Experimentation with Full-Size tests and games

Some people have asked about whether we can create larger size games for their sites or for use in the office.

The answer is Yes. (see below)

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Simple reaction update for brain.com

Once more - here is a new version of simple reaction test.

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U.S. in Crisis: Do a Million Men March towards Cognitive Impairment each Year?

Mayo Clinic Scientist Dr. Ron Peterson presented data at the International Alzheimer's Conference in Chicago that shows an astounding increase, particularly in men, in what was presented to the world media as Pre-Dementia.

Pre-Dementia, one form of which is sometimes called MCI, or Mild Cognitive Impairment, refers to decline in cognitive ability amongst younger adults that may become Alzheimer's.

Breathtakingly, up to 1 million people every year in the U.S. are new sufferers of pre-Dementia, not including the 500,000 people per annum who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's by a physician.

"We're seeing that in fact there's a much larger burgeoning problem out there" of people at risk of developing dementia, said Dr. Ronald Petersen, the Mayo scientist who led the study.

Dr. Ralph Nixon, a New York University psychiatrist and scientific adviser to the Alzheimer's Association, was blunt.

"We're facing a crisis," he said.

There are no treatments now to prevent this mental slide or reverse it once it starts.

But that may be changing. Researchers on Monday reported early, somewhat encouraging results from an experimental nose spray that seemed to improve certain memory measures in a study of mildly impaired people.

The drug, for now just called AL-108, needs testing in a longer, larger study. It is being developed by Allon Therapeutics Inc., based in Vancouver, B.C.

Doctors said it shows the potential for new types of medicines that target the protein tangles that kill nerve cells, instead of targeting the sticky brain deposits that have gotten most of the attention up to now.

The studies were reported at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Chicago.

Petersen is the scientist who defined mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, as a transition phase between healthy aging and dementia. It is more than "senior moments" like forgetting where you parked the car, but not as severe as having dementia, where you forget what a car is for.

People with it have impaired memory but not other problems like confusion, inattention or trouble putting thoughts into words.

The Alzheimer's Association says more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, but no estimate for this "pre-dementia" has been available until now.

Petersen's federally funded study involved roughly 1,600 people, ages 70 through 89, living in Olmstead County, which surrounds the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. All tested normal when they were enrolled in the study, but more than 5 percent had developed mild impairment when evaluated a year later.

Men were nearly twice as likely as women to develop it. That's a surprise, because some studies have found more women with Alzheimer's than men. But there may be a simple explanation:

Even though more men may be impaired, women outlive them and therefore have more time to develop full-blown dementia.

"This is a very large and important issue for our country and for the world," said Duke University psychologist Brenda Plassman. A smaller study she published earlier this year backs up the Mayo study's findings.

The mild impairment rate is two to three times larger than many researchers had expected, Petersen said.

"It's the iceberg under the tip," agreed Dr. R. Scott Turner, incoming director of the memory disorders program at Georgetown University Medical Center. A prime goal is finding drugs to treat the mild impairment before Alzheimer's develops.

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MRI Study Shows How Exercise Protects Brain Health

One of the studies presented at the 2008 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Chicago shows that subjects with early Alzheimer's disease who exercised frequently saw less deterioration in the areas of the brain that control memory.

MRI scans show that exercise positively affected the hippocampus region of patients' brains, an area that is important for both memory and balance. In Alzheimer's, the hippocampus is one of the first parts of the brain to suffer damage. Exercise and physical fitness have been shown to slow age-related brain cell death in healthy older adults, and earlier this month a preliminary study was published showing that exercise may help slow brain shrinkage in people with early Alzheimer's disease.
Now, researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., have used MRI and other imaging tools to analyze how exercise affects the brains of those with early Alzheimer's.

The research found that patients with early Alzheimer's had a "significant relationship" between the size of key brain areas associated with memory and fitness, unlike healthy older adults. Those patients with better fitness ratings had less brain tissue atrophy and those with worse fitness had more brain damage.

"This is the first study to get an inside look into specifically where these changes occur in the brain. We're able to locate the changes associated with fitness to the actual memory region, the hippocampus, which is a key area for Alzheimer's-related atrophy," said Robyn A. Honea, Ph.D., a lead investigator on the study. "This suggests that maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness may positively modify Alzheimer's-related brain atrophy."

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The New New Economy Lives

The Ford Motor Co., 20th century titan, reeling with the shift in consumer consumption patterns, announced a loss of $8.7 billion for the recent quarter.

