What paddleboarding has taught me about being a balanced entrepreneur

If I told you that I credit paddleboarding to my success in entrepreneurship, you’d probably laugh me out of the boat, or the board — and I wouldn’t blame you! Founding and running a successful business requires many skills, and propelling one’s self on a board in Miami waters is decidedly not the first one that comes to mind. That said, as an entrepreneur, I get a lot out of my hobbies. They help me unwind, disconnect, and get my blood and brain pumping in new ways, making me a better leader when I am on the clock. I take…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Full video: Inside the payments industry with Stripe co-founder John Collison at the GeekWire Summit

They may not know it, but anyone who has backed a company on Kickstarter or taken a Lyft is engaging with Stripe.

The company provides the online payments backbone for Twitter, Kickstarter, Shopify, Salesforce, Lyft and more than 100,000 other companies. The company’s co-founder, John Collison, was interviewed earlier this month by Axios Chief Technology Correspondent Ina Fried at the 2017 GeekWire Summit about the progress Stripe has made in just a few short years.

The company was in 2009 and based in San Francisco, and it is expanding rapidly in Seattle. Collison said the company has plans to grow to about 100 people by next year in the city.

Stripe is shaping up to be like the Amazon Web Services of mobile payments. The company represents an indispensable part of an array of consumer-facing services that operates behind the scenes. And it is heading in a similar direction, starting off with basic services and expanding into other areas, like how AWS started off with storage and now offers dozens of computing services to its customers.

In Stripe’s case, it is adding business services like fraud detection, analytics tools, and even helping people incorporate a business starting from scratch.

Watch the full interview with Collison from the GeekWire Summit above.

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Public radio’s digital moment: Smartphones, streaming, and the future of listening

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. (GeekWire Photo / Frank Catalano)

Public radio and digital tech are having a moment. Not only has National Public Radio listenership hit an all-time high, NPR podcasts and digital content have spiked in popularity. Meanwhile, Seattle-area public broadcasters focusing on classical, indie rock, jazz, and news are diving deeply into streams, podcasts, and video to reach new audiences in new ways.

Matt Martinez, director of content for news and jazz KNKX Tacoma/Seattle, said they’re finding the definition of “radio” is changing. He cited a study of Millennials who, to the surprise of some stations involved in the research, said they listened to a lot of radio. So they were asked how they listened to the radio in the morning.

“‘On my phone and I just put it on my speaker,’” Martinez described the response. “So (it’s) streaming, but they’re thinking ‘radio’ still.”  That led to an aha moment. “When they think about ‘radio’ what they’re thinking is stories, well-crafted stories, solid news and information, well-curated music.”

Even the definition of ‘streaming’ has undergone some change, noted Bryan Lowe, long-time program director of KING-FM Seattle. KING established one of the first online streams in 1995 to mirror what was broadcast on its classical music station.

KING-FM’s Bryan Lowe and KNKX-FM’s Matt Martinez. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

By 2011, Lowe recalled, KING had four distinct streaming channels because it became clear that classical audiences had varying tastes. “We made a symphonic channel. We made an opera channel,” he said. “We tried to take some of that content and move it over there where a specific audience could find it around the world, and there’s a big audience for it.”

Martinez and Lowe sat down with GeekWire for an episode of our special podcast series on science fiction, pop culture, and the arts to discuss public radio going digital. Martinez joined KNKX (formerly KPLU) two years ago following 15 years at NPR where he was a senior producer, working on everything from podcast pilots to its signature All Things Considered. Lowe, retired from his program director role, remains a host at KING-FM where he’s worked since 1979.

Listen to the podcast below or download the MP3 here.

Their stations are only two of several listener-supported radio stations in the Seattle area, including KUOW, KEXP, and KNHC.

Both KNKX and KING are digital pioneers. One factor may be Seattle’s pervasive and long-standing tech industry. The KING-FM online stream came about, Lowe said, because the station had a fan: someone at RealNetworks, then called Progressive Networks.

“They said we want to do this online,” Lowe said. “The guy who is inventing the streaming process at RealNetworks loved KING-FM and so he was using us as a test. So he put us on as a streaming channel and it’s just been going on ever since.”

