The social origins of intelligence in the brain

Kurzweil AI - 47 min 53 sec ago

“We are trying to understand the nature of general intelligence and to what extent our intellectual abilities are grounded in social cognitive abilities,” said Aron Barbey, PhD (credit: iStock)

By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, researchers have found that brain regions that contribute to optimal social functioning are also vital to general intelligence and emotional intelligence.

This finding, reported in the journal Brain, bolsters the view that general intelligence emerges from the emotional and social context of one’s life.

“We are trying to understand the nature of general intelligence and to what extent our intellectual abilities are grounded in social cognitive abilities,” said Aron Barbey, a University of Illinois professor of neuroscience, psychology, and speech and hearing science.

Barbey, an affiliate of the Beckman Institute and he Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, led the new study with an international team of collaborators.

“Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities” (credit: iStock)

Studies in social psychology indicate that human intellectual functions originate from the social context of everyday life, Barbey said. “We depend at an early stage of our development on social relationships — those who love us care for us when we would otherwise be helpless.”

Social interdependence continues into adulthood and remains important throughout the lifespan. “Our friends and family tell us when we could make bad mistakes and sometimes rescue us when we do.

“And so the idea is that the ability to establish social relationships and navigate the social world is not secondary to a more general cognitive capacity for intellectual function, but that it may be the other way around. Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities.”

Building a collective map of the brain

Lesion–symptom mapping of everyday problem solving (credit: Aron K. Barbey et al./BRAIN)

The study involved 144 Vietnam veterans injured by shrapnel or bullets that penetrated the skull, damaging distinct brain tissues while leaving neighboring tissues intact. Using CT scans, the scientists painstakingly mapped the affected brain regions of each participant, then pooled the data to build a collective map of the brain.

The researchers used a battery of carefully designed tests to assess participants’ intellectual, emotional and social capabilities. They then looked for damage in specific brain regions tied to deficits in the participants’ ability to navigate intellectual, emotional or social realms. Social problem solving in this analysis primarily involved conflict resolution with friends, family and peers at work.

The researchers used a battery of carefully designed tests to assess Vietnam War veterans’ intellectual, emotional, and social capabilities (credit: iStock)

As in their earlier studies of general intelligence and emotional intelligence, the researchers found that regions of the frontal cortex (at the front of the brain), the parietal cortex (further back near the top of the head) and the temporal lobes (on the sides of the head behind the ears) are all implicated in social problem solving. The regions that contributed to social functioning in the parietal and temporal lobes were located only in the brain’s left hemisphere, while both left and right frontal lobes were involved.

The brain networks found to be important to social adeptness were not identical to those that contribute to general intelligence or emotional intelligence, but there was significant overlap, Barbey said.

“Intelligence may originate from the central role of relationships in human life and therefore may be tied to social and emotional capacities,” said Aron Barbey, PhD. (credit: iStock)

“The evidence suggests that there’s an integrated information-processing architecture in the brain, that social problem solving depends upon mechanisms that are engaged for general intelligence and emotional intelligence,” he said. “This is consistent with the idea that intelligence depends to a large extent on social and emotional abilities, and we should think about intelligence in an integrated fashion rather than making a clear distinction between cognition and emotion and social processing.

This makes sense because our lives are fundamentally social — we direct most of our efforts to understanding others and resolving social conflict. And our study suggests that the architecture of intelligence in the brain may be fundamentally social, too.”

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supported this work, along with a grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command administered by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

Abstract of Brain paper

Accumulating neuroscience evidence indicates that human intelligence is supported by a distributed network of frontal and parietal regions that enable complex, goal-directed behaviour. However, the contributions of this network to social aspects of intellectual function remain to be well characterized. Here, we report a human lesion study (n = 144) that investigates the neural bases of social problem solving (measured by the Everyday Problem Solving Inventory) and examine the degree to which individual differences in performance are predicted by a broad spectrum of psychological variables, including psychometric intelligence (measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale), emotional intelligence (measured by the Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test), and personality traits (measured by the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Personality Inventory).

Scores for each variable were obtained, followed by voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping. Stepwise regression analyses revealed that working memory, processing speed, and emotional intelligence predict individual differences in everyday problem solving. A targeted analysis of specific everyday problem solving domains (involving friends, home management, consumerism, work, information management, and family) revealed psychological variables that selectively contribute to each. Lesion mapping results indicated that social problem solving, psychometric intelligence, and emotional intelligence are supported by a shared network of frontal, temporal, and parietal regions, including white matter association tracts that bind these areas into a coordinated system. The results support an integrative framework for understanding social intelligence and make specific recommendations for the application of the Everyday Problem Solving Inventory to the study of social problem solving in health and disease.

“This makes sense because our lives are fundamentally social. We direct most of our efforts to understanding others and resolving social conflict. And our study suggests that the architecture of intelligence in the brain may be fundamentally social, too.” — Aron Barbey, PhD

Categories: Science

Out of body

Michael Prescott - 55 min 19 sec ago

In connection with my recent posts on NDEs, Andrew Paquette sent me a PDF of an article he published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (Vol. 26, No, 4). The article is also available online. Titled "NDE Implications from a Group of Spontaneous Long-Distance Veridical OBEs," it recounts Andrew's experiments in dream journaling, in which he recorded numerous OBEs (or at least OBE-like dreams) with verifiable content. Though initially skeptical of psi, he soon became convinced that he was obtaining accurate information non-locally. He even wrote a book about it.

In his article, Andrew notes that the veridical OBEs in some near-death experiences are often used to show that NDEs are not mere hallucinations. Skeptics counter that the verifiable elements might have been perceived normally (usually via the sense of hearing, with visual content supplied by the mind to match the auditory input). They also complain that many of these cases suffer from a lack of contemporaneous documentation. Andrew argues that his dream journal experiments can help counter these objections, since the dreams were written down immediately upon waking and (in veridical cases) were usually verified within a few hours or, at most, a day. Moreover, the more evidential OBEs involved events that took place miles from his home and therefore well outside the range of his normal senses.

Andrew found three characteristics that distinguished an OBE from his other dreams:

1. It featured a person who ignored my presence,
2. I could identify at least one person in the dream, and
3. The dream contained unusual details that could be used for verification.

He adds:

The first criterion may seem unusual, but it was my way of knowing that I was not a literal participant in the activity. In a typical OBE, I try to interact by talking to people, but they ignore me. Not infrequently, I assume they can hear me, but are purposely ignoring me. This causes me to become increasingly agitated as I make successively more aggressive attempts to force the people in the dream to acknowledge my presence. I learned over time that my observations from dreams like this could usually be confirmed by the subject of the dream.

It is interesting to note that this same detail - trying to make contact with the people around oneself, and failing - has been reported in some NDEs. It's also interesting that in a smaller number of cases, Andrew reports making telepathic contact with the person he's observing, even though that person does not consciously notice him.

An example of this is provided by a veridical OBE where I saw a person I knew, Dr. David Ryback of Atlanta, Georgia, talking to a tenant in the building they both worked in. Dr. Ryback’s acquaintance was telling him how two cars he owned had been severely damaged on two separate occasions in the same week in the same way, by having tree branches fall on and crush their roofs. While continuing his conversation with this man, Dr. Ryback had a brief telepathic conversation with me on a different topic, the gist of which was that he provided a quick answer to a question I had and then told me he was occupied and could not communicate any further.

Some NDErs likewise say that in their out-of-body state, they were privy to the thoughts of the medical personnel attending them, though these reports are uncommon.

It could, of course, be objected that even if there were verifiable details, Andrew's dream OBEs might not have involved "leaving the body," but instead were instances of telepathy or clairvoyance. Certain cases, however, argue against that interpretation. In these cases, the person whom Andrew was observing in his OBE became aware of his presence, or at least aware of a presence of some sort. Here are two examples.

In the first case, a friend in California named Lisa Moore called Andrew and asked if he had dreamed of her recently. He checked his journal and found a dream from two weeks earlier that did seem to involve Moore.

