9 of the best movies on Netflix that will make you cry, according to audiences

Standard

Room Movie Brie Larson

Netflix got weepy on Tuesday.

The streaming service asked users on Twitter to name the films that make them cry, using the hashtag "#FourFilmsThatWreckMe," and it retweeted the best ones.

We looked at what Netflix retweeted and rounded up nine of the films that you can actually watch on the service, in case you’re looking for a good cry. They range from the tearjerker that won Brie Larson an Oscar to a classic high-school dramedy.

Below are nine of the best films on Netflix that will make you cry, according to Netflix users:

SEE ALSO: Mark Hamill wants ‘Star Wars’ fans to campaign for Carrie Fisher to receive her Walk of Fame star early for the release of ‘Episode IX’

"Blue Valentine" (2010)

Description: "Two of the most gifted young actors working in cinema today — Academy Award nominees Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams — star in ‘Blue Valentine,’ a romantic drama that follows the intense relationship between a couple who fall passionately in love in their early twenties, and then face challenges to their marriage six years later."

"The Breakfast Club" (1985)

Description: "They were five students with nothing in common, faced with spending a Saturday detention together in their high school library. At 7 a.m., they had nothing to say, but by 4 p.m. they had bared their souls to each other and become good friends. John Hughes, creator of the critically acclaimed Sixteen Candles, wrote, directed and produced this hilarious and often touching comedy starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. To the outside world they were simply the Jock, the Brain, the Criminal, the Princess and the Kook, but to each other, they would always be The Breakfast Club."

"Carol" (2015)

Description: "Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novella The Price of Salt about the burgeoning relationship between two very different women in 1950s New York. One, a girl in her 20s working in a department store who dreams of a more fulfilling life, and the other, a wife trapped in a loveless, moneyed marriage desperate to break free."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI https://read.bi/2QQbkxC
via IFTTT

Sagittarius Rising – Long exposure photography from the stratosphere

Standard


One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how I shoot long-exposure photos from the cockpit and how they end up sharp, despite flying at roughly 950kmh / 500kts through the air. I will try to answer that question in more detail, going through the process and challenges step by step. Hopefully it sheds some light (pun intended) on the techniques I use and for the pilot-photographers among us some valuable and easy-to-use tips for your next night-flight.

How it began

Back in 2006, when I started flying the Boeing 737 all over Europe for Transavia, I was fascinated by the world at night that passed by my windows at an altitude where we would overfly most of the European weather. A perspective and tranquility that was unparalleled from what I’ve seen before and that simply asked for to be captured.

It was not just the mesmerizing view of countless of city lights of the sleeping world below that fascinated me; also the moonlight on the snow-covered Alps, the constellations above and the other wonders of the night that are simply unique when seen from a pilot’s perspective.

In an attempt to capture those wonders of the night sky, I used my very limited funds to buy the Nikon D80. A beginner-model DSLR camera that gave relatively satisfying results by day. At least it was better than the compact camera I had before.

By night though, the D80 was having a hard time to cope with the lack of light so by logical reasoning, I decided to invest in a lens that would offer the widest angle and had the largest lens-opening for light (aperture) so even my little D80 could achieve at least something at night.

Enter; the Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens. Buying this lens was a huge risk considering the steep price, my very restricted financial means and the rather limited-use of Fisheye lenses in general. You will often see those lenses ending up on eBay or second-hand marketplaces after owners found that their use is too limited or even useless in normal photography due to their extreme distortions.

For me though, this little lens has proven to be a unique asset to my unique position above the clouds and even today, nearly 12 years later, I carry that same objective with me. A few scratches, lots of stories and adventures later, she’s always close at hand.
Looking back, buying this tiny Fisheye lens was one of the best investments I have ever made.

How it evolved

In a small space like the cockpit of an aircraft the Fisheye lens proved to be a winner, but the camera was clearly a limiting factor. Soon, my holiday-money was invested in the Nikon D200; a slight step up the camera-ladder and my photography took another small step forward.

But it wasn’t until I was starting to fly the Boeing 747 in 2011 that my night-photography started to get serious.
With flights all over the world and through all time-zones, I was getting more and more interested in capturing the next challenging thing; the moonlight reflected on the clouds, the tender light of a sun long gone below the horizon or even the wonders of the northern lights or falling meteorites.

