The other day I toured Go Create, a hobby shop for inventers that has just opened on the Innovation Campus of Wichita State University. I call it a hobby shop, but they call it a "makerspace". The space includes several workshops, each of which contains machines and workstations the worth of which is in the millions of dollars. Surprised, I was, that the first workshop through which we were escorted was a textile shop - and - the first machine was an industrial long-arm quilting machine. Who would have thought? The machine could handle textiles up to 14 feet wide.
Also in the textile room were a serger, a couple of embroidery machines, a machine that would sew leather, and several other machines that I don't recall. Work tables were yet to come with the envisioned layout being as in the graphic, below.
Of course, of even more interest to me was the metalworking shop with the envisioned layout being as in the next graphic. Most of the equipment was in place but not all.
There are also workshops for wood, finishing, electronics, 3-D print/scan, design (lots of computer power and networking capabilities), glass & plastic, and machining with the largest robotic set-up I've ever seen. There was a gang of four autonomous robotic machines that had a sensor network allowing each one to slow down and/or stop when they approached one another or when a human approached (stopped when human was within 10 inches). There are "office/work" spaces available for rent by-the-month ($90 or $100, depending upon size) and the basic fee for using Go Create is $125/month. Some activities require an added fee (water-jet use includes a fee for the garnet abrasive material).
They don't know I'm doing this, and I get nothing in return; but, I thought that you might find the posted FAQs from the Go Create website interesting:
What is GoCreate?
GoCreate is a makerspace where members are welcome to bring their ideas and work on their projects. GoCreate provides space, tools, materials, knowledge, and helping hands.
What's in GoCreate?
GoCreate has an evolving inventory of equipment, tools and materials that make it possible to make (almost) anything.
What does GoCreate provide?
We mentor, train and develop. We maintain the machines, materials and spaces. Together, we keep the place clean. And together, we keep you safe.
Who can use GoCreate?
GoCreate is open to anybody: all ages, all experience levels. All you have to do is be a member who has completed the required safety and equipment training.
Who owns GoCreate inventions?
You think it and make it, it’s yours. Designs and products developed and produced here can be protected and sold however you choose.
How can businesses use GoCreate?
Commercial activities can be prototyped and incubated in GoCreate, but they should grow beyond rather than within the lab. If you make it big – and we hope that you do – you can’t make it here. GoCreate can be your stepping stone – but the space is not designed for mass production.
What if I can't afford it?
GoCreate is committed to providing access to anyone with a dream. We offer assistance to those who need it most - people with big ideas and an even bigger will to make it happen.
Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation donated $3.75 million to provide membership and training assistance to qualifying applicants, as well as support for mentor fellowships.
Membership assistance cover monthly membership and training fees for a six-month period, and may be extended for an additional six months.
A new exoskeleton that specifically helps children with spinal muscular atrophy walk is the first of its kind.
Developed by the Spanish National Research Council and its spinoff Marsi Bionics, the exoskeleton’s brace and support rods fit around the child’s torso and legs. In each leg, it has five motors that mimic muscles, sensors, and a controller that responds to the child’s subtle movements. It weighs 12 kilos, and is made of aluminum and titanium.
It’s designed for children 3–14 diagnosed with Type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, who can’t walk or stand on their own, the Council says. The degenerative illness affects one in ten thousand babies in Spain.
Hunky Husband and I have spent this past week in meetings held by the organization for which we volunteer - some meetings of which were informational, some of which were training, some of which we were actually getting work/planning accomplished. At our ages, 10-12 hours of meetings is just too much. We skipped the evening meetings, entirely! As it was, we were at meetings from 8am to 6:30pm each day. There was no day that I failed to put in a few more hours at my normal type of volunteer work. Yesterday, I took it easy. (In my jargon, that means that I only put in about seven hours at a hot computer.)
Speaking of buzzes in physics:Gravitational waves, Einstein’s ripples in spacetime, spotted for first time. From the linked article:
The discovery marks a triumph for the 1000 physicists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a pair of gigantic instruments in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana. Rumors of the detection had circulated for months. Today, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., the LIGO team made it official. “We did it!” says David Reitze, a physicist and LIGO executive director at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. “All the rumors swirling around out there got most of it right.”
