"Find the Others" (Terence Mckenna)
In this lecture segment, Terence Mckenna discusses what he considered to have been Timothy Leary’s most powerful words, “find the others.” In a world polluted with ego, gender, race, social status, greed, et cetera, it is important that those who are attuned to the higher vibrations are interacting with one another in order to stay emotionally afloat and motivated despite the corruption, racism, and misogyny our species is putting each other through.
RT : 02 Nov 2015
© Wikipedia : West coast US view from Orcas Island
In a true show of community spirit, an American island too far from the mainland came together as one to build their own internet service powered by radios in trees. Orcas Island off Washington State has been transformed by its people's inventiveness.
For several years the residents of one of the San Juan Islands had suffered very weak internet from provider CenturyLink, located on the mainland. Despite promises of higher speeds and renewed infrastructure, nothing materialized. Many couldn't log on to work from a distance, as outages lasted anywhere from one to 10 days, according to Ars Technica. Private ISPs were expensive, demanding around $388,500 for setting things up.
DBIUA - or Doe Bay Internet Users Association - was the way to go, a group founded by local resident Chris Sutton and friends. Sutton, who is a software developer, came up with an ingenious plan to equip trees and other objects with receivers to channel internet directly into people's homes. But the island also needed a microwave link to tie Doe Bay to the mainland.
"The part of Orcas Island we're on looks back toward the mainland," Sutton explains. "We can see these towers that are 10 miles away, and you realize, hey, can't we just get our own microwave link up here to us from down there, and then do this little hop from house to house to house via wireless stuff?"
So, the DBIUA paid StarTouch Broadband Services some $11,000 to position a microwave link atop an old 50-foot water tower overlooking the bay - the only option tall enough for a point-to-point wireless link with the mainland.
Next up was the issue of dispersing that signal to some 50 houses. Sutton then carried out the insurmountable task of planning receiver locations in trees and other locations. Everything needed to be within reach of the 10 relay points on Orcas Island, and not obscured too much by its many hills. Using Google Earth, Sutton mapped out the signal paths, before performing further tests on the ground. "For some people, like me, the signal comes to my tree, and then down into my house to service me," Sutton explained.
To really get the best out of the positioning, Sutton also fashioned drones with cameras, as well as radio receivers, mapping out the best locations for the relay points and related receivers. Each relay point depends on one radio to receive a signal, and another couple to send it back out in different directions. Those relay points are technically similar to the microwave device that sits on the top of the water tower. And, for the first time ever, people could afford not just to stay home for work, but to watch HD movies without interruption.
A number of agreements needed to be signed with the outside world, such as if a resident's house were sold, the next occupant would have to pay the remaining credit, plus monthly costs (an initial loan of $25,000 was included; and customers also pay $75 a month for the service, which is unlimited).
Read the whole story at : Source.
Published on 5 Jun 2015 : SmithsonianNMAI
Produced for the exhibition "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" (http://americanindian.si.edu/inkaroad/), on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., through June 1, 2018.
Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The old bridge is taken down and the new bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.
This video is narrated by John Ochsendorf, professor of civil engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and produced by Noonday Films.
Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka
Sarah Scoles : New Scientist : 31 Mar 2015
Telescopes have been picking up so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) since 2001. They last just a few milliseconds and erupt with about as much energy as the sun releases in a month. Ten have been detected so far, most recently in 2014, when the Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, caught a burst in action for the first time. The others were found by sifting through data after the bursts had arrived at Earth. No one knows what causes them, but the brevity of the bursts means their source has to be small - hundreds of kilometres across at most - so they can't be from ordinary stars. And they seem to come from far outside the galaxy.
The weird part is that they all fit a pattern that doesn't match what we know about cosmic physics.
To calculate how far the bursts have come, astronomers use a concept called the dispersion measure. Each burst covers a range of radio frequencies, as if the whole FM band were playing the same song. But electrons in space scatter and delay the radiation, so that higher frequency waves make it across space faster than lower frequency waves. The more space the signal crosses, the bigger the difference, or dispersion measure, between the arrival time of high and low frequencies - and the further the signal has travelled.
This article can be read in its entirety at : Source
Turning science on its head: Harvard researchers offer new views of Myelin - the body's insulating material
B. D. Colen : Harvard Gazette
Myelin, the electrical insulating material in the body long known to be essential for the fast transmission of impulses along the axons of nerve cells, is not as ubiquitous as thought, according to new work led by Professor Paola Arlotta of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and the University's Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, in collaboration with Professor Jeff Lichtman of Harvard's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
"Myelin is a relatively recent invention during evolution," says Arlotta. "It's thought that myelin allowed the brain to communicate really fast to the far reaches of the body, and that it has endowed the brain with the capacity to compute higher-level functions."
In fact, loss of myelin is a feature in a number of devastating diseases, including multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.