Shortly after that, Lowe says KING-FM was involved “in the first-ever classical concert done on the internet; it was called the Cyberian Rhapsody.” KING-FM also became notable when, in 2011, as it shifted to non-profit status, it decided to do away with not just commercials, but the traditional radio staples of news and traffic, effectively turning its broadcasts into an on-air equivalent of a digital stream.

KNKX’s Jazz24, one of public media’s most popular music streams.

KNKX, too, has done its share of turning new digital fields. Martinez points to its Jazz24 stream, which continues to grow after nearly a decade, he said, calling it “still one of the most listened to music streams in public media.”

While the online audiences for both KING-FM and KNKX pale in comparison to those for on-air broadcasts, digital listeners tend to be younger. “The average public radio age, and I think it’s true for our station, is right around 54,” Martinez said. “Sixty-five percent of the NPR podcast audience is between 24 and 44.”

The next digital harbinger may be Alexa and its relatives. “There have been different estimates telling us that 20 percent of the population could have a voice-activated device in their home by 2020,” Martinez said, noting the uptake of Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. “You need to be the thing that they want to listen to, and you have to market yourself to make sure that happens.”

KNKX features videos of jazz artists on its YouTube channel.

Why wouldn’t listeners just pick a fully automated stream from Pandora or Spotify? Expertise.

“They don’t know the product of ‘classical music,’ ” Lowe said. “When I say to that black tube device over there, play Janacek’s Sinfonietta piece I really like, it will only play the first movement because it doesn’t recognize that there are four movements within a symphony.” The same might be said of deep human host knowledge of the contents of jazz, or indie rock.

It’s not unlike what happened to stage after the debut of film, or film after television — the precursor medium had to re-think what it was uniquely good at, and focus. “We are excellent storytellers, NPR,” Martinez said. “We have to continue telling great wonderful stories. As long as we do that the audience will be there; we just have to make sure that we are there in a meaningful way for them.”

NPR studios in Washington, DC, and lots of Windows 7. (GeekWire Photo / Frank Catalano)

The relentless march of technology for the audience also can be a challenge for public broadcasters behind the scenes. In an unrelated visit to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. last month, I noticed that every computer on several newsroom floors was still running Windows 7. And when faced with a digital output limitation while recording promos for All Things Considered — theme music had to be played from a compact disc — co-host Ari Shapiro exclaimed (off the air), “My mind is blown … I’m not even a Millennial, and I don’t have a way to play a CD.”

NPR alum Martinez smiled when told that story. At KNKX, “we don’t play CDs anymore,” he confirmed.

Both Martinez and Lowe do expect digital to eventually start to overtake analog broadcasting. “We have a good ten years … where things are going to really be pretty strong,” Lowe speculated. “But within the seven-year period things are going to start turning. There’ll be too many other options that people can turn to.”

“I think the bottom is going to fall out when WiFi becomes a true public utility,” Martinez projected. “And you are able to get it everywhere you go.” As entire cities have WiFi cloud coverage, Martinez said, “people can just call out in their cars what they want to listen to.”

So will this technologically rich future ever improve the listener experience of … the pledge drive?

Martinez, for one, was optimistic. “Technology is fantastic, and you can figure lots of stuff out with it,” he said. “It just takes that person to figure it out.”

Previously in this series: Preserving the future: How MoPOP protects and presents our ever-changing popular culture

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Hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico submits bid for Amazon HQ2

Even Puerto Rico is making a bid for Amazon HQ2.

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The U.S. territory that is still struggling to recover from a devastating hurricane has submitted a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Bloomberg reported this weekend that Puerto Rican officials sent their proposal to Amazon for a potential HQ2 to be built on a former naval station in the northeastern municipality of Ceiba.

Much of Puerto Rico is still without electricity, food, or water more than a month after Hurricane Maria made direct landfall.

Bloomberg notes that the “vulnerability” of the country’s energy grid could be one reason Amazon decides not to establish an HQ2 in Puerto Rico, which is also dealing with a debt crisis.

Amazon just finished accepting applications for its new headquarters, which will be a “full equal” to its current HQ in Seattle. Amazon says HQ2 will bring 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment to the city that it ultimately picks.

