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Be The Change Herald


Volume 70 –July/August 2014


Welcome to Anousheh's Be The Change Herald! Feel free to forward to others who might want to register for the newsletter and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Self-Assembling Robots

At one time or another, most of us have assembled or tried to assemble some piece of furniture. Assembling any item, could have its own specific set of challenges. We expect more sophisticated items to require more time and care in assembly; especially items such as robots, which by definition need to be able to function by itself.

Now, the first of its kind, there is a robot that is designed and made to self-assemble even before performing its intended function. Inspired by the ancient art of Origami, the robot has been created by engineers and computer scientists from Harvard and MIT

The robot can be packed as a flat sheet, to fold on itself and take the desired shape in 4 minutes and consequently perform its task autonomously without human intervention. This technology can revolutionize many fields, including search-and-rescue missions, space exploration and creating shelters in disaster zones, to name a few.

To watch a video and learn more, please visit:

Watery Tractor Beam

We have all heard of the dangerous rip tides dragging swimmers into the water even when waves are clearly heading towards the shore. In a new research published in Nature magazine, Australian scientists report that they can control items adrift in the water by simple wave generators. Their claim can lead to many solutions, among which are solutions to oil spills, rescuing ships and understanding the dangerous rip tides mentioned above.

They have demonstrated the principles of their technique by generating three-dimensional waves in a water tank at specific frequencies to move a ping-pong ball in desired directions.

To see their demonstration and read more, please visit:
http://www.cnet.com/news/physicists-create-tractor-beam-made-of-water/#ftag=CADf328eec http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphys3041.html http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28739368

Triton Fly By

"What would it look like to fly past Triton, the largest moon of planet Neptune? Only one spacecraft has ever done this -and now, for the first time, images of this dramatic encounter have been gathered into a movie." 25 years ago, "the voyager 2 spacecraft shot through the Neptune system with cameras blazing". To see the footage and read a brief description of Triton, please visit:

While you are on that link, check out other awe-inspiring photos: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html

One of our favorites:

My Dream of Stars

My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.

In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream.  To learn more about the book, please visit:  http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/

To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.

To obtain a copy please visit:



Anousheh's Favorite Quote:


"This world is but a canvas to our imagination"
-Henry David Thoreau