X-Rays Made with Scotch Tape - MIT Technology Review

When you bite down on wintergreen-flavored LifeSavers candies in the dark, they glow. The production of light by some materials when under friction or pressure, a phenomenon called triboluminescence, has been known for centuries, mostly as a novelty. Now researchers have shown that rapidly unwinding a roll of Scotch tape inside a vacuum generates not only visible light but also enough x-rays to image a human finger. Led by physicist Seth Putterman at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the researchers are now developing what they hope will be a cheap, simple source of x-rays for clinical imaging.


:O This is really neat and quite the novel way of decreasing price for body imaging techniques. I wonder how the big three react to this - Siemens, GE and Philips.

REAL ID and immigration chaos...

Washington state already offers, but does not mandate, enhanced driver’s licenses and IDs that require proof of U.S. citizenship and are valid under the federal law. Starting in July 2018, the state’s standard licenses — which aren’t in line with the federal requirements — will be marked to indicate they are not REAL ID compliant and thus not acceptable for certain purposes by federal authorities.

Washington state granted REAL ID extension through mid-July

So, wait a minute, as a non US citizen, you cannot use a driver's license to travel domestic anymore? This means that any non US Citizen must carry their passport on them at all times.

Isn't this the equivalent of the federally prohibited Arizona law of carrying one's papers with them at all times? This is a terrible, terrible idea. And will likely cause further discrimination from (m)any of the law enforcement officials in the future as well.



How to Build Communities with Jeff Atwood, Discourse

Lessons learned from the podcast

  • A plan never lasts with real customers - be ready for change
  • How quickly you iterate (and figure out if something is working or not), will determine your success
  • You will always be remembered for how quickly you react, even if you created your own problems
  • Start, ship, get feedback, repeat

Some great lessons from this episode!

You say what happened to the old days where people came into this country, they worked and they worked and they worked and they had families and they paid taxes and they did all sorts of things, and their families got stronger and they were closely knit. We don't see that. Failure to enforce our immigration laws had predictable results. Drugs, gangs, and violence.


Coming from Donnie who revels at his ability to pay zero taxes to the Government, this is irony at its best.

Republicans Matter Most, And They Don’t Seem To Care Much About Trump Jr.

This doesn’t mean Republicans will back Trump forever, particularly if the special counsel or the congressional committees unearth more unflattering evidence. And if Democrats win control of the House or the Senate in 2018, that will change the tenor of Congress’s Russia debate.


Let's be clear. The GOP doesn't care because they want the Trump base to support them come 2018. They do not care about appeasing others as they will not vote GOP anyway. The key question is this - what can Americans do to convince at least some of the Trump base to listen to reason? How can you cut above the clutter of Fox news and Beitbart and truly reach out to the people who are voting?

And what happens if GOP continues to win 2018 primary?

What America is capable of doing, but isn't!

The whole BCA (nee AHCA) discussion and coverage sickens me. The most powerful, richest country on Earth right now is making decisions that go against the very basic tenets of humanity.


And the current media coverage about how CBO is once again turning the healthcare coverage into a drama that's playing into the GOP hands. Apparently the CBO stated the exact same thing as it did for the House bill because it's not changed a bit.

And GOP Senators are only now beginning to reconsider if they will be voting for the bill. Not a single one of them has said they will vote against the bill. Worse, all of this is just posturing for bargaining. The larger theme of reducing spending on the sick and the needy (not to mention ripping apart education for the needy) to fund tax cuts for the 1% and the military force of USA continues under the GOP.

It's frustrating!

Source // edits obviously mine!

Chat with Rammy Narula on Platform 10

I discovered Rammy Narula because I've been researching photographers of Indian origin across the world and stumbled on his flickr profile.

His seminal work is a project called Platform 10. It's a series of pictures shot in the Hua Lamphong - Bangkok's Central Railway Station of one particular train that visits daily for 20 minutes. It's mesmerizing.

Takei's interview sheds some light into Rammy's work and it's only made it even more fascinating - the passion, the effort and the result are truly unique and mesmerizing.

NASA finds evidence of diverse environments in Curiosity sample

The minerals found in the four samples drilled near the base of Mount Sharp suggest several different environments were present in ancient Gale Crater. There is evidence for waters with different pH and variably oxidizing conditions. The minerals also show that there were multiple source regions for the rocks in "Pahrump Hills" and "Marias Pass."

JPL blog

Fascinating news.

Why are the "developed" nations so regressed in their thinking?

That statement – one of few policy proposals in the speech – seems to be a reference to new powers to regulate what is said and read on the internet, as set out in the Conservative manifesto.

The Independent

I don't understand this move by the UK (and US Governments). They are looking for easy political wins to curb a made up existential threat and using that to justify passing one of the most regressive mechanisms.

To be clear, it is not about privacy. However, it is about being wrong and attempting to look for a simple answer to a complex problem.