Amazon first announced its HQ2 intentions last month; since then, seemingly every big city in North America has rallied its economic development teams to help convince the tech giant to bring HQ2 to their region. Amazon is looking for a metro area with more than 1 million people, quality transit options, and incentives from local governments.

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Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Oct. 15, 2017

Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Oct. 15, 2017.

Sign up to receive these updates every Sunday in your inbox by subscribing to our GeekWire Weekly email newsletter.

Most popular stories on GeekWire

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Beer lovers, take note: University of Washington lab brews up a new way to make paper

UW beer paper
Kurt Haunreiter, the lab manager in the University of Washington’s Paper and Bioresource Science Center, holds up some of his spent beer grain paper. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

There were pretzels and there was a guy dressed in lederhosen. But the only sign of beer at this Oktoberfest event, of sorts, was the spent grain from the brewing process that was being used to make paper.

In the bowels of Bloedel Hall on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Kurt Haunreiter runs the Paper & Bioresource Science Center in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Dressed like he was headed to tip a pint, or four, Haunreiter got in the spirit of the season last week during a demonstration of the possibilities when it comes to paper making.

It’s a craft he learned after 25 years working in the pulp paper industry, including many at the Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Everett, Wash. In his third year at the UW, Haunreiter encourages students to find interesting ways to displace wood fiber in their paper products — and spent beer grain is one of them.

“There’s not a lot of economic benefit to the microbreweries,” Haunreiter said of the brewing byproduct, which often goes to farms as cattle feed. “Being that we’re part of the bioresource program here, not just paper, I looked at, ‘How can we take advantage of something like that and incorporate it into paper making?’ The beer grain is not real strong, it doesn’t impart great characteristics, it’s more of an artisan paper.”

UW beer paper
Beer paper is way easier to make when you dress the part. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Beer paper
Students in the paper lab at the UW help run the machine producing paper made from spent beer grain. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

With the paper machine humming in his basement lab and three or four students helping out, Haunreiter’s finished product did indeed look like something you might scroll a nice note on, especially to a friend who likes beer (the best kind of friend).

He said the paper was suitable as “communication paper,” meaning it could be run through a laser or ink-jet printer. With 20 percent of the wood fiber displaced by spent beer grain, Haunreiter called it a “nice strong sheet” and figured that a later run on the machine, in which he planned to “up the basis weight,” could produce a business card stock.

It’s the second time Haunreiter has run brewer’s byproduct through his paper maker. “We do a lot of contract work,” he said of the Paper Center. “So I don’t always get to do my projects.”

beer paper
The paper has an artisan look, as little pieces of the spent beer grain can be seen in the finished product. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

And for Haunreiter and his students, it’s not just a gimmick to get the teacher to don a Bavarian hat. The hope is to attract incoming freshmen who might be curious about the mix of beer and paper, and stop by the lab. There’s also real science being applied, and Haunreiter speaks quickly, throwing out paper-making terms over his loud machinery.

“I have to watch the chemistry,” he half shouts. “A lot of non-wood fibers will be very anionic. Paper makers don’t like a lot of anionic — they have a name for that, it’s called trash. But in our case, the anionic charge is coming from the furnish that we want. I adjust the chemistry ahead of time, because if it’s too anionic the fibers won’t bond to each other.”

There are other paper makers in the world using a similar process, and generating results on a larger scale. Gmund is a German company that makes communication papers, and Ingrain of Santa Barbara, Calif., makes packaging and brand materials such as beer coasters.

Haunreiter gets his spent grain from Big Time Brewery, a craft beer maker in the University District that has been around since 1988. But holding the paper up to one’s nose doesn’t really produce the desire to ingest it like, say, a glass of ale would.

“It will smell more like bread, not beer. We were surprised at that,” Haunreiter said. “But it’s the texture we want. Unfortunately you still get the husks, and that will interfere with printing and usability, but our end user is looking for an artisan paper, and that’s what we’re trying to go for.”

beer paper
It was like a little craft brewery inside the UW paper lab — plenty of pretzels, but only root beer. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

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Why Do American Jews Idealize Soviet Communism?

[In] this country there was a time when virtually all intellectual vitality was derived in one way or another from the Communist Party. If you were not somewhere within the party’s wide orbit, then you were likely to be in the opposition, which meant that much of your thought and energy had to be devoted to maintaining yourself in opposition. In either case, it was the Communist Party that ultimately determined what you were to think about and in what terms.

This was written not in the Soviet Union or one of its satellites, but in New York in 1947 by Robert Warshow in Commentary magazine about the American culture of the previous decade. While slightly hyperbolic (the Southern Agrarians, the American Scholar, etc.?) it faithfully describes American Jewish culture of the time, emphatically including its Yiddish branch. At the extreme of this movement were people like Julius Rosenberg, George Koval, and Mark Zborowski, who actively spied for the Soviet Union. At the same time, editors of Communist publications, Hollywood and union activists, party writers and institutional leaders were all directed by Moscow and were joined by rank-and-file members in promoting the virtues of Stalinism over the evils of American constitutional democracy.

Continue reading “Why Do American Jews Idealize Soviet Communism?” at…

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Comments of the Week: Final edition?

“You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all.” -Cassandra Clare

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. A little over a week ago, Scienceblogs announced to us writers that they no longer had the funds to keep the site operational, and so they would be shutting down. They asked us to keep quiet about this, people didn’t and now you know. As of the end of this month, there will be no new articles here on Scienceblogs, and hence, no more comments of the week or synopses, or a chance to interact here.

So what can you do? Well, the top thing I’d like you to do is support me on Patreon, where I can start posting all the same content I would normally post here, and you can:

  • comment,
  • respond to one another,
  • post your own inquiries,
  • respond to one another’s inquiries,
  • and where I can respond to comments as I choose.

It’s the best option I can offer, as I’m already on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and even Google+, and try to respond to as many comments in as many places as I can.

Book cover for my new book: Treknology. Image credit: Voyageur Press / Quarto Publishing Group.

Also, for those of you who want to order an autographed copy of Treknology from me, I have the first copies of the book, mailers and other shipping materials are due to arrive on Tuesday, and then I can head to the post office for pricing on shipping. Expect US copies to run about $30, Canada copies to run about $40, and elsewhere in the world to be somewhere in the $50-$60 range. (Sorry, international folks!) Or, you know, just buy it now from Amazon and don’t wait! (But if you get it from a third-party seller, know that neither me nor my publisher makes any money.) If you want an unbiased opinion of the book, here is the official TrekCore review.

Either way, I’ll have the full and final update next week. So I’m sorry to lose this forum and this archive of articles going back nearly a decade, and especially this bizarre and unique community we’ve built here. But like everything in the Universe, the past is gone and we can only move forward into the future as best we can. So with that said, let’s take our last look back at what this past week has held…

And now, for perhaps the final time, let’s dive on into our Comments of the Week!

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Tomruen, viahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_libration_with_phase_Oct_2007_450px.gif.

From Art Glick on how the near side of the Moon never sees Earth rise or set: “If you were an observer on the Moon, the Earth would hang there eternally in the same exact location, day after day, year after year, century after century. It would never move!”

Yup. I have no disagreement with this, the mild, tiny effects of lunar libration (shown above) aside. In fact, many years ago, I wrote a piece entitled It’s never night on the moon, where I talk about what you’ll see from the lunar surface at various locations and under various conditions. In the end, however, I do mention the one reprieve you’d get from seeing the Earth all lit up:

Lunar eclipse

Image credit: JAXA / NHK, Kaguya / Selene, of a lunar eclipse as the Earth rises over the lunar limb.

During a total lunar eclipse! Pretty beautiful, no matter how you slice it.

Perceived knowledge vs. actual knowledge. Image credit: Justin Kruger and David Dunning, 1999.

From Alan G. on the fight club of reason: “The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger Club is that it’s members aren’t ware they are in the Dunning-Kruger Club.”

You know, this is not only true, but I love the (sarcastic) way that John Cleese, who happens to be friends with David Dunning, puts it.

It isn’t stupidity, per se, but rather expertise in any arena. For example, you may think you know all there is to know about cars, since how complicated could they possibly be? But then when your car fails to start, can you make it start immediately? On the first try? Do you know how to diagnose the problem, and which parts to check? Do you know whether it’s a fuse or the starter or a problem with the ignition switch or a dead battery?

