20200618 – Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Science is Truth”

Thursday, 18 June, 2020

Learning Curve (Podcast from HHS.gov) Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Science is Truth” Wednesday, June 17, 2020

“AF: Yeah. Well, one of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are, for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable, they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority. So, when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that. And that’s unfortunate because, you know, science is truth. And if you go by the evidence and by the data, you’re speaking the truth.

And it’s amazing sometimes the denial there is, it’s the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers, who don’t want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines. That’s really a problem. I think the people who believe or people who understand and have trust in someone who has a very, very long track record of always speaking the truth based on evidence, and I’ve done that, as you said, through now six administrations. This is my sixth administration.”

Reuters, 20200618, Chinese fighter jets buzz Taiwan again, stoking tensions


In the quest to build a better battery

Friday, 14 December, 2018

I’ve always love and curious about battery technologies. CBC News has this interesting news article, “In the quest to build a better battery, a Canadian is energizing the field“. Will see how things pan out in the coming years with Canadian Don Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at MIT. (Prof. Sadoway “did both his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toronto, receiving his PhD in 1977”.)

2012 Ted Talk Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

2015 World Economic Forum, Unlocking Renewables | Donald Sadoway


Queen’s University PhD student Caitlin Miron makes groundbreaking discovery that may prevent spread of cancer (with brief technical details)

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017
20171121 CTV News interview of Caitlin Miron

Caitlin Miron, a PhD student in the chemistry department at Queen’s University, interviewed on CTV News. Image credit: CTV News, image composite from screen captures.

Congrats to Ms. Caitlin Miron, Ph.D. Candidate, Queen’s University for making a groundbreaking discovery that may have the potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Have a watch and read of the CTV news report, “(with video) PhD student makes groundbreaking discovery that may prevent spread of cancer“. According to Miron’s interview with CTV news, “85% of cancers” may benefit from this discovery and while it is too early to talk about the time frame of a commercially available drug, about 5-8 years was mentioned.

Here is an excerpt (with emphasis and links added) from the CTV report,

Studying at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux, France, Miron was able to use advanced screening technology to examine a number of compounds from the Petitjean lab at Queen’s University. During her internship, she was able to discover one compound that binds well to four-stranded DNA structure, or guanine quadruplex [G4], which has been linked to the development of cancer and other diseases.

She explained her discovery by comparing a single-stranded DNA to a necklace with beads that move along it until they hit a knot. The beads are the cell machinery that move along the necklace processing the DNA, she said.

“You can go in and untangle that knot, but in this case someone has gone in there first and they’ve used superglue to hold it together,” Miron said. “What we’ve discovered in that case is that glue.”

By binding the newly discovered compound or “superglue” to the quadruplex to secure the “knot” in the chain, scientists may be able to prevent the cell machinery from reaching a particular section of DNA to process it, which would, in turn, prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells, Miron said.

Scientists have been researching quadruplex binders as a possible treatment for cancer for approximately 20 to 30 years, the PhD student explained. However, many of the known binders haven’t yielded results as promising as the one Miron has identified.

“It’s really exciting. It’s exciting to be on the forefront of this field,” she said. “There are other quadruplex binders out there, but what we’re seeing is that ours is very high-performing.”

P.S. Here are some additional references.

Ref 1: Miron is scheduled to have an upcoming Queen’s University Grad Chat “November 28th, 2017 – Caitlin Miron (Chemistry)” that I’m very much looking forward to listen to.

Ref 2: Here is an excerpt from Queen’s University 2017, November 21st, “Caitlin Miron – Recipient of the 2017 Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation (PhD)“, (emphasis and links added)

Caitlin Miron is the recipient of the 2017 Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation. This award is given to a PhD student who has made a significant achievement in research and development innovation during Mitacs-funded research. Last year, Caitlin received a Mitacs Globalink Research Award which funded a collaboration with Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny at the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologue in Bordeaux, France. This collaboration was the second of two with Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny, and collectively, these collaborations have not only propelled Caitlin’s PhD thesis forward but also merited the receipt of the Mitacs Outstanding Innovation award. […]

 Caitlin’s doctoral dissertation is titled: Dynamic recognition of unusual nucleic acid architectures by cation-responsive switches and other metallo-organic platforms. In sum, DNA has been found to adopt unusual architectures. One type of architecture, called a guanine quadruplex, has been shown to form in the promoter regions of oncogenes (cancer genes), and is implicated in cancer. Caitlin’s research involves finding molecules that stabilize quadruplexes, thereby blocking the expression of these oncogenes, in the hopes that these molecules can be used as anticancer therapeutic agents, either alone or in combination with other treatments. In her first internship in Dr. Mergny’s lab, Caitlin tested a library of potential binders originating from the Petitjean lab and identified a compound that shows some of the best stabilization of quadruplexes that has been seen over the past 30 years. During her second internship (funded by the Mitacs Globalink program), Caitlin explored the effects that small modifications of the lead compound’s structure might have on guanine quadruplex recognition. By taking these compounds from expert to expert, she was able to identify suitable biophysical techniques that she has since brought back to her lab at Queen’s to further her research. Since then, preliminary results suggest that these compounds inhibit cell growth in several human cancer cell lines, and earlier this month, a patent was filed on the novel compounds Caitlin first investigated in France. These results serve as but a case example of rewards made possible by the financial support of funding agencies such as Mitacs.

When I asked Caitlin what skills have helped her during her PhD, she listed good communication, time management and perseverance. “Research doesn’t always go smoothly, so you need to be able to sit back and figure out how to fix things.” Caitlin also recommends ensuring you select a supervisor that will support you throughout the process of graduate school, and pursing opportunities that meet your needs – for example, Caitlin didn’t focus on maximizing her opportunity to teach in the undergraduate course setting during her PhD because she knew she did not want to pursue an academic career. […]

As a final note, Caitlin recommends getting into labs with big names in their respective fields, if possible. Dr. Mergny is one of the top researchers in Caitlin’s field. For Caitlin, conducting research in Dr. Mergny’s lab and having access to experts has enabled her to develop a better understanding of her work and accelerate her research.

After completing her PhD, Caitlin is looking to complete an industrial post-doctoral research position in order to bridge her experience between academia and industry. Caitlin’s long-term goal is to pursue an industrial research career, one slanted towards health applications or perhaps the development of pharmaceuticals. Given Caitlin’s positive attitude and astounding success thus far, I have no doubt she will continue to make great contributions to health-care oriented research in the future.

Ref 3: From Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny’s IECB “Unusual nucleic acid structures” team page,

G-quadruplexes: Friends or foes?
Comparison of sequencing data with theoretical sequence distributions suggests that there is a selection against G-quadruplex prone sequences in the genome, probably as they pose real problems during replication or transcription and generate genomic instability (see below). Nevertheless, “G4-hot spots” have been found in certain regions of the genome: in telomeres, in repetitive sequences such as mini and microsatellite DNAs, in promoter regions, and in first exons of mRNAs. There might be a specific positive role for these sequences that compensates for the general selection against G4 forming sequences. Our goals are to understand the factors that modulate these effects. A number of proteins that interact with these unusual structures have been identified, including DNA binding proteins, helicases, and nucleases. We are currently developing a fluorescent-based assay to follow the activity of helicases in real time (Mendoza, Nucleic Acids Res. 2015).

G-quadruplex ligands: Treats or tricks?
One may achieve structure-specific rather than sequence-specific recognition of DNA. Because of their particular geometric configuration and electrostatic potential, G-quadruplexes may indeed specifically accommodate small artificial ligands, such as planar molecules, and an impressive number of candidates have been evaluated. Together with chemists we successfully identified a variety of G4 ligands and we wish to improve and functionalize these compounds, analyse their biological effects, and ultimately find new classes of anti-proliferative agents with anticancer properties.

Ref 4: Miron’s 2016 Mitacs project, “Building on an Innovative Platform: Tuning Guanine Quadruplex Recognition for Anticancer Applications


Canadians will be able to identify sex as ‘X’ on their passports beginning Aug 31

Friday, 25 August, 2017

Good move by the Canadian government in announcing the news to implementing the change, “Canadians will soon be able to identify sex as ‘X’ on their passports Transgender travellers and those who do not identify as male or female, can check off an ‘X’ box“.

It is time for Canada to catch up with up-to-date science. Similar to what some other countries (Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Nepal, Denmark, India and Pakistan (Ref The Economist video)) have ALREADY been doing!

Too many people commenting on this news on CBC Facebook page need to update their science knowledge from decades old invalidated science. Quoting World Health Organization, United Nation re “Gender and Genetics”:

Most women are 46XX and most men are 46XY. […] In addition, some males are born 46XX due to the translocation of a tiny section of the sex determining region of the Y chromosome. Similarly some females are also born 46XY due to mutations in the Y chromosome.

P.S. Don’t choose to remain ignorant in face of science from reputable source like World Health Organization, United Nation.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 10.44.37 AM - Canadians can choose gender as X

Reference: (The Economist, July 11, 2017) Which countries allow an option other than male or female on passports?


U of Toronto engineering researchers mend broken hearts with expanding tissue bandage

Friday, 25 August, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 9.56.43 AM - New biomaterial developed by U of T engineering researchers could be delivered through minimally invasive surgery

Very cool news. Excerpts from University of Toronto news “New biomaterial developed by U of T engineering researchers could be delivered through minimally invasive surgery” (emphasis, extra note & links added) (for an in-depth look, see technical article, Nature Materials “Flexible shape-memory scaffold for minimally invasive delivery of functional tissues” ),

A team of U of T engineering researchers is mending broken hearts with an expanding tissue bandage a little smaller than a postage stamp.

Repairing heart tissue destroyed by a heart attack or medical condition with regenerative cells or tissues usually requires invasive open-heart surgery. But now biomedical engineering Professor Milica Radisic [K’s note: including links to PubMed listed articles] and her colleagues have developed a technique that lets them use a small needle to inject a repair patch, without the need to open up the chest cavity.

Radisic’s team are experts in using polymer scaffolds to grow realistic 3D slices of human tissue in the lab. One of their creations, AngioChip, is a tiny patch of heart tissue with its own blood vessels – the heart cells even beat with a regular rhythm. Another one of their innovations snaps together like sheets of Velcro™.

Such lab-grown tissues are already being used to test potential drug candidates for side-effects, but the long-term goal is to implant them back into the body to repair damage.

“If an implant requires open-heart surgery, it’s not going to be widely available to patients,” says Radisic.

She says that after a myocardial infarction – a heart attack – the heart’s function is reduced so much that invasive procedures like open-heart surgery usually pose more risks than potential benefits.

“It’s just too dangerous,” she says.

Miles Montgomery, a PhD candidate in Radisic’s lab, has spent nearly three years developing a patch that could be injected, rather than implanted. [K’s note: more news on Miles]

“At the beginning, it was a real challenge,” he says. “There was no template to base my design on, and nothing I tried was working. But I took these failures as an indication that I was working on a problem worth solving.”

After dozens of attempts, Montgomery found a design that matched the mechanical properties of the target tissue and had the required shape-memory behaviour: as it emerges from the needle, the patch unfolds itself into a bandage-like shape.

[…]

The scaffold is built out of the same biocompatible, biodegradable polymer used in the team’s previous creations. Over time, the scaffold will naturally break down, leaving behind the new tissue.

The team also showed that injecting the patch into rat hearts can improve cardiac function after a heart attack: damaged ventricles pumped more blood than they did without the patch.

