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Are we living on the hinge of history?


Valin

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Video: The battery that might change everything

Jazz Shaw

2/23/13

 

It’s time for a short break from politics and a brief excursion into… SCIENCE! (Yes, yes… I know. Republicans don’t care about science, but this may turn out to be important for your smart phone. More on that later.)

 

Some of the great scientific breakthroughs of the last century came about entirely by accident. Many of you are probably familiar with the origins of the Post It Note, and how it was invented as a result of a failure when attempting to create a super strong adhesive. Well, there may be another such story taking place in the present day. Scientists working with carbon compounds developed Graphene, a safe substance with a lot of structural strength for very little mass and weight. And then some wise guy discovered that it had another use.

 

The recap: Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer, can be used as the basic component of a “supercapacitor” — an electrical power storage device that charges far more rapidly than chemical batteries. Unlike other supercapacitors, though, graphene’s structure also offers a high “energy density,” — it can hold a lot of electrons, meaning that it could conceivably rival or outperform batteries in the amount of charge it can hold. Kaner Lab researcher Maher El-Kady found a way to create sheets of graphene a single carbon atom thick by covering a plastic surface with graphite oxide solution and bombarding it with precisely controlled laser light.

 

That last sentence may sound pretty complicated, but the article’s author provides a translation for the layman.

 

He painted a DVD with a liquid carbon solution and stuck it into a standard-issue DVD burner.

 

(Snip)

 

 

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The Self-Stirring Pot and Our Rising Quality of Life

3/2/13

 

 

According to the The Asahi Shimbun, Hideki Watanabe, a dentist from Tobe, Japan, invented the “Kurukuru nabe” (or ‘swirly pot’) to help cooks keep their hands free when preparing dinner. The pan has special groves that makes a small whirlpool when the water is heated, causing the contents inside to spin. Check out the video.

 

While neat in its own right, the invention and its history tell an important story about the world we live in. Besides the big innovations that change the world dramatically, a steady tide of new gadgets continues to reshape daily life in small ways.

 

Over time these little changes add up—30 years ago Americans had no Internet, ATMs, laptops, or DVDs. The conventional income comparisons between generations miss this. The richest man in the world couldn’t have bought a smartphone in 1983; today even people of very modest incomes can afford one. Our quality of life has improved much more than income levels suggest.

 

But there’s another aspect of the story behind the swirly pot that’s worth noticing. Watanabe invented the pot in his kitchen one night when he was struggling with trying to smoke and cook at the same time. When he saw a self-stirring pot could work, he got a patent and posted a video of the product on YouTube:

 

(Snip)

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Notice I have been absent from this post, it's over my head

 

I don't know about that. Listen as I've said before I'm not that bright. It's just that pretty much everything interests me, even if I don't really understand it.

th_Thinking.gif Its more a way of looking at the world today.

 

The 1st couple of posts explain what I'm talking about. Particularly the Bill Whittle video.

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Draggingtree

Notice I have been absent from this post, it's over my head

 

I don't know about that. Listen as I've said before I'm not that bright. It's just that pretty much everything interests me, even if I don't really understand it.

th_Thinking.gif Its more a way of looking at the world today.

 

The 1st couple of posts explain what I'm talking about. Particularly the Bill Whittle video.

Well then I'll go back and take a look and see at those post/ video
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Notice I have been absent from this post, it's over my head

 

I don't know about that. Listen as I've said before I'm not that bright. It's just that pretty much everything interests me, even if I don't really understand it.

th_Thinking.gif Its more a way of looking at the world today.

 

The 1st couple of posts explain what I'm talking about. Particularly the Bill Whittle video.

Well then I'll go back and take a look and see at those post/ video

 

That's where I laid the foundation for this series.

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The Revolution at Your Community Library

New Media, New Community Centers

SARAH WILLIAMS GOLDHAGEN

3/9/13

 

Now that a digital copy of the Library of Congress’s entire book collection could fit in a single shoebox, the future of the contemporary library is up for grabs. The New York Public Library’s proposed reconfiguration of its Manhattan headquarters is only the most recent high-visibility entrant in a debate that has been ongoing since the mid-1990s, manifested in the press and in a series of large urban central library projects in Berlin, Singapore, Seattle, and elsewhere. What should a contemporary library be? 1 Seattle is one oft-cited exemplar: there Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture jettisoned the reading rooms, study carrels, and hushed whispers of the traditional library in favor of a dramatic multi-story “living room” where patrons could, according to the architects, “eat, yell, or play chess.” But to find architects, librarians, and municipalities who have re-conceptualized the contemporary public library with a more nuanced and promising vision, we must turn our attentions away from noisy Seattle and other large projects toward the modest community library.

