"The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish." —Jacques Cousteau

This Saturday on an all-new episode, we Skype with Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien, who is continuing his family’s legacy at an intensive marine research station on the bottom of the ocean. (He even gets photobombed by one of his own SCUBA-equipped diving researchers.) 

Watch “TechKnow” on aljazeeraamerica, Saturdays at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT, and learn more on our site

O.J. Brigance is a former linebacker who played for the Super Bowl–winning Baltimore Ravens from 2000 to 2001. In 2007, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He continues to work with the Ravens as a special adviser on player development.

We met Brigance as part of a story about voice message banking, in which people with ALS or other degenerative conditions record words, phrases and sounds before losing their ability to speak. The sound files are then loaded into a computer program that can be controlled by touch or even an eye-tracker.

This week, the Baltimore Ravens joined the viral #icebucketchallenge campaign to raise awareness and money for ALS research, with their head coach, general manager and many players joining in. Brigance taped an important reminder to everyone participating: 

Raising awareness about ALS hits home for the Ravens, as former player O.J. Brigance is currently battling the disease. Brigance is currently the team’s Senior Advisor to Player Development, and he released a statement Wednesday, urging people to donate for the cause.

“The viral support the #ALSIceBucketChallenge has grown an unprecendted support and awareness for the ALS community. We all have to thank Peter Frates for coming up with the challenge to make ALS a relevant topic. This has been a fun way to get the world talking about ALS.

“However, I want to challenge everybody to not only talk, or just accept the Ice Bucket Challenge, but to give. Please go to my website: BriganceBrigrade.org to make a donation to help us fight ALS. Keep the ice buckets dumping, everybody!”

TechKnow executive producer Roland Woerner also stepped up for the challenge

For more from our episode, go here

Last year, TechKnow rode along with Oakland police officers who wear cameras on their uniforms, one piece of cop technology that—unlike the military-grade weaponry seen in Ferguson, Missouri—has a strong case to make for being both effective and potentially welcomed by communities and police departments alike. 
Producer Laura LeBlanc wrote more on our blog when the episode originally aired: 

When technology is used to expand the reach of those tasked with keeping us safe, figuring out where to draw the line is more challenging—and the stakes are even higher. Do unmanned military drone strikes save American lives by keeping American soldiers out of harm’s way or do they endanger American lives by killing innocent civilians and creating more people who want to do us harm? And do cameras that read license plates in a matter of seconds protect us from crime or do they create a system where our movements can be tracked by a “Big Brother” government?
As a resident of the community he polices, Oakland Police Department Capt. Ersie Joyner III, says he understands those “Big Brother” concerns. “I wear two hats. I’m a law enforcement person responsible and dedicated to, obligated to policing this city, as well as a lifelong Oakland resident who’s also concerned about his privacy and the privacy of my family.”
For Joyner, technology like ShotSpotter, license plate readers (LPRs) and body cameras strike a fair balance between security and privacy.
“Everything that a license plate reader captures, everything ShotSpotter captures, everything our lapel camera captures is all within public view,” Joyner says. “I very much understand individuals’ wants and needs for privacy. But I think there’s a perfect balance in regards to public safety and being able to capture data that’s in public review.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that admits to taking “a dim view of the proliferation of surveillance cameras,” has been tracking two of the technologies transforming police work—license plate readers and body cameras. And while they give a cautious thumbs-up to body cameras, they are sounding alarm bells for LPRs. In a report released in July of 2013, the ACLU acknowledged LPRs can serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, but warned the technology poses serious threat to privacy and civil liberties:
“More and more cameras, longer retention periods, and widespread sharing allow law enforcement agents to assemble the individual puzzle pieces of where we have been over time into a single, high-resolution image of our lives… If not properly secured, license plate reader databases open the door to abusive tracking, enabling anyone with access to pry into the lives of his boss, his ex-wife, or his romantic, political, or workplace rivals.”
In October of 2013, the ACLU also released a report on law enforcement use of body cameras. The organization saw this technology as a potential win-win for the public and police.
“For the ACLU, the challenge of on-officer cameras is the tension between their potential to invade privacy and their strong benefit in promoting police accountability. Overall, we think they can be a win-win—but only if they are deployed within a framework of strong policies to ensure they protect the public without becoming yet another system for routine surveillance of the public, and maintain public confidence in the integrity of those privacy protections. Without such a framework, their accountability benefits would not exceed their privacy risks.”
Oakland PD’s Joyner says the public’s reaction to police officers wearing body cameras has been all over the map.
“We’ve had journalists questioning in regards to why didn’t officers have their cameras on during this protest,” Joyner says. “We’ve had people say on camera that they were upset that officers were actually videotaping them. We also have a group of people that actually welcome the cameras because they feel like, ‘Hey, this camera’s also going to help prove that I didn’t do what these officers are alleging I did.’ And, they’ve actually said, ‘Hey, I hope the camera was on.’”
A recent study done in the Southern California city of Rialto suggests that body cameras can have a big impact on policing. The first year police wore the cameras, incidents where police officers used force dropped by close to 60 percent. Complaints filed against officers dropped by 88 percent.
Oakland PD Officer Brian Hernandez says the cameras hold the public accountable too. “It kind of puts the accountability not just on us,” Hernandez says. “It puts it on the person we’re making contact with. So, they know everything’s being documented. They can’t just make us out to be the bad guy, which really works to our advantage.”

