Monday, February 17, 2014

The Blackfish Show Needs To Go

Sea World has always been under the watchful eyes of animal rights groups like the ASPCA and PETA for their treatment of the animals in their parks. The heat has been turned up over the last few months following the release of the documentary “Blackfish” which gained notice at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and has been shown on CNN.
“Blackfish” tells the story of a killer whale named Tilikum, a captive performing whale at one of Sea World’s parks. Tilikum was captured of the coast of Iceland in 1983, and has been involved in the deaths of three trainers. The film brings into focus the dangers of keeping these animals in captivity and featuring them in performances with humans.
I live close to the Sea World park in San Diego and I’ve seen the Shamu show. I don’t like the Shamu show at Sea World. I don’t like the dolphin show or the seal shows at Sea World. I really don’t like the Cirque De Soleil show, but that’s because it’s creepy. Basically I don’t like to see beautiful sea animals in pools forced to perform stupid tricks for peoples. The last time I sat through the Shamu show with my parents, my Mother told me I didn’t appreciate the show for what it was. You’re supposed to love Shamu. Worship the mighty Shamu like the whale God that he is, not feel badly for him.

TEDxSanDiego 2013 An Inspiring Experience

TEDxSanDiego 2013 was held Saturday December 14, 2013 in beautiful La Jolla, California, on the UCSD campus in partnership with Calit2 and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. The event featured 20 speakers and performers from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, as well as a number of Calit2 experiences.
What…or TED, and what is TEDx? Well from the TEDxSanDiego itself, “TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.”
Now, TEDx events are independently organized TED events held around the world. “TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.”
The theme of TEDxSanDiego 2013 was re:Think, and the theme was well represented amongst the speakers and performers in the main hall. Besides rethinking, an obvious sub-theme was the pushing of boundaries, and innovation. Examples of rethinking music, art, tech, science and much more were on display throughout the presentations. Four sessions were featured–Possibilities, Makers, Art Makers, Peacemakers, New Perspectives, and What’s next?

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Road Leading to Self Driving Cars

The worst part about driving to work is the commute, and the worst part of the commute is the traffic. Sitting there, stop and go, stop and go, hoping not to get rear ended or cut off. It’s wasted time. We try to multi-task—talk on the phone (hands-free, of course), listen to music or books on tape. We all can’t afford to have a driver…or maybe someday we could! Our cars could soon drive us to and fro, and we could do whatever we wanted---even sleep on the way to work. You’re practically dozing off anyway as it is!

A recent article and infographic from Mashable predicts self-driving cars in showrooms by 2017. Some vehicles can already park themselves, or stop themselves in the event of an emergency, so the rest can’t be that far off, right? Mashable does ask, however, “will drivers be willing to trust it enough to sit and read their iPads or put on makeup on their way to work instead of driving? (Wait, aren't they doing that now?).”
Widespread acceptance is going to depend on how good and accessible the technology is. Once we see more and more self-driving cars on the road, the acceptance will increase, but it’s going to be an uphill battle. What’s it going to take to get drivers to get their hands of the wheel?
Eventually these cars will interact with the roads and highways, and even police and emergency vehicles, but most importantly with each other. For instance, some higher end brands like Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes Benz already have cars with an adaptive cruise control feature. Lasers or radar are used to maintain safe distances from other vehicles.
By 2014 some of the bigger automakers will be offering embedded 4G internet access in-vehicle. General Motors has already partnered with AT&T, and Apple is working on an OS for cars that will integrate with iOS7 in-dash.
Japanese automakers are banking on hydrogen power to run our cars of the future. Hydrogen powered cars built by the biggest Japanese automakers are expected to be on Japanese roads by 2015, backed up with the insurance that there will be plenty of hydrogen filling stations near all of Japan’s largest cities and surrounding areas. By 2016, the U.S. is expected to comprise 90% of the hybrid vehicle market, with a sharp rise in smart car batteries that run electric vehicles and other hybrids.

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