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June 13, 2012 — A group of Japanese scientists have surprised themselves by being able to predict the success or failure of blockbuster movies at the box office using a set of mathematical models. The researchers, publishing their study June 15, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics , used the effects of advertising and word-of-mouth communication to create a model that turned out to be successful in predicting how each movie fared once it hit the silver screen. The only data the researchers needed to put into the model were the daily advertisement costs of 25 movies that appeared in Japanese cinemas. Their model was originally designed to predict how word-of-mouth communication spread over social networks, applying it to conversations about movies in particular, which was a success; however, they also found that when they overlapped their predictions with the actual revenue of the films, they were very similar.
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I was born 75 years ago on this day. I am one of an ever-shrinking number of survivors of the internment, which resulted in the incarceration, without charges or due process, of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry. Most Americans today know little about that dark period of our nation’s history. That is why I am honored to be a part of Allegiance, a new musical that takes place during the internment. Allegiance will hold its World Premiere this September at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego before a planned transfer to Broadway in 2013. On the occasion of my 75th birthday, I do not ask for cards or gifts.
Photo: James Duncan Davidson “Bye, Lisa, I’m off to the TED Conference!” That’s what Scooter announced just before being grabbed by a hook and pulled into a series of wonderful events . So, there was a delay, but he made it. And what he didn’t mention in the movie is: He was a speaker! On stage at TED2012 — the “Academy Awards for nerds,” as he put it — Scooter laid out his question: “Can Tactile Icons Survive in an Integer-Driven Environment?”