A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

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Herr said this was the first public demonstration of a running gait by powered prosthetics under neural command.

txchnologist:

The Chance To Dance Again

by Michael Keller

We highlighted the TED talk of Hugh Herr a couple of weeks ago. But his work is too important and beautiful to leave to just one post.

The MIT associate professor of media arts and sciences is making prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that restore function in those who have lost legs from injury or disease. This set of gifs focuses on his team’s BiOM powered ankle and foot prosthesis

"Bionics is not only about making people stronger and faster," he said during the talk. "Our expression, our humanity can be embedded into electromechanics."

To prove his point, Herr and fellow researchers studied dance movement to replace the lower leg that professional dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost after last year’s Boston marathon bombing. He concluded his talk by bringing Haslet-Davis on the stage to perform a bionic rumba. 

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There is something for which Newton — or better to say not Newton alone, but modern science in general — can still be made responsible: it is splitting of our world in two. I have been saying that modern science broke down the barriers that separated the heavens and the earth, and that it united and unified the universe. And that is true. But, as I have said, too, it did this by substituting for our world of quality and sense perception, the world in which we live, and love, and die, another world — the world of quantity, or reified geometry, a world in which, though there is place for everything, there is no place for man. Thus the world of science — the real world — became estranged and utterly divorced from the world of life, which science has been unable to explain — not even to explain away by calling it “subjective”.
True, these worlds are everyday — and even more and more — connected by praxis. Yet for theory they are divided by an abyss.
Two worlds: this means two truths. Or no truth at all.
This is the tragedy of the modern mind which “solved the riddle of the universe,” but only to replace it by another riddle: the riddle of itself.

Newtonian Studies (1965)

Alexandre Koyré - Wikiquote

Consider, for example, that relativity theory seems to tell us that time doesn’t flow, that all of space-time is laid out in a frozen all-at-once-ness, with the distinctions among past, present, and future “an illusion,” in the words of Einstein, “albeit a persistent one.” How can such a view of time be reconciled with perhaps the most conspicuous aspect of our manifest image, implicated in almost every emotion we have—our regret and nostalgia for the past, our hopes and terrors for the future? One can’t revamp our notion of physical time without disturbing our conception of the very things we are.

Is Philosophy Obsolete? - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring

Description: John A. Rogers, a University of Illinois professor, and Yonggang Huang, a Northwestern University professor, have created thin, soft stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring. Read about this technology at http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0403….

(by Illinois1867)

New book explores ‘frontier’ metaphor in science
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Leah Ceccarelli is a professor of communication and author of the book “On the Frontier of Science: An American Rhetoric of Exploration and Exploitation.” 

She answered a few questions about the book for UW Today. 

Q: What’s the concept behind this book? Why did you write it? A: I kept seeing appeals to the American frontier spirit in the public arguments of scientists. That rhetoric was often inspiring, giving scientists an exciting image of their work across the metaphorical “boundaries” of knowledge. But it was also troubling in the expectations it set out about the manifest destiny of scientists to push forward at all costs, and in the way it reinforced their separation from a public that funds their endeavors. (via New book explores ‘frontier’ metaphor in science | UW Today)

New book explores ‘frontier’ metaphor in science
-
Leah Ceccarelli is a professor of communication and author of the book “On the Frontier of Science: An American Rhetoric of Exploration and Exploitation.”

She answered a few questions about the book for UW Today.

Q: What’s the concept behind this book? Why did you write it? A: I kept seeing appeals to the American frontier spirit in the public arguments of scientists. That rhetoric was often inspiring, giving scientists an exciting image of their work across the metaphorical “boundaries” of knowledge. But it was also troubling in the expectations it set out about the manifest destiny of scientists to push forward at all costs, and in the way it reinforced their separation from a public that funds their endeavors. (via New book explores ‘frontier’ metaphor in science | UW Today)

Whether we scientists are inspired, bored, or infuriated by philosophy, all our theorising and experimentation depends on particular philosophical background assumptions. This hidden influence is an acute embarrassment to many researchers, and it is therefore not often acknowledged. Such fundamental notions as reality, space, time and causality – notions found at the core of the scientific enterprise – all rely on particular metaphysical assumptions about the world.

When science and philosophy collide in a ‘fine-tuned’ universe
Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel
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Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium that could yield a new source of high-energy hydrocarbon fuel for rocketry and other aerospace uses. High-energy, specific-use hydrocarbon fuels such as JP-10 can be extracted from oil, along with more commonly used petroleum fuels, but supplies are limited and prices are high – approaching US$7 per liter. That’s where the new bacterium, engineered by Georgia Tech scientists Stephen Sarria and Pamela Peralta-Yahya, could come in. By introducing enzymes into the strain of E. coli bacterium a reaction is developed that yields pinene, a cyclic hydrocarbon related to isoprene – a major ingredient of pine resin and a vital precursor to a biofuel that offers an energy density comparable to JP-10. The biofuel is then produced by “dimerising,” or linking together, two molecules of pinene via chemical catalysis. (via Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel)

Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel
-
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium that could yield a new source of high-energy hydrocarbon fuel for rocketry and other aerospace uses. High-energy, specific-use hydrocarbon fuels such as JP-10 can be extracted from oil, along with more commonly used petroleum fuels, but supplies are limited and prices are high – approaching US$7 per liter. That’s where the new bacterium, engineered by Georgia Tech scientists Stephen Sarria and Pamela Peralta-Yahya, could come in. By introducing enzymes into the strain of E. coli bacterium a reaction is developed that yields pinene, a cyclic hydrocarbon related to isoprene – a major ingredient of pine resin and a vital precursor to a biofuel that offers an energy density comparable to JP-10. The biofuel is then produced by “dimerising,” or linking together, two molecules of pinene via chemical catalysis. (via Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel)