If someone told me that I would go “awww” at photos of insects, I would call them crazy. But what about photos of fluffy, pollen-covered bees sleeping inside of flowers? Well, I gotta admit that’s something else, and it’s as cute as it sounds. Photographer Joe Neely recently captured two bees sleeping in a flower, and it’s definitely not something you see every day. He was kind enough to share his images with DIYP, so take a look and prepare to get all mushy.
In an interview with Bored Panda, Joe explained that he and his fiancée Niccole went out to find some poppy flowers. A patch of pink flowers just off the highway captured their attention, so they stopped to take some photos of those as well. Among the pink flowers, there was an orange Globe Mallow plant hidden. Joe explains that Niccole heard the bees buzzing, but then she noticed that some flower had bees inside – but they weren’t moving.
I would have probably thought that they were dead or something like that, and I would got worried and panicky. But Joe came closer and studied the bees’ behavior, revealing something interesting:
“I came over and study it for a while and more bees showed up. Soon, all the vacant flowers were occupied and this one bee was left out. She crawled over to this open flower and got inside with the other one. I was watching as he stumbled around almost drunk-like and then got settled in.”
Here’s a cropped version:
The bees Joe photographed belong to the species Diadasia diminuta and they sleep inside Globe Mallows flowers. You can learn more about them on United States Departments of Agriculture’s website.
Honestly, I had no idea how bees sleep, or if they sleep at all. I especially had no idea that they can look this cute and cuddly even (although I still wouldn’t dare cuddle one). An article on University Communications Network explains that bees don’t have eyelids, so you won’t figure out that they’re sleeping by their eyes being closed. Instead, honey bees stop moving their antennae and in some cases fall over sideways, according to the article.
Joe was lucky to be on the spot and study their behavior, as well as capture it in these wonderful images. They are adorable, aren’t they? Check out more of Joe’s splendid work on his website and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
[via Bored Panda]
from DIYPhotography.net -Hacking Photography, One Picture At A Time http://bit.ly/2Pg03XV
In 2009, the National Institutes of Health launched a five-year, $150 million project to stimulate research into a new field of medicine examining the connections between the millions of bacteria living in the human gut and overall human health.
Spurred by the advancements in genetics from a decade earlier, this new field of research would map not just the human genome, but the genetic sequences of the microbes living in the body to ascertain their function and the role they played in ensuring the health of the humans they inhabited.
A decade later, investors are encouraging the commercialization of these tools with hundreds of millions in financing for startup companies with names like uBiome, Viome, Finch Therapeutics, Kallyope, Second Genome, Human Longevity, Maat Pharma, Seed and many, many more.
In all, these companies have raised well over half a billion dollars.
Some of these companies, like Finch Therapeutics, Second Genome, and Maat Pharma are squarely in the clinical world of big pharma — developing treatments for disease through standard research techniques and clinical trials.
Others, like uBiome and Viome, have gone directly to consumers first. Looking to build up a body of knowledge about the microbiome through consumer microbiome analysis kits that will give customers a snapshot of the microbes living in their gut ,and offer basic recommendations on how changes in diet could improve their overall health.
These companies are operating in the regulatory gray area that governs supplements and nutraceuticals, which means they aren’t subject to regulatory approval.
But as they look for validation and acceptance in retail stores and scientific journals, they’re beginning to focus on clinically validated trials to prove that the science behind their recommendations is sound — and so that they can move further up the value chain into drug development. It’s like the strategy that 23andMe used to collect a body of genetic knowledge that the company is now offering up to drug companies so they can collaborate on developing new treatments for diseases.
Earlier this year, uBiome, which has raised over $100 million from investors for its microbiome testing kits since its launch in 2012, laid off over 50 employees in a move the company said was designed to refocus its efforts on drug development.
Now, Viome has raised $25 million as it pursues roughly 15 clinical research trials and looks to move into developing treatments of its own.
The goal of the trials is “to show that our intervention that we’re recommending actually produces results,” says Jain.
Recent scientific research has shown that focusing on microbiome health can reduce the disease burden or slow progression for a variety of illnesses including depression, osteoarthritis, functional bowel diseases, and multiple sclerosis.
For its part, Viome is focusing on colorectal cancer, breast cancer, depression and anxiety, diabetes and obesity, Crohn’s disease, colitis and digestive disorders.
While Viome has lagged behind other companies in filing patents and publishing papers, the new $25 million in funding from new and existing investors including Khosla Ventures, Bold Capital, Marc Benioff, Physician Partners, Hambrecht Healthcare Growth Venture Fund, and Matthew Harris of Global Infrastructure Partners will likely change that.
What separates Viome from other companies in the direct-to-consumer microbiome space is its testing technology, according to Jain. The company is the first spinout from Jain’s BlueDot venture, which was founded to commercialize orphaned technology coming from various national research laboratories around the country.
Viome’s tests have their origins in tech that BlueDot pulled from Los Alamos National Laboratory which is a variant on sequencing ribonucleic acid, the messenger mechanism which provides instructions to cells on what they should be producing.
Jain and his team of scientists argue that by sequencing RNA they can see the signaling pathway and metabolic pathway for how bacteria are producing chemicals in the body that can benefit or harm human health.
Viome and uBiome both benefited from their embrace by the “quantified self,” biohacking, and wellness communities that are looking for ways to optimize health using homeopathic or natural remedies for many diseases.
“Three years ago the microbiome was a very niche market and now the market is more mainstream. Now that it is mainstream it has to work for people,” says Jain. “It can’t simply be a research tool for the self-quantified people. It has to deliver value.”
