Black Mirror – Best 2016 speculative fiction on Netflix

Monday, 31 October, 2016

Black Mirror season 3 created by Charlie Brooker is now on Netflix and it is a must see speculative fiction (or if you wish, Sci-Fi) show! Two of my favourite S3 episodes are “San Junipero” and “Hated in the Nation” (WARNING: those linked pages have spoilers).

Black Mirror | Official Trailer – Season 3 [HD] | Netflix

Charlie Brooker on Black Mirror, satire and politicians – BBC Newsnight

Charlie Brooker at the Black Mirror Q&A: “We wanted to not always fling you into a pit of despair”


Neuroplasticity

Thursday, 27 October, 2016

CBC radio – How ‘plastic’ brain can heal from traumatic injuries

CBC “The Brain’s Way of Healing” – The Nature of Things (1 hour documentary)

//Seven years ago Dr. Norman Doidge introduced neuroplasticity to the world – the idea that our brains aren’t rigidly hardwired as was once believed, but that they can change, and can be rewired.  Indeed, what is unique about the brain is that its circuits can, through mental experience and activity, form, unform, and reform in new ways.

Now he’s back with a new film, The Brain’s Way of Healing, that will show that not only can the brain change, but that we can use our knowledge of how the brain forms new connections to help it heal in ways we never dreamed possible.

The Brain’s Way of Healing is about neuroplasticity’s next step — healing the brain using totally non-invasive methods, including patterns of energy to resynchronize the brain’s neurons when illness or injury causes them to fire improperly. It’s revolutionary and in some instances shocking — we’ll see people’s lifelong afflictions improved, or, in some cases cured almost miraculously. But these are not miracles, and Dr. Doidge explains the science behind these improvements. […]//

Ref: 1) Moshé Feldenkrais

2) Feldenkrais Method


Pick and Place machines

Monday, 17 October, 2016

I re-watched Joi Ito‘s fascinating TED Talk ‘Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”‘ again and got fascinated by Pick and Place machines (ref: Samsung) once again!

Here are three blog post by Limor Fried (Ladyada), owner of the electronics hobbyist company Adafruit Industries.

  1. APRIL 15, 2013 SAMSUNG TECHWIN SMT SM482 training today #manufacturing #madeinny @madeinny
  2. AUGUST 8, 2013 Adafruit donates its first pick and place machine to NYC Resistor Hackerspace @nycresistor
  3. MAY 12, 2014 SAMSUNG SM481 arrived today – almost doubling our manufacturing capabilities and more #makerbusiness #manufacturing

Joi Ito‘s fascinating TED Talk ‘Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”


National Music Centre 2016 Canada Day Grand Opening

Saturday, 2 July, 2016

We did something special on 2016 Canada Day in Calgary by attending the grand opening of the National Music Centre (NMC) Studio Bell (Twitter)! Yes, the lineup was long and around the block (~1.5 hours) even at 10am in the morning but it totally worth our time in the wait because of the special guest pxerformances we got to watch (more on this later). Regular admission fees are $18 for adult, $14 for Seniors/Students, $11 for Youth (3-12), free for Children (under 3) and free on this grand opening day. And there is cool as there is a FREE/complimentary admission for “new Canadian citizens within their first year of citizenship. New citizens can apply for the CAP online at www.icc-icc.ca and present their pass upon arrival at Studio Bell for free entry.”

The NMC really has great exhibitions (22 stages) and a wonderful unique collection (with about 2,000 objects)! Have a watch of following clips and check out some photos at the end of this post. Read the rest of this entry »


University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial (with video)

Tuesday, 14 October, 2014
Interview pix with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross.

Interview pix with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross.

Please see embedded my in-depth video interviews with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross (director of SACRI) in the following press release from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI).

note: The researchers’ Clinical Cancer Research paper can be found at this link, “Dual mTORC1/2 Blockade Inhibits Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Initiating Cells In Vitro and In Vivo and Synergizes with Temozolomide to Increase Orthotopic Xenograft Survival“.