Moore said it was a fair description of recent events in her life connected with the death of her cat during veterinary surgery after it was run over by a car. Impressively, the unusual detail of decapitation was included in my notes. As I learned after I had read the dream to Lisa, this is the first of three cases I know of where the person I dreamed about during an OBE actually saw me at their location. Because of this, Lisa had expected me to call and tell her of the dream.

When Andrew didn't call, Moore eventually called him. She had waited two weeks, meaning that the time frame in which the OBE/dream took place matched the event she remembered.

Here's another case in which Andrew's presence seems to have been detected by the person he was observing.

I will at some point within the OBE begin to feel exceedingly tired. This leads to a gradual collapse into “unconsciousness” within the dream followed by waking in my bed. In one veridical example from April 22, 1990, I observed my mother in her apartment, which was about 2,800 miles from where I was sleeping. I saw that she was on a date with someone and that they were listening to Schubert while she cooked something in her kitchen. While watching this, I suddenly became very tired and leaned into a wall opposite my mother’s position in the kitchen. I then sank to the floor along it, making a kind of scraping noise against the wall. My mother suddenly turned to look directly at me as if alarmed, and then I woke. I called my mother later in the day and verified various elements of the dream. To my surprise, she said that she had been surprised while cooking that night by a strange sound coming from the wall opposite her. She said it sounded like a paper bag being scraped against the wall as it fell to the floor, followed by a thud, but she saw no source for the noise.

Other cases do not include this element, but are notable for their unusual content.

In a dream from August 12, 2003, the spirit of a recently deceased young woman gave me an urgent and disturbing warning for a relative of hers named James. James was a clerk who worked at an art supply store I shopped at occasionally. I had spoken to James on a handful of occasions while purchasing art supplies, but did not know him well. Though hesitant to pass on the warning to James, I did do it. James confirmed that his sister-in-law, with whom he was close, died within the last two weeks when her car was rammed by a police car during a high-speed car chase. He stated that she had appeared to him earlier that week in a dream and given him the same warning she had given me in my dream ...

One dramatic OBE involved a friend and colleague of my wife’s, named Joseph Fazecas, who lived in Manhattan. At the time, we lived in Weehawken [New Jersey]. I dreamed that I visited Fazecas at the hospital. During the OBE, I was sure he had died. After describing this to my wife, she became alarmed and called her office, where they both worked, to check on him. He wasn’t at work because a little earlier he’d had a serious heart attack and had been taken to the hospital for coronary bypass surgery. He survived the crisis, but—as an aside—I wonder if he had an NDE and if that is why I thought he was dead.

Some of Andrew's OBEs involved much greater distances. In two cases, he saw events in the life of a friend named Richard Breedon, a physicist working in Japan. In the first such episode, he observed Breedon "doing something to these little wafers, or tiles. They have letters written on them and are a little bigger than scrabble pieces. He tosses them into the box when he is done with them."

Breedon, who is skeptical of psi, confirmed that he had been labeling small pre-amplifier cards with lettering that resembled the letters on Scrabble game pieces, and that he had placed them into a box when finished.

The second episode is more ambiguous, since it includes misses as well as hits. Still, it appears that Andrew did observe a Japanese woman assisting Breedon in carrying a large electronic keyboard from his car to his office. Andrew did not identify it as a keyboard, but he described its general size and appearance accurately. Some other details of the OBE were wrong (Andrew placed Breedon's office on the wrong floor, depicted extra doorways in the floor plan, and incorrectly said the woman was wearing an unusual hat), but the hits are still specific enough to be of interest.

In another case involving Breedon (who had moved to California by then), Andrew

dreamed that I visited Breedon and his wife Pat as she gave birth to twins in California. At the time I lived about 3,000 miles away, in Maine. I immediately sent an email to congratulate him. He responded with the following message:

Right you are! Born just hours before the time your message arrived here. How do you do it? I showed your message to two professors I work with. One said you had had to get it off the Internet (although I made absolutely no postings), the other simply said, “very good!”

It should be noted that Pat gave birth six weeks prematurely and that I was not tracking her pregnancy ... Breedon read the message at his office on his way home from the hospital at about 5:00 a.m., prior to his having notified anyone that his children had been born.