Finally, my finances (barely) allowed me to invest in my very first full-frame DSLR, the Nikon D800. Only now I started to reap the benefits of using a prime f/2.8 lens on my camera and the real experimenting began.

The balance between shutter-time, aperture and ISO (sensor)-sensitivity became more and more a second nature. Just a glimpse out of the window will tell me what settings are needed without too much ado.
Factors like the phase of the moon, amount of lights from the ground, strength of the Northern Lights or intensity of nearby thunderstorms all led to the point that I started to get a good intuitive feel for the camera settings needed at any time.

Sharp images

Many people have asked me how I manage to get sharp images despite the fact that the airplane is flying at high speeds through the atmosphere.
There are a few factors at play here, and I’ll try to cover them all with as few words as possible.

– Airplane movement;

The airplane is flying at nearly 950km/h or 500kts through the atmosphere. When taking pictures with a long shutter-time (anything between 3 and 30 seconds), you are bound to get some blur from the lights that pass by.
But what is the actual movement? Sure; the lights on the ground pass by noticeably, resulting in streaks or lines of light. But what about the stars? Don’t they move?

Well think about it.. the stars are literally light-years away. Many billions of miles/kilometers. The movement of the aeroplane relative to the stars is nil, nothing. We can easily fly a thousand kilometers an hour; but the stars so extremely far away simply don’t move.

Besides the lack of relative moment, with shutter-times over 30 seconds you will see the movement of the stars ever so slightly, but that is simply because of the rotation of the earth. Then again.. for shutter-times of anything above 15 seconds you will need to have an extremely stable atmosphere to get a sharp shot and you have to be lucky to get any sharp shot anyway. The movement of the stars is your least concern with those very long shutter-times.

– Turbulence:

The eternal and unpredictable spoiler. Whenever I see something incredible that requires a longer shutter-time, I grab my camera and… turbulence starts. Just as predictable as when getting a fresh cup of coffee filled to the brim, or starting to fill out the fuel-calculations on the paperwork; turbulence. Sure to make my handwriting look like Japanese characters with an Okinawa accent.

Long story short; there is nothing I can shoot with turbulence and perhaps its nature’s way of telling me to just enjoy the view without being able to share it with the rest of the world.

I have been unable to shoot some of the most amazing views of Northern Lights and moonlight because of this.. frustrating but hey, what can you do but to simply enjoy it in all silence.

Apart from those annoying moments, most of the times I simply wait for a few minutes when the air is stable enough to just get my camera out and hope for the best.

Fortunately, the Boeing 747 is one of the largest planes in the world and due to its size and weight, the machine is very stable by nature and not easily tossed around. Another benefit of flying the most iconic and beautiful machine in the world.

– Fixation of the camera:

No tripods or other equipment are used. There is simply no room in the small cockpit for those things, neither are they practical to carry along during a 3-4 week trip.

The most efficient way is placing the camera on the glare-shield (the cover of the instrument panel up to the front windows) where I simply put the camera and press the trigger, hoping the air is stable enough.

To fix the camera a notch up or down I use simple stuff like my glasses-case, agenda or lens-cover to stabilize the camera position.

For the window-shots I hold the camera by hand and push it into the corner of the window frame and hold it there. The camera is quite bulky and this allows a relative easy fixation in a position somewhere in the window frame.

– Wide-angle lenses:

One other trick to get sharp images in-flight is using a wide-angle lens.

The further you zoom out (use wider angle view), the less any eventual movement will show in the photo. Imagine; let’s say you zoom in with a tele-lens on the moon or a star and use a long exposure. Even the slightest movement of the camera, air or tripod could blur the image. Now imagine using a wide-angle lens to cover the entire sky.

A slight tremble of the tripod or camera becomes nearly unnoticeable in the general photo.
The same applies for cockpit photography; use a wide-angle lens and cover as much as you can from the sky as possible. This gives you a bit of leeway for any tremble or movement of the aeroplane.

– Window reflections:

Next to turbulence, reflections are my worst enemy.

In general, I found that dimming the cockpit lights as much as practically possible helps in reducing the ambient light pollution of my images. Another trick is to place the lens-opening as close to the window as I can.
You’ll see that if you press the camera nearly against the window, the reflections are more or less disappearing from immediate view.