“It can’t restore the heart back to full health, but if it could be done in a human, we think it would significantly improve quality of life,” says Radisic.

There is still a long way to go before the material is ready for clinical trials. Radisic and her team are collaborating with researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children to assess the long-term stability of the patches, as well as whether the improved cardiac function can be maintained.

They have also applied for patents on the invention and are exploring the use of the patch in other organs, such as the liver.

“You could customize this platform, adding growth factors or other drugs that would encourage tissue regeneration,” says Radisic. “I think this is one of the coolest things we’ve done.”

Injectable tissue patch could help repair damaged organs – U of T Engineering


(video) LOVE #Calgary #GreenBin! #Maggots?! Not so much!

Sunday, 16 July, 2017

LOVE the Calgary Green Bin program which promises to turn our food and yard waste (garbage that fills our landfills) into nutrient-rich compost! Totally #awesome! But MAGGOTS?! What the beep?! I don’t remember the city ever warns us any major risk of turning our green bins into massive stinky maggots farm?!

Take a look of the following photo and video to see for yourself what I am talking about.

20170716 Calgary Green Bin Maggots

LOVE #Calgary #GreenBin! #Maggots?! Not so much!

I plan to phone the City of Calgary 311 help line or do some Google search to see how best to deal with this massive maggots problem.

While I certainly don’t enjoy this stinky stomach-turning maggots problem, I want to emphasize I still LOVE the Green Bin program as we all have to do our small part to help save our planet.

July 18, 2017 Update: I called 311 yesterday and Pam at the help desk connected Dave from City of Calgary Waste & Recycling Services who called me back promptly. I shared with Dave my massive & stinky maggots problem and suggested future city info flyers should include words warning Calgarian of potential issues if they choose to use the “newspaper method” suggested by the city. (with emphasis added and local PDF file included)

//How to make a kitchen pail liner out of newspaper

Wrapping food waste in newspapers or flyers is great alternative to compostable bags. Follow our quick kitchen pail liner guide (local PDF file) to make one at home.//

I Suppose the “newspaper method” can still be used if you don’t mind the maggots (which can totally be composed but it looks sickening) or if you freeze the food waste and put them into newspaper the night before the compost pick up day.

Today is finally the compost pick up day so I will clean up the green cart. This week we will try to use the compose bag and see if things will improve much better. According to Dave, things should improve a lot as the compose bags should stop flies or insects getting to the food waste. Will see how things go.

July 17, 2017 update, CBC News, “Bring us your meat, your veggies, your pet poop: Calgary composting starts on Tuesday – Green carts are already in place in the southwest of the city, with rollouts staggered across quadrants

June 11, 2019 update: It has almost be 2 years since I filmed & shared the above maggots filled video and I have to say I LOVE the green bin now. First of all, for majority of our food waste (bones, veg scrapes, cooking grease, etc) I put them in compostable bags to stop flies from getting into them easily and lay eggs. Otherwise, if I am only two or three days ahead of city pickup day (which I use the helpful City recycle/compose/garbage pickup day app), I might wrap a few items using newspaper.

It is a massive help to put trimmed tree branches, yard waste into the green bin to turn into useable soil instead of dumping into landfill.


Julie Payette – Canada’s next Governor General

Thursday, 13 July, 2017

I’m thrilled and excited to hear Ms. Julie Payette, TA of myUniversity of Toronto Computer Science CSC258 class (I wrote more in this post), has been named Canada’s next Governor General.

2017 July 13, CBC News, “‘Unquestionably qualified’: Ex-astronaut Julie Payette formally introduced as Canada’s next GG – Prime minister holds news conference on Parliament Hill to name successor to David Johnston

U of T News, “U of T alumna Julie Payette to be next Governor General

Via CBC Politics LIVE FB post.

Have a watch of this amazing CBC Witness (1993) documentary “Space For Four (1993)


The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

I’m watching this great talk thanks to Yann LeCun’s FB post. I’m also planning to read “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” by Abraham Flexner (PDF via IAS). Fascinating stuff.

