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Archive for the ‘education’ category

May 19, 2017

World Asteroid Day Hackathon

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, cybercrime/malcode, education, existential risks, media & arts

“A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackathon

In February 2014, Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and famed guitarist for the rock band QUEEN, began working with Grigorij Richters, the director of a new film titled 51 Degrees North, a fictional story of an asteroid impact on London and the resulting human condition. May composed the music for the film and suggested that Richters preview it at Starmus, an event organized by Dr. Garik Israelian and attended by esteemed astrophysicists, scientists and artists, including Dr. Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Rick Wakeman. The result was the beginning of discussions that would lead to the launch of Asteroid Day in 2015. See : https://asteroidday.org/

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May 17, 2017

IBM builds its most powerful universal quantum computing processors

Posted by in categories: business, computing, education, quantum physics

IBM announced today it has successfully built and tested its most powerful universal quantum computing processors. The first new prototype processor will be the core for the first IBM Q early-access commercial systems. The first upgraded processor will be available for use by developers, researchers, and programmers to explore quantum computing using a real quantum processor at no cost via the IBM Cloud. The second is a new prototype of a commercial processor, which will be the core for the first IBM Q early-access commercial systems.

Launched in March 2017, IBM Q is an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum for business and science applications. IBM Q systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform. IBM first opened public access to its quantum processors one year ago, to serve as an enablement tool for scientific research, a resource for university classrooms, and a catalyst of enthusiasm for the field. To date users have run more than 300,000 quantum experiments on the IBM Cloud.

With the introduction of two new processors today for IBM Q, the company is building the foundation for solving practical problems in business and science that are intractable even with today’s most powerful classical computing systems. The two new IBM-developed processors include:

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May 15, 2017

Ageing has its good sides

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, life extension, time travel

Sometimes, albeit rarely, people object to rejuvenation biotechnologies saying that ageing has its pluses too, thus subtly implying that we should leave it alone in order not to lose these pluses. The thing is, they’re not talking about the same kind of ageing that science is trying to undo. They’re mixing up chronological and biological ageing, and they’re not at all the same thing.


This objection is very simple to explain and even simpler to dismantle, because it boils down to a gross misunderstanding.

Whoever raises this objection generally says that with ageing comes experience, that later in life people are generally happier, more accomplished, and so on. I have nothing to object to that, except that all those nice things are a (possible) consequence of chronological ageing, most definitely not of biological ageing. It is not very often that people mix the two up, but at times they do, so let us clarify once and for all what the difference is.

Chronological ageing is nothing more, nothing less than the passing of time. Becoming chronologically older simply means that the time you’ve existed for is getting longer. There’s nothing wrong with it, and no one (to my knowledge) wants to stop, ‘cure’, or reverse chronological ageing—especially because that would be a bit complicated to do and it would have annoying side-effects, such as time freezing or rewinding your life back to your elementary school years, possibly dragging the entire universe along, and would do nothing to eliminate the ill health of old age. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun—and I speak as a chap with a thing for time travel.

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May 14, 2017

Is College Education Dead?

Posted by in category: education

The world isn’t changing — it has already changed. Just a few decades ago, the path to the “good life” seemed so obvious. Go to school. Graduate college. Pay your dues. Build your career.

Just play by the rules and you’d be guaranteed a spot at the table.

That’s what we were promised by our parents, our grandparents, our teachers and professors, our politicians and our society as a whole.

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May 9, 2017

‘Straight out of the Nazi playbook’: Hindu nationalists try to engineer ‘genius’ babies in India

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, health

“Members of a Hindu far-right organization called Arogya Bharati say they are working with expectant couples in the country to produce “customized” babies, who, they hope, will be taller, fairer and smarter than other babies, according to a report in the Indian Express newspaper.”

“The group’s health officials claimed that their program — a combination of diet, ayurvedic medicine and other practices — has led to 450 of these babies, and they hope to have “thousands” more by 2020, the report said.”

“The parents may have lower IQ, with a poor educational background, but their baby can be extremely bright. If the proper procedure is followed, babies of dark-skinned parents with lesser height can have fair complexion and grow taller,” Hitesh Jani, the group’s national convener, told the newspaper.”

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May 7, 2017

How to be a lawyer without going to law school

Posted by in categories: education, law

Nearly all those who await results have followed the traditional route to lawyerdom: They’ve toiled through three years of rigorous study at an American Bar Association-approved law school. They’ve taken $5,000+ bar exam prep courses. They’ve spent summers fetching coffee for district attorneys and corporate lawyers.

A select few, however, have completely bypassed these steps. Several U.S. states offer a little-known alternative path to the bar exam room: “reading the law” — or serving as an apprentice in the office of a practicing attorney or judge.

Last year, out of 83,963 bar exam takers, only 60 were apprentices. A mere 17 succeeded in passing the bar exam and becoming eligible to practice law. It is a long, difficult road, requiring four years of mentorship and thousands of hours of self-led work, but when completed, it can save a prospective lawyer hundreds of thousands of dollars in law school debt.

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May 5, 2017

The Immortalists

Posted by in categories: education, life extension

From 2014, a docu focusing on Aubrey and Bill Andrews.


Live forever… or die trying

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May 4, 2017

The Humans to Mars Summit

Posted by in categories: education, policy, space travel

5:10–5:20 | Student Presentation: Mars Exploration Project student leaders from American Academy of Innovation, a 6–12 grade public charter school in South Jordan, Utah.

5:20–5:30 | An Update on United States Space Exploration Policy TBA.

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Apr 27, 2017

From Vienna to Madrid and beyond: how the priorities of the United Nations relating to aging have changed over time

Posted by in categories: education, life extension

Elena Milova continues her coverage of the recent conference on aging in St-Peterberg.

During my recent journey to Saint-Petersburg to attend the in situ education program of the International Institute on Ageing of the United Nations, Malta (INIA), I asked one of the main speakers, former Head of the UN Programs on Ageing Dr. Alexandre Sidorenko, to find a few minutes to talk about his work.

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Apr 26, 2017

How population aging first became a matter of international concern

Posted by in categories: education, life extension

Elena Milova was our official LEAF Ambassador at a special education program organized by the International Institute on Ageing of the United Nations, Malta (INIA). We are all really proud of the hard work she has been doing for aging research.

Here is her discussion with Dr. Marvin Formosa — director of the INIA. Enjoy!

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