stuff. things.

Jul 07
Permalink

Huge NSA surveillance trove shows 9:1 ratio of innocents to suspicious people in “targeted surveillance”

mostlysignssomeportents:

A review of a huge cache of NSA surveillance data found that for every person of suspicion whose private communications is caught in the spy-net, nine more people who are non suspected of any wrongdoing are also surveilled. Many of these innocents are Americans, whom the NSA is legally prohibited from spying upon. Cory Doctorow looks at what the NSA means when it says “targeted.”

Read more…

Jun 29
Permalink

What do you mean Finnish is difficult?

  • English: A dog
  • Swedish: What
  • English: The dog
  • English: Two dogs
  • Swedish:
  • Swedish:
  • Swedish: En hund, hunden
  • Swedish: Två hundar, hundarna
  • German:
  • English: No, go away
  • Swedish: No one invited you
  • German: Der Hund
  • English: I said go away
  • German: Ein Hund, zwei Hunde
  • Swedish: Stop it
  • German: Den Hund, einen Hund, dem Hund, einem Hund, des Hundes, eines Hundes, den Hunden, der Hunden
  • Finnish: Sup
  • English: NO
  • Swedish: NO
  • German: NO
  • Finnish:
  • English:
  • German:
  • Swedish:
  • Finnish: Koira, koiran, koiraa, koiran again, koirassa, koirasta, koiraan, koiralla, koiralta, koiralle, koirana, koiraksi, koiratta, koirineen, koirin
  • German:
  • Swedish:
  • Finnish:
  • English:
  • Finnish: Aaaand... koirasi, koirani, koiransa, koiramme, koiranne, koiraani, koiraasi, koiraansa, koiraamme, koiraanne, koirassani, koirassasi, koirassansa, koirassamme, koirassanne, koirastani, koirastasi, koirastansa, koirastamme, koirastanne, koirallani, koirallasi, koirallansa, koirallamme, koirallanne, koiranani, koiranasi, koiranansa, koiranamme, koirananne, koirakseni, koiraksesi, koiraksensa, koiraksemme, koiraksenne, koirattani, koirattasi, koirattansa, koirattamme, koirattanne, koirineni, koirinesi, koirinensa, koirinemme, koirinenne
  • English:
  • Swedish:
  • German:
  • Finnish: Wait! then theres koirakaan, koirankaan, koiraakaan, koirassakaan, koirastakaan, koiraankaan, koirallakaan, koiraltakaan, koirallekaan, koiranakaan, koiraksikaan, koirattakaan, koirineenkaan, koirinkaan, koirako, koiranko, koiraako, koirassako, koirastako, koiraanko, koirallako, koiraltako, koiralleko, koiranako, koiraksiko, koirattako, koirineenko, koirinko, koirasikaan, koiranikaan, koiransakaan, koirammekaan, koirannekaan, koiraanikaan, koiraasikaan, koiraansakaan, koiraammekaan, koiraannekaan, koirassanikaan, koirassasikaan, koirassansakaan, koirassammekaan, koirassannekaan, koirastanikaan, koirastasikaan, koirastansakaan, koirastammekaan, koirastannekaan, koirallanikaan, koirallasikaan, koirallansakaan, koirallammekaan, koirallannekaan, koirananikaan, koiranasikaan, koiranansakaan, koiranammekaan, koiranannekaan, koiraksenikaan, koiraksesikaan, koiraksensakaan, koiraksemmekaan, koiraksennekaan, koirattanikaan, koirattasikaan, koirattansakaan, koirattammekaan, koirattannekaan, koirinenikaan, koirinesikaan, koirinensakaan, koirinemmekaan, koirinennekaan, koirasiko, koiraniko, koiransako, koirammeko, koiranneko, koiraaniko, koiraasiko, koiraansako, koiraammeko, koiraanneko, koirassaniko, koirassasiko, koirassansako, koirassammeko, koirassanneko, koirastaniko, koirastasiko, koirastansako, koirastammeko, koirastanneko, koirallaniko, koirallasiko, koirallansako, koirallammeko, koirallanneko, koirananiko, koiranasiko, koiranansako, koiranammeko, koirananneko, koirakseniko, koiraksesiko, koiraksensako, koiraksemmeko, koiraksenneko, koirattaniko, koirattasiko, koirattansako, koirattammeko, koirattanneko, koirineniko, koirinesiko, koirinensako, koirinemmeko, koirinenneko, koirasikaanko, koiranikaanko, koiransakaanko, koirammekaanko, koirannekaanko, koiraanikaanko, koiraasikaanko, koiraansakaanko, koiraammekaanko, koiraannekaanko, koirassanikaanko, koirassasikaanko, koirassansakaanko, koirassammekaanko, koirassannekaanko, koirastanikaanko, koirastasikaanko, koirastansakaanko, koirastammekaanko, koirastannekaanko, koirallanikaanko, koirallasikaanko, koirallansakaanko, koirallammekaanko, koirallannekaanko, koirananikaanko, koiranasikaanko, koiranansakaanko, koiranammekaanko, koiranannekaanko, koiraksenikaanko, koiraksesikaanko, koiraksensakaanko, koiraksemmekaanko, koiraksennekaanko, koirattanikaanko, koirattasikaanko, koirattansakaanko, koirattammekaanko, koirattannekaanko, koirinenikaanko, koirinesikaanko, koirinensakaanko, koirinemmekaanko, koirinennekaanko, koirasikokaan, koiranikokaan, koiransakokaan, koirammekokaan, koirannekokaan, koiraanikokaan, koiraasikokaan, koiraansakokaan, koiraammekokaan, koiraannekokaan, koirassanikokaan, koirassasikokaan, koirassansakokaan, koirassammekokaan, koirassannekokaan, koirastanikokaan, koirastasikokaan, koirastansakokaan, koirastammekokaan, koirastannekokaan, koirallanikokaan, koirallasikokaan, koirallansakokaan, koirallammekokaan, koirallannekokaan, koirananikokaan, koiranasikokaan, koiranansakokaan, koiranammekokaan, koiranannekokaan, koiraksenikokaan, koiraksesikokaan, koiraksensakokaan, koiraksemmekokaan, koiraksennekokaan, koirattanikokaan, koirattasikokaan, koirattansakokaan, koirattammekokaan, koirattannekokaan, koirinenikokaan, koirinesikokaan, koirinensakokaan, koirinemmekokaan, koirinennekokaan
  • Swedish:
  • German:
  • English: Okay, now you're just making things up!
  • Finnish:
  • Finnish: And now the plural forms...
Permalink
Permalink

