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Zebra Braying – At The Denver Zoo

Many people are under the impressions that Zebras do not Bray or call out loudly to avoid making themselves know to predators. Even more unfortunate, I have seen several zoology forums claim they have no vocal cords. To dispel this notion I would like to call attention to the video above. The video was taken at the Denver Zoo in 2011. It clearly show that Zebras not only have vocal cords, but sound very similar to a North American donkey.

Zebras (/ˈzɛbrə/ zeb-rə or /ˈzbrə/ zee-brə)[1] are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black and white stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grévy’s zebra is the sole species of subgenusDolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass, to which it is closely related, while the former two are more horse-like. All three belong to the genus Equus, along with other living equids.
The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslandssavannaswoodlands, thorny scrublandsmountains, and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have had a severe impact on zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction. Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra are endangered. While plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, became extinct in the late 19th century – though there is currently a plan, called the Quagga Project, that aims to breed zebras that are phenotypically similar to the quagga in a process called breeding back
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Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

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Zebra Braying – At The Denver Zoo

Many people are under the impressions that Zebras do not Bray or call out loudly to avoid making themselves know to predators. Even more unfortunate, I have seen several zoology forums claim they have no vocal cords. To dispel this notion I would like to call attention to the video above. The video was taken at the Denver Zoo in 2011. It clearly show that Zebras not only have vocal cords, but sound very similar to a North American Zebra.

Zebras (/ˈzɛbrə/ zeb-rə or /ˈzbrə/ zee-brə)[1] are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black and white stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to… <<Read More>>
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Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Denver Police Are Drag Racing? – Take It To The Track!

 



Denver Police made three separate arrests and impounded a suspect’s vehicle last weekend after receiving several complaints of drag racers in a fast food parking lot and the surrounding area,according to a Facebook post from the Denver Police Department.

That’s why, if you have a need for speed, the department wants to remind you to drag race legally: At Bandimere Speedway.
Every Wednesday, racers can pay $30 to go as fast as they want at the drag racing venue, located at 3051 South Rooney Rd.
All you need is a valid driver’s license and a vehicle that is safe for racing.
On Sept. 10, you can even race police, which is pretty cool:
Denver Police FaceBook Post:
The 23 Take It To The Track Wednesday night events begin Wednesday, July 21st, at Bandimere Speedway, one of the country’s… <<Read More>>
 
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Posted by on October 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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History Of The Internet – Video Blog

 

Introduction

The Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities. The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location. The Internet represents one of the most successful examples of the benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research and development of information infrastructure. Beginning with the early research in packet switching, the government, industry and academia have been partners in evolving and deploying this exciting new technology. Today, terms like “bleiner@computer.org” and “http://www.acm.org&#8221; trip lightly off the tongue of the random person on the street. 1
This is intended to be a brief, necessarily cursory and incomplete history. Much material currently exists about the Internet, covering history, technology, and usage. A trip to almost any bookstore will find shelves of material written about the Internet. 2
ARPANET Circa 1977

In this article,3 several of us involved in the development and evolution of the Internet share our views of its origins and history. This history revolves around four distinct aspects. There is the technological evolution that began with early research on packet switching and the ARPANET (and related technologies), and where current research continues to expand the horizons of the infrastructure along several dimensions, such as scale, performance, and higher-level functionality. There is the operations and management aspect of a global and complex operational infrastructure. There is the social aspect, which resulted in a broad community of Internauts working together to create and evolve the technology. And there is the commercialization aspect, resulting in an extremely effective transition of… <<Read More>>

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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Google Pigeon Update – A Collection of Expert Opinions



Each year Google’s algorithms are changed between 500-600 times. Most of these changes are minor. Occasionally Google will roll out a major change, such as; “Panda” and “Penguin”. 



For digital marketers knowing when these change occored helps to explain changes in ranking and website traffic. Resulting in improved search engine optimization. 



For a complete list and description of all Googles updates click here



Googles latest update has been called “Pigeon” due to of a lack of an official name from Google. The named was dubbed by Search Engine Land on Jul 31st. The name was decided because the update is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home. 



According to Google the local search algorithm will work deeper with sites web search capabilities. Local sites are already experiencing improved visibility in Google Search Engine results:



“It looks like Yelp and other local directory-style sites are benefiting with higher visibility after the Pigeon update, at least in some verticals. And that seems logical since, as Google said, this update ties local results more closely to standard web ranking signals. That should benefit big directory sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor — sites that have stronger SEO signals than small, individual restaurants and hotels are likely to have.” 

                                                                                                          ~Search Engine Land



Nicole Hess Senior SEO Strategist at Delphic Design said… <<Read More>>


Nicole Hess

After reading about the potentially spammy results being brought in by the newest Google local algorithm update, I immediately began wondering the affect of it on several of my clients.

First and foremost, a national client of mine has hundreds of locations that conduct business independently and need organic traffic to produce valuable business leads.  I began digging into the data to spot any trends that already may be happening or developing and take action on it.
In reviewing the local rankings pack, I did not find spammy results creep into listings; although, I have seen this in some searches – such as “Casino” and “Interior Design” – but not in this client’s space.
My three primary observations:
  1. Locations not appearing in local results: There were a few locations that are not appearing in the local pack of results, though at some previous point did appear there. The average drop in traffic for a location that is no longer in the local pack is 16% less traffic month over month (and this is in a good season where overall organic traffic is increasing).
  2. Locations appearing in local results, less traffic: Of the 50 locations I reviewed, seven are receiving less organic traffic month over month, though still rank in the Local results and have the same organic rankings. Five of the seven locations rank second in a pack of seven local results and for each of these, there are paid ads with star ratings that appear above the local pack.
  3. Locations getting more traffic: Ten of the 50 locations I reviewed are receiving more organic traffic, on average 24% more organic traffic than the same week of the previous month.  Each location ranks in the local pack and most rank No. 1 or No. 2 in the local pack. Their organic rankings have also maintained steady positions month over month, so that factor can be eliminated.
Also, while there were still paid ads, most listings had paid ads that didn’t have star ratings to detract from the organic results. Noting that this is a good season for the client where organic traffic is improving in general, I’m not ascribing all the lift to the local pack rankings, though the lift in traffic for these locations is greater than the month over month lift in organic traffic overall.
So it appears there has been some favorable shifts caused by Pigeon driving more organic traffic.
From what I have witnessed, some local ranking shift has occurred and is driving more organic traffic to several locations. Being out of the local pack correlates with a loss of organic traffic for a few locations. A loss of organic traffic is also occurring where listings are competing against paid ads that have star ratings.”



Mike Blumenthal, search Expert and Author of Google Places and Local Search Blog Blumenthals added: 


“To a large degree the jury is still out on the what, whys and outcomes of the recent Local algo update. Things have been changing since the roll out Thursday evening and are just now stabilizing.
Mike Blumenthal
Things we do know: there seem to be fewer seven-pack results than before although the drop is not as big as first reported as Google seems to have changed the impact of some local query modifiers. It was originally reported as a sixty percent drop in MozCast, and by their metric it was. However many of their search queries no longer seem to function the same way.
 
Things that seem to be “more so” since the change include:
  • Localization of geo search results appear to have increased based on user’s location.
  • Brands appear to have benefited with additional listings in the pack results and more three-packs.
The update does appear to have reduced duplication between the organic and local results. After the October 2013 update that ended blended results, a number of sites were seeing both organic and local pack results. Those seem to have been reduced to one or the other.
The directories, at least anecdotally, appear to have benefited from the change.
On many searches the radius of the “view port” of the Map has changed. This obviously leads to an effective ranking shake up as the businesses visible within the view have changed. On some searches we are seeing cross geo border expansion of the port and on others a reduction in the radius, totally excluding the locations in the burbs.
Whether this is a cause or effect, we simply can’t yet tell but it does lead to turmoil in the rankings.
One could group this update with a number of other recent Google updates that have reduced visual “distractions” from the main search results; loss of video snippets, the loss of author photos, reduction in the number of review stars shown, etc. etc.
The impact is still unclear; we will have to wait for analytics data to accumulate to assess the net of the change both specifically and more broadly.”
Since the release, savvy search marketers noticed fluctuations and changes in the quality of the search results since – some may call it Pigeon version 1.1 has been released.
One example was the embarrassing NY hotel listing showing Expedia, which was fixed sometime last Friday.
Before:
new-york-hotels-google-pigeon-before-1406896872
After:
new-york-hotels-google-pigeon-after-1406896872
When asked if Google had made a small update to their local search algorithm, Google would not confirm or deny the change. Google did say that they “don’t have a specific update to announce here.” Google added “we probably won’t detail all the changes to local search algorithms as we go.”
I doubt we will hear from Google about new local search algorithm updates in the future based on this last statement.
Enjoy a Brief Power point:

 



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Sources:

SearchEngineLand.com

Moz.com

Marketing Day.com

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Long Line of Funny Commercials – Video Blog

Kia has a long line of funny commercials. From the Yo Gaba Gaba Super Bowl commercial to the always popular Kia Hamster videos they are all good for a laugh. We’ve decided to put all of the most hilarious commercials in one playlist for your amusement. Enjoy!

