Casio Chairman Kazuo Kashio dies at 89

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Casio Chairman and CEO Kazuo Kashio passed on June 19, 2018 at the age of 89. The cause of death was pneumonia.

Kashio was the third eldest of the four brothers who founded Casio Computer in 1957. Their first product, the the all-electric 14-A calculator, led to the release of the Casio Mini calculator in 1972, a product that brought electronic calculators into the mainstream.

Casio’s biggest claim to fame was Kashio’s own idea. The CEO looked at quartz watches in the 1980s and saw that they were delicate and easy to break. With a little extra outer cladding and some internal shock resistance systems, however, he was able to create a watch that could truly stand up to heavy wear. The first G-Shock, released in 1983, paved the way for truly rugged watches and the company recently celebrated the 100 millionth G-Shock sold last August.

The company, Kashio Manufacturing, began in 1947 with a unique product: a cigarette clip that let users smoke the last bit of each butt. In the 1970s, the Kashio family saw the move to electronic counting machines and brought some of the first portable and pocket calculators to market alongside the ultra popular F-91W LCD watch and the Cassiopeia PDA. The company also created the first LCD digital camera, the QV-10 and the popular Casiotone keyboards.

He is survived by his son, Kazuhiro Kashio, who is the current Casio president.

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Astronauts rocketing into space at 18,000 mph look incredibly chill about it

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Blasting into space at nearly 18,000 mph seems unnerving. But three space station-bound astronauts appeared profoundly tranquil as they sped through Earth’s atmosphere on June 6.

On Monday morning, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted out a video shot inside the Soyuz spacecraft as he and two astronauts launched to the International Space Station. They traveled over 1,000 miles in under 10 minutes. 

The three astronauts hunched over their controls in a cramped crew capsule. You can see it all in the video below: Gerst, the flight engineer, is seated to the right. In the middle is Roscosmos commander Sergei Prokopyev, and on the left is NASA’s Serena Auñón-Chancellor.

The three astronauts appear mostly expressionless as they ride through the launch on the Soyuz rocket. 

Besides their years of training, their calm is almost certainly aided by the rocket itself, which has flown mostly successful missions since its inception in the 1960s. There have been no deaths associated with either a Soyuz rocket or the Soyuz spacecraft since 1971, and these early deaths were due to accidents during the spacecraft’s re-entry back to Earth — not during the launch. 

Accompanying the three astronauts in the frame are a couple of stuffed animals. In the latter half of the video the toys begin to float, demonstrating when the spacecraft has entered the weightlessness of space. 

Both NASA and ESA astronauts regularly hitch rides to the space station aboard 164-foot tall Soyuz rockets, as Russia’s Roscosmos is currently the only space agency — public or private — with an operating spaceship capable of carrying astronauts to the station, some 250 miles above Earth.

The Soyuz spacecraft, separated from the Soyuz rocket.

The Soyuz spacecraft, separated from the Soyuz rocket.

But both SpaceX and Boeing have developed crew capsules that will take future astronauts to the space station as early as 2019, assuming they meet safety requirements. NASA astronauts are already training in Boeing’s Dreamliner and SpaceX’s Dragon capsules in preparation for these launches. 

Unlike the Soyuz rocket, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are reusable. They’ll return to Earth after launching astronauts into space rather than having to be completely rebuilt. The idea is to make space exploration, and visits to present and future space stations, considerably cheaper

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5 Garry Winogrand Street Photography Composition Lessons

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The following is a syndicated post originally found on Eric Kim’s blog. It has been published here with his permission. Syndication by Joy Celine Asto. 

Dear friends,

I want to analyze some compositions I really like from Garry Winogrand; and share how we can better incorporate more edgy compositions into our own work:

1. Boy alone on the far left, evenly spaced boys on the far right, leaning over to him:

This is seriously one of the most epic composition photos I’ve seen:

Note the out of focus dogs in the foreground (pink):

Abstracted, to see all the shapes and forms:

2. Depth

Simple depth photo:

3. Dynamic directions

All the elements pointing or looking at different directions; adding a lot of dynamic pulling in the frame in different directions!

