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Jyoti Q Dahiya
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"Space, the final front ear!"
"Space, the final front ear!"

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Stories on Google+ | Engineers

+Charlie Hoover asks a Geek question of the day. Today, he asked what you would get if you replaced a word in a title with 'Engineer'. Now, engineering is what I studied in the halcyon days of the past, so here are a few books modified to have more Engineers in them:

The Holy Engineer
Explains how to create the world in 6 days, starting with Let there be light.

A Brief History of Engineers
Just the names and inventions.

On the Origin of Engineers
How did such peculiar humans originate?

Alice in Engineerland
Pretty much the same story.

1001 Arabian Engineers
A long and convoluted project status report, as told by Scheherazade, the project manager, to the CEO, explaining why the project is time and cost overrun, but still needs to be funded. With Gantt charts.

Engineers and Prejudice
Jane Austen's whimsical look at why engineers are so stereotyped as socially inept, with one gorgeous engineer (probably completely fictional).

Grimm's Engineer Tales
Much grimmer than the original.

2001: An Engineer's Odyssey
The true story of a COBOL programmer after Y2K.

A Study in Engineering
Sherlock investigates how engineering students get through their exams with only one day of intensive study at the last minute.

Not an Engineer More, Not an Engineer Less
Staffing secrets from Jeffery Archer, with a twist.

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Bose Einstein condensate reacts negatively to force

When force is applied to this super-cooled form of matter, it accelerates in the opposite direction of the force. The researchers know the value of cool-sounding stuff, so they call it "negative mass".

Read more in the article, shared by +Betsy McCall.

#Physics #BoseEinsteinCondensate #NegativeMass

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Space | Glows in the night

Did you know what zodiacal light is? It is sunlight scattered by dust in our Solar System. The photo shows it as a band of light going from Venus (the bright spot in the middle) to the upper left. How awesome!

The picture also has bioluminescence from plankton in the sea, clouds, and the Milky Way galaxy, besides lots and lots of stars. All these are giving off light that make this such a pretty picture.

From +Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)

#space #ZodiacalLight #MilkyWay #BioluminescentPlankton
Night Glows
Image Credit & Copyright: Taha Ghouchkanlu
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170418.html

What glows in the night? This night, several unusual glows were evident -- some near, but some far. The foreground surf glimmers blue with the light of bioluminescent plankton. Next out, Earth's atmosphere dims the horizon and provides a few opaque clouds. Further out, the planet Venus glows bright near the image center. If you slightly avert your eyes, a diagonal beam of light will stand out crossing behind Venus. This band is zodiacal light, sunlight scattered by dust in our Solar System. Much further away are numerous single bright stars, most closer than 100 light years away. Furthest away, also rising diagonally and making a "V" with the zodiacal light, is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Most of the billions of Milky Way stars and dark clouds are thousands of light years away. The featured image was taken last November on the Iranian coast of Gulf of Oman.
Photo

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Mental health | Handling dysfunctional family members

An excellent short list of things you can do to protect your own sanity and deal with the dysfunctional family member in a positive and respectful way.

It's called Detaching with love.

Via +Emanuela Tosti

#MentalHealth #DysfunctionalFamily

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Cool stuff | Speakers that can send different sounds to different parts of the room

Exactly what one needs in every house. Where the whole family can sit together, and each one can enjoy listening (or not!) to different stuff.

But at 41 lakh rupees, it's more than a trifle expensive. It may well be cheaper to get everyone their own sound systems and earphones!

However, for commercial zones where safety is essential, it may be totally critical.

Via +Kam-Yung Soh

#CoolStuff #SteerableSound #Technology #Sound

Nice, but expensive, solution to intelligible public announcements. "A Berlin startup named Holoplot has built a premium audio system that it says can send one song or announcement to one corner of a room, and an entirely different message or tune to another area of the same room—without any interference between the two.
[...]
When multiple speakers in Holoplot’s system generate many sound waves, they form new wave fronts that can take on whichever shapes and angles the operator desires. This shape-shifting ability is related to the Huygens-Fresnel principle which states that any wave front results from the many smaller wavelets that produce it.
[...]
In a demonstration at CeBIT, Sick used the company’s control panel on his iPad to program a sound beam with a musical track to target a spot on the trade show floor about 20 meters away. As we walked to the spot, we could hear the track clearly through the din of the trade show. When I took a few steps to the left or to the right, the music faded.

