Elvis Sivle

Had an unusual number of hits on this story because I guess it's somehow optimized...it might be the number one result for all those people searching for Elvis and the inverse Sivle.

What if Elvis was selected for Apollo 11? He could have plucked out a tune on the lunar surface.

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Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Steam Power, and Sound Effects

Robotics and AI is not really a 20th century phenomenon. As far back as the ancient Greeks, machine simulations of nature were all the rage.

As referenced in the title, these were just a few of the inventions that were born in ancient Alexandria and the Greek states of Southern Italy. AI researcher Dr. Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield puts the nativity of robotics as far back as 280 B.C.E.

First there was the Greek mathematician Archytas (above) and his steam powered birds, reportedly able to fly up to 200 meters, representing the first self-propelled flying device according to the Roman compiler Aulus Gellius, author of a first century C.E. work in 20 books called Attic Nights (Athens Nights) which documented all of the curious facts that well-to-do Romans might learn during their time abroad in Athens studying (the equivalent of going off to university). Archytas, a friend of Plato, was appointed leader of his city-state in Magna Graecia in Italy's boot and may have been inspiration for Plato's idea of the philosopher-king.

Hero of Alexandria created a mechanical, self-powered cart to carry and remove props for theatrical performances, a programmable 'theater' that controlled character motion by sequences of knots on string.

Thus, he had created a simple kind of machine language, with on/off switches, what we know as binary. This 'theater' may be considered as a precursor of amusements such as whack-a-mole, with significant hydraulic components. He also designed practical tools such as force-pumps used in firefighting, syringes, and even a sound effects machine that dropped metal balls onto a sheet metal drum to simulate the sound of thunder at specific moments during a performance.

He also created a stand-alone steam turbine, the aeolipile (a concept used in all steam engines including solar steam turbines today), and a coin-operated vending machine that dispensed holy water, in proportion to the weight of the coin.

In later times, the Greek rulers of the Byzantine Empire reportedly had a mechanical roaring lion and twittering artificial birds (both probably steam-powered) to impress visitors to the Palace. The western (Catholic) church prelate Liutprand of Cremona, a Lombard from northern Italy, gives an eyewitness account of palace life in this text, based on his visit in the year 968. Yeats' poem Sailing to Byzantium contains the following passage:

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

referring to the mechanical singing birds of Theophilus.

The caliph of Baghdad had similar automata, including programmable characters in the 13th century created by the engineer Al-Jazari. The machines were designed to serve and entertain guests as a diversion during dinner parties. His publication, Handbook of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (appearing in 1206 C.E.) described more than fifty mechanical designs.

Al-Jazari's programmable 'android' capable of serving guests and playing music.

In Western Europe, such creations were unknown until the Renaissance, when Leonardo daVinci created a programmable automatic lion that walked and was able to present a bouquet of flowers to the Prince. According to roboticist Marc Rorsheim, this lion was based upon a kind of mechanical cart design that is apparent in Leonardo's working sketchbook, the Codex Atlanticus.

Robots in the past, far from being intentional anachronism as in the old TV show the Wild Wild West, actually existed to a certain degree. The fictitious genre steampunk may represent at attempt to explore this alternative reality.

What is it then that stopped these innovations from gaining wider use? It may have been the lack of channels to disperse these ideas that prevented technical revolutions from happening much earlier. It's apparent that innovation is not linear, but waveform.

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The Ventures - Wipe Out - Live-1965

1965 classic surf tune for your brain:

Just found out about the Santa Cruz logjam(won't be going) but it's a pre-1970 longboard fest.

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Wild Turns

The Cowboy: David Lynch

The technology world considered as a David Lynchian magic box full of wild turns since 1996.

One thing's for sure: you never know what will happen. Anything might happen, and probably will.

Video (below) | purchase some Lynchian Coffee

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What Does Seventy Thousand Pageviews per Day Look Like?

Well, something like this, in real-time, for a moment's activity.

according to hitslink, a real-time provider of analytics, compared to for example, webtrends live or hitbox, which also offer real-time service.

Today's over 70,000 - not that significant for a general site like fb or myspace but worthwhile in a niche area like cognitive fitness. This is up from last year (2008) and user time spent on site for 2009 is 50.26 minutes per session, which will probably dip as it warms up everywhere.