Finally, Andrew offers a particularly detailed example in which he saw his uncle and aunt discussing a painting his uncle had just done. Andrew's sketch of the painting, made in his journal, matches the size, dimensions, and general appearance of the actual painting quite closely, and his description of the color scheme is correct. This is especially impressive given that the shape of the painting was unusual, and the subject, a landscape, is depicted in a stylized manner. Moreover, the uncle had never before shown an interest in painting, and Andrew was unaware that he had recently taken it up. (This was, in fact, his very first painting.) The distance again was considerable - Andrew was in New Jersey, and his relatives were in Minnesota.

These examples were culled from 92 veridical OBEs recorded in Andrew's journals. Even one such case, if it is genuine, is sufficient to cast doubt on physicalist theories of the mind's unbreakable dependency on the brain. More to the point, they pose a problem for the skeptical view that veridical NDEs can be explained by normal sensory perception or mistaken memories. In these OBEs, memory problems are not an issue, since the episodes were recorded and verified immediately. And sensory leakage cannot be a factor in observing events that took place a thousand miles away (or more). Even "ordinary" psi does not seem to explain those cases in which the discarnate Andrew was seen or heard by the people he was observing.

What, then, do skeptics have to say? Richard Breedon wrote to James Randi for his input. Randi reportedly replied:

When I was a kid, I successfully predicted the outcomes of hockey games by having some 30 different letters notarized, each different from the others, and merely produced the correct one after the game.

Andrew writes:

By this he meant to insinuate that I could have intentionally hoaxed Breedon. By extension, Randi’s suggestion implied that even if I had notarized every page of the journal, a very expensive proposition for my limited means at the time, a critic could simply make the false claim that alternate notarized pages existed to demonstrate that notarization or any other form of proof can be manipulated into meaninglessness by a determined individual. The very same criticism can be leveled at any document created by any person for any purpose. In other words, at this level, the criticism is worthless because it can be suggested of anything.

Categories: Fortean

Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

Slashdot - 3 hours 47 min ago
redletterdave (2493036) writes Nintendo posted its third loss in four quarters on Wednesday. Even though Mario Kart 8, its big first-party game released in May, shipped more than 2.82 million copies by the end of June, the Mario-themed racing game was not enough to help Nintendo's struggling Wii U console perform in this particular quarter. The company said it lost $97 million between March and June. Nintendo shipped 510,000 units of the Wii U in the June quarter, bringing the total to 6.68 million consoles sold — it's a big jump from the 160,000 units it sold in the same quarter a year ago and a small improvement over the 310,000 units it sold in the March quarter. Still, the Wii U is still lagging behind the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, and Nintendo must also contend with mobile games available on Apple and Google's app stores, which cost but a fraction of a Nintendo game.

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Categories: Science

Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Slashdot - 5 hours 48 min ago
New submitter IMissAlexChilton (3748631) writes Frank Malina masterfully led the World War II effort to build U.S. rockets for jet-assisted takeoff and guided missiles. As described in IEEE Spectrum, Malina's motley crew of engineers and enthusiasts (including occultist Jack Parsons) founded the Jet Propulsion Lab and made critical breakthroughs in solid fuels, hypergolics, and high-altitude sounding rockets, laying the groundwork for NASA's future successes. And yet, under suspicion by the Feds at the war's end, Malina gave up his research career, and his team's efforts sank into obscurity. Taking his place: the former Nazi Wernher von Braun. Read "Frank Malina: America's Forgotten Rocketeer". Includes cool vintage footage of early JPL rocket tests.

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Categories: Science

Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Slashdot - 5 hours 48 min ago
New submitter IMissAlexChilton (3748631) writes Frank Malina masterfully led the World War II effort to build U.S. rockets for jet-assisted takeoff and guided missiles. As described in IEEE Spectrum, Malina's motley crew of engineers and enthusiasts (including occultist Jack Parsons) founded the Jet Propulsion Lab and made critical breakthroughs in solid fuels, hypergolics, and high-altitude sounding rockets, laying the groundwork for NASA's future successes. And yet, under suspicion by the Feds at the war's end, Malina gave up his research career, and his team's efforts sank into obscurity. Taking his place: the former Nazi Wernher von Braun. Read "Frank Malina: America's Forgotten Rocketeer". Includes cool vintage footage of early JPL rocket tests.