By Yinweichen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Earth-shaking: Yesterday, we experienced another earthquake - stronger than any I've previously felt in Kansas. The quake was measured as 5.1 on the Richter Scale by USGSwith epicenter down in Oklahoma - the strongest quake they've had since 2011. It really rattled my computer and everything on my computer desk around! (I was working on the computer at the time.)
Below are a few odds and ends that I've found online during the past couple of days. Please follow the links to anything you find interesting.
It is much too early in the research of the relationship between eating at night (when one would "normally" be sleeping) and learning and memory to become alarmed; but, I found an article at Science Daily interesting.
Modern schedules can lead us to eat around the clock so it is important to understand how this could dull some of the functions of the brain. New research in mice shows that clocks in different regions of the brain start working out of step, altering the brain's physiology.
"For the first time, we have shown that simply adjusting the time when food is made available alters the molecular clock in the hippocampus and can alter the cognitive performance of mice." Professor Christopher Colwell from the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA
I'm not a cook. I'm not "on a diet". I do follow a couple of cooking blogs. The link, below, will lead to a recipe that is not new; but, it is one that I found a couple of years ago. I've had time to try it and I like it! Note that Kalyn's Kitchen is slow on the download, but Kalyn's recipes are, in general, worth the patience.
For those who think of the 1950s as "the good old days", here is Siegel's entry for that decade.
1950s — But a competing idea to the Big Bang was the Steady-State model, put forth by Fred Hoyle and others during the same time. But what was most spectacular is that they argued that all the heavier elements present on Earth today were formed not during an early, hot and dense state, but rather in previous generations of stars. Hoyle, along with collaborators Willie Fowler and Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge, detailed exactly how elements would be built up the periodic table from nuclear fusion occurring in stars. Most spectacularly, they predicted helium fusion into carbon through a process never before observed: the triple-alpha process, requiring a new state of carbon to exist. That state was discovered by Fowler a few years after it was proposed by Hoyle, and is today known as the Hoyle State of carbon. From this, we learned that all the heavy elements existing on Earth today owe their origin to previous generations of stars.
Posted by samzenpuson Friday June 05, 2015 @07:31AM from the just-a-little-prick dept.
sciencehabit writes: A new blood test can find almost every virus you ever caught—in a single drop of blood. Called VirScan, the test surveys the antibodies present in the bloodstream to reveal a history of the viruses you've been infected with throughout your life. Besides diagnosing current illnesses, the new test could be an important tool in developing vaccines and studying links between viruses and chronic disease.
This new test gives an employer a tool to determine whether an employee is being truthful about having missed work due to "the flu"!
"Blood test" by GrahamColm - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki
Posted by Soulskillon Saturday June 06, 2015 @09:28AM from the if-a-string-breaks-free-from-a-D-brane-in-the-forest,-does-it-make-a-sound? dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser write in the NY Times that two leading researchers, George Ellis and Joseph Silk, recently published a controversial piece called "Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics," that criticized a newfound willingness among some scientists to explicitly set aside the need for experimental confirmation of today's most ambitious cosmic theories — so long as those theories are "sufficiently elegant and explanatory." Whether or not you agree with them, Ellis and Silk have identified a mounting concern in fundamental physics: Today, our most ambitious science can seem at odds with the empirical methodology that has historically given physics its credibility. Quoting: "Chief among the 'elegance will suffice' advocates are some string theorists. Because string theory is supposedly the 'only game in town' capable of unifying the four fundamental forces, they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on extra dimensions that we can never observe. Some cosmologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as the kaleidoscopic multiverse (comprising myriad universes), the 'many worlds' version of quantum reality (in which observations spawn parallel branches of reality) and pre-Big Bang concepts. These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as the standard model of particle physics and the existence of dark matter and dark energy. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man's-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any." Richard Dawid argues that physics, or at least parts of it, are about to enter an era of post-empirical science. "How are we to determine whether a theory is true if it cannot be validated experimentally," ask Frank and Gleiser. "Are superstrings and the multiverse, painstakingly theorized by hundreds of brilliant scientists, anything more than modern-day epicycles?"
Posted by timothyon Saturday June 06, 2015 @04:40AM from the but-you-send-it-money-anyhow dept.
