“It’s all quite nuttily modern. Wired Love anticipates everything we live with in today’s online, Iphoned courtship: Assessing whether someone you’ve met online is what they say they are; the misunderstandings of tone and substance that come from communicating in rapid-fire, conversational bursts of text; or even the fact that you might not really be sure of the gender/nationality/species of the person you’re flirting with.
Total Recall for mice. Arnold’s nightmares are now becoming possible.
“Memories can be unreliable. We created a false memory in mice by optogenetically manipulating memory engram–bearing cells in the hippocampus. Dentate gyrus (DG) or CA1 neurons activated by exposure to a particular context were labeled with channelrhodopsin-2. These neurons were later optically reactivated during fear conditioning in a different context. The DG experimental group showed increased freezing in the original context, in which a foot shock was never delivered. The recall of this false memory was context-specific, activated similar downstream regions engaged during natural fear memory recall, and was also capable of driving an active fear response. Our data demonstrate that it is possible to generate an internally represented and behaviorally expressed fear memory via artificial means.
“I’ve been fascinated recently by how much of our natural history consists of similar barely-substantiated claims that have only been recently tested. Some turn out to be true, like the cheetah’s speed or the function of the thresher shark’s tail. Others are myths, like the cheetah’s heat problems, or the komodo dragon’s bacterial bite (they use venom), or the honey badger’s partnership with honey guides (deceitful documentary-makers), or the suicidal tendencies of lemmings (deceitful film-makers). One wonders what other myths will be busted in coming years.”
“The city of Detroit applied for bankruptcy, citing $18.5 billion in debt owed to approximately 100,000 creditors, among them municipal bondholders and pension-plan members. “After this little kerfuffle,” said emergency manager Kevyn Orr, “we’ll be back in business.””
“”That includes following Twitter,” said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis’ Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. “But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet.””
I saw a post on BoingBoing about the Open Cola project. To me it looks like the perfect combination of a science project and a way to delve into some health topics related to soft drinks. It’s probably a high school level project as some of the ingredients can burn skin (which is kind of odd). You end up with a real world product that kids would be excited to make the option to experiment with different concentrations of flavor a way to start talking about how much sugar is in the cokes they’re drinking you could also do some taste testing based on the experiments in different concentrations and then you’ve got some statistics to go over
IBM’s Watson Can Now Debate Its Opponents “Watson then presented three relevant arguments in favor of banning violent video games for minors, but qualified its assessment by bring up several relevant counterarguments and considerations. In all, it was a fairly cogent review of the data. “ tags: ibm watson debate ai weekly argument thoughtvectors BBC News – YouTube star Michelle Phan sued over copyright breach “Michelle Phan found success posting make-up tutorial videos, attracting more than six million subscribers to her channel since she started it in 2007. She is a member of a group of YouTube stars whose popularity rivals that of many mainstream pop stars. “ tags: bbc youtube copyright weekly tweet breaking the spell – Text Patterns – The New Atlantis “Ben Jonson’s frustration that Shakespeare’s plays were far more inconsistently and incoherently put together than his own but were nevertheless, somehow, more popular, and commented that this was just it: Jonson’s plays were put together, more like “mechanical models of plays” than the real thing, whereas Shaksepeare’s plays had all the odd growths and irregular edges of organic life. This is my chief complaint with much fiction of the past fifty years, including much very highly regarded fiction, like that of John Updike: these aren’t novels, they are mechanical models of novels. Precision-engineered down to the last […]
The Morbid Fascination With the Death of the Humanities – Benjamin Winterhalter – The Atlantic “He claims, in essence, that literary modernism’s insights about the relationship between abstract thoughts and tangible objects are now being understood by neurological research. “This thesis of Ezra Pound’s that poetry should yoke ideas to particular objects—so that the thing and the thought are brought together in a single manifold,” he said, “actually anticipates a very recent neuroscientific insight, which is that, in certain aesthetic states, processing and perception happen in the same cortical centers of the brain.” Matt’s big idea, in other words, is that literature sometimes comes to important conclusions about the nature of consciousness and reality before science can catch up. “The point is—and this is a major claim of literary theorists—that literature allows us to feel our way around insights that we don’t yet have a clean, conceptual articulation of.” By his logic, then, the way to drive science forward might be to fund the study of literature. “ tags: english science weekly humanities How the “Hype Cycle” explains MOOCs, big data, VR, and Google Glass. “Virtual reality, Novak suggests, has undergone a similar metamorphosis. Look around a crowded room, and you won’t see a bunch of people wearing VR headsets. Instead, you’ll see them peering into tiny screens, through which […]