Archive | April 2016

The Bizarre Journey of Einstein’s Missing Brain

download (96)On 18 April 1955, Albert Einstein, the “Man of the century” died in Princeton Hospital. He was 76 by then. The entire world mourned the passing of one of the most genius minds the world has ever seen. The cause of death was internal bleeding, because an abdominal aortic aneurysm burst. Einstein made it clear that his body is to be cremated after he dies. His words were “I want to be cremated so people won’t come to worship at my bones”. But many don’t know the fact that within a few hours of his death, his brain went missing! Dr. Thomas Stoltz Harvey, who was then a pathologist at the Princeton Hospital, was assigned to do the autopsy. He removed Einstein’s brain against the will of the scientist. Fascinated to study the genius’s brain and hoping that the neuroscience of the future might reveal the reason what made Einstein’s brain so intelligent, he secretly took out the brain. The brain of the genius of the century was stolen, and no one knew about it; even the Einstein family was unaware of the fact. It was the news of the next day that made them realize the fact.

Harvey himself made the fact public. It was obvious that the whole world went crazy. Reporters thronged to the home and office of Harvey and the Einstein family. There was a madness among the reporters to know whether the rumor was true or not, and if it was, they wanted to know more. The Einstein family was outraged and at grief as they didn’t gave the permission to remove and preserve Einstein’s brain. To make the matter even worse, someone removed Einstein’s eyes too. This fact only shows that how obsessed was the world to know what Einstein’s brain thought, what Einstein’s eyes saw.

The family immediately went to meet Dr. Harvey, and after learning a few facts that Harvey discovered during the course of time, they gave the doctor permission to proceed with his study. However, they laid the condition that the results are to be published only in scientific journals, and the doctor will not make any money out of it.

Dr. Harvey made a couple of findings. Einstein’s brain weighed 1,230 grams, which is a little more than the average adult brain, but well within a normal human brain range. He photographed the brain from different angles, and took it to the University of Pennsylvania, where he dissected it into 170 pieces. It took him three complete months in the process. Each brain section was then sliced into 240 microscopic slides. Dr. Harvey spent months and years, but apart from learning some minor things, he didn’t find anything major. His efforts were failing and he couldn’t do anything. In desperation, he contacted some of the best Neurologists of that time. But to his misery no one agreed as no one wanted to be associated with the person who stole the brain of the “Man of the century”. As a result Dr. Harvey suddenly disappeared along with the brain, and the world kept waiting.

Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879 and started his education in Munich. Some believe that it’s not the structure of his brain that made him a genius, but it was his upbringing, his curiosity, the era he grew and lived. His father was an engineer and he idolized him. He saw two world wars as well as the cold war, and their catastrophic results. He was always very curious to learn things. By age of 10 he started asking questions, which the teachers couldn’t answer. So he was a trouble maker. He was least interested in learning the bookish materials and instead loved to learn practically. After his graduation, although he was looking for a teaching post, but couldn’t find one, he secured a clerical job in a patent office in Bern. The job was quite boring, but with decent salary, and it gave him enough free time to think, study, and understand the things that have always fascinated him. He spent a lot of time looking out of the window, thinking, and writing lots of notes and equations.

He published 300 plus scientific papers and hundreds of books in his lifetime. Most of us think that Einstein made his discoveries in his 60s, but the truth is the four major ground breaking discoveries of his life were made while he was quite young. In just one year, 1905 he wrote four groundbreaking scientific papers, while the other scientists even after spending their entire lifetime still struggle to write one. That is really a genius! The Time magazine recognized him as the man of the century, overlooking Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921 for the discovery of the “law of the photoelectric effect” and his contributions to Theoretical Physics.

Two decades since the death of the great scientist, and there was still no sign of his brain nor of Dr. Harvey. However, in year 1978, an article titled “I Found Einstein’s Brain” was published in the New Jersey Monthly. The author was Steven Levy. His senior assigned him a task that was to change his life and career, which was to find the missing brain of Einstein. After doing some research, Levy found that Dr. Harvey was living in Wichita, Kansas. He called the doctor and asked if they can meet for an interview. After a moment of silence, he heard the doctor saying yes. Levy visited the doctor and after a small talk, he asked if he is still in possession of the brain. Dr. Harvey then took out two large mason jars from a cider box containing the brain sections, still preserved in alcohol.

Drone Career Opportunities and Training Courses

download (95)When you were buying your very first drone, did you have any idea that these aerial vehicles would become so popular and useful that full-bodied training courses and study modules would be made available to public through university and college degree programs? Well, there are a good number of colleges in the USA that are already offering drone training to thousands of students. Of course, drone engineering is a full-fledged discipline because there are so many types of unmanned aerial vehicles now available throughout the world ranging from simple just-for-fun drones to combat flying vehicles housing missiles and other payload and military surveillance drones. Next is the category of drone pilots that need robust training as well as certification in order to become skilled, reliable and expert pilots of these aerial vehicles. In the years to come, the drone industry is only expected to grow and therefore more study modules need to be added to the pool for producing highly skilled drone experts in various fields.

