background preloader


Search tips There are three kinds of search you can perform: All fields This mode searches for entries containing all the entered words in their title, author, date, comment field, or in any of many other fields showing on OPC pages. Surname This mode searches for entries containing the text string you entered in their author field. Advanced This mode differs from the all fields mode in two respects. Note that short and / or common words are ignored by the search engine. Related:  Thoughts

German supermarket Edeka release heartbreaking Christmas advert A Christmas advert released by German supermarket Edeka is melting hearts worldwide. Similar to John Lewis’ emotive “Man On The Moon” advert; it focuses on an elderly man alone at Christmas. But, some viewers believe it has trumped the British advert as the most powerful yet. The advert shows an elderly man spending several Christmases alone; with his children providing a different excuse each year: "I just wanted to call and let you know that we can’t make it for Christmas this year… we’ll try again next year. Time passes and tragically the children receive news of their father passing away. The children return to the family home to attend his funeral and pay respects; but as they enter the dining room, their father appears and says: "How else could I have brought you all together?" Tears quickly turn to smiles as the family indulge in a Christmas dinner that has been long overdue.

Support for ISIS in the Muslim World - Perceptions vs Reality - Metrocosm According to a Brookings report from last January: 40% of Americans believe most Muslims oppose ISIS.14% think most Muslims support ISIS.And 44% (the plurality) of Americans believe Muslim views are evenly balanced on the issue. American perceptions of Muslims’ support for the Islamic State are all over the map. And you only have to search Google for “how many muslims support isis” to see why. The first result shows “81% of respondents support the Islamic State.” The range of answers to this question reported by the media is enormous, partly because much of it comes from online polls, social media sentiment analysis, and other non-scientific / unrepresentative studies. Last month, the International Business Times cited a study from Pew Research Center concluding ISIS is “almost universally hated.” What the Muslim world actually thinks of ISIS Looking only at scientific opinion polls, the results are actually very consistent. In the Muslim world, support for ISIS is low across the board.

Almost half of homeless men had traumatic brain injury in their lifetime -- ScienceDaily Almost half of all homeless men who took part in a study by St. Michael's Hospital had suffered at least one traumatic brain injury in their life and 87 per cent of those injuries occurred before the men lost their homes. While assaults were a major cause of those traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, (60 per cent) many were caused by potentially non-violent mechanisms such as sports and recreation (44 per cent) and motor vehicle collisions and falls (42 per cent). The study, led by Dr. Dr. The fact that so many homeless men suffered a TBI before losing their home suggests such injuries could be a risk factor for becoming homeless, she said. Dr. In men under age 40, falls from drug/alcohol blackouts were the most common cause of traumatic brain injury while assault was the most common in men over 40 years old. This study received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. Separately, a recent study by Dr. Dr.

Edward Snowden Divulges the 5 Easiest Ways to Protect Yourself Online by Natalie Shoemaker In a recent interview with The Intercept, Edward Snowden offered some advice for what average citizens can do to reclaim their privacy. Because the sharing of information should be a conversation, not an enigma buried in a site's 'Terms of Service.' 1. This includes Signal, an easy-to-use app that encrypts your mobile phone messages, as long as the person you're calling or texting also has the app installed. 2. 3. 4. 5. By using these programs, people have already changed the conversation about security and privacy. The trick is getting more people to adopt these programs (think of it like herd immunity). “I think reform comes with many faces,” Snowden told the site. The sharing of information should be a conversation — not an enigma buried somewhere in the Terms of Service of a site. Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. Photo Credit: ADAM BERRY / Stringer/ Getty

Elon Musk Wants to Make Sure AI is Developed for the Benefit of Humanity (Not Its Destruction) by Natalie Shoemaker Elon Musk wants to protect humanity from the robot apocalypse. Artificial intelligence has been growing at a rapid pace thanks in part to deep learning, but the world's brightest minds worry. Facebook and Google have announced big plans to advance AI in their respective research divisions. The organization believes it's “important to have a leading research institution which can prioritize a good outcome for all over its own self-interest.” Below, futurist and entrepreneur Michael Vassar runs through a worst-case scenario: In the past, Musk has signed an open letter calling for the prevention of an autonomous robotic army, warning of the disastrous consequences for humanity and future advancements. “It's hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it's equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly,” says the OpenAI blog entry. Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years.

