Bloglikes - Innovation en-US Thu, 15 Apr 2021 16:49:01 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter The U.S. Can Get to All Electric Vehicles by 2035

If all cars and trucks sold in the United States are electric by 2035, it could save consumers in the United States some $2.7 trillion over the course of the next 30 years, working out to roughly $1,000 in savings per household per year, a new analysis finds. And if you’re itching to start seeing that cash, you’re in…


Thu, 15 Apr 2021 10:37:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Electric Vehicles Sustainable Development Electric Car Sara Baldwin Innovation Sustainable Technologies Evs Abhyankar Sustainable Transport Green Vehicles Environment Business Finance Electric Vehicle U S Can
How entrepreneurs can bolster their company and emerge from the pandemic as new market leaders Prepared leaders can make decisions by seeing market opportunities that are invisible to the untrained eye.

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  • Tough economic times are opportunities for leaders to evaluate their company's trajectory and reach.
  • To survive market uncertainty, leverage your unique advantages and stay competitive.
  • Start with a flexible framework, allow room for failure, and keep your leadership team in sync.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

No one ever said it was going to be all smooth sailing. We've all been in a boat that's gotten a little rocky, and some of us have even experienced a full-on capsize. In my experience of weathering the storm, there are one of two things that happen to your company: You either go out of business or you stay in business. If you are leading a team, you need to figure out which of those two positions your company is headed towards. Chances are, it won't be difficult as a lot has already happened and shaken out in the marketplace. That's good news for entrepreneurs, and even better news for leaders. The companies that weren't strong enough to survive have already failed. And while we mourn their loss, we also have to recognize that it's leveled the playing field. This is also a good time to take stock of where competitors have landed and where you currently rank in the pack.

The difference between those who survive and those who thrive

The companies that will win are those who learn how to leverage market uncertainty for their unique competitive advantages and leapfrog their competition with a period of rapid growth. On the surface, this sounds like a brilliant strategy, but there are thousands of ways it can fail if not executed well. A bad bet could take a company down, just as quickly as a good bet could pull it to the front of the line. This is where we'll see a second round of companies fail, which will set the stage for the winners to double down once again and secure their seats at the top.

Competition is about to get fierce as companies start to position themselves for market dominance. We can expect market sectors to start to shake up and shake out over the next two to three years as the full market impact of the pandemic unfolds.

At the same time, the potential gains are big. With market sectors in flux, the potential to take on the market leader spot has never been greater. This is the kind of opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime, so I recommend paying attention to your industry competition, closely. Technology is accelerating faster than Corporate America can adopt it, creating a fertile ground for start-up and mid-sized companies to innovate their way into the top seat. However, all bets are not created equal and entrepreneurs need to understand how to weigh bets and when to push the accelerator.

Creating a framework for success

Framework is important. It should be flexible and allow for rapid failure. The best way to win is to fail faster and in smaller chunks. It should also empower winners to make their way to the top faster. Oftentimes, winners lose because they can't even see they are there. The framework must prevent that from happening, and should allow for rapid experimentation. We never know which idea is a winner until it has a chance to win. So often our strategies are mired in complexity and complicated execution plans. That isn't going to fly if you want to take the top seat. Instead, you'll need a space for ideas to be planted, to grow and to reproduce. In execution, this often looks like an idea lab with a budget and a team who knows how to get stuff done at the helm.

So how can leaders understand the chessboard so they can call checkmate on their competition? They have to settle into discomfort. Prepared leaders will be able to make clear-headed decisions while seeing market opportunities that are invisible to the untrained eye. And they will be prepared to move even when it isn't comfortable to do so.

The road to the top is rather arduous and requires massive levels of organizational flexibility that can't be taught overnight. The leadership team must be in sync and know how to make the right decisions that are right for the business and its people, even if they are tough or risky. Employees need to feel appreciated, valued for their contributions, and celebrated every step of the way. Customers also need to feel satisfied and delighted by their entire experience. That's a tall order for a company of any size, but especially challenging for industry behemoths. That's why it's a market ripe for the market leaders to fail and the market innovators to succeed.

Taking advantage of future innovation gaps

These are evolutionary times. We've never seen a combination of events with such a broad brush of impact. Every industry is primed for rapid transformation and realignment as the full market impact of 2020 continues to unfold. Technology is accelerating faster than it can be adopted by industry leaders, which is opening the door for innovation gaps. These gaps create an opening for new startups to come through and disrupt entire markets.

There's no telling what innovations will pop up and be the next market leader, but this market is ready. We'll get excited about the innovation, and before you know it, it will become the new norm. This won't be the first time we've seen industry leaders fail and get overtaken by an unnamed competitor and it won't be the last. As markets have it, there's always a play that can win. Will it be yours?

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Nichole Kelly)]

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:09:08 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Strategy Nordic Entrepreneur Market and Economy Leadership Pandemic Economy Leaders Innovation Success Contributor Contributor 2019
What Is the Real Value of "THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY" Einstein cartoon.jpg

There are two kinds of benefits you will receive from participating in The Year of Living Creatively. First, you'll make major progress on a passionate project of yours that needs a major jolt. And second, you'll develop the kind of skills, mindset, and mojo you'll need to succeed with any creative project of yours in the future.

What follows are the ten qualities you will develop during your two-month participation in The Year of Living Creatively.

1. CURIOSITY: Curiosity is the driving force behind all human development. When a person is on fire with a desire to learn, discover, and explore, whole new worlds open up to them -- especially the inner world of creativity. Simply put, The Year of Living Creatively has been designed to fan the flames of curiosity -- providing participants with the kind of wake up call that animates the deep-seated quest for knowledge, know how, and understanding.

2. CLARITY: The creative process is often an unsettling experience. Doubt, ambiguity, and confusion come with the territory and often, in such degrees, that aspiring innovators can easily lose their way. The Year of Living Creatively program not only helps participants see the light at the end of their tunnel, it illuminates the path that leads to the end of the tunnel. Eyes open. Minds open. Hearts open.

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 22:28:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Year of Living Creatively
Current Uncontrolled Technology Versus Uncontrollable AGI [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Wed, 14 Apr 2021 20:53:17 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Artificial Intelligence Ecommerce Energy Science Technology World Artificial General Intelligence World Future Could muons point to new physics?
  • The first question ever asked in Western philosophy, "What's the world made of?" continues to inspire high energy physicists.
  • New experimental results probing the magnetic properties of the muon, a heavier cousin of the electron, seem to indicate that new particles of nature may exist, potentially shedding light on the mystery of dark matter.
  • The results are a celebration of the human spirit and our insatiable curiosity to understand the world and our place in it.

If brute force doesn't work, then look into the peculiarities of nothingness. This may sound like a Zen koan, but it's actually the strategy that particle physicists are using to find physics beyond the Standard Model, the current registry of all known particles and their interactions. Instead of the usual colliding experiments that smash particles against one another, exciting new results indicate that new vistas into exotic kinds of matter may be glimpsed by carefully measuring the properties of the quantum vacuum. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's go piecemeal.

It is fitting that the first question asked in Western philosophy concerned the material composition of the world. Writing around 350 BCE, Aristotle credited Thales of Miletus (circa 600 BCE) with the honor of being the first Western philosopher when he asked the question, "What is the world made of?" What modern high energy physicists do, albeit with very different methodology and equipment, is to follow along the same philosophical tradition of trying to answer this question, assuming that there are indivisible bricks of matter called elementary particles.

Deficits in the Standard Model

Jumping thousands of years of spectacular discoveries, we now have a very neat understanding of the material composition of the world at the subatomic level: a total of 12 particles and the Higgs boson. The 12 particles of matter are divided into two groups, six leptons and six quarks. The six quarks comprise all particles that interact via the strong nuclear force, like protons and neutrons. The leptons include the familiar electron and its two heavier cousins, the muon and the tau. The muon is the star of the new experiments.

The Standard ModelCredit: Cush via Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC0 1.0

For all its glory, the Standard Model described above is incomplete. The goal of fundamental physics is to answer the most questions with the least number of assumptions. As it stands, the values of the masses of all particles are parameters that we measure in the laboratory, related to how strongly they interact with the Higgs. We don't know why some interact much stronger than others (and, as a consequence, have larger masses), why there is a prevalence of matter over antimatter, or why the universe seems to be dominated by dark matter — a kind of matter we know nothing about, apart from the fact that it's not part of the recipe included in the Standard Model. We know dark matter has mass since its gravitational effects are felt in familiar matter, the matter that makes up galaxies and stars. But we don't know what it is.

Whatever happens, new science will be learned.

Physicists had hoped that the powerful Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland would shed light on the nature of dark matter, but nothing has come up there or in many direct searches, where detectors were mounted to collect dark matter that presumably would rain down from the skies and hit particles of ordinary matter.

Could muons fill in the gaps?

