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Health Tips | Happiness is green tea, apple smoothies, zen meditation, and sex

December 9, 2010 by David Despain

Credit: iStockphoto

This week’s Health Tips column brings you ideas for finding happiness, tips for living to a ripe old age, parenting advice, and new ways to help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and prevent chronic diseases.

HAPPINESS IS…

A social life. One reason why religious people tend to be happy and satisfied with their lives is not because of their beliefs, but belonging… read 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

How to achieve ‘biological immortality’ naturally

December 6, 2010 by David Despain

bioimmortality

Evolutionary biologist Michael Rose, professor at University of California, Irvine, says he has discovered a natural way to achieve “biological immortality” without the use of anti-aging drugs and stem cell treatments.

“It’s one you can start this evening,” the author of Evolutionary Biology of Aging shared in his talk Saturday at Humanity+ @ Caltech in Los Angeles. “It comes at no cost, you don’t have… read more

Video conferencing with cardboard cutouts and random images on the walls

December 3, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

mingleroom

Hey, here’s an idea: How about creating an avatar by copying a face from a photo and pasting it onto a randomly generated avatar? Then a video conferencing service could put your brand new (or old) face, along with those of your friends, into one of several rooms, where you could all chat by voice. You could even display live video from your webcam or computer on the walls.… read more

Health Tips | Boosting your brain, living longer

December 3, 2010 by David Despain

Quit smoking; feel better (Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University)

LIVING LONGER

Check your BMI (Body Mass Index). A healthy BMI between 20 and 24.9 is generally best for avoiding disease and living longer (calculate your BMI) [NEJM]. 

Eat dark green and orange vegetables daily. They contain alpha-carotene (a cousin to vitamin A), an antioxidant compound that protects your cells and your health by lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer… read more

By 2018, supercomputers could operate 100 times faster than the human brain

December 2, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

ibm_supercomputers

The breakthrough (see Breakthrough Chip Technology Lights the Path to Exascale Computing) announced Wednesday by IBM researchers has been long sought: a way to use pulses of light in waveguides instead of electrons in wires for chip connections. Electrons generate heat, which limits has fast chips can work and requires a lot of power for cooling. Light has no such… read more

Has NASA discovered extraterrestrial life?

December 1, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

rhea

UPDATE: NASA discovery of arsenic-based bacterium expands scope of SETI research.

NASA has announced it will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C. at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

Participants are:
-  Mary Voytek, Director, Astrobiology Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
-  Felisa Wolfe-Simon, NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow, U.S. Geological… read more

Spirited machines: The robots of acclaimed high tech artist David Bent

December 1, 2010 by Sarah Black

Aerobots

Popular UK artist David Bent, internationally acclaimed for his vibrant portraits of fighter jets and advanced military technology, raises the mundane (rivets, tires and sheet metal) to high art.

His recent work includes a whimsical series of robot portraits. The Aerobots instantly remind you of children: anime eyes, oversized heads, button noses and spindling arms. Bent’s robots are charming and curious like Wall-E or MIT’s… read more

Thinking about the hardware of thinking: Can disruptive technologies help us achieve uploading?

November 30, 2010 by Suzanne Gildert

thinking_about_the_hardware_of_thinking

As we begin to run larger and more brain-like emulations, will our current methods of simulating neural networks, using general-purpose silicon processors, be enough, even in principle? As we wish to run computations faster and more efficiently, we might we need to consider if the design of the hardware that we all take for granted is optimal.

In a presentation (at Teleplace,… read more

Health Tips | Cardio risks, Vitamin D, alcohol, salt, and yogurt

November 19, 2010 by David Despain

Slashing stroke and heart disease risk, alcohol energy drinks, getting enough vitamin D in winter,  and calorie restriction are among the topics covered in this week’s Health Tips.

Slashing stroke, heart disease risk with less stress and sleep: Too little sleep and poor sleep can bring high blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke [Emory University]; Women with high-stress jobs boost their heart… read more

Ask Ray | We could have had the benefits of the Singularity years ago

November 15, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

brain plug

Dear Ray,

I’ve written a book about the future of software: After the Software Wars. I talk about Linux primarily, but it has implications for things like how we can have driverless cars and other cool technology faster.

The book starts with a quote by John McCarthy, the inventor of Lisp: “Some people think much faster computers are required for Artificial Intelligence, as… read more

Ask Ray | The future of human self-awareness: deeper mirrors

November 15, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

The False Mirror, by René Magritte, 1928. Oil on canvas. © 2010 C. Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Hello Ray,

In the last few years I have been basically writing in Persian and hardly anything in English. One thing I’ve been recently discussing that I thought may be of interest to you is that it seems to me the next stage of human consciousness will be about being self-aware of ourselves in a different body.

Maybe recognizing ourselves in the mirror after plastic surgery is the first… read more

Health Tips | Stroke treatments, toxic chemicals in receipts, and new alcohol and sugar-drink risks

November 12, 2010 by David Despain

(credit: iStockphoto)

Welcome to our new weekly Health Tips column, covering breaking news of medical findings and other health-related information you can use now, or in the near future. This week: new stroke treatments, toxins in food packaging and cashier receipts, and new risks from alcohol and sugary drinks.

Three new stroke treatments: DHA, found in fish oil, protects the brain from damage and enhances recovery, even five hours… read more

When The Speed Of Light Is Too Slow: Trading at the Edge

November 11, 2010 by Thomas McCabe

optimaltradinglocations

Modern stock market trading computers have become so fast that the speed of light is now their key limiting factor. A new paper by a physicist and a mathematician explains how traders can take advantage of this ultimate speed limit.

Computers were originally introduced in trading because they are faster than us in responding to market signals. A human trader might buy up a million shares of Microsoft for… read more

Tinkerers

November 8, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

tinkerers

What if America lost its knack for making things?

Manufacturing is the root that all other projects sprout from … even the arts, says famed author David Brin.

His TINKERERS graphic novel, set in the year 2024, combines art with history and tech, exploring where we went wrong, and how to win back the knack.

(Hardcopies will be on sale in January.)… read more

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