The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. After more than a thousand commands to restore contact, engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made their last attempt to revive Opportunity Tuesday, to no avail. The solar-powered rover’s final communication was received June 10.
Fifteen years and more than 45 kilometers… That’s pretty good for a rover that was designed to operate for about 90 days and travel one kilometer. A very fitting XKCD comic to say goodbye.
I really like this idea. It’s a great opportunity to go through all the photos I’ve taken over the year, remember and re-live some of the memories, as well as take a more critical look at the photos and make purposeful choices.
I like the format of nine shots. It’s enough to capture the year, make a concise presentation, yet it’s small enough to force some contention and force critical look for the picks. Albeit, I took a slightly different angle and my picks aren’t necessarily the best picks, but they are the ones that mean most to me, be it because they are some of the best, or because they recall the best memories.
We took our dog for a walk while visiting relatives, and found this lone alpaca in the field. The alpaca was sensing our dog, so I didn’t have much time to grab a shot. It’s a little oddly framed, but that’s partially why I like it.
It poured for two days straight, but eventually we were rewarded by a beautiful sunset.
Experimenting with my Kiev 80 camera and scanning film.
Hiking steep trails on Haida Gwaii, BC.
These goats are so much fun. I love their fuzzy beards and behinds. Shot on Fuji Pro 400H with Kiev 80.
If you view what happened to the diplomats in Havana as an “attack,” you must look for something capable of producing such an assault. It would have to emit a sound that varied widely from listener to listener. It would have to strike only people who worked at the embassy. It would have to assail them wherever they happened to be, whether in their homes or staying at a hotel. It would have to produce a wide range of symptoms that seemed to bear no relation to one another. And it would have to start off small, with one or two victims, before spreading rapidly to everyone in the group.
As it happens, there is and always has been one mechanism that produces precisely this effect in humans. Today it’s referred to in the medical literature as conversion disorder—that is, the conversion of stress and fear into actual physical illness. But most people know it by an older, creakier term: mass hysteria. […]
In agricultural applications, LED lights are used in ways that seem to border on alchemy, changing how plants grow, when they flower, how they taste and even their levels of vitamins and antioxidants. The lights can also prolong their shelf life.
You’re telling me that there are three things you love and you want me to tell you which two to cut off…so you can limp along on the other one? This is not how things work. The advice I have for you is: don’t discard. Find a way to keep all three of these things in the mix.
Where I had expertise before, I don’t necessarily now. People ask my advice on things I knew well years ago. It’s tempting to think I still know the answer, but instead I have to admit, “Sorry. I don’t know.”
A big culprit: “sharenting,” or parents willingly giving away their children’s information, like name and date of birth. Those Facebook birth announcements may be posted with innocent intentions, but they can come with serious consequences. According to security experts at Barclays consulted for the children’s commissioner report, this leaves the door open to identity theft. The experts cited criminal reports where kids’ data was stashed away until they turned 18, upon which fraudulent credit card and loans applications were created in their names.
Degrees of Freedom is an amazing article by Raffi Khatchadourian from The New Yorker covering some of neuroscience history and what it took to enable paralyzed people move robotic arms with their brains.
For eighteen years, Jan Scheuermann has been paralyzed from the neck down. She is six feet tall, and she spends all day and all night in a sophisticated, battery-powered wheelchair that cradles her—half sitting, half reclining—from head to toe.
In the following days, her performance improved further. As the researchers were correcting their algorithms, her brain was correcting its responses to them. She began to refer to Hector as “my arm,” a slip of the tongue that soon became habit. “It happened without me realizing it,” she told me. “I just said, ‘Let me see if I can get my arm to do that.’ Or, ‘My arm’s not going that way.’ ”
As the success of design has become measurable, it has transformed a handicraft into an engineering job. Not the master designer but the user is the arbitrator of good design. The key performance indicator is not beauty but profit. As financial and technical performance was gained, beauty left the stage. Now it feels like something is missing.
It’s never been easier to find better system for solving our problems. What we should be doing is finding better problems to solve.
The real Frank Abegnale tells his tale in a talk at Google, and it’s ever as gripping as the movie. Surprisingly, the movie was pretty close and decently done. Make sure to watch the QA session at the end, he provides some interesting and unexpected answers.
In 1834, to get upper hand in trading bonds, the Blanc brothers bribed telegraph operators to introduce errors into the usual broadcast without affecting the message: a character with market direction followed by a “backspace”. They then observed one of the telegraph towers to learn how to trade faster than any other available means.
Too often, [number stations] are described as “spooky,” “creepy,” or “mysterious,” and the discussion stops there. It may be disappointing to some, but these stations are not […] relics of the Cold War — rather, these stations are part of the sophisticated work of intelligence agencies and militaries, and they are very much still on the air.
My Grandfather’s Memory Book is a touching story that brought back memories of my grandfather who was industrial designer, painter and cartoonist. My brother and I grew up browsing through his design notes, watching him draw cartoons for publications, and paint. He didn’t keep journals, but we have paintings, stacks of cartoons, and paper toys he made for us.
Learning to See in the Dark – Interesting paper on processing short-exposure low-light exposures with a neural network, replacing the traditional denoise and deblur post processing. Impressive results.
NotePlan is another note taking app, but it integrates your calendar into markdown with notes and todos. You can create links between your notes and even create calendar events within markdown. Everything get stored in your iCloud drive as plain text files.