And if you don’t know, could you admit to yourself that you don’t know, and that you need to take it to a professional? The lack of respect for those who are experts is a symptom of a larger problem, often on display here, that people think they know more than they do, and simultaneously think that bona fide experts know less than they do. So you pick the expert opinions you can find that agree with your opinions, and use that to justify your reasoning. That’s thinking like a lawyer, and that approach is fruitless in science.

The Universe is what it is. It’s up to us to figure it out. If you want to learn, you must be humble before the Universe. Many of you do this; the rest of you can start today if you choose. It’s up to you.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Sam Derbyshire.

The gaussian curvature in three dimensions can produce interesting two-dimensional effects. If we want our 3D space curved in a particular way, we’d need to look at it from a 4th spatial dimension. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Sam Derbyshire.

From Frank on the curvature of the Universe: “What if Universe is surface of a 4d sphere where 3d surface (space) curved in the 4th dimension (time)?”

Well, there is curvature in the fourth dimension, but the laws of relativity tell you how the relationship between space and time occur. There’s no wiggle-room or free parameters in there. If you want the Universe to be the surface of a 4D sphere, you need an extra spatial dimension. There are many physics theories that consider exactly that scenario, and they are constrained but not ruled out.

A Universe that expands and cools today, like ours does, must have been hotter and denser in the past. Initially, the Big Bang was regarded as the singularity from which this ultimate, hot, dense state emerged. But we know better today. Image credit: NASA / GSFC.

A Universe that expands and cools today, like ours does, must have been hotter and denser in the past. Initially, the Big Bang was regarded as the singularity from which this ultimate, hot, dense state emerged. But we know better today. Image credit: NASA / GSFC.

From Steve Blackband on other Big Bangs: “I am struggling with how to think about ‘other big bangs’. There is nothing, not even space or time, then there is our big bang, the expanding universe and outside of that no space and time.”

You are thinking of the Big Bang as meaning “the birth of space and time.” This is no longer the definition of the Big Bang, and it was always an assumption that turned out not to be very good. Here is an article I wrote years ago (before you started reading me, I bet!) that might help clear things up.

Image credit: © 2015 Shaper Helix — II Demo, via http://www.alevelsolutions.com/pure-mathematics.

From Michael Mooney on a math lesson he’s about to get: “So when there is no end to how close the repeating .999 decimal gets to 1, the convention is to call it 1. But no matter how close it gets to 1, it’s still not there yet. Like .999 % of a pie still has an ever-diminishing missing slice gap.”

You know, I remember being unconvinced that 0.99999…. would equal 1, so I set out to test it out. Mathematics is a wonderfully self-consistent system, so you can do this experiment yourself. You don’t need advanced math. In fact, consider this your very, very first algebra lesson.

Imagine we have this repeating decimal, 0.99999…., and we’re going to call that x. Okay? So we can write:

x = 0.999999…. and so on. As many 9s as we can write, and then they go on forever.

Now, let me ask you this: what if you had ten xs all together? In other words, multiply both side of that equation, above, by 10. What do you get?

10x = 9.999999….. and again, so on. So we have two equations: x = 0.999999…. and 10x = 9.999999….

Let’s subtract the first equation from the second equation. Ready?

10x – x = 9.9999999…. – 0.99999999….

So we do the subtraction, and can you see what happens here? The left side just becomes 9x, but the right side becomes… just 9, all on its own!

If 9x = 9, then x = 1.

Now, I had the same question as you, once, but once I learned how to do this proof, there was no more questioning. I had proven it, just as countless others before me had, and countless others after me will. x, which we had defined as 0.99999…. is also provably equal to 1.

The USS Discovery, NCC-1031, is perhaps a very thinly-veiled reference to Star Trek's 'Section 31,' and things could get a lot darker before anyone goes back to being an explorer. Image credit: Star Trek / CBS Press Kit.

The USS Discovery, NCC-1031, is perhaps a very thinly-veiled reference to Star Trek’s ‘Section 31,’ and things could get a lot darker before anyone goes back to being an explorer. Image credit: Star Trek / CBS Press Kit.

