Friday, September 26, 2008

An interesting trip

As I was heading to the GeneXus Event down in Uruguay I decided to "make sure" my brother's iPod "was working correctly".
Then, I had to throw in a few podcasts that made me have the best trip ever. What was part of this trip saving repertoire?

1. TED Talks Videos.
I loved seeing ted videos on the iPod, even with the little iPod Nano, it was just perfect. Couple talks that left me thinking for quite some time:

Sugata Mitra on "Can kids teach themselves?". Super interesting experiment done across India on technology enabling kids and let them learn in a collective way.

Craig Venter on "On the verge of creating synthetic life". How close are we to creating synthetic life? It's happenign righ now. Craig is booting up new software (synthetic chromosomes) on one of the oldest biologic hardware (bacteria). They're among other things on a quest on creating bacteria that can produce fuel out of CO2. It looks like he's not the only one on this holy grail: Turning bacteria into plastic factories replacing fossil fuels.

2. Bill Maher. It cracked me up as always, especially considering it was a podcast of his 9/13 show, when the prospect of having Palin as a president was still funny ...

3. Tiesto's music
I usually also buy a magazine when I travel, most likely a Scientific American. This one time, the only reason I ended up opening it was that Tiesto's music was asking for something to read.

The only one article I read in the magazine was "Big bang or big bounce". Astonishing. My friend Italo already had mentioned this alternative approach at solving the mystery of the moment for physicists some time ago, but this full explanation made so much sense and seems to be such a revolution that I'm still impressed. On a nutshell, the fresh new theory discusses the existence of space-time particles that are to the space-time what the atom is to matter. One of the consequences of the existence of these particles is that the Universe did not start on a singular point of infinite density with the Big Bang as we all tended to believe. Instead, the Universe would have been in a most likely infinite cycle of expand and collapse being the "Big Bang" a "Big Bounce" in reality. I think reading this article was the closest I've been to the feeling of being there when the atom itself was first speculated about around the sixteen hundreds.


Alejandro said...

This two talks are my recent favorites from TED

- Jill Bolte Taylor
- Steven Pinker ( 2008)

Cecilia Abadie said...

Jill Bolte was amazing ... it might end up being a blog post on itself ;)
Steven Pinker, was interesting, left me thinking specially on the role of coincidences, it makes sense ...