dduane:

ladyhistory:

The captioned adventures of Ben Franklin.

My hero. Author, printer, publisher, scientist, inventor, diplomat, prankster, founder of libraries, man about town, bon viveur, babe magnet, gadfly, anonymous and incisive blogger; nothing would have been the same without him.

(via mostlysignssomeportents)

Jun 07
Permalink
nevver:

Ape shall not kill ape

Cornelius eats lunch.

nevver:

Ape shall not kill ape

Cornelius eats lunch.

Jun 05
Permalink
nprfreshair:

Journalist Nell Bernstein's new book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison takes an in-depth look at juvenile incarceration.  The journalist has spent years covering the juvenile justice system, and has interviewed hundreds of young people in detention facilities. One of the many problems in the facilities is the therapeutic treatment that’s available to the prisoners. Bernstein explains:

"There is a movement towards treatment inside juvenile facilities and I sat in on some of these groups, these therapeutic modalities… and what the kids would tell me was, ‘I’m supposed to open my heart in group and put my deepest traumas on the table, but the guy leading the group has the key to my cell.’ So right there you have a conundrum.
A few kids told me that although they were told that group was a “safe place” if they didn’t tell their story, or if they told it in a way that didn’t match their file they would get a write up for not taking responsibility for their actions or not participating in the program and that could, in fact, delay their release date.
I went in with a positive idea about treatment-oriented facilities, but I came out thinking that it’s just paradoxical. You can’t have a therapeutic interaction with a guy who has the key to your cell.”


I heard part of this interview the other day. Heartbreaking.

nprfreshair:

Journalist Nell Bernstein's new book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison takes an in-depth look at juvenile incarceration.  The journalist has spent years covering the juvenile justice system, and has interviewed hundreds of young people in detention facilities. One of the many problems in the facilities is the therapeutic treatment that’s available to the prisoners. Bernstein explains:

"There is a movement towards treatment inside juvenile facilities and I sat in on some of these groups, these therapeutic modalities… and what the kids would tell me was, ‘I’m supposed to open my heart in group and put my deepest traumas on the table, but the guy leading the group has the key to my cell.’ So right there you have a conundrum.

A few kids told me that although they were told that group was a “safe place” if they didn’t tell their story, or if they told it in a way that didn’t match their file they would get a write up for not taking responsibility for their actions or not participating in the program and that could, in fact, delay their release date.

I went in with a positive idea about treatment-oriented facilities, but I came out thinking that it’s just paradoxical. You can’t have a therapeutic interaction with a guy who has the key to your cell.”

I heard part of this interview the other day. Heartbreaking.

Permalink

germannn:

Funny and bizarre German animal names
The German language is famous for some really long nouns (Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän comes to mind). This is because German nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives are like lego bricks; you can stick them together in almost any way to create new words that encapsulate new concepts. This gives the language a special ability to name just about anything. You could call it the German language’s lego brick-like quality, or Legosteineigenschaft (see what I just did there?).

But why does German rely on such an elaborate process to name things as simple as squirrels? When broken down into their separate components, the names of familiar animals mutate into bizarre new creatures.

The Uncanny X-Tiere

Comics are full of heroes with names like super, wonder, iron, ultra, bat or cat followed by -man, -woman, -girl or -boy. A lot of German animal names work the same way, where Tier – the word for animal – is preceded by a word describing that animal’s “super power”.

  • Stinktier – stink animal (skunk)

  • Faultier – lazy animal (sloth)

  • Gürteltier – belt animal (armadillo)

  • Murmeltier – mumbling animal (groundhog)

  • Schnabeltier – beak animal (platypus)

  • Maultier – mouth animal (mule)

  • Trampeltier – trampling animal (bactrian camel). The verb trampeln means to trample or tread upon, whereas the noun Trampel is a clumsy oaf.

Sometimes suffixes get more specific than -tier, but still tend to describe the wrong animal:

  • Schildkröte – shield toad (tortoise)

  • Waschbär – wash bear (raccoon)

  • Nacktschnecke – naked snail (slug)

  • Fledermaus – flutter mouse (bat)

  • Seehund – sea dog (seal)

  • Tintenfisch – ink fish (squid)

  • Truthahn – threatening chicken (turkey). Trut is onomatopoeic for the trut-trut-trut cluck of a turkey, but it’s also been hypothesized that the name comes from the Middle German droten which means “to threaten”.

No, I’m Pretty Sure That’s A Pig

Swine seem to be a popular yardstick in German animal taxonomy.

  • Schweinswal – pig whale (porpoise)

  • Seeschwein – sea pig (dugong). Not to be confused with the Seekuh, or sea cow, known in English as a manatee.

  • Stachelschwein – spike pig (porcupine). The English word is actually just as literal; porcupine sounds a lot like “pork spine”.

  • Wasserschwein – water pig (capybara)

  • Meerschweinchen – ocean piglet (guinea pig). The ending -chen denotes something small. Add it to the end of Schwein and you get a little pig, or piglet. Since the stems Meer and Wasser are often interchangeable, it’s most likely that Meerschweinchen actually means little capybara.

Just Plain Weird

I’d like to end this list by giving one animal a category all to itself: the humble squirrel.