More news coverage from aljazeeraamerica on Ferguson can be found here.

Last year, TechKnow rode along with Oakland police officers who wear cameras on their uniforms, one piece of cop technology that—unlike the military-grade weaponry seen in Ferguson, Missouri—has a strong case to make for being both effective and potentially welcomed by communities and police departments alike. 

Producer Laura LeBlanc wrote more on our blog when the episode originally aired: 

When technology is used to expand the reach of those tasked with keeping us safe, figuring out where to draw the line is more challenging—and the stakes are even higher. Do unmanned military drone strikes save American lives by keeping American soldiers out of harm’s way or do they endanger American lives by killing innocent civilians and creating more people who want to do us harm? And do cameras that read license plates in a matter of seconds protect us from crime or do they create a system where our movements can be tracked by a “Big Brother” government?

As a resident of the community he polices, Oakland Police Department Capt. Ersie Joyner III, says he understands those “Big Brother” concerns. “I wear two hats. I’m a law enforcement person responsible and dedicated to, obligated to policing this city, as well as a lifelong Oakland resident who’s also concerned about his privacy and the privacy of my family.”

For Joyner, technology like ShotSpotter, license plate readers (LPRs) and body cameras strike a fair balance between security and privacy.

“Everything that a license plate reader captures, everything ShotSpotter captures, everything our lapel camera captures is all within public view,” Joyner says. “I very much understand individuals’ wants and needs for privacy. But I think there’s a perfect balance in regards to public safety and being able to capture data that’s in public review.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that admits to taking “a dim view of the proliferation of surveillance cameras,” has been tracking two of the technologies transforming police work—license plate readers and body cameras. And while they give a cautious thumbs-up to body cameras, they are sounding alarm bells for LPRs. In a report released in July of 2013, the ACLU acknowledged LPRs can serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, but warned the technology poses serious threat to privacy and civil liberties:

“More and more cameras, longer retention periods, and widespread sharing allow law enforcement agents to assemble the individual puzzle pieces of where we have been over time into a single, high-resolution image of our lives… If not properly secured, license plate reader databases open the door to abusive tracking, enabling anyone with access to pry into the lives of his boss, his ex-wife, or his romantic, political, or workplace rivals.”

In October of 2013, the ACLU also released a report on law enforcement use of body cameras. The organization saw this technology as a potential win-win for the public and police.

“For the ACLU, the challenge of on-officer cameras is the tension between their potential to invade privacy and their strong benefit in promoting police accountability. Overall, we think they can be a win-win—but only if they are deployed within a framework of strong policies to ensure they protect the public without becoming yet another system for routine surveillance of the public, and maintain public confidence in the integrity of those privacy protections. Without such a framework, their accountability benefits would not exceed their privacy risks.”