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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

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K900 Ushers In An Era Of Luxury And Affordability


The 2015 Kia K900 sedan gives you much of the spaciousness, luxury and technology of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Kia does it for $66,000, fully equipped, when the S-Class starts at $95,000. Kia provides the industry’s slickest and most useful blind spot detection by placing additional indicators in the head-up display. You can get ventilated, reclining rear seats. This is a car to watch.

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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in technology, Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

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Adriana Lima Stars In 2104 World Cup Commercial

 

As the FIFA World Cup readies to kick off, international brands are using the opportunity to market like mad and push their product with a host of funny, sexy and powerful advertising.

Korean automaker Kia has released a series of adverts starring Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima in which she convinces Americans, more in tune with NASCAR racing and American football, to tune into the World Cup.

“While I am absolutely sure these commercials won’t change American sports fans’ preferences, they are really enjoyable to watch. Oh, and if you watch closely, you might notice some Kia vehicles in the videos as well,” wrote Dan Mihalascu for the CarScoops website.

Who is Adriana Lima:

(Brazilian Portuguese: [adɾiˈãnɐ frɐ̃ˈseska ˈlimɐ]; born June 12, 1981) is a Brazilian model and actress who is best known as a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000, and as a spokesmodel for Maybelline cosmetics from 2003 to 2009. At the age of 15, Lima finished first in Ford’s “Supermodel of Brazil” competition, and took second place the following year in the Ford “Supermodel of the World” competition before signing with Elite Model Management in New York City. In 2012, she came in 4th on the Forbes top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $7.3 million in one year.

Sources:
Wikipipedia
CarScoops

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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History of April Fools Day – Video Blog


Video Produced By: Jeremiah Warren

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.
20130401-113417.jpgIn Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages (pesce d’aprile!, poisson d’avril! and aprilvis! in Italian, French and Flemish, respectively). Such fish feature prominently on many French late 19th to early 20th century April Fools’ Day postcards.The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness is an ambiguous reference in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1 by Pope Gregory XIII as New Year’s Day of the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, sometimes questioned for earlier references.

Origins

Precursors of April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28, still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries.
20130401-113545.jpg
In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon.[5] Thus, the passage originally meant 32 days after April, i.e. May 2, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean “March 32”, i.e. April 1. In Chaucer’s tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1508, French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “April fish”), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day”, the first British reference. On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”.

In the Middle Ages, up until the late 18th century, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Year’s Day was common in France by the mid-16th century,[6] and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.

A study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK and those countries whose traditions derived from there, the joking ceased at midday. But this practice appears to have lapsed in more recent years.

Source: Wikipedia
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History of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Video Blog

In the 1920s, many of Macy’s department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the United States parade of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.Tom The Turkey From Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

In 1924, the parade (originally known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade and later the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade) was staged by the store. Employees and professional entertainers marched from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.At the end of that first parade, as has been the case with every parade since, Santa Clauswas welcomed into Herald Square. At this first parade, however, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the Macy’s balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then “crowned” “King of the Kiddies.” With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy’s declared it would become an annual event.

Anthony “Tony” Frederick Sarg loved to work with marionettes from an early age. After moving to London to start his own marionette business, Sarg moved to New York City to perform with his puppets on the street. Macy’s heard about Sarg’s talents and asked him to design a window display of a parade for the store. Sarg’s large animal-shaped balloons, produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, replaced the live animals in 1927 when the Felix the Catballoon made its debut. Felix was filled with air, but by the next year, helium was used to fill the expanding cast of balloons.

At the finale of the 1928 parade, the balloons were released into the sky where they unexpectedly burst. The
Through the 1930s, the Parade continued to grow, with crowds of over 1 million lining the parade route in 1933. The first Mickey Mouse balloon entered the parade in 1934. The annual festivities were broadcast on local New York radio from 1932 through 1941, and resumed in 1945 through

1951.The parade was suspended 1942–1944 during World War II, owing to the need for rubber and helium in the war effort. The parade resumed in 1945 using the route that it followed until 2008. The parade became a permanent part of American culture after being prominently featured in the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street, which shows actual footage of the 1946 festivities. The event was first broadcast on network television in 1948 (see below). By this point the event, and Macy’s sponsorship of it, were sufficiently well-known to give rise to the colloquialism “Macy’s Day Parade”. Since 1984, the balloons have been made by Raven Industries of Sioux Falls, SD.

Macy’s also sponsors the smaller Celebrate the Season Parade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, held two days after the main event. Other cities in the US also have parades on Thanksgiving, but they are not run by Macy’s. The nation’s oldest Thanksgiving parade (the Gimbels parade, now known as 6abc-IKEA) was first held in Philadelphia in 1920. Other cities include the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade of Chicago, Illinois and parades in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Fountain Hills, Arizona. A parade is also held at the two U.S. Disney theme parks. There is even a 2nd Thanksgiving balloon parade within the New York metropolitan area, the UBS balloon parade in Stamford, CT, 30 miles away. This parade is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving to not compete with the New York parade and usually does not duplicate any balloon characters.

following year they were redesigned with safety valves to allow them to float for a few days. Address labels were sewn into them, so that whoever found and mailed back the discarded balloon received a gift from Macy’s

The classic “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” logo  was, with one exception, last used in 2005. For 2006 a special variant of the logo was used. Every year since a new logo has been used for each parade. The Logos however are seen rarely, if at all, on television as NBC has used its own logo with the word “Macy’s” in script and “Thanksgiving Day Parade” in a bold font. The logos are assumed to be for Macy’s use only, such as on the Grandstand tickets and the ID badges worn by parade staff. The Jackets worn by parade staff still bear the original classic parade logo, this being the only place where that logo can be found.

New safety measures were incorporated in 2006 to prevent accidents and balloon related injuries. One measure taken was installation of wind measurement devices to alert parade organizers to any unsafe conditions that could cause the balloons to behave erratically. Also, parade officials implemented a measure to keep the balloons closer to the ground during windy conditions. If wind speeds are forecast to be higher than 34 miles per hour, all balloons are removed from the parade. In 2007, the journal Puppetry International published a first person account of being a balloon handler. If you are planning to see the parade this year please visit NYCTourist.com tips on getting just the right spot.

Compiled By: Josh Martin
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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2013 SEMA Show Brings Innovation – Video Blog

Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

of the automobile aftermarket was formed in 1963 by Roy Richter, Ed Iskenderian, Willie Garner, Bob Hedman,Robert E. Wyman, John Bartlett, Phil Weiand, Jr., Al Segal, Dean Moon, and Vic Edelbrock, Jr.
and now consists of 6,383 companies worldwide, bringing together
aftermarket manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, media, car
dealers, specialty equipment distributors, installers, retailers and
restoration specialists.

Products in this $27.8 billion-a-year industry include performance
and racing components, cosmetic and functional accessories, wheels and
tires, mobile electronics, safety products, restoration parts, handling
equipment, drivetrain parts and more. The industry covers muscle cars, classics, luxury vehicles, sport compacts, street rods, light trucks (off-road and sport trucks) SUVs and recreational vehicles.

SEMA provides services for employees of its member companies that
include education and professional development, market research,
legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry publications, international business development and business to business events.

The largest of the SEMA events held annually during the first week of November is the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in conjunction with the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week.
As part of this event, SEMA and other automotive aftermarket trade
groups make-up one of the single largest events on the Las Vegas
calendar. This is a title formerly held by the now defunct COMDEX show. This auto show is not open to the public. Registration as media, manufacturer, buyer or exhibitor is required.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Click to Enlarge

LAS VEGAS — Mazda’s not a company that makes a big deal about things.
At the 2013 SEMA Show, there was no Mazda press conference, no thumping
music at its booth, and no scantily clad booth professionals — just
four tasteful concepts. From the company that brought us the ultimate
automotive expression of “less is more,” the MX-5 Miata, this is to be
expected.

Starting off, there’s the Mazda Ceramic 6 Concept, an example of the
Mazda6 that’s been modified to enhance the sedan’s performance and
style.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Mazda may not be a manufacturer that comes to mind where racing is
concerned; however, you might be surprised to learn that there are
likely more Mazda cars doing track events every weekend than any other
brand.

Mazda3 and Mazda6 compact and midsize cars are among some of the most attractive in their respectable segments.

Building on their stellar looks, Mazda has juiced up a few examples with
special paint schemes, as well as aftermarket brake and suspension
kits. The resulting cars are more stock-plus rather than fully tuned.
The idea here was to demonstrate the potential of Mazda’s new lineup.

Mazda is not only in the business of racing and track days. Selling
cars, very attractive cars, is what they do best. Their recently
launched

Compiled By:
Josh Martin

Sources:
Wikipedia
Cnet.com
Auto123.com

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

MIT’s new display lets you raech through your somputer screen – Video Blog

MIT has demonstrated a “Dynamic Shape Display” that can physically change shape to render 3D content. As Fast Company reports, the display is called inFORM, and it’s a large surface that sits atop a series of pins, actuators, and linkages. By moving each actuator, inFORM can move the pin it’s attached to up or down, allowing for a wide range of interactions.

A projector mounted above the surface provides context to the shapeshifting pins, giving them color and highlighting depth. In a video released by MIT, the table is shown moving a ball, mirroring a book, displaying 3D charts, and giving an extremely visible smartphone notification.

When used in conjunction with a Kinect sensor, inFORM gets a lot more interesting. The sensor is able to accurately map and interpret the position of 3D objects, and MIT’s system uses that data to allow you to move the table’s pins with just your hands. This can even work remotely, as demonstrated by the video, which shows an MIT staffer interacting with items via a video conference.

It’s also very interested in mapping and terrain models, which could be used by urban planners and architects to better visualize and share 3D designs. The MIT Tangible Media Group, which is responsible for inFORM’s creation, says it’s currently collaborating with MIT’s Changing Places group to explore the possibilities for urban planners.

It’s extremely impressive stuff, but it’s just one step on a long path to what MIT calls Radical Atoms. First conceptualized over a decade ago, Radical Atoms are what MIT believes will be the future of interactivity. The idea is that we presently interact with computers through graphical user interfaces (GUI), while inFORM and other projects like it offer up a tactile user interface (TUI).

MIT likens TUIs to a digital iceberg: just the tip of the digital content emerges “above water” into the physical realm. Moving past TUIs, the end game is Radical Atoms, a future in which “all digital information has physical manifestation … as if the iceberg had risen from the depths to reveal its sunken mass.”

A Word From Tangible Media Group and M.I.T.

We are currently exploring a number of application domains for the inFORM shape display. One area we are working on is Geospatial data,
such as maps, GIS, terrain models and architectural models. Urban planners and Architects can view 3D designs physically and better
understand, share and discuss their designs. We are collaborating with the urban planners in the Changing Places group at MIT on this
(http://cp.media.mit.edu/). In addition, inFORM would allow 3D Modelers and Designers to prototype their 3D designs physically without 3D
printing (at a low resolution). Finally, cross sections through Volumetric Data such as medical imaging CT scans can be viewed in 3D
physically and interacted with. We would like to explore medical or surgical simulations. We are also very intrigued by the possibilities of
remotely manipulating objects on the table.

Past research on
shape displays has primarily focused on rendering content and user interface elements through shape output, with less emphasis on
dynamically changing UIs. We propose utilizing shape displays in three different ways to mediate interaction: to facilitate by providing
dynamic physical affordances through shape change, to restrict by guiding users with dynamic physical constraints, and to manipulate by
actuating physical objects. We explore potential interaction techniques and introduce Dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints with our
inFORM system, built on top of a state-of-the-art shape display, which provides for variable stiffness rendering and real-time user input
through direct touch and tangible interaction. A set of example applications demonstrates how dynamic affordances, constraints and
object actuation can create novel interaction possibilities.

, our devices have been designed to simulate affordances–the quality which allows an object to perform a function, such as a handle, a dial or a wheel–but not actually have
them. Follmer says that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. “As humans,
we have evolved to interact physically with our environments, but in the
21st century, we’re missing out on all of this tactile sensation that
is meant to guide us, limit us, and make us feel more connected,” he
says. “In the transition to purely digital interfaces, something
profound has been lost.”

The solution is programmable matter, and the inFORM is one possible
interpretation of an interface that can transform itself to physically
be whatever it needs to be. It’s an interesting (and literal) analogue
to skeuomorphism: while in the touch-screen age we have started rejecting interfaces that ape the look of
real world affordances as “tacky” in favor of more pure digital UIs,
the guys at the Tangible Media Group believe that interface of the
future won’t be skeuomorphic. They’ll be supermorphic, growing the affordances they need on the fly.

Although the inFORM is primarily a sandbox for MIT to experiment with the tactile interfaces to come, it would be wrong to dismiss this project as mere spitballing. “We like to think of ourselves as imagining the futures, plural,” Follmer says. “The inFORM is a look at one of them.” But while the actual consumer implementation may very well differ, but both Follmer and Leithinger agree that tangible interfaces are coming. “Ten years ago, we had people at Media Lab working on gestural interactions, and now they’re everywhere, from the Microsoft Kinect to the Nintendo Wiimote,” says Follmer. “Whatever it ends up looking like, the UI of the future won’t be made of just pixels, but time and form as well. And that future is only five or ten years away. It’s time for designers to start thinking about what that means now.”

Compiled By: Josh Martin

Sources:

TheVerge.com

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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What is the difference between breakdancing and Parkour? – History and Video Blog

The definitions:

Parkour: (French pronunciation: ​[paʁˈkuʁ]) (abbreviated PK) is a holistic training discipline using movement that developed from obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to quickly and efficiently overcome obstacles in their environment, using only their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves; furthermore, they try to maintain as much momentum as is possible in a safe manner. Parkour can include running, climbing, swinging, vaultingjumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and the like, depending on what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation. 
Parkour is non-competitive. It may be performed on an obstacle course, but is usually practiced in a creative, and sometimes playful, reinterpretation or subversion of urban spaces. Parkour involves seeing one’s environment in a new way, and imagining the potentialities for movement around it.
Developed in France primarily by Raymond BelleDavid Belle, and Sébastien Foucan, during the late 1980s, Parkour became popular in the late 1990s and 2000s through films, documentaries, and advertisements featuring these practitioners and others.
Parkour’s training methods have inspired a range of other activities, includingfreerunning and l’art du déplacement. Although their creators define them as separate activities, practitioners and non-practitioners alike often find it difficult to discern the differences between them.


B-boying or Breaking, also called Breakdancing: is a style of street dance that originated among Black and Puerto Rican youths in New York City during the early 1970s. The dance spread worldwide due to popularity in the media, especially in regions such as South Korea, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and Japan. While diverse in the amount of variation available in the dance, b-boying consists of four kinds of movement: toprockdownrockpower moves, and freezes. B-boying is typically danced to hip-hop and especially breakbeats, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns. 

A practitioner of this dance is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. Although the term “breakdance” is frequently used to refer to the dance, “b-boying” and “breaking” are the original terms. These terms are preferred by the majority of the pioneers and most notable practitioners.

The History of Parkour

Trying to pinpoint the exact moment of the birth of Parkour is no easy task. In fact, it may actually prove to be an impossibility. Something as nebulous and indefinable as this thing we practice tends to defy classification. Already it boasts several names, in more than one language: Le Parkour, the Art of Movement, Freerunning, L’Art du Deplacement, to name but a few. And even if you do settle on a name, there is then the tricky little problem of what that name refers to – Is it a sport? Or an art? Or a philosophy perhaps? Or maybe it is better termed a discipline?


Truth is, there is no consensus on this. And – which really hefts a giant spanner into the works – you can’t just go and ask the founding father because this great movement is pretty damn far from being a nuclear family, 2.4 kids and all the rest. No. This child has had a whole host of surrogate step-parents influencing its development down through the years, the centuries, indeed even through the millennia. It has drawn on many sources, supped on inspiration from all over, and drunk from a hundred different cups as it has evolved – and by no means is this process over.
So where do we start in an attempt to get a grip on all this? Not at the beginning, because the gods only know where that was. Not at the end, because that isn’t even in sight. Seems the best we can do is to start somewhere in the middle, and give credit where it’s due to a certain little town in France.
The French Connection
To the south of Paris rest the sleepy, suburban towns of Evry, Sarcelles and Lisses, places no different from any other of the hundreds of satellites orbiting the French capital, save for one small fact: these places were home to a group of nine young men widely acknowledged as having crystallized a number of influences to create something then called l’Art du Deplacement, sometime in the 1980s. At the core of this group were Yann Hnautra and David Belle, who drove much of the early training and have since become known as the originators of the art. These childhood friends formed the group which called itself ‘Yamakasi’, a Lingala word meaning ‘Strong man, strong spirit’, and for over a decade they practised their discipline together and alone, reviled by the French authorities and seen as wildmen by the local public.
What style of dance is Parkour?
 
Parkour, as we have seen, is not something easily categorized. Perhaps inevitably however, as the community grew and numbers swelled, attempts to define and classify became commonplace. By nature an art that encourages freedom of movement and individual expression, it is difficult – if not impossible – to formalise a structured system that contains it whilst at the same time allowing for the subjective approaches of its practitioners. Matters were further complicated by the simple fact that David Belle – acknowledged as one of the gurus of Parkour – chose at first not to release any succinct and clear definition for others to refer to, and so the debates raged and schisms between the different perspectives ensued.
 
History of Breakdancing
 
Many elements of b-boying can be seen in other antecedent cultures prior to the 1970s. B-boy pioneers Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon and Kenneth “Ken Swift” Gabbert, both of Rock Steady Crew, cite James Brown and Kung-Fu films as influences to b-boying. Many of b-boying’s more acrobatic moves, such as the flare, show clear connections to gymnastics. An Arab street dancer performing acrobatic headspins was recorded by Thomas Edison in 1898. However, it was not until the 1970s that b-boying developed as a defined dance style.

Beginning with DJ Kool Herc, Bronx-based DJs would take the rhythmic breakdown sections (also known as the “breaks”) of dance records and prolong them by looping them successively. The breakbeat provided a rhythmic base that allowed dancers to display their improvisational skills during the duration of the break. This led to the first battles—turn-based dance competitions between two individuals or dance crews judged with respect to creativity, skill, and musicality. These battles occurred in cyphers—circles of people gathered around the breakers. Though at its inception the earliest b-boys were “close to 90 percent African-American”, dance crews such as “SalSoul” and “Rockwell Association” were populated almost entirely by Puerto Rican-Americans.

 
To most Americans, even to casual fans of hip hop, breakdancing was a fad whose moment passed before the end of the ’80s, tossed into the decade’s time capsule along with acid wash and decent John Hughes movies.

And in some sense, they’re right. Breakdancing burst onto the national scene in the early 1980s, fueled by a media obsession with hip hop, enjoyed a love affair with the spotlight that lasted a few years, and then fell out of the glare just as quickly as it had located it.
Breakdancing may have died, but the b-boy, one of four original elements of hip hop (also included: the MC, the DJ, and the graffiti artist) lives on. To those who knew it before it was tagged with the name breakdancing, to those still involved in the scene that they will always know as b-boying, the tradition is alive and, well, spinning.

Breakdancing seems so different from all other kinds of dancing that the first question people ask when they see it is: “Where did these kids learn to dance like that?” To many people, this dance seems to have come out of nowhere. But like everything else, Breakdance did come from somewhere, something and someone. In the case of Breakdancing, the someone is the great superstar, James Brown, and the something is the dance, the Good Foot. In 1969, when James Brown was getting down with his big hit “Get on the Good Foot” the Hustle was the big dance style of the day. If you’ve ever seen JamesBrown live in concert or on TV, then you know he can really get down. And when he preformed his hit, he did the kind of dance you’d expect James Brown to do. High Energy. This almost acrobatic dance was appropriately enough known as the lot of kids around New York City.

Compiled By: Josh Martin

Sources:

Wikipedia

Parkour Generations

NPR

Global Darkness

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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LA Auto show announces, nine concepts were submitted by world-renowned auto design studios.

2013-mazda-cx-5_100370452_lThe Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®) announced today that nine concepts were submitted by world-renowned auto design studios for this year’s Design Challenge, themed “Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 – Nature’s Answer to Human Challenges.” Each competitor’s mobility solution or system has been designed with nature’s inspiration while increasing function and addressing a variety of transportation topics, such as congestion, pollution, safety and sustainability. With biological knowledge doubling every five years, the 10th Design Challenge pushes automotive designers to explore new instruments and knowledge like never before.

In addition to the nine competing studios, three additional studios are joining this year’s Design Gallery to showcase their team’s capabilities making for a total of 12 auto design studios from around the world participating in the Show. Studios participating in the Design Challenge represent the brands Mazda, BMW, Changfeng, JAC Motors, Qoros, SAIC Motor, Subaru and Toyota.  Their entries for this year’s Design Challenge propose mobility solutions inspired by natural creatures, structures and occurrences. From self-sustaining silk worms to long-forgotten waterways, the entries are sure to spark intense competition and careful deliberation at the LA Auto Show’s 2013 Design Challenge. The three additional studios showcased in the Gallery include Hyundai Design and Research Center, Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center California and Nissan Design America.

mazda, concept, car, auto adapy. la auto show, 2013Mazda Design Americas, USA – In reaction to the impending demise of the 2025 driver, Mazda has designed “AUTO ADAPT.” Studying the biological phenomenon of adaptation and specifically how insects have adapted, Mazda has created a vehicle that has the ability to adapt from being fully autonomous to a manual machine. These vehicles are geared directly to those true drivers out there that long for the excitement found with driving an automobile; the excitement expected to be completely eliminated from the autonomous cars of 2025.

Entries will be judged on various factors including creative adaptation of nature’s laws (plants & animals); application of human intelligence to Biomimicry in unique ways to improve the efficiency of future vehicles; comfort, convenience, aesthetics of the vehicle; sustainability of the building, servicing, operation, and life cycle; and the personality of the vehicle in relationship to the brand.

Tom Matano

Tom Matano

Entries will be judged by Tom Matano, Executive Director, School of Industrial Design at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University; Stewart Reed, Chair of Transportation Design at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design; John Manoogian, Adjunct Professor Auto Design Studio at the College for Creative Studies. This esteemed panel of judges will be joined by guest judge, Dr. Gabriel A. Miller, who currently serves as the Director of Research & Development at the Centre for Bioinspiration at San Diego Zoo Global, where he devotes his work to the implementation of nature’s design and engineering solutions to advance humanity, wildlife, and habitats.

All entries will be presented and a winner will be selected during the Design Los Angeles Open House and Challenge Presentations on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The final competition concepts will be prominently displayed at the LA Auto Show in the newly created Design Gallery that makes design an integral part of the LA Auto Show. The brand new Design Gallery showcases the talent and imagination of key global auto studios throughout Press Days (Nov. 19, 20 and 21, 2013), as well as through the run of the public show (Nov. 22-Dec. 1, 2013).

The LA Auto Show Design Challenge is sponsored by Faurecia, the world’s sixth-largest automotive supplier specializing in automotive seating, emissions control technologies, interior systems and auto exteriors.  Other sponsors that make Design LA possible include Lacks Enterprises, Inc., Eastman, Dassault Systèmes, Autodesk, Bose and BBC.com, alongside the 2013 Design Challenge media partner, Car Design News.  The Design Challenge is organized by the LA Auto Show and the Design Los Angeles chairs, Joan Gregor and Chuck Pelly of The Design Academy.

Media registration for LA Auto Show and Connected Car Expo Press Days can be accessed here. General registration for CCE is also open at this time. For more information, please visit http://www.laautoshow.com  and http://www.connectedcarexpo.com.

About the Los Angeles Auto Show and Connected Car Expo

Founded in 1907, the Los Angeles Auto Show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year.  Press Days for the 2013 LA Auto Show® will be held on Nov. 20 and 21. The show will be open to the public Nov. 22 – Dec. 1. The Connected Car Expo (CCE) will be the first expo to unite automotive and technology professionals in an effort to increase development and foster relationship-building in the connected car industry, providing attendees with access to the key players and top media constructing the future of the connected car. CCE will debut on Nov. 19, and continue in conjunction with the 2013 LA Auto Show Press Days.  The LA Auto Show is endorsed by the Greater L.A. New Car Dealer Association and is operated by ANSA Productions. To receive the latest show news and information, follow LA Auto Show on Twitter at

Mazda’s entry is sure to turn heads, especially when you consider how strange Google self driving car looks. Mazda has been know for it’s intuitive, simple and sleek designs. I can’t wait to see what they have come up with.

Google’s Self-driving attempt

google-self-driving-carThe Google driverless car is a project by Google that involves developing technology for autonomous cars. The software powering Google’s cars is called Google Chauffeur. Lettering on the side of each car identifies it as a “self-driving car.” The project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View. Thrun’s team at Stanford created the robotic vehicle Stanley which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and its US$2 million prize from the United States Department of Defense.The team developing the system consisted of 15 engineers working for Google, including Chris Urmson, Mike Montemerlo, and Anthony Levandowski who had worked on the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges.

Compiled By:
Josh Martin

Sources:
PRNewswire
Wikipedia

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Kia proudly biulds its Sorrento in West Point, Georgia.


West Point, Ga., Oct. 22, 2013 – Together with local suppliers, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 jobs in West Point and surrounding areas. Today, another KMMG supplier added to the localization of jobs when Hyundai Dymos, who will be supplying seats to KMMG, held a groundbreaking ceremony at its 31-acre site on Kia Parkway in West Point.

kia motors, west point, georgia, plant

West Point Georgia

Hyundai Dymos will employ an estimated 350 team members when production begins in 2014 and is the latest of several expansions and groundbreakings among KMMG suppliers since the plant began production less than four years ago.

“Kia’s success in the U.S. market has led to tremendous growth at the plant and within our local suppliers,” said Byung Mo Ahn, Group President and CEO for Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. “We continue to be inspired by the hard work and commitment to excellence shown by our KMMG team members and the team members of our suppliers in this region.”

Hiring is expected to begin at Hyundai Dymos in January.

About KMMG

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. With an annual capacity of 360,000 units, KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009. KMMG is home to the Sorento CUV and the Optima mid-size sedan, two of the brand’s top selling models in the U.S.

A Word from Byung Mo Ahn

Byung Mo Ahn, KMMA, Kia motors America, west point georgia

Byung Mo Ahn

I want to take the time to thank you for visiting this site and to tell you a few things about Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) and the Kia brand in the United States.

We are extremely proud to call KMMG the home for the Kia Sorento and Kia Optima in the U.S. Both vehicles continue to lead the way for the Kia brand.

It is a wonderful time to be associated with this brand and the proof is in our record-breaking sales numbers and the many accolades our products continue to receive. We are truly building a world class product here at KMMG.

The dedication our team members have for building a top quality vehicle at an affordable price is second to none. We are maximizing our momentum with much more to come from the Kia brand and this facility in the months and years ahead.

We appreciate the time you have spent with us today and want to remind you to visit www.Kia.com or one of our more than 765 dealerships in the U.S. for more information on our products.

Sincerely,

Byung Mo Ahn,
Group President and CEO
Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

Compiled By:
Josh Martin
Sources:kmmgusa.com

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Automotive, news, Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

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