Magnitude and Direction, Issue #42 | 20 Sep 2019

Hardware, Prototyping, and Fabrication

‍♂️ These robots learn how to dig holes by watching humans do it. (So does one dig, while 4 others watch?)

Robot priests are giving new meaning to the term deus ex machina. (I hope you thought that was as witty as I did.)

It's amazing how much stuff (and people) you can fit into a fire truck (or ambulance, or rescue helicopter...)

Software and Programming is a great collection of very aesthetic, generative artwork.

➡ This AI tries to make emojis more lifelike and is neither particularly good, nor necessary. It is, however, very scary.

Clippy is back. Ironically, he's back on Mac, not Windows. (He's also available for websites, like here for example.)

The Recomendo newsletter did a better job describing this than I did, so I'll just re-print what they've written:

"I’ve waited all my life for a tool that would create art for me. It’s here. Artbreeder is a website that breeds new visual images from existing images. Using deep learning (AI) algorithms it generates multiple photo-realistic “children” mutations of one image. You — the gardener — select one mutant you like and then breed further generations from its descendants. You can also crossbreed two different images. Very quickly, you can create infinite numbers of highly detailed album covers, logos, game characters, exotic landscapes. I find it fiendishly addictive. Wanna see the zoo of unearthly creatures I found/made? (Note: If Artbreeder is not out of beta use Ganbreeder, it’s predecessor.) — [Kevin Kelly]"

Science, Engineering, and Biomedicine

You've heard of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" but have you heard of "I Can't Believe It's Mostly Water!"?

Also on the topic of water, pulling moisture out of thin air in arid, desert climates won't only be the stuff of sci-fi for much longer.

The website Relativity, showing how recent observations of a star orbiting near the galactic core helps support Einstein's theory of general relativity, is a great example of the kind of science communication we need to be doing more of.

Mapping, History, and Data Science

There's a (near-infinite) world of colors out there for you to name! (I named one 'Jimmy')

⛓ Do you understand how the blockchain works? If not, maybe this data sonification/visualization will help (it probably won't but it sounds and looks really cool).

The orientation of airport runways may not sound very interesting, but I was absorbed by this map almost immediately. (For example, what's with the pretty drastic East/West divide among US runways?)

What were the most popular videos on Youtube a decade ago?

Events and Opportunities

We're within spitting distance of Fall and there's lots of exciting autumnal activities coming up:

  • Sunday, 9/22 The World Health Organization is hosting the first-ever edition of the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge in the United States, being held over 4 miles in New York's beautiful Central Park. This fun run/walk will bring together people from all over the world for a celebration of health, on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly

  • Monday, 9/23 Derek Brand's monthly ECHO biotech gathering is back and, as always, bringing together some of the NYC area's most exciting life science startups and entrepreneurs.

  • Monday, 9/23 Coming off a great mid-summer meetup with the Health-Tech Connect group, the Mount Sinai Innovators Group is teaming up with them again for another event featuring some great pre-SINAInnovations topics: Artificial Intelligence and Assistive Devices. Both presenters have extensive experience in the healthcare startup space and this promises to be a can't-miss event!

  • Tuesday, 9/24 Join NYDesigns for a tour of their 5,000 square foot fabrication facility and learn about how you can make use of all the impressive equipment there at their upcoming open house.

  • Tuesday, 9/24 Join GeoNYC and Doctors Without Borders for a special map-a-thon to fill in missing geospatial data for underserved regions in order to provide international and local NGOs and individuals with the data they need to better respond to crises.

  • Wednesday, 9/25 The NYC JLABS crew is back for their next Innovators and Entrepreneurs mixer, which promises, as always, to be a great event to meet local life science startups and biotech enthusiasts.

  • Wednesday, 9/25 The RobotLab meetup's September event focuses on the good, the bad, and the ugly of Industry 4.0 and autonomous manufacturing.

  • Thursday, 9/26 Join GRO-Biotech, MSIG, and the Petri biotech accelerator at Mount Sinai for an info session on opportunities to get involved in their new startup program focused on helping formation-stage innovators realize the next frontier of biology and engineering

  • Thursday, 9/26 It's been touched on in previous Existential Medicine events, but the next science seminar collab between New Lab and JLABS dives deep into the revolutionary, and sometimes controversial technology of CRISPR. Use code "NewLab2019" to unlock the event registration.

  • Saturday, 9/28 Admission is just the swipe of a metro card for the Parade of Trains at the Brighton Beach station. Vintage train cars from all periods of the subway's history will be on display, as well as taking passengers on short trips around south Brooklyn.

  • Monday, 9/30 The NY Hardware Startup meetup is back with their regularly scheduled programming, which, in this case, means presentations from the likes of Lime, Light Phone, and more, down at General Assembly in the Flatiron.