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October 14, 2014

University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial

Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI) have made a discovery that could prolong the life of people living with glioblastoma – the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Samuel Weiss, PhD, Professor and Director of the HBI, and Research Assistant Professor Artee Luchman, PhD, and colleagues, published their work today in Clinical Cancer Research, which is leading researchers to start a human phase I/II clinical trial as early as Spring 2015.

Researchers used tumour cells derived from 100 different glioblastoma patients to test drugs that could target the disease. When these human brain tumour-initiating cells were inserted into an animal model, researchers discovered that when using a drug, AZD8055, combined with Temozolomide (TMZ) – a drug already taken by most glioblastoma patients – the life of the animals was extended by 30 per cent.

“Shutting off vital tumour growth processes can lead to the death of human brain tumour-initiating cells. Our research has identified a key process in brain tumour growth that we were able to target with AZD8055,” says Luchman from the university’s Cumming School of Medicine and a member of the HBI.

Interview w Artee Luchman, PhD, Lead Researcher – UC research leads to brain cancer clinical trial 

Researchers used the new therapy to inhibit a pathway in the cancer cells known as mTOR signaling – putting the brakes on this pathway, combined with the current standard therapy, caused more of the cancer cells to die. Scientists are now working with investigators at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) to start a Canadian clinical trial that may eventually include glioblastoma patients across the country.

“Discovering new pathways and therapies that can be tested in the clinic provides the greatest hope for brain cancer patients and their families,” says Weiss, leader of the university’s Brain and Mental Health strategic research priority.

Interview w Dr. Greg Cairncross, oncologist – UC research leads to brain cancer clinical trial 

Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults. The progression and complexity of the tumours are often difficult to treat. The median survival for patients is 15 months, with less than five per cent of patients surviving beyond five years.

University of Calgary researchers including Luchman, Weiss and Dr. Greg Cairncross – director of SACRI, and leader of the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) ‘Therapeutic Targeting of Glioblastoma research program at the university – are now working with cancer researchers Dr. Warren Mason (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto) and Dr. Lesley Seymour (Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group’s Investigational New Drug Program), and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca, to plan a clinical trial testing a similar, but newer, drug related to AZD8055 (called AZD2014), in combination with TMZ, in patients with glioblastoma.

“This is an important initiative – to test new drugs, being developed for other types of cancers in the laboratory to identify which are most promising for testing in patients with glioblastoma. NCIC CTG is excited to partner in the development of this clinical trial, which will be funded by a grant from the TFRI as well as grants from Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute to NCIC CTG,” says Seymour.

The study was funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and the Canadian Stem Cell Network.


Harman JBL Charge – Yellow Flag Caution – KemptonTestLab FCC filings review

Friday, 8 March, 2013

Harman "JBL Charge" Yellow Flag Caution KemptonTestLab - pix 00 - JBL Charge promo pix

update: See bottom for further updates.

—–

1) I don’t have a Harman JBL Charge unit of  to test my concern yet, so this KemptonTestLab – Yellow Flag Caution note is based on my review of FCC filings and understanding from my previous “Review of six Harman/JBL Flips“.

2) Yellow Flag Caution: I did a FCC ID search using Grantee Code: API Product Code: JBLCHARGE to downloaded all 12 of the FCC filings for the JBL Charge (full list) to take a quick look of what kind of Bluetooth antenna it is using. Note: I encourage you to do the FCC ID search yourself and share your findings in the comment.

First off, the electromagnetic field characteristic of the JBL Charge may be very different from the JBL Flip even they look similar enough on the outside (see my extensive in-depth “Review six Harman/JBL Flips, two with new Bluetooth antenna design – KemptonTestLab“).

The fact that the Charge seems to be using the same faulty 1st generation JBL Flip antenna concerns me greatly. I have enough concerns (just to be safe) that I am issuing a Yellow Flag Caution to tell people be careful and make sure they check their units and see if they have any Bluetooth problems. If you ask me, I would much rather see the more robust 2nd generation Flip antenna being implement and used inside the Charge instead!

Harman JBL might be able to get away with using the faulty 1st generation JBL Flip antenna inside the Charge but I won’t know until I put the Charge under the very rigorous testing performed in KemptonTestLab!

Remember: KemptonTestLab: Only best products pass our tough tests!