Just sharing what it looks like on the other side of the website :-)

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SF, Snapshot History of Psychedelic Rock

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Diamonds of Perception: Are We Seeing What we Think We are Seeing?

This test requires that you perform several cognitive tasks with rapidity  - see my full lecture below!

...Wait, there's more...

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New Earth-Type Planet Found

Here's the link...

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A New Game is Coming

This will be something like you've never seen before...

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11.2 Million Visitors

Cognitive Labs Breaks 11.2 Million Visitor threshold, 44 Million Views and closing in on 150 Million total game plays, plus we'll break the 3 million user level soon.

Not much of a recession in gaming and its popularity.

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A Letter of Marque

Piracy was in fact, legal up to 1856 as authorized by both France and Britain, and the United States, via the issuance of a letter of Marque to a shipowner.

This was a document (as below) that set forth the rights and privileges of the shipowner's representative, the captain, to seize such property as was documented in the letter.

Letter of Marque issued in the name of U.S. president John Adams with respect to seizure of French mercantile property, by the U.S.S. Vigilant

If a ship was interdicted by a third party Navy or even the Navy of a party that was signatory to the treaties that established the policy, then legally there was no recourse for the owner of a ship that had its property seized.

In fact, since the U.S. was not involved in the treaty that settled the Crimean War, made famous by the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Constitution still authorizes the issuance of letters of Marque to privateers, a process which is supposed to be overseen by Congress. In practical effect, the Executive branch has long been in control of asymmetrical means of troubling rival nations.

In recent years, the role of privateering has contributed to the development of the field of private equity, particularly in the form of the hostile takeover as practiced by Carl Icahn and others including the fictitious Gordon Gekko. Legislation has removed some of the incentives that existed in the 1980's and early 1990's, the Golden Age of the takeover, by minimizing the ability to coerce target boards by the adoption of measures such as blanket antidilution provisions, poison pills aka shark repellent in corporate bylaws, and restrictions on collecting "greenmail." Nevertheless, privateering has contributed to the private capital ethos.

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Sports Drinks May Activate the Brain

New research shows that athletes given sports drinks during training showed 2-3% greater brain activity than those that were provided a placebo. It is surmised that carbohydrates are absorbed through the walls of the mouth by means of a structure similar to the tastebuds, since the samples were only swished around the mouth and not digested, and that these substances then impact the brain.

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The Game

As of 4/16/09, there is a new game available. Our prior statement will be re-written by the Ministry of Truth to reflect this reality.

And now, on to the exciting world of XML loadandSend programming and setting lots of options from F to T.

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DoublePlus Good

We promise to have a new game today...and here it is.

Amazingly, 1984 was 25 years ago. Oranges and Lemons, say the Bells of St. Clements...

The performance from John Hurt, as protagonist Winston Smith in George Orwell's dystopia was good, but the cameo in Spaceballs was even more entertaining.

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Ancient Egyptian Herbal Wines

As Imbibed by the Scorpion King.

Learn more

Formerly, the Scorpion King was a University of Miami linebacker from Hayward, California named Dwayne Johnson.

The reason he was called this is because the early, proto-literate rendering of his assumed name was a scorpion hieroglyph, and was depicted on a stone engraving, supposedly as the king of Upper (southern) Egypt around 3100 B.C.

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Caesar's Pirates

Piracy goes back way before Captain Kidd and Davy Jones' locker - in fact, Julius Caesar once battled pirates in the Meditteranean, then cleared his swimming pool of the same motley crew.

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Captain Kirk's Social Network?

SpaceBook...it's five year mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out intelligent life, and new civilizations. To boldly go, etc., etc., etc.

Mr. Scott, I need more server power! Now....or, you're fired.

On many occasions, Kirk was tenacious, a good entreprenurial trait...

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APOEe4 Gene Appears to Change the Brain throughout Life

Researchers at Oxford University have found that people with the APOEe4 gene variant (According to Reuters-up to 25% of the population) have more active brains than those without this specific marker.

When APOEe4-positive individuals are administered an MRI scan and given memory tasks to work on, the hippocampal area displays more activity than those who are APOE 2 or APOE3.

As the Reuters report suggests, this combination offers the potential of being able to indicate beforehand subjects could be candidates for Alzheimer's Disease.

