Children Envision the Future of Technology
It's often said that children are the designers of humanity's future. International research consultancy Latitude and ReadWriteWeb decided to take the adage literally, asking children to envision the future of technology.
The Children's 'Future Requests' for Computers and the Internet study (PDF summary here) asked kids to illustrate their wish-list for the things and activities technology would make possible, taking advantage of children's fresh and uninhibited minds, active imagination, and inherent tendency to be creative problem-solvers. The findings offer a surprising – or, perhaps, unsurprising – reflection of some of the latest and greatest obsessions of the adult-world technorati: augmented reality, 3D, responsive environments, gestural interfaces.
Among the more interesting wish-list items is the notion of "The Internet of Things" – physical everyday objects connected via sensors in a fluid network of digital information. (On a related aside, RWW has an excellent roundup of the top 10 videos explaining the concept.) This shows the blurring line between the digital and analog worlds, driven largely by the blurring line between our digital and analog selves – something particularly relevant for this generation of digital natives, who grow up joined at the neuron with their computer screen and mobile device.
I'd like it if my computer could convert images or food and make them real." ~ Joanna, Age 10
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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