Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 17

OK, ok, I took forever to edit the podcast this week.  There was more craziness.  I’ll catch up, I promise.  So, we had a good one this week, although we had to record half of it twice.  It’s what I get for not paying closer attention.  As best as I can figure, I hit the play button without first having hit the record button, so I was playing the 19 minute recording of us reviewing articles and making our selections instead of recording 19 minutes of us podcasting.  So we did it again.

News Items:

Ray Bradbury

Science fiction icon and author of “The Martian Chronicles” Ray Bradbury has died in California at the age of 91, according to news reports.

The famed writer of screenplays, plays and novels, including “Fahrenheit 451,” which predicts a dystopian book-burning future, died Tuesday night (June 5), according to his daughter Alexandra Bradbury.

We are both big sci-fi fans, and we talk about our favorites and the local connection to a real legend.

Rock the Slut Vote

Watch out Republicans, here come the sluts.

Women’s rights activists are banding together to “Rock the Slut Vote” in an online effort to register women to vote and cast their ballots against Republicans in 2012.
“If the GOP thinks that throwing the word ‘slut’ at us at this point is going to silence women they have another thing coming,” said Susan McMillan Emry, the site’s founder.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh thrust the derogatory word into the political arena in February when he called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” for testifying before Congress in support of contraceptives.

After a careful and thorough analysis, we make fun of Rush Limbaugh…

Again, Kansas takes the lead again

Kansas is headed toward another debate over how evolution is taught in its public schools, with a State Board of Education member saying Wednesday that science standards under development are “very problematic” for describing the theory as a well-established, core scientific concept…

…Kansas is now among 26 states helping to draft new science standards alongside the National Research Council, with the goal of creating standard, nationwide guidelines. A first draft became public last month, and the Kansas board is scheduled to hear an update on Tuesday…

But the decision may not be made until after the November election — in which five of the 10 board seats will be on the ballot.

Board member Ken Willard, a Hutchinson Republican, said he’s troubled by the first draft of the proposed standards. In the past, Willard has supported standards for Kansas with material that questions evolution; guidelines that he and other conservatives approved in 2005 were supplanted by the current ones.

Willard said the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism, which precludes God or another supreme being in considering how the universe works. He said he intends to raise the issue Tuesday.

No! Not naturalism!

From Google dictionary: “A philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.”

Last time I checked, this is what helps us figure out what is real and what is not.  Why, exactly is this a bad thing?  In any case, we may need a new open letter to the Kansas State School Board pretty soon.

Hagee to Atheists, If you don’t like what you see, get the funk out

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We tried to make this a reaction recording of Brian watching the video above, but like I said earlier, we weren’t actually recording, because I’m a bonehead.  So this guy tells atheists that we’re not welcome here and we should GTFO.  He also has a very interesting grasp of the history of this country.

Too bad he gets his message out to millions, especially in the third world.

Protest against violence against women in Cairo ends in violence against women in Cairo

A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment Friday, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

So, basically, women march protesting sexual harassment, and the response is, “Well, if we’re sexually assaulting you, we can’t very well be sexually harassing you, now can we?”

Items of interest:

Matt – Nature (the scientific Journal)

Motivated by the question of which kind of physical interactions and processes are needed for the production of quantum entanglement, Peres has put forward the radical idea of delayed-choice entanglement swapping. There, entanglement can be ‘produced a posteriori, after the entangled particles have been measured and may no longer exist’.

Or, in english: Popular Science article

A real-world demonstration of a thought experiment conducted at the University of Vienna, has produced a result that is somewhat befuddling to people with what the lead researcher calls a “naïve classical world view.” Two pairs of particles are either quantum-entangled or not. One person makes the decision as to whether to entangle them or not, and another pair of people measure the particles to see whether they’re entangled or not.

The head-scratcher is: the measurement is made before the decision is made, and it is accurate. “Classical correlations can be decided after they are measured,” says Xiao-song Ma, the writer of the study. Entanglement can be created “after the entangled particles have been measured and may no longer exist.”

Cause and what, now?

Brian- Eulerian Video Magnification

Our goal is to reveal temporal variations in videos that are difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye and display them in an indicative manner. Our method, which we call Eulerian Video Magnification, takes a standard video sequence as input, and applies spatial decomposition, followed by temporal filtering to the frames. The resulting signal is then amplified to reveal hidden information. Using our method, we are able to visualize the flow of blood as it fills the face and also to amplify and reveal small motions. Our technique can run in real time to show phenomena occurring at temporal frequencies selected by the user.

Pretty interesting stuff, with some interesting applications being considered.

Follow Up:

@cwebb619 accepted our challenge via twitter.  We try to sound tough.  We don’t stand an effing chance.

Brian emailed Planetary Resources and got a response!

Hey Brian,  If you’re like us, you’ve always had a life-long dream to open the space frontier.  We’re not just talking about taking a few people into orbit,  but opening the resources of space, to make humanity  a multiplanetary species during our lifetime.   Over the last decade, as we realized that  this was unlikely to happen through the  traditional government routes, many of our  childhood dreams were all but crushed… Until Now.  With the world-wide announcement  of Planetary Resources a few weeks ago,  the phone has been ringing off the hook with  support from folks just like you (and me).  So, we wanted to kick things off with a big  THANK YOU for all of your support.  Our website has been overwhelmed  with space-enthusiasts and frankly we’ve  been blown-away with how excited you  are about what we’re doing.   Your outpouring of enthusiasm around  the launch of Planetary Resources was  completely beyond our wildest dreams.

Here’s a quick summary of the highlights:

  • Over 70 Million US television viewers
  • 5 Billion Unique Monthly visitors with front page headlines on Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Twitter,, Yahoo, Washington Post…
  • Thousands of print articles including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today
  • Hundreds of TV News broadcasts, including FoxBusiness News, Good Morning America, Discovery, Bloomberg, and the Dailey Show
  • 2,000+ job applications on our website
  • Tens of thousands have joined our email list
  • 2,500+ investment requests

Clearly the vision, dreams, ambition and  plans have ignited a ton of enthusiasm.  The technology now exists to access resources  from Near Earth Asteroids and it is our corporate  mission to make this happen.

We are pursuing this for three key reasons: 1. Access to space resources is critical to  human settlement of the solar system  2. Access to space resources are critical to  humanity’s continued growth and prosperity on Earth  3. To realize the once-in-a-generation opportunity for  huge financial returns as well. Once such returns are possible, opening the space  frontier for humanity will rapidly follow as it did with  the New World and the American West.  Over the months ahead we will be keeping you up to  date on our progress and creating opportunities for you  to be involved.  Thank you again for your enthusiasm and interest.    Stay tuned.   You’re going to hear from us again  soon….  Keep your eyes out for the subject line: The Final Frontier   To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before,

Peter H. Diamandis Co-Chairman/Co-Founder

Eric C. Anderson Co-Chairman/Co-Founder


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