Posts

October 21, 2014

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8:53 PM | Free will and psychological determinism
Inspired mainly by Marko Vojinovic’s recent essay on physical determinism [1], but also by Mark O’Brien on consciousness [2], Massimo Pigliucci on Hume and skepticism [3], and perhaps a bit by Graham Priest on logic and Buddhism [4], all which skirted the edges of the free will debate, I am going to tackle it from what I see as its flip side, which I will call psychological determinism. First, a few ground points. Subject:  Brain & Behavior […]
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8:48 PM | Most Published Medical Research Is False - But It Can Be Better
In 2005, John Ioannidis wrote a paper in PLOS Medicine showing that most published research findings are false. read more
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8:36 PM | Will compact fusion reactors will be available in 5 years?
The Farnsworth Fusor; Pons and Fleishmann. It seems the trail to fusion energy has long gone cold — stone cold, that is, and not cold as in cold fusion. Despite the promise of fusion providing a sustainable and safe energy source, fusion reactors are not a dime a dozen and they won’t be replacing coal fired power plants any time soon. Or will they? Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works announced a prototype compact fusion reactor that could be ready within five years. This […]
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8:29 PM | What Americans Fear Most Isn't Ebola Or Terrorism, It's...
What makes Americans afraid is the topic of the first comprehensive nationwide study by Chapman University. According to the Chapman poll, the number one fear in America today is not Muslim terrorists or Russian imperialism or Ebola, it's...walking alone at night. The Chapman Survey on American Fears included 1,500 nationally representative participants. The top five things Americans fear the most are:read more
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8:28 PM | When emotions control objects
Dimming a light, immersive playing on a computer, and tracking yoga exercises in real time—sensors developed by SmartCardia use various vital signs to transmit data to a host of everyday objects. Subject:  Technology
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8:20 PM | how troubled marriage, depression history promote obesity
The double-whammy of marital hostility and a history of depression can increase the risk for obesity in adults by altering how the body processes high-fat foods, according to new research. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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8:08 PM | National Chemistry Week: The Chemistry of Candy
It’s currently National Chemistry Week in the US (apparently, we only get National Chemistry Week once every two years here in the UK), and the theme for this year is ‘The Sweet Side of Chemistry’. This seemed like as good an opportunity as any to look at some confectionary chemistry! In this graphic, we look at […]
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8:00 PM | Limiting Global Warming To 2°C: The Philosophy And The Science
How much more glacial melting can the planet stand? NASABy Micheal Mann, Pennsylvania State University and Lawrence Torcello, Rochester Institute of Technology read more
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8:00 PM | Need more sleep, or just a placebo?
It’s late. Really late. And you need to be up early. You’re tossing and turning. The later is gets the more stressed you feel. How are you going to get through the next day so sleep deprived? What if I told you all you need is to believe you got enough sleep?
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7:33 PM | Volunteer group includes “intuitives”, say they help solve missing person cases
Myra Lewis, a 2 year old girl from Canton, disappeared 6 months ago. She is still missing and now psychics are joining in to locate her. Psychics search for Myra Lewis. The group of volunteers, made up of former law enforcement, forensic experts and search team members have collaborated, issuing a report with an exact… Source: Doubtful News
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7:30 PM | To Reduce Drug-Related Harm, It's Time To Be Honest About The Pleasure
Getting high on own supply. Dance by ShutterstockBy Adam Winstock, King's College LondonDespite the language we use about drugs, many people don’t see themselves as “drug users” but as rational adults who aren’t on a mission to seek moral disintegration and cause themselves harm. People who use drugs are just people who happen to use drugs (they might also do yoga, go the cinema, get degrees, litter the streets or be into base-jumping) – normal people who care […]
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7:28 PM | fishingboatproceeds: I talk about the ebola outbreaks and how...
fishingboatproceeds: I talk about the ebola outbreaks and how best to deal with them in my new vlogbrothers video. Some resources: This Economist story is a great introduction to where we stand with the epidemic The WHO’s weekly situation report update Interview with Bill Gates I paraphrased Oxfam expresses concern that ebola could be “the definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation.”  Important Vlogbrothers is important. Don’t panic. But do care.
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7:23 PM | theonion: Astronomers Celebrate 300th Anniversary Of...
theonion: Astronomers Celebrate 300th Anniversary Of Discovering Sky Huzzah!
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6:56 PM | Fewer Americans Think Global Warming Is Happening
How recent weather conditions can influence people’s beliefs about climate change.
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6:17 PM | True Cost Of Diverted Tobacco Payouts Measured In Lives
Not enough tobacco company money is going into public health campaigns. Credit: REUTERS/Daniel MunozBy Nicholas Freudenberg, City University of New YorkThe #20 Million Memorial created earlier this month by the United States Centers for Disease Control, is an online tribute to honor the 20 million spouses, mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, and friends who have died of tobacco-related diseases since 1964. read more
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5:46 PM | Kung fu stegosaur
Stegosaurs might be portrayed as lumbering plant eaters, but they were lethal fighters when necessary, according to paleontologists who have uncovered new evidence of a casualty of stegosaurian combat. The evidence is a fatal stab wound in the pubis bone of a predatory allosaur. The wound – in the conical shape of a stegosaur tail spike – would have required great dexterity to inflict and shows clear signs of having cut short the allosaur's life. Subject:  […]
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5:39 PM | Ask Watson or Siri: Artificial intelligence is as elusive as ever
In 1966, some MIT researchers reckoned that they could develop computer vision as a summer project, perhaps even get a few smart undergrads to complete the task. The world has been working on the problem ever since. Computer vision is where computers recognize objects like people do. That's a tree. He's Carlos. And so on. It's one of a number of tasks we consider essential for generalized artificial intelligence, in which machines can act and reason as humans do. Subject:  […]
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5:10 PM | Aren’t Cancer Cells the Worst?
I try to find humor in some unfunny places, but I was never sure how to approach cancer. I first did a comic about cancer genes for my book What’s in Your Genes?, which seems to find the happy... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:30 PM | Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage If you were to ask me...
Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage If you were to ask me “Hey Joe, what are pygmy seahorses masters of?" then of course my answer would be "CUTENESS!!!" I had no idea that they were also connoisseurs of camo. But scientists had never asked how these diminutive deceivers were able to match their knobby host corals so closely. This video, the first in a new series called Deep Look from KQED, tells the story of how California Academy of Sciences researchers put their adorable […]
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4:23 PM | See-through sensors open new window into the brain
Developing invisible implantable medical sensor arrays, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has overcome a major technological hurdle in researchers' efforts to understand the brain. The team described its technology, which has applications in fields ranging from neuroscience to cardiac care and even contact lenses, in the Oct. 20 issue of the online journal Nature Communications. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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4:17 PM | What’s next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?
It should be no surprise to anyone that many smartphones may have been designed to last about 24 months – the length of a typical contract with a network service provider. After all, it is a fast-moving, high-turnover market and planned obsolescence is how it is kept moving. Being high turnover means new models with new features can be brought to market and readily consumed by users conditioned to want the latest and greatest. Subject:  Technology […]
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4:01 PM | Data Transmission Gets A New World Record
Fewer cords, smaller antennas and quicker video is the goal of a microwave circuit that has set a new world record for data transmission. read more
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3:29 PM | How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
If you're reading this, it's possible you'll live for a few hundred years. Maybe even thousands. Even better: you could live those years at your peak physical state. At first glance, that's an absurd statement, going against the experience of all human history. However, Oxford University's Aubrey de Grey, a leading theoretician of aging, believes there is a 50 percent chance that someone alive today will live for 1,000 years. Subject:  Biology & Aging […]
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3:28 PM | This Printer Prints Self-Destructing Documents That Burst Into Flames?! (Video)
Artist and robotics enthusiast Diego Trujillo Pisanty has created a printing device capable of printing documents that self-destruct by bursting into flames. As cool as the idea of a printer that creates self-destructing documents may sound, this device wasn’t really designed to be all that functional, so don’t plan on seeing it available for purchase anytime soon. Instead, Pisanty created the printer as an art piece meant to provoke a discussion about […]
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3:22 PM | SINISTER SCREENINGS AT THE BRAM STOKER FESTIVAL
I’m going to be controversial. Horror movies are deadly. Few things are as enjoyable as sitting in a dark room with a bunch of like minded strangers having the shit scared out of you. Throw in the knowledge that you’re relatively safe (except from boring stuff like cancer, depression or penury) and some overpriced snacks […] The post SINISTER SCREENINGS AT THE BRAM STOKER FESTIVAL appeared first on HeadStuff.
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3:19 PM | Drones chasing drones
Here's a filmed session of drones chasing other drones through the woods--similar to what was done in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
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3:14 PM | Hunters Unite: Global Warming Implicated In Animal Size
Alpine goats appear to be shrinking in size, according to scholars at Durham University, and that is due to global warming over the past 30 years, they say.   Young Chamois now weigh about 25 percent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s, they found, and note that in recent years, decreases in body size have been identified in a variety of animal species and have frequently been linked by other scholars to changing climate. read more
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3:05 PM | Great Earthquakes Doubled In The Most Recent 10 Year Period - What That Means
Since December 2004 there have been 18 quakes of 8.0 or greater on the moment magnitude (Mw) scale – a rate more than twice that seen from 1900 to mid-2004. Some of that difference could be due to unprecedented advances in technological and scientific capacity to detect earthquakes. Like the distance of Babe Ruth's homeruns, anecdotes about past earthquakes have the mist of legend shrouding them, but modern earthquakes have a variety of ways they can be understood - and that […]
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2:54 PM | Viral Mutation: Why You May Be More Susceptible To Last Year's Flu
Why were so many middle-aged adults hit especially hard by the H1N1 influenza virus during the 2013-2014 influenza season?  Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibody proteins against particles (called antigens) from an infectious agent, such as bacteria or a virus. The immune system saves the cells that produce effective antibodies, which then provide immunity against future attacks by the same or similar infectious agents. Seasonal influenza typically kills 36,000 […]
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2:46 PM | Egg Donors: Do Parents Prefer Beauty, Brains Or Health?
Sperm donation for fertility issues has been common for some time and ovum donation has become increasingly accepted by women as well.That leads to sociological questions about selection; everyone says they will love their kids no matter what, but given a book to choose from, what traits in a donor do people consider most important, beauty, intelligence or health?read more
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