October 21, 2015

Back To The Future:A Self-Driving Electric DeLorean


Engineers from Stanford University have marked Back to the Future day by releasing footage of MARTY, a self-driving, electric DeLorean.

Developed as part of research into ways autonomous vehicles can be equipped to handle even the most dangerous and dramatic of driving situations, MARTY, short for Multiple Actuator Research Testbed for Yaw control, looks at how autonomous vehicles can trade stability for fluid driving.

Most modern cars, including self-driving models, use Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to keep their handling stable by, for example, automatically applying brakes or even cutting engine power to improve stability in risky situations. However, Stanford Professor Chris Gerdes said that "in our work developing autonomous driving algorithms, we've found that sometimes you need to sacrifice stability to turn sharply and avoid accidents".

MARTY has been created to act without such stability controls and instead mimic rally car drivers by "sacrificing stability [to] use all of the car's capabilities to avoid obstacles and negotiate tight turns at speed". By doing this, the team hopes to create self-driving systems that can control a car safely in any situation.

MARTY has been created to act without such stability controls and instead mimic rally car drivers by "sacrificing stability [to] use all of the car's capabilities to avoid obstacles and negotiate tight turns at speed". By doing this, the team hopes to create self-driving systems that can control a car safely in any situation.

In addition to its automated driving capabilities, MARTY has been upgraded with an electric supercar engine made by Renovo. The engine delivers 4,000 pound-feet from on-motor gearboxes to the rear wheels in a fraction of a second, giving MARTY the kind of precise control required for manoeuvres such as drifting.

MARTY can already drift in perfect circles, but that's only the beginning. The team hopes the self-driving car will ultimately be able to participate in a drifting competition with a human driver, where two vehicles compete to match and better each other's stunts while avoiding collisions.

"A drift competition is the perfect blend of our two most important research questions -- how to control the car precisely and how to design automated vehicles that interact with humans," Gerdes said.

Mechanical engineer Jonathan Goh, who designed MARTY's drifting capabilities, summed up the project by saying that "the sublime awesomeness of riding in a DeLorean that does perfect, smoke-filled doughnuts by itself is a mind-bending experience that helps you appreciate that we really are living in the future".

21 October 2015 is Back to the Future Day, the date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel forward to in the 1989 film Back to the Future II. People who grew up in the '80s -- particularly those who work in marketing -- are very excited about this.           

By K.G. Orphanides


With many thanks to Wired UK                      




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October 20, 2015

Ippolito Rosellini: The Monuments of Egypt And Nubia


This is a beautiful book and it was illustrated by Ippolito Rosellini.


He had been on an expedition to Egypt with his friend, Jean-François Champollion, the man who eventually deciphered the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone. He did this by learning the Coptic language, and realising that the pictures in the cartouches represented letters.



Text for the book was later added by Franco Serino. It is still available and I am glad I have it.

Their expedition was financed by Charles X of France and Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany in in 1828.

Because both Champollion and Rosellini knew how to read hieroglyphics they had a huge advantage over previous expeditions, such as the ones of Giovanni Belzoni who had collected items for the British Museum prior to this.

Belzoni is credited with discovering many tombs, and the temple at Abu Simbel which was moved - an amazing feat of international engineering - so that the temple would not be submerged by the Nile. 

This enabled the building of the Aswan Dam. It was completed in 1970.

By the time Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922 his knowledge of hieroglyphics was a huge advantage.



Archeology in Egypt is ongoing. With today's technology, like satellites and carbon dating, more and more is still being discovered.

Picture credits with many thanks to Em Hotep Digest, UNESCO and others from previous posts on this blog. Both sites I have mentioned have more excellent information.

For Claudette ♥

Some other posts on archeology:
The Antikythera Mechanism - The World's Oldest Known Computer
Archaeologists Digging Up Cecile B DeMille's Movie Treasures

Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis Revealed
Easter Island: Scientists Are Closer To Understanding What Wiped Out Its Society

Relief of Queen Nefertiti
Gold Treasures Discovered in Ming Dynasty Tomb
Unique Mosaic Images Uncovered in Fifth-Century Synagogue 
 Philip of Macedonia, Greece’s Ancient King, Found 
Queen Nefertiti: Was She Hidden In King Tutankhamun’s Tomb?
The Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain

The Antikythera Mechanism: Second Expedition Seeks More Mechanism Remains 
 Discovery Of Ancient Cave Paintings In Petra
Scientists Find ‘Superhenge’ That Could Be Five Times The Area Of Stonehenge
Rome Reborn – An Amazing Digital Model of Ancient Rome
A Day in Pompeii
The Holigost: 600 Year Old Pride of Henry V’s Fleet May Have Been Found 
Gem-Filled Warrior's Tomb Discovered in Ancient Greek City
Amenhotep’s Fragmented Book Of The Dead Found  
Acra: Ancient Citadel Unearthed In Jerusalem 
Glastonbury Legends, King Arthur’s ‘Grave’, Made Up For Cash By Monks 
Is Queen Nefertiti Buried In King Tutankhaman’s Tomb? - Latest News
King Hezekiah's Seal Impression Found
Spanish Galleon San Jose Discovered Laden With Treasure Off Colombia 
Has The Lost Island Of Kane Been Found?
'Britain's Pompeii' Found at Bronze Age Settlement 
Babylonians Tracked Jupiter with Fancy Math, Tablet Reveals 
New Clues to Ancient Roman Art Discovered in Egyptian Mummy Portraits
Ancestral Puebloans Were Hit By Boom and Bust
 Bible Breakthrough Found In Israel
What’s REALLY Inside A Pyramid:1st 3D Images Created Using Cosmic Particles
Queen Hatshepsut's Building Blocks Discovered
Nefertiti Still Missing: King Tut's Tomb Shows No Hidden Chambers
The World's 20 Most Impressive Ancient Builds
Dagger in King Tut's Tomb Was Made With Iron From A Meteorite 
Rare Ancient Greek Gold Crown Discovered Under A Bed. 
Team Testing New Scanner on Egypt's Great Pyramid
Ancient Mayan Observatory Was Used To Track Venus And Mars
Has The Gateway to Ancient Greek God's Compound Been Uncovered?
Archaeologists Reveal Probable Sites Of Two Missions That Predate The Alamo

Palace Found At Tintagel, Fabled Birthplace Of King Arthur 
Marble Statues of Aphrodite Unearthed At Petra
Did the Greeks Help Sculpt China's Terra Cotta Warriors?
Who Was Cleopatra? 
Egyptian Mummy And Temple 4200 Years Old With Well-Preserved Art Revealed
The Untold Truth About The Holy Grail






George Harrison's Catalogue Is Now Streaming - Updated: All Beatles' Music Now Streaming



At one point, George Harrison’s catalog was available on a number of the streaming services but it was slowly withdrawn a few years ago.

As of last Friday, such albums as All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World and Dark Horse, have returned and are available on such services as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Rhapsody, rdio and Tidal.

Harrison joins his former Beatles bandmates who also have their music on the streaming services; however, the music by the full band is among one of the great missing pieces to the streaming revolution.

Harrison was known as the quiet Beatles and that continued on into his solo years. Never as prolific as his three bandmates, releasing just ten albums post-breakup with only the four making the U.S. top ten and three in the U.K. All Things Must Pass was the biggest of his career, which included the double sided hit My Sweet Lord / Isn’t It a Pity along with What is Life and the followup, Living in the Material World, which included his second of three number 1 singles Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth). 

He would return to the top in 1987 with Got My Mind Set on You, a song originally recorded in 1962 by James Ray.

Harrison died on November 29, 2001 at the age of 57 from lung cancer.

With many thanks to Noise 11 

Terrific version of George's "Savoy Truffle" by the late, great Ella Fitzgerald.







All Beatles’ music catalogue to become available on streaming services


Fans of the Beatles around the world are getting a big Christmas present this year, as the iconic band’s full catalogue is released on major streaming services today.

London-based Apple Corps/UMG, which holds the rights to the music, posted the news on the Beatles’ website and released a video teaser on YouTube. The Beatles’ 13 remastered studio albums and four collections will be available at 12:01am Thursday in each country’s time zone, the band’s label said. New Zealand, then Australia led the way as the catalogue comes on line around the world.
Participating streaming services include Spotify AB, Apple’s Apple Music, Jay Z’s Tidal, Deezer, Alphabet’s Google Play and Amazon.com’s Amazon Prime.

The Beatles’ long-awaited streaming debut is a boon for the music industry. It could give a boost to the subscriber numbers of music streaming services, which record labels see as key to their future as CD sales and downloads decline. In particular, the Beatles’ songbook could help hook older, less tech-savvy consumers on music streaming, which hasn’t yet become a mainstream practice in the US.

