Advanced prosthetics have come a long way in the last few years, but the costs have also skyrocketed. A cheaper alternative may be on its way thanks to Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year old high school student from Colorado, who is using free online resources and the boom in inexpensive 3D printers to develop a functional prosthetic arm and hand. His projects have already earned him an invitation to the White House, and he’s now working at NASA on the Robonaut team.
It all began when he was 14, when he decided to try to build a robotic hand using Lego. At the time he knew next to nothing about electronics, but learned through sites like Instructables how to get the hand to open and close its fingers using a combination of fishing line and servo motors. The project earned him third place at the 2011 Colorado State science fair.
It was there that he met a 7-year old girl who was wearing a state of the art prosthetic that cost an astounding US $80,000. Upon hearing that figure, LaChappelle became determined to design and build an inexpensive alternative. He soon discovered that manufacturing anything the old-fashioned way was prohibitively expensive, but luckily he had a friend with access to a 3D printer. He began working with Solidworks, a 3D modeling program, and looked for ready-made parts on Thingiverse, an online repository of open source models.
This version of the prosthetic costs less than US $500 dollars and is controlled using an EEG headband that measures brainwaves.
All credit goes to Steve Marmel. This commentary was published in his Facebook page. I take no credit for the content or his thoughts. I happen to wholeheartedly agree and I’m sharing his exact words and comments
“IOTD” is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for them to get their image right. I post an image a day for people to use in their mini mental vacay. Some are serious, some are silly, and some are just beautiful!”
Google Doodle Celebrates Pluto Flyby by NASA’s New Horizons
Today, July 14, 2015, NASA will make history when its New Horizons spacecraft becomes the first mission ever to fly by Pluto, and the folks at Google are celebrating with an appropriately celebratory Google doodle.
The animated Google Doodle shows the Pluto flyby as New Horizons whips by the dwarf planet at a mind-boggling 31,000 mph (49,889 km/h). Launched in 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft has traveled for more than nine years and across 3 billion miles (4.7 billion kilometers) to reach Pluto.
You can watch NASA’s Pluto flyby webcast on Space.com, beginning at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT), which will originate from New Horizons’ mission operations center here at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where more than 1,000 guests, dignitaries and reporters are expected to attend the historic encounter.
According to Google, today’s Pluto flyby doodle is meant to celebrate the unprecedented encounter with Pluto at the edge of the solar system.
“Today’s Doodle was created by Kevin Laughlin in honor of New Horizons’ intrepid voyage to Pluto’s distant corner of the solar system,” Google representatives wrote in a statement. “Celebrate this scientific breakthrough on NASA’s New Horizons YouTube page, where you’ll find videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers.”
Already, New Horizons has beamed to Earth spectacular images of Pluto, but those images will be a their best today, when the probe approaches within 7,750 miles (12,500 kilometers) of the dwarf planet and snaps its closest and most detailed views.
Google Doodle ” Pluto Will Send Earth a Love Letter Tomorrow “!
Published on Jul 13, 2015
Tomorrow, (July 14, 2015) when New Horizons makes its historic flyby of Pluto, it will be focusing in on just one face of the dwarf planet.
In this latest photo captured by the space probe’s black-and-white LORRI camera, you can see that face — defined by a large, bright heart-shaped feature — beginning to rotate into view.
Only the top half of the heart is visible on the left side of this image, but come tomorrow, New Horizons will capture the valentine in full.
~~New Horizons Pluto Flyby Google Doodle ~~
~~Published on Jul 13, 2015~~
Google celebrates New Horizons Pluto Flyby Google Doodle on 15th, July 2015
New Horizons Pluto Flyby Google Doodle
After nine years and three billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past Pluto and its five moons on Tuesday morning. Google celebrates this event with an animated Google Doodle. Thanks to the power of planetary physics you can watch the space probe pass by on your computer right now.
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched on January 19, 2006, as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program.
Built by the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects.
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched on January 19, 2006, as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program. Built by the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs).
New Horizons is the result of many years of work on missions to send a spacecraft to Pluto, starting in 1990 with Pluto 350, with Alan Stern and Fran Bagenal of the “Pluto Underground“, and in 1992 with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Pluto Fast Flyby; the latter inspired by a USPS stamp that branded Pluto as “Not Yet Explored”.
