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Jul. 8th, 2008 09:58 am Start wearing Purple

This has to be one of the most fun videos I've seen in a while.
Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple


Current Music: Start wearing purple

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Dec. 22nd, 2007 09:52 am Trans-Simianism

A brilliant parody. Dr. Thog refutes the claims of Dr. Klomp that we are on the verge of the 'Quickening' in which in "the post-simian world, we may develop into a species that is not only intellectually superior to our current state, but capable of feats beyond the comprehension of a contemporary simian." True genius.

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Dec. 9th, 2007 03:56 pm Learning at Digipen

Originally uploaded by k.crader.
Under the gentle tutorlidge of Jim Wright we were learning the ins and outs of the FIRST FRC RC platform.

That's me front and center.

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Jul. 5th, 2007 08:59 am A cup holder

Finally a cup holder I'd put in the '91 Maxima. Oddly enough the '91 Maxima has no cup holders! The '92 has seven. I've not found a cup holder that worked. They either didn't fit or couldn't be adapted to the curves in the inside of the car. So after 16 years I've finally seen the cup holder that would work - now if someone in the USA would carry it ... (just in time for me to sell the car too.)

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Current Mood: amused

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Apr. 26th, 2007 08:35 am Pinky and the Brain - a simulation

The Early Signs of the Long Tomorrow

IBM researchers simulated half the brain of a mouse at 1/10th the normal speed:
"We deployed the simulator on a 4096-processor BlueGene/L supercomputer with 256 MB per CPU. We were able to represent 8,000,000 neurons (80% excitatory) and 6,300 synapses per neuron in the 1 TB main memory of the system. Using a synthetic pattern of neuronal interconnections, at a 1 ms resolution and an average firing rate of 1 Hz, we were able to run 1s of model time in 10s of real time!"
The human brain has over 100 billion neurons, so in order to be able to simulate a human brain at real speed we need roughly 17 doublings or around 25 years (assuming moore's law) to do this at the same cost.

While the current simulation does not have the structure of a mouse brain, it is conceivable that we'll figure out how to create the structure over the next 20 years.

So in around 25 years we'll have a human intelligence level brain running...
and the following year it'll run twice as fast...
and then the singularity?

Maybe the mouse brain running 10 times faster, in 6 years, and if we figure out the structure, will be more intelligent than a human.

The clock is ticking.

Current Mood: quixotic

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Apr. 12th, 2007 09:31 am Labelling Gas Guzzlers

Imagine that every car on the road was required to have a rear sticker that told you with a number what gas mileage it achieved. Then color the background of the sticker into four groups: red, orange, yellow and green. Green would be for those cars above the average, yellow for those around the average, orange and red for the gas guzzlers. Red would say this car does worse than half the average. Incorporate this into the car license plate or as part of the registration.

I wonder how long it would take for people to change their preference for "greener" cars?

As people bought more economical cars the average should also go up.

I'd also work out a conversion for electric cars that drew power from the grid based on the gas required to generate the power.

Current Mood: busy

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Mar. 23rd, 2007 09:55 am DNA methylation used to form long term memories.

This is exciting as it shows how the switching on/off of the production of certain proteins within neurons can account for our long term memories.

Neurobiologists have discovered a mechanism by which the constantly changing brain retains memories--from that dog bite to that first kiss. They have found that the brain co-opts the same machinery by which cells stably alter their genes to specialize during embryonic development.
In this process, molecules called methyl groups are attached to genes, which switches them off. Conversely, lack of methyl groups enables the genes to remain activated.
Using drugs that inhibit methylation, the researchers showed that methylation was necessary for rats to form such (fear in a certain location) memories.
The memory suppressor gene they studied is called protein phosphatase 1, and the memory-promoting gene is called reelin.
they noted, abnormal epigenetic regulation (the use of methylation during embryonic development to selectively deactivate genes) has been seen in cancer, some types of autism, and schizophrenia
Reference: Miller et al.: "Covalent Modification of DNA Regulates Memory Formation."
Publishing in Neuron 53, 857--869, March 15, 2007. DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.02.022.

Science Daily Article

Current Location: home
Current Mood: chipper

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Feb. 13th, 2007 12:28 pm Confused about IP rights?

IP rights cover your ability to play, use, remix and create new technologies content. Audio, Video, Midi, Art work, photography, writing, blogs, they are all affected. Lawrence Lessig presented a fantastic talk to the Berlin hackers conference 23C3. He explains just how far out of sync the law is with current culture and more importantly what we can do about it. You can watch the video from google.

I originally found this through BoingBoing on Jan 3rd and only recently got around to seeing it all the way through.

Current Mood: chipper

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Jan. 9th, 2007 12:09 pm Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Boing Boing has an entry about the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods in which various visualization techniques have been illustrated using the form of the chemical periodic table.

While the entries are fairly cool -- roll the mouse over to see an example of the technique -- the whole notion of forcing them into the form of a periodic table is total nonsense. Why should their be a one-to-one correspondence between chemical elements and
visualization techniques.

They totally missed the point of the element table, instead they made top to bottom increasing complexity and chose the number of examples to make it work. The table doesn't provide any further insight unlike the chemical table which helped scientists predict missing elements. I wonder how many visualization techniques were missed because there was not enough chemical elements.

This is so wrong headed I'm not going to continue breaking it apart any further ...

Current Mood: annoyed

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Sep. 29th, 2006 08:02 am Greg London on writing short stories

Greg London answers: "Why would it be a bad thing if you wrote a story, upon having the idea for one?"

The whole fascinating thread is about authors reading the reader comments at and how that leads to insanity, lack of courage etc. The other participants are nearly all current authors.

Current Mood: stressed

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