Is Beirut the codeswitching capital of the world? At this high-end organic farmer’s market in downtown Beirut, buyers and sellers speak a mishmash of languages, usually Arabic and English or French. Just trying to pay for juice I have to switch back and forth from English to Arabic. The stand clerk starts in Arabic, “Here you go,” before switching in English, “these two [juices]?” Pia Bou Khater is at the market with me. Codeswitching this way is one of the characteristics that defines life in Beirut for visitors and for many Lebanese. “When I'm interacting with people, like buying things or trying to bargain, I rarely switch,” Pia explains. Multilingualism the way Pia knows it isn’t uncommon in Beirut. But that’s not the only reason she used “merci.” But another linguist, Lina Choueri, says the regular mixing of the three languages in everyday life actually didn’t happen until much later. Choueri’s dad’s generation just communicated in Arabic. Back at the market Pia agrees with Choueri’s dad.

5 Languages That Could Change the Way You See the World I went to my neighbor’s house for something to eat yesterday. Think about this sentence. It’s pretty simple—English speakers would know precisely what it means. The way that different languages convey information has fascinated linguists, anthropologists, and psychologists for decades. This argument was later discredited, as researchers concluded that it overstated language’s constraints on our minds. These five languages reveal how information can be expressed in extremely different ways, and how these habits of thinking can affect us. A Language Where You’re Not the Center of the World English speakers and others are highly egocentric when it comes to orienting themselves in the world. Linguist Guy Deustcher says that Guugu Ymithirr speakers have a kind of “internal compass” that is imprinted from an extremely young age. A Language Where Time Flows East to West For the Kuuk Thaayorre speakers, the passage of time was intimately tied to the cardinal directions. Not so in Yélî Dnye.

100 Diagrams That Changed the World – Brain Pickings Since the dawn of recorded history, we’ve been using visual depictions to map the Earth, order the heavens, make sense of time, dissect the human body, organize the natural world, perform music, and even concretize abstract concepts like consciousness and love. 100 Diagrams That Changed the World (public library) by investigative journalist and documentarian Scott Christianson chronicles the history of our evolving understanding of the world through humanity’s most groundbreaking sketches, illustrations, and drawings, ranging from cave paintings to The Rosetta Stone to Moses Harris’s color wheel to Tim Berners-Lee’s flowchart for a “mesh” information management system, the original blueprint for the world wide web. It appears that no great diagram is solely authored by its creator. Most of those described here were the culmination of centuries of accumulated knowledge. Christianson offers a definition: Thanks, Kirstin

What Happened When Einstein Met Indian Mystic Tagore by Lori Chandler The natures of truth, reality, beauty, and consciousness are the kind of weighty, meaty topics great minds love to discuss. In Germany in 1930, just such a conversation took place between Albert Einstein and Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. Explored in the new book Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore, by David L. Gosling, this dialogue wasn’t the usual religion vs. science debate you’re likely to see on CNN. Tagore says, “It is a relative world, depending for its relativity upon our consciousness.” Einstein disagrees with the truth aspect, stating that “the Pythagorean theorem in geometry states something that is approximately true, independent of the existence of man. Einstein and Tagore had a genuine curiosity about each other's perspectives, how they complement one another and how they differ. Read the whole conversation between Einstein and Tagore here. Lori Chandler is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, NY. Collage: Lori Chandler

Dune: An Appreciation at 50 Years :: Monthly Calling Dune a science fiction novel is like calling A Song of Ice and Fire a fantasy series. You’d be correct, but you’d also be running the risk of reductionism. Like George R.R. Martin’s series, Frank Herbert’s novel bears many hallmarks of its overarching genre, but none of these get in the way of a compelling human narrative. There aren’t many aliens in Dune, and most of the space travel is over and done within the first third of the book. Sure, there are sandworms in the same way Martin’s epic has dragons, but Dune remains a story about people and power. The novel revolves around a savior, a spice and a bunch of sand. On the surface, there’s enough jargon in that synopsis to convince any sci-fi skeptic to remain skeptical. Every character in the novel has a motive, and, as motives are wont to go, they are tainted as much by noble ambition as they are by greed. This sets Dune apart from the run-of-the-mill space sagas.

Agnotology Study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favour, particularly through the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.[1][2] More generally, the term also highlights the condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before. Coined in 1995 by Stanford University professor Robert N. Proctor,[3] along with linguist Iain Boal,[1][4][5] the word is based on the Neoclassical Greek word agnōsis (ἄγνωσις, 'not knowing'; cf. Attic Greek ἄγνωτος, 'unknown')[6] and -logia (-λογία).[7] Proctor cites as a prime example the tobacco industry's advertising campaign to manufacture doubt about the cancerous and other adverse health effects of tobacco use.[7][8] Agnotology also focuses on how and why diverse forms of knowledge do not "come to be," or are ignored or delayed. History[edit] Origins[edit] Isaac Asimov, 1980[12]

The Next Time Someone Uses The Bible To Say Homosexuality Is A Sin, Show Them This. Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Dear Dr. Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.