Aetles + science   62

Color Spaces – Bartosz Ciechanowski
For the longest time we didn’t have to pay a lot of attention to the way we talk about color. The modern display technologies capable of showing more vivid shades have, for better or for worse, changed the rules of the game. Once esoteric ideas like a gamut or a color space are becoming increasingly important.

A color can be described in many different ways. We could use words, list amounts of CMYK printer inks, enumerate quite flawed HSL and HSV values, or even quantify the responses of cells in a human retina. Those notions are useful in some contexts, but I’m not going to focus on any of them.

This article is dedicated entirely to RGB values from RGB color spaces. It may seem fairly restrictive, but considering the domination of displays as the medium for color presentation, it is a pragmatic approach and it ultimately won’t prevent us from describing everything we can see.
color  design  science 
4 days ago by Aetles
Commentary: The complicated case of transgender cyclist Dr. Rachel McKinnon –
The debate over cycling's first transgender world champion can't be resolved, but it can be better understood.
humanbody  athletes  science  competition  transgender 
7 weeks ago by Aetles
Tips från coachen: Fokusera på det du vill göra och inte på dina rädslor - Samspel
Tänk inte på ett rött äpple! Hallå där, vad tänkte du just på? Tänkte väl det! Principen att försöka mota bort tankar – enkla tankar om äpplen, eller svårare tankar om till exempel att allt hänger på att jag sätter den här straffen nu – har använts länge inom psykologin. Men på senare år har nya perspektiv utifrån mindfulness och acceptans tagit sig in på arenan och fått genomslag. På Högskolan i Halmstad har den idrottspsykologiska forskningen gått i bräschen för mindfulness- och acceptansmetoden.
mindfulness  psychology  psykologi  idrott  science  vetenskap  idrottspsykologi  mentalträning 
november 2018 by Aetles
How I Used Technology to Get in the Best Shape of My Life and Save My Son
In 2013, I weighed 210 pounds. In October of 2017, I weighed 136 pounds and donated a kidney to my youngest son, Ax. This is our story.
life  training  exercise  diet  science 
november 2018 by Aetles
Don't Worry About Exercising Too Much | Outside Online
The question of whether too much aerobic exercise is bad for your heart was hotly debated for several years after that 2012 study. The Cooper Clinic data, when it was finally published in a peer-reviewed journal more than two years later, had been reanalyzed so that the supposed dangers of too much running disappeared. But by then the idea was firmly implanted in the public mind: marathons are dangerous. (I wrote in depth on this dispute, and how the evidence has shifted, in this 2016 feature.) The topic no longer pops up in the headlines as regularly as it did a few years ago, but it’s still lurking in people’s minds.
running  health  training  marathon  aerobic  exercise  humanbody  science  research 
november 2018 by Aetles
We Slow as We Age, but May Not Need to Slow Too Much - The New York Times
Although declines in running and other activities are unavoidable, they may be less steep than many of us fear.
running  training  aging  science 
november 2018 by Aetles
Antiinflammatoriska läkemedel hämmar muskeltillväxt | Idrottsforskning
Idrottare är flitiga användare av antiinflammatoriska läkemedel (NSAID) i hopp om att påskynda återhämtning eller minska smärta och träningsvärk. Nya forskningsrön visar dock att höga doser har en negativ påverkan både på muskeluppbyggnad och styrka.
träning  training  nsaid  läkemedel  värk  pain  humanbody  research  science 
october 2018 by Aetles
Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes: Cell Metabolism
•Early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) increases insulin sensitivity
•eTRF also improves β cell function and lowers blood pressure and oxidative stress
•eTRF lowers the desire to eat in the evening, which may facilitate weight loss
•Intermittent fasting can improve health even in the absence of weight loss
Intermittent fasting (IF) improves cardiometabolic health; however, it is unknown whether these effects are due solely to weight loss. We conducted the first supervised controlled feeding trial to test whether IF has benefits independent of weight loss by feeding participants enough food to maintain their weight. Our proof-of-concept study also constitutes the first trial of early time-restricted feeding (eTRF), a form of IF that involves eating early in the day to be in alignment with circadian rhythms in metabolism. Men with prediabetes were randomized to eTRF (6-hr feeding period, with dinner before 3 p.m.) or a control schedule (12-hr feeding period) for 5 weeks and later crossed over to the other schedule. eTRF improved insulin sensitivity, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and appetite. We demonstrate for the first time in humans that eTRF improves some aspects of cardiometabolic health and that IF’s effects are not solely due to weight loss.
intermittentfasting  fasting  eating  science  research  health  body  humanbody  diet 
may 2018 by Aetles
Boost Your Workouts With Caffeine, Even if You Chug Coffee Daily - The New York Times
Caffeine improves athletic performance. This is a truth almost universally acknowledged in exercise science.

But scientists, coaches and athletes also have thought that to gain any performance boost from taking caffeine before an event, an athlete had to abstain from the stuff for days or weeks before a big event.

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology intimates, however, that these ideas about caffeine and performance are out of date and that someone can swill coffee every day and still get a caffeine performance buzz when needed.
coffee  caffeine  training  exercise  science  humanbody  athletes  competition  diet 
may 2017 by Aetles
How Could the Sodium You Eat Affect Your Weight?
Conventional wisdom has long held that salty foods boost our thirst and lead us to drink more water. But can salt also lead us to eat more, as well?

Researchers have begun to explore salt’s previously unknown role in hunger and weight gain. Several recent studies shed light on why salt may encourage us to overeat.

“Until now, we have always focused on the effect of salt on blood pressure,” says Jens Titze, MD, associate professor of medicine and of molecular physiology and biophysics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “We have to expand our conceptions of salt and diet.”
health  food  eating  humanbody  science  diet  weightloss 
may 2017 by Aetles
Supplement Goals Reference |
If you've found this page, then you're probably looking to find out the truth about supplements - which work, and which don't . You know that supplements can help, but you don't know who to trust. Everywhere you turn, you're overwhelmed with companies promising you the latest and the greatest.

For the past five and a half years, we've been trudging through thousands and thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies so that we can thoroughly understand supplements. Having analyzed over 33,000 individual studies, we've come to learn what works (and what doesn't).

Now, before we go any further, it's important to note: we are NOT here to sell you supplements. We don't own a line of supplements that we will steer you towards.

Beyond that, we're not in cahoots with anyone that does. In fact, we make NO brand recommendations. We make NO product recommendations. All we do is make sense of scientific research on supplementation and nutrition.

We've been compiling this research for a long time, and our Supplement-Goals Reference Guide puts it all together in an easy-to-use manner. You simply look up whichever supplement (eg "Vitamin D") or health goal (eg "blood glucose") you're interested in, and you will instantly know which supplements work (and which don't). Our guide literally solves all your supplement confusion.
supplements  health  body  humanbody  training  muscles  food  science 
march 2017 by Aetles
Feed Your Kids Peanuts, Early and Often, New Guidelines Urge - The New York Times
Peanuts are back on the menu. In a significant reversal from past advice, new national health guidelines call for parents to give their children foods containing peanuts early and often, starting when they’re infants, as a way to help avoid life-threatening peanut allergies.
allergies  health  children  infants  eating  humanbody  science 
february 2017 by Aetles
Why Running Helps Clear Your Mind -- Science of Us
A good run can sometimes make you feel like a brand-new person. And, in a way, that feeling may be literally true. About three decades of research in neuroscience have identified a robust link between aerobic exercise and subsequent cognitive clarity, and to many in this field the most exciting recent finding in this area is that of neurogenesis. Not so many years ago, the brightest minds in neuroscience thought that our brains got a set amount of neurons, and that by adulthood, no new neurons would be birthed. But this turned out not to be true. Studies in animal models have shown that new neurons are produced in the brain throughout the lifespan, and, so far, only one activity is known to trigger the birth of those new neurons: vigorous aerobic exercise, said Karen Postal, president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. “That’s it,” she said. “That’s the only trigger that we know about.”
health  running  humanbody  brain  science 
december 2016 by Aetles
Time on the Brain: How You Are Always Living In the Past, and Other Quirks of Perception - Scientific American Blog Network
"When we retrieve a memory, we also rewrite it, so that the time next we go to remember it, we don’t retrieve the original memory but the last one we recollected."
Superfascinerande läsning om vår perception, om minnen och hur vår hjärna fungerar, skrivet på ett sätt som är lätt att ta till sig. Massor av intressanta saker, som hur vi ständigt upplever verkligheten med 80 ms fördröjning medan hjärnan synkroniserar ihop intryck. En sådandär text som får en att tänka att detta är vad jag borde syssla med, inte massa tjafs med webbsidor och macnyheter...
memory  brain  humans  perception  science  body 
september 2016 by Aetles
Don’t blame lactic acid for sore muscles | ScienceNordic
People have believed for years that high levels of lactic acid in your muscles after a hard workout are the reason you feel tired and sore. Turns out this is just wrong.
body  exercise  muscles  humanbody  science  research 
september 2016 by Aetles
A Neural Network Playground
Tinker With a Neural Network Right Here in Your Browser.
Don’t Worry, You Can’t Break It. We Promise.
science  neuralnetworks  experiment 
april 2016 by Aetles
Forskare säger att detox är bullsh*t. Men på Instagram höjs detoxteer och -juicer till skyarna.
En samlad expertkår har i flera års tid kallat detox för nonsens, med argument om att kroppen renar sig själv, men ändå fortsätter detoxtrenden att växa med nya produkter.

Bild: Lotta-Karin Klinge Härberg
– Levern och njurarna har som funktion att rena kroppen hela livet, och man kan liksom inte ”hjälpa till” där. Att dricka gröna juicer gör inget extra för din lever, säger Lotta-Karin Klinge Härberg som jobbar som verksamhetschef på dietistkliniken vid Karolinska universitetssjukhuset.

Ur näringssynpunkt är det betydligt mer intressant att vända på idén och tänka att man ska bygga upp kroppen.
Hon menar att det som ställer till det är själva begreppet ”detox”.

– De flesta som pratar om att göra en detox menar nog inte att de ska avgifta sig från toxiner. Det handlar mer om att man vill ha en nystart, att bryta med dåliga vanor, och det är det verkligen inget fel med, säger Lotta-Karin Klinge Härberg, men understryker att du inte kan rensa ut toxiner genom att dricka juice i ett par veckor.

– Ur näringssynpunkt är det betydligt mer intressant att vända på idén och tänka att man ska bygga upp kroppen med nyttiga juicer och grönsaker.
hälsa  detox  bluff  health  body  diet  science  vetenskap  mat  kroppen  humanbody 
january 2016 by Aetles
newsletter | Brain Pickings
Brain Pickings has a free weekly interestingness digest. It comes out on Sunday mornings and offers the week’s most unmissable articles across creativity, psychology, art, science, design, philosophy, and other facets of our search for meaning.
art  science  philosophy  design  psychology  creativity 
december 2015 by Aetles
Do germaphobes get sick less often? Here's what the science says. - Vox
In his own colorful way, he's referring to an idea known as the "hygiene hypothesis." First described in 1989 by David Strachan, a London-based epidemiologist, the idea is that people exposed to a diversity of microorganisms early in life lower their risk of allergic diseases like asthma, eczema, seasonal allergies, and even autoimmune disorders such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.

The logic of the hygiene hypothesis is pretty alluring: "A child's immune system needs education," Erika von Mutius, a pediatric allergist at the University of Munich, recently told my colleague Joseph Stromberg. "The hygiene hypothesis suggests that early life exposure to microbes helps in the education of an infant's developing immune system." That's why places like farms, or even houses with pets, are thought to have some protective effect against allergies for kids.

That said, scientists haven't yet proved the hygiene hypothesis. It's still just that — a hypothesis. And even if it's true, it's a lot less sweeping than a lot of people tend to think.
humanbody  health  science 
october 2015 by Aetles
The Playboy centrefold at the centre of computer science
The November 1972 issue of Playboy magazine is the magazine’s best selling issue of all time. This is not because of the articles, but due to the proliferation of one iconic image from the magazine: that of centrefold model Lena Söderberg.

The original image was digitised by researches at the University of Southern California Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI) in 1973. Alexander Sawchuk, the assistant professor of electrical engineering, his graduate student and the SIPI lab manager were frantically looking for a new image for a research paper.

They had already exhausted the stock of usual test images. It was at this moment – according to legend – that a colleague walked in with the November 1972 issue of Playboy. Seeing the predicament that the researches were in, he tore a 5.12 inch strip from the top of the centrefold and fed it to their scanner. As it had a resolution of 100 lines per inch, the resulting image was the perfectly cropped head and shoulders image 512 x 512 pixels in size.

This image has since been used widely in imaging processing circles. That’s because the nature of the image makes it amenable for testing a wide range of image processing algorithms.

The image contains a mixture of detail, colour, shading, focus, textures, reflections and flat regions that allow testing of multiple algorithms. These algorithms range from edge detection to denoising and even include shrinking the image down to the size of a human hair.
computers  history  science  equality  feminism 
september 2015 by Aetles
Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories - The Washington Post
Rice is popular because it's malleable—it pairs well with a lot of different kinds of food—and it's relatively cheap. But like other starch-heavy foods, it has one central flaw: it isn't that good for you. White rice consumption, in particular, has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. A cup of the cooked grain carries with it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat.

But what if there were a simple way to tweak rice ever so slightly to make it much healthier?

An undergraduate student at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka and his mentor have been tinkering with a new way to cook rice that can reduce its calories by as much as 50 percent and even offer a few other added health benefits. The ingenious method, which at its core is just a simple manipulation of chemistry, involves only a couple easy steps in practice.
food  science  research  health  cooking 
august 2015 by Aetles
BBC - Earth - Will we ever have a theory of everything?
Physicists want to find a single theory that describes the entire universe, but to do so they must solve some of the hardest problems in science
science  space  research  universe 
august 2015 by Aetles
Haber, Fritz
But the devil was in the details. The only hints that such could be done required very high pressures and temperatures, and a metal catalyst. Off and on over a number of years, Haber experimented with different temperatures, pressures, and metal catalysts. He made progress using osmium and uranium. Finally, on July 3, 1909, he succeeded in his laboratory in producing ammonia yields on the order of 10% continuously for five hours.

