Browsing Tag: science

    Tiny Fish Use Bacteria to Glow in the Dark | National Geographic
    Articles, Blog

    Tiny Fish Use Bacteria to Glow in the Dark | National Geographic

    November 20, 2019

    (calming music) – I was in the Solomon Islands on a National Geographic
    expedition. We were working in a shallow reef and
    we had a big blue light that we were filming fluorescent corals. One of the safety
    divers, Brendan Phillips, came up to me and just
    started tugging on my camera and basically just gave me the message, you know, follow me. So I turn off my lights, I followed him for several hundred meters in the dark. Suddenly, I see why he pulled me there. There are literally thousands of blue, blinking bioluminescent lights. And they were coming together,
    and they were joining, and there would be circles of them, and it was almost like
    a blue, bioluminescent brick road just descending
    down the reef, making all these shapes. It’s
    the closest thing I’ve ever had to an Avatar moment. This is the largest
    aggregation of Flashlight Fish that I believe humans
    have ever come across. These animals, they don’t
    even come out when the moon is out. They’re
    so sensitive to light. Because they’re so easily
    gobbled up by a bigger predator. So it has this subocular
    bioluminescent organ under its eye, and it
    grows, like a garden, these bioluminescent bacteria. And it grows them in
    these tubes and it even projects the light outward.
    It’s even grown this vasculature to feed,
    to pump oxygen, to keep these bioluminescent
    bacteria glowing bright. One thing that they do is
    when they’re actually eating, they will keep their light
    on so they can see the food. So they’re very visual creatures. And they’re using their light to feed. But when they’re not
    feeding, they’re using their light to be able
    to move in a school. A quarter of all fish species, some time in their life, they school. And there’s all kinds of
    benefits to schooling. There’s safety in numbers,
    and it makes it harder for a predator to really
    zone in on one specific fish. What’s unique about these animals is the relationship they have
    with this bioluminescent bacteria that they harvest in their eye. Only nine species have this ability. We do know that they do
    something called a blink and run. When they want to evade
    a predator, they will start swimming in one direction, blink, and then immediately turn
    in the other direction. So a predator trying to follow
    in the dark will lose it. Recording this and
    proving this opens up the possibility that the deep sea is filled with billions of
    bioluminescent schooling fish and us humans have just not seen this yet, because we’re not in the deep sea with all our lights off.

    How SPOT Tags Work
    Articles, Blog

    How SPOT Tags Work

    November 20, 2019

    These are the tags that we use to track
    these animals virtually all around the world and these are fin mounted on the
    first dorsal fin of the shark. The tag is held up here. We have the four little eye holes in which nylon through bolts go through the fin with this antenna
    sticking as high as we can get it off the animal. We want it high up because
    these little copper discs here. There’s one here on the bottom and one here on
    the side, this is what basically tells the tag when to turn off and when to
    turn on, so when that upper copper disc breaks the surface of the water the tag
    turns on because it knows the tag is partially airborne and can communicate
    with the satellites. The tag turns on and begins sending out its signal. This
    animal has to break the surface with this tag in order for us to get a
    location. The tag life is five years and what we’ve seen is with some other animals that we’ve tagged many many years ago is the tag package actually
    falls off after a period of time which is good you don’t want the tag to remain
    on indefinitely when you only have a battery life of five years. The bolts
    kind of begin to rust out under water they lose their integrity and the tag
    package falls off and the animals fin seems to heal up relatively easily.

