The Week: Most Recent unknown Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 24 Oct 2014 11:50:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent unknown Posts from THE WEEKFri, 24 Oct 2014 11:50:00 -0400Innovation of the week: A more resilient umbrella<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Design studio Nooka has developed an umbrella called Sa, which uses an origami-inspired design to eliminate the traditional umbrella's canopy wires and replaces them with "a dual canopy that utilizes planar tension," said </span>Liz Stinson at <em>Wired</em>. The result is a "stronger, more resilient" umbrella, with an inner and outer canopy that "expand and contract in unison." The Sa is still in the planning stage; there's a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for manufacturing, and the company hopes to have umbrellas to sell next spring for $69.</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 24 Oct 2014 11:50:00 -0400How you judge politicians' attractiveness, according to science<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Beauty, they say, is in the eyes of the beholdee's in-group.</p><p>At least, that's what they say if "they" means researchers interested in how we perceive political leaders. According to researchers at Cornell University's Lab for Experimental Economics and Decision Research, people seem to be judging the cover in part by the content of the book: Democrats find their political heroes more attractive than Republican leaders, and vice versa.</p><p>Curious to know, essentially, how hot for their leaders partisans and average citizens were, the lab's co-director, Kevin Kniffin, and colleagues conducted a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Nathan CollinsFri, 24 Oct 2014 08:55:00 -0400Painting the universe's portrait<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Humans have long strived to describe the universe they find themselves in, whether they believed it was carried on the back of a giant turtle, shaped by an old bearded guy, or came into existence in a fiery explosion.</p><p>As part of this effort to make sense of the totality of reality, people have produced a stunning array of images representing the universe and celestial phenomena, using everything from paintbrushes to supercomputers. Filmmaker and author Michael Benson has collected 320 pages' worth of these artistic portraits of the universe, composed over a span of some 4,000 years, in his new...</p> <a href="">More</a>By World Science Festival StaffThu, 23 Oct 2014 16:15:00 -0400Can science fiction spur scientific innovation?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Does science fiction help us innovate? According to Arizona State University's strange and strangely compelling Center for Science and the Imagination, the answer is, absolutely yes. The Center (yes, it's abbreviated CSI) has joint projects with organizations like IBM and the World Bank, and it was founded on the premise that imagination is an essential component of our society's greatest scientific and technological accomplishments. If we want to do big things, then we need to rev up our imaginations &mdash; with science fiction.</p><p>A perceived lack of imagination in our society prompted the creation...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Michael WhiteThu, 23 Oct 2014 09:33:00 -0400The women who shaped the computer age<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>One key element of <em>The Innovators</em>, Walter Isaacson's new book on technological history and culture &mdash; and the focus of an upcoming <em>World Science Festival</em> event &mdash; is the unsung contributions that women have been making since the earliest days of computers. The book opens and closes with Ada Lovelace, who channeled her imagination and gift for numbers into a love for "poetical science" (apropos, given that she was the daughter of Lord Byron) and is often recognized as the author of the first computer program.</p><p>The history of women and computers is hard to compile, because many key contributions...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Roxanne PalmerTue, 21 Oct 2014 15:02:00 -0400Why some men develop signs of pregnancy<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Harry Ashby, the 29-year-old security guard who was signed off work with morning sickness, cravings, a growing stomach and breasts during his girlfriend's pregnancy, was told he had Couvade syndrome.</p><p>Couvade is an involuntary manifestation of pregnancy in men with a partner who is expecting a baby &mdash; sometimes called "sympathetic pregnancy." It isn't a medically recognized physical or mental disorder, and it isn't explained by injury or illness.</p><p>A range of "pregnancy-related" physical and psychological symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating, back pain, pseudocyesis (euphemistically...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Arthur BrennanTue, 21 Oct 2014 08:44:00 -0400What big data can tell us about the things we eat<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>GrubHub "is the nation's leading online and mobile food ordering company dedicated to connecting hungry diners with local takeout restaurants," according to itself. In the information age, this means a lot more than making life more convenient for millions of peckish Americans. It means data. Big data.</p><p>Open 24/7, accessing over 30,000 take-out establishments in over 700 cities, and accessible through a quick tap on an app, GrubHub is a company that offers rare insight into the American stomach. While its collection of data will obviously be a boon to any restaurant with a take-out option, its...</p> <a href="">More</a>By James McWilliamsTue, 21 Oct 2014 08:34:00 -0400How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy<img src="" /></P><p>If you're reading this, it's possible you'll live for a few hundred years. Maybe even thousands. Even better: you could live those years at your peak physical state.</p><p>At first glance, that's an absurd statement, going against the experience of all human history. However, Oxford University's Aubrey de Grey, a leading theoretician of aging, believes there is a 50 percent chance that someone alive today will live for 1,000 years.</p><p>Aging, according to de Grey, is essentially the lifelong accumulation of molecular and cellular damage throughout the body. Using stem cells, hormone therapies, anti-aging...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/nicholas-warino" ><span class="byline">Nicholas Warino</span></a>Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:50:00 -0400Rise of the machines<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> How smart are today's computers?<br /></strong>They can tackle increasingly complex tasks with an almost human-like intelligence. Microsoft has developed an Xbox game console that can assess a player's mood by analyzing his or her facial expressions, and in 2011, IBM's Watson supercomputer won <em>Jeopardy</em> &mdash; a quiz show that often requires contestants to interpret humorous plays on words. These developments have brought us closer to the holy grail of computer science: artificial intelligence, or a machine that's capable of thinking for itself, rather than just respond to commands. But what happens if computers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 18 Oct 2014 08:00:00 -0400Innovation of the week: The air conditioner bracelet<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Wristify, a prototype bracelet that delivers thermal pulses to the wrist to raise or lower body temp, "basically puts a personal air conditioner and heater" on your body, said Anthony Domanico at <em>CNET</em>. The wrist is an area of high blood flow, so rapid changes in temperature there "can make you feel several degrees" cooler or warmer. Wristify won't replace ordinary heating and cooling, but if it encourages people to use their ACs a bit less or turn the thermostat one degree lower in winter, the environmental benefits might be big.</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Oct 2014 13:10:00 -0400