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Introduction

Ancient Egyptian architecture is characterized by the use of massive stone structures, such as pyramids and temples, that were built for religious and funerary purposes. The most famous examples of ancient Egyptian architecture are the pyramids of Giza, which were built during the Fourth Dynasty.

The pyramid’s internal structure and layout were also highly symbolic and were designed to protect the pharaoh’s body and help his soul ascend to the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians were skilled engineers and used complex techniques to build their monumental structures and transport and place massive stone blocks.

Statue of Pharaoh Khafre

How Did the Egyptian Pyramid Architecture Evolve and Develop?

The first pyramids were built during the Third Dynasty of Egypt, around 2600 BCE. These early pyramids were called mastabas and were flat-roofed, rectangular structures built of mud brick.

The most famous pyramids, such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, were built during the Fourth Dynasty. These pyramids were constructed of limestone and granite and had smooth, angled sides, forming a true pyramid shape.

The pyramid shape was thought to symbolize the sun, with the pointed top representing the sun’s rays, and the shape of the pyramid itself representing the sun’s rays shining down on the earth.

The pyramid was believed to be a place of rebirth for the pharaoh, who would rise from the dead and ascend to the heavens to live among the gods.

The pyramid was also a symbol of the pharaoh’s god-like status, and was believed to be a place where the pharaoh would be united with the gods in the afterlife.

What innovations were made in Ancient Egypt?

Ancient Egyptians developed a writing system known as hieroglyphics, which was used for religious texts and monumental inscriptions.

They also developed a system of mathematics, including the concept of a fraction and the use of a decimal system.

They were skilled engineers and built monumental structures such as the pyramids, using complex techniques to quarry, transport and place massive stone blocks.

They had a complex system of medicine and were able to perform simple surgeries, such as removing tumors and setting broken bones.

They had a complex system of irrigation and used it to cultivate crops in the desert.

They also developed a system of mummification to preserve the bodies of the dead for the afterlife.

They used a sundial to measure time and a water clock to measure the passage of hours.

Characteristics of ancient Egyptian sculpture and painting?

Ancient Egyptian sculptures were highly stylized and symbolic, often depicting gods and pharaohs in a formal, idealized manner.

They used a technique called frontalism, which emphasized the front of the figure, and profile views were avoided.

They used hieroglyphs in their painting and sculptures.

They used a wide range of materials, including stone, wood, metal, and faience (a type of glazed ceramic).

They often used bright colors in their paintings, such as blue, red, gold, and black.

They often used symbolism in their art, such as the ankh (symbol of life) and the scarab (symbol of regeneration).

They had a deep understanding of balance and proportion and often used it in their sculptures.

What are examples of Egyptian Sculpture?

The Great Sphinx at Giza: a massive limestone statue of a lion with a human head, thought to represent the pharaoh Khafre.

The statue of Khafre: a granite statue depicting the pharaoh Khafre seated on a throne. This statue is considered one of the most realistic and detailed sculptures from ancient Egypt and it shows the pharaoh in a traditional pose.

The statue of Ramses II: a granite statue depicting the pharaoh Ramses II standing, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

The statue of Hatshepsut: a granite statue depicting the pharaoh Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh, standing in a traditional pharaonic pose.

The statue of Akhenaten: a limestone statue depicting the pharaoh Akhenaten, who introduced a new religious doctrine that centered on the worship of the sun god Aten.

The statue of Anubis: a wooden statue depicting the god Anubis, the god of mummification and the afterlife. This statue is considered an important representation of the god Anubis.

The statue of Bastet: a bronze statue depicting the goddess Bastet, the goddess of cats, music, and dance. This statue is considered an important representation of the goddess Bastet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ancient Egyptian art, architecture, and technology were heavily influenced by their religious beliefs and practices. The art produced during this time period, was highly stylized and symbolic, with a focus on religious and funerary themes. The Egyptian pyramids are one of the most iconic examples of their architectural achievements, serving as both a symbol of the pharaohs’ power and prestige and as a place of rebirth for the pharaohs in the afterlife. Their art, architecture, and technology greatly influenced the art and architecture of other cultures and continue to be studied and admired today.

FAQs

Q1. What was the purpose of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt?

