Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Two terrific TED talks

Sometimes, I need to find something stimulating to watch.  There are some good things, tons of good things, on YouTube.  However, there are many silly things there, too, programs, subjects and characters that do not appeal to me.  My brother-in-law informed me a decade ago that I am not in THE demographic. He meant I am too old, too wrinkled, too critical, too used-up to appeal to the hottest trendmakers, the with-it sales.  I think he is right and I am proud to be too-some-many-things.

I am a fan of TED talks and I take refuge in them.  I looked at several TED talks last night and found two that I thought were interesting enough to share with Lynn.  The first was by Simona Francese, a faculty member at Sheffield Hallam University in England. She is a researcher and has been working for nine years on improving machines and software for deeper and more complete analysis of fingerprints.  Her talk shows what she can deduce from a fingerprint and that she can untangle prints that overlap each other.

The second was Prof. Stephen Webb.  He is an astronomer and walks the viewer through the evidence and reasoning behind the hypothesis that we humans are the only life form in the galaxy that are as advanced as we are.  The idea is developed more completely in the book "Rare Earth" by Ward and Brownlee, a book that Webb mentions in his talk.

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