That’s why the company is beginning to develop its clinical trials — a process that Jain said came with some growing pains.
A brief scan of customer reviews for the company’s product on consumer reporting websites reveals that not everyone has embraced Viome’s products and services and Jain attributed those reviews to the company’s decision to receive CLIA certification — something Jain said was necessary to proceed with the clinical trial research.
“We had growing pains last November and December. We were growing fast and we wanted to become a clinically certified lab…. That certification took a month [then] once we got the federal certification and we needed to get the state certification,” Jain says. “In those three months we got a lot of unhappy customers.”
Some industry observers ascribe the struggles of microbiome-focused startups less to their movement into clinical trials and more to the simple fact that these companies tackled the market too early, while much of the science remains unproven.
“The microbiome space is incredibly important too. But there is both on the scientific side a wealth of information that is still to be uncovered and the collection and understanding of that data needs to be moving that field forward,” said one entrepreneur in the consumer health market. “But the process [for] consumers is still too early.”
That’s likely one reason why both Viome and uBiome are looking to develop treatments.
“We are going to break even or lose money on selling the kits,” says Jain. “Once we understand why people have insomnia, diabetes and depression, then we can come up with a personalized set of nutrients that each person needs… Some could be new types of probiotics or prebiotics.”
Meanwhile, uBiome is touting its own patent portfolio as indicative of the real science behind its services (although most of the patents are around the technology it uses to sequence and analyze microbiome health, not any treatment protocols based on its analysis).
The company’s chief officers and researchers hold the first, second, and third spots as top microbiome inventors in terms of portfolio size and they hold the second, third, and fourth spots in terms of patent quality. This study provides a case study of how in-depth patent analyses can identify early indicators of technology and investment trends from large patent databases, according to a statement from uBiome last month.
The patents cover the method and analysis of their microbiome test kits, as well as the diagnostics and therapeutics of conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease, endocrine conditions, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, and more, the company said.
Both Jain and uBiome chief executive Jessica Richman are unlikely standard bearers for the potential of microbiome treatments. Neither have a background in science, but both believe strongly in the need to give consumers access to the potential benefits of the science quickly.
“The NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was a five-year, $173 million endeavor to better understand the human microbiome that ran from 2007 to August 2012. We started our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in November 2012– right after it ended,” Richman said in an interview published on the Y Combinator site. “We wanted to take the results of the HMP and bring them directly to the public, enabling all of us to learn about our microbiomes and participate in science as soon as possible– without waiting years and years for the results to trickle down into products and services that people could use.”
For Jain, Viome represents an opportunity to give back and a chance to develop a cure for the disease that killed his father.
“It is more than a company to me it is a mission to me it is my promise to my dad to making it right,” Jain says. “It’s also part of paying it forward.”
from TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2DgoDTK
Once upon a time, a little robot came to a site to figure out what it was about. The robot read some words and followed some links and said: “Well, there are a lot of mentions of this particular word, so this page must be about that!” She sent out orders to the mothership to file the page in a giant register so the page could be retrieved for this particular term. The robot worked long hours to get all the pages she could find in that register.
After a couple of years, the robot was very experienced and smart. Her programmers trained her to read better so she could figure out what a piece of text was about. She could even distinguish in what cases it would make the most sense to show it. She even started to use context to judge a piece of text instead of just finding mentions of that particular term.
But, smart as the robot was, her makers needed outside help to get her to fully understand the world. The robot did not have the capacity to grasp all the knowledge and she needed help connecting what she knew.
Luckily, some smart humans built something incredible called SCHEMA: a giant thesaurus for robots just like our little hero.
In it, she found everything she needed. It told her what she could look for to determine a particular page was about a product, an event or a person. She learned about movies, books, authors. About recipes, ingredients and cooking instructions. She found out how people relate to each other, to past events and to abstract concepts that were always a mystery to her. Everything she read was instantly clear to her — she was so happy!
Websites using this SCHEMA thesaurus well, helped robots like her to make sense of the world. She finally knew everything. In return, she could reward those sites with spectacular shiny stuff in the search results. But she could only reward those sites that implemented it well and that was a problem.
She soon found out that there was much to be desired. Many sites offered only small pieces of magical SCHEMA and none of it was interconnected to sources that could help her do her job better. She tried asking for help — pleading for site owners to improve their use of SCHEMA, but to no avail. Until, years later, a massively popular plugin for the biggest content management system in the solar system offered to help the little robot.
Nervously, she looked at the internals of the SCHEMA implementation of the plugin codenamed Yoast SEO 11.0. “Wow, this is just what I need!”, she said. “I’ve never seen this before. This is SCHEMA that I can read and understand. It is complete, it shows me where pages reside and how people and organizations connect. Most importantly, it is interconnected! No longer do I have to guess where everything goes. It’s all in a graph — a neat little package —, ready for me to gobble up!”
And all was well in the world.
(Yes, your author has read Marieke’s posts on storytelling)
Results of using Schema structured data
Schema-powered structured data is one of the hardest, most abstract pieces of web technologies to describe, while also being one of the most important ones. I hope the story above has made the concept a lot clearer for you. Now that you’ve formed a mental image of what we’re talking about here, let me show you what adding structured data to your site can lead to.
A better understanding of your site
We always say you should do everything in your power to help both search engines and searchers to find out what your site is about. Using structured data gives you superpowers in the eyes of the search engine. Since you are labeling the most important parts of your content or site elements and connecting them to other parts, you are making sure that search engines truly understand your site. No longer do they have to guess about what everything means — you can just tell them.