Ans. Hieroglyphics was the writing system used in ancient Egypt, primarily for religious texts and monumental inscriptions. The system was used to record historical events, religious texts, and to commemorate the pharaohs and their achievements.

Q2. What materials were commonly used in ancient Egyptian sculpture?

Ans. The ancient Egyptians commonly used materials such as stone, wood, metal, and faience (a type of glazed ceramic) in their sculptures. Stone was the most commonly used material for monumental sculptures, while wood, metal, and faience were used for smaller, more portable works.

Q3. How were the ancient Egyptians able to quarry and transport massive stone blocks for the construction of their monumental structures?

Ans. The ancient Egyptians were skilled engineers and used a combination of techniques such as ramps, pulleys, and levers to quarry and transport the massive stone blocks used in their monumental structures. The blocks were transported on barges down the Nile River to the construction site.

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Has The Ipad Killed Tablet Innovation?

Has the iPad killed tablet innovation?

How foolish I’ve been. Five months ago I wrote that tablets had come of age, and even sifted my way through the line-up cherry picking what must-have features would make for the perfect device. A month later, in the afterglow – or should that be aftermath? – of the iPad announcement, I marvelled that, while Apple’s slate wouldn’t necessarily satisfy every user, there was nonetheless plenty of choice on the horizon for those given a taste for tableteering. Our analyst contributors wisely told me not to count my touchscreen chickens before they’d hatched onto the market, but I wouldn’t listen. I thought the iPad’s arrival would rejuvenate the tablet segment, but all it seems to have done is killed off any attempt at innovation.

Since those naive, hopeful editorials, Microsoft have closed the book on Courier, HP’s Slate appears to be in a no-man’s land of ambiguity – not exactly helped by the company’s extreme reluctance to put the record straight – and the Tegra 2 based slates that so impressed at CES and Mobile World Congress (Notion Ink’s Adam, the ICD range) are yet to show up in stores. Now, Lenovo has pulled the plug on their IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, a distinctive little notebook with a detachable slate-style touchscreen that promised to bridge the divide between ultraportable laptop and sofa-surfing tablet. They’re apparently insisting it was only ever a concept, seemingly forgetting it had been a “concept” with a predicted June release date, MRSP of $999 and a “coming soon” page (and all of which from out of Lenovo’s own mouth).

Lenovo’s attention, they say, is now turning to Android, just like so many other promised slates we’ve seen in the past six months. Google’s open-source OS has plenty in its favour: low software cost, brand name recognition buoyed by surging smartphone adoption, the promise that its search giant backer isn’t likely to disappear any time soon. The end result is an identikit parade of Android-based slabs; the tail-end of an economic downturn and an obvious route presented by that great arbiter of technology taste, Apple, was apparently all that was necessary to lead the rest of the market down a path that bypasses innovation and difference

Perhaps it’s unfair to level the blame at Apple. For all their legendary reputation for innovation, their actual strength lies more, maybe, in the ability to create a device, market it as sufficiently different from the rest of the pack, and then lace the whole thing with so much hyperbole – “this is the amazing future of touchscreens” – that they later get credited with inventing (or at least reinventing) the whole segment. You can’t really criticise them for wholeheartedly supporting their own product range, and we doubt their shareholders would do so either.

It doesn’t do everything very well, though, and the people it serves best are just one slice of the user-pie, not all of them. Five months ago that was fine: there were alternatives galore in the pipeline, and if you wanted to be more of a content-creator, say, than a content-consumer, the model that would best fit those needs had already been promised. Now, it seems that Apple’s rivals have conceded that the tablet template has been set, and they’ve seized on Android to deliver it. That’s notwithstanding Google’s apparent reluctance to embrace the form-factor – at least, not before their own, internal timescales say the moment has come. Android Market availability on tablets is patchy at best, when it should be something you can take for granted, while the so-called Google Experience apps are similarly rationed out in a way consumers haven’t been educated enough to understand. SlashGear has spoken to tablet manufacturers looking to bring Android-based devices to market, and several have told us that Google has been relatively unresponsive to either their input or their requests.

Is it any surprise that so many are now fixating on the idea of a webOS tablet, recognising that Palm’s platform is – while less potent in terms of market share and brand recognition – something different from the current, anodyne status-quo? When you’re attempting to differentiate your tablet by telling us it has a USB port, or a webcam, you should already know it’s game-over. It’s also no use racing to offer the cheapest slate; as we’ve seen from some of the reviews of so-called $100 tablets, the experience is at best PMP-like, and at worst enough to put any would-be tableteer off the concept for life (or maybe just send them scuttling to their nearest Apple store).

