The World according to Anything
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Personal Interests, Unusual information, Tech, Astronomy, Cosmology, Science, weirdness and common-ness
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In the Studio with Joey De Leon

Joey De Leon in the LP Studio doing what he does best...

 

In the Studio with Joey De Leon

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Edwin Bonilla on the LP Matador Deep Shell Timbales (M258)

Edwin Bonilla on the LP Matador Deep Shell Timbales (M258)

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KYUDO AND SHINTO CEREMONY by Empty Mind Films

Shinto Ceremony in Kyoto with Kyudo or Japanese archery. The archer shoots a "whistling" arrow called Kabura-ya over the roof of the temple gate. The whistling sound wards off evil spirits that collect outside the gate. Visit http://emptymindfilms.com

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History of South Africa

History of South Africa | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it
See on Scoop.it – Culturally Teaching Provides a history of South Africa from ancient times to today.
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Marie Schoeman's comment, February 18, 2013 3:59 PM
History teaching which accommodates and recognises diversity can contribute to strengthening of tolerance and mutual respect
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Global Oneness Project - Path of Freedom - Prisoners practising meditation to deal with prison environments

Global Oneness Project - Path of Freedom - Prisoners practising meditation to deal with prison environments | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

Path of Freedom
In the harsh environment of a Rhode Island men’s prison, a group of fifty inmates are transforming their lives through the practice of meditation. Path of Freedom follows former inmate Fleet Maull as he visits prison to share his strategies for surviving on the inside. The film offers a rare glimpse into the inner lives of men reaching for forgiveness, inner peace and freedom behind bars.

To learn more about Fleet and the work of the Prison Mindfulness Institute, visit: http://www.prisonmindfulness.org.

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Sex with early mystery species of humans seen in DNA, UW researcher says

Sex with early mystery species of humans seen in DNA, UW researcher says | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

These genetic leftovers do not resemble DNA from any modern humans. The foreign DNA also does not resemble Neanderthal DNA, which shows up in the DNA of some modern Europeans, Akey said. That means the newly identified DNA came from an unknown group.

"We're calling this a Neanderthal sibling species in Africa," Akey said. He added that the interbreeding likely occurred 20,000 to 50,000 years ago, long after some modern humans had walked out of Africa to colonize Asia and Europe, and about the same time Neanderthals were waning in Europe.

Akey said that present-day Europeans show no evidence of the foreign DNA, meaning the mystery people were likely confined to Africa.

The find offers more evidence that for thousands of years, modern-looking humans shared the Earth with evolutionary cousins that later died out. And whenever the groups met, they did what came naturally: They bred.

The once controversial idea that humans mated with other species is now widely accepted among scientists. In fact, hominid hanky-panky seems to have occurred wherever humans met others who looked kind of like them.

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Lucifer Instrument Helps Astronomers See Through Darkness to Most Distant Observable Objects

Lucifer Instrument Helps Astronomers See Through Darkness to Most Distant Observable Objects | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

A new instrument with an evil-sounding name is helping scientists see how stars are born. Lucifer, which stands for (deep breath) "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research," is a chilled instrument attached to a telescope in Arizona. And yes, it's named for the Devil, whose name itself means "morning star." But it wasn't meant to evoke him, according to a spokesman for the University of Arizona, where it is housed.
The instrument is chilled to -213 Celsius, about -351 F, to allow for near-infrared observations. That wavelength is important for understanding star and planet formation, as well as observing very distant and very young galaxies. Lucifer has three interchangeable cameras for imaging and spectroscopy in different resolutions. It has a large field of view and high-res capabilities, which allow a wide range of observations.

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CELESTIAL - a JOSE ESCAMILLA film

The film that challenges anyone to prove that the Moon is grey. This film proves the Moon is a full color celestial body and that there are incredible structures and towers built by "someone" that has the ability to build a structure ten miles wide and six miles high within an eight month period. The evidence is presented and you will be amazed at what you will see in this film

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New Singularity in Space-Time Found

New Singularity in Space-Time Found | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

A singularity is a patch of space-time that cannot be made to look flat in any coordinate system, Temple said. One example of a singularity is inside a black hole, where the curvature of space becomes extreme.
Temple and his collaborators study the mathematics of how shockwaves in a perfect fluid can affect the curvature of space-time in general relativity. In earlier work, Temple and collaborator Joel Smoller, the Lamberto Cesari professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan, produced a model for the biggest shockwave of all, created from the Big Bang when the universe burst into existence.

