Links for 17th July 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Why cops should trust the wisdom of the crowds

    "What are the lessons from all this? One of the most important is that the current approach to managing crowds, which is all about control and containment, can be counterproductive. Police tend to assume that people in crowds are prone to random acts of violence and disorder, and treat them accordingly. But aggressive policing is likely to trigger an aggressive response as the crowd reacts collectively against the external threat. This is why many researchers consider kettling to be a bad idea. "You're treating the crowd indiscriminately, and that can change the psychology of the crowd, shifting it towards rather than away from violence," says Stott. He has found that low-profile policing can significantly reduce the aggressiveness of football crowds, and that if left alone they will usually police themselves." Unless, y'know, your actual intent is to foster violence, so as to make future heavy policing easier. Which would never happen. Right.

    Tagged with: ukpoliticspsychologycrowdmobbehavioursociologypolicingprotest

  2. Pluto’s kin may have invaded asteroid belt

    "The solar system's main asteroid belt is a diverse mix of objects that orbit between Mars and Jupiter. These asteroids are generally thought to have formed close to their present locations, so their compositions should reflect the original distribution of gas and dust that surrounded the sun there and eventually condensed into solid bodies.

    "People have just been assuming that what we see there, formed there," says Hal Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

    But Levison and others suspect some 20 per cent of the asteroids in the belt may be comet-like objects that were born in colder climes, beyond the orbit of Neptune."

    Tagged with: spacesolar-systemasteroid-beltbodymigrationformation

  3. Converse Quantifies 30x Time Savings and Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Recurring Cost Savings With Z Corporation 3D Printing Technology

    "Converse says its ZPrinters can produce a shoe model in two hours, or nearly 30 times faster than an ABS printer. ZPrinting has also helped:

    * Eliminate eight annual trips to Asia for design consultations at a cost of up to $12,000 per person for each trip;
    * Cut tooling costs from $350,000 in 2006 to $150,000 in 2008 by using ZPrinted models to winnow designs; and
    * Transform the way the company does business by bringing 3D shoe models to key accounts and producing models on demand.

    “We’re seeing new prototypes in hours and cutting weeks off our design cycle,” said Bryan Cioffi, manager of digital product creation at Converse of N. Andover, Mass, USA. “Last night’s sketches become tangible color models that we can pass around at this morning’s meeting. Our ZPrinter has become a prototyping center in its own right, and it’s helping us get better products to market more quickly for less money.”"

    Tagged with: fabbingrapid-prototypingeconomicsmanufacturingproduct-development3d-printing

  4. Artistic tendencies linked to ‘schizophrenia gene’

    "The finding could help to explain why mutations that increase a person's risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar syndrome have been preserved, even preferred, during human evolution, says Szabolcs Kéri, a researcher at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, who carried out the study.

    Kéri examined a gene involved in brain development called neuregulin 1, which previous studies have linked to a slightly increased risk of schizophrenia. Moreover, a single DNA letter mutation that affects how much of the neuregulin 1 protein is made in the brain has been linked to psychosis, poor memory and sensitivity to criticism.

    About 50 per cent of healthy Europeans have one copy of this mutation, while 15 per cent possess two copies."

    Tagged with: artgeneticscreativityschizophreniadeterminismpsychology

Leave a Reply