Unfortunately, there will always be some reflections and here comes another benefit of the 45MP sensor of the Nikon D850; you can crop a lot of the image out and still end up with a very high-resolution image. A definite advantage of the D850 or any other high-end camera.

From the passenger cabin:

‘Well Mr. Pilot; its all nice and dandy that you’re shooting images from that fancy cockpit but how about us passengers, bound to the inflight-entertainment of a wing-view, crying children and a few peanuts?’
Fear not my friends, for I have often taken my photos through the small windows of airliner-cabins as well and I know the limitations of life and photography from the passenger cabin.

Basically the same principle apply; try to fix the camera as close to the window and prevent any reflections.
One way to do that is to try and block the camera body between a seat and the window, if possible. Or just press it against the window with any means possible and keep it as still as possible.

In order to reduce the amount of reflections and ambient light, ask for a blanket and try to cover as much of the area around the window as possible. You might get a few frowns from other passengers, but after a few tries you might end up with that awesome shot of the stars, northern lights or moonlight finally.

What’s in the bag.

Today I always carry the Nikon D850 in my flight bag, together with the following lenses.

– Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye lens. Even though this is a DX lens (designed for crop sensors) I love the sharpness, speed and reliability of this little lens. Ideal for long exposures from the flight deck and easy to carry with me due to its small size and low weight, I always have it at hand while I’m flying.

– Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. By far, one of the very best wide-angle lenses that Nikon has to offer at the moment. The 14mm’s are just perfect for long-exposures and shots, both day and night.

– Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. Even though its relatively heavy and I do not use it that often, the 24-70 is perfect for daylight use and air-to-air photos.

Conclusion

To take sharp night-images from an airplane (both cockpit and cabin) you need to keep the following things in mind;
– preferably, use professional equipment that can handle low-light conditions
– use wide-angle lenses
– place the camera as close to the window as possible
– cross your fingers and hope for a smooth flight!

About the Author

Christiaan van Heijst is a pilot, born and raised in The Netherlands. He is flying as a Senior First Officer on the Boeing 747-8 and -400 Freighter, and combining his passion for flying with the passion for photography. His job allows him to see many beautiful places, and he has captured many different parts of the planet with his camera.

If you’d like to see more of Christiaann’s work, make sure to visit his website, Instagram, Facebook page, 500px, and follow him on Twitter. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

from DIYPhotography.net -Hacking Photography, One Picture At A Time http://bit.ly/2CGOc1u
via IFTTT

A team of Johns Hopkins researchers is calling for magic mushrooms to be made legally available as medicine

Standard

shrooms magic mushrooms psilocybin

It’s not every day that a team of top-notch scientists calls for an illegal psychedelic drug to be made available as medicine.

But earlier this year, some of the leading researchers at Johns Hopkins University — people who’ve pioneered some of the highest-caliber studies on psychedelics’ therapeutic mental health potential — suggested that’s what should happen for a drug derived from magic mushrooms.

In a recent article published in the medical journal Neuropharmacology, four preeminent psychiatrists wrote that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, should be placed in the most lenient category by the Drug Enforcement Administration and made legally available through clinicians, pending final data from several ongoing clinical trials.

In essence, they argue, the potential benefits presented by psilocybin outweigh its possible harms.

The available evidence suggests they’re correct.

Although the DEA currently considers psilocybin a Schedule I drug "with no medical use," the past decade has seen a resurgence of research on psychedelics’ therapeutic possibilities for treating psychiatric diseases like anxiety and depression. A large recent survey also suggested that magic mushrooms could be among the safest recreational drugs.

That suggests to several experts — including the authors of the recent article — that psilocybin should be handled differently than, say, heroin or bath salts (other Schedule I drugs).

"It is the opinion of the authors of this review that the original placement of psilocybin was the result of a substantial overestimation of the risk of harm and abuse potential," they wrote.

The authors included Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professors of psychiatry Matthew Johnson, Roland Griffiths, and Jack Henningfield; as well as Peter Hendricks, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health.

A resurgence of interest in psychedelics as medicine

man silhouette alone sunrise sunsetOver the past several years, a handful of studies have suggested that psychedelic drugs like psilocybin could help treat a range of mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, drug addiction, and PTSD.

