Perfect Cuckoo Land

Continuing with one of my previous topics about thinking, I have recently come up with this tweet by Psychology Today, basically asking me directly in the face, “Are YOU a perfectionist?” Truth to be told, I have never considered myself one, because there are always SO MANY loose ends I leave no matter what I would do. Not to mention that I have always felt that I’m always lacking some 2% in all my endeavors. But here I began thinking, maybe that’s exactly WHY some of the people around call me a perfectionist?

So I went and read that article about perfectionism where Peg O’Connor, Ph.D. argues that there are at least four forms of perfectionism, and all of them are based on self-deception. Ha, here I thought, that sounds familiar, although I wouldn’t say I go as far as “harboring huge resentment directed at others” or I am “making the judgment that” I am “a moral failure.” Nevertheless, the first type of perfectionism is indicated as procrastination.

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Oooooh~ here everyone would have a deep sigh, I suppose. I mean, who doesn’t procrastinate, right? Here, I thought that the procrastination and perfectionism would be related in a way that a person procrastinates because she knows she would still be able to hand in or submit something at short notice, because one is just that awesome and doing one’s job. Alas, in the article, Peg O’Connor says that when perfectionism is associated with procrastination, it means polished and re-polishing something you have already made, without giving any actual value to your draft. Yeah, I guess I was a little bit off on this one. Continue reading

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Thought Kills

I have always had this idea that if you think about it, you think actually talk yourself into getting ill and what not. It’s sometimes funny how you need an actual scientific proof sometimes to make people believe that something logical and common is true. Well, guess what, David Robson at BBC says that it’s the real deal. noceboEver thought why it sometimes feels that some people seemed to be cursed and they can’t escape the sad end? Well, personally, I don’t believe in such thing as superstitions, but perhaps they have brought it upon themselves for actually BELIEVING in it.

These negative consequences caused by a strong belief alone are called the “nocebo effect,” and it can result in a number of symptoms, for example, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and sometimes even death! Have you ever been scared or worried sick to the point it resulted in some physical symptoms? I have. I’m a bit of a worrying type, and back when I was little, I would worry myself sick to the point I would have stomach aches. I couldn’t eat. My symptom of over thinking is the loss of the appetite. What’s yours? I’m pretty sure almost all of us have something behind our sleeves, but this kind of “nocebo jinx” could get super serious if people take it too far. Continue reading

Stretchy battery whee~!

With new stretchable electronics on the rise, the problem was – how to power them. I mean, if you have a device that stretches, you need a power source that would be able to stretch as well. But it also has to contain energy, so the stretching has to come without any energy loss. Researchers have now revealed a flat battery that castretchy-batteryn stretch 300% without any loss in performance. What is more, the study related to these stretchable batteries shows that they can be recharged wireless. Which should not come as a surprise, because wireless power development has been rather rapid lately.

Sadly, I suck at physics (paid no attention to it in high school), so I don’t really get all the technical details about this new stretchy battery, but it is more than obvious that once this battery emerges into commercial production line, it will push forward a number of flexible electronics. There is a whole range of flexible devices that has been envisioned by developers, for example, implantable health monitors and roll-up displays (now wouldn’t THAT be neat?).

However, it seems that we still will have to wait a little bit more until we will have new electronics powered by these batteries manufactured for consumers. According to the researchers, the battery lifetime has to be improved before it heads for commercialization. Either way, let’s way and see, because this one seems like it’s going to be fun one.

Thoughts on robotic arm

Here I come with a post title that might sound a little bit too philosophic for my liking, but hey, never judge a book by its cover (or title) – some authors are simprobocop2_cain_2k11_13_by_war_of_art-d3c3c9ely terrible at titles. What I really wanted to talk about is this article by James Gallagher I read on the BBC website about how a paralyzed woman could control a robotic arm with her thoughts.

Of course, the woman is no psychic, she’s participating in a research on how robotics can be therapeutic for people with spinal cord injuries. And she could not really use the robotic arm at home, considering that the experiment took place in a lab. However, the experts claim that the ability to pick up and move a variety of objects with a robotic arm that is controlled by one’s thoughts was better than expected. The quotes regarding the experiment include “unprecedented performance” and a “remarkable achievement”. Continue reading

Transformers coming

I bet there’s still a long way down until we see Optimus Prime waltzing down the street, but little steps are better than nothing, right? Scientists as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a small robot that can actually change its MILLMOT000DKKFAD24-thumb-550xauto-106290shape. In order to copy molecules that fold themselves in various shapes, this robot uses magnets. Admittedly, there’s still a long way to go, but if enough of work is done, then in the future shape-shifting robots can be used to perform different tasks, as they would be reconfigured over and over again.

The robot itself looks very simple, and its main perk is that it can be folded into different shapes from one continuous strip without any moving parts. The shape can be acquired because the robot has a so-called “electro-permanent” motor. Since the robot has pairs of powerful and weaker magnets and the magnetic field changes direction once an electric current is applied, the robot moves when magnetic fields add up or cancel each other out.

According to Jeremy Pitt, who is the deputy head of the Intelligent Systems and Networks Group at Imperial College London, right not the most interesting part will be the research between two groups of robot makers: “There is going to be an interesting research race between groups trying to create reconfigurable structures out of such chains and those trying to build them out of independent self-assembling units.”

I doubt that we’re gonna see real transformers as we imagine them within my lifetime, but hey, at least we’re going somewhere, aren’t we?

I’ve got my eye on U

What would you say if you could control your TV with just one movement of your eye? I’d say SWEET. Although I have to admit it’s a little bit disturbing, because, you know, I can’t say I keep my attention focused on my TV all of the time when it’s on. Well, either way, the point that matters is that there actually IS a TV that does that, and such Gaze TV was revealed in Berlin. This was created by Haier using an eye-tracking technology developed by a Swedish firm called Tobii.

 

So basically it works like this – you stare at the top or bottom of the screen and poof, here comes the user-interface. From there, they say, the users can control the volume, switch channels, and modify other settings just by staring at the respectable user-interface icons. Although the creators admit that Gaze TV is just a mere prototype and there are still a lot of glitches present, they are confident enough to claim that sooner or later the Gaze TV will become an alternative to the good ol’ remote control. I guess it adds up to the ever-growing group of smart TVs that offer hand motion or voice controls, but you know, as far as these new technologies go, they still cannot beat the traditional remote control. Although I should say, if the voice control is perfected enough to meet the requirements of each and everyone of us, I guess it could be pretty neat.

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