This is how you test a launch system rocket booster

Just for the wow factor: NASA tested its new space launch system rocket booster in Utah. Watch to the end to see the ‘quench tool’ in action.

Published on 11 Mar 2015

The largest, most powerful rocket booster ever built successfully fired up Wednesday for a major-milestone ground test in preparation for future missions to help propel NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft to deep space destinations, including an asteroid and Mars. The booster fired for two minutes, the same amount of time it will fire when it lifts the SLS off the launch pad, and produced about 3.6 million pounds of thrust. The test was conducted at the Promontory, Utah test facility of commercial partner Orbital ATK.

For more information, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1C7abZl

Bookmarks for March 13, 2015

Some of the more interesting things I’ve read – or bookmarked to read – over the past few days.

Climate change: Media ethics and Pacific challenges on Livestream

Seminar on Climate change: Media ethics and Pacific challenges at AUT University http://evlvgn.ws/1C3rjxC

Surgical micro-robot swarms: Science fiction, or realistic prospect? | Robohub

Surgical micro-robot swarms: Science fiction, or realistic prospect?

The new MacBook is almost all battery inside – Vox

The new MacBook is almost all battery inside | Vox http://evlvgn.ws/18yz0zD

The new Medicis funding journalism

The new Medicis funding journalism ( a year old but still a good read) | Jack Shafer http://evlvgn.ws/1GCgMMt

The Week in New Zealand’s Parliament: 9-13 March 2015

The Week in New Zealand’s Parliament: 9-13 March 2015 | Evolving Newsroom http://evlvgn.ws/1BqqZqY

Electronic Card Transactions: February 2015

Electronic Card Transactions: Feb 2015 – total use up 0.4% on January, retail up 1%, core retail up 1.2% | StatsNZ http://evlvgn.ws/1CX4vRu

» The Rise of the Citizen Sensor

The Rise of the Citizen Sensor – the Air Quality Egg, ORcycle, streetbump & other apps that let citizens share data. http://evlvgn.ws/1BqgfZz

Science comes to the Arts Festival • Speaker • Public Address

thinkScience began with a Twitter conversation between me, Auckland Arts Festival chair Victoria Carter and Robin Hickman, about how to make new ways for New Zealanders to connect with science.

Earth’s other ‘moon’ and its crazy orbit could reveal mysteries

Earth’s other ‘moon’ and its crazy orbit could reveal mysteries of the solar system | Evolvin… http://evlvgn.ws/1E6W5EX

Pacific Media Centre | events: 2015-02-24 – Climate change: Media ethics and Pacific challenges

PMC SEMINAR 1 15: ETHICAL REPORTING OF ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS: People are not receiving available information about expected risks and remedies as climate change escalates People get most of their information…

History fuses with tech as Auckland Museum launches Twitter campaign :: StopPress

Auckland Museum has launched a weekly Twitter game to engage its followers and educate people about its collections, and Te Papa, Waikato Museum and The Nelson Provincial Museum are getting involved too….

In Florida, officials ban term ‘climate change’ | Miami Herald Miami Herald

Oh my. In Florida, officials verbally ban the term ‘climate change’ in reports, meetings. | Miami Herald http://evlvgn.ws/1BkabTu

The Chemistry of Why van Gogh Reds Are Going White

Vincent van Gogh’s reds have been turning white, but the exact reason why has remained unclear.

Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Travel Awards in Indigenous Development | Fulbright New Zealand

Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Travel Awards in Indigenous Development (up to $5000). Next deadline 1 April. http://evlvgn.ws/1BZEyPS

The world according to Plato in 6 lovely minutes

A lovely bite-sized tour of Plato’s greatest hits from The School of Life.

Plato’s four big ideas for a more fulfilled life:

  1. Think more (and know yourself)
  2. Let your lover change you (love is based on admiration, we need to help each other)
  3. Decode the message of beauty (we sense in beauty qualities we need but don’t have)
  4. Reform society (a utopian thinker about government and society)

Plato wanted to end democracy in Athens because he observed that few people thought properly before they voted, which resulted in very sub-standard rulers. He wanted people to become rational thinkers, philosophers in fact, before they could vote. “The world will not be right until kings become philosophers or philosophers kings.”

 

 

Flow states feel awesome because: norepinephrine, dopamine, anandamide, serotonin and endorphins

Dr Steven Kotler, Director of Research for the Flow Genome Project, talks in this 4:20 video about the neurochemistry of your brain when you’re in a flow state.

Transcript from YouTube: Besides neuroanatomical changes in flow there are neurochemical changes, right. The brain produces a giant cascade of neurochemistry. You get norepinephrine, dopamine, anandamide, serotonin and endorphins. All five of these are performance enhancing neurochemicals, right. So they make you faster, stronger, quicker and they do the same thing with your brain. In the front end of a flow state you take in more information, you process it more deeply meaning you process it using more parts of your brain and you process it more quickly. There’s some debate about this but it does appear that you process it more quickly. This is norepinephrine and dopamine. So when people enter a flow state they talk about feeling like they’re senses are incredibly heightened. This is the performance enhancing aspect of norepinephrine and dopamine.

