Categories
space video

Meteor near Saskatoon – Feb 22, 2021

My brother-in-law has a security camera mounted on his house in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan that caught a few seconds of this meteor flying over Canada yesterday.

People all over Alberta and Saskatchewan are reporting their experiences catching glimpses of the celestial boulder.

Categories
optical illusion

3D Schröder Staircase

Schröder stairs is an optical illusion of a set of stairs which may be perceived either as leading from left to right downwards or the same staircase only turned upside down.

Schroeder stairs

Mathematician Kokichi Sugihara took the Schröder staircase concept, figured out how to make it in 3D, and won the Neural Correlate Society’s Illusion of the Year Award for 2020.

(via Coolhunting)

Categories
psychology

The McGurk Effect

Recently a Tik-tok video has been making the rounds that highlights a phenomena called the McGurk effect.

From Wikipedia:

“The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon that demonstrates an interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. The illusion occurs when the auditory component of one sound is paired with the visual component of another sound, leading to the perception of a third sound.”

It stands to reason that this is what is happening when one is primed to listen to the backwards “backmasking lyrics” like the ones on my backmasking page.

How many of these can you hear?

  • 94
  • 49
  • iPhone
  • fortnight
  • nice one
  • night fall
  • throw a knife
  • eye for an eye

And here’s the explainer video put out by the BBC.

(via ATP)

Categories
Art psychology technology

Pareidolia on Grains of Sand

I came across a site tonight that hits on a lot of my interests. It’s got a nice mixture of art, technology, with just a hint of psychology.

I’ve been interested in pareidolia since I first learned about it years ago. It is, as wikipedia defines it, “the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.”

In this particular case, the objects are grains of sand and the incorrect perception is that they look like faces.

In the artwork Pareidolia* facial detection is applied to grains of sand. A fully automated robot search engine examines the grains of sand in situ. When the machine finds a face in one of the grains, the portrait is photographed and displayed on a large screen.

Check out Pareidolia, face detection on grains of sand.

(via Waxy)

Categories
space

The New USA Space Force Logo

In December, the United States announced a new branch of the military, The Space Force. Today they released the logo for the new service and a lot of people are talking about how it looks like the logo from StarFleet.

I did a quick search and as much as it tickles my biases to make fun of the logo, it’s fair to say Star Trek copied real life space organizations rather than the other way around.

This collection of Star Trek logos shows that Trek did a bit of borrowing from NASA and the United Nations.

Categories
inspirational physics

NASA: How We’re Going to the Moon (Again)

Before the holidays, NASA put out an announcement for plans to go back to the moon. The plan is pretty extensive:

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. We will collaborate with our commercial and international partners and establish sustainable exploration by 2028. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap — sending astronauts to Mars.

Instead of the way previous missions were completed, with one rocket taking up a single lander, NASA plans to setup infrastructure in the form of a small space station orbiting the Moon which can dock with incoming ships and guide them a gentle landing just about anywhere on the surface. This will make travelling to the moon much cheaper and sets the stage for how it will be done if (when?) mankind starts going to Mars. More details about the Artemis Mission on NASA’s website.

Categories
physics technology

Flyboarding Frenchman crosses English Channel on a Jet Powered Flyboard

French inventor Franky Zapata has crossed the English Channel on a kerosene-powered hoverboard. The 40-year-old is the first person in history to complete the flight following a failed attempt last week. He landed 35 km away on the White Cliffs of Dover after just 23 minutes of flight following takeoff at Sangatte, France.

Categories
backmasking space

Man Will Spacewalk

With today being the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon, I bring you this little classic reverse speech from the first words spoken on the surface of the moon which, when reversed, sound like “man will spacewalk”.

Neil Armstrong’s Moon Landing Speech Backwards

Play Forward

Forward:’a small step for a man’

Play in Reverse

Reverse: ‘Man will spacewalk.’

Also of interest, on this anniversary of scientific achievement, NASA has released a collection of 45 panoramic photos from the surface of the moon based on images stitched together from the various Apollo missions.

(Previously, on Jeffmilner.com.)

Categories
ethics psychology technology

What is Technology Doing to Us?

I highly recommend The Waking Up podcast, and particularly episode #71, in which the host, Sam Harris, holds a conversation with Tristan Harris an ethicist for design. If you’ve ever gone to Facebook to look up something quickly and then wondered how you found yourself caught in a vortex of wasted time, this conversation will surely enlighten you. Recommended listening for everyone that uses technology and especially those that build it.

From Tristan’s bio page:

Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris was previously a Design Ethicist at Google and left the company to lead Time Well Spent, a non-profit movement to align technology with our humanity. Time Well Spent aims to transform the race for attention by revealing how technology hijacks our minds, and to demonstrate how better incentives and design practices will create a world that helps us spend our time well.

Tristan is an avid researcher of what persuades our minds, drawing on insights from sleight of hand magic, linguistics, persuasive technology, cult psychology and behavioral economics. Currently he is developing a framework for ethical persuasion, especially as it relates to the moral responsibility of technology companies.

His work has been featured on 60 Minutes, PBS NewsHour, The Atlantic Magazine, ReCode, TED, 1843 Economist Magazine, Wired, NYTimes, Der Spiegel, NY Review of Books, Rue89 and more.

Previously, Tristan was CEO of Apture, which Google acquired in 2011. Apture enabled millions of users to get instant, on-the-fly explanations across a vast publisher network.

Listen to the conversation as Sam and Tristan talk about the arms race for human attention, the ethics of persuasion, the consequences of having an ad-based economy, the dynamics of regret, and other topics.

http://wakingup.libsyn.com/71-what-is-technology-doing-to-us

(or use Overcast to listen at a faster speed — that’s what I do)

Here’s a taste of what Tristan’s all about:

Categories
inspirational Science

Atlantis’ Final Launch

It’s the end of an era as the the Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for its last flight this morning. Watching Atlantis lift off gave me a great shot of nostalgia from the early days of the shuttle program when I was a kid. Here are some screen shots I took from NASA’s broadcast this morning.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen ShotSpace Shuttle Atlantis Screen ShotSpace Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot