My picks, 2016-9

These are the latest articles and videos I found most interesting.

  1. Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday
  2. Lines of Thought: Understanding Anatomy
  3. Reading through closed books
  4. LiFi: Crossing the Digital Divide
  5. Are the Dominoes Falling for Standard Cosmology?

Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday

Bill Hammack & Don DeCoste

Bill Hammack introduces a five-video series on Michael Faraday’s lectures on The Chemical History of a Candle. He shares details of the series’ free companion book that helps modern viewers understand each lecture — details at He describe other features that help viewers, including a commentary track and closed captions for each lecture.

Free Companion book to this video series

In these lectures Michael Faraday’s careful examination of a burning candle reveals the fundamental concepts of chemistry, while at the same time superbly demonstrating the scientific method.

Links to other videos in this series:


Lines of Thought: Understanding Anatomy

Cambridge University

A hand-coloured copy of Vesalius’ 1543 Epitome – one of the most influential works in western medicine – and the first written record of a dissection carried out in England are among the objects in our latest film celebrating Lines of Thought at Cambridge University Library.

Since March, some of the world’s most valuable books and manuscripts have been on display as Cambridge University Library celebrates its 600th birthday with a once-in-a-lifetime free exhibition of its greatest treasures.

The objects in Lines of Thought: Discoveries that Changed the World, which will close to the public on September 30, communicate 4,000 years of human thought through the Library’s unique and irreplaceable collections. More than 70 per cent of the exhibits are displayed to the public for the first time.

The exhibition investigates through six distinct themes how Cambridge University Library’s eight million books and manuscripts have transformed our understanding of life here on earth and our place among the stars.

Reading through closed books

MIT Media Lab

Spatial resolution, spectral contrast, and occlusion are three major bottlenecks in current imaging technologies for non-invasive inspection of complex samples such as closed books. We empower the time-of-flight capabilities of conventional THz time domain spectroscopy and combine it with its spectral capabilities to computationally overcome these bottlenecks. Our study reports successful unsupervised content extraction through a densely layered structure similar to that of a closed book.

LiFi: Crossing the Digital Divide

The University of Edinburgh

The Digital Divide is the gap between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not.

LiFi is a wireless data transmission technology using the visible light spectrum. It has the potential to deliver affordable, energy-neutral, secure internet access to remote and rural regions of the Global South.

Are the Dominoes Falling for Standard Cosmology?

Thunderbolts Project

Science headlines today show signs that elements of the electric universe paradigm are becoming increasingly mainstream. With leaps in technology and data have come the definitive refutation of the notion of an electrically sterile universe. However, the basic premise of a cosmos dominated by the gravitational force remains the backbone of standard cosmology. In this episode, Bishop Nicholas Sykes describes and forecasts the perhaps inevitable paradigm shift towards electric universe concepts.

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