Robotic Kangaroo

April 16th, 2014 | Robot

Festo Robotic Kangaroo

Festo Robotic Kangaroo 2

Festo has a knack for creating incredibly realistic robotic animals (see Dragonfly & Jellyfish). The company’s new product is the Robotic Kangaroo seen above.

Here’s a word from Festo:

“On the artificial kangaroo, Festo intelligently combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology to produce a highly dynamic system. The stable jump kinematics plus the precise control technology ensure stability when jumping and landing. The consistent lightweight construction facilitates the unique jumping behaviour. The system is controlled by gestures.”

I still have no idea who purchases these robotic animals. What functional use do they have? Regardless, I am glad they do. If I had the money, I would have one of these hopping around my apartment right now.

Festo has now created jellyfish, penguins, kangaroos, and dragonflies… It would be pretty amazing to attend a company happy hour and see all of these animals moving around in the same space. Maybe they could make a robotic zoo of sorts?

-RSB

The Blood Moon

April 15th, 2014 | Space

blood-moon-nasa-eclipse

If you missed the Blood Moon last night, have no fear. NASA put together a short video showing you the entire event in all its glory:

The video was shot at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, CA. Here’s a short description about why the moon looked so red last night: about the Blood Moon.

If you want to see the next lunar eclipse, you’ll have to wait until October.

-RSB

p.s. “The IRS commemorated the event today in America with its usual bloodsucking.” :)

“Capitol” – Music Video by Trust

April 14th, 2014 | Space

Trust Capitol

Here’s a fresh video from the band, Trust, featuring “Capitol” off the group’s sophomore album, Joyland.

From Consequence of Sound:

“Capitol… lyrically embodies the dark, emotional depths conveyed in the album’s artwork. “Set forth for the island/ She went for the sky,” Alfons sings. “We need all the stairs now/ We’re staring at heights.” He frames this glance into the unfathomable with a bolt of synthpop tinged with magical glitches and blips, a sound reminiscent of a celestial world darkened by black holes and technology. He ends the track by aching “Well, I got,” over and over, until it bleeds into and synchronizes with intense bass booms and robo-bird chirps.”

I’m really digging the facial expressions by the model in the video. Such intensity!

-RSB

“Europe in 8 Bits” – A Documentary Exploring Video Game and Computer Music

April 9th, 2014 | Robot

Europe in 8 Bits

“Europe in 8 Bits” is a new full-length documentary directed by Javier Polo that explores the world of chip music, a genre of electronic music made from old video game and computer hardware. Instead of guitars, drums, and bass you will find that these musicians wield Game Boys, Nintendo systems, Ataris, Amiga and Commodore 64s.

If you’re in the mood for some 1980′s nostalgia, you can watch the movie right now at Vimeo for $3. I think it looks awesome.

-RSB

NASA has Discovered an Ocean of Water Inside Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus

April 3rd, 2014 | Space

enceladus - ocean of water

The Cassini spacecraft has just found evidence for an ocean of liquid water inside Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. Of course, this is exciting news because we know that water is an essential agent for all biochemistry on Earth. In other words, the best places to search for alien life in our solar system contain some source of liquid water (i.e. Europa).

The ocean was found using gravitational measurements from the spacecraft.  According to Sami Asmar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.: “The way we deduce gravity variations is a concept in physics called the Doppler Effect, the same principle used with a speed-measuring radar gun. As the spacecraft flies by Enceladus, its velocity is perturbed by an amount that depends on variations in the gravity field that we’re trying to measure. We see the change in velocity as a change in radio frequency, received at our ground stations here all the way across the solar system.”

Enceladus is just one of 52 named moons that orbit Saturn.

Saturn moons

There may be an ocean of alien life swimming around underneath the surface of Enceladus, but we’ll never know until we can drill into the moon. A similar project is being planned for Europa sometime in the 2030′s.

Read more at NASA.

-RSB

Chalkboard Quantum Mechanics by Alejandro Guijarro

April 2nd, 2014 | Brain, Space

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 1

Chalkboards 2

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 3

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 4

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 5

Chalkboards 6

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 7

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 8

Alejandro Guijarro Chalkboards 9

There is something enchanting to be found in chalkboards, an intellectual canvas where remnants of hypnotic scribbles and fantastical ideas are scattered. They epitomize that moment where knowledge and imagination meet to foster new ideas. Academic brainstorming sessions in fields such as quantum mechanics often result in a flurry of mysterious equations, symbols, and geometric shapes, and Alejandro Guijarro set out to capture them.

Alejandro is an artist based in London and Madrid who works primarily in photography. Over a three year period, he traveled the world visiting institutions known for their prowess in quantum mechanics: CERN in Switzerland, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.

From the artist:

“I’ve visited top universities all over the world for this project: Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Berkeley, Cern in Switzerland, Brussels, Vienna and institutions in China and Spain. It was a challenge to find places that still had blackboards rather than whiteboards or interactive screens. Many of the boards were in professors’ own rooms where they do their research. Some of them were intrigued, wondering why I wanted to photograph work they didn’t consider important. They didn’t see what they had done as art.”

Quantum mechanics (you can read about here, good luck!) is a branch of physics dealing with the strange, quantum realm of atomic and subatomic matter. You would have to work hard to find a more confusing (and compelling) topic to capture in photographic form. All of this mystery builds the intrigue found in Alejandro’s photographs. The aesthetic is certainly a nice interaction of line, color, and form, but the real magic lies in knowing these symbols represent the very fabric of our reality. It’s fascinating stuff!

If you’ve enjoyed these, you can find more from Alejandro Guijarro at his site.

-RSB

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