Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 48)

The screenwriting manual that's killing movies

Summer movies are often described as formulaic. But what few people know is that there is actually a formula--one that lays out, on a page-by-page basis, exactly what should happen when in a screenplay. It's as if a mad scientist has discovered a secret process for making a perfect, or at least perfectly conventional, summer blockbuster.The formula didn't come from a mad scientist. Instead it came from a screenplay guidebook, Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. In the book, author Blake Snyder, a successful spec screenwriter who became an influential screenplay guru, preaches a variant on the basic three-act structure that has dominated blockbuster filmmaking since the late 1970s.

New 3D Brain Map

First, the brain was scanned using a magnetic resonance scanner then imbedded into paraffin and then cut with a microtome for large sections into more than 7,400 sections," Katrin Amunts of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany told Sciencemag.org. After sectioning the brain, researchers began the time and labor intensive process of section imaging, cell body staining, digital removal of anomalies and the precise reconstruction of the brain sections to create a final 3D image.

New 3D Brain Map

NSA Admits It Analyzes 2 or 3 Hops

Inglis' admission isn't likely to help the effort to convince members of the House that the surveillance programs should be kept as is. Neither will a response offered by DNI counsel Robert Litt. Asked by committee chairman Bob Goodlatte if the government really thought the massive collection of phone records could be kept from the American people, Litt replied, "Well, um, we tried.

Boston Dynamics Atlas Humanoid Robot

DARPA and Boston Dynamics, of BigDog, Petman, and Cheetah fame, have unveiled their most advanced humanoid robot yet: Atlas. At 6'2'' (188cm) and 330lbs (150kg), Atlas is incredibly imposing; with 28 hydraulically actuated joints, LIDAR and stereo vision, a beefy on-board computer, and some of the most advanced robotic limbs ever conceived, Atlas is remarkably human-like in its behavior. While Atlas is initially conceived as a disaster response robot, such as cleaning up and looking for survivors after a Fukushima-like disaster, it's easy to imagine Atlas being the basis of a robotic army, supported by BigDog mules.

Boston Dynamics Atlas Humanoid Robot

China's Manned Space Program

China's manned space program is now entering its second decade, with ambitious plans including a permanent space station, manned lunar missions, and a possible manned mission to Mars in 2040-2060. Two weeks ago, the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft landed safely with a crew of three in inner Mongolia. The mission was the longest yet for China -- 15 days in orbit, including a successful docking with the Tiangong-1 Space Laboratory, the first module in a planned space station. To date, China has successfully put eight astronauts into orbit in five missions. Chinese authorities are vague about announcing future missions, so no specific launch dates have been announced for Shenzou-11 or Tiangong-2 (2nd module of the Tiangong program space station). gathered here are images of the Shenzhou-10 mission, and several other highlights from the past decade of Chinese manned spaceflight.

China's Manned Space Program

China's Manned Space Program

China's Manned Space Program

China's Manned Space Program

A Pilot's Perspective on Asiana Airlines Crash

I would caution readers to be leery of what you hear from TV or the press, and be exceptionally wary of on-air testimony from eyewitnesses or passengers who were aboard the jet. The news channels salivate over these firsthand narratives, but any crash investigator will attest to the notorious unreliability of such accounts. If some of the things I've heard in interviews over the past 24 hours are any indication, stuff your ears with gauze and leave the room when an eyewitness starts talking. I don't want to insult anybody's powers of observation, but passengers have a terrible habit of misjudging and misinterpreting the basics of flight even when things are running perfectly normal, never mind in the throes of a violent emergency.

Inside A Nuclear Reactor

I got to crawl on top of, over, under, and around, one of the wonders of the modern engineering world: an operational AGR reactor. I got to look around the control room, be deafened in the turbine hall and steam-baked in the secondary shutdown test facility, gawp at the shiny bright zirconium tubes full of enriched uranium in the fuel rod assembly room, be subjected to the whole-body contamination detectors at the checkpoints, and boggle at the baroque masses of sensors and control racks that trigger a reactor trip if any of its operational parameters go out of bounds."

Inside A Nuclear Reactor

Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework - Doug Engelbart

By "augmenting human intellect" we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble. And by "complex situations" we include the professional problems of diplomats, executives, social scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, attorneys, designers--whether the problem situation exists for twenty minutes or twenty years. We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that help in particular situations. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human "feel for a situation" usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.