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Johns Hopkins Develops Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Limb

Johns Hopkins Modular Prosthetic

Johns Hopkins University Medicine and Applied Physics Laboratory have made a giant leap in the creation of prosthetic limbs with their creation of the Modular Prosthetic Limb, or MPL, that is “capable of effectuating almost all of the movements as a human arm and hand and with more than 100 sensors in the hand and upper arm,” combined with their revolutionary Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) surgery, which reassigns existing nerves in order to make it possible for someone to control the MPL by mere thought about the action they would like to perform with the arm and hand.

Movie Review | Mission Impossible: Fallout

Mission Impossible: Fallout

Pros: Mission Impossible: Fallout is not only the most fun I've had at the theater since last year's Baby Driver but I also consider it to be the best in the franchise, topping even the first installment directed by legendary filmmaker Brian De Palma back in 1996. It is an unforgettable cinematic experience that understands what makes for great action sequences, all the while balancing an intriguing narrative with stellar performances and even poetic cinematographic elements such as clever jump cuts and wide angle shots where the subjects are displaced far off-center. Cinematic experimentation of this frequency in a movie with a budget of this scale is highly unusual in recent times and is often thought of as a lost art. But every now and then a movie comes along which revives the feeling of pure cinema.

I was glued to the screen the entire time.

Cons: There are none.

Overall Impression:


Movie Review | Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Pros: Pretty animations.

Cons: Steven Spielberg returns to the director's chair in Ready Player One and to the science fiction adventure genre that he helped revolutionize. Sadly, the movie falls flat with its underdeveloped characters and shallow premise that seems to favor intense, whirlwind action in its CGI playground above a clear, coherent story complete with memorable moments and characters. Instead of an unforgettable Spielberg cinematic experience, what we get is just another CGI flick, one that throws pop culture references at you in an attempt to invoke feelings of nostalgia—everything from Van Halen to Back to the Future to a plethora of video games both young and old—but misses the entire point of what constitutes real nostalgia and just fails miserably to be a motion picture worth a damn.

“At no point in the novel does Wade explain why movies and video games matter to him, what emotional chords they strike, or what pop culture artifacts make him feel. Even his idol Halliday, who created the Easter egg hunt, never bothers to engage with the media he loves, explore its meanings, delve into its texts. All that mattered about the media Halliday deemed important was that it happened in a certain point in history and contained some proximity to what he considered "nerd" culture.”

Overall Impression:


Set Up a Laravel Project with Homestead

Laravel Logo

After some unsuccessful attempts, I was finally able to get a Laravel project up-and-running. Here's how I did it.

Step 1. Install Homestead

First, you need to install Homestead, Laravel's official, pre-packaged Vagrant box that allows for a Laravel development environment. In order to do so, you must first install either Virtualbox (the free option) or VMWare (the $100+ option), and if you're running macOS: Parallels, or if you're running Windows: Hyper-V, and Vagrant.

$ vagrant box add laravel/homestead

You should then see something like this in your terminal:

Bash Vagrant Add Laravel

If the installation was a success, then enter the next set of commands:

$ git clone https://github.com/laravel/homestead.git$ cd ~/Homestead$ git checkout v7.14.2 //

You should then see something like this in your terminal:

Bash Git Checkout

Then quickly run:

$ bash init.sh

And we're finished with the Homestead installation.

Step 2. Initialize Vagrant in Your Laravel Project

Next, we need to make adjustments to the Homestead.yaml file located at the root of the Homestead folder; in particular, we need to adjust the folder and file settings. It was recommended that I clone the Homestead folder in a directory separate from the directory that contained my project's folder. Also, in order for everything to work, you only really need to change two things: the folder: map: and the sites: to: in such a way where the latter is a continuation of the former.

This is the actual Homestead.yaml file for my project. In it, my folder: map: is the path of the folder which contains my project's folder, and then in sites: to: I extended the path of the Vagrant VM's path from /home/vagrant/projects/ to point to /home/vagrant/projects/travelstar/public.

ip: ""
memory: 2048
cpus: 2
provider: virtualbox

authorize: ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

    - ~/.ssh/id_rsa

    - map: ~/Documents/portfolio-projects
      to: /home/vagrant/projects

    - map: travelstar.test
      to: /home/vagrant/projects/travelstar/public

    - homestead

Back in the terminal, cd into your hosts file in a terminal text editor such as vim or nano.

$ sudo nano /etc/hosts

And add this to the bottom of the file: project-name.test

Now generate a SSH key, start the SSH agent, and add your SSH private key to ssh-agent.

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "your_email@example.com"$ "$(ssh-agent -s)"$ ssh-add -k ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Next, we need to create the actual Laravel project. cd into the directory where you'd like to create your Laravel project, bring the terminal back up, and enter this command to download the Laravel installer (via Composer):

$ composer global require "laravel/installer"

Then create the project with Composer:

$ composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel project-name

Now, jump into your newly made project's directory and initialize vagrant.

$ vagrant init

You should now be ready to use Vagrant.

$ vagrant up

Then open a browser and visit project-name.test, you should be able to see this:

Laravel Project

NASA's Plan for Mars: A Sustained Human Presence


Galileo Galilei made the first telescopic observation of Mars in 1610. Since then, our neighboring planet has been a subject of fascination and wonder due in no small part to its relatively close proximity to Earth; in fact, it took NASA's Opportunity Rover 202 days (6 months, 18 days) to land on Mars. The so-called Red Planet has been a popular topic of science fiction in popular culture including everything from cartoons (Marvin the Martian) to rock n' roll (David Bowie - "Life on Mars?").

However, according to NASA, science fiction is starting to become science fact. Apparently, space exploration technology in recent years has progressed so rapidly that the question of whether or not we will ever go to Mars has now merely boiled down to the question of when? A possible answer is this: less than twenty years from now. The news of NASA's plans to send a crew to Mars were made possible by a directive signed at the White House on December 11 of last year. No matter what your personal opinion of him may be, President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually to Mars.

“The policy calls for the NASA administrator to “lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.” The effort will more effectively organize government, private industry, and international efforts toward returning humans on the Moon, and will lay the foundation that will eventually enable human exploration of Mars.”

Discovery of Neutrino Origin a Giant Leap in Astronomy


Scientists using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have been able to trace the origins of a subatomic particle, a high-energy neutrino, from outside our galaxy, for the first time ever. This particular neutrino traveled 3.7 billion years—farther than any other neutrino for which we know the origin—at nearly light-speed before being detected on Earth. These so-called ghost particles are hard-to-catch. Scientists think they're created by the most powerful events in the cosmos such as galaxy mergers and material falling into black holes.

“Neutrinos held the promise for some time of being able to map the sky like you would with light but at higher energies," Sullivan said. "We can ask questions or try to answer questions that you couldn't otherwise."

Lower-energy neutrinos are already being harnessed by astronomers through a network run by Scholberg that is waiting to use a burst of neutrinos to spot the next core-collapse supernova in the Milky Way.

Such a supernova was last observed in 1987, before modern neutrino detectors existed. But when the next one explodes, Scholberg and her colleagues want to use the neutrino burst to alert astronomers in time to catch the light signature. The neutrinos themselves would also tell scientists about what was happening during the event. "You could actually see a black hole being born in the neutrinos," Scholberg said.

That, like the new blazar research, would be a breakthrough in what scientists call multimessenger astronomy, which uses two or more different categories of data, like light photons, neutrinos and gravitational waves. More types of data mean more overall information about what happened.

"It's like a big puzzle and we're trying to fill in the pieces," Sullivan said. "By seeing the picture in both different energies and different particles, we can really try to understand the physics of what's going on.”