Magnitude and Direction, Issue #21 | 30 Nov 2018

Hardware, Prototyping, and Fabrication

🖼 Even though the thought never occurred to me, it makes sense that puzzle manufacturers would use the same die cut patterns for several different puzzles (they're different images, after all). One result of this manufacturing approach is that you can mix and match two or more different puzzles to create some pretty surreal art.

📸 How to use your smartphone to capture ultrafast photography. (Original paper here.)

🔧 The US is projected to create almost 5 million new manufacturing jobs in the next decade, and HALF of them are going to go unfilled, which is, as far as I'm concerned, unacceptable. There are a number of factors that are contributing to this labor shortage, some easier to address than others, but a major contributor is the public perception of manufacturing, which is easy to fix: open your damn eyes and recognize that modern manufacturing is highly tech-driven, much cleaner than it used to be, and (in my opinion) cool and (I'll say it) sexy! Manufacturing is the practical art of making things, and its something everyone should have some degree of familiarity with. Since the US education system seems to disagree with me, I offer the following option: if you want to learn some kind of manufacturing (3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, etc.) contact me and we'll make it happen. Those of us who do have experience have a societal imperative to share it when we can.

Software and Programming

👩👦🏻👨🏼🧒🏽👴🏾🧓🏿Do you recognize any of these faces? You shouldn't. They've all been synthetically produced by a Generative Adversarial Network (aka, GAN) a type of network of AIs working to outsmart another network of AIs trying to detect fakes made by AIs - think of it like a digital arms race. The technical details can be a little tough to wrap your head around but the demo is pretty easy to use and understand (and only requires to you sign up for a Kaggle account, which is probably worth doing anyway if you're into data science and AI programming) .

💻 It's not all human trafficking and drug deals. Scientific American sheds some light on the Dark Web.

🎶 I'm having a hard time coming up with a good description of music-making website Plink, but just trust me that it's cool and fun to play with, and that this is one of the links you should click on in this edition of M&D.

✨ Magix UX is a new approach to navigating between apps on your phone. Instead of navigating a "stack" of applications, you can "pin" applications in space, so that by moving your phone you actually navigate from one app to another - kind of like how you would physically move yourself from a notebook to a calculator on a desk. It's really cool, but I don't know if waving your phone around space is really a better UX option...

👴 Thanksgiving is over but we're still in the midst of the holiday season, which means you've still got a chance to get into a heated argument with the New York Times' Angry UncleBot, instead of your actual uncle.

Science, Engineering, and Biomedicine

🌠 A 3D map of all the major meteor showers in the solar system.

🌀 I can't believe this is the first time I've shared a gravity simulator here, but here we are. Feel free to build (and destroy) your own personal solar system as you see fit

👨‍💻 You know HBO's series Silicon Valley is on to something when Bill Gates agrees it's both an exaggerated parody and remarkably truthful look at the tech culture of the Bay Area. I agree with Bill and would also add that, although the cultural elements are often skewed towards absurdity, the vast majority of the scenes that discuss actual business and finance are both accurate andrealistic.

Mapping, History, and Data Science

🌎 Seven Square Miles really puts the world into perspective.

🦈 Now that summer is but a distant memory, I can share this map of unprovoked shark attacks. It's important to remember, though, that shark attacks are extremely rare and you're more likely to be killed by a cow(even if you live in New York City). This map is showing every unprovoked shark attack in almost the last 120 years.

🗺📊 Changing population can be a hard thing to visualize, but Human Terraintakes a pretty good (and beautiful) stab at it with 3D bar graphs representing population quantity and density. Cities end up as steep peaks among a sea of flat plains with small blades of grass.

🕰📖 Take a trip back in time with Merriam-Webster and find out what words appeared in print for the first time in the year your were born. My birth year includes some words and phrases that have become a major part of the global lexicon indcluding "pdf", "URL", both "Gen X" and "Generation Y", and - of course - "3-D Printing"

🥤 The documentation behind Pepsi's 2009 logo refresh is now publicly available and some of the design concepts purported to have been applied during the ideation process... seem to be a stretch. For example, this sentiment about the unifying element of Pepsi's historic logos: "The Pepsi DNA finds its origin in the dynamic of perimeter oscillations. This new identity manifests itself in an authentic geometry that is to become proprietary to the Pepsi culture." When you look at the original 1896 logo, do you think "perimeter oscillations"? Because I sure don't.

Events and Opportunities

'Tis the season for those final events of the year...

  • 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.

  • Tuesday, 12/4 The NY Hardware Startup meetup returns to Kickstarter HQ in Brooklyn for their last gathering of 2018.

  • Wednesday, 12/5 The second installment of New Lab-JLABS colLAB (get it?) series, Existential Medicine, is happening at JLABS. The topic th)is month: Augmented Humanity. Use code JLABS2018 to register.

  • Friday, 12/7 Join the JLABS @ NYC team, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the NYC biotech scene at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo for an end-of-the-year holiday party.

  • Monday, 12/10 The Mid Atlantic Bio Angels return to the Alexandria Center for their annual best-of-the-best pitch competition, featuring the biotech startups that won at each 1st Pitch event this year.

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

  • 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. Use code GRO for a $20 discount!

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

Map of the Month

🚲 A day in the life of a CitiBike.

Odds & Ends

🆗 Animals sitting on capybaras.