acalc
acalc:

cochleandus:

daggerpen:

platredeparis:

bnycolew:

mannysiege:

Progress

What

Imma just let this sit here

Woah.

Uhm.

Everything is information.
Been waiting for this kind of nanorobotics methodology to become the future of medicine. Still a long ways off it seems, unfortunately. We should eventually get to the point where doctors can program treatments, vaccines, and the like, much like you would write code to program computers right now. This would instruct some theoretical machine to synthesize nanomachines, which, upon injection, should adhere to their local operating environment and obey the laws of physics that govern their particular molecular arrangement, and ‘algorithmically’ carry out their duties at the molecular level—in/on cells, DNA, viruses, bacteria, etc. These treatments would be customized per-patient and highly targeted, quite different than the messy shotgun approach used now in medicine, e.g. with pills, radiation, chemo, and so on, which tend to leave mass cellular casualties in their wake.

acalc:

cochleandus:

daggerpen:

platredeparis:

bnycolew:

mannysiege:

Progress

What

Imma just let this sit here

Woah.

Uhm.

Everything is information.

Been waiting for this kind of nanorobotics methodology to become the future of medicine. Still a long ways off it seems, unfortunately. We should eventually get to the point where doctors can program treatments, vaccines, and the like, much like you would write code to program computers right now. This would instruct some theoretical machine to synthesize nanomachines, which, upon injection, should adhere to their local operating environment and obey the laws of physics that govern their particular molecular arrangement, and ‘algorithmically’ carry out their duties at the molecular level—in/on cells, DNA, viruses, bacteria, etc. These treatments would be customized per-patient and highly targeted, quite different than the messy shotgun approach used now in medicine, e.g. with pills, radiation, chemo, and so on, which tend to leave mass cellular casualties in their wake.

thenewenlightenmentage
neurosciencestuff:

