Magnitude and Direction, Issue #19 | 2 Nov 2018


This is gonna sound weird, but you should be following Q-Tips on Instagram. They deserve more love.

Hardware, Prototyping, and Fabrication

🐶🤖 Boston Dynamics taught their Spot Mini robot (aka, the robotic doggo) how to dance to "Uptown Funk", because why not?

👔 When I originally read the description of DressCode Shirts in Imperica(another very interesting newsletter that you should consider subscribing to) I imagined they would be much more gaudy than they are. As it is, I actually... like them. Not sure what this says about me... :P

💨 Here are some weird facts about airbags. (Via The Prepared)

💀🤖 Since Halloween just happened and Dia de los Muertos is still in full swing, this comprehensive list of creepy robots is especially timely. Look through the full list and take a walk through the uncanny valley... if you dare.

Software and Programming

📈 Chromebook Data Science is an accredited course by Google and Johns Hopkins that's totally online and aimed at training people to become experiences in what's quickly become one of the most sought-after skill sets. The best part? It's pay-what-you-want, starting at free.

🔡 If you find yourself struggling a bit to read the Sans Forgetica font, don't worry that's by design -- it improved overall retention of the content. Plus, it looks really cool (hence, this issue's stylized title).

🎹 Be a piano virtuoso with only 8 keys (buttons, really) thanks to an "improvisational" neural network from Google.

👓 One of the most common proposed applications of AR is a "virtual" desktop floating in front of you in space. Now that AR/MR (mixed reality for anyone having trouble keeping up with all the different realities we seem to be living in these days) technology company Upskill has launched support for Microsoft's HoloLens, we're one step closer to that reality (you can pick which one).

📚 If you're the kind of person who likes reading about the place where you're going to be vacationing, then Destination Reads is probably for you.

🕹🎮 Want to up your Fortnite game? Now you can hire an e-sports coach to help take you to the next level (literally and figuratively). You may groan andshake your head, but when I consider visions of the future from 20 or 30 years ago, I'm surprised it's taken this long. Ready, player one?

Science, Engineering, and Biomedicine

🤷🏿‍♀️ According to science, hooking up with you ex may not be as bad as we think it is.

😵 The finalists in the 2018 Best Illusion of the Year contest will blow your mind.

☁ If you appreciate clouds, then have I got a society for you.

Mapping, History, and Data Science

🌃 How much have the world's cities grown over the past 25 years?

🏥 Say what you will about the way we pay for healthcare in the US, the quality of care here is *generally* better than it would be in most places on earth. **However** quality care is only possible with the right tools, and a whole lot of them aren't made here, which makes them susceptible to the whims and follies of both man and nature.

🚗🚲 This article about helmet laws is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it does raise some very valid points when it comes to discrepancies between reality andpolicy. You have a much greater chance of injuring your head driving a car than you do riding a bike, so why don't we wear helmets when we drive?

🙄 The Pettiness Hall of Fame.

⏳ Do you remember the first thing you posted on social media?

🗼 The tallest buildings (and other man-made structures) in the world.

📊 Moment Zero is an interactive data visualization/sonification of decades worth of global earthquake records.

Events and Opportunities

Might we finally be coming down from the firehose of events that was the month of October?

  • Saturday, 11/3 Hot Glass Cold Beer returns to Gowanus glass-blowing shop Brooklyn Glass. For the $25 admission, you get a hand-made glass, unlimited beer, and arguably more access to the shop than you should (please do not burn yourself).

  • Wednesday, 11/7 The Translational Therapeutics Accelerator at Columbia Medical Center is holding an all-day event featuring speakers from both academia and industry, sharing best practices to successfully advance early-stage science to clinical applications.

  • Wednesday, 11/7 The NY Nanotech Meetup will feature Dr. Simon Dunham, who's developing microfabricated soft implants for cardiac applications, a topic that's very close to my heart (no pun intended).

  • Monday, 11/12 The New York Hardware Startup Meetup will convene at Oden Technologies for their 51st meetup, featuring one of the most badass speaker lineups I've ever seen.

  • Wednesday, 11/14 Are you working on a technology that could have military applications? Join the DoD's MD5 Accelerator Program andColumbia Entrepreneurship Innovation and Design for a panel discussion on seed funding opportunities for defense and dual-use technology ventures with leaders from DoD innovation and funding initiatives, andstartups finding success partnering with the DoD.

  • Thursday, 11/15 Innovation Forum, a network of startups, scientists, andaspiring entrepreneurs, is holding their inaugural New York event at Cornell Medical College.

  • Thursday, 11/15 The Looking Glass Factory, a veritable cornucopia of holographic displays based out of Greenpoint, is having a 90s-themed throwback party.

  • Friday - Sunday, 11/16-18 MIT Hacking Medicine and the Mount Sinai Department of Rehabilitation host the 2018 NYC Grand Hack, one of the biggest health hackathons in the world. Applications to participate are still open!

  • Friday, 11/16 SciViz NYC, a design and data visualization conference unlike any other, returns for its 3rd year at Mount Sinai. A melding of science, art, and design, I can't recommend this conference enough.

Some other upcoming events to keep on your radar...

  • Thursday, 11/29 Andrei Iancu, the head of the US Patent and Trademark office visits Columbia University to talk IP, commercialization, and a host of other topics.

  • Friday, 11/30 Applications are due for the NYC Media Lab's Combine startup accelerator program. Accepted teams receive a $10,000 grant to do customer discovery and build out their business model, with the opportunity to secure and additional $25,000 to help start a company andinitiate commercialization.

  • Monday, 12/3 I can't believe it's already been this long, but Genspace, one of the cities first biotech incubators, turns 10 this year and is holding a big birthday bash at Caveat in the LES. Join the NY biodesign community for this celebration of a major milestone.

  • Thursday, 12/18 The NYC Biotech ecosystem is quickly gaining ground on Boston and the Bay Area, but it still isn't easy. NYC is, was, andalways will be a tough place to start a company, but that's not all bad. Join Xconomy at the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences to learn what it takes to launch a startup in New York. After all, "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere."

  • Ongoing: Check out the Futureworks Ops21 courses being offered on the latest trends in advanced manufacturing.

Map of the Month

🌎 Since the midterm elections are on November 6th (GO VOTE!) here's a collection of maps of the United States broken down by cultural touchstones.

Odds & Ends

📸 Nikon's Small World photo competition reveals an entire mini universe existing right beside our own.