Summary of “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program”

Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft – including one released in August of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004.Mr. Reid, who retired from Congress this year, said he was proud of the program.
Mr. Reid said he met with agency officials shortly after his meeting with Mr. Bigelow and learned that they wanted to start a research program on U.F.O.s.
None of the three senators wanted a public debate on the Senate floor about the funding for the program, Mr. Reid said.
The funding went to Mr. Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program.
Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.
“We’re sort of in the position of what would happen if you gave Leonardo da Vinci a garage-door opener,” said Harold E. Puthoff, an engineer who has conducted research on extrasensory perception for the C.I.A. and later worked as a contractor for the program.
The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves.
Mr. Elizondo, in his resignation letter of Oct. 4, said there was a need for more serious attention to “The many accounts from the Navy and other services of unusual aerial systems interfering with military weapon platforms and displaying beyond-next-generation capabilities.” He expressed his frustration with the limitations placed on the program, telling Mr. Mattis that “There remains a vital need to ascertain capability and intent of these phenomena for the benefit of the armed forces and the nation.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scientists are slowly unlocking the secrets of the Earth’s mysterious hum”

If we could hear this music more clearly, scientists around the world say, it could reveal deep secrets about the earth beneath us, or even teach us to map out alien planets.
Earth vibrates at different frequencies and amplitudes, for different reasons, and not all those vibrations are the ‘hum’.
Sometimes a wave on a shallow coast somewhere ripples over the rough sea floor and adds its own frequencies to the hum.
Some researchers believe the hum extends all the way down to the Earth’s core, and some have even fantasized about using hums on other planets to map out alien geography.
Yet we’re still only beginning to understand our planet’s hum.
These stations were meant to study volcanic hot spots – nothing to do with the hum – but the team worked out a method to clean the data of ocean currents, waves, glitches and other noise.
It peaked between 2.9 and 4.5 millihertz, they said – a tighter range than the first hum researchers in the 1990s had recorded.
So – more evidence that the hum goes all the way around the world; and more hope that we may one day reveal all that goes on beneath it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jim Simons, the Numbers King”

“Every day, he walks into the lobby and sees his mother’s picture,” Jim Simons, the institute’s founder, told me.
Simons works out of a top-floor corner office across the street from the institute, in a building occupied by its administrative parent, the Simons Foundation.
Simons has amassed the same processing capacity as would normally be present in the computer hub of a mid-sized research university: the equivalent of six thousand high-end laptops.
Marilyn Simons told me that her husband is an “Information processor,” adding, “Whatever it is, he’ll chew it up.” Jim Simons told me that he’s more comfortable discussing astronomy than biology, because he understands the presentations better, but he seemed adept at following abstruse discussions in both fields.
For Simons, ideas and money have always been intertwined.
His chairmanship coincided with the era of Nelson Rockefeller, the ambitious governor of New York, who wanted the school to be the “Berkeley of the East.” Under Simons, the department expanded and gained in prestige.
Jim and Marilyn Simons became major charitable donors in the nineteen-nineties, when they launched their foundation.
“My concern is that the generosity of Jim Simons will let the rest of us off the hook,” he said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Motherboard”

“There is a lot of research that shows that natural views and our visual perception of the environment is good for us, but there is less research about sound,” Benfield told me.
In 2014, Benfield led a research study to examine whether natural sounds had any impact on participants’ moods.
At Shahed University in Tehran, Iran, a group of researchers found that listening to natural sounds relieved patients in the ICU of their anxiety, while lowering their heart rate and blood pressure.
Researchers in Japan’s Osaka City University Medical School found that patients listening to natural sounds showed an improved acceptability to anesthesia, while Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reported that distraction therapy using nature sounds reduced the amount of pain people experienced during bronchoscopies.
One of the acclaimed pioneers in nature sound recording was Irv Teibel, a New York based sound engineer, photographer, and designer.
Later years witnessed the resurgence of nature sounds into our homes in the form of sound boxes and baby soothers.
Nowadays, the audience of nature sound listeners has exploded through mediums like YouTube websites like A Soft Murmur, Meditation Room, and Calm Sound, among several others.
Thinking back on the effect of the sounds of nature, Holmes mused, “One thing about natural sound is that it gets to the root. It connects us to who we are and who we were, from the dawn of our species.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “AI’s brightest minds are still figuring out how to understand their creations”

“We don’t want to accept arbitrary decisions by entities, people or AIs, that we don’t understand,” said Uber AI researcher Jason Yosinkski, co-organizer of the Interpretable AI workshop.
As these artificial neural networks are starting to be used in law enforcement, healthcare, scientific research, and determining which news you see on Facebook, researchers are saying there’s a problem with what some have called AI’s “Black box.” Previous research has shown that algorithms amplify biases in the data from which they learn, and make inadvertent connections between ideas.
“We need to understand what’s going on inside them and how they are being used.”
While he got the answer he was looking for, Wilson says that understanding the internal rules the algorithm had built to understand how light indicated the position of the particle could have opened a new avenue of research.
“In a way, a model is a theory for our observation, and we can use the model not just to make predictions but also to better understand why the predictions are good and how these natural processes are working,” Wilson said.
Does interpretability mean that AI experts know why Facebook’s algorithm is showing you a specific post, or that you understand yourself? Does a doctor using an AI-powered treatment recommendation system need to know why a specific regimen was suggested, or is that another role- like an AI overseer- that needs to be created in a hospital?
Understanding an algorithm isn’t just to fend against bias or make sure your rover won’t fall off a Martian cliff; knowing how a system fails can help AI researchers build more accurate systems.
To figure out how one of its algorithms thinks, Google is trying to sift through the millions of computations made every time the algorithm processes an image.

The orginal article.

