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Foxconn blames employee suicides on 'personal problems' - boasts about 24hr robot factories

Foxconn blames employee suicides on 'personal problems' - boasts about 24hr robot factories | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
The CEO of Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures some of the world’s most popular gadgets, has blamed employee suicides on “personal relationships or family disputes” – not factory working conditions.
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The Case Against Mix-and-Match Spirituality

The Case Against Mix-and-Match Spirituality | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Religious institutions force members to grapple with hard ideas, to interact with different kinds of people, and to receive the wisdom of the ages.
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Dangerous Minds

FAD GADGET

Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Of the late ‘70s class of synth-pop artists, Gary Numan, Soft Cell and DEVO are among the best remembered thanks to having all scored massive international hits. But there were, of course, influences and contemporaries who were every bit as innovative and exciting, but not as lucky. High on the list of lesser-known greats is Frank Tovey’s incredible Fad Gadget.

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The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that? When Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich started to market his product through stories instead of benefits and bullet points, sign-ups went through the roof. Here he shares the science of why storytelling is so uniquely powerful.
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Soon, decayed teeth may repair themselves

Soon, decayed teeth may repair themselves | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
British scientists have discovered a technique which can make a decayed tooth repair itself.


The technique, developed at King's College, London, effectively reverses decay by using electrical currents to boost the tooth's natural repair process.

This path-breaking treatment could be available in three years, according to the British researchers who created it.

The two-step method developed first prepares the damaged part of the enamel outer layer of the tooth and then uses a tiny electric current to 'push' minerals into the tooth to repair the damaged site.

The defect is remineralized in a painless process that requires no drills, no injections and no filling materials. Electric currents are already used by dentists to check the pulp or nerve of a tooth; the new device uses a far smaller current than that currently used on patients and which cannot be felt by the patient.

The technique is known as Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralization.

The researchers said, "Dentists could soon be giving your teeth a mild 'time warp' to encourage them to self-repair . It aims to take the pain out of tooth decay treatment by electrically reversing the process to help teeth 'remineralize' ."

Nigel Pitts from the Dental Institute at King's College London said, "The way we treat teeth today is not ideal - when we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and re-filling as, ultimately, each "repair" fails. Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth, but it's expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments. Along with fighting tooth decay, our device can also be used to whiten teeth."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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3D-printed material can carry 160,000 times its own weight

3D-printed material can carry 160,000 times its own weight | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Researchers from MIT and Lawrence Livermore have created a new class of materials with the same density as aerogels (aka frozen smoke) but 10,000 times stiffer. Called micro-architected metamaterials, they can withstand 160,000 times their own weight, making them ideal for load-bearing, weight-sensitive applications. To do it, the team created microscopic lattice molds using a 3D printer and photosensitive feedstock (see the video below), then coated them with a metal 200 to 500 nanometers thick. Once the lattice material was removed, it left an ultralight metal material with a very high strength-to-weight ratio. The process also works with polymers and ceramics -- with the latter, they created a material as light as aerogel, but four orders of magnitude stiffer. In fact, it was 100 times stronger than any known aerogel, making it ideal for use in the aerospace industry. Given that it was funded by DARPA, it could also end up on robotsdrones or soldiers.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Theoretical physics: The origins of space and time

Theoretical physics: The origins of space and time | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Many researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behavior of space and time, but where these entities come from.


“Imagine waking up one day and realizing that you actually live inside a computer game,” says Mark Van Raamsdonk, describing what sounds like a pitch for a science-fiction film. But for Van Raamsdonk, a physicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, this scenario is a way to think about reality. If it is true, he says, “everything around us — the whole three-dimensional physical world — is an illusion born from information encoded elsewhere, on a two-dimensional chip”. That would make our Universe, with its three spatial dimensions, a kind of hologram, projected from a substrate that exists only in lower dimensions.


This 'holographic principle' is strange even by the usual standards of theoretical physics. But Van Raamsdonk is one of a small band of researchers who think that the usual ideas are not yet strange enough. If nothing else, they say, neither of the two great pillars of modern physics — general relativity, which describes gravity as a curvature of space and time, and quantum mechanics, which governs the atomic realm — gives any account for the existence of space and time. Neither does string theory, which describes elementary threads of energy.


