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Andrew Carpenter
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 30/2015.
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Brain inspired networking, Scene description, Bacteria vs cancer, Deep learning genetics, Sophisticated DNA origami, Graphene on silicon, Viral immune aging, Stretchy conducting fibers, Biomimicking solar cells, Useful metal foams. 

1. Better Brain-Inspired Networking
New fundamental insights into how the growing brain develops neural networks through variable rates of synaptic pruning have led to the development of algorithms for building efficient computer networking architectures Simulations of such networks suggest that they are more efficient than current computer networks, allowing more direct information flows, multiple paths to reach destinations, and reduced risk of network failure. 

2. Image Recognition and Scene Description
Here’s an interesting and accessible update article on Stanford’s NeuralTalk algorithm that can analyse images, recognise objects in them, and describe the scene in natural language with regards to the relation between different objects and their number This work continues to be developed and there are now far more examples of its use; it isn’t perfect and doesn’t yet work in all situations reliably but the results are impressive nonetheless and realtime relevant applications such as for autonomous vehicle operation are also being explored. In related news object recognition for robots takes a step forward

3. Bacteria that Kill Cancer Cells
An interesting twist on modern cancer immunotherapies involves the use of engineered bacterial strains that attack tumour cells by entering them and subsequently thrive and replicate in the low-oxygen environments that are usually present This whole field began with the observation that surgical tumour-removal patients were more likely to recover if they developed post-surgical infection. Engineered bacterial strains are designed to retain efficiency while reducing overall human toxicity. It’s also interesting to think about this in the sense of a lethal form of endosymbiosis. 

4. Deep Learning: Genetics and Sketching
A couple of interesting deep learning advances this week. First, Deep Genomics launches to offer advanced personalised medicine and genome analysis services to better predict the consequences of certain mutations on a person’s health Second, the Sketch-a-Net system demonstrated that it can correctly identify the subject of a line-drawn sketch better than a human can In related news deep learning can recognise faces from just thermal images

5. Increasing Sophistication of DNA Origami
Improvements in computer aided design of 3D DNA origami structures now make it easier than ever to create custom, atomically-precise, 3D DNA origami materials The algorithms will take an arbitrary 3D shape, optimise the interlocking DNA scaffolding to realise the shape at the nanoscale and determine the best DNA sequences that need to be produced in order to form the structures; in the example demonstration these included bunny rabbits, nanotubes, toruses, humanoids, icosahedra and other things. In the same week another group also pushed the boundaries with their 2D and 3D DNA origami patterns

6. Graphene-on-Silicon Innovations
A new wafer-scale ion-implantation synthesis method has demonstrated a simple and scalable way to produce uniform graphene sheets on silicon, potentially enabling integrated circuits that can more readily dissipate heat In other work graphene on silicon creates a near frictionless surface in which two surfaces can slide past each other smoothly when separated by nanodiamond clusters that encase themselves in graphene nanoscrolls

7. Why Tackle a Virus that Causes No Symptoms
Infection and its recurrence by cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is prevalent throughout most of the population, causes few if any symptoms and so might be innocuous. But chronic life-long infection by this virus activates the immune system on an on-going basis and this leads to aging of the immune system, the accumulation of damage, and contributes to the reduction of immune efficiency with age So there are good reasons for developing therapies and interventions towards such a seemingly harmless virus. 

8. Stretchy, Electrically-Conducting Fibers
A new fiber material has been developed that can reversibly stretch to over 14 times its length while electrical conductivity increases by 200 times when fully stretched The base fibers consist of a rubber core wrapped in carbon nanotube fibers, and these are engineered with a deliberate buckled structure that helps provide the beneficial properties. The group hope to develop applications in artificial muscles and machine actuators. 

