Tag Archives: UCLA

Pocket microscope – turn a cellphone into a microscope for $10

The #1 innovation of 2011 - the pocket microscope – is a marvel of the cellphone age. For $10 a phone can be turned into a laboratory and offer poor areas – with no hospital – access to sophisticated medical tests. From The Scientist:

Diagnosing malaria or other blood-borne illnesses used to require analyzing cell slides under a bulky, costly light microscope—which can be difficult to find in impoverished, remote locations. Enter LUCAS (Lensless, Ultra-wide-field Cell monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging), an easy-to-use, pocket-size holographic microscope that weighs less than 50g, uses inexpensive, off-the-shelf parts.

The parts attach to the camera and can analyze blood and saliva samples; testing for diseases like HIV and malaria and discovering water quality problems. Listen to Professor Aydogan Ozcan – the same one who discovered the 3D motion of sperm cells – explain it himself:

 

 

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Scientists discover the motion of sperm cells using 3-D technology

If nature finds the best way, then move in a spiral pattern to get there the quickest, from the UCLA Newsroom:

The team developed a lensless computational imaging platform that accurately tracked more than 24,000 individual sperm cells in a large volume. This involved observing the individual rotations of each sperm cell, including helical movement patterns, rotation speed, and linear and curved distances traveled.

90% of them move in a right-handed spiral – damn I’m left-handed – and they move fast for microscopic entities, 20-100 micrometers/second.

That’s a big difference in speed…one sperm cell could be 5x faster than his brother.

 

Image demonstrating three-dimensional motion of human sperm cells. (source: UCLA)

In support of gay marriage, the lustful monster, and the missing link

I love this story for its integrity and raucous quotes. So raucous I can’t post them, but you can read them here. The full story below, but it leaves one obvious question unanswered. Why did two seemingly random football players, both married to women, come out in support of gay marriage, with one loudly defending the other?

The answer at bottom and shame on the media for not reporting this crucial fact.

The summary, from NPR, and sorry for the lengthy quotation but it will lure you into reading the story.

The debate over same-sex marriage has collided with the world of professional football in a loud and public way. Let’s roll back. It started with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who’s a vocal supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, an issue on the Maryland ballot this November.

Well, that drew the ire of Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr., a Democrat, who wrote a letter to the Ravens’ owner. He said he was appalled and aghast that a Ravens player would, in his words, step into this controversial divide. Burns called on the Ravens to order Ayanbadejo to cease and desist.

Well that, in turn, drew a lengthy, extremely colorful response from another NFL player, Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings. Writing on the sports website Deadspin, Kluwe defended his fellow player and called Burns out for what he called his vitriolic hatred and bigotry.

And that, according to sportswriter Dave Zirin, is arguably the greatest political statement by any athlete ever.

 

Continue reading, Same-sex Marriage Debate Collides with the NFL.

And the one piece of fact that all the journalists missed, the link between Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo…

They are both alumni of UCLA.

Go Bruins!

 

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The Passion Bucket

Today, I’ve been thinking a lot about the “passion bucket”.

The term comes from Rick Neuheisel, former football coach at my alma-mater UCLA. Back in 2008, he was on The Dan Patrick Show and said, “When you’re at UCLA, you have to have your passion bucket full when you play the Trojans.” Since then it has gone viral, big time:

 

 

Not only in sports, but as a band name, in urban dictionary, as a blog. Everyone is having a field day with it.

I think that’s because it presents such a clean metaphor, “you gotta fill up your passion bucket.” Those days when everything is flowing and you’re feeling good. Also, it leaves room for those days when the energy is gone and you found a way to get back to that high level.

The definition from Urban Dictionary:

  • Describes the amount of energy or love one has for a certain object, event or theme.
  • Term to describe the character or primary strength of something
    • We were losing in the first half, but we played with a full passion bucket and ended up winning in the end.

 

That’s all, just wanted to share this term as I look around the interwebs for something to fill up my passion bucket.

 

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A set of podcasts is 21st-century equivalent of a textbook, not a teacher

An intelligent essay from Pamela Hieronymi, professor of philosophy at UCLA, discussing the impact of technology on education:

A set of podcasts is the 21st-century equivalent of a textbook, not the 21st-century equivalent of a teacher. Every age has its autodidacts, gifted people able to teach themselves with only their books. Woe unto us if we require all citizens to manifest that ability.

