To make life easier for its owners, Hyundai has built an augmented reality app called the Virtual Guide. It allows owners to use their phones to get more familiar with their cars and learn how to perform basic maintenance. I saw a demo of the app from Hyundai at CES and it works as advertised.
You can use the app to get an augmented reality view of the engine compartment or interior of the car, with floating digital dots illustrating different points of interest like the windshield washer bottle or the location of the air filter. Tap one of the dots and you can get an illustrated, step-by-step walkthrough of the related maintenance item or, if you’re inside the vehicle you can get a tutorial in how to use different functions of the car like pairing a phone with Bluetooth.
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French researchers have developed a self-setting injectable macroporous foam for repairing bone and assisting its growth. It could help regenerate bone faster than other materials while offering a quick and minimally invasive way for surgeons to perform bone repair procedures, and possibly treat osteoporosis.
Welcome to the 1595 Club. As its name suggests, the club teaches a martial-arts system dating back to the 16th century. Inspired by the Italian-born master-fencer Vincentio Saviolo, the combination of fencing, self-defence and keep-fit can be adapted to swords, sword and dagger, cane and unarmed combat.
But no white scarves.
“I see [the 1595] as an art, not a sport,” the quietly spoken Chatfield tells me. “The old Italian word for swordsman is giocatore – a player, not of a game, but of a musical instrument. You learn to use your body like an instrument. The sword is like a paintbrush.”
Our knowledge of this technique is found in what amounts to an advertising brochure, Vincentio Saviolo: His Practise, in Two Bookes, written in 1595 by John Florio. Florio may well have known Shakespeare via Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, the playwright’s patron and possible lover. This may explain why phrases from Florio’s text can be found in As You Like It and, more strikingly, Romeo and Juliet. The duel between Mercutio and Tybalt is narrated through Saviolo’s instructions: “…with one hand beats/ Cold death aside, and with the other sends/It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity/Retorts it…”
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By the end of 2015 the U.S. and Britain revealed that they are sending more commandos (SAS, Special Forces, SEALs) to Iraq and Syria, all in response to the November 13 ISIL attack in Paris. Previously it was known that Jordan and Iran also had commandos operating in the area. Recently Russia has sent some of its spetsnaz commandos to Syria and several other nations (mostly NATO) are also making contributions. All this is shaping up to look like Afghanistan in the decade after 2001. So many nations spent commandos to Afghanistan in that time that this soon be called “the Commando Olympics”. This was not because so many nations had contingents there but because so many of them were working together for the first time. The different commando organizations weren’t competing with each other and were performing similar missions. But each national contingent used slightly different methods and equipment. Naturally, everyone compared notes and made changes based on combat experience. That was the draw for commandoes; getting and using “combat experience.” Training is great, but there’s nothing like operating against an armed and hostile foe. This is big thing, as the participating commandoes are becoming a lot more effective. But you can’t get a photograph of this increased capability, and the commandoes aren’t talking to the press. So it’s all a big story about commandos in Afghanistan and Syria is something you’ll never hear much about, except in history books, many years from now.
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In a year marred by campus strife, at least one bright spot emerged in American higher education: the comeback of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, known as ROTC, at leading universities.
This year, Columbia University commissioned its first Marine officer, Patrick Poorbaugh, since 1970. Yale graduated two Naval ROTC officers— Sam Cohen and Andrew Heymann—for the first time since Richard Nixon was in the White House. Yale, with 41 midshipmen, boasts the largest NROTC unit in the Ivy League. Harvard senior Charlotte Falletta was recognized as one of the top 10 Army cadets in the nation.
Even Brown University, the last Ivy League school to move beyond the Vietnam-era politics that yanked ROTC programs from campus, is changing. In 2012 Brown established a center for students interested in military careers, and this year the school signed deals allowing students to participate in Naval and Air Force ROTC programs off campus.
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Hey, it’s in the New York Times so it must be true, right?
Some of the anti-glutenists argue that we haven’t eaten wheat for long enough to adapt to it as a species. Agriculture began just 12,000 years ago, not enough time for our bodies, which evolved over millions of years, primarily in Africa, to adjust. According to this theory, we’re intrinsically hunter-gatherers, not bread-eaters. If exposed to gluten, some of us will develop celiac disease or gluten intolerance, or we’ll simply feel lousy.
Most of these assertions, however, are contradicted by significant evidence, and distract us from our actual problem: an immune system that has become overly sensitive.
Milk-producing animals were first domesticated about the same time as wheat in the Middle East. As the custom of dairying spread, so did lactase persistence. What surprises scientists today, though, is just how recently, and how completely, that trait has spread in some populations. Few Scandinavian hunter-gatherers living 5,400 years ago had lactase persistence genes, for example. Today, most Scandinavians do.
Here’s the lesson: Adaptation to a new food stuff can occur quickly — in a few millenniums in this case. So if it happened with milk, why not with wheat?
“If eating wheat was so bad for us, it’s hard to imagine that populations that ate it would have tolerated it for 10,000 years,” Sarah A. Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies lactase persistence, told me.
On the flat plains of the Po Valley is the small town of Novellara, in the province of Reggio Emilia. It’s not far from the city of Parma – and from Parma and Reggio Emilia comes the name of one of the world’s most famous cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano… in English, Parmesan. Under EU rules, it has to be made exclusively from milk produced and transformed into cheese in this area of northern Italy.
The large number of Sikhs who have settled here were not attracted by the territory’s famous product but rather by the territory itself, explains Novellara’s mayor, Elena Carletti: “They say, ‘We live here and we feel like we’re still in Punjab because it’s flat, there are no mountains, it’s hot, it’s humid, and the kind of agriculture is more or less the same.'” According to the mayor, Sikhs feel comfortable in their Italian home from home.
The optics of the camera obscura have faithfully served photographers for ages. The recipe has been simple: a lens, aperture, dark box and something to record the light.
But the camera as we know it is changing. A revolution in digital imaging research could surpass the camera obscura in almost every technical way: resolution, size and energy efficiency. It’s called computational photography, and it stems from the idea that if you can capture visual data instead of a true image, then the picture can be reconstructed with software.
With cameras capturing light differently, a lens isn’t necessarily needed anymore. Instead, visual data can be gathered by playing tricks with light, like forcing it through a microscopic grating or diffracting it through a glass sphere. Years ago, this technology was just in the lab. But now it has made its way into consumer smartphones.
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While it is fair to say that the jury is still out, there has been a lot of good news for my hopes of a free dinner in the past couple of years. There were two reports (in 2013 and 2014) on tests of Rossi’s device by teams of Swedish and Italian physicists whose scientific credentials are not in doubt, and who had access to one of his devices for extended periods (a month for the second test). Both reports claimed levels of excess heat far beyond anything explicable in chemical terms, in the testers’ view. (The second report also claimed isotopic shifts in the composition of the fuel.) Since then, there have been several reports of duplications by experimenters in Russia and China, guided by details in the 2014 report.
More recently, Rossi was granted a US patent for one of his devices, previously refused on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been provided that the technique worked as claimed. There are credible reports that a 1MW version of his device, producing many times the energy that it consumes, has been on trial in an industrial plant in North Carolina for months, with good results so far. And Rossi’s US backer and licensee, Tom Darden – who has a long track record of investment in pollution-reducing industries – has been increasingly willing to speak out in support of the LENR technology field. (Another investor, the UK-based Woodford Funds, reports that it conducted ‘a rigorous due-diligence process that has taken two and half years’.)
Finally, very recently, there’s a paper by two senior Swedish physicists, Rickard Lundin and Hans Lidgren, proposing a mechanism for Rossi’s results, inspired in part by the second of two test reports mentioned above. Lundin and Lidgren say that the ‘experimental results by Rossi and co-workers and their E-Cat reactor provide the best experimental verification’ of the process they propose.
The melting of sea ice will significantly increase Arctic precipitation, creating a climate feedback comparable to doubling global carbon dioxide, a Dartmouth College-led study finds.
“The increases of precipitation and changes in the energy balance may create significant uncertainty in climate predictions,” says lead author Ben Kopec, a PhD candidate in Dartmouth’s Department of Earth Sciences.
The findings appear in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A PDF is available on request.
In other words, ‘climate models’ that predict disaster aren’t as good as the enviro-Nazis claim they are.
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Genes which make people intelligent have been discovered and scientists believe they could be manipulated to boost brain power.
Researchers have believed for some time that intellect is inherited with studies suggesting that up to 75 per cent of IQ is genetic, and the rest down to environmental factors such as schooling and friendship groups.
But until now, nobody has been able to pin-point exactly which genes are responsible for better memory, attention, processing speed or reasoning skills.
Okay. So if intelligence is inherited, then — follow closely here — some groups of related people are genetically more intelligent than other groups of related people.