Enter the muons. The hope that these particles can help solve the shortcomings of the Standard Model has two parts to it. The first is that every particle, like a muon, that has an electric charge can be pictured simplistically as a spinning sphere. Spinning spheres and disks of charge create a magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of the spin. Picture the muon as a tiny spinning top. If it's rotating counterclockwise, its magnetic field would point vertically up. (Grab a glass of water with your right hand and turn it counterclockwise. Your thumb will be pointing up, the direction of the magnetic field.) The spinning muons will be placed into a doughnut-shaped tunnel and forced to go around and around. The tunnel will have its own magnetic field that will interact with the tiny magnetic field of the muons. As the muons circle the doughnut, they will wobble about, just like spinning-tops wobble on the ground due to their interaction with Earth's gravity. The amount of wobbling depends on the magnetic properties of the muon which, in turn, depend on what's going on with the muon in space.

Credit: Fabrice Coffrini / Getty Images

This is where the second idea comes in, the quantum vacuum. In physics, there is no empty space. The so-called vacuum is actually a bubbling soup of particles that appear and disappear in fractions of a second. Everything fluctuates, as encapsulated in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Energy fluctuates too, what we call zero-point energy. Since energy and mass are interconvertible (E=mc2, remember?), these tiny fluctuations of energy can be momentarily converted into particles that pop out and back into the busy nothingness of the quantum vacuum. Every particle of matter is cloaked with these particles emerging from vacuum fluctuations. Thus, a muon is not only a muon, but a muon dressed with these extra fleeting bits of stuff. That being the case, these extra particles affect a muon's magnetic field, and thus, its wobbling properties.

About 20 years ago, physicists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory detected anomalies in the muon's magnetic properties, larger than what theory predicted. This would mean that the quantum vacuum produces particles not accounted for by the Standard Model: new physics! Fast forward to 2017, and the experiment, at four times higher sensitivity, was repeated at the Fermi National Laboratory, where yours truly was a postdoctoral fellow a while back. The first results of the Muon g-2 experiment were unveiled on 7-April-2021 and not only confirmed the existence of a magnetic moment anomaly but greatly amplified it.

To most people, the official results, published recently, don't seem so exciting: a "tension between theory and experiment of 4.2 standard deviations." The gold standard for a new discovery in particle physics is a 5-sigma variation, or one part in 3.5 million. (That is, running the experiment 3.5 million times and only observing the anomaly once.) However, that's enough for plenty of excitement in the particle physics community, given the remarkable precision of the experimental measurements.

A time for excitement?

Now, results must be reanalyzed very carefully to make sure that (1) there are no hidden experimental errors; and (2) the theoretical calculations are not off. There will be a frenzy of calculations and papers in the coming months, all trying to make sense of the results, both on the experimental and theoretical fronts. And this is exactly how it should be. Science is a community-based effort, and the work of many compete with and complete each other.

    Whatever happens, new science will be learned, even if less exciting than new particles. Or maybe, new particles have been there all along, blipping in and out of existence from the quantum vacuum, waiting to be pulled out of this busy nothingness by our tenacious efforts to find out what the world is made of.

    Wed, 14 Apr 2021 12:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Physics Particle physics
    Benjamin Franklin on how to be a nice, likable person
    • Benjamin Franklin wrote essays on a whole range of subjects, but one of his finest was on how to be a nice, likable person.
    • Franklin lists a whole series of common errors people make while in the company of others, like over-talking or storytelling.
    • His simple recipe for being good company is to be genuinely interested in others and to accept them for who they are.

    Think of the nicest person you know. The person who would fit into any group configuration, who no one can dislike, or who makes a room warmer and happier just by being there.

    What makes them this way? Why are they so amiable, likeable, or good-natured? What is it, you think, that makes a person good company?

    There are really only two things that make someone likable.

    This is the kind of advice that comes from one of history's most famously good-natured thinkers: Benjamin Franklin. His essay "On Conversation" is full of practical, surprisingly modern tips about how to be a nice person.

    Franklin begins by arguing that there are really only two things that make someone likable. First, they have to be genuinely interested in what others say. Second, they have to be willing "to overlook or excuse Foibles." In other words, being good company means listening to people and ignoring their faults. Being witty, well-read, intelligent, or incredibly handsome can all make a good impression, but they're nothing without these two simple rules.

    The sort of person nobody likes

    From here, Franklin goes on to give a list of the common errors people tend to make while in company. These are the things people do that makes us dislike them. We might even find, with a sinking feeling in our stomach, that we do some of these ourselves.

    1) Talking too much and becoming a "chaos of noise and nonsense." These people invariably talk about themselves, but even if "they speak beautifully," it's still ultimately more a soliloquy than a real conversation. Franklin mentions how funny it can be to see these kinds of people come together. They "neither hear nor care what the other says; but both talk on at any rate, and never fail to part highly disgusted with each other."

    2) Asking too many questions. Interrogators are those people who have an "impertinent Inquisitiveness… of ten thousand questions," and it can feel like you're caught between a psychoanalyst and a lawyer. In itself, this might not be a bad thing, but Franklin notes it's usually just from a sense of nosiness and gossip. The questions are only designed to "discover secrets…and expose the mistakes of others."

    3) Storytelling. You know those people who always have a scripted story they tell at every single gathering? Utterly painful. They'll either be entirely oblivious to how little others care for their story, or they'll be aware and carry on regardless. Franklin notes, "Old Folks are most subject to this Error," which we might think is perhaps harsh, or comically honest, depending on our age.

    4) Debating. Some people are always itching for a fight or debate. The "Wrangling and Disputing" types inevitably make everyone else feel like they need to watch what they say. If you give even the lightest or most modest opinion on something, "you throw them into Rage and Passion." For them, the conversation is a boxing fight, and words are punches to be thrown.

    5) Misjudging. Ribbing or mocking someone should be a careful business. We must never mock "Misfortunes, Defects, or Deformities of any kind", and should always be 100% sure we won't upset anyone. If there's any doubt about how a "joke" will be taken, don't say it. Offense is easily taken and hard to forget.

    Not following Benjamin Franklin's advice.Credit: Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

    On practical philosophy

    Franklin's essay is a trove of great advice, and this article only touches on the major themes. It really is worth your time to read it in its entirety. As you do, it's hard not to smile along or to think, "Yes! I've been in that situation." Though the world has changed dramatically in the 300 years since Franklin's essay, much is exactly the same. Basic etiquette doesn't change.

    If there's only one thing to take away from Franklin's essay, it comes at the end, where he revises his simple recipe for being nice:

    "Be ever ready to hear what others say… and do not censure others, nor expose their Failings, but kindly excuse or hide them"

    So, all it takes to be good company is to listen and accept someone for who they are.

      Philosophy doesn't always have to be about huge questions of truth, beauty, morality, art, or meaning. Sometimes it can teach us simply how to not be a jerk.

      Jonny Thomson teaches philosophy in Oxford. He runs a popular Instagram account called Mini Philosophy (@philosophyminis). His first book is Mini Philosophy: A Small Book of Big Ideas.

      Wed, 14 Apr 2021 11:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Personality Philosophy
      Our ancestors first developed humanlike brains 1.7 million years ago
      • Using computed tomography, a team of researchers generated images of what the brains of early Homo species likely looked like.
      • The team then compared these images to the brains of great apes and modern humans.
      • The results suggest that Homo species developed humanlike brains about 1.7 million years ago and that this cognitive evolution occurred at the same time early Homo culture and technology were becoming more complex.

        For nearly two centuries, scientists have known that humans descended from the great apes. But it's proven difficult to precisely map out the branches of that evolutionary tree, especially in terms of determining when and where early Homo species first developed brains similar to modern humans.

        There are clear differences between ape and human brains. Compared to apes, the Homo sapiens brain is larger, and its frontal lobe is organized such that we can engage in toolmaking, planning, and language. Other Homo species also enjoyed some of these cognitive innovations, from the Neanderthals to Homo floresiensis, the hobbit-like people who once inhabited Indonesia.

        One reason it's been difficult to discern the details of this cognitive evolution from apes to Homo species is that brains don't fossilize, so scientists can't directly study early primate brains. But primate skulls offer clues.

        Brains of yore

        In a new study published in Science, an international team of researchers analyzed impressions left on the skulls of Homo species to better understand the evolution of primate brains. Using computer tomography on fossil skulls, the team generated images of what the brain structures of early Homo species probably looked like, and then compared those structures to the brains of great apes and modern humans.

        The results suggest that Homo species first developed humanlike brains approximately 1.7 to 1.5 million years ago in Africa. This cognitive evolution occurred at roughly the same time Homo species' technology and culture were becoming more complex, with these species developing more sophisticated stone tools and animal food resources.

        Credit: Ponce de León et al.