Getting stuff into Google’s Knowledge graph gets a lot easier once you add relevant Schema to your site. Not only that, other platforms like Pinterest love this kind of data as well.
Another reason for implementing structured data is the spectacular shiny stuff our robot heroine promised: rich results. Rich results are enhanced search results and they come in many forms, from star ratings to fully enhanced recipe snippets. Many are powered by structured data, but sometimes, you get them without doing anything — besides having an awesome site, of course.
Here is an example of a structured data powered rich result:
With the new structured data implementation in Yoast SEO 11.0, you get a firm foundation to build on. While you’ll have a bigger chance of getting rich results by using Yoast SEO, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get them — in the end, the search engines decide who gets what.
Here’s a selection of what we do at the moment. You can find a complete overview of all Google’s current rich results in the Search Gallery:
Logo and social profiles in the Knowledge graph
If you have an Organization, you can get its logo to show up in the Knowledge panel. The same goes for social profiles. Simply add these in the settings of Yoast SEO and they’ll eventually show up.
If you have a site representing a person, you can add the necessary social accounts. Your image will be grabbed from Gravatar. You can set this in Yoast SEO. Not every person will get a Knowledge graph panel — there’s more at play here. Google combines this input with other sources to build a panel. Once you have one, you can claim it and suggest edits.
Search engines might do cool stuff with articles marked up with structured data. For news publishers, this is important because this might also mean a top spot in the news carousel. For this, you need
NewsArticle Schema in your articles and our News SEO plugin provides this for you. Yoast SEO itself, automatically adds regular
Article structured data to your articles, including information about the author and how the page connects to the main entity of the site.
Our Local SEO plugin takes care of everything you need to get your local business correctly visible in the search engines. You can add opening hours, geographical information, contact information, business locations — including multiple locations under one name, et cetera.
A breadcrumb is a navigational tool that helps searchers and search engines figure out where they are on your site. If you activate this in Yoast SEO, you might get something like this in the search results:
Our WooCommerce plugin adds a cool possibility for getting rich results for products. If you combine this with other structured data, you can get really expansive rich results in search results with ratings and everything. You can also be featured in image search and different product carousels. In addition, Pinterest will pick up the main product on your page more easily.
Structured data is hot
This article, including the adventures of our little robot, aims to show you a small sampling of structured data powered search results. Working with structured data was always hard, but we’re fixing that — and you don’t have to do much for it!
Yoast SEO 11.0 has a completely rebuilt structured data framework that adds more sensible, and more importantly, interconnected structured data to your site. Search engines can pick this up and do interesting things with. We’re not done yet, because we have a lot more cool stuff coming up!
from Yoast http://bit.ly/2UkGPkN
The first human trials in the US for CRISPR gene editing are officially underway. A University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia spokesman has confirmed to NPR that two cancer patients, one with myeloma and one with sarcoma, have received CRISPR treatments after standard treatment didn’t hold. The trial removes, modifies and reinserts immune cells in hopes they’ll destroy cancerous cells.
It’s not certain how effective the treatment has been, and you won’t find out for a while when the trial has been cleared to treat a total of 18 patients. You won’t hear more about it until there’s been a presentation or a peer-reviewed paper, the university said. Other trials, such as ones for blood disorders in the Boston area, have yet to get underway.
No matter what, any practical uses could take a long time. There are widespread concerns that CRISPR editing could have unanticipated effects, and scientists have yet to try editing cells while they’re still in the body (a blindness trial in Cambridge, MA may be the first instance). There’s also the not-so-small matter of ethical questions. Chinese scientist He Jiankui raised alarm bells when he said he edited genes in human embryos — politicians and the scientific community will likely want to address practices like that before you can simply assume that CRISPR is an option.
from Engadget https://engt.co/2DiDuNo
After generations in the shadows and long nights of “still waiting on the guy, what’s up with the guy, should we call the guy again?” anxiety, buying legal cannabis is becoming a way of life in America. Recreational weed is now legal for adult use in 10 states and the District of Columbia, and medical use is allowed in 33, while even more states have decriminalized possession. The new legal menus at dispensaries can all be a little overwhelming, but in a good way, kind of like looking at the cost of medical care in a European country. So many options! So cheap! It comes in granola form now? What on earth is a “shatter”?
To take the edge of taking the edge off, we talked to a few experienced budtenders—yes, that is exactly what it sounds like—to explain the basics of different intake methods and who they’re for: Bethany Weisbacher, a budtender at the Farmers’ Market in Denver and author of the book Dispensary Life: A Survival Guide to Budtending in Cannabis-Legal States, and Troy Fimbres, a budtender at Exhale Med Center in West Hollywood, Calif.
Consider this a first-timer’s guide to putting weed in your body. Read up on and follow the local laws wherever you live, and if you’re brand new to this, please remember that it’s good etiquette to share.
What they are: Efficient delivery systems for weed oil. The oil is made from cannabis plants, distilled down to their THC and cannabinoid base, then mixed with a harmless cutting agent, such as coconut oil or vegetable oil. You can buy cartridges of oil in myriad varieties at a shop. Usually the base of the pen itself is sold separately and is available in many forms, sizes and power—but they’re available everywhere, from regular smoke shops to bodegas.
Who it’s for: The discreet stoner on the move. Weisbacher recommends them for social gatherings and situations where carrying around a stinky bag of weed or joint would be too obtrusive. They’re light and elegant, a lightsaber compared to the laser blaster that is a joint. People use them at baseball games, the beach (that beach wind makes lighting a joint or bowl a real pain the ass), taking quick hits while walking down the street, and yes, even airplanes. It’s not, it should be noted, any more legal to hit one of these at a stadium or on a plane than it is to hit a Juul or other e-cig in a public space. But the whole point of these is that no one notices when you use one.