Meanwhile, analysts knock 21st century Google (GOOG) for delivering "only" a 30% increase in profit over last year, on top of what is already a huge revenue base.

What we're seeing once again is that information trumps hard goods in terms of value creation - either by delivering revenues directly, or dynamically altering capabilities and changing variables in the value equation.

Many firms are slicing away at the inefficient healthcare supply chain, one of the great opportunities for rationalization because its operations up to now have been so irrational and 20th Century.

The idea of systematically monitoring and improving your brain with exercises and games seemed heretical and 'weird' just a few years ago but now, the medical community has stopped laughing as the evidence begins to mount that monitoring and improving your brain is (a) feasible and (b) seems to work for individuals, even when allowing for foresworn skeptics who attribute benefits to a placebo or practice effect.

Changing patterns of belief and behavior, we are reminded is never easy. Just look at Ford's performance. On a dark night on the bridge, Ford leadership saw the moonlight reflecting off the iceberg to the fore, and thought, either "that is too small, it won't cause any damage" or delayed too long in turning the ship's wheel to starboard. With a large vessel, momentum results in slow responsiveness, and likely the collision with a new reality was unavoidable.

Ford likely has the capital reserves and goodwill to ride out this threat and never, because of the shock, will be so complacent or slow again. But a second of third occurrence might be fatal, causing Ford to need to dismantle itself. Certainly, smaller, less well equipped firms will be killed off in this seachange of oil markets, just as the banking crisis is claiming those firms that skated too close to the edge of the thin ice of financial engineering or found themselves ambushed in the financial markets by shorts marching in lockstep, if you follow Vanity Fair's soap-opera account of Bear Stearns' demise.

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Get a Wall Widget. Oops...

Just a quick note on the "the wall" widget on brain.com. When you copied and pasted it...and hit preview or 'publish' the image was not displayed clearly due to a character transposition in the html. This is corrected. Now it's time to add power and color to your site with something new.

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Palo Alto Online finds Fault with Second Life

Launched with great fanfare, Second Life seems Second Hand to many. We signed up and tried it once, but frankly, found the technology clanky and the experience a bore. It just sucked. The deal breaker was the client-side ap. We were surprised to see that it gets only about 60,000 users per day - only 2x the size of cognitive labs.

What do you think?

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Shock Spam Writhes in your Inbox

Have you noticed an explosion of nonsensical shock spam? The topics, posing as news, are so ridiculous that they grab your eyeballs and cause brain-clutter. Case in point below. Let's create a new word: shockspam.

What to do about it? Schwarzenegger admits to starting California fires, Bush and Putin restart cold war. Really. Spam filter seems ineffective.

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Adding a Blog list

At this stage in the game, we're going to add links to blogs/sites we notice/read/react to that in one way or another make a major contribution to understanding (a) cognitive health (b) health & science and (c) the internet because all of these topics are so inter-related.

July 21st was probably an all time high water-mark, surprising because it's the middle of summer and historically, this has been the off season as far as brain-training is concerned. In the nineteenth century they used to say philosophy was popularized in the northerly climes, where there was nothing to do in the long dark days of winter but read, think, and write by the fire.

But now, Cognitive Labs is tearing it up right in the midst of the lazy ants-at-the-picnic and bears-at-the-campsite season.

So, look for that in the days and weeks ahead. Contact us for any specific syndication needs you may have, (e.g., route 66 'kicks' game or anything else) as that program is blazing as the Bonneville salt flats [saltflats.com] - assuming you can determine this...

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Golden Girl Estelle Getty a Victim of Dementia at age 84

Add to the list of famous people with Alzheimer's. Estelle Getty, former star of the TV sitcom Golden Girls, passed away at age 84 in Los Angeles, CA. She had been suffering from Dementia, according to this article on Yahoo! TV.

The list of people who have fallen victim to the Disease keeps growing and now surpasses 5.1 million. Since we've started this project, Alzheimer's has claimed people ranging from Ronald Reagan to James Doohan, historic Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson, and Charlton Heston. Just this week, we reported on Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba suffering from memory loss at age 58.

Lesser known as victims include the late Sen. Barry Goldwater and Winston Churchill, Hawaii Five-0's Jack Lord, and author Iris Murdoch.

Younger or Older, people on the street or celebrities, from small towns or big cities, virtually no one is immune to the cold touch of Alzheimer's, erasing and corrupting memories for its sufferers - whether it reaches their own person, their friends', or family members.

