Above: Edna, the longest living soup currently known.
The Online Life-Like CA Soup Search is a collaborative online project designed to find interesting patterns in Life-like cellular automata by watching the evolution of random initial configurations (known as soups). In particular, random soups are evolved until they stabilize, and all the resulting stable patterns are uploaded to the server and catalogued. If the initial soup lived for an exceptionally long time then it is also uploaded to the server.
Open Sailing is… well, just look at a list of their projects and check out their site:
– Instinctive_Architecture : an architecture that behaves like a super-organism, reacting to the weather conditions and other variables, reconfiguring itself.
– Energy_Animal : an independent module that generates energy from the waves, wind and sun, providing continuously off-grid energy and being a node for environment and data mesh networking.
– Nomadic_Ecosystem : engineering a mobile aquaculture to sustain human long term life at sea.
– Openet.org : forum to formulate a global standard for a purely civilian internet, an internet moderated by its users, not by the governments nor the industries nor the militaries.
– Life_Cable : a simpler unified standard for energy, water, waste, information in a complex built structure.
– Swarm_Operating_System : a customizable decision assisting software, using real-time data about global threats or personal interests.
– Ocean_Cookbook : making the experience at sea not of a survival quality but a truly yummy experience.
– Open_Politics : think tank about a possible internal organization for a new oceanic urban structure.
HAVE you ever experienced that eerie feeling of a thought popping into your head as if from nowhere, with no clue as to why you had that particular idea at that particular time? You may think that such fleeting thoughts, however random they seem, must be the product of predictable and rational processes. After all, the brain cannot be random, can it? Surely it processes information using ordered, logical operations, like a powerful computer?
Actually, no. In reality, your brain operates on the edge of chaos. Though much of the time it runs in an orderly and stable way, every now and again it suddenly and unpredictably lurches into a blizzard of noise.
Neuroscientists have long suspected as much. Only recently, however, have they come up with proof that brains work this way. Now they are trying to work out why. Some believe that near-chaotic states may be crucial to memory, and could explain why some people are smarter than others.
A saffron-coloured crystal could provide a step towards greener electronics.
Some types of low-power computer memory store information using metals that are ferroelectric, meaning they form positive and negative poles when placed in an electric field. However, many of the more common metals used are either rare or toxic.
Now Sachio Horiuchi at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Ibaraki, Japan, and colleagues have discovered ferroelectric behaviour in crystalline croconic acid, which contains just carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.
A team led by Northwestern University chemistry professor Bartosz A. Grzybowski has shown that an acidic droplet can successfully navigate a complex maze.
“I personally find most exciting that such a simple system can exhibit apparently ‘intelligent’ behavior,” Louisiana State University chemistry professor John A. Pojman comments. “This approach may be useful as a pumping method for microfluidics or a way to convert chemical energy to mechanical motion in small devices. I am eager to see if they can generalize it to other types of gradients,” he says.
With Chemistry as Art, Safren uses chemical reactions on metal surfaces to create dynamic images. With these works, Safren brings to the fore the chemical materiality of painting and the intimacy of individual artist with their materials. Safren’s ‘paintings’ interact with their viewers through the refractive and reflective nature of the chemicals applied to their surfaces.
A single-celled slime mould mindlessly foraging for food can create a network as efficient as the Tokyo rail system, researchers say.
A team of Japanese and British researchers say the behaviour of the amoeba-like mould could lead to better design of computer or communication networks.
The slime mould Physarum polycephalum grows to connect itself to food sources as part of its normal behaviour.
The mould “can find the shortest path through a maze or connect different arrays of food sources in an efficient manner,” wrote Atsushi Tero of Hokkaido University and his colleagues in this week’s issue of Science.
The researchers noticed that the slime mould spreading to gather scattered food sources organizes itself into a gelatinous network that interconnects the sources and looks somewhat like a railway system.