October 21, 2010
Source: The Onion — February 27, 2008
Repeatedly stabbing monkeys with sharpened objects may have an adverse effect on their health, according to a new study.
Think of the possibilities.
University of Central Florida assistant professor Jayan Thomas, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor Rongchao Jin, has developed a new material based on gold nanoparticles smaller than 2 nanometers, in a regime between atoms and nanoparticles called nanoclusters.
Thomas and his team found that nanoclusters developed by adding atoms in a sequential manner could provide interesting new optical properties that make… read more
Video of Pete Worden and Peter Schwartz. Audio podcast of the full 19-minute conversation also available.
NASA Ames Director Simon “Pete” Worden revealed Saturday that NASA Ames has “just started a project with DARPA called the Hundred Year Starship,” with $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA.
“You heard it here,” said Worden at “Long Conversation,” a Long Now
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:
In the Green Lantern movie, a ring takes orders from Jordan’s mind, enabling him to fly, take down multiple bad guys, and create wormholes through which he can travel thousands of light-years in minutes.
University of Michigan Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems professor Euisik Yoon and colleagues are developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that would handle the mind-to-ring communication part. DARPA is working on the other stuff,… read more
Two exciting landmark studies of ways to repair damaged or diseased brains have just been published, and are discussed on KurzweilAI today.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison study found that when neurons generated from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) were implanted into the hippocampus of a mouse, the neurons began to behave like normal rat neurons. That means that for humans in the future, there could be limitless… read more
Wikipedia | Real Steel is an upcoming feature film inspired by Richard Matheson’s short story Steel. The story was first adapted for television by Matheson as an episode of The Twilight Zone. The film stars Hugh Jackman and is directed by Shawn Levy. Film is a gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up… read more
Excerpted and adapted from the book The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen and What to Do.
An exponential change perspective, well-known among futures enthusiasts, was applied to time itself by Freeman Dyson in 1997. He taxonomized the future in terms of different, order of magnitude generations — time horizons of 10 years, 100, 1,000, and so on.
My book The Human… read more
Eugenio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science has developed a supercomputer based on the ventral pathway of the mammalian visual system. Dubbed NeuFlow, the system mimicks the visual system’s neural network to quickly interpret the world around it.
The system uses complex vision algorithms developed by Yann LeCun at New York University to run large neural networks for synthetic vision applications. One idea — the… read more
Source: Avram Grumer's Journal — March 20, 2006
Someone at The Economist with a bit of extra time on his hands was looking at the recent proliferation of many-bladed razors, and noticed that the time gap between blade increments seems to be shrinking: 70 years before someone added the second blade, a couple of decades to the third, only two or three years between the four-bladed Schick Quattro and the five-bladed Gillette Fusion. Might there be a Moore’s… read more
“In findings that are as scientifically significant as they are crushing to the popular imagination, NASA reported Thursday that its Curiosity Mars rover has deflated hopes that life could be thriving on Mars today.”
So say the kill-joys at The New York Times.
Deftly side-stepping the blow, Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead scientist for Mars exploration, explained: “This important result will help direct our efforts to examine the… read more
Here for your enjoyment is the short story “The Greatest Story Ever Written,” written by my daughter, Amy Kurzweil. Her fiction here is influenced by Eugene Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, although less ominous.
Amy starts her story with this quote from the play from Ionesco: “After all, perhaps it is we who need saving. Perhaps we are the abnormal ones.”
My daughter is a… read more
NPR’s Robert Siegel speaks to Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist, and founder of Kurzweil Technologies, about Marvin Minsky, PhD.
Minsky, who was a founding father of artificial intelligence, has died at the age of 88. Kurzweil is a Director of Engineering at Google.
NPR | All Things Considered
episode title | Marvin Minsky who pioneered artificial intelligence research dies at the age of… read more
The Likely Radiation Distribution in Japan (March 19)
Iodine from plant detected in Tokyo: .046 µSv/hr. (438 µSv per year — about 4 chest x-rays); Fukushima Pref.: 21.9 µSv/hr. (191,844 µSv per year or 1918 chest x-rays).
Dealing with radiation fears, potassium iodide requests: side effects include nausea, diarrhea, allergy, interference with the body’s normal production of… read more