So far, Apple have successfully – as the early figures would suggest – extended their iPhone OS platform into an adjacent segment, while their craven rivals have given up on the idea of competition and instead seem more interested in mimicry. If I’m a fool, it’s because I wanted to believe manufacturers could see beyond the end of this quarter’s financial report, and through Steve Jobs’ famed Reality Distortion Field. Ironically, consumers seem willing to accept the iPad model isn’t the only way forward for touchscreen computing, where it seems manufacturers are all too willing to concede that it is.

Data Scientist’s Insights: Strategies For Innovation And Leadership

Introduction

Welcome back to the success story interview series with a successful data scientist and our DataHour Speaker, Vidhya Chandrasekaran! In today’s data-driven world, data scientists play a crucial role in helping businesses make informed decisions by analyzing and interpreting data. With their expertise in statistics, machine learning, AI, and programming, they are able to extract meaningful insights from complex datasets.

Interview Excerpts with Vidhya Chandrasekaran AV: Hello Vidhya! Please introduce yourself and give us an insight into your professional and educational background.

Vidhya: Hi, I work as a senior manager at PayPal and lead ML and AI product management. I have about 18 years of experience in data and 8 years in leadership. With Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a Masters in Computer applications, I also did a 1 year PG program in AI with Great Lakes. Currently, I am doing my Doctoral research program on Personalization with Data.

At PayPal, over the past 5 years, I have had the opportunity to lead and build BigData, ML Engineering, AI product, and ML Science teams and initiatives. In my current role, I show the ML for Merchant products and Marketing, building Product recommendations and personalization solutions.

AV: That sounds spectacular and insightful. You started as a Software Engineer; how did you get into the field of Data Science? AV: I agree. A great mentor can help you climb the corporate ladder easily, which shows in your career trajectory. How do you foster a culture of innovation as a leader in Applied Data Science?

Vidhya: Unlike research teams, Applied ML teams operate under tight guidelines and strict timelines. Due to these constraints, they sometimes do not have the same luxury to explore new technologies, algorithms and implement new papers. However, I have remained conscious of the importance of innovation in ML teams, where every single day, a copious amount of new things going on.

Here are some of the strategies that have been instrumental in my management of an applied ML team without compromising on long-term innovation.

Providing 10 to 15% of the time for working on stretch assignments or research/Proof of concepts.

Encourage the culture of intra and inter-team collaboration with an emphasis on feedback loops – Innovation happens more in groups than in isolation.

Allow safe space to fail. Machine learning is experimentation compared to software engineering and has many possibilities of failing. If failing safely is not allowed, the attempt to innovate is curtailed.

Make innovation a part of the goals.

AV: Those are some pretty interesting strategies you follow. That’s great! Although, managing a team can be difficult. What do you consider a top challenge in leading a Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence team?

Vidhya: One of the challenges is striking a fine balance between timely business deliveries and innovation which is a time-intensive process. Apart from the fact that innovation is non-negotiable in any Tech Industry, also as a leader, we are responsible for our team’s careers by providing them opportunities for continuous learning and keeping them motivated, especially in AI and Data Science where the related tech is constantly moving at a faster pace.

AV: What do you consider is key to succeeding in the Applied AI team?

Vidhya: Most projects fail due to poor planning. AI Product managers play a key role in this phase. The key first step is understanding the business problem and where AI can solve it. As part of the planning, estimating opportunity sizing and agreeing upon clear, well-defined KPIs is of tantamount importance. A key next step is working backward from the expected outcome to arrive at and crystalize the appropriate metric or KPI. For example, the model could bring more customers to the website or drive new customer acquisition. Model metrics like Precision, Recall, or F1 are often misunderstood as KPI; the business would not worry about the model metrics but would be very much interested in the business metrics.

Developing capabilities and processes to bring an idea to fruition is another crucial aspect of success. Incorporating capabilities such as data catalog search functionalities, retraining automation, monitoring capabilities, continuous integration, etc., can significantly shorten the time required to test and learn from your ideas. This approach also guarantees that the valuable resources of our teams are not diverted towards monotonous and repetitive tasks but instead utilized to create engaging solutions.

