( listen | for lizzie | prinskristoff )

i have no excuses other than i adore the thread we have and i was bored out of my mind when i went on holiday. these are songs that either relate to the thread, where it could go in the future or just the pairing in general ( i mostly just got them from my itunes library so there is probably     better stuff out there but o h well )

enchanted t.s.     ||     fairy dance j.n.h.     ||     fall e.s.     ||     beautiful girl h.     ||     what is this feeling? k.c. & i.m.     ||     if no one will listen k.c.     ||     yours e.h.     ||     people will say we’re in love e.f.     ||     baby it’s cold outside k.c. & r.d.     ||     anything you can do b.h. & h.k.     ||     i know places t.s.     ||     falling fast a.v.     ||     closer to you j.j.

Holy Spock! The Star Trek Medical Tricorder Is Real, And It’s Only $150
The device you’re looking at is called the Scanadu SCOUT and, basically, it’s a medical tricorder that will give you precise vital information about any human being within seconds, just on contact.

It’s very real and it works now. I tried it myself, and knew I was looking at the beginning of a personal health revolution. Star Trek-level stuff. Except it’s coming at the end of 2013.

And it’s not only SCOUT—the company has two other devices—ScanaFlo and ScanaFlu—which are like having your own medical labs to go. Best of all, those two are so cheap that they are disposable.

SCOUT will not be disposable, though. The unit is a tiny hardware device that reads your vital health information on contact. You simply place it on the left temple and, in less than ten seconds, it will read your pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability and blood oxygenation. Then it sends this information to an app on your iPhone or Android phone, which displays it for you. You can even store your vitals for tracking, which could prove fundamental to many health situations at home.

Watching SCOUT at work was something almost magical, like having one of those giant health monitoring units reduced to a slice of plastic that fits on the palm of your hand. Which, actually, is exactly how it became to be.

How SCOUT was invented
I talked with Walter de Brouwer, the Belgian genius who founded Scanadu after working at MIT and on several high profile tech projects, including One Laptop Per Child. A few years ago, Walter’s own kid ended up in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Frustrated with the complicated devices that monitored his child’s health, he started to think about how could all of this information be turned into something that normal people could understand. He tinkered around at the ICU and became so knowledgeable that he eventually was assisting some of the nurses there, who often would get confused themselves.

Walter thought that there was a need for something that would be able to monitor anyone’s health, anywhere, with ease and at low cost. He thought about instantaneous vital readings, molecular diagnostics, visualization, and storage of personal health data all wrapped in an easy-to-use device that would connect to your smartphone or tablet to show you all the information you could need in a simple way. Not only for yourself, but for remote assistance too.

Most probably, Walter had watched too much Star Trek in his college years. He wanted to make a tricorder. So he did.

How does it work
At first, he thought it was possible. In fact, there are other teams who are working in similar projects to win Qualcomm’s Tricorder X-Prize Competition, or the Nokia Sensing Challenge. So what if all had failed so far?

So Walter started to work on what would become SCOUT, ScanaFlo and ScanaFlu. He assembled four teams of specialists at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Each team—engineers, chemists, doctors, mathematicians and software engineers—worked together to come up with new, smart ways not only to monitor vitals, but to detect actual infections within seconds. According to Walter, they use all the tricks in the book: imaging and sound analysis, molecular diagnostics and data analytics, all combed by “a suite of algorithms to create devices that offer a comprehensive, real-time picture of your health data.”

SCOUT is their first product. This personal health tricorder is so simple that it will cost around $150 when it appears at the end of 2013, after it gets US government approval. It may very well become as ubiquitous as home thermometers, which were introduced in the 19th century. In fact, says Walter, that’s the whole point :

Consumers don’t have the tools they need to monitor their health and make informed decisions about when they’re actually sick and need to see a doctor. We want to empower consumers to take control of their health and give them direct access to their personal healthfeed.

Judging from what I saw, SCOUT may be exactly that.

Detecting infections
Along with SCOUT, I saw two other products that were even more impressive: ScanaFlu and ScanaFlo. I couldn’t get photos of these—they are still in a rough prototype stage—but they are easy enough to visualize.

For ScanaFlo, imagine a disposable blue plastic rectangle with a QR code and a window that reveals paper swatches and a color calibration target (similar to this). To get a reading, you need to pee on the rectangle as one would on a pregnancy test. Depending on the content of your urine, the swatches will change color.

But what do these color mean? You don’t have to guess or remember. Point your smartphone at the QR target and it will take a photo, telling you if it detects anything out of the ordinary based on the hue of the paper swatches, which react differently depending on your health status. According its creators, ScanaFlo tests for “pregnancy complications, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, kidney failure and urinary tract infections.”

