By default, cemeteries are unnerving places that tend to attract few tourists. However, for every plain Jane who prefers to go out with a slab of granite, an eccentric leaves her mark as part of a manmade barrier reef. For those types—and for tourists who want a slice of the zany macabre while traveling—they should consider any of the following cemeteries.
The Merry Cemetery
Tag Archives | Human Rights
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The US neurophysiologist Paul Nunez previously wrote “Electric Fields of the Brain” (1981) and “Neocortical Dynamics and Human EEG Rhythms” (1995), and in fact his credentials in the field of brain studies harken back to a paper originally written in 1972 and ambitiously titled “The Brain Wave Equation” (an equation that eventually he resurrects in this book, 40 years later). In this book Nunez summarizes his novel ideas on the way that “brains cause minds” (to use Searle’s expression)
In the 1960s the US neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet discovered that the “readiness potential” precedes movement by about half a second, and awareness of this “decision to act” follows by about 300 milliseconds. In other words, the brain decides unconsciously to act, before we are aware of having decided to act. We become aware of the action only if the neural event lasts about 500 milliseconds.
A way to interpret this is that we are conscious only of electric field patterns in the brain that last about half a second.
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According to artist Julijonas Urbonas’s website, his work Euthanasia Coaster is “a hypothetic roller coaster, engineered to humanely—with elegance and euphoria—take the life of a human being.” In simpler terms, it’s a carnival ride that kills you, though not before you have a spiritual experience along the way. The Euthanasia Coaster starts with a long, slow incline before a quarter-mile fall, which leads into a series of loops that are designed to create so much centrifugal force that you won’t be able to breathe, finally dying from lack of oxygen to your brain.
The coaster may seem like a gimmick, but it turns out to be an art piece as humane as it is shocking and terrifying. Urbonas mentions that his roller coaster could be used in a theoretical future to curb overpopulation, or to help people who feel their life has gone on “too long.” Sure, the whole idea sounds like a black metal concept album, but Urbonas’s death device was created to serve a sympathetic purpose—to give someone the ability to bow out of life with one final, lethal thrill.
via The Inquistr:
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It would appear that Ouija boards are fast becoming one of the “coolest” and “must-have” Christmas gifts of 2014, but the church has fiercely criticized the trend calling it “absolutely appalling,” and strongly warned people to “not let this darkness” into their lives.
Google reports that sales of Ouija boards are up to 300 percent, and are flying off the shelves quicker than you can say, “Oh no, it looks like poltergeist activity’.
The reason for the resurgence in sales is a new low-budget horror film called Ouija.
The film, which tells the time-honored story of kids meddling with powers they do not comprehend and then wondering why all of a sudden everything’s gone to hell, was slated by the critics, but cinema-going teens adored it.
Cue the current demand for Ouija boards. Interestingly, toy manufacturer Hasbro, who are one of the companies currently selling Ouija boards to ghost-seeking teens, helped finance the making of Ouija.
via Mother Jones:
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Many years ago, during the 1980s, I witnessed a killing: a New York City cop shooting an unarmed homeless man near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was later called as a grand jury witness in the case. The grand jury did not indict the officer.
It was a summer evening. I was heading to play softball in Central Park. At the corner of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, I got off my bicycle to walk toward the Great Lawn. The west side of Fifth was crowded with New Yorkers enjoying the beautiful night. People were streaming in and out of the park. Sidewalk vendors were doing brisk business. The vibe was good. And in the midst of the hubbub, I spotted a fellow wearing dirty and tattered clothing. His hair was filthy, his face worn. It was hard to determine his age.
via Tech Dirt:
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No sooner had I chastised the executive branch for its half-assery in all things 1033-related than it delivers its findings on the much-criticized program [pdf link]. A little over a week ago, I wrote this.
Others — including President Obama — promised to look into the program. Obama ordered the first top-level review of the Pentagon’s 1033 program in over 20 years, but weeks later, there’s been nothing reported.
The administration is now forcing me to eat my words, having responded fairly quickly to my caustic single-sentence editorial. The pithily-titled “Review: Federal Support for Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition” has been released, detailing the review’s findings and concerns about the Pentagon’s “An MRAP in every PD” program.
The opening “Background” plays up a few talking points:
Particularly in the years since September 11, 2001, Congress and the Executive Branch have steadily increased spending and support for these programs, in light of legitimate concerns about the growing threat of terrorism, shrinking local budgets, and the relative ease with which some criminals are able to obtain high-powered weapons.
via Business Pundit:
Are you worried about the economy tumbling into oblivion? Scared that some stranger will break into your home? Paranoid about losing your youthful good looks?
Don’t worry. You can buy your peace of mind. Whether it’s a pill, a locking system, or legislation, someone has the perfect solution. Just make sure you pay up to get it.
25. The Security Industry
24. The Beauty Industry
23. The Pet Care Industry
22. The Anti-Germ Industry
21. Stock Market Experts
20. The Weight Loss Industry
16. The Children’s Products Industry
via The Singularity Hub:
Peter Diamandis on Dec 01, 2014
Finally, the robot revolution is arriving.
There’s a Cambrian explosion in robotics, with species of all sizes, shapes and modes of mobility crawling out of the muck of the lab and onto the terra firma of the marketplace, about to enter your home and your shopping experience.
4 Converging (Enabling) Technologies
Four converging tech areas enable the revolution. I write about this in detail (both the technologies and business opportunities) in my next book BOLD (coming out February 2015). See if this makes sense…
- Sensors: The sensors that cost you $10 today would have been military secrets costing you tens of thousands of dollars 20 years ago. Sensors that listen, look, feel and navigate are plummeting in cost, size, weight and power consumption, thanks to the smartphone revolution.
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A few weeks back the technologist Jaron Lanier gave a provocative talk over at The Edge in which he declared ideas swirling around the current manifestation AI to be a “myth”, and a dangerous myth at that. Yet Lanier was only one of a set of prominent thinkers and technologists who have appeared over the last few months to challenge want they saw as a flawed narrative surrounding recent advances in artificial intelligence.
There was a piece in The New York Review of Books back in October by the most famous skeptic from the last peak in AI – back in the early 1980’s, John Searle. (Relation to the author lost in the mists of time) It was Searle who invented the well-know thought experiment of the “Chinese Room”, which purports to show that a computer can be very clever without actually knowing anything at all.
via Vanity Fair:
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Kurt Andersen wonders: If the Singularity is near, will it bring about global techno-Nirvana or civilizational ruin?
THE GREAT SCHISM
Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere. It’s still what the experts call “soft A.I.,” but it is proliferating like mad. We’re now accustomed to having conversations with computers: to refill a prescription, make a cable-TV-service appointment, cancel an airline reservation—or, when driving, to silently obey the instructions of the voice from the G.P.S.
But until the other morning I’d never initiated an elective conversation with a talking computer. I asked the artificial-intelligence app on my iPhone how old I am. First, Siri spelled my name right, something human beings generally fail to do. Then she said, “This might answer your question,” and displayed my correct age in years, months, and days. She knows more about me than I do. When I asked, “What is the Singularity?,” Siri inquired whether I wanted a Web search (“That’s what I figured,” she replied) and offered up this definition: “A technological singularity is a predicted point in the development of a civilization at which technological progress accelerates beyond the ability of present-day humans to fully comprehend or predict.”
Siri appeared on my phone three years ago, a few months after the IBM supercomputer Watson beat a pair of Jeopardy!