Try At Least One New Thing in Every Model Development. The ‘newness’ can be anything like a new algorithm, a new type of data that is experimented or different feature engineering techniques.

Fail Fast: Try to get the model deployment as soon as possible. Going for a perfect model, excellent results, and a new in-the-market algorithm could be enticing but oftentimes comes with an opportunity cost. Try a simpler, lean model to measure success or fail fast as soon as possible. We can always go for improvisation later. Shooting for a faster time to market and incrementally improving it to a cutting-edge model is critical.

AV: According to your profile, you have teaching experience as a mentor; how do you think that your experience as a mentor has influenced your career growth and success in machine learning?

Vidhya: Teaching is a great way to learn. I signed up to teach AI/ML on the weekend when I was doing my PG program in AI. When you teach a topic to someone else, you have to organize your thoughts, break down complex concepts into simpler ones, and explain them clearly and concisely.

I have also learned from mentoring e-commerce business leaders on Data driving marketing. As part of the Chennai Entrepreneurial chapter’s mentorship program. This gave me a perspective on strategic/ structural thinking, decision-making, planning and also made me come out of my comfort zone.

Vidhya: I followed a disciplined learning approach for many years, spending either regular hours in the week or on the weekends learning from courses, blogs, and books. These days, though I continue my individual learning, I spend lesser time than before as I learn from my team directly when they try novel things; that is a perk of working with a team who are way smarter than you.

The latest development that I am very excited about, like several others, is what is happening with Generative AI, which seems to have all ingredients to disrupt everything from the creative industry to personalization. This is set to revolutionize the way businesses are done. As more concerns are raised regarding ethics and the possibility of obfuscated narratives, I am curious to see how Governments, organizations, and policymakers create processes to fortify the social fabric against potential threats.

Vidhya: Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, I believe that the strategies and plans for transitioning to a data science or ML role are dependent on an individual’s career stage.  Transitioning from a junior role is significantly simpler than a mid-management or a senior-level role.  Those that are individual contributors can start their learning from basics, learning statistics, probability, Mathematics, and basic ML concepts.  There are several free courses and YouTube resources. Following a bottom-up approach is important when learning, as it is easy to get a model done in a few lines of library code. This knowledge is not sustainable.   There are several hackathons that one can compete to learn or just follow along the code to understand different feature engineering and model strategies. Once you have gained sufficient expertise on the concepts, plan to switch over to a team internally that has exposure to ML projects.

While it is crucial for individuals in senior and middle management positions to comprehend the capabilities of machine learning, it is even more critical to acquire expertise in the broader context of artificial intelligence strategy, engineering, and integration requirements. They can start to identify opportunities to innovate in their own area/project or domain and then communicate the success to their leadership and stakeholders. They can use their small initial successes to build ML capabilities and teams internally.

Some Resources for learning ML ground up – ML and Deep learning specializations by Andrew NG in coursera:

Medium and Analytics Vidhya blogs

Kaggle Kernels

Conclusion

In this interview, Vidhya Chandrasekaran’s journey showcases the transformative impact of data science in the technology industry. Her insights, challenges, and strategies for fostering innovation offer valuable lessons for aspiring data scientists and leaders in applied data science.

Related

Using Tablets At Events: Innovation, Engagement And Information

Tablets are perfect accessories for today’s in-person events, conferences and meetings. Instead of handing over a stack of printed materials, attendees can be given (or loaned) devices that provide them with almost unlimited event information, accurate and updated, at their fingertips as they move from room to room.

Whether you decide to outsource tablets to a specialist or handle the application development and tablet deployment in-house, there are four key steps that will set up your event for maximum success with minimum risk of disruption.

1. Define Your Context

Discussing tablets at “meetings and events” covers a wide swath of information. You already know the details of your event, but the team working on the tablets isn’t going to have the in-depth knowledge you do. This means you need to provide all the context so everyone is on the same page from the beginning. Start by answering a few questions:

How many attendees are there going to be, and what percentage will be using your tablets? Is this something you’re giving everyone for free, or do they have to ask and pay for it? Is it only for certain attendees, such as session chairs and speakers, or is this for everyone?

