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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

book review | The Hidden Brain

January 18, 2010

hidden brain

Source: The New York Times — January 14, 2010 | Susan Pinker

In The Hidden Brain, writer Shankar Vedantam explores the unconscious mind, focusing on covert influences on human behavior. Invisible forces that control our behavior have inspired our best story­tellers, from Euripides to Steven Spielberg. Whether we’re yanked around by jealous gods, Oedipal urges or poltergeists, the idea that we feel powerless to direct our own actions has… 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.

Are ‘net neutrality’ rules a fed takeover of the Internet or a sell-out?

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

internet_map

“The Federal Communications Commission’s new ‘net neutrality’ rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote [Monday, Dec. 20], represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations,” says Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund. “The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.

“There’s little evidence… read more

HUMOR | The Cure For Information Overload

April 2, 2006

The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?

The Providence Phoenix | Experimental band Yeasayer’s Odd Blood inspired by Kurzweil’s vision of human-machine intelligence

April 29, 2010

yeasayer odd blood

Source: The Providence Phoenix — February 9, 2010 | Jonathan Donaldson

Yeasayer have created a decadent, densely produced mess of a second album. Like other bands trying to do art rock in 2010, they confront us with the irony that their world of genre-melding futurism (a/k/a Brooklyn) can sound dated from the moment you get off the plane.

This aside, Odd Blood is a sprawling trip through Yeasayer’s uniquely rhythmic takes on rock and roll, art rock, R&B, electronic,… read more

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

Every breath you take, every move you make …

September 19, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

breath_detector

Those University of Utah engineers who built wireless networks that see through walls are now taking it a step further: detecting if surgery patients, adults with sleep apnea, and babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have stopped breathing.

This thing freaks me out a bit. Think what Homeland Security could do with it. The idea of being surrounded by tiny microwave ovens… read more

BOOK REVIEW | Warped Passages

October 24, 2005

warped_passages

Source: New York Times — Oct 23, 2005

In a new book, Warped Passages, Lisa Randall gives an engaging and remarkably clear account of how the existence of dimensions beyond the familiar three may resolve a host of cosmic quandaries.

Randall argues that without any experimental feedback, string theorists may never reach their goal. She prefers a different strategy, called model building. Rather than seeking to create an all-encompassing theory, she develops models — mini-theories that… read more

book review | The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism

November 23, 2009 by Amara D. Angelica

genius of the beast

Multidisciplinary scientist Howard Bloom’s visionary new book, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, to be published Tuesday, is an iconoclastic, big-picture view of the transformation of mankind by its machinery.

It rewrites the history of the West, connecting science, technology, emotions, business and society, and proposes a next-generation of capitalism for western civilization — an evolutionary imperative that he suggests can lift us from… read more

How to measure emotions

July 6, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Q Sensor Curve is designed to wear on the wrist, so it is comfortable and unobtrusive to wear all day at work, play, or sleep. This makes it ideal for long-term measurement in clinical and therapeutic research. (Credit: Affectiva)

Are you a geek who has trouble “reading” people? Now there new hope.

Research at the MIT Media Lab and the University of Cambridge to help people on the autism spectrum has spawned two new technologies to measure emotional response, along with a company called Affectiva to market them.

In the videos below, MIT’s Dr. Rosalind Picard demonstrates these technologies.

The Affectiva Qread more

Earth is under seige by alien technology in new sci-fi thriller Battle: Los Angeles

February 10, 2011

Battle LA poster

Promos say this film is “an action thriller about a global offensive initiated by unknown extraterrestrial hostiles.” Looks scary, check out the two trailers below. Here’s the film’s official website from Sony Pictures. The release date is March, 2011.

And in case you’re curious, the ominous song lyrics featured in the teaser trailer are:

“The Sun’s Gone Dim and The Sky’s Turned Black,” by… read more

How computers are helping solve information overload by learning to ‘understand’ text

February 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

understandingtext

With tremendous volumes of information appearing online every day in social networks, websites, and blogs (mea culpa), the need to train computers to understand human language is now becoming critical, said Chris Manning, Stanford University associate professor of computer science and linguistics, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in San Diego on Feb. 19.

“The problem of the age is information overload.… read more

Health Tips | Starting the New Year right

December 30, 2010 by David Despain

Healthy Aging

Exercising regularly and taking vitamin D may be the two most successful ways to prevent falling in old age, because they help keep muscles and bones stronger [Annals of Internal Medicine]. Staying physically active while pregnant can also help you maintain a healthy body weight after pregnancy while helping you keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control [BJOG].

People who are overweightread more

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