Never-Ending Drawing Machine: MIT's Collaborative Creativity Station
Whether or not there is a creativity crisis may be up for debate, but one thing is clear: Our current education system is failing to create an environment that truly fosters creativity . . . Now, a new application out of MIT Media Lab is aiming to address some of these issues.
Maria Popova is a reader and a writer, and writes about what she reads on Brain Pickings (brainpickings.org), which is included in the Library of Congress archive of culturally valuable materials. She has also written for The New York Times, Wired UK, and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Fellow. She is on Twitter @brainpicker.
Whether or not there is a creativity crisis may be up for debate, but one thing is clear: Our current education system is failing to create an environment that truly fosters creativity and engages the various components of its making – play, collaboration, flexibility, multi-modal stimulation. Now, a new application out of MIT Media Lab is aiming to address some of these issues.
The Never-Ending Drawing Machine is a collaborative creativity station, aimed primarily at kids, that allows users to digitally edit each other's analog, paper sketchbooks. Collaboration can take place either locally or remotely, as the system lives on the cloud. Designed by MIT grad student David Robert and colleagues, NEDM offers a promising platform for virtual co-creation not only within the classroom but also between classrooms around the world, offering yet another tool in our ever-growing arsenal for global, cross-cultural collaboration.
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.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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