9. Biomimicry Improves Solar Cells
A new solar cell design utilises a surface that mimics the texture and structure of the compound eyes of moths, albeit at much smaller feature sizes of 20nm, in order to exploit anti-reflective properties The surfaces are self-assembled from block copolymers and effectively reduce light reflections to less than 1% across all visible and near-infrared wavelengths of light. The self-assembly process appears scalable; hopefully this can be applied to commercial grade solar cells and other materials. 

10. Useful Properties for Metal Foams
Lightweight composite metal foam materials are effective at both blocking a range of radiation sources (x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons) and also absorbing high-impact collision energy Initial tests were very promising but the group believe further optimisation and improvements are possible, mainly with their lead candidate comprising stainless steel with small amounts of tungsten. Applications include nuclear safety and transportation, space exploration, and medical devices - particularly those that utilise radiation. 

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Next level in Blood Testing - gets nod from the FDA

The Silicon Valley company Theranos has an alternative—instead of a hypodermic needle and multiple vials of blood, Theranos technology uses a finger prick like the one diabetics use to measure their blood sugar. With just a few milliliters of blood Theranos can test for hundreds of things, from cancer biomarkers to cholesterol counts, illegal drugs to infectious diseases. What’s more, many of the tests are cheap. And in at least one state, the system doesn’t require a visit to a doctor’s office or a lab. But Theranos has been slow to deploy its system.
Blood testing company Theranos got a federal waiver that lets them distribute their technology nationwide.
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Coming Soon: An Idea
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Can't wait!
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I need #8. Impaired mitochondria is one of the worst aging factors.
SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 28/2015.
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Graphene ultrasound, DeepStereo image synthesis, Collaborative smartphone photography, Quantum dot AFM, Gut bacteria computers, Aging repair signals, Multi-brain networking, Mitochondrial gene therapy, Implantable microfluidics, Wireless device charging. 

1. Wideband Ultrasound with Graphene
Tiny ultrasonic wideband microphones have been made with graphene The device represents the first good, scalble, economical, wideband ultrasound transmitter / receiver and was used to create an ultrasonic radio that can be used for wireless communications. Sensitivity is significant, from 20 Hz to 500 kHz (double what a bat can hear) and helped the group accurately record the sounds of bats. Expect applications in imaging, medical, communications, surveillance, remote sensing, drones and robotics. 

2. Google’s DeepStereo Deep Learning Image Synthesis
Google’s latest deep learning advance is an algorithm called DeepStereo that take two images of a scene and synthesise a third image from a different point of view The system was originally tested for Google Streetview, and worked to synthesise new images in between existing Streetview images in order to create additional frames so that a 25 fps video of Streetview images would run at an acceptable rate and not ridiculously quick; virtually any sequence of images can be turned into smooth running video and it produces images that are difficult to distinguish from originals. Very interesting for producing more complete virtual maps and environments. 

3. Collaborative Photography via Ad Hoc Collections of Smartphones
Possessing a lot of overlap with the DeepStereo item above but worthy of its own entry is the new CamSwarm and PanoSwarm collaborative computational photography software applications for smartphones This allows one smartphone to easily coordinate an array of other smartphones and their users as a collaborative array of cameras to synchronously capture images and video, for example to generate Matrix-style “bullet-time” videos on the fly. Tools like DeepStereo might help fill in gaps in these ad hoc arrays.

4. Quantum Dot Tips Boost AFM Sensitivity
Scanning Quantum Dot Microscopy is a new imaging technique enabled by attaching a single molecule quantum dot to the tip of an Atomic Force Microscope and allowing ultra-high-resolution sub-nanometer imaging of the electric fields around atoms and molecules The molecule itself, positioned at the tip, and comprising just 38 atoms, functions like another sensitive balance or cantilever whose tiny movements can be measured as it responds to the tiniest changes in electric field strength of the substrate below. 