Eichhörnchen:

  • little oak horn: Eiche (oak tree) + Horn (horn) + -chen (little)
  • oak croissant: Eiche (oak tree) + Hörnchen (croissant)

alternate names:

  • Eichkätzchen (regional name) and Eichkatzerl (Austria) – oak kitten

Calling a squirrel a “tree kitten” is reasonably literal, but where does “little oak horn” come from? It seems that the answer comes down to a misplaced h: Eichhörnchen comes from the Old and Middle German eichorn, which has nothing to do with oak trees or horns. In this case, the eich comes from the ancient Indo-Germanic word aig, which means agitated movement, combined with the now obsolete suffix -orn. Somewhere in history a superfluous h was added (along with the diminutive -chen ending) but the original meaning remained. Today, Hörnchen is a category of rodents that includes all squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, prairie dogs and flying squirrels.

Keep an eye on this spot for an upcoming post where we’ll delve deeper into the animal kingdom: branching out to birds, insects, reptiles, fishes and any other mammals we find crawling around.

(Source: babbel.com, via we-are-star-stuff)

May 26
Permalink
neuromorphogenesis:

Brain’s production of new nerve cells may account for loss of early memory
Have you ever been told about an incident that happened when you were little that you cannot recall? Perhaps the time you had an unstoppable crying fit at the mall, ate your first piece of pizza or hit your head on the coffee table and had to get stitches?
This inability to remember specific events from the earliest years of our lives, called “infantile amnesia" by Sigmund Freud over a century ago, happens to us all. Now researchers have found what could be causing it: the birth of additional neurons – nerve cells – in the brain.
"Previously, people would argue that neurons only help make new memories," said neurobiologist and study author Paul Frankland of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. “But as you’re adding neurons, you’re also wiping away older memories.”
Fresh neurons form rapidly after birth and into childhood, but the process slows to a crawl once we reach adulthood. Frankland and his colleagues discovered in experiments with mice that by accelerating the production of new cells in the hippocampus – an area of the brain crucial for memory formation – they induced higher levels of forgetting.
They speculate from their findings that the abundant birth of neurons during our early years could explain the mysterious amnesia we experience in relation to childhood memories. The study was published online in the journal Science.
But psychologist Justin Rhodes of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hesitant to believe that the link between new neurons and lost memories is that simple. “I’m still a little sceptical,” said Rhodes, who was not involved in the study. “Neurogenesis is a field where there’s a lot of controversy, and we don’t know exactly what these new neurons are doing.”
Both adult mice and pups – equivalent to infants in human years – initially learned to fear a certain room by associating it with mild foot shocks. After the animals had spent time back in their cages, Frankland and his colleagues returned them to the room; if they remembered it as being a bad place, the rodents froze. While the adults recognised the scary room up to four weeks later, the majority of pups froze during testing only within a day of the bad experience. After two weeks, almost no pups could remember the room as a bad place.
In the next experiment, two groups of adult mice were taught to fear the same room. Then the researchers induced the birth of new neurons, called neurogenesis, by giving one cohort access to a running wheel. (Exercise promotes neurogenesis.) When compared with sedentary mice without wheel access, the runners more easily forgot their fears. The incorporation of new cells seemed to alter the connections between existing neurons.
The reverse held true when suppressing neuron growth in pups. When their neurogenesis was reduced by the use of a common chemotherapy drug, the young mice were better able to recall their fears.
Last, the team tested two other types of rodents – guinea pigs and degus. They differ from mice in that much of their neurogenesis happens while still in the womb, so they do not experience infantile amnesia. But after neurogenesis was induced in the pups of both species, they could no longer remember as well.
Adults generally fail to recall anything before age three, and any memories from earlier than age seven tend to be fuzzy – although children are clearly capable of making memories. But somehow, these experiences are wiped away quickly.
Frankland and his wife, neuroscientist and study author Sheena Josselyn, have observed the fragile, fleeting memory of children in their own five-year-old daughter. When she was two or three, they would quiz her about, say, past trips to the zoo or to her grandmother’s house. If they asked within a day or two, she was able to recall the experiences.
"It’s clear she can make these memories and tell us details about the trips," he said. "But within a couple of months, if we ask about the zoo, it’s, ‘We didn’t go to the zoo. I don’t remember that.’"
A study of 140 children revealed a similar phenomenon. The subjects were asked to describe three earliest memories, with their parents confirming the details. When interviewed again after two years, the children who were initially between four and seven years old spoke about completely different events during the follow-up, even after being given hints.
Meanwhile, older children (10-13 years old) were more likely to recall their stories.
Many studies have found that reducing neurogenesis in mice will impair their ability to learn. Frankland and his colleagues flipped this idea in their experiment, wanting to see how changing levels of neurogenesis affected a memory already in storage.
The idea of neurogenesis dislodging old memories could explain forgetting in adulthood as well, since neural stem cells in the hippocampus remain active throughout life. However, the rate of growth slows considerably, so other mechanisms are likely to be at work.
Memory comes in many forms – automatic procedural memories, such as riding a bike, or the short-term storage of working memory – and forgetting could be the same.
One theory in psychology, called interference, states that memories too similar in nature compete and create distortions in recollection. For instance, confusing new and old telephone numbers, or having a fuzzier memory of Ocean’s Eleven as a result of watching the two sequels.
Although inconvenient, forgetting does seem to be beneficial. Frankland believes the memory-storage capacity of the hippocampus can reach a saturation point – and then it’s time to clean house.
"We know much of what we experience is wiped away," he said. "But the formation of new memories is facilitated by clearing away the clutter, if you like."
However, Rhodes argues that the hippocampus is typically known as a structure of temporary storage that integrates incoming information for tucking away into long-term storage but does not act as the data bank itself. “It helps process and form new memories,” he said. “But those memories are solidified in separate parts of the brain.”
Thus, he believes new neurons in the hippocampus are unlikely to disrupt old memory circuits.

