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Matej Zavrsnik
242 followers -
A software engineer & sci tech fan. Loves corner cases.
A software engineer & sci tech fan. Loves corner cases.

242 followers
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"A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"

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I just finished the last assignment for my machine learning course on Coursera. This course filled my head with ideas! For instance, I could rig a ham radio to computer and tune it to some number station. I've been obsessing with those back in the days when I was learning about cryptography. Then I could write an anomaly detection software on it and make it record when anything changes in the signal ... that would be so exciting! I'm not sure what I would do with such recording though ...
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I didn't know this service existed. Mind you, this report is not created by me, it is probably autogenerated. Reportedly, I am "an epic corporate slave" and I seem to be "a pretty serious C++ expert." :)

Can't say I don't like the expert part. I'm not sure whether being corporate slave is a good thing or not. :)
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The amazing James Webb Space Telescope : Of all the telescopes made so far, this is the most amazing one planned. In development from 1996, its a beautiful origami folded structure which will open up once into space. The telescope will orbit the Lagrange L2 point, keeping it cold enough to operate. The James Webb Space Telescope, which is close to three times the size of the Hubble telescope is expected to peer into the past like never before, the earliest times from the formation of the Universe.

Article Extract: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will probe the cosmos to uncover the history of the universe from the Big Bang to alien planet formation and beyond. Scientists are planning to use the infrared telescope to search for the first galaxies that formed at the beginning of the universe. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will also have the ability to look through cosmic dust clouds to find newly forming planetary systems and seek out the chemical origins of life in the solar system.

The James Webb Space Telescope represents an ambitious international collaboration led by NASA, with the important participation of the European and Canadian space agencies. The machine itself is nothing short of a marvel, with a gold-coated beryllium mirror 6.5 meters in diameter. The mirror itself is composed of 18 hexagonal segments, which will unfold, origami-like, after the telescope is launched. Since the light from objects in the distant, early universe is significantly redshifted, JWST will observe in infrared light. In addition, the ability of infrared radiation to penetrate through dust and gas (which are opaque to visible light), will allow JWST to peek into regions where new stars and planets are born. The telescope will be equipped with a tennis-court-sized sunshield that will unfurl and protect it from radiation coming from the Sun, Earth, and Moon. Unlike Hubble, which is in a low-Earth orbit at a distance of just over 300 miles above the surface of the Earth, JWST will be about a million miles from Earth--about four times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Article Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mario-livio/james-webb-space-telescope_b_4151427.html

From Space.com: http://www.space.com/21925-james-webb-space-telescope-jwst.html

How JWST is being built (NASA) : http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope

Video link: Seeing Beyond - The James Webb Space Telescope (Final Cut)

Earlier post on the Eyeglass space telescope project: https://plus.google.com/110884604033336753419/posts/5anQtZ6UwK6

Hubblesci link: http://hubblesci.com/james-webb-space-observatory-poised-to-detect-extraterrestrial-life/

Model link: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/jwst_model.html

Pics courtesy: Wikipedia, Huffingtonpost, Popsci, NASA, Deep Astronomy

#space #telescope #origami  
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This reminds me of those movies from the early 90's about the future (which was like year 2010)...and I was thinking like no way! I'm still waiting for the teleportation ;)
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Look at me on IRC again, seems like ages! I still remember some basic commands though. Looks like driving a bicycle is like chatting on irc :) If anyone would like to slap /me around a bit with a large trout, I'm /nick unclemat :)
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There are different definitions of what success is. On Windows, for example: "SUCCESS: The process "explorer.exe" with PID 3508 has been terminated." :)
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Not all is what it seems on the first look. Especially if found on the internet.
Space Pens vs. Pencils

Via +I fucking love science over on another platform.

Things are very rarely as simple as they seem... it's easy to mock when you don't know the context.
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So, I can't delete a file because it exists? Em, OK, makes sense :)
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alias tea7="sleep 7m; espeak 'Your tea is done' & xmessage -center 'Your tea is done';"

Once and for all! :)
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