Stuck with your Homework? There is an App for that!

Stuck with your Homework? There is an App for that!

Although Motuto is just a part of a bigger vision of Castle Rock Research’s President and CEO Gautam Rao, I find the service so fascinating in itself that I would like to share it with you today.


Also, as a bonus to my readers of Disrupt Education here on Big Think, you will find the upcoming EDUKWEST interview I did with Gautam earlier today exclusively linked below this article as audio file. Once more, I was wowed by an entrepreneur with a truly big vision for education on a global scale, and once again this entrepreneur has his roots in India.

But back to Motuto, an application that solves a problem we are familiar with from our days in school or university. Doing your homework you get stuck with a problem you are not able to solve. What to do? Back in the days we probably grabbed some more books and searched for an answer, called a friend or simply gave up.

Today, all the student needs is an iPhone or iPad 2. He loads the Motuto app, takes a picture of the problem he needs to solve and then gets instantly connected with a real, flesh and bone tutor. Within the app the student will be able to chat with the tutor and to use a collaborative whiteboard in order to solve the problem. The tutor is trained to not give the answer but to assist the student in getting the right answer on his own.

Sessions are separated into 20 minutes and Motuto are positive that most problems will be solved in that time frame. If it takes longer, another 20 minutes will be charged. Which brings us to the pricing: $4.99 for the first, $1.99 for each additional 20 minutes.

In my opinion, this is one of the smartest products I have seen in education for a while and the potential, especially seen in the bigger picture of Castle Rock Research’s road map, is huge.

EDUKWEST Interview with Gautam Rao, President and CEO of Castle Rock Research

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

What is the rarest blood type?

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
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China's "artificial sun" sets new record for fusion power

China has reached a new record for nuclear fusion at 120 million degrees Celsius.

Credit: STR via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.

China wants to build a mini-star on Earth and house it in a reactor. Many teams across the globe have this same bold goal --- which would create unlimited clean energy via nuclear fusion.

But according to Chinese state media, New Atlas reports, the team at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has set a new world record: temperatures of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds.

Yeah, that's hot. So what? Nuclear fusion reactions require an insane amount of heat and pressure --- a temperature environment similar to the sun, which is approximately 150 million degrees C.

If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it.

If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it. In nuclear fusion, the extreme heat and pressure create a plasma. Then, within that plasma, two or more hydrogen nuclei crash together, merge into a heavier atom, and release a ton of energy in the process.

Nuclear fusion milestones: The team at EAST built a giant metal torus (similar in shape to a giant donut) with a series of magnetic coils. The coils hold hot plasma where the reactions occur. They've reached many milestones along the way.

According to New Atlas, in 2016, the scientists at EAST could heat hydrogen plasma to roughly 50 million degrees C for 102 seconds. Two years later, they reached 100 million degrees for 10 seconds.

The temperatures are impressive, but the short reaction times, and lack of pressure are another obstacle. Fusion is simple for the sun, because stars are massive and gravity provides even pressure all over the surface. The pressure squeezes hydrogen gas in the sun's core so immensely that several nuclei combine to form one atom, releasing energy.

But on Earth, we have to supply all of the pressure to keep the reaction going, and it has to be perfectly even. It's hard to do this for any length of time, and it uses a ton of energy. So the reactions usually fizzle out in minutes or seconds.

Still, the latest record of 120 million degrees and 101 seconds is one more step toward sustaining longer and hotter reactions.

Why does this matter? No one denies that humankind needs a clean, unlimited source of energy.

We all recognize that oil and gas are limited resources. But even wind and solar power --- renewable energies --- are fundamentally limited. They are dependent upon a breezy day or a cloudless sky, which we can't always count on.

Nuclear fusion is clean, safe, and environmentally sustainable --- its fuel is a nearly limitless resource since it is simply hydrogen (which can be easily made from water).

With each new milestone, we are creeping closer and closer to a breakthrough for unlimited, clean energy.

The science of sex, love, attraction, and obsession

The symbol for love is the heart, but the brain may be more accurate.

Videos
  • How love makes us feel can only be defined on an individual basis, but what it does to the body, specifically the brain, is now less abstract thanks to science.
  • One of the problems with early-stage attraction, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, is that it activates parts of the brain that are linked to drive, craving, obsession, and motivation, while other regions that deal with decision-making shut down.
  • Dr. Fisher, professor Ted Fischer, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz explain the different types of love, explore the neuroscience of love and attraction, and share tips for sustaining relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial.

Sex & Relationships

There never was a male fertility crisis

A new study suggests that reports of the impending infertility of the human male are greatly exaggerated.

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