Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 9: Space + Art

Space has always been an object of fascination and intrigue for humans because it is vast and unknown.  Its exploration became a race [the so-called “Space Race”] during the Cold War between Russia and the US.  
Space Race 
Although Russia was the first into space with a satellite [1957] and later a man [1961], America was the first to walk on the moon [1969].  As I watched the lecture videos, I found it quite stimulating to understand the details about how America and Russia constantly developed new methods and technologies to expand space exploration.  Today, on the other hand, it do not seem humans are racing into space, nor are we energized to capitalize on what the moon may have to offer for problem solving.  
Time Magazine Cover Art
            The exciting developments of space exploration that occurred in 2004 added new dimensions to the notion of human effort to expand our horizons.  The US landed rovers on Mars and reached Saturn with a probe.   The most interesting aspect was the launching into space of privately owned manned crafts.  These developments were significant and exciting, but they did not seem to be big news.  Why?  Has human kind lost fascination with space exploration?  
The last lecture video made interesting arguments about the moon possibly becoming the Persian Golf of the 21st century.  The surface of the moon contains vast amounts of Helium-3 isotopes, deposited over billions of years by solar wind, which could be used to provide abundant fuel for fusion energy without radioactive waste.  
Helium 3 Isotope
Helimu-3 is not available on earth in sufficient amounts to provide fuel.   Also, using water from the asteroid belt is an intriguing idea I could not have anticipated.  Overcoming the distance and time would be a unique challenge.  I think these sorts of solutions to the challenges humans face can only be achieved as we continue the aggressive pursuit of space exploration technologies now and in the future.  
NASA Moon Base
            In 2006 NASA announced its intention to establish a permanent base on the moon by 2024.   Achieving such an objective would be exciting and a logical extension of Neil Armstrong’s historic 1969 moonwalk.  2024 is just eight years away, not many years distant.  Since then plans have changed, and it is not so clear what we will do.  Still, why have we not heard more about this development if it is still underway?  Is this next step?
Neil Armstrong
Wikipedia. “Space Race”. 29 May 2016. Web.
TED Ed Lessons Worth Sharing. “Who Won the Space Race”. 29 May 2016. Web.
Herbert, Evan. “How did the space race between the U.S. and Soviet Russia affect American Politics.” 29 May 2016. Web. 30 August 2014.
Pics About Space. “Future NASA Plans Moon Base.” 29 May 2016. Web. “Helium-3”. 29 May 2016. Web.

Week 8: NanoTech + Art

As I began watching the lectures for this week I was unaware what nanotechnology was.  Nanotechnology is a small study of science, engineering, and technology.  The small study is usually one nanometer.  I cannot imagine how small this is, but Dr. Gimzewski helped me understand by comparing the size to an atom.  Many of his lecture was over my head, especially when he began explaining the logarithmic scale.  

            In his last video lecture I was interested to find out what products on the market today contain nanoparticles.  I had never heard of “Slim Shake Chocolate” before.  I looked more into this product to find out why it contains nanoparticles and how this is positive or negative. 
            I discovered this drink, which contains natural coca particles also includes NanoClusters, which are 100,00th the size of a single grain of sand.  The two ingredients are combined to create a great taste, but without excess sugar.  
Slim Shake Chocolate
            Prior to the release of Slim Shake Chocolate, nanofoods safety was questioned.  The problem was that scientists were unsure if the body could properly metabolize nanoparticles.  They have certain durability; nanoparticles retain their particle-ness after being passed through the gut.  Many scientists spoke out saying this really needs to be tested in a laboratory before any diet products were placed on the shelf.  
The Project of Emerging Nanotechnologies. “ Nanoceuticals Slim Shake Chocolate”.   29 May 2016. Web. 1 January 2007.
Maynard, Andrew. “Shaking up the nano-food debate”. 2020 Science. 29 May 2016. Web. 20 October 2008.
National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. “Materials Modeling and  Simulation for Nanotechnology.” 29 May 2016. Web. 2011.
Kresin, Vitaly. “USC Nanocluster Physics Laboratory.” 29 May 2016. Web.
Wikipedia. “Nanoparticle”. 29 May 2016. Web.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Week 7 Neuroscience + Art

I was curious to learn about the history of Cocaine and LSD. I was unaware of their histories and how they each eventually became illegal.  Freud I knew as a psychiatric doctor famously known for his different methodologies.  I did not know that he had a past with Cocaine.  Sigmund Feud’s book Cocaine Papers must contain interesting information and possible insight seeing as he was addicted to the drug while writing the book.  
Sigmund Fred Cocaine Papers
            It seems LSD was experimented more frequently with as it became particularly popular with Timothy Leary.  Fortunately for Leary, in the beginning of his research he found positive results with LSD.  Although his experimentation with the drug took place during the early 60’s, people were still unsupportive of his LSD research.  
Effects of LSD
            Richard Alpert was a psychology teacher at Harvard, where he taught a motivational class.  It was that year at Harvard when the Psilocybin Project began.  Alpert and Leary administered hallucinogenic drugs to students.  This gained great media attention and the professors at Harvard were soon under attack by parents and being questioned by the FBI.  While I think a professor who studies psychology would be interested in the affects of hallucinogens, I do not think administering the drugs to college students was an appropriate way to study.  
LSD dissolved on the tongue
Kansra, Nikita and Shih, Cynthia. “Harvard LSD Research Draws National Attention”. 28 May 2016. Web. 21 May 2013.      
Benji, Cam. LSD Project. 28 May 2016. Web. “Sigmund Freud and Cocaine Use”.  28 May 2016. Web. 2014.
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 2).” 28 May 2016. Web. 16 May 2012. 
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 3).” 28 May 2016. Web. 16 May2012. 

Week 6: BioTech + Art

This topic of BioTech is very foreign to me.  I did find Kathy High’s research into rats interesting.  Her project Blood Wars sounded gross initially, but it brings up some interesting questions about art and biotech.  
When scientists first sequenced the human genome, they needed large robotic machines and huge laboratories; now, a single person armed with a desktop computer can perform the work of an entire genetics lab.
 The questions that she poses about blood such as what do we inherit and what do we not inherit through blood? I went to Kathy’s website about Blood Wars in order to look further into her experiment. This idea of wanting to know more about blood and how it affects the human body is something I have never thought about.   
Kathy High
While browsing her website the concept of natural selection came into my head.  If we could conduct experiments to find out whose blood cells are stronger than humans could have their own natural selection.  If women knew which men has stronger white blood cells wouldn’t they chose the stronger over the weaker?
            Kathy’s other project, researching rat laughter was something I wanted to look further into.  Who knew rats laughed?  What effects rats enough to be able to produce ultrasonic sounds?  Rats are not thought positively of in our society today, but they are used frequently in research to cure human diseases and help science progress.  
Kathy's drawings
Kathy High: visual/media artist, independent curator, educator. “Rat Laughter”. 28 May 2016. Web.
Blood Wars. “Welcome to Blood Wars”. 28 May 2016. 2010. Web.
Boyle O’ Shaun. “ ”. Science        Gallery Production – Kathy High: Blood Wars. 28 May 2016. Web. 25 January       2011.
Seeker. “Biotech’s Explosive Evolution Outpace’s Moore’s Law”. 28 May 2016. Web.             14 May 2013.
Kathy High. “Blood Wars Trailer”. 28 June 2016. Web.