Spotify, the largest service, counts more than 20 million paying subscribers and about 80 million free users worldwide; Apple Music had 6.5 million subscribers and 8.5 million in free trial as of October.

Though the Beatles catalogue will be available to both Spotify’s paying and free users, paying subscriber numbers could still see growth thanks to the sheer publicity the releases bring to Spotify’s brand.

The Beatles’ rights holders had long been interested in making the catalogue available on streaming services to maintain the relevancy of the Beatles brand, according to a person familiar with the matter. Though Spotify, Apple and Google would likely have paid handsomely for the exclusive streaming rights, the Beatles camp elected to release the material on all services and tiers to reach the broadest possible swath of fans.

While the move could dampen already declining CD and download sales in the long term, strengthening the brand could boost other revenue streams such as merchandise sales and Beatles-themed shows.

The Beatles have sold about 900,000 albums and two million digital songs this year, down from 1.2 million albums and 2.7 million songs last year, according to Nielsen Music.

Nielsen analyst Dave Bakula said that the Beatles’ streaming arrival could possibly even help sales by turning people onto the band for the first time.

“It’s hard to believe that anybody hasn’t discovered the Beatles yet, but there are still people out there,” Mr. Bakula said, adding that the band’s historic significance has bred fans that still want to own all of its music.

The Beatles’ music has long been available on internet radio services such as Pandora Media Inc. and on satellite radio, but never before via on-demand services.

The Beatles have been the most prominent streaming holdout, preferring instead to remaster existing albums and boost their quality.

In 2010, the band allowed its catalogue to appear on Apple Inc.’s iTunes store.

The group also was a latecomer to the CD era, waiting until 1987 to issue its main body of work on a medium that the industry had embraced in the early to middle part of the decade.

By Hannah Karp And Amir Mizroch

With many thanks to The Australian
The Beatles Top 10 Streaming Hits

From Paul Cashmere at Noise 11

The Beatles allowed fans to hear their music via streaming services for the first time on Christmas Eve 2015 and already the first Beatles Streaming Top 10 has been compiled.

‘Come Together’ from The Beatles’ final studio album ‘Abbey Road’ is the most streamed song so far, according to a global survey of data by Spotify but surprisingly 65% of fans streaming The Beatles were under the age of 34.


Here are the Top 10 Beatles song globally according to Spotify.


1 Come Together


2 Let It Be


3 Hey Jude


4 Love Me Do


5 Yesterday


6 Here Comes The Sun


7 Help!


8 All You Need Is Love


9 I Want To Hold Your Hand


10 Twist And Shout






Other posts on The Beatles:

8th August 1969: The Beatles Waiting To Cross Abbey Road 
 ‘Man on the Run’: New Book About Paul McCartney After The Beatles
Arthur Alexander: The Forgotten Songwriter Who Inspired The Beatles, Bob Dylan And The Rolling Stones
George Harrison's Apple Years Box Set To Be Released
The Art of McCartney Project
Glyn Johns: Defining That Classic-Rock Sound
Fender Stratocaster: A Design Icon At 60 
The Traveling Wilburys: Their History
George Harrison and The Bee Gees To Receive Recording Academy Honors 
Sir Paul McCartney To Induct Ringo Starr Into Hall Of Fame
'American Pie' Lyrics Sell For $1.2 million In New York
Lost Beatles US Concert Movie Blocked From Release

 Beatles’ First Recording Contract to Be Auctioned For An Estimated $150,000 
The Three Lennon-McCartney Hits That Went to No. 1 Without Lennon or McCartney 
 Cilla Black's Biography On TV
Bob Dylan Named Greatest Songwriter Ahead Of Lennon and McCartney According To Rolling Stone
John Lennon Born 75 Years Ago Today 
Unseen Beatles Footage Released
George Harrison Makes Guest Appearance On Eric Clapton's New Album
John Lennon's Long-Lost Gibson J-160E Guitar Sells for Record $2.4 Million  
The Beatles 1 To Be Reissued With 50 Videos
John Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll Album - Update: Vale Sir George Martin
Ringo Starr Reflects On His 35 Year Marriage
George Harrison: Tribute GeorgeFest Is Coming
The Beatles Anthology: Streaming Now.
George Harrison - This is Love  
Traveling Wilburys To Travel Into New Territory - Streaming
Celebrating The Beatles' Revolver 50 Years On
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years 
The Beatles 'Love' And Cirque du Soleil
Long Lost Live Beatles Exhumed!
Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles; It was 50 years ago today ... 
Celebrating George Harrison