Try, try again? Study says no
When it comes to learning languages, adults and children have different strengths. Adults excel at absorbing the vocabulary needed to navigate a grocery store or order food in a restaurant, but children have an uncanny ability to pick up on subtle nuances of language that often elude adults. Within months of living in a foreign country, a young child may speak a second language like a native speaker.
Brain structure plays an important role in this “sensitive period” for learning language, which is believed to end around adolescence. The young brain is equipped with neural circuits that can analyze sounds and build a coherent set of rules for constructing words and sentences out of those sounds. Once these language structures are established, it’s difficult to build another one for a new language.
In a new study, a team of neuroscientists and psychologists led by Amy Finn, a postdoc at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, has found evidence for another factor that contributes to adults’ language difficulties: When learning certain elements of language, adults’ more highly developed cognitive skills actually get in the way. The researchers discovered that the harder adults tried to learn an artificial language, the worse they were at deciphering the language’s morphology — the structure and deployment of linguistic units such as root words, suffixes, and prefixes.
“We found that effort helps you in most situations, for things like figuring out what the units of language that you need to know are, and basic ordering of elements. But when trying to learn morphology, at least in this artificial language we created, it’s actually worse when you try,” Finn says.
Finn and colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and the University of British Columbia describe their findings in the July 21 issue of PLoS One. Carla Hudson Kam, an associate professor of linguistics at British Columbia, is the paper’s senior author.
Too much brainpower
Linguists have known for decades that children are skilled at absorbing certain tricky elements of language, such as irregular past participles (examples of which, in English, include “gone” and “been”) or complicated verb tenses like the subjunctive.
“Children will ultimately perform better than adults in terms of their command of the grammar and the structural components of language — some of the more idiosyncratic, difficult-to-articulate aspects of language that even most native speakers don’t have conscious awareness of,” Finn says.
In 1990, linguist Elissa Newport hypothesized that adults have trouble learning those nuances because they try to analyze too much information at once. Adults have a much more highly developed prefrontal cortex than children, and they tend to throw all of that brainpower at learning a second language. This high-powered processing may actually interfere with certain elements of learning language.
“It’s an idea that’s been around for a long time, but there hasn’t been any data that experimentally show that it’s true,” Finn says.
Finn and her colleagues designed an experiment to test whether exerting more effort would help or hinder success. First, they created nine nonsense words, each with two syllables. Each word fell into one of three categories (A, B, and C), defined by the order of consonant and vowel sounds.
Study subjects listened to the artificial language for about 10 minutes. One group of subjects was told not to overanalyze what they heard, but not to tune it out either. To help them not overthink the language, they were given the option of completing a puzzle or coloring while they listened. The other group was told to try to identify the words they were hearing.
Each group heard the same recording, which was a series of three-word sequences — first a word from category A, then one from category B, then category C — with no pauses between words. Previous studies have shown that adults, babies, and even monkeys can parse this kind of information into word units, a task known as word segmentation.
Subjects from both groups were successful at word segmentation, although the group that tried harder performed a little better. Both groups also performed well in a task called word ordering, which required subjects to choose between a correct word sequence (ABC) and an incorrect sequence (such as ACB) of words they had previously heard.
The final test measured skill in identifying the language’s morphology. The researchers played a three-word sequence that included a word the subjects had not heard before, but which fit into one of the three categories. When asked to judge whether this new word was in the correct location, the subjects who had been asked to pay closer attention to the original word stream performed much worse than those who had listened more passively.
“This research is exciting because it provides evidence indicating that effortful learning leads to different results depending upon the kind of information learners are trying to master,” says Michael Ramscar, a professor of linguistics at the University of Tübingen who was not part of the research team. “The results indicate that learning to identify relatively simple parts of language, such as words, is facilitated by effortful learning, whereas learning more complex aspects of language, such as grammatical features, is impeded by effortful learning.”
Turning off effort
The findings support a theory of language acquisition that suggests that some parts of language are learned through procedural memory, while others are learned through declarative memory. Under this theory, declarative memory, which stores knowledge and facts, would be more useful for learning vocabulary and certain rules of grammar. Procedural memory, which guides tasks we perform without conscious awareness of how we learned them, would be more useful for learning subtle rules related to language morphology.
“It’s likely to be the procedural memory system that’s really important for learning these difficult morphological aspects of language. In fact, when you use the declarative memory system, it doesn’t help you, it harms you,” Finn says.
Still unresolved is the question of whether adults can overcome this language-learning obstacle. Finn says she does not have a good answer yet but she is now testing the effects of “turning off” the adult prefrontal cortex using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation. Other interventions she plans to study include distracting the prefrontal cortex by forcing it to perform other tasks while language is heard, and treating subjects with drugs that impair activity in that brain region.

neurosciencestuff:

Try, try again? Study says no

When it comes to learning languages, adults and children have different strengths. Adults excel at absorbing the vocabulary needed to navigate a grocery store or order food in a restaurant, but children have an uncanny ability to pick up on subtle nuances of language that often elude adults. Within months of living in a foreign country, a young child may speak a second language like a native speaker.

Brain structure plays an important role in this “sensitive period” for learning language, which is believed to end around adolescence. The young brain is equipped with neural circuits that can analyze sounds and build a coherent set of rules for constructing words and sentences out of those sounds. Once these language structures are established, it’s difficult to build another one for a new language.

In a new study, a team of neuroscientists and psychologists led by Amy Finn, a postdoc at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, has found evidence for another factor that contributes to adults’ language difficulties: When learning certain elements of language, adults’ more highly developed cognitive skills actually get in the way. The researchers discovered that the harder adults tried to learn an artificial language, the worse they were at deciphering the language’s morphology — the structure and deployment of linguistic units such as root words, suffixes, and prefixes.

“We found that effort helps you in most situations, for things like figuring out what the units of language that you need to know are, and basic ordering of elements. But when trying to learn morphology, at least in this artificial language we created, it’s actually worse when you try,” Finn says.

Finn and colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and the University of British Columbia describe their findings in the July 21 issue of PLoS One. Carla Hudson Kam, an associate professor of linguistics at British Columbia, is the paper’s senior author.

Too much brainpower

Linguists have known for decades that children are skilled at absorbing certain tricky elements of language, such as irregular past participles (examples of which, in English, include “gone” and “been”) or complicated verb tenses like the subjunctive.

“Children will ultimately perform better than adults in terms of their command of the grammar and the structural components of language — some of the more idiosyncratic, difficult-to-articulate aspects of language that even most native speakers don’t have conscious awareness of,” Finn says.

In 1990, linguist Elissa Newport hypothesized that adults have trouble learning those nuances because they try to analyze too much information at once. Adults have a much more highly developed prefrontal cortex than children, and they tend to throw all of that brainpower at learning a second language. This high-powered processing may actually interfere with certain elements of learning language.

“It’s an idea that’s been around for a long time, but there hasn’t been any data that experimentally show that it’s true,” Finn says.

Finn and her colleagues designed an experiment to test whether exerting more effort would help or hinder success. First, they created nine nonsense words, each with two syllables. Each word fell into one of three categories (A, B, and C), defined by the order of consonant and vowel sounds.

Study subjects listened to the artificial language for about 10 minutes. One group of subjects was told not to overanalyze what they heard, but not to tune it out either. To help them not overthink the language, they were given the option of completing a puzzle or coloring while they listened. The other group was told to try to identify the words they were hearing.

Each group heard the same recording, which was a series of three-word sequences — first a word from category A, then one from category B, then category C — with no pauses between words. Previous studies have shown that adults, babies, and even monkeys can parse this kind of information into word units, a task known as word segmentation.

Subjects from both groups were successful at word segmentation, although the group that tried harder performed a little better. Both groups also performed well in a task called word ordering, which required subjects to choose between a correct word sequence (ABC) and an incorrect sequence (such as ACB) of words they had previously heard.

The final test measured skill in identifying the language’s morphology. The researchers played a three-word sequence that included a word the subjects had not heard before, but which fit into one of the three categories. When asked to judge whether this new word was in the correct location, the subjects who had been asked to pay closer attention to the original word stream performed much worse than those who had listened more passively.

“This research is exciting because it provides evidence indicating that effortful learning leads to different results depending upon the kind of information learners are trying to master,” says Michael Ramscar, a professor of linguistics at the University of Tübingen who was not part of the research team. “The results indicate that learning to identify relatively simple parts of language, such as words, is facilitated by effortful learning, whereas learning more complex aspects of language, such as grammatical features, is impeded by effortful learning.”

Turning off effort

The findings support a theory of language acquisition that suggests that some parts of language are learned through procedural memory, while others are learned through declarative memory. Under this theory, declarative memory, which stores knowledge and facts, would be more useful for learning vocabulary and certain rules of grammar. Procedural memory, which guides tasks we perform without conscious awareness of how we learned them, would be more useful for learning subtle rules related to language morphology.

“It’s likely to be the procedural memory system that’s really important for learning these difficult morphological aspects of language. In fact, when you use the declarative memory system, it doesn’t help you, it harms you,” Finn says.

Still unresolved is the question of whether adults can overcome this language-learning obstacle. Finn says she does not have a good answer yet but she is now testing the effects of “turning off” the adult prefrontal cortex using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation. Other interventions she plans to study include distracting the prefrontal cortex by forcing it to perform other tasks while language is heard, and treating subjects with drugs that impair activity in that brain region.

thedragoninmygarage

skunkbear:

The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.

Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:

Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.

First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:

 …the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.

She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)

You can read more about Kellogg’s experiment, its legacy, and public reaction to it here.

brilliantbotany

flora-file:

How to keep your venus fly trap happy (and alive) - by flora-file

After my post about cutting the flower buds off when a venus fly trap flowers, I got some questions about how to care for this plant, and specifically people asked how I could possibly keep one alive for ten years. Just follow these handy dandy tips to keep your venus fly trap chomping small invertebrates for years to come.

  1. Sunlight - Unfortunately this plant is not a houseplant. It needs direct sun to survive, hopefully about 8 hours a day. Mine lives on my patio and gets a few hours of direct light in the morning, and then bright indirect light (which is different than shade) for the rest of the day, and it seems to do fine. Plants that don’t get enough light tend to have elongated leaves, stretched out by the plants hopeless attempt to grow toward some source of light. Happy plants have short leaves and lots of traps. They still need light to photosynthesize no matter how many flies or spiders you feed them.
  2. Distilled or Purified Water - These plants are very sensitive to minerals dissolved in water, especially the fluoride and chloride found in most tap water. Not even spring water is okay, as it contains trace minerals that may be detrimental to the health of the plant. Rainwater will probably work, as long as you don’t live next to a coal burning power plant or some other source of gross air pollution. This may be the most common form of venus fly trap neglect, as people that have killed their fly trap have usually not followed this important rule.
  3. Peat Moss or Coco Coir substrate - The venus fly trap is a bog plant that naturally grows in mucky, nitrogen deprived soil. The whole bug eating behavior arose from the need for additional nitrogen that was severely lacking in the soil. Both peat moss and coco coir have extremely low nitrogen content, making them suitable for the needs of this plant. I used coco coir when I repotted mine a couple years ago, and it worked great. Coco coir is much cheaper than peat moss, and also a better choice environmentally.
  4. A steady diet of…nothing! - Don’t give it fertilizers or chemicals, no Dr Shultz or Miracle Grow. And don’t feed it hamburger either, that’s just wrong. If it is healthy it will catch bugs all by itself, almost like its evolved to catch bugs or something. Keep the substrate constantly moist. I keep mine in a container that doesn’t drain and keep it in standing water constantly. Whatever happens, don’t let it dry out.

If you follow these simple steps your fly trap should grow old of the bulb and long in the tooth. I’m not saying this is the only way to take care of your fly trap, but its how I take care of mine. And after 10 years its still working. Good luck, and garden on!

First day back as a student since November last year.
Literature review is due today, but it will not be in the final form I want it.
I think I’ve had about 20 hours sleep in the past 4 days, so I’m not fresh and ready for class like I wanted.

Nonetheless, here we are. Week 1 of 13, which is also the amount of weeks left until my thesis is due.

Everyone remain calm.

thenewenlightenmentage
thenewenlightenmentage:

Can you learn in your sleep?
Sleep learning used to be a pipe dream. Now neuroscientists say they have found ways to enhance your memory with your eyes closed, says David Robson.
Just before you climb under your duvet, you carefully prepare your room. You sprinkle a few drops of incense on your pillow, put on some headphones, and place a strange-looking band over your scalp. Then you go to sleep. The ritual takes just a few minutes, but you hope this could accelerate your learning of a diverse range of skills: whether you are trying to master the piano, tennis or fluent French. You won’t recall a single aspect of the night’s “training” – but that doesn’t matter: your performance the next morning should be better, all the same.
Continue Reading

thenewenlightenmentage:

Can you learn in your sleep?

Sleep learning used to be a pipe dream. Now neuroscientists say they have found ways to enhance your memory with your eyes closed, says David Robson.

Just before you climb under your duvet, you carefully prepare your room. You sprinkle a few drops of incense on your pillow, put on some headphones, and place a strange-looking band over your scalp. Then you go to sleep. The ritual takes just a few minutes, but you hope this could accelerate your learning of a diverse range of skills: whether you are trying to master the piano, tennis or fluent French. You won’t recall a single aspect of the night’s “training” – but that doesn’t matter: your performance the next morning should be better, all the same.

