PIONEERS, Hero's' & GOOD DEED DOERS
The U.S. Department of Justice is flashing a green light to whistleblowers in its own ranks. http://www.justice.gov/oig/press/2012/2012_08_08.pdf
Is psychiatry more mindful or brainier than it was a decade ago?
Gene vs Culture Coevolution: Genes give rise to culture, societies with this culture then affect the fitness of its members, and hence culture guides genetic evolution. The product is us.
Culture guides genetic evolution, and in a more immediate way chemical environment (nutrition, toxins), especially of the young and yet unborn, guides the expression of genes.
The evidence for gene-culture coevolution is extremely clear, and the two ideological positions, one that trivializes genes and the other that trivializes culture are obviously wrong and ideological.
One of the earliest pioneers Visionary, Michael Hart, died at the age of just 64. Hart began what turned into the free etext library Project Gutenberg in 1971 - fully 12 years before Richard Stallman began to formulate his equivalent ideas for free software. What makes his death particularly tragic is that his name is probably only vaguely known, even to people familiar with the areas he devoted his life to: free etexts and the public domain. His initial goal was to digitize 10,000 books; Gutenberg now offers access to more than 36,000 titles, without registration or fee. Hart campaigned against extensions of U.S. copyright (the majority of the books in Project Gutenberg are from prior to 1920, and therefore in the public domain; the few that still fall under copyright strictures were released into the public domain with the permission of the copyright holders). And in a refreshingly non-promotional stance, Hart eschewed any form of advertising and firmly stuck with the low-tech interfaces.
I had the pleasure of emailing Michael when we discussed issues that related to the business models of free ebooks.
Hart didn't just write about the baleful effect of copyright extensions, he also fought against them. The famous “Eldred v Ashcroft” case in the US that sought to have such unlimited copyright extensions declared unconstitutional originally involved Hart.
As he later wrote: Eldred v Ashcroft was previously labeled as in "Hart v Reno" before I saw that Larry Lessig, Esquire, had no intention of doing what I thought necessary to win. At that point I fired him and he picked up Eric Eldred as his current scapegoat du jour. As this indicates, Hart was as uncompromising in his defence of the public domain as Stallman is of free software.
In 1971, the year Richard Stallman joined the MIT AI Lab, Michael Hart was given an operator's account on a Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the University of Illinois. Since he estimated this computer time had a nominal worth of $100 million, he felt he had an obligation to repay this generosity by using it to create something of comparable and lasting value.
His solution was to type in the US Declaration of Independence, roughly 5K of ASCII, and to attempt to send it to everyone on ARPANET (fortunately, this trailblazing attempt at spam failed). His insight was that once turned from analogue to digital form, a book could be reproduced endlessly for almost zero additional cost - what Hart termed "Replicator Technology". By converting printed texts into etexts, he was able to create something whose potential aggregate value far exceeded even the heady figure he put on the computing time he used to generate it.
Hart chose the name "Project Gutenberg" for this body of etexts, making a bold claim that they represented the start of something as epoch-making as the original Gutenberg revolution.
He said: "Google is working from the top down. It's very centralized. Project Gutenberg is the opposite: It's decentralized, it's grassroots. From the consumer's point of view, if you're trying to get a quotation from a book, you could get the book from Project Gutenberg and cut and paste, say, the whole "Hamlet" soliloquy. On Google, you can't. Also, ours is totally non-commercial. You won't find advertising on any of our pages."
Douglas C. Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Dies at 88 Douglas C. Engelbart, a visionary scientist whose singular epiphany in 1950 about technology’s potential to expand human intelligence led to a host of inventions — among them the computer mouse — that became the basis for both the Internet and the modern personal computer, died on Tuesday at his home in Atherton, Calif. He was 88.7/2/2013
Thinkers Expain Why Things Are The Way They Are In The World -- WHAT ARE MEMES? Memes Richard Dawkins invented the term "meme'' in 1976
meme: (pron. 'meem') A contagious idea that replicates like a virus, passed on from mind to mind. Memes function the same way genes and viruses do, propagating through communication networks and face-to-face contact between people. Root of the word "memetics," a field of study which postulates that the meme is the basic unit of cultural evolution. Examples of memes include melodies, icons, fashion statements and phrases.
(1) construct an eight-layered paleopsychological stratum for displaying levels of consciousness and complexity; and
(2) use this multilayered scaffolding for defining and dealing with racial, ethnic, economic, religious, political, and nationalistic tension-zones, hot-spots, and potentially dangerous conflicts.
The Alan Lomax Website
In the early 1930s, Alan Lomax and his father, pioneering folklorist John A. Lomax, first developed the Library of Congress' Archive of American Folksong as a major national resource.
