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Christianity: n. a religion encompassing forgiveness for all, but stopping short at Judas

‪Derek Abbott posted in Wickedictionary.

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Crime: n. a logical extension of the sort of behavior that is often considered perfectly reasonable in legitimate business.
(Ambrose Bierce)

‪Derek Abbott posted in Wickedictionary.

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I actually worked on a whole bunch of patents in my career over the years and I have to say that every single patent is nothing but crap.

A software engineer explains to This American Life that even he didn’t understand the patents he was granted. It was part of a seminal story about patent trolls and the way that a system designed to foster innovation can crush it.

From New Yorker:

Chinese student punished for calling Singaporeans ‘dogs’

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Chinese student punished for calling Singaporeans ‘dogs’

A Chinese university student has been fined and ordered to perform community service for calling Singaporeans “dogs” in a microblog.

In addition to three months community service and a fine of S$3,000, Sun Xu, a 25-year-old senior at the National University of Singapore (NUS), will have his scholarship rescinded in his final semester.

“As the student had acted in a manner that was detrimental to the reputation and welfare of the university community, his actions breached the NUS Code of Student Conduct,” said a university circular.

“The Board of Discipline has ruled that his remarks were improper, insensitive and disrespectful. The remarks had also stirred up considerable unease, distrust and ill-will within and beyond the university community.”

Last month, Sun enraged Singa­po­reans by posting on popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo that “there are more dogs than people” in the city-state, whose resident population is 74% ethnic Chinese. — Agence France-Presse

The original Chinese text: “最烦的就是新加坡那些不小心碰一下就在那边瞪着你或者嘴里絮絮叨叨的中年老瘪三了,在新加坡狗比人多啊!”

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Administrators: n. pl. those who often forget they called to serve and improve the efficiency of the workers by taking the burden of their paperwork, as opposed to generating more of it.

Derek Abbott posted in Wickedictionary

ARE 2012 1st Keynote Speaker Announced: Adrian David Cheok Inventor of “Krazy” Augmented Reality!

ARE 2012 1st Keynote Speaker Announced: Adrian David Cheok Inventor of “Krazy” Augmented Reality!
Posted on Mar 09 in ARE2012 by Ori


The line up of luminary speakers to keynote at ARE 2012, the world’s largest augmented reality event, will blow your mind.

The first revealed is Adrian David Cheok, Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design, in Tokyo Japan, as well as a Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum.

Dr. Cheok has been a hero of mine in pushing the envelop of augmented reality. He will join an amazing group of keynote speakers in previous years.

Adrian has been a champion of the idea that Augmented Reality is more than just about the visual sense, but has to include all the senses. Over the years, he’s been working hard to prove his idea and created many prototypes of augmented reality systems that involve the other senses.
To warm you up, check out his Hug Accentuator.

I can’t wait to see his Kissinger system in action.

(Hint: it’s not about the legendary statesman.)

Dr. Adrian David Cheok also created the first real world Pac Man game. When he wanted to create an exciting augmented reality game, he chose to remake the first video game to ever introduce a character – the legendary Pac Man. Cheok literally stepped into Pacman’s shoes in this first-person-shooter-like real world game.

Make sure to register for ARE 2012 before the early bird discount expires on March 21st.

Here’s an excerpt from Adrian’s illustrious career so far:

Adrian David Cheok was the Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore. and previously worked in real-time systems, soft computing, and embedded computing in Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Japan.

Mr. Cheok has been working on research covering mixed reality, human-computer interfaces, wearable computers and ubiquitous computing, fuzzy systems, embedded systems, power electronics. He has successfully obtained funding for externally funded projects in the area of wearable computers and mixed reality from Nike, National Oilwell Varco, Defense Science Technology Agency, Ministry of Communications and Arts, National Arts Council, Singapore Science Center, Hougang Primary School. The research output has included numerous high quality academic journal papers, research awards, keynote speeches, international exhibitions, numerous government demonstrations including to the President and Prime Minister of Singapore, broadcast television worldwide broadcasts on his research (such as CNN/CNBC/ABC/Discovery/National Geographic etc.), and hundreds of international press media articles.

In addition, Mr. Cheok has been a keynote and invited speaker at numerous international conferences and events. He was invited to exhibit for two years in the Ars Electronica Museum of the Future, launching in the Ars Electronica Festival 2003. His works “Human Pacman”, “Magic Land”, and “Metazoa Ludens”, were each selected as one of the worlds top inventions by Wired and invited to be exhibited in Wired NextFest 2005 and 2007. More…

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Global dietary quality in 185 countries from 1990 to 2018 show wide differences by nation, age, education, and urbanicity


