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A global viral vector: reality check

May 31, 2013 by Andrew Hessel

bio-chrime prophesy

In Dan Brown’s Inferno [see book review | Dan Brown’s Inferno], an airborne virus permanently modifies the DNA in human cells in one third of the population of the world.

We asked synthetic biologist/genomic futurist Andrew Hessel to comment on this scenario (his co-authored “The Bio-Crime Prophecy” is the cover story in the current issue of Wired UK).

Q: How realistic is Brown’sread more

The Matrix loses its way: Reflections on The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded

May 19, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Matrix Reloaded poster

The Matrix Reloaded is crippled by senseless fighting and chase scenes, weak plot and character development, tepid acting, and sophomoric dialogues. It shares the dystopian, Luddite perspective of the original movie, but loses the elegance, style, originality, and evocative philosophical musings of the original.… read more

Health Tips | How to keep heart- and brain-healthy and raise a healthier child

December 17, 2010 by David Despain

Bridging heart and mind

Stay heart-healthy to keep the brain healthy. Heart attacks and Alzheimer’s disease share a common genetic basis. Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control to ward off both [Università di Bologna].

Increase your levels of HDL cholesterol. This “good” cholesterol, which is heart-healthy, also reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease when you’re older [Archives of Neurology]. To raise HDL levels, eat… read more

I am the very model of a Singularitarian

February 22, 2011

charlie kam

“I Am the Very Model of a Singularitarian” by and featuring Charlie Kam, to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical The Pirates of Penzance.

Video Source: Charlie Kam

Onion News Network | Ear of genetically modified corn begs for death

April 28, 2011

Onion News Network logo

Source: Onion News Network

Onion News Network | In the Daily Briefing, Tucker Hope reports that a cob of bioengineered corn in Iowa begged to be killed.

Related:
The Onion | CynGen press release
The Onion | Genetically modified food activity around the nation
The Onion | collection of articles on genetically modified organisms
Onion News Network

BOOK REVIEW | The Cosmic Landscape

March 12, 2006

cosmic_landscape

Source: Fourmilog: None Dare Call It Reason — March 12, 2006

Leonard Susskind’s new book, The Cosmic Landscape, pits intelligent design against string theory and the megaverse.

Surprisingly, Autodesk founder John Walker sides with intelligent design, but not by a deity — by post-Singularity intelligences creating a reality simulation: “What would we expect to see if we inhabited a simulation? Well, there would probably be a discrete time step and granularity in position fixed by the time and position… read more

Google announces plan to destroy all information it can’t index

August 31, 2005

Source: The Onion — August 31, 2005

Executives at Google announced Monday Google Purge, the latest step in their expansion effort: a far-reaching plan to destroy all the information it is unable to index.

“A year ago, Google offered to scan every book on the planet for its Google Print project. Now, they are promising to burn the rest,” John Battelle wrote in his widely read “Searchblog.” “Thanks to Google Purge, you’ll never have to worry… read more

HUMOR | The Mactini

December 23, 2009

Source: "The Peter Serafinowicz Show," BBC2 — December 23, 2009

From “The Peter Serafinowicz Show: Christmas Special” on BBC2.

The original MacBook Air commercial for comparison.

Multiple stab wounds may be harmful to monkeys

October 21, 2010

The Onion logo

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.

Spinner | Bright Eyes album The People’s Key inspired by Kurzweil and Singularity themes

December 21, 2010

The People's Key album

Source: Spinner — December 21, 2010 | Dan Reilly

Conor Oberst, of the band Bright Eyes, discusses inspirations behind their album, The People’s Key, on AOL’s Spinner music magazine:

Spinner | Are there any books or authors in particular that influenced the album?

Conor Oberst: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with the theory of Singularity. This guy, Ray Kurzweil, who was the inventor of early synthesizers, he has this theory — a few… read more

From DIY to DIWO: biohackers, synthetic biologists, and FBI to dialogue at Open Science Summit

July 26, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

A new generation of biohackers is literally taking the future of biology into their own hands, and it’s raising some red flags with the government. The basic concern: how can we avoid proliferation of dangerous bioagents?

The situation will come to a head on Friday night July 30 at the Open Science Summit conference at UC Berkeley. Edward You, Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s… read more

comic | Devotion to duty

February 23, 2010

© xkcd webcomics

Source: xkcd webcomics

Galileo was wrong. The church was right!

September 13, 2010

galileo

Source: Galileo Was Wrong conference website — September 23, 2010

An actual conference — not a spoof.  — Ed.

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

BOOK REVIEW | Almost Human: Making Robots Think

March 19, 2007

almost_human

Source: Los Angeles Times — Mar 18, 2007

“Making Robots Think” is an entertaining peek behind the scenes at engineers of the groundbreaking Robotics Institute, much of whose research is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department.

The book, however, is more about frustration than achievement. Despite the round-the-clock efforts of the best and the brightest, today’s real-life robots are a dim, lumbering lot, a far cry from the wise, nimble models… read more

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