Saturday, 28 February 2015

Fungus plays 'biomusic' duet

A duet for slime mould and piano will be premiered at an arts festival this weekend, giving new meaning to the term "culture". Festival director and musician Eduardo Miranda has put the decomposition into composition: his new work uses cultures of the fungus Physarum polycephalum. This mould is the core component of an interactive biocomputer, which receives sound signals and sends back responses. The result is a musical duet between the fungus and Prof Miranda, on piano. "The composition, Biocomputer Music, evolves as an interaction between me as a human playing the piano, and the Physarum machine," Prof Miranda told the BBC's Inside Science programme. "I play something, the system listens, plays something back, and then I respond, and so on." The Physarum mould forms a living, evolving electronic component in a circuit that processes sounds picked up by a microphone trained on the piano. As Ed Braund, a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at Plymouth University explains, tubules formed by Physarum have the electrical property of acting like a memristor, a variable resistor that changes its resistance in response to previously applied more -

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Why do men I meet online keep asking me for weird sex?

Dear Eva, After several years in a committed partnership that failed, I have found myself dating again – and it feels like I’ve walked back into some parallel universe where I don’t understand the rules anymore. I went on a date with a guy recently and we spent a lovely day together, came back to my house and started making out. It was then he expressed a desire for me to spit on his face. This is not an isolated incident with an isolated person; again and again, I seem to be encountering men who request sexual acts I would politely regard as ‘specialist’ far sooner into meeting them than I would expect. Am I just meeting jerks because I’m dating over the internet, or is this a thing? Hey, you. You say you’re dating again for the first time in a while. A long hiatus can make it feel like any attention is good attention, but you seem to have already learned firsthand: that’s not the case. So let me tell you straight up: you just need to get better at screening them out, if being spit on is not your thing. If the measure of success at online dating is never having a horrible first date with a jerk, then I am very successful at it. (If the measure of success at online dating is -READ MORE-