Conflicting evidence for ferroelectricity
Nature 547, 7662 (2017). doi:10.1038/nature22801
Authors: Gabriele D’Avino, Manuel Souto, Matteo Masino, Jonas K. H. Fischer, Imma Ratera, Xavier Fontrodona, Gianluca Giovannetti, Matthieu J. Verstraete, Anna Painelli, Peter Lunkenheimer, Jaume Veciana & Alberto Girlando
Arising fromS. A.Tayiet al. Nature488, 485–489 (2012); doi:10.1038/nature11395Organic ferroelectric materials operating at room temperature are in demand in the emerging field of lightweight, flexible and environmentally friendly electronics. Tayi et al.
Tayi et al. reply
Nature 547, 7662 (2017). doi:10.1038/nature22802
Authors: Alok S. Tayi, Alexander K. Shveyd, Andrew C.-H. Sue, Jodi M. Szarko, Brian S. Rolczynski, Dennis Cao, T. Jackson Kennedy, Amy A. Sarjeant, Charlotte L. Stern, Walter F. Paxton, Wei Wu, Sanjeev K. Dey, Albert C. Fahrenbach, Jeffrey R. Guest, Hooman Mohseni, Lin X. Chen, Kang L. Wang, J. Fraser Stoddart & Samuel I. Stupp
REPLYING TO G.D’Avinoet al. Nature547, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22801 (2017)Charge-transfer molecular complexes are an important class of well studied ferroelectric organic systems. First postulated in 1981, tetrathiafulvalene-p-chloranil is among the first charge-transfer compounds to demonstrate ferroelectric
Overestimate of committed warming
Nature 547, 7662 (2017). doi:10.1038/nature22803
Authors: Gavin A. Schmidt, Jeff Severinghaus, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Richard B. Alley, Wallace Broecker, Ed Brook, David Etheridge, Kenji Kawamura, Ralph F. Keeling, Margaret Leinen, Kate Marvel & Thomas F. Stocker
Arising fromC. W.SnyderNature538, 226–228 (2016); doi:10.1038/nature19798Palaeoclimate variations are an essential component in constraining future projections of climate change as a function of increasing abundances of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The Earth system sensitivity
Nature 547, 7662 (2017). doi:10.1038/nature22804
Author: Carolyn W. Snyder
Replying toG. A.Schmidtet al. Nature547, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22803 (2017)The Earth system sensitivity (ESS) summarizes the feedback behaviour of Earth’s climate system and includes ice sheets, vegetation and dust as internal feedbacks. This definition of the ESS is
Precision measurement: Sensing past the quantum limit
Nature 547, 7662 (2017). doi:10.1038/547164a
Authors: Christopher G. Baker & Warwick P. Bowen
Quantum physics ultimately constrains how well sensors of position, speed and acceleration can perform. A hybrid quantum system that avoids these constraints could give rise to improved sensor technologies. See Letter p.191
Ever since buying my Arc’Teryx Naos about 10 years ago, I’ve pursued a policy of buying only waterproof and watertight bags for my backcountry trips. It is truly liberating to be freed of pack liners, rain covers, dry bags, garbage bags, zip-lock bags, and all the other paraphernalia used to keep gear dry. Unfortunately Arc’teryx has long discontinued the Naos series, and with my ever shrinking base weight, I’ve had to consider other brands and fabrics for weekend trips.
The best alternative by far is the OutDry series from Mountain Hardwear. As a quick primer, OutDry is a waterproof membrane that is bonded directly to an outer shell fabric. Unlike polyurethane, water can’t seep into the potential space between the two layers, and the membrane won’t break down or delaminate with repeated creasing. Combined with a roll-top lid, their packs are completely waterproof and watertight. There is now an entire series from 18 to 105 liters in alpine and hiking configurations, but I’ve personally been using the Scrambler RT40 for weekend hikes with great success. As an example, last May I hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim and accumulated quite a bit of dust and sweat by the end of each day. Just before reaching camp I would jump into the creek, pack and all, and ended up with clean skin, clean pack, and a dry sleeping bag. After two years and countless hikes in rain and sleet, I have yet to find a drop of water in the pack.
The only real fault with the RT40 is the ridiculously small hip belt pockets, but that’s nitpicking at what is otherwise an outstanding pack. If you’re an avid backpacker, do yourself a huge favor and step up to an OutDry pack. Your pack will weigh less, you will hike farther, and you will never, ever, have to worry about a wet sleeping bag again.
— Nabhan Islam
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler RT 40 OutDry Backpack ($180)
Available from Amazon
I suspect this massive heavy-duty tome will become the canonical classic reference for cross-cultural research. The book is physically built for the long-term, and will likely outlive us all. The crisp design and typography shine in timeless elegance. In 500 pages, Jan Chipchase tells you everything he knows about conducting design research in the field. He’s been the leader in this rarified discipline for decades. Let’s say you are inventing something you expect people will carry in their pocket. What else do people carry in their pockets today? What old things would a new thing sit next to in the pocket? How about in China? Where do you put it after you take it out of your pocket at the end of the day? How about in India, or Brazil? How do you even begin to answer these questions? How do you gather this kind of data responsibly? Chipchase has answers, advice, and guidelines. His lessons are comprehensive and informed by 17 years of conducting research like this in New York City, Nigerian slums, and monasteries in Nepal. As we go global, this kind of multi-discipline, multicultural research will become way more common. This will be the go-to resource.