“It’s good for the discreet smoker, in-between-work break, when you don’t have time to bring a joint, or don’t want anybody to know,” Troy Fimbres said. “It’s easy, accessible, a nice light high.”
What they are: Cannabis baked or cooked into snack items, or mixed into other foods. You might be picturing the classic brownie, but the assortment of edibles at shops now is as varied as an actual supermarket: gummies, truffles, lozenges, the aforementioned granola, lollipops, icicles, nuts, soda, taffy, espresso beans, cold brew coffee; if you’re lucky, maybe this weed-infused pizza delivery service will go nationwide one day. THC and CBD are fat-soluble, which means any fat can hold them, like butter, or coconut oil for vegan edibles. Thanks to the magic of oils, basically any food can be drizzled or mixed with cannabis now.
Who they’re for: People with lung issues, anyone who wants a long-lasting body high. But first timers beware!
Edibles can be very strong, and it’s easy to keep eating a bag of delicious gummies and forget that they’re little time bombs of incredible stonedness waiting to go off in your stomach. The internet is rife with stories of people who overdid it on edibles, most famously the Maureen Dowd of the New York Times.
Weisbacher recommends starting with 5 or 10 milligrams (dosage is usually listed on the package), then waiting up to an hour and a half to feel the effects. Smoking weed goes straight to the brain but edibles dissolve in your stomach, taking longer to kick in but also lasting much longer.
“You can always eat more but you can’t take it back,” Weisbacher said.
An edible is perfect for the situations where you can’t, or don’t want to, keep taking puffs to reup your high: a movie, concert, long hike or flight, for instance. But dear lord, don’t be the person who freaks out from edibles on an airplane. (One way to help ensure you don’t accidentally overindulge: buy a non-weed-infused version of whatever edible you’ve chosen, so you can keep snacking without accidentally ingesting way more THC than you’d bargained for.)
What they are: Cannabis-infused products absorbed through the skin, including lotions, balms, oils, body washes, patches and body rubs.
Who they’re for: Anyone looking to treat localized pain, soreness and inflammation; often popular with older users.
Topicals are firmly in the more medicinal section of the weed spectrum, often used to alleviate pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia or just general soreness. Even in states where cannabis isn’t legally available, CBD oils (minus the psychoactive THC) are widely available. In legal shops, you can find oils that have both CBD and THC to alleviate pain and give you a little buzz.
Weisbacher likes to suggest a particular method: rubbing cannabis lotion on your feet and then putting socks on, which gives an all-over healing feeling, similar to a classic Vicks VapoRub remedy.
Concentrates a.k.a. dabs
What they are: Extremely concentrated, all-killer, no-filler cannabis compounds. They come in lots of different forms, from wax to the brittle “shatter” to the buttery “badder.” All these fall under the category of what people call “dabs.” A dab is way more intense: You might get up to 85 percent THC per hit, compared to 15 to 25 percent you get by smoking cannabis. You need a special dabbing rig and a butane blowtorch, like the one used for creme brulee, to use them.
Who they’re for: Power users, plant connoisseurs, people who want to limit their smoke intake.
Concentrates allow for a more potent hit, which means you have to ingest less smoke, and you get a true taste of the plant itself, Fimbres said.
“You really get the true flavor of the actual strain out of those things,” he said. “It’s very surreal the first time.”
Dabs are good for getting a little for a lot: a quick dab will get you very high, and the smell won’t linger as much as smoking weed would. Weisbacher said people who’ve been taking weed for a long time often turn to dabs to mix up their tolerance. Dabs are fun at parties too since they require special equipment. But they can be heavy duty stuff, involving goopy waxes and a dang blow torch, so it’s best to get some deep experience before you try dabbing on ’em.
Flower, a.k.a. weed classic, the greens, bud, nugs, the sticky icky, broccoli, trees, etc.
What it is: Good ol’ fashioned cannabis in its bud form has been rebranded “flower” in the parlance of our increasingly legalized times. It’s still the standard, and any shop will have a menu with tons of options describing each strain’s effects, in addition to offering expertly crafted pre-rolled joints.
It comes in three forms: sativa, indica or a hybrid of the two. For deciding between them, the line used by generations of pot dealers is still good enough for us here: do you want to ride a bike (sativa, an upper weed) or watch a movie (indica, a relaxing one, a.k.a. “in da couch”)?
Who it’s for: Everyone who can stand a little smoke in their lungs.
Smoking weed, just like listening to vinyl records or reading a print newspaper, will never lose its classic charm, even as it makes less financial, practical and health sense as the industry evolves. Passing around a weed pen, with its antiseptic frill of vapor and seemingly endless toking supply, will never quite match the social and ritualistic aspect of twisting a fat bone to pass around with your crew.
“Very few people don’t want to smoke flower,” Fimbres said. “Flower is probably the most universally used in our whole dispensary.”
With so many varieties available, you can fine tune your high, or even get low-dosage flower to keep it mellow. Roll it into a joint, grind it into a bowl, use it for baking, stuff it in a one-hitter or load it into a bong if you’re feeling like you missed out on a classic college experience.
Picking which strain can be as complex as picking wine (that’s what the budtenders are for). Generally, Weisbacher said, sativa is an awake, creative kind of high. She calls it “adventure weed,” popular with outdoor enthusiasts in Colorado.
Indica will be more of a body high, a relaxed, almost sleep-like state best for chilling out. Hybrids will give you both the cerebral high and body highs.
This is all a lot to consider, but budtenders take their jobs seriously and most will spend the time to recommend safe, appropriate methods for all customers. Fimbres said first-time users in newly legal states shouldn’t be intimidated about popping in to check out a shop for the first time. And he pointed out something that’s been true since way before the overdue legalization trend started: everyone is already doing it.
“There’s something in the store for everybody,” he said “It’s more common than actually smoking cigarettes. A lot more people do it than you think.”
from Lifehacker http://bit.ly/2GkCcSx
Everything about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is extreme. You don’t amass a net worth of $5.3 billion by waking up at 10 and digging into the leftovers from the night before. The 42-year-old NYU dropout made an appearance on the Ben Greenfield Fitness: Diet, Fat Loss and Performance podcast and revealed the habits he instills to be sharp enough to run one of the most powerful companies on the planet.
The Twitter and Square co-founder says he needs to be “performant” and “clear” to successfully run two companies.
Here are the habits he swears by.
Walking to Work
With the exception of Tuesdays and Thursdays when Dorsey works from home, the Twitter CEO walks five miles to Twitter HQ, rain or shine, every day.
“I might look a little bit more like I’m jogging than I’m walking,” Dorsey says. “It’s refreshing … It’s just this one of those take-back moments where you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m alive!’”
The commute takes him between an hour and 15 mints and an hour and a half.
My daily 5 mile walk to work. Been doing this for 2 years now. Usually get it done in 1h15m, but was feeling tired this morning. pic.twitter.com/PIrYV51iHz
— jack (@jack) July 11, 2018
When Dorsey doesn’t walk to work, he bangs out high-intensity interval workouts on the stationary bike– “I don’t have a personal trainer. I don’t go to a gym,” he told Greenfield.
Dorsey claims that meditating has the “biggest impact” on his mental health, which is why he does it twice a day and has been practicing it for 20 years. Dorsey aims to meditates one hour in the morning and another hour at night.
I did my meditation at Dhamma Mahimã in Pyin Oo Lwin. This is my room. Basic. During the 10 days: no devices, reading, writing, physical excercise, music, intoxicants, meat, talking, or even eye contact with others. It’s free: everything is given to meditators by charity. pic.twitter.com/OhJqXKInD3
— jack (@jack) December 9, 2018
Sauna and Ice Baths
Each day. Dorsey sits in his 220-degree barrel sauna for 15 minutes, then dips into a 37-degree ice bath for three minutes. He repeats this process three times.
He says starting his day with an ice bath unlocked a super power.
‘Nothing has given me more mental confidence than being able to go straight from room temperature into the cold. Especially in the morning, going into an ice-cold tub from just being warm in bed is — it just unlocks this thing in my mind and I feel like if I can will myself to do that thing that seems so small but hurts so much, I can do nearly anything.’
“During the day, I feel so much more focused. … You have this very focused point of mind in terms of this drive,” Dorsey says. And ”[c]ertainly, the time back from breakfast and lunch allowed me to focus more on what my day is,” he says.
“I can go to bed and actually knock out in 10 minutes, if not sooner than that. It really changed how quickly I felt asleep and more so how deep I felt I was sleeping.”
“I’ll go from Friday ’til Sunday. I won’t have dinner on Friday. I won’t have dinner or any meal on Saturday. And the first time I’ll eat will be Sunday evening. I’ve done that three times now where I do [an] extended fast where I’m just drinking water,” Dorsey says.
“The first time I did it, like day three, I felt like I was hallucinating. It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down.”
Shit, I need to make some serious life changes.
from BroBible.com http://bit.ly/2IAxOBD
BMW Motorrad have something big in the works. All they’ve shown us so far is a boxer engine and a drivetrain…but they’ve teased these in the most spectacular fashion.
First, they commissioned a build from Custom Works Zon for the Mooneyes show in Yokohama. Now it’s the turn of the highly talented team at Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas. They’ve answered with what is possibly their hottest machine to date: ‘Birdcage.’
Revival shop boss, Alan Stulberg, picks up the story: “BMW came to us months ago and presented us with an engine, gearbox and rear differential drive that was never before seen.”
“They gave us very few details, but it’s obvious they have big plans for the iconic opposed twin engine. It’s difficult to fully take in and absorb in these photos, but this boxer engine is colossal.”
With huge cylinders (we’re guessing a total capacity of around 1,800 cc) jutting out on either side, Revival’s challenge was to design a ground-up custom that would carry that mass—and emphasize its shapely beauty.
Alan wanted the concept to accomplish two things: “To appear as if it would not function, and to have an unencumbered view of the engine and drivetrain. I believe we accomplished both goals handily.”
So how did Revival get from that ideal to this exquisite, wire-framed oddity? By drawing inspiration from an old infatuation: the birdcage-framed race cars that Maserati and Porsche famously built in the late 50s and early 60s.
They decided to go ‘full birdcage,’ and subsequently built the first birdcage-framed motorcycle we’ve ever seen.
The Revival crew decided to work with titanium, picking it for its low weight and high strength. And as you’d imagine, crafting the framework took more than a minute. The main structure is made up of 138 carefully cut, coped and welded titanium frame members.
Every one of the motorcycle’s essential components attaches to this main ‘birdcage.’ And even though everything’s bolted in exactly where it needs to be, there’s a lot of free-form design going on too—thanks to the inherent asymmetry of BMW boxer engines.
