Friday, September 30, 2016

Because today is international translation day

It is worth reading

Fwd: 3 New Experiments are Ready for Takeoff

The main browsers (software programs that move us around the internet's web sites) are Microsoft's, Safari, Chrome, Firefox plus many other lesser known ones. The only one that is independent of sales and such is Firefox.  I use it and Chrome all the time.  Firefox has some new wrinkles and they may be fun or useful.  Firefox is free to download and use.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Firefox Test Pilot <>
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Subject: 3 New Experiments are Ready for Takeoff

Message from the flight deck
Firefox Test Pilot
Message from the
flight deck
Since launching in May, we've been busy — and so have you, with thousands testing the latest experimental features, helping us choose which ones should be on the fast track to Firefox and which ones maybe need a little more work. Now we're back with three new features you'll find only in Test Pilot.
Page Shot
See it, send it, find it again later with shareable, searchable screenshots that you make right from the comfort of your browser.
Launch Page Shot »
Min Vid
Keep videos playing on top of your other tabs while you keep doing whatever else you were doing — or at least pretending to do.
Launch Min Vid »
Tracking Protection
Block trackers that follow you across the Web by default. Turn it on, browse free and breathe easy.
Launch Tracking Protection »
You're receiving this email because you signed up for Firefox Test Pilot. If you do not wish to receive these email updates, please click the Unsubscribe link below.
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Read the Mozilla Privacy Policy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Array of subjects and ideas

We are catching up on bills, meetings, and general living. I am sending this out in the afternoon but I will soon get back to composing for the next day and sending around 6 AM, central time.

Over the past weeks, I have gotten into several books that may be of interest.  




How We Learn

Benedict Carey

Learning takes place all the time thru life.  It is not as dull as we tend to think.

Weapons of Math Destruction

Cathy O'Neil

Algorithms dominate modern Am. life and they need to be examined and tested

Homo Deus

Y.N. Harari

Not out yet. His "Sapiens" is one of the best I have read in years.


St. Augustine

Free on Kindle, an important classic, maybe the 1st autobiography, first-rate mind, complains about school and lessons, very pious

How the Irish Saved Civilization

Thomas Cahill

Really excellent, much deeper, wider and faster read than I expected

Lab Girl

Hope Jahren

Listening to Audible version, great voice, super langauge, real woman scientist making her way thru life and science

Re Weapons of Math Destruction, it can be helpful to read Robyn Dawes and Paul Meehl on the subject of best decisions and to reflect how much we actually know what we are doing when buying a property or selecting a college or other big decisions.

We attended an excellent overview on breathing, yes, the action you first took when you emerged from your mom and are still doing!  I recommend deliberately taking five minutes a day to take deep belly breaths.  Try lifting your arms along with the inhale and closing them with the exhale.  Uplifting!  If you do it enough, you will be able to fly!  See "The Breathing Book" by Donna Farhi and "Conscious Breathing" by Gay Hendricks.  Many people leave their natural breathing way of using their diaphragm and abdomen and rarely breathe deeply and fully.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


We got home last night about 3AM by the clock that was running in Dublin when we woke yesterday, thanks to the wonderful Prof. Don Showalter.  His quite tall frame was a very welcome sight in the baggage claim last night.

You probably know how we need more sleep but we need to eat but we need to pay those bills and to wash clothes and to nap and to get everything done and ....

I often see little signs of landing still taking place a week about the real landing day.  I recommend Scotland and Ireland and I recommend YMT touring company.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fwd: Back to Dublin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lynn Kirby <>
Date: Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 5:34 PM
Subject: Back to Dublin
To: Lynn Kirby <>
Cc: Bill Kirby <>

Today was essentially the last day of our trip. Tomorrow we leave here at 8 am (2 am Stevens Point time) for the first leg of our trip home. So this is my last letter. 

This morning we had a bus tour of Belfast. Much of the architecture of that city is Victorian, and it's quite pretty and ornate. We saw several universities and government buildings. It seems that many of the churches that lose their attenders are turned into other things, often pubs. We also drove through areas of "the Troubles," or the fighting between the Protestants (the ones who want to be part of England) and the Catholics (who want to be independent.) it seems that peace reigns there now, and there are many murals on walls about various issues, people, and such. 

Our longest stop was at the Titanic Exhibition, on the site where the Titanic was built. This exhibit was about five stories high, and displayed information about it being built, the people on it, the sinking, the calls for help, the survivors, and much more. It takes a good bit of time to go through. If you ever go to Belfast, I recommend that you give it a visit. 

We have switched back from pounds to euros and tomorrow we'll go back to dollars.

We are at our final hotel, the same one we were in when we arrived in Dublin the first time. We have our farewell dinner in less than 45 minutes. 

It's been a good trip. I don't look forward to tomorrow, except for the getting home (I hope) part. 


1. A mural
2. The Titanic Exhibition building.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fwd: Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: This week on <>
Date: Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 2:32 PM
Subject: Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid

Why should we keep our salaries a secret? Open this email in your browser
This week on
September 24, 2016

David Burkus: Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid

07:29 minutes · Filmed Jan 2016 · Posted Sep 2016 · TEDxUniversityofNevada

How much do you get paid? How does it compare to the people you work with? You should know, and so should they, says management researcher David Burkus. In this talk, Burkus questions why most of us keep our salaries secret -- and makes a compelling case for why sharing them could benefit employees, organizations and society.

Playlist of the week

The benefits of failure

Failure isn't fun, but it is an opportunity to learn, reflect and regroup. These insightful talks can help you pick yourself up after a setback and grow toward success. Watch »

6 TED Talks • Total run time 1:24:44

More TED Talks

You already know it's important to vote -- so why, in many countries, do so few people actually bother to do it? Eric Liu thinks it's time to make voting fun again. In this stirring talk, he celebrates the surprising power that individual voices can have when we come together at the ballot box. Watch »


Our kids are our future, and it's crucial they believe it themselves. That's why Nadia Lopez opened an academic oasis in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most underserved and violent neighborhoods in all of New York City -- because she believes in every child's brilliance and abilities. In this short, energizing talk, she shares how she helps her scholars envision a brighter future. Watch »

From improving vaccines to modifying crops to solving crimes, DNA technology has transformed our world. Now, for the first time in history, anyone can experiment with DNA at home, in their kitchen, using a device smaller than a shoebox. We are living in a personal DNA revolution, says biotech entrepreneur Sebastian Kraves, where the secrets buried in DNA are yours to find. Watch »

Can we fight terror without destroying democracy? Internet freedom activist Rebecca MacKinnon thinks that we'll lose the battle against extremism and demagoguery if we censor the internet and press. In this critical talk, she calls for a doubling-down on strong encryption and appeals to governments to better protect, not silence, the journalists and activists fighting against extremists. Watch »


Culture: Why simple is sexy again >>
Do we need a gadget-filled gizmo for every task? Nope, says author Courtney Martin.

Society: The surprising influence of the Chinese zodiac >>
ShaoLan explains how a shared belief moves society

Art: Celebrating the strange beauty of pollution >>
History lessons entombed in layer upon layer of dust

Money: The business case against overtime >>
An extra-long workday hides many hidden costs

Quote of the Week


Why bother voting? Because there is no such thing as not voting. Not voting is voting, for everything that you may detest and oppose. Not voting can be dressed up as an act of principled, passive resistance, but in fact not voting is actively handing power over to those whose interests are counter to your own, and those who would be very glad to take advantage of your absence. Not voting is for suckers."

Eric Liu
Let's make voting fun again
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fwd: FW: These 16 companies got F's

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kirby, Bill <>
Date: Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Subject: FW: These 16 companies got F's
To: BillyG <>

From: Consumers Union []
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 4:34 PM
To: Kirby, Bill
Subject: These 16 companies got F's

[Consumers Union]

Dear Friend of Consumers Union,

Did you know that large factory farms that serve restaurants like KFC, Burger King and Dunkin' Donuts regularly give massive amounts of antibiotics to healthy farm animals? Instead of being reserved for treating sick people, antibiotics are used to fatten up cows and chickens and help them survive in factory farm conditions.

The problem with factory farms overusing antibiotics is that they're creating resistant bacteria that spreads through our food, water and the environment. Scientists have been telling us for years that antibiotic-resistant superbugs are multiplying at an alarming rate, and we know that medicines to treat deadly infections aren't working like they used to. But the big chain restaurants aren't listening and they keep buying their food from these bad factory farms.

Sign our petition today to tell the popular restaurants below to stop buying meat and poultry from farms that use antibiotics on healthy animals.<>

Sign the petition »<>

Applebee's, Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Chili's, Dairy Queen, Denny's, Domino's, Dunkin' Donuts, IHOP, Jack in the Box, KFC, Little Caesars, Olive Garden, Sonic and Starbucks

These companies all received "F" ratings in an annual scorecard just released by Consumers Union and several other organizations. An "F" grade means they allow for the routine use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry they serve, or have no disclosed policy limiting the use of antibiotics.