Robbert Dijkgraaf: “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” | Talks at Google


Ed Young – I Contain Multitudes

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Watching YouTube videos of Ed Young @edyong209, author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, over lunch. [HT Bill Gates]

Some of the many ideas/keywords: Dysbiosis

 


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


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 my in-depth video interviews with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross (director of SACRI). I’ve also included the 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“.

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

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

===== Reference news ======

Source: University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial October 14, 2014

//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 Read the rest of this entry »


TED & TEDx talk videos – My baker’s dozen of favourite videos

Saturday, 24 November, 2012

Inspired by all the TEDxHongKong chatters I had last night with some attendees, I’ve finally done my version of top nth TED videos that inspired me. So here is my baker’s dozen (12+1) of TED and TEDx talk videos that I love and enjoy over the years. Some are popular and some are not.

May be we share a few common ones and we can chat about them in the comments. And if you see a few new ones that you haven’t watched, thats cool too and we can chat in the comments. And may be most important of all, please do share some of your fav! I love to check them out and hear why you love them!

In no particular order, the following are my baker’s dozen (12+1) tweets of my favourite TED & TEDx videos (with links added):

#1 tweet) In no specific order: #TED Malcolm Gladwell, UT alum & best selling author’s Choice, happiness & spaghetti sauce is great

#2 tweet) #TED Malcolm Gladwell‘s “The strange tale of the Norden bombsight” talk is better but unloved because of the harsh message

#3 tweet) A great #TEDxCaltech talk on Richard Feynman by Leonard Susskind. If u never heard of Nobel Prize winning funny man physicist Feynman, try this, you may start to love him.

#4 tweet) #TED Susan Cain is so cool & insightful. Here “The power of introverts” is a must watch for fellow introverts (me INTJ) Read the rest of this entry »


Investigating the truth behind sports drinks

Wednesday, 1 August, 2012

Just in time for London Olympics 2012. Great investigative work to find out “the truth behind sports drinks” by Rhodes Scholarship recipient Braden O’Neill (a third-year MD student at the University of Calgary currently on a leave of absence to study at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences). Excerpt from “Investigating the truth behind sports drinks”,

“Whether it’s ‘faster, stronger, for longer’, ‘enhances recovery’, or ‘gives you that extra boost’, sports product marketing is everywhere. Even the official drink of the Olympics this year is Powerade, whose ads claim that ‘Water is Not Enough’.

One of the research groups I work with here – the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine – recently completed a study on sports performance products which I had the great privilege of being a part of. What we found didn’t quite support all those bold claims.”


‪Suzanne Somers‬ discusses regrowing her breast (FDA-trial) after lumpectomy

Tuesday, 22 May, 2012

Suzanne Somers - pix 01

Suzanne Somers‬ is best know as Chrissy Snow in Three’s Company, sex symbol, and in recent years an advocate for alternative medical treatments. This reporter has the pleasure of chatting with Somers‬ in a Fox LA Google+ Hangout few days ago. Somers‬ talked about having breast cancer, had a lumpectomy, and then earlier this year underwent a new (and controversial) procedure of regrowing her breast using her own stem cell.

Suzanne Somers‬ Fox LA Google+ Hangout

During the Fox LA G+ Hangout, this reporter asked and Somers‬ confirmed that she is the first woman in United States to undergo the procedure to regrow breast, performed by an American doctor, and most importantly, in an FDA-approved clinical trial. Upon further research, this reporter found that Somers‬ also talked to CNN Anderson Cooper about the new procedure as seen in this video.

Anderson Cooper‘s show segment Suzanne Somers on New Procedure for Breast Cancer Patients

In this MSNBC Today show report Somers said (emphasis and link added),

“Well, I lost my breast to — most of my breast to cancer 11 years ago. It was called a lumpectomy, but when they took the bandages off it was rather shocking. And I heard that Dr. Kotaro Yoshimura in the University of Tokyo had successfully regrown the breasts of 400 Japanese women. So I brought him over, put him together with a doctor in Los Angeles . We applied for an IRB , which is an institutional revue board, which qualifies me for a clinical trial.”

Note: – In 2007, BBC reported, “Kotaro Yoshimura, a surgeon at the Tokyo University medical school, said more than 40 patients had been treated.

– Here is a Wikipedia page for institutional review board.

See also this People Magazine report.

Cautions & Warnings

This reporter wants to make it clear that this report and Somers‬‘ personal experience should NOT be taken blindly as advice, or worst, as medical advice. It is extremely important to seek proper medical advice from licensed medical doctors/surgeons to help you understand the full risks vs. benefits of any new medical procedures.

Deep down, this reporter wants to be optimistic and hope that new procedure can help survivers of breast cancer. At the same time, this reporter is obliged to suggest and interested readers to read this serious cautioning NYT article by Barron H. Lerner, M.D., professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University Medical Center.

Note: This article is cross-posted on Examiner.com.


Google+ Hangout with Mayim Bialik and Regina King

Tuesday, 13 March, 2012

Wonderful experience Google+ Hangout with Mayim Bialik and Regina KingMayim is really charming and smart. And yes, is is true, she has a PhD in neuroscience for real from UCLA, specializing in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader–Willi syndrome! Love her in Blossom, Beaches, and most recently in The Big Bang Theory. And I love Regina in Jerry Maguire & 24. I asked her if she will help President Obama in the 2012 election campaign.

By the way, check out Mayim‘s book “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way“.

[Thanks LA Fox11 Maria & Tshaka for hosting.]

Google+ Hangout with Mayim Bialik at LA Fox 11

Google+ Hangout with Regina King at LA Fox 11


Creating islands of meaning in the sea of information – New Quote I Love

Saturday, 3 December, 2011

A new addition to Quotes I Love,

As human beings who are finite creatures that can think and feel, our function from this time onward is to create islands of meaning in the flood of information.” – Freeman Dyson quoting James Gleick‘s “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood” at the end of the speech video “Big Ideas: Freeman Dyson on Living Through Four Revolutions“.

P.S. Here is a fuller text version.

“The enormous success of information theory came from Shannon’s decision to separate information from meaning. His central dogma, “Meaning is irrelevant,” declared that information could be handled with greater freedom if it was treated as a mathematical abstraction independent of meaning. The consequence of this freedom is the flood of information in which we are drowning. The immense size of modern databases gives us a feeling of meaninglessness. Information in such quantities reminds us of Borges’s library extending infinitely in all directions. It is our task as humans to bring meaning back into this wasteland. As finite creatures who think and feel, we can create islands of meaning in the sea of information.” – From a Freeman Dyson‘s NYT book review of James Gleick‘s “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood


Second chuckwagon horse death: Does Calgary Stampede get it? – Will you let Calgary Deathpede bring you yearly horse death for the next 30-40 years? – Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede

Saturday, 16 July, 2011

Second chuckwagon horse death - Does Calgary Stampede get it

Last Sunday I somewhat defended Calgary Stampede here and in this article plus comments after the first horse death on opening Friday. Today, six days later after watching CTV News report “Stampede probes second chuckwagon horse death” and reading CBC News “Second horse dies at Calgary Stampede“, in particular this excerpt, I have no choice but change my mind. (note: the “record fine” is now at $12,500. Of course, the horse is just as dead whatever the “fine” was.)

“”In general terms, we’ve had a relatively safe event,” Fraser said Friday. “Unfortunately, we’ve had these two horses die and we have to continue to try and improve our system. It’s not just a one-year fix.”

He said the goal is always to have no animal deaths, but pointed to comments recently made by noted animal science expert Dr. Temple Grandin who argued rodeos themselves are not at fault.

