News

AI for Detecting Texting while Driving

Using cameras and other sensors, researchers at University of Waterloo have developed an AI system that can determine if a driver is texting while driving. The machine learning system classifies hand movements to make its assessment. (Sep 8, 2017)

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Development in Converting CO2 to Fuel

In a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy, scientists from Berkeley Lab have created a method to convert CO2 into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using “record-low inputs of energy.” Peidon Yang, on the research team, is quoted: “What we are reporting here is much more challenging. We discovered a catalyst for carbon dioxide reduction operating at high current density with a record low overpotential that is about 300 millivolts less than typical electrocatalysts.” (Sep 18, 2017)

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Path of Totality: Eclipse 2017 Now in Planetariums Internationally

Path of Totality: Eclipse 2017 is the music video I helped put together with Joe Woolbright. Joe took the outstanding time-lapse video and I composed the music. In a short period of time the video now has over 3500 views on YouTube and has been requested by planetariums internationally. Here’s where you can see the video in a local planetarium:

Watson-King Planetarium, Towson, MD;
Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium, Orono, ME;
Traveler’s Science Dome at the Gengras Planetarium,
West Hartford, CT;
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, NH;
Gladwin Planetarium, Santa Barbara, CA;
Bassett Planetarium, Amherst, MA;
Fiske Planetarium, Boulder, CO;
Star Theater, Morehead, KY;
University of Michigan Planetarium, Ann Arbor, MI;
Du Pont Planetarium, Aiken, SC;
Chesapeake Planetarium, Chesapeake, VA;
Bendigo Planetarium, Bendigo, VIC, Australia;
Morehead Planetarium, Chapel Hill, NC;
Williamsville Space Lab Planetarium, Williamsville, NY;
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Brisbane, Australia.

If you don’t live close to one of these venues and would like to have your local planetarium play the video, send me a message and let me know which planetarium it is. In the meantime, here it is on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzXWPciTcAI&t=3s

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Earth Could be Visible to Nine Known Exoplanets

Scientists have found many planets outside our solar system by watching them transit across their home stars. Now researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research have thought about the obverse problem: Could planets be detected by transiting across our own sun. The answer: At least nine known exoplanets would have a good opportunity to detect a planet orbiting our sun. (Sep 10, 2017)

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X-37B Space Plane is in Orbit

SpaceX launched the X-37B into orbit today, ahead of the impending hurricane. Click here for more on the launch and successful rocket recovery. (Sep 8, 2017)

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27 States of Emotion?

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers at Berkeley suggest that there are 27 categories of emotion based on analysis of thousands of emotionally charged videos. (Sep 7, 2017) [At EffectCheck.com, we still use 6. :-)]

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China Looks to Take Lead in Floating Nuclear Reactors

From the news story: "China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) is partnering with Chinese shipyards and electric machinery companies to develop a $150 million project. The combination of nuclear reactor suppliers and a shipyard suggests that floating nuclear reactors are...

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Eclipse Music Video on YouTube

With great pleasure, I've written the music for terrific time-lapse imagery of the total solar eclipse from August 21, 2017 taken by Joe Woolbright. We have the video up on YouTube here. (Sep. 2, 2017)

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Hominin Footprints from over 5 Million Years Ago?

In Crete, re-examination of human-like footprints show them to be about 5.7 million years old. That's about the time when human ancestors were in Africa. This find has the potential to engender a significant revision in our understanding human evolution. (Aug. 31, 2017)

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