Blindfolded dolphin mimics its mates

 

click image to go see the video.

 

Dolphins keep amazing people with their clever tricks. Now it seems they can even copy the moves of others without needing to see them (see video above). A team at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida, conducted the first experiment with blindfolded dolphins to investigate how they imitate others. Although they are known to mimic sounds and actions, it’s unclear exactly what senses they use to do this.        (?!<—EchoLocation–red.)

A dolphin called Tanner that had previously been trained to imitate other dolphins visually was chosen for the task. When his trainer gives a hand signal, Tanner knows to copy the moves of the dolphin next to him. To see how he performed without sight, his eyes were covered with plastic eye cups after he was given the cue. Then a second dolphin performed an action, or produced a sound Tanner was familiar with, and the researchers observed his ability to replicate it.

Unsurprisingly, the team found that he had no problem reproducing sounds blindfolded. But he also reproduced a lot of actions with his eyes covered up, and even when he made mistakes the move wasn’t too far off.

“Since we know he wasn’t using sight, he had to be using sound,” says Kelly Jaakkola, a member of the team. “Either by recognising the characteristic sound that the behaviour makes, like you or I may recognise the sound of hands clapping, or by using echolocation.”

READ MORE over here: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/01/blindfolded-dolphin-mimics-its-mates.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

If I may add to this article: A very insightfull documentary about Echolocation:(Red. ArtAfFactory.)

Daniel Kish and Juan Ruiz using and explaining Echolocation

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 Derren Brown : On Echolocation. (s.v.p.: Click inside video to see it on youtube)

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Speaking about Dolphins:

Here is a Lovely Art Book about these truely amazing creatures:

click image to see more of this book

Everyone loves a dolphin: the forehead that bulges sweetly like an overinflated Lilo; the smooth beak around which the mouth curves into a permanent grin; the high-pitched chirrup, like laughter in Morse code. Happily, dolphins seem to like us too – a result, according to A School of Dolphins, “not only of a shared biological descent, but also of a roughly equivalent size of brain in proportion to body mass”.

 

This book bears many of the hallmarks of Thames & Hudson, its highly regarded publisher, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. A “survey of the dolphin in Western art”, it is elegantly designed, handsomely bound and full of lavishly reproduced pictures.

It is also staggeringly niche, a big (and rather odd) fish in an exceedingly small pond; again, no great surprise from a publisher that has never been afraid to delve into the neglected corners of art history, an approach that has paid off in the past with such feather-ruffling titles as Robert Hughes’s Shock of the New and David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge.

A School of Dolphins, to its detriment, has the feel of a project commissioned on a whim (after a couple of glasses of bubbly at the company’s birthday party, perhaps?) predicated on the fact that Thames & Hudson – which takes its name from the rivers of London and New York – happens to have two dolphins in its logo. The company’s founder, Walter Neurath, apparently thought dolphins to be intelligent and friendly, qualities he hoped both his books and employees would share.

Charles Avery, a former deputy keeper of sculpture at the V&A Museum, somehow manages to spin out his esoteric subject over more than 250 pages, arguing a case for the dolphin to be acknowledged as a sort of Zelig-like figure of Western art: a most adaptable creature that has been cropping up for millennia, in slightly different guises, in mosaics, paintings, sculpture and pottery.

The book’s glut of images – a triumph of picture research – lends some weight to this thesis. Here, in a Greek fresco from 1500BC, a pod of multicoloured dolphins frolic around a couple of crowded galleys. There, on a Renaissance fountain, a particularly obliging specimen serves as a sort of cetacean love seat for Peleus and Thetis, while elsewhere, two more dolphins form the arms of Henri Matisse’s favourite chair.

Avery maps the changing role assumed by the dolphin in the cultural consciousness – as lucky mascot, aquatic steed for Cupid and Venus, French heraldic symbol, and even, in Greek myth, as psychopompos, carrying across the River Styx the souls of men too grand to cadge a ride on Charon’s creaky ferryboat.

He also explores the curious case of Venice, a city surrounded by water whose outline bears an uncanny resemblance to a dolphin. Avery argues that this similarity has been deliberately exaggerated over time, first by 16th-century mapmakers, and later by town planners whose “major extension along the northern fringes of the city served to enhance the streamlined profile of the dolphin’s back”.

There’s fun to be had here looking at the images of painted or sculpted dolphins and trying to work out whether or not the artist responsible had ever clapped eyes on the real thing. There are some impressively lifelike specimens from nearly four millennia ago, but, as late as the Renaissance, many artists were still getting it spectacularly wrong. In Giovanni della Robbia’s gaudy sculpture of Cupid on a dolphin’s back from around 1520 the dolphin has scales, creepy yellow eyes, a pig’s snout and a set of pointy gnashers the envy of any alligator.

The prose Avery stumps up to accompany these pictures is too often dry, academic stodge. “A dolphin carried for Renaissance man a weight of symbolism to us surprising, mostly derived from ancient sources,” he intones in one tortuous introduction typical of the book.