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Categories: Science

French Provider Free Could Buy US Branch of T-Mobile

Slashdot - 7 hours 41 min ago
Guybrush_T (980074) writes Iliad, the parent company of Free, confirmed today having made an offer to buy 56% of the U.S. branch of T-Mobile. This could be very good news for the U.S., since the provider reduced significantly the average price of mobile plans in France since they entered the mobile market two years ago. Their disruptive strategy, featuring an all-inclusive €20/month plan and a €2/month plan gathered 11% of the French market in only two years and lowered the price of plans by a factor of 5 to 10.

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Categories: Science

New Display Technology Corrects For Vision Defects

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 11:31pm
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects without requiring glasses or contact lenses. This technique could lead to dashboard-mounted GPS displays that farsighted drivers can consult without putting their glasses on, or electronic readers that eliminate the need for reading glasses. The display is a variation on a glasses-free 3-D technology: a 3-D display projects slightly different images to the viewer's left and right eyes. Similarly, this vision-correcting display projects slightly different images to different parts of the viewer's pupil.

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Categories: Science

Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 10:54pm
linuxwrangler (582055) writes Job interviews missed, work and wedding plans disrupted, children unable to fly home with their adoptive parents. All this disruption is due to a outage involving the passport and visa processing database at the U.S. State Department. The problems have been ongoing since July 19 and the best estimate for repair is "soon." The system "crashed shortly after maintenance."

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Categories: Science

Why TiVo's Founders Crashed and Burned With Qplay

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 10:12pm
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton created a revolution with TiVo, a device that challenged the notion that we had to watch TV shows when they aired. And they hoped to do it again with Qplay, a device that challenged the notion that short-form videos had to be consumed one at a time, like snacks instead of meals. Qplay streamed curated queues of short-form Internet video to your TV using a small, simple box controlled by an iPad app. So what went wrong? Unlike TiVo, the Qplay box was difficult to justify owning, and thevalue of the service itself is questionable. And as of last week, Qplay is closed."

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Categories: Science

The Witch-Cult: from North Western England to the world beyond

Underground Stream - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 10:00pm

August the 1st is Lammastide, a traditional Summer Harvest Festival dating back to pre-Anglo Saxon times, often identified as a Witches’ Sabbath. Merseyside in the North West of England may be most commonly associated with The Beatles but the district also has strong connections with the globally held concept of Western Witchcraft.

August the 1st is Lammastide, a traditional Summer Harvest Festival dating back to pre-Anglo Saxon times. Lammas, also known by its Celtic name Lughnasadh, is one of the key dates (along with Walpurgis Night, All Hallow’s Eve, and the Feast of Corpus Christi) closely associated with the Renaissance idea of the Witches’ Sabbath. On these dates, it was believed that witches would gather together in secret locations and perform dark forbidden rites. The Compendium Maleficarum, 1608, by Italian priest Francesco Maria Guazzo gives a typical account of what was supposed to occur at such gatherings:

The attendants go riding flying goats, trample the cross, are made to be re-baptised in the name of the Devil, give their clothes to him, kiss the Devil's behind, and dance back to back forming a round.

I'm writing this post sitting at my desk in my hot, book-stuffed workroom/study here in leafy Liverpool, in the UK. If you Google the words "Witchcraft" and "Liverpool" together you can all too easily find yourself descending into an quagmire of Beatles conspiracy theory. The group's profound fascination with Alistair Crowley (as evidenced by that one picture of him included on the cover of Sergeant Pepper's...), Paul's untimely death (by some occult means, probably) and replacement by a fake Paul ("Faul"), Lennon selling his soul to the Devil for fame and fortune then being assassinated (possibly at the hands of the Illuminati utilising an MKUltra brainwashed gunman) when his contractually agreed time in the spotlight expired, and of course Yoko Ono's status as a sorceress and master manipulator (the track "Yes, I'm a Witch", and the 2007 re-mix album of the same name almost certainly being cited).
The Fiendish Four aside however, Liverpool and Merseyside may not, at first glance, appear to have much of a history of witchery. Indeed, Dr Margaret Alice Murray’s notorious 1921 work The Witch-Cult in Western Europe mentions Liverpool witches only once in Chapter VIII - Familiars and Transformations:

