Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lucy Film Hinges on Brain Capacity Myth | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

Lucy Film Hinges on Brain Capacity Myth | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network



On July 25, French film writer/director Luc Besson's action thriller
Lucy opens in theaters nationwide. The premise is that the title
character, played by Scarlett Johansson, is exposed to a drug that
unlocks her mind, giving her superhuman powers of cognition.



“…It has long been hypothesized that human beings only use a small
percentage of our cerebral capacity at any given time. For centuries,
speculative science has postulated what would occur if mankind could
actually evolve past that limit. Indeed, what would happen to our
consciousness and newfound abilities if every region of the brain was
concurrently active? If each one of the 86 billion densely packed
neurons in a human brain fired at once, could that person become, in
fact, superhuman?”

Innovation and the Art of Problem-solving » Knowledge@Wharton High School

Innovation and the Art of Problem-solving » Knowledge@Wharton High School



In this four-part podcast series for high school educators, Saikat
Chaudhuri, executive director of Wharton's Mack Institute, and Rob
Shelton, global innovation strategy lead at PwC, discuss innovation and
provide ways to teach students to be innovative thinkers and
problem-solvers. Listen to the podcast series.

Roko’s Basilisk: The most terrifying thought experiment of all time.

Roko’s Basilisk: The most terrifying thought experiment of all time.



Slender Man. Smile Dog. Goatse. These are some of the urban legends
spawned by the Internet. Yet none is as all-powerful and threatening as
Roko’s Basilisk. For Roko’s Basilisk is an evil, godlike form of
artificial intelligence



The Basilisk made its first appearance on the discussion board LessWrong,
a gathering point for highly analytical sorts interested in optimizing
their thinking, their lives, and the world through mathematics and
rationality. 



Machine Intelligence Research Institute



discussions of technological ethics and decision theory

Will the Kalq keyboard finally spell the end for qwerty? | Technology | The Guardian

Will the Kalq keyboard finally spell the end for qwerty? | Technology | The Guardian



Researchers at the University of St Andrews have developed a
split-screen keyboard that they claim can increase typing speeds for
touchscreen users. Will it get the thumbs up?

Contently Launches A Nonprofit Arm To Do Investigative Journalism - Forbes

Contently Launches A Nonprofit Arm To Do Investigative Journalism - Forbes



In the new era of digital media, everyone’s a publisher — celebrities, nobodies, spy agencies, house plants and, especially, brands. Building “the plumbing
for brands that want to be part of this new era, and a market for
writers who need to make a living in it, was the goal Contently started
with in 2010.

Martha Stewart: Why I Love My Drone | TIME

Martha Stewart: Why I Love My Drone | TIME



Henry Alford wrote a satirical essay about me and my drones in The New Yorker that was really funny



VanityFair.com

The College Ranking Industry Is Conning You

Money Best College Rankings 2014 Are As Problematic as U.S. News' | New Republic

Money magazine's new list is just as bad as U.S. News & World Report's.

  I really ought to love college rankings. The most famous of them, by U.S. News and World Report, currently places my employer first among national universities, nudging out Harvard and Yale. Forbes’s list of “America’s Top Colleges” has us at a respectable third. While Money’s brand-new “Best Colleges” ranking takes us down a notch to fourth, it still puts us ahead of the other Ivies.



Stephen Burd filed an excellent report on this trend last year in The Washington Monthly,
but it is all too obvious to anyone who, like me, has teenage children
at an affluent high school (I know several families with “one-percent”
level annual incomes whose offspring receive substantial merit
scholarships).



Despite continuing predictions that online courses will do to colleges what file sharing did to the music industry, employers still show little sign of favoring consumers of MOOCs over the recipients of traditional diplomas. 