Oakland PD’s Joyner says the public’s reaction to police officers wearing body cameras has been all over the map.

“We’ve had journalists questioning in regards to why didn’t officers have their cameras on during this protest,” Joyner says. “We’ve had people say on camera that they were upset that officers were actually videotaping them. We also have a group of people that actually welcome the cameras because they feel like, ‘Hey, this camera’s also going to help prove that I didn’t do what these officers are alleging I did.’ And, they’ve actually said, ‘Hey, I hope the camera was on.’”

A recent study done in the Southern California city of Rialto suggests that body cameras can have a big impact on policing. The first year police wore the cameras, incidents where police officers used force dropped by close to 60 percent. Complaints filed against officers dropped by 88 percent.

Oakland PD Officer Brian Hernandez says the cameras hold the public accountable too. “It kind of puts the accountability not just on us,” Hernandez says. “It puts it on the person we’re making contact with. So, they know everything’s being documented. They can’t just make us out to be the bad guy, which really works to our advantage.”

More news coverage from aljazeeraamerica on Ferguson can be found here.

ajtechknow
ajtechknow:

The view from NASA’s Greenland-based research station is stunning. But the Arctic Sea ice sheet the scientists are there to study is shrinking so drastically that they can easily see the difference from year to year.
Operation IceBridge flies a Cold War-era submarine-seeker P-3 plane low over the ocean to carefully and precisely measure exactly how much ice is melting.
And this week “TechKnow" gets to tag along and get a first-hand look at the innovative tech on the plane, how the measurements might help people around the world living in coastal cities most threatened by rising oceans—and get a peek at everyday life for its crew at their remote location. 
More on our site. Watch Saturday at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT on Al Jazeera America.

This might be one of the coolest episodes we’ve shot — a full fly-along across some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. It’s re-airing tomorrow night on aljazeeraamerica at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT. More from the episode on our site and cresis. 

ajtechknow:

The view from NASA’s Greenland-based research station is stunning. But the Arctic Sea ice sheet the scientists are there to study is shrinking so drastically that they can easily see the difference from year to year.

Operation IceBridge flies a Cold War-era submarine-seeker P-3 plane low over the ocean to carefully and precisely measure exactly how much ice is melting.

And this week “TechKnow" gets to tag along and get a first-hand look at the innovative tech on the plane, how the measurements might help people around the world living in coastal cities most threatened by rising oceans—and get a peek at everyday life for its crew at their remote location. 

More on our site. Watch Saturday at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT on Al Jazeera America.

This might be one of the coolest episodes we’ve shot — a full fly-along across some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. It’s re-airing tomorrow night on aljazeeraamerica at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT. More from the episode on our site and cresis

psychedelic-psychiatrist

This is how alcohol looks under the microscope:

psychedelic-psychiatrist:

A company called Bevshots has produced a series of shots of booze under the microscope at the Florida State University’s chemistry labs.

Molecules at 1000x Magnification

Champagne:

image

Dry Martini:

image

Margarita:

image

Pina Colada:

image

Sake:

image

Scotch:

image

Tequila:

image

Vodka:

image

This is insanely cool, especially because we just remembered that this week’s TechKnow—a repeat of one of our favorite episodes—includes our first (and so far only) signature cocktail: bourbon poured over glacial ice

fastcompany
fastcompany:

"After I read about Google Glass and how we’re going to approach the situation … I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me," he says. I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly. I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense."
Read More>

fastcompany:

"After I read about Google Glass and how we’re going to approach the situation … I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me," he says. I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly. I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense."

Read More>

Meet baby Grace.

Read more on our site about how researchers at Duke University are using cord blood—from the umbilical cord, once discarded after birth as medical waste—to harvest and grow stem cells that can help treat and even cure diseases. 

And watch Grace, her mom Sara and an amazing scientist, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, all working together to help give Grace the best fighting chance at a full life — airing this Saturday night on aljazeeraamerica