One of those studies — a clinical trial published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2016 — was written by Griffiths and Johnson, two authors of the recent piece outlining why psilocybin should be made medically available. Griffiths’ and Johnson’s seminal work concluded that in people with a terminal cancer diagnosis, a single high dose of psilocybin appeared to help pull them out of severe depression and anxiety. On a press call after the study came out, Griffiths likened the treatment to "a surgical intervention" for the mental illnesses.

Since then, research into drugs like LSD, ecstasy, ketamine, and marijuana (which many experts consider to have psychedelic properties) has abounded. Last year, a study suggested that ecstasy could help veterans cope with PTSD symptoms. Another recent paper hinted that ketamine could be used to curb severe depression. Several more recent studies of psilocybin have suggested it might help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder as well.

"At this point, the data suggest that the potential therapeutic benefits of psilocybin-assisted therapy are real, and of potential medical and public health significance," the four authors wrote in their recent article.

The findings on psychedelics are also garnering the attention of investors and tech moguls. Just last month, German entrepreneur Christian Angermeyer launched a new biotech company called Atai with the mission of backing more psychedelic mental health research. Compass Pathways, a research startup studying and producing psilocybin for depression, recently attracted backing from tech magnate Peter Thiel.

But the legal classifications of these drugs not be keeping adequate pace with the research or the investments.

‘Replacing fear and misinformation with scientifically based facts’

Despite the ongoing research, neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the DEA has announced an intent to reschedule psilocybin or any other psychedelic. But such a move could happen. It did recently with marijuana.

In June, the FDA approved the first medicine made with a compound from cannabis. Called Epidiolex, the drug treats two rare forms of epilepsy using CBD, a marijuana compound that’s not responsible for a high. As a result of the FDA’s green light, the DEA was forced to reclassify CBD.

"We don’t have a choice on that," DEA public affairs officer Barbara Carreno told Business Insider in June. "It absolutely has to become Schedule 2, 3, 4, or 5."

So this September, the DEA officially shifted its stance on marijuana for the first time in 46 years by putting CBD in Schedule 5 alongside substances like cough syrup and sleep aids — all drugs that the agency considers at the lowest risk of abuse or harm.

In their article on psilocybin, the authors write that it too should be placed in Schedule 5, pending its approval as a medicine. Some experts say that could happen as soon as 2027.

"Schedule I is for substances with a high potential for abuse, lack of therapeutic approval, and that cannot be used safely in medicine," they write. "History of use and available scientific data show that the first criterion is questionable, and the third criterion is likely not true."

Meanwhile, the research on psilocybin is continuing to blossom. Clinical trial results from Compass are expected before 2020; researchers at the University of California, San Francisco are currently enrolling patients in a study to see whether psilocybin could assist in group therapy to improve the mental health of long-term AIDS survivors; and scientists at New York University aim to study whether psilocybin could be used to treat alcoholism.

Johnson, Griffiths, Henningfield, and Hendricks seem to believe the future of those studies — and psilocybin’s potential — is bright.

"This area of regulatory science has the potential to facilitate innovative therapeutic breakthroughs by replacing fear and misinformation with scientifically based conclusions and facts," they wrote.

Read more of our psychedelic medicine coverage:

SEE ALSO: A drug derived from marijuana has triggered the first federal shift on cannabis in half a century, and experts predict an avalanche effect

DON’T MISS: The DEA’s surprising shift on marijuana could keep a booming $1 billion industry in check, experts say

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why horseshoe crab blood is so expensive

from SAI https://read.bi/2yhuOEh
via IFTTT

A miniature universe exists just beyond our sight — these photos capture it in beautiful, breathtaking detail

Standard

nikon small world microscope images 1st place

The world is not as it seems. Just beyond the limits of our vision exists a miniature universe that beckons to be explored by curious, oversize humans.

Microscopes give us a window into that tiny cosmos, and talented photographers and videographers from around the world have used the tools for centuries to document it in stunning detail. But the equipment and techniques to take microscope photos get better with each passing year.

In honor of the beauty and scientific importance of micrographs, as such pictures are called, the Nikon Small World contest rounds up the best images every year and awards prizes to the top 20 entries. This year marks the 44th competition.

Judging involves poring over thousands of photos, spotting fakes and non-microscopic images, and then assessing the technique, subject matter, and "wow" factor of the remainder.

What you see above is the first-place image, which was taken by Al Habshi in the United Arab Emirates. It shows the compound eye of a half-inch-long Asian red palm weevil, also known as Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer, decorated with brilliant green scales.

"Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects," Habashi said in a press release. "Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world which hasn’t been seen before. It’s like discovering what lies under the ocean’s surface."

To see all of the photos the judges picked as winners, keep scrolling.

SEE ALSO: These award-winning microscope photos reveal a bizarre universe just out of reach

DON’T MISS: Award-winning footage of the microscopic world around us

This cluster of reproductive cells within a fern won second-place.

This is third place: a spittlebug nymph huddling inside a protective coat of bubbles.

Ever seen a peacock feather this close? This is the fourth-place winner.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI https://read.bi/2yFsFlc
via IFTTT

Scientists are spotting deep space radio wave bursts at faster rates

Standard



Alex Cherney/CSIRO

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief but incredibly intense flashes of radio waves that originate outside of our galaxy, and these milliseconds-long bursts of light are rather mysterious since we don’t know what makes them or where exactly they come from. Since they were discovered in 2007, scientists have observed around three dozen FRBs, but a new study has just significantly added to that total. Researchers in Australia have reported 20 FRBs, which they observed with the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope over the course of a year.

Among the FRBs they observed are both the closest and brightest examples detected to date. And the team was able to confirm that these bursts are coming from halfway across the universe.

As FRBs travel to Earth, they pass through other matter, like clouds of gas, and every time they do, that matter alters the FRB a little, causing the different wavelengths in the radio wave burst to slow down by different amounts. “This research shows that these things can act as cosmic lighthouses,” said Jean-Pierre Macquart, one of the researchers on the project and a senior lecturer with Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. “Because we have this imprint of all of the matter that these things have propagated through on their journey towards the Earth, we can actually use them to weigh the universe. And that matters because half of the non-exotic matter that you and I are made of, when we look about in the present day universe, we can’t find it. And these things can actually find that matter, find where it’s lurking in the universe and find out exactly how much is missing.”

With ASKAP, researchers will be able to more precisely locate where these FRBs are coming from, narrowing their location down to a particular galaxy. And that has the potential for even more discovery. “When we do that, we can do a whole bunch of new science that has never been possible until now,” said Keith Bannister, an author of the study and a researcher with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

ASKAP is an array made up of 36 antennas, and when the whole array is put to use, researchers should be able to find more FRBs at an even faster rate. Additionally, once the Square Kilometer Array telescope — what will be the largest radio telescope in the world and for which ASKAP serves as a precursor — comes online beginning in the mid-2020s, scientists are expecting to observe FRBs at an even higher rate.

The study was published in Nature.

from Engadget https://engt.co/2QOoCdL
via IFTTT

Astronauts land safely after Soyuz launch fails at 20 miles up

Standard

A fault in a Soyuz rocket booster has resulted in an aborted crew mission to the International Space Station, but fortunately no loss of life. The astronauts in the capsule, Nick Hague (U.S.) and Alexey Ovchinin (Russia) successfully detached upon recognizing the fault and made a safe, if bumpy, landing nearly 250 miles east of the launch site in Kazakhstan. This high-profile failure could bolster demand for U.S.-built crewed spacecraft.

The launch proceeded normally for the first minute and a half, but at that point, when the first and second stages were meant to detach, there was an unspecified fault, possibly a failure of the first stage and its fuel tanks to detach. The astronauts recognized this issue and immediately initiated the emergency escape system.

Hague and Ovchinin in the capsule before the fault occurred.

The Soyuz capsule detached from the rocket and began a “ballistic descent” (read: falling), arrested by a parachute before landing approximately 34 minutes after the fault. Right now that’s about as much detail on the actual event as has been released by Roscosmos and NASA. Press conferences have been mainly about being thankful that the crew is okay, assuring people that they’ll get to the bottom of this and kicking the can down the road on everything else.

Although it will likely take weeks before we know exactly what happened, the repercussions for this failure are immediate. The crew on the ISS will not be reinforced, and as there are only 3 up there right now with a single Soyuz capsule with which to return to Earth, there’s a chance they’ll have to leave the ISS empty for a short time.

The current crew was scheduled to return in December, but NASA has said that the Soyuz is safe to take until January 4, so there’s a bit of leeway. That’s not to say they can necessarily put together another launch before then, but if the residents there need to stay a bit longer to safely park the station, as it were, they have a bit of extra time to do so.

