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Navigating the seas of Titan in a boat

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...
October 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica


NASA landed a rover on Mars. So what’s the next step? Right: land a boat on Titan!

Hey, come on, it’s gotta be the ultimate travel destiny:

  • A magical moon that’s actually more like a planet.
  • One of the most Earth-like bodies in the Solar System.
  • Has an atmosphere (OK, mostly nitrogen — so bring your own oxygen, stop kvetching).
  • A vast network of

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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

A universe of self-replicating code

March 27, 2012 by John Brockman


What we’re missing now, on another level, is not just biology, but cosmology. People treat the digital universe as some sort of metaphor, just a cute word for all these products. The universe of Apple, the universe of Google, the universe of Facebook, that these collectively constitute the digital universe, and we can only see it in human terms and what does this do for us?

We’re missing aread more

How to see quantum images and survive (I hope)

March 1, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Sun and Allan test out the Stellerator (credit: Nick Herbert)

Physicists have designed several wild experiments to see if humans can see quantum images.

The latest, just described in the Physics arXiv Blog: Geraldo Barbosa at Northwestern University plans to use a laser beam shaped into an image, such as the letter A.

This laser beam hits a non-linear crystal, generating entangled pairs of photons that retain this image shape and are detected by human eyeballs.

(Hmm,… read more

The search for ET continues — in West Virginia

May 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world's largest fully steerable single-aperture antenna (credit: NRAO)

Now that NASA’s Kepler space telescope has identified 1,235 possible planets around stars in our galaxy, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming a radio telescope — the 100 meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world — at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if they can detect signals from an advanced… read more

How to stimulate your brain by shining light through your ears

August 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Valkee NPT-1000 bright-light headset (Valkee Ltd)

Ever want to just like, lie down and shine bright white light at the intensity of the Sun into your ears to see if that will wake you up from your deep depression? Me neither.

But Finnish people are apparently desperate. Especially in Winter, when they get as little as four to six hours of Sun a day. So neuroscientists at the University of Oulu in Finland… read more

How to jam annoying talkers

March 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica


Attention, telephone babblers, library whisperers, and hecklers: Japanese researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology want you to shut the bleep up.

They’ve developed the “Speech-jammer” gun, which will reduce you to incoherent stuttering from up to 90 feet away.

It works by recording your words and then sending them back with  a delay of a few hundred milliseconds (it’s more effective… read more

CNN Morgan Spurlock Inside Man episode ‘Futurism’ featuring Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, MD

May 1, 2014

CNN | CNN original series Morgan Spurlock Inside Man, hosted and produced by the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, launches its second season on CNN on April 13, 2014.

The second episode, “Futurism,” featuring Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, MD, will rebroadcast on the evening of May 2, 2014. It will air on Friday, May 2, at 11:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm PT. It will also air Friday, May… read more

Reflections on Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science

May 13, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

A New Kind of Science

In his remarkable new book, Stephen Wolfram asserts that cellular automata operations underlie much of the real world. He even asserts that the entire Universe itself is a big cellular-automaton computer. But Ray Kurzweil challenges the ability of these ideas to fully explain the complexities of life, intelligence, and physical phenomena.… read more

What just happened? Why some of us seem totally spaced out

October 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

fMRI of individual without a paracingulate sulcus (credit: Jon Simons)

Ever wonder why uncle Louie seems to imagine stuff that didn’t happen, and calls you crazy? Well now’s there’s an explanation.

Half of you won’t like it, I warn you.

A new study of the brain by University of Cambridge scientists explains why some people can’t tell the difference between what they saw and what they imagined or were told about — such as whether they or another… read more

Ask Ray | The essential self and the continuity of pattern

March 21, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

science of consciousness


Congratulations!  I saw you yesterday on PBS NewsHour. I had no idea that teaching a computer to win at Jeopardy was so much harder than teaching it to play chess. You explained it well. The computer has to appreciate jokes and irony, which is much harder than making logical deductions.

The Time magazine cover mentions immortality. I am convinced that through your work,… read more

Ask Ray | Living in virtual worlds as an avatar

November 19, 2014

Second Life - 1

Dear Mr. Kurzweil,

I’m in seventh grade, taking a research class called Da Vinci. I have to produce a 10 page annotated paper. I will produce a multimedia presentation on my topic.

My topic is immortality through genetics, nanotechnology and robotics with a special emphasis on artificial intelligence, such as living in a virtual world as an avatar.

Our teacher encouraged us to reach out to experts.… read more

Ask Ray | My trip to Brussels, Zurich, Warsaw, and Vienna

December 14, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil


Some recollections from my recent trip on October 11 through October 19, 2010, including a personal exploration of my family history in Vienna.

JFK Airport, October 11

I met my daughter Amy for lunch at our favorite salmon restaurant in JFK Airport. This was the third time I have done this while en route to Europe.

I then flew to Brussels on a red-eye flight.

Brussels, October

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Can taking probiotics improve your mental health?

July 6, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Gastrointestinal system (credit: iStockphoto)

Professor Mark Lyte and associates at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have come up with a radical concept: that you may be able to fine-tune your mental and emotional states by the right combination of probiotics!

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally reside in your gut and are available OTC in any drug store or health food store. Lyte suggests that they can generate… read more

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

August 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica


At last, a potential worthy successor to Limitless. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, opening Friday August 5, is a prequel to Planet of the Apes — a reality-based cautionary tale and science fiction/science fact blend. Genetic engineering experiments lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

This addition to the series takes place in the… read more

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