The best thing you can do is to take action - by exercising your mind and also controlling the behaviors that stoke the fires of the known risk factors - diet, exercise, outlook/disposition - by doing this, regardless of pre-disposition, you give yourself a fighting chance against the impact of memory impairment.

Hearing-Cognition Link Sounded by CAPD

CAPD or Central Auditory Processing Dysfunction represents another possible indicator for changes in mental status - based on your auditory responsiveness.

What does it mean? Those who suffer from CAPD are unable to distinguish sounds from the background noise.

Since we 'hear' in our brains and not in our ears - which are a collection device for sound waves, you see how this could be possible. Sound waves are re-assembled into the corresponding impression that is delivered to the blank audiovisual system of our consciousness.

Previous studies have shown that central auditory processing is impaired in individuals with dyslexia, Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle tested the central auditory processing function of 313 elderly individuals using three tests: one in which nonsense sentences were read over the background of an interesting narrative and two in which separate sentences or numbers were read into each ear simultaneously.

"These central auditory processing test paradigms evaluate how well an individual manages competing signals, a task that requires adequate short-term memory and the ability to shift attention rapidly," study authors write.

Average scores on central auditory processing tests were significantly lower in the group with dementia and in the group with mild memory impairment than in the control group without memory problems.

From their findings, the authors suggest central auditory testing be regularly conducted on aging patients with hearing complaints.

Other senses, such as smell, also are impacted by cognitive decline.

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Archaeologists to Re-Assemble Solar Boat

Scientists are to Re-build a solar boat of the pharaoh Khufu (Cheops). The boat in the picture was excavated in 1954 and re-assembled. An adjacent boat pit was left unexcavated in 1954, to await future generations and perhaps, better techniques. I happen to have written a paper on the initial boat discovery which went into some detail on the construction techniques and materials used, which we will discuss below...

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Archaeologists and scholars will excavate hundreds of fragments of an ancient Egyptian wooden boat entombed in an underground chamber next to Giza's Great pyramid. They will then try to reassemble the craft.

The 4,500-year-old vessel is the sister ship of a similar boat removed in pieces in 1954 from another pit and painstakingly reconstructed. Experts believe the boats were meant to ferry the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid in the afterlife.

Starting Saturday, tourists were allowed to view images from inside the second boat pit from a camera inserted through the a hole in the chamber's limestone ceiling.

Professor Sakuji Yoshimura of Japan's Waseda University says the excavation of around 600 pieces of timber will begin in November.

The first solar boat is 43.6 meters in length (or 145 feet), displacing 94 tons and dates to 2500 B.C. It is built of planks of hewn cedar, which does not grow in Egypt. Cedar does grow in the coastal mountains of Lebanon and that is where these timbers were cut. The boatwright drilled through the wooden planks at regular intervals, leaving room for carefully inserted hemp ropes which lashed together the sides of the ship.

Crossbeams were of acacia and sycamore, and there existed a total of 467 tenon joints held together by cedar pegs. As water soaked the rope, it tightened, forcing the planks together, tensioned by the tenons - producing a water tight structure through the balance of two opposing forces and no nails, rivets, or glues.

The original hieratic cursive of the shipbuilders was visible on the wood pieces and was of great assistance in piecing together the vessel, which was completely disassembled and buried in a deep limestone pit sealed with 14 ton stone blocks.

In terms of scale, Columbus' flagship the Santa Maria was about 70 feet in length, and full-size Viking longships, capable of North Sea voyages, average about 100 feet in length - all smaller than this ship.

The ship shares some similarities with boats used off the Arabian Peninsula and Indian Ocean for thousands of years. Similar Egyptian vessels presumably made the voyage to the land of Punt (probably Yemen) and could have journeyed up the coast to Lebanon in order to retrieve the timber (cedar was also used in building temples).

The wood was so well-preserved that the archaeologists who found it could smell the wood resins immediately upon moving the stone blocks. They noted that the wood appeared as if it had been buried the day before.

Purpose: It's speculated that the pharaoh's duties in the afterlife required a fine vessel such as this, both for practical and spiritual reasons

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Space Elevator: Extend your Brain

Will Space elevators ever be built?

This concept originates with author Arthur C. Clarke and the Fountains of Paradise.

In reality, such a structure would reach about 60,000 miles into space and be tethered by an anchor point (or points) on earth. Envisioned at the moment is carbon-nanotube construction.

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Over the past weekend a conference near the Microsoft campus addressed the possibilities.

