A Year in 12 Posts
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Politics, Science, Art, Web, Business: a curation of 2013 events (and 2012, and 2011)
Curated by Marc Rougier
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Jan 2013: Mozart's back!

Jan 2013: Mozart's back! | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"World number one Magnus Carlsen, 22, from Norway, has made history by overtaking chess legend Gary Kasparov's 12 year ratings record"

Marc Rougier's insight:

This Magnus Carlsen is amazing. Beating a 12 year-old world record at only 22 is a huge achievement (Kasparov was 41 when he set the previous record). Magnus become world #1 at 19.

 

The origins of chess are unclear but the game has been played for about 1500 years. Go was born in China and has been around twice that long. Both are great challenges for computer programmers (in Go, humans still rule, though - but not for long).

 

As strategic games, both chess and go are interesting metaphors for politicsbusiness and even Internet Marketing. Major difference between Go and Chess? In chess you destroy your opponent set position. In go you conquer an empty space.

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Apr 2013: Terminator

Apr 2013: Terminator | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
The U.S. government must shield its citizens from the multiplying eyes of surveillance drones
Marc Rougier's insight:

Drones have been in the news since the gulf wars. They became a hot topic on 2013. Military, police, entertainment, delivery (well, not quite yet, Amazon, but PrimeAir certainly was a communication hit), they are everywhere. In April, the Scientific American review started to warn against the impact of drones on our privacy. To be read in the perspective of PRISM and other scary initiatives. Democracy, beware.


And insect drones are coming! (from Miguel Prazeres's beautiful Biomimicry topic).


Moving further to a connected world, 2013 was also the year of the Internet of Things (IoT). Its impact will be felt in the economy, health care, media, energy, transport... in all our life, hopefully for the better. Major stake. Special praise to rising stars Arduino (a topic on the Italy-born open source popular platform) and Sigfox, the first IoT dedicated network.


Prism, Drones, IoT, Big DataRobots... seems like 2013 heralds a new era where the Internet as we know it was just a humble start to immense control and power given to machines and computers. I think it's time to watch Terminator again! And to be careful.

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Jun 2013: You're Being Watched

Jun 2013: You're Being Watched | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
Marc Rougier's insight:

Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Youtube, AOL, Facebook, Skype, Verizon, ...: the NSA is spying on US (and perhaps not only US) citizen with a data mining program called PRISM, revealed in June.


Edward Snowden gave this interview. Getting closer and closer to 1984, the dystopian novel by George Orwell. Blurred boundaries between democracy, freedom and security... How afraid are you? I'm impressed by the power of the program... I'm also very impressed by Snowden's position. Must watch.


Meanwhile, China reclaimed top spot in the TOP500 list (most powerful supercomputers). [geek alert] Tianhe-2: 33.86 petaflop/s, more than 3 million cores. 30 times more powerful than the most powerul supercompters from 5 years ago. That's lots of power for data mining... 

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Mar 2012: R.I.P. Moebius

Mar 2012: R.I.P. Moebius | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"It's with true sadness that we report on the death of Jean 'Moebius' Giraud, the legendary French comic book artist, illustrator and conceptual designer."

Marc Rougier's insight:

Moebius reach was so wide: US comics, Japanese mangas and even movies (Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element). A creator of universes, a rare artist.


Also in March, Putin's come back. Back to the cold war days, Russia was the bad soviet guy. Now it's more complex: Russia embrassed capitalism but embarasses with its positions on Iran, Syria, democracy.


And if your software crashed with no good reason, you might have an excuse: the biggest solar storm in 5 years. Stronger storms expected in 2013!

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Jul 2012: London Olympics

Jul 2012: London Olympics | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"WSJ Medal Count here."

Marc Rougier's insight:

Of course: Oscar PistoriusFelix Sanchez, Michael PhelpsUsan Bolt (and his TPM record: more than 80.000 Tweet per minute), but ...


My prefered stories: Dong Hyun setting a new world record in archery although he is ... blind! And Hamadou Djibo Issaka: was given a wild card and 3 months to train to rowing... that's the olympic spirit!


Also from the Olympics but much less glorious: the scandal of censorship.


But there was something bigger in July 2012: The Higgs boson has almost certainly been discovered!


