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An American Art Form

NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 21, 2009 - 11 comments

ScienceDebate2008 Update

Barack Obama has responded to the 14 questions posed by ScienceDebate2008 (discussed previously). The Martian Chronicles has outlined some key points of his response. John McCain has not responded to the questions, but has indicated that he will respond.
posted by gruchall on Sep 1, 2008 - 63 comments

How Edison Are You?

Thomas A. Edison did not simply invent; he created the invention industry. He not only inspired the American Industrial Revolution, he provided the model for modern R&D concepts. Perhaps his greatest success beyond his legacy of innovation and invention is the introduction of team-based research. The Edison Innovation Foundation is using Edison's Invention Factory to educate the next generation of inventors.
posted by netbros on Jul 29, 2008 - 23 comments

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Come, take a ride and look at some of the Islamic Art of the past. Or, you could call it Art of the Islamic World if you're so inclined. If not, then how about taking into account some of the major milestones of Islam throughout the centuries, from past till present (more examples here), including the art of Calligraphy and Architecture. Not to mention the Arab world's contribution to music, both old and new. [Previously mentioned, here, here, here, and here, with a wonderful comment from nickyskye as usual]
posted by hadjiboy on May 29, 2008 - 28 comments

IBM's next 5 in 5

IBM's the next 5 in 5 "forecasts the five innovations that will change the way that we live, work and play in the next five years." [more inside]
posted by dobie on May 19, 2008 - 60 comments

"When I push on the ball of my foot, it rotates the wrist."

Dean Kamen's Artificial "Luke" Arm - Segway inventor reinvents the prosthetic arm: "I've been able to do stuff with this that I haven't, seriously haven't, done in 26 years... uh, pick up a banana, peel a banana and eat it without it squishening... I can't wait to get one of these in a real environment, a home environment, and actually my wife can't either. She's going, oh yeah, I got lots of stuff for you to do."
posted by kliuless on Feb 19, 2008 - 59 comments

“I’ve been told the oil companies might try to assassinate me.”

64-year-old Frank Pringle has figured out a way to extract oil and natural gas out of nearly anything.
posted by divabat on Jan 11, 2008 - 66 comments

Science and Technology in the 2008 Presidential Election

Dr. President: "The next president of the United States of America will control a $150 billion annual research budget, 200,000 scientists, and 38 major research institutions and all their related labs. This president will shape human endeavors in space, bioethics debates, and the energy landscape of the 21st century." With the coming election, the AAAS has created a new website and devoted a section of their journal Science to the Democratic and Republican candidates' positions on science and technology issues. But to help further clarify their positions, some people are calling for the candidates to have a presidential debate on science and technology. [Via The Intersection and Wired Science.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2008 - 48 comments

green design

Ecoble, an environment design and living site includes some interesting stories and info: Man (Re)Builds Mexican Island Paradise on 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles l Who Has the Oil? Geography of the World’s Most Contentious Resource l BituBlock - The Sustainable Building Block Built from Trash and Sewage [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 20, 2007 - 12 comments

Health Care and Innovation

Creative Destruction: The Best Case Against Universal Health Care. [Via The Mahablog.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 14, 2007 - 82 comments

Kool-Aid Pickles

Kool-Aid pickles violate tradition, maybe even propriety. Depending on your palate and perspective, they are either the worst thing to happen to pickles since plastic brining barrels or a brave new taste sensation to be celebrated.” (BugMeNot)
posted by jason's_planet on May 10, 2007 - 125 comments

Design like you give a damn.

The Open Architecture Network "is an online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design." {via Cameron Sinclair's Ted Talk}
posted by dobbs on Apr 14, 2007 - 6 comments

John Arquilla interview re: the future of military technology and hardware

“[O]ur military today oversees spending of about a billion and a quarter dollars every day. Most of that is misspent. Over this past quarter-century, we've reinforced an old industrial-policy military with hardware that makes increasingly less sense, spending most on things that provide the least return. The principal argument for that is: ‘We have to keep the big, old-style military because we might fight a big, old-style war one day.’ But in the future the bigger you are, the harder you're going to fall to ever-more accurate weapons.”
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 10, 2007 - 58 comments

Fry me with a nuke

Wanna get nuked? the Active Denial System [just say no?] was launched yesterday - its a microwave ray gun that makes people feel like they're going to catch fire. Wasn't there a ray gun at a certain point in a book we trashed a while earlier?
posted by infini on Jan 25, 2007 - 46 comments

Vein Viewer Infrared-absorption interactive "X-ray" gadget.