The Soyuz booster and capsule have been an extremely reliable system for shuttling crew to and from the ISS, and no Soyuz fault has ever led to loss of life, although there have been a few issues recently with DOA satellites and of course the recent hole found in one just in August.

This was perhaps the closest a Soyuz has come to a life-threatening failure, and as such any Soyuz-based launches will be grounded until further notice. To be clear, this was a failure with the Soyuz-FG rocket, which is slated for replacement, not with the capsule or newer rocket of the same name.

SpaceX and Boeing have been competing to create and certify their own crew capsules, which were scheduled for testing some time next year — but while the Soyuz issues may nominally increase the demand for these U.S.-built alternatives, the testing process can’t be rushed.

That said, grounding the Soyuz (if only for crewed flights) and conducting a full-scale fault investigation is no small matter, and if we’re not flying astronauts up to the ISS in one of them, we’re not doing it at all. So there is at least an incentive to perform testing of the new crew capsules in a timely manner and keep to as short a timeframe as is reasonable.

You can watch the launch as it played out here:

from TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2CIq2Ug
via IFTTT

DARPA wants to teach and test ‘common sense’ for AI

Standard

It’s a funny thing, AI. It can identify objects in a fraction of a second, imitate the human voice and recommend new music, but most machine “intelligence” lacks the most basic understanding of everyday objects and actions — in other words, common sense. DARPA is teaming up with the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to see about changing that.

The Machine Common Sense program aims to both define the problem and engender progress on it, though no one is expecting this to be “solved” in a year or two. But if AI is to escape the prison of the hyper-specific niches where it works well, it’s going to need to grow a brain that does more than execute a classification task at great speed.

“The absence of common sense prevents an intelligent system from understanding its world, communicating naturally with people, behaving reasonably in unforeseen situations, and learning from new experiences. This absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general AI applications we would like to create in the future,” explained DARPA’s Dave Gunning in a press release.

Not only is common sense lacking in AIs, but it’s remarkably difficult to define and test, given how broad the concept is. Common sense could be anything from understanding that solid objects can’t intersect to the idea that the kitchen is where people generally go when they’re thirsty. As obvious as those things are to any human more than a few months old, they’re actually quite sophisticated constructs involving multiple concepts and intuitive connections.

It’s not just a set of facts (like that you must peel an orange before you eat it, or that a drawer can hold small items) but identifying connections between them based on what you’ve observed elsewhere. That’s why DARPA’s proposal involves building “computational models that learn from experience and mimic the core domains of cognition as defined by developmental psychology. This includes the domains of objects (intuitive physics), places (spatial navigation) and agents (intentional actors).”

But how do you test these things? Fortunately, great minds have been at work on this problem for decades, and one research group has proposed an initial method for testing common sense that should work as a stepping stone to more sophisticated ones.

I talked with Oren Etzioni, head of the Allen Institute for AI, which has been working on common sense AI for quite a while now, among many other projects regarding the understanding and navigation of the real world.

“This has been a holy grail of AI for 35 years or more,” he said. “One of the problems is how to put this on an empirical footing. If you can’t measure it, how can you evaluate it? This is one of the very first times people have tried to make common sense measurable, and certainly the first time that DARPA has thrown their hat, and their leadership and funding, into the ring.”

The AI2 approach is simple but carefully calibrated. Machine learning models will be presented with written descriptions of situations and several short options for what happens next. Here’s one example:

On stage, a woman takes a seat at the piano. She
a) sits on a bench as her sister plays with the doll.
b) smiles with someone as the music plays.
c) is in the crowd, watching the dancers.
d) nervously sets her fingers on the keys.

The answer, as you and I would know in a heartbeat, is d. But the amount of context and knowledge that we put into finding that answer is enormous. And it’s not like the other options are impossible — in fact, they’re AI-generated to seem plausible to other agents but easily detectable by humans. This really is quite a difficult problem for a machine to solve, and current models are getting it right about 60 percent of the time (25 percent would be chance).

There are 113,000 of these questions, but Etzioni told me this is just the first data set of several.

“This particular data set is not that hard,” he said. “I expect to see rapid progress. But we’re going to be rolling out at least four more by the end of the year that will be harder.”

