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Rob Daalder
Attended Delft University of Technology
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Rob Daalder

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Information is human curiosity
 
Here's a good explanation of how backdoors in random number generators work. It specifically describes the backdoor in the NSA-provided random number generator that RSA has been using in its products (likely because NSA paid them to use it).
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Rob Daalder

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Jos Leys, J.S. Bach - Crab Canon on a Möbius Strip
The enigmatic Canon 1 à 2 from J. S. Bachs Musical Offering (1747), The manuscript depicts a single musical sequence that is to be played front to back and back to front).
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Rob Daalder

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Your belief in numbers is being tested? THINK BIG
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Rob Daalder

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Dance of the Peacock Spider

Doing the Y: Only 4 mm in size, the Australian male peacock spider (Maratus volans) puts on an impressive courtship display, rivaling the Village People in Peacock Spider Dances to YMCA . Described by researchers as multi-modal, the dance includes 3rd leg waves, synchronized unfurling of colorful belly flaps, abdominal bobbing and pedipalp flickers. As if these visual displays were not enough, the spider generates bursts of vibrations carried through the ground to signal his passion for his lady love. 

Darwin's Dilemma: Is there an selective advantage to such complexity? How did it evolve? As the rituals get more elaborate, there may be diminishing returns given the limitations of biological cost and sensory perception. Translation: is it a waste of time? :) But studies show that redundant signals allow our spidery suitor to adapt to varied environments. Too dark to see the colorful fans? The seismic display compensates for lack of light.It is thought that each signal carries a different message for the female to evaluate. It's also an exercise in self preservation: males risk falling prey to the cannibalistic tendency of the female spider. Web building male spiders generate shudder vibrations that measurably calm the female's aggression. Others present a silk-wrapped nuptial gift that distracts the female long enough to get the deed done. An unusual tactic called thanatosis is to is to feign death when the female shows signs of terminating the romantic act. Once the female has dragged off the motionless male, she begins to feed on his nuptial gift upon which the male quickly revives to resume mating!

So humans, do you see any parallels in strategy? Perhaps, you too met your mate on the web?

▶Nuptial gifts: http://goo.gl/VCsbzN
▶Spider Shudders: Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders. Wignall and Herberstein (2013) http://goo.gl/wT29bD
▶Dance Moves: Multi-Modal Courtship in the Peacock Spider, Maratus volans. Girard et al. (2011) http://goo.gl/SlIK1E
▶Gifs: via http://biomorphosis.tumblr.com/

#ScienceSunday  
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The Golden Goose Award celebrates federally funded research that is seemingly obscure but turns out to have an unforeseen positive impact on society. This year, the prize goes to Dr. John Eng whose discovery of the peptide exendin-4 from the venom of the 2-foot long pink-and-black Gila Monster has provided relief to millions of diabetics. 

From Lizard to Laboratory: In 1990, Dr. Eng was intrigued by research at the NIH showing that venom from some snakes and lizards caused the pancreas to expand, as if they were overstimulated. He noted that the Gila Monster only eats about twice a year,  yet its blood sugar levels were strikingly constant.  The lizard deals with long periods of not eating by slowing its metabolism way down, and then turns it back on like the flick of a switch. He went on to discover exendin-4, a protein naturally found in the saliva and body of the Gila lizard that is remarkably similar to GLP-1, a hormone that triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. Unlike GLP-1, which has a half-life of minutes, "lizard spit" is long lasting and effective for diabetics who cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugar. 

A Case for Curiosity Driven Research: The Golden Goose award enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) said, “Medicine from monsters and venom may sound like a science-fiction novel, but it’s a real-life breakthrough. Dr. Eng’s research shows that we can’t abandon science funding only because we don’t know where it might lead. Just ask millions of diabetics whose lives have been improved by his discovery.” Exendin's secrets are still being revealed. More recently, it was found to reduce levels of amyloid beta protein (found in senile brain plaques), and a clinical trial to determine safety and efficacy in Alzheimer's disease is underway (see http://goo.gl/wEy4bX).

Read more: http://goo.gl/UipSVe
#ScienceEveryday  
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Rob Daalder

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Ants showing off

Finalist photo from the +Smithsonian Magazine's Science photo contest,
by Eko Adiyanto


#beautifulpictures #naturephotography #science #antsareawesome  
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Have him in circles
212 people
Bill Brayman's profile photo
kevin brooks's profile photo
Thomas Price's profile photo
Charles Parker's profile photo
Roland Mösl's profile photo
Heather McCready's profile photo
Eric Snyder's profile photo
John Prim's profile photo
Education
  • Delft University of Technology
    Industrial Design, 1970 - 1977
  • Delft University of Technology
    Physics, 1972 - 1977
Work
Occupation
Complexity Scientist
Employment
  • E-Music Composer, 2001 - present
  • ECN
    Computer Scientist, 1985 - 1995
  • Paragrafix BV
    CEO Director, 1983 - 1990
  • Applied Graphics BV
    Director Research, 1979 - 1983
  • University of Delft
    Multimedia Engineer, 1977 - 1978
Basic Information
Gender
Male