we-are-star-stuff
we-are-star-stuff:

How Long Can Humans Hold Their Breath?
Holding your breath may not be the flashiest feat of athleticism, but performing it at its highest level is still incredibly impressive, especially since it’s something we’ve all done, and can all relate to. The limits to which some can push breath control, in fact, are more impressive than most people probably know.
Over the weekend, a 32-year-old free diver named Nicholas Mevoli died when testing those limits, attempting a record-setting free dive of 236 feet. He dove for three minutes and 38 seconds, and returned to the surface under his own power. He lost consciousness shortly thereafter, and was soon pronounced dead. It was a tragic end to an incredible human achievement. While three and a half minutes might seem like an eternity to hold your breath while swimming, what Mevoli did was actually far more notable than that. As a diver descends, water pressure forces human lungs to contract rapidly, reducing the amount of air they can hold. It’s impossible to say how those three and a half minutes translate above water, but in context, they are astonishing.
The current record for pure breath-holding is 22 minutes, set by Stig Severinson in May of last year. And you probably remember David Blaine sitting in a bubble for 17 minutes 4 seconds. That is far longer than the 30 or 40 seconds most of us can hold for, to a really phenomenal degree. In a lot of ways, that gap between the average person and the elite is even more impressive than the exponential rate of increase in the world record (it was just over three minutes a century ago) as compared to marginal gains in something like the 100 meters. You run 100m far slower than Usain Bolt, in other words, but not 40 times slower, which is how most of us would stack up to Severinson. The mere fact that Blaine, a magician, would choose the feat as a “trick” nudges up against the disconnect: the maximum human capacity for holding your breath is long enough that it seems like magic. So how does that happen?
For divers, nature helps; all mammals have what’s called mammalian diving reflex, which allows them to survive without air for longer periods of time while underwater. Training can help, too. One of the problems with holding your breath, it turns out, isn’t exactly the lack of oxygen as much as it is the buildup of carbon dioxide; your blood acidifies when carbon builds up from lack of breathing. Training can slow the rate of this acidification, and also lead blood vessels to direct blood away from areas like the hands and feet and reroute it to the brain, and other crucial organs.
Just what does that training look like? General fitness helps, obviously. The basic method is what you’d think it is: hold your breath for as long as you can, exhale slowly, and repeat. (More than a few reps of this in a single session can be harmful.) The other main concern is learning how to relax. Keeping your muscles and especially your mind from firing helps conserve oxygen and keep your heart rate deflated. Still, you should expect to pass out during training, and in general it’s dangerous to try this alone.
Before record-setting attempts, divers and breath holders are allowed to hyperventalliate on pure oxygen, and will take as much into their lungs as possible. Obviously, it helps to have massive lungs to make the most of this. For that, there is something called lung packing. This consists of inhaling the very largest breath possible, and then, without exhaling, puffing your cheeks full of more air and attempting to force that air down into your lungs. You are literally stretching out your lungs so that they can hold more air. The average human female has a capacity of four liters, and the average male six liters. Endurance training can increase those numbers, but only slightly. Lung packing, however, can add up to three liters to a person’s lungs. One diver named Herbert Nitsch even has a reported 14-liter capacity.
But lung packing isn’t exactly the safest thing in the world. For one, there is a body of research suggesting that lung explosion (rupture) is a legitimate risk. For another, uhm, it might deform you. Cyclist Miguel Indurain has massive lungs for a non-diver (8 liters), and they were reportedly large enough to displace his stomach, which gave him a “trademark” paunch.
Chances are you won’t need to hold your breath for 20 minutes in your lifetime, or even 5 minutes. But the capacity to improve how long you can hold it now into something that seems, on the surface, totally unrealistic, remains fascinating.
[via]

we-are-star-stuff:

How Long Can Humans Hold Their Breath?

Holding your breath may not be the flashiest feat of athleticism, but performing it at its highest level is still incredibly impressive, especially since it’s something we’ve all done, and can all relate to. The limits to which some can push breath control, in fact, are more impressive than most people probably know.

Over the weekend, a 32-year-old free diver named Nicholas Mevoli died when testing those limits, attempting a record-setting free dive of 236 feet. He dove for three minutes and 38 seconds, and returned to the surface under his own power. He lost consciousness shortly thereafter, and was soon pronounced dead. It was a tragic end to an incredible human achievement. While three and a half minutes might seem like an eternity to hold your breath while swimming, what Mevoli did was actually far more notable than that. As a diver descends, water pressure forces human lungs to contract rapidly, reducing the amount of air they can hold. It’s impossible to say how those three and a half minutes translate above water, but in context, they are astonishing.