    The environmental cost of free two-day shipping
    Articles, Blog

    The environmental cost of free two-day shipping

    November 20, 2019

    When it comes to buying stuff, I’ve often
    wondered how did I live without online shopping? I mean literally today anything I want is
    available to me 24/7. I can buy anything anytime. In fact 79% of Americans shop online. This happens when they’re laying in bed,
    while they’re out with friends having a drink. It turns out actually one in five us shop
    online while we’re using the bathroom. All this stuff we’re buying magically appears
    on our doorstep. But what effect does all this shopping have
    on the planet? Delivery services ship a lot more packages
    now because of online shopping. Since 2009 US Postal Service deliveries increased
    by 65%. And during the holidays, UPS deliveries have
    increased by 260 million packages since 2010. Now for the most part, if you compare online
    shopping with driving to the store, online shopping has a smaller carbon footprint. But there’s a catch. It’s only better for the environment if you
    don’t get rushed delivery. Most of us, including me, are choosing faster
    delivery like two day shipping because most of the time it’s free. Why wouldn’t we want it right away? But it isn’t just a time difference, it’s
    an environmental difference. All these faster deliveries mean more trucks
    on the road and that’s causing more greenhouse gases. And that means more global warming. When we choose two-day shipping, deliveries
    often come in multiple packages. Let’s say I buy some dish soap and a pair
    of socks. The shipping warehouse near me might be out
    of dish soap, so they fly some in from another state. Meanwhile, those socks, they’re getting
    sent to me on a separate truck. Also, the company is trying to get it to me
    quickly, so trucks are often sent out only half full — If there was more flexibility
    in timing, they could fill them up all the way. If you know you have five-day delivery window,
    you can wait from all the products to come in from different sources, consolidate the
    shipment, and send it. And now you can wait for many customers’
    orders to come in and consolidate that into, let’s say, a full truckload. This is Miguel Jaller. He studies sustainable transportation at the
    University of California, Davis. By picking the longer delivery window, I’m
    giving the company more time to find the most efficient way to get a product to me. Another problem is with returns. So one of the things that companies made is
    offering this reliable and fast and almost free return option. So now as a customer, I can actually try the
    product, even if I don’t have any store to go to, because if I don’t like it or
    it doesn’t fit, I can actually return it at no cost. So like with buying clothes, if I shop online
    and pick the ‘try before you buy’ option, it would be like saying a delivery truck is
    driving back and forth just to find me the right stuff. So what are companies trying to do? When you think of the future of online shipping,
    you might imagine drones and driverless cars. But today’s solutions are more about keeping
    traffic moving along, like with wifi traffic lights that let truckers know ahead of time
    when the light will turn red. This cuts down on idling at the light and
    wasting fuel. We’re now starting to transmit the timing
    of those traffic lights, in anticipation for that, they might want to speed up a little
    bit or slow down or do these certain little velocity changes so that they increase their
    chances of getting through that light. This is Matt Barth at the University of California,
    Riverside. He’s looking at ways trucks can reduce their
    transit footprint. You can essentially smooth out your patterns
    of travel. And when you smooth out your travel patterns,
    you get those fuel-economy benefits. Cities like San Jose and Las Vegas are already
    testing out this traffic light technology. You can save 15 to 20 percent fuel just by
    doing those type of activities. And on the highway, trucks are now starting
    to talk to each other — it’s called truck platooning. You can think of it like cruise control except
    its transmitting the truck’s speed to the other vehicles following behind. This lets all the trucks drive in unison at
    the same speed close behind each other. What they’re doing is trying to reduce the
    drag. The narrow gaps they create between each other
    shields the trucks that are following from wind resistance. And so there’s been a number of experiments
    worldwide that have shown, you know, you can get 10 to 15, 20 percent energy savings, fuel
    savings by doing that type of platooning. Now delivery companies have been tackling
    fuel use and emissions for decades. Take UPS. Since the 1970s they’ve encouraged drivers
    to eliminate left hand turns, reducing their emissions by 100,000 metric tons. That’s like taking 21,000 cars off the road. So there are ways companies can shrink their
    carbon footprint, but what if they were better about changing customer behavior – like
    getting us to be conscious about how we shop online? I’ve always picked that 2 day option because
    to be honest never really thought about it, but what if companies offered a green option? So if you just check a box they would just
    ship stuff to you in the most energy efficient way possible. Sure, maybe it takes a little bit longer,
    but that’s something I’d actually be willing to do. I mean every now and again, I might need something
    right away. But I probably don’t need to overnight a
    delivery of socks to my front door. You probably do a lot of your online shopping
    with your smartphone. Well watch our other episode to see what kind
    of impact these devices have on our planet.

    Why Do Whales Beach Themselves?
    Articles, Blog

    Why Do Whales Beach Themselves?