The Higgs boson was a "missing particle", predicted by the standard model of physics 50 years ago, but never so far observed. A mega device, the Large Hadron Collider (cost: $1B+) has been build just for it. Electroweak interactions, symmetry-breaking scalar fields... poetry!

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Sep 2012: Element 113

Sep 2012: Element 113 | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
Marc Rougier's insight:

Aristotle: "All men, by nature, desire to know".


Terror in Afghanistan and Syria, the crazyness following the "Innocence of Muslims"... September was, again, painful on the world scene.


So I prefer to focus on our "desire to know":


Element 113, the chemical element of atomic mass 113, has been discovered by a Japanese team, which will now get to name it. The desire to know is an amazing force: over 9 years, the team fired 130 quintillion atoms of zinc to a bismuth target, eventually creating... 3 atoms of Element 113, which lived... a few milliseconds. Speak about tenacity.


Science never stops: two great topics to keep you informed and excited: Sakis Koukouvis's Science News and Dr Stefan Gruenwald's Amazing Science (and there are more: keep searching too and let me know :-)).

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gbeuvelot's comment, January 13, 2013 5:56 PM
maybe a small hit for the most documented research on GMO's effect directed during 2 years by scientist Gilles Eric Seralini ?
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Dec 2012: End of the World

Dec 2012: End of the World | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined"


By Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times.

Marc Rougier's insight:

December was not the end of the world.


Eventually. The Maya miscalculated. Still, terrible news from Connecticut to Syria. More on coveting freedom here, a curation by Ammar Adulhamid, aka Amarji on Scoop.it and @Tharwacolamus on Twitter.


To make us dream and travel farther: Voyager 1 is reaching the edge of our solar system! Launched in 1977, it's now 18 billions km away from the Sun and its messages take 17h to reach us (at the speed of light...). As far as a human-made device has ever been. And still going!


December also made history in Chess: Magnus Carlsen, the youngest world #1 player, has beaten Kasparov's record rating of 2851. 


Oh, and Psy Gangnam Style hit the 1 billion mark this month! ;-)


Wishing you all freedom, happiness, success and good vibes for 2013.

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Aug 2011: USA loses AAA

Aug 2011: USA loses AAA | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"An unprecedented blow to the world's largest economy in the wake of a political battle" and a sign of major trouble in the world finance. Europe was next, and it's not over.


Marc Rougier's insight:

Irony? Same month, a diamond planet is discovered! More good news from the stars.


Ok, it's summer time. Let's relax and forget the bad news. Everybody should have watched these two wonderful time lapse videos (1 & 2). Full screen, breath, and travel. Life is good :)

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Dec 2011: Nobel Prize for Peace

Dec 2011: Nobel Prize for Peace | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"Africa's first elected female head of state, a Liberian peace activist, and a human rights activist from Yemen are the three female winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize."

Marc Rougier's insight:

Beautiful ending for 2011.


And a last message of hope - or dream -, Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the habitable zone.

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Feb 2013: BAM!!

Feb 2013: BAM!! | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
 The 2013 Russian meteor airburst packed the biggest punch from an impact to hit Earth in a century, a roughly 500-kiloton wallop.
Marc Rougier's insight:

A meteor hit Chelyabinsk in Russia in February.


Relatively small (20m), it came undetected. It travelled at 60.000 km/h and exploded when it entered the atmosphere, 23km above the ground. The generated air burst was 20 times more powerull than the bomb of Iroshima; it damaged buildings and injured people tens of miles away.


It tells a lot about kinetic energy, and why scientifics and movie makers are so interested in asteroids. Meteors are also a favorite end-of-world scenario for would be Nostradamuses. Speaking of which, I could not find his predictions for 2014 but an interesting curation by Business Insider.


The smallest exoplanet was also detected this month. With around 1000 alien worlds detected so far, the search for Earth-like, life-capable planets is hotter than ever! More good news from the stars.

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May 2013: Human Cloning

May 2013: Human Cloning | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"For the first time, scientists have created human embryonic stem cells by transferring the nucleus of a mature cell into an egg."

Marc Rougier's insight:

What a milestone! Entering your worst sci-fi nightmares, or opening the door to personalized medicine? Expect interesting debates on ethic, risk, manipulation and the rest. Great achievement nevertheless.


This makes me optimistic: just one step closer to #cloneAlly (@Ally Greer, Scoop.it Community Manager with Super powers).


Browse the science interest for more. I'm specially fond of Dr Stephan Gruenwald's Amazing Science.

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Feb 2012: The Artist

Feb 2012: The Artist | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"The Artist, a love letter to Hollywood, got hugs, kisses and the best-picture Oscar"  - The New York Times

Marc Rougier's insight:

5 Oscar, including best actor for Jean Dujardin. And first best-picture award for a silent film since first ceremony in 1929. A Touching film, with daring choices (black and white, silent) and great actors. And also probably a superb marketing campain.


Google get clearance for its $12.5B bid on Motorola. Seems to me like Google went into mobile just yesterday. The pace at which the mobile world is reshaping is amazing ; the Android v. Apple battle is epic.


And for the geekiest : IBM getting closer to Quantum Computing! (can someone please explain this ?).

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Jun 2012: Solar Impulse

Jun 2012: Solar Impulse | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
Marc Rougier's insight:

Solar Impulse, the Swiss project, completed the world first solar-powered intercontinental flight from Spain to Morocco. An important technical achievement when energy is one of the world next big challenges.


The plane was piloted by Bertrand Piccard, who was also the first to complete a non stop balloon flight around the world.


Less mediatic than a Richard Branson or Felix Baumgartner, but interesting family: his father Jacques was the first (with Don Walsh) to explore the deepest point of the oceans (Mariana Trench, - 36.000 ft) and his grand father Auguste set altitude records in balloon and invented the bathyscaphe

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gbeuvelot's comment, January 13, 2013 5:48 PM
Up to come this year 2013, researcher, skipper and adventurer Raphale Dinelli will undertake some solar flight records. Unfortunately he counld not joind the 2012 Vendée Globe Race :-( have a look on his foundation http://www.fondationoceanvital.com/
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Aug 2012: Curiosity on Mars

Aug 2012: Curiosity on Mars | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

"GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!".

Marc Rougier's insight:

After a  352 million miles, 253 day journey from Earth, Nasa's heavy-weigth (1 ton) rover Curiosity lands on the red planet! One of the mission is to collect data for a manned mission!


Paul Doherty has a great video explaining what (Carbon) - and how - the rover is searching. Must watch.


Things to know when planning your next trip to Mars.


And if you want more good news from the stars, discover Guillaume's topic. And keep traveling!


On the business front, it was decision time for the Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Apple won.


I love the design of Apple's products. And I believe that patent rights are a necessary protection of R&D investments. But things are getting absurd. E.g. a "rectangle with rounded corners"; or "a tap is a zero-length swipe". Come on Apple, please...

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Oct 2012: Flying Felix

Oct 2012: Flying Felix | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
Marc Rougier's insight:

Amazing feat, scientific achievement, egotistic trip? Whatever. We all watched and were thrilled. Congratulation Felix Baumgartner.

 

Records he set: first man to break the sound barrier with no engine (834 mph or Mach 1.24), highest jump ever (120.000 feet; previous record was 102,800 feet by Joe Kittinger back in 1960!). But also the most watched live video on Youtube (8 millions).


Here is a cool list of 15 speed records.


On a more dramatic note, Sandy hit on Oct 2012. Nasa has analysis and pictures. Impressive.

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Mar 2011: Japan Tragedy

Mar 2011: Japan Tragedy | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it
Marc Rougier's insight:

March 2011 will be remembered for the tsunami in Japan and its nuclear aftermath. Terrible short term impact for the Japanese people (20,000 victims). Very impressive: watch the pace of recovery (found in Japan News). Longer term speculations about nuclear energy sustainability all over the world... what's new on solar energy?


Coincidence: Lost city of Atlantis, swamped by tsunami, may be found! A 2500 year old myth.

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Nov 2011: Time to think about Time

Nov 2011: Time to think about Time | A Year in 12 Posts | Scoop.it

11/11/11 --- 11:11:11

A once in a life time clock display :) Let's think about time.

Marc Rougier's insight:

An interesting artwork: 24x60 clips curated from many movies into a 24h video clock, by Christian Marclay.


Here is a brief version of "A brief history of time" by Stephen W. Hawking.


And time inspires speed. November was also the Milan Motorbike Show where the Ducati Panigale was acclaimed as most beautiful bike. Difficult to resist. Hhmm I'm weak...


Oh! And we launched Scoop.it Business in November. The super brief history of Scoop.it in three videos:

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