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Matthew J Price
Father, Transhumanist, Futurist, Philosopher, Economist, Master Floss Roller
Father, Transhumanist, Futurist, Philosopher, Economist, Master Floss Roller

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A little too close for comfort

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I thought Borowitz wrote satirical articles, not straight factual ones?


WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a fiercely defiant statement on Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, denied that any member of the White House staff has ever worked “in any way, shape, or form” for the benefit of the United States.

Angrily addressing the press corps, Spicer said that any allegations that members of the Trump Administration have ever acted in concert or collusion with the United States are “unequivocally false.”

“At no time during the transition or afterward did any member of the Trump team have meetings, conversations, or any other contacts that furthered the interests of the United States of America,” Spicer said. “In the thousands of communications that took place, the United States never came up even once.”

Drawing a stark contrast with the Administration of former President Barack Obama, Spicer said that many members of Obama’s staff were “clearly and flagrantly working for the United States government at all times.”

“President Trump has put an end to that,” he said.

In closing, Spicer said that the recent effort to pass the Republican health-care bill should silence “once and for all” those trying to link the Trump Administration to the United States government. “If you look at the interaction between the White House and congressional Republicans, there is absolutely no evidence of coördination,” he said.

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Is computer go no longer a one horse race? At the 10th Computer Go UEC Cup in Japan about a week ago, the go-playing AI by Tencent (of Weibo etc) handily won. Facebook was represented there, though Google's AlphaGo was not. Tencent's FineArt also played the number 1 human, Ke Jie, and won all ten times.
Is a head to head between FineArt and AlphaGo in the future? That would be exciting to see.

Hard to believe it's been a year since AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol.

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If you want something done, ask the busiest person. Or is it do it yourself? Well, in this case it's both, because Elon Musk is starting a company to design brain computer interfaces. 

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"Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn’t speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people’s “uh’s.” He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him because he did not want to be misunderstood. President Obama valued precision, in no small part because he knew he lived in a world where every last presidential word was a speech act, a declaration with consequence, so that the very statement that the sky was blue, say, would be scoured for evidence that the president was declaring a policy on the nature of nature.

That was then. Now we have a president who, when he speaks, spatters the air with unfinished chunks, many of which do not qualify as sentences, and which do not follow from previous chunks. He does not release words into a stream of consciousness but into a heap. He heaps words on top of words, to overwhelm meaning with vague gestures. He does not think, he lurches."

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Happy birthday +Mark Bruce​, I hope you're getting enough sleep ^^ indefinitely many returns of the day to you and yours

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Happy Science Sunday and a dose of good news for a change
SciTech Digest - 13/2017.
Permalink here:

Tetrachromatic filters, Optogenetic stop light, Automated Lego lab, CRISPR applications, Antiaging breakthroughs, More medical implants, Molecular moire patterns, Quantum dot lasers, Cryo-Electron microscopy, Robot bug zapper.

1. Filters for Tetrachromatic Vision
New lenses filter out different parts of the spectrum and when fitted to glasses allow the wearer to see colours that are normally hidden (known as metamers), and which might provide tetrachromatic vision and beyond

2. Optogenetic Stop Light
Optogenetics gets an expanded toolkit with a newly engineered protein that responds to green light by shutting off cellular signalling

3. Lego Lab Automation
A new DIY lego robot design and free software download lets anyone build an automated life sciences and chemistry robot for carrying out lots of sequential tests, reactions, and measurements

4. CRISPR Applications
First, CRISPR is being used to target cancer cell’s synthetic lethal vulnerabilities in which two genes have dependent effects such that if one is mutated cancer results but if the other is also mutated then cell death results Second, CRISPR is enhancing T-Cell immunotherapy treatments for cancer and might provide off-the-shelf cells rather than necessitating patient-derived cells

5. Antiaging Breakthroughs
First, cell-penetrating peptides comprising specific sequences demonstrate the ability to block particular cellular interactions and cause apoptosis of senescent cells, and demonstrating pretty decent antiaging effects in mice models Second, immortalised cell lines have been engineered that could mass produce red blood cells, while the osteopontin protein has been discovered to rejuvenate white blood cell activity

6. Better, More Natural Medical Implants
First, a new technique prevents scar tissue formation around implanted medical devices Second, another new technique quickly grafts PEDOT polymer films on metal substrates that can improve the interfacing of neurons with biomedical implants

7. Molecular Moire Superstructures
I first came across the very cool Moire patterns via Numberphile But now molecular moire superstructures can be formed via block copolymers

8. Flying Saucer Quantum Dots
While specific sizes of quantum dots produce distinct colours of light, altering the specific shape of quantum dots produces far more efficient quantum dot lasers that might solve the heating issues that have plagued this application

9. Cryo-Electron Microscopy Imaging
Cryo-Electron Microscopy has been significantly extended with the new ability to produce three dimensional atomic-scale images and models of complex biological structures including complete viruses

10. Underwater Bug Zapper
Perhaps inspired by the device that zapper mosquitoes with lasers, a new underwater robotic drone zapps lice to protect fish in fish-farms

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