    November 20, 2019

    Son of a beach! I’m sorry to tell you a
    sad whale of a tail, hey everyone, Julia here for DNews Recently over 200 whales washed up on a beach
    in New Zealand. They face injury and death from dehydration. Unfortunately almost 20
    died and the rescuers have to wait until high tide to try again to rescue the rest. So why does this happen? Well it seems beachings aren’t a new thing.
    There’s evidence of mass beachings going back to Aristotle. He said: “It is not known
    why they sometimes run aground on the seashore: for it is asserted that this happens rather
    fre­quently when the fancy takes them and without any apparent reason. Well scientists think they have a few reasons.. One idea suggests that maybe whales chase
    prey and accidently get caught up in the tide. Yet this theory doesn’t hold much water.
    Too many whales end up with on a beach with an empty stomach. And deep sea whales are
    more likely to strand themselves than those who spend more time closer to shore, like
    orcas. Maybe they’re just following their friends.
    Whales are incredibly social creatures. Perhaps one whale is sick or injured and heads to
    shallow water to take refuge. Perhaps the tide comes in and the whale winds up on a
    beach. The other animals hear its distress calls and come to the rescue, but get stranded
    themselves. Yet some genetic testing showed a diversity in the animals and those next
    to each other weren’t necessarily closely related and they found a surprising lack of
    mothers for some of the beached babies. This suggests a lack of social cohesion perhaps
    indicating a different cause. Another reason for beachings might be toxic
    algae. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found repeated ancient
    beachings dating 6-9 million years ago. To explain the repeated nature of the event,
    they looked to a current explanation. Toxic algae blooms, called “red tides” contributed
    to the death and washing up of humpback whales on the coast of cape cod in the 80s. Another idea of repeated stranding spots,
    links the coastline to the deaths. Researchers from the University of Western Australia,
    think whales echolocation can’t see gentle sloping shores, and sometimes rough winds
    or surf scramble it too. One theory, blames us. Evidence of sonar causing
    beaching started gathering in 2000, when a sonar test by the US Navy killed 17 whales.
    A medical exam showed the sonar was so loud, it triggered massive bleeding around the ears.
    Other exams in other beachings showed of a kind of depression sickness, just like the
    bends in humans, in some whales. A 2008 stranding of 100 melon headed whales on a beach in madagascar
    was caused by high-frequency mapping sonar systems, the animals probably tried to avoid
    the weird sound so they moved into an unfamiliar and as it turned out, unsafe area. whale whale whale, why don’t you check out
    this video on how algae kills whales? but before you do leave comment below. Don’t
    forget to hit those like and subscribe button and keep coming back for new episodes every
    day of the week!

    The MYSTERY of the DEADLIEST Ghost Ship in History: The Ourang Medan
    Articles, Blog