ScanaFlu works in a similar way. Instead of a rectangle, it’s a square with a small protuberance on which you have to spit. Your saliva will be distributed to different test units using tiny nano-vessels. Incredibly enough, this “disposable cartridge will provide early detection for Strep A, Influenza A, Influenza B, Adenovirus and RSV.” Like ScanaFlo, you will use your phone’s camera to have a result sent to your app.

These disposable systems will be sold in packs, also at the end of 2013.

Why this is the future, and why it is so important
I’m not a hypochondriac, but it’s not hard to see the importance of these devices. While being able to monitor your own health would never eliminate the need for doctors, it could do wonders for everyone’s well-being. These cheap devices will keep track of your own health but, as I discussed with Scanadu’s founder, they can also be easily used to detect infection outbreaks at a national or planetary level, with people anonymously uploading data to a cloud. The Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization can literally keep their fingers on the pulse of the entire planet. The possibilities are truly endless. No wonder Stephen Wolfram is one of their advisors. If they are successful, I can’t wait to see what people can do with all this anonymous data.

If these gadgets can really provide you with instantaneous feedback about your health status for such a low price, this will be the beginning of something much bigger. The monetary savings in prevention alone—and not depending on expensive laboratories for many tests—makes it all worthy.

But even more exciting is the potential increasing accuracy of diagnostics, based on the tracking of data over time. As Dr. Alan Greene, Chief Medical Officer at Scanadu, says:

When it comes to health, averages don’t cut it. Vitals change throughout the day and vary from person to person, so it makes no sense to assume we are all the same. Health decision shouldn’t be based on averages, they should be based on a real, accurate and personalized healthfeed of data, which we now have the power to give to the consumer in the palm of their hand.

Indeed. The future looks good. I’m ready for this, Dr. Bones.


favourite stiles/lydia moments from s3


As Lunar Lion X Prize Team sets up Mission HQ at Penn State University Park, team member Kara Morgan, an aerospace engineering major, painted this awesome mural!

It took her 89 hours over eight days.

More on Penn State’s mission to the moon.

More great Science, Tech, Engineering and Math awesomeness?
Follow Big Black Glasses!

Super limited edition Mega Charixard X 3DS XL ⊟

This was given out as the prize for Japan’s recent Dragon King tournament — only one was produced, and it features the winner’s name on the back, according to a report from Serebii.

[Update: It looks like two were made for two winners?]

Even if you lived in Japan, you probably wouldn’t have been eligible to win this, as the tournament was for grade-school-age students there. Players competed with both the trading card game and Pokemon XY using at least one Dragon-type creature in their party, which is a neat idea. The winner is pretty much the best multi-platform Pokemon Dragon trainer.

BUY Pokemon X and Y, upcoming games

The Sky is NOT the Limit  

X Prize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis drops some inspiring words on ya about how space inspired him to create inspiration in others.

"I want my kids to grow up in a world of hope where they know they can go out there and solve the world’s grand challenges."

Yep. Like he said … you win.

(via Doobybrain)


In the Google Lunar XPrize competition, three-dozen teams are racing to become the first private enterprises to land a rover on the moon. The winner takes home $30 million. But getting there will take time, hard work, and a lot of money.

To help with the latter, the XPrize foundation is handing out “milestone prizes” to teams that demonstrate substantial technological achievements, and the first winner was just announced yesterdayTeam Astrobotic has so far emerged as the front-runner in the race, taking home $500,000 for its mobility capabilities and another $250,000 for its imaging system.

According to XPrize, the Milestone Prizes ”are for demonstrating (via actual testing and analysis) robust hardware and software to overcome key technical risks in the areas of imaging, mobility and lander systems.” To win one, the teams test out pieces of their propulsion, telecommunications, and optics systems in the presence of a judge.

Astrobotic earned its mobility award by proving that Andy can endure the vacuum and high radiation levels on the lunar surface, and that he could drive at least 1600 feet once he gets to the moon. “We’ve shaken it to simulate launch forces, driven it through moon dirt and exposed it to the extremes of lunar temperatures among many, many tests,” William “Red” Whittaker, Astrobotic team leader, said in a press release. The team thinks that eventually their rover, whose name is Andy, will be capable of navigating giant craters, caves, and polar ice on the moon.

XPrize may announce more Milestone winners in the coming weeks, if other teams can prove their rovers are on track to land on the moon by December 31, 2016. Though the previous deadline was set for December 31, 2015, and a few teams (including Astrobotic) are on target to meet that deadline, XPrize just announced they’re pushing back the deadline by a year to give other teams a fighting chance.

