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comic | What is the meaning of life?

April 15, 2011

cartoon meaning of life

Consciousness, the Beatles, and Zombie Blues

September 8, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

SgtPepperFeatured

I’ve been to two of the amazing biennial Toward a Science of Consciousness events and enjoyed them immensely, but I think this one April 21–26 next year in Tuscon will be the best yet.

It features three of the most interesting characters in neuroscience — Karl Deisseroth, Cristof Koch, and Henry Markram — and a bevy of other compelling speakers.… read more

‘Creative right brain’ myth debunked

March 7, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Brain

Yet another brain myth bites the dust, joining “we only use 10 percent of our brain,” and other pseudoscience nonsense that tries to cram people in nice neat boxes.

The left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking, University of Southern California (USC) researchers have found, at least for visual creative tasks… read more

Critique of a claimed discovery of a diatom from outer space [UPDATED]

September 21, 2013 by Richard Gordon

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) (credit: Kitt Peak National Observatory)

A recent paper by Milton Wainwright et al. [1] claimed that sampling of the stratosphere revealed a diatom frustule captured from a height of >25km.

The paper, published in Journal of Cosmology, also argues that the object came from space, with a probable origin in the watery environment of a comet.

There are a number of problems that I would have flagged had I been a… read more

Critique of ‘Against Naive Uploadism’

May 10, 2011 by Randal A. Koene

(Credit: iStockPhoto)

In “Against Naive Uploadism: Memory, Consciousness and Synaptic Homeostasis,” neuroscientist Seth Weisberg challenges the comparison of a neuron to a digital computer and the idea that an action potential (spike) fired by one neuron equals one calculation at each synapse. He also challenges the assumption that we are approaching computing power comparable to the human brain.

Overall, Seth Weisberg’s article is refreshing and clearly spoken, in that… read more

Crowdfunded science projects

March 14, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Exomoon project (Harvard)

Got a cool idea for a research project, but need funding? Check out Petridish.org, which has just launched crowdfunded science and research projects. I think this is a really great idea that could open up funding for some amazing research ideas.

On Petridish.org, researchers post materials about themselves and their research, and the public can discover projects that are exciting to them. In exchange for contributing to… read more

Crowdsourcing a TEDx talk: what are the three most important trends shaping humankind’s future in the next 10 years?

January 19, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Eric Ezechieli

We received an interesting email from sustainability expert/Singularity University grad Eric Ezechieli:
On January 27, I will be delivering a TEDx Trieste presentation, and I will speak in ‘”Exponentialish.” In exponential times, half a gallon of brain does not suffice to keep up with what is going on, and in any case a single perspective is limited.

So, I am asking for your help: could… read more

Curiosity rover laser zaps Martian rock

August 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

laser operator

NASA has launched the first interplanetary war by attacking Mars with a high-power laser beam for “target practice.” Some are blaming the “mohawk guy” at JPL, shown in disguise in this NASA photo. No word if Mars plans to return fire….

OK, we admit, it’s a remote spectroscopy experiment to determine the composition of a rock curiously called “Coronation.” The energy from the laser excites atoms in the… read more

Decentralizing education: how startups are dismantling the university

October 8, 2012 by Dale J. Stephens

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Dale J. Stephens leads UnCollege, the social movement changing the notion that college is the only path to success. His first book, Hacking Your Education, will be published by Penguin in 2013. Also see the three related posts today (below).

Student/teacher interaction

“What about student/teacher interaction? What about building a social and professional network? How can you get a job without a degree? How will you know you’re succeeding without grades?”read more

Decoupling art and affluence

February 20, 2002 by Harold Cohen

Harold Cohen’s AARON has grown immensely as an artist in its own right. In this talk presented at the Thirteenth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-2001), Harold Cohen explores AARON’s remarkable journey as a cyberartist.… read more

Detroit to get its RoboCop statue — no kidding

February 21, 2011 by Sarah Black

Peter Weller as RoboCop. (Image: MGM Studios Inc.)

According to Reuters: “From sci-fi cult film, to Twitter phenomenon to Detroit landmark-in-the-making. Plans for a statue honoring RoboCop, the half-man, half-machine crimefighter of the 1987 movie, are moving ahead after a group of artists and entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan raised more than $60,000 via Facebook and an online fund-raising site.”

And here’s a quote from a February 21, 2011 interview exclusive from io9 (the article is worth… read more

Related:
RoboCop homepage on MGM, more videos

The Onion | Disney Lab unveils its latest line of genetically engineered child stars

October 21, 2010

Source: The Onion — September 16, 2008

The Onion | Disney claims its latest batch of child stars is so lifelike, you’ll barely be able to tell they have no souls.

Related:
Onion News Network

DIY BioPrinter

January 28, 2013

DIY BioPrinter (credit: BioCurious/Instructables)

Bioprinting is printing with biological materials.

There’s a lot of work being done at research labs and big companies like Organovo on print human tissues and human organs, with an eye towards drug testing, and transplantation into humans.

Check out these amazing TED talks by Anthony Atala, for example:

Anthony Atala: Growing new organs
Anthony Atala: Printing a humanread more

Seattle International Film Festival | Documentary Plug and Pray explores the promise, problems and ethics of robotics

December 8, 2010

SIFF poster

Source: Seattle International Film Festival — June 5, 2010

Ray Kurzweil was interviewed in the recent documentary, Plug and Pray, exploring the promise and peril of advanced AI and the coming age of robotics.

Summary from the Seattle International Film Festival | The creation of artificial intelligence was a fantastical idea that captured the minds of scientists (and science fiction writers) from the very start of the computer age. But the breathtaking pace of technology has moved… read more

Documentary from Motherboard | Singularity of Ray Kurzweil

February 16, 2011

motherboard logo

Motherboard | Ray Kurzweil tells us about his vision of the Singularity — a point around 2045 when computers will acquire full-blown artificial intelligence and technology will infuse itself with biology. His theories have all sorts of supporters, detractors, and critics, but do you even remember what life was like before three-year-olds had cell phones and you actually had to remember facts instead of relying on the internet?

That

read more

Related:
Motherboard: Exploring the Culture of Technology website

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