NASA"S FEMALE FRONTIERS PROJECT
The New Year is blasting off to a fabulous start. Next week we will kick off our Female Frontiers project with a web chat featuring Nancy Roman, NASA's first chief of Astronomy and the first women to hold an executive level job at NASA. Nancy's chat will begin our series of interactive events featuring women who have achieved firsts in their fields. This series of events honors Eileen Collins, the first female space shuttle commander of STS-93 scheduled for an April launch. More details about this event and registration for chats can be found by linking from the Women of NASA home page at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/women and from the Female Frontiers pages
Article on how the female candidates did as well or better than the men, but weren't even given a chance to go into space. (This is U.S. NASA space program in the 1960's).
Multifaceted individual who has made enduring contributions to our chemical and scientific heritage through exceptional activity in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy.
Akre & Wilson - Reporters
Their award was for their investigation of rBGH, a genetically modified bovine growth hormone produced by the Monsanto Corp. To some environmental and science groups rBGH can be linked to human breast, prostate and colon cancer although it is widely employed by the American dairy industry while being banned in Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Japan. FOX Television, their employer, refused to run their four-part series, because the network had been threatened with a lawsuit by Monsanto Co., the manufacturer of rBGH. FOX instead insisted the pair air a report distinctly biased to Monsanto's point of view. Akre and Wilson, however, continued to press FOX to run their original story, and were subsequently fired by the network in 1997.
Corporate Crime Reporter
The death penalty should be applied to corporations convicted of defrauding the federal government, according to a report released today by the Corporate Crime Reporter.
In a 3-2 vote, the SEC approved a system in which informants will be awarded anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of any enforced penalty, provided that the figure exceeds $1 million. Previously, whistleblowers could only expect a financial return from the SEC in cases related to insider-trading. The incentive for whistleblowing has proven to be among the most challenging provisions to implement in the 2010 Dodds-Frank overhaul of Wall Street.
Jeffrey Wigand, Ph.D.
Tobacco Whistleblower whose story is featured in the major motion picture "The Insider" Contact Dr. Wigand
Brown & Williamson - 1996 On April 14, 1994, the seven CEOs of the major American tobacco companies testified before Congress and said that nicotine was not addictive. Two years later, Jeffrey Wigand, a vice president for research and development at the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, turned to "60 Minutes" to tell a different story. In an interview with Mike Wallace, Wigand asserted that his employer knowingly doctored the nicotine content in its cigarettes so as to enhance its addictive qualities.Wigand also said that he became the target of death threats, and his story, along with CBS's internal debate over airing the interview, was the subject of the 1999 movie, "The Insider"
"60 Minutes" journalist who fought censorship and got Jeffrey Wigands' information.
Dr. John Chittick
Walked the earth spreading information and founded TeenAIDS-PeerCorps
Elliot M. Katz
D.V.M. graduate of Cornell University, is the founder and president of In Defense of Animals, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the institutionalized exploitation and abuse of nonhuman animals by working for, and defending the rights, welfare, and habitat of these individuals. Now 15 years old, IDA has made ending the property status of animals one of its primary goals. For more info go to http://www.idausa.org
The Dollywood Foundation Web site URL
The time spent reading is probably the most important minutes spent every single day. Hats off to Dolly and to all those who recognize the importance of starting early and in building families of readers. It is those families who will comprise cities of readers, counties of readers, states of readers, and finally we may have a nation of readers. "Dolly Parton gives 5,200 kids a book a month. Every one of the 5,200 children in Doly Parton's native Sevier County are eligible to receive a top-quality, hand-picked children's book every month, from birth until his or her fifth birthday, plus a special bookcase to hold the 60 volumes. These books are being given to the children free by the nonprofit Dollywood Foundation. Since the program began three years ago, some 91,000 books have been distributed. The foundation estimates 70 percent of the preschoolers in the county are enrolled. Last month, the National Council of Teachers of English gave the program its 1998 Literacy Award. The cost for a full library, including bookcase, is $350 per child. The Dollywood Foundation, supported principally by Dolly Parton's annual fund-raising concerts, has raised more than $200,000 for the program since its inception and has committed to spend $1 million over the next five years. Jerome Harste, and Indiana University professor specializing in early childhood education, said he wished public figures in every county would follow Dolly Parton's example and support public literacy and public education."
Albert Hoffman Father of LSD
Research chemist who synthesised LSD and had the world's first 'acid trip' on his bicycle.'Father of LSD' Dies at 102
While working with the drug in the Sandoz pharmaceutical laboratory a few years after first producing it, Mr Hofmann ingested some of the drug through his fingertips. He went home and experienced what he described as visions of "fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours".