Is Your Cat On This Crazy New Metadata Map?

Further proof that cats do run the Internet, a new project has collected 1 million cat photos and placed them on a world map.

Using metadata embedded in social media posts, the website I Know Where Your Cat Lives pins images of cats to their locations, within 7.8 meters’ accuracy according to Curbed SF.

The project was created by Florida State University art professor Owen Mundy, who used the university’s supercomputer to troll for images tagged with the word “cat.” Of course, not every pic ends up being an actual cat, but the coolest part of the map — adorable images aside — is how Mundy breaks down the data to reveal where cats live.

According to the infographics, California has the most cats in the U.S. with San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco ranking as the top three cities. In S.F, there appears to be 3,383 cats with a large concentration in the Richmond District, Bernal Heights, and SoMa. Despite posting hundreds of cat pictures through the years, I couldn’t find any of mine on the map.

If you want to help the site expand, there’s a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first year of web hosting.

(Link)

Posted in Cats, Culture, Information, Internet, San Francisco, Science, Social | Leave a comment

Mrs Escher’s Nightmare_

Demoscene production by Andromeda Software Development presents what appears to be a continuous drawing of moving 3D objects to great effect. Video embedded below, but it is preferable to experience the PC demo:

A summer demo by ASD made for Euskal Encounter 22 (2014).

(Link)

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Polymer Filter Quickly Makes Water Safe To Drink_

It’s a thirsty world out there. But with much of the globe’s drinking supply unimproved by treatment systems that can remove animal waste, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals, a clean sip of water is too often a luxury.

Many researchers and inventors are looking for cheaper and faster ways to get clean drinking water to people who lack it. On the industrial scale, people are refining filtration membranes by using advanced materials like graphene to make more efficient potable water supplies. Others are using architecture to make rain-harvesting buildings. For individuals, one designer has made a solar power distiller to turn saltwater fresh. These are just a few examples of a lot of brainpower going in to help around 780 million people who have limited access to clean water.

Now a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) team says they have developed a novel personal filtration tool that will contribute to the solution. Using a three-stage system that includes an advanced polymer membrane, they say the device, called DrinkPure, works so quickly that it can filter up to a liter of water a minute.
“What makes our DrinkPure filter unique is that you can screw it on to virtually any plastic bottle. It doesn’t require a pump or a reservoir, so it’s very easy to use,” said Jeremy Nussbaumer, a 23-year-old former ETHZ mechanical engineering student. “You simply screw the filter onto a bottle containing polluted water, then you can put it straight in your mouth and take a drink.”

Water coming into the system first passes a large screen that filters sand and organic matter. Then it moves through an activated charcoal layer that removes chemicals, metals and odors. Finally, it goes through the polymer layer, which is impregnated with nanoscopic pores that are all exactly the same size. This removes bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

“No pump is needed. No cleaning of the parts is necessary. Moreover, DrinkPure has no moving parts or easily breakable materials,” said Nussbaumer.

The DrinkPure device is said to weigh around 3.5 ounces and effectively filter 300 liters of contaminated water, enough for one person’s drinking water requirements over the course of a year. The team hopes to start producing and selling it for below $20 beginning in January 2015. They want to ship the initial production run to Africa, but are looking to set up local operations to manufacture it wherever the DrinkPure filter is most needed.

The team is now running an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund their project.

(Link)

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The Pixel Painter_

Hal Lasko, better known as Grandpa, worked as a graphic artist back when everything was done by hand. His family introduced him to the computer and Microsoft Paint long after he retired.

Now, Grandpa spends ten hours a day moving pixels around his computer paintings. His work is a blend of pointillism and 8-Bit art.

Hal also has a website where you can see more of his works, which you can find here.

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Got a stick and want your automatic_

“Women never bought Freud’s idea of penis envy: who would want a shotgun when you can have an automatic?” ― Natalie Angier_

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Karen O Goes Underwater in Her “Rapt” Video_

On September 9 in the U.S. and September 8 in the UK, Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O will release her full-length solo debut, Crush Songs, via the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas’ label, Cult.

In anticipation of the forthcoming LP, Karen has released her video for album cut “Rapt”. With its vibrant red couture and waterlogged imagery, it readily evokes PJ Harvey’s To Bring You My Love days.

The video was directed by Karen’s husband Barney Clay and production designed by K.K. Barrett, who worked with Karen on the “psycho-opera” Stop the Virgens and was nominated for an Oscar in Best Production Design for Her.