This proved that commercial production was possible. The problem was that Haber’s process occurred in a tube 75 cm tall and 13 cm in diameter. There were no large containers that could operate at the temperatures and pressures he used. At the same company where Haber worked was another chemist, Carl Bosch. Bosch took on the challenge of escalating the chemical process to an industrial level. After thousands of experiments he perfected a method to do so that became known as the Haber-Bosch Process. 

Vaclav Smil, in his book Enriching the Earth, says that the Haber-Bosch process "has been of greater fundamental importance to the modern world than ... the airplane, nuclear energy, space flight, or television. The expansion of the world's population from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to six billion in 2000 would not have been possible without the synthesis of ammonia."  The  International Fertilizer Industry Association reports that over 100 million metric tons of nitrogen produced by the Haber-Bosch Process are applied annually to global crops, over half of it to cereal crops. Smil and others have calculated that over 2 billion people, about 40% of those alive, are fed by food grown using fertilizer from the Haber-Bosch process.  Haber received the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1918.
history  germany  worldwar1  science  discoveries  world 
august 2015 by Aetles
Free Divers Are Rewriting the Physiology of the Body—Underwater
“It certainly shocked the scientific community,” said Claes Lundgren, one of the world’s leading experts on respiratory and hyperbaric medicine, and the former director of the University of Buffalo’s Center for Research and Education in Special Environments. “It was remarkable that they could go that deep.” At 330 feet down, the water pressure is roughly 11 atmospheres, Lundgren explains. In other words, the pressure pushing in on the lungs was increased to 11 times normal.

Nor was the repudiation of Boyle’s Law the only piece of dogma overturned by this brash new breed of sportsmen. When scientists began to calculate the amount of oxygen in the lungs of these free divers, and compare it to the amount that it was believed a diver would need to survive under water for any length of time, the numbers didn’t add up. Somehow, those participating in the new sport were surviving underwater with far less air for far longer than anyone had thought possible. All of which led scientists like Lundgren to ask the obvious question. What on Earth could be going on?

Human beings, it turns out, have been gifted with a series of underwater survival mechanisms so powerful that some scientists now argue they were almost certainly forged on the crucible of natural selection.
health  science  diving  freediving 
march 2015 by Aetles
Yale Scientific Magazine – Does Sugar Really Make Children Hyper?
In 1982, the National Institute of Health announced that no link between sugar and hyperactivity had been scientifically proven. Why, then, does this myth still persist? It may be mostly psychological. As previously stated, experimentation has shown that parents who believe in a link between sugar and hyperactivity see one, even though others do not. Another possibility is that children tend to be more excited at events like birthday and Halloween parties where sugary foods are usually served . People may have confused proximity with correlation although the environment is probably more to blame than the food.
health  science  food  sugar  kids  children  parenting 
november 2014 by Aetles
Scientists agree: Coffee naps are better than coffee or naps alone - Vox
If you're feeling sleepy and want to wake yourself up — and have 20 minutes or so to spare before you need to be fully alert — there's something you should try. It's more effective than drinking a cup of coffee or taking a quick nap.

It's drinking a cup of coffee and then taking a quick nap. This is called a coffee nap.

It might sound crazy: conventional wisdom is that caffeine interferes with sleep. But if you caffeinate immediately before napping and sleep for 20 minutes or less, you can exploit a quirk in the way both sleep and caffeine affect your brain to maximize alertness. Here's the science behind the idea.
health  science  productivity  sleep  coffee 
september 2014 by Aetles
Gary Taubes and the Cause of Obesity « Science-Based Medicine
The only grain of truth is that a low-carb diet may result in decreased hunger pangs so that total calorie intake drops. The laws of physics tell us that if you ate 7000 calories of protein and fat during a period of time when you only expended 3500 calories, you would gain a pound, even if you ate no carbohydrates at all. There is no getting around the physics. If you expend more calories than you ingest, you will lose weight. No diet has ever been shown to produce weight loss without a reduction in calories. The problem is that reducing calorie intake is fiendishly hard to accomplish for many reasons, both physiological and psychological. No one has ever denied that.
food  health  science  diet 
may 2014 by Aetles
Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To
The Recipe for Perfect Cast Iron Seasoning
The basic idea is this: Smear a food-grade drying oil onto a cast iron pan, and then bake it above the oil’s smoke point. This will initiate the release of free radicals and polymerization. The more drying the oil, the harder the polymer. So start with the right oil.