Harman JBL Flip 1st gen antenna vs 2nd gen antenna

JBL Flip Antenna - Original and post-Class II Change

The six Harman JBL Flips in KemptonTestLab

Review six Harman/JBL Flips, two with brand new Bluetooth antenna design

Harman JBL Charge antenna – Yellow Flag Caution

Harman "JBL Charge" Yellow Flag Caution KemptonTestLab - pix 03 - Antenna looking like 1st gen Flip antenna

3) As usual, I expect the JBL Charge to make great sound like the JBL Flip if you hardwire them. And the spec for the Harman JBL Charge seems quite awesome on the surface quoting the JBL promo document, “10-watt portable stereo speaker with a high-capacity 6,000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, a built-in bass port and wireless Bluetooth® connection

4) Let me point out that if the Charge is playing music directly from the device being charged (e.g. a phone), then the Bluetooth problem is not much of a concern because the transmitting devices (the phone) and the receiver (the Charge speaker) are right next to each other!

March 15th update: I read that YouTube user “6FeetDeep4U”‘s JBL Charge’s Bluetooth seems to be performing very well. I would love to see a test video made (and have suggested that). If 6FeetDeep4U does make a test video and embeddable, I would share it here and possibly revise my comments/”watch” temporarily until I’ve got a chance to find and test a JBL Charge myself in my own KemptonTestLab to benchmark against the other JBL Flips I’ve tested!

[HT this Japanese webpage for the FCC ID info]


U of Toronto University Professor Emeritus Stephen A. Cook won NSERC $1 million Herzberg Medal – with interview by Kempton

Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

20130227 Professor Cook interview pix

Congratulations to University of Toronto Computer Science professor Stephen Cook, best known for formulating the P v. NP problem, for winning the $1M 2012 Gerhard Herzberg medal (also via CBC News)!

After all these years, I still remember the thrill in taking my first year UT Comp. Sci class in 1987 with prof. Cook! And it remains an honour (and bragging right) to have taken the famous third year CSC364 Computability and Complexity class with prof. Cook and seeing him proved to us 3-satisfiability and taught us P v. NP, etc. I am truly excited for prof. Cook!

Check out my 15 minutes interview with Prof. Cook this morning: Interview with Dr. Stephen A. Cook, 2012 Winner of NSERC’s $1m Herzberg Medal

By the way, as prof. cook mentioned in the interview, he came to the idea of the NP complete problem about 6 months after he came to Toronto in 1970. If you read the detailed & insightful oral history interview with Stephen Cook (courtesy of University of Minnesota), you will realize professor Cook could have easily stayed at UC Berkeley (if they had not denied him tenure) instead of joining us at University of Toronto! Lucky us!

Last week, I asked prof. Kelly Gotlieb “Father of Computing in Canada” for his thoughts about some giants in computer science, here is what Kelly has to say about Steve (video clip).

Here is “NSERC Presents 2 Minutes With Stephen Cook

Here is an excerpt from a great Q&A from U of Toronto.

What drew you to this field – and to this particular focus?
I enrolled as a mathematics graduate student at Harvard in 1961, thinking I’d concentrate in algebra. Computer Science did not yet exist as a discipline. After taking a course in `logic and computation’ from Hao Wang, my future advisor, I switched fields. My PhD thesis was inspired by a question posed by a pioneer in the field named Alan Cobham: Is multiplication (of large numbers) intrinsically harder than addition? Part of the challenge was to formulate this as a precise mathematical question.

Why U of T?
I joined the faculty of the computer science department at U of T in 1970. This was one of the world’s first CS departments, and Tom Hull, the department chair, had a powerful vision for its future. He already had recruited some aspiring young faculty, including my close colleague Allan Borodin, who continues to be a pillar of the department. It helped that Toronto is a good sailing venue on Lake Ontario, and sailing was (and is) a major hobby for my wife and me.

What advice would you give to a student just starting out in this field?
You’ve made a good choice. The possibilities are boundless.

Via this UT page, see more media coverage about the 2012 Herzberg Prize at these links below:

“- Globe & Mail

– Canada.com

– Calgary Herald

– CBC News


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