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How Did Primitive Organisms Learn Physics?

first_img(Visited 438 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Inspiring cases of ballistics, civil engineering and architecture can be found in some of the simplest of living organisms.Fungus ballistics. When people say, “There’s a fungus among us,” they don’t usually mean it as a compliment. Perhaps they would if they watched the cannons they build to launch their spores. New Scientist says they have a really cool method of triggering their cannons: raindrops. Leah Crane reports that the secret has eluded a complete explanation for a century, till recently scientists at the University of North Carolina figured it out.Biologists have long known that the mechanism involved two drops of water interacting with the half-egg shape of spores launched in this way: an elongated drop that forms on its flat side, and a small spherical drop called a Buller’s drop that sits near the rounded base of the spore….When the drops merge, the loss in surface area releases some of the energy that was maintaining surface tension in the original drops. That is converted into the kinetic energy required to launch the spore away from its parent fungus.The secret might find application in creating self-cleaning surfaces, Crane writes. Another fungal secret was revealed on Phys.org. How do wood rot fungi consume wood, when no other organism has figured out how to tap into that energy source?  They use a “biomass conversion too” that basically uses chemistry, not enzymes (although enzymes are made and used in the process). Chelators get into the cell wall and disrupt it so that the fungi can get to the good stuff and eat it. Janet Lathrop shares how important fungi are to the forest ecosystem.Venus Flower Basket, Credit: Kesari Lab/Brown UniversitySponge civil engineering. Sea sponges seem like the last things you would go to for inspiration about engineering, but Phys.org suggests we take a new look in an article titled, “Learning new tricks from sea sponges, nature’s most unlikely civil engineers.” Taken from Michael A. Mon’s piece at The Conversation, this article explains how sponges achieve a desirable trade-off between strength and light weight.Unlike a soft, squishy kitchen sponge, the marine sponge that I study, Euplectella aspergillum, is stiff and strong. It has an amazingly complex skeleton that consists of an intricate assembly of fibers, known as spicules, no larger than a human hair. Their structural function is much like that of the thousands of beams that make up the Eiffel Tower.Given the praise he heaps on what simple sponges can do, it seems odd he takes time out to preach a sermon on natural selection: “through natural selection, organisms with better designs often outlive those with worse ones and hand off the blueprints of those designs to their offspring through genetic inheritance.” Maybe he is emphasizing it because readers wouldn’t believe it.Protein architects. Proteins are only parts of cells within organisms, but they are master architects. They build clathrin cages in nerve cells, and viruses (not even organisms) pack DNA tightly in icosahedral containers. A paper in PNAS, “Beyond icosahedral symmetry in packings of proteins in spherical shells,” explains the significance of learning how these miniature machines achieve what they do:The design and construction of man-made structures at microscopic scales are one of the key goals of modern nanotechnology. With nature as inspiration, synthetic biological building blocks have recently been designed that self-assemble into quasi-spherical shells or cages. Whereas many natural protein building blocks self-assemble into highly symmetric ordered shells (e.g., viruses), our study shows that surprisingly even a small amount of (unavoidable) flexibility in the synthetic building blocks leads to stable disordered configurations. Our work provides a new design paradigm: Modulating the flexibilities of the components, one can control the regularity of the packing and, consequently, the surface properties of a synthetic cage.The authors find that “optimizing those flexibilities can be a possible design strategy to obtain regular synthetic cages with full control over their surface properties.”How did the simplest of living things come up with technologies our top scientists cannot yet duplicate? Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of intelligent design.last_img read more

Will Recommendation Apps be the New iPhone App Hotness?