    The MYSTERY of the DEADLIEST Ghost Ship in History: The Ourang Medan

    November 19, 2019

    In June 1947, the Dutch freighter S.S. Ourang
    Medan was traveling along the straits of Malacca, when the ship suddenly sent out a chilling
    distress signal. This first message was followed by a series
    of indecipherable Morse code sequences, until finally, a last ominous transmission: Ourang Medan’s grim SOS was picked up by British
    and Dutch listening posts around Sumatra and Malaysia, who worked together to determined
    where the signal was coming from and alerted nearby ships. American merchant ship Silver Star was first
    to reach Ourang Medan. They waived and shouted at the vessel to check
    for signs of life above deck. But there was no answer. Only eerie silence. The US ship decided to send out a rescue team
    to board the ship to look for survivors. But what they found was a blood-curdling nightmare. The entire Dutch crew was a ghastly pile of
    corpses – eyes wide open in horror, mouths frozen in an eternal scream, arms stretched
    out as if saying stop, as if saying no more. Inside, they found the captain with the same
    twisted expression on his face as that of his men, dead on the bridge of the ship. Now nothing more than a dead captain, leading
    a dead ship. His once strapping officers are now cold corpses
    straggled on the wheelhouse and chartroom floor. Even the ship’s dog wasn’t spared a horrific
    death. But the most harrowing is finding the radio
    operator, fingertips still on the telegraph where he sent his dying message. After seeing the chilling devastation on board,
    the Silver Star made the decision to tow the Ourang Medan to port. But it wouldn’t make it to shore, as thick
    clouds of smoke started rising from the lower decks and interrupted the rescue. The crew barely had time to sever the line
    and move to safety, before the Ourang Medan exploded. The blast was apparently so big that the ship
    “lifted herself from the water and swiftly sank,” taking with it all the answers to
    its mysterious end to the bottom of the sea. Or so the story of the Ourang Medan goes. Some details may differ slightly in each version
    of the story. Like it happened in February 1948 instead
    of June 1947. Or that the waters that day were choppy instead
    of calm. And that the crew weren’t just dead, but they
    were decomposing at a faster rate. While in some versions, the details are, well,
    too detailed. Like one of the two American ships that heard
    the distress signal was named The City of Baltimore. That the smoke from the lower deck before
    the explosion came exactly from the Number 4 hold. Or that the poor canine aboard was actually
    a small terrier. But whichever version of the story you’ve
    heard (or told), the basic plot points remain the same – Ourang Medan’s entire crew met
    a gruesome and inexplicable death, and then very conveniently blew up and sank to the
    bottom of the ocean, leaving us all with an unsolved nautical mystery. So what really happened to the Ourang Medan? Theory #1: It was a cover up. The most commonly pointed out loophole in
    the tale of the Ourang Medan is the vessel’s lack of paper trail. The Lloyd’s Shipping registers doesn’t have
    any mention of the ship. It’s not in the The Dictionary of Disasters
    at Sea that covers the years 1824-1962. There’s no trace of it in the National Maritime
    Museum in Greenwich. Nothing in the Dutch Shipping records in Amsterdam. The Maritime Authority in Singapore also don’t
    have the ill-fated ship in any of their records. In other words, the Ourang Medan was a ghost
    ship, even before it gained notoriety as one. Because there’s no tangible proof that it
    even existed. But as espousers of this legend would explain,
    it’s because the Ourang Medan is part of a transnational government cover-up involving
    the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, China, the United States, and possibly many others. They believe that the ship was deliberately
    expunged from all maritime records because it was being used to smuggle a secret cargo
    of lethal nerve gas to Japan. Saying the Ourang Medan’s voyage is linked
    to Army Unit 731 founded by Japanese bacteriologist Shirō Ishii, whose main objective was to
    bring back a weapon of the chemical, gas, or biological variety, that could win the
    war in their favour. But as the Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited
    the use of all chemical and biological weapons in war, the only way a large shipment of poisonous
    gas could make it across the other side of the world without raising any suspicion from
    authorities is by loading it as inconspicuous cargo, in an old, beat up Dutch freighter. This theory also provides a convenient and
    somewhat plausible explanation for the grisly death of the Ourang Medan’s crew. With that much hazardous chemicals on board,
    a gas leak would’ve certainly led to the immediate death of everyone in the ship. However, it wouldn’t explain why the rescue
    crew from Silver Star wasn’t affected by the poisonous gas when they boarded the ship. Or why, like the Ourang Medan, there’s no
    mention of the Silver Star in the Lloyd’s register. Theory #2: It was carbon monoxide poisoning. American author and inventor of the term Bermuda
    Triangle, Vincent Gaddis, speculates that it was carbon monoxide poisoning that led
    to the mysterious deaths of the Ourang Medan crew. According to his theory, burning fuel from
    a malfunctioning boiler system produced carbon monoxide fumes that poisoned the crew. When breathed in carbon monoxide enters the
    bloodstream and prevents red blood cells from carrying oxygen around the body. At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause
    dizziness, vomiting, seizures, lost of consciousness, and even death. The trouble with this theory is that Ourang
    Medan is not an enclosed space. Fumes could’ve simply escaped into the atmosphere,
    and lives of the crew working the upper decks of the ship would’ve been spared. Theory #3: It was pirates. What’s a story about a ghost ship without
    pirates, right? There are theories claiming that pirates invaded
    the Ourang Medan and killed everyone on board, which although doesn’t explain some accounts
    saying that there were no visible wounds in the victims’ bodies, it does fit with the
    Strait of Malacca’s long history with piracy as far back as the 14th century. Because of its geography – narrow and dotted
    with many islets – it makes it ideal for a surprise attack towards ships using it as
    trade route to China and Europe. Theory #4: Ghosts One of the most repeated, but arguably, also
    the most inconsequential detail in the story of the Ourang Medan is the extreme chill the
    rescue team felt as soon as they entered the hull of the ship, despite it being 110°F
    outside. Inexplicable drop in temperature plus the
    frightened expressions on the crew’s faces set in a vast unforgiving sea, equals ghosts
    did it. There aren’t many supporters of this theory,
    but what’s a ghost ship story without a ghosts-did-it theory? Theory #5: Aliens You might think that the alien theory is the
    most far-fetched, the most uncreative, the most cop out theory explaining the phenomena
    of the Ourang Medan, but it’s actually a very popular theory, with entire books dedicated
    to it. The story of the Ourang Medan has all the
    elements of a good mystery – inexplicable deaths, unknown assailants, world powers,
    war, pirates, ghosts, and multiple highly-plausible conspiracy theories. Which is probably why it still fascinates
    us until this day, Even the CIA released
    a document in 1959 saying, that the Ourang Medan holds the key to many of the sea’s unsolved
    mysteries, including that of sightings of huge fiery spheres that come from the sky
    and descend into the sea.