Is this something that will be required to participate in the meeting, or will the tablets be optional, just used to add greater depth? For example, some meeting and conference organizers have used tablets for crowdsourcing participation in sessions: they run polls, get feedback, use them to ask questions of the speakers and even as part of voting during formal meetings. If you go down that path, then anyone without a working tablet can’t participate, and this changes the level of importance of the device.

What parts of the event will be linked to tablets? Are they just for general event information? Will they be used in sessions to complement the speakers’ audio-visual presentations? Will they be part of any trade show lead gathering or literature distribution? Are the tablets going to be part of any full-day tutorials or side-channel sessions?

Your goal in setting the context is to settle the big picture of what is going to happen and how the tablets will be used to get everyone on the event and technical implementation teams rowing together. Without the big picture and context, people will come to the project with preconceived notions of what tablets mean and will almost immediately be at cross purposes with each other.

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2. Describe Your Applications

In an event or meeting context, a tablet will often be running multiple applications. Tablets are inexpensive, but they’re not cheap, and it’s likely that the full-fledged deployment will be integrated with multiple parts of the event.

You may also want the tablets to be internet-connected — or you might not. Most people will be walking in the door with smartphones and laptops anyway, so it’s not as if you can block them from scrolling through Instagram during a presentation. But by defining whether “internet” is an application for the tablets as well, you help the team who will configure and deploy the tablets understand what you want.

By making as complete a picture of the application mix and operation of the devices as possible, you precisely define your vision for how the tablets will work. The more clearly you tell people what you want, the more likely you are to actually get it.

3. Clarify the Infrastructure

Events and meetings happen in a different physical space from the typical office. Although venue suppliers do their best to deliver a predictable and solid experience, every event planner knows that something will always go wrong — hopefully nothing major, and nothing that can’t be corrected quickly. When you mix tablets into your event, you’re adding complexity that will make additional demands on the venue’s infrastructure. It pays to think through these things carefully to reduce the risk of problems.

For example, tablets in events should not depend on high quality Wi-Fi (or cellular coverage) throughout the event. Yes, there will probably be Wi-Fi most of the time, depending on where the attendee is and how many others are near them, but it may or may not work well. So tablets should be self-updating in the background and not require a web connection at all times.

If you anticipate a lot of data transfer or updates during the event, you may want to have some servers physically located at the event space, so that you’re using the venue’s Wi-Fi but not necessarily their internet link for your high-priority data transfer. An example of this is streaming: If you plan on streaming your event to local tablets, the venue’s internet link may be unpredictable or have insufficient capacity — but if you only need local Wi-Fi without internet, you have a much more controlled environment.

People have been dragging laptops to meetings and events for decades, so most venues have a way to deliver power for charging already. But you may want to extend that by placing charging stations in common areas, along with other tablet-specific materials such as screen cleaners.

4. Design the Deployment

A tablet doesn’t exist by itself — it has to be configured, deployed and supported. Tablet vendors have tools that will make this easier, but there are countless variations to consider. Samsung offers a cloud-based service, Knox Configure, that will grab a tablet as it is powered on the first time, update the operating system, download applications, store local information and lock down the tablet so that it only runs the applications you select.

Even with the controlled setup of Knox Configure, you still need to tell your technical team how you want the tablets to be deployed. Some aspects are easy, such as event and corporate branding. But there’s a whole lifecycle to consider: Are you going to collect the devices at the end of the event and reuse them? This would call for a configuration that is tightly locked down, reducing the possibility that a user will be tempted to take the tablet home with them, and ensuring that the tablets can be quickly recycled from event to event.

Attendees who aren’t completely familiar with the devices will also look to you for help if something goes wrong. Having a deployment tool such as Knox Configure that can quickly reconfigure devices will help keep the focus on the event and not on the supporting technology.

Are the tablets meant to be a gift to attendees? In that case, you can start with an initial configuration with just a one-time push of settings so that the tablet immediately becomes the responsibility of the attendee. Or, you can take a hybrid approach: push a configuration at the start of the event that you can update and control (Knox Configure calls this “dynamic” profile), then convert to a static configuration which returns control to the user as they head out the door on the last day.

By focusing on these four points: creating context, identifying your application requirements, providing a solid technical infrastructure and designing a solid deployment, you will flesh out a vision of how tablets can improve the user experience at your event — and you will give technical teams enough information to deliver what you need.