The Field Study Handbook, by Jan Chipchase, 2017, 524 pages, $105
Available from Amazon
Guest houses in or close to communities that represent the project’s target demographic are relatively accessible and serve as good middle ground between hotels and popup studios. The minimal cost (compared to a corporate hotel) allows the team to book extra rooms dedicated to work activities. In some smaller guest houses, it can be worth booking a couple of spare rooms to ensure the team occupies the whole building. In this scenario, the team’s working and living space effectively starts from the front door, which can create a more positive, homely feel.
Job description: The fixer
The fixer has a strong network in the target locale, one that bridges life-stage and ethnic boundaries, and has likely lived in the target locale for many years. She speaks the most commonly spoken local languages and dialects. The fixer is the first member of the local team to be hired. She starts by identifying suitable candidates for guides and participants, and inputs into the research protocol. An effective fixer constantly thinks one step ahead of the team. She advises the team on local cultural issues, from awareness of events that will impact the research, such as locally observed holidays, through to choosing an appropriate gift for a home visit. She identifies and helps correct the team’s inevitable breaches in local social norms and protocols.
Street surveys are a staple of marketing and trend research but are surprisingly absent from many design agencies’ research toolkits. With a clear and present focus, street surveys can efficiently reach tens or hundreds of participants and capture questionnaire, photo, video, and/or task-related data. Aside from allowing for the collection of questionnaire data, street surveys can be used to collect photos and videos of hundreds of participants. Annotating each survey form with a unique identifier (e.g., Tehran-M05) and taking a photo of that annotation is a simple way to line up form data with photos or video. The optimal location for running the survey depends on the goals of the study. Being in a high footfall area helps with potential respondents, although they need to have sufficient space to stop and engage with the researchers. For product- or task-focused activities, being in proximity of where those products are sold (e.g., outside a supermarket) or used (e.g., at the sports centre) is a natural fit. For optimal results, the street survey team needs to find a locale that provides a clear line of sight to communicate intent, and adopt a posture that encourages interaction without being overbearing. Novice researchers tend to overestimate what a respondent will expect in return for taking part in the study, and fret over what makes an appropriate reward. Having a small giveaway, such as a pen or sticker, affords the teams a degree of confidence—but the reality on the street is that a gift can cheapen the experience.
Small things start to niggle. Compromises that were fine earlier on in the project now start to grind. Homes, families, and things that provide comfort are missed. The team has an awareness of the deliverable deadline, but it’s not yet clear whether they’ll get there. The dip is exacerbated when the client is in-field: a lot of money has been spent but there’s little recognisable return on investment. Without clear direction, a leadership vacuum can turn the dip into a major depression. During this phase:
- Provide more personal space in the working day for the team
- Schedule time for the team to be apart, including days off
- Address the worst of the logistical issues
- Introduce exceptional places and events
- Discuss, as a team, what will make a preferred decompression space and something to look forward to
Always accept a drink when it’s offered, regardless of whether you plan to drink. Doing so reinforces the host/guest relationship at a time when the participant may be looking for reassurance. At the very least, let the cup touch your lips. The etiquette around toasting fellow drinkers can be complex and include various issues:
- Appropriate person to raise a glass
- Timing of the toast
- Who fills or refills the glass
- Whether it’s acceptable to refill one’s own glass
- Using one or two hands
- Relative positions of the two glasses when they touch
What’s considered late in one culture can be perceived as early in another. Punctuality is full of cultural assumptions. For example, when scheduling a business meeting in Germany or other monochronic cultures, being more than five minutes late can warrant communication indicating an updated arrival time. Ten minutes without notification is likely to be considered late, rude, and narcissistic. In the United Arab Emirates and other polychromic cultures, the unit of time is likely to be closer to fifteen minutes before communication is warranted, and the meeting itself is likely to be regarded as having a different, less inherent value simply because more contextual issues might take into consideration other events, such as prior meetings that have not concluded. Punctuality is so ingrained into the Japanese business psyche, and the metro is so punctual, that commuters are issued a note for their employees if a train is more than a few minutes late.
russet , adj :
Having a reddish-brown color.
(archaic) Gray or ash-colored.
(botany) Having a rough skin that is reddish-brown or greyish; russeted.
Rustic, homespun, coarse, plain.
The condition of leather when its treatment is complete, but it is not yet colored (stained) and polished. Please subscribe to me here on Youtube!
