Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Essays , Commentary, and Insights

Change, or die: that’s the stark choice most protagonists face in literature, whether they recognize it or not.  Change is constant, and stasis is only an illusion.  What is true of people is also true of civilizations.  Cultures evolve, or they follow the lead of Ozymandias. Neal Stephenson’s epic and ...

**WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Secret Empire storyline. Proceed at your own risk** Captain America, Marvel Comics’ stalwart sentinel of liberty, has been at the center of controversy since he was revealed to have been a lifelong agent of the terrorist organization Hydra on the final page of ...

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the movie The Love Witch. Read at your own peril. Witches have been part of literature from the very beginning. Female connection to supernatural powers can be drawn directly from Medea all the way to modern stories such as The Witch and Charmed. ...

Speculative Insights from the Web...

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  • Could AI Be the Future of Fake News and Product Reviews?
    An experiment using a computer algorithm to create deceptive Yelp reviews was disturbingly successful, and could point to bigger problems as artificial intelligence matures -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com ... Read more...
    Source: Scientific American – AIPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017By Larry Greenemeier
  • Reboot your career with a job in robotics – live chat
    If you are interested in a career in artificial intelligence, ask our experts for advice on Wednesday 18 October from 1–2.30pm BSTIn the last year robots have got a bad rep. Headlines have dubbed machines our “future bosses”, with economists predicting more than 40% of UK jobs will be automated by 2030. But as machine learning improves, there is one sector which is booming: robotics.In the last three years the number of jobs in artificial ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian: RoboticsPublished on Sunday, October 15th, 2017By Charlotte Seager
  • ‘Sophia’ the robot tells UN: ‘I am here to help humanity create the future’ – video
    ‘Sophia’ the life-size social robot speaks at the United Nations, telling the audience she is ‘a year-and-a-half old and I can see you, have a full conversation, make thousands of facial expressions and understand speech and meaning behind words’. It adds: ‘And I just got these new hands – check this out’ before moving its fingers. United Nations deputy secretary general Amina J Mohammed asks the robot a question about how the UN can help ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian: RoboticsPublished on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
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  • Battle of Telamon
    Ever since the 4th century BCE, the Gallic tribes of northern Italy clashed with the expanding Roman Republic. In 225 BCE, the Boii forged alliances with fellow Gallic tribes of northern Italy and with tribes from across the Alps. The pan-Gallic army struck for Rome, but they were intercepted by three mighty Roman armies. Trapped at Cape Telamon, the outnumbered Gauls put up a hard fight but were ultimately ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
  • The Art of the Tang Dynasty
    The art of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) began to explore new possibilities in materials and styles with landscape painting and ceramics, in particular, coming to the fore. New techniques, a wider range of colours and an increase in connoisseurship and literature on art are all typical of the period. Not only produced by local artists, many fine works were created by foreigners from across East Asia ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
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  • Six Nobel prizes – what’s the fascination with the fruit fly?
    Drosophila share 60 per cent of human DNA, making them perfect for research that has led to vital strides in treating cancer, autism, diabetes and many other ills. Now scientists in the field have won yet another NobelAm not IA fly like thee?Or art not thouA man like me?With these lines, from The Fly, William Blake posed a question of unusual prescience for a poet writing 200 years ago. At first glance, there seem to ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian – GeneticsPublished on Saturday, October 7th, 2017By Robin McKie, science editor
  • Wayne McGregor: Autobiography review – a mind-boggling mix of science and sorcery
    Sadler’s Wells, LondonBeginning by sequencing his own genome, the maverick choreographer has fashioned a show that is mysteriously beautiful and curiously frustratingWayne McGregor’s titles are rarely straightforward. Compared with works such as Tetractys, Infra and Obsidian Tear, his latest show, Autobiography, sounds pretty unambiguous. It is however entirely typical of him that the piece owes very little to the conventions of personal memoir and that its starting point is the science of genetics. Related: 'The ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian – GeneticsPublished on Thursday, October 5th, 2017By Judith Mackrell
  • Synthetic bionics: E. coli pills could boost body’s ability to absorb ammonia in the gut
    Source: Genetic Literacy Project – BiotechnologyPublished on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017By Anne Nesathurai
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  • *Soonish*: The Future Is Weird and Scary and Also Hilarious
    In their new book, scientist Kelly Weinersmith and *SMBC* cartoonist Zach Weinersmith give a wild glimpse into a future that may or may not involve space elevators and brain-computer interfaces. ... Read more...
    Source: Wired – Science – SpacePublished on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017By Matt Simon
  • Neutron Star Collisions Create Gold
    Astrophysicists searching for gravitational waves have finally learned what happens when you crash two neutron stars together--and it's very, very shiny. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com ... Read more...
    Source: Scientific American – SpacePublished on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017By Lydia Chain
  • A star that devoured its own planets
    New York NY (SPX) Oct 17, 2017 A devourer of worlds lurks around 350 light-years away. According to a recent study comparing the chemical composition of a pair of sunlike stars, one of the stars has consumed the rocky equivalent of 15 Earths. "Even if our sun ate the entire inner solar system, it wouldn't come close to the anomaly we see in this star," says study coauthor David Hogg, group leader for astronomical data ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017
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