Toshiba’s high-tech grow rooms are churning out lettuce that never needs washing | Quartz


In a sterilized clean room about 35 miles outside of Tokyo, where Toshiba used to make floppy disks in the 1980s and 90s, the company is now starting to grow thousands of lettuce plants as it expands into indoor agriculture.

via Toshiba’s high-tech grow rooms are churning out lettuce that never needs washing – Quartz.

How To Work With Different Productivity Styles | Fast Company


The Arranger wants to give background information, while the Prioritizer just wants the facts, without the backstory.

The Prioritizer thinks the Arranger’s just wasting time, while the Arranger thinks the Prioritizer doesn’t take other people and their feelings into account.

via How To Work With Different Productivity Styles | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

And the world’s favorite country is … Germany?


No surprises here.

The world sees us rather as we see ourselves: competent, hardworking, successful, responsible, and good on the football field. But otherwise rather dull.

As far as creativity, contemporary culture and the quality of education is concerned, the United States outperforms us in the eyes of the world. And in our own eyes, too. We love U.S. television series, books and music, and if we could afford to, we’d send our kids to American universities.

via And the world’s favorite country is … Germany?.

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions


The microdisks, which sit atop pedestals of silicon oxide like cymbals on stands, are extremely sensitive to the smallest fluctuations arising from Brownian motions, even at thermodynamic equilibrium. Hence, they exhibit very small oscillations without external driving forces. These oscillations include fundamental and higher modes, called thermomechanical resonances.

The narrow laser spot scans the disk surface and measures movement, or displacement, of the disk with a sensitivity of about 7 femtometers per square-root of a hertz at room temperature, which researchers believe is a record for interferometric systems.

To put that in perspective, the width of a hair is about 40 microns, and a femtometer is 100 million times smaller than a micron.

via Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions.

Slide Show: New Yorker Cartoons November 24, 2014


“I just hope people in the future are, like, ‘What the hell are these things?’ ”

via Slide Show: New Yorker Cartoons November 24, 2014.

Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes


When assessing events on the ground — particularly in dynamic situations like Iraq and Syria — it is devilishly difficult to determine if and when a game-changing event will occur.

via Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes.

Can the Grand Old Party Learn New Tricks?


That party no longer exists, and neither does the political consensus of the postwar years.

It was based on a wide distribution of economic rewards, a high degree of civic participation, and respected national institutions, including the federal government.

via Can the Grand Old Party Learn New Tricks?.

Why Intel Spent Half A Million Dollars To Support Drone Selfies | Co.Labs

“It was the intellectual property about throwing it and, depending on the velocity you throw it at, having it go a certain distance, snap a picture, turn, and come back.”

“We thought that was a creative use of technology. It was addressing a market that was growing fast and hungry for it.”

via Why Intel Spent Half A Million Dollars To Support Drone Selfies | Co.Labs | code + community.

Toray in expanded $8.6 billion carbon fiber deal with Boeing | Reuters


The contract will help cement the key role Japanese companies already play in Boeing’s commercial aircraft business.

Boeing estimates that around 22,000 engineers in Japan, or 40 percent of the nation’s aerospace workforce, already work on its jets.

via Toray in expanded $8.6 billion carbon fiber deal with Boeing | Reuters.

France, a Tax Haven? Yes, for Microsoft to China’s Huawei | Businessweek


More than 17,000 companies, ranging from biotechnology and energy to software and gaming, are cashing in on the tax advantages and subsidies for innovation this year in France, with an average break of about 323,500 euros.

via France, a Tax Haven? Yes, for Microsoft to China’s Huawei – Businessweek.