Career Opportunities for Drone Experts

Students who decide to pursue a degree in drone education have a number of career paths to take. Some of these include;

· Military drone pilot

· Disaster control and relief

· Agriculture

· Search and rescue

· Traffic control and reporting

· Package delivery

· Filming and cinematography

· Aerial photography

· Seismic study and storm chasing

· Engineering and computer studies

· Drone consultancy and training

· Drone insurance

· Security

· Firefighter

There can be many other fields where drone applications are being recognized throughout the world. Since the concept is relatively new and still in its infancy, there is a horde of opportunities for fresh graduates of drone training programs. With the growing number of people who wish to take these courses, there is also a need for more teachers and instructors who will be paid huge amounts of money for transferring their skills to the next generation of drone experts.

How to Apply

If you are interested in one of the degree programs or certifications in drone training, you first need to do a little research on various colleges that are currently offering study programs in this field. There are online degree programs as well, which you can easily take while sitting in the comfort of your home. The application procedure is just like applying for any other degree program; you need to fill out an application form and submit it to the concerned department along with required documents and a covering letter to show your interest in a particular college.

Before you decide to apply, determine whether you want to learn to build drones or to fly them. These are the two basic categories that exist when it comes to drone training or education. Some of the degree programs offered by colleges in this discipline include;

· Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science

· Master of Science in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering

· Master’s in Unmanned Systems

· Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation Flight Technology

· Bachelor or Master of Science in Aviation Management

There are many other disciplines as well; the complete details can be obtained from an official college website. Some universities are also offering a post-baccalaureate certificate in UAS technology and application to students who come with an IB background. This is yet another factor that shows the future direction of drone training because IB is the current standard of education in most countries.

Some minor courses in aviation and drone applications are also offered to students who are currently enrolled into computer science or electronics engineering disciplines. These courses can help them change their area of study later on if they have decided to become a drone expert. There are tons of research opportunities for these students who can even opt for a doctoral degree in drone education.

Courses Offered in Drone Training

When you choose any of the above-mentioned degree programs, the most common subjects or courses you need to pass include design and construction of unmanned aerial vehicles, UAS structure, flight path management, aerodynamics, industrial robots, private pilot theory, principles of flights, human factors of drones, payloads and sensors, communications and data acquisition, advanced aerial vehicles, military intelligence, information security, and so on. As you can see these are complete modules and require years of training to master. The degree programs are therefore planned over 4 years for Bachelors and 2 years for Master’s degree.

Since the future of aviation largely depends on the success and effectiveness of today’s drones, there are golden opportunities for those who decide to take drone courses today. If you are interested in this area, you can also enter as an entrepreneur to offer your unique and useful services to those who want to benefit from this wonderful technology.

Many people are turning to aerial photography as their means of making a living. If you hold a certification or diploma in aerial photography, you have improved chances of gaining clients and being successful in this field. Moreover, such a course or training program helps to polish your skills and teach you how to take full advantage of a drone meant just for photography and videography. You may also apply for a post in filming or cinematography where you capture and edit videos or help with the marketing campaign of a company through your exclusive photographs and videos captured and recorded using a high-tech drone.

Drones or aerial vehicles controlled by a remote pilot are expensive machines. They are not just meant for having fun and taking part in drone racing but have applications in very sensitive departments, such as military surveillance for intelligent data acquisition and real-time streaming of the battlefield to take important decisions. Moreover, drones are now being employed to minimize the impact of natural disasters and to inspect the health of crops in agriculture. There is a need for highly skilled and experienced drone pilots in all these fields so that maximum benefits could be achieved and the risks associated with unmanned flight could be reduced. Drone training comes into play when all these requirements are analyzed and therefore many colleges and universities are now offering special degree programs in this field.

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How to Receive a Drone Certification

download (94)In the United States, people who wish to earn some extra cash as a drone pilot or use a high-tech quadcopter for achieving some business objectives need to apply for a 333 Exemption from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in order to do business successfully and without getting into any legal trouble. This is also known as receiving a UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Certification. Until last year only about a dozen companies were flying drones to achieve some commercial objective. The year 2016 is seen as a year when commercial drones will really take off because the FAA plans to approve many applications this year.

In this article we will take a look at how a drone certification can be obtained so that you can concentrate more on your business goals rather than worrying about getting certified for commercial drone usage.

What is meant by an FAA Exemption?

To perform commercial operations using an unmanned aerial vehicle, some sort of regulations have to be kept in mind. If somebody fails to adhere to these guidelines, there can be serious legal repercussions especially if the person was flying drone for some business purpose. It is therefore important to first take clearance from the FAA before using drones for business. A person doesn’t need an exemption if he or she wishes to fly drone for the sake of fun. No certification is required in such a case. However, there are some safety guidelines that need to be followed in order to stay safe and also protect others when flying an aerial machine.

