x worth sharing

Relentlessly I insist that you start more side projects and share them.  It inspires me.  I believe in leading by example so here are two small crowd-sourced ones to get you started.

1. Design Worth Spreading

Tumblr featuring designs inspired by “ideas worth spreading” featured at TED or TEDx events.

2. Photos of notes

Self explanatory.  10+ moleskines full of thoughts, drawings, quotes, left-handed writing that might make it look like I am on drugs, etc are going online for you to get a glimpse of my mind.

Inspire a stranger. Submit photos of your notes.

TED2012 begins one week from today.  Burst of enthusiasm.

Continue Reading

Google Body: the awesome report

Google Body is gone, ladies and gentlemen.  It was lost in a changeover from google labs.  “More wood behind fewer arrows,” says Google.  For now, what was google body is not available for use.  I hope the next version includes deep tissue zoom.

Google “google body” and you find Zygote Labs, the imaging and design firm that created the brain and heart below.

by Zygote 3D anatomy

Zygote is the company behind the 3D human anatomy displayed in Google Body.  As Google Labs winds down Zygote will move forward with Zygote Body.

A “searchable and interactive 3D model of human anatomy.”  Awesome.

I hope that interactive body3D incorporates agility.  I imagine that one could input a movement relative to neutral position and the digital anatomy moves as it were a human body and you can zoom into deep muscle layers etc and see which ones are flexing and how much etc.  zoom from whole body to biomolecular happenings.  I’m thinking.  It’s on now.

Imagination squared.

Notes on a blog:

This is individual reporting.  I think someday I will run these blog posts through a grammatical analytics platform and map the trajectories of my concentrated and directional ideas.  This post is a catalog, occuring over more minutes than you might think.

I’m looking around the Zygote/3Dscience website.  They have a curious program called Human Factors, which

“enables users to use anthropometrically accurate solid 3D male and female models within their SolidWork assemblies to visualize and evaluate …[one hopes musculoskeletal] interaction [of the human body] with the human body [are these hard to read?  I just wrote two varities of the incident sentence. As a reader of these thoughts some time in the future, I wonder what relevance the previous grammatical bifurcation might encourage.]”

$950 licensing fee.  Google body, you were free!  I think humanity is trending toward freedom of innovation.  I think it compounds when shared.  And the best part, action from ideas!

Welcome to my mind.  9:40 on a Tuesday evening. In between writing on this post I did 2 handstands.  Relevant?  Notes for future reference.  I am creating a book.

What else do I do.  What is a blog?

I ask questions.  They give life moguls and amplitude, and curious word combinations.  What does that mean, thinking differently?  Relative to myself, how do my neural networks change relative to how they used to be and where and how and with whom could I explore this?

I learned recently two cognitive curiosities:

  1. Every neuron in your brain has its own capillary.
  2. Dendritic spining is an integral part of your neurons’ function and evolution.
“The modification of synaptic connections between neurons is thought to underlie our ability to form memories and acquire new behaviors. The majority of excitatory synapses in the brain are formed onto specialized cellular structures known as dendritic spines that consist of a bulbous spine head that is separated from the remainder of the dendrite by a thin neck.”

Says Neurobiology Professor Bernardo Sabatini of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Neurobiology.  Dendritic spines seem to serve the purpose of spatially segmenting individual synapses such that signal transductions are not interfered with by neighboring synapses.  The volume of a spine is tiny at <1 femtoliter (one quadrillionth of a liter).  We have only recently been able to image them and observe their interaction in living tissue.  Here is the latest comprehension of how they work:

“spines are dynamic structures that grow, structurally reorganize, and sometimes disappear within tens of minutes and spine motility has been correlated with the ability of animals of reorganize their cerebral cortex..”

This spawns a plethora of thoughts in various directions which I will think more thoroughly through then communicate the most valuable aka curious ones to you, the internet and me, myself.  For now, on with the train of thought.

A blog is self notes.  I think of it as making my mind social.