“It’s the way breeding has taken place over the last 30 or 40 years,” Fraser said, summarizing Grandin’s argument. [Kempton’s note: WTF? Is Fraser doing “expectation control” and conditioning us to expect to see animals died unnecessary to entertain us for the next 30-40 years to come? Is he serious?“] “These horses are bred so that they’re big and powerful but not necessarily as strong as they could be.””

You see, I don’t think Calgary Stampede gets it. Calgary Stampede is trying to use Dr. Grandin’s explanations to repeat the old PR explanation, “It’s not just a one-year fix.” Kinda like the same old BS that Calgary Stampede has been feeding us every time after horses or animals died in accidents in Calgary Stampede.

What I am seeing today is that Calgary Stampede is unwilling/incapable of seeing the need for urgent changes, yes urgent changes now, not the next 10-20 years. Urgent changes now! So that fundament differences are made and results be seen in 2012!

For me personally, until I see Calgary Stampede‘s willingness to stop feeding us PR BS, I have no choice but avoid attending any more Calgary Stampede rodeo or chuckwagon races in the future. And I will actively tell my relative, friends, and people I know to avoid Calgary Stampede rodeo or chuckwagon races unless they want to participate in contributing to the Calgary Stampede‘s leisurely pace to change while letting animals die unnecessary year in year out.

Given this kind of yearly unnecessary animal deaths, Calgary Stampede might as well be renamed Calgary Deathpede! Yes, Calgary Stampede renames to Calgary Deathpede to memorialize the animals that die unnecessarily for the lack of urgent changes now. Calgarians and the tickets buying public have a lot more convincing power than Calgary Stampede is seeing.

Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede

Take a minute to give “distinguished” Calgary lawyer Michael Casey, president and chairman of Calgary Stampede a call at his office (phone: 403-260-8505) , email ( mcasey@fieldlaw.com ), or leave him a comment at his blog to tell him exactly how you feel about the unnecessary animal deaths and Calgary Stampede‘s leisurely pace to change. Demand nothing less than fundament differences made and results seen in 2012!

As Margaret Mead puts it in one of the quotes I love,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


TED Talk: Taking imagination seriously

Tuesday, 21 June, 2011

Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously


Ariel Garten, CEO InteraXon, interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Sunday, 19 June, 2011

Ariel Garten - CEO of InteraXon

I had a very enjoyable time attending Ariel Garten’s (CEO of InteraXon creator of the Muse headbandNextMedia Keynote address: Thought Controlled Computing @ Banff World Media Festival 2011. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ariel. Here is the interview video.

The following are a few highlights of my video interview with Ariel.

* 0:00 In your presentation, some ideas are very cutting-edge and quite “out-there”. When you meet corporate clients, how do you engage them and bring them down to earth?

* 1:03 Talking about the chewing gum example (the “chew off”) discussed in your presentation, can you tell us more and which brand it was? What does InteraXon actually measure? [Kempton’s note: The chewing gum campaign went live on June 16th. At press time, I haven’t heard any updates from InteraXon.]

* 2:20 So does the software system work by basing on its previous training of brainwave signals?

* 2:48 How accurate is the software? Lets take heart rate as an example because it is easy to know what is right.

* 3:16 You mentioned the system has limitations, can you elaborate on the kind of limitations please? [Kempton: Here are some reading about Alpha (relax “awake but relaxed”) and Beta (focus “alert and attentive”) brain waves. And via Wikipedia, Alpha and Beta.]

* 3:48 Ariel talks about the reliability in using Alpha and Beta brain waves, especially for new users.

* 4:05 What other signals can your system use?

* 4:25 Am I using the right analogy to compare the “training” your system undergoes to the “training” speech recognition system needed in the past?

* 4:52 Someone asked Ariel about the possibility of using brainwaves for security authentication purposes. How unique are brainwaves? Can it be done now? If not now, how may it work in the future? Read the rest of this entry »


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