5. Engineering Computing Elements into Bacterial Gut Populations
Bacteria have previously been engineered with genetic sensors, memory elements, and circuits but now these tools have been extended to include common gut bacterial species that are present at abundant levels in most people’s intestinal flora, and these have been tested in mice The bacteria were engineered with an expanded toolkit able to respond to different signals to switch certain genes on and off and to alter specific regions of DNA to record triggered events; in mice the bacteria could be examined to determine what the mice ate. The group will expand to other species of bacteria to account for an even greater proportion of the gut population, aim for establishment of permanent engineered populations in the gut, and help build disease diagnostics and other tools.

6. Signalling Aging and Repair
While introducing new cells is an exciting prospect for repair and rejuvenation therapies, remotely signalling existing cells to do the same preferable in some cases. Examples this week of the latter include (i) isolating vesicles or exosomes secreted by stem cells and introducing these into mice with damaged hearts to significantly boost repair of the heart, and (ii) strong evidence that a particular microglobulin molecule plays a major role in cognitive decline and that moving it from circulation in the body would boost neurogenesis and significantly improve cognitive function

7. Collaborative Networking of Brains
Three monkey brains were networked together as part of a demonstration for multiple brains able to cooperate and solve problems together The three monkeys, with electrodes implanted into their brains, were able to accurately control a robotic arm by synchronising their thoughts, even when each monkey was restricted to controlling a single linear dimension of the arm’s movement; the work was also replicated in a more complex fashion in rats. In related news a live neurofeedback art experiment has collected real-time EEG data from more than 500 adult humans all wearng BCI headbands

8. Mitochondrial Gene Therapy
The company Gensight has developed a powerful mitochondrial gene therapy platform for delivering correct genes to defective mitochondria and looks set to pull in significant amounts of funding via an public listing This platform delivers correct genes to the cell nucleus but incorporates a specific tag sequence that causes the cell to transport the mRNA transcript to mitochondria (much like most other mitochondrial genes) for translation to functional protein. In addition to treating mitochondrial diseases this is a great platform for treating one of the seven key causes of aging. Regarding aged immune systems, restoring youthful immune function with the use of implanted engineered thymus organoids is showing promise

9. Implantable Microfluidics for Drug Delivery
In conjunction with Teva Pharmaceuticals, Microchips Biotech has developed and will commercialise an implantable microfluidic wireless microchip device able to store and release drugs into the body over extended periods of time The chip represents years of complex testing and development and can be programmed to deliver drugs or else activated by an external wireless device, improving patient compliance and convenience over time. I think the main promise is as a platform that others can develop and use, and I’d like to see it incorporate microfluidics able to sense items from blood and synthesise required drugs / compounds from simple feedstocks present in blood. 

10. Advances in Wireless Charging
A new wireless battery charging system can recharge devices up to half a meter away with an energy efficiency of up to 34% and regardless of the orientation of the device itself The key innovation here is the agnostic orientation for the charged device. Applications aren’t limited to desks that easily charge phones and laptops, but rather this technology would be very useful for remote drones, robots, sensors, and even charging the implanted devices described above. 

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Why have university costs grown at a rate far beyond any other expense categories? If we just throw money at the problem, we won't solve the problem. 
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The nibs taste kinda sweet. We even put them on ice cream, and in our green smoothies. Antioxidants.
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 29/2015.
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Gene therapy hearing, Single molecule transistor, Better metamaterials, Crystal light traps, Optofluidic neural probe, Synthetic foods, New particle phenomena, New CRISPR tools, Memory tracking, Regenerating neuronal axons. 

1. Restoring Hearing with Gene Therapy
Deaf mice have had their hearing restored via a gene therapy that used a standard engineered adeno-associated virus to deliver a correct version of a single gene to sensory hair cells in the cochlea The mechanistic insights into sound perception are equally nice to consider: the gene encodes a channel protein that sits on the microvilli of sensory hair cells whose deformation due to pressure waves causes the channels to open and allow calcium ions to enter the cell. There are a number of different genes that can cause deafness and this platform might be tailored to correct all of them as needed depending on the genetics of each patient. 