        The team hypothesized that "this pattern reflects interdependent processes of brain-culture coevolution, where cultural innovation triggered changes in cortical interconnectivity and ultimately in external frontal lobe topography."

        The team also found that these structural changes occurred after Homo species migrated out of Africa for regions like modern-day Georgia and Southeast Asia, which is where the fossils in the study were discovered. In other words, Homo species still had ape-like brains when some groups first left Africa.

        While the study sheds new light on the evolution of primate brains, the team said there's still much to learn about the history of early Homo species, particularly in terms of explaining the morphological diversity of Homo fossils discovered in Africa.

        "Deciphering evolutionary process in early Homo remains a challenge that will be met only through the recovery of expanded fossil samples from well-controlled chronological contexts," the researchers wrote.

          Wed, 14 Apr 2021 09:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Evolution Mind Animals Brain
          SpaceX Will Pass Total Space Shuttle Launches in 2021 [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Tue, 13 Apr 2021 19:54:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Space Technology World Spacex TAE Technologies Targets Commercial Nuclear Fusion by 2030 [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Tue, 13 Apr 2021 18:08:31 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Energy Science Technology World Fusion Nuclear We're creating pigs with human immune systems to study illness

          The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires all new medicines to be tested in animals before use in people. Pigs make better medical research subjects than mice, because they are closer to humans in size, physiology and genetic makeup.

          In recent years, our team at Iowa State University has found a way to make pigs an even closer stand-in for humans. We have successfully transferred components of the human immune system into pigs that lack a functional immune system. This breakthrough has the potential to accelerate medical research in many areas, including virus and vaccine research, as well as cancer and stem cell therapeutics.

          Existing biomedical models

          Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID, is a genetic condition that causes impaired development of the immune system. People can develop SCID, as dramatized in the 1976 movieThe Boy in the Plastic Bubble." Other animals can develop SCID, too, including mice.

          Researchers in the 1980s recognized that SCID mice could be implanted with human immune cells for further study. Such mice are called “humanized" mice and have been optimized over the past 30 years to study many questions relevant to human health.

          Mice are the most commonly used animal in biomedical research, but results from mice often do not translate well to human responses, thanks to differences in metabolism, size and divergent cell functions compared with people.

          Nonhuman primates are also used for medical research and are certainly closer stand-ins for humans. But using them for this purpose raises numerous ethical considerations. With these concerns in mind, the National Institutes of Health retired most of its chimpanzees from biomedical research in 2013.

          Alternative animal models are in demand.

          Swine are a viable option for medical research because of their similarities to humans. And with their widespread commercial use, pigs are met with fewer ethical dilemmas than primates. Upwards of 100 million hogs are slaughtered each year for food in the U.S.

          Humanizing pigs

          In 2012, groups at Iowa State University and Kansas State University, including Jack Dekkers, an expert in animal breeding and genetics, and Raymond Rowland, a specialist in animal diseases, serendipitously discovered a naturally occurring genetic mutation in pigs that caused SCID. We wondered if we could develop these pigs to create a new biomedical model.

          Our group has worked for nearly a decade developing and optimizing SCID pigs for applications in biomedical research. In 2018, we achieved a twofold milestone when working with animal physiologist Jason Ross and his lab. Together we developed a more immunocompromised pig than the original SCID pig – and successfully humanized it, by transferring cultured human immune stem cells into the livers of developing piglets.

          During early fetal development, immune cells develop within the liver, providing an opportunity to introduce human cells. We inject human immune stem cells into fetal pig livers using ultrasound imaging as a guide. As the pig fetus develops, the injected human immune stem cells begin to differentiate – or change into other kinds of cells – and spread through the pig's body. Once SCID piglets are born, we can detect human immune cells in their blood, liver, spleen and thymus gland. This humanization is what makes them so valuable for testing new medical treatments.

          We have found that human ovarian tumors survive and grow in SCID pigs, giving us an opportunity to study ovarian cancer in a new way. Similarly, because human skin survives on SCID pigs, scientists may be able to develop new treatments for skin burns. Other research possibilities are numerous.

          An indoor space housing pigs, with specialize air vents and plastic sheeting.

          The ultraclean SCID pig biocontainment facility in Ames, Iowa. Adeline Boettcher, CC BY-SA

          Pigs in a bubble

          Since our pigs lack essential components of their immune system, they are extremely susceptible to infection and require special housing to help reduce exposure to pathogens.

          SCID pigs are raised in bubble biocontainment facilities. Positive pressure rooms, which maintain a higher air pressure than the surrounding environment to keep pathogens out, are coupled with highly filtered air and water. All personnel are required to wear full personal protective equipment. We typically have anywhere from two to 15 SCID pigs and breeding animals at a given time. (Our breeding animals do not have SCID, but they are genetic carriers of the mutation, so their offspring may have SCID.)

          As with any animal research, ethical considerations are always front and center. All our protocols are approved by Iowa State University's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and are in accordance with The National Institutes of Health's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

          Every day, twice a day, our pigs are checked by expert caretakers who monitor their health status and provide engagement. We have veterinarians on call. If any pigs fall ill, and drug or antibiotic intervention does not improve their condition, the animals are humanely euthanized.

          Our goal is to continue optimizing our humanized SCID pigs so they can be more readily available for stem cell therapy testing, as well as research in other areas, including cancer. We hope the development of the SCID pig model will pave the way for advancements in therapeutic testing, with the long-term goal of improving human patient outcomes.

          Adeline Boettcher earned her research-based Ph.D. working on the SCID project in 2019.

          Christopher Tuggle, Professor of Animal Science, Iowa State University and Adeline Boettcher, Technical Writer II, Iowa State University

          This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

          Tue, 13 Apr 2021 14:53:36 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Health care Medicine Medical research Disease Human body
          Waymo Valuation dropped 80% From $200 to $30 Billion [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Tue, 13 Apr 2021 14:49:49 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Artificial Intelligence Technology World Self Driving Cars An Invitation to Dive Deeper Into Your Own Creative Process A Universe of Stories 2.jpg

          "The creative process is a process of surrender, not control." -- Julia Cameron

          The creative process -- the experience a human being enters into in service to their passion to manifest something from nothing -- is a mysterious one, even though it has been studied for decades by psychologists, neuroscientists, and researchers.

          Consider this: everything you are seeing right now began as an idea in someone's mind -- the laptop, the cell phone, the chair you are sitting on, paper, paint, your desk lamp, picture frame, credit cards, books, halvah, and a whole lot more.

          Tue, 13 Apr 2021 13:53:08 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Creative Process
          A new warning sign to predict volcanic eruptions?
          • A recent study used data collected by NASA satellites to conduct a statistical analysis of surface temperatures near volcanoes that erupted from 2002 to 2019.
          • The results showed that surface temperatures near volcanoes gradually increased in the months and years prior to eruptions.
          • The method was able to detect potential eruptions that were not anticipated by other volcano monitoring methods, such as eruptions in Japan in 2014 and Chile in 2015.

          How can modern technology help warn us of impending volcanic eruptions?

          One promising answer may lie in satellite imagery. In a recent study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers used infrared data collected by NASA satellites to study the conditions near volcanoes in the months and years before they erupted.

          The results revealed a pattern: Prior to eruptions, an unusually large amount of heat had been escaping through soil near volcanoes. This diffusion of subterranean heat — which is a byproduct of "large-scale thermal unrest" — could potentially represent a warning sign of future eruptions.

          large-scale thermal unrest Conceptual model of large-scale thermal unrestCredit: Girona et al.

          For the study, the researchers conducted a statistical analysis of changes in surface temperature near volcanoes, using data collected over 16.5 years by NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. The results showed that eruptions tended to occur around the time when surface temperatures near the volcanoes peaked.

          Eruptions were preceded by "subtle but significant long-term (years), large-scale (tens of square kilometres) increases in their radiant heat flux (up to ~1 °C in median radiant temperature)," the researchers wrote. After eruptions, surface temperatures reliably decreased, though the cool-down period took longer for bigger eruptions.

          "Volcanoes can experience thermal unrest for several years before eruption," the researchers wrote. "This thermal unrest is dominated by a large-scale phenomenon operating over extensive areas of volcanic edifices, can be an early indicator of volcanic reactivation, can increase prior to different types of eruption and can be tracked through a statistical analysis of little-processed (that is, radiance or radiant temperature) satellite-based remote sensing data with high temporal resolution."

          Temporal variations of target volcanoes Temporal variations of target volcanoesCredit: Girona et al.

          Although using satellites to monitor thermal unrest wouldn't enable scientists to make hyper-specific eruption predictions (like predicting the exact day), it could significantly improve prediction efforts. Seismologists and volcanologists currently use a range of techniques to forecast eruptions, including monitoring for gas emissions, ground deformation, and changes to nearby water channels, to name a few.