“The best part of a BMW riding experience is generally how well balanced it all feels,” says Alan. “So it is more than ironic, as a builder, to look down upon the bare engine, gearbox and rear drive and see just how biased everything is towards asymmetry.”
“To design around that with harmonious shapes and lines was almost easy for me. There is only one single piece of titanium rod down the middle of the bike that is centered with the wheels—and the rest fell where they fit best, flowing all around the drivetrain.”
From there, Revival built a front suspension system in the same vein as BMW’s famous Telelever design. They designed the front end in CAD first—running simulations to make sure it would function well.
The fork lowers were lifted from a BMW R 1150 GS, and the shock is an Öhlins mountain bike unit. The rest of the setup is a mix of CNC-machine aluminum parts, and hexagonal carbon fiber tubing.
“It all feels like pure magic when you hold the components in your hand,” says Alan, “and it’s hard to fathom their strength to weight balance.”
The forks—and handlebars—were shaped to pay homage to another Revival favorite: the iconic Ernst Henne BMW Landspeeder. The controls are especially unique—both the throttle and classic inverted clutch are routed internally, and there’s a hand shifter mounted to the right of the frame, with a carbon fiber linkage.
Tricky engineering and enviable materials are all over this boxer-powered machine. Revival’s lead engineer and fabricator, Chris Auerbach, went to town on the details.
He built the huge aero-shaped valve covers, a carbon fiber seat, titanium fasteners for the axles, foot controls and a whole bunch of other pieces.
As a design exercise, Alan designed an aluminum cover for the engine and gearbox that would visually round off the drivetrain. But it also became the perfect spot to stash the custom ECU, charging and ignition systems, and most of the wiring.
Just behind it, and a bit lower down, is an aluminum fuel tank. It holds just a gallon, and has its own internal electronic fuel pump.
Revival went the old-school hotrod route for fueling, with large-mouth mechanical fuel injection bodies, and bell mouth velocity stacks. Those stacks look like they’re in the way, but they actually splay out just a bit wider than the valve covers.
“There’s ample room for the rider to tuck their knees in behind the cylinders,” says Alan, “for what we hope will be those top speed trials at Bonneville and the dry lake beds of California.”
With a 70” wheelbase and 23” Dunlop slicks, this BMW should run pretty stable. There’s only one brake to stop it though—a custom disc setup out back, operated on the left foot control. As an extra nod to the Henne racer, the rear wheel’s covered by aluminum discs.
Chief welder, Ty Burham, put together a full titanium exhaust system, that was anodized for a more unique finish.
Birdcage is a remarkable blend of art and engineering; a truly out-the-box build that showcases the Revival team’s vast pool of talent. And if you’d like to see it in the flesh, just head down to the Handbuilt Show in Austin this weekend—it’s there right now, turning heads and dropping jaws.
Alan would like to thank his entire team for their stunning performance: (in order) Chris Auerbach, Ty Burham, Chris Davis, Alec Padron, Ian Holt, Andy James and Josh Gage.
from Bike EXIF http://bit.ly/2InlkhI
Researchers at Tel Aviv University managed to successfully print the first ever 3D heart that uses cells and biological materials from a patient. The medical breakthrough, which was published today in Advanced Science, managed to produce an entire heart, complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers — a marked improvement over previous attempts that only printed simple tissues without vessels.
The process of creating the heart started with a biopsy of fatty tissue taken from patients. The cellular material from the tissues was used as the "ink" for the print job. That allowed researchers to create complex tissue models including cardiac patches and eventually an entire heart. It should be noted that the heart isn’t very big — it’s only about the size of a rabbit’s heart. But the technology that made it possible could eventually lead to the production of a human-sized organ. Currently, the hearts can only contract but researchers plan on culturing the 3D printed hearts and teaching them how to operate like the real deal. Once that process is complete, they will attempt to transplant them into animal models.
Researchers have been working on 3D-printed tissues for years, with the eventual goal of creating functioning organs for transplant. The scientists involved in the heart project at Tel Aviv University theorized that within 10 years, organ printers could be available at hospitals.
Source: Tel Aviv University
from Engadget https://engt.co/2VOiJAa
Like many camera buffs, I’ve done a fair amount of street photography, stalking subjects in markets, parks and tourist areas. Unfortunately, I often come away with little to show for it. That’s particularly frustrating, because I live in Paris on a beautiful street with endlessly interesting subjects and settings.
My challenges with the genre — poor ideas, a fear of confrontation and technical challenges — certainly apply to other types of photography. However, they’re magnified on the streets, due to the improvisational nature and factors out of my control, like subjects, lighting conditions and weather.
To get better at this most difficult genre, I enlisted Valérie Jardin, a practicing street photographer who has taught the skill to many others in her workshops across Europe and the US. She has strong ideas about how to shoot (spoiler: it’s about storytelling) and loves conveying her passion to others. "What’s so attractive about street photography is knowing that you have a shot that nobody else has, and that nobody else ever will — that to me is beautiful," she said.
We met in Caen, in the famous Normandy region of France, to chat about her techniques and put them into action. The day was a revelation and helped my photography immediately. Hopefully, the tips I received can help you too.
Get a vision
The first step to improving is to drastically raise your standards, according to Jardin. "There’s a lot of mediocre street photography out there," she said. "There has to be a story, there has to be something really special to make it a great photo. And that’s extremely difficult to see and to capture."
What makes a good photo? "It’s about emotion. It’s not about technical perfection. Because I see a lot of technically perfect, very boring pictures," she said. "There has to be a gesture or something really special."