The ambitious mission aimed to send a lightweight, cost-effective spacecraft to Pluto, later evolving into a Kuiper Belt Object mission named Pluto Kuiper Express. However, because of underwhelming support from NASA and a growing budget, the project was eventually cancelled altogether in 2000.
For more than 40 years, NASA (and, since 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey) has enlisted Landsat satellites to continuously document our home planet — kind of like an extreme, orbital version of the selfie stick. This unbroken record, consisting of millions of images of the earth’s surface, helps scientists track environmental changes over time.
The video by Vox strings together pictures taken from 1972 to 2014 to show how deforestation, water use, urban sprawl, electricity, and climate change have dramatically altered certain landscapes.
Though the footage focuses on just five areas on this big planet, human activity has had a visible impact on countless others — and the stories that emerge from the Landsat program’s data often aren’t pretty.
I think we can all agree that the earth deserves a better set of before-and-after shots.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
~Five human activities you can see from space~~
~~Published on May 1, 2015~~
Satellites have been watching us for 40 years. Here’s what their images reveal.
Singer Sarah Brightman preparing for space station visit
British singer Sarah Brightman is expected to blast off in October for a 10-day stay on the International Space Station, NASA reported. The famed soprano, who starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” will pay about $52 million for a round-trip ride aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule, said U.S.-based Space Adventures, a privately owned firm that is arranging the trip.
Brightman, 54, will become the eighth tourist and first professional singer to visit the orbital outpost, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth. One tourist, Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi, made two trips.
Since NASA retired its space shuttles in 2011, Russian Soyuz capsules have been fully booked flying crew to and from the station, a project of 15 nations. The last tourist to fly was Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who spent 11 days aboard the station in 2009, at a cost of about $35 million.
The design captures the classic historic spirit of space travel and exploration, while using a female figure as the central motif – highlighting the potential of women to succeed in the worlds of science and technology, traditionally the preserve of men.
The figure is drawn with a respectful nod towards the stylish, heroic aesthetic of 1960’s soviet statuary, in particular the monuments to pioneer cosmonauts such as the first man in space Yuri Gagarin. Similarly, the four pointed star at the top of the design refers to the emblem for Russia’s Star City and the ascending rocket is adapted from the beautiful “Conquerors Of Space” monument which is situated outside the All-Russia Exhibition Centre in VDNKh.
At the base of this, the flags of three nations lead the way into the ascent; Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Behind the female figure is the earth – the most recognizable landmass we see is the United Kingdom, the birthplace of Sarah Brightman. Positioned like a crown above the female figure is the image of the International Space Station itself.
Never has the term “Mission statement” been more appropriate.
For Sarah, this mission – TMA 18M – embodies her own goals
CHASING DREAMS, SHAPING FUTURES
Sarah’s endless pursuit of realizing her own ambitions is matched by her personal commitment to the advancement of education for young people around the world. She works closely with several organizations that strive to achieve greater opportunities in the fields of Science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts, including UNESCO (as an Artist for Peace ambassador), Virgin Unite, (the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group – as a scholarship benefactor), and Challenger Center (STEM education non-profit organization – as an advisory board member).
Sarah is also a supporter of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, which significantly supports the arts, music in schools, The Architectural Heritage Fund and awards 30 performing arts scholarships annually.
Finally, at the centre of the design, behind the female figure is The Moon, which refers back to the Apollo 11 landing. This event had captivated Sarah as she watched it on TV as a child and was the driving inspiration behind her earliest desire to travel into space. The moon also became the predominant motif on the cover of her latest album project, Dreamchaser.
Space Shuttle Endeavour (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-105) is a retired orbiter from NASA’s Space Shuttle program and the fifth and final operational shuttle built. It embarked on its first mission, STS-49, in May 1992 and its 25th and final mission, STS-134, in May 2011. STS-134 was expected to be the final mission of the Space Shuttle program, but with the authorization of STS-135, Atlantis became the last shuttle to fly.
The United States Congress authorized the construction of Endeavour in 1987 to replace Challenger, which was lost in 1986 when it broke up two minutes after launch. Structural spares built during the construction of Discovery and Atlantis were used in its assembly.
NASA chose to build Endeavour from spares rather than refitting Enterprise or accepting a Rockwell International proposal to build two shuttles for the price of one on cost grounds.
The summer skies will light up July 12, 2014 with our third super moon of the year. This will occur July 12 at 11:25 UTC. A supermoon is a new or full moon that occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. That’s a generous definition, which is why there are so many supermoons!