From Sinisa Lazarek on Swear Trek: “– we get a first ever “FUCK” word in Star Trek… ever. And that by a Cadet in front of officers. Not only is phrase never spoken in ST universe… but we even get more fucks with 2 other people there. Like ST script was only missing that word, and now we’ll multiply.”

Yeah, Tilly swears. And then others do it, too. Honestly, I didn’t even notice until someone I was watching it with pointed it out. But Tilly is pretty much the audience surrogate: an awkward superfan of everything in the show who gets to be roommates with Michael Burnham. I seriously think Burnham could blow up the entire Earth and Tilly would still be her fan. I am doing my best with this show to “chew on the meat and throw away the bones,” otherwise I think, like many others, I’ll wind up disappointed.

The warrior that Burnham kills is given the traditional Klingon death ritual… and then predictably used as a political tool to start a war. Image credit: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive.

From Denier on the role of the Klingons in episode 5: “Klingons were back to being one dimensional villains who all spoke English and served their regular role to move the plot along. That, more than anything else, made this episode better.”

You know, I did notice this change, and I liked it very much. Hopefully, we’ll see less of the fundamentalist theocrat Klingons speaking Klingon and a lot more of… well, everything else.

Burnham, in the first two episodes alone, gets a fatal dose of radiation poisoning, activates a Klingon probe and kills its guardian, mutinies against and knocks out the Captain, and then kills the Klingon leader. Image credit: Jan Thijs, © 2017 CBS Interactive.

From Anonymous Coward on the end of Scienceblogs: “Ethan, I read both you and Orac here on ScienceBlogs and Orac has just mentioned that ScienceBlogs will soon be shutting down for good at the end of the month. There going to be another place where we can see your article summaries and make discussion like this, other than on Forbes itself?”

Unfortunately, unless you come and join my Patreon (asking at least $1 a month is a lot, I know), there’s nothing else quite like what we’ve been doing here. I used to run startswithabang.com and would consider it again, but I simply don’t have the time to run my own blog and deal with all the hacks and updates that routinely happen on top of all the things I’m creating at this time.

In the final moments of merging, two neutron stars don't merely emit gravitational waves, but a catastrophic explosion that echoes across the electromagnetic spectrum. Image credit: University of Warwick / Mark Garlick.

In the final moments of merging, two neutron stars don’t merely emit gravitational waves, but a catastrophic explosion that echoes across the electromagnetic spectrum. Image credit: University of Warwick / Mark Garlick.

From Michael Tiemann on neutron star collisions: “When two neutron stars have been circling each other for 11 billion years, what is the relative velocity of their “collision” when they do collide?”

About a third the speed of light. Pretty impressive, don’t you think?

Geordi’s VISOR from Star Trek: TNG. Image credit: Memory Alpha.

From Gail Farley on a new Treknology that’s been developed quite recently: “Thank you for educating people about technology on Coast to Coast last night and in your book. You stated last night that you were concerned about a technology that can implant memories, and effect the body, including the loss of sight. Please tell me what kind of technology that is, so that I can research it further.”

In 2012, a group at Monash University build a working device to transmit optical information directly to the wearer’s brain, through an implant in the visual cortex. If you want to get even deeper into the real-life science than my book does, you can read the 2016 article: Monash Vision Group’s Gennaris Cortical Implant for Vision Restoration.

We knew that when two neutron stars merge, as simulated here, they create gamma-ray burst jets, as well as other electromagnetic phenomena. But whether you produce a neutron star or a black hole, as well as how much of a UV/optical counterpart is produced, should be strongly mass-dependent. Image credit: NASA / Albert Einstein Institute / Zuse Institute Berlin / M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla.

From Omega Centauri and Michael Kelsey on the newest LIGO/Virgo/EM discoveries:

“(1) What is the estimate of the NS masses?
(2) How did they come up with the age of the NS system?
(3) What is the estimated rate of mergers per cube a billion light years on a side?
(4) If both NS are near the minimum mass of a NS, can we get a NS rather than BH.
(5) Do we expect of significant gamma-ray burst from a BH NS merger?

1) About a solar mass each.
2) Use PSR B1913+16.
3) Not as high as for BH mergers.
4) Yes.
5) Yes.”