Capturing that fleeting expression or movement is not easy, so Jardin tries to ease her students into it. If you’ve ever had the frustrating moment where you just missed that perfect shot, that’s actually good news. "A lot of times, you miss the shot, but at least you see it, so you learn something," she explained. "And seeing the moment is 99 percent better than what anybody else can do. Now capturing it is another story, and that’s why it’s so rare to get that decisive moment."
Even when you don’t have a camera, you should try to see potentially interesting photos in your mind’s eye. "Notice the quality and quantity of light around you, notice the right gesture, and if you had your camera at that moment, when would be a good time to press the shutter button?"
As for style, there are a lot of ways to do it. "You can be very minimalist, where it’s more about the background and architecture," said Jardin. "Others prefer to be up close and really get in people’s faces, and some people prefer doing street portraits where you actually have an interaction. You can also shoot much more anonymously where the subject is not recognizable. So there is a type of street photography that will fit one personality more than another."
Jardin leans toward the unobtrusive style. "I don’t like to be in people’s faces to get a reaction. That is just not my personality, and I would not want a photographer to do that to me either," she said. "You can also do beautiful, artsy street photography while not revealing the identity of your subject at all. So that’s another way to do it."
Equipment and setup
Jardin is a Fujifilm ambassador and shoots tmostly with a $1,300 X100F compact, but right off the bat, she downplayed the role of the equipment. "I think a good photographer can make an equally great photo with a $50 plastic camera, a phone or the latest Leica," she said. "It should not make a difference."
That said, you’re less likely to draw attention with an X100F, Leica Q2, Ricoh GR III or other lightweight compact camera, than you are with a DSLR or large mirrorless model. And there’s a reason why those models have fixed lenses in the 28-35mm wide angle to normal range.
"That’s really important, the use of a fixed lens," said Jardin. "You’re much faster with a fixed lens than a zoom. The better you know your focal length, the faster you’re going to be at framing properly. And it’s really all about working fast."
It’s also about knowing your equipment and setting it up ahead of time. Many photographers swear by manual settings, but not Jardin. "Let the camera do a lot of the work. I find that I shoot mostly with aperture priority. I set my shutter speed," she explained. "On an average day, when I want to freeze motion, I will tell my camera, don’t go underneath 1/200th of a second." If the lighting changes or is challenging, Jardin will usually use the exposure compensation dial rather than manual mode.
The extremely light-sensitive sensors of modern digital cameras are another boon to street photographers. "Just bring the ISO up as needed to stay at that speed," she said. "With today’s cameras, I don’t have noise when I’m at ISO 6400, and a lot of the time, I need to be. Because I’m indoors, I’m in cafes, I’m in dark places."
Silent shooting is another very useful modern feature that Jardin employs. "It’s not to be sneaky. It’s that if the person notices you taking the picture, then the moment is gone, so there’s no picture anyway. It’s really about not disrupting what you saw and what caught your eye in the first place." As is autofocus. "You have to work so fast that if you have to worry about focus, you’re going to miss the shot."
Of course, you have to master your equipment before shooting. "You have to control your camera, but that’s pretty easy.
Anyone can learn the technical parts of photography," according to Jardin. "I never have to think about the camera, and that’s really important, because if it gets in the way, you’ve already lost the shot."
So far, so good, but I already knew a lot of this. What was most interesting was to see how Jardin executes these ideas. Once we started shooting, I saw how she was able to improvise a plan, then put it into action as quickly, and stealthily, as possible.
Beginners can make things easy for themselves by selecting the right locations and lighting conditions. Shoot in busy areas, so you’ll blend in with tourists taking pictures, for instance. You can also choose spots you know have interesting backdrops with dramatic angles, interesting lighting or saturated colors.
"There are times where you go ‘fishing,’ rather than ‘hunting,’" she said. "Where you will find a great backdrop, and you know what time the light will be dramatic at that spot, and then you just wait for the right subject." Hunting, on the other hand, is just walking and looking for something interesting, then trying to capture it.
There are tricks to reducing your visibility. Jardin recommends shooting using the rear display rather than the electronic viewfinder. She often shoots "from the hip," stealing minimal glances at the rear display or not looking at all. That’s why using the same angle of view is key. "Because I know my camera, because I know my focal lengths so well, I don’t need to look at the LCD," she explained. "I can pretty much shoot blind and get my subject in the frame pretty accurately."
If possible, wear sunglasses so people can’t see where you’re looking. A clever trick is to act like you’re shooting above or around your subjects, then pretend to "chimp," or review the photos while the camera is pointed at them. That’s when you actually take the photo (in silent mode, of course), with your subject none the wiser.
If you’re sitting right next to someone in a cafe, for instance, pretend to be texting while holding the camera in the other hand. Then, you discretely snap the shot. You can also use your smartphone to control the camera, if it has that function. The silent shutter and sunglasses help with these techniques. Again, you’re not trying to be sneaky; you’re simply trying to capture a scene without disturbing it. These techniques take practice, so don’t expect to get them right the first time.
If someone does notice and asks if you just took a photo, Jardin doesn’t get defensive, but just explains what she’s doing. "I’ll just say, ‘I’m documenting life in the streets of Paris,’ or New York or wherever I am, and then because I can actually show them the picture on the back of the camera, I do, and I said, ‘Look, the light was so beautiful, or look how beautiful the silhouette of you walking away.’"
"There is no bad light. There is easy light and there is hard light."
If you’d rather take non-candid portraits, then you might have to polish your social skills. Jardin recommends first chatting with folks before brandishing a camera, then asking for a photo once they’re more comfortable with you.