Next, Sick programmed two announcements, one in German and one in English, to target two spots off to the side of the system, in the center of a walkway near his booth. As I moved from one spot to the other, the language of the announcement shifted with no interference between the two.

Holoplot just began selling its systems and they’re not cheap, starting at €60,000 euros. The company hopes the premium product will catch on with professional clients and large venues. This month, Holoplot ships its first units to customers."

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Biology | Taxidermy

How to frame a spider while it's still alive. And keep it alive.

(Yes, this is a trick question).

Via +Kam-Yung Soh (Read his post at https://plus.google.com/+KamYungSoh/posts/UgEQAgbbBMn).

#Biology #FramingSpiders #SpiderArt
I have been covering a lot of insect-inspired art on this blog recently. It makes me excited; there are so many beautiful examples of artwork that incorporate insects and other arthropods into their theme. Just by reading some of the comments on the…

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Evolution and the eyes

We read each others' expressions mainly from the eyes. (This is one of the reasons the Amul advertisement cartoons never have noses; they don't need them).

But that's not where the emotions that we interpret arise from. This fascinating post from +rare avis covers an article that explains where those emotions come from, and how accurate we are at estimating them in others.

#Emotions #Expression #Eyes #Evolution

The Eyes Have It

Show Some Emotion...Put Expression In Your Eyes...




According to a recent study, we interpret a person's emotions by analyzing the expression in their eyes ~ a process that began as a universal reaction to environmental stimuli and evolved to communicate our deepest emotions.

In the study, participants consistently associated narrowed eyes ~ which enhance our visual discrimination by blocking light and sharpening focus ~ with emotions related to discrimination, such as disgust and suspicion. In contrast, people linked open eyes ~ which expand our field of vision ~ with emotions related to sensitivity, like fear and awe.

"When looking at the face, the eyes dominate emotional communication," Anderson said. "The eyes are windows to the soul likely because they are first conduits for sight. Emotional expressive changes around the eye influence how we see, and in turn, this communicates to others how we think and feel."

This work builds on Anderson's research from 2013, which demonstrated that human facial expressions, such as raising one's eyebrows, arose from universal, adaptive reactions to one's environment and did not originally signal social communication.

Both studies support Charles Darwin's 19th-century theories on the evolution of emotion, which hypothesized that our expressions originated for sensory function rather than social communication.

"What our work is beginning to unravel," said Anderson, "are the details of what Darwin theorized: why certain expressions look the way they do, how that helps the person perceive the world, and how others use those expressions to read our innermost emotions and intentions."

Researchers created models of six expressions - sadness, disgust, anger, joy, fear and surprise - using photos of faces in widely used databases.

Study participants were shown a pair of eyes demonstrating one of the six expressions and one of 50 words describing a specific mental state, such as discriminating, curious, bored, etc. Participants then rated the extent to which the word described the eye expression. Each participant completed 600 trials.

Participants consistently matched the eye expressions with the corresponding basic emotion, accurately discerning all six basic emotions from the eyes alone.

Anderson then analyzed how these perceptions of mental states related to specific eye features. Those features included the openness of the eye, the distance from the eyebrow to the eye, the slope and curve of the eyebrow, and wrinkles around the nose, the temple and below the eye.

The study found that the openness of the eye was most closely related to our ability to read others' mental states based on their eye expressions.

Narrow-eyed expressions reflected mental states related to enhanced visual discrimination, such as suspicion and disapproval, while open-eyed expressions related to visual sensitivity, such as curiosity. Other features around the eye also communicated whether a mental state is positive or negative.

Additional tests compared how well study participants could read emotions from the eye region to how well they could read emotions in other areas of the face, such as the nose or mouth; the results demonstrated that the eyes are the most robust indicators of emotional states, according to participants.

"The eyes evolved over 500 million years ago for the purposes of sight but now are essential for interpersonal insight," Anderson summed up.

{slightly edited}

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Mental health | Anxiety

Anxiety from the inside. What an anxious person needs from loved ones. If your loved one suffers from anxiety, here are 16 tips on what to do.

#MentalHealth #AnxietyDisorder #HandlingAnxiety

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