Go to your local health food store or organic grocery and buy a bottle of flaxseed oil. It’s sold as an omega-3 supplement and it’s in the refrigeration section because it goes rancid so easily. Check the expiration date to make sure it’s not already rancid. Buy an organic flaxseed oil. You don’t want to burn toxic chemicals into your cookware to leach out forever more. It’s a fairly expensive oil. I paid $17 for a 17 ounce bottle of cold-pressed, unrefined, organic flaxseed oil. As it says on the bottle, shake it before you use it.

Strip your pan down to the iron using the techniques I describe in my popover post. Heat the pan in a 200°F oven to be sure it’s bone dry and to open the pores of the iron a little. Then put it on a paper towel, pour a little flaxseed oil on it (don’t forget to shake the bottle), and rub the oil all over the pan with your hands, making sure to get into every nook and cranny. Your hands and the pan will be nice and oily.

Now rub it all off. Yup – all. All.
science  cooking  food 
january 2014 by Aetles
BBC - Future - Science & Environment - Timeline of the far future
First, we brought you a prediction of the forthcoming year. Then we brought you a timeline of the near future, revealing what could happen up to around 100 years time. But here’s our most ambitious set of predictions yet – from what could happen in one thousand years time to one hundred quintillion years (that’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 years). As the song says, there may be trouble ahead...
science  future  humans  earth 
january 2014 by Aetles
This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine | Surprising Science
Within 24 hours of quitting the drug, your withdrawal symptoms begin. Initially, they’re subtle: The first thing you notice is that you feel mentally foggy, and lack alertness. Your muscles are fatigued, even when you haven’t done anything strenuous, and you suspect that you’re more irritable than usual.

Over time, an unmistakable throbbing headache sets in, making it difficult to concentrate on anything. Eventually, as your body protests having the drug taken away, you might even feel dull muscle pains, nausea and other flu-like symptoms.

This isn’t heroin, tobacco or even alcohol withdrawl. We’re talking about quitting caffeine, a substance consumed so widely (the FDA reports that more than 80 percent of American adults drink it daily) and in such mundane settings (say, at an office meeting or in your car) that we often forget it’s a drug—and by far the world’s most popular psychoactive one.
health  science  coffee 
august 2013 by Aetles
learnfun and playfun: A general technique for automating NES games
Hi! This is my software for SIGBOVIK 2013, an April 1 conference that usually publishes fake research. Mine is real! It's software that learns how to play NES games and plays them automatically, using an aesthetically pleasing technique.
games  mario  nintendo  science  research  humor  ai 
april 2013 by Aetles
Reasons Not to Stretch -
More fundamentally, the results underscore the importance of not prepping for exercise by stretching, he said. “We can now say for sure that static stretching alone is not recommended as an appropriate form of warm-up,” he said. “A warm-up should improve performance,” he pointed out, not worsen it.

A better choice, he continued, is to warm-up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout. Jumping jacks and toy-soldier-like high leg kicks, for instance, prepare muscles for additional exercise better than stretching. As an unscientific side benefit, they can also be fun.
health  science  fitness  exercise 
april 2013 by Aetles
» It explodes, at the speed of plot. How to Spot a Psychopath
Here's a much more important example of the hopelessness of this The Science Of Some Fantasy Show idea, which arises whenever you try to apply real science to any space-opera scenario that has faster-than-light travel:

If you've got FTL travel, in a universe subject to relativity, you can now also travel into the past.

Absolutely definitely, no question about it. Doesn't matter if you use hyperspace or a warp bubble or teleportation or jump-gates left by ancient aliens. FTL plus relativity equals time travel.

The usual way to get around this is to subject your fictional universe to an Acme Hydraulic Universe-Flattener and explicitly or implicitly erase relativity entirely. You pretty much have to do this to have FTL in the first place, so it's not that much of a loss.
scifi  science  starwars 
february 2013 by Aetles
IQ myth debunked by Canadian researchers - Technology & Science - CBC News
Link between lifestyle habits and brain function
The study also looked at respondents' backgrounds and lifestyle habits and found links between brain function and factors such as age and gender.

"Regular brain training didn't help people's cognitive performance at all, yet aging had a profound negative effect on both memory and reasoning abilities," said Owen.

Other factors were smoking, anxiety and the tendency to play videogames.

"Intriguingly, people who regularly played computer games did perform significantly better in terms of both reasoning and short-term memory," said Adam Hampshire, one of the study's authors.

"And smokers performed poorly on the short-term memory and the verbal factors, while people who frequently suffer from anxiety perform badly on the short-term memory factor in particular," Hampshire added.
news  science  iq  intelligence  humans 
december 2012 by Aetles
Guest | Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility - In One Pie Chart
Polls show that many members of the public believe that scientists substantially disagree about human-caused global warming. The gold standard of science is the peer-reviewed literature. If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature.

I searched the Web of Science for peer-reviewed scientific articles published between 1 January 1991 and 9 November 2012 that have the keyword phrases "global warming" or "global climate change." The search produced 13,950 articles.
science  climate  environment 
december 2012 by Aetles
Rapture of the nerds: will the Singularity turn us into gods or end the human race? | The Verge
Hundreds of the world’s brightest minds — engineers from Google and IBM, hedge funds quants, and Defense Department contractors building artificial intelligence — were gathered in rapt attention inside the auditorium of the San Francisco Masonic Temple atop Nob Hill. It was the first day of the seventh annual Singularity Summit, and Julia Galef, the President of the Center for Applied Rationality, was speaking onstage. On the screen behind her, Galef projected a giant image from the film Blade Runner: the replicant Roy, naked, his face stained with blood, cradling a white dove in his arms.

At this point in the movie, Roy is reaching the end of his short, pre-programmed life, “The poignancy of his death scene comes from the contrast between that bitter truth and the fact that he still feels his life has meaning, and for lack of a better word, he has a soul,” said Galef. “To me this is the situation we as humans have found ourselves in over the last century. Turns out we are survival machines created by ancient replicators, DNA, to produce as many copies of them as possible. This is the bitter pill that science has offered us in response to our questions about where we came from and what it all means.”

The Singularity Summit bills itself as the world’s premier event on robotics, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies. The attendees, who shelled out $795 for a two-day pass, are people whose careers depend on data, on empirical proof. Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research, discussed advances in probabilistic first-order logic. The Nobel prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman lectured on the finer points of heuristics and biases in human psychology. The Power Point presentations were full of math equations and complex charts. Yet time and again the conversation drifted towards the existential: the larger, unanswerable questions of life.
technology  evolution  humans  singularity  progress  science 
october 2012 by Aetles
Stanford researchers' cooling glove 'better than steroids'
The temperature-regulation research of Stanford biologists H. Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn has led to a device that rapidly cools body temperature, greatly improves exercise recovery, and could help explain why muscles get tired.
science  biology  fitness  muscles  training 
september 2012 by Aetles
Big Bang Was Actually a Phase Change: New Theory |
How did the universe begin? The Big Bang is traditionally envisioned as the moment when an infinitely dense bundle of energy suddenly burst outward, expanding in three spatial directions and gradually cooling down as it did so.

Now, a team of physicists says the Big Bang should be modeled as a phase change: the moment when an amorphous, formless universe analogous to liquid water cooled and suddenly crystallized to form four-dimensional space-time, analogous to ice.
space  science  bigbang 
august 2012 by Aetles
Pics and you assume it did happen | Ars Technica
The authors, based in New Zealand and Canada, performed an "alive or dead" test, showing the names of minor celebrities and asking undergraduates whether the person was still alive. In half the cases, they also showed a photo of the person. When the photo was present, people were more likely to answer that the statement was true.

The obvious explanation for this is that none of the photos were of a corpse, and seeing a person alive would almost certainly bias the participants toward thinking the person was alive. So, they switched the questions, asking another group whether they thought the person was dead. As it turned out, the photo also caused people to evaluate the statement as true, and answer that the person was no longer alive.

To make sure this didn't only work with people, the authors switched to true/false trivia questions, like the macadamia example mentioned above. Again, photos (in this case, images of the subject of the question) caused people to answer "true" more often than they did in a control quiz. And it wasn't just images. They could get a similar effect by reading a short description of the person in question.
ars  science  psychology 
august 2012 by Aetles
Creepy Robots
Creepy Robots

It's only a matter of time before one of these kills somebody.
robots  science  future 
august 2012 by Aetles
Time on the Brain: How You Are Always Living In the Past, and Other Quirks of Perception | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network
It’s not that our memory is a glitchy wetware version of computer flash memory; it’s that the computer metaphor just doesn’t apply. Roediger said we store only bits and pieces of what happened—a smattering of impressions we weave together into feels like a seamless narrative. When we retrieve a memory, we also rewrite it, so that the time next we go to remember it, we don’t retrieve the original memory but the last one we recollected. So, each time we tell a story, we embellish it, while remaining genuinely convinced of the veracity of our memories.
science  time  memory  perception  brain 
july 2012 by Aetles
Lithium-air battery advance could be jaw-dropping improvement over li-ion | Ars Technica
Lithium-air batteries have the potential to be the next big leap in battery tech because they get rid of a lot of the weight and complexity involved with standard batteries. That's because, instead of having all the battery components stored inside the battery itself, lithium-air batteries use oxygen in the atmosphere to bring some electrons to the party. There has been some progress in terms of getting air into the battery and having the oxygen react once it gets there, but the technology still faces a significant challenge: reactive oxygen tends to also react with the battery's components.