    Drydock: Repairing the Massive Ships that Dredge the Columbia River
    Articles, Blog

    Drydock: Repairing the Massive Ships that Dredge the Columbia River

    November 18, 2019

    I started in the shipyard 28 years ago,
    working on the Essayons for the shipyard. And then about a year and a half ago came to work for the Corps to take care of the vessel that I’ve been
    taking care of for years and hold a strange, personal attraction to
    taking care of this vessel [ laughing ] I don’t know why. She’s a great boat though, she really is. And, you know,
    the work that it does is brutal. It’s like a giant dump truck. It’s awesome, you know? It does a tremendously important job and it does it well. Both of our local dredges, the Yaquina and Essayons,
    maintain the Columbia system. They’re out there digging dirt, dredging 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we don’t continuously maintain the depth, and if the vessels aren’t in good working order
    to do that mission, some of the vessels that need to come upstream
    for commerce, et cetera, cannot. These vessels work very, very hard.
    We go into the drydock annually. We see the condition of the vessel,
    we do repairs and get her back in service. When we say the Essayons, when we say the Yaquina, what we’re talking about is a combination of steel, technology, and then really the most important piece is
    the people that serve on board that vessel This is tough work.
    It is very, very tough work. The word “masochist” may be used out there. But at the end of the day what it is,
    is a sense of belonging from the entire team and knowing that everything they’re doing is
    contributing to the broader mission. That, with the passion that they have,
    just makes them unstoppable. These two dredges keep the waterways open for
    20 billion dollars worth of commerce. You know, you think you’re just fixing a ship and then you run into all the different people that
    the mission touches in their various locations and you realize just how far-reaching
    these little ships are and the importance of their mission because it’s greater than
    you realize on the surface.

    Fish Drowning in Water? RIF 10
    Articles, Blog

    Fish Drowning in Water? RIF 10

    November 18, 2019

    Hey Thoughty2 here.
    Yellowstone park experiences between 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes every year. Welcome to
    RIF There is a basketball court on the top floor
    of the U.S. Supreme Court Building. It is known as “the highest court in the land.” During the first two years of a baby’s life,
    new parents will miss six months of sleep on average. A fish can drown in water. Just like humans,
    fish need oxygen to survive, so if there isn’t enough oxygen in the water, they will suffocate. Humans can survive longer without food than
    they can without sleep. In 2010 there there were more farm animals
    living in the U.S. than there were humans on earth. Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in
    the world, after water. The word decimate doesn’t mean to completely
    destroy, it actually means to remove 1/10th of something. It comes from the Latin “Decimare”,
    which was the practice of killing every 10th Roman soldier if they tried to mutiny. Research shows that men know they’re falling
    in love after just three dates, but on average women don’t fall in love until date number
    14. And finally, there is a condition called Koro
    or “penis panic” it’s a type of mass hysteria in which men believe their penises are vanishing.

    The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill – Smarter Every Day 192 (VR Series)
    Articles, Blog

    The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill – Smarter Every Day 192 (VR Series)

    November 18, 2019

    Hey, it’s me, Destin. Welcome back to Smarter Every Day. A treadmill is a pretty simple device, right? You set the speed you want; you get on, you start moving. But you don’t actually go anywhere. This technology people have realized for a really long time is perfect for virtual reality Because you could walk somewhere and actually use your body but not leave the confines of your own home Okay here we are in California. We are at a company called Infinadeck. This is a small engineering outfit These guys make a 360 degree treadmill the one that’s in the movie ready player one so the interesting thing is they’re really small company But they’ve got a really cool idea, so let’s go check out how this thing works. All right, so this is George, and he owns Infinadeck right? Yeah All right And basically Infinadeck is a 360 degree treadmill technique. That is Is it safe to say that we’ve got treadmills on top of treadmills here? It’s a treadmill made of treadmills Okay. Treadmill made of treadmills So you can think of it as you’ve got one axis of rotation here and each individual Treadmill can move in this direction as well, right? Yeah So how do you ? So it’s a combination right obviously if you want to go X. This is our X direction. This is our Y X is nothing, but a treadmill you know like any other treadmill the Y it’s nothing, but the smaller treadmills right now we’re using the Vive tracker on you Right, so where is the, there they are right there. So your tracker’s on your rear We kind of artificially take you about seven or eight inches in front of that to get the middle of your CG And this tries to keep that middle of the CG in the middle of the treadmill right there. Oh I got you. So the, so the feedb- that was one of my main questions is what is the feedback loop? It’s a positional feedback loop. Yeah, it’s fairly simple right now. We’re making it better this that’s the part We’re gonna just keep improving for ever, years and years and years really? so the goal so you have an object and then Oh, I get it. It’s this is, this is called They’re very visual This is a semi autonomous command position sensor. That’s the best Specific way to say that, right? Now what we’re also doing on this one is You put foot trackers on when you combine the foot trackers the headset and your and your hand controllers You now have six different Points that is tracked on you, and that’s enough for us to give you an avatar George Jr told me if I screwed this little VR tracker into the bottom of the camera We can insert that camera into the virtual world Which of course we had to do So we’re ready? Yeah So I just I just get in? Yeah go ahead, so Alright Let me help you a little Okay? So first let’s do your feet Alright This is the CG you’re gonna put that on. Make the tracker meet like directly behind your back Okay So go on, put your headset This feels like I’m actually getting in the Oasis here Oh wow I can see the camera, in the virtual world If you look towards me you should see the two controllers? What the heck man! So we’re gonna have you do now Okay, okay. I’m trying to. This is just normal VR. So I can actually see the ring now That’s something I didn’t expect, so I can, it’s there Yeah Alright so now that’s I see my body too – what’s up with my body So we’re gonna sync that with you. So if I can have you stand with your legs straight down, and your arms straight out to your sides, like a T-pose? Three two one Did it work? Oh I can see my body! Wow Alright Okay, that’s rad. That’s really rad. Okay, gotcha so So right now you’re tracking the position of my hands and my feet Dude that is messed up! This – I’d like him – Alright So I can see the camera, the tic-tac there, but what’s more important is I can also see this ring And Griffin why did you say you have this ring in here? So this is there to kind of lock you down in the real world without being too much of a burden to say So this is like you know when you do an integral you get the plus C at the end So this is a boundary condition for me to kind of lock my brain into both worlds so this is like this tells me where I’m at virtually and Like actual my body, right? Absolutely Okay so, are you ready to start walking? I’m ready to start walking We’re gonna recommend you have your hands on the range when you first try this just so you get used to That’s okay, so when you start. Yeah. I thought it would make sense for you for it to put me in the center, okay So now right? What is trying to do is this trying to keep the CG of my back in the center of the ring, right? So I’m gonna touch this and as I walk Okay, it takes just okay. I’m there. Okay. I don’t want to hit that tree So I’m gonna turn this way Okay So I can’t really tell if I’m walking 90 degrees or not Okay, so there’s inertia in the rollers, okay? I thought there might be. So if I move backwards It’s gonna keep me there I move forwards So it takes just a second Just a couple seconds on the Infinadeck, and I instantly understood the problems that these guys have to overcome It’s pretty interesting It seems pretty simple: whatever direction a person walks, the Infinadeck moves in the opposite direction, whether it be X or Y, at the exact same velocity and acceleration. Think about a normal treadmill: your brain is doing all the processing. Your brain is constantly Solving the equation a treadmill velocity plus body velocity equals zero if at any point You don’t solve that equation correctly you start moving relative to the treadmill. This is a very similar problem, but it’s much harder It’s harder because there’s two dimensions That’s the obvious one But it’s also harder because the processing isn’t happening in your brain. That processing is offloaded to the Infinadeck which, oh by the way, can’t read your mind. There’s a delay time for the Infinadeck to figure out where your position is and try to change that… Yeah. Yes. …and if it tries to do it too quickly you know you can have an overdamped and under damped system is that correct? Yeah. Is that the right terminology? So, yeah So at the moment what we’re currently doing we’re trying to make it so that the acceleration on the user in any way that they’re not really