          Still, none of these techniques have proven completely reliable, both because of the science and the practical barriers (e.g. funding) standing in the way of large-scale monitoring. In 2014, for example, Japan's Mount Ontake suddenly erupted, killing 63 people. It was the nation's deadliest eruption in nearly a century.

          In the study, the researchers found that surface temperatures near Mount Ontake had been increasing in the two years prior to the eruption. To date, no other monitoring method has detected "well-defined" warning signs for the 2014 disaster, the researchers noted.

          The researchers hope satellite-based infrared monitoring techniques, combined with existing methods, can improve prediction efforts for volcanic eruptions. Volcanic eruptions have killed about 2,000 people since 2000.

          "Our findings can open new horizons to better constrain magma–hydrothermal interaction processes, especially when integrated with other datasets, allowing us to explore the thermal budget of volcanoes and anticipate eruptions that are very difficult to forecast through other geophysical/geochemical methods."

          Tue, 13 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Geology Nature Science Natural disaster
          Moral and economic lessons from Mario Kart
          • A new essay compares the power-up system in Mario Kart to feedback loops in real-life systems.
          • Both try to provide targeted benefits to those who most need them.
          • While games are simpler than reality, Mario's example makes the real-life cases easier to understand.

            Poverty can be a self-sustaining cycle that might require an external influence to break it. A new paper published in Nature Sustainability and written by professor Andrew Bell of Boston University suggests that we could improve global anti-poverty and economic development systems by turning to an idea in a video game about a race car-driving Italian plumber.

            A primer on Mario Kart

            For those who have not played it, Mario Kart is a racing game starring Super Mario and other characters from the video game franchise that bears his name. Players race around tracks collecting power-ups that can directly help them, such as mushrooms that speed up their karts, or slow down other players, such as heat-seeking turtle shells that momentarily crash other karts.

            The game is well known for having a mechanism known as "rubber-banding." Racers in the front of the pack get wimpy power-ups, like banana peels to slip up other karts, while those toward the back get stronger ones, like golden mushrooms that provide extra long speed boosts. The effect of this is that those in the back are pushed towards the center, and those in front don't get any boosts that would make catching them impossible.

            If you're in last, you might get the help you need to make a last-minute break for the lead. If you're in first, you have to be on the lookout for these breakouts (and the ever-dreaded blue shells ). The game remains competitive and fun.

            Rubber-banding: A moral and economic lesson from Mario Kart

            In the real world, we see rubber-banding used all the time. Welfare systems tend to provide more aid to those who need it than those who do not. Many of them are financed by progressive taxation, which is heavier on the well-off than the down-and-out. Some research suggests that these do work , as countries with lower levels of income inequality have higher social mobility levels.

            It is a little more difficult to use rubber-banding in real life than in a video game, of course. While in the game, it is easy to decide who is doing well and who is not, things can be a little more muddled in reality. Furthermore, while those in a racing game are necessarily antagonistic to each other, real systems often strive to improve conditions for everybody or to reach common goals.

            As Bell points out, rubber-banding can also be used to encourage sustainable, growth programs that help the poor other than welfare. They point out projects such as irrigation systems in Pakistan or Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES) schemes in Malawi, which utilize positive feedback loops to both provide aid to the poor and promote stable systems that benefit everyone.

            Rubber-banding feedback loops in different systems. Mario Kart (a), irrigation systems in Pakistan (b), and PES operations in Malawi (c) are shown. Links between one better-off (blue) and one worse-off (red) individual are highlighted. Feedback in Mario Kart (a), designed to balance the racers, imprAndrew Bell/ Nature Sustainability

            In the Malawi case , farmers were paid to practice conservation agriculture to reduce the amount of sediment from their farms flowing into a river. This immediately benefits hydroelectric producers and their customers but also provides real benefits to farmers in the long run as their soil doesn't erode. By providing an incentive to the farmers to conserve the soil, a virtuous cycle of conservation, soil improvement, and improved yields can begin.

            While this loop differs from the rubber-banding in Mario , the game's approach can help illustrate the benefits of rubber-banding in achieving a more equitable world.

            The task now, as Bell says in his paper, is to look at problems that exist and find out "what the golden mushroom might be."

            Tue, 13 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Global development Economics Sustainability Development
            Tech talent can thrive in the public sector but government must invest in it Share on Twitter Josh Mendelsohn is the founder and managing partner of Hangar, a public sector investment firm focused on building and scaling innovative startups.

            Building, scaling and launching new tools and products is the lifeblood of the technology sector. When we consider these concepts today, many think of Big Tech and flashy startups, known for their industry dominance or new technologies that impact our everyday lives. But long before garages and dorm rooms became decentralized hubs for these innovations, local and state governments, along with many agencies within the federal government, pioneered tech products with the goal of improving the lives of millions.

            Long before garages and dorm rooms became decentralized hubs for innovation, local and state governments, along with many agencies within the federal government, pioneered tech products with the goal of improving the lives of millions.

            As an industry, we’ve developed a notion that working in government, the place where the groundwork was laid for the digital assistants we use every day, is now far less appealing than working in the private sector. The immense salary differential is often cited as the overwhelming reason workers prefer to work in the private sphere.

            But the hard truth is the private sector brings far more value than just higher compensation to employees. Look no further than the boom in the tech sector during the pandemic to understand why it’s so attractive. A company like Zoom, already established and successful in its own right for years, found itself in a situation where it had to serve an exponentially growing and diverse user base in a short period of time. It quickly confronted a slew of infrastructure and user experience pivots on its way to becoming a staple of work-from-home culture — and succeeded.

            That innate ability to work fast to deliver for consumers and innovate at what feels like a moment’s notice is what really draws talent. Compare that to the government’s tech environment, where decreased funding and partisan oversight slow the pace of work, or, worse, can get in the way of exploring or implementing new ideas entirely.

            One look (literally, see our graph below) at the trends around R&D spending in the private and government sectors also paints a clear picture of where future innovations will come from if we don’t change the equation.

            Chart of Facebook R&D spending vs. DARPA annual budget

            Image Credits: Josh Mendelsohn/Hangar

            Look no further than the U.S. government’s own (now defunct) Office of Technology Assessment. The agency aimed to provide a thorough analysis of burgeoning issues in science and technology, exposing many public services to a new age of innovation and implementation. Amid a period of downsizing by a newly Republican-led Congress, the OTA was defunded in 1995 with a peak annual budget of just $35.1 million (adjusted for 2019 dollars). The authoritative body on the importance of technology to the government was deemed duplicative and unnecessary. Despite numerous calls for its reinstatement, it has since remained shuttered.

            Despite dwindling public sector investment and lackluster political action, the problems that technology is poised to help solve haven’t gone away or even eased up.

            From the COVID pandemic to worsening natural disasters and growing societal inequities, public leaders have a responsibility to solve the pressing issues we face today. That responsibility should breed a desire to continuously iterate for the sake of constituents and quality of life, much in the same way private tech caters to the product, user and bottom line.

            My own experiences in government have shaped my career and approach to building new technologies more than my time in Silicon Valley. There are plenty of tangible parallels to the private sector that can attract driven and passionate tech workers, but the responsibility of giving government work realistic consideration doesn’t just fall at the feet of talent. The governments that we depend on must invest more capital and pay closer attention to the tech community.

            Tech workers want an environment where they can thrive and get to see their work in action, whoever the end user may be. They don’t want to feel hamstrung by the threat of decreased funding or the red tape that comes as a result of government partisanship. Replicating the unimpeded focus of Silicon Valley’s brightest examples is a must if we’re serious about drawing talented individuals into government or public-sector-focused work.

            A great example of these ideas in action is one of the most beloved government agencies, NASA. Its continued funding has produced technologies developed for space exploration that are now commonplace in our lives, such as scratch-resistant lenses, memory foam and water filters. These use cases came much later on, only after millions of dollars were invested without knowing what would result.

            NASA has continued to bolster its ability to stay nimble and evolve at a rapid pace by partnering with private companies. For talent in the tech sphere, the ability to leverage outside resources in this way, without compromising the product or work, is a boon for ideation and iteration.

            One can also point to the agency when considering the importance of keeping technology research and innovation as apolitical as possible. It’s one of the few widely known public entities to prosper on the back of bipartisan support. Unfortunately, politicians typically do all of us a disservice, particularly tech workers in government, when they too closely connect themselves or their parties to a particular program or platform. It hinders innovation — and the ensuing mudslinging can detract from talented individuals jumping into government service.

            There is no shortage of extremely capable tech workers who want to help solve the biggest issues facing society. Will we give them the legitimate space and opportunity to conquer those problems? There’s been some indication that we can. These ambitious and forward-looking efforts matter today more than ever and show all of us in the tech ecosystem that there’s a place in government for tech talent to grow and flourish.

