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“We Can See Through the Big Bang to the Universe That Existed in the Aeon Before Ours” March 24, 2011

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The core concept in Penrose’s theory is the idea that in the very distant future the universe will in one sense become very similar to how it was at the Big Bang. Penrose says that “at these points the shape, or geometry, of the universe was and will be very smooth, in contrast to its current very jagged form. This continuity of shape, he maintains, will allow a transition from the end of the current aeon, when the universe will have expanded to become infinitely large, to the start of the next, when it once again becomes infinitesimally small and explodes outwards from the next big bang. Crucially, he says, the entropy at this transition stage will be extremely low, because black holes, which destroy all information that they suck in, evaporate as the universe expands and in so doing remove entropy from the universe.”

via “We Can See Through the Big Bang to the Universe That Existed in the Aeon Before Ours” (Today’s Most Popular).

Video – Super-intense Kiteboarding Moves March 19, 2011

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Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You March 19, 2011

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“I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,’ ” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’ ”

Senior Cell Phone

Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward. “Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now,” Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners, said by way of opening our phone conversation. “I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people.”

Telephones were first sold exclusively for business purposes and only later as a kind of practical device for the home. Husbands could phone wives when traveling on business, and wives could order their groceries delivered. Almost immediately, however, people began using the telephone for social interactions. “The phone companies tried to stop that for about 30 years because it was considered improper usage,” Dr. Fischer said.

via Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You – NYTimes.com.

Video – Hawaiian Volcano Eruption March 19, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Enviroment, Video.
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Young Qaddafi Family Photo March 19, 2011

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Here, Qaddafi poses with his second wife, Safia, and some of his children in November 1986 near the Bab Aziza palace in Libya, destroyed in a U.S. air raid. Qaddafi has eight biological children, seven of them sons, many of them embracing, in one way or another, the Western values that their father hated (and has railed against). But with his regime under fire, the Qaddafi children have been among their father’s most ardent supporters, in many ways rejecting their past inclinations toward reform and partnership with the West.

As The News Bopps Along March 18, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, In The News, News and politics.
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(more…)

Video – Street-Level View of Tsunami Coming March 15, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Video.
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We’ve only seen segments on Western TV of this remarkable Video from Japanese Television. Thanks to Cindy Burke.

Somali Adventure Cruise March 12, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Humor, Lifestyle.
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The Best of the Tsunami Photos March 12, 2011

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Click on all images to enlarge

 

This link will take you to more amazing pictures posted so far on this photo blog.

Earthquake in Japan – Alan Taylor – In Focus – The Atlantic.

Video – Bach Played On Wine Glasses March 10, 2011

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Video – Let’s Ride Motorcycles March 9, 2011

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Thanks to Jeff Ullian for passing this one on.

Chart of Who Buys Oil From Libya March 8, 2011

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Almost 80% of Libya’s Oil exports go to Europe.

Video – Norwegian Northern Lights March 6, 2011

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Why You Can’t Help Your Kids With Math March 6, 2011

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“That’s largely to reflect the different needs of society,” he says. “No one ever in their real life anymore needs to — and in most cases never does — do the calculations themselves.”

Computers do arithmetic for us, Devlin says, but making computers do the things we want them to do requires algebraic thinking. For instance, take a computer spreadsheet. The computer does all the calculations for you automatically. But you have to write the macros that tell it what calculations to do — and that is algebraic thinking.

“You cannot become good at algebra without a mastery of arithmetic,” Devlin says, “but arithmetic itself is no longer the ultimate goal.” Thus the emphasis in teaching mathematics today is on getting people to be sophisticated, algebraic thinkers.

That doesn’t mean that kids can skip learning their multiplications tables. “But the way it’s taught now is you get to the multiplication tables by understanding the number system and understanding what numbers mean,” Devlin says.

via The Way You Learned Math Is So Old School : NPR.

Lawyers Replaced by Computers March 6, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Computers are getting better at mimicking human reasoning — as viewers of “Jeopardy!” found out when they saw Watson beat its human opponents — and they are claiming work once done by people in high-paying professions. The number of computer chip designers, for example, has largely stagnated because powerful software programs replace the work once done by legions of logic designers and draftsmen.

Software is also making its way into tasks that were the exclusive province of human decision makers, like loan and mortgage officers and tax accountants.

Quantifying the employment impact of these new technologies is difficult. Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy, is convinced that “legal is a sector that will likely employ fewer, not more, people in the U.S. in the future.” He estimated that the shift from manual document discovery to e-discovery would lead to a manpower reduction in which one lawyer would suffice for work that once required 500 and that the newest generation of software, which can detect duplicates and find clusters of important documents on a particular topic, could cut the head count by another 50 percent.

The computers seem to be good at their new jobs. Mr. Herr, the former chemical company lawyer, used e-discovery software to reanalyze work his company’s lawyers did in the 1980s and ’90s. His human colleagues had been only 60 percent accurate, he found.

“Think about how much money had been spent to be slightly better than a coin toss,” he said.

via Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software – NYTimes.com.

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