India’s Media — Missing the Data Journalism Revolution? | Global Investigative Journalism Network

India’s Media — Missing the Data Journalism Revolution? | Global Investigative Journalism Network



www.data.gov.in  doesn’t have
either the shapefiles or kml files (data formats used for Google
mapping) of Indian parliamentary constituencies that are needed to build
interactive color-graded maps on Google Fusion tables, a mapping tools
used by publications like the Guardian



While journalists are able to familiarise themselves with systems, code
and design, technology professionals often get fascinated with the
potential and possibilities of applying their expertise in journalism.



young journalists and those at the threshold of their careers, as
digital natives, will be more adept at picking up digital visualization
skills. At the Asian College of Journalism
in Chennai, India, journalism students are taught a module on news and
numbers. Students of the new media stream are also introduced to the
latest, often free tools that help with visualization such as Google
Fusion Tables, Tableau Public, and mapping tools such as Carto DB and
Datawrapper. They are also introduced to coding.



A good story needs truth, context, insight, and impact. Design is only one aspect. “Presentation is not the critical issue,”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

OSCAR 2014 – ஹெர் ( HER) | Movie Reviews

OSCAR 2014 – ஹெர் ( HER) | களர்நிலம்

Hamas May Not Have Kidnapped Israeli Teens -- NYMag

Hamas May Not Have Kidnapped Israeli Teens -- NYMag

BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ‘10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models’ | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ‘10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models’ | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Colbert, Stewart and Louis C.K. skewer Silicon Valley: The 10 best comedy takedowns of start-up culture - Salon.com

Colbert, Stewart and Louis C.K. skewer Silicon Valley: The 10 best comedy takedowns of start-up culture - Salon.com



From chic nerds to "smart cups," there's so much to mock about tech culture. Here's who has done it best

This Is What Tech’s Ugly Gender Problem Really Looks Like | Business | WIRED

This Is What Tech’s Ugly Gender Problem Really Looks Like | Business | WIRED



For women who have experienced this bias—and there are many—the simple act of talking about it is taboo.



According to a recent report from Pitchbook,
only 13 percent of venture-backed companies had at least one female
co-founder. In the software sector, women-run businesses accounted for
just 10 percent of all venture capital deals.




Male founders generally don’t have to make
so many mental calculations about an investor’s intent before agreeing
to meet at a bar.
 
 

What the government of Gujarat is encouraging children to read is dismaying - Quartz

What the government of Gujarat is encouraging children to read is dismaying - Quartz



Most
of these new books are written by Dina Nath Batra, a right-wing
education crusader. Batra hit headlines earlier this year after
publisher Penguin agreed to pulp American scholar Wendy Doniger’s On Hinduism, in response to a court case filed by him. His aim is to push for an “Indianised” educational system.

“Textbooks currently taught in India do not evoke a sense of pride for the country, but my books contain Bharat gaurav (Indian pride), jeevan mulya (the essence of life) and samajik chetna (social conscience),” said Batra in an interview with Scroll.in.




Celebrating birthdays. Blowing
candles is a western tradition. It should be shunned. Instead, on their
birthdays, children should wear clothes manufactured in India, recite Gayatri Mantra, take part in religious ceremonies, feed cows and wind up their day by playing songs produced by Vidya Bharati.

India’s Map.
Students are instructed to include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal,
Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma in the map of India.
“Undivided India is the truth, divided India is a lie. Division of India
is unnatural and it can be united again…,” reads a chapter in Tejomay
Bharat.

Motorcar was invented in India during the Vedic period
(1500 to 500 BCE). “What we know today as the motorcar existed during
the Vedic period. It was called anashva rath. Usually a rath (chariot)
is pulled by horses but an anashva rath means the one that runs without
horses or yantra-rath, what is today a motorcar. The Rig Veda refers to
this…” — Page 60, Tejomay Bharat.

Stem cell research was
invented in India thousands of years ago. The proof? In ancient Hindu
text Mahabharata, a sage was able to convert a mass of flesh into 100
babies or Kauravas.

Indian sages have been using television for centuries. The
country has known about live telecast since the time of Mahabharata.
“There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this…
In Mahabharata, Sanjaya sitting inside a palace in Hastinapur and using
his divya shakti (divine powers) would give a live telecast of the
battle of Mahabharata… to the blind Dhritarashtra.” — Page 64, Tejomay
Bharat.

India is a “shudra” or lowly name given to us by the British.

It is better to die for your religion. “An alien religion is a source of sorrow.” —Tejomay Bharat

On the “negro” vs the “brave Indian”:
“The aircraft was flying thousands of feet high in the sky. A very
strongly built negro reached the rear door and tried to open it. The
air-hostesses tried to stop him but the strongly built negro pushed the
soft-bodied hostesses to the floor and shouted, ‘Nobody dare move a step
ahead’. An Indian grabbed the negro and he could not escape. The pilot
and the Indian together thrashed the negro and tied him up with a rope.
Like a tied buffalo, he frantically tried to escape but could not. The
plane landed safely in Chicago. The negro was a serious criminal in the
Chicago records and this brave Indian was an employee of Air India.” —
Page 3, Prernadeep-2

Cow worship will result in fine children. “King
Dilip was sad and worried that he did not have children, and about how
he would take his lineage forward. He went to Guru Vashisht’s ashram and
told him of his problem. The rishi told him, ‘Take a pledge that you
and your wife will take care of cows, herd them and follow them wherever
they go’. The king and queen agreed. One day a lion attacked a cow. The
king came forward and told the lion, ‘Eat me first but spare the cow’.
Seeing the king’s commitment, worship and responsibility towards the
cow, the lion released the cow and did not harm the king either. As time
passed, the king had the best children and his lineage progressed.” — Page 39, Prernadeep-3

How to treat foreigners?
“One day Swami Vivekananda went to give a lecture. He told the
gathering, ‘We should always wear Indian clothes’… He was wearing
saffron robes but his shoes were foreign. An Englishwoman noticed this
and said, ‘Swamiji! You are insisting on wearing Indian clothes but your
shoes are foreign’. Vivekanand listened to this and laughed. And he
quietened down and said, ‘I was saying exactly this, that in our view,
the place of a foreigner is here’. The woman was dumbfounded.”  —Page
10, Prernadeep-1. Swami Vivekananda was a Bengali intellectual and is
revered as a saint in India.

New Republic's Ivy League Criticism Is an Attack on Meritocracy Itself | New Republic

New Republic's Ivy League Criticism Is an Attack on Meritocracy Itself | New Republic



Ivy League schools tend to reward values and ideals that Americans would do well to rally behind.



Deresiewicz’s New Republic cover story, “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League,” 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Robotic football

Multimedia library | The Economist



In the RoboCup in Brazil, robots push the boundaries of artificial intelligence

Travel with Jeyamohan: Trip to Himalayas

இமயச்சாரல் – 1

Game Changers: The Tale of Two Czars Explained - The New Indian Express

Game Changers: The Tale of Two Czars Explained - The New Indian Express



N Srinivasan and Lalit Modi changed the face of cricket. Senior
journalist Alam Srinivas’s book “Cricket Czars: Two men who changed the
gentleman’s game”  As the two rose to power simultaneously, so did the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).



It gives an insight as to how Srinivasan manipulated his way
into the BCCI. From backstabbing his ‘mentor’ AC Muthiah to blindly
believing Vastu Venkatesan for productive outcomes, many factors
contributed to Srinivasan’s rise.

While Srini was known for his
shrewdness and cautious approach, Modi was overconfidence personified.
His stubbornness and hasty decisions caused his downfall, after a steep
rise. The two tactfully played their cards in the Jagmohan
Dalmiya-Sharad Pawar conflict, benefiting the most. The focus then
shifts to their famous, rather infamous rivalry. The explanation of how
Modi dictated the Indian Premier League’s fortunes as an autocratic
commissioner keeps the reader absorbed.

The Burrito Principle + 11 More Unique Marketing Ideas

The Burrito Principle + 11 More Unique Marketing Ideas



We’ve certainly been eager to experiment with answers to this question—headlines, timing, frequency, etc. How about giving your great marketing idea its own name? 

The 75-Year Saga Behind a Game That Teaches Preschoolers to Code | Enterprise | WIRED

The 75-Year Saga Behind a Game That Teaches Preschoolers to Code | Enterprise | WIRED



Next month, if you walk into any Target store
across the country, browsing one of the main hubs of mass American
consumerism, you’ll find a board game that teaches the fundamentals of
computer programming to preschoolers.


It’s called Robot Turtles.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Shot And A Book: How To Read In Bars : NPR

A Shot And A Book: How To Read In Bars : NPR



Reading requires — especially today — intense discipline and the capacity to sit still and engage. It's a skill you can develop, this quieting of the mind. Some books make it easier than others, sure, but the fact remains: A strong reader is a champ at refusing the sweet mutter of distractions. That damn laundry can wait and you know it.

A Science Icon Died 17 Years Ago. In His Last Interview, He Made A Warning That Gives Me Goosebumps - LIBRARY OF MOST CONTROVERSIAL FILES

A Science Icon Died 17 Years Ago. In His Last Interview, He Made A Warning That Gives Me Goosebumps - LIBRARY OF MOST CONTROVERSIAL FILES



Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. His contributions were central to the discovery of the high surface temperatures of Venus. However, he is best known for his contributions to the scientific research of extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages that were sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them.


How Turbans Helped Some Blacks Go Incognito In The Jim Crow Era : Code Switch : NPR

How Turbans Helped Some Blacks Go Incognito In The Jim Crow Era : Code Switch : NPR:



At the time, ideas of race in America were quite literally black and white. But a few meters of cloth changed the way some people of color were treated.



Chandra Dharma Sena Gooneratne was getting a doctorate at the University of Chicago in the '20s. Originally from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), he traveled around America lecturing on the need to abolish the caste system and on India's push for independence from the British, among other topics.
In a recent article about Gooneratne, Desai notes that visiting scholars from Asia and Africa, like Gooneratne, were startled to encounter anti-black discrimination. But some of these people, who were lugging around colonial baggage from their own countries, found a way around racism.

Cuckoo Magic: Jeyamohan on Dreams, Walks, Watching

பறக்கும் புல்லாங்குழல்:



‘மழைக்காலமும் குயிலோசையும்’.  மா.கிருஷ்ணன். தொகுப்பு  சு. தியடோர் பாஸ்கரன். காலச்சுவடு பிரசுரம்

No Feminists were speaking during Mad Men times

10 Most Sexist Print Ads from the 1950s

Google X’s Baseline Study Will Attempt to Define What It Means to Be Healthy | Vanity Fair

Google X’s Baseline Study Will Attempt to Define What It Means to Be Healthy | Vanity Fair:



 the contact lenses that will monitor blood sugar levels





Google Attempts to Map Human Body

Google's New Moonshot Project: the Human Body - WSJ

Google's New Moonshot Project: the Human Body - WSJ:



Called Baseline Study, the project will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people—and later thousands more—to create what the company hopes will be the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should be.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fiction Explores The Push And Pull Of Arab-Israeli Identity : NPR

Fiction Explores The Push And Pull Of Arab-Israeli Identity : NPR:

To be an Arab living in Israel proper has long been a challenging proposition. Even sussing out what to call them has political implications: Arab Israelis? Israeli Arabs? Palestinian Israelis? Or maybe just Palestinians? Arabs in Israel live lives that constantly — often stressfully — straddle two cultures: They are all at once ethnically Arab and citizens of the Jewish state.

How to add a keyboard and write in YOUR language in Windows for free - Scott Hanselman

How to add a keyboard and write in YOUR language in Windows for free - Scott Hanselman

Editor’s Choice Of Best 15 Stories- Outlook India

Editor’s Choice Of Best 15 Stories