Newt Gingrich has called for a bold, aggressive space program that would establish a permanent base on the Moon by 2020, along with a next-generation propulsion system for taking humans to Mars, and commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism, and manufacturing.
Gingrich proposes Moon base by 2020
January 27, 2012
Autism has long been a mystery. I just watched the video below, although apparently it's been out for a while. It's incredibly moving, and seems to offer some insights into the internal life of an autistic person. Of course it raises many questions: Can we generalize from Carly to other autistic people? Can we find "a way in" to the apparently sealed world in which autistic people seem to live? I sure hope so.
You can actually get a panoramic view by moving your cursor--360 degrees in the plane, and quite a bit vertically. The number of stars is astonishing! Check it out here.
Using fMRI and machine learning for "brain reading"
December 23, 2011 by Editor
In another Minority Report-like research finding, a UCLA research team has made crucial advances in "brain reading," using fMRI and machine learning methods to predict reactions of smokers experiencing nicotine cravings.
The research, presented last week at the Neural Information Processing Systems Machine Learning and Interpretation in Neuroimaging workshop in Spain, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is interested in using these methods to help people control drug cravings.
At UCLAs Laboratory of Integrative Neuroimaging Technology, researchers use functional MRI brain scans to observe brain signal changes that take place during mental activity. They then employ computerized machine learning (ML) methods to study these patterns and identify the cognitive state -- or sometimes the thought process -- of human subjects. The technique is called "brain reading" or "brain decoding."
I recently did a webinar, along with a colleague of mine, for the American Seed Trade Association, a group of professionals from global companies that deal with plant biotechnology. Our topic, assigned by the moderator, was career “inflection points.”
In math, an inflection point is something very specific; it's a point on a curve where the curvature changes sign. That's not very helpful in a career context -- so, with the help of Google, I dug up an alternative meaning or two. Andrew Grove, the founder of Intel, is fond of the phrase; he has defined inflection point as "an event that changes the way we think and act." It is implied, I think -- anyway, I'm going to use it this way -- that the change is unpredictable, or at least unforeseen. It's something you aren't expecting that blows you radically off course -- that sets you adrift if only for a short time.