Want to learn more about customizing tablets for event-specific use? Download this free guide to customizing devices, or watch a roundtable discussion on using Knox Configure.

5,000 Tons Of Ancient ‘Extraterrestrial Dust’ Fall On Earth Each Year

Shooting stars are a neat freak’s nightmare. Although a breathtaking sight, every year heaps of their dying ashes—tiny dust grains known as micrometeorites—litter our planet. But until recently, researchers couldn’t exactly quantify how messy things were.

Now, a team of cosmochemists finally have an answer, after digging up thousands of micrometeorites in the middle of Antarctica.

Where does all this space dust come from, anyway? Our solar system is home to what’s called the zodiacal cloud—a shroud of cosmic dust suffused between the inner planets. As the Earth ploughs through this dusty curtain, it catches (literally) tons of tiny particles, which gravity pulls to our planet’s surface. Some of them catch fire as they hurtle through our atmosphere, creating those lucky wish-makers.

But all the activity on Earth generates plenty of dust, too, making the measurement of just space dust pretty difficult. That’s why researchers went to Antarctica. 

“Central Antarctica is a desert. So it’s totally isolated,” says Jean Duprat, a cosmochemist at the Sorbonne University in France. This means there’s very little normal or “terrestrial” dust to cause confusion. The frozen wasteland is flat and white, with no color and no smells, he says. A strange place, but excellent for looking for ancient extraterrestrial dust, which could reveal clues about the early formation of the solar system.

Left: Location of the CONCORDIA station (Dome C, Antarctica). Right: View of a trench where micrometeorites were harvested. Via Science Direct. J.Rojasa, J.Duprat, et. al.

Duprat and Cecile Engrand, another cosmochemist from the Paris-Saclay University, first went to Antarctica almost two decades ago to search for this cosmic detritus. Together, they recently published a new study which estimates that over 5,000 metric tons of micrometeorites make it to Earth each year. 

That’s the equivalent of about 25 to 30 blue whales, the largest animals to ever have lived. The amount isn’t too surprising, but until now scientists have had a hard time getting a precise measurement.

[Related: Baked meteorite dust can simulate alien atmospheres]

In most parts of the world, dirt, rain, and other factors make it hard to find micrometeorites, and next to impossible to figure out how many fell in a specific amount of time. Thankfully, the pristinely barren, icy stretches of inland Antarctica are the perfect place to look. 

The temperature never gets above freezing, so micrometeorites get trapped in progressive layers of snowfall. When researchers dig beneath the surface, then, they’re looking back in time—like examining the rings of a tree. By scooping out successive layers of frozen micrometeorites, they can figure out how many fell in a given amount of time.

“This is a very nice systematic piece of science, and it’s an important result. It’s really helping us better understand what’s hitting us,” says Larry Nittler, a cosmochemist who studies meteorites and space dust at the Carnegie Science Institute, who was not involved in the study.

On the expeditions, researchers dug several meters down in snow and ice near the French and Italian CONCORDIA station in Antarctica. They put the snow in big plastic barrels which they hauled back to base, then melted the snow and strained out the cosmic dust, making sure to remove any occasional contaminants. Finally, they brought the filtered space dustbins back to a lab to analyze their catch.

They found more than 2,000 individual micrometeorites of different varieties. The two broad types they found were unmelted meteorites, which are wonky shaped and kind of fuzzy looking, and “cosmic spherules” which get hot enough to melt while blazing through the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed.

Cosmic spherules and unmelted micrometeorites from CONCORDIA collection. From left to right: glassy cosmic spherule, stony cosmic spherule, partially melted (scoriaceous) micrometeorite, unmelted fine-grained micrometeorite. Via Science Direct. J.Rojasa, J.Duprat, et. al.

“The ones that are going faster get completely melted,” Nittler says. Researchers still can’t fully predict why some particles melt while others are barely heated at all by their passage through the atmosphere, Engrand says, though larger particles tend to go faster.

The authors think that most of the micrometeorites came from icy comets originating in the Kuiper belt, not rocky asteroids—which seems to support the idea that the zodiacal cloud is continually restocked from passing comets. Unless, Nittler says, new weird data from the Juno space probe pans out, suggesting that zodiacal dust may be from Mars’ direction instead, which, he says, “makes no sense.”