Where these chemicals really come in handy is how they affect motivation, creativity and learning. We’ll start with motivation. Besides being performance enhancing chemicals these are obviously all feel good drugs, right. These five chemicals are the most potent feel good drugs the brain can produce. As a result flow is considered the most addictive state on earth. Scientists don’t like the word addictive so instead they use autotelic. When something is autotelic it is an end in itself. What it means is that once an experience starts producing flow we will go extraordinarily far out of our way to get more of it which is why researchers now believe flow is the source code of intrinsic motivation.

Another thing that those neurochemicals do is they augment the creative process. So creativity is always recombinantory. It’s the product of novel information, bumping into old thoughts to create something startlingly new. So if you want to amplify creativity, you want to amplify every aspect of that process. Again, the neurochemicals help. So on the front end of the flow state when you get norepinephrine and dopamine they’re tightening focus so you are taking in more information per second. So you are boosting that part of the creative process. Norepinephrine and dopamine do something else in the brain which is they lower signal to noise ratio so you detect more patterns. They jack up pattern recognition so our ability to link ideas together is also an enhancer. Taking in more information we can link it together.

Anandamide which is another chemical that shows up in flow doesn’t just promote pattern recognition. It promotes lateral thinking. So pattern recognition is more or less the linking of familiar ideas together. Lateral thinking is the linking of very disparate ideas together, right. So more information per second, all kinds of pattern recognition, lateral thinking. All of it surrounds the creative process and amplifies all of it which is why, for example, studies run by my organization, the Flow Genome Project, we found creativity is increased 500 to 700 percent. To give you another example in a recent Australian study they took 42 people, gave them a very tricky brainteaser to solve, the kind that needs very creative problem solving.

Nobody could solve the problem. They induced flow artificially using transcranial magnetic stimulation to basically knock out the prefrontal cortex. They induced artificial transient hypofrontality technically.
As a result, 23 people solved the problem in record time. So massively amplified motivation, massively amplified creativity. The last thing flow does that’s really important is it jacks up learning. [TRANSCRIPT TRUNCATED]

 

Bookmarks for March 11, 2015

Some of the more interesting things I’ve read – or bookmarked to read – over the past few days.

Economic Survey of Manufacturing: December 2014 quarter

Volume of manufacturing sales rose 0.9% in December 2014 quarter, mainly on fuel, meat & dairy, machinery | Stats NZ http://evlvgn.ws/1KITHuC

Notifications & Alerts — Ford’s Sensorium — Medium

Paul Ford slashes and burns a great heap of notifications and alerts, and is still just warming up — Medium http://evlvgn.ws/1wSwnV9 @ftrain

Follow the money: crunching the numbers from TVNZ, Sky, NZME, MediaWorks, Snakk and Spark :: StopPress

Follow the money: crunching the financials from TVNZ, Sky, NZME, MediaWorks, Snakk and Spark | Idealog http://evlvgn.ws/1BXcmxa

Where Does BuzzFeed Source Its Content From?

Interesting. Twenty-five sources made up 62% of BuzzFeed’s content last year, according to priceonomics.com http://evlvgn.ws/1EHrAqu

Property market: Mortgagee sales tumble as New Zealand’s economy grows – Business – NZ Herald News

“797 mortgagee sales or foreclosures last year, down from 1216 the previous year… a quarter of the number in 2009.” http://evlvgn.ws/1NynPb2

BBC News – Striking gold with a hoard of lost property

The Zurich shopkeeper who ‘recycles’ the lost and found items from Switzerland’s railways, airports & buses. | BBC http://evlvgn.ws/1F140FI

This is the best explanation of gerrymandering you will ever see – The Washington Post

A simple explanation of gerrymandering (US) | Washington Post #politics #elections http://evlvgn.ws/1aVWiRI

Ratings surprise for ‘disappointed’ Radio NZ – Business – NZ Herald News

Ratings surprise for ‘disappointed’ Radio NZ – down 70,000 live radio listeners in November survey | NZ Herald News http://evlvgn.ws/182heF1

New Zealand right to spy on Pacific Island neighbours | Stuff.co.nz

We may be spying on the Pacific, but are we listening? We still get surprised by ill events, writes Michael Fields http://evlvgn.ws/1Bm6CuO

The Week that Was in New Zealand: 02-06 March 2015 | Evolving Newsroom

The Week that Was in New Zealand: 02-06 March 2015 | Evolving Newsroom http://evlvgn.ws/1wh75j1

No parking space too small for swivelling 1920s car

No parking space too small for swivelling 1927 car | Evolving Newsroom http://evlvgn.ws/1wfqLni

Magnificent Faucet Swirls Water into Elegant Patterns – My Modern Met

The faucet weaves small jets of water into intricate, cross-hatched designs that look like they belong on delicate crystal glassware.

Ferguson police routinely violate blacks’ rights, federal review finds – The Washington Post

Ferguson police routinely violate blacks’ rights, federal review finds | Washington Post http://evlvgn.ws/1zXlY6k

I’d forgotten how much you have to learn to be a journalist

I’d forgotten how much you have to learn to be a journalist | Evolving Newsroom http://evlvgn.ws/17PFABO

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