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Touch Pianist
tap any key

In the words of the British comedian Eric Morecambe when criticized about his piano playing by expert pianist, André Previn, "I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order!"

If you have always wanted to improve your piano playing then you might enjoy this new web tool and app from Batuhan Bozkurt.  The system takes care of the order of the notes of famous pieces to leave you to concentrate on the rhythm and phrasing.

Touch Pianist helps you experience some of the thrill of performing beautiful piano music composed by the masters, using nothing more than your computer.

Use any of the keys on your computer keyboard (or tap your screen on a touch screen) to trigger the next musical event. If you can manage to get the rhythm right, you will hear the music as you want it.

This is not much like a computer game. There is no score keeping. You are free to perform the music using your device in any way you desire.

If you want to watch how a piece might be performed, go to main menu and choose "Watch" for the piece you want.

Have great fun.

More here: http://goo.gl/5Xvlb5

Sketch (Wikip): http://goo.gl/2m3hX6

Sketch (YT 12:47): https://goo.gl/q0kcKe

Image: http://goo.gl/wZtvB8
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I like it
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True consumer device.
 
From Roomba to CyPhy.
While the FAA moves to regulate drones heavily, engineering advances continue.
CyPhy Works is raising funds for CyPhy LVL 1 Drone: Reinvented for Performance and Control on Kickstarter! Our drone flies simply, shares intuitively, and captures high-quality footage effortlessly. The first drone for absolutely everyone.
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http://www.nature.com/news/phage-therapy-gets-revitalized-1.15348

"Ryland Young, a virologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, attributes the previous lack of Western interest to clinicians’ preference for treating unknown infections with broad-spectrum antibiotics that kill many types of bacterium. Phages, by contrast, kill just one species or strain. But researchers now realize that they need more precise ways to target pathogenic bacteria, says microbiologist Michael Schmidt of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Along with the rising tide of strains resistant to last-resort antibiotics, there is growing appreciation that wiping out the human body’s beneficial microbes along with disease-causing ones can create a niche in which antibiotic-resistant bacteria can thrive. “Antibiotics are a big hammer,” Schmidt says. “You want a guided missile.”
 
"Viruses, like bacteria, can be important beneficial microbes in human health and in agriculture, researchers say, following a review of the current literature on beneficial viruses".
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"the team unearthed a neatly arranged set of choppers, awls, and scrapers with no wear on their surfaces whatsoever, indicating they were never employed on even a single project. “Our findings suggest that these tools were procured by this early hominid in the Lower Paleolithic period, set down in a designated space in the individual’s dwelling, and then simply stayed in the same spot untouched for the past 2 million years.” Davidson added that the tools were found next to a set of completely unused stone hand weights and a formal animal-hide loincloth that the protohuman appears to have worn only one time."
KANJERA, KENYA—In a groundbreaking find that provides new insight into early human behavior, a group of archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institute announced the discovery Friday of the first known hominid to own tools but never use them.
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Nah, more likely they were antiques, IOP, waiting for eBay to get invented.
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"Asked about his politics Thiel said he was fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but said power was with the bureaucrats, not politicians, so there was little point in taking politics too seriously.“I aspire to be a political atheist. I don’t think we should place too much hope in our political leaders,” said Thiel, “A lot of it seems to resemble World Wide Wrestling with the difference that the wrestlers know it’s all fake.”

For a better world reduce the power of bureaucrats.
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"We have heard a lot of doomsday scenarios about what will happen if we do nothing on climate change. However, there has been less attention to what the results of any actions we take to combat climate might be."

"A. Suppose we cut all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Would this avert the supposed catastrophic impacts?"

"Eliminating all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 would reduce the warming by 0.014oC (as per the EPA MAGICC model).   This is an amount of warming that is much smaller than the uncertainty in even measuring the global average temperature."

This has long been my issue. The policy prescriptions of alarmists won't do squat about the problems that they obsess about. They throw childish tantrums, lash out at others and yet have no clues about how to address the issue. 
by Judith Curry Some interesting follow-up questions from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology regarding my recent Congressional testimony. For reference, my previous blog post on t...
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"Motivated by her experience, in the recent study, Ho and Eric Kennedy (a doctoral student at Arizona State University) analyzed 22 syllabi from introductory environmental studies courses taught at top-ranked North American research universities and liberal arts colleges. They recorded course descriptions, objectives, activities, and readings according to specific themes, topics, and perspectives."

"Of the 22 syllabi assessed, less than half explicitly mentioned the importance of critical thinking or exposing students to competing perspectives. Only 10 made any reference to the fact that even among those advocating for action to address a problem like climate change, there are competing narratives about the major societal challenges, the possible technological solutions, and the political strategies needed."

"Instead, in most cases, diverging views on climate change were defined relatively simplistically in terms of the clash between mainstream scientists and the false claims of climate “deniers.”"

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GaryJones/posts/KGdEXGMhzRo


"Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus. “Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.”

I read an article the other day about the evolution of The Onion's business model over the years that wondered if it could continue to adapt to the changing journalism field. I wonder if there is any need for satire now that a simple account of institutional behavior reads like a satire from The Onion?
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"Every day, millions of people are taking medications that will not help them. The top ten highest-grossing drugs in the United States help between 1 in 25 and 1 in 4 of the people who take them (see 'Imprecision medicine'). For some drugs, such as statins — routinely used to lower cholesterol — as few as 1 in 50 may benefit1."

Health care is expensive.
Precision medicine requires a different type of clinical trial that focuses on individual, not average, responses to therapy, says Nicholas J. Schork.
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"We reviewed studies examining the influence of improved grassland management practices and conversion into grasslands on soil C worldwide to assess the potential for C sequestration. Results from 115 studies containing over 300 data points were analyzed. Management improvements included fertilization (39%), improved grazing management (24%), conversion from cultivation (15%) and native vegetation (15%), sowing of legumes (4%) and grasses (2%), earthworm introduction (1%), and irrigation (1%). Soil C content and concentration increased with improved management in 74% of the studies, and mean soil C increased with all types of improvement. Carbon sequestration rates were highest during the first 40 yr after treatments began and tended to be greatest in the top 10 cm of soil. Impacts were greater in woodland and grassland biomes than in forest, desert, rain forest, or shrubland biomes. Conversion from cultivation, the introduction of earthworms, and irrigation resulted in the largest increases. Rates of C sequestration by type of improvement ranged from 0.11 to 3.04 Mg C·ha-1 yr-1, with a mean of 0.54 Mg C·ha-1·yr-1, and were highly influenced by biome type and climate. We conclude that grasslands can act as a significant carbon sink with the implementation of improved management."

I don't think that the carbon sequestered by good land management will ever make much climate difference, but it makes a great deal of difference for land. It's sort of sick that these obvious truths that careful thinkers have been saying for many decades without much effect are being hawked as climate hacks. At least there is now more interest.
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I completely agree on the management and changing the climate, that's just talking head arrogance.
 
It's fodder for the alarmists.

When profits come by good management practices, blow the horn.
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