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jaded-mandarin:

Peter Paul Rubens. The Fall of the Damned, 1620.

(via caravaggista)

Source: jaded-mandarin
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The Mystery of Time’s Arrow -By Julian Barbour- Issue 9: Time - Nautilus

wildcat2030:

As conscious beings, we are constantly aware of the relentless march of time. You can make an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet back into an egg. Dropped glasses shatter and do not reassemble themselves. Above all, we age and become decrepit; there is no return to youth. But this is a great scientific mystery. There is nothing in the form of the laws of nature at the fundamental microscopic level that distinguishes a direction of time. They are time-symmetric. But the behavior of macroscopic objects around us is subject to the famous second law of thermodynamics, according to which disorder (as measured by entropy) always increases with time. This puts a direction, or arrow, of time into phenomena. The classical studies by Maxwell and Boltzmann in the second half of the 19th century assumed the existence of atoms and showed, on the basis of reasonable laws, that non-uniform distributions of atoms would always have a tendency to be washed out into a state with a uniform temperature distribution. This initial work took no account of gravity. Gravity presents many puzzles because it gives rise to “anti-thermodynamic” behavior: Under its influence, uniformly distributed matter tends to break up into clusters. As of now, no one knows how to describe this behavior using an entropy-type concept. This is all the more puzzling because Einstein’s wonderful theory of gravity—his general theory of relativity—does show that when black holes form they do have thermodynamic properties and possess a colossal entropy. What no one has been able to do is define gravitational entropy for the rest of the universe.

Source: wildcat2030
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earlymodernart:

James McNeill Whistler - Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, 1874

(via caravaggista)

Source: earlymodernart
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holy-time-lord-of-gallifrey:

Drake and Josh shaped our generation like I’m 99.99% sure that this show is the reason I’m so sarcastic.

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Source: holy-time-lord-of-gallifrey
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loudmouthed:

people that argue with cashiers are the worst kind of people

(via the-noble-banana)

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Humanity in jeopardy | KurzweilAI

wildcat2030:

"If there’s even a 1% chance that there will be a Singularity in our lifetime, I think a reasonable precaution would be to spend at least 1% of our GDP studying the issue and deciding what to do about it."

Exactly three years ago, on January 13, 2011, we humans were dethroned by a computer on the quiz show “Jeopardy!.” A year later, a computer was licensed to drive cars in Nevada after being judged safer than a human. What’s next? Will computers eventually beat us at all tasks, developing superhuman intelligence? I have little doubt that this can happen: our brains are a bunch of particles obeying the laws of physics, and there’s no physical law precluding particles from being arranged in ways that can perform even more advanced computations. Risks vs. rewards of the Singularity But will it happen anytime soon? Many experts are skeptical, while others such as Ray Kurzweil predict it will happen by 2045. What I think is quite clear is that if it happens, the effects will be explosive: as Irving Good realized in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could rapidly design even better machines. Vernor Vinge called the resulting intelligence explosion The Singularity, arguing that it was a point beyond which it was impossible for us to make reliable predictions. After this, life on Earth would never be the same. Whoever or whatever controls this technology would rapidly become the world’s wealthiest and most powerful, outsmarting all financial markets, out-inventing and out-patenting all human researchers, and out-manipulating all human leaders. Even if we humans nominally merge with such machines, we might have no guarantees whatsoever about the ultimate outcome, making it feel less like a merger and more like a hostile corporate takeover. In summary, will there be a Singularity within our lifetime? And is this something we should work for or against? On one hand, it could potentially solve most of our problems, even mortality. It could also open up space, the final frontier: unshackled by the limitations of our human bodies, such advanced life could rise up and eventually make much of our observable universe come alive. On the other hand, it could destroy life as we know it and everything we care about — there are ample doomsday scenarios that look nothing like the Terminator movies, but are far more terrifying.

Source: wildcat2030
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"Scare the world: Be exactly who you say you are and tell the truth."

Source: tiedtotheoceans
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bobbycaputo:

The Blue Arch of a Mosque in Esfahan

Photo and caption by Tandis Khodadadian (Woodland Hills, CA); Photographed April 2013, Esfahan, Iran

(via rustingiron)

Source: smithsonianmag.com
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wildcat2030:

Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around

Dolphins are thought of as one of the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom – and experts believe they have put their ingenuity to use in the pursuit of getting “high”. In extraordinary scenes filmed for a new documentary, young dolphins were seen carefully manipulating a certain kind of puffer fish which, if provoked, releases a nerve toxin. Though large doses of the toxin can be deadly, in small amounts it is known to produce a narcotic effect, and the dolphins appeared to have worked out how to make the fish release just the right amount. Carefully chewing on the puffer and passing it between one another, the marine mammals then enter what seems to be a trance-like state. The behaviour was captured on camera by the makers of Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, a series produced for BBC One by the award-winning wildlife documentary producer John Downer. Rob Pilley, a zoologist who also worked as a producer on the series, told the Sunday Times: “This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating. “After chewing the puffer gently and passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection. “It reminded us of that craze a few years ago when people started licking toads to get a buzz, especially the way they hung there in a daze afterwards. It was the most extraordinary thing to see.” (via Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around - Nature - Environment - The Independent)

Source: independent.co.uk
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wildcat2030:

The age of artificial intelligence is here

Computers can now learn from their mistakes and this will turn the digital world into a new era in 2014, according to the N.Y. Times print edition today. The vision of artificial intelligence is now real. The first commercial version of the new kind of computer chip is scheduled to be released in 2014. Not only can it automate tasks that now require painstaking programming — for example, moving a robot’s arm smoothly and efficiently — but it can also sidestep and even tolerate errors, potentially making the term ‘computer crash’ obsolete. This all relates to the technology that would come when systems are self-aware; systems that perceives their environments and takes actions to maximize their chances of success. The new computing approach, already in use by some large technology companies, is based on the biological nervous system, specifically on how neurons react to stimuli and connect with other neurons to interpret information. It allows computers to absorb new information while carrying out a task, and adjust what they do base on the changing signals. A new generation of artificial intelligence systems will perform some functions that humans do with ease: see, speak, listen, navigate, manipulate and control. That can hold enormous consequences for tasks like facial and speech recognition, navigation and planning; the biometrics age is fast developing facial, iris, and palm sensory recognition and voice characteristics… ‘We’re moving from engineering computing systems to something that has many of the characteristics of biological computing,’ said Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist who directs the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, one of many research centers devoted to developing these new kinds of computer circuits. (via The age of artificial intelligence is here - San Diego Technology | Examiner.com)

Source: examiner.com