The result of these reactions is that existing lithium-air batteries can typically only handle a handful of charge/discharge cycles before they start to decay. But researchers have now found an electrolyte material that doesn't react with oxygen, allowing stable performance over multiple charging cycles. And the theoretical capacity of the battery was staggering, possibly more than ten times that of the lithium-ion tech on the market.
materials  batteries  science  research 
june 2012 by Aetles
New X-Ray Vision-Style Video Can Show a Pulse Beating Through Skin
Researchers at MIT have developed a crazy process called Eulerian Video Magnification that seems like it was pulled straight from a science fiction movie. It reveals the "subtle changes in the world" that are otherwise imperceptible to the human eye, like an artery pumping in a wrist. Spoiler: kinda gross!

So how does it work? It picks up on the very slight nuances in a video that you can't detect, such as the way a face reddens as blood is pumped through the body. It grabs these visualizations from a video sequence, and applies spatial decomposition then temporal filtering to the frames. Then it amplifies the color so these nuances become amazingly dynamic and easy to see.
science  video  health  heartrate 
june 2012 by Aetles
MIT's Freaky Non-Stick Coating Keeps Ketchup Flowing | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation
Watch never-before-seen videos of an amazing new condiment lubricant that makes the inside of bottles so slippery, nothing is left inside. This means no more pounding on the bottom of your ketchup containers--and a lot less wasted food.
may 2012 by Aetles
Texas's war on history | Katherine Stewart | Comment is free |
Don McLeroy, chairman of the Texas State Board of Education from 2007 to 2009, is a "young earth" creationist. He believes the earth is 6,000 years old, that human beings walked with dinosaurs, and that Noah's Ark had a unique, multi-level construction that allowed it to house every species of animal, including the dinosaurs.

He has a right to his beliefs, but it's his views on history that are problematic. McLeroy is part of a large and powerful movement determined to impose a thoroughly distorted, ultra-partisan, Christian nationalist version of US history on America's public school students. And he has scored stunning successes.
usa  science  history  texas  revisionism 
may 2012 by Aetles
James Cameron Completes Record-Breaking Mariana Trench Dive
At noon, local time (10 p.m. ET), James Cameron's "vertical torpedo" sub broke the surface of the western Pacific, carrying the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker back from the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep—Earth's deepest, and perhaps most alien, realm.

The first human to reach the 6.8-mile-deep (11-kilometer-deep) undersea valley solo, Cameron arrived at the bottom with the tech to collect scientific data, specimens, and visions unthinkable in 1960, when the only other manned Challenger Deep dive took place, according to members of the National Geographic expedition.
sea  ocean  diving  explore  science 
march 2012 by Aetles
Aging of Eyes Is Blamed in Circadian Rhythm Disturbances -
Researchers in Sweden studied patients who had cataract surgery to remove their clouded lenses and implant clear intraocular lenses. They found that the incidence of insomnia and daytime sleepiness was significantly reduced. Another study found improved reaction time after cataract surgery.

“We believe that it will eventually be shown that cataract surgery results in higher levels of melatonin, and those people will be less likely to have health problems like cancer and heart disease,” Dr. Turner said.
science  research  health  eyes  aging  human 
february 2012 by Aetles
Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus - life - 06 February 2012 - New Scientist
It's the very simulation that trains US troops to take their first steps with a rifle, and everything about it has been engineered to feel like an overpowering assault. But I am failing miserably. In fact, I'm so demoralised that I'm tempted to put down the rifle and leave.

Then they put the electrodes on me.

I am in a lab in Carlsbad, California, in pursuit of an elusive mental state known as "flow" - that feeling of effortless concentration that characterises outstanding performance in all kinds of skills.
science  brain 
february 2012 by Aetles
The Status of the P Versus NP Problem | September 2009 | Communications of the ACM
What If P = NP?
To understand the importance of the P versus NP problem let us imagine a world where P = NP. Technically we could have P = NP, but not have practical algorithms for most NP-complete problems. But suppose in fact we do have very quick algorithms for all these problems.

Many focus on the negative, that if P = NP then public-key cryptography becomes impossible. True, but what we will gain from P = NP will make the whole Internet look like a footnote in history.
math  science  research 
february 2012 by Aetles
BBC News - Science decodes 'internal voices'
Researchers have demonstrated a striking method to reconstruct words, based on the brain waves of patients thinking of those words.

The technique reported in PLoS Biology relies on gathering electrical signals directly from patients' brains.

Based on signals from listening patients, a computer model was used to reconstruct the sounds of words that patients were thinking of.

The method may in future help comatose and locked-in patients communicate.

Several approaches have in recent years suggested that scientists are closing in on methods to tap into our very thoughts.
science  brian  thoughts 
february 2012 by Aetles
Walking through doorways causes forgetting: Further explorations
Work on event cognition has revealed a locationupdating effect, which is the finding that when people pass through a doorway to move from one location to another, they forget more information than if they do not make such a shift (Radvansky & Copeland, 2006; Radvansky, Tamplin, & Krawietz, 2010). In this work, the environments
people moved through were virtual ones.
science  research 
january 2012 by Aetles
Baby sharks birthed in artificial uterus
After mating, a female produces as many as 40 fertilized embryos, separated between two separate wombs. The embryos take nearly a year to fully develop, but they begin hunting long before that. After about two months, their own yolk sacs go dry. Hungry, they start eating their brothers and sisters. After the rampant in utero cannibalization, only one shark—the biggest and strongest—is left in each womb.

At birth they’re three feet long and experienced hunters, with a good chance of survival. But the tiny brood size, nearly year-long gestation period, and relatively restricted maternal capacity—after giving birth, mothers must wait a year to reproduce again—limit the number of young sharks.
science  biology  fascinating 
september 2011 by Aetles
Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors. | Morgsatlarge – blogorific.
I am writing this text (Mar 12) to give you some peace of mind regarding some of the troubles in Japan, that is the safety of Japan’s nuclear reactors. Up front, the situation is serious, but under control. And this text is long! But you will know more about nuclear power plants after reading it than all journalists on this planet put together.

There was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity.

By “significant” I mean a level of radiation of more than what you would receive on – say – a long distance flight, or drinking a glass of beer that comes from certain areas with high levels of natural background radiation.

I have been reading every news release on the incident since the earthquake. There has not been one single (!) report that was accurate and free of errors (and part of that problem is also a weakness in the Japanese crisis communication). By “not free of errors” I do not refer to tendentious anti-nuclear journalism – that is quite normal these days. By “not free of errors” I mean blatant errors regarding physics and natural law, as well as gross misinterpretation of facts, due to an obvious lack of fundamental and basic understanding of the way nuclear reactors are build and operated. I have read a 3 page report on CNN where every single paragraph contained an error.
japan  science  tsunami  earthquake  nuclearreactors 
march 2011 by Aetles
NASA scientist finds evidence of alien life - Yahoo! News
Aliens exist, and we have proof.
That astonishingly awesome claim comes from Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, who says he has found conclusive evidence of alien life — fossils of bacteria found in an extremely rare class of meteorite called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites. (There are only nine such meteorites on planet Earth.) Hoover’s findings were published late Friday night in the Journal of Cosmology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
science  space 
march 2011 by Aetles
Novelty Seekers and Drug Abusers Tap Same Brain Reward System<BR>
People who are constantly looking for the thrill of new experiences and the cocaine user in search of a "high" may have something in common, according to NIDA-funded researchers. In a series of studies with rats, the researchers have shown that the search for novel experiences activates the brain's reward system in the same way that drugs of abuse do.
dopamine  rewards  science 
february 2011 by Aetles
Odds Are, It's Wrong - Science News
For better or for worse, science has long been married to mathematics. Generally it has been for the better. Especially since the days of Galileo and Newton, math has nurtured science. Rigorous mathematical methods have secured science’s fidelity to fact and conferred a timeless reliability to its findings.

During the past century, though, a mutant form of math has deflected science’s heart from the modes of calculation that had long served so faithfully. Science was seduced by statistics, the math rooted in the same principles that guarantee profits for Las Vegas casinos. Supposedly, the proper use of statistics makes relying on scientific results a safe bet. But in practice, widespread misuse of statistical methods makes science more like a crapshoot.

It’s science’s dirtiest secret: The “scientific method” of testing hypotheses by statistical analysis stands on a flimsy foundation. Statistical tests are supposed to guide scientists in judging whether an experimental result reflects some real effect or is merely a random fluke, but the standard methods mix mutually inconsistent philosophies and offer no meaningful basis for making such decisions. Even when performed correctly, statistical tests are widely misunderstood and frequently misinterpreted. As a result, countless conclusions in the scientific literature are erroneous, and tests of medical dangers or treatments are often contradictory and confusing.
december 2010 by Aetles
Let your imagination run wild and you may eat a few less M&Ms
Imagine eating an M&M, taking one out of a bowl in front of you, popping it in your mouth, chewing it, enjoying the delicious chocolate flavor, and swallowing it. Now, imagine eating another. And another. Now, here’s the question: after imagining eating 30 of these scrumptious treats, given the chance to actually dive into a bowl of M&M’s, how many would you eat? According to a study in Science last week, you’d eat far fewer chocolates after this mental exercise than you would if you hadn't used your imagination.
science  eating 
december 2010 by Aetles

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