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Brain Pickings

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Agile and SEMAT - Perfect Partners Ivar Jacobson, Ian Spence, and Pan-Wei Ng Today, as always, many different initiatives are under way to improve the ways in which software is developed. The most popular and prevalent of these is the agile movement. One of the newer kids on the block is the SEMAT (Software Engineering Method and Theory) initiative. As with any new initiative, people are struggling to see how it fits into the world and relates to all the other things going on. For example, does it improve or replace their current ways of working? Babies prefer the sounds of other babies to the cooing of their parents We know that babies prefer the high-pitched sounds produced by their caregivers in “babytalk” over regular speech, but a new study provides an exciting new perspective. At five months of age, it seems that babies prefer to listen to the sounds of their peers to the cooing of their mother. Researchers at the University of Quebec tested babies on their preference for different speakers by using a specialised speech synthesizer. They were able to simulate the effects of the human vocal tract – the vocal cords, tongue and mouth – to create vowels with differing pitch and resonance, representing vowels produced by vocal tracts of different sizes. The apparatus let the researchers compare babies’ responses to vowels produced by infants their own age, as well as vowels typical of an adult female’s speech. They tested the babies’ responses to different vowel sounds by training them to look towards or away from a chequerboard image.

Rosetta arrives at comet destination / Rosetta Comet on 3 August 2014 Rosetta arrives at comet destination 6 August 2014 After a decade-long journey chasing its target, ESA’s Rosetta has today become the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and Rosetta now lie 405 million kilometres from Earth, about half way between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner Solar System at nearly 55 000 kilometres per hour. Revolutionary "Superman" Memory Crystals Can Store Data Virtually Forever Quartz Crystal photo from Shutterstock While most of us are just getting used to the idea of 3D printing, scientists are already working on technological marvels that operate two dimensions deeper. Researchers at the University of Southampton have succeeded in recording and retrieving five dimensional digital data using a quartz crystal.

The White Cat and the Monk: A Lovely 9th-Century Ode to the Joy of Uncompetitive Purposefulness, Newly Illustrated “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work,” Muriel Spark counseled, “you should acquire a cat.” Long before the cat became a modern literary muse, a monk whose identity remains a mystery immortalized his beloved white cat named Pangur. Sometime in the ninth century, somewhere in present-day southern Germany, this solitary scholar penned a beautiful short poem in Old Irish, titled “Pangur Bán” — an ode to the parallel pleasures of man and feline as one pursues knowledge and the other prey, and to how their quiet companionship amplifies their respective joys. The poem has been translated and adapted many times over the centuries (perhaps most famously by W.H. Auden), but nowhere more delightfully than in The White Cat and the Monk (public library) by writer Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrator Sydney Smith — one of four wonderful children’s books about the creative life, which I recently reviewed for The New York Times.

Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System Solutions Classic How do we change the structure of systems to produce more of what we want and less of that which is undesirable? After years of working with corporations on their systems problems, MIT’s Jay Forrester likes to say that the average manager can define the current problem very cogently, identify the system structure that leads to the problem, and guess with great accuracy where to look for leverage points—places in the system where a small change could lead to a large shift in behavior. This idea of leverage points is not unique to systems analysis—it’s embedded in legend: the silver bullet, the miracle cure, the secret passage, the magic password, the nearly effortless way to cut through or leap over huge obstacles. We not only want to believe that there are leverage points, we want to know where they are and how to get our hands on them. Leverage points are points of power.

Yanny or Laurel? It's your brain not your ears that decides As a speech scientist, I never thought I’d see so much excitement on social media about one tiny little word. The clip, which went viral after being posted on Reddit, is polarizing listeners who hear a computer voice say either “Laurel” or “Yanny.” @AlexWelke tweeted, “This is the kinda stuff that starts wars.”

Earth life 'may have come from Mars' 28 August 2013Last updated at 20:09 ET By Simon Redfern Reporter, BBC News, Florence Life would face challenges on Mars today, but billions of years ago conditions might have been better Life may have started on Mars before arriving on Earth, a major scientific conference has heard. New research supports an idea that the Red Planet was a better place to kick-start biology billions of years ago than the early Earth was. Sleep Homeostasis and Models of Sleep Regulation Peter Achermann According to the two-process model of sleep regulation, the timing and structure of sleep are determined by the interaction of a homeostatic and a circadian process. The original qualitative model was elaborated to quantitative versions that included the ultradian dynamics of sleep in relation to the non-REM-REM sleep cycle. The time course of EEG slow-wave activity, the major marker of non-REM sleep homeostasis, as well as daytime alertness were simulated successfully for a considerable number of experimental protocols. They include sleep after partial sleep deprivation and daytime napping, sleep in habitual short and long sleepers, and alertness in a forced desynchrony protocol or during an extended photoperiod. Simulations revealed that internal desynchronization can be obtained for different shapes of the thresholds.

The House of Silk - Wikipedia The House of Silk is a Sherlock Holmes novel written by British author Anthony Horowitz, published in 2011. The book was promoted with the claim it was the first time the Conan Doyle Estate had authorised a new Sherlock Holmes pastiche.[1] Plot summary[edit] The House of Silk begins with a brief, personal recounting of events by Watson, much like that in A Study in Scarlet by the original author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The reader is informed of the particulars regarding the first meeting of Watson and Holmes, including the circumstances of the Afghan War and a mention of the case that was "too shocking to be revealed until now." The client of "The Flat Cap case" is introduced as a man by the name of Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer whose paintings had been destroyed by a gang of Irish robbers.

7 Books That Should Be on Every Entrepreneur's Bookshelf Posted by Guest Author on July 23, 2012 in Business Start Up Advice [ 5 Comments ] While most of the greatest lessons that you’ll learn as an entrepreneur will probably come from mistakes and challenging experiences, published works such as books, whitepapers, blog posts, and the like still provide a lot of value for business owners. Books in particular are great resources because they can offer credibility and in-depth commentaries that most online sources can’t match.

Studying chimpanzee calls for clues about the origins of human language Freud, Wilkie and the other chimpanzees peacefully fed and rested in the sun-dappled Tanzanian forest. Mzee Hilali stood next to me, writing notes on the chimpanzees’ behavior, as he had been doing for over 30 years as a field assistant for Jane Goodall’s long-term study at Gombe National Park. Suddenly, a strange, high-pitched call sounded from where some other chimpanzees were feeding, about a hundred meters from us. Hilali turned to me, and with a little laugh, said, “Nyoka.” New Horizons SOC Welcome to the New Horizons image site, where NASA and the New Horizons mission are happy to provide these JPEG images - displayed in raw form without special processing - for the public to use and enjoy. These JPEGs of images taken by the LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) are generally posted within 48 hours after receipt at the New Horizons Science Operations Center. The date/time listed in the image caption is when the picture was taken by the spacecraft, though receipt of the data on Earth could be many days later, depending on when the image is downloaded from New Horizons. In addition, the fully validated and calibrated images will be made available at NASA's Planetary Data System within nine months to a year after receipt of all images on the ground.

Yes those Literary scenes plastered around the walls of a coffee shop would make good readng and attract costomers to view and enjoy their cup of coffee. Watch out StarBucks! by heemi May 9

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