Just Like Riding A Bike: Google Streamlines Your Green Commute
More evidence that Google runs the world: they’re planning your next bike ride for you. As of two days ago, their latest mapping feature includes bike lane tracking, so that you can log in from your computer or portable internet toy – I mean phone! – and find your best route in about .2 seconds. Just enter your current location and destination, and bam: your own personal treehugger’s roadmap. Estimated travel time is included each time you calculate a route, but one of the Google guys behind the feature says that if you’re in good shape, you’ll beat those times.
You asked for it. According to the NYT’s Gadgetwise blogger, Miquel Helft, the new feature is Google’s answer to a plea that’s been ringing in biking communities for awhile now. A group called googlemapsbikethere.org, he says “has collected more than 51,000 signatures asking Google to add biking directions to its maps.” What can they say – they aim to please.
The best thing about the new feature is that it tries to offer routs that circumvent big hills, freeways, and high traffic areas. Wasn’t that nice of Google? The round-the-hill route programming will, presumably, be more useful in wavy cities like San Francisco than flat ones like New York – but the traffic-avoider one should be invaluable all over the place. It’s great news for bikers who prefer not to be plowed over by traffic, and for automobile drivers who prefer not to plow over bikers. Who knows – maybe we’re about to see Google bike mapping lower road rage rates nationwide. The feature is provided for 150 major cities around the country, and a lot of the bike trail data used to create it was provided by non-profit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
It goes without saying (but I feel like saying it anyway) that Google mapping doesn’t help as much with planning your morning commute if you live (New York) in a city (New York) with no decent bike lanes (New York). Not to name any names. Maybe Google is secretly trying to shame cities into improving their bike lane systems.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Neuroscience is working to conquer some of the human body's cruelest conditions: Paralysis, brain disease, and schizophrenia.
- Neuroscience and engineering are uniting in mind-blowing ways that will drastically improve the quality of life for people with conditions like epilepsy, paralysis or schizophrenia.
- Researchers have developed a brain-computer interface the size of a baby aspirin that can restore mobility to people with paralysis or amputated limbs. It rewires neural messages from the brain's motor cortex to a robotic arm, or reroutes it to the person's own muscles.
- Deep brain stimulation is another wonder of neuroscience that can effectively manage brain conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson's, and may one day mitigate schizophrenia so people can live normal, independent lives.
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
A recent study gives new meaning to the saying "fake it 'til you make it."
- The study involves four experiments that measured individuals' socioeconomic status, overconfidence and actual performance.
- Results consistently showed that high-class people tend to overestimate their abilities.
- However, this overconfidence was misinterpreted as genuine competence in one study, suggesting overestimating your abilities can have social advantages.
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