One of the square-one problems that needs focus is potential damage from orbiting 'space junk' which could tear away the tethers.

one of the

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What happened 1,000 years ago?

1008 was a quiet year. The answer is: not much.

However, politically, the following personages held sway:

- Ichijo (986-1011) was emperor of Japan
- Zhen Zong was Emperor of China (997-1022)
- Mahmud was sultan of Ghazni (986-1030): Afghanistan, some of Pak., India, and Iran
- Al-Qadir was Caliph in Baghdad (996-1025)
- Basil II the Bulgar-Slayer was Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople (976-1025)
- Samuel was Tzar of Bulgaria (976-1014)
- Sven I Fork-beard was King of Denmark and Norway (985-1014)
- Ethelred II was King of England (978-1013)
- Robert II was King of France (996-1031)
- Henry II (1002-1024) was Holy Roman Emperor and King of Italy
- Stephen I was King of Hungary (997-1038)
- Brian (Boru) was High King of Ireland (1002-1014)
- Malcolm II was King of Scots (1005-1034)
- Hisham II was Emir of Cordoba, Spain (978-1008)
- Olaf was King of Sweden (995-1022)
- Tariq al-Hakim was ruler of Egypt & Levant (996-1021)
- Vladimir I (980-1015) was Grand Duke of Kiev

In 12 years, the thermometer would be invented by Avicenna.

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Tea: The Flavonoid Champion

Both green and black teas have an estimated 10 times the antioxidant levels as most fruits and vegetables, including thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins - all are considered polyphenols, a powerful type of antioxidant.

The difference between green and black teas, both from the same plant is mainly due to processing. Green tea leaves are dried and steam cured. Black tea leaves are crushed and fermented.

Numerous studies have shown that regular tea consumption improves LDL cholesterol levels and may protect against a variety of maladies. In laboratory test, green tea caused cancerous cells in rats to accelerate their lifecycle and then atrophy. Theorists believe that the antioxidant properties of tea prevent free radicals from attaching to healthy cellular tissues and beginning to homeostasize. Accumulation of free radicals is linked to blood vessel/valve damage, atherosclerosis, and cancers.

For example, in a study involving bladder cancer cells, green tea extract seemed to make the cancer cells behave oddly. They matured sooner, bound together tightly, and had a hard time multiplying. Another study found that men who drank oolong tea plus green tea extract lost more weight and total body fat, compared with men who drank plain oolong tea.

Other small studies have found that the antioxidants from drinking tea can help prevent skin cancer. There's also evidence that tea extracts applied to the skin can block sun damage that leads to skin cancer. Tea extracts have become an in-demand ingredient for various skin lotions and anti-aging treatments.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg at Tufts University, "Tea has no calories and lots of polyphenols. If you're drinking tea, you're not drinking soda, and that's a real benefit. Water doesn't give you those polyphenols."

What's the right amount?

Some benefit can be achieved with as little as two cups per day, while some tea cognoscenti (including medical researchers) drink eight to ten or more cups per day.

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Nute Goes for a New Financing Round

Our story:

It's a Harvard Business School style case study for an emerging space AI business. It's good to use your imagination.

Nute Gunray is CEO of AITrade, a start up interstellar trade-exchange for droid parts and other salvage neurocognitive materials. His business plan calls for AI to buy low, and sell high. But there is one nano problem-the market is developing with the speed of somebody frozen in carbonite.

His investor, Galactic Ventures has made bets all over the galaxy but is really high on clean tech. Luckily, Nute trains his brain everyday at brain.com. Yes, the brain.com.

He's quite aggressive and visionary, but puts his pants on one leg at a time. Still, he's careful not to antagonize Mr.Vader, the board member from Galactic.

Vader has been known to cause CEO's to get tongue-tied, or choked-up, at strategy review meetings. After getting a Blackberry blast from Gunray with the latest numbers, Vader locks himself in his pod to contemplate.

On the way to Jamba Juice for an Energy smoothie after his meditation, he bumps into Mr. Sidious, the managing partner and founder of Galactic, and gives him a heads-up about AITrade...

Sidious decides its best to assign a new hotshot to AI Trade to "re-invigorate" the company and take an active role in its development. A holographic meeting is set to break the news to Gunray...

The question is, what should Gunray do now?

a) Speed-read Obi-wan's classic book on lightsaber play...
b) Climb into an escape pod and push the button...
c) Find out what makes Maul tick and use the Force to re-invigorate the reinvigorator...

Inquiring minds want to know

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Free Brain Age Test

Is it time to check your brain's relative 'power?' or brain age? If so, this scientifically-designed exercise can provide a numerical ranking of your speed and accuracy, closely linked to your "real" brain age rather than your calendar age. It's like the "RealAge" folks are getting around to brain quizzes.

By combining physical and cognitive fitness, it is possible to have a brain for the ages, with greater quickness and flexibility than other people who don't maintain their brains. The theory is, those who engage in mental cross-training build cognitive reserve. If you haven't taken this test, now's your chance.

Let me take the test | No wait, I really want to take it.

Everyone wants to find out. It seems like people can't resist a challenge.

Cognitive reserve has been theorized as relevant in populations as diverse as nuns and London taxi cab drivers, as well as engineers, teachers, scientists, and academics.In each case, people have inculcated large amounts of information.

Is there a connection between brain power and freedom? Amongst those in history most opposed to developing cognitive reserve, the most notorious is Hitler, who criticized mental exercise and cognitive development as a waste of time.

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Infrared Helmet May Hold Promise for Alzheimer's and other Dementias

A physician in the U.K. has pioneered an infrared treatment for dementia, exposing subjects to two doses of beams per day, delivered from a specially engineered helmet.

Created with with Sunderland University, 700 infrared light emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to penetrate the skull. Theorists believe that the infrared wavelengths, longer than waves in the visible spectrum, may stimulate the growth of brain cells, slowing down the decline in memory and brain function and reversing symptoms of dementia.

Clem Fennell - the head of a family engineering firm in Cincinnati, Ohio - traveled to the UK after neurologists told him nothing could stop the decline of his dementia. The family's friends had seen a report about the helmet on CBS.

"Honestly I can tell you that within ten days, the deterioration was stopped, then we started to see improvements," said Mrs. Fennell, from North Kentucky. "He started to respond to people more quickly when they talked to him."

Three weeks later, the father of two is still making gradual improvements.

His daughter, 22-year-old Maggie said: "When we go to the restaurant we usually have to order his meals for him, now he can order for himself."

"Now we are okay about letting him go to the bank or the post office but he would not have been able to do that three weeks ago.

The Alzheimer's Society of the UK had this to say:

"A treatment that reverses the effects of dementia rather than just temporarily halting its symptoms could change the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who live with this devastating condition.

"Non-thermal near infra-red treatment for people with dementia is a potentially interesting technique. We look forward to further research to determine whether it could help improve cognition in humans. Only then can we begin to investigate whether near infra-red could benefit people with dementia."

While completely experimental, the helmet will be sold in the U.K. for the equivalent of about $20,000. More research needs to be conducted to assess the impact of the potential treatment. Referring story

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ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus Suffers from Memory Loss

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus and wife, music journalist Lena Kallersjo

58 year old Bjorn Ulvaeus' cannot remember the band's breakthrough performances in 1974 that propelled them to the status of a global pop super-group.

Even though the "Dancing Queen" act has sold 400 million records, Ulvaeus spends time looking at pictures and films of those old times trying to rekindle his memories.

As the London Telegraph reports, for him, it's as if he is experiencing the band's success for the first time - even though the band is now buffeted by a resurgence in popularity for the first time in years.

This is their most popular video on youtube...3.8 million plays; with a Brady Bunch' style split screen effect.

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Get your Kicks on Route 66

Highway of the Holy: A rock and roll legend tests your brain.

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Moon Rocket 2.0 Flap Polarizes NASA

According to NASA, U.S. astronauts are scheduled to return to the moon in the year 2020, if all goes well, 48 years after the last visit in 1972.

Those in pre-school at the time, if you were even born yet, will be technically senior citizens according to AARP by the time this happens. Amazing.

In contrast, the gap between the Wright Brothers' first ever powered flight and Werner von Braun's V2 rocket (the father of the Atlas and grandfather of the Saturn V) was only 36.5 years.

The Ares rocket is slated to replace the almost useless Space Shuttle and once again provide necessary lift for longer missions.

However, a group of 57 maverick engineers (including some NASA staffers) have dreamed up a competing rocket, the Jupiter, that is purportedly far more efficient than the authorized Ares' design, which is being designed by a cast of thousands through the existing contractor system.