VeinViewer is an infrared-absorption interactive "X-ray" device using advanced real time signal processing and a projector. Google video. YouTube video with short explanation.
posted by loquacious on Dec 20, 2006 - 19 comments

That's not a hack; THIS is a hack

Afrigadget Life hacks from the Dark Continent. Similar idea to better-known hacks here and here.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 20, 2006 - 13 comments

Won't somebody please think of the pixels?!?

The face of gaming. (via /.) A glance down memory lane to 20 years ago, when games looked and felt completely different. Were those old games really as great as our memories tell us? Other than all of our graphical splendor, can we really say that games have had any real new innovation?
posted by mystyk on Mar 23, 2006 - 56 comments

How Islamic inventors changed the world

From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life. As a new exhibition opens, Paul Vallely nominates 20 of the most influential- and identifies the men of genius behind them via The Independent
posted by infini on Mar 10, 2006 - 30 comments

New monitor technology brought to light

High Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery rendered in software is only half the story if your monitor can't actually display that full dynamic range. Bit-Tech has an excellent article on an actual HDR-capable display brought out by a crowd called Brightside Technologies (formerly Sunnybrook Technologies).

Needless to say, you want this. And it can be had, for the bargain price of $50000 USD.

Here's more on various HDR Display technologies. Brightside HDR is also covered at HardwareSecrets and Toms Hardware Guide. The Max Planck Institut has their take on HDR, Hyperfocal Design has a few good links if you're interested in trying your own hand at HDR content creation, and here's Brightside's own take on HDR and gaming.
posted by crocos on Oct 4, 2005 - 35 comments

Biojewellery

Biojewellery. Thought titanium was 'a bit different' for your wedding rings? Have you considered a ring made from your own bioengineered bone tissue?* Apparently the instigators are "...interested in how technological innovation is used by human needs and desire rather than the pure functionality of the innovation." A short report here. *May require extraction of wisdom teeth
posted by biffa on Jun 10, 2005 - 8 comments

"A Possible Declining Trend for Worldwide Innovation,"

Review of "A Possible Declining Trend for Worldwide Innovation," by Jonathan Huebner, who says the rate of human innovation has been steadily declining since the industrial revolution, and is headed toward an "economic limit" of very low apparent innovation that will be reached circa 2038. As one potential explanation, we must consider the possibility that human-initiated innovation, like energy consumption and population growth, is a process that naturally saturates with rising global income levels and technological intelligence--as technological progress increasingly satisfies current human needs, individuals become less concerned with technological development and turn more toward personal growth. More articles from Acceleration Watch.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 2, 2005 - 24 comments

It's a big coffee mug - no!..it'a bong....

Teen steals corpse head for use as bong ? : "Police at first could not believe what they had heard" - some reporters just have a gift for understatement.
posted by troutfishing on Apr 15, 2005 - 37 comments

Marvel Battles Role Players

Marvel Comics sues NCsoft and Cryptic Studios, the makers of the online game City of Heroes for player created content they feel infringes on their copyright. If Marvel wins the case, all game developers can expect to be held responsible for the behavior of their players. This case covers similar ground to the proposed Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act, which is before a Senate Judiciary Committee. Introduced to crack down on illegal file sharing on peer-to-peer networks, the bill would hold technology companies liable for manufacturing products that encourage people to infringe copyrights. The language of the bill caused an uproar among technology and consumer advocates who claimed it would kill innovation. If successful in their lawsuit, would Marvel be able to sue the makers of pens and pencils for producing products that allow people to create pictures of copyrighted characters?
posted by Stuart_R on Nov 16, 2004 - 31 comments

Innovative ideas in India

India Emerges as Innovation Hub. Some other recent innovations I've read about include wireless internet rickshaws and public internet kiosks, trading services for farmers, and an education satellite. Perhaps of most interest to Americans now should be India's e-voting machines.
posted by homunculus on Oct 11, 2004 - 7 comments

Stories about the lives we've made

Making the Modern World brings you powerful stories about science and invention from the eighteenth century to today. It explains the development and the global spread of modern industrial society and its effects on all our lives. The site expands upon the permanent landmark gallery at the Science Museum, using the Web and dynamic multimedia techniques to go far beyond what a static exhibition can do. Terrific wrapping, excellent content.
posted by tcp on Jul 12, 2004 - 4 comments

Killing Apps

Software innovation is dead. I have to agree that there hasn't been anything truly exciting coming out of the software community as of late, at least anything that is going to change the way we do things like e-mail and P2P did.
posted by archimago on Feb 9, 2004 - 34 comments

Now We

"I think the word they are replacing is 'invention.' Only now we innovate, which is deliberately vague but seems to stop somewhere short of invention. Innovators have wiggle room. They can steal ideas, for example, and pawn them off as their own. That's the intersection of innovation and sharp business. " Cringley puts his finger on a crucial difference, touching not only on the core of ethics but on the connection to real progress.
posted by weston on Sep 5, 2003 - 9 comments

Volvo SCC

Volvo SCC definitely provides some great new ideas - both innovative and practical for the near future (i.e., heartbeat sensor, adaptive headlights)
posted by adamms222 on Jul 15, 2003 - 23 comments

What is Film Sampling?

What is Film Sampling? According to Mike Myers and Dreamworks Films, it's a revolutionary way to insert himself into old movies by using the wonders of technology. Have we created so much content in the past 50 years that it needs to be recycled before there is room for anything truly new? Will this work for films the way it's 'worked' in Music? Will the next generation of filmmakers be Puff Daddy clones reworking classic films, and are there films that should never, ever be touched?
posted by cell divide on Feb 19, 2003 - 28 comments

Microsoft behind the times?

Is Bill Gates behind the times? (NYT link - reg req'd) Microsoft today introduced designs for "a new class of watch" which can "provide weather information, text messages and other data." The simplest versions "will cost less than $150," the story says.

But Timex currently offers its own, cheaper version: the Internet Messenger Watch for only US$50, and a year's free service, for almost the same features.

Is Microsoft actually behind the times with their 'innovation'? Is this embarrassing for the software giant?
posted by busbyism on Jan 9, 2003 - 33 comments

An academic justification for the multi-cultural society?

HOW TO GET RICH, by Jared Diamond.
[via Boing-Boing] An academic justification for the pluralist society? Clay Shirley (guest blogger @ B-B) makes the point: "In a finding that everyone worried about having a single global IP regime should read, Diamond concludes that innovation requires having several different legal, cultural and technological regimes at the same time, in competition with one another. Columbus had to go to several countries before he got funding for the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Had there been a pan-European agreement on naval expeditions, he would never have left port." [More inside]
*Warning*: 12, easily read pages in link. I hope this thread is a grower...
posted by dash_slot- on Nov 14, 2002 - 30 comments

Airplanes, movies, guided missiles, submarines, the electric chair, air conditioning , the fax machine - in 1870

Airplanes, movies, guided missiles, submarines, the electric chair, air conditioning , the fax machine - in 1870 " Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt, Faith Popcorn: all of them famous prognosticators. Yet each comes off a piker when compared to the true master of industrial clairvoyance, Jules Verne."
posted by Voyageman on Apr 1, 2002 - 7 comments

Australian Man Patents The Wheel

Australian Man Patents The Wheel This story reads as if it was meant to be in The Onion instead. Freelance patent lawyer John Keogh was issued with an Innovation Patent for a "circular transportation facilitation device" ... in May. But he has no immediate plans to patent fire, crop rotation or other fundamental advances in civilisation.
posted by wackybrit on Jul 2, 2001 - 9 comments

Microsoft exec calls Linux a threat to innovation?

Microsoft exec calls Linux a threat to innovation? "One of Microsoft's high-level executives says that freely distributed software code such as Linux could stifle innovation and that legislators need to understand the threat."
posted by macewan on Feb 15, 2001 - 25 comments

teens spin web of the future.

teens spin web of the future. great article re: the winners of a competition for teenagers maintaining useful, unique, nonprofit sites.

Emily Boyde, 17, of Newcastle, Australia, was the only female finalist. Her Web site, MatMice, allows kids to create their own Web sites and view sites made by their friends.

She taught herself to write HTML, the language used to create Web sites. "I don't know a lot of other females who do this sort of thing," she said. "But after I saw the Internet, I liked the look of it. So I decided to learn to use it myself."

Emily rocks my world.
What do you think of the winners?
posted by gusset on Jun 25, 2000 - 2 comments

Those of you who're Slashdot kids have probably already seen this new computer made in Taiwan, but it's so small, it may have been overlooked.
posted by jason on Apr 23, 2000 - 3 comments

Oh my god. With this new site, Microsoft just crossed an invisible line of decency. Who are they kidding? Would you believe any pro-Microsoft commentary on the site came from a site visitor and not an internal MS employee? They've just lost what little credibility they had left.
posted by mathowie on Nov 9, 1999 - 1 comment

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