In celebration of the new Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Joel Achenbach wrote a feature for Smithsonian about Carl Sagan's enduring impact on the popularization of science. Achenbach visited the recently-available Sagan archive at the Library of Congress and highlighted some great bits, including details of Sagan and astronomer Frank Drake's 1974 visit with bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary while Tim was incarcerated. Sagan had enjoyed Tim's excellent (and now scarce) book Terra II, a philosophical manual for space migration.
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If you're at SXSW in Austin, Texas today, do come by the Hilton Level 6 Salon F room at 330pm today (Monday March 10, 2014) for a panel on #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media), which I'll be moderating. The video here explains a little of the story behind #BCSM, but the short version is that it's a wonderful online community for people like me who have breast cancer, founded and maintained by women with breast cancer and a health care provider who treats people like us.
Panelists: Alicia Staley, Jody Schoger, and Deanna Attai, the women who created #BCSM.
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Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash devised a pretty amazing paper microscope that uses cheap tiny spherical lenses. The "Foldoscope" costs around 50 cents.
“I wanted to make the best possible disease-detection instrument that we could almost distribute for free,” Prakash says. “What came out of this project is what we call use-and-throw microscopy.”
"Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope"
A fellow in Lawton, Oklahoma chased a twenty dollar bill he dropped down a storm drain and ended up lost in the city's pipe system for two days. Some young people finally heard his cries for help. According the KSWO
, the man had minor scrapes and a bump on his head and couldn't recall how he had become disoriented. He is very lucky he didn't encounter any alligators or, worse, Mole Man.
This is Colin Smith, a con artist clown who was busted for posing as a charity collector. Apparently, there were nearly 20 unrelated police incidents last year in Manchester, England involving clowns reportedly engaged in creepy behavior like following children to school, vandalizing property, or robbery.
“The clowning profession can do without stupid people who don’t understand the profession and appreciate that it is a performing art and not a spontaneous jolly jape," Dave Tawney, European director of the World Clown Association, told the Manchester Evening News.
Over at Institute for the Future's Future Now blog, my colleague Rebecca Chesney writes:
Marc Roth moved to San Francisco to make a better life for his family, but he soon became ill and unable to work. After six months living in a homeless shelter, he used assistance money to take classes at TechShop, a makerspace that provides tools and training for members. Marc learned new skills that led to starting his own laser cutting business, and, more importantly, he found support in an active and engaged community. Now Marc wants to help others who have fallen on hard times and don’t have the skills needed to enter today’s technology-driven economy. He founded The Learning Shelter, a 90-day program that provides housing, training, and mentorship for obtaining a job. A true extreme learner, Marc is teaching others what he learned: that the “permission to fail and encouragement to break through the walls you run into [are] absolutely necessary.”
The Indiegogo campaign is over but Marc's work has just begun: The Learning Shelter (Thanks, Gever Tulley!)
I'm at SXSW, having just done the panel introducing Edward Snowden's first live address to the USA. He will be appearing momentarily. The livestream is provisioned for 1M simultaneous sessions -- watch above.
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San Francisco's Spoke Art gallery is holding an exhibition of art inspired by film director David Lynch. Titled "In Dreams," the group art show features more than 50 artists including works by Joshua Budich (above), Jason D’Aquino, Kukula, Joel Daniel Phillips, and many more. Below, a glimpse of some of the show that runs until March 29.
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A reboot of Cosmos
, starring Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiered last night to some phenomenal reviews. Jennifer Ouellette, a science journalist who focuses on physics, praised the reboot in the LA Times
. I have plans to watch it tonight on the FOX online streaming page. — Maggie
Our friends at pioneering machine performance group Survival Research Laboratories respectfully request the opportunity to bring their delightful robotic presentations to the Google campus. Now that's an offer you can't refuse.
is the most-studied plant in the world, with a 50 day life cycle from germination to death. In a video at the Indiana University Plants in Motion site
, you can watch a time-lapse video of A. thaliana
living out its life cycle while, in the background, changing colored lights show you which genes are turning on and off at which stages of growth. — Maggie
Popular Science has a nice graph
showing where the plastic you recycle in the United States goes for processing. — Maggie
You've probably seen this image making the rounds on social media. It shows a method of doing basic subtraction that's intended to appear wildly nonsensical and much harder to follow than the "Old Fashion" [sic] way of just putting the 12 under the 32 and coming up with an answer. This method of teaching is often attributed to Common Core, a set of educational standards recently rolled out in the US.
But, explains math teacher and skeptic blogger Hemant Mehta, this image actually makes a lot more sense than it may seem to on first glance. In fact, for one thing, this method of teaching math isn't really new (our producer Jason Weisberger remembers learning it in high school). It's also not much different from the math you learned back when you were learning how to count change. It's meant to help kids be able to do math in their heads, without borrowing or scratch-paper notations or counting on fingers. What's more, he says, it has absolutely nothing to do with Common Core, which doesn't specify how subjects have to be taught.
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I am always looking for dog toys that'll keep both a very large Great Pyrenees and a pretty small Cavalier King Charles happy. The Starmark Everlasting Groovy Ball is a winner!
The Groovy Ball is a big rubber chew with ridges to work your dogs gums. It has several holes that snugly fit the Everlasting treats. Dogs find the variety of treats delicious and work at the ball until its gone. Everlasting means 1-2 hours if your dog isn't a able to pop the treats out. Nemo, my Great Pyr, can remove the treat with ease while Pretzel the Cavalier enjoys a really long chew.
Most importantly the Groovy ball, as are all the similar Starmark toys, is quiet. This is a go to treat when I need to focus.
Triple Crown Everlasting Groovy Ball
Everlasting Treat for Dogs, Chicken, Large, 2-Pack
Previously on Boing Boing:
Treat Triad dog puzzle
KONG Extreme dog toy