A shockwave creates an abrupt change, or discontinuity, in the pressure and density of a fluid, and this creates a jump in the curvature. But it has been known since the 1960s that the jump in curvature created by a single shock wave is not enough to rule out the locally flat nature of space-time.*Vogler’s doctoral work used mathematics to simulate two shockwaves colliding, while Reintjes followed up with an analysis of the equations that describe what happens when shockwaves cross. He found this created a new type of singularity, which he dubbed a “regularity singularity.”

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Big Oil The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Cuba Is the Only Country thus Far to Face Peak Oil

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate.

This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time.

Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call "The Special Period."

The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.

AlchemyHouse Productions Inc.

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One Per Cent: Expressive face helps robot bridge 'uncanny valley'

One Per Cent: Expressive face helps robot bridge 'uncanny valley' | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

A good-looking robot is seriously hard to find. Robots can be pretty, some even handsome, but as soon as they get too realistic they start to creep us out. A new system for helping robots to generate more realistic expressions might go some way to help.

Many years ago, roboticists realised that as you morph an abstract robot into a human you generate a peak of unease - the "uncanny valley principle" - that makes people feel uncomfortable when a robot looks realistic but not realistic enough. Some say it's because they remind us of a corpse. However, research has shown that if you manipulate the robotic images so that they are more attractive, you can bypass this feeling of unease.

To create a robot we are more likely to accept, life-like expressions are vital. That's why Nicole Lazzeri at the University of Pisa, Italy, and her colleagues have designed a "Hybrid Engine for Facial Expressions Synthesis" (HEFES) - a facial animation engine that gives realistic expressions to a humanoid robot called FACE.

FACE's appearance is modelled on one of the team's wives. "It's really realistic," says Lazzeri, who presented the work at BioRob in Rome last month. See for yourself in the video above.

To mimic the myriad expressions that facial muscles are capable of achieving, the team placed 32 motors around FACE's skull and upper torso that manipulate its polymer skin in the same way that real muscles do.

To create expressions they used a combination of motor movements based on the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) - a system created over 30 years ago which codes facial expressions in terms of anatomic muscle movements.

HEFES is used to control FACE's expressions. It is essentially a mathematical programme that creates an "emotional space" which a person can use to choose an expression for FACE that exists anywhere between one or more basic emotions, including anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. The algorithm then works out which motors need to be moved to create that expression or transition between two or more.

The team evaluated the accuracy of their expressions by asking five autistic and 15 non-autistic children to identify a set of expressions performed first by FACE and then by a psychologist. Both groups were able to identify happiness, anger and sadness but less able identify fear, disgust and surprise.

So is it more attractive? I'm not convinced. But FACE's ability to smoothly transition between one emotion and another is pretty remarkable. And not too creepy.

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Powerful Luminous Outburst From A Black Hole In M83 Observed By Chandra - MessageToEagle.com

Powerful Luminous Outburst From A Black Hole In M83 Observed By Chandra - MessageToEagle.com | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

The remarkable behavior of this ULX in M83 provides direct evidence for a population of older, volatile, stellar-mass black holes.

The spiral galaxy M83, where this extraordinary event took place, is located about 15 million light years from Earth.

Such powerful outbursts give off more X-rays than most normal binary systems in which a companion star is in orbit around a neutron star or black hole.

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Web Service Summarizes Long Text Into Twitter-Sized Precis

Web Service Summarizes Long Text Into Twitter-Sized Precis | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

Today I've spent a little time playing with a fascinating new web service called Summarizer, which claims to be able to summarize a chunk of text of any length into just a couple of sentences. Or 140 characters, to be precise. Which is, of course, very handy if you want to upload the summary to Twitter.

If you want to try the service for yourself, it's at http://www.summarizer.info/index.html. It's very easy to use. Just paste in some text, press the button, and your summary appears in just a second or so.

The people behind Summarizer claim that it's the result of decades of research from a leading university, so I've been trying to put it to the test. I started by asking it to summarize some of my own text. For example, I fed it 10,000 words of a document that I wrote for a client about Microsoft SharePoint. What it produced made perfect sense, but I was in two minds as to whether it really represented an accurate summary of my 15 pages. But could anything do any better? How can you summarize 15 pages into just 2 sentences, and still retain as much of the meaning as possible?

I decided to try a different tack. I gave Summarizer some text that I'd never seen before. A story from the BBC News web site about the current situation in Rwanda. I know nothing about this topic and so, instead of reading the article on the BBC site, I asked Summarizer to precis it for me. You can see both of the pieces of text below.

Having read the summary, I then read the full BBC story. And I have to admit, summarizer had actually made a pretty neat job of it. The summary contained only 1 sentence, but it had certainly pulled out one of the most important facts from the entire story.

Give Summarizer a try. It's fast, fun, free, needs nothing but a web browser, and is nothing if not fascinating.

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Explore Current And Past Weather With This Superb Site

Explore Current And Past Weather With This Superb Site | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

Explore Current And Past Weather With This Superb Site

Updated 4. August 2012 - 5:14 by rob.schifreen
If you're interested in what the weather's going to be like in the days to come, or what it was like dozens of years ago, then the free site at www.weatherspark.com has all the answers and data that you could wish for.

There are forecasts for the coming days, plus historical information which often goes back for more than a century. You can zoom the graphs to cover individual hours or entire years, and even compare up to 4 different areas at a time. And as you can see from the screen shot below, detailed forecasts are very easy to read, with temperatures shown on a graph and wind/rain below.

Check out this meteorologist's paradise at www.weatherspark.com

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Embrace the Remix

From TED.com:

Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform. Kirby Ferguson explores creativity in a world where "everything is a remix."

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500 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

500 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc. | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it
Watch 500 quality movies online. Includes classics, indies, film noir, documentaries showcasing the talent of our greatest actors, actresses and directors.

 

Where to watch free movies online? Let’s get you started. We have listed here 500+ quality films that you can watch online. The collection is divided into the following categories: Comedy & Drama; Film Noir, Horror & Hitchcock; Westerns & John Wayne; Silent Films; Documentaries, and Animation.

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Green Gold - Documentary by John D. Liu

"It's possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems." Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits to people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally.

More information:
http://eempc.org/
What If We Change social media project:
http://www.whatifwechange.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------­­------------------------------
International Permaculture Day is an ongoing celebration of all things permaculture happening around the world, culminating in a global day of celebration on the first Sunday in May annually. The next global day will take place on SUNDAY 5TH MAY 2013. In the meantime, please send us your permaculture news, stories, photos and other media to share with the international community!

Website: http://www.permacultureday.info
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InternationalPermacultureDay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/permacultureday
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/IntPermacultureDay

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536 Places for Free eBooks Online

536 Places for Free eBooks Online | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it
More than 400 places to get your free ebooks legally. You can view it online or download it for free.

 

This is a listing of 536 sites that legally offer free books (eBooks) for download or for online viewing.

Some time ago I went looking for some free eBooks and was surprised to find that there are many resources for this. I decided to put together this list of sites that offer free eBooks as a reference. Originally, the list was for 50 sites (hence that number in the link) and I thought that was a lot. I expect that this list will cross 500 sites in the near future. Given the large listing, you may want to check out the various Genre pages that I have put together.

Speaking of genre pages, I will point out that the entries on the Comics and Graphic Novels page are not listed in this master list. Although I am a big comic and graphic novel fan, too many of these do not qualify as books. I will go through that listing and add in the graphic novel links here when I have the time. Anyhow, the point is, if you are looking for that type of material, then you will have to look on that page. Another point is that the book listings here at Gizmo's exceed 500 sites if you include those listings.

I have tried to make certain that all of the eBooks at these sites are legally available for viewing/downloading. However, it is possible that I have made a mistake. If you suspect any of these sites of illegally offering copyrighted materials, then please let me know through the comments below.

Putting this together was exhausting, but the list is not exhaustive, so I encourage you to post any sites that you know of that are not listed here.

The listing here is in alphabetical order. Given the size of this list now, it has been seperated into different sections alphabetically for hopefully easier access. You may also search by genre. I have set up 17 pages here of different genres. If you do not see one that covers your interests, let me know and I may be able to put one together.

I have also put together a listing of sites that offer free and legal audio books at

112 Places For Free Audio Books Online

These listings may be searched in the following methods:

Alphabetical Listing - A listing of the site names in alphabetical order
Listing by Genre - Links to pages here for different book genres (20)
Online Local Libraries - These sites have links to local libraries which have much content for members
Alphabetical Listing
446 Places for Free Books Online - Page Index
(or click here to view as one huge page)
Page 1. Introduction
Page 2. #, A-B
Page 3. C-D
Page 4. E-F
Page 5. G-H
Page 6. I-J
Page 7. K-L
Page 8. M-N
Page 9. O-P
Page 10. Q-R
Page 11. S-T
Page 12. U-Z
Libraries
On the advice of anonymous poster that most public library systems offer free ebooks, audiobooks, and music downloads to their customers for free, I did some checking and found that there are a large amount of offerings available through online libraries. It appears most, if not all, require a local library card. These are sites that have links to local library sites.

LibWeb is a good search source for local libraries online. A good selection of US and worldwide locations.
Public Libraries very good for US, looked not as thorough as LibWeb on worldwide.
Internet Public Library also has some links, but I found the above two to be superior set ups.
Genre Pages
Because this page is becoming extremely long I have switched the genre sections to their own pages. Please check these separate pages out if you are interested in a particular genre as they have some links that have not been added to this main list as of yet and they also have links to audio books.

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'Seeds' of Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole Discovered

'Seeds' of Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole Discovered | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

It is estimated that the largest explosion that occurred in the masses of molecular gas is equivalent to 200 supernova explosions. On the other hand, the age of the gas masses is approximately 60,000 years old. It can be inferred that a huge star cluster (image above) is buried in one of the gas masses. The mass of the cluster (more than 100,000 times the mass of the sun) is comparable to the largest star cluster found in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is thought that IMBHs are formed within such huge star clusters.

Eventually, IMBHs born near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy expand into a supermassive black hole at the nucleus of the galaxy. The team observed emission lines at wavelengths of 0.87 mm, emitted from carbon monoxide molecules in an area of several degrees that includes the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

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Usman Riaz and Preston Reed: A young guitarist meets his hero | Video on TED.com

Usman Riaz is a 21-year-old whiz at the percussive guitar, a style he learned to play by watching his heroes on YouTube. The TED Fellow plays onstage at TEDGlobal 2012 -- followed by a jawdropping solo from the master of percussive guitar, Preston Reed. And watch these two guitarists take on a very spur-of-the-moment improv.

Preston Reed’s hands have an otherworldly coordination. The fingers, nails, thumbs, and palms of both left and right dance, pluck, strum, and slap his guitar, which bursts with a full sound.

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New Scientist TV: First video captures snow leopard mother with cubs

New Scientist TV: First video captures snow leopard mother with cubs | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

aSnow leopards are hard to pin down due to their elusive nature and the treacherous environment they inhabit. But now scientists from Panthera and the Snow Leopard Trust have captured the first video of a mother with her cubs after locating a den in the Tost Mountains of Mongolia.

While the mother was hunting, the team weighed and measured the cubs and took photos. Two of the young leopards were then tagged with microchips for future identification.

Since the animals are hard to track down, the discovery should help reveal details about their habits to help with conservation. Scientists have yet to find out when and where snow leopards give birth, the typical size of a litter and how likely a cub is to survive into adulthood.

For more animal clips, watch an adult snow leopard caught on camera or see tiger cubs playing in the wild.

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New Scientist TV: First animation reveals how a face forms in the womb

New Scientist TV: First animation reveals how a face forms in the womb | The World according to Anything | Scoop.it

Your pretty face wasn't always so pretty: the first animation of a face forming in the womb reveals how different features morph during development.

The time-lapse, produced for the BBC series Inside the Human Body, is based on human embryo scans captured between 1 and 3 months after conception, the period during which a face develops. Virtual sculptures were created at different stages, then combined by mapping hundreds of points to corresponding dots on the other models. "It was a nightmare for structures like the nose and palate, which didn't exist for most of the animation," says David Barker, the graphics researcher on the production. "Their formation is a complicated ballet of growth and fusion of moving plates of tissue."

A close look at the animation reveals that a face forms from three main features that rotate into place, meeting at the philtrum, the groove above the top lip. The transformation occurs with very precise timing and delays can result in a cleft lip or palate.

For more intriguing views of the body, watch Inside the Human Body, which will be airing in the UK and Ireland on 16 July at 9 pm as part of a month of science programmes on Eden TV.

If you enjoyed this video, you might like to see the first MRI movie of a baby's birth or watch an incubator spy on a developing embryo.

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Primer Trailer

Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, and produced by Shane Carruth and was completed on a budget of $7,000.[2] Carruth graduated from college with a degree in mathematics and is a former engineer.[3] Primer is of note for its extremely low budget, experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth chose not to simplify for the sake of his audience. One reviewer said that "anybody who claims he fully understands what's going on in Primer after seeing it just once is either a savant or a liar."[4] The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004 before securing a limited release in US cinemas, and has since gained a cult following.

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