In 1667 at Liverpool, 'Margaret Loy, being arraigned for a witch, confessed she was one; and when she was asked how long she had so been, replied, Since the death of her mother, who died thirty years ago; and at her decease she had nothing to leave her, and this widow Bridge, that were sisters, but her two spirits; and named them, the eldest spirit to this widow, and the other spirit to her the said Margaret Loy. 'This inheritance of a familiar may be compared with the Lapp custom: 'The Laplanders bequeath their Demons as part of their inheritance, which is the reason that one family excels another in this magical art.

Liverpool, and in particular the district of Toxteth (where I now feel duty bound to point put that Richard Starkey AKA Ringo Starr grew up), does however have a very strong connection with one of the most well remembered and often dramatised of all witch trials. A Puritan community once thrived in the Toxteth/Dingle area and in 1618 they erected the Toxteth Unitarian Chapel which still stands on the corner of today’s Park Road and Dingle Lane. The chapel’s first minister was a man by the name of Richard Mather who, along with most of that Puritan community, eventually emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in North America. Mather’s son Increase Mather and grandson Cotton Mather (author of Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions, 1689 and The Wonders of the Invisible World - Observations as Well Historical as Theological, upon the Nature, the Number, and the Operations of the Devils, 1693), both became Puritan ministers themselves. Today Increase and Cotton are best known for their involvement in the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s, in which more than two-hundred people were accused of practising witchcraft and twenty were executed.

In the 1920s and 30s, the Egyptologist Dr Margaret Alice Murray published several books (Witch-Cult... cited above being the most famous today) detailing her theories that those persecuted as witches during the Early Modern period in Europe were not, as the persecutors had claimed, followers of Satanism, but adherents of a surviving pre-Christian pagan religion - the Witch-Cult. In the decades following the publication of Dr Murray’s works the Witch-Cult grew with new covens springing up in places such as Norfolk, Cheshire and the New Forest. These new witches drew their inspiration not only from Murray’s writings but from a broad sphere of influences including classical mythology, Aleister Crowley’s writings, folk magic, and Freemasonry. The New Forest Coven, for example, was formed as a Neopagan off-shoot of The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry - a non-Christian Scouting-like movement founded in 1916 by Ernest Westlake. One, perhaps rather unlikely, initiate of the New Forest Coven was a white-haired, retired Civil Servant named Gerald Gardner. Gerald Brosseau Gardner was born in Blundellsands, Merseyside in 1884 but lived in places as diverse as Portugal and British Malaya before returning to England in 1936. Following his involvement in the New Forest Coven, Gardner formed his own group known as the Bricket Wood Coven.

Gerald Gardener wrote several books on the subject of modern witchcraft – High Magic's Aid (1949), Witchcraft Today (1954) and The Meaning of Witchcraft (1959) – all of which attracted much media attention at the time. Today he is known as the Father of Wicca – the neo-pagan religion which grew out of his writings and Bricket Wood’s practices (although Gardner seems to have preferred Murray’s term Witch-Cult himself).

So, next time your mind turns to moptops and the Ferry 'Cross the Mersey, maybe you'll remember that one of the most infamous incidents in American history, and a global religion with as many as eight-hundred thousand adherents (according to www.adherents.com) were also birthed upon the banks of that river. So much of our modern concept of witchcraft has its roots buried deep here in the Mersey mud.

Today the 1st of August is one of the sabbats in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year - eight festivals, spaced at even intervals throughout the calendar. No doubt Guazzo and the Mathers would be glad (or perhaps disappointed?) to learn that there is no flying-goat riding, or Devil-arse kissing involved in the modern Witch-Cult’s Lammas celebrations. www.Wicca.com gives the following as suggested activities/practices for Lughnasadh:

As summer passes, many Pagans celebrate this time to remember its warmth and bounty in a celebrated feast shared with family or Coven members. Save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during the feast or ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant or tree with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Lord and Lady. Walk through the fields and orchards or spend time along springs, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes reflecting on the bounty and love of the Lord and Lady.

HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 9:32pm
dcblogs (1096431) writes Hewlett-Packard has changed its direction on OpenVMS. Instead of pushing its users off the system, it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips and is promising eventual support for x86 processors. Last year, HP put OpenVMS on the path to extinction. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it. The move to license the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software Inc. (VSI), amounts to a reversal of that earlier decision. VSI plans to validate the operating system on Intel's Itanium eight-core Poulson chips by early 2015, as well as support for HP hardware running the upcoming 'Kittson' chip. It will also develop an x86 port, although it isn't specifying a timeframe. And it plans to develop new versions of OpenVMS.

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Categories: Science

Record-Breaking Cosmic 'Magnifying Glass' Found by Hubble Telescope

Space.com - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 9:19pm
In a surprising find, astronomers discovered a faraway galaxy that doubles as a cosmic "magnifying glass." At 9.6 billion light-years away, it could be the most distant such object known to science, NASA announced.
Categories: Science

Peter Hoddie Talks About His Internet of Things Construction Kit (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:49pm
You remember Peter Hoddie, right? He was one of the original QuickTime developers at Apple. He left in 2002 to help found a startup called Kinoma, which started life developing multimedia players and browsers for mobile devices. Kinoma was acquired in 2011 by Marvell Semiconductor, whose management kept it as a separate entity. The latest creation from Peter and his crew is the 'Kinoma Create,' AKA the 'JavaScript-Powered Internet of Things Construction Kit.' With it, they say, you can 'quickly and easily create personal projects, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things prototypes.' EE Times mentioned it in March, and they're not the only ones to notice this product. Quite a few developers and companies are jumping on the 'Internet of Things' bandwagon, so there may be a decent -- and growing -- market for something like this. (Alternate Video Link)

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Categories: Science

Peter Hoddie Talks About His Internet of Things Construction Kit (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:49pm
You remember Peter Hoddie, right? He was one of the original QuickTime developers at Apple. He left in 2002 to help found a startup called Kinoma, which started life developing multimedia players and browsers for mobile devices. Kinoma was acquired in 2011 by Marvell Semiconductor, whose management kept it as a separate entity. The latest creation from Peter and his crew is the 'Kinoma Create,' AKA the 'JavaScript-Powered Internet of Things Construction Kit.' With it, they say, you can 'quickly and easily create personal projects, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things prototypes.' EE Times mentioned it in March, and they're not the only ones to notice this product. Quite a few developers and companies are jumping on the 'Internet of Things' bandwagon, so there may be a decent -- and growing -- market for something like this. (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Peter Hoddie Talks About His Internet of Things Construction Kit (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:49pm
You remember Peter Hoddie, right? He was one of the original QuickTime developers at Apple. He left in 2002 to help found a startup called Kinoma, which started life developing multimedia players and browsers for mobile devices. Kinoma was acquired in 2011 by Marvell Semiconductor, whose management kept it as a separate entity. The latest creation from Peter and his crew is the 'Kinoma Create,' AKA the 'JavaScript-Powered Internet of Things Construction Kit.' With it, they say, you can 'quickly and easily create personal projects, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things prototypes.' EE Times mentioned it in March, and they're not the only ones to notice this product. Quite a few developers and companies are jumping on the 'Internet of Things' bandwagon, so there may be a decent -- and growing -- market for something like this. (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Peter Hoddie Talks About His Internet of Things Construction Kit (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:49pm
You remember Peter Hoddie, right? He was one of the original QuickTime developers at Apple. He left in 2002 to help found a startup called Kinoma, which started life developing multimedia players and browsers for mobile devices. Kinoma was acquired in 2011 by Marvell Semiconductor, whose management kept it as a separate entity. The latest creation from Peter and his crew is the 'Kinoma Create,' AKA the 'JavaScript-Powered Internet of Things Construction Kit.' With it, they say, you can 'quickly and easily create personal projects, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things prototypes.' EE Times mentioned it in March, and they're not the only ones to notice this product. Quite a few developers and companies are jumping on the 'Internet of Things' bandwagon, so there may be a decent -- and growing -- market for something like this. (Alternate Video Link)

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Categories: Science

Peter Hoddie Talks About His Internet of Things Construction Kit (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:49pm
You remember Peter Hoddie, right? He was one of the original QuickTime developers at Apple. He left in 1002 to help found a startup called Kinoma, which started life developing multimedia players and browsers for mobile devices. Kinoma was acquired in 2011 by Marvell Semiconductor, whose management kept it as a separate entity. The latest creation from Peter and his crew is the 'Kinoma Create,' AKA the 'JavaScript-Powered Internet of Things Construction Kit.' With it, they say, you can 'quickly and easily create personal projects, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things prototypes.' EE Times mentioned it in March, and they're not the only ones to notice this product. Quite a few developers and companies are jumping on the 'Internet of Things' bandwagon, so there may be a decent -- and growing -- market for something like this. (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

The SpongeBob Movie Could Be the Breakout Superhero Flick of 2015

Wired News - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:46pm
Let's be honest: After a banner year for superhero movies with Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2015 suddenly looks a bit dull in comparison. If only there was a superhero movie on its way that seemed fun, inventive, and entirely out of left field. Oh, wait, there is. Could The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water be the superhero surprise of next year?






Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:08pm
New submitter yeshuawatso writes I work for one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the world. We've currently spent millions of dollars investing in an ERP system from Oracle (via a third-party implementor and distributor) that handles most of our global operations, but it's been a great ordeal getting the thing to work for us across SBUs and even departments without having to constantly go back to the third-party, whom have their hands out asking for more money. What we've also discovered is that the ERP system is being used for inputting and retrieving data but not for managing the data. Managing the data is being handled by systems of spreadsheets and access databases wrought with macros to turn them into functional applications. I'm asking you wise and experienced readers on your take if it's a better idea to continue to hire our third-party to convert these applications into the ERP system or hire internal developers to convert these applications to more scalable and practical applications that interface with the ERP (via API of choice)? We have a ton of spare capacity in data centers that formerly housed mainframes and local servers that now mostly run local Exchange and domain servers. We've consolidated these data centers into our co-location in Atlanta but the old data centers are still running, just empty. We definitely have the space to run commodity servers for an OpenStack, Eucalyptus, or some other private/hybrid cloud solution, but would this be counter productive to the goal of standardizing processes. Our CIO wants to dump everything into the ERP (creating a single point of failure to me) but our accountants are having a tough time chewing the additional costs of re-doing every departmental application. What are your experiences with such implementations?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

Slashdot - Thu, 31/07/2014 - 8:08pm
New submitter yeshuawatso writes I work for one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the world. We've currently spent millions of dollars investing in an ERP system from Oracle (via a third-party implementor and distributor) that handles most of our global operations, but it's been a great ordeal getting the thing to work for us across SBUs and even departments without having to constantly go back to the third-party, whom have their hands out asking for more money. What we've also discovered is that the ERP system is being used for inputting and retrieving data but not for managing the data. Managing the data is being handled by systems of spreadsheets and access databases wrought with macros to turn them into functional applications. I'm asking you wise and experienced readers on your take if it's a better idea to continue to hire our third-party to convert these applications into the ERP system or hire internal developers to convert these applications to more scalable and practical applications that interface with the ERP (via API of choice)? We have a ton of spare capacity in data centers that formerly housed mainframes and local servers that now mostly run local Exchange and domain servers. We've consolidated these data centers into our co-location in Atlanta but the old data centers are still running, just empty. We definitely have the space to run commodity servers for an OpenStack, Eucalyptus, or some other private/hybrid cloud solution, but would this be counter productive to the goal of standardizing processes. Our CIO wants to dump everything into the ERP (creating a single point of failure to me) but our accountants are having a tough time chewing the additional costs of re-doing every departmental application. What are your experiences with such implementations?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science