(Link)

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The Light Bringer__

Beams_

(LinK)

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Random Guy Pops Wheelie Alongside Tour de France Leaders_

Excite Bike_

(Link)

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Brace Yourselves: A Kale Shortage Could Be Coming _

Savor that green juice while you’ve got it. America’s favorite cruciferous green known as kale might be a bit harder to procure in the coming months due to a shortage of seeds.

ABC News reports that the Netherlands-based company Bejo Seeds, who provide seeds to farmers across the globe, have run out of supplies for their Australian farms, who have seen robust profits from the kale market.

Says Modern Farmer:

Just southeast of Melbourne, the fields at Brunyen Farms in Pearcedale, once reserved for red cabbages and leeks, have been entirely turned over to kale. “We probably only planted probably 3,000 or 4,000 plants a season,” said Steve Brunyen, the farm’s proprietor, to The Daily Mail. “Now we’re up to about 25,000 plants. I still haven’t had enough.” Over in Clyde, another Melbourne suburb, Deborah and Darren Corrigan plant 150,000 seedlings every week, and are one of the country’s main kale growers.

Though kale has recently seen a resurgence in popularity both in the U.S. and Down Under, the fibrous green has historically been widely grown and eaten in cooler European countries like the Netherlands and Germany because of its ability to handle frosty winters.

So savor your superfood while you’ve got it, because you might soon have to have to find another source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

(Link)

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One Version of ‘One Version of Terence McKenna’s Life’_

The public story of Terence McKenna’s life—in my view, and by my estimates—is a ~450-page book, which could be titled One Version of Terence McKenna’s Life. It’s composed of Terence’s memoir, True Hallucinations (1993), his essays “I Understand Philip K. Dick” and “Among Ayahuasqueros,” certain sentences and anecdotes in dozens of his interviews and talks, and ~15% of The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss – My Life with Terence McKenna (2012) by Dennis McKenna, Terence’s younger brother by four years.

In a lecture called “Surfing Finnegan’s Wake,” Terence referred to a book of literary criticism that told James Joyce’s 656-page novel, Finnegans Wake (1939), in a one-page version, a ten-page version, and a 200-page version. The following biography (which to some degree presupposes knowledge of Terence McKenna’s Memes) is my eight-page, fractal-inflected, short-story-esque version of One Version of Terence McKenna’s Life.

The world which we perceive is a tiny fraction of the world which we can perceive, which is a tiny fraction of the perceivable world. – Terence McKenna, 1987. [“Understanding and Imagination in the Light of Nature”]

1. Paonia, Colorado (1946-1962)

Terence Kemp McKenna was born on November 16, 1946, in “a Colorado cattle and coal-mining town of 1,500 people named Paonia,” he said in an interview in 1993. He elaborated:

They wanted to name it Peony but didn’t know how to spell it. In your last year of high school, you got your girlfriend pregnant, married her, and went to work in the coalmines. An intellectual was someone who read TIME.

It’s not known whether Terence read TIME magazine, but he did, at least for one issue, read LIFE magazine. The May 13, 1957 edition featured a first-person narrative, “Seeking the Magic Mushroom,” by Robert Gordon Wasson, a vice president at J.P. Morgan, about his experiences eating psilocybin mushrooms in Oaxaca, Mexico. The feature included watercolor paintings of the seven types of psychedelic mushrooms then known. In the unassuming, vaguely subliminal position of third—not first, second, fourth, or fifth—was a painting of four pale mushrooms, golden and bluish in areas, with this caption:

FIRST DISCOVERED in Cuba in June 1904,
Stropharia cubensis Erale grows on cow dung in
pastures.

Terence was age ten when the mushroom—with characteristic charm and earnestness, appearing bluntly in an unlikely venue via a mushroom-obsessed, New York banker—introduced itself, but he would not eat it for another 14 years.

*
Growing up, Terence was “the persecuted, bespectacled type,” he told San Francisco Chronicle in 1993. He subscribed to the Village Voice and the Evergreen Review—a literary magazine that published Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and others from 1957 to 1973. He wrote, in True Hallucinations, of his childhood:

My interest in drugs, magic, and the more obscure backwaters of natural history and theology gave me the interest profile of an eccentric Florentine prince rather than a kid growing up in the heartland of the United States in the late 50s. Dennis had shared all of these concerns, to the despair of our conventional and hardworking parents.

Cont. :

(Link)

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