Archive for July 14th, 2011

July 14, 2011



Cyberdelic refers to immersion in cyberspace as a psychedelic experience; the fusion of cyberculture and the psychedelic subculture; psychedelic art created by calculating fractal objects; and trance music parties. Timothy Leary, an advocate of psychedelic drug use who became a cult figure of the hippies in the 1960s, reemerged in the 1980s as a spokesperson of the cyberdelic counterculture, whose adherents called themselves ‘cyberpunks,’ and became one of the most philosophical promoters of personal computers, the Internet, and immersive virtual reality. Leary proclaimed that the ‘PC is the LSD of the 1990s’ and admonished bohemians to ‘turn on, boot up, jack in.’

In contrast to the hippies of the 60s who were decidedly antiscience and antitechnology, the cyberpunks of the 80s and 90s ecstatically embraced technology and the hacker ethic. They believed that high technology (and smart drugs) could help human beings overcome all limits, that it could liberate them from authority and even enable them to transcend space, time, and body. They often expressed their ethos and aesthetics through cyberart and reality hacking.


July 14, 2011




Transhumanism, often abbreviated as H+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label ‘posthuman.’ Transhumanism is therefore viewed as a subset of philosophical ‘posthumanism.’

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July 14, 2011

Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil by Sabrina Smelko

Ray Kurzweil (b. 1948) is an American author, inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.

Ray Kurzweil grew up in Queens, NY. He was born to secular Jewish parents who had escaped Austria just before the onset of World War II, and he was exposed via Unitarian Universalism to a diversity of religious faiths during his upbringing. His father was a musician and composer and his mother was a visual artist. His uncle, an engineer at Bell Labs, taught young Ray the basics of computer science.

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July 14, 2011

Predictions Made by Ray Kurzweil


American author, inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil has become well known for predicting the future of artificial intelligence and the human race. His first book, ‘The Age of Intelligent Machines,’ published in 1990, put forth his theories on the results of the increasing use of technology and notably foresaw the explosive growth in the internet, among other predictions.

Later works, 1999’s ‘The Age of Spiritual Machines’ and 2005’s ‘The Singularity is Near’ outlined other theories including the rise of clouds of nano-robots (nanobots) called foglets and the development of Human Body 2.0 and 3.0, whereby nanotechnology is incorporated into many internal organs.

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July 14, 2011



perpetual motion by norman rockwell

Pseudoscience refers to concepts that are presented as scientific, but which do not adhere to a valid scientific method, or cannot be reliably tested. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories. So-called ‘Pop science’ blurs the divide between science and pseudoscience among the general public, and may also involve science fiction (it is disseminated to, and can also easily emanate from, persons not accountable to scientific methodology and expert peer review).

Pseudoscientific beliefs are widespread, even among public school science teachers and newspaper reporters. The demarcation problem between science and pseudoscience has ethical political implications (as well as philosophical and scientific). Differentiating science from pseudoscience has practical implications in the case of health care, expert testimony, environmental policies, and science education. Distinguishing scientific facts and theories from pseudoscientific beliefs such as those found in astrology, medical quackery, and occult beliefs combined with scientific concepts, is part of science education and scientific literacy.

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July 14, 2011

Energy Shot

energy shot

Energy shots are a specialized kind of energy drink. Sold in 59ml (2 fluid oz.) bottles, energy shots normally contain the same amount of caffeine, vitamins or other functional ingredients as their larger siblings, and therefore they may be considered concentrated forms of energy drinks. Also similar to energy drinks, energy shots contain caffeine, vitamins, and herbs such as guarana, ginseng or ginkgo biloba, taurine, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine or glucuronolactone. Most energy shots contain sugar; however, many brands also offer artificially-sweetened ‘diet’ versions. The central ingredient in most energy shots is caffeine, the same stimulant found in coffee or tea. The average 50ml energy shot has about 80 mg of caffeine. This is approximately equivalent to a cup of coffee.

The idea of energy shots started decades ago in the Far East, notably in Japan, where small ‘tonics’ became very popular among consumers; they were highly concentrated and without carbonation. In 2004 the first suppliers, like 5-Hour Energy, Nitro2Go, and ZipFizz, took up the idea and launched these energy shots in the US, opening up a sub-segment in the energy drink market.  Although originally marketed in the US, energy shots are becoming more popular in other parts of the world, like Europe, Asia and Australia.

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July 14, 2011

Hologram Therapy

power balance

Hologram therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of adorning oneself with hologram jewelry for enhancement of athletic performance. Merchants claim it to be a method in alternative holistic medicine that can improve general physical fitness and athletic prowess. It centers around wearing plastic holograms purported to resonate with frequencies that react positively with the putative energy field of the human body.

Promoters borrow from concepts in crystal healing, vibrational medicine, energy medicine, and physics, but provide a sparse and disjointed scientific explanation. The holograms are printed on stickers, plastic wristbands, and pendants. Promoters rely heavily on the ritualistic superstition that often characterizes athletes.

July 14, 2011

The Big Green Egg


The Big Green Egg is the brand name of a kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker. Kamado barbecue originates in southern Japan. The kamado first came to the attention of Americans after World War II when US Air Force servicemen brought them back from Japan in empty transport planes. The Big Green Egg Company was founded in 1974 by Ed Fisher and is based in Georgia. The shape of the Egg is designed to contain the heat with only a small draft door at the bottom, and a daisy wheel damper unit on the top to give air flow control and therefore temperature regulation.  Between the base and the lid is a felt gasket designed to maximize moisture retention during long cookouts.

Prices vary by model and start at approximately $700. Big Green Egg barbecues have quite an enthusiastic following of amateur chefs and the collective name given these enthusiasts is ‘Eggheads.’ Every October there is a global gathering called ‘Eggtoberfest’ held at the company’s headquarters in Tucker, GA. In addition, numerous other Big Green Egg Festivals occur throughout the US and the world, called ‘EggFests.’

July 14, 2011


macgyver multitool

MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series, where the titular character employs his resourcefulness and knowledge of chemistry, physics, technology, and survival skills to resolve what are often life-or-death crises. He creates inventions from simple items to solve these problems. These inventions became synonymous with the character and were called MacGyverisms by fans. MacGyver was unlike secret agents in other television series and films because, instead of relying on high-tech weapons and tools, he carried only a Swiss Army knife and duct tape but never a gun. A boyhood friend of his was accidentally killed by a revolver, and MacGyver has avoided them since.

The show’s writers based MacGyver’s inventions on items they found on location, concepts from scientific advisers John Koivula and Jim Green, and real events. The show also offered a monetary prize to people who sent good ideas for the show. A young fan suggested that MacGyver could patch up a vehicle’s radiator by cracking an egg into it, and the episode ‘Bushmaster’ was constructed around this trick.