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Latest SpaceX Grasshopper Test

Latest SpaceX Grasshopper Test

Here we see the latest test by the people at SpaceX on their re-usable rocket, Grasshopper. The cancellation of the Space Shuttle program was certainly sad, but it is encouraging to see companies like SpaceX essentially picking up where NASA left off. I’m envisioning these test videos being played in the SpaceX museum 20 years from now, how about you?

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The Man who made and Island

The Man who made and Island

Meet Richart Sowa, visionary. At face value he could be the craziest character on a sit-com, but it turns out there’s a great method to his alternative lifestyle. He decided he could make an island out of normally disposed-of materials, and he actually pulled it off. Not only does he have a floating piece of “land”, but a very suitable home on top of it.

Now I’m no engineer or ocean scientist, but this seems pretty solid to me. Obviously the biggest immediate danger would be major weather events, but perhaps in places where those are less likely to happen, we might see some more of these cropping up. This guy may be a true pioneer.

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Water-Producing Billboard

Water-Producing BillboardWe all know the importance of water. It’s the basis of our life and we wouldn’t be able to survive without it. It’s pretty scary to think that with all the abundance of resources some of us live our lives with there are still some communities that don’t have regular access to clean water.

Well the people at UTEC, a University in Lima, designed a billboard that can help with this problem. We all know the air around us isn’t just empty, we are surrounded by all sorts of particles and gases and also moisture, lots of moisture. This billboard is designed to take the moisture out of the air and turn it in to usable and drinkable water.

Not only have they made this common structure much more useful, they are also doing it to inspire young people to come to their university to learn and possibly come up with the next big thing that will save the world.

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More future technologies – thin and flexible circuit boards.

More future technologies - thin and flexible circuit boards.Here’s another example of an invention that might fly under the radar as something that will vastly improve our lives. This is the kind of thing that takes us from holding phones in our hands to holding them in our brains. There are, of course, more important uses such as the medical advantages they outline in the video, but I like to think about the fun ones as well.

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Fairness Test: Monkeys paid differently

Fairness Test: Monkeys paid differentlyHere’s an excerpt from a TED Talk of primatologist Frans de Waal. He shows footage from a behavioral study where they gave two monkeys uneven payment for doing the same task. We expect for the monkey that gets paid less to react negatively but exactly what he does is a little surprising.

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Learning from the Past: Transmissions

Learning from the Past: TransmissionsCheck out this very comprehensive video from the 1930s about car transmissions and exactly how they work. Pretty neat that you can learn so much from something that is practically a century old.

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The Infinitely Variable Transmission

The Infinitely Variable TransmissionHere we have another product of individual creativity, a new type of transmission that can shift from the top gear to reverse without thinking twice. I can’t say I understand completely how it works after watching the video but they do manage to explain it thoroughly.

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Tubes: The Future of Transportation

Tubes: The Future of TransportationThis video shows a demonstration of a concept for high-speed travel that will blow anything we currently have out of the water. You and your family can step in to one of these tubes and get on the other side of the world in a matter of hours.

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Simulated Evolution

Simulated EvolutionThis video is pretty astounding. What you’re seeing are “creatures” that were generated based on an algorithm that worked in a way that the creatures would change from iteration to iteration in order to become better at a specific task, essentially evolving.

What makes this video even more impressive is that this demonstration is from 1994. This is definitely something I would expect to blow my mind if it were new today but it was done years ago!

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The funeral of Sir Winston Churchill

The funeral of Sir Winston ChurchillToday’s video is not educational so much as it is historic. This simple video shows how the man who led a nation was mourned by his people.

But stepping away from the tragedy itself, I like how this video represents a certain window of time. When thousands of years from now people are learning about how technology developed through the years, videos like this will represent a very unique time period where we have the technology, but just barely.

It makes me think of Michael Jackson’s funeral. Not to say the broadcasters didn’t handle it with as much respect as they could, but the whole thing seems heavy-handed in comparison. You’ve got the 3D news graphics, the little network watermark in the corner, the constant reminder that it was indeed being broadcast live. Once again, I’m not saying it was covered incorrectly, they were just following the standards that have been set for years. But you have to admit, Churchill’s does seem a bit more graceful.

Now this may all just be a matter of perception. People 50 years from now could be looking back at Jackson’s funeral thinking about how quaint it was. I still believe though that this era represented by the Churchill film will be known for producing some of the purest and most genuine representations of history we’ll ever see.

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Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Books Written

Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
• Amazon
Raw Materials for the Mind

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