This blog is essentially a scrapbook. I put up random snippets that I hope you will enjoy reading. They may be analytical and open your eyes to new perspectives, or they may be factual and topple your frame of reference. Some could even be funny and make you laugh. Ultimately, the idea is to have a wide variety of accessible content that either adds to what you know, reiterates it, or counters it.

MIT DEBUTS ‘CHAINFORM’, A SHAPE-SHIFTING HARDWARE SYSTEM

  A team from MIT’s Media Group has developed a shape-shifting system hardware system that consists of interlocking modules that form a snake-like body. Called ChainFORM, it consists of three components: a circuit board, a 3D-printed bracket (which provides a mechanical connection for joining to another module) and a servo motor. Watch the video to see the same change shape. Prepare to be blown away. Source: Hackster Video: Vimeo.com

WHEN AN AI PROGRAM CREATES MUSIC, IT SOUNDS SOMETHING LIKE THIS

The tune was dreamed up by a musical AI program developed at Google. Teaching computers to be more musically inventive may point to ways that machines can help with other creative acts, from designing products to writing eloquent text. Source: MIT Technology Review Video: YouTube.com

WHY DOES FAKE NEWS THRIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

Fake news stories are a serious problem on social media. Why do they thrive there? One reason is partisanship. People like and share news that conforms to their existing beliefs, and fake news stories are often strongly biased. Those posts are used as a marker of identity, a way to proclaim your affinity with a particular community. Posting any story, real or fake, that conforms to your community’s viewpoint bolsters your ties with them. Source: CNN.com Image: BBC

JOKE: SMARTER THAN EINSTEIN

At the conclusion of the sermon, the worshippers filed out of the sanctuary to greet the minister. As one of them left, he shook the minister’s hand, thanked him for the sermon and said, “Thanks for the message, Reverend. You know, you must be smarter than Einstein.” Beaming with pride, the minister said, “Why, thank you, brother!” As the week went by, the minister began to think about the man’s compliment. The more he thought, the more he became baffled as to why anyone would deem him smarter than Einstein. So he decided to ask the man the following Sunday. The next Sunday he asked the parishioner if he remembered the previous Sunday’s comment about the sermon. The parishioner replied that he did. The minister asked, “Exactly what did you mean that I must be smarter than Einstein?” The man replied, “Well, Reverend, they say that Einstein was so smart that only ten people in the entire world could understand him. But Reverend, no one can understand you.” Source: SantaBanta.com

APPLE DIDN’T GROW OUT OF A GARAGE, SAYS WOZ

Apple is widely believed to have been fouded in a garage by two Steves — Jobs and Wozniak. Now, Wozniak (“Woz”) has reveled that it wasn’t really the case. In an interview with Bloomberg, Woz calls the famous Palo Alto garage “a bit of a myth” and “overblown”. While they did use the garage early in Apple’s life, they never designed anything there nor was it an important part of anything Apple did. Source: MakeUseOf.com Image: By Jamie Soja, from Woz.org

SONIA’S FATHER WAS A SOVIET PRISONER OF WAR IN WWII

In his book Walking With Lions, former foreign affairs minister Natwar Singh reveals that during a 2005 visit to Russia, Sonia Gandhi visited a town called Vladimir, and read through the slips of paper attached to a wall in an octagonal room in the town’s museum, which had once been a church. Sonia told him that her father was a prisoner of war there in World War II, and had escaped and walked all the way back to Italy. Source: Google Books Image: OneIndia.com

CORAL FISH HYBRIDS

Lisa Ericson is an artist, illustrator, and designer who paints hyperrealistic images that show intertwined species. Ericson’s newest series is about bright fish painted against matte black backgrounds. The works highlight a variety of coral integrated into the fins and tails of scaly animals, and also show groups of fish that have decided to make these coral tails as their home. Source and Images: This is Colossal

SNAPS OF SHANGHAI

These pictures are from the Shanghai series of Ekaterina Busygina. Her attention to to the architecture, lighting and reflection make for great images. Source: Abduzeedo

WHY WE CRY DIFFERENTLY: WOMEN HAVE PROLACTIN, MEN HAVE TESTOSTERONE

In one study, women reported shedding tears as much as eight times more often than men. And when women cried, they reported that the duration of crying was three times longer than reported by men. Explanations for these differences can be traced to evolved neuroendocrine distinctions. While women have higher levels of the hormone prolactin, produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for tear production, men have higher levels of testosterone which limits tear production. Source: Taken verbatim from HBR.org Images: Sourced from Google search