2. Single Molecule Transistor
A basic experimental transistor has been demonstrated that consists of a single phthalocyanine molecule surrounded by a hexagon of 12 indium atoms At this scale structures are hypersensitive to single electron hops and in this case fabricated with a scanning tunnelling microscope; it turns out that electron flow across the molecule is coupled to the orientation of the surface-bound molecule and is capable of generating large conductance gaps. 

3. Improvements in Metamaterial Designs
A few interesting new metamaterial designs this week. First, a new and incredibly thin carpet cloak has been designed to incorporate periodic teflon and ceramic dielectric structures that can effectively bend light to shield anything beneath the cloak to give the appearance of a flat surface This is a two-dimensional metamaterial design and now they just need to make the thing to prove that it works. Second, a new metamaterial design is able to accurately preserve the phase of light while guiding it around sharp corners and abrupt bumps Third, progress towards lossless perfect lenses

4. Trapping Light in Crystal Granules 
Tiny crystals of hexagonal boron nitride can effectively trap light within their structures Incident light becomes trapped within the material in a form known as a phonon polariton, and at certain resonant frequencies the light adopts simple closed orbits and this produces hot spots of electric fields that form elaborate geometric patterns. The resonant frequencies depend on the physical shape of the crystal and this is an instance of storing light inside a tiny piece of material for extended periods. A nice, elegant new phenomena that we’ll have to wait to see applications for. 

5. Tiny Optofluidic Neural Probe
A tiny flexible neural probe has been developed, a tenth the diameter of a human hair, wirelessly controllable, and able to both deliver drugs to deep inside the brain and also turn on LED lights to switch on optogenetically activated neurons This new device causes far less damage and displacement compared to existing devices. In experiments it was able to effectively deliver multiple different drugs including gene delivery vectors to the brains of mice and was also able to influence and control behaviour via light activation. Seems to be a great new platform tool for pushing this space forward. 

6. Better “Synthetic” Foods
At some point we’re going to have to drop that “synthetic” label for these new food technologies. First this week was presentations about the ongoing development of 3D printing with foods and the economic and personalised sensation benefits that might accrue Second, the cost of cultured lab-grown burger meat continues to build on the advance announced in 2013 and is currently projected to decline from $300,000 down to $65 per kilogram

7. Experimental Confirmation of Weyl Point Phenomena
In a nice reduction of theory to practice massless particles with a single point in their energy spectrum , called Weyl points, have been proven to exist experimentally with the aid of new photonic crystal designs This work was done with microwave light in order to simplify the crystal fabrication but there is no reason visible light couldn’t be used in future. Possible future applications include optical devices, high-power single-mode lasers, and bulk materials or lenses that only allow a certain angle and a certain frequency of light to pass through. 

8. CRISPR with Non-Homologous Insertions and Light Activation
A new CRISPR system can achieve targeted insertion of genetic sequences up to 5,000 base pairs long into mammalian cells via non-homologous end-joining, i.e. without the need to include lengthy homologous sequence arms on each side of the genetic sequence / gene of interest and DNA cut or insertion site Other benefits include simpler, cheaper plasmid vectors and while the efficiency of integration was not high there is scope to improve this if needed in future. Another newly engineered form of CRISPR now allows light-activation of the CRISPR machinery for applications such as regulating genes with light for example

9. Measuring Memory, Improving Memory, and Altering Neuronal Firing
Electrodes implanted into rat brains and measuring activity from place cells in the hippocampus suggest that there are definite gaps in certain types of normal memory, far from the smooth flow that typically characterises memory A new type of transcranial direct current stimulation known as transcranial pulsed current stimulation appears to boost neuronal excitability and muscle skill acquisition while transcranial magnetic stimulation appears to show good results in dampening neuronal excitability and associated tinnitus symptoms

10. Regenerating Neuronal Axons in Severed Spines
I missed this a couple of weeks ago but switching off or deleting one particular gene was sufficient to induce neuronal regeneration and axon growth in the spines of mice with severed spines The neurons were able to bridge the site of injury regardless of whether gene inactivation happened immediately, four months post injury, or one year post injury and are able to form tentative synaptic connections. As a candidate treatment the gene inactivation might be targeted to certain neurons or the specific region of interest. 

