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Faster than light neutrinos
inside CERN

A pillar of physics - that nothing can go faster than the speed of light - appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein's theories.

Scientists at the world's largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than light. That's something that according to Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity - the famous E=mc2 equation - just doesn't happen. (excerpt from this article by Associated Press)

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2011 21:36
When Earth Cries

Thank you to you all! The website reached 200 000 visitors today and I feel really honored that come here and hopefully find the content interesting.

You are my encouragement and inspiration and this video was made to say thank you.

When I look at the stars, I see the past. When I look inside the mind, I paint the future.  

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 September 2011 12:21
Olav Zipser Breaking The Supersonic Speed Barrier - help request
Olav Zipser

Joining The Synergy Moon, one of the leading Google Lunar X PRIZE teams, put me in touch with some exceptional people who have a similar vision and outlook on life. One of these is definitely Olav Zipser, a world-renowned skydiver who in 1990 began experimenting with non-traditional forms of body flight. This led to the establishment of new skydiving discipline nowadays known as freeflying.

Freeflying is an expansion of skydiving which includes the traditional belly-to-earth positions, but extends into vertical flight where the flyer is in an upright position (falling feet first) or in an inverted position (falling head first). These positions increase freefall speeds and make new types of formations and routines possible.

A freeflyer, in order to fully understand the aerodynamic power of his/her body in freefall, needs to first learn to control all of the skydiving forms: box position (belly-to-earth, traditional skydiving position), back flying (back-to-earth), head-up flying, head-down flying, and side flying. These positions are not held for the duration of a skydive. Freeflying can, and usually does, involve constant transitions in position and speeds, with vertical and horizontal orientations. This can involve constantly flowing skydives, with all positions explored, or more static skydives where flyers are concentrating on building a large formation while flying in one of these freefly positions.

Due to the increased freefall speed and potentially faster horizontal speeds, freeflying has dangers beyond that of a normal skydive. Extra care must be taken for freefall skydive groups to stay away from belly-to-earth skydivers to avoid collisions. Since most parachutes are not designed to be opened at speeds higher than that of normal belly flying, freeflyers must transition back to the "belly to earth" position and slow down their descent for several seconds before deploying their parachute. While freeflying is a younger and more extreme addition to skydiving, it is becoming a popular event in competitions and world records. 

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Olav is currently aspiring to break Joe Kittinger’s 1960 high-altitude jump. He will also try to break the supersonic speed barrier by jumping from an extremely high altitude while forming his body to minimise the air resistance and maximise the velocity. "This initial record attempt will be the first of a whole program, culminating with a dive from above the Karman line (100km, 62miles), from a real space altitude. This is not a stunt. This is a research mission."

Interorbital Systems, the launch provider for this extraordinary ambitious mission, will use a modified version of IOS SR 145 rocket to propel Oval to 40km (24.85 miles) altitude, which is much higher that any manned ballon can possibly go. Once this altitude was reached, Olav will be ejected from the rocket and freefly back towards Earth in what he intends to be the longest, fastest, and highest skydive in history.


Olav Zipser at Interorbital Systems


"I created the sport of FreeFlying and have gathered a great deal of important data, but more work is required. That’s why committing to five rocket launches with IOS; these FreeFly events will happen at increasingly higher altitudes. This scientific data will be gathered to develop a safe return method that will benefit the entire aerospace industry—I can even see this as a new extreme sport with unlimited potential."


Help us solve the following puzzle and become a part of this amazing endeavour  

Olav uses a so-called space ball as reference in the sky. This space ball flies at a constant velocity of 260km/hour and thus provides a reliable measure of speed. Olav now wants to make a bigger space ball having a diameter of 30cm and he needs to know how heavy it has to be to reach its terminal velocity of 260km/h by 3km altitude when dropped from a 4km altitude. 

We are seeking talented individuals who can contribute to our legacy and propel our vision by solving the above problem. Ideally, we would need the solution by the end of October 2011. Contact me directly or leave a comment here if you think you can help us.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 September 2011 15:44
Symphony of Science - the Quantum World!

I have recently came across an excellent YouTube channel that focuses on the production of mostly scientific video remixes. I think they are awesome and if you do too then be sure to visit the MelodySheep YouTube channel and explore it.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2011 23:09
NASA Announces Media Teleconference on New Apollo Images

Another one of these teleconferences that brings expectations and attracts a lot of interest. The previous one I wrote about happened on 15th November 2010 and attracted all kind of people. Given it's cryptic title (NASA Announces Televised Chandra News Conference About Discovery of Exceptional Object), some were having exaggerated expectations as you can see from the comments on that article.

This media teleconference is going to reveal new images of the Apollo landing sites as taken from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Live stream from teleconference will also be available together with some supporting materials that you can look at. Visit the original NASA announcement for more details.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 09:16
Nearly 200 000 visitors - small present for the last five of you

This website was setup couple of years ago so that I could share my research, videos, astrophotography and ideas. It all started slowly with only a few daily visitors. As time went by the website became widely known thanks to people like you. These days the site is getting around 500 visits a day and slowly approaching a total number of 200 000 visitors. The increase of visits grows exponentially so I am very much looking forward to being able to reach even more people in the future.

I very much appreciate that you pop over every now and then and that you find some of the stuff interesting and perhaps inspiring. To say 'thank you', I would like to offer a small price to the last five visitors before the site reaches 200 000 visits. If you visit next time, have a look at the counter at the bottom part of the sidebar and if it is somewhere between 199 995 and 200 000 then take a screenshot of the counter, drop me an email with your address and you favorite astrophotography or picture quote. I will then send you that photograph printed out and nicely presented on a foamboard. Also if you want to give it to someone as a present and want to have some text printed on the bottom let me know.


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 21:45
Joining Google Lunar X Prize Official Team – The Synergy Moon

I am very excited to announce that I have recently joined The Synergy Moon Project, which is one of the leading official teams of Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth.

Google Lunar X Prize


Synergy Moon Logo



“The Synergy Moon is unique in that its members personify an eccentric, electrifying merge of the arts and sciences. Our spirit is one of social entrepreneur meets extreme adventurer, approaching the world and the creative drive of an artist with the problem solving skills of an engineer. Our company growth plan involves both private sector funding and the unique inclusion of high profile sponsorship opportunities for some of the world's top brands ready to get their message out on a global scale. We encourage international, interdisciplinary collaborations and innovation as we bring together and induce a fusion of space, art, and humanity, coalescing for on the ground beneficial change for the whole of the human family.”    


I have already had the opportunity to talk with some of the leading team members and I was very impressed by the extent to which we all share the same philosophy. The Synergy Moon Project is not just about participating in competition and getting a rover to the Moon. This project aspires much higher and is dedicated to bringing new opportunities to people and especially children through science, education, art and entertainment. The Synergy Moon project collaborates with several important organizations and funding partners from all over the world. New collaboration with The University of Antofagasta in Chile is another great success.


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"Zagreb, Croatia (July 13, 2011) – Synergy Moon Team Leader Miroslav Ambrus-Kis (MAK) of Zagreb, Croatia today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Universidad de Antofagasta and Team Synergy Moon, a competitor for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. The Universidad de Antofagasta and Team Synergy Moon are jointly interested in technology transfer of lunar exploration technology to Chilean industry. The MOU, signed by Team Synergy Moon co-founder Kevin Myrick and Universidad de Antofagasta Rector Dr. Luis Alberto Loyola Morales links a Moon Mars Atacama Research (MMARS) with a new industrial park in the Second Region of Chile to stimulate mutually beneficial high fidelity research and development, with a focus on building deployable prototypes for MMARS, transferring technological innovations in robotics to the Chilean mining industry, and accomplishing the Team Synergy Moon Google Lunar X Prize mission to soft-land a planetary rover on the Moon.”


"The Atacama Desert of Chile has one of the most extreme environments in the world with not a drop of rain in recorded history making it the driest desert on Earth. A lack of precipitation in this unique atmosphere prompted the installation of highly technical astronomical instruments providing scientists with world class observatories to study the details of our solar system and extra-solar systems resulting in an accelerated development of a clear Chilean presence in the international astronomical community. The very unique and arid landscape of Atacama has qualities of a Lunar or Martian analogue on Earth, and provides some key in-situ variables for defining and refining many of the viability protocols necessary for human survival to pave the way for exploring on the Moon or Mars. The Astronaut Teacher Alliance (TATA) has now addressed this issue by working with the new Agencia Chilena del Espacio (Chilean Space Agency), the Chilean Air Force, the Universidad de Antofagasta and other Chilean government offices in collaborations with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Moon Society, and the European Southern Observatory (ESO)."


Atacama vs Mars


The Hobbies section mentions that astronomy, astrophotography and space exploration have been my big interests since early childhood. Previous research of mine was born out of these interests and focused on simulating artificial evolution of populations of Mars rovers. Later, this research attracted the attention of The Advanced Concepts Team of European Space Agency, which led to our collaboration with them.


Perhaps you know that I am soon finishing PhD in artificial intelligence and was already offered a 4 years post-doctoral position for yet another multinational project sponsored by the European Union. On one hand, I have the opportunity to go down this route and keep doing research in developmental robotics. On the other hand, I could accept the offer to establish and lead a new research laboratory at Atacama Desert in Chile, extend this research and apply it to the real rover that will be exploring Moon’s surface.


“Only actions can speak louder than words, and we at the Human Synergy Project want to stop talking and start doing. Only by acting in the present can we rectify the past and sculpt the future."


The Synergy Moon is also on Facebook, check them out! :)

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 17:24

I have presented some of the preliminary results on iCub action learning during the two most prominent conference series of the field of developmental robotics, the International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL) and the International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics (EpiRob). The conference was held at the FIZ Frankfurter Innovationszentrum Conference Lab within the new Science City Frankfurt-Riedberg in Frankfurt.


presenting poster

M. Peniak, D. Marocco, J, Tani, Y. Yamashita, K. Fischer and A. Cangelosi (2011). Multiple Time Scales Recurrent Neural Network for Complex Action Acquisition. International Joint Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL) and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EPIROB) 2011. Frankfurt, Germany, August 24-27, 2011.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2011 14:31
Inspirational Picture Quotes

This video was made from a slideshow of my own images taken with a 9.25" telescope and a digital camera. Every image has a superimposed quotation that I found inspiring and I hope you will too. 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 08:13
Quotes section updates
The Quotes section was updated with additional quotations as well as with the latest picture quotes. I hope you'll enjoy them.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." ~ Confucius
Last Updated on Saturday, 13 August 2011 01:37
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