Whilst reading the October 2013 issue of WIRED Magazine I found an interesting article about making Ants Dance.
Ollie Palmer studied Zoology and decided to work with a team to choreograph ants movements. The argentinian ant is the most susceptible to control. Their pheromone was the easiest to synthesis, A pheromone called Z9:16Ald.
Now with this pheromone extracted, Palmer and his team were easily able to control Ants movement. Next they needed to choreograph the ants movements.
The experiment was a success and the ants moved in response to the pheromone. They are even booked to perform at a festival in Brazil. Now that is a show you would need front row seats to.
Looking at the Science Gallery’s ‘Secrets’ website, I was fascinated by many of the exhibits.
The entry to the site was exciting. Having a computer ask questions and then react instantaneously was somewhat unnerving.
After looking at many of the exhibitions I decided my favourite was the Secret Handshake Training Device.
The technology involved seems somewhat science fiction like. An artificial hand that can react to a user. However when broken down, it’s just as unbelievable that this technology hasn’t been created before.
The hand senses the user is holding it. In an attempt to resurrect that old fashioned secret keeping, it does not rely on computers. ‘An purely analogue exchange’
The hand sends vibrations to the users fingers. The user will then respond by making the same sequence with their own hand. This is to simulate a hand shake as if produced by two humans. The machine will access the users responses and will give feedback.
The machine uses muscle memory to identify each user individually. This is done by remembering each persons unique signature. Thus bringing back the unique secret keeping technique of the past.
This device was in my opinion the most interactive. Users share a personal experience with the program that is unique to them. However the downside being is that this is a one time activity. The user cannot interact with the hand a second time and expect a different reaction. Saying that, there is something intriguing about using the device a second or third time to see if the hand does in fact remember you and if it has kept your secret.
Today we as a class discussed what Independence means to us.
We discovered there is actually different kinds of independence. There is personal independence which I feel now that I live alone and support myself financially! Then there is an overall societal independence that involves laws and structures.
I feel the society we live in actually effects our personal independence. When the referendum passed for equal rights, I felt this new found freedom. Free to expresses myself. So in a way I see that I found liberation through the government granting me independence.
I am thinking more about my major project ideas and feel it could be a grand idea that would influence everyone individually.
I never paid much attention to the concept of independence until the past year. That was, Until three events opened my eyes.
To be independent has always been important to me although I wasn’t aware that I strived for it. My parents taught me basics in the home, cooking, cleaning and shopping. These skills may seem simplistic and minor however when it came time for me to move out of the family home these skills became essential.
Living without restrictions can feel quite liberating. I was fully independent and while I had roommates and friends, I lived alone. If I didn’t take care of myself no one else would
This ties in to the second event, a job. I became financially independent. Now I didn’t even have the crutch of my parents sending me money for food or rent. This was somewhat exciting. Being solely responsible for myself gave me confidence.
To look at independence on a grander scale, during the recent marriage referendum I explored my rights as a citizen. I soon realised that my independence was not the same as others, I was less independent than many others in my life. Seeing the country vote for equal rights was a truly overwhelming for me personally. They gave me the same rights as everyone else. Now I felt I finally had an identity. I was me, 100%
Its hard not to think about places in this world where people are not free to be themselves. To be expressive, to be free of judgement.
Being free of supervision and free of to be me are major factors in what independence means to me.