Cognitive Labs research shows that specific Internet-based exercises may be sensitive enough to detect the early preconditions of decline, even without the expense of an MRI, through a double-blind study of APOE4 and non APOE subjects completed at Stanford (published in 2008). Think of it like getting a news alert on a defined-keyword that you set up, pertaining to your brain, genetics, and cognitive health.

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Speed and Latency

We just made some changes to these pages - brain.com's popular wall and also the black wall so they are somewhat faster by sharing available resources rather than having people enter through one small doorway.


Wall Street's Phantasm Unmasked

by Edgar Allan Poe

THE "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.

But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve, or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the "Red Death."

It was toward the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion, and while the pestilence raged most furiously abroad, that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence.

It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade. But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held. There were seven --an imperial suite. In many palaces, however, such suites form a long and straight vista, while the folding doors slide back nearly to the walls on either hand, so that the view of the whole extent is scarcely impeded. Here the case was very different; as might have been expected from the duke's love of the bizarre. The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time. There was a sharp turn at every twenty or thirty yards, and at each turn a novel effect. To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite. These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. That at the eastern extremity was hung, for example, in blue --and vividly blue were its windows. The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple. The third was green throughout, and so were the casements. The fourth was furnished and lighted with orange --the fifth with white --the sixth with violet. The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet --a deep blood color. Now in no one of the seven apartments was there any lamp or candelabrum, amid the profusion of golden ornaments that lay scattered to and fro or depended from the roof. There was no light of any kind emanating from lamp or candle within the suite of chambers. But in the corridors that followed the suite, there stood, opposite to each window, a heavy tripod, bearing a brazier of fire that projected its rays through the tinted glass and so glaringly illumined the room. And thus were produced a multitude of gaudy and fantastic appearances. But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all.

It was in this apartment, also, that there stood against the western wall, a gigantic clock of ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie or meditation. But when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly; the musicians looked at each other and smiled as if at their own nervousness and folly, and made whispering vows, each to the other, that the next chiming of the clock should produce in them no similar emotion; and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes, (which embrace three thousand and six hundred seconds of the Time that flies,) there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before.

But, in spite of these things, it was a gay and magnificent revel. The tastes of the duke were peculiar. He had a fine eye for colors and effects. He disregarded the decora of mere fashion. His plans were bold and fiery, and his conceptions glowed with barbaric lustre. There are some who would have thought him mad. His followers felt that he was not. It was necessary to hear and see and touch him to be sure that he was not.

He had directed, in great part, the moveable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great fete; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders. Be sure they were grotesque. There were much glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm --much of what has been since seen in "Hernani." There were arabesque figures with unsuited limbs and appointments. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust. To and fro in the seven chambers there stalked, in fact, a multitude of dreams. And these --the dreams --writhed in and about, taking hue from the rooms, and causing the wild music of the orchestra to seem as the echo of their steps. And, anon, there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet. And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock. The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand. But the echoes of the chime die away --they have endured but an instant --and a light, half-subdued laughter floats after them as they depart. And now again the music swells, and the dreams live, and writhe to and fro more merrily than ever, taking hue from the many-tinted windows through which stream the rays from the tripods. But to the chamber which lies most westwardly of the seven, there are now none of the maskers who venture; for the night is waning away; and there flows a ruddier light through the blood-colored panes; and the blackness of the sable drapery appals; and to him whose foot falls upon the sable carpet, there comes from the near clock of ebony a muffled peal more solemnly emphatic than any which reaches their ears who indulge in the more remote gaieties of the other apartments.

But these other apartments were densely crowded, and in them beat feverishly the heart of life. And the revel went whirlingly on, until at length there commenced the sounding of midnight upon the clock. And then the music ceased, as I have told; and the evolutions of the waltzers were quieted; and there was an uneasy cessation of all things as before. But now there were twelve strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock; and thus it happened, perhaps, that more of thought crept, with more of time, into the meditations of the thoughtful among those who revelled. And thus, too, it happened, perhaps, that before the last echoes of the last chime had utterly sunk into silence, there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before. And the rumor of this new presence having spread itself whisperingly around, there arose at length from the whole company a buzz, or murmur, expressive of disapprobation and surprise --then, finally, of terror, of horror, and of disgust.

In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it may well be supposed that no ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation. In truth the masquerade license of the night was nearly unlimited; but the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the prince's indefinite decorum. There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. The whole company, indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around. But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was dabbled in blood --and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.

