Tag Archives: Stanford

Californians Prepare to Vote On A Plan to Split the Golden State Into 6 New States

The idea is the brainchild of Timothy C. Draper.

Draper is the son and grandson of successful venture capitalists. His father founded the Draper & Johnson Investment Company in 1962 and served as both chairman and president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

His grandfather founded Draper, Gaither and Anderson, one of the U.S.’s first venture capital firms in 1958.

Timothy Draper has a vision of six separate Californian states

Timothy attended Stanford University, where he earned an electrical engineering degree before going on to get his MBA from Harvard Business School.

After spending a year at Alex, Brown & Sons (the oldest investment bank in the U.S., founded in 1800), Draper left to start his own venture capital firm with Jon Fisher and Steve Jurvetson.

Draper and Jurvetson are credited with coming up with the idea of advertising at the bottom of Hotmail messages, and the firm, DJF, owned 10% of Skype when it sold to eBay for $4.1 billion in 2005.

Early this year, Draper proposed an initiative to divide California into 6 separate states.

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In support of his plan, he argues that the state is too big to be representative of its citizens or to be competitive economically:

“With six, you do get a good sense that you can drive 45 minutes in any direction and maybe be part of a different state and it keeps those states on their toes,”

he said while speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. If his plan is approved, each of the six states would have its own government, with it’s own elected officials and Congressional representatives.

Draper recently used Twitter to announce that he had submitted a petition with 1.3 million signatures to put his 6-state initiative up to a popular vote.

The plan definitely has its opponents though. Steve Maviglio is the spokesman for the OneCalifornia committee:

“This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand, our ability to attract business and jobs, and move our state forward together,”

he told the San Jose Mercury News. Many opponents also point out that even if Californians vote in favor of the plan, carrying it out would require an act by Congress.

Steven Maviglio is one of the plan’s biggest opponents

Draper also has plans to expand the use of digital currencies. On June 27th, he won an auction to buy 30,000 bitcoins (worth an estimated $19 million) that were confiscated from the dark web’s illicit marketplace Silk Road by U.S. Marshalls.

He plans to use the bitcoins to help start-up bitcoin exchange Varuum increase the use of dgital currency:

“With the help of Vaurum and this newly purchased Bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies,”

Draper said through a statement from Varuum.

As for the six state initiative, the signatures on the petition are currently being verified before an official date for the vote is announced.

Rad more from CBS News here.

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So Apparently There’s A Guy Who Can Juggle 3 Rubik’s Cubes… While Solving Them (Video)

Ravi Fernando is one of the world’s best at solving Rubik’s Cubes. At competitions, he averages a blazing between 9-11 seconds to solve a cube.

But Ravi has taken his talent to the next level. While at Stanford, he started to practice juggling with two ball and a cube while solving it. With time and hundreds of hours of practice, he has been able to master the mind-blowing feat of juggling three cubes while solving all three at the same time.

Check out video of Ravi’s singular skill below:

A New Study from Stanford University Found That Walking Can Increase Creativity By Up to 60%

Have you ever been dealing with a particularly difficult situation and decided to take a walk to clear your head? Well, a new study from Stanford suggests that there is real scientific evidence that walking improves your creative thinking.

The recently published study was co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in the field of educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor of education at Stanford.

To test out the theory, the researchers compared levels of creative thinking under a number of different conditions: seated inside, seated outside and pushed in a wheelchair (to simulate the visual experience of walking), walking on a treadmill in a blank room and walking outside.

Stanford Professor and co-author of this study Daniel Schwartz

They measured creativity by assigning the participants a number of different tasks which required creative thinking. For example, participants were given several sets of three different objects and asked to think of uses for the objects other than their typical purpose. The fewer participants thought of a particular response, the more points it was given for creativity. They also eliminated responses that weren’t appropriate applications for the objects (saying that you could use a truck tire as a pinkie ring, for example).

The results: walking consistently created much higher levels of creativity than sitting. For the participants tested inside, walking on a treadmill increased creativity by 60% as compared to sitting.

In another test, participants were asked to come up with complex analogies from basic phrases. 100% of the participants walking outside were able to come up with at least one complex and completely original analogy, compared to just 50% of the participants seated inside.

The researchers did note, however, that walking didn’t seem to have any positive effects on the type of focused thinking we use when responding to problems with just one correct answer.

Read more from Stanford University here.

Direct Evidence That the Universe Expanded 100 Trillion TRILLION Times in A Split-Second

Astronomers announced a HUGE discovery yesterday. They claim to have found the first direct evidence to support the Big Bang and the Inflationary Theory of the universe.

For those who aren’t totally familiar with the theory, it basically states that 13.8 billion years ago all the matter in the universe existed in an extremely dense ball of matter (known as the singularity) about the size of a pinhead.

Then this singularity, no longer able to hold itself together, blew apart, expanding by 100 trillion trillion times (that’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times) in less than the blink of an eye.

Here’s a nice graphic illustrating inflationary theory (the top numbers are the time after the Big Bang, the bottom numbers the average temperature of the universe)

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Scientists theorized that this explosion was so massive and violent that it ripped apart space itself. Einstein theorized that if this were the case, we would be able to observe gravitational waves (which squeeze and stretch space) that were left over from the Big Bang.

So how did the scientists know they had observed gravitational waves? Well, these waves produce a very distinct “swirly” pattern (like the ones in the image below) in polarized light, known as “B-mode” polarization. Polarization is when light waves are distorted from their original shape.

B-mode polarization fractions of a second after the Big Bang (Image: BICEP2 Project)
Types of light polarization

There have been a number of discoveries in the past which pointed indirectly to the Big Bang and expansion, such as the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, but scientists consider this discovery the first direct evidence supporting the inflationary theory.

Read the full story from Space Industry News here.