YouTube Now Offering 2160p 4K Video Resolution

Around this time last year I published a post describing YouTube’s then-new 3D video player option.

This year, they’ve stepped up their game in a big way.

Earlier this week (on Monday, April 7, 2014), while holding a regular tech chat/meeting in my office with my UC Berkeley colleague Lars Føleide (who is also my company‘s Philanthropy Chair) we noticed something new.

YouTube is now offering 2160p 4K resolution (along with 1440p HD) video resolution:

4K mainstream, here we come…

Bill Nye to USA: We Need More Engineers

A good friend of mine, Dil, caught me off guard the other day by asking me, “are you watching the debate?” I thought immediately to myself, “the debate?.. it must be something epic.” It was something epic.

Bill Nye (on behalf of science) faces off with Ken Ham (on behalf of genesis, i.e., religious beliefs about human origins) – the entire debate is a back-n-forth over these two viewpoints on ‘where we come from’ –  in an ultimate two and a half hour debate.

Bill Nye & Ken Ham

In this excellent debate broadcasted live earlier this week (broadcast date: February 4th, 2014), my favorite spoken thought came from Bill Nye, at the 1:49:26 mark, where he says:

“…we need scientists and especially engineers for the future. Engineers use science to solve problems and make things. We need these people so that the united states can continue to innovate and continue to be a world leader. We need innovation and that needs science education.”

Bill Nye: We Need More Engineers

Check out the video yourself on YouTube and it will likely also remain embedded on the debatelive.org homepage for some time.

MRI Neural Brain Map Overlay on Human Brain Label Diagram

Studying a little neuroscience tonight. Neural networks of various types play the most crucial role in classifying information, used in my company’s trading software. Normally, I just get to look at the algorithms and other scientists’ work/attempts to quantify the way our brain processing information into various programmable languages, like C++, C#, and Python. Tonight, I chose to read a textbook on the subject and it is beyond fascinating to learn about the complexity behind the systems in the human body (especially the brain). Apparently, the human brain weighs three pounds and has over 100 billion neurons.

I decided to open my laptop and find a good diagram labeling the various parts of the brain – to have visible in the background (as I continued reading). Found one quickly, then, I got experimental and created an overlay of one of Van Weeden, et al.’s MRI images. It is transparent and with very little rotation fits nearly perfect on the diagram.

It cannot be helped to love looking at the human brain in its full complexity (in this case, adding some dimension an old useful diagram)!

Human Brain Labels Overlay with Weeden MRI

The Beauty of Galaxy Formation (Simulation Videos)

Well, we all know just how beautiful our very own Milky Way Galaxy is…

Mily Way Galaxy

But how much thought have you put into how these galaxies form? For starters, and to give some frame of reference, it takes billions of years for a galaxy to form. And considering that humans live less the 100 years on average, this truly puts things in perspective (i.e., creating beauty takes time… a lot of time).

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has really done something incredible. Simulating the formation of how a galaxy is formed (while also identifying some interesting trends), like I’ve never seen in such astonishing detail.

Here is a video simulating a galaxy being formed:

Another related video, including trend analysis of various sizes of galaxies with commentary from some of the researchers on the project, below:

The full article regarding this research can be found on this NASA page.

… thank you NASA (and the universities associated with this project, and all others) for being relentless in your effort to further strengthen our understanding of the universe .

 

  • note: To simulate 13.5 billion years in the life of a single disk galaxy, NASA needed more than your average desktop PC. The memorable video below is the direct work of the agency’s Pleiades supercomputer and, by NASA’s estimates, approximately 1 million CPU hours.
  • see also: NASA.gov (Maggie’s Blog), shows detailed frame-by-frame of small and large galxies forming over billions of years.