 

(Snip)

 

What differentiates today’s community library from its precedents—what makes it a wholly new building type in form and conception, albeit one with a deceptively familiar name—is the variety of public goods that it contains, and the variety of ways those goods are used by people as individuals and collectives. People today rely on their community library for so very many things! Books share space with DVDs, CDs, magazines, Internet-connected computers, lecture halls, classrooms, and more. The unemployed, under-employed, and self-employed frequent them. Immigrants attend English-as-a-second-language classes there. Homeless people park there. Caretakers and their young charges read, or just escape social isolation without paying for that right at the local mall. Working parents use them as free, safe depositories for untended offspring. Retirees get to the classics they have long deferred, work on their long-dreamed-of memoirs, dig into their family genealogies. Bootstrap community organizations stage art shows, concerts, performances, lectures.

 

(Snip)

 

 

All well and good, but given the size & nature of the changes happening, I wonder if this is still looking back to a previous age.

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Very ugly, and dark inside. But I can see how it might be useful in times of emergency.

 

This may be just step one. If you can make this with a door, you can make it with windows.

Also think about patching concrete roads/sidewalks.......

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Very ugly, and dark inside. But I can see how it might be useful in times of emergency.

 

This may be just step one. If you can make this with a door, you can make it with windows.

Also think about patching concrete roads/sidewalks.......

 

Oh yeah, I don't deny it -- it's an amazing product.

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@Valin -- Newt is so smart and has such good ideas most of the time but unfortunately he is a master at self-destruction.

 

He is one of the few politicians that gets it...about the changes society is going through now.

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Silicon Valley’s New Doctor Could Transform Health Care

3/21/13

 

DoctorHands1.png

 

Silicon Valley companies have a new doctor, and he may be the future of health care. Dr. Jay Parkinson is founder of a digital primary care practice called Sherpaa, in which patients use email and phone tech to have their ills diagnosed from any distance:

 

Have a mysterious rash? Send a photo of it to Sherpaa, reply to a few e-mails (Are you sure it’s not a bruise? Do you have bed bugs?), and proceed to the nearest Duane Reade to pick up your prescription.

 

Started just last year, Sherpaa already has 500 customers from 30 different companies. Many of these clients and firms are attracted by the promise of lower costs. The company claims its clients can save up to $4,000 per year per employee compared to traditional primary care practices. In spirit and clientele, Sherpaa is well suited for tech oligeeks and Silicon Valley types:

 

(Snip)

 

Silicon Valley’s adoption of “digital” health care isn’t all that surprising, but it is important. Companies like Google and Facebook have pioneered tech that has transformed American life in a very short time. One can easily see how their partnering with medical firms like Dr. Parkinson’s could give us newer, cheaper, and better ways of delivering care faster than anyone expects.

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clearvision

I certainly can see this type of service being used by many clinics as sort of a "triage" for minor things using video or other web interaction to reduce crowds at office. How many visits to doctors are for fever/cold/etc, or to get prescription refilled.

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In the bgnng

William A. Jacobson

March 21, 2013

 

There was a First Tweet.

 

And it was good.

 

e2cd761ab5d4d012b3d48133cb4c0ebd_normal.png Jack Dorsey ✔ @jack

 

just setting up my twttr

8:50 PM - 21 Mar 06

10,904 Retweets 9,239 favorites

 

 

(Snip)

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I certainly can see this type of service being used by many clinics as sort of a "triage" for minor things using video or other web interaction to reduce crowds at office. How many visits to doctors are for fever/cold/etc, or to get prescription refilled.

 

For More See my 1st Post the Newt Gingrich talk.

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Medical Breakthroughs And Smart Policy

3/23/13

 

Got a bad heart? Just have a scientist build you a new one. According to a story in the WSJ, scientists are making major breakthroughs in artificially growing replacement organs out of human cells. In 2011, for example, a London based researcher made a replacement windpipe for a cancer patient, and was able to save the patient’s life by installing it. There’s still a lot of obstacles to overcome in scaling up this kind of procedure and expanding it to different organs, but based on earlier experiments with rats, scientists now think they might be close to making a replacement human heart:

 

(Snip)

 

The piece goes through the current state of this science in depth. Read the whole thing to get a sense of how radically human life is going to change in the next decades.

 

(Snip)

 

As the biotech revolution moves on, we are also going to have to change the way the health care system distributes health care. As computer aided diagnosis improves, nurses, technicians and even parents and patients (gasp!) are going to be able to make better informed decisions without doctors. Much of the creaky, elaborate and expensive health care delivery system we have today could be as useless in a generation as the Postal Service is today in the age of email.

 

The combination of rapid change with rigid policies and institutions is a recipe for disaster; we must embed flexibility into our institutions. Keeping an eye on the radical changes coming down the pipe is one way to remind ourselves that the goal of social policy today must be to plan for and accommodate change. The age of static institutions and stable bureaucratic organizations has gone for good, and we have to figure out what comes next.

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