The current record for pure breath-holding is 22 minutes, set by Stig Severinson in May of last year. And you probably remember David Blaine sitting in a bubble for 17 minutes 4 seconds. That is far longer than the 30 or 40 seconds most of us can hold for, to a really phenomenal degree. In a lot of ways, that gap between the average person and the elite is even more impressive than the exponential rate of increase in the world record (it was just over three minutes a century ago) as compared to marginal gains in something like the 100 meters. You run 100m far slower than Usain Bolt, in other words, but not 40 times slower, which is how most of us would stack up to Severinson. The mere fact that Blaine, a magician, would choose the feat as a “trick” nudges up against the disconnect: the maximum human capacity for holding your breath is long enough that it seems like magic. So how does that happen?

For divers, nature helps; all mammals have what’s called mammalian diving reflex, which allows them to survive without air for longer periods of time while underwater. Training can help, too. One of the problems with holding your breath, it turns out, isn’t exactly the lack of oxygen as much as it is the buildup of carbon dioxide; your blood acidifies when carbon builds up from lack of breathing. Training can slow the rate of this acidification, and also lead blood vessels to direct blood away from areas like the hands and feet and reroute it to the brain, and other crucial organs.

Just what does that training look like? General fitness helps, obviously. The basic method is what you’d think it is: hold your breath for as long as you can, exhale slowly, and repeat. (More than a few reps of this in a single session can be harmful.) The other main concern is learning how to relax. Keeping your muscles and especially your mind from firing helps conserve oxygen and keep your heart rate deflated. Still, you should expect to pass out during training, and in general it’s dangerous to try this alone.

Before record-setting attempts, divers and breath holders are allowed to hyperventalliate on pure oxygen, and will take as much into their lungs as possible. Obviously, it helps to have massive lungs to make the most of this. For that, there is something called lung packing. This consists of inhaling the very largest breath possible, and then, without exhaling, puffing your cheeks full of more air and attempting to force that air down into your lungs. You are literally stretching out your lungs so that they can hold more air. The average human female has a capacity of four liters, and the average male six liters. Endurance training can increase those numbers, but only slightly. Lung packing, however, can add up to three liters to a person’s lungs. One diver named Herbert Nitsch even has a reported 14-liter capacity.

But lung packing isn’t exactly the safest thing in the world. For one, there is a body of research suggesting that lung explosion (rupture) is a legitimate risk. For another, uhm, it might deform you. Cyclist Miguel Indurain has massive lungs for a non-diver (8 liters), and they were reportedly large enough to displace his stomach, which gave him a “trademark” paunch.

Chances are you won’t need to hold your breath for 20 minutes in your lifetime, or even 5 minutes. But the capacity to improve how long you can hold it now into something that seems, on the surface, totally unrealistic, remains fascinating.

[via]

futurescope

futurescope:

MAKO artificial intelligence

MAKO is an artificial intelligence program by 18 year old high school student Michael Ghandhour. The future is closer than you think and only $150 USD.

MAKO is a multifunctional program that employs advanced user interface and voice input, it manages almost everything in your life. MAKO Description: MAKO is easy to use and has been described as “The best speech recognition program on PC and Mac.” MAKO has the ability to do anything you desire with just the power of your voice! Our goal for this indiegogo is to revolutionize the way we interact with computers and technology around the globe. […]

 Features: 

 • MAKO is multilingual; it can speak in 5 different languages soon to be 30. 

 • It can open any website/program 

 • Type anything you say 

• Retrieve any online image 

• Google search anything

 • Read anything you highlight 

• Call and text by voice over IP 

• Print this page 

• Help you with Powerpoint (new slide, starting slideshows and more) 

• Save documents 

• Create new documents 

• Screenshot anything 

• Close any program 

• Restore last tab/session

 • 2 different voice options: British male, American female 

• Recognize date/time/year is 

• Recognize weather forecast (today-7day forecast) 

• Switch windows to other programs 

• Empty recycle bin/delete any file/words 

• Full volume control 

• Open disc tray/close disc tray 

• Play/pause/volume music on Itunes 

• Play/pause/volume controls on videos(with youtube/netflix/spotify/pandora and all online video capabilities) 