It turns out that what I was doing was searching for calm. At the time, my head was like a badly tuned radio – I wasn’t really able to listen to what people were saying, but what they said hit home. When I was out taking pictures, concentrating purely on the creation of an image, my head started to unravel.
It means paying closer attention to our surroundings. It means using our cameras mindfully to focus on the details we truly want to remember. It means putting down the camera for a few moments to notice what the air feels like, what the streets smell like, and writing down our feelings about being there.
We’ve got to stop thinking of the internet as an extension of who we are, and start to realize that it’s an agent all its own, a nonhuman brain, in a way, that foists on us between the lines a cruel, unspoken agenda: It wants you to stay.
The crowd doesn’t understand this. They’re always looking for a shortcut that looks like a shortcut.
If you’re merely following them, you probably won’t get anywhere interesting. It’s the detours that pay off.
Acute Solar Retinopathy: This is what happens to your eyes when you look at the eclipse without glasses.
Each year, 28 million tonnes of dust is picked up by wind from the Sahara desert, carried across the Atlantic and dropped on the Amazon basin. Some of the dust is loaded with phosphorus, a crucial nutrient for the trees in the Amazon rainforest. Ellen Gray via Tom Whitwell
Transient is a compilation of epic slow-mo captures of lightning storms by Dustin Farrell. Well worth a watch or two.
Child of Mine, come
as you grow in youth
you will learn
the secret places
the cave behind the waterfall
the arms of the oak
that hold you high
the stars so near
on a desert ledge
…the important places.
And, as with age, you choose
your own way
among the many faces
of a busy world
may you always remember
the path that leads back.
…back to the important places.
Maybe you are like I am and the clicking sound of the camera’s shutter is a familiar symphony. Maybe you look for a photograph in everything – pairing every sunset with 144 photos, chasing good light and pausing at every vista. Or maybe you’ve shied away from fancy titles like ‘artist’ or ‘photographer’ – defaulting instead to a simple love for your iPhone and the experiences you find. Wherever you land on the spectrum makes no difference. We are all storytellers with an eye and experiences uniquely our own.
And then – after all the photos have been taken – put the camera down. Let the last photo you didn’t take live on in the quiet place of your memory.
Is there anything inherently “doggy” about the word “dog”? Obviously not—to the French, a dog is a chien, to Russians a sobaka, to Mandarin Chinese-speakers a gǒu. These words have nothing in common, and none seem any more connected to the canine essence than any other. One runs up against that wall with pretty much any word.
Except some. The word for “mother” seems often either to be mama or have a nasal sound similar to m, like nana. The word for “father” seems often either to be papa or have a sound similar to p, like b, in it—such that you get something like baba. The word for “dad” may also have either d or t, which is a variation on saying d, just as p is on b. People say mama or nana, and then papa, baba, dada, or tata, worldwide.
Sherry Turkle’s contribution to NY Times Sunday Review, adapted from her book “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age”
In solitude we find ourselves; we prepare ourselves to come to conversation with something to say that is authentic, ours. If we can’t gather ourselves, we can’t recognize other people for who they are. If we are not content to be alone, we turn others into the people we need them to be. If we don’t know how to be alone, we’ll only know how to be lonely.
COLLEGE students tell me they know how to look someone in the eye and type on their phones at the same time, their split attention undetected. They say it’s a skill they mastered in middle school when they wanted to text in class without getting caught. Now they use it when they want to be both with their friends and, as some put it, “elsewhere.”
Quite a bit, apparently. Data anonymizing doesn’t necessarily guarantee your privacy.
When the authors mapped locations, dates, and prices of someone’s non-anonymous purchases against the whole database, it was usually easy to find a single, unique pattern. With three points or more, it was virtually a certainty. […] There’s a 94 percent chance that you’re the only person who did so. Taking away price altogether made these matches harder to find. But with four purchases, it was back up to 90 percent.
Nathan Kontny’s take on the opinion that one needs to have good contacts in order to start a successful business.
When I wanted a better job, I emailed random people at work trying to help them make the corporation better until I got noticed and promoted. And when I wanted contacts for my business, I emailed Mark Cuban, Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks), Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon), Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce.com), and on and on. No intros. Just cold emails.
There’s a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with a deadly secret—it turns any animal it touches to stone. The rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, but the petrified creatures it leaves behind are straight out of a horror film.
For the list-makers, the note-takers, the Post-It note pilots, the track-keepers, and the dabbling doodlers. Bullet journal is for those who feel there are few platforms as powerful as the blank paper page. It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past, and plan for the future.
After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves.
If a country is without photography, that country is without identity
180° South is a documentary about Jeff Johnson’s inspiring
adventure to Patagonia, Chile, following in the footsteps of Yvon Chouinard
and Doug Tompkins. Instead of driving down south, though, Jeff sets out on a
set of adventures, including becoming a crew on sail boat and ship wrecking
off Easter Island and surfing the longest wave of his life. Along the way he
meets interesting people, tells inspiring stories, and shows breathtaking
images from places others only wish they could visit.
Trying to figure out the flight distance between Shenzhen, China and Vancouver, BC, I plugged the two cities into Google Maps (not realizing there are no flight paths there, at the time). I did not get what I wanted, but the outcome was interesting: They give me driving directions to a port, and from tell I’m supposed to “Kayak across the Pacific Ocean”, about 6243km to Hawaii, and then kayak another 4463km to Seattle, and drive up to Vancouver. Ok then, I’m right on it, see you in couple of years.
I wonder though, is the kayaking part something they are working on or part of the biking maps?