But the new research shows that despite myelin's essential roles in the brain, "some of the most evolved, most complex neurons of the nervous system have less myelin than older, more ancestral ones," said Arlotta, co-director of the HSCI neuroscience program. What this means, she said, is that the higher one looks in the cerebral cortex - closer to the top of the brain, which is its most evolved part - the less myelin one finds. Not only that, but "neurons in this part of the brain display a brand-new way of positioning myelin along their axons that has not been previously seen. They have 'intermittent myelin' with long axon tracts that lack myelin interspersed among myelin-rich segments."
"Contrary to the common assumptions that neurons use a universal profile of myelin distribution on their axons, the work indicates that different neurons choose to myelinate their axons differently." Arlotta said. "In classic neurobiology textbooks, myelin is represented on axons as a sequence of myelinated segments separated by very short nodes that lack myelin. This distribution of myelin was tacitly assumed to be always the same, on every neuron, from the beginning to the end of the axon. This new work finds this not to be the case."
The results of the research by Arlotta and postdoctoral fellow Giulio Srubek Tomassy, the first author on the report, are published in the latest edition of the journal Science. The paper is accompanied by a "perspective" by R. Douglas Fields of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, who said that Arlotta and Tomassy's findings raise important questions about the purpose of myelin, and "are likely to spark new concepts about how information is transmitted and integrated in the brain."
Arlotta and Tomassy collaborated closely on the new work with postdoctoral fellow Daniel Berger of the Lichtman lab, which generated one of the two massive electron microscopy databases that made the work possible. "The fact that it is the most evolved neurons, the ones that have expanded dramatically in humans, suggest that what we're seeing might be the 'future'. As neuronal diversity increases and the brain needs to process more and more complex information, neurons change the way they use myelin to achieve more." said Arlotta.
Tomassy said it is possible that these profiles of myelination "may be giving neurons an opportunity to branch out and 'talk' to neighboring neurons". For example, because axons cannot make synaptic contacts when they are myelinated, one possibility is that these long myelin gaps may be needed to increase neuronal communication and synchronize responses across different neurons. He and Arlotta postulate that the intermittent myelin may be intended to fine-tune the electrical impulses traveling along the axons, in order to allow the emergence of highly complex neuronal behaviors.
Jeremy Dean : PsyBlog : 16 Feb 2015
Billions of words analysed in 10 world languages and this mood keeps shining through.
Across multiple languages and in many modes — movie subtitles, music lyrics, Russian literature — human communication skews towards the positive, a new study finds.
Scientists have gathered billions of words from Korean Twitter feeds, Arabic movie subtitles, The New York Times and much more to try and answer an age-old question about whether human beings tend to talk more about the brighter side of life.
Professor Peter Dodds, a mathematician and the study's lead author, said: "We looked at ten languages, and in every source we looked at, people use more positive words than negative ones." The researchers think that their study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests language itself has a sense of positivity built in at its core (Dodds et al., 2015).
To reach these conclusions, researchers gathered billions of words from 24 different sources, including websites, TV and books, including 100 billion words from Twitter alone. Native speakers of the 10 different languages — which included English, Spanish and Chinese — then coded all the frequently used words (100,000) on a scale of negative to positive.
While some sources were more positive than others, with Chinese books being the least positive and Spanish-language websites being the most positive, all the samples averaged above the neutral point. This was even the case for English language song lyrics, which were ranked 22 out of 24 categories for happiness, with only Chinese novels and Korean subtitles being less happy.
To read the rest of this article, go to : http://www.sott.net/article/292722-Human-communication-slants-towards-the-positive-across-multiple-languages-and-many-modes
Project Compassion Stanford : Huffington Post : 16 Nov 2014
We now know that this often overlooked, virtually cost-free remedy has a statistically significant impact on our physical health. For example, the positive effect of kindness is even greater than that of taking aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack or the influence of smoking on male mortality. And it doesn't even require a trip to the pharmacy.
Those of us who work in the health care profession and study medicine have long believed in the value of a kind, compassionate bedside manner. But now, this belief isn't just a nice notion - it's sound science. The Dignity Health/CCARE scientific literature review shows that when patients are treated with kindness - when there is an effort made to get to know them, empathize with them, communicate with them, listen to them and respond to their needs - it can lead to the following outcomes:
The review also found that patients aren't the only ones who see better results from kind treatment - the doctors, nurses, and caregivers who provide the kind treatment benefit as well. A kinder work environment helps employees feel more engaged and less exhausted, which is incredibly important to caregivers who often work long and unpredictable hours in high-pressure jobs.
In the weeks and months ahead, we plan to build on this research and translate the findings into practices and guidelines that health care providers, doctors, nurses, and other caregivers can follow during their interactions with patients.