When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image (which with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role, stalked to and fro among the waltzers) he was seen to be convulsed, in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage.

"Who dares?" he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him --"who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him --that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements!"

It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero as he uttered these words. They rang throughout the seven rooms loudly and clearly --for the prince was a bold and robust man, and the music had become hushed at the waving of his hand.

It was in the blue room where stood the prince, with a group of pale courtiers by his side. At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement of this group in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker. But from a certain nameless awe with which the mad assumptions of the mummer had inspired the whole party, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince's person; and, while the vast assembly, as if with one impulse, shrank from the centres of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him from the first, through the blue chamber to the purple --through the purple to the green --through the green to the orange --through this again to the white --and even thence to the violet, ere a decided movement had been made to arrest him. It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all. He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter, having attained the extremity of the velvet apartment, turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer. There was a sharp cry --and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero. Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.


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Human Cognitive Genetics in One Photo

This mural displays...

(1) The location of APOE on the 19th chromosome, out of 23 possible positions.
(2) The migration of modern humans from Africa
(3) The beginning of art and consciousness
(4) A scientific look at fixing the APOEe4 'bug'

Around 200,000 years is shown. Interestingly, those most prone to APOE 4/4 are descendants of migratory individuals who left Africa after the common ancestor-whose echoes remain in the DNA of everyone on Earth today, was born.

Consciousness is somewhat more complex. Some experts believed early burial including Neanderthals from locations like Shanidar Cave in the Zagros Mountains with significant pollen deposits mixed into the matrix are evidence that ceremonial flowers (maybe even leis, aloha) were tossed into the grave and point to consciousness and spiritualism. Others point to drawings of dot-fields as signs of spiritualism or shamanism (maybe ancient wo/man was consuming plant concoctions and this led to a spiritual dawn). Another group points to depictions of stick figures, and others rely on the full-blown dramatic inverted realism of Lascaux Cave, with beautiful renderings of grazing animals, as signs of thinking the imponderable.

Regardless, cognitive decline shuts down the brain prematurely, and one of the vectors is the genetic risk factor. Modern life, too, may be a culprit.

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terminator 2 pinball wizard brain mash

Try. More...

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Please go to the page to hear the background track, from an industrial-electronic album I'm accumulating material for with a working title of Internal Helix. This track is T2 Game Tears Mix.

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Robot Body Language Impacts Human Responses

A researcher at Carnegie - Mellon has found that the physical moves of robots affects how humans view them....perhaps related to the uncanny valley theory... | on cognitive labs

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The Gaussian Copula Model

Created by Dr. David X. Li, this algorithm expresses the degree of variance in risk probability between two given assets as a simple ratio.

Gaussian Copula plot

Put simply, the model enabled packaging of credit default swaps (CDS's) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO's) into securities that could be sold to investors. As this Wired piece by Felix Salmon explains, the quantity of the securities created based on collaterilization outstripped the actual collateral. A simple way of thinking about it is to imagine selling multiple life insurance instruments against an accidental casualty, then experiencing a massive number of casualties. It's both clearer and more insightful than most reporting on the topic. Critics of Gaussian over-exuberance include Darrell Duffie at Stanford.

Here's the article

David X. Li, Ph.D.

Simon, who writes market movers for CondeNast's Portfolio, has an email address at felixATfelixsalmon.com

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New Cognitive Labs Site Coming

Cognitive Labs has acquired another Internet URL (joining brain.com) and will be launching an additional site focused on science, research, and distribution of our API's into various sectors of the publishing world. Users will be the editors and can decide how much they want to deploy the technology.

Hint: This website will leverage our published research (Stanford) relating to the APOEe4 genetic marker for Alzheimer's. Even WebMD acknowledges that 'genetics' is the number 2 factor in Alzheimer's risk, after age. Being proactive and managing your own information is really what the future of health is about.

Here is a Medline reference.

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Pirate's Bay Goes Mainstream

Yo Ho Ho Ho A Pirate's Life for me.

Slashdot, sourcing the blog TorrentFreak reported today that the Pirate's Bay, a den of rascallions loosely configuring a massive underground network of voluntary Internet torrents made a deal with Warner Brothers.

You'll have to judge whether on April 1st (still) this is true or not.

But one thing that is true I learned on Facebook from another Mike Addicott from Bristol, UK (who since has moved to Australia) is that the tavern/inn featuring prominently in the opening of Treasure Island - the "Admiral Benbow" is still there. It was the home of Jim Hawkins. Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired by it in creating the characters of Billy Bones, Long John Silver, and the rest.

Stevenson also created the story elements pirate treasure maps, X-marked spots, and sailors with eyepatches and parrots on their shoulders.

Map of Treasure Island drawn by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Google to Bail out General Motors

One of those web rumors ricocheting around the Internet Economy today...

Google to buy GM?

In a surprise press conference today a White House spokesperson announced that as part of the government rescue of the auto industry, General Motors may be sold to Google (*see note 1 below).

In the face of much political controversy about the ballooning Federal deficit, it seems that Google has stepped in to assist in the transition of the auto industry to a new business model.

It is thought that Google has several new product initiatives ready for the GM acquisition including:

* Auto-AdSense - dashboards of all GM cars will henceforth include a small central panel devoted to Google advertising;
* Enhanced local search - connection to the car's GPS unit will allow location-sensitive search results to be presented to drivers and passengers in real-time;
* In-GPS video ad-streaming from YouTube linked to addresses entered into the system by drivers.

The new GM cars, "powered by Google", will also enable integration with Google's other offerings such as Google Earth and Google Street View. A new "person-search" will allow users worldwide to locate any GM car instantly and watch it via Google StreetView while also being able to see any planned GPS route (*see note 2 below).

"Google has pioneered the free advertising-supported business model in many sectors," Google representative April Papanatas said today. "Advertising-supported autos are simply the next step."


1. Google is not buying General Motors.
2. This is not true.
3. This news dispatch dated April 1st, 2009.

(reprint from mTHink/Revenue Magazine email)

Alas, this is not as good as Google's autospam responders, a new attachment to GMAIL, totally cool....

Yes, Prince Mohenjo-Daro, I would like to receive the sum of U.S. SEVENTEEN POINT TWO ($17.2) MILLION DOLLARS, in the form of gold kruggerands and platinum ingots squirreled away by your long lost uncle, former Education Minister Akili Mohenjo-Daro, when he unfortunately and accidentally slipped and fell from a helicopter while touring the site of a new school to be built by the UN and clean development funds collected by the high-priest Bollabol, before he tragically fell into a rice harvester after slipping on an agglomeration of children's marbles. I voluntarily am providing you with my SSN, all of my bank wire transfer numbers and a notarized power of attorney signifying that you can do whatever you want, my address, and favorite colors. I acknowledge in advance that my share is 45% of the proceeds and will let you keep 55% in my accounts because I want to help you out so much. Also, I am sending you a wire in advance and two round trip plane tickets to Tahiti.

/s/ gratified and grateful

E-Mail and Its Discontents: Colossal Oops!

In a late night red-bull/FRS frenzy, Officials at UCSD hit the send key and sent an email they really wished they hadn't sent...

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Cognitive Decline: An Accelerating Problem

A Brain Silenced Every 70 Seconds: It's Important to Get Involved, For Your Future and Others'

By the time you finish these first few paragraphs, Alzheimer’s disease will strike someone else. The attack on the brain will make someone lose track of the steps needed to place a phone call or remember the name of common items.

The fatal disease creeps up on someone new every 70 seconds. As the population ages, the rate will rise to every 33 seconds by mid-century, according to a study from the Alzheimer’s Association. 5.3 Million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's (as diagnosed) and many more have not been diagnosed or have early stage impairment. This represents a 47% increase in 5 years, while the percentage growth of fatalities caused by cancers and heart disease have actually decreased during this period (WebMD).

The costs are mind-boggling. As families deal with the emotional aspects of Mom or Dad no longer recalling sons' or daughters' names, they also face giving up or cutting back on their jobs so they can care for loved ones.

About 70 percent of people with Alzheimer’s are cared for by family members, according to the Alzheimer’s Association study, titled "Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures."

Costs By the numbers

Medicare costs tied to Alzheimer’s are expected to more than double the $91 billion in 2005 to $189 billion by 2015.

What's encouraging is the recognition that while age is the greatest risk factor, WebMD has recognized genetics as the 2nd risk factor, along with lifestyle.

Taking personal interest in your cognitive fitness and other aspects of your health and biometrics will help us experience life close to our full potential, whatever stage we're at presently - and on into the future. That's where the power of the Internet intervenes to make this dream possible.

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