Summary of “US military agency invests $100m in genetic extinction technologies”

A US military agency is investing $100m in genetic extinction technologies that could wipe out malarial mosquitoes, invasive rodents or other species, emails released under freedom of information rules show.
The documents suggest that the US’s secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has become the world’s largest funder of “Gene drive” research and will raise tensions ahead of a UN expert committee meeting in Montreal beginning on Tuesday.
“Many countries [will] have concerns when this technology comes from Darpa, a US military science agency,” one said.
The use of genetic extinction technologies in bioweapons is the stuff of nightmares, but known research is focused entirely on pest control and eradication.
Jim Thomas, a co-director of the ETC group which obtained the emails, said the US military influence they revealed would strengthen the case for a ban.
Todd Kuiken, who has worked with the GBIRd programme, which receives $6.4m from Darpa, said that the US military’s centrality to gene tech funding meant that “Researchers who depend on grants for their research may reorient their projects to fit the narrow aims of these military agencies”.
In an email reporting a US military-organised conference in June, a US government biologist noted that Darpa’s biotechnology program manager Renee Wegrzynhad said “The safe genes projects account [was] for $65m, but then mentioned with all other support in the room, it was $100m”.
Interest in the technology among US army bureaus has shot up since a secret report by the elite Jason group of military scientists last year “Received considerable attention among various agencies of the US government”, according to an email by Gerald Joyce, who co-chaired a Jason study group in June.

The orginal article.

Summary of “11 Psychology Books That Will Improve Your Work and Life”

Enter the Positive Psychology Program, quite possibly the best positive psychology resource on the Web.
Co-founders Seph Fontane, an entrepreneur with a background in online marketing, and Hugo Alberts, professor of psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, teamed up to gift us with a one-stop shop that includes blogs, courses, exercises, quotes, conferences, and a database of top positive psychology researchers.
In this outstanding blog, Fontane offers up a comprehensive “Living list” of positive psychology books for newcomers, hardcore fans of the movement, and anyone in between.
Csikszentmihalyi is an expert on getting into a state of “Flow,” and one of the pioneers of positive psychology.
Seligman, commonly known as the founder of positive psychology and a leading authority in the field, wrote this seminal book as a “Handbook aimed at introducing people to positive psychology concepts that they can use to increase their own well-being.”
This handbook is a great option for people struggling to achieve greater positivity in their life, or just anyone looking for actionable ways positive psychology research can help them.
Ben-Shahar is an author, serial entrepreneur, and lecturer who taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history-Positive Psychology and the Psychology of Leadership.
In it, TED talk sensation Shawn Achor uses stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries to explain how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five ways to fix statistics”

To use statistics well, researchers must study how scientists analyse and interpret data and then apply that information to prevent cognitive mistakes.
In the past couple of decades, many fields have shifted from data sets with a dozen measurements to data sets with millions.
How do we reduce the number of choices an analyst has to make without missing key features in a data set? How do we help researchers to explore data without introducing bias?
We need more observational studies and randomized trials – more epidemiology on how people collect, manipulate, analyse, communicate and consume data.
Open-science practices can benefit science by making it more difficult for researchers to make overly strong claims from noisy data, but cannot by themselves compensate for poor experiments.
To demote P values to their rightful place, researchers need better ways to interpret them.
Better than rules about how to analyse data are conventions that keep researchers accountable for their analyses.
How should researchers account for variables such as gender or age, if they do so at all? Which extreme data points should be excluded, and when? The plethora of options creates a hazard that statistician Andrew Gelman has dubbed the garden of forking paths, a place where people are easily led astray.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Five ways to fix statistics”

To use statistics well, researchers must study how scientists analyse and interpret data and then apply that information to prevent cognitive mistakes.
In the past couple of decades, many fields have shifted from data sets with a dozen measurements to data sets with millions.
How do we reduce the number of choices an analyst has to make without missing key features in a data set? How do we help researchers to explore data without introducing bias?
We need more observational studies and randomized trials – more epidemiology on how people collect, manipulate, analyse, communicate and consume data.
Open-science practices can benefit science by making it more difficult for researchers to make overly strong claims from noisy data, but cannot by themselves compensate for poor experiments.
To demote P values to their rightful place, researchers need better ways to interpret them.
Better than rules about how to analyse data are conventions that keep researchers accountable for their analyses.
How should researchers account for variables such as gender or age, if they do so at all? Which extreme data points should be excluded, and when? The plethora of options creates a hazard that statistician Andrew Gelman has dubbed the garden of forking paths, a place where people are easily led astray.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Report claims sugar industry hid connection to heart disease for decades”

After examining the sugar industry’s internal documents, UCSF researchers said that in 1968 the Sugar Research Foundation, which has organizational ties to the Sugar Association, funded animal research to explore the link between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease.
One of the investigation’s authors, Stanton Glantz, told the New York Times that while the documents are several decades old, they are significant, as they show how long the sugar industry has spent de-emphasizing sugar’s effect on health.
The Sugar Association criticized Tuesday’s report and said in a statement that it was not a study but a perspective, “a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago.” It also called the researchers “Known critics of the sugar industry.”
The sugar industry has long denied that sugar has any specific role in chronic disease, though research suggests otherwise.
The researchers’ claims that the sugar industry misled the public mirror accusations the tobacco industry faced.
Tuesday’s report isn’t the first time that decades-old documents appear to show that the sugar industry distorted medical research.
In 1964, the group now known as the Sugar Association looked for ways to soften “Negative attitudes toward sugar” after studies began linking sugar with heart disease.
The Sugar Association said the 1960s research cited in Tuesday’s report ended for three reasons: It was too expensive, it was “Significantly delayed,” and the delay interfered with the organizational restructuring of the Sugar Research Foundation, which would eventually become the International Sugar Research Foundation.

The orginal article.