Evidence on what people eat globally is limited in scope and rigour, especially as it relates to children and adolescents. This impairs target setting and investment in evidence-based actions to support healthy sustainable diets. Here we quantified global, regional and national dietary patterns among children and adults, by age group, sex, education and urbanicity, across 185 countries between 1990 and 2018, on the basis of data from the Global Dietary Database project. Our primary measure was the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, a validated score of diet quality; Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and Mediterranean Diet Score patterns were secondarily assessed. Dietary quality is generally modest worldwide. In 2018, the mean global Alternative Healthy Eating Index score was 40.3, ranging from 0 (least healthy) to 100 (most healthy), with regional means ranging from 30.3 in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45.7 in South Asia. Scores among children versus adults were generally similar across regions, except in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, high-income countries, and the Middle East and Northern Africa, where children had lower diet quality. Globally, diet quality scores were higher among women versus men, and more versus less educated individuals. Diet quality increased modestly between 1990 and 2018 globally and in all world regions except in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where it did not improve. Check these phenq reviews.-


Poor diet is a leading cause of disease worldwide, responsible for an estimated 26% of global preventable mortality. While individual foods and nutrients are important, overall dietary patterns are more strongly associated with health5. Evidence supports interactive and synergistic relationships between foods and nutrients when consumed together6, resulting in complementary effects

While the various components of an optimal dietary pattern are well established and validated7, the distributions of such patterns globally are not well characterized. This is particularly true for children and adolescents, among whom global dietary patterns have not previously been reported.

Previous dietary studies have been limited to small subsets of countries, used national per capita food availability or sales data as direct data inputs, which substantially misestimate intake compared with individual-level data15 and did not include children, adolescents or young adults (<25 years old)Additionally, there is a paucity of evidence on global disparities in dietary patterns, for example by age, sex, education and urbanicity. Also, no previous global studies have jointly assessed several validated metrics of diet quality17, such as the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MED).

In this Article, to address these gaps in knowledge, we characterized global, regional and national dietary patterns and trends on the basis of individual-level intake data among both adults and children from 185 countries in 1990 and 2018. Findings were further assessed by age, sex, education and urbanicity within each country. This analysis utilized the latest Global Dietary Database (GDD) 2018 data, based on individual-level dietary surveys around the world.


The GDD is a collaborative effort to systematically identify, compile and standardize individual-level dietary data on 53 foods, beverages and nutrients (Methods). The GDD uses Bayesian modelling methods to estimate dietary intakes jointly stratified by age, sex, education, level and urbanicity for 185 countries between 1990 and 2018. These are the latest alpilean reviews.

Global and regional diet quality in 2018

In 2018, the global mean of the AHEI score was 40.3 (95% uncertainty interval (UI) 39.4, 41.3), with regional means ranging from 30.3 (28.7, 32.2) in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45.7 (43.8, 49.3) in South Asia (Fig. 1). Among components of the score, highest global scores for healthier items were for legumes/nuts (5.0; 4.8, 5.3), followed by whole grains (4.7; 4.5, 5.0), seafood omega-3 fat (4.2; 3.8, 5.1) and non-starchy vegetables (3.9; 3.8, 4.0); among unhealthier items, highest scores (lowest or most favourable intakes) were for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) (5.8; 5.7, 5.9) and red/processed meat (4.8; 4.5, 5.1). However, these score components varied substantially by world region. For example, top scores in South Asia were for higher whole grains and lower red/processed meat and SSBs, while top scores in Latin American and the Caribbean were for higher legumes/nuts and lower sodium.

figure 1
Fig. 1: Global and regional mean AHEI component scores by age (all ages, children only and adults only) in 2018.

National diet quality in 2018

Only ten countries, representing <1% of the world’s population, had AHEI scores ≥50. Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, the mean AHEI score was highest in Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and India (54.5 to 48.2) and lowest in Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Egypt (27.1–33.5) (Fig. 2). Most component scores varied substantially across these populous countries. For example, a 100-fold difference was seen in the sodium score, a 90-fold difference in the red/processed meat score and a 23-fold difference in the SSB score. Among the components, the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and non-starchy vegetable scores varied the least (two-fold and three-fold, respectively) across populous countries. Read more about alpilean.

figure 2
Fig. 2: National mean AHEI scores among children (left) and adults (right) in 2018.

Global and regional differences across demographic subgroups

Globally, the mean AHEI score in 2018 was similar among children (39.2; 38.2, 40.3) versus adults (40.8; 39.8, 42.0) (Fig. 1). However, the mean AHEI score was substantially higher among adults compared with children in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, high-income countries, and the Middle East and Northern Africa region. By age, most regions had J- or U-shaped relationships, with the highest scores observed among the youngest (≤5 years) and/or oldest age groups (≥75 years) (Fig. 3).

figure 3
Fig. 3: Global and regional mean AHEI scores, by age (years) in 2018.

Among the AHEI components globally, four component scores were lower among children versus adults: fruit (2.2 (2.1, 2.3) versus 2.5 (2.4, 2.5), respectively), non-starchy vegetables (3.1 (3.0, 4.5) versus 4.3 (4.2, 3.2)), SSBs (5.3 (5.1, 5.5) versus 6.1 (6.0, 6.2)) and seafood omega-3 (3.3 (2.9, 4.0) versus 4.7 (4.2, 5.7)), while two others were higher among children versus adults: PUFAs (2.1 (2.0, 2.2) versus 1.4 (1.3, 1.5)) and sodium (4.6 (4.1, 5.1) versus 3.2 (2.9, 3.5)) (Fig. 1).

By sex, the mean AHEI score was generally higher in women versus men globally and regionally, with the greatest differences seen in high-income countries (difference +4.4; 3.8, 5.0), and Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia (+3.6; 2.1, 5.3) (Extended Data Fig. 1). Evaluating different AHEI components globally, women had modestly higher scores for fruit (+0.2; 0.2, 0.3), non-starchy vegetables (+0.3; 0.1, 0.4) and whole grains (+0.4; 0.2, 0.5).

Evaluating differences according to educational attainment, AHEI scores were greater among individuals with a higher education level globally and in most regions, except in the Middle East and Northern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, where no differences were evident (Fig. 4). Among world regions, differences by education were largest in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia (+3.6; 2.4, 4.9), Latin America and the Caribbean (+3.5; 0.9, 6.0) and South Asia (+2.9; 1.1, 4.9). Globally, more educated individuals had higher scores for fruit (+0.8; 0.7, 0.9), sodium (+0.7; 0.3, 1.1), whole grains (+0.6; 0.4, 0.8) and non-starchy vegetables (+0.5; 0.4, 0.6). However, in contrast, more educated individuals also had lower scores (less favourable consumption levels) for red/processed meat (−0.6; −0.7, −0.5), SSBs (−0.6; −0.8, −0.4) and nuts and legumes (−0.1; −0.2, −0.1) globally.

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In his article, Groupthink, the New Yorker’s Jonah Lehrer says there are two types of brainstorming — a free-for-all exchange of ideas in a structured environment, and a random, unplanned debate. Only the second type really works.

He says M.I.T.’s famous Building 20 — which is now replaced with the Stata Center, designed by Frank Gehry— became one of the most innovative spaces in the country because it fostered the best kind of brainstorming.

MIT’s ‘Building 20’ Is Proof That Only A Certain Kind Of Brainstorming Works – Business Insider

It seems that the kind of brainstorming that is often used in creative circles may not be effective. It would be good to carefully examine this, as often we take the brainstorming style as the best creative practice. What seems to really work is random unplanned debate in close physical spaces. I tried to create this in my lab in Singapore. The administration and management people were very much opposed to my efforts to make a cubicle free open space. They seemed to love walls and cubicles in Singapore. However the physical closeness seems to be critical for creative research. The building 20 at MIT which was an accident of the war effort seems to be one of the best examples.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work : The New Yorker

posted in: Research

A few years ago, Isaac Kohane, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, published a study that looked at scientific research conducted by groups in an attempt to determine the effect that physical proximity had on the quality of the research. He analyzed more than thirty-five thousand peer-reviewed papers, mapping the precise location of co-authors. Then he assessed the quality of the research by counting the number of subsequent citations. The task, Kohane says, took a “small army of undergraduates” eighteen months to complete. Once the data was amassed, the correlation became clear: when coauthors were closer together, their papers tended to be of significantly higher quality. The best research was consistently produced when scientists were working within ten metres of each other; the least cited papers tended to emerge from collaborators who were a kilometre or more apart. “If you want people to work together effectively, these findings reinforce the need to create architectures that support frequent, physical, spontaneous interactions,” Kohane says. “Even in the era of big science, when researchers spend so much time on the Internet, it’s still so important to create intimate spaces.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work : The New Yorker

The more I work with the internet, and the more I do research in interactive media, the more I have realized, and seen studies, which show that interaction through internet has some basic limitation. It seems that even in today’s highly connected internet society, physical presence is critical. This study shows that for academic collaboration the best research occurs when the authors are highly physically present in the range of metres. It is my hypothesis (and this needs further academic research) that this is partly because we communicate through all of our senses (including touch, taste, and smell) and through non-logical emotions. These still cannot be communicated effectively through the internet.

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work: The New Yorker

posted in: Research

Jones’s explanation is that scientific advances have led to a situation where all the remaining problems are incredibly hard. Researchers are forced to become increasingly specialized, because there’s only so much information one mind can handle. And they have to collaborate, because the most interesting mysteries lie at the intersections of disciplines. “A hundred years ago, the Wright brothers could build an airplane all by themselves,” Jones says. “Now Boeing needs hundreds of engineers just to design and produce the engines.” The larger lesson is that the increasing complexity of human knowledge, coupled with the escalating difficulty of those remaining questions, means that people must either work together or fail alone. But if brainstorming is useless, the question still remains: What’s the best template for group creativity?

Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work : The New Yorker

This very interesting article in the New Yorker succinctly summarizes why interdisciplinary fields are the most interesting in today’s society. This is because we have effectively solved most human and technology problems that are important in the industrial age of the 20th century. In the 21st century the remaining problems are very challenging, and are at the boundaries of disciplines. This is why areas such as media design are much more interesting that traditional disciplines. When I used to read some of the research output or attend some faculty talks in my Electrical and Computer Engineering department, I found most of it mind-numbingly boring. The kind of academic papers and research topics that were so incremental and of almost no interest or impact to general society. Now I find I am constantly challenged and amazed and presented with new ideas by both faculty and students who come from diverse areas such as design, business, management – and technology as myself. I still find hard core geeky hacking interesting for myself, but now I know the problems in society that all of society talks about are the most interesting and most important.

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