Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
A playful tangible programming interface that introduces programming logic to children at pre-literate level.
The goal of the game is to guide a smiling robot called cubetto to his destination by creating instruction sequences using colourful and intuitive instruction blocks. By creating these simple algorithms children learn the logical foundations of programming, necessary for more advanced coding later on in life.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Check more about it here.
Albert Hofmann (January 11, 1906 – April 29, 2008) was a Swiss scientist best known for having been the first to synthesize, ingest and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
Hofmann authored more than 100 scientific articles and wrote a number of books, including LSD: My Problem Child. On January 11, 2006, Hofmann became a centenarian, and the occasion of his 100th birthday was the focus of an international symposium on LSD.
Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland, the first of four children born to factory toolmaker Adolf Hofmann and his wife Elisabeth (née Schenk).
Due to his father's low income, Albert's godfather paid for his education. When his father fell ill, Hofmann took up a position as a commercial apprentice in concurrence with his studies.
At the age of twenty, Hofmann began his chemistry degree at the University of Zürich, finishing three years later, in 1929. His main interest was the chemistry of plants and animals, and he later conducted important research regarding the chemical structure of the common animal substance chitin, for which he received his doctorate, with distinction, in 1930.
Hofmann joined the pharmaceutical-chemical department of Sandoz Laboratories (now Novartis), located in Basel as a co-worker with professor Arthur Stoll, founder and director of the pharmaceutical department .
He began studying the medicinal plantsquill and the fungusergot as part of a program to purify and synthesize active constituents for use as pharmaceuticals. His main contribution was to elucidate the chemical structure of the common nucleus of Scilla glycosides (an active principal of Mediterranean Squill) .
While researching lysergic acid derivatives, Hofmann first synthesized LSD-25 in 1938.
The main intention of the synthesis was to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant (an analeptic).
It was set aside for five years, until April 16, 1943, when Hofmann decided to take another look at it.
While re-synthesizing LSD, he accidentally absorbed a small quantity through his fingertips and serendipitously discovered its powerful effects.
He described what he felt as being:" ...affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."
Three days later, in April 19th, 1943, Hofmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 250 micrograms of the substance, an amount he predicted to be a threshold dose (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms).
Less than an hour later, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception.
He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home, and as use of vehicles was prohibited due to wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle. On the way, Hofmann’s condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternatingly believing the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and the LSD had poisoned him.
When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils.
In December 2007, Swiss medical authorities permitted a psychotherapist to perform psychotherapeutic experiments with patients who suffer from terminal stage cancer and other deadly diseases.
Although not yet started, these experiments will represent the first study of the therapeutic effects of LSD on humans in 35 years, as other studies have focused on the drug's effects on consciousness and body. Hofmann supported the study, and continued to believe in the therapeutic benefits of LSD.
Hofmann was due to speak at the World Psychedelic Forum from March 21 to March 24, 2008 but was forced to pull out due to poor health.
Albert Hofmann died of natural causes on April 29, 2008 in the village of Burg im Leimental, near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102 years old.
By the mid-1950s, LSD-research was being published in medical and academic journals all over the world. It showed potential benefits in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction, and other mental illnesses. This film explores those potential benefits, and the researchers who explored them.
Myron Stolaroff: In a good LSD experience you resolve your inner conflicts, and the loads and the barriers that have developed. You begin to reach down into the depth of your own being. You see more and more levels of being. More and more levels of understanding. Often we like to blame our feelings on other people. And what they are doing to us. But if I feel that it's my feeling and I've produced it, then I'm the only one who can resolve it. And fortunately, these substances allow you see and recognize this. And resolve it.
Ram Dass: I wasn't born as Richard Albert. I was just born as a human being. And then I learned this whole business of who I am, and whether I'm good or bad, or achieving or not. All that's learned along the way. You see all those learned things separate. You become is a point of awareness. That's all that is left. I remember the first time this happened to me, as professor went, and middle class boy went, and pilot went, and all of my games were going off into the distance. I got this terrible panic, because, indeed, I was going to cease to exist. And I got the panic, which is the panic that precedes psychological death. Because indeed Richard Albert was dying.
Ralph Metzner: We all want to expand our consciousness, we alter our consciousness all the time. We cycle through waking and dreaming and sleeping. It's natural-- consciousness naturally varies. I mean, I took a consciousness expanding drug this morning: I had a cup of coffee. That was a psychoactive, it got my brain going. Probably most people do that.
We interact with psychoactive substances and plants all the time. And the point is to do it in a conscious way, a discriminating way, a purposive way, to choose it.
Albert Hofmann: It is very important that one is *prepared* for the use of psychedelics. It is not just fun; it is a very serious experiment.
Duncan Blewett: There are still people who are violently opposed to psychedelics. Very few of them have ever tried psychedelics; and 99% of the opposition to them comes from people who are completely ignorant of their effects.
Timothy Leary: The effect is somewhat like looking through a microscope. Suddenly when you look through a microscope you discover that there is an invisible world around you that you hadn't known about. The same is true about the psychedelic drug. You are aware of processes that going on inside your own brain. You are aware of the exchange of energy going on between your sense organs and the ones around them that you weren't aware of before.
See the Bicycle Trip Animation here
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Chino Otsuka is a japanese london-based photographer that made something I've never seen before. Try give it a look yourself. Can you spot it?
|1976 & 2005 (Japan)|
|1979 & 2006 (Japan)|
|1975 & 2005 (Spain)|
Got it? No? She digitally insert her actual self into old photos. Digital Manipulation at its best. Pretty awesome idea too.
|1975 & 2009 (France)|
|1981 & 2006 (Japan)|
|1985 & 2006 (UK)|
|1982 & 2006 (Japan)|
|1985 & 2005 (China)|
|1984 & 2005 (France)|
|1977 & 2009 (France)|
|1980 & 2009 (Japan)|
|1982 & 2005 (France)|
Great work, [Chino].