This isn't just some fringe issue. We know that 1-in-5 drug-resistant infections is caused by the bacteria from food or animals. Sadly, antibiotic-resistant infections afflict more than two million people and cause more than 23,000 deaths per year already.

It doesn't have to be this way. Thankfully, some companies recognize the severity of this threat. For years, Panera and Chipotle have had strong policies that restrict the use of antibiotics. More recently, Subway, McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and several other chains have also announced progress on this front. If they can do it, we can pressure KFC and the other companies to follow in their footsteps.

But it's very important that we address this problem before our medically important antibiotics lose their effectiveness for treating sick people. The more Americans who speak out now, the better chance we have to stop the spread of these deadly infections.

Add your name to petition the big food companies that received an "F" on our scorecard and demand that they restrict the use of antibiotics in your food.<>

The fact that some companies are already taking action gives me hope that we can win this fight. I'm confident these companies will change their ways if we make our voices heard.

Thank you for all you do,

Meg Bohne, Consumers Union
Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Sign the petition »<>

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fwd: Top 10 algorithms, data engineering, procurement analytics, + more

I say give this a chance.  It is probably not your cup of tea but this stuff is getting more applicable to more lives and may become of interest.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: O'Reilly Data Newsletter <>
Date: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 8:01 PM
Subject: Top 10 algorithms, data engineering, procurement analytics, + more

Deep neural networks and the nature of the universe  View in browser > 

O'Reilly Media Logo
O'Reilly Data Newsletter

1. How to improve procurement analytics

Federico Castanedo explains how your company can significantly improve procurement analytics to solve business questions quickly and effectively.

2. The State of Data Engineering (hint: there's a shortage looming)

"The number of data engineers has doubled in the past year, but engineering leaders still find themselves faced with a significant shortage of data engineering talent." This report takes a look at the current state of data engineering.

+ Michael Li talks about the state of data engineering and data science training programs (podcast.)

Want to speak at Strata + Hadoop World 2017?

Strata + Hadoop World 2017 is coming to San Jose March 14-16, and the call for presenters is now open. If you have great ideas, proven best practices, intriguing case studies, or exceptional technical skills to share, check out our tips for submitting a proposal, and get your proposal in by the September 30 deadline.

3. The extraordinary link between deep neural networks and the nature of the universe

"Deep neural networks are now better than humans at tasks such as face recognition and object recognition....But there is a problem. There is no mathematical reason why networks arranged in layers should be so good at these challenges. Mathematicians are flummoxed. Despite the huge success of deep neural networks, nobody is quite sure how they achieve their success. Today that changes thanks to the work of Henry Lin at Harvard University and Max Tegmark at MIT. These guys say the reason why mathematicians have been so embarrassed is that the answer depends on the nature of the universe. In other words, the answer lies in the regime of physics rather than mathematics."

+ Here's the paper.

4. Can bots replace lawyers?

In this episode of the O'Reilly Bots Podcast, Joshua Browder, Pete Skomoroch, and Jon Bruner discuss bots that fight bureaucracy.

+ Bot Day is coming to San Francisco October 19. Space is limited; reserve your spot today.

5. Obfuscated? Not so much.

Internet privacy measures, such blurred or pixelated images, are easier to crack than ever. "Using simple deep learning tools, the three-person team was able to identify obfuscated faces and numbers with alarming accuracy....On an industry standard dataset where humans had 0.19% chance of identifying a face, the algorithm had 71% accuracy (or 83% if allowed to guess five times)."
In collaboration with Tamr

Free chapters from Data Wrangling with Python

Learn enough Python to get stuff done. Data Wrangling with Python shows non-programmers how to process information that's initially too messy or difficult to access. You don't need to know a thing about the Python programming language to get started. And—compliments of Tamr—you can get two chapters from this useful guide, free. Chapter 6 covers acquiring and storing data; chapter 7 covers data cleanup.
Download the free chapters →

6. When did data visualizations become popular?

Here are some charts about when charts became popular.

Bot Day Early Price deadline is this Friday

Bot Day is happening in San Francisco on October 19, and the Early Price deadline for Bot Day is midnight PT this Friday, September 23. If you're interested in building bots or developing a bot strategy, register now to save money—and to save your spot (space is limited).
Learn more →

7. Top 10 algorithms used by data scientists

A KD Nuggets poll asked "which methods/algorithms you used in the past 12 months for an actual Data Science-related application." Here are the results.

