The San Francisco of Tomorrow

And four other intriguing things: TimeHop for SnapChat, tooled-up dolphins, inflationary theory in context, and when a mountweazel springs to life.

1. The San Francisco of tomorrow: it's gonna get tall and dense in SoMa.

"The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) engaged steelblue to create a suite of marketing assets that tell the story of the completed Transbay Transit Center and the impact it will have on downtown San Francisco. Affectionately dubbed the 'Grand Central Station of the West,' the new transit hub has spurred the development of over twenty-five new office, residential and retail projects in the neighborhood as visualized in the opening of our teaser film. Having worked on this project over the past five years, we’ve compiled one of the most complete and highly detailed 3D data sets of the area including many of the new projects coming online in the next few years."


2. A conceptually fascinating photosharing service in closed beta called "oh, yeah, that."

"We described it as 'Timehop for SnapChat.' It's an application that lets you upload photos but which then prevents you from seeing them for a year.... "oh yeah, that allows you to upload and store photos but with a twist: You can't see or share any of those photos for a year. Once a year has passed you'll be sent an email with a link to that photo. By default all photos remain private to you but once it becomes viewable you can make the photo public and share it as you please. The photos you upload can be deleted at any time regardless of whether they've been made public yet."


3. There are genetic differences between tool-using dolphins and non-tool-using dolphins in Australia's Shark Bay.

"In certain locations in Australia, dolphins that use tools have a sequence of heritable genes that dolphins that do not use tools lack. In Australia's Shark Bay, some bottlenose dolphins hold sponges at the tip of their mouths when foraging—probably to protect their beaks from getting scraped up, ABC Science reports. In other parts of the bay, where the water is shallower, however, the dolphins usually don't use sponges... dolphins from the shallow waters were almost all haplotype H, while those in Shark Bay's deeper waters were haplotype E or F. Teasing out those initial results, the researchers found that only dolphins that inherited haplotype E actually use the sponges."

4. Physicist Andrei Linde, he of the inflationary theory that was this week's big science news, does an amazing job contextualizing his work.

"Let me start by saying that many, many years ago, and I mean like almost a century ago, Einstein came up with something called the 'cosmological principle,' which says that our universe must be homogenous and uniform. And for many years, people used this principle... [It] was the only way of answering the question, why the universe is everywhere the same. In fact, why it is the universe. So we did not think about the multiverse, we just wanted to explain why the world is so homogenous around us, why it is so big, why there are so many people, why parallel lines do not intercept. Which is, in fact, part of the same question: if the universe was tiny, like a small globe, and you draw parallel lines perpendicular to the equator of the globe, they would intersect at the south and the north poles. Why has nobody ever seen parallel lines intersecting?

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