Showing posts with label MIT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MIT. Show all posts

Apr 11, 2014

Eight Eyebrow Facts

Eyebrows are tufts of hair that follow the shape of the ridge of the brow in mammals. They are very small and personal, but (mostly women) annually spend billions to pluck, tweeze, paint, scarify, shape, tattoo, pierce, puff, and generally do many unnatural things to this unique part of the human body. They are profoundly expressive of mood.

  • The function of our brows is to keep moisture out of our eyes when it is raining or when we sweat. That arched shape helps divert liquid to the side of our faces.
  • According to the Bosley hair transplant company, the average person has about 250 hairs per eyebrow.
  • The average lifespan of an eyebrow is four months.
  • A study done by MIT found that people had more trouble correctly identifying the faces of people they knew when they were presented with images of them missing their eyebrows and concluded that brows may be more important for facial recognition than eyes.
  • Brows help us signal emotions, as the pitch of your voice rises, so do your eyebrows and vice versa.
  • When you make an expression without thinking, eyebrows move in a way that is symmetrical to each other. Conversely, when you make what’s called an ‘intended’ expression, like suspicion and curiosity, your brows will furrow asymmetrically.
  • Man is the only species that has eyebrows against bare skin.
  • Every culture and time period has had a different way of shaping their brows: In Florence during the Renaissance, people shaved their eyebrows off completely, while the colonial elite in 18th-century America preferred to beef their brows up using grey mouse skin. 

Jan 24, 2014

Flying vs. Driving

MIT statistics professor Arnold Barnett reports that in the last five years, the risk of dying on a flight in the United States was one in 45 million. So, you can fly every day for 123,000 years before encountering a crash.

Your chance of being killed in a car accident in a given year is one in 7,000, making flying thousands of times safer.

May 14, 2013

Robot Builds Furniture

MIT has built a robot that can assemble IKEA furniture without human intervention. It can assemble flat-pack IKEA furniture all by itself. It has a specialized gripper hand that can grab the pieces and screw them together.

Humans feed the robot a design file that describes the product, such as how many pieces, what do they look like, where the screw holes are, etc. The robots do not need to be instructed how to assemble it. From knowing what the parts look like, the software can decipher how something needs to be put together.

Interesting Internet Tidbits

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more information now crosses the Internet every second than the entire Internet stored 20 years ago. It says, every hour Wal-Mart Stores Inc. collects 50 million filing cabinets' worth of information from its dealings with customers.

Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, process data, and run applications, rather than a local device. The services usually charge monthly fees.

Microsoft has unveiled a system that can translate what you say into Mandarin and play it back in your voice.

The Google Now personal assistant can tell you if there's a traffic jam on your regular route home and suggest an alternative.

Apple's Siri can reschedule an appointment.

IBM's Watson supercomputer can field an awkwardly worded question, figure out what you are trying to ask, and retrieve the answer for you.

Sep 12, 2012

Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards

She was the first woman to graduate from a scientific institute in the United States. She was the first female student and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She met her husband, Robert Richards at MIT.  Ellen Richards was also the first woman to be elected to the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers.

In addition, she was a leading figure in the study of nutrition and hygiene. Ecology was a word coined by her. Ellen was an instructor in the laboratory of sanitary chemistry at the Lawrence Experiment Station. She also became the first president of the American Home Economics Association in 1908. In 2011, she was listed as #8 on the MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT. Ellen was born in 1842 and died in 1911.

Feb 3, 2012

How Long is a Smoot

The smoot is a unit of length, defined as the height of Oliver R. Smoot, who became the president of the ISO. The unit is used to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge. In 1958 when Smoot was a Lambda Chi Alpha pledge at MIT (class of 1962), the bridge was measured to be 364.4 smoots, plus or minus one ear, using Smoot's body as a ruler. Oliver was 5 feet, 7 inches at that time. Google Earth and Google Calculator include the smoot as a unit of measurement. You have just been smitten by a smoot fact.