Ferrofluid

Check out these amazing video clips of ferrofluid, a solution containing nanoscale particles that respond to a magnetic field.

You can buy this from a number of places online, but Dan from Dan’s Data (above) recommends Educational Innovations, “who sell all sorts of things that science teachers need. Or don’t need, but want anyway, because if you’re going to have to deal with annoying teenagers all day for not enough money, you might as well play with some cool toys by way of compensation.” Makes me want to be a teacher all over again.

Update: Sachiko Kodama does interesting things with ferrofluid, and has lots of video on her website:

Ferrofluid

Check out these amazing video clips of ferrofluid, a solution containing nanoscale particles that respond to a magnetic field.

You can buy this from a number of places online, but Dan from Dan’s Data (above) recommends Educational Innovations, “who sell all sorts of things that science teachers need. Or don’t need, but want anyway, because if you’re going to have to deal with annoying teenagers all day for not enough money, you might as well play with some cool toys by way of compensation.” Makes me want to be a teacher all over again.

Update: Sachiko Kodama does interesting things with ferrofluid, and has lots of video on her website:

Premiere // This Month In Finity

Starting … now, This Week Month In Finity* is a regular installment of artifacts and developments in humanity’s never-ending quest for truth and meaning. Far from trivializing this pursuit however, In Finity recognizes the importance that science, philosophy, religion, etc. play in establishing our identities and satisfying our eternal curiosity, not to mention in finding peace and balance. Be it quantum physics, zen meditation, tribal dance and music, Epictetus’ Discourses, or The Sermon on the Mount – all will find common ground here, and hopefully, a common voice with which to share their insight.

There will also be music – a soundtrack if you want – at the very least something to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

*quality over quantity

Press play to start the music inside your browser (requires Flash), or use the title link to do with it as you will. An overture for a premiere:

The Church Of Reality

“Welcome Home,” their website greets you.

The Church of Reality is a religion based on the practice of Realism, believing in everything that is real. Our motto is, “If it’s real, we believe in it.” Since no one knows all of reality, the Church of Reality is about the pursuit of reality the way it really is. We commit to being intellectually honest with ourselves and with others so that we can cut through the mythology. We want to know about the way things really are in the real world.

There’s been some controversy lately between the founder, Marc Perkel, and some Wikipedia editors over how the organization should be represented in the encyclopedia – that is, how seriously it is meant to be taken. Multiple attempts to add an entry to the database have been subsequently deleted. I tried myself last week out of curiosity and now find that entry gone as well. If you happen to have a vested interest in this debate, please keep a level head and refrain from harassing the Wikipedia staff. Compromising your virtues will only tarnish your cause. If this is new to you, check out their website for some interesting reading.

Squashed Philosophers

In response to the often verbose nature of our oldest, greatest thinkers, and the limited time in which we have to read their words, Squashed Philosophers offers abridged versions of the works of Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus, Descartes, and many others, along with estimates of how long it should take you to read them.

What is different here is that these are neither the opinion of one person nor mere extracts. Instead, each has begun with a very wide analysis of quotations, citations and, especially, past examination papers (…), to establish which passages, which phrases, which lines, which words and which ideas, are generally considered the most important. Those essential parts have, as far as is reasonable, been left complete and untouched in the authors’ or translators’ original words.

Glyn Hughes, curator

The Journey To The Wild Devine

A biofeedback training system disguised as a computer game that measures skin conductivity, heart rate, and “heart rate variability” – a harmonic frequency believed to reflect subtle changes in our emotional and cognitive states.

The Journey to Wild Divine allows people to influence what is happening in their body, in their mind, and the world they create everyday.

Deepak Chopra, M.D.

$160 gets you the hardware and game, plus software to directly monitor your progress over time.

The Science Of Creativity

BBC Radio 4’s program, The Material World, talks about the science of creativity.

We examine the overlap between scientific and artistic creativity and find out why Einstein may be considered the father of Minimalism and Picasso a leader in the field of reductionist geometry.

LoFiTribe

If any of this strikes a chord with you, you might enjoy the writing of Shawn Anthony, a fellow 9rules member and graduate student of divinity, working to enter the ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Church.

My life’s mission and philosophy can, therefore, be summarized by the Unitarian Universalist list of 7 Principles, which are:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

It is, for me personally, all about equality and peace for all human beings – regardless of religious affiliation, race, sexual orientation, class, etc. God – yes, I very much believe in a G.O.D. – would be nothing less than the complete culmination of such universal virtues.

Premiere // This Month In Finity

Starting … now, This Week Month In Finity* is a regular installment of artifacts and developments in humanity’s never-ending quest for truth and meaning. Far from trivializing this pursuit however, In Finity recognizes the importance that science, philosophy, religion, etc. play in establishing our identities and satisfying our eternal curiosity, not to mention in finding peace and balance. Be it quantum physics, zen meditation, tribal dance and music, Epictetus’ Discourses, or The Sermon on the Mount — all will find common ground here, and hopefully, a common voice with which to share their insight.

There will also be music — a soundtrack if you want — at the very least something to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

*quality over quantity

Continue reading “Premiere // This Month In Finity”

Shadow of Venus

With the right conditions, you can actually see shadows as cast by the light of our nearest planetary neighbor.

Few people have ever seen a Venus shadow. But they’re there, elusive and delicate—and, if you appreciate rare things, a thrill to witness.

Dr. Tony Phillips, NASA

Venus is at it’s yearly brightest right now, so there’s never been a better time to see this for yourself. (You have until the 3rd of December, when the crescent moon will appear in the evening sky, drowning out Venus’s glow.) The first link below includes photographs of various shadows and the process of obtaining them in case you’d rather leave it to the professionals:

See also: the ESA’s Venus Express is currently en route and will enter Venusian orbit in April 2006 to deliver, among other things, the most detailed photographs of Venus to date.

Shadow of Venus

With the right conditions, you can actually see shadows as cast by the light of our nearest planetary neighbor.

Few people have ever seen a Venus shadow. But they’re there, elusive and delicate—and, if you appreciate rare things, a thrill to witness.

Dr. Tony Phillips, NASA

Venus is at it’s yearly brightest right now, so there’s never been a better time to see this for yourself. (You have until the 3rd of December, when the crescent moon will appear in the evening sky, drowning out Venus’s glow.) The first link below includes photographs of various shadows and the process of obtaining them in case you’d rather leave it to the professionals:

See also: the ESA’s Venus Express is currently en route and will enter Venusian orbit in April 2006 to deliver, among other things, the most detailed photographs of Venus to date.