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#start#startups Imagine investment communities trading and reviewing stock and news apps, or Oprah Winfrey’s community recommending shopping and reading apps, or New Yorkers sharing transportation and amenity apps. The personalization of applications by politics, lifestyle, locale and community may prove more useful in making app recommendations than any automated Genius system that Apple could hope to cook up. Additionally, because providers can monetize recommendations through paid app referral fees, it’s entirely possible that influential communities can earn money simply by weighing in with their app preferences. It’s honestly so meta that it hurts, but if social media has taught us anything, it’s that community influencers are tastemakers. If this is in fact the future, then my question to you is this – Which communities would you take recommendations from, and would you pay for the app? dana oshiro Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… While maybe not the most visually compelling product, Healthful Apps represents an interesting new trend for 2010. Created by Apps for All, the product recommends customer-reviewed iPhone health applications in a variety of categories including autism, relaxation and memory. Although the company’s first effort is focused on health, the larger industry-wide question remains – will this year’s branded iPhone app be a recommendation app? Last year ReadWriteWeb covered Appsfire as one service that allows users to bookmark and share their favorite iPhone apps. While it’s certainly a useful tool, recommendations are made by individuals rather than influential groups. As seen with Healthful Apps, there’s opportunity to extend these recommendation-based applications to special-interest and location-based communities. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Google+ Adds Sign-In Feature, Matching Facebook And Twitter

first_imgdan lyons Slowly but surely, Google keeps building out its Google+ social network and becoming a stronger rival to Facebook. Today the company is announcing the ability to let people sign in on websites with their Google+ credentials instead of creating a unique user name and password.At first glance this seems like no big deal. After all, you can already do the same thing with your Facebook and Twitter IDs. So in a way, Google is just playing catch-up. And for now there are only 10 developers committed to using Google+ sign-ins. They include Shazam, Fitbit and Fancy, plus the Guardian newspaper and USA Today.But Google claims its system is better than what other social networks offer. “In many ways it’s a leapfrog technology,” says David Glazer, Google+ engineering director.There are typical Google goodies like two-step verification. But another cool thing Google has done is create a seamless connection between the desktop and mobile. Sign up for Fancy on your desktop Web browser, for example, and you’ll be asked if you’d also like the Fancy app on your Android smartphone. Say yes, and without taking your phone out of your pocket the Fancy app gets downloaded and installed onto your Android phone. Next time you take out your phone, there’s the app. “It’s kind of a wow moment,” Glazer says. “It feels like magic.”More ControlAlso, while Facebook and Twitter basically just authenticate someone’s identity, Google+ sign-ins give users better control of how their activities are shared.Find a new song that you like, and you can share that information with just one of your Google+ circles, or even with just one individual, or with no one at all. That way you’re not constantly spamming all of your friends with an announcement about every story you’ve read or song you’ve listened to.You can also just create a list of things you’ve liked on your profile, so people can find those things but only if they actively go looking through your profile to see what you’ve been up to lately.That should be a better experience for users, but it’s also potentially better (and more valuable) for advertisers. Let’s say I’m looking for new music, and I know my neighbor Tony always finds cool stuff. There are two ways I might find recommendations from him. One is that he might single me out and send me a recommendation for a particular song that he thinks I’ll like. Another is that I might go to his profile and check out what songs he’s discovered lately.In either scenario I’m much more likely to buy something (and thus much more valuable to advertisers) than if I was just one of hundreds of Tony’s friends who get randomly sprayed with every song that Tony listens to.Microsoft’s PlaybookIn a way the Google of 2013 is taking a page from the Microsoft “close follower” playbook of the 1990s.Google wasn’t the first company to do search, or maps, or smartphone operating systems, or email or social. What Google has done, over and over, is let others go into a market first and make mistakes. Then Google goes in, figures out which features people like and which things they wish could be different, and then tries to build a better version of what others have built.Like Microsoft of old, Google often gets derided when it first enters a market, but it keeps on iterating and getting better. In 2008, Android was a joke. By 2010 it was catching up with Apple. By the end of 2012 Android was on 75% of smartphones being sold worldwide, versus 15% for Apple. Why? Because Google did for smartphones what Microsoft did for personal computers, by creating an operating system and licensing it to dozens of hardware companies.Ghost Town?Google+ has taken its share of abuse. Back in November 2011 Farhad Manjoo of Slate declared Google+ was dead. A blogger at Forbes said the same thing. Then in 2012 came the articles about Google+ being a ghost town.But Google kept chugging away, and by the end of 2012 claimed to have 500 million members on Google+.People can and do quibble with Google’s numbers, arguing that most of the users it claims aren’t very active. Many don’t even go to Google+ itself, but just interact with it via other Gooogle sites.Google counters by saying that the real goal of Google+ is to gather social information to make Google’s core search product more effective.Sign-ins are just another part of this. It’s unclear whether developers will view Google+ as important enough to merit adding Google+ sign-ins to their apps. But it seems clear that Google is not giving up on its “ghost town” just yet.Here’s a video Google created to explain the sign-in feature: Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Google Image courtesy of Reuters. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts last_img read more