            Tue, 13 Apr 2021 09:04:21 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs TC Column Congress Opinion Tech Nasa United States Innovation Silicon Valley Federal Government Hangar U S government Office of Technology Assessment COVID-19 Josh Mendelsohn Congress the OTA
            Stressed-out mothers are twice as likely to give birth to a girl
            • A new study found that women with elevated stress before, during, and after conception are twice as likely to deliver a girl.
            • One factor could be that sperm carrying an X chromosome are better equipped to reach the egg under adverse conditions.
            • Another factor could be miscarriage of male fetuses during times of stress.

              Stress in the modern world is generally viewed as a hindrance to a healthy life.

              Indeed, excess stress is associated with numerous problems, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, obesity, and other conditions. While the physiological mechanisms associated with stress can be beneficial, as Kelly McGonigal points out in The Upside of Stress, the modern wellness industry is built on the foundation of stress relief.

              The effects of stress on pregnant mothers is another longstanding area of research. For example, what potential negative effects do elevated levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine have on fetal development?

              A new study, published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, investigated a very specific aspect of stress on fetuses: does it affect sex? Their findings reveal that women with elevated stress are twice as likely to give birth to a girl.

              For this research, the University of Granada scientists recorded the stress levels of 108 women before, during, and after conception. By testing cortisol concentration in their hair and subjecting the women to a variety of psychological tests, the researchers discovered that stress indeed influences sex. Specifically, stress made women twice as likely to deliver a baby girl.

              The team points out that their research is consistent with other research that used saliva to show that stress resulted in a decreased likelihood of delivering a boy.

              Maria Isabel Peralta RamírezPhoto courtesy of University of Granada

              Lead author María Isabel Peralta Ramírez, a researcher at the UGR's Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment, says that prior research focused on stress levels leading up to and after birth. She was interested in stress's impact leading up to conception. She says:

              "Specifically, our research group has shown in numerous publications how psychological stress in the mother generates a greater number of psychopathological symptoms during pregnancy: postpartum depression, a greater likelihood of assisted delivery, an increase in the time taken for lactation to commence (lactogenesis), or inferior neurodevelopment of the baby six months after birth."

              While no conclusive evidence has been rendered, the research team believes that activation of the mother's endogenous stress system during conception sets the concentration of sex hormones that will be carried throughout development. As the team writes, "there is evidence that testosterone functions as a mechanism when determining the baby's sex, since the greater the prenatal stress levels, the higher the levels of female testosterone." Levels of paternal stress were not factored into this research.

              Previous studies show that sperm carrying an X chromosome are better equipped to reach the egg under adverse conditions than sperm carrying the Y chromosome. Y fetuses also mature slowly and are more likely to produce complications than X fetuses. Peralta also noted that there might be more aborted male fetuses during times of early maternal stress, which would favor more girls being born under such circumstances.

                In the future, Peralta and her team say an investigation into aborted fetuses should be undertaken. Right now, the research was limited to a small sample size that did not factor in a number of elements. Still, the team concludes, "the research presented here is pioneering to the extent that it links prenatal stress to the sex of newborns."


                  Stay in touch with Derek on Twitter and Facebook. His most recent book is "Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."

                  Tue, 13 Apr 2021 09:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gender Human body Parenting Mental health Women Pregnancy
                  Top EVs by Model in 2020 and Partial Q1 2021 EV Sales [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Tue, 13 Apr 2021 02:03:01 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Innovation NVIDIA’s Atlan and Hyperion Self Driving Platforms [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Mon, 12 Apr 2021 18:24:47 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Innovation Nvidia Atlan The cost of world peace? It's much less than the price of war
                  • Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
                  • That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
                  • Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
                  • Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
                  • Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.

                  What is the price of peace?

                  Or put another way, how much better off would we all be in a world where armed conflict was avoided?

                  Around in 2019, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) which crunched the numbers. That's about .

                  To give some context, 689 million people - more than 9% of the world's population - live on less than $1.90 a day, according to World Bank figures, underscoring the potential impact peace-building activities could have.

                  Just over 10% of global GDP is being spent on containing, preventing and dealing with the consequences of violence. As well as the 1.4 million violent deaths each year, conflict holds back economic development, causes instability, widens inequality and erodes human capital.

                  Putting a price tag on peace and violence helps us see the disproportionately high amounts spent on creating and containing violent acts compared to what is spent on building resilient, productive, and peaceful societies.
                  —Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman, Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP)
                  The cost of violence

                  In a report titled the IEP says that for every death from violent conflict, 40 times as many people are injured. The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.

                  Grounds for hope

                  But the picture is not all bleak. The economic impact of violence fell for the second year in a row in 2019, as parts of the world became more peaceful.

                  The global cost dropped by $64 billion between 2018 and 2019, even though it was still $1.2 trillion higher than in 2012.

                  In five regions of the world the costs increased in 2019. The biggest jump was in Central America and the Caribbean, where a rising homicide rate pushed the cost up 8.3%.

                  Syria, with its ongoing civil war, suffered the greatest economic impact with almost 60% of its GDP lost to conflict in 2019. That was followed by Afghanistan (50%) and South Sudan (46%).

                  The report makes a direct link between peace and prosperity. It says that, since 2000, countries that have become more peaceful have averaged higher GDP growth than those which have become more violent.

                  "This differential is significant and represents a GDP per capita that is 30% larger when compounded over a 20-year period," the report says adding that peaceful countries also have substantially lower inflation and unemployment.

                  "Small improvements in peace can have substantial economic benefits," it adds. "For example, a 2% reduction in the global impact of violence is roughly equivalent to all overseas development aid in 2019."

                  Equally, the total value of foreign direct investment globally only offsets 10% of the economic impact of violence. Authoritarian regimes lost on average 11% of GDP to the costs of violence while in democracies the cost was just 4% of GDP.

                  And the gap has widened over time, with democracies reducing the cost of violence by almost 16% since 2007 while in authoritarian countries it has risen by 27% over the same period.

                  The report uses 18 economic indicators to evaluate the cost of violence. The top three are military spending (which was $5.9 trillion globally in 2019), the cost of internal security which makes up over a third of the total at $4.9 trillion and homicide.

                  Peace brings prosperity

                  The formula also contains a multiplier effect because as peace increases, money spent containing violence can instead be used on more productive activities which drive growth and generate higher monetary and social returns.

                  "Substantial economic improvements are linked to improvements in peace," says the report. "Therefore, government policies should be directed to improving peacefulness, especially in a COVID-19 environment where economic activity has been subdued."

                  The IEP says what it terms "positive peace" is even more beneficial than "negative peace" which is simply the absence of violence or the fear of violence. Positive peace involves fostering the attitudes, institutions & structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.

                  The foundations of a positively peaceful society, it says, are: a well functioning government, sound business environment, acceptance of the rights of others, good relations with neighbours, free flow of information, high levels of human capital, low levels of corruption and equitable distribution of resources.

                  The World Economic Forum's report Mobilizing the Private Sector in Peace and Reconciliation urged companies large and small to recognise their potential to work for peace quoting the former Goldman Sachs chair, the late Peter Sutherland, who said: "Business thrives where society thrives."

                  Reprinted with permission of the World Economic Forum. Read the original article.

                  Mon, 12 Apr 2021 14:17:37 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Economics Syria War Peace Afghanistan Innovation South Sudan Violence World Bank Goldman Sachs Central America Caribbean IEP Steve Killelea Peter Sutherland Global Issues Institute for Economics and Peace IEP Institute for Economics Peace IEP
                  Competition for the Future 35 Terawatt-hour per Year Battery Market [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:37:31 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Elon Musk Tesla Innovation The evolution of modern rainforests began with the dinosaur-killing asteroid
                  • One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests.
                  • A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact.
                  • The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years.

                  About 66 million years ago, a massive asteroid slammed into present-day Chicxulub, Mexico, triggering the extinction of dinosaurs. Scientists estimate the impact killed 75 percent of life on Earth. But what's remained more mysterious is how the event shaped the future of plant life, specifically tropical rainforests.

                  A new study published in Science explores how the so-called bolide impact at the end of the Cretaceous period paved the way for the evolution of our modern rainforests, the most diverse terrestrial ecosystems on Earth.

                  For the study, researchers analyzed thousands of samples of fossil pollen, leaves, and spores collected from various sites across Colombia. The researchers analyzed the samples to determine which types of plants were dominant, the diversity of plant life, and how insects interacted with plants.

                  All samples dated back to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, some 70 million to 56 million years ago. Back then, the region's climate was mostly humid and hot, as it is today. However, the composition and structure of forests were quite different before the impact, according to the study results.

                  Tropical jungle Tropical jungle with river and sun beam and foggy in the gardenSASITHORN via Adobe Stock

                  For one, the region's rainforests used to have a roughly equal mix of angiosperms (shrubs and flowering trees) and plants like conifers and ferns. The rainforests also had a more open canopy structure, which allowed more light to reach the forest floor and meant that plants faced less competition for light.