November 8, 1895: German Scientist Discovers X-Rays

On this day in 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen became the first person to observe X-rays. The discovery occurred accidentally after he noticed a glow on a nearby screen while experimenting with the passage of cathode rays through glass. He named the phenomenon “X-radiation” echoing the unknown nature of the incident at the time.

In 1901, Rontgen became the recipient of the first Nobel Prize for physics due to the revolutionary effects of his discovery regarding modern physics and diagnostic medicine.

Take a tour of NOVA’s Electromagnetic Spectrum interactive to learn about the range of X-rays, microwaves, gamma rays and more.

Photo: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, Discoverer of X-Rays in 1895. (Generalstabens Litografiska Anstalt/ Wikimedia Commons)

Wilhelm Röntgen, Hand mit Ringen, 1895. Photo @ Bettyann Holzmann Kevles

The first published X-ray was of the human hand, that of his wife Anna Bertha. Röntgen presented it in a formal paper Dec 1895. A Viennese newspaper picked up the story with international papers following—The New York Sun covered it on its front page on Jan 7—and Röntgen and his rays became a world-wide phenomenon. For his work, he received the first Nobel prize in physics in 1901. Read more: The Rise of the X-Ray. The NY Academy of Medicine

Let’s Stop Killing Ourselves and Take Some Risks | Peter Diamandis

I love talking about risk. Because ultimately, the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. If it wasn’t a crazy idea the day before, it wouldn’t be a real breakthrough. It would be an incremental improvement. So the question I ask people in their companies, in their organizations is, where are you taking big risks? Because if you’re not taking big risks then you’re destined to not changing anything or making small incremental improvements. But if you’re playing a big game in the world, then you have to take risks.

I look at the United States, for example, I think we’re killing ourselves on how risk adverse we’ve become. Large government agencies have stopped taking big risks because they’re worried about Congressional investigations. Large corporations stopped taking big risks because they’re worried about stock prices plummeting. And really, the entrepreneurial sector ends up being a place where people are willing to risk it all. You risk you reputation, you risk the capital you raised. But ultimately, you’re going to be potentially changing the world.

So, I think about risk a lot. And I think about encouraging smart risk taking. Now, taking risks doesn’t mean being stupid. It really involves taking measured risks and really understanding how to mitigate those risks in one way or another. So when we announced the Ansari X Prize, I took a huge risk in announcing it without having the $10 million in place. and ultimately it paid off. It might not have, we might not be having this conversation to day if we never raised the money, but I thought that, you know, ultimately this was a solid enough idea that there would be somebody who would be willing to put up the funds. It took me five years, far longer than I expected. But ultimately in taking that risk, it actually forced me to never give up because I had placed so much on the table in terms of my reputation, the reputation of my friends and colleagues that I couldn’t give up.

Stay Curious. Watch NASA’s tribute video, “Risk Is Our Business” to further navigate home the human nature of such “risks” in our time..

"Fifth Doctor and Rose" - Digital Oil Painting

Painted for dryadalis because she won a Gold Medal in the nwficolympics! She finally decided on what she wanted me to paint for her, hehe. I hope you like it, sweetie! :D

This is NOT a Photoshop filter, every stroke is painted by me.

AI X Prize

Chris Anderson and Peter Diamandis announced at the TED conference in Vancouver a new contest for AI. Although everything seems to be pretty unspecified (rules are tbd via the crowd) but the idea of a modern day Turing Test is exciting.

Sample of the Prize Rules:

DRAFT PRIZE Concept: This is for example purposes. Elements of this concept may or may not be used. We’d like to hear your ideas.

In advance of the TED Conference, a group of judges develop 100 different TED Talk subjects.

During the TED Conference, the TED Audience chooses one of these subjects (or the subject is randomly chosen) and then the competing A.I. is given 30 minutes to prepare a compelling 3 min TED Talk.

The Team could decide how their A.I. would present on stage – would it be a physical robot that walks out to present? Or a disembodied voice?

After the talk, the audience would vote with their applause and, if appropriate, with a standing ovation.

Next, the A.I. would need to answer two questions from Chris Anderson, the host of the conference, and then a panel of experts would also add their votes.

Each year at the TED Conference, an interim prize would be offered for the best A.I. presentation until such time that an A.I. truly delivers a spectacular TED Talk, and the A.I. XPRIZE presented by TED winner is crowned.

[submit idea] [read more]

Private Moon Race May Spark Lunar ‘Water Rush’
Image: The Polaris lunar rover is designed to prospect for water ice on the moon.
CREDIT: Astrobotic

A private race to the moon with robotic probes may kick off a lunar “water rush” that helps humanity explore asteroids, Mars and other deep-space destinations, some scientists say.