The New and Non-Actor’s Crash Course: Part One

first_imgIn the first of our two-part series, we’ll cover some things you’ll need to know as an actor (or filmmaker) if you’re going to be in front of the camera.Either you’re a brand new actor or you’re a filmmaker and you have non-actors coming to work on your set. If you’re a new or non-actor, you want to be prepared and professional. If you’re a filmmaker, you don’t have time, nor do you want to break down everything your non-actors need to know. So, you need a crash course to prepare yourself or send to your new cast.Well, let’s go.Practice Your LinesImage via guruXOX.Before you even arrive on set, you want to know your lines! This may sound obvious, but I can’t stress this enough. Don’t just read them a few times to “get familiar” with them — memorize them! Know them word for word, know the scene, understand it. Believe me, having your lines memorized is the first step to good acting. Once you have them memorized, drill them so that they flow comfortably from you. You won’t come off as natural if you’re stumbling over the words or if you’re focused on remembering the lines instead of acting.Practice delivering them across a range of emotions. If it’s a dramatic scene, make sure you’re able to deliver the lines casually, and vice versa if it’s a casual scene. The reason for this is to make sure you feel comfortable with the dialog, no matter how you deliver it. When you show up to rehearsal or set, the director may have you deliver the lines differently than what you were expecting. If you’re new to acting, this could really throw you off.Of course, not every gig is going to give you lines beforehand. They may still be writing them or they may have you ad-lib. In this case, just try to learn as much as you can about the character from the director.Create Your CharacterWho are you playing? What’s her backstory? What does she like to do? Who is she? As an actor, you need to embody your character. Sometimes directors or screenwriters will have a very detailed character breakdown explaining the character’s history, hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, etc. If so, study this and research it. Imagine how this history affects the character in the events of the film, practice ad-libbing as the character, moving as the character.However, more often than not, you won’t receive such a detailed character breakdown, if any at all. So, make up the character yourself. Of course, you must base the character on how they appear in the script and definitely be sure to talk it over with the director. But don’t be afraid to bring in ideas of your own! You just want to make sure they get approved.“What if my character only has one scene or just a few lines?” Still develop the role. You don’t need to write this character a biography, but you want to make sure they’re as real as possible. The more you understand about your character, the easier it’ll be for you to embody them.Take Acting ClassesIf you’re brand new to acting (and if you have time prior to production), take an acting class. Make sure it’s a film acting class because theater acting is quite different, and it will show on camera. If you can’t make it to a physical location for classes, check online resources like MasterClass.com or even YouTube.Practice Landing on MarksMarks, typically made from paper tape, are tools to help actors stop and stand in the same spot during each take. It’s very important to practice this skill. In theater, if you land a few steps or inches off your mark, it’s not really a problem because the audience can still see you. However, if you don’t land on your mark on a film set, you’ll likely end up either out of frame or out of focus, or both.When moving toward your mark, you can’t stare at it to make sure you’re on target. You need to be able to do so without looking directly at it. This requires a little practice, but it doesn’t take long to get used to using your peripheral vision to land on your marks naturally. Simply get some masking tape and set up a few “T” marks at various distances from a starting location. Practice walking to them and stopping naturally, only checking your accuracy after stopping. Once that gets easier, pick up the pace! Jog to your mark, run to your mark.Study FramingThe framing of a shot will determine how much of an actor appears onscreen. This is important because it dictates how much room you, as an actor, have to work with. If the director frames you in a mid shot, the camera sees you from the waist up. So, in that shot, the audience won’t see what your legs are doing but they’ll definitely see what your arms are doing. If you’re in a close-up, the audience will only see your face and not the way your hands move when you talk.Image via Django Unchained (The Weinstein Company).If you’re in a wide shot, you have much more freedom. You can move around a few steps, you can incorporate your legs, and you can even flail your arms! But the closer we get to a close-up, the less you can move before stepping out of frame.You also need to understand framing because it affects body language and props. So much of how we communicate comes from body language, and we often talk with our hands. Body language is crucial to acting because it brings realism and depth to the character. Hardly any normal person stands like a statue when they speak, especially if their voice has any emotion in it. This affects you as an actor because if you’re framed in a medium close-up, we won’t be able to see you gesture with your hands — unless you consciously lift them into the frame.Often, those hand movements can really emphasize an emotion or differentiate a character’s personality, but only if we can see them. The same goes for props. If you need to wave around a prop or hold a glass, we need to see it. It may feel natural to hold it one way, but depending on the framing, you’ll have to adjust.Clarify ExpectationsMost importantly, you need to clarify expectations for your performance. You need to act, yes, but what else? Things like nudity, kissing (or more), stunts, foods you may have to eat, and costume choices are things to discuss before taking on a role. If you agree to a role thinking your scene is a date at a pizza parlor, then when you show up on set and the director asks you to eat bugs, wear a skimpy outfit, kiss your date, and then take a hit and fall to the floor, you’re in for a surprise.Yes, it’s the filmmaker’s responsibility to tell you these things ahead of time, but not everyone is professional, and they may neglect to share important information (I’ve been there). Don’t let them trick you! Know the expectations. And if you agree to them, don’t let them change while shooting. This is very important. You won’t make it as an actor just because you’re willing to do anything. You’ll make it as an actor because you’re professional and you practice your craft.Lastly, make sure you know where the set is and how long it takes to get there — and be sure to show up at least ten minutes early. Practice everything above, establish clear expectations with the filmmaker, and prepare for the shoot! In the next article, we’ll dive right into what to expect and what to know when you’re on set.Cover image via guruXOX.Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check these out.The Lost Joys of Using DIY Filmmaking EquipmentThe Dana Dolly: A Quintessential Cinematic Tool for FilmmakersHow DPs Make the Shift from Commercials to Features and Back AgainHow to Hire a Film Crew for Your Next Passion ProjectTips for Avoiding Stress as A Solo Filmmakerlast_img read more