Continue Reading

julelys

capitaldee:

hylianears:

micdotcom:

Canadian music festival takes huge step against Native appropriation

Follow micdotcom 

From their announcement:

For various reasons, Bass Coast Festival is banning feathered war bonnets, or anything resembling them, onsite. Our security team will be enforcing this policy.

We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets. They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated.

Bass Coast Festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people. We have consulted with aboriginal people in British Columbia on this issue and we feel our policy aligns with their views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us.

THIS

wesleywalesandersons

The basics are that for every one female-speaking character in family-rated films (G, PG and PG-13), there are roughly three male characters; that crowd and group scenes in these films — live-action and animated — contain only 17 percent female characters; and that the ratio of male-female characters has been exactly the same since 1946. Throw in the hypersexualization of many of the female characters that are there, even in G-rated movies, and their lack of occupations and aspirations and you get the picture.

It wasn’t the lack of female lead characters that first struck me about family films. We all know that’s been the case for ages, and we love when movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen hit it big. It was the dearth of female characters in the worlds of the stories — the fact that the fictitious villages and jungles and kingdoms and interplanetary civilizations were nearly bereft of female population — that hit me over the head. This being the case, we are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space. Couldn’t it be that the percentage of women in leadership positions in many areas of society — Congress, law partners, Fortune 500 board members, military officers, tenured professors and many more — stall out at around 17 percent because that’s the ratio we’ve come to see as the norm?

OK, now for the fun part: It’s easy, fast and fun to add female characters, in two simple steps. And I want to be clear I’m not talking about creating more movies with a female lead. If you do, God bless and thank you. Please consider me for that role.

Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?

Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.

And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.

Yes, we can and will work to tell more women’s stories, listen to more women’s voices and write richer female characters and to fix the 5-to-1 ratio of men/women behind the camera. But consider this: In all of the sectors of society that still have a huge gender disparity, how long will it take to correct that? You can’t snap your fingers and suddenly half of Congress is women. But there’s one category where the underrepresentation of women can be fixed tomorrow: onscreen. In the time it takes to make a movie or create a television show, we can change what the future looks like.

There are woefully few women CEOs in the world, but there can be lots of them in films. We haven’t had a woman president yet, but we have on TV. (Full disclosure: One of them was me.) How can we fix the problem of corporate boards being so unequal without quotas? Well, they can be half women instantly, onscreen. How do we encourage a lot more girls to pursue science, technology and engineering careers? By casting droves of women in STEM jobs today in movies and on TV. Hey, it would take me many years to become a real nuclear physicist, but I can play one tomorrow.

Here’s what I always say: If they can see it, they can be it.

Geena Davis on gender equality in film and television [x] (via wesleywalesandersons)
julelys
aconnormanning:

prokopetz:

anarchydiver:

The reason why the room was pink was because on black and white film, hues of red become dark shades of black. Pink is the perfect balance to give it that dark creepy grey.
PHOTOGRAPHY BITCHES

A related fun fact: while old black and white film was under-sensitive to reds, it was correspondingly over-sensitive to greens. Actors whose characters were meant to have unnaturally pale complexions - like Morticia Addams - would often take advantage of this by wearing makeup with a green base tint in order to make their faces “pop”. This is where the modern trope of cartoon vampires having green skin comes from.

These are some fun fucking facts

aconnormanning:

prokopetz:

anarchydiver:

The reason why the room was pink was because on black and white film, hues of red become dark shades of black. Pink is the perfect balance to give it that dark creepy grey.

PHOTOGRAPHY BITCHES

A related fun fact: while old black and white film was under-sensitive to reds, it was correspondingly over-sensitive to greens. Actors whose characters were meant to have unnaturally pale complexions - like Morticia Addams - would often take advantage of this by wearing makeup with a green base tint in order to make their faces “pop”. This is where the modern trope of cartoon vampires having green skin comes from.

These are some fun fucking facts