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Sir John Hardy
Works at Lagado
Attended The School of Illusionment.
Lived in Melbourne
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Sir John Hardy

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Plate Tectonics visualised.

600 million years in 6 seconds

Images from here http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~rcb7/mollglobe.html
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It looks like the earth started out a bit lopsided, and has been gradually rounding itself out over the eons.
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A fascinating map showing parts of the US where absolutely nobody lives..  
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Hello. This is White Australia.
 
Could you represent yourself in court? That's what Australia now requires asylum seekers to do. Those who arrive by boat no longer get legal assistance! They have no knowledge of Australia’s complex legal system, no knowledge of  the refugee determination process and limited or no English. 92% of them are genuine refugees, and we're saying if you can't represent yourself legally, you're going back home to be murdered, tortured or wrongfully imprisoned. http://refugeecouncil.org.au/n/mr/140331_LegalAssistance.pdf
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What aborigines? 
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Saturn is astonishing for its simplicity on such a huge scale.

Via +Philippe Beaudoin
 
Six Degrees of Isaac Newton

There is a hexagonal cloud pattern at the north pole of Saturn.  It was first discovered by Voyager in 1981, and was still there when Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2006.  So it seems the pattern has been stable for more than 30 years. There’s been a great deal of debate about just how such a stable geometric shape could form in Saturn’s clouds, but it turns out the solution is surprisingly simple, and it traces back to some early experiments of Newton.

Although it seems unusual, the effect is fairly common in fluid motion, and has been observed in similar phenomena such as hurricanes.  It turns out to be due to an interaction between two regions of fluids moving at different speeds, which produces a kind of resonance between them.  The effect has been recreated in the lab by having a spinning ring in the center of a cylinder of water.

It’s interesting that this effect can be seen in what is basically a rotating bucket of water, but it goes to show that sometimes a simple experiment can lead to surprising results.

Isaac Newton performed a similar experiment, and it puzzled him as well.  He was interested in the aspects of rotation, specifically why the surface of water becomes concave when it’s in a rotating bucket.  The answer might seem obvious, simply that rotating water tends to fling to the outside due to a centrifugal force, but it isn’t so simple.  In Newtonian physics, motion is relative to other objects.  So if you argue that it is simply due to the spin of the bucket, what is the spin relative to?

Newton thought the experiment demonstrated that there is an absolute frame of reference.  Basically a fixed and universal reference frame against which all motion can be measured.  Thus, the bucket rotates relative to this universal frame, thus the water becomes concave.

In the 1800s, Ernst Mach argued against Newton’s absolute frame.  He claimed that Newton’s conclusion was wrong because the bucket was rotating relative to the Earth, and relative to other objects in the universe.  Thus one did not need an absolute frame of reference to account for rotation.  This argument in part motivated Einstein in his development of general relativity.

Of course Mach is perhaps more famous for the Mach number, which is the ratio of an object’s speed to the speed of sound within a medium. This number is an important factor in fluid mechanics.

The type of fluid mechanics that produces a hexagon on Saturn.

Image: NASA
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Google on its new Lens Blur effect now in KitKat.
Here’s how we do it. First, we pick out visual features in the scene and track them over time, across the series of images. Using computer vision algorithms known as Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and bundle adjustment, we compute the camera’s 3D position and orientation and the 3D positions of all those image features throughout the series.

Once we’ve got the 3D pose of each photo, we compute the depth of each pixel in the reference photo using Multi-View Stereo (MVS) algorithms. MVS works the way human stereo vision does: given the location of the same object in two different images, we can triangulate the 3D position of the object and compute the distance to it. How do we figure out which pixel in one image corresponds to a pixel in another image? MVS measures how similar they are -- on mobile devices, one particularly simple and efficient way is computing the Sum of Absolute Differences (SAD) of the RGB colors of the two pixels.

Now it’s an optimization problem: we try to build a depth map where all the corresponding pixels are most similar to each other. But that’s typically not a well-posed optimization problem -- you can get the same similarity score for different depth maps. To address this ambiguity, the optimization also incorporates assumptions about the 3D geometry of a scene, called a "prior,” that favors reasonable solutions. For example, you can often assume two pixels near each other are at a similar depth. Finally, we use Markov Random Field inference methods to solve the optimization problem.

Having computed the depth map, we can re-render the photo, blurring pixels by differing amounts depending on the pixel’s depth, aperture and location relative to the focal plane. The focal plane determines which pixels to blur, with the amount of blur increasing proportionally with the distance of each pixel to that focal plane. This is all achieved by simulating a physical lens using the thin lensapproximation.
 http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2014/04/lens-blur-in-new-google-camera-app.html?m=1
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mathew
 
I kinda hope they have a patent so they can troll Apple.
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Me on the other hand am perfectly fine with letting you eat GM corn. As long as I can still get the real stuff.
 
And the award for Kicking it Up a Notch in the war to reclaim our food goes to France for it's broad ban of ALL GMO corn.
:-D
#gmofree  
#gmofoods  
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That article...has multiple "fact" issues. Advocates for anything lose all credibility when they make shit up.
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I found it.

Via +Philippe Beaudoin
 
Look closely! Our Curiosity Mars rover and its tracks are visible in this view from orbit, acquired on April 11 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The rover is near the largest butte in the lower left quadrant of the image, at about a two o'clock position relative to the butte. It appears bright blue in the exaggerated color of this image. Curiosity entered the area included in this image on March 12, along the tracks visible near the upper left corner.

The multi-layered location filling much of the left half of this image is called "the Kimberley." Curiosity's science team chose it, based on other HiRISE images, as a potential gold mine for the rover mission. Black gold, that is, as organic material that, if found at the Kimberley could be a biomarker (sign of past life) -- the holy grail of Mars exploration.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

#mars #marscuriosity #msl #hirise #uarizona #planets #space #nasa #science

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You might want to get a doctor to look at that rash.
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Gah! Agree 100%. Religious stupid stuff is bad but made up crap on the internet in the name of Reason is just as terrible. They really need to be held to higher standards but that's a hopeless fantasy.
 
Research tips for the +Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science :

1. Don't just make stuff up and tell people it's true — that's what annoys you about the religious fundamentalists, isn't it?

2. Note that English isn't the only language spoken in the world. Most languages don't use a word that sounds like "Ishtar" for Easter; they use a variant of "Pascha", from a Hebrew word for Passover.

3. Open a dictionary — I know it's a lot of work, but you're scientists after all.  The best guess is that the germanic word "Easter" is in some way related to the word "east."  Bede also mentions in passing that he heard that in the old days (before Christianity), people in the north of England celebrated a goddess named "Eastre", but that's the only source we have for her.

(Thanks to +Tom Megginson for the link, and note that it was originally shared in 2013, though still online now.)
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No, but it's important to remind people that Richard Dawkins is a terrible man with no actual expertise in theology, ethics, or philosophy. Also that he is an apologist for "mild pedophilia".
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Have him in circles
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"I've been following John since before the G+ days - back in the days of Buzz and Reader. He does make a lot of noise as opposed to pure commentary, but often has rather interesting things to say." --- Sophie Wrobel

So consider yourself warned. :-)

About Me

Melbourne-based software engineer specialising in web-based server applications and client side Java and Javascript.

Interested is web app development for desktop and mobile, HTML5, CSS and Javascript.

Content management and publishing systems
Emails newsletter publishing
Art gallery and exhibition systems

Bragging rights
Designed the TEC-1 http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TEC-1 Built the system that launched http://crikey.com.au
Education
  • The School of Illusionment.
    2013
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jhlagado, John Hardy, High Projector of the Academy of Lagado