IdeaFestival

"Goldilocks" Earth-Sized ExoPlanet Found

This is remarkable. Exoplanet hunters appear to have found the closest Earth analog yet, a slightly larger and similarly rocky version of our world 490 light years away orbiting its sun at a range that makes it possible for liquid water to exist on the planet's surface.

Space.com

'This is the first definitive Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone around another star,' Elisa Quintana, of the SETI Institute and NASA's Ames Research Center and the lead author of a new study detailing the findings, said in a statement.

Other planets of various sizes have been found in the habitable zones of their stars. However, Kepler-186f is the first alien planet this close to Earth in size found orbiting in that potentially life-supporting area of an extrasolar system, according to exoplanet scientists.

Before losing its ability hold a steady gaze on a field of hundreds of thousands of stars while looking for the telltale dips in light that would indicate that a body is passing regularly in front of the star, Kepler logged tens of thousands of potential planetary candidates that scientists will be analyzing for years to come. Kepler-186f is the most promising exoplanet yet in the search for life beyond our own solar system.

In what is now looking like incredible timing, Lee Billings, the author of a book about the search for life beyond our home world, "Five Billion Years of Solitude," will speak at IdeaFestival 2014. Even better: the lowest priced Festival Passes of the year are now on sale, but only through April 27! You don't want to miss Lee and other announced speakers like Debbie Millman, Claudia Hammond, Jason Felts and Steve Pemberton.

Many more speakers will be announced very soon!

Stay curious.

Wayne

Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-CalTech

Michael Wolff on Design: Empathy is Your Superpower

In this video from 99U, designer Michael Wolff talks about how "past experience" is not his friend, quotes Maya Angelou about what makes for lasting impressions, and dishes on about how "design can be an agreement system among designers."

In my judgement, the last point was much on the mind of architect Lance Hosey last September when he spoke at the IdeaFestival.

Because designers tend to know a "great deal about very little and very little about a great deal," Wolff believes empathy - the capacity to feel something toward the object of one's thinking - is the key to great design. I was particularly interested in his comments about corporate and business expression. In what struck me as honest bewilderment, he says "he's never understood any boardroom he's ever been in." And written corporate communication isn't meant, in his view, to be expressive or to be read.

"It's meant to be approved." That's hardly the way to connect emotionally with buyers.

Give the video a look. You won't want to miss designer and visual essayist Debbie Millman, who will be one of the IdeaFestival 2014 speakers! Festival Passes at the Early Bird rate of $350 will be available only through April 27.

Stay curious.

Wayne

IDEAFESTIVAL - 2008, Louisville Sept 25-27

Magic and mathematics. Ninjas, NASCAR and neuroscience. Dance, design, pop culture and pop cuisine. If it can possibly go together, it goes together here. ideafestival is a gathering of speakers, thinkers and doers, held annually in Louisville. To experience this nearly unimaginable display of the best the human imagination has to offer, visit www.ideafestival.com for tickets and schedule.
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IF Conversations - "Community trumps technology" - John Gauntt

When it comes to mobile media, community trumps technology. Filmed September, 2008 at the ideafestival in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Time: 01:48 More in Science & Technology

Don't Be the Jackass Whisperer

Found today while skimming the news deposited in my feed reader, this important public service announcement on creativity and innovation from Brene Brown was too good to pass up:

Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.

At the IdeaFestival, we talk a lot about the importance of thinking laterally and its relationship to innovation. One just never knows when and where an idea will originate, and it's important for the mental attic to be well stocked. That's why speakers as diverse as Claudia Hammond, Lee Billings, Jason Felts, Debbie Millman, Steve Pemberton any many, many more soon to be announced will appear at IdeaFestival 2014.

The effect is cumulative. And we often hear stories about unexpected connections made over a three or four day period. In fact, some people have been inspired to do some truly bizarre things, like get rid of cable.

But away from the IdeaFestival where the hard work of realizing your vision will inevitably takes place, it's important to remember that there will always be people who think you're nuts, a fool, a crackpot. And you may be nuts, a fool, a crackpot. But here's the genius of the Brene Brown quote, and it goes to the beating heart of any truly original idea.

The critics don't know that now.

If you're fortunate to find people who understand your business idea or creative project, great! You will need allies and friends along the way. But if others simply can't wrap their heads around your goals, don't sweat it. They'll be back if and when you succeed.

Be nice. In the meantime, stay curious.

Wayne

Peter Sims' image: Geoff Oliver Bugbee


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