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Conservitards haha
This is often what it feels like trying to have a polite, reasoned discussion about climate change on Google+.
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"Science is the Engine of Prosperity." ~Dr. Michio Kaku
-->CURRENT AS OF 08/21/2014<--

Science is a Way of Life | Knowledge is Power
Skepticism and Curiosity are the Fuels of Knowledge.

Compiling and Crystallizing the next generation's scientifically validated protocols for empowering and enabling personal intelligence, health, longevity...sustainably.

Follow me for:
  • Science & Tech
  • Trending and Systemic Changes in Culture & Markets
  • My Opinions about Optimizing and Changing our Collective Paradigms
  • Sustainability & Health

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race ” -Calvin Coolidge

  • Discoverying myself
  • Lateral (divergent) thinker
  • an infovore/philomath
  • trying to change the world one mind at a time
  • Egalitarian
  • INTP (introversion, intuition, thinking, perceiving) [Myers-Briggs Personality Type]


  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition - Natural Medicine (I'm biased towards natural vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds rather than pharmaceuticals. I prefer prevention rather than intervention.)
  • Nootropics (mind enhancing drugs and nutrients)
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Quantum Mechanics

  • Open Source - Development and Data
  • Web 3.0, Semantics, Ontologies
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Liquid Fluoride-Thorium Nuclear Reactors
  • Graphene!
  • Quantum Electronics
  • Optical Electronics
  • Biological Batteries

Social: (politics):
  • Social Reform
  • COOPERATIVES (United Nations 2012: Year of the Cooperative!)
  • SHARED SOURCES (Infrastructures and Services that cut down on redundant waste)
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Commercial (feral) Hemp Legalization (paper, cloth, ethanol, food, CO2 reduction, fertilizer and pesticide reduction)
  • PROGRESSIVE LIBERTARIAN (Scientific Conservative) [Grassroots-Organized-Anarchist] [Progressive and Participatory-Tiered-Democracy] [Socialist-Free Market] [Peaceful-Post-Scarcity] [Scientific-Accepting] [Fractal-Unionist] (Why? Because the more "networked" a nation is, the better. The U.S. started out pretty good. It can be done better. Authoritarian Regimes are very dangerous. Power should be as diversified and distributed as possible. It promotes humility.)
  • * (The E-Harmony of Politics!) *
Focus is great and all, but knife edges and pencil points both need a lot of supporting matrix behind that. Without that you have nothing. It is this concept that makes me want to have a broad understanding of the larger picture of things when I research trending movements and technologies and current events. Even in daily life, I can't help but notice patterns that others don't notice. I connect dots that others don't even see as dots.

I absolutely Love Science and the process of Discovery. My curiosity is what motivates me to explore a wider field of view (context) than what I see right now. I am more of an Abstract thinker than a purely causal and logical thinker. I like to look for patterns. I love Visual Data. I like to think about Consciousness. The only useful education I have had is that which I was motivated to find myself. I have a passion for learning and it is very important to me that I find my information from a very wide variety of sources. I attribute my success as an independent researcher almost entirely to the power of the internet, and raw persistence. It's a great feeling to be able to stand upon the shoulders of giants and to peer out of my own experience onto the plains of the collective mind. Proper assimilation of our culture's knowledge into our individual minds is what gives us an edge.
I'm interested in networking and sharing knowledge with others. I'm interested in Content which includes ideas, resources, plans, dreams, movements, etc.