                  What changed after the asteroid hit? The results suggest the impact and its aftermath led to a 45 percent decrease in plant diversity, a loss from which the region took about 6 million years to recover. But different plants came to replace the old ones, with an increasing proportion of flowering plants sprouting up over the millennia.

                  "A single historical accident changed the ecological and evolutionary trajectory of tropical rainforests," Carlos Jaramillo, study author and paleopalynologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, told Science News. "The forests that we have today are really the by-product of what happened 66 million years ago."

                  Today's rainforests are significantly more biodiverse than they were 66 million years ago. One potential reason is that the more densely packed canopy structure of the post-impact era increased competition among plants, "leading to the vertical complexity seen in modern rainforests," the researchers wrote.

                  The extinction of long-necked, leaf-eating dinosaurs probably helped maintain this closed-canopy structure. Also boosting biodiversity was ash from the impact, which effectively fertilized the soil by adding more phosphorus. This likely benefited flowering plants over the conifers and ferns of the pre-impact era.

                  In addition to unraveling some of the mysteries about the origins of South America's lush biodiversity, the findings highlight how, even though life finds a way to recover from catastrophe, it can take a long time.

                    Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Biology Environment Earth Colombia Nature Innovation Dinosaurs Evolution South America Panama City Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Chicxulub Mexico Carlos Jaramillo Science News The
                    Tesla Integrated EV Company Mirrors Standard Oil Integrated Oil [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ]]> Mon, 12 Apr 2021 11:04:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Standard Oil Innovation Rockefeller New study determines how many mothers have lost a child by country
                    • A first-of-its-kind study examines the number of mothers who have lost a child around the world.
                    • The number is related to infant mortality rates in a country but is not identical to it.
                    • The lack of information on the topic leaves a lot of room for future research.

                    Among the best indicators of societal progress over the last few decades has been the remarkable decline in infant and child mortality rates worldwide. In the early sixties, a staggering 1 in 4 children around the world died . Today, that rate has fallen to fewer than 1 in 10. The continued efforts of several organizations will help that number to fall even further.

                    However, like many other kinds of progress, the blessings of these advances have been shared unequally. Child mortality rates are much higher in some parts of the world than in others. Additionally, measuring infant mortality by itself doesn't tell the whole story. While conditions are improving, the legacy of high child mortality rates endures.

                    In hopes of shedding light on both issues, a first-of-its-kind study suggests that mothers in some parts of the world remain astronomically more likely to lose a child than others.

                    Bereavement around the world

                    An international team of researchers led by Dr. Emily Smith-Greenaway examined data from 170 countries. By combining information on child mortality, maternal life expectancy, the fertility rate, and the proportion of women in the country who have children, among other statistics, the researchers were able to create indices of the number of mothers per thousand who lost a child either before the age of one or five, or ever, for nearly every country in the world.

                      Cumulative prevalence of infant mortality for mothers age 20–44. Notice the groupings of countries at both the high and low ends of the scale. (scale is per thousand) USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

                      The results are quite shocking.

                      As seen in the above map, the countries with the highest maternal bereavement rates are clustered in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Hong Kong has the lowest maternal bereavement rate of any measured locale in the world at 2.8 per 1000, while Sierra Leone has the highest at 303.3 per 1000, nearly 1 in 3. A mother in Sierra Leone is 108 times more likely to have lost a child than a mother in Hong Kong.

                      This difference is far larger than that of infant mortality alone. There are many possible reasons for this, including factors which directly impact child mortality. Because of the number of factors involved, there are countries where the infant mortality rate remains stubbornly high but where maternal bereavement is rather low, such as the Philippines, and countries where a low mortality rate hides a high bereavement rate, such as Peru.

                      The differences between countries continue to exist when age is accounted for. While rates are worse everywhere when looking only at older mothers, the difference between Hong Kong, which remains the best, and Liberia, which becomes the worst, is still a factor of 70.

                      Cumulative prevalence of infant mortality for mothers age 45–49. Notice the similarities with the above map. (scale is per thousand) USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

                      The mental and physical toll of losing a child

                      The authors of the study suggest that these numbers demonstrate the existence of a previously hidden element of global health and the inequality between nations. Their work shows that the maternal cumulative prevalence of infant mortality is not identical to the infant mortality rate, though it is related. They also warn that their estimates are probably conservative due to the likelihood of unreported infant deaths.

                      The toll of losing a child on a mother's mental and physical health is considerable . However, much of the research on this topic ignores the possible effects on other family members. The authors note that what information does exist suggests it can be equally as damaging to them . Additionally, they state that their research focused on national rates but that similar issues may exist within nations where demographic differences in infant mortality and parental bereavement rates exist. They encourage further study into this matter.

                      Dr. Smith-Greenaway explained the authors' hopes for the study and the new area of research it identifies :

                      "We hope that this work will emphasize that further efforts to lower child deaths will not only improve the quality and length of life for children across the globe, but will also fundamentally improve the lives of parents."

                      Mon, 12 Apr 2021 11:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Health Hong Kong Death Poverty Mental Health Sierra Leone Philippines Liberia Innovation Peru Saharan Africa Global Issues Emily Smith Greenaway Smith Greenaway USC Dornsife College of Letters Arts Middle East Hong Kong
                      Scientists test how to deflect asteroids with nuclear blasts
                      • Researchers studied strategies that could deflect a large asteroid from hitting Earth.
                      • They focused on the effect of detonating a nuclear device near an asteroid.
                      • Varying the amount and location of the energy released could affect the deflection.

                      Large asteroids don't tend to hit Earth very often. But when they do, major cataclysms result. Remember the dinosaurs?

                      Add to this the fact that since 1998, scientists have detected about 25,000 near-Earth asteroids, while in 2020 alone, a record 107 of them came closer to our planet than the distance to the moon. With so many asteroids floating by, protecting our planet from impacts by these giant space bodies is an existential priority.

                      To prepare for the day when an asteroid will be heading our way, a joint study published in Acta Astronautica from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Air Force, looked at how to use neutron energy output from a nuclear blast to deflect such a threat.

                      The scientists devised sophisticated computer simulations to compare strategies that could divert an asteroid 300 meters in diameter. In particular, they aimed to identify the effects of neutron energies resulting from a nuclear "standoff" explosion on the space rock's path. (A standoff detonation involves detonating a nuclear device near a space object — not on its surface.) The goal would be to deflect the asteroid rather than blow it up.

                      Detonating a nuclear device near an asteroid deposits energy at and below the surface.Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

                      The researchers understood that they could affect an asteroid's path by changing the distribution and strength of the released neutron energy. Directing the energy could influence how much melted and vaporized debris could be created and its speed, which in turn would alter the asteroid's velocity. As the authors write in the paper, "Changing the neutron energy was found to have up to a 70% impact on deflection performance."

                      The scientists see their work as a stepping stone in continuing research into how best to protect our planet. They plan to devise further simulations in order to comprehend more precisely the energy spread needed for the deflection strategy to work.

                      Lansing Horan IV led the research, while getting a nuclear engineering master's degree at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in a program with LLNL's Planetary Defense and Weapon Output groups. Horan explained that their team decided to zero in on neutron radiation from a nuclear blast because neutrons are more penetrating than X-rays.

                      "This means that a neutron yield can potentially heat greater amounts of asteroid surface material, and therefore be more effective for deflecting asteroids than an X-ray yield," he shared.

                      Another possible strategy for getting rid of an asteroid threat would be through so-called disruption. It essentially involves blowing the asteroid up, breaking it into tiny fast-moving pieces. Most of these shards should miss the Earth but around 0.5% could make it to the surface. The strategy does seem to have some drawbacks, however, if a larger asteroid came close to Earth. Exploding something like that could create a significant amount of calamity for the planet even if the whole asteroid didn't graze us.

                      Horan thinks disruption may be more appropriate as a last-minute tactic "if the warning time before an asteroid impact is short and/or the asteroid is relatively small."

                      Deflection is ultimately safer and less likely to produce negative consequences as it involves a smaller amount of energy than it would take to explode it. Horan said that over time, especially if we detect and deflect asteroids years before impact, even small changes in velocity should make them miss Earth.

                      While some may be understandably worried about using nuclear blasts close to Earth, Hogan sees it as something that may have to be considered in situations when time is of the essence.

                      "It is important that we further research and understand all asteroid mitigation technologies in order to maximize the tools in our toolkit," Horan elaborated. "In certain scenarios, using a nuclear device to deflect an asteroid would come with several advantages over non-nuclear alternatives."

                      One such scenario would be if there's not enough warning and the approaching asteroid is large. In that case, a nuclear detonation might be "our only practical option for deflection and/or disruption," proposed the scientist.