We call large groups of related people ‘races’ … unless, of course, you’re a ‘progressive’ and can’t bear to commit the ThoughtCrime of NOTICING.
So it might actually be true, what NUMEROUS PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES have shown: That the average intelligence of black people is lower than the average intelligence of white people, and that the average intelligence of white people is lower than the average intelligence of yellow people.
I’d typed “Oxford” into the text box, picked my ground zero (Lloyds Bank – don’t ask me why) and my choice of 30 virtual nuclear weapons, clicked on the big red DETONATE button and then watched as a dark stain spread across the Google map towards my favourite pub and my home only 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre. While the pub is hit by a wave of thermal radiation that causes third-degree burns, my house just survives, as do – rather surprisingly – the leafy Victorian suburbs of Summertown, and industrial Cowley, home of the Mini. The casualty figures spin round like a roulette wheel before stopping at 15,430 fatalities and 24,000 injured, out of a population of about 160,000.
This is the hit Google Maps mash-up that calculates the effects of the detonation of a nuclear bomb on a town or city of your choice. It was designed by nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein, Assistant Professor for Science and Technology Studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and author of the nuclear secrecy blog Restricted Data, to help to fill in the information gap about nuclear weapons that he believes opened up after the end of the Cold War. Since it was launched in 2012, more than two million people have visited the site – 250,000 of those solely on the anniversary of the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Now, around 25,000 people a day are seeing a radioactive version of the future.
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The first Europeans to penetrate the Amazon rainforests reported cities, roads and fertile fields along the banks of its major rivers. “There was one town that stretched for 15 miles without any space from house to house, which was a marvellous thing to behold,” wrote Gaspar de Carvajal, chronicler of explorer and conquistador Francisco de Orellana in 1542. “The land is as fertile and as normal in appearance as our Spain.”
Such tales were long dismissed as fantasies, not least because teeming cities were never seen or talked about again. But it now seems the chroniclers were right all along. It is our modern vision of a pristine rainforest wilderness that turns out to be the dream.
What is today one of the largest tracts of rainforest in the world was, until little more than 500 years ago, a landscape dominated by human activity, according to a review of the evidence by Charles Clement of Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, and his colleagues.
After Europeans showed up, the inhabitants were decimated by disease and superior weaponry, and retreated into the bush, while the jungle reclaimed their fields and plazas. But, thanks to a combination of deforestation and remote sensing, what’s left of their civilisation is now re-emerging.
They reveal an anthropogenically modified Amazonia before the European conquest. “Few if any pristine landscapes remained in 1492,” says Clement. “Many present Amazon forests, while seemingly natural, are domesticated.”
And once again the romantic fantasies of the enviro-Nazis are show to be ignorant lies.
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The town of Albertville, in Savoie, is well known for its production of Beaufort, a firm cow’s milk cheese, and one of France’s flagship food features.
Since October, the skimmed whey left over from the Beaufort production in Albertville is being transformed into a biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, which generates electricity and warm water.
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“We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford. “Our new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.”
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Freeberg has some good ideas. Read The Whole Thing.
1. FRONT LOAD the effort. If the current block of time you’re using, as in right now, this very moment, is not allocated toward a defined purpose already, find something on your unfinished-tasks list that will fit into it. The time has to be burned somehow. If you have stuff that has to get done, burn the time on getting the stuff done. Simple, right? Procrastination is cute and all, but when it leads to consequences that impact others, that means you have taken it too far.
10. Begin with the end in mind. What exactly is it you’re trying to do? Are you laboring toward a goal — see #5 — or are you just frittering away time doing whatever you like to do?
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Oklahoma and Nebraska argue that Colorado’s licensing and regulation of marijuana businesses violates the Controlled Substances Act and therefore the Supremacy Clause. They brought their complaint directly to the Supreme Court because they think Colorado has created an interstate conflict by allowing the production and distribution of marijuana that may end up in Oklahoma or Nebraska. Federal law gives the Supreme Court “original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.”
Verilli rejects Oklahoma and Nebraska’s contention that the smuggling of Colorado cannabis creates an interstate controversy. “Where the plaintiff State does not allege that the defendant State has ‘confirmed or authorized’ the injury-inflicting action, there does not exist a ‘controversy’ between the States appropriate for initial resolution under this Court’s exclusive original jurisdiction,” he writes. “Nebraska and Oklahoma essentially contend that Colorado’s authorization of licensed intrastate marijuana production and distribution increases the likelihood that third parties will commit criminal offenses in Nebraska and Oklahoma by bringing marijuana purchased from licensed entities in Colorado into those states. But they do not allege that Colorado has directed or authorized any individual to transport marijuana into their territories in violation of their laws. Nor would any such allegation be plausible.”
