This week i caught an interesting documentry on BBC 2 called ‘Allergies: Modern Life and Me’; the main premise of this show was in explaining the rise in allergy sufferers in modern western society, with a third of the population being affected in some way or another.
While in the past there have been various conflicting views over the cause of allergy suffering in children, there is now a greater consensus with new evidence, suggesting it is to do with the levels of healthy bacteria we are exposed to in early life, from both what we take in from our mothers and the direct environment we are born into.
This bacteria is similar to the cultures found in healthy yogurt drinks that are sold to benefit our health; but these same ones have always existed in nature, and as humans have evolved we have been exposed and built up a dependent relationship…
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Labor Day offers an opportunity for politicians and economists to offer their two cents on the state of labor. It’s a good bet that some of that commentary will focus on the so-called “skills gap” — the notion that millions of jobs in highly technical fields remain unfilled while millions of Americans without those skills remain unemployed.
The solution according to the pundits? Education and training that focus on technical skills like computer engineering, or on crucial but scarce skills like welding. Match these newly trained employees with open jobs that require those skills and, voila, the skills gap is gone — and the labor market is steadied.
If only it were so simple.
Yes, more American workers need to learn skills that are underrepresented in the labor market. And yes, those technology titans who advocate for more challenging school curricula, for greater funding for science and engineering education and…
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Parents who allow their 9-year-old to play unsupervised at a playground can be arrested, but handing a nine-year-old an Uzi is perfectly acceptable.
Unfortunately, that’s not hyperbole. It’s just the sad state of affairs in which we find ourselves, after a 9-year-old New Jersey girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor at a firing range in Arizona. The girl’s parents paid for her to fire a fully automatic machine gun, but she lost control of the weapon and shot her instructor, Charles Vacca, killing the military veteran.
The chilling ordeal was caught on tape, courtesy of the girl’s parents, but Arizona police officials have said no charges will be filed or arrests made. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office concluded the incident was an “industrial accident,” and have contacted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate, according to published reports.
Let’s compare that to a story from earlier this…
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1) Get out in nature
You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.
We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter,happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.
3) Spend time with friends and family
Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (
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‘…Reflecting on the ritualization of creativity, Bukowski famously scoffed that “air and light and time and space have nothing to do with.” Samuel Johnson similarly contended that “a man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.” And yet some of history’s most successful and prolific writers were women and men of religious daily routines and odd creative rituals. (Even Buk himself ended up sticking to a peculiar daily routine.)…’
Seeing Through the Otherness of Others
Will you admire repulsive persons in the future?
“Maria Popova: This particular book explores the rather common experience of seeing someone as both frightening and repulsive until we get to know them — one manifestation of our broader, fundamental fear of the unfamiliar. Did you have such an experience yourself, either with a teacher or with another figure in your life, that inspired the book?
Peter Brown: When…
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We have written many times over the years about the potential benefits of easy access to data and computing, but we’ve probably never done it this well.
The guest on this week’s Structure Show podcast was Kalev Leetaru (pictured above), the Georgetown researcher behind the Global Database of Events, Language and Tones (GDELT), which we have covered before, and who also helped the Internet Archive with the book-digitization project it unveiled this week. Leetaru, who has spent time programming supercomputers, talks all about the amazing shifts currently underway in information technology that let people gather, store and analyze data with no physical gear and just a few lines (or a single line) of SQL code.
One of Leetaru’s recent projects analyzed the 120 days surrounding the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in order to find the most-similar 120-day periods globally over the past 35 years.
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It’s safe to say that if you’re reading this, you probably use Google in some way, shape, or form. Google has expanded from being just a search engine to a full suite of online services. It’s a shame then that many people have no idea just what they can do with Google.
Here’s a hint: It’s a lot more than just searching for stuff.
1. Reverse Image Search
Have an image but don’t know where it came from? You can drag and drop your image straight onto Google’s image search for it to do a reverse search for you.
By doing this, Google will give you any other site that uses the same image, as well as visually similar images. This is useful to check if anyone else is using your images without permission or to check where a certain photo was taken.
2. Scientific Calculator
Need a quick calculation…
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Lately, much of the discussion around storage has been about speeds and feeds of the latest flash arrays — and that’s valid. But Long’s position is that much of the value of what companies store is lost because that data goes into a black box, and companies have to deploy audit software and other extras it to wring important information out of it. [company]DataGravity[/company] integrates those tools, search and analytics, into its software.
Aggregating data about the data
What are some examples of that important information? For instance: Who at the company accessed a file and how often? Who is working together on shared files? Is there personally identifiable information (PII) or credit card information sitting in documents? Which files have not been touched in two years? All of that…
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A map of every device connected to the Internet shows the wealthiest parts of the world flush with connections, while poor and sparsely populated parts of the world are blacked out — as well as a few head scratchers in between.
The map was created by John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine that probes the Internet’s backend for connections to all sorts of devices from routers to refrigerators. Matherly said it took about five hours to ping every IP address on the Internet and store every positive response. It took another 12 hours to plot the responses on a heat map which glows bright orange in densely connected areas and blue and black in sparsely connected areas.
The United State and Western Europe are, not surprisingly, awash in connectivity. Africa and central Asia have islands of connectivity centered on urban areas. Then there are head-scratchers like Greenland…
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