Maizo-Pontillas ‘pressured’ after winning MVP plum

first_imgAnother vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Froome loses Tour lead to Aru, Bardet wins 12th stage Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Cignal’s diminutive defensive ace Jheck Dionela was the conference’s Best Libero.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ View comments El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Rhea Dimaculangan and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas. Photo by Sherwin Vardeleon/INQUIRERPetron Blaze Spiker Aiza Maizo-Pontillas is no stranger to winning individual awards.And she added another hardware to her collection Thursday night, taking home the MVP in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference Thursday after helping Petron dethrone F2 Logistics in five sets, 26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 25-23, 15-11, in the finals.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera “But I will still work hard to show that I deserve the MVP.”Maizo-Pontillas’ teammate and fellow UST alum Rhea Dimaculanagan, meanwhile, won the Best Setter award.READ: Petron blanks F2, closes in on PSL titleMika Reyes also took an individual trophy for Petron, winning the 2nd Best Blocker Award while silver medalist Mary Joy Baron was named the Best Blocker.Foton teammates EJ Laure and Jaja Santiago won the Best Outside Spiker and Best Opposite Spiker trophies, respectively, while F2 Logistics’ Ara Galang was named the 2nd Best Spiker.ADVERTISEMENT “I think I’m more pressured right now because I won the MVP,” said Maizo-Pontillas, who won several MVPs when she bannered University of Santo Tomas in the Shakey’s V-League.READ: Petron claims PSL All-Filipino title, sweeps F2FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMaizo-Pontillas likened her MVP trophy to being part of the national team, as immense pressure comes along with with both distinctions.“This MVP trophy is like being named to the national team because not only does it bring pressure but the expectation for you to perform well is also there,” said Maizo-Pontillas, who had 14 points in the title-clinching game. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekendlast_img read more