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Thursday Watercooler


Computer-generated image of a blue-haired female cyborg, with mechanical torso and arm

Are we witnessing the birth of sports 2.0?

Tonight’s video is “The Fundamentals of Space-Time, Part 1” from TED-Ed.

Space is where things happen. Time is when things happen. And sometimes, in order to really look at the universe, you need to take those two concepts and mash them together. In this first lesson of a three-part series on space-time, hilarious hosts Andrew Pontzen and Tom Whyntie go through the basics of space and time individually, and use a flip book to illustrate how we can begin to look at them together.

Lesson by Andrew Pontzen and Tom Whyntie, animation by Giant Animation Studios.

In 2016, Switzerland will host a new version of the Olympics geared toward users of prosthetics and robotic-enhancements. From the Verge: 

The competition is modeled after the Olympics and will feature six events: a bike race, leg race, wheelchair race, exoskeleton race, arm prosthetics race, and Brain Computer Interface race for competitors with full paralysis. The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Robotics is hosting the competition to spur interest in emerging human-oriented robotics technologies.

Unlike the Olympics, where athletes can use prosthetics only to make themselves as good as able-bodied athletes and not better, Cybathlon competitors are encouraged to use the best technology. Dual prizes will be awarded, one to the athlete and one to the company that created the prosthetic, device, or software.

‘The rules of the competition are made in such way that the novel technology will give the pilot an advantage over a pilot that would use a comparable but less advanced or conventional assistive technology,’ the organization says on its website. ‘There will be as few technical constraints as possible, in order to encourage the device providers to develop novel and powerful solutions.’

Welcome to the future! Thanks M. Christian for another thought-provoking link.

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Image by Tony Tran under a Creative Commons license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and