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  • February 2011
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links for 2011-02-10

  • Quote:"But Kurzweil would spend much of the rest of his career working out what his demonstration meant. Creating a work of art is one of those activities we reserve for humans and humans only. It's an act of self-expression; you're not supposed to be able to do it if you don't have a self. To see creativity, the exclusive domain of humans, usurped by a computer built by a 17-year-old is to watch a line blur that cannot be unblurred, the line between organic intelligence and artificial intelligence.

    // Ugh

  • Quote:""If you wanted to look at the world, just briefly, with a child's view, if you wanted to look outside the box."

    The device, which uses two electricity conductors, significantly boosted results in a simple maths test.

    Out of a sample of 60 participants, THREE TIMES as many people who wore the cap were able to complete it, compared to those who tried it without.

    // I'm on the fence. is suppressing parts of the mind for short periods of time so bad, or can creativity be produced in other ways?

  • Quote:"According to a study of more than 2,500 people presented today as a poster at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, people who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day.

    // Bad study for a number of reasons, first, only a small number (200-300) of the participants drank diet soda daily. Second, that "61%" number is really a "relative risk" of 1.61. Generally, a relative risk less than 2 is not significant unless you have a huge population of people over many studies. Third, there's no discussion of salt intake. Fourth, there's a post-hoc problem. Sixth, there's no proposed mechanism. Most likely this is a statistical variation, not a real effect.

  • Quote:"There are two products that have produced fantastic results for me. The first one is called OOPS. You can find it in most hardware stores. It is just great for removing sticky residue like that left behind by tape or labels. It also will remove marker with varying degrees of success but be sure to rub the spot only a couple of times with a paper towel then get a fresh one or you might just end up smearing the marker to other areas. It also works great on glossy book covers and most non-pourous hardback books.

    For cleaning grimy or heavily soiled plastic or rubber the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (extra strength) are really magic! I usually cut mine into small squares so I have more control over the area I'm cleaning. These sponges seem to work well if you use hot water as opposed to cold water.

  • Quote:"Oil engineers are applying what critics say is an environmentally questionable method developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. They drill down and horizontally into the rock, then pump water, sand and chemicals into the hole to crack the shale and allow gas to flow up.

    Because oil molecules are sticky and larger than gas molecules, engineers thought the process wouldn't work to squeeze oil out fast enough to make it economical. But drillers learned how to increase the number of cracks in the rock and use different chemicals to free up oil at low cost.

    // Awesome. People might be complaining about Global Warming now, but wait until the next ice age (or at least until the enviros start turning off your electricity)

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