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A Kiev court upheld an appeal from the country’s Justice Ministry, which charged the party with a host of offences including “incitement of ethnic hatred” and “encroachment on human rights and freedoms”.
Ukraine adopted controversial “decommunisation” laws in May, which outlawed the display of Soviet symbols and prohibited the use of the word “communist”.
However, the Communist Party of Ukraine refused to change its name, logo or charter to comply with the legislation. The Party has spoken out against Ukraine’s new authorities, which came to power after a coup in February 2014.
The biter bit.
The greatest difference between National Socialism and Communism (International Socialism) is that Germany was required to ‘de-Nazify’ itself after they lost the war, but Russia and the other Communist states were never required to ‘de-Commiefy’ themselves. So Putin’s background as a KGB officer has never been a problem for him the way being an SS officer would have been for someone running for office in Germany.
John Dalhuisen of Amnesty International told the Guardian: “The decision may be seen as dealing with the damaging vestiges of the Soviet past. In fact, it does exactly the opposite by following the same style of draconian measures used to stifle dissent.
Let’s ask him what his position is on affirmative action for the descendants of Negro slaves. I suspect that he would be unable to appreciate the analogy.
“Expressing your opinion without fear of prosecution, particularly if that opinion is contrary to the views held by those in position of power, was one of the principles behind the EuroMaidan protests.
Don’t tell that to the Black Lives Matter crowd.
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Some historians expressed doubt that the Führer had shot himself, speculating that accounts of Hitler’s death had been embellished to present his suicide in a suitably heroic light. But a fragment of skull, complete with bullet hole, which was taken from the bunker by the Russians and displayed in Moscow in 2000, appeared to settle the argument.
Until now. In the wake of new revelations, the histories of Hitler’s death may need to be rewritten – and left open-ended. American researchers claim to have demonstrated that the skull fragment, secretly preserved for decades by Soviet intelligence, belonged to a woman under 40, whose identity is unknown. DNA analyses performed on the bone, now held by the Russian State Archive in Moscow, have been processed at the genetics lab of the University of Connecticut. The results, broadcast in the US by a History Channel documentary, Hitler’s Escape, astonished scientists.
Funny thing, you never see Trump and Hitler together. Could it be….?
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Led by Guo-Dong Wang, a molecular biologist at China’s Kunming Institute of Zoology, the scientists from China, Canada, Finland, Singapore, Sweden and the US, studied the DNA of 46 dogs from South-east Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, along with 12 grey wolves.
They found indigenous Chinese dogs revealed closer genetic links to their wolf ancestors while retaining the greatest genetic variety, a strong indicator that domestic canines began somewhere in east Asia around 33,000 years ago.
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Astrophysicist Matthew Schneps was waiting at a bus stop, scanning a scientific paper he had downloaded onto his smartphone, when it dawned on him: he was reading with ease.
That realization surprised Schneps, who has dyslexia, a learning disability that makes reading difficult. He had always felt comfortable in the lab, not the library.
“Prior to that [moment], I hadn’t really been able to get through papers like that,” said Schneps, who directs a laboratory at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “I would rely on what people would tell me about what was in them.”
His bus stop epiphany led Schneps to wonder whether hand-held gadgets might be an effective reading platform for people with dyslexia. Now, eight years later, his research, which has shifted from studying stars, is beginning to show there may be some benefits. The timing couldn’t be better.
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The ornamental cherry, plum and pear trees lining the streets of San Francisco produce beautiful flowers. The blossoms span a spectrum of bright white, soft pink and violet-red. Their leaves change with the seasons and theirs branches provide shade over sidewalks. But the trees aren’t there to bear fruit that you’d enjoy eating.
An urban agriculture project has spent the last five years trying to change that. A group known as the Guerrilla Grafters are grafting branches from fruit-bearing trees onto city-owned ornamental ones.
One in four people in San Francisco face the the threat of hunger or poor nutrition, according to the SF-Marin Food Bank. The scofflaw project is intended to let anyone who’s hungry pick free fruit in the public domain.
And a lot more. For members of the Guerrilla Grafters, the project is also about promoting public spaces, ecological diversity, and getting the public engaged with the environment.
And, not coincidentally, sticking one in the eye of the local government in a non-destructive way.
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