8. Mind the gap

When a project that used social media to predict unemployment by the frequency that people used words like "jobs", "unemployment," and "classifieds" saw a sudden spike, researchers anticipated a surge in the unemployment rate. But people stayed employed—and saddened by the death of Steve "Jobs." JP Morgan's $6B London Whale trading loss was partly the result of Excel errors in a financial model. A recent survey showed that 80% of the organizations surveyed said they'd made a strategic decision based on flawed information at least once in the last three years. Bad data isn't your only concern; misinterpreted data can be costly and embarrassing too.
In collaboration with Teradata

How to derive value from the data lake

Teradata surveyed 200 IT and business professionals to find best practices and sticking points for data lake usage. Join Nik Rouda, Senior Analyst for Enterprise Strategy, in a free 60-minute webcast, where he'll share the results along with insights into why businesses still struggle to drive value from their Hadoop data lake—and what they can do about it.
Thursday, October 6 10 am PT
Learn more →

9. Most mathematicians hail from just 24 "families"

"Most of the world's mathematicians fall into just 24 scientific 'families', one of which dates back to the fifteenth century. The insight comes from an analysis of the Mathematics Genealogy Project (MGP), which aims to connect all mathematicians, living and dead, into family trees on the basis of teacher–pupil lineages, in particular, who an individual's doctoral adviser was."

Upcoming Spark online courses

There are two upcoming online Spark courses you should take a look at:

Distributed Computing with Spark for Beginners
Develop, build, and deploy Spark jobs (October 10, 12 & 14)

Managing Enterprise Data Strategies with Hadoop, Spark, and Kafka
Learn how to ensure the success of your data pipeline project and avoid common mistakes (October 18 & 19)

Space is limited, so make your plans soon.

10. Editor's pick: The Global Impact of Open Data (free ebook)

The Global Impact of Open Data: Findings from Detailed Case Studies Around the World has just been released. It presents detailed case studies of open data projects throughout the world, along with in-depth analysis of what works and what doesn't.
Download the free ebook →
Read more about data on →

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Fwd: On The Brain: Autumn Issue

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute <>
Date: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 4:00 PM
Subject: On The Brain: Autumn Issue

This message contains graphics. If you do not see the graphics, click here to view.

On The Brain is a quarterly e-newsletter highlighting Harvard's work to advance research and understanding of the brain

On The Brain

Decision-Making and the Brain

Four people voting behind a curtain

When the race for the 2016 presidential election unofficially kicked off, no fewer than 25 candidates—six Democrats, 17 Republicans, and a handful of third-party entries—threw their hats in the ring to vie for this nation's top job. That's a lot of choices. Yet, whether the number is 25 or two, how do voters decide which candidate is their candidate?

"The number one, overwhelming factor in voting is partisanship," says Ryan Enos, an associate professor of government in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a faculty associate in Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science. "People look at the candidates and say, 'I'm a Democrat, I'll vote for the Democrat,' or 'I'm a Republican, I'll vote for the Republican'."

But the neurological processing that goes into making decisions is not that simple.

Read more »

Faculty First Person

A conversation with
Christopher Harvey, PhD

All decisions follow the process of accumulating evidence over time and using that information to make a categorical behavioral decision. If you think about choosing a candidate to vote for, that decision process includes activities like weighing the candidate's policies and viewpoints. In more simple decisions, such as walking down the street, how does your brain use information like street signs, landmarks, and your knowledge about the world to make a decision to turn left or right at an upcoming intersection in order to reach your destination?

Read more »

In the News

Austism's Reach

Autism spectrum disorder is generally thought to be caused by deficits in brain development, but a study now suggests that at least some aspects of the disorder, including the perception of touch and the presence of anxiety and social abnormalities, are linked to defects in another area of the nervous system—the peripheral nerves found throughout the limbs, digits and other parts of the body that communicate sensory information to the brain. Read more »

Brain Drain

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research have found increasing evidence that delirium in older surgical patients may be associated with long-term cognitive decline. Read more »

Turning the Brain Green

Could a better understanding of the brain's reward system help mankind skirt environmental disaster? An HMS professor and neurosurgeon studied whether the brain's inherited drive for stuff and stimulation is making it hard for humans to get by with less, and harming the planet in the process. Read more »

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Published by Harvard Medical School
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