tried experience is never more than 0.1 Gs got it Oh that seems to be about a good amount to not really be, you know disturbing for the user. Okay. We’re trying to figure out where exactly that isn’t how to do that if I walk forward I’m gonna feel an acceleration in one direction on my body because I’m pushing against the floor, right but then the floor is gonna move, and it’s gonna move my body in the opposite direction, so I’m going to feel an acceleration that’s negative, which is strange for, you know, a normal walking around human. Then, once I hit a steady state velocity, I’m gonna level out that acceleration in my mouth. My body’s gonna be cool with it right, but the moment I stop That’s a change in velocity and the Infinadeck has to accommodate for that. It has to move you back to the center gracefully and one thing that happens is if it tries to move you back too fast It’ll overshoot, and then it has to correct. So this is a really interesting engineering problem because it doesn’t have perfect knowledge of intent. Like, that that’s the difference with your brain you have intent and so when you’re walking in a normal treadmill you get to choose everything, right? but you have to understand over the last few years we had to, you know, build and modify the Infinadeck too along with the control system, and there’s only a few of us, so. Well. It’s been challenging all around. This is why the problem is interesting because when you’re walking in the world Right now my acceleration is zero And then when I stop I’m used to imparting acceleration to my body But that doesn’t happen till later Yes, it’s a work in progress how far you go back. It’s That’s clever. That’s it’s a challenge. That’s a that’s a hard math problem one thing I thought was really cool is you can use this to be a different size in the virtual world just by changing a Constant right you can scale How many steps it takes to get around in the earth? Just by a scale factor, but literally a scaler, that’s often. Oh, there’s the same boat look at that It’s a dude. It’s like I want to jump I’m just Too small to get it Too small to go to my boat and *laughs* That’s fun. That’s really fun that the model… There’s my bench. Look behind you, there’s my bench before In engineering we have these assignments called technology readiness levels There’s nine of them, and I would say this is somewhere between a six and a seven Which means there’s a working prototype that works, and they’re just refining the subsystems they’re about to go to production So it’s really cool to be able to walk on This Infinadeck before it goes out into mainstream production and see the behind the scenes engineering things they’re having to solve. It’s really interesting. So, it’s clear George knows all this I mean he instantly understands all the variables I asked him about That how tall the person was like if you think about it your center of mass is at a different length and so that moment arm is different you have to deal with inertia differently like from the bottom of it. It’s really interesting anyway This is me talking to George and you can tell he totally gets it. I I can imagine that the the inertia Overcoming that inertia is different for each person because if I’m 175 pounds and I move here It takes a certain amount of torque I’ll cut the deck off now. It takes a certain amount of torque for these motors to move me and That’s going to change based on the size of the person, is that correct? That’s correct that. It’s more about your acceleration than the inertia. The the deck is capable of moving a lot faster than you can move. So so we could pull your feet out from under you if we ever, you know, had it set to do so. So all the algorithms stuff will will have more to do with other variables, like your CG, CG imbalance. And there’s a moment arm between the distance from my feet to where my CG is, right? So, so the acceleration that you put there, there’s gonna be this lag time in my brain where I try to counteract that, is that correct? Very much. All right, this is the part of video where I tell you about the sponsor and, you know, a lot of people fast-forward through this part, but you know this is the important part because we wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t have listened to Ready Player One on Audible. I’m not gonna tell you about ready player one. You know that’s old news at this point, I’m gonna tell you about the new book that I’m listening to. The sponsor is Audible you can get a free book by going to or texting the word “smarter” to 500-500 The new book that I’m listening to is called “Twelve Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson, “an Antidote for Chaos.” Now, I’m listening to this book because I heard some podcast with the author. There’s a lot of people talking about this book I wanted to check it out because he doesn’t believe things that I believe in fact he takes a third party-like perspective look at some of the things I believe and so that helps me get outside myself and grow a little bit So I really enjoy it. If you’re not listening to audiobooks, you really should be. You’re smart people; you know this part is a big deal for me, and I know this part can be a big deal for you, because audiobooks literally have changed my life. So,, that’s how you can support Smarter Every Day, or text the word “smarter” to 500-500. Thank you for considering that. Last thing. I wanna say thanks to the guys at Infinadeck. A treadmill made of treadmills, that is insane. You’re there man, this is just a control systems problem at this point, isn’t it? We just need some control engineers. We ought to hire a couple. That’s what this is at this point. At this point, it’s just computer stuff and math so this is doable I hope you enjoyed this video enough to subscribe. If you do there’s a little bell beside the subscription button. If you haven’t enjoyed it enough to hit the bell to get a notification on your phone every time I upload, then don’t. That’s completely okay. Anyway, I’m Destin. You’re getting Smarter Every Day. Have a good one. Thanks for learning with me You’re gonna fall. You fell. You jumped. Whatever. What are you doin’? Why you makin’ noise?