  • Tuesday, 10/1 The next stop on Ogilvy's healthcare innovation pop-up series takes them to Hudson Yards, where they're teaming up with the HITLAB and SAP.iO Foundry for an event that will focus primarily on the female and underserved health innovators who are disrupting healthcare today.

  • Tuesday, 10/1 NYDesigns' next Women in Tech happy hour is back at Bierocracy in Long Island City. As always, individuals who identify as female and men are welcome to attend, too!

  • Wednesday, 10/2 The next edition of Larger Than Life Science at New York BioLabs is back and focusing on a crucial aspect of bringing healthcare innovations to market: preparing for and conducting clinical trials.

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

  • Monday, 10/7 Join GRO-Biotech and Insight Data Sciences for a talk and Q&A about different careers in data, the most suitable backgrounds for each of them, and how Insight Data Sciences can help you make the transition.

  • Saturday, 10/12 The next edition of Hot Glass Cold Beer returns to the Brooklyn Glass studios in Gowanus, featuring live glass blowing, open studios, and effectively endless amounts of beer. As always, getting a ticker in advance (versus at the door) means you'll be guaranteed to get one of their hand-made glasses (which you can subsequently drink out of for the rest of the night).

  • October 11-16 Innovation Week at Mount Sinai. What started as just the SINAInnovations conference is now a week's worth of activities dedicated to bringing New York's biomedical innovation communities together. Here's the full lineup:

    • Friday-Sunday, 10/11-13 Mount Sinai Health Hackathon. The 4th annual Mount Sinai Health Hackathon will be an exciting 48-hour transdisciplinary competition focused on creating novel technology solutions for problems in healthcare. This year’s theme is Artificial Intelligence – Expanding the Limits of Human Performance.

    • Tuesday, 10/15 Careers & Connections 2019. October may feel far away, but I promise you it's not and you'll want to be sure to mark your calendars for GRO-Biotech's next big event, the Careers & Connections mini-conference and networking event, held concurrently with emerging healthcare technologies conference, SINAInnovations.

    • Tuesday & Wednesday, 10/15-16 SINAInnovations Conference. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is hosting its eighth annual SINAInnovations conference around the theme of Artificial Intelligence. A range of talks and panels will focus on the explosive growth of AI in our society and in particular in medicine, featuring international thought leaders across the range of relevant domains.

  • Wednesday, 10/16 Right after Careers & Connections, GRO-Biotech is hosting a fireside chat at BioLabs with Adam Wollowick from Stryker and Jack Wu from Adlai Nortye on what a career in business development looks like and how you can start a career in bizdev.

  • Saturday, 10/19 New Lab's annual open house birthday celebration is back, with a theme this year of Light+Motion. As always, you can expect pretty much everyone affiliated with technology, design, science, and/or entrepreneurship to turn up for what's one of the bigger bashes of the year.

  • Saturday & Sunday 10/19-20 The biggest bi-annual graduate career symposium in the country is back at NYU Med showcasing all the career trajectories you can pursue post-PhD. This is one of the best opportunities for graduate students and postdocs to learn about the breadth of career paths for doctorates and an amazing place to network with the next generation of scientists. More info on the two-day conference can be found here, and the registration link is here.

  • Saturday, 10/26 The Future of Care conference is back at Rockefeller University featuring some of the latest breakthroughs in clinical care and the innovators helping shepherd them from bench to bedside. Apply to attend the conference by September 6th.

  • Tuesday, 10/29 Join Columbia Nano Labs for their annual Industry Day conference. Learn how you can use and leverage the Nano Labs facilities, hear from a panel of entrepreneurs who have done just that, and listen to faculty and technical experts discuss the way these sophisticated tools contribute to cutting-edge research. (Yes, this was rescheduled from the originally planed date of 9/5.)

  • Thursday, 10/31 Pitching your startup in front of investors doesn't have to be spooky. The Mid Atlantic Bio Angels 1st Pitch events offer NYC's biotech entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their innovations in front of a panel of real investors and receive critical feedback on their pitches and business plans. The 1st Pitch events are also a great place to learn about the latest innovations in the NYC biotech ecosystem and connect with some of its major players.

  • Friday-Sunday, 11/8-10 For 36 hours on November 8-10, HackPrinceton will bring together 600 developers and designers from across the country to create incredible software and hardware projects. They'll have swag, workshops, mentors, prizes, games, free food, and more.

Map of the Month

When we hear about the 2-3 Celsius increase in temperature that's going to set us on path to irreversible environmental changes, it often sounds like it's still a ways off. As this map from the Washington Post shows, that future is already becoming a reality in some parts of the US.

Odds & Ends

Bovine Obstruction. I can't explain this.