What did astronomers call these moons before we called them supermoons?
They were called a perigee full moon, or a perigee new moon.
Perigee means “near Earth.”
A trio of super moons is gracing our skies starting off with the Capricorn biggie this weekend (July 12th-13th), and then another on August 10th and September 9th.
Supermoons, or ‘perigee moons’ are closer to the Earth making them appear brighter and bigger, and often supernatural when viewed over a distance horizon. As with every full moon, there is much energy to draw from and this month is no exception. The mix of the sun in cancer and the moon in capricorn is giving rise to opportunities of deep expansion and the strength to face fears. Your Soul knows that the only way to breakthrough fears is to meet them head on.
What do you fear the most? What brings up feelings of dread within you?
Now is the time to shine the light on what feels shadowed in order to fully free yourself from the maya of past conditionings.
The Light of Capricorn is also asking you to face what you have been avoiding. If your heart knows it will help you in the long run, do it. Embrace the strength of Capricorn and rejoice in the liberation that follows.
Allow your authenticity to shine. Be real in your Self and with others. Make the best use of this energy by clearing the old and committing your time, love and devotion to what truly feeds your soul.
This full Moon appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. It is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.
At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.
This full Moon corresponds with the time of harvesting corn. It is also called the Barley Moon, because it is the time to harvest and thresh the ripened barley. The Harvest Moon is the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox, which can occur in September or October and is bright enough to allow finishing all the harvest chores.
This is the month when the leaves are falling and the game is fattened. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long winter ahead. October’s Moon is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Moon.
This is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. This full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes.
~~Why Native Americans Named the Moons~~
The early Native Americans did not record time by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. For some tribes, the year contained 4 seasons and started at a certain season, such as spring or fall. Others counted 5 seasons to a year. Some tribes defined a year as 12 Moons, while others assigned it 13. Certain tribes that used the lunar calendar added an extra Moon every few years, to keep it in sync with the seasons.
Each tribe that did name the full Moons (and/or lunar months) had its own naming preferences. Some would use 12 names for the year while others might use 5, 6, or 7; also, certain names might change the next year. A full Moon name used by one tribe might differ from one used by another tribe for the same time period, or be the same name but represent a different time period. The name itself was often a description relating to a particular activity/event that usually occurred during that time in their location.
Colonial Americans adopted some of the Native American full Moon names and applied them to their own calendar system (primarily Julian, and later, Gregorian). Since the Gregorian calendar is the system that many in North America use today, that is how we have presented the list of Moon names, as a frame of reference. The Native American names have been listed by the month in the Gregorian calendar to which they are most closely associated.
~~The Summer Of Supermoons Is Here~~
~~Published on Jul 11, 2014~~
The Summer Of Supermoons Is Here
What’s better than a “supermoon”? Three Supermoons!
The full moons of summer this year — July 12, August 10 and September 9 — will all be Supermoons, as NASA calls them.
The phenomenon happens when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee — the point in the moon’s orbit when it’s closet to Earth.
“Generally speaking, full Moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it’s not all that unusual,” Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in a statement from NASA. “In fact, just last year there were three perigee Moons in a row, but only one was widely reported.”
Third super-sized moon of 2014 overnight July 11-12
~~Published on Jul 11, 2014~~
It’s time for the third supermoon of 2014.
The supermoon will hit its fullest point early Saturday morning, July 12, at 6:25 a.m. CDT. But in most of the U.S. if you want to get a good look at it, tonight’s a good time.
The ephemeral creation is like water and sand going though the gaps in your fingers, all the time fleeting, transitory. Therefore it is not actually tangible. Whether liquids, gases, or solids makes no difference — all are intangible — since they are temporary. But the Pure Consciousness, the Immortal Light is always tangible, because it is always Existent.
~Swami Amar Jyoti~
~~Your Consciousness and the Universe~~
~~Uploaded on Apr 17, 2011~~
Microscopic nano technology reveals a never ending journey inwards. NASA telescopic imagery reveals a never ending journey outwards. Imagery from both starts to look very similar, the deeper they go. If the concept of “scale” does not exist (and therefore a greater intelligence does), then it’s possible the entire universe is you and nothing else. If time does not exist (it’s actually impossible for time to exist – since there is only “now”) then this would explain why the universe has no boundaries.