Magnitude and Direction, Issue #13 | 10 Aug 2018


Data and maps frequently tell the story of historical events and places. As such, history is formally being included as a category to the Data and Mapping section of Magnitude and Direction. If you're like me and you love reading about the past, especially lesser-known historical events, then you'll really be in for a treat with this new inclusion!


Hardware, Prototyping, and Fabrication

👕 The Queensboro Shirt Company has a great video of the CNC embroideryprocess in action.

📅 Check out this instructional video on how to make your own endless calendar out of readily available (and beautiful) materials.

🐍 This drone can coil and uncoil itself like a snake to fit through tight spaces - IN MID-AIR. If you were wondering where the future is, it's here.

🆒 JRodrigo's PCB LIDAR scanner is a beautiful design and may be a pretty good 3D scanner, too.

🖐 Using advanced learning algorithms and robotics, Silicon Valley nonprofit OpenAI has built a hand with eerily human-like dexterity.


Software and Programming

🤖 How to tell if you're talking to a bot.

👨‍💻 Bots are bad, but humans can be even worse. Hackers account for over 90% of attempted logins on e-commerce sites.

💻 Want to program quantum computers but don't know quantum physics. Google's new tool Cirq is exactly what you're looking for.

🔩 Amazon's augmented reality parts finder doesn't seem to live up to the hype.


Science, Engineering, and Biomedicine

🦖 How do you figure out the nutrition facts for a stegosaurus? You make a Mesozoic greenhouse.

🐜 From subscriber Christina: It turns out ants get some help when they lay down their scent trails.

🎆 Circulating cancer cells can be a ticking time bomb, avoiding detecting until they settle into a part of the body and start to multiply. Being able to intercept these cells would be a major victory for preventing cancer metastasis, so a group of scientists made a magic wand that does just that.

🍽 Via NEO.LIFE (one of the newsletters from the list I included in the previous issueof M&D): Is the secret to personalized healthy eating a higher-resolution microbiome sequencing process than most companies currently use?

🔴 Check out the five finalists from NASA's 3D printed Mars habitatscompetition.


Mapping, History, and Data Science

⚔ Officially, Japan and the Soviet Union did not commence hostilities until the waning days of World War II. Unofficially, they fought each other in the Mongolian desert in 1939 in a series of conflicts that may have played an outsized role in determining the outcome of the war.

🎦 These GIFs of the March on Washington in the summer of 1963 bring a new dimension to a piece of well-known history.

🌁 What are the best big cities in America to live in?

🐱 v. 🐶 Cats are out and Doggos are in. How a change in internet fads reflects our changing views towards the world wide web and new media.


Events and Opportunities

I hope you didn't already have plans for the 15th...

  • Tonight, 8/10 Interested in learning how you can use public data to improve your communities? Catch up with the civic hackers of BetaNYC, Civic Hall, and Progressive Hack Night at a post-work showcase of the cities civic hacking communities.
  • Saturday, 8/11 Summer Streets returns for its second of three weekends, shutting down Park Avenue to vehicular traffic from 7am to 1pm. If you've ever wanted to play in the streets of midtown, this event is for you. (The third and final Saturday is the following week on 8/18)
  • Saturday & Sunday, 8/11-12 Learn new skills and use tech to solve some of society's pressing problems at the 2018 Social Good Hackathon.
  • Monday, 8/13 Genspace has been a fixture of the NYC biotech startup community for almost a decade. Join them at their biannual Open Lab to find out what they've been up to so far this year.
  • Tuesday, 8/14 The New York BioPharma Networking Group will be gathering for their August meeting at Taphaus in Jersey City.
  • Tuesday, 8/14 The New York Hardware Startup meetup will be gathering on the roof of Beer Authority for a summer hardware happy hour.
  • Wednesday, 8/15 The 2018 cohort of the Zahn Innovation Center summer accelerator program will be presenting to industry leaders and potential investors at Galvanize in SoHo.
  • Wednesday, 8/15 Learn about how you can use Open Data to learn about (and hopefully help solve) transit in NYC.
  • Wednesday, 8/15 Prior to the transit data event, Civic Hall will also be hosting a deep dive session covering the ArcGIS mapping software.
  • Wednesday, 8/15 ECHO will be hosting an event on Bio-Entrepreneurship in NYC. As always, you're encouraged to bring along an entrepreneur!
  • Wednesday, 8/15 The CUNY Tech Meetup and LifeSci NYC Internship program join forces for a meetup hosted by Flatiron Health and focused on biomedical innovation.
  • Wednesday, 8/15 BioLabs @ NYU will be hosting a networking event for early stage biotechs looking to secure seed-stage funding.
  • Friday, 8/17 Biotech advocacy group New Bio City will be having their 9th meetup over at Other Half Brewing Co. in Brooklyn.

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

  • Wednesday, 9/12 The Weill Cornell Bench to Bedside Initiative kicks off their 12-week seminar series with an overview of up-and-coming translational technologies.
  • Thursday, 9/20 Graduate students and postdocs from all of NYC's academic institutions will converge for drinks at networking at INet's first After Work Hangout of the season.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9/22-23 NY Maker Faire returns to the Hall of Science in Corona Park, Queens. If you've been before, you don't need me to tell you why this event is so awesome. If you're into tech, engineering, crafting, and/or art, you can't miss this event.
  • Tuesday, 9/25 New York's premier biotech entrepreneurship program, ELab NYC, will kickoff their call for applicants at Alexandria LaunchLabs, featuring networking with alumni of the program.


Map of the Month

🔍 This interactive map comparing present-day and 1836 New York City gives you a window to the past.


Odds & Ends

💡 Let the story of Quebec's Hotel Louis XIV be a reminder to you that good design never takes anything for granted.