want publishers of accurate versions around.”
With the iPad, he can tweak his scores by combining the piano part and a full orchestra score to give himself important cues. Sometimes he plays from the full score. By eliminating the white space of the margins, the notes become almost as large as in the printed score.
“Then, of course, there is the fact that I can carry a music library,” added Gerstein. “I can look at (scores) while traveling. It’s not possible with paper, just from the luggage side. Today, I decided to read the Franck sonata; it took a minute to download the score, and then I was happily playing it.”
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra section cello Bjorn Ranheim admires Gerstein’s score-on-tablet setup and wishes the SLSO could have the same.
AN : classical music meets new classic technology…and is all the better for it. Nice examples of how that works in the lives of several musicians and groups.
……. “And it turns out it is indeed possible to make something resembling art on an Etch A Sketch. Mr Cassagnes’s death has thrown a light on those foolhardy few who didn’t throw away their toys in frustration. George Vlosich, an Ohio-based artist, has been creating professional work on the toy for years. His highly detailed pieces are astounding works of craftsmanship and patience, not least because even small errors in simple drawings cannot be fixed on an Etch A Sketch, and a simple shake of the toy wipes the whole slate clean.
Mr Vlosich is quick to list the challenges of his chosen medium. “You can’t exactly pick up your stylus and start somewhere else on the screen,” he says. And works on an Etch A Sketch are missing lighter tones; darker tones are achieved by retracing the same line over and over again, but “there’s only so dark you can go”.
When one of Mr Vlosich’s works is completed, it is often after 150 hours or more of hard graft—and some careful planning about how he will twist the two white knobs to wind his path over the easel. Still, he likes the restrictions of the medium. “It’s a challenge,” he says, “and it’s kind of cool to overcome the restrictions.”
Though some may see the easel as nothing more than a toy, serious collectors pay upwards of $10,000 for intricate drawings that push the strict limits of this strangely memorable toy. (To prevent the rough handling of the postal system from shaking away their hard work, professional Etch A Sketch artists will unhinge the back of the toy and remove any excess aluminium powder before dispatching their work.) Despite the limitations of the medium, Etch A Sketch art has an emotional resonance, expressing the struggle of taming a toy that touched 100m childhoods.”
AN : indeed, few will not have at least some familiarity with the Etch A Sketch toy…..but very, very few would have toiled with the toy as described in the link with such wonderful results !