You may also really, really appreciate the information I gleaned from the theoretical end from an interview a few days ago with Chris Fryer at Los Alamos. That article, in case you missed it, is here.

The quasar QSO J0842+1835, whose path was gravitationally altered by Jupiter in 2002, allowing an indirect confirmation that the speed of gravity equals the speed of light. Image credit: Fomalont et al. (2000), ApJS 131, 95-183, via http://www.jive.nl/svlbi/vlbapls/J0842+1835.htm.

From CFT on the speed of gravity: “IF gravity traveled at the speed of light, how do you explain the actual orbits of planets around the sun?”

Not that you’ll learn anything from this, but the actual answer is that, in the context of General Relativity, if gravity moved at any other speed, we wouldn’t get the orbits that we see! I wrote an article on the indirect evidence (independent of any gravitational wave detections) that the speed of gravity is equal to the speed of light some time ago, and all that analysis is still valid today.

Since, CFT, you’re such a fan of getting info from “real” experts, you know, experts not named Ethan, maybe you’ll listen to the research of the awesome GR expert Steve Carlip, who wrote up this account of the actual evidence you claim is missing?

The soft capture mechanism installed on Hubble (illustration) uses a Low Impact Docking System (LIDS) interface and associated relative navigation targets for future rendezvous, capture, and docking operations. The system’s LIDS interface is designed to be compatible with the rendezvous and docking systems to be used on the next-generation space transportation vehicle. Image credit: NASA.

From Elle H.C. on kickstarting the saving of Hubble: “Get a Kickstarter-thingy and you might get enough funding by the end of the month.”

Well, let’s do the math on that. The most Kickstartered-thing ever, as far as I know, is Pebble Time, which is a smartwatch company that had a couple of successful Kickstarters. They raised just slightly north of $20 million. Only three things (two of which are Pebble) have crested the $10 million mark, and there are only about a dozen more that are over $5 million.

On the other hand, to boost Hubble would require approximately $500 million, if I’m ballpark-estimating appropriately. You are way better off going to an Elon Musk or a Richard Branson or Roscosmos if NASA won’t do it. That sort of money just doesn’t seem feasible.

This diagram shows the novel 5-mirror optical system of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Before reaching the science instruments the light is first reflected from the telescope’s giant concave 39-metre segmented primary mirror (M1), it then bounces off two further 4-metre-class mirrors, one convex (M2) and one concave (M3). The final two mirrors (M4 and M5) form a built-in adaptive optics system to allow extremely sharp images to be formed at the final focal plane. Image credit: ESO.

From lyle on the oversimplified joke-science that is IFLS: “Further if this article is correct : http://www.iflscience.com/space/telescopes-ground-may-be-cheaper-hubble-shows-why-they-are-not-enough/
“When E-ELT observations start in 2024, the state-of-the-art correction for atmospheric distortion will allow it to provide images 16 times sharper than those taken by Hubble.”

This is the big problem you get when you get your science from not only non-scientists, but non-journalists. They are, over at IFLS, basically news readers and re-writers, and they rarely know (or care) enough to put it in context. I’ve written, recently, about the ELT at length, and it’s true that it will have 16 times the resolution of Hubble at certain wavelengths and for certain classes of observations in the cases where atmospheric distortion can be 100% removed, which is never.

The scientific fact is there are a whole slew of observations, including UV observations and IR observations, that Hubble can make that no ground-based observatory can. Hubble’s lack of atmospheric distortion is incredible, and something no ground-based observatory, even with the best AO there is, can match.

In summary, F IFLS, and please don’t ever expect anything beyond superficial, partially correct information from them.

The possibility of having artificial gravity is tantalizing, but it is predicated on the existence of negative gravitational mass. Antimatter may be that mass, but we don’t yet know, experimentally. Image credit: Rolf Landua / CERN.

From Omega Centauri on the problem of artificial gravity: “Even if anti-matter produces anti-grav, you would need a heck of a lot of it to get 1G. How much mass is needed to create 1G (depends on density, at the average density of about 5 the mass of the earth is needed. Denser matter, and you could get by with less. But, its a huge amount no matter how you do it, and presumably it is also inertial mass, which kind of makes spacecraft difficult to accelerate.”