November 1991 The Alphabetical Orgasm
(Tokyo · Gallery Tieraruto)
’92 April The Alphabetical Orgasm (Kyoto · 吉 吉 Studio Com)
’92 November Anonymous Animals (Tokyo · Gallery Tieraruto)
’94 July Compu Expo (Tokyo / Tennozu Isle Spheremex)
‘December ’92 Relaxed (Tokyo / Tokyo Pearn)
’93 November Floating Museum – Installation of sound, image and fragrance –
(Tokyo · Nice Museum)
November ’91 Collection of Art · The Alphabetical Orgasm (Tierlert · Books)
Works of November ’92 · Alphabetical Animals (Toms box)
’93 June Writing · Compu Design – Conceptual Method of Formality – (Graphic)
’94 February Compu Movie (Tierlert)
’94 September The Esoteric Retina – secret retina –
(Sony Music Entertainment)
’94 October TRANSMIGRATION (Sony Music Entertainment)
’95 October EQUAL (Sony Music Entertainment)
’94 April The East Brain (Sony Music Entertainment)
’95 Eastern Mind – East Brain international version –
(America: Sony Electronic Publishing /
Available in USA and Europe)
’95 Midtown (Sony Music Entertainment)
’92 Adobe Design Contest ’92 Special Award Winner
’93 Digital Entertainment Program
(Sponsored by Sony Music Entertainment)
Work category and person category Best prize won
’94 Multimedia Grand Prix ’94
(Sponsored by Multimedia Software Promotion Association)
MMA Artist Award Winner
For the five years that I’ve owned an iPhone, I’ve lived with severe battery anxiety. At work, I’d keep it charged up at my desk enough that I’d basically get through a day. But if I was going to be out for the whole day and into the night, there was a good chance the battery wouldn’t last, especially if I was travelling. This was somewhat mitigated by keeping a battery pack and charger with me, but still got cumbersome and meant I had to bring a bag with me to store it in.
This has all changed since getting the iPhone Smart Battery case for my iPhone 6s. You slide your iPhone into the case which hooks it up to a little Lightning connector, charging the phone continuously. No switches or anything. With a full charge of the case and phone, I can use my phone heavily throughout the day and it will easily last until I go to bed. Best of all, I don’t even think about my battery during the day. Battery anxiety ended!
Sure, there are cheaper options that provide more battery capacity. But this is the only battery case I know of that charges with a Lightning connector, meaning I can plug it into the same places I plug my iPhone into without having to carry extra cables. At the end of the day I keep my phone in the case, and it will charge the phone and case fully by the time I wake up. And because it’s made by Apple, I can see the charge of both the case and the phone on the phone’s display when I plug it in. Also, I’ve never used a case for my phone, finding them unpleasant to look at. But this one, despite being a little dorky looking in the back, is still not nearly as ugly as many cases. And I’ve gotten used to the extra grippiness it provides, especially in certain pant pockets, in which my phone previously had a tendency to fall out while sitting.
All in all, I’m a very happy customer of this boring and expensive phone accessory.
— Tom Robertson
iPhone Smart Battery Case ($97)
Available from Amazon
exonerate , v :
(transitive, now rare) To relieve (someone or something) of a load; to unburden (a load).
(obsolete, reflexive) Of a body of water: to discharge or empty (itself).
(transitive) To free from an obligation, responsibility or task.
(transitive) To free from accusation or blame. Please subscribe to me here on Youtube!
Every time I return to the masterpiece A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, I am rewarded deeply. It’s a source book for architectural heuristics (guidelines), such as “A balcony less than 6 feet wide will never be used” or “Make a transition between street and front door” or “Vary the illumination. Aim for pools of light”. These design patterns are illustrated with photos and explanations and they serve as remarkable fountainhead for designing any kind of space, whether a room, building, or town. — KK
I’ve been having a lot fun with Mindly, a mind-mapping app (iOS, Android) that helps me brainstorm and organize thoughts. I’ve been using it as a vision board, thought journal, and for my personal to-dos. There is a free version of the app available. — CD
Digitize printed text:
When I need to quote a passage from a paper book or a Kindle, I take a photo of the page with the TextGrabber app. It scans it and turns it into ASCII text, which can be emailed, texted, or saved. It’s very accurate and has saved me a lot of time. It was free when I got it on iTunes. It’s now 99 cents. And the Android version is $9.99. — MF
Spikiest hair gel:
If I don’t spike my hair, I look like Captain Kangaroo or Moe Howard. Bangs may have worked for those two august gents, but it doesn’t for me. The best styling gel I’ve come across is Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel ($8.22 for a 2-pack as an Amazon Prime Add-on Item). A little dab does the trick, and it lasts all day. — MF
I recommend checking out My Activity on Google. I was surprised to find that it also logs searches made on my iPhone. There might be some things you forgot to save, or others you might want to delete, or you might just want to change your settings. — CD
One of my favorite uses for the supercomputer I carry in my pocket is to tell me when high or low tide will be, and how high or low. I live near the ocean, so tide level is important for beach walks. My goto tide app is TideTrac, $3 on iOS. — KK
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson