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 on: Today at 02:32:09 am 
Could a person live forever inside a machine?
Posted on Wednesday, 27 May, 2015 | Comment icon 27 comments

Could a person upload themselves on to a computer ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Glogger / Chris Aimone
A leading neuroscientist believes that we may soon be able to upload the human brain on to a computer.
It might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but within the not-too-distant future it might actually become possible for someone to exist digitally inside a machine.

According to Cambridge neuroscientist Dr Hannah Critchlow, to make this happen we would need a computer capable of storing the trillions of connections that exist within the human brain.

"People could probably live inside a machine," she said. "I think it is definitely a possibility."

If the right hardware and software could be designed to accomodate the entirety of the brain's memories, pathways and functions then a person might, in theory, be able to live inside it.

Someone may even be able to exist in this state forever providing the machine kept working, potentially offering a way for someone to live on even after their physical body has died.

"If you had a computer that could make those 100 trillion circuit connections then that circuit is what makes us us," said Dr Crithclow during a talk on 'busting brain myths'. "We are about 100 billion nerve cells and the most complicated circuit board you could imagine."

Whether such a thing would ever be practical or desirable however remains a matter of debate.

Would someone who has been uploaded to a machine still be alive ? Would they be aware of who or what they were and what would their quality of life be ? Would they be able to communicate ?

Without answers to these questions it's not something that is likely to elicit a lot of volunteers.
Source: Russia Today

 on: Today at 02:27:03 am 
CIA ends secretive climate research project
Posted on Sunday, 24 May, 2015 | Comment icon 48 comments

Global warming continues to represent an ongoing problem for humanity. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jason Auch
The CIA has pulled the plug on a project designed to investigate climate-related security threats.
The program, which was known as Medea ( Measurement of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis ), was launched back in 1992 under the George H.W. Bush administration.

This secretive initiative offered civilian scientists access for the first time to classified environmental data collected by spy satellites and the military so that it could be used to determine the ways in which climate change might lead to security threats across the globe.

The arrangement was mutually beneficial as it gave scientists the chance to work with higher quality data than they would normally have access to while the CIA benefited from their findings.

Now however in an unexpected move the agency has opted to shut the whole thing down.

"Under the Medea program to examine the implications of climate change, CIA participated in various projects," a CIA spokesman said in a statement.

"These projects have been completed and CIA will employ these research results and engage external experts as it continues to evaluate the national security implications of climate change."

The move has raised a lot of questions such as why the program would be closed down now at a time when climate change has become more of an issue than ever before.

It is also unclear how much military climate data will be made available to scientists moving forward.

"The climate problems are getting worse in a way that our data systems are not equipped to handle," said political scientist Marc Levy. "There's a growing gap between what we can currently get our hands on, and what we need to respond better."

"So that's inconsistent with the idea that Medea has run out of useful things to do."
Source: Mother Jones

 on: Today at 02:21:45 am 
DARPA to test out new airborne laser weapon
Posted on Tuesday, 26 May, 2015 |

An artist's mock-up of the HELLADS laser system being used by a fighter jet. Image Credit: DARPA
A sophisticated new laser defence system could soon be making its way on to drones and fighter jets.
Known as the High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), the new weapon has been in development for over a decade and wouldn't look out of place on the Millennium Falcon.

Headed up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the project's aim was to build a powerful, compact laser that could be used to defend aircraft during missions.

"The technical hurdles were daunting, but it is extremely gratifying to have produced a new type of solid-state laser with unprecedented power and beam quality for its size," said DARPA's Rich Bagnell.

One possible application for the system will be to mount it on the GA-ASIs new Avenger drone which uses a jet engine that can recharge the laser's battery in-flight thus enabling it to fire indefinitely.

"Enemy surface-to-air threats to manned and unmanned aircraft have become increasingly sophisticated," DARPA wrote on its website. "High power lasers can provide a solution to this challenge, as they harness the speed and power of light to counter multiple threats."

Testing of the new laser system is scheduled to begin in the summer.
Source: Russia Today

 on: Yesterday at 12:58:10 am 
Started by Lair of the White Worm - Last post by Lair of the White Worm
Humans set to become 'God-like cyborgs'
Posted on Monday, 25 May, 2015 | Comment icon 40 comments

We may soon be able to augment ourselves with technology. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Raissa Ruschel
Biological and technological upgrades could eventually turn us in to a race of cybernetic immortals.
Historian and author Yuval Noah Harari from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem believes that within as little as two centuries the human race will have left natural evolution far behind, instead relying on sophisticated cyborg enhancements to 'upgrade' our bodies to superhuman levels.

The drive behind this, he maintains, will be our dissatisfaction with our mortal bodies and a desire to cure all illnesses, disabilities and even death itself in our pursuit of perfection.

"I think it is likely in the next 200 years or so Homo sapiens will upgrade themselves into some idea of a divine being, either through biological manipulation or genetic engineering of by the creation of cyborgs, part organic part non-organic," he said.

"It will be the greatest evolution in biology since the appearance of life."

Harari, who is the author of the best-selling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, argues that the reason humans have become the dominant species on Earth is because of our penchant for inventing fictions such as money and religion that have helped to bind society together.

"What we see in the last few centuries is humans becoming more powerful and they no longer need the crutches of the Gods," he said. "Now we are saying we do not need God just technology."

Even if a future dominated by cybernetics does become a reality however it is likely that only the most wealthy among us will be able to afford to 'upgrade' themselves in this way.

One scenerio could see the poor dying young while the rich go on to live more or less indefinitely.
Source: IB Times

 on: Yesterday at 12:53:10 am 
Started by Lair of the White Worm - Last post by Lair of the White Worm
Woman 'pushed by a ghost' in Santiago
Posted on Saturday, 31 January, 2015 | Comment icon 46 comments

The victim of the incident is now too frightened to leave her house. Image Credit:
34-year-old Cecilia Carrasco was inexplicably flung to the ground while standing beside a reception desk.
Bizarre CCTV footage has emerged this week showing a Chilean woman standing next to a desk in the lobby of her lawyer's office when she is suddenly thrown backwards on to the floor by an unseen force to the surprise of those around her.

When asked about the incident she claimed that she had felt two hands pushing her just before she fell down and couldn't believe that the culprit hadn't been picked up on the video.

"I wasn't aware of anybody in front of me as I passed the reception desk talking to a girl, and as I looked towards the receptionist I suddenly felt two pairs of hands shove me over," she said.

"I hit the floor but when I looked up I couldn't see anybody, and I thought they probably had run off."

Cecilia ended up spending three days in hospital as a result of her injuries and had to take time off work. The incident left her so shaken that she is now reluctant to leave her house.
Source: Yahoo! News

 on: Yesterday at 12:51:22 am 
Started by Lair of the White Worm - Last post by Lair of the White Worm
Eerie figure frequents haunted Boston pub
Posted on Monday, 16 February, 2015 | Comment icon 1 comment

Who is the tall figure that people have seen inside the building ? Image Credit:
Unexplained noises and an unwanted presence have spooked staff members at the city's Robin Hood pub.
The historic building, which was once a coaching inn, has already seen its fair share of ghost stories over the years but now current landlord Rob Han****, who is himself a skeptic, has experienced several peculiar incidents that he cannot explain.

Many of these have involved instances of sudden loud noises and doors slamming by themselves, but most of the activity at the pub has centered around sightings by several different staff members of a tall mysterious figure wearing a long coat.

In one case a man visiting the pub with his dog reported witnessing the apparition in the lounge.

"His dog was in the other room and it went ballistic and its fur was standing up on end," said Han****. "He then looked in the doorway and could see a figure. He thought it was someone messing around. It was a tall man in a long trench coat, with a hat."

Several of the loud noises heard in the building have also caused alarm among the staff.

"We have all experienced lots of noise, bangs and crashes," said Han****. "One day me and the cleaner were in the kitchen and I thought a lorry had come through the pub wall."

The disturbances got so bad that a paranormal group was called in to investigate. During their time in the building they experienced cold spots, doors slamming and disembodied voices.

No definitive explanation for the activity has yet been found.
Source: Boston Target

 on: Yesterday at 12:48:55 am 
Started by Lair of the White Worm - Last post by Lair of the White Worm
Haunted doll causes nausea and chest pains
Posted on Saturday, 18 April, 2015 | Comment icon 39 comments

Harris has posted several videos of the doll online. Image Credit: YouTube / Jayne Harris
Videos and photographs of the doll are said to have caused a range of symptoms in people viewing them.
Known as Peggy, the allegedly possessed child's doll is now owned by Jayne Harris, a paranormal investigator who has a keen interest in the unexplained and the occult.

Head of the "Haunted Dolls" organization in Shropshire, England, Harris received Peggy from the doll's former owner who had been trying to get rid of it on the basis that it had been responsible for a spate of terrifying nightmares and inexplicable ill-health.

After she had acquired the doll Harris started to use it as the focus of a series of YouTube videos showing her attempting to communicate with whatever spirit may be possessing it.

Soon however reports started to emerge of people suffering a range of peculiar symptoms after watching the videos including headaches, nausea and chest pains.

One woman even reportedly had a heart attack after watching one of the videos.

"If I had to guess, Id say close to 80 people have came forward with experiences," said Harris.

"One lady said that when she opened a photograph of Peggy, her computer froze on the picture and the room went cold. She then said she felt someone in the room with her and could hear them moving around. I took Peggy down into an isolation area and requested that she cease her tormenting. Apparently everything returned to normal."

Despite receiving offers from other mediums to have the spirit expelled from the doll, Harris has opted to keep it around and continue conducting research on it in private.

One of her video sessions with the doll uploaded to her YouTube channel can be viewed below.

 on: Yesterday at 12:46:15 am 
Started by Lair of the White Worm - Last post by Lair of the White Worm
Charlie Charlie Challenge haunts the Internet
Posted on Tuesday, 26 May, 2015 | Comment icon 47 comments

A YouTuber attempts the Charlie Charlie Challenge. Image Credit: YouTube / SSundee
A strange new viral phenomenon has left social media buzzing with attempts to summon a Mexican spirit.
Although it has been around for quite some time, the challenge, which involves using pencils and a piece of paper to summon a spirit named Charlie, has really taken off this week.

To play, participants are required to take a piece of paper, balance two pencils in a cross shape in the middle and then write the words "yes" and "no" at the four corners of the page.

To begin, those taking part must then clearly recite the phrase "Charlie, Charlie, are you here?".

If the pencil moves then, according to the myth surrounding the game, the spirit of Charlie will have arrived to begin answering your questions.

Despite the widespread uptake of the challenge on social media this week however the mechanism behind this alleged paranormal communication is actually very simple - the pencils will invariably move by themselves no matter what because they are so precariously balanced.

The vibration of a footstep, someone shuffling around in the room or even a subtle draft from a window or door can make it seem as though Charlie has come out to play.

Nevertheless with the "Charlie Charlie Challenge" becoming increasingly popular online it is likely that we will be seeing quite a few reaction videos of pencils moving over the next few weeks.
Source: Independent

 on: May 27, 2015, 08:06:13 pm 
Started by Voices of the Rocks - Last post by Voices of the Rocks
3.3 million-year-old stone tools discovered
Posted on Thursday, 21 May, 2015 | Comment icon 18 comments

The tools are so old that they appear to predate the human genus. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Cicero Moraes
Prehistoric stone tools predating the human genus have been unearthed in a dried-up riverbed in Kenya.
Thought to be the earliest evidence of toolmaking ever found, the discovery casts serious doubt on the idea that humans were the first species to create and use tools. The find predates the previous record holder by around 700,00 years.

While it isn't clear exactly which species created the tools, scientists believe that a primitive hominim known as Kenyanthropus platyops may have been responsible. It is also possible that the tools were made by an as-yet undiscovered ancestor of modern humans.

"This discovery challenges the idea that the main characters that make us human - making stone tools, eating more meat, maybe using language - all evolved at once in a punctuated way, near the origins of the genus Homo," said paleoanthropologist Jason Lewis.

An analysis of the tools suggests that they were created either by placing one stone on a hard surface and striking it with a second or by grasping the stone and striking it against a large rock.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

 on: May 26, 2015, 12:48:26 am 
Started by Where No Man Has Gone Before - Last post by Where No Man Has Gone Before

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