Why not create some competition? NASA should offer a cash prize (in the tens of millions, including personal awards) to whichever team demonstrates the working prototype faster. Contracts for future missions would be linked, pari-passu to degree of success in the endeavor. Thus, a measure of 'equity' is created for financial backers *such as contractors* to take a risk - otherwise, the effort is no more efficient than building a pyramid over the course of decades with nothing but copper chisels, wooden rollers, and the effort of thousands of Nile flood-idled farm laborers. Actually this insults the pyramid builders who built pyramids still around after 5,000 years with their bare hands, while the erstwhile rocket builders, with booku ongoing government funding and processing power 1000x more powerful than the late 60's/early 70's, have accomplished nothing in the manned spaceflight category.

Sure, the first few shuttle flights were interesting (along with the song by Rush) but by 1986 the project had reached apogee. Should have created a Saturn V successor while the top gun teams that built it were still around or available in retirement, instead of running a lame duck program for another 22 years. Now, it's like learning to ride a bicycle for the first time. It's not really resources - I read somewhere that the time-adjusted budget of NASA in 2006 was 80-85% of what it was in 1968 in its year of biggest spending. Tens of Billions of dollars are spent every year, but the only consistent return over the past two decades is knowledge gained from smaller scientific projects that typically cost a few hundred million.

After all, it's only about the future of humanity and is probably the most important achievement that could be delivered; but don't take our word for it, just google Stephen Hawking and see what you find. With this alternative management structure, let's see if it takes 48 years to reach the next milestone.

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Study: MRI Scans May Aid Early Detection Of Alzheimer's

Tracking the increasing size of the brain ventricles could act as a direct indicator of cognitive problems and the onset of Alzheimer's disease, researchers at the University of Western Ontario, Canada found.

Gauging the size of the brain ventricles – the fluid-filled cavities in the brain – and the surrounding dead brain tissue with the help of magnetic resonance imaging scans may help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's disease much earlier than standard diagnostic tests, the Canadian researchers claim.

For the research the researchers performed brain scans using the magnetic resonance imaging technique on 504 individuals over the age of 70 enrolled in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a multi-site trial co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical industry, both at baseline and six months later.

They were then categorized into three groups; one had no cognitive impairment, second, some cognitive impairment and third, who were already diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

On examination researchers found a direct association between ventricledefine enlargement and Alzheimer's - ‘as the ventricles enlarge, the surrounding brain tissue dies’.

In individuals with no cognitive impairment the ventricle growth rate was noticed at about 1.5 per cent over six months and the brain tissue shrank during the normal aging process.

Read more

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Bud Goes European; Euro Soars

Anheuser-Busch, the co. known for the Clysedale Horses and its "King of Beers" brand, Budweiser, now becomes part of European brewing holding co. InBev, with brands from Bass in the UK to Tsing Tao in China.

Anheuser-Busch, itself formed from mergers of German-American immigrant-initiated firms, now reports back to Europe in a transaction worth $52 billion. We'll probably see more of these transnational mega-mergers since the Euro is at an all-time high compared to the U.S. Dollar, which has been depreciated in value compared to commodities and most world currencies due to the ever-expanding money supply which has the same effect as 'debasement' of the coinage did in Medieval and ancient times. Some indicators show prices have doubled since 2000/20001 (not including housing) and annual inflation for labor and especially commodities and foodstuffs, which leads wages, is as high as 12-14%.

Some would argue that this inflationary trend is an intentional corrective policy to bring housing prices into equilibrium with consumer goods and via a deus ex machina process, assisting the mortgage industry (and all marketers of complex derivatives or companies that depend on third-party securitization of an intangible product) in recovering a greater percentage of overextended portfolios. The percentage of spending on housing will decline relative to other expenditures as wages and prices accelerate faster than housing values over the next several years. This is not what Bernanke is saying but this is a probable net economic effect of the Fed's actions.

'Silvered' bronze coin (c) 300 A.D. traces of silvering remain on the reverse side, which would have given the coin a bright shiny appearance like a quarter when new; however, it quickly wore off. The legend says:

SACRA MONETA AUGG ET CAESS NOSTRA "The sacred money of our two emperors and two caesars" designed to boost consumer confidence in a period of high inflation and debasement. But, the opposite was actually true.

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Interminable Game at Brain.com

The interminable game is the newest diversion at brain.com.

Following in the footsteps of other 'clickables' this will vex your patience and nerves. Scroll til you see the dot, then start.

Add to your own page by copying the code below...

