Sunday, January 12, 2014


Isaac Asimov's Predictions For 2014 From 50 Years Ago Are Eerily Accurate

Huffington Post

Fifty years ago, American scientist and author Isaac Asimov published a story in The New York Times that listed his predictions for what the world would be like in 2014.

Asimov wrote more than 500 books in his lifetime, including science fiction novels and nonfiction scientific books, so he was well-versed in thinking about the future.

In his article, called "Visit to the World's Fair of 2014," Asimov got a whole bunch of his guesses right -- and his other predictions are making us a little envious of his imagined future.

"By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use."

"Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs."

"Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone."

"The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books."

 "Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence."


Diana Nyad – Never Give Up


In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating … Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida -- at age 64. Hear her story.

A record-setting long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad writes and thinks deeply about motivation


Dickens, Darwin, Dr. Johnson: Millions of Images From the British Library Now Available Online

The Atlantic

Five years ago, Microsoft began scanning the collection of one of the world's largest libraries: The British Library. Home to more than 14 million books, it's rivaled only by the Library of Congress in terms of size.

On Friday, we saw some of the first fruits of that digitization. The British Library released more than a million images from its books to the public domain, publishing them to Flickr Commons for anyone to use or adapt. The images come from 46,000 books from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, by authors both revered (Dickens!) and forgotten.

The library is trying out something of a new tack with this release, though. While it knows the title, author, and publishing year of its books, it doesn't know the content of the images—what they actually depict. So early next year, it says it will roll out a crowdsourcing website and ask the public for its help in identifying the content of the images.

"Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content," Ben O'Steen, a librarian, wrote on the Library"s Digital Scholarship blog. "The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence."


IBM reveals its top five innovation predictions for the next five years


IBM revealed its predictions for five big innovations that will change our lives within five years.

The IBM "5 in 5″ is the eighth year in a row that IBM has made predictions about technology, and this year's prognostications are sure to get people talking.

In a nutshell, IBM says:

The classroom will learn you.

Buying local will beat online.

Doctors will use your DNA to keep you well.

A digital guardian will protect you online.

The city will help you live in it.



4 Health Benefits to Helping Others

Huffington Post

As a boy, whenever Stephen Post got a bad grade, or felt left out of his older brother and sister's games, or was otherwise having a rough day, his mother always said, "Why don't you go out and do something for someone else?" At which point he'd head next door to rake Mr. Mueller's leaves or go across the street to help Mr. Lawrence with his boat. "I always came home feeling better," says Post, now a professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping. Turns out, there was science behind his mom's kitchen-table wisdom: Practicing philanthropy is one of the surest steps you can take toward a happy, healthy life. Here's why.

·         Longer Lifespan

·         Greater Happiness

·         Better Pain Management

·         Lower Blood Pressure


The History and Future of Everything – Time


How much time do you have left?

Time makes sense in small pieces. But when you look at huge stretches of time, it's almost impossible to wrap your head around things. So we teamed up with the awesome blog "Wait but Why" and made this video to help you putting things in perspective with some infographics!



26 Amazing Startups to Watch in 2014


We're here to tell you about the real innovation that's been going on this year. In fact, there were a lot of startups — consumer, enterprise, hardware, and health-tech — that got us non-ironically excited in 2013.

This is not an exhaustive list, but the 26 companies here are a good start on reclaiming your sense of amazement at what the tech business, at its best, can come up with.






Entangled Media




Slow Ideas

New Yorker

Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly? In the era of the iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter, we've become enamored of ideas that spread as effortlessly as ether. We want frictionless, "turnkey" solutions to the major difficulties of the world—hunger, disease, poverty. We prefer instructional videos to teachers, drones to troops, incentives to institutions. People and institutions can feel messy and anachronistic. They introduce, as the engineers put it, uncontrolled variability.


But technology and incentive programs are not enough. "Diffusion is essentially a social process through which people talking to people spread an innovation," wrote Everett Rogers, the great scholar of how new ideas are communicated and spread.


The 18 Most Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2013


A lot can happen in a single year, especially in this era of accelerating technological and social change. Here are the most futuristic developments of 2013.

·         Humanity officially became an interstellar species:

·         Radical life extension went mainstream:

·         Brain-to brain interfaces arrived:

·         The first functional 3D printed handgun:

·         An unmanned aircraft landed on an aircraft carrier:

·         The world's first government-recognized cyborg:

·         The world's first carbon nanotube computer:


38 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time



Worcester celebrates a half-century of Smiley

Worcester Telegram

Fifty years ago, Worcester freelance commercial artist Harvey Ball doodled two black eyes, the right a little bigger than the other, and an off-center smile on a bright yellow circle — and created an image for generations to come.  Ball wasn't paid much for the project, which he took on for a campaign to boost morale for Worcester's State Mutual Life Insurance — now Hanover Insurance — it went through a corporate reorganization. Nor did it take him very long.  But after the Smiley Face first appeared on Jan. 3, 1964, in "The Mutualite," the insurance company's newsletter, it took off, adopted widely as a symbol of happiness and good humor — both actual and ideal.