All true. But I will say that I am much more excited about a problem that it is physically possible to solve than one that isn’t, and antigravitating antimatter would enable that transformation when it comes to artificial gravity. Now, who has the stable white dwarf matter to build your spaceship out of… and the anti-white-dwarf antimatter, too?

Captain Gabriel Lorca aboard the bridge of the Discovery, during a simulated combat mission with the Klingons. Image credit: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive.

Captain Gabriel Lorca aboard the bridge of the Discovery, during a simulated combat mission with the Klingons. Image credit: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive.

From Douglas Robertson on artificial gravity vs. life support: “What I find funny about fictional artificial gravity is when they are experiencing an emergency. All life support is shut down, but they still have gravity.”

Must be a passive system, then. See, not so hard to explain!

Neutron stars, when they merge, can exhibit gravitational wave and electromagnetic signals simultaneously, unlike black holes. But the details of the merger are quite puzzling, as the theoretical models don't quite match what we've observed. Image credit: Dana Berry / Skyworks Digital, Inc.

Neutron stars, when they merge, can exhibit gravitational wave and electromagnetic signals simultaneously, unlike black holes. But the details of the merger are quite puzzling, as the theoretical models don’t quite match what we’ve observed. Image credit: Dana Berry / Skyworks Digital, Inc.

And finally, from Adam on the origin of gamma rays from the NS-NS merger: “Could the omnidirectional gamma ray bursts be coming from the ejecta themselves? It seems like the process of going from a lump of neutronium to all those heavy elements is a lot like the fission reaction of an atomic bomb – just one the with the mass of 30 to 40 Jupiters.”

I doubt it. The ejecta occur on the timescale of hundreds of milliseconds, but the gamma ray burst occurred 1.7 seconds after the gravitational wave signal arrived, so I don’t think that’s a dealbreaker but I also don’t think that lines up. Moreover, the ejecta come mostly from wind interactions in a disk surrounding the neutron stars, so I also don’t think that’s as likely a source as the ultra-high energies released in the star-star collision. I think it’s likely where the surfaces collide that produces such a high-energy, transient burst, but as with all things science, it’s going to take some additional evidence to know for certain!

Thanks for a great everything, everyone, and we’ll have one final just-for-you article next weekend. See you then!

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A Lively Little Dog Loves to Adorably Retrieve Whatever She Can From Wherever She Can

Ripley Fetching Ball Under Rug

A really adorable dog named Ripley, who is a rescued mix of dachshund, pug and chihuahua, evidently loves a good game of fetch. Despite how well an item is hidden, Ripley will always find and retrieve whatever she can from wherever she can, no matter how high or low she has to go. According to her human Mark Reynolds, Ripley lives this kind of stuff.

Whether it’s getting balls, stuffing, or treats, Ripley loves to retrieve stuff. …She’s a rescue but the dna test came back as Dachshund and Pug, with a bit of Chihuahua.

Ripley Dog Fetch Tower

via reddit

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Report | Malik Hooker suffers season-ending knee injury

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08: Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (29) calls out the defensive signals during the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts on October 8, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, safety Malik Hooker was a major addition for the Indianapolis Colts. One of the top defensive rookies in the NFL, Hooker has reportedly played his final game of the 2017 season. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Hooker suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee during the first half of the Colts’ 27-0 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday.

Hooker was injured while attempting to tackle Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns on a 50-yard pass play, with veteran Darius Butler taking over the duties at safety alongside Matthias Farley.

Hooker was drafted with the hope that the big play ability he displayed at Ohio State would translate to the NFL level. Last season Hooker intercepted seven passes, returning three for touchdowns on a team that won 11 games and reached the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. As a team, Indianapolis intercepted eight passes in 2016 with only one team having fewer (Jacksonville, 7).

In his first seven games as a member of the Colts, Hooker managed to make some plays, intercepting three passes and breaking up four others. Hooker also had 22 combined tackles on the season, with 16 being solos. Of the seven games Hooker played in, he started six, moving into the starting lineup after the Colts’ 46-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1.

With Hooker reportedly done for the season, the aforementioned Butler is the most likely option to handle the safety responsibilities alongside starter Matthias Farley.

The post Report | Malik Hooker suffers season-ending knee injury appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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