The 25 privately funded teams competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize may perform vital prospecting work that will lay the foundation for large-scale exploitation of moon water, leading to cheaper and more efficient space exploration, the idea goes.

"This is like the gold rush that led to the settlement of California," Phil Metzger, a physicist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said in a statement. "This is the water rush."

The lure of lunar water
The Google Lunar X Prize is an international challenge to land a robot on the moon’s surface, have it travel at least 1,650 feet (500 meters) and send data and images back to Earth.

The first privately funded team to do all of this will receive the $20 million grand prize. An additional $10 million is set aside for second place and various special accomplishments, such as detecting water, bringing the prize’s total purse to $30 million.

NASA and other space agencies are particularly interested in the water-detection part of the challenge. They hope the teams — such as one led by Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology, Inc. — help ground-truth observations made from orbit, which have spotted water ice in craters near the lunar poles.

"We really need to get vehicles on the surface of the moon prospecting to characterize those deposits, like how do they vary spatially, how do they vary with depth?" Metzger said.

Moon water could be used for much more than just slaking astronauts’ thirst. Split into its component hydrogen and oxygen, it could also provide air for them to breathe and — perhaps most importantly — propellant for their spaceships, which could refuel at orbiting “gas stations.”

"There have been studies that have shown you can reduce the mass of a mission to Mars by a factor of somewhere between three and five if you get propellants from the space environment rather than launching them all from Earth," Metzger said.

Launching soon
In April, Astrobotic signed a contract with NASA to continue to develop technologies the space agency may use to harvest space resources in the future. And the company’s X Prize plans are coming along; Astrobotic aims to launch a lander and rover to the moon on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket less than three years from now.

"Our intent is to land on the surface of the moon in October 2015 and find water," said Astrobotic president John Thornton.

Astrobotic will test its rover and tools in a special bin of simulated lunar soil at Kennedy Space Center.

"You have to be able to go to the moon with some confidence that your vehicle’s going to be able to get around and to dig in the soil," Thornton said.

The fact that so many other teams are vying to beat Astrobotic to the moon shows that the potential to find and exploit lunar resources is real, he added.

"If we were doing something really big and no one else was trying to do it, then it might not be that big," Thornton said.

Watch: The Polaris Lunar Rover

Reaching For The Stars

by Txchnologist Staff

This short film, The Sky is NOT the Limit by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, tells the story of Peter Diamandis, the visionary behind the X Prize Foundation. The organization runs public competitions to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.

The X Prize started as a way to supercharge innovations for space exploration. It offered $10 million to the first team that could successfully launch a reusable manned craft into space twice in two weeks. Scaled Composites, the company behind SpaceShipOne, won the prize in 2004.

Video courtesy Focus Forward Films.

How to Spend Your Entire Income Building a Car that Must Travel 100 Miles on a Single Gallon of Gas

Jason Fagone | Ingenious, Crown Publishing Group | November 2013 | 20 minutes (4,972 words)

Below is the first chapter from Jason Fagone’s new book, Ingenious, about the X Prize Foundation’s $10 million competition to build a car that can travel 100 miles on a single gallon of gas. Thanks to Fagone and Crown Publishing for sharing it with the Longreads community. You can purchase the full book here.


We speed west into a bank of mottled clouds and blue-black sky and not much else. We drip with sweat. The launch site is two miles back and counting: the barn where the light is on and the guys are waiting to hear if everything’s okay. We try to talk to one another, we shout and scream, but our words get shredded by motor noise, by a sound like a blender gone berserk, whirring and rising to a blastoff pitch.

There are four of us in here: me, a woman named Jen Danzinger, and two men. The men are in front, firing questions at each other in quick bursts. I’m in back with Jen. She braces a hand against the door. Headlights blaze by in the oncoming lane. I wonder how much the other driver noticed—maybe just a silvery bulge, maybe our vehicle’s whole weird shape. Elongated fuselage, tapering tail. Does he have any idea what the hell he just passed?

Keep reading



WHY does Penn State call their program (competing to send their robot on a spacecraft to the Moon) LUNAR LION ?

1. First part is easy
Lunar refers to the Moon.

2. Second part is team spirit
Penn State’s mascot is a lion (that we call the Nittany Lion named after Nittany Ridge near the Pennsylvania—University Park campus.)

Lunar Lion website: LunarLion.psu.edu

[Images credit Penn State News, Patrick Mansell. Licensing–Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative]

We will post thru-out the competition.
See #Lunar Lion for more.