Brilliantly put.

Educators are coaches, personal trainers in intellectual fitness. The value we add to the media extravaganza is like the value the trainer adds to the gym or the coach adds to the equipment.

Just as coaching requires individual attention, education, at its core, requires one mind engaging with another, in real time: listening, understanding, correcting, modeling, suggesting, prodding, denying, affirming, and critiquing thoughts and their expression.

 

Well worth reading - Don’t confuse technology with college teaching

 

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Helping China, the world’s largest smoking country, move away from tobacco farming

Curbing tobacco use by growing less

In China, 350 million people smoke. Each year, 1 million die from smoking. Many more become disabled. Approximately 20 million Chinese farmers produce the world’s largest share of tobacco, nearly 40 percent of the global supply.

A compelling story of how one scientist created a for-profit organization for the farmers. It teaches them the skills to grow other crops, like fruits and vegetables, which allow them to increase their revenue while decreasing the supply of tobacco, something China is committed to doing.

 

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UCLA researcher discovers Mars has tectonic plates

Planetary geologist An Yin has made a startling discovery about Mars:

UCLA scientist discovers plate tectonics on Mars

For years, many scientists had thought that plate tectonics existed nowhere in our solar system but on Earth. Now, a UCLA scientist has discovered that the geological phenomenon, which involves the movement of huge crustal plates beneath a planet’s surface, also exists on Mars.

This is exciting news, Mars has earthquakes and lava!

The article also talks about the Grand Canyon of Mars that is 9x times bigger, called Valles Marineris.

 

 

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PAC-12 network launches on August 15, 2012 – UCLA already has 39 games scheduled for the fall

I’m super excited that the PAC-12 is getting its own network. I love watching all sorts of college sports on TV and hopefully this channel will give me all I can eat.

 

 

More fans will see more UCLA sports on more channels than ever before when the Pac-12 Networks launches on August 15. So far, there are 39 UCLA fall games scheduled to be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks – one so far in football, 12 in men’s soccer, nine in women’s soccer, 14 in women’s volleyball and three in men’s water polo.

Watch the video to get a taste of what will be on the network. To learn if you will get Pac-12 Networks from your TV provider visit the Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder.

 

Source: UCLABruins.com

Students create their own composting program in the dorms

Hauling trash-bags full of coffee grounds and kitchen scraps, two three-wheeled rickshaw bicycles raced past campus foot traffic.

The fleet had just finished their first compost pickup.

The owner of the cafe, Devon Jackson-Kali, met the students near the cafe to give them leftover coffee grounds…he also gave them pounds of cabbage heads, carrot peelings, celery and other scraps leftover from his kitchen operations.

Leaders of an undergraduate environmental research team known as Waste Watchers drove the custom-built, electric and pedal-operated bikes – or rickshaws – on an extended campus route for the first time. Using the rickshaws for transport, the team collects and recycles leftover scraps at their own compost site located in Sunset Canyon Recreation Center.

Chloe Green, the Weyburn project coordinator and a graduate student in urban planning, excitedly greeted the team on the street outside her apartment Wednesday.

Green said it felt “unnatural” not to compost at her Weyburn apartment. She grew up composting and said she has since learned the technique through trial and error.

 

More on this – Daily Bruin: Compost crew: Waste Watchers turn trash into fertilizer by properly disposing organic waste

 

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Easter Island excavations reveal huge bodies beneath the heads

There’s more to the world-famous heads of Easter Island than meets the eye.

Ask archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg, a research associate at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and director of its Rock Art Archive, who has been lecturing and writing about Easter Island’s iconic monolithic statues for years.

She and her team of resident Rapa Nui have spent nine years locating and meticulously documenting the nearly 1,000 statues on the island, determining their symbolic meaning and function, and conserving them using state-of-the-art techniques.

After spending four months over the last two years excavating two of the statues and posting the results of their digs on the project’s website, Van Tilburg was surprised to discover that a large segment of the general public hadn’t realized that what they knew only as the Easter Island “heads” actually had bodies.

The two “heads” in the quarry where Van Tilburg’s team dug are standing figures with torsos, truncated at the waist, that have become partially buried by eroded dirt and detritus over centuries.

 

Learn moreArchaeologist digs deep to reveal Easter Island torsos

 

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