• It is able to do math equations of all kinds 

• It is able to write a report on any subject 

• Able to define any word 

• Has a login screen connecting it to dedicated servers 

 • MAKO is functional on both PCs and Mac

[Support MAKO on indiegogo] [via 33rdsquare]

futurescope

futurescope:

Smart cities for 11 billion people: Mitchell Joachim at TEDxBerlin

From TedxBerlin:

Mitchell Joachim is a leader in ecological design, architecture and urbanism. He is the founding Co-President of Terreform ONE.  Mitchell is an Associate Professor at NYU and EGS in Switzerland. Previously he was the Frank Gehry Chair at University of Toronto and faculty at Pratt, Columbia, Syracuse, Washington, and Parsons. He was formerly an architect at Gehry Partners, and Pei Cobb Freed. He is a 2011 TED Senior Fellow and has been awarded fellowships with Moshe Safdie and Martin Society for Sustainability, MIT. He won the Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability and Humanity, History Channel and Infiniti Award for City of the Future, and Time Magazine Best Invention of 2007 with MIT Smart Cities Car.

His project, Fab Tree Hab, has been exhibited at MoMA and widely published. Mitchell is also a Partner at Planetary ONE. He was chosen by Wiredmagazine for “The 2008 Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To”. Rolling Stonemagazine honored Mitchell in “The 100 People Who Are Changing America”. Mitchell was the Winner of the Victor Papanek Social Design Award sponsored by the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Museum of Arts and Design in 2011. He earned a Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MAUD Harvard University, M.Arch. Columbia University, and BPS SUNY at Buffalo with Honors.

[more about Joachim]

futurescope

futurescope:

MAKO artificial intelligence

MAKO is an artificial intelligence program by 18 year old high school student Michael Ghandhour. The future is closer than you think and only $150 USD.

MAKO is a multifunctional program that employs advanced user interface and voice input, it manages almost everything in your life. MAKO Description: MAKO is easy to use and has been described as “The best speech recognition program on PC and Mac.” MAKO has the ability to do anything you desire with just the power of your voice! Our goal for this indiegogo is to revolutionize the way we interact with computers and technology around the globe. […]

 Features: 

 • MAKO is multilingual; it can speak in 5 different languages soon to be 30. 

 • It can open any website/program 

 • Type anything you say 

• Retrieve any online image 

• Google search anything

 • Read anything you highlight 

• Call and text by voice over IP 

• Print this page 

• Help you with Powerpoint (new slide, starting slideshows and more) 

• Save documents 

• Create new documents 

• Screenshot anything 

• Close any program 

• Restore last tab/session

 • 2 different voice options: British male, American female 

• Recognize date/time/year is 

• Recognize weather forecast (today-7day forecast) 

• Switch windows to other programs 

• Empty recycle bin/delete any file/words 

• Full volume control 

• Open disc tray/close disc tray 

• Play/pause/volume music on Itunes 

• Play/pause/volume controls on videos(with youtube/netflix/spotify/pandora and all online video capabilities) 

• It is able to do math equations of all kinds 

• It is able to write a report on any subject 

• Able to define any word 

• Has a login screen connecting it to dedicated servers 

 • MAKO is functional on both PCs and Mac

[Support MAKO on indiegogo] [via 33rdsquare]

we-are-star-stuff
Most of the people you are descended from are no more genetically related to you than strangers are.

From Veronique Greenwood’s fascinating look at just how interconnected our pool of shared ancestry is, and how genetics has changed the way we look at our genealogy: We Are All Princes, Paupers, And Part Of The Human family, at Nautilus.

Previously: Why everyone of European ancestry is related to Charlemagne, and anyone who was alive and reproduced in 3,000 BCE is an ancestor of everyone alive today.

Hello, my cousins. Nice to have you in the family.

(via we-are-star-stuff)

we-are-star-stuff

odditiesoflife:

The “Hello Kitty” Caterpillar

This is the Chinese Bush Brown butterfly (Mycalesis gotama) in its larval (caterpillar) state. To the world’s delight, it looks remarkably like the famous Japanese cartoon cat Hello Kitty with little bumps resembling ears and an incredible design of a cat-shaped face. These cute caterpillars are quite a hit in Japan and are referred to as “hellokittipillars”. But don’t go hugging them too tightly.

source

Who knew…..