Van Raamsdonk and his colleagues are convinced that physics will not be complete until it can explain how space and time emerge from something more fundamental — a project that will require concepts at least as audacious as holography. They argue that such a radical reconceptualization of reality is the only way to explain what happens when the infinitely dense 'singularity' at the core of a black hole distorts the fabric of space-time beyond all recognition, or how researchers can unify atomic-level quantum theory and planet-level general relativity — a project that has resisted theorists' efforts for generations.


“All our experiences tell us we shouldn't have two dramatically different conceptions of reality — there must be one huge overarching theory,” says Abhay Ashtekar, a physicist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Finding that one huge theory is a daunting challenge. Here, Nature explores some promising lines of attack — as well as some of the emerging ideas about how to test these concepts (see 'The fabric of reality').


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, June 24, 2014 10:52 AM

A recap on the unifying theories that could explain the fabric of our universe.

Tekrighter's curator insight, June 25, 2014 9:36 AM

Gravity as thermodynamics reinforces the idea of gravity as an emergent property of space-time...

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Dope to your door

Dope to your door | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
EVAN COX used to deliver pizza. But 18 months ago, as he was running out of money at college in Seattle, he had a new business idea. The state of Washington was in...
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Four Years of Blogging... Serving the Masses

Four Years of Blogging... Serving the Masses | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
When the titanic apparatus of the mass-order has been consolidated, the individual has to serve it, and must from time to time combine with his fellows in order to renovate it. If he wants to make ...
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the Reason & Existenz Blog. Thanks to everybody who has stopped by to take a look.


Here is a link to my very first post.

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George Washington Had Teeth That Actually Were Yanked From The Heads Of His Slaves And Fitted Into His Dentures

George Washington Had Teeth That Actually Were Yanked From The Heads Of His Slaves And Fitted Into His Dentures | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Although George Washington considered his enslaved black workers unworthy of proper clothing (among other items), he certainly found their teeth quite worthy, so much so that he replaced a number of his unhealthy teeth with their healthy teeth, to his mouth from their mouth.

Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

When considering the issue of slavery... it is essential to recognize that the so-called “slaves” were sentient human beings, not inanimate things. They had personalities. They had aspirations. They had thoughts. They had feelings. They had names and backgrounds. And those names and backgrounds must be made known so that they, as real human beings, are both humanized and personalized.

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Ecoducts from Around the World

Ecoducts from Around the World | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
  Animals bridges, which may also be known as ecoducts or wildlife crossings, are structures that allow animals to safely cross human-made barriers like highways. A wildlife crossing is the br...
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Everything We Know About Facebook's Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment

Everything We Know About Facebook's Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
It was probably legal. But was it ethical?
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

No surprise.

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What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets Wrong

What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets Wrong | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Innovation, disruption, and the society of control:


The idea of innovation is the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century, and relieved of its critics. Disruptive innovation goes further, holding out the hope of salvation against the very damnation it describes: disrupt, and you will be saved.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/06/23/140623fa_fact_lepore?printable=true&currentPage=all#ixzz35uiMrKft

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The Ultra-Right-Wing State Nobody Mentions

The Ultra-Right-Wing State Nobody Mentions | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Quick! Name the state that's been ground zero for all issues ultra-conservative. It's not Texas or Arizona...
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Baltimore's Water Wheel Keeps On Turning, Pulling In Tons Of Trash

Baltimore's Water Wheel Keeps On Turning, Pulling In Tons Of Trash | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
It looks like a cross between an old grain mill, a covered wagon and a spaceship: a giant, solar-powered wheel that sucks in bags, bottles and other detritus from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
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How Much Room Do We Need To Supply The Entire World With Solar Electricity? | IFLScience

How Much Room Do We Need To Supply The Entire World With Solar Electricity? | IFLScience | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
In 2009, the total global electricity consumption was 20,279,640 GWh. The sun creates more energy than that in one hour. The tricky part is collecting that energy and converting it into useful electricity with solar panels. How much area would need to be covered with solar panels in order to capture enough energy to meet global demand? Actually, it’s not as much as you’d think.
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The parched planet: Nearly 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 Billion have no proper sanitation

The parched planet: Nearly 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 Billion have no proper sanitation | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Researchers are exploring unconventional sources of fresh water to quench the globe's growing thirst.