How do I share how I think?  Is that what I actually think about?  When?  With most passion?  Curiosity?  Time?  How does what I do/what I spend time thinking about (and doing) vary over time?  It is in bursts.  What do I think about in my spare time?  Why do I suddenly experience shyness?

Finishing up, the awesome report: things interesting to me.  Think and discover and enjoy!

“Non-profit global collaborative experiment to collect health and lifestyle information and share it in an open and anonymous way.”

google chrome experimental

Google Experimental. I am testing Google Instant.

“Google is always experimenting with new features aimed at improving the search experience. Take one for a spin.”

Quora:  The Wikipedia of Questions

“A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it.”

New arXiv entries into the journal of Quantitative Biology.

Look at these categories!

  • molecular networks
  • neurons and cognition
  • subcellular processes
  • biomolecules
  • cell behavior

11:56 pm.  Final words, thoughts?  Exist mindfully and intensely.

Life is long if you know how to use it.

Continue Reading

Hammocks for Astronomical Observatories

There are over 600 astronomical observatories in the world.

600 places where you can observe nebular gas clouds and ponder the universe.  Learn a little and geek out with friends.  Observatories are great places to enjoy champagne and good company, in my experience.  I want to equip these wonders of science and human accomplishment with something which will make future visits all the more enjoyable:  hammocks.

What better way to look at the sky than to sway in the breeze and simply open your eyes.  The world is beautiful.  Enjoy it.  In a hammock.   I am working through Huntsville Ideas, a 501(c)(3) to make side project happen.   Contact me with questions or to get involved.

Indulge ideas.  You might just come up with a new nonprofit venture that aims to make science a little cozier.

600 Hammocks for Astronomical Observatories.   Project 600HAO.

Like it?  Share it.

Check out the new beta website.

Project HAO

Continue Reading

Infographic series on the human body

The human body fascinates me.   It is beautiful that I am a biochemical system standing here thinking about how I exist.  I think a lot of things about the body are fantastic, so I’ve started creatively conveying things that make me think “wow.”   Here are the latest visualizations from my professional playing with Inkscapes through Sterling Health‘s Body 101 series on visualizing.org.

Your body is amazing. Over 650 skeletal muscles working together yield your bilaterally symmetrical biological frame, composed functionally of 325 working pairs of muscles and over 187 joints. How many can you feel?

I’m at about 150, up from just 100 a couple months ago. Yoga and other exercise activities that simultaneously strengthen and stretch your muscular system (including ligaments and tendons) enhance not only your posture and strength but also promote innervation and viscularization of tissue. Here’s another serving of Body 101 a la carte: during the first couple weeks of exercising a new muscle, much of the improvement is acually increased efficiency of the nervous system to communicate with muscular fibers and cells (source: hamill and knutzen, the biomechanical basis of human movement).  View on visualizing.org.


It can take up to 20 minutes for the chemicals that tell your body that you are hungry to be reabsorbed and replaced by those that signal fullness. This is why doctors recommend you stop eating when you are satiated, rather than full.

Food for thought next time your belly is on your mind.  View on visualizing.org

What are you? While philosophically this varies, biologically, you are a series of chemical reactions. The mighty brain is the end goal of your body: facilitating the growth of new neural connections and firing along those synapses that already exist. This “connectome” essentially IS you. Your brain never stops growing as long as you continually explore new things, challenge yourself with varied ideas, and think abstractly about how and who you are. I hope you remember every day how intricately complex and mindbogglingly beautiful it is that you are alive.  View on visualizing.org.

Designers, email me amy at healthsterling.com to  take part in the Body 101 project: visualizing the human machine on healthsterling.com.

Continue Reading

Who am I? Variety

I’m reading through a 100-row spreadsheet that is my first attempt at quantified self, or data tracking.

Until I finish a big infographic visualizing the categories, here are some wordles of things I wrote between 6/16/11 and 7/24/11.

Also, autoune demo:  Live with Passion.