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Cognitive Labs and the Evolving Web

As mentioned, Cognitive Labs keeps on rolling - with June our biggest month yet in terms of visitors and page views, surpassing our previous high. It's not only an important mission, it may be one of the most important missions ever for humanity - in the evolution of our cognitive platform. For the first time, tools that can assess the brain and optimize it are available and can be distributed widely. It's so important that its nothing less than a Promethean advance in capability, a leap forward from the cognitive equivalent of the Folsom point; and it foreshadows where we will go in the future.

The performance totally dwarves June '07. This is pretty exciting for all of us as it means that we're reversing a general internet trend - we've got a favorable hand; rather than a seasonal decline in the warm months, coupled with heavier use when people are indoors-we're seeing a royal flush of steady growth.

It's well known that weather and even freak events impact web traffic according to Dr. Hal Varian, whether you have 50,000 visitors per month, 550,000 visitors per month (cognitive labs), 34,000,000 per month (FaceBook) or 149,000,000 (Google sites). I don't recall Google passing Yahoo!'s sites before, but now it has.

Anyway you look at it the total audience of the Internet is about 190,000,000 people per month. Our growth plans are pretty aggressive and involve leveraging our cognitive reserve - that is, all of you, so stay tuned to visualize how this evolves.

Best, and like they said in the old lemonade commercial, 'thanks for your support.'

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What is Secret

Find the Cognitive Labs experience somewhere on the web? Untethered to our main site?

If so, you're not alone. Coglabs increases arithmetically and also geometrically.

How so? Well, we can't get into those details - some knowledge falls into the highly secretive category. To understand it, read about the roots of plants, sand distribution in alluvial fans, even, how atoms are distilled in the center of stars.

All of these things are inspirational.

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Another Traffic Record Shattered

Yes, it's true. June was fabulous.

Details at 11.

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Brain.com has a new test

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Juice Your Brain with Something Besides O.J.

Oranges and Lemons are often regarded as the premiere sources of Vitamin C, which has a reputation as a wonder substance. (See the Benefits of Vitamin C, below).

But, did you know that there is a common plant material that contains up to 5 times the concentration of vitamin C as lemons?

This super green is nothing less than fresh pine needles, particularly the new growth. In Scandinavia, about 1 cup of fresh pine needles are plucked from the trees and heated (not boiled) for 20 minutes in a pint of water. The resulting infusion contains a very high concentration of vitamin C and also vitamin A, as well as antioxidants. Timing is everything: boil it for more than 20 minutes and the broth may become too acidic, with sap imparting a slight aftertaste of turpentine. It was used as a tonic throughout the winter and as a treatment for colds since ancient times.


Vitamin C is the most popular single vitamin. Besides taking it to treat colds, people pop vitamin C capsules hoping that it will cure numerous ailments. There is now scientific evidence to support some of that hope.

Scientifically controlled studies using vitamin C for colds show that it can reduce the severity of cold symptoms, acting as a natural antihistamine. The vitamin may be useful for allergy control for the same reason: It may reduce histamine levels. By giving the immune system one of the important nutrients it needs, extra vitamin C can often shorten the duration of the cold as well. However, studies have been unable to prove that megadoses of the vitamin can actually prevent the common cold.

Vitamin C rich diets benefit your well-being and can aid in the prevention of cancer and other illnesses.

As an important factor in collagen production, vitamin C is useful in wound healing of all types. From cuts and broken bones to burns and recovery from surgical wounds, vitamin C taken orally helps wounds to heal faster and better. Applied topically, vitamin C may protect the skin from free radical damage after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Vitamin C makes the headlines when it comes to cancer prevention. Its antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation. It supports the body's immune system, the first line of defense against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body. Vitamin C reduces the risk of getting almost all types of cancer. It appears that this nutrient doesn't directly attack cancer that has already occurred, but it helps keep the immune system nourished, enabling it to battle the cancer.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to prevent cataracts -- the clouding of the lens of the eye that can lead to blindness in older adults. The lens needs a lot of vitamin C to counteract all the free radicals that form as a result of sunlight on the eye. Vitamin C is concentrated in the lens. When there's plenty of this vitamin floating through your system, it's easy for the body to pull it out of your blood and put it into the lens, protecting it from damage. It's possible that 1,000 mg per day of vitamin C might stop cataracts in their tracks and possibly improve vision.