In an effort to combat his country's long-standing water crisis, Iran's president took to Twitter last year. “We need plan to save water in agriculture, prevent excessive tap water use, protect underground sources of water and prevent illegal drilling,” Hassan Rouhani tweeted in November.


Iran is far from alone. From the southwest United States to southern Spain and northern China, water shortages threaten many parts of the world. Nearly 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion have no proper sanitation.


The situation will probably get worse in coming decades. The world's population is expected to swell from 7 billion today to more than 9 billion by 2050, even as climate change robs precipitation from many parched parts of the planet. If the world warms by just 2 °C above the present level by the end of the century, which scientists believe is exceedingly likely, up to one-fifth of the global population could suffer severe shortages of fresh water.


“Even without global environmental change, feeding 9 billion people by 2050 will require an additional 2,000–3,000 cubic kilometres of fresh water in agriculture — more than the total global use of water in irrigation,” says Johan Rockström, a specialist on water resources at Stockholm University and director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. “This equates to nothing less than a new agricultural revolution. Novel approaches, such as water-harvesting practices, are absolutely critical in the future.”



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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MIT ranking of 10 New Breakthrough Technologies in 2014

MIT ranking of 10 New Breakthrough Technologies in 2014 | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Technology news is full of incremental developments, but few of them are true milestones. Here we’re citing 10 that are. These advances from the past year all solve thorny problems or create powerful new ways of using technology. They are breakthroughs that will matter for years to come.


Agricultural Drones

Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage.


Ultraprivate Smartphones

New models built with security and privacy in mind reflect the Zeitgeist of the Snowden era.


Brain Mapping
A new map, a decade in the works, shows structures of the brain in far greater detail than ever before, providing neuroscientists with a guide to its immense complexity.


Neuromorphic Chips
Microprocessors configured more like brains than traditional chips could soon make computers far more astute about what’s going on around them.


Genome Editing
The ability to create primates with intentional mutations could provide powerful new ways to study complex and genetically baffling brain disorders.


Microscale 3-D Printing
Inks made from different types of materials, precisely applied, are greatly expanding the kinds of things that can be printed.


Mobile Collaboration
The smartphone era is finally getting the productivity software it needs.


Oculus Rift
Thirty years after virtual-reality goggles and immersive virtual worlds made their debut, the technology finally seems poised for widespread use.


Agile Robots
Computer scientists have created machines that have the balance and agility to walk and run across rough and uneven terrain, making them far more useful in navigating human environments.


Smart Wind and Solar Power
Big data and artificial intelligence are producing ultra-accurate forecasts that will make it feasible to integrate much more renewable energy into the grid.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 20, 2014 8:22 PM

Very interesting information on what is happening with cutting edge science and technologies.

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Why People Are Donating Money To A Convicted Felon Just Because He Has A Handsome Mug Shot

Why People Are Donating Money To A Convicted Felon Just Because He Has A Handsome Mug Shot | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Why Jeremy Meeks has 120,000 Facebook fans.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

A 1975 study found “unless they have used their attractiveness to commit a crime (for example, a swindle), good-looking people are likely to receive highly favorable treatment in the legal system.” For participants in the study, “When the crime was unrelated to attractiveness (burglary), subjects would assign more lenient sentences to the attractive defendant than to the unattractive defendant.” A more recent UK study found “attractive suspects were more likely to be acquitted, despite there being no extra evidence in their favor.”

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The Great Splat

Nature Physics offers a unique mix of news and reviews alongside top-quality research papers. Published monthly, in print and online, the journal reflects the entire spectrum of physics, pure and applied.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Here is a great little piece of fiction. 

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Starbucks Wants to Help Its Workers Get an Affordable College Degree

Starbucks Wants to Help Its Workers Get an Affordable College Degree | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
A gig at Starbucks might be the newest route to an affordable college degree. Under a new plan announced by the coffee giant, Starbucks will make its 135,000 U.S. employees eligible for significant tuition reimbursement for credits earned through the Arizona State University online bachelor's degree program. (Note: Slate partners...
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