4. Car hood in foreground

Very simple yet effective: put something in the foreground (like the hood of a car) and fill the frame with it– to block out the distractions, to focus on the other stuff in the frame (like the man in cyan):

5. Taking a step back; showing context

From Winogrand’s “Public Relations” project– note the ‘behind the scenes’ context of these press events– to just show how manufactured/silly it is:


Learn more about Garry Winogrand:

Garry Winogrand Articles

Photos by Garry Winogrand



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Photographer creates dreamy and surreal photo manipulations using stock images

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Photographer creates dreamy and surreal photo manipulations using stock images

Photo manipulation lets you create all sorts of imaginary worlds and situations and let your creativity go wild. Justin Peters is a young digital artist from Germany, who creates his own imaginary worlds using stock photos and his extensive Photoshop skills. Pablo Picasso’s quote “Everything you can imagine is real” is his motto, and his imagination sure is vivid! DIYP chatted a bit with Justin about his work, and we bring you some of his imaginative, dreamy creations.

Justin is a 22 years old digital surrealist artist who describes his art as “reality merged with his own imagination using Photoshop. He hopes that, when people experience his work, they discover a new and different world, which they can dive into to prove that everything is possible when you open your mind.

I asked Justin how he got interested in this kind of art. I assumed he does photography as well, and he told me that, indeed, he does photography as a hobby as well. Justin says he has always been interested in art and design. But what got him into surrealism was his fascination with the limitless creativity and unexpected ideas and to see the world in a different way.

I was also curious about the process of creating Justin’s artworks. How does he decide on the photos to use? I was wondering if he starts with a clear idea and searches for the perfect photos, or the other way around: play and experiment until he gets something he likes? In Justin’s case, it’s the first type of process: he usually starts with the idea and then searches for the right photos to use and turn his idea into artwork.

Finally, I also wanted to know how much time, on average, Justin needs to create one artwork. He told me that it varies: it often depends on how quick he finds the right images and if he works on one image until it’s finished. He tends to work on a lot of photos/ideas at the same time and not on only one image, so to create a picture can take a few days, weeks or even months till he has the final version. Sometimes, he takes breaks on some photos until he has finished another.

Personally, I have a vivid imagination, but I express it through words. So, I am always impressed when I discover people who have the vivid imagination like mine but also have the skill of turning their ideas into visual works of art. This is why I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through Justin’s images, and scroll down for more of them, so you can enjoy it, too. You can see more of his creations on his website and follow him on Instagram, Behance, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Google Home now supports Spanish

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Google Home has learned Spanish. Google announced this morning that its smart speakers are now able to listen and respond to users’ voice commands in Spanish. The update may help the speakers gain more ground against Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo devices, not only in the U.S. where a number of people today speak Spanish as their native language, but also in other international markets.

Related to this, Google says its Google Home products, including the Home, Home Mini and Max, are available in Spanish in Mexico and Spain.

Though today Amazon Alexa devices have the most market share in the U.S., Google may have found Amazon’s Achilles heel by targeting language support to grow its own install base. While Amazon supports English, German and more recently, Japanese, Google has promised its smart assistant will support over 30 languages by year-end.

Those languages – or at least some of them – should roll out over time to Google Home speakers, too, as Google targets new markets with its smart devices.

Today, however, Google’s mobile Assistant speaks more languages than its speakers, which currently support English, French, German, Italian, and Japanese, according to Google’s website, in addition to now, Spanish.

Google also said its Assistant will become multilingual, meaning users will be able to switch between two languages without having to change the settings. This support will initially be available in English, French and German, but it makes sense that Spanish would be a priority here, as well, though Google didn’t say today if that would be the case. (And presumably, the longer-term goal is to also make its smart devices, not just its mobile Assistant, capable of multilingual capabilities across languages.)

To change a Google Home’s language to Spanish, you’ll need to launch the Google Home app, select Preferences, then visit the Settings menu.

With Spanish enabled, you can ask Google Home about your day (“Ok Google, ¿cómo será mi día?”), the World Cup (“Ok Google, ¿cuándo juega México?”), listen to top songs (“Ok Google, reproducir mi lista de reproducción para hacer ejercicio”), adjust your thermostat (“Ok Google, sube la temperatura del termostato”) and more, as you can in other languages.

 

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‘Pawn Stars’ patriarch Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison dead at 77

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Richard Harrison, also known as The Old Man and the head of the Pawn Stars family, died at 77 this weekend, his family announced Monday.