So often, the debate about health care in America has focused on how to cut costs without restricting people's access or reducing the quality of their care. Well, institutionalizing kinder practices in hospitals, doctors' offices, and care facilities across the nation is a virtually free way of improving quality and generating better outcomes that can lead to even lower costs. It's a no-brainer. At the very least, this research review proves that in the context of health care and medicine, kindness shouldn't be viewed as a warm and fuzzy afterthought, something nice to show after the "real" medicine is administered.
Instead, kindness should be viewed as an indispensable part of the healing process. After all, it's been in the Hippocratic Oath for over a century: "I will remember that... warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug." So it's the responsibility of those who work and study in the field of medicine to remember the spirit of this pledge, and make acts of kindness not-so-random for the people we serve and heal every day.
ScienceDaily : 05 Nov 2014
© University of Washington
In this photo, UW students Darby Losey, left, and Jose Ceballos are positioned in two different buildings on campus as they would be during a brain-to-brain interface demonstration. The sender, left, thinks about firing a cannon at various points throughout a computer game. That signal is sent over the Web directly to the brain of the receiver, right, whose hand hits a touchpad to fire the cannon. Mary Levin, U of Wash.
Sometimes, words just complicate things. What if our brains could communicate directly with each other, bypassing the need for language?
University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team's initial demonstration a year ago. In the newly published study, which involved six people, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person's brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal.
At the time of the first experiment in August 2013, the UW team was the first to demonstrate two human brains communicating in this way. The researchers then tested their brain-to-brain interface in a more comprehensive study, published Nov. 5 in the journal PLOS ONE.
"The new study brings our brain-to-brain interfacing paradigm from an initial demonstration to something that is closer to a deliverable technology," said co-author Andrea Stocco, a research assistant professor of psychology and a researcher at UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. "Now we have replicated our methods and know that they can work reliably with walk-in participants."
Collaborator Rajesh Rao, a UW associate professor of computer science and engineering, is the lead author on this work.
Read the entire article here : http://www.sott.net/article/288548-Direct-brain-interface-between-humans
Michael Kozlowski : Good E Reader : 23 Oct 2014
© Vatican Apostolic Library
The Vatican Apostolic Library is now digitizing its valuable ancient religious manuscripts and putting them online via its website. All of the content is available for free.
The Library was originally founded in 1451 AD and holds over 80,000 manuscripts, prints, drawings, plates and books printed prior to 1500 AD. The titles are all written throughout history by people who had different faiths or religions, from all over the world. Not only are paintings, religious iconography and books being published online, but also letters by / from important historical figures, drawings and notes by artists and scientists such as Michelangelo and Galileo, as well as treaties from all eras in history.
Finding all of the new digitized material is not easy; the library has a few samples online, but honestly it's tedious right now to view the rest. Users have to search the database manually by clicking on each title and scanning through all the pages in each book. By the end of the year, a new rendering engine is going to be implemented with a more robust site-wide searching system.
In order to properly digitize the rest of the library, the Vatican is estimating that it will cost €50 million and take fifteen years. They are looking for corporate sponsors and normal people who want to see this work. One of the ways they are attracting corporate sponsors is to hold exclusive fundraising events. In June 2014 they had one and gave attending guests an exclusive guided tour of areas generally closed to the public, including the Library halls, laboratories and the caveau where the manuscripts are safeguarded, with dinner in the Sistine Hall. They also seeking donations of €5 to save a single page in a manuscript, while donations of at least €1,000 will see the backer included on the official supporters list.
All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is ridiculed,
second it is violently opposed,
and third, it is accepted as self-evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer,
Jeremy Dean : PsyBlog : 04 Oct 2014
When you look back over your life, which moments have given you the most pain - and which the most pleasure?
Some might guess it's individual achievements, like getting a promotion, or individual failures, like failing an exam. In fact, research suggests that it's the highs and lows of social relationships that provide the highest highs and lowest lows that people experience across their lives.
Dr. Shira Gabriel, whose study this finding is based on, said: "Most of us spend much of our time and effort focused on individual achievements such as work, hobbies and schooling. However this research suggests that the events that end up being most important in our lives, the events that bring us the most happiness and also carry the potential for the most pain, are social events - moments of connecting to others and feeling their connections to us." Across a series of studies people were asked about the most positive and negative events in their lives (Jaremka et al., 2010).
College students generally reported intimate moments with their partners as being the happiest of their lives, as did middle-aged people. For college students and middle-aged people their best non-social moments were academic and work successes respectively. However, whether people were college students or middle-aged, they consistently reported events that were related to others as providing both the best and worst moments they'd experienced.
Dr. Gabriel explained that these were... "...the moments when close relationships began or ended; when people fell in love or found a new friend; when a loved one died or broke their hearts.
In short, it was the moments of connecting to others that touched peoples' lives the most."
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible
will make violent revolution inevitable.
- John F. Kennedy
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