"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." -Alvin Toffler

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking." -Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” -Albert Einstein

“Indulge your passion for science…but let your science be human, and such as may have a direct reference to action and society. Be a philosopher; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.” -David Hume

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error." - Linus Pauling

“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” -Ernst Fischer

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." -Alice Walker

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller

"Your competitive advantage comes from the accuracy of your interpretation of reality and the way you articulate your life experience." -Jennifer Sertl

"What looks like luck to most people is when preparation meets opportunity." -Oprah Winfrey

"When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." -John Ruskin

“For since most of our living is unconscious, play is like match-strokes in the void, bringing into light the structures we behave by, illuminating for us, however briefly, our deep meanings.” -M. C. Richards

" Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." -Albert Einstein

"When science is truly new...the technology that results from it “cannot be imagined” in advance." -Anton Zeilinger

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” -Sri Chinmoy Ghose

"An organism at war with itself is doomed." -Carl Sagan

“Knowledge is a public good and increases in value as the number of people possessing it increases.” —John Wilbanks is vice president of science at Creative Commons.

"Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I'll understand." -Confucius

"Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forego an advantage." -Benjamin Disraeli

"Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor." -Robert Frost

I'm not interested in the world as it is. I'm interested in the world as I see it.
This means: DISRUPTION
The following excerpt is taken from:
Integrative Thinking is the process of integrating intuition, reason and imagination in a human mind with a view to developing a holistic continuum of strategy, tactics, action, review and evaluation for addressing a problem in any field. A problem may be defined as the difference between what one has and what one wants.

The Rotman School of Management defines integrative thinking as:

"...the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each."[1]

The website continues:

"Integrative thinkers build models rather than choose between them. Their models include consideration of numerous variables — customers, employees, competitors, capabilities, cost structures, industry evolution, and regulatory environment — not just a subset of the above. Their models capture the complicated, multi-faceted and multidirectional causal relationships between the key variables in any problem. Integrative thinkers consider the problem as a whole, rather than breaking it down and farming out the parts. Finally, they creatively resolve tensions without making costly trade-offs, turning challenges into opportunities."

Gandhi's Seven Deadly Sins:
  • Wealth without Work
  • Pleasure without Conscience
  • Science without Humanity
  • Knowledge without Character
  • Politics without Principle
  • Commerce without Morality
  • Worship without Sacrifice

Maslow's list of Metaneeds:

  1. Wholeness (unity)
  2. Perfection (balance and harmony)
  3. Completion (ending)
  4. Justice (fairness)
  5. Richness (complexity)
  6. Simplicity ( essence)
  7. Liveliness (spontaneity)
  8. Beauty (rightness of form)
  9. Goodness (benevolence)
  10. Uniqueness (individuality)
  11. Playfulness (ease)
  12. Truth (reality)
  13. Autonomy (self-sufficiency)
  14. Meaningfulness (values)

  • Impact - Douglas Preston (Aliens)
  • The Offsite - Robert H. Thompson (Leadership Fable)
  • Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think - Peter H. Diamandis - Steven Kotler (Future Abundance and Prosperity through Technology and Post-Scarcity)
  • The Power of Pull - John Hagel (Pull-Based Strategies, Distributed Leadership, and Need-Based Supply Webs and Ecosystems)
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government - Glenn Beck (Economics, Government, Progressivism, Conservatism, Freedom, Individual Liberty)
  • Silversun Pickups - The Royal We
  • Linkin Park - The Catalyst
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Manheim Steamroller
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Shinedown
432 Hz A TUNING (Lower the frequency of Concert Pitch back to the original 432-A)
Popping and Locking style dance
Bragging rights
-I was on Google+ within the first week of it launching its field trial! -I think for myself...with others in mind.
Nutritional Research, Blogging
Research, Health, Nutrition, Writing, Systems Thinking, Science, Biology, Construction (Framing)
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    Outbound Order Selector, 2015 - present
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Des Moines, IA
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Andrew Carpenter's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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