neuromorphogenesis:

Brain’s production of new nerve cells may account for loss of early memory

Have you ever been told about an incident that happened when you were little that you cannot recall? Perhaps the time you had an unstoppable crying fit at the mall, ate your first piece of pizza or hit your head on the coffee table and had to get stitches?

This inability to remember specific events from the earliest years of our lives, called “infantile amnesia" by Sigmund Freud over a century ago, happens to us all. Now researchers have found what could be causing it: the birth of additional neurons – nerve cells – in the brain.

"Previously, people would argue that neurons only help make new memories," said neurobiologist and study author Paul Frankland of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. “But as you’re adding neurons, you’re also wiping away older memories.”

Fresh neurons form rapidly after birth and into childhood, but the process slows to a crawl once we reach adulthood. Frankland and his colleagues discovered in experiments with mice that by accelerating the production of new cells in the hippocampus – an area of the brain crucial for memory formation – they induced higher levels of forgetting.

They speculate from their findings that the abundant birth of neurons during our early years could explain the mysterious amnesia we experience in relation to childhood memories. The study was published online in the journal Science.

But psychologist Justin Rhodes of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hesitant to believe that the link between new neurons and lost memories is that simple. “I’m still a little sceptical,” said Rhodes, who was not involved in the study. “Neurogenesis is a field where there’s a lot of controversy, and we don’t know exactly what these new neurons are doing.”

Both adult mice and pups – equivalent to infants in human years – initially learned to fear a certain room by associating it with mild foot shocks. After the animals had spent time back in their cages, Frankland and his colleagues returned them to the room; if they remembered it as being a bad place, the rodents froze. While the adults recognised the scary room up to four weeks later, the majority of pups froze during testing only within a day of the bad experience. After two weeks, almost no pups could remember the room as a bad place.

