... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Women in Film

In case you were wondering...

Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Ruth Chatterton, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Vivien Leigh, Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Olivia de Havilland, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Deborah Kerr, Judy Garland, Anne Baxter, Lauren Bacall, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Dandridge, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Janet Leigh, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Ann Margret, Julie Andrews, Raquel Welch, Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen Turner, Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Survival of the Sickest

02-17-12 Important update on host manipulation - How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

If you've ever HAD to read a science book, you might not believe someone could write one more compelling than a Clive Cussler novel, but it's happened. This is a short, fast read about some VERY important topics involving, biology, medicine and human evolution. Believe it or not, it's a real page-turner.

Over-all, Dr. Sharon Moalem nicely presents what I think is a new concept in biology - that life rides an edge between ALMOST, but NOT QUITE enough. He posits that this edge is expressed in the form of disease, plus and minus by degrees. As environmental conditions change this edge moves back and forth adapting to these new conditions.

He starts out talking about iron, and when too much can be worse than not enough. And vice versa. And that's the point.

When he applies the same concept to sugar and ambiant temperature, all of a sudden diabetes makes a lot more sense.

And when he gets into how worms can control a rat's behavior to hitch a ride in a cat's gut, the concept of host manipulation becomes so vivid that the idea of those very same worms turning women into sluts becomes quite plausable.

OK, some of this is speculative, but the science is all referenced so you can dig as deep as you need. You get to reach your own conclusions.

His presentation on epigenetics convinced me that genetics is just the first layer in an amazingly complex and dynamic interaction between genes and the environment - maybe your grandfather's. So much for nature versus nurture. It's now nature AND nuture. This is facinating stuff.

And finally his presentation on the Aquatic Ape was my first exposure to this fairly novel idea. It makes far more sense than what we've been taught since grade school about primate evolution.

Dr. Moalem not only has brough together some diverse ideas into a presentation more meaningful than any single study could accomplish, he does it in a way that makes you want to ask even MORE questions.

Even though he sets up the premise, he doesn't quite take things to the level of extropy. I'll do that for him in another blog post - stay tuned. In any case, his are very fun thoughts.

And it's REAL science.

I sincerely hope there's a sequal.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Does Google have an Achilles' heel?

John Dvorak has been a favorite of mine for years. Here is a collection of his observations about Google, Craig's List, conformance and control. There's even an interesting comparison with Burning Man and "The Matrix".

I obviously agree with Google when it comes to content over presentation, steak over sizzle, but find the attempts to control outrageous! Marketing can be such a fluffy topic and I guess it shows it's hard to do that much good without slipping over the line now and then.

Let me know what you think...

Tech giant and its weaknesses are sheltered by media