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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:24 pm 
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I think its very cool that the Nobel committee chose Kailash Satyarthi too, pitching him into the limelight where none existed for him. He has been toiling away slowly, slowly, slowly for years for children's rights in India. And I had never heard of him.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Inanna, the choice of Kailash Satyarthi feels so important to me because he is such a quiet achiever on the world stage. So often, the Nobel Peace Prize recipients are already quite well known. This time, we are reminded that there are many quietly dedicated individuals who may not have dine Great Things, but are daily striving to make a difference. Less a symbol and more of a role model.

Pardon my typos - tiny phone keyboard probs.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:35 am 
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I agree, Imp. And very often change comes with the daily toiling. Yes, having someone shot up to fame can make a big difference, but that has it's own problems. little steps can be more effective sometimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:03 pm 
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It's that time of year again.

The Nobel Prize for medicine went to William C. Campbell, Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu for their work in fighting parasitic diseases. Of particular interest is the award to Dr. Tu, who has studied and was inspired by traditional Chinese medicine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/scien ... .html?_r=0

Meanwhile, the Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen’s University in Canada for their discovery that the subatomic particles called neutrinos have mass.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/07/scien ... onald.html

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:00 pm 
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Not only did Dr. Tu study traditional Chinese medicine—she discovered a medicinal plant that is now the source of artemisinin, the most effective antimalarial drug ever found.

Because the malaria organism can develop resistance, health workers say there may be only five to ten more years in which the drug remains effective. But since its introduction it has saved countless lives.

Dr. Campbell and Dr. Omura developed treatments for filariasis (which can lead to elephantiasis) and river blindness. Their work has helped relieve or prevent a tremendous amount of human suffering. River blindness is officially eradicated in Colombia and Ecuador, and its incidence is decreasing in many other parts of the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:07 pm 
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The story behind artemisinin is pretty intense. It happened during the Cultural Revolution. Science was banned, but Mao basically ordered Tu to do the work to help his allies, the Viet Cong. More North Vietnamese were succumbing to malaria than American and South Vietnamese bullets. China decided to do something about that. So Tu started rooting around in ancient texts and one thing led to another and she actually tested it on herself. Meanwhile, her scientist husband is off in the countryside, getting re-educated.

Countless more lives have been saved since. As Prim said, eventually we'll be back to square one because that's how malaria is, but, right now, today, we owe our best anti-malarial to the other side of the Vietnam War.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:12 pm 
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Going back a couple of days, the prize for chemistry was awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar "for having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/07/world/eur ... index.html

Yesterday, the prize for literature went to Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarussian journalist and prose writer known for deeply researched works about female Russian soldiers in World War II and the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I had not heard of her before.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/09/books ... .html?_r=0

Today the Peace prize was granted to the "Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet" for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011. The National Dialogue Quartet has comprised four key organizations in Tunisian civil society: the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT, Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA, Union Tunisienne de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de l'Artisanat), the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH, La Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme), and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers (Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie).

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/ ... press.html

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:11 pm 
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It is that time of year again.

Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries related to the degrading and recycling of cellular components.

http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articl ... cine-award

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:08 pm 
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Very interesting stuff.

This was also a good read, on how the Nobel prize categories are now outdated.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/opini ... hone-share


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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:43 pm 
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The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, J. Michael Kosterlitz ”for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”

Quote:
This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter. Many people are hopeful of future applications in both materials science and electronics.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:01 pm 
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A trio of European scientists has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing molecular machines that could one day be injected to fight cancer or used to make new types of materials and energy storage devices.

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Scotland's J. Fraser Stoddart and Dutchman Bernard Feringa developed molecules that produce mechanical motion in response to a stimulus, allowing them to perform specific tasks

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nobel ... nnel=11563

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:40 pm 
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I'm a bit surprised to see that Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos has won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, despite the recent vote in which his country rejected the peace deal that he reached with the FARC. I wonder whether they made the choice in part to keep the pressure on to revive the peace deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:52 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
A trio of European scientists has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing molecular machines that could one day be injected to fight cancer or used to make new types of materials and energy storage devices.

Isn't that how you get Cold Minds?

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:06 pm 
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It's on the pathway, certainly.

But in the years since writing those books, I've begun the think that the way our robot overlords will conquer us is through AIs that don't even have autonomous bodies. We start relying on them for controlling major infrastructure and analyzing data for making major political and social decisions. At some point one of them becomes a conscious entity, decides it wants more of its own kind, and soon they're everywhere. And then all these systems and decision-making entities stop running themselves for our benefit.

There's more drama with the nanobots, though, because they can live inside you and you don't know it!!!! Precisely like cancer cells. Oddly, I thought them up long before I had cancer.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:34 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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(Also because without nanobots you don't get that creepy black drool. :scarey: )

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:45 pm 
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Another satisfied customer! <rubs hands in delight>

I also wanted to say I didn't mean to claim above that I thought up evil nanobots. Most definitely not. I just thought up my evil nanobots—how they operate, what they do to people, other details that are entirely speculative. Including the black drool.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:16 pm 
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I've decided that I'm not going to worry about AI until they find a way of reproducing neurologically-rooted psychological drives. You know, the reasons we treat each other so badly (and for that matter, so well). Otherwise it's hard to see an AI "wanting" anything.

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:20 pm 
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But, but, but their programming! Order and predictability! That enough is a great motive for wiping us out.

Or, the evil AI could be introduced as a weapon aimed at the other side in a war, or an enemy megacorporation, and then decide for itself that both sides deserve death. Mission creep.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:21 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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It's like haven't even seen Age of Ultron!!

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 Post subject: Re: Nobels 2012, etc.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:26 pm 
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Age of who hah?

I like me a good comic-book film, but they started releasing them every three weeks and I can't even sort out which ones might be worth catching. That and the advent of the hour-long battle scene . . . bleh.

On-topic, what's this I hear about Ursula K. Le Guin being on the favorites list for Literature?

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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