After all, toddlers don’t learn common sense by taking the GRE. As with other AI challenges, you want gradual improvements that generalize to harder versions of similar problems — for example, going from recognizing a face in a photo, to recognizing multiple faces, then identifying the expression on those faces.

There will be a proposers’ day next week in Arlington for any researcher who wants a little face time with the people running this little challenge, after which there will be a partner selection process, and early next year the selected groups will be able to submit their models for evaluation by AI2’s systems in the spring.

The common sense effort is part of DARPA’s big $2 billion investment in AI on multiple fronts. But they’re not looking to duplicate or compete with the likes of Google, Amazon and Baidu, which have invested heavily in the narrow AI applications we see on our phones and the like.

“They’re saying, what are the limitations of those systems? Where can we fund basic research that will be the basis of whole new industries?” Etzioni suggested. And of course it is DARPA and government investment that set the likes of self-driving cars and virtual assistants on their first steps. Why shouldn’t it be the same for common sense?

from TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2NGeyS7
via IFTTT

Listen To Khabib Talk Sh*t To McGregor As He Beat The Snot Out Of Him At UFC 229, And Conor’s Weak Response

Standard
Khabib Nurmagomedov Trash Talks Conor McGregor

Getty Image

In the leadup to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight championship fight at UFC 229, “The Notorious One” was the only one of the combatants that was spewing any trash talk. And he was spewing A LOT of it.

Khabib pretty much just sat there and did nothing, even when directly in the presence of McGregor trying to get into his head.

Turns out that the only thing that got into Nurmagomedov’s head were the receipts he was going to cash on his way to making McGregor tap out to move to 27-0 in his MMA career.

Oh, and he was also saving his trash talk for a more opportune time, like when he was raining fists down in Conor’s dome during second round of the fight.

“Huh? [fist to the head, fist to the head] We’re talking. Let’s talk now. [fist to the head] Let’s talk! [fist to the head] Let’s talk now! Let’s talk. [elbow to the head],” taunted Khabib.

As the round came to an end, McGregor seemed to be trying to make Khabib not take his previous insults so dang personally, telling Nurmagomedov, “It’s only business, it’s just business.”

That’s like the equivalent of the class bully getting his ass handed to him and crying that he was just kidding when he picked on someone.

As MMA Fighting points out, this isn’t the first time Khabib has talked to his opponent while laying a beatdown on him.

Back at at UFC 205, as he was running through Michael Johnson, he told him he should just “give up.”

“I talk with Michael Johnson because I respect Michael Johnson and I don’t want to hurt him,” said Nurmagomedov. “I talk about, hey, you have to give up, and I don’t want to smash your face, and when [I went for the Kimura], I go very slowly, I’m very careful because I don’t want to break his arm like Nogeuira-Mir, and I go very slowly and he taps.”

Khabib is a bad, bad man.

Embed from Getty Images
 

from BroBible.com http://bit.ly/2A7K6gd
via IFTTT

Sciences Finally Tells Us What You REALLY Need To Pick Up Beautiful Women, And It’s Not Money

Standard
Do Women Like Smart Men?

iStockphotoAny single man who has ever witnessed the most beautiful woman in the bar hanging off the arm of some chump has likely suffered many a sleepless night trying to understand how this presumably lame, dick wad of a dude was able to get a girl who, by every set of standards, is well out of his league. Meanwhile, you’re in bed alone, swiping through Tinder, hoping to connect with any girl whose bio doesn’t say something like “Mother of seven…still lives with ex-husband.”But it’s a struggle out there, boys. It is easy for a guy to get depressed about his inability to track down a solid romantic prospect. In moments like these the question “what do they have that I don’t?” starts to become an obsession. Well, do not lose hope just yet. It turns out that getting a smoking hot chick to fall madly in love with you is really as easy as not being a complete idiot.A recent study published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences finds that beautiful women are more likely to get involved with an intelligent man. And not just to the point of having a relationship either. Researchers believe that the hot ones are looking to enter into a lifelong commitment with those guys who are considered the smarter of the breed. “We speculate that women are motivated to secure a mate with equal or higher intelligence,” according to the study authors.rawpixel / Unsplash

“The results of the study suggest that intelligence may be slightly more important to women when choosing a long-term mate,” lead study author Dr. Curtis Dunkel told Inverse. “More specifically, a woman may look for a man who is slightly more intelligent than she is and she uses her physical attractiveness to secure a more intelligent husband.”