          

                   

                 

Cheers.  A lot more where these came from.  Testing layouts.  Which is your favorite?

Continue Reading

Explore: Music

I’ve been braistorming and working on this global music initiative for several months.

Now that I have leaped into the cool blue sea of human music, I’m enthralled.  I want to know more.  I want to understand why a violin sounds different than a synthesizer.  I want to see and touch sound.  I want to be capable of describing the dynamics of what I can hear.  I have 50 questions and 10 answers and so I’m going social.  I invite the world to share, listen, talk, and explore music.

Learning comes from curiosity, in my opinion.  I love to ponder and bounce around and discover.  Then I think of something it is with a relaxed yet invigorated mind, which makes an instant connection with something I care about – usually one of the “things” (thoughts) that lead to curiosity in the first place.  I wonder.  Life is good.

Explore: Music

Inspired by TED and TEDx.

Longfellow called music “the universal language of mankind.”   In much the same way that the TED Translations expands the reach of TED, the The TEDx Global Music Project aims to share TEDx harmonics with the world.

Explore the song reservoir and sign up for  Tues and Fri releases.  New music to your inbox.   

Continue Reading

inverse dictionary

I have a lot of ideas.  So many, in fact, that I need more words than I know, more time than I have, and more tools than I understand how to use in order to bring them to fruition.  Until Matrix-esque plug-in knowledge (a la “I know kung fu“) rolls around,  I would love a tool that helps me find a word I wonder about by inputting the definition.  Does something like this exist?  I think it would inspire me just by being cool.

I read a great quote yesterday: “you can’t do much about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth,”  True.  I hope all of you are living well and exploring the unknown and doodling and sharing ideas and writing to people who inspire you.  That last one is the trick to loving your inbox.  When people I respect send thoughtful correspondence it makes me smile at least 1/4″ wider.

I’ve been looking for a word that means “interesting, stimulating, challenging, exciting” for about 6 years now.  I will give it one more year until I pull a Shakespeare and make up my own.  Creativity, procrastination or patience hmm.

Continue Reading

Vegan experiment: day 10 of 45

Vegan = plants only.  No animal products.   No milk, cheese, butter, eggs, or meat.  I am minimizing starches (forget bread; grains sparingly) and maximizing whole foods.

Volumetrically, about 60% of my diet is vegetables; 30% fruit;  10% nut and oil.

I eat A LOT.  A 90% vegetable and fruit diet has that effect.   I average about 30 different types of fruits and veggies each day.  I have developed a serious affinity for Curries and Chinese Five Spice.  My body feels great.

Creative cooking is a fun new challenge: using only plant based products, how can I build a complete protein loaded with phytonutrients that tastes spunky?  Innumerable ways, it seems.  I tend to make super-sized supermixes of about 15 types of veg/fruit that I munch on for several days.

Here’s the one I made tonight:

1 c chopped Kale; Squash1/2 c; zucchini 1c, arugula 1 c; can: kidney, garbanzo, soy beans; Mache 1.5c; over ripe blackberries; fresh cut ginger 1T; cut green beans 1/2 c; baby carrots sliced lengthwise 3/4 c; 1 peach, juice from 1/2 orange + 1/2 sliced orange pieces ; white rice vinegar 1/4 c; 2T Chinese five spice; 1T curry; cinnamon 1t; 1/6 c raw sugar; 1 t mustard seeds. s&p

I wonder what systemic chemical changes are going on in my body.  Biochemists, please, chime in.

The goal of this project is to explore potential relations between creative output and health.  So far, I’ve gone through all 595 TEDx music performances. I’ve started playing ukulele (almost there with It’s a Wonderful World).  I finally sent Billy Valentine a demo of my autotune performance from TEDActive (remixxx!).  I’m almost finished completing the corporate wellness program process for Sterling Health.  I’ve learned the basics of Inkscapes, a vector based graphic design program.  I joined Google +.  I’ve started recording brainstorms on the iamtpain autotune app.  The last thing on this list you should definitely try.

Continue Reading