StartsWithABang writes: It's a difficult fact to accept: our two most fundamental theories that describe reality, General Relativity for gravitation and the Standard Model / Quantum Field Theory for the other three forces, are fundamentally incompatible with one another. When an electron moves through a double slit, for example, its gravitational field can't move through both slits, at least not without a quantum theory of gravity. String Theory is often touted as the only game in town as far as formulating a quantum theory of gravity is concerned, but in fact there are five viable options, each with different pros, cons, and approaches to the problem. Many of them, in fact, have undergone significant developments in the past 5-10 years, something String Theory cannot claim.
Posted by samzenpuson Tuesday May 26, 2015 @08:14AM from the what's-in-it-for-me? dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Richard Horton writes that a recent symposium on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research discussed one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with science (PDF), one of our greatest human creations. The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. According to Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, a United Kingdom-based medical journal, the apparent endemicity of bad research behavior is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world or retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Can bad scientific practices be fixed? Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivized to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivized to be productive and innovative. Tony Weidberg says that the particle physics community now invests great effort into intensive checking and rechecking of data prior to publication following several high-profile errors. By filtering results through independent working groups, physicists are encouraged to criticize. Good criticism is rewarded. The goal is a reliable result, and the incentives for scientists are aligned around this goal. "The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously," says Horton. "The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system."
Posted by Soulskillon Friday April 17, 2015 @01:01PM from the what-you-leave-behind dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Aaron Kinney reports in the San Jose Mercury News that scientists have captured the first clear images of the USS Independence, a radioactivity-polluted World War II aircraft carrier that rests on the ocean floor 30 miles off the coast of Half Moon Bay. The Independence saw combat at Wake Island and other decisive battles against Japan in 1944 and 1945 and was later blasted with radiation in two South Pacific nuclear tests. Assigned as a target vessel for the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests, she was placed within one-half-mile of ground zero and was engulfed in a fireball and heavily damaged during the 1946 nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll. The veteran ship did not sink, however (though her funnels and island were crumpled by the blast), and after taking part in another explosion on 25 July, the highly radioactive hull was later taken to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for further tests and was finally scuttled off the coast of San Francisco, California, on 29 January 1951. "This ship is an evocative artifact of the dawn of the atomic age, when we began to learn the nature of the genie we'd uncorked from the bottle," says James Delgado. "It speaks to the 'Greatest Generation' — people's fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers who served on these ships, who flew off those decks and what they did to turn the tide in the Pacific war." Delgado says he doesn't know how many drums of radioactive material are buried within the ship — perhaps a few hundred. But he is doubtful that they pose any health or environmental risk. The barrels were filled with concrete and sealed in the ship's engine and boiler rooms, which were protected by thick walls of steel. The carrier itself was clearly "hot" when it went down and and it was packed full of fresh fission products and other radiological waste at the time it sank. The Independence was scuttled in what is now the Gulf of the Farallones sanctuary, a haven for wildlife, from white sharks to elephant seals and whales. Despite its history as a dumping ground Richard Charter says the radioactive waste is a relic of a dark age before the enviornmental movement took hold. "It's just one of those things that humans rather stupidly did in the past that we can't retroactively fix.""
There were several good items on Slashdot.org, today; but, I'll suffice it to end with this report of small progress toward our becoming cyborgs.
Posted by Soulskillon Thursday April 16, 2015 @06:35PM from the adding-purpose-to-twiddling-your-thumbs dept.
itwbennett writes: Called NailO, the prototype trackpad is similar to the stick-on nails sometimes used as a fashion accessory. It attaches to the user's thumb and can be controlled by running a finger over its surface. The processor, battery, sensing chip and Bluetooth radio are included on a circuit board that sits under the capacitive trackpad. The two are connected via a small ribbon cable, which means the trackpad is not quite as thin as a stick-on nail, but reducing the size is one of the aims of the researchers.
Posted by Soulskillon Tuesday March 03, 2015 @05:11PM from the surf's-up dept.
sciencehabit writes: A patch of woodland just north of Livingston, Louisiana, population 1893, isn't the first place you'd go looking for a breakthrough in physics. Yet it is here that physicists may fulfill perhaps the most spectacular prediction of Albert Einstein's theory of gravity, or general relativity. Structures here house the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), an ultrasensitive instrument that may soon detect ripples in space and time set off when neutron stars or black holes merge. Einstein himself predicted the existence of such gravitational waves nearly a century ago. But only now is the quest to detect them coming to a culmination. Physicists are finishing a $205 million rebuild of the detectors, known as Advanced LIGO, which should make them 10 times more sensitive and, they say, virtually ensure a detection.