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Margriet Mulder
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Margriet Mulder

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Margriet Mulder

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Language is one of the most fascinating technologies, a human invention so central to our social function and very survival it’s practically indistinguishable from life itself. Yet languages are incredibly intricate, complicated, culture-specific organisms, and much of their delicate complexity can get lost in translation.
The practice of translation rests on two presuppositions. The first is that we are all different: we speak different tongues, and see the world in ways that are deeply influenced by the particular features of the tongue that we speak. The second is that we are all the same—that we can share the same broad and narrow kinds of feelings, information, understandings, and so forth. Without both of these suppositions, translation could not exist. Nor could anything we would like to call social life. Translation is another name for the human condition.”
~ David Bellos
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Margriet Mulder

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Wolf-pack (Canis lupus) hunting strategies emerge from simple rules in computational simulations
C. Muroa, R. Escobedoa, L. Spectorc, R.P. Coppingerc
a )Asociación de Perros de Asistencia AEPA-Euskadi, Pte Deusto 7, 48014 Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain b)Departamento de Matemática Aplicada y Ciencias de la Computación, Uni-versidad de Cantabria, Av. de Los Castros s/n, Santander 39005, Spain c) School of Cognitive Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002, United States.
**We have produced computational simulations of multi-agent systems in which wolf agents chase prey agents. We show that two simple decentralized rules controlling the movement of each wolf are enough to reproduce the main features of the wolf-pack hunting behavior: tracking the prey, carrying out the pursuit, and encircling the prey until it stops moving. The rules are (1) move towards the prey until a minimum safe distance to the prey is reached, and (2) when close enough to the prey, move away from the other wolves that are close to the safe distance to the prey. The hunting agents are autonomous, interchangeable and indistinguishable; the only information each agent needs is the position of the other agents. Our results suggest that wolf-pack hunting is an emergent collective behavior which does not necessarily rely on the presence of effective communication between the individuals participating in the hunt, and that no hierarchy is needed in the group to achieve the task properly.
Keywords: Collective behavior; Emergence; Wolf-pack hunting
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Margriet Mulder

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Architect | MYD studio originally shared:
 
Inside the Seattle Central Library, Rem Koolhaas Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
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Transparent crab shell holds the secret to bendable screens
By Mark Brown, wired.co.uk | Published 20 minutes ago

Biologists from Kyoto University in Japan have turned a crab's shell transparent. More than just a neat party trick, the research into see-through structures could help the construction of flat panel displays, solar cells and bendy screens.
Muhammad Iftekhar Shams and his team at Kyoto University took an entire (dead) crab, and treated its body to a brew of acids and chemicals. Hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and ethanol stripped the body of minerals, proteins, lipids, fats and pigments.
This left a crab shell made entirely of translucent chitin. Chitin is a long-chain polymer that is the main component of crustacean exoskeletons.
Finally, the shell was immersed in an acrylic resin monomer. Polymerisation kicked in (monomer molecules react together to form polymer chains), and the team ended up with a perfect, ghostly recreation of a crab, only now completely see-through.
Buoyed by their success, Shams and colleagues crushed up chitin from crab shells and spread the powdered material into a nanocomposite sheet. Then, much like the crab body, the paper-like sheet was given the acrylic resin monomer treatment, leading to an optically transparent panel.
The material is exciting because it doesn't expand or lose its stability when heated—in fact, it's ten times as resistant to heat as traditional materials such as glass-fiber epoxies. This makes it a potential material for building bendable screens or solar cells that are moulded into shapes. It has a high light transmittance too.
"This class of materials is an interesting candidate for transparent substrates in next-generation electronic devices such as flexible displays and solar cells," the team writes in the paper's abstract—published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Better still is that chitin—the secret ingredient—is abundant in nature. Not only is it found in the shells of crabs, lobsters and shrimps, this adaptable natural material also shows up in the cell walls of fungi, the exoskeletons of arthropods and insects, the tongue-like radulas of mollusks, and the beaks of cephalopods.
Image courtesy of Royal Society of Chemistry/Kyoto University
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