May 20, 2014

Starstuff Squared, Rubik's Cubed

Welcome to the 250th Synthetic Daisies post! This post consists of three subthemes cross-posted from Tumbld Thoughts. The first is in honor of the Google Doodle for the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik's Cube, while the latter two are the supplemental readings for the tenth and eleventh episodes of the Cosmos reboot. 

I. Rubik's 3-D CSS Cubes

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube. Aside from an invention that sold 350 million copies, Rubik's Cube is also an example of a permutation puzzle that contains an interesting problem related to group theory. The doodle itself is unique in that it utilizes a technology called CSS 3-D transforms [1]. Naturally, there is a Google Doodle.

[1] Edidin, R.   How Google Built Its 3-D Interactive Rubik’s Cube Doodle. May 19 (2014). Also check out the Chrome Cube Lab, which uses this technology to render interactive cube-based puzzles beyond Rubik's namesake.

II. All I Want For Christmas is an Electric Charge

Here are the supplemental readings for the tenth episode of the Cosmos reboot ("The Electric Boy"). Readings are organized by theme.

The Electric Boy and his Legacy:

History of the Christmas Lectures. The Royal Institution.

Cody, D.   Social Class. The Victorian Web. July 12 (2002).

Burgess, M.P.D.   Semiconductor History: Faraday to Shockley. Transistor History (2008).

Williams, A.T.   Faraday vs. Maxwell and Faraday and the Ether. Consciousness, Physics, and the Holographic Paradigm (2010).

Electromagnetic Spectrum. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Frog Legs and Televisions:
Galvani's animal electricity experiments. Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Luigi Galvani (1737-1798). Center for Integrating Research + Learning, Magnet Lab, Florida State University.

Borgens, R.B., Vanable, J.W., and Jaffe, L.F.   Bioelectricity and regeneration. I. Initiation of frog limb regeneration by minute currents. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 200(3), 403–416 (1977).

Iconoscope. Wikipedia, March 20 (2014).

Philo Farnsworth (1906-1971), Electronic Television. Inventor of the Week Archive, Lemelson-MIT (1999).

Researching Faraday Cages and Electromagnetic Fields on Google is a sad statement on Internet culture:
Chandler, N.   How Faraday Cages Work. How Stuff Works.

Trottier, L.   A Growing Hysteria. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, CFI. October (2009).

Inventions/Discoveries of the Electric Boy:
Faraday's Inventions. Michael Faraday's World.

Homopolar Generator, Wikipedia. April 1 (2014).

Electrolysis, Wikipedia. May 7 (2014).

Faraday Cage, Wikipedia. March 19 (2014).

Electric Motor, Wikipedia. May 10 (2014).

Static Electricity, Wikipedia. May 5 (2014).

III. Leaving Nothing but Footprints, but Still Living On.

Here are the supplemental readings for the eleventh installment of the Cosmos reboot ("The Immortals"). As usual, readings are organized by theme.

Entropy Is Not Immortality, Time Can Be Written Down:
Matson, J.   What Keeps Time Moving Forward? Blame It on the Big Bang. Scientific American, January 7 (2010).

Mlodinow, L. and Brun, T.A.   Relation between the psychological and thermodynamic arrows of time. Physical Review E, 89, 052102 (2014).

Jones D.L.   Aging and the germ line: where mortality and immortality meet. Stem Cell Reviews, 3(3), 192-200 (2007).

Barksdale, M.   10 Methods of Measuring Time. Discovery TV: Relativity and Time.

Origins of Writing Systems.

Fun With the Origins of DNA:
Akst, J.   RNA World 2.0. The Scientist, March 1 (2014).

Moran, L.A.   Changing Ideas About the Origin of Life. Sandwalk blog, August 7 (2012).

Joshi, S.S.   Origin of Life: the Panspermia Theory. December 2 (2008).

Klyce, B.   Cosmic Ancestry

Saenz, A.   Venter creates first synthetic self-replicating bacteria from scratch. SingularityHub, May 20 (2010).

Moving Life (via Dispersal):
Levin, S.A., Muller-Landau, H.C., and Nathan, R.   The Ecology and Evolution of Seed Dispersal: a theoretical perspective. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 34, 575-604 (2003).

Gronstal, A.   Space Rocks Could Reseed Life on Earth. Astrobiology Magazine, May 15 (2008).

Civilization is (not) Forever:
Chandler, G.   Desertification and Civilization. Saudi Aramco World, 58, 6 (2007).

Arbesman, S.   210 Reasons for the Fall of the Roman Empire. Social Dimension blog, June 26 (2013).

Kunzig, R.   Geoengineering: How to Cool Earth--At a Price. Scientific American, November (2008).

Duncan, R.C.   The Olduvai Theory: sliding towards a post-industrial Stone Age. Institute on Energy and Man, June 27 (1996).

Math Program Cracks Cause of Venus Hell Hole. Space Daily, March 21 (2001).

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