In the next experiment, two groups of adult mice were taught to fear the same room. Then the researchers induced the birth of new neurons, called neurogenesis, by giving one cohort access to a running wheel. (Exercise promotes neurogenesis.) When compared with sedentary mice without wheel access, the runners more easily forgot their fears. The incorporation of new cells seemed to alter the connections between existing neurons.

The reverse held true when suppressing neuron growth in pups. When their neurogenesis was reduced by the use of a common chemotherapy drug, the young mice were better able to recall their fears.

Last, the team tested two other types of rodents – guinea pigs and degus. They differ from mice in that much of their neurogenesis happens while still in the womb, so they do not experience infantile amnesia. But after neurogenesis was induced in the pups of both species, they could no longer remember as well.

Adults generally fail to recall anything before age three, and any memories from earlier than age seven tend to be fuzzy – although children are clearly capable of making memories. But somehow, these experiences are wiped away quickly.

Frankland and his wife, neuroscientist and study author Sheena Josselyn, have observed the fragile, fleeting memory of children in their own five-year-old daughter. When she was two or three, they would quiz her about, say, past trips to the zoo or to her grandmother’s house. If they asked within a day or two, she was able to recall the experiences.

"It’s clear she can make these memories and tell us details about the trips," he said. "But within a couple of months, if we ask about the zoo, it’s, ‘We didn’t go to the zoo. I don’t remember that.’"

A study of 140 children revealed a similar phenomenon. The subjects were asked to describe three earliest memories, with their parents confirming the details. When interviewed again after two years, the children who were initially between four and seven years old spoke about completely different events during the follow-up, even after being given hints.

Meanwhile, older children (10-13 years old) were more likely to recall their stories.

Many studies have found that reducing neurogenesis in mice will impair their ability to learn. Frankland and his colleagues flipped this idea in their experiment, wanting to see how changing levels of neurogenesis affected a memory already in storage.

The idea of neurogenesis dislodging old memories could explain forgetting in adulthood as well, since neural stem cells in the hippocampus remain active throughout life. However, the rate of growth slows considerably, so other mechanisms are likely to be at work.

Memory comes in many forms – automatic procedural memories, such as riding a bike, or the short-term storage of working memory – and forgetting could be the same.

One theory in psychology, called interference, states that memories too similar in nature compete and create distortions in recollection. For instance, confusing new and old telephone numbers, or having a fuzzier memory of Ocean’s Eleven as a result of watching the two sequels.

Although inconvenient, forgetting does seem to be beneficial. Frankland believes the memory-storage capacity of the hippocampus can reach a saturation point – and then it’s time to clean house.

"We know much of what we experience is wiped away," he said. "But the formation of new memories is facilitated by clearing away the clutter, if you like."

However, Rhodes argues that the hippocampus is typically known as a structure of temporary storage that integrates incoming information for tucking away into long-term storage but does not act as the data bank itself. “It helps process and form new memories,” he said. “But those memories are solidified in separate parts of the brain.”

Thus, he believes new neurons in the hippocampus are unlikely to disrupt old memory circuits.

Permalink
mapsontheweb:

The World at 1000 BC

Yellow = Hunter-Gatherers


Purple = Pastoral Nomads


Green = Simple Farming Societies


Orange = Complex Farming Societies / Chiefdoms


Blue = State Societies


White = Uninhabited


Red lines = Area of iron working


Pink lines = Area of bronze working

mapsontheweb:

The World at 1000 BC

  • Yellow = Hunter-Gatherers

  • Purple = Pastoral Nomads

  • Green = Simple Farming Societies

  • Orange = Complex Farming Societies / Chiefdoms

  • Blue = State Societies

  • White = Uninhabited

  • Red lines = Area of iron working

  • Pink lines = Area of bronze working

(via we-are-star-stuff)

May 22
Permalink
brucesterling:

*This may be your last big chance to arrest them all before they do to everything what Napster did to the music biz 

Important economic model emerging here.

brucesterling:

*This may be your last big chance to arrest them all before they do to everything what Napster did to the music biz 

Important economic model emerging here.