Magnitude and Direction, Issue #41 | 6 Sep 2019

Hardware, Prototyping, and Fabrication

The Mobius Flex is both an elegantly simple work of electronics art, as well as an ingenious use of a flexible PCB.

🛸 The Curiosity rover's wheel's have taken quite a beating in the time it's been driving around the Martian surface.

Take your files LITERALLY everywhere you go, with this implantable mesh network device. I appreciate how open-sourced this is, but I think I'll pass on implanting this in my forearm.

Software and Programming

From the MIT Tech Review: You can now practice firing someone in virtual reality. Well, isn't that lovely?

How do you turn your macbook (or any laptop, for that matter) into a touchscreen for about $1? I'll give you a hint, computer vision is involved.

This video of Bill Hader turning into the people he's impersonating is one of the most jarring things I've ever seen, and also the scariest deepfake-produced video I've ever encountered.

Perhaps you've heard me say this here before (you have), but AI-driven fake news articles are getting uncannily good at writing to any prompt and we're going to start to have a really hard time identifying fake news, videos, etc. unless we're really paying close attention. Still don't believe me? Try making a fake article yourself.

Science, Engineering, and Biomedicine

🥃 What do you do with an artificial tongue? Taste whiskey to make sure it's not counterfeit, of course.

🔴🔴 According to popular lore, you can predict the weather based on sky color. The saying typically goes, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” The saying has been around in various forms for a long time, and the reason it’s lasted so long is that it actually works (at least in certain parts of the world), as XKCD artist Randall Munroe explains with words (and cartoons) in the New York Times.

➕➕🧑➕🤴 It turns out that having a few extra husbands can be a good way to weather tough times. Apparently we've had the idea of a harem backwards this whole time.

Mapping, History, and Data Science

The Version Museum may be the easiest museum in the world to visit, seeing as you can get there right from the device you're reading this on right now. What does this Version Museum exhibit? The old versions of some of the world's most influential websites. (It really does feel like a "only 90s babies will remember..." article - crazy how much has changed in the just under a quarter century.)

‍ Here's a design guide for the flags of all the US states, which explains but doesn't quite justify why some of these designs were chosen.

⚰ Since it is my birthday today, I'll also continue a long-running social media tradition here and share my deathclock.

Do you live in The Midwest?

Events and Opportunities

Maybe my channels to find out about upcoming events and opportunities have just increased, because we've got another jam-packed section in this edition of M&D:

  • Friday 9/6 I'd like to say Nanotech NYC scheduled their next nanonite happy hour in honor of my birthday, but I don't think Jacob or the other organizers know when my birthday is! (Although they do now.) At any rate, NYC's nanotech community (practitioners and enthusiasts alike) will be getting together at Clinton Hall in east Midtown.

  • Monday, 9/9 Small science gets a big showcase at Nano Day at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center. Learn about some of the most exciting nanotechnology research and innovations coming from the NYC area and meet other technologists working in the field.

  • Monday, 9/9 Innovation Forum New York is co-hosting a workshop with NYU Biolabs on fundraising for biotech startups, a topic of utmost importance to entrepreneurs in the life sciences. The workshop will provide valuable insights for all interested in starting their own company or considering work at a startup.

  • Tuesday, 9/10 The NYC Emerging Healthcare Technology meetup is holding their next event for anyone interested in creating websites for Healthcare

  • Tuesday, 9/10 The Accelerating BioVenture Innovation 12-week entrepreneurship training program kicks off at Cornell Med. The program is focused on building teams and business plans around patented technologies from Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University.

  • Wednesday, 9/11 Ingredient Intelligence startup (and M&D darling) See Thru is holding the first panel discussion in their Straight Talk series, aimed at unpacking emerging trends at the intersection of beauty, science, and technology. The first topic: what does it mean to be "transparent" in the digital age, where consumers are more educated on products than ever?

  • Wednesday, 9/11 Scientists, researchers, cartographers, artists, and everyone in between will be gathering together at Peculier Pub for the next SciArt mixer.

  • Friday, 9/13 The Nanotech NYC meetup hosts Kendra Krueger, the founder of 4LoveandScience, a research and education platform that inspires new modes of working and learning in a complex world. An electrical engineer with nanotech experience in academia and the photonics industry, Kendra is also a trained facilitator in mindfulness, sustainable design and social justice.

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

  • Wednesday, 9/18 LiveIntent is hosting their first tech happy hour at their office in lower Manhattan. The event promises to be a great opportunity for New York tech professionals to network, share ideas, meet our team, and learn all about LiveIntent and how their re-imagining email. There will be food, beer and wine provided, along with video games and board games available!

  • Friday, 9/20 The Aspen Institute Science & Society Program and the Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone Health are co-hosting InspireScience, a symposium inspiring scientists to create a more outward-looking culture through communication, engagement, and innovation. Scientists of all levels are welcome to this special event focused on community building through communication and outreach.

  • 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 Coming off their 1st birthday party, the NYC JLABS crew is taking a short break for the summer but will be back in September for their next Innovators and Entrepreneurs mixer.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • 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

"Jay Street and needless to say...