                      Mon, 12 Apr 2021 09:59:54 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Astronomy Space Earth Computers Physics Innovation Nuclear Asteroid Air Force Hogan LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNL Horan Cosmos Air Force Institute of Technology AFIT Acta Astronautica Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryThe
                      Regret over a hookup doesn’t change our behavior
                    • Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology investigate the degree to which regret regarding sexual encounters makes us modify our behavior.
                    • Women more often have regrets about encounters that occurred, while men regret the ones that didn't.
                    • According to the study, people keep doing what they've been doing and continue to have the same regrets.

                    • When it comes to sexual encounters, both women and men may be left with feelings of regret in the fading afterglow. Women, according to recent research, are more likely to experience "action regret," wishing they hadn't had sex. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to report "inaction regret" if they feel they've passed up on a sexual opportunity.

                      Both may experience regret, says a new study, but not so much that it changes their behavior going forward.

                      Speaking to Norwegian SciTech, the lead author of the study, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), says, "For the most part, people continue with the same sexual behavior and the same level of regret."

                      The evolutionary value of emotion

                      Credit: Morgan Lane/Unsplash

                      "We wanted to examine if their level of regret contributed to a change in behavior the next time around," says senior author Mons Bendixen, who collaborated with Kennair and postdoctoral fellow Trond Viggo Grøntvedt.

                      Explains Kennair, "A lot of emotions are functional, like disgust that protects against infection and fear that protects against danger. An evolutionary approach has helped us understand anxiety by understanding the function of fear: fight-flight-freeze is about avoiding danger and defending ourselves against it."

                      The authors say that psychologists generally assume that emotions such as regret serve an evolutionary purpose — they keep us from repeating undesirable behavior.

                      "Researchers," says Grøntvedt, "have found that most people believe this is true for regret. They assume that regret is actually a helpful negative feeling. People assume it guides them not to repeat what they regretted."

                      The flexibility of regret

                      Credit: Priscilla Du Preeze/Unsplash

                      To see if sexual regret does actually change people's behavior, the researchers invited NTNU students to complete an anonymized web questionnaire about sexual regret. Prospective participants were told:

                      "We invite you to participate in a research project that examines students' thoughts and feelings after having had casual sex (intercourse), and what factors that may affect these… Some of the questions are sensitive and relate to sexual acts and choices you may have made. Responding may cause some discomfort and embarrassment, and we recommend that all participants sit in an uninterrupted location when answering the questions."

                      Individuals who agreed to participate were asked to fill out the survey two times, 4.5 months apart. The volunteers were between 18 and 30 years of age. For the first pass at the questionnaire, 529 students, 63.2 percent of whom were female, participated. Just 283 people completed the questionnaire both times.

                      The questionnaire revealed a resounding, "Nope!" Four and a half months later, individuals had continued to hook up or not hook up in the same way they had at the start of the study. They also exhibited the same level of regret.

                      Credit: Phix Nguyễn/Unsplash

                      Kennair admits, "We are not that surprised. If regret helped, would not most sinners eventually become saints? What do you regret the most often? Has it changed your behavior?"

                      The researchers suggest that, as they suspected at the outset of the project, regret is an emotion that's adaptive, with its impact on behavior dependent on context. In the case of sexual regret, there may be a disconnect between what we think we should want and what we really want.

                      It may also be that habit simply overpowers regret. Previous studies have found that habits create ever-stronger neural pathways — it's why people often repeat mistakes. The idea is that making a mistake a first time creates a neural pathway to which we increasingly and unconsciously gravitate each time we repeat the error.

                      Don't over-regret

                      Kennair cautions, however, against getting too hung up on sexual regrets.

                      "And yet," he says, "there are some folks who think that depressive ruminating and worry are a good idea. But the way we treat depression and generalized anxiety disorders is by helping people to stop ruminating and to stop worrying. Not everything people do, think or feel is an evolutionary adaptation — sometimes it is not appropriate either."

                      Mon, 12 Apr 2021 09:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Decision Making Learning Sex Relationships Love Innovation Emotions Personal Growth Don University of Science and Technology University of Science and Technology NTNU NTNU Morgan Lane Mons Bendixen Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair Kennair Trond Viggo Grøntvedt Grøntvedt Priscilla Du Preeze Phix Nguyễn UnsplashKennair
                      Important Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs Steve Jobs had a profound impact on the computer, television, music, telecom, and publishing sectors. Successful leaders are always prepared for unforeseen challenges and can fix them. And yet, at the end of the day, they know what truly matters—their people skills and ability to innovate. These are much more critical for leaders than rigid procedures or ideals. Steve Jobs embodied this.

                      Apple is an industry-defining entrepreneurial achievement championed by Jobs and his inspirational leadership style. His artistic vision, his “attention to detail,” was undeniably critical to Apple‘s growth. Apple’s versatility – a brainchild of Jobs and his creative flair –is what set it apart in a world of fast-growing technology firms.

                      Steve Jobs was not only renowned for his creative prowess. He was also a people person, a thorough professional, and a truly in love thinker with his work. He was a visionary leader who continues to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs even after his death.

                      1.     Have a Vision

                      A primary reason for Apple’s success is that Jobs had a clear vision of where he wanted to take the company. This vision was shared across the organization so that everyone knew how Jobs envisioned Apple in the future. The company’s leaders still use Apple’s vision to inspire and motivate employees to innovate and perform their best.

                      2.     Empower Your Employees

                      Have you ever been told to be decisive and authoritative in your approach? Steve Jobs did not believe in that. Authoritative or autocratic leaders feel they have all the answers, and employees are expected to accept their decisions. Additionally, they expect subordinates or followers to obey rules without questioning.

                      Steve Jobs was nothing like this. Instead, he would treat his subordinates as equals and would always be open to suggestions from them. He empowered all his employees and allowed them to cut through red tape to fulfill their true potential, benefiting Apple in the process.

                      3.     Challenge Your Employees

                      Leaders are responsible for encouraging employees to set goals for themselves and be more innovative and productive. Jobs adopted this approach, which enabled his employees to challenge themselves and fulfill their true potential.

                      4.     Take Responsibility

                      Leaders take charge of everything. They go above and beyond what they are required to do. They do this not because they want recognition or praise but because they believe it is the right thing. Jobs had this approach. He double-checked every aspect of every activity that required his oversight or leadership. He never depended on people to get things done. If there were something he could do himself, he would do it without any fuss.

                      5.     Keep the Creative and Critics Apart

                      Steve Jobs saw critical analysis, explication, and imagination are critical components of the creation process. However, he also believed that these components should be kept separate till the end. If critics and creatives are brought together into the same room, the critics would only enrage the creatives, hindering their ability to innovate.

                      However, creatives can easily miss the mark and struggle to achieve organizational goals if they don’t get objective input from critics. Both are required, but they must be kept apart throughout the creative process. It would be best to build diverse spaces for sub-teams to prosper without being inhibited by others for creativity to flourish.

                      6.     Aim for Perfection

                      Steve Jobs was unyielding in his quest for perfection. Jobs got the headphone jacks wholly replaced before the introduction of the iPod. Jobs’ model of perfection strongly indicates that he did not accept anything less than the best. He aimed for perfection and expected the same from his employees.

                      Final Word

                      Steve Jobs and his desire to foster an innovative culture within the organization helped Apple reach the heights that it did. Jobs had an out-of-the-box approach to leadership and reflected in everything that he did. The life of Steve Jobs should serve as a blueprint for corporate leaders who want to excel in their roles and help their companies aim for the moon.

                      The post Important Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs appeared first on Lead Change.

                      Mon, 12 Apr 2021 06:00:33 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Leadership Steve Jobs Creativity Innovation Vision Encouraging Leadership Lessons Employee Motivation
                      YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: Breakthrough Buddies Jumper cables 99.jpg

                      Here at the International Headquarters of The Year of Living Creatively -- my living room -- we believe that every one on planet Earth is never more than a few seconds away from a breakthrough. Or, at the very least, a big idea, insight, or inspiration. Newton had his under an apple tree. Archimedes' moment was in the bathtub. YOURS? Well... that's still-to-be determined.

                      To increase the odds of this happening, we invite you to give our Breakthrough Buddy service a shot -- an optional component of The Year of Living Creatively.

                      The concept is a simple one: Instead of you only receiving support from two other people in the course -- your virtual "Creative Project Partners" -- we enroll a friend of yours who is NOT in the course to play a real-time support role for you. Assuming their interest, Mitch will coach them to be your Breakthrough Buddy -- surprising you in various mind-opening ways for the duration of the course. And all for one purpose: to help you generate, develop, and implement bold new approaches to your Year of Living Creatively project

                      Mon, 12 Apr 2021 03:38:08 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Earth Innovation Newton Mitch Breakthrough Thinking
                      It turns out, not all sitting is bad for you

                      The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a number of new behaviours into daily routines, like physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitizing. Meanwhile, many old behaviours such as attending events, eating out and seeing friends have been put on hold.

