Sunday, December 10, 2017

Have your say! - 3D hearing experience. Use of headphones mandatory

From: Gema Rodríguez Núñez
Date: Fri, Dec 8, 2017

I have selected this link because it really called my attention when I heard it for the first time.  As it is in English I think is too good an audio for this activity, but for getting the effect, you need to hear it with headphones. It is absolutely compulsory, because if not, it doesn't work.
What surprise me the most is that if you really close your eyes and relax yourself for a while, you can actually feel that someone is cutting your hair around you. I had seen several times this kind of illusions but only with images, however this audio shows that sounds can also cheat on your brain. The effect is known as "binaural sounds", and it is based on the different position of each ear. Although they are quite close one of each other, there are some centimeters between them, and that's the reason why the sound frequencies that arrive at them are slightly different on each. By moving the volume and the wavelength, the sensation can be recreated and one completely feels that the sounds are in different places of 3D space even when they have been reproduced only on two headphones.
For me, though all the audio is great, there are some extra awesome moments: when the door is closed, the moment with the bag on your head and when the scissors and the electric razor go from right to left and you can sense they are nearly touching you. And the best is that the haircut is free!!!
                If you have enjoyed it (what I hope), you can find more examples of this sort of "auditory illusion" on the internet searching for "3D hearing experience".

Have Your Say! - Synesthesia in the language

From: Julio
Date: Sat, Dec 9, 2017

Synesthesia is the natural-born skill in which some people perceive one sensory stimulus in two senses, mixing senses. For example, there are people who can see images when they hear sounds, or feel on their skin some sounds, or taste some sounds, etc.

But, what call my attention more is that apparently there is some kind of slight synesthesia in the everyday language, (and specially in literature). This would prove that everybody is a bit synesthetic.

There are many examples. For instance, expressions like "dark music", "to feel blue", "bitter truth", etc., use adjectives belonging to the realm of one sense with nouns belonging to the realm of another different, as visual with hearing, for instance. Apparently, these are semantic mistakes. However, everybody somewhat understands the meaning of these expressions, and I think this is because we all have a bit of sensory intermixing.

Another stronger proof of this is the bouba/kiki experiment: Most people associate the name kiki with the image with vertices, (because both the pronunciation of kiki and the vertices in the starred image are spiky), and associate the name bouba with the rounded image, (because they aren't spiky).

Monday, December 4, 2017

Have your Say! - City growth and urban mobility

From: Javier Domínguez Martínez
Date: Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:10 AM

Gran Vía Street, in the 30's
Gran Vía Street, today
Project of Gran Vía Street transformation

Some days ago, we were talking in class about the world's biggest cities by population and its growth. I've thought it over and I would like to connect this topic with the urban mobility and the outlook for the cities future.
As you know, the cities are swelling - according to some studies, urban population are going to rise by 2.5 billion by 2030 - and therefore the car usage will soar. Due to the expectation of this scenario, some challenges come for the biggest cities such as air pollution, climate change, traffic congestion, …
Talking of traffic congestion, in the 60's and 70's the cities tried to solve these issues by constructing more and larger highways in order to respond to the emerging of private vehicle travel demands. Nevertheless, this path seems not to have solve the issues that were supposed to sort out. This way, I do believe that not only haven't this measures solved these issues but also they have made it worse.
Consequently, nowadays some cities have begun to choose other way to solve the growth of urban mobility demand. Thus, the traditional public transport – underground trains, buses or trams – is improved at the same time that other systems or urban mobility are developed such as shared bicycles or shared electric vehicles programmes.
These measures are usually combined with traffic restrictions such as congestion charges (London), alternate circulation permission depending on the vehicle plate number (Athens, Paris), restricted areas (Madrid).
On the whole, I do believe that there are going to be a lot more changes in our urban mobility habits and only the future will show us if nowadays trends will solve current and future urban mobility needs.

Links with some videos and articles:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Have your say! - As time goes by

From: Clara Lago Blasco
Date: Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 7:20 PM

For the last decades, we have been hearing that global change will destroy our way of life if we don’t change our habits. But time continues passing and the situation not doesn’t only get better, but it is also getting worse all the time. For example, have you ever wondered how much CO2 is being released to the atmosphere while you are reading these lines?

The Poodwaddle world clock is a tool that takes the pulse of the world. It is a world statistics counter, based on a gathering of statistics about the past and predictions for the future which gives us an accurate view of what is actually happening. You can check the statistics at the website from the starting of this year until you leave the website, watching how the numbers are constantly increasing. Despite it’s funny name, the statistics provided by Poodwaddle are grim. These are some of the most worrying ones: The population continues increasing while over 11,667,000 hectares have been deforested during this year, 12,564,500,000 pounds of garbage has been dumped in to the sea and 7,438,400,000 tones of CO2 have been emitted, and all this numbers were increasing while I was checking the website. If you think this sounds depressing consider that 1,637,900 children have been killed by unclear water, 186,000,000 of people have contracted malaria, 416,004 have suffered sexual violence and 30,750 human smuggling and trafficking. The situation is even worst for the animals, 61,080,000,000 of livestock have been butchered and almost 9.000 species are extinct. Scientists have defined 9 planetary boundaries that if exceeded could generate abrupt or irreversible changes in our planet, we have already surpassed 4 of them. Savage capitalism continues devouring our resources, polluting the environment and destroying human lives, but clock hands never stop.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Have your say! - Whodonnuit?

From: Pilar Oteo Cerrato
Date: Sun, Nov 26, 2017

I recommend watching this video before reading this text.

The scene appears to be a murderer mistery in which the suspects talked to the detective and they remained innocent until proven guilty. Finally, the woman of the house pleaded guilty because petunias are not planted until may. The detective claimed that it was a matter of observation.

In fact, this video is a tool that test your awareness. How many changes were you able to see? This video shows how bad we are at noticing details we are not looking for. I have to say I didnt see it coming.

The add ends with this sentense: "It's easy to miss something you are not looking for. On a busy road this could be fatal. Look out for cyclists." The marketing  deparment of the company "Transport for London" make a good point with this idea. 

Getting beyond, we can say that everyone has their own perspective and their own way of looking at things. We should get as many perspectives as possible to try to see the whole situation. The world would run better if we werent so self-centred.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Have you say! - Eco-friendly fashion

From: Josefa Lloret Llaneza
Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2017

Vivienne Westwood, the British fashion icon, does it again. In 2010, this everlasting young woman, takes the scene wearing marvelous rags.
As an energetic activist, she denounces the excessive consumption that rules the capitalist society. " Buy less, choose well and do it yourself ".
The outstanding designer demonstrates that style is not a question of money but of compromise. It is possible to defend important values by getting dressed, even ecology. Use a strong character, lots of conviction and be completely shameless.
Vivienne shows herself proudly got up in the best outfit: her message.
She is always that generous. 

Have your Say! - Let's talk about Gender

From: Antonio A. Caballero Gálvez
Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 2:07 PM

Voice comment: