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Thursday, September 22, 2011

SenseCam Video Diary Aid for Memory

This amazing little camera that you wear and take pictures automatically of your day is improving the lives of patience with memory lost. I first read about this in a New Yorker article about Gordan Bell in 2007 and now it is available. By watching the photo record, people are able to remember what happened to them. It must have something to do with seeing the images again that cements it in the brain.

Originally a Microsoft Research project designed to help those with Alzheimer’s disease, the small camera created by researchers at the Cambridge Lab is worn on a lanyard around the neck and takes photos whenever movement is spotted or a person approaches.

A company called Vicon had licensed the production rights from Microsoft in order to launch the camera as the “Vicon Revue.” And now it’s available for purchase.

According the product’s website, the Revue contains a color VGA resolution sensor (640 x 480 pixels), temperature sensor, light color and intensity sensor, passive infra-red motion detector, multi-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer (compass), battery and flash memory. And it’s fitted with a fish-eye lens to provide a full 130 degree field of view.Also, the battery lasts for 24 hours between charges, the website claims. It can hold a shocking number of images – around 30,000 or 6 days worth of capture.

Here is a little video about the Sensecam and then a video movie of activities by someone reviewing the system.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thurs Oct 13, Art and Science Forum

David Borgo, Associate Professor of Music, UCSD
James Fowler, Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science, UCSD.
" Sync or Swarm - The Complex Dynamics of Improvisation and Influence"
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 7:00 PM
The Neurosciences Institute auditorium
TIckets: Free and Required* Complete Details Below
An evening of improvisational conversation between two disparate individuals: David Borgo, a jazz musician (and much more) together with James Fowler, an expert on social networks (and much more). An evening of music and science at the margins.
Possible topics for discussion:
The emotional content of music and language and how small changes can make a big difference. The influence of Gatherings or Jam sessions. Finding one’s own voice. Working at the margins and why the improbable is important. What is borrowed and what is original and the role of luck.
and possibly tackling Big Questions. What is creativity? What is genius? What is unique? What is elegance? How do we know when it arises?
And following, audience participation with your questions and comments.
A very big evening - and a bit of jazz.
The evening’s distinguished Presenters
DAVID BORGO is an Associate Professor of Music at UCSD. Throughout his career he has integrated creative work as an instrumentalist, improviser and composer with scholarly research focused on the social, cultural, historical and cognitive dimensions of music-making. His book, Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age, looks through the lens of contemporary science to illuminate the process of improvising music and it explores the ability of improvisation to offer a visceral engagement with the emerging scientific notions of chaos and complexity.
In 1994, David won first prize at the International John Coltrane Competition, and since that time he has released seven CDs and one DVD and has toured internationally, including performances in Europe, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Brazil. In 2006, David’s book was awarded the Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology as the most distinguished book in the field. David currently performs with his electro-acoustic duo KaiBorg, which explores the intersections between live audio and video processing and free improvisation, and with his sextet Kronomorfic, which explores polymetric time.

JAMES FOWLER is Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science, UCSD.
James Fowler earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1992, a master's degree in International Relations from Yale University in 1997, and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University the in 2003. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1992 to 1994.
He was recently named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.
James's work lies at the intersection of the natural and social sciences. His primary areas of research are social networks, behavioral economics, evolutionary game theory, political participation, cooperation, and genopolitics (the study of the genetic basis of political behavior). James Fowler and colleagues have published numerous scientific papers showing links between our genetics, and in some cases, specific genes with some of our behavioral characteristics such as our political ideology and our voting tendencies. This research has examined the correlation in parent and child partisanship, our willingness to be adventurous, or not within certain group settings. These studies have provided evidence for a link between our genetics and our behavior.
Together with Nicholas Christakis, Dr. Fowler has written the well received book: Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. James has also been featured on numerous television shows including two appearances on The Colbert Report .
TICKET DETAILS Tickets are free and can only be obtained online at :
Please Register and print out your ticket(s) and bring them with you. Showing your tickets will facilitate the orderly admittance process.
IF however, you misplace your tickets, Do Not order replacement tickets. Your name will have been placed on the signup list when you ordered your ticket and we will have this list. Please do not re-order.
Please be seated no later than 6:50, at which time any non-ticketed individuals will be admitted, to the seating capacity of the auditorium.
Anticipate that this Forum may be over subscribed. Plan accordingly.

Ron Newby

Founder and Curator

The Bronowski Art&Science Forum

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Puzzles of the Brain

Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist's Journey through Amnesia

Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist's Journey through Amnesia

The Walters is partnering with the Cognitive Science Department of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Science at The Johns Hopkins University to present a focus show of approximately 25 works exploring the impact of severe brain damage on the life and creativity of an artist. The show will tell the story of Lonni Sue Johnson, a successful artist who drew for The New Yorker. She suffered severe amnesia resulting from an attack of encephalitis in late 2007. The illness caused substantial brain damage, resulting in the complete loss of artistic productivity. Through intensive art therapy led by her mother Margaret Kennard Johnson (also an accomplished artist), Johnson began to produce a portfolio of “recovery art.” Her art provides unique insight into the devastating effects of amnesia, as well as the complementary roles played by language and memory in her artistic expression. Johnson's case gives researchers a rare opportunity to contribute to the scientific understanding of brain function and art, and to apply that understanding to an appreciation of the synergies between art and science.

Puzzles of the Brain: An Artist's Journey through Amnesia has been organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland in partnership with the Cognitive Science Department of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University. The exhibition received generous support from The Johns Hopkins University Brain Science Institute, and the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Brighwater Treatment Plant in Seattle

Brightwater Treatment Plant. Planned and built over the last 15 years, Brightwater serves the region with state-of-the-art wastewater treatment that is housed in a beautifully restored and constructed landscape of native plants, salmon spawning waters and public amenities. 4Culture is very proud and excited to present artwork by ten remarkable artists that expresses the science and poetry of the lifecycle of water and the treatment plant itself. Read more...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Earth Movers and Shakers

SIN CITY SANDBOX: This adult sandbox in Las Vegas isn't for Tonka Trucks

A business owner has created what amounts to a life-sized sandbox for adults, who pay up to $750 each to push around dirt, rock and huge tires with the earth-moving construction equipment. All it takes is a 10-minute classroom lesson and guidance from trainers through headsets. Can you say sand castle competitions, heavy equipment, and the sandbox ain't for kids anymore?
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