                      However, one old behaviour that has persisted, and has arguably been amplified due to COVID-19, is sitting — and it is not surprising to see why. Whether sitting during transportation, work, screen time or even meals, everyday environments and activities are tailored nearly exclusively to prolonged sitting. As such, sedentary behaviours, like sitting, make up the vast majority of our waking day.

                      Pre-COVID-19 estimates place the average Canadian adult's sedentary behaviour at around 9.5 hours per day. Current daily sedentary time is likely even higher as a result of stay-at-home orders, limitations on businesses and recreational facilities, and elevated health anxieties.

                      Health vs. well-being

                      This is a problem, given that chronic excessive levels of sedentary time have been linked to greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, mortality and even some cancers. However, for many people, their own judgments and feelings about their quality of life (also known as subjective well-being) may be more important and relevant for informing their health decisions and behaviours than potentially developing chronic diseases.

                      Subjective well-being encompasses an individual's own evaluation of their quality of life. It includes concepts like affect (positive and negative feelings) and life satisfaction. Interestingly, these evaluations can conflict with physical health outcomes. For example, a person could have diabetes but still report good subjective well-being, while someone with no physical health conditions may report poor subjective well-being.

                      This is important, as it means how an individual feels about their own health may not always align with what their body may demonstrate. That's why evaluating subjective well-being is vital for painting a holistic picture of health.

                      Different contexts of sitting

                      Relatively little research has examined the relationships between sedentary behaviour and subjective well-being. Exploring these relationships is important, as different contexts of sitting — such as socializing versus screen time — may yield different feelings or judgments of subjective well-being, unlike relationships between physical health and sedentary behaviour, which tend to be more consistent.

                      As health psychologists focused on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, we reviewed the scientific literature describing relationships between measures of sedentary behaviours such as physical inactivity and screen time, and subjective well-being as reflected by affect, life satisfaction and overall subjective well-being.

                      Our review highlights three main findings. First, sedentary behaviour, physical inactivity and screen time demonstrated weak but statistically significant correlations with subjective well-being. In other words, those who reported sitting more often and spending longer periods with no physical activity reported lower positive affect, higher negative affect and lower life satisfaction than those who sat less and moved more.

                      We also found that this relationship was most apparent in studies that compared people who were very sedentary to those who had more active lifestyles.

                      Not all sitting is bad sitting

                      Our second main finding relates to the context of the sedentary behaviour. While many studies examined overall sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity, some studies looked at specific contexts or domains of sitting and its relationship with subjective well-being. These studies revealed that different domains of sedentary behaviour have unique relationships with subjective well-being.

                      For example, screen time was consistently and negatively associated with subjective well-being. However, domains like socializing, playing an instrument and reading actually demonstrated positive associations with subjective well-being. These results differ from the traditional health-related sedentary behaviour research, in which all sedentary behaviour is viewed as harmful to health.

                      Our review suggests that some types of sedentary behaviour may be beneficial to quality of life. Rather, not all sitting is the same in terms of subjective well-being. So when people work towards reducing their sitting time, they should consider not just how much to reduce, but what kind to reduce.

                      Less sitting is good for everyone

                      Our third main finding concerns overall sitting and self-perceived levels of sedentary behaviour. Most studies found a weak statistically significant association between higher overall sedentary time and lower subjective well-being. However, in studies where participants were asked to compare their sedentary behaviour to how much they normally sit, those who perceived themselves as more sedentary than usual reported significantly poorer subjective well-being.

                      These findings suggest that how much an individual sits overall may not be as important as how much an individual sits compared to their usual level of sitting. This infers that anyone, regardless of how much they normally sit or are physically active, may potentially benefit from sitting less.

                      COVID-19 continues to influence daily life and routines. Even as businesses and gyms eventually reopen, and we feel more comfortable gathering with others and eventually stop wearing masks, we will almost certainly continue to sit and sitting will continue to change how we feel. While we may not be able to eliminate all of our sitting, we can all be mindful of both how much we can reduce it and where we can reduce it from to be healthier and feel better.

                      Wuyou Sui, Postdoctoral fellow, Behavioural Medicine Lab, School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education, University of Victoria and Harry Prapavessis, Professor, Kinesiology, Western University

                      This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

                      Sun, 11 Apr 2021 14:59:42 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Health Work Medicine Innovation Health Care Human body Harry Prapavessis
                      VR experiments manipulate how people feel about coffee
                      • Images can affect how people perceive the quality of a product.
                      • In a new study, researchers show using virtual reality that images of farms positively influence the subjects' experience of coffee.
                      • The results provide insights on the psychology and power of marketing.

                      Are coffee consumers influenced by the imagery and story around the production of the drink? Such was one of the central questions of a new study that explored the power of marketing on how "premium" aficionados consider coffee to be.

                      The researchers set out to explore whether the origins of the coffee can affect the perception of its quality in the minds of the drinkers. In particular, they focused on the concept of terroir, the special characteristics conferred upon the coffee by the specific terrain in which it was grown.

                      "Terroir is more than a mere geographical link between product and land," write the authors. "It relates to the idea that products are a unique expression of different environmental and sociocultural characteristics of a specific place." Thus, focusing a customer's attention on the environment in which the coffee was grown might make the product seem more authentic and of better quality.

                      Therefore, the researchers examined the effect of images on the coffee-drinking experience in three experiments. The study was carried out by the food scientist Francisco Barbosa Escobar from Aarhus University in Denmark and marketing experts Olivia Petit from the Kedge Business School in Marseille, France, and Carlos Velasco from the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway. Incidentally, Norwegians are among the world's top coffee consumers, with an average Norwegian adult consuming around 4 cups of coffee a day, reports Statistics Norway.

                      The first experiment involved 770 non-expert participants from the UK. They were shown online images and descriptions of four different specialty coffees, traded by a Norwegian coffee company. The researchers found that coffees with pictures of farms were rated higher in premiumness by the subjects than coffees with pictures of cities.

                      For the second and third experiments, the study used virtual reality environments of Times Square in New York City and a farm in Kenya as well as a control setting of a white room. The second experiment engaged 143 non-expert participants recruited via a behavioral studies platform at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway. The participants were asked to smell a sample of quality ground coffee from Kenya while at the same time traversing a virtual reality atmosphere. The subjects were then asked to rate the coffee.

                      Image (A) shows the instruments used in Experiment 2: Oculus GO virtual reality (VR) headset and sample coffee bag. The other panels show the VR environments used in the study - (B) farm, (C) city, and (D) control.Credit: Escobar / Petit / Velasco, Frontiers in Psychology

                      Compared to the control (white room), subjects in the farm VR atmosphere rated the coffee as more acidic. Conversely, subjects rated coffee as sweeter when inside the control VR atmosphere compared to the city VR atmosphere. Furthermore, coffee was considered more premium when subjects were in the farm VR atmosphere compared to the control, but there was no difference in premiumness score between farm and city.

                      For the third experiment, the research team involved 34 people who were professionals in the coffee industry. They were asked to taste and score Kenyan coffee while being in the same city and farm VR environments used in the previous experiment. The results revealed a strong effect of atmosphere on how much the experts enjoyed their experience, with a much greater preference for the farm setting versus the control environment of a white room.

                      But the different VR atmospheres had little effect on how the experts rated the premiumness of the coffee. The researchers believe that "given their specialized knowledge, coffee professionals examined more objective attributes of the coffee and could discriminate intrinsic factors relevant for the assessment of the coffee from irrelevant extrinsic cues."

                      The researchers think their results can lead to developing more immersive marketing experiences in virtual reality, which could be groundbreaking in many industries. A premium experience can lead to customers paying premium prices.

                      Sun, 11 Apr 2021 12:10:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Psychology Coffee UK Technology New York City Brain Innovation Vr Virtual Reality Kenya Addiction Denmark Norway Mind Times Square Marseille France Oslo Norway Aarhus University Carlos Velasco Kedge Business School BI Norwegian Business School Francisco Barbosa Escobar Escobar Petit Velasco Frontiers
                      Is empathy always good?
                      • Empathy is a useful tool that allows humans (and other species) to connect and form mutually beneficial bonds, but knowing how and when to be empathic is just as important as having empathy.
                      • Filmmaker Danfung Dennis, Bill Nye, and actor Alan Alda discuss the science of empathy and the ways that the ability can be cultivated and practiced to affect meaningful change, both on a personal and community level.
                      • But empathy is not a cure all. Paul Bloom explains the psychological differences between empathy and compassion, and how the former can "get in the way" of some of life's crucial relationships.

                      Sun, 11 Apr 2021 09:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Relationships Communication Compassion Empathy Meditation Innovation Emotions Mind Debate Alan Alda Paul Bloom Danfung Dennis Bill Nye