Far more engaging writing comes at the end, in a short anthology of cetacean cameos from literature – ranging from Aesop’s tragic fable of the monkey and the dolphin to Douglas Adams’s insistence that dolphins are brilliantly brainy mammals “that had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man”. By the time I had trawled through to this point, though, my affection for dolphins had begun to wear rather thin. I felt close to drowning in this bottlenose bottleneck, and couldn’t wait to resurface into the wider world.

A School of Dolphins

by Charles Avery

(via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/5323526/A-School-of-Dolphins-by-Charles-Avery-review.html )

A School Of Dolphins

 

The Book: A School Of Dolphins: http://www.thamesandhudson.com/9780500238615.html

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Mind Games: Four Games You Control With Your Brain

Forget using your body to control your video games, or making realistic motions with a game controller to make similar movements in the game. The future of toys and video games will be the ones that only require you to sit still, concentrate and use your brain. The EEG technology used in hospitals to measure brainwaves has found its way into the consumer market in the form of games that let you move control the game piece or character just by thinking really hard. The games using the technology are currently pretty simple, but it’s easy to imagine that mind-controlled games could soon let you do everything that games with hand-held controllers do now.

A simpler toy that uses the same brain-controlled air stream concept is the Star Wars Force Trainer. It doesn’t involve any complicated mazes or guiding the ball through hoops; you just have to control the flow of air to Yoda’s cues. As you learn to control your concentration and brain waves more effectively, you move through the Jedi ranks. Hopefully the constant Star Wars sound effects don’t distract you from achieving your destiny. If you’re ready to start your training, the Star Wars Force Trainer is available from Think Geek for around $130.

The technology used in both of the above toys was developed by NeuroSky, a San Jose, California-based company. They also offer their own take on brainwave games with the NeuroSky Mindset. The headset looks a little like a hands-free telephone headset with the microphone in the wrong place. The starter set comes with “Brainwave Visualizer,” an application that lets you control on-screen shapes based on your state of mind. A demonstration of The Adventures of Neuroboy is also included; the demo has you use your mental muscles to push, pull, lift and burn on-screen objects. A game called Math Trainer is also included with the Mindset, and apparently lets you answer math questions with your mind. Several other applications are in the works, and NeuroSky seems devoted to figuring out fun new ways to use brainwaves as entertainment. The company even offers development tools to help users create their own games and content for use with the Mindset. Get the starter kit from NeuroSky’s online store for $199.

Read More over here: http://gajitz.com/mind-games-four-games-you-control-with-your-brain/

Incredible portrait sequence by mentalist Derren Brown

Oooh, finally i can bring you some really exciting Art, from someone i truly truly truly (did i mention truly?) muchly so, adore!…not just because he is such an incredible painter but also because of his Mentalist capacities (really go watch it on youtube if you haven’t already, utterly scary sometimes but Genius beyond belief), the books he has written, television work he is doing…and ofcourse not the least: because of the Lovely-gentle-sweet and funny person he actually is.
 
 So, for my Blog-visitors, read on and enjoy:
 
derrenbrown.co.uk Many people still don’t realise that Derren Brown isn’t just the world’s greatest mentalist. He’s also a bloody good painter too. The following sequence shows how accurately he manages to capture Dame Judy Dench from a photo in a matter of hours.
 
 On his Blog derren writes, next to his incredibly busy touring schedule, about his everyday wondering and musings…
 
Derren Brown 2010

With some afternoons at home, I’m finishing a new portrait – a second one of Dench – still not quite complete but I’ll finish it when I can and get it up on the art site for general availability, prints etc. Brand new easel too: my old one cost me a few quid from a Bristol Oxfam many years ago – I finally treated myself to a great big easel with a crank and everything – just wonderful.

Dx

 
 A few days later he writes:
 

As some of you have asked, here is a sequence of images showing how ‘Grande Dame’ was painted. It’s still yet to get it photographed to best reflect the original, but when I do I’ll put it on derrenbrownart.com with prints for sale.

As ever, acrylics on canvas, this one 5 foot x 5 foot.

 

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I’m quite happy to tell you that in the near future there will be more Portrait-sequences done by Derren if there is enough interest for it. He himself still sees it as a hobby but many including my good self, think he has greatly matured (eventhough the term ‘matured’ is greatly subjective in itself) as an Artist and in his painting style (He is just Good!)….so i’d say: Please, bring it on Derren! 🙂 xx

 Here follows a list of links to Derren Browns’ Work:

To visit his Art-site go Here:  Art-site

For his Blog go here: Derren Brown Blog

For clips about his television work go just hit youtube and type derren brown. (it’s too much to list! 🙂 )

For his books go here:  Portrait book and Books about Mentalism

For audio material go here:  Audio and dvd’s via Itunes

For even more proper info about him go here: (wiki)