Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Details In the Fabric"


Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads and
Breaking yourself up

If it's a broken part, replace it
If it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it's a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I'm doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything
Everything will be fine
Everything

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Everything

Hold your own
And know your name
Go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own)
Are the things that make you panic (Know your name)
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Hold your own
Know your name
Go your own way.

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own)
Are the things that make you panic (Know your name)
Is it Mother Nature's sewing machine? (Go your own way)
Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own)
Hell no reason go on and scream (Know your name)
If you’re shocked it's just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold
~Jason Mraz

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Astro Apps for iOS and Android

Here are some useful apps to pimp your astro-mobile. Overall, the apps made for i-phone are more sophisticated and well developed than those for android. Walk into a room full of astronomers, and you'll immediately know why!

iPhone

Star Walk: Star Walk is an award-winning Education app that allows users to easily locate and identify 20,000+ objects in the night sky. The 360-degree, touch control star map displays constellations, stars, planets, satellites, and galaxies currently overhead from anywhere on Earth. Highly praised and the winner of a 2010 Apple Design Award, the latest update adds a Spectrum Bar to view frequencies other than visible light. 

Exoplanet: The "Exoplanet App" is a daily updated database of all discovered extrasolar planets. It has been developed and is maintained by a professional astronomer. 

Portal to the Universe: Access a universe of knowledge about the Universe with the Portal to the Universe app! Designed in a magazine style, this free app brings the latest scientific breakthroughs gathered from hundreds of news and blog sources every day. It’s never been easier to be well informed about the latest space news. 

Space ImagesNASA/JPL’s Space Images V2 has arrived, packing exciting new features, videos and stunning hi-res photos. Already a fan? Upgrade to start sharing images with friends on Facebook and Twitter, browse our new video collection and get even closer to the space you love. It’s all free! 

Particle Zoo: Would you like to get to know the particles that make up our universe a little better? Then carry this convenient list of subatomic particles in your pocket! Based on The Particle Zoo plushies.
Android

Star Chart: The best selling smart phone astronomy app comes to Android!
Now you can have a virtual star chart in your pocket! Look through the eyes of your Android device* to see a virtual window into the whole visible universe. All you have to do is point your Android device* at the sky and Star Chart will tell you exactly what you are looking at

Galaxy Zoo: Perform astronomy on your Android phone and contribute to science!
Galaxy Zoo uses gorgeous imagery of hundreds of thousands of galaxies drawn from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope archive. To understand how these galaxies, and our own, formed we need your help to classify them according to their shapes — a task at which your brain is better than even the most advanced computer.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Set beautiful astronomy pictures as your homescreen wallpaper! Get the latest pictures from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)! Each day's image can be automatically downloaded and set as your homescreen wallpaper automatically so you can enjoy a beautiful new space background every day! Compatible with all launchers. Read interesting facts about pictures of the universe and expand your horizons!

Exoplanet Catalog: An extrasolar planet catalog and reference guide. An extrasolar planet (or exoplanet) is a planet that is outside our solar system. These planets orbit other stars. The first exoplanets were discovered in the mid 1990's, but exoplanet hunting began in earnest only recently. This catalog is kept up-to-date with the current count of exoplanets, all the latest data for each exoplanet, and the data for every parent star


Solar System 3D Lite: Animated Live 3D Wallpaper of the solar system. This Lite version includes Saturn circled by four of its moons and Earth + Moon with the Sun as Red Giant star with starry background. Slide over the display to move around and double-tap on the screen to switch between the planets. 


For a nice article on top i-pad apps, click here: Best iPad astronomy apps


Simultaneous Translator/Interpreter

I've been waiting for someone to come up with a sophisticated app for simultaneous interpretation of languages.

The idea is quite simple:
Speak into phone (source language) -> Phone converts speech to text (still source language) -> Phone translates text (source to target) -> Phone converts text back to speech (target language) (perhaps with the target text appearing on screen)

The barriers to overcome are
1. More sophisticated voice recognition across languages
2. Accuracy and Speed in text-translation technology
3. Clearer speech to text across languages
4. Keeping the size and memory usage manageable

Today, I found iTranslate, which seems to be close.





And so it is...



Friday, September 02, 2011

Heraclitus on Rivers

Nobody steps into the same river twice.
The same river is never the same
Because that is the nature of water.
Similarly your changing metabolism
Means that you are no longer you.
The cells die, and the precise
Configuration of the heavenly bodies
When she told you she loved you
Will not come again in this lifetime.

You will tell me that you have executed
A monument more lasting than bronze;
But even bronze is perishable.
Your best poem, you know the one I mean,
The very language in which the poem
Was written, and the idea of language,
All these things will pass away in time.
~Derek Mahon