Harrison, a Navy veteran, first opened his famous pawn shop in the late ’80s with a $10,000 investment and used his uncanny knack for valuation to turn that into a multi-million dollar business whose day-to-day operations are now immortalized in Pawn Stars, according to Harrison’s biography on History’s website. Harrison died after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Harrison’s son Rick Harrison and grandson Corey Harrison both posted heartfelt messages about the passing of their family patriarch on Instagram Monday, announcing his passing and recounting how lucky they were to have him in their lives.

Rick Harrison’s Gold & Silver Pawn Shop also posted a tribute to Harrison on Facebook, noting that “he was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.”

Pawn Stars became an instant hit when it first aired in 2009, featuring Harrison and his family (and a few others) as they run the pawn shop and run into all sorts of people and the things they are trying to sell.

Harrison is known to viewers for his words of wisdom, his jokes, and his in-depth knowledge of all kinds of things that people want to sell.

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Wonder Drug? Separating CBD Oil Fact From Fiction

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is trending as a do-all “superfood.” But which claims are fact and which are bogus? We consider top claims about CBD oil.

CBD Oil scam?
Cannabidiol, derived from hemp, is booming. But is it worth trying? Photo by maxpixel

Much like kale, chia seeds, acai berries, and vitamin C before it, cannabidiol is experiencing its superfood marketing moment in the sun. One of at least 60 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that acts on nerve receptors and alters neurotransmitter releases in the brain and body.

But widespread research on this promising compound is limited. That’s because the federal government effectively classifies CBD as a Schedule 1 drug. Products claiming to contain it fall within the agency’s definition as being made with an “extract containing one or more cannabinoids that have been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis.” This makes federally approved research — and definitive answers — on CBD extremely limited.

There are several drugs containing CBD currently in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. Many expect the companies that own these patents to sue for the exclusive right to sell and market it. Bottom line: Consumers looking to purchase over-the-counter CBD face a ton of choices but have very little solid information.

This series of links explains some of the things you hear about CBD. (And remember, we’re talking hemp-derived CBD, not marijuana oils or products available in dispensaries.)

CBD and the FDA

To date, the FDA continues to allow U.S. companies to sell and market foods and dietary supplement products containing CBD extracted from hemp plants to be sold over the counter. But this industry will likely see lawsuits soon from pharmaceutical companies determined to stifle competition.

CBD-infused cold brew coffee
Photo credit: Deceptitom

The FDA also regulates the health claims sellers of conventional foods and dietary supplements can make about their products. In other words, hemp-derived compounds cannot claim to “cure” anything. This essentially relegates the entire 36-billion-dollar U.S. dietary supplement industry into the category of food. These companies can, however, make “structure/function” claims that their products support “general wellbeing” and offset “nutrient deficiency.”

Below are some claims about the substance and available evidence around those claims.

CBD Is Anti-Inflammatory and Helps Mitigate Pain

Yes, evidence points in this direction. Athletes looking to help with post-workout recovery and rehabilitation could see benefits from CBD.

It Can Cure Cancer

No, but it might help suppress the growth of certain cancer cells. Studies have found that CBD — and other compounds — can inhibit cell growth and division. But similar research also suggests that these effects can also harm good cells in the process. It appears that there’s potential for cannabidiol in cancer treatment, but researchers don’t yet understand its exact role.

CBD Downregulates Anxiety and Psychosis

Yes, studies have shown that CBD does have anti-anxiety and antipsychotic properties. The caveat here is this requires “acute dosing,” and researchers note further study is necessary to understand its role as an anxiolytic.

It Helps Suppress Epileptic Seizures

Yes, the evidence is piling up. In fact, there are two drugs in the FDA approval process meant to reduce spasmodic symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

It Is Antiemetic (and Helps Mitigate Chemotherapy Nausea)

Yes, this is one of the more well-established uses of the cannabis plant.

There’s No Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil and Whole-Plant Oil

False. Hemp legalization seems to be on track, but the future of foods and dietary supplements made from oils extracted from the whole plant (as opposed to only the seeds) is in question.

The market for hemp seed oil — mostly liquid fat similar to olive, avocado, and other plant-based cooking oils — remains safe. But regulations basically don’t exist for whole plant-extracted hemp oils.

This is important because CBD seems to act more like a key than an active ingredient. It helps other compounds reach nerve endings and the endocannabinoid system itself. And it’s these 60+ other cannabinoids (including THC) that do the heavy lifting for pain, inflammation, and the other issues mentioned above.

The post Wonder Drug? Separating CBD Oil Fact From Fiction appeared first on GearJunkie.

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