A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “The Little Prince”Being creative,
We can be tactical in our schooling. The traditional advice on learning has been to “study hard,” in a quiet place and with the same routine, yet that doesn’t say much about what to specifically do. But pupils today can change the way they study to exploit the brain’s quirky learning processes, using the strategies revealed by memory and learning research. While that science is still maturing, “it’s at a place now where it can give you a specific tactical plan,” Carey said.
Students can tailor their preparation with techniques targeting different kinds of content or skills, and manage their schedule to optimize their time. “That’s a powerful thing, because we go through our whole lives never knowing that,” he said.
Ultimately, the value of these learning strategies isn’t just about earning better grades, Carey said. In the modern jungle of society, learning is still about surviving: For young people, it’s about sussing out what they’re good at, what rings their bell, and what they want to do with their lives. “It’s informing you of: Who am I? Where do I place my bets? Do I major in physics or do I major in architecture or design, or do I major in English? Do I belong here at all?” Carey said. Those are important decisions. “Being self-aware about what’s effective learning and how it happens, I think, gives you a real edge in making those choices.”
The latest exoskeleton technology doesn’t need an outside power source to boost your strength. It harnesses the power of your own muscles to put a spring in your step instead. And soon baby boomers could be using it to keep hiking and jogging just a few years longer.
The new devices, described Wednesday in Nature, are still just in the prototype phase. But the researchers who created the inexpensive, easy-to-wear exoskeletons believe they could be ubiquitous in another decade. They’re quite unlike the hulking, “Iron Man”-like suits that others have created to help people walk more easily. These little braces don’t require any outside power, and they make walking 7 percent more efficient with nothing but a well-placed spring system. They can’t support someone who can’t stand on her own like a bulkier, motor-aided suit might. But for people who can walk but have difficulty doing so, the boot-like new apparatus could help create a more balanced, comfortable gait.
Just under 10 percent less energy per step doesn’t sound like much — it’s the equivalent of removing a 10-pound backpack. According to study co-author Gregory Sawicki, a biomedical engineer and locomotion physiologist in the joint NC State/University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Department of Biomedical Engineering, people using the braces don’t really notice the difference — until it’s gone.
NBBJ proposes a set of “shadowless” towers for London’s rapidly changing skyline.
Architects from the global firm NBBJ have designed what they call a “No Shadow Tower” for a site along the Thames River in London. The hypothetical scheme, developed in response to a call for ideas from the architecture think tank New London Architecture (NLA), offers one way to lessen the impact of tall buildings on the urban fabric surrounding them.
NBBJ’s proposed scheme has a similar goal to Jean Nouvel’s recently completed One Central Park complex in Sydney, which depends on a giant heliostat to illuminate a garden that would otherwise often be in shade. But NBBJ uses the geometry of the buildings themselves to mitigate their shadows. The two London towers subtly twist and flair, with floor plates that are slightly larger on the upper floors. Developed with parametric design, the configuration is intended to reflect sunlight from the south face of the taller tower into the plaza below. This arrangement would create what Coop describes as dynamic pools of light…
The library as a community garden, a public living room, and more innovative ideas from the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards.
As the world becomes ever more digital, the role of libraries is changing.
“Over the last few years I’ve seen more schools opening up access to YouTube, at least to teachers, than I had in the past. YouTube for Schools has partially contributed to that trend. Tools like ViewPure and Watchkin have made using YouTube videos in schools a little less scary too. All that said, there are still lots of schools that block access to YouTube. That’s why a few years ago I started to maintain a list of alternatives to YouTube.”