Take A Beach Trip: Head To Ice (Innovation, Culture, Extreme)

Summer is arguably the best time of the year, and as we near the end of the season, it’s important that you book a trip to the beach (if you haven’t already done so or gone). Why’s that? Well, if you’re an entrepreneur, hitting the beach may actually help you to become more successful in the long-run. Living an entrepreneur life can often become a stressful life, and taking a beach trip can help reduce some of that stress and refuel your energy and creativity. This conference update is sponsored by the Peninsula Technology Incubator.

Consider going down to Virginia Beach, VA for ICE (Innovation, Culture, Extreme), a week-long celebration of innovation, culture, and extreme sports. Basically a kind of SXSW by the sea, ICE will feature several events and resources for entrepreneurs, as well performances from more than 30 national, regional, and local artists, including Breathe Carolina, Unwritten Law, FFU (featuring Bam Margera), Shwayze, and Arum Rae (featuring Steve West of Pavement). Additionally, ICE has partnered with Coastal Edge to feature skate demos with national and local celebrities.

At this year’s ICE, entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to pitch their ideas to local investors and hopefully come home with some funding for their startups. We’re also proud to hold our Southeastern Virginia edition of Tech.Co’s Startup of the Year Competition & Mixer at ICE (Innovation, Culture, Extreme).

Need more reasons to go? Here are the top 5 reasons why entrepreneurs need take a beach trip:

1. A Time to Unplug

As a startup founder, you’ll often find yourself hooked to a device for a majority of your days. Whether it’s on your laptop doing work or checking email on your phone, your desire to make your company succeed is tied to this notion of having to be plugged in 24/7 – but maybe this is a misguided belief. According to a study from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), constant technology use has been linked to numerous mental health issues (like depression), higher levels of stress, and sleeping problems.

And if you want to escape the daily drudgery of emails, then the beach is where you need to go. According to a study, the brain becomes less stressed when looking at nature scenes; if you’re a startup founder in a big metro area, maybe consider making a trip to Virginia Beach and relaxing for a bit. In another study conducted by the University of Exeter (UK), those living near a beach were found to be in better health and well-being than others. So, maybe even considering just picking everything up and moving to the beach?

2. Get Some Sun Time

For many entrepreneurs, the days and nights are spent indoors. Going to the beach gives you an opportunity to leave your gave and get some actual time in the sun. But it’s not simply about getting a tan when you lay out at the beach, it’s also about getting your dose of much-needed vitamin D.

According to findings from Harvard Medical School, the largest source of vitamin D is not through daily supplements, but through sun exposure to our very own skin. This vitamin D is not only a necessity for bone and skin health, but may also have the potential to improve our mental health. In the startup world, where success is glamorously lauded, anything that can help boost the state of your mental health is surely welcoming.

3. Benefits of Being Near Water

Did you know that we’re actually happier when near bodies of water? According to a 2011 study that tracked the well-being of approximately 22,000 participants, people were found to be 5.2 percent happier just by merely being near bodies of water. And if you’re into swimming, the activity has actually been found to contribute to decreased stress, anxiety, and levels of depression – all things that many entrepreneurs experience in their day-to-day.

4. Sensory Stimulation

Various studies have found that a stimulation of all our senses can contribute to the creative process. The sound of the waves, the smells from various boardwalk vendors, the taste of the salty air, the feel of the sand beneath your feet, and the view of the setting sun – the beach is replete with things that could help kickstart your creativity. Oftentimes, whether a company thrives depends on whether it was able to successfully find a creative way to solve a problem.

5. Social Interaction

Humans are innately social creatures – going too long without interacting with another human can have a significant impact on our personal health. For some entrepreneurs who are just starting out, there’s a chance that you’re working simply by yourself. The beach is probably one of the best places to meet new people and socialize. You never now – maybe you’ll talk to someone who’ll want to support your company in some way.

Play a pick-up frisbee game with the beachmates to your left, hit up the ICE block party, or mingle with other investors and entrepreneurs at ICE and Dice (over games of Texas Hold ‘em, Blackjack, Craps, or Roulette, of course).

Want to learn more about ICE (Innovation, Culture, Extreme) Innovation Week? Check out their website.

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