Amar, Bose of sound, is dead at 83

Amar-Bose

Unlike the last name of Satyendra, Amar’s never prompted the frenzy of nationalist appropriation that gripped many when talking about their work. That’s perhaps because, even though Amar Bose’s connection to India was meagre at best, he made a global name for himself and his iconic brand, Bose Corp., through such enviable traits as an uncontrollable curiosity, originality and and a Feynmanesque independence. Right from Bose’s radio-repairing enterprise at 13 to his demise at 83 (on July 12), he’d been audacious and also carefully preserved the resources that allowed him to be audacious. I wrote an obituary to this great man for The Hindu, with Narayan Lakshman and Anuj Srivas.

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Most of the principles of the MIT Media Lab I think can be adopted by young professionals looking to make it big. It’s not safe, it’s not sure either, but it definitely re-establishes the connection with intuitive thought (“compasses”) instead of the process-entombed one (“maps”) that’s driving many good ideas and initiatives – like the newspaper – into the ground.

Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or waters road?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fools’ triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?

 

W.B. Yeats, To a Child Dancing in the Wind

Today feels like such a day…

Insects inspire simpler prosthetics

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Evolution’s got everything going for it. Without a doubt, it’s the most powerful and efficient computing algorithm ever conceived – rather to have computed itself into existence. I don’t forget that it’s an axiomatic phenomenon, but humankind has struggled to recreate the same degree of complexity and energy efficiency with the same resources. However, humankind doesn’t fail to be inspired, either – like with a strange type of joint neurobiologists have found in grasshoppers and locusts. Looking like a hinge joint, it automatically applies passive forces succeeding active ones. These help weaker muscles in the insects’ hind legs counteract the stronger ones, facilitating a longer jump without being as metabolically costly as a bigger muscle – something only evolution has accomplished. The inspiration? Simpler prosthetics for humans. My piece for The Hindu on this.

A ‘Fight Club’ graphic novel

“About the graphic novel, it’s true. Chelsea Cain has been introducing me to artists and creators from Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, and they’re walking me through the process. It will likely be a series of books that update the story ten years after the seeming end of Tyler Durden. Nowadays, Tyler is telling the story, lurking inside Jack, and ready to launch a come-back. Jack is oblivious. Marla is bored. Their marriage has run aground on the rocky coastline of middle-aged suburban boredom. It’s only when their little boy disappears, kidnapped by Tyler, that Jack is dragged back into the world of Mayhem.

It will, of course, be dark and messy. Due to contract obligations it can’t come to light for a while. Next year is “Beautiful You,” followed by the story collection. But since the Fight Club sequel will appear serialized in graphic form, my book publisher might allow me to launch it earlier than 2015.

Feel free to release any or all of this information. We haven’t started to court a specific publisher, not until I hammer out the complete story.”

Thus spake Chuck Palahniuk at Comic-Con 2013.

Source here.

A 'Fight Club' graphic novel

“About the graphic novel, it’s true. Chelsea Cain has been introducing me to artists and creators from Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, and they’re walking me through the process. It will likely be a series of books that update the story ten years after the seeming end of Tyler Durden. Nowadays, Tyler is telling the story, lurking inside Jack, and ready to launch a come-back. Jack is oblivious. Marla is bored. Their marriage has run aground on the rocky coastline of middle-aged suburban boredom. It’s only when their little boy disappears, kidnapped by Tyler, that Jack is dragged back into the world of Mayhem.

It will, of course, be dark and messy. Due to contract obligations it can’t come to light for a while. Next year is “Beautiful You,” followed by the story collection. But since the Fight Club sequel will appear serialized in graphic form, my book publisher might allow me to launch it earlier than 2015.

Feel free to release any or all of this information. We haven’t started to court a specific publisher, not until I hammer out the complete story.”

Thus spake Chuck Palahniuk at Comic-Con 2013.

Source here.

Better batteries from rice husk

Research in lithium-ion batteries (LIB) is booming because the industries that use it widely are growing in number and expanding in scale. There’s been a steady march toward increasing the charge-capacity of LIBs, and apart from uniquely innovative solutions, the prevalent tendency has been toward replacing graphite anodes with nanoparticulate or nanoporous silicon ones, increasing charge capacity by 400,000%. Manufacturing either isn’t especially difficult, but researchers from South Korea have found that nanoporous silicon dioxide exists naturally in rice husk. Treated properly, they were able to extract nanoporous silicon and use it as anodes in a high-performance LIB (CE 99.7% after 500 cycles). Here are more details.