Time of day is key as well. You’re more likely to get beautiful photos in the morning and evening, when the sun is warmer and more dramatic. "There is no bad light. There is easy light and there is hard light," said Jardin. "So if you’re shooting in the morning and evening, it’s easy. If you shoot at noon, it’s going to be a little harder. But it’s not impossible. You just have to find those right subjects to fit that light."
Finally, you need to change your mindset to be very picky about what makes a good shot. "If you come home with one shot you’re really happy with, that’s actually excellent. And that’s one thing I always remind my students, that it’s not going to be like anything else they’ve ever tried before," Jardin said. "In a year, if you get four pictures that are worth printing, that’s actually pretty good."
The scene: lovers at a chateau
Early on, Jardin told me, "I’m not going to ask lovers to kiss again because I missed the moment." By chance, that very opportunity came up when we were strolling outside the immense castle in Caen’s city center and came across a young couple. There, she put all her skills into action and actually came away with a great shot, despite the extra burden of me following her around.
The scene was pretty simple, and luckily, our young subjects were too into each other to worry about what was going on around them. Still, if Valérie had just stood in front of them, brought the camera to her eye and start snapping away, they probably would have noticed, and probably not have been very happy about it. She also avoided some mistakes that an amateur, rushing, might have made.
"Before I walked over there, I set my camera at f/5.6 … everything will be in focus at 5.6 on a crop-sensor camera," she said. "So I got in front of this young couple, and once I got there I actually saw that there were two garbage cans in my shot. So I set myself a little differently, just one step to the left, and then I looked like I was actually admiring the castle and I positioned my camera like this [with the couple in front of the garbage cans], and I got one shot there on the grass, with the castle behind them."
In fact, Jardin did it so smoothly that I didn’t even notice her taking the picture. It was only when I reviewed the video I took that I saw it. (Yes, I was filming her and she still got the shot.) She employed a few tricks, like pretending to shoot above them, then shooting from the hip and just stealing a quick glance at the viewfinder. This photo, taken quickly under difficult circumstances, was better than just about any street photo I’ve every shot.
Seeing this, a lot of pieces suddenly fell into place for me. Using automatic settings and autofocus is a must with this style, as it’s impossible to change settings on the fly. You also need to have the camera set the way you want, then let it do its job. Once you pick the aperture and set the autofocus how you want (face detect can be handy here), you’re ready to go.
Most amateurs try to rush, so they don’t notice things that might detract from the shot, like those garbage cans. A lot of my street shots had cluttered backgrounds that distracted from the subject. I could have improved those photos considerably just by moving a few paces left or right.
"Most people don’t even realize you’re taking pictures, so you can get pretty close."
It’s not easy to shoot from the hip and get the framing right, but it just takes practice — and you can do that anywhere, even without human subjects. You also need a lens or camera with a fixed focal length or, if you’re using a zoom, to set it the same every time.
Then, you’ve got to know when to press the shutter button, and do it in a way that’s not obvious. Again, this just takes practice. All of these techniques will help you get closer to your subject, which is key, as any street photographer will tell you. "Most people don’t even realize you’re taking pictures, so you can get pretty close," said Jardin.
Finally, you can’t be afraid to fail. "You’ll miss a lot of shots when you shoot from the hip," she added. "That’s part of the game. If you come home with one shot you’re pretty happy with in a day of shooting, that’s street photography and you should be pretty happy with that. You’re not going to go home with 20 great shots after a day of shooting. If you do, then the bar is too low."
Jardin, like many street photographers, prefers to get as much in-camera as possible. "I make the decision of color and black-and-white in camera, because that’s part of the process and that’s very important. You should always know before you click the shutter whether it’s going to be in color or black-and-white. Even people who shoot RAW should make that decision before they click the shutter."
Suffice to say, she finds photo processing tools like Adobe’s Lightroom to be a crutch. "I have the five-second rule. If a picture takes more than five seconds, it’s gone. I don’t even shoot RAW anymore," Jardin told me. "First, because I’ve been shooting Fujifilm and I can’t replicate their film simulations with Adobe [Lightroom]. And it’s really part of the creative process to make the decision in camera. I’m going to make the decision: It’s going to be in Acros or in classic Chrome if it’s in color. And both of those decisions I make before I press the shutter.
"And I never even think about having those tools in post-processing. To shoot as if it has to come out of the camera as-is. Yes, it’s great to have the crop tool, or to straighten some verticals, but again, that will take seconds, if needed. I never go with the intent of cropping, I may straighten it, I may crop slightly if I can’t get any closer, but again the goal is to get the shot in camera."
Now it’s your turn
If all of this sounds challenging, well, that’s the idea. But if you approach it as an adventure rather than some kind of chore, you’re bound to have more fun. "I like to let the streets surprise me. There is a story everywhere, there is a story at every street corner, you just have to see it. It’s like a treasure hunt for me. And that’s why, if I come home empty, that’s okay for me. It’s about the experience."
And when you do capture Cartier-Bresson’s so-called decisive moment, there’s no better rush, and the reflexes you develop will make you a better photographer overall. "There are all sorts of things that come into play in that fraction of a second," said Jardin. "Like, the use of lines, the use of repeated pattern, the position of the subject. It’s not like you’re setting up some tripod and waiting for the light when shooting a landscape. Here, you only have time to react, because you’re immortalizing something that’s never happened before and will never happen again. No one can replicate it, you can’t replicate it, and it only takes a fraction of a second."
Images: Steve Dent (Jardin portraits); All other photography copyright and used with permission of Valerie Jardin.
from Engadget https://engt.co/2UAIJma