As with the other antioxidants, vitamin C helps to prevent heart disease by preventing free radicals from damaging artery walls, which could lead to plaque formation. This nutrient also keeps cholesterol in the bloodstream from oxidizing, another early step in the progression towards heart disease and stroke. Vitamin C may help people who have marginal vitamin C status to obtain favorable blood cholesterol levels. High blood pressure may also improve in the presence of this wonder vitamin. All these factors combined make vitamin C an inexpensive and easy way to lower one's risk of heart disease and strokes.

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Surprise-Tofu May Promote Brain Aging

According to researchers at Loughborough University, soy products, which are a major alternative protein source to meat for many people, contain phytoestrogens which actually heighten the risk of memory loss.

"Oestrogens - and probably phytoestrogens - tended to promote growth among cells, not necessarily a good thing in the ageing brain," lead researcher Prof Eef Hogervorst said.

They have based their findings on an analysis of 719 elderly people living in the Java region of Indonesia. The researchers found that those who consumed tofu - at least once a day - developed memory loss, it was worse among those over 68 years of age, according to the journal 'Dementias and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders.'

The latest study also found that eating tempe, a fermented soy product made from the whole soy bean, was associated with better memory. Professor Hogervorst said the beneficial effect of tempe might be related to the fact that it contains high levels of the vitamin folate, which is known to reduce dementia risk.

“It may be that that the interaction between high levels of both folate and phytoestrogens protects against cognitive impairment,” she was quoted by the BBC.

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Cognitive Labs breaks another traffic record, going where the flat-footed dare not go.


Read my Minigun: No New Taxes

Governor Schwarzenegger visits Tesla in nearby San Carlos

Electric car maker Tesla has jumped off to a quick start in building cognitive awareness and brand recognition in the greentech car industry.

Now, its getting another boost.

Fast-brained Governor Schwarzenegger is saying 'Hasta la Vista' to state manufacturing and plant set-up taxes for the innovator, which accelerates from zero to 60 in just a few milliseconds. The whole EV industry will benefit. Don't forget to try the game below, it may help your reaction time:

Now see the T2 video...the governor liquidates a few gas-guzzlers

Here is the press release:

Governor Schwarzenegger announces support for manufacturing future Tesla cars in California

San Carlos, CA – Ze'ev Drori, CEO of Tesla Motors, and Governor Schwarzenegger announced today at a press conference at Tesla Motors headquarters that Tesla's next product, a 4-door, 5-passenger sedan, will be manufactured at a facility in the state of California.

Previously it had been announced that the sedan manufacturing facility was planned for Albuquerque, New Mexico. After a thorough review of the program, Tesla decided that it would be highly advantageous to build manufacturing facilities in close proximity to the engineering and research and development functions in Tesla's San Carlos headquarters. Tesla's battery pack, a critical component of the Tesla Roadster, is currently manufactured in California. Final assembly of the Tesla Roadster is also currently in California.

Governor Schwarzenegger and the state of California also made it clear that they wanted to keep Tesla manufacturing in California. "Today's announcement is incredible news for California's economy and its environment. If California was a baseball team this would be like winning the first round draft pick and recruiting a player who is a perfect fit on our roster because Tesla Motors and its all-electric cars belong in California," enthused the Governor.

Last week, the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), approved a new program that exempts new Zero Emission Vehicle manufacturers from paying sales and use tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and will encourage ZEV manufacturing in California. Tesla will also be eligible for at least $1 million in Employment Training Panel Workforce Development Funds to train employees.

"These vehicles can play a big part in helping California successfully implement its groundbreaking laws to fight climate change," said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who chairs CAEATFA. "By offering this financial incentive, our goal is to ensure zero-emission vehicles realize their full potential in our state. In the bargain, we believe the policy will bolster our emerging green economy, create good-paying jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I'm very pleased the policy helped convince Tesla to build its high-performance electric cars in California."

Ze'ev Drori, President and CEO of Tesla Motors, remarked, "Tesla has achieved an extraordinary accomplishment. We are the only automobile company today delivering full performance battery-electric vehicles to our customers. Make no mistake - we are not a niche player with a car only for the rich and famous. As our agreement with the state so clearly demonstrates, we are building a high volume ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE, manufactured in California for mid-range family use. And we aren't going to stop there. We will continue on and build even more affordable cars. You are witnessing the debut of a new car company, a company unlike all others, a company with a disruptive technology, a company dedicated for the exclusive production of Zero Emission Vehicles."

Tesla's sedan, which is targeted for late 2010 production, will utilize Tesla Motors' leading electric powertrain design in a car that is both stylish, high performance, yet highly practical. The exact location of the manufacturing facility within California will be decided soon.

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