    The link between fishing cats and mangrove forest conservation | Ashwin Naidu
    Articles, Blog

    The link between fishing cats and mangrove forest conservation | Ashwin Naidu

    November 17, 2019

    (Imitates fishing cat) That’s my impersonation of a fishing cat, which actually sounds more like this. (Prerecorded fishing cat sounds) It’s a cat that loves water, loves to fish, and lives in some of the most unique
    and valuable ecosystems on earth: the wetlands and mangrove forests
    of South and Southeast Asia. Aren’t they fishing awesome? (Laughter) Fishing cats are one of about 40
    species of wildcats. Like tigers and lions, only much smaller. They’re probably around twice the size
    of our average domestic cat. In Indonesia, people call them “kucing bakau,” which literally translates
    to “the cat of the mangroves.” But I like to call them
    the tigers of the mangroves. Now, we don’t know fishing cats
    as well as we do tigers, but what we’ve learned is that these cats
    can be a flagship species to a globally important ecosystem, and a visual bait attached
    to a strong line for conservation. Are you hooked yet? (Laughter) Like many endangered species, fishing cats are threatened
    by habitat loss, mainly because of our international demand
    for farmed fish and shrimp, and the deforestation
    of nearly half the historic mangrove cover in South and Southeast Asia. Mangroves, on the other hand, are much more than just habitat
    to the fishing cat. They are home to a fantastic
    array of species, like jackals, turtles, shorebirds and otters. (Laughter) Mangroves also prevent soil erosion, and they can be the first line of defense
    between storm surges, tsunamis and the millions of people
    who live next to these forests for their day-to-day survival. The fact that puts
    the icing on the cake — or the earth, I should say — is that mangroves can store upwards of five to ten times
    more carbon dioxide than tropical forests. So protecting one acre of mangroves may well be like protecting five
    or more acres of tropical forests. Would you like to eliminate
    you entire life’s carbon footprint? Well, mangroves can offer you one of the best bangs
    for your conservation buck. Deforestation, extinction
    and climate change are all global problems that we can solve by giving value
    to our species and ecosystems and by working together
    with the local people who live next to them. This is one of three river deltas
    in coastal South India where communities came together to change the face and potentially,
    the fate of this planet. In less than a decade, with international support, the state forest departments
    and the local communities worked together to restore over 20,000 acres
    of unproductive fish and shrimp farms back into mangroves. About five years ago, guess who we discovered
    in these restored mangroves? When we shared images
    of these fishing cats with local people, we were able to build pride among them about a globally revered
    endangered species and ecosystem in their backyards. We were also able to build trust
    with some people to help them lead alternative livelihoods. Meet Santosh, a 19-year-old boy who not only became
    a conservation professional after working with us
    for just over a year but also went on to involve
    many local fishermen in helping study and protect fishing cats. Meet Moshi, a tribal poacher, who not only stopped hunting and became our most
    prized conservationist, but also used his traditional knowledge to educate his entire community
    to stop hunting fishing cats, otters and the many other threatened species that live in the mangroves
    in his backyard. Fish and shrimp farmers, like Venkat, are now willing to work
    with us conservationists to test the sustainable harvest
    of ecosystem services like crabs, and possibly even honey, from mangroves. Incentives that could get them
    to protect and plant mangroves where they have been lost. A win-win-win for fishing cats, local people
    and the global community. These stories show us
    that we can all be part of a future where fishing cats
    and the lost mangrove forests are protected and restored
    by fishermen themselves, creating carbon sinks that can help offset
    our ecological footprints. So while the fishing cat may be small, I hope that we’ve been able
    to help make it a big deal. One that we can all invest in to help sustain our lives
    on earth a little longer. Or as our friend here would say … (Prerecorded fishing cat sounds) Thank you. (Applause)

    Aliens? Demon? Nope, it’s just a fish. [60 Second Specimens]
    Articles, Blog

    Aliens? Demon? Nope, it’s just a fish. [60 Second Specimens]

    November 17, 2019

    Guadalajara, Mexico, 1953. During a break from his expedition collecting
    insects, Field Museum research associate Dr. Charles H. Seevers was perusing an antique
    store when he came across a most unusual specimen. It was this alien-looking creature, with sunken
    eyes, a protruding mouth and horns, and a long, barbed tail. Is it a demon baby, a fallen angel or the
    spawn of satan? Nope, it’s just a fish. Since the 16th century, sailors and sea-side
    dwellers have been selling the manipulated figures of certain cartilaginous fishes like
    skates and rays to tourists. They were marketed to oddity-collectors as
    devil fish or dragons and became known as ‘Jenny Hanivers,’ thought to be a misinterpretation
    of the French phrase ‘jeune d’Anvers’ or “young person of Antwerp. Many of these devil babies are made from guitarfish,
    a kind of ray in the family Rhinobatidae, which live along beaches and coastlines, and
    in estuaries. The practice of selling their disfigured bodies
    to tourists has declined in recent years due to conservation protections around many of
    these remarkable fish. But, thanks to museums, you could say this
    odd legacy still has legs.