But this team of scientific minds relied on some rather odd variables to make this determination. The study was based on more than 10,000 senior photos and IQ tests from a Wisconsin high school dating back to 1957. Researchers say that most of the women who were considered “attractive” from their black and white photos ended up with husbands that had higher IQ’s.

Yet, this assessment is questionable, as it was made in 2004 by an independent panel of 12 men and women around the age of 78. Still, the outcome of the study finds that attractive women are almost always going to end up with a man of above average intelligence. On the flipside, the study also found that just because a man was considered attractive does not mean he will end up with a smart woman.

Come to find out, it is hardwired in the DNA of women to go after the smart guy. A Sexual Strategies Theory published in 1933 finds that “Modern women have inherited the evolutionary trait to desire mates who possess resources, have qualities linked with acquiring resources (e.g., ambition, wealth, industriousness), and are willing to share those resources with them.

But the reason men are programmed to chase the most attractive women is that, deep down inside, they want a girl who can give them lots of babies. Or at least have a hell of a lot of fun trying. “On the other hand, men more strongly desire youth and health in women, as both are cues to fertility,” the paper says.

The latest study is rooted in the sexual strategies theory.

So, study up, boys. Stop hooting and hollering at girls and using cheesy pick-up lines to try and get them to go home with you. It’s not going to work. All you really need is the right opportunity to show one just how smart you really are. But don’t be all pretentious about it. There is still something to be said for being charming and funny. Because — and get this — research has shown that women find humor to be a sign of intelligence.

Now, go get em’ tiger!

******

Mike Adams is a freelance writer for High Times, Cannabis Now, and Forbes. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

More From Mike:

There Are Some Really Terrifying Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take Sleeping Pills Every Night

What Happens To Our Brains When We Get Blackout Drunk? Here’s The Answer.

Is Drinking Human Blood The Secret To Long Life? New Health Study Suggests It Might Be.

from BroBible.com http://bit.ly/2EkHFvb
via IFTTT

DIY music gloves for everyone, as Imogen Heap project gets kid friendly

Standard


You know – for kids. Mini.mu is a musical glove that can get young people coding and crafting and making music and electronics work. And it’s off to a simple, elegant, and affordable start, courtesy artist Imogen Heap and designer Helen Leigh.

It’s one thing for music stars to try out bleeding edge technology and explore performance using gestural interfaces. It’s another thing for kids to tackle computing and electronics – and to make teaching tools that serve them. But a new musical glove design could reach a far wider audience.

MI.MU gloves have been a story we’ve followed since the beginning. With artist Imogen Heap, the effort was to expand on musical gloves past and make something that could expressively navigate a performance.

But MI.MU’s work has tended to be technically complex and pricey. Not so MINI.MU.

You make this glove from scratch, with everything kids need included in the kit. (Helen Leigh is not only a brilliant engineer, but also a children’s author and workshop instructor – so she gets how to teach and how kids get going quickly. The kit is rated for age 6+.)

The price: retailing at £39.95. (just about fifty bucks USD).

Apart from a cute-looking glove to put on your hand, the MINI.MU has a speaker, an accelerometer, and buttons. You use those sensors to pick up the position of the hand and particular events (like tilt or shake). Then code running on an included chip translates those motions into sounds – which you hear right on the glove, without any additional hardware.

The UK-based project takes advantage of the BBC micro:bit, an initiative to get UK schoolchildren into coding and embedded computing. There are loads of micro:bits around, so the glove is designed to build on this platform, but you can also buy the glove with a bundled micro:bit if you don’t have one.

And this can be extended, too. Pins on the board let you connect additional sensors, like flex sensors.

Helen worked with the MI.MU team, Imogen, and kit maker Pimoroni to make this happen.

What’s promising about MINI.MU is that it makes computing and crafting personal – you’re coding something that’s expressive and literally in your hand. If the creators can keep kids (and adults) interested in doing stuff with a glove, and building code around music, there’s real potential.

It looks like the beginning of a platform that could be a lot more – and that realizes some longstanding dreams to bring new ways of interacting with music and learning about STEM through music technology. We’ll be watching.

Check out how kids would get coding with this:

Visual coding using musical examples. (Check these things out in your browser, free.)

https://makecode.microbit.org

from Create Digital Music http://bit.ly/2RMvjOT
via IFTTT