November 11, 2015 — Keiko Hirayama, Wolfram|Alpha Developer, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content

The human body has been a subject of study since the earliest days of human history. The modern scientific fields of anatomy and physiology stem from the Renaissance symbiosis of art and anatomy. In the early 1500s, Leonardo da Vinci was among the first to accurately sketch bodily structures. In 1543, Andreas Vesalius published the famous textbook De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) with beautiful illustrations of the human body.

With modern technology at our disposal, we can take anatomy and physiology off the page and digitally put it into a readily computable format. Through Wolfram|Alpha, we are making it possible for you to gain further insight into how individual anatomical structures interplay in the human body and explore it from entire organ systems down to microscopic ganglia.

Let’s begin our exploration with a macroscopic structure.

A vital organ of the cardiovascular system, the heart:

Using Wolfram|Alpha to look at the heart

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September 24, 2015 — Jeffrey Bryant, Scientific Information Group

The popular book The Martian by Andy Weir will be released in movie form on October 2. The Martian is about an astronaut, Mark Watney, stranded alone on Mars. The crew of Ares 3, the third manned mission to Mars, thought he had been killed during an evacuation. When the crew left, they took the only planned means of escape and communication with them. The next manned mission to Mars isn’t for four years, so Watney has to face the fact that he must either figure out how to survive for up to four years on Mars or die. The book does a wonderful job of supplying technical details of the conditions and supplies available, as well as of the problems that arise as a result of using things in ways for which they were not designed. The details are great for allowing us to explore the travels of the main character with the Wolfram Language.

It’s at this point I should probably post a warning: SPOILER ALERT! From here on I will be exploring aspects of the story and so will be giving away plot points. If you don’t like those kinds of details, stop here and go read the book… and then come back and read this blog.

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September 16, 2015 — Peter Barendse, Senior Wolfram|Alpha Developer

Before today’s 3D printing technology allowed us to make objects of virtually any shape, humanity was limited in the kind and precision of shapes we could produce. Driven to overcome these limitations, we gradually invented a series of machines that could create ever-more-complicated types of shapes, culminating (just before the 3D printer) in machines like this multiaxis computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) mill:

Multiaxis computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) mill

The first of this series of machines was perhaps the potter’s wheel, which allowed us to make precisely round objects of any profile. To me, it still seems a bit magical to watch as potters trace out a curve with their hands, and seeing, as the wheel spins, that curve get copied all the way around the vase:

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July 29, 2015 — Jenna Giuffrida, Content Administrator, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

For the record, let’s start here.

First publication of Guiness World Records

Next month, Guinness World Records will officially celebrate its 60th anniversary as the leading authority on “record-breaking achievement.” A long-cherished favorite for holiday gifting and the coffee table, Guinness World Records not only provides a unique collection of knowledge but also encourages people to challenge the application of those facts. That’s not limited to the public, either; GWR itself holds the record for best-selling annual publication, a record set in 2013 that has yet to be overthrown.

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May 5, 2015 — Jenna Giuffrida, Content Administrator, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

Everyone remembers their first bike, the scrapes and scars, the hard-earned road rash from learning to ride. Riding a bike is the only skill you never forget (or so the saying tells us), but if you’re feeling a little rusty, we know a great way to get reacquainted.

Every May since 1956, the League of American Bicyclists has sponsored National Bike Month to highlight the health benefits of bicycling and inspire more people to give it a try. Communities across the country celebrate two-wheeled glory in various ways; among the many events on Champaign-Urbana’s Bike Month calendar is Bike to Work (BTW) Day on May 14.

Wolfram supports our local BTW Day by providing refreshments at a designated refueling station on State street. Additionally, whether you’re biking to work in CU or elsewhere, we would like to fully prep any intrepid cyclists planning to embark on such a journey by pulling together some vital information.

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January 30, 2015 — Jenna Giuffrida, Content Administrator, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

This weekend marks the culmination of blood, sweat, and, oh yes, tears (Deflategate, anyone?) from months of struggle: Super Bowl XLIX.

For those of you who are interested, Wolfram|Alpha possesses a wealth of sports stats so that you can get all the cold, hard facts about the Patriots and the Seahawks.

Patriots vs. Seahawks

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August 19, 2014 — Michael Trott, Chief Scientist

In today’s blog post, we will use some of the new features of the Wolfram Language, such as language processing, geometric regions, map-making capabilities, and deploying forms to analyze and visualize the distribution of beer breweries and whiskey distilleries in the US. In particular, we want to answer the core question: for which fraction of the US is the nearest brewery further away than the nearest distillery?

Disclaimer: you may read, carry out, and modify inputs in this blog post independent of your age. Hands-on taste tests might require a certain minimal legal age (check your countries’ and states’ laws).

We start by importing two images from Wikipedia to set the theme; later we will use them on maps.

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