In the course of getting a job done, we all end up doing a bit of research. Here are some of the projects I’ve contributed to, from artificial intelligence to aircraft design, tissue simulation, human-machine interfaces and Lego Mindstorms! Feel free to check it out. Wherever possible, I’ve added the presentation versions, which are a bit more visual and a lot less text!
Science in mainstream culture is benefiting from the fragmentation of broadcast and upstarts looking for new content. The low production overhead of blogging will be moving up-budget, though the format has not been announced.
The unabashed enthusiasm for curiosity and the love shown for the curious people behind it are what makes IFLS stand out. I hope they can have some associated interactive content to go along with the production budget.
NPR’s Radiolab is much CBC’s DNTO in that it addresses topics connected by a theme. The themes are seemingly broad and at first, and the stories in each cast are connected are connected laterally. Is it science, society, psychology? It’s all these things and most of all it starts with a question – the more simple, the more innocent, the sharper and deeper they seem to cut into the subject. Having multiple hosts and heavily edited interviews makes for a stream of consciousness production style, quick to turn, tricky to predict or take for granted; it is an ear perking experience.
What makes it realtable is not just the subject, but that it is a result of curiosity followed-through, something we too often ignore for lack of time.
"Black Box" – what goes on in the places where you can’t look
"What’s Left When You’re Right" – Is being right the wrong thing?
"Inheritance" – What part of you is predetermined?
This is a nice step-by-step guide on how to um, think… like a GIT.
If you’ve done any electronics hacking, designing, pondering, or frustrating, you may have googled your way to Bob Pease and one of his articles that follows the title format, “What’s all this XYZ Stuff, Anyways?” where XYZ is an arcane, important mystery of electrical engineering steeped in dogma, myth, and cloudy mystery. His M.O. is to blow all that fuzz away and leave clear understanding and core concepts. He’s one of those authors that make you feel smarter. Here are some of his articles from Electronic Design. They paywall many others, but they were nice enough to share some of the Best (by their reckoning) and the Control Systems ones are certainly of interest to me
“What’s All This P-I-D Stuff, Anyhow?”
“What’s All This Double-Clutching Stuff, Anyhow?”
“What’s All This Negative Feedback Stuff, Anyhow?”
“What’s All This Spicey Stuff, Anyhow? (Part II)”
“Bob’s Mailbox: Audio Quality, A Crazy Rack, And The PE Exam”
“What’s All This Input Impedance Stuff, Anyhow?”
“What’s All This Current Limiter Stuff, Anyhow?”
If you like watching him chat it up and seeing the demos, his videos by TI and others are all over youtube, which I am sure he could have replicated using 6 op amps and a pair of LEDs.
When I was a kid, we got those great little flip books with a record or tape included. The tape had all the narration and sound effects of, say Return of the Jedi, and the book had the accompanying snapshots from the movie. You knew it was time to turn to the next page in the book when the audio tape made a ‘beep’ or if the production team was clever, a lightsabre noise.
This is well and good when quickly mapping a 2 hour movie into a 20 page kids book with a cassette tape inside the front cover, but not so good when working in the reverse and using source material like EG: an epic drama that asks Big Questions about meaning of dominance and empathy as seen through a bullied genius-child bred to save humanity, like, say Ender’s Game.
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