It is recommended to fly only in the daylight and under 400 feet. In order to practice this pastime safely it is advisable to always keep your machine in front of your eyes. Sometimes the drone can be uncontrollable especially when the person flying it is a beginner and doesn’t have command over the basic controls of this machine. You also need to keep in mind that in the start you will have to balance out certain controls so that the drone doesn’t take off or tilt/rotate on its own. These controls should be learned before attempting to fly an aerial vehicle or a quadcopter for recreational purpose.

A 333 exemption is required for entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners who wish to introduce the drone technology to carry out their business activities. Since these machines help them in increasing sales, earning more profits and building a fruitful relationship with their customers, there is a need to get some sort of certification so that you can leverage and justify your actions to suit your long-term business plans.

Remember that if you are not using a drone for the purpose of fun and entertainment but the machine weighs more than 250g, you still need to register it with the FAA.

Benefits of Getting a 333 Exemption

This sort of an exemption is not just a requirement to be fulfilled it is also beneficial to the person who gets it. Just like any other certification, it tells the world that your business activities are credible and trustworthy. This can help to increase the number of prospects and eventually expand your business. When regulations are updated, you as a certified individual do not have to abide by the new rules. All you have to do is renew your membership and you are all set. New businessmen would have to apply for an exemption based on the new regulations. For those who wish to apply for drone liability coverage, they are eligible for more competitive rates if they have a drone certification. The process of getting a 333 exemption from the FAA is a very detailed one, which allows a businessman to rethink his or her strategy regarding drone usage, what equipment they wish to use, and whether drone maintenance should be integrated with the entire business plan or not.

Do You Need a 333 Exemption?

If you are still undecided on whether you should incorporate drone technology into your overall business plan, this section will help you decide more easily. Commercial drone pilots are more likely to use their skills for real estate and filming or cinematography. Agriculture and monitoring in the energy infrastructure are also common applications of drone technology. You need to specify the type and model of the aircraft you would be flying when applying for an exemption. A good number of projects are using a DJI product. These models are quite sturdy and robust and are very much popular all over the world.

As a business, there is no need to apply for a pilot license when you already hold a 333 exemption. However, the person who would be flying the drone needs a pilot license. Go through the 333 exemption guidelines to determine the qualifications required to be a licensed pilot for flying a drone for a commercial purpose.

A complete summary of all the regulations as well as other guidelines and requirements can be found on the internet. It is recommended that you, as an individual applying for a 333 exemption, must go through these documents at least once.

What to File for a 333 Exemption?

Although the FAA provides all the instructions on what documents to file for drone certification, here is a review of those instructions to give you an idea of what exactly you would need:

In some cases a separate COA application is required, so find out whether you need one or not. For each drone you would be flying, you need to file for an N-number. There will be a separate fee associated with each of your N-number registrations. In addition to regular paperwork, you will also need additional information to support why you are making this request. Characteristics of the intended area of use and how you will achieve line-of-sight while flying your drone are to be mentioned or explained in detail. In some cases, certificate of authorization is also required. So, make sure you have read all the requirements and guidelines for filing the petition before submitting your application.

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DIscover the World With Globes

images (26)I have an old childhood memory of spinning the blue world globe in my bedroom with my eyes closed and slapping my finger down on a faraway location. I’d dream about what life and the people might be like there. I learned early how to use a globe to explore the world, and I bet I wasn’t the only one who was spinning globes when they were kids.

At some point I also learned that our desk globe was tilted at 23.5 degrees to match the tilt of the earth, which I found extremely interesting. When I was a little older I learned that the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun is what makes the seasons change, as well as the hours of daylight lengthen and shorten.

The world globes of today are different from the globes that were around during childhood, not just because we have so many different aesthetic varieties available. Territorial lines are not the same and many countries have changed their names and/or their boundaries. The USSR, once the biggest “country” in the world (I used the term “country” loosely because the Soviet Union was actually a union of annexed republics, not a union of independent countries who elected to join), has been replaced by smaller independent nations. Germany has been divided and reunited. What was once East Pakistan from 1947 to 1971 is now Bangladesh.

Colonies of the British Empire are now independent countries. The list of changes to the modern world map and current, updated world globes goes on and on.

There are many types of globes that can make world geography fun for kids, even globes that have countries and borders that can be colored in with crayons or markers. Teens can enjoy decorating their rooms with colorful globes or world globes that can even hold jewelry and other items. And of course there is a whole menagerie of globes and bar globe drinks cabinets to choose from that can be used as furniture, whether your taste in decor is classic style or whether it is modern and chic.

Geographic and educational world globes teach us many things about the world and provide us with a lifetime of enjoyment and learning. They combine beauty, functionality, design and education. But most importantly, they also allow us to dream about visiting distant lands. Even if we are no longer children spinning our globes in our bedrooms, we can still dream and discover the world.

Rita Dapkus-Sproston owns BarGlobeWorld.com, a family business launched to express a passion for world globe bars and vintage bar globes, and to keep the age-old art of crafting vintage globe furniture as popular today as it was centuries ago.