“Welcome to Scholarpedia, the peer-reviewed open-access encyclopedia written by scholars from around the world.”

Well hello indeed! Scholarpedia, Dr . Eugene Izhikevich’s contribution on the MediaWiki platform, is a knowledge machine. Each article is curated by an expert in its respective field. For example, ‘Facial expression analysis’ is written and moderated by Paul Eckman. It’s still in early development (many articles remain to be written), yet is already a great step in the future of quality information distribution.

This thing is citeable, and a complete history of revisions is available. That in its own right will be an interesting view “into the living process of peer review and progress of ideas that is hidden behind the scenes in traditional publications.” Wiki goes on to say thast “some revisions may well become classics much like a fine vintage of wine.” Fascinating externality. A knowledge project produces more knowledge than anticipated, brilliant! Get on Scholarpedia and give it a try.

A note to my friends of academic prestige: get in while the project’s still young. Better yet, get a group of collaborators and form a couple pages together. Concise descriptions of the concepts comprising your discipline. These pages are a limited resource.



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Language Implications

A letter in this weeks Economist commented that we “need people who can make something of data and create information to guide decision-making”. This was enough to start a neural avalanche regarding the relation between data and information.

Data quantifies qualities along variable attributes correlating to an “event” or representing a set of “events”.

“Information is data that has been processed in such as way as to be meaningful,” [1,2] Also, “A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn” (‘statistical data’) [3]

Meaning signifies implication. “Implication is deductive inferred logical relation. ‘ if p then q: if p is true then q cannot be false'” [4] From quality information we can differentiate complex systems and model them with equations.

Data is fed into our neural system from our senses over time with systemic repetition and correlated via lingual adaptation into information. Information is then relayed off itself, forming concepts (information systems). Concepts are comprised of variable lingual attributes and exhibit meaningful complexity, described by the lingual structure from which they are formed.

Cognition is functionally different across various lingual data systems (concepts), which are then organized within a grammatical framework relative to other concepts. This is self-organization. Might a cohesive pattern emerge in neural functionality if we could see specific neuron systems forming new “concepts” via grammatic relations in order to more efficiently process increasingly complex ideas? Could “more meaningful information” imply a denser Set of data (information) to which the concept could potentially be applied? Our minds create a conscious whole greater than the sum of its parts by processing words into concepts and integrating different concepts to create experientially new thoughts, which are in turn described by new lingual formations and even entirely new words and ideas. This process simplifies the energetic input required to think a difficult thought by utilizing information, rather than data, and compounding meaningful representations of it across multiple meaningful systems. Aristotle’s Holism and Occam’s Razor together make a concept that I refer to as “complex energy density”.

Thoughts from the forefront of theoretical science,


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Excel at Innovation

The other day while carousing Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues for the umpteenth time, two thoughts intersected, simultaneously stirring a bit of curiosity.

Junto is Franklin’s 1727 charter improvement and mental exploration club. Upon initiation, members swore to “endeavor impartially to find [truth] and receive it, and communicate it to others”. This group is responsible for the first public library, fire departments, public hospital, police departments, paved streets, and University of Pennsylvania. Perhaps even more importantly, it fostered an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and discussion. It provided means for men to share ideas and exchange structured argument; to experiment with thoughts and expression and learning and reap the benefits of an environment conducive to exploration.

Junto is one half of my thought intersection. The remaining is TED. It is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Excelling beyond this definition, the “ideas worth spreading” house of ingenuity hosts conferences boasting internationally renowned speakers across categories such as creativity, discovery, simplicity, and wisdom. Intriguing conversations abound.

Junto. TED. Is today’s idea sharing group a reincarnation of Ben Franklin’s improvement society? Do the colaborations and developments TED has fostered over the years compare with the first library or public hospital? Difficult questions to answer without empirical datasets to directly link project development and implementation with TED events and networking (if such data exists, please share). In my opinion, then, Yes.

One thing is certain. Openness in mind and disposition, be it the 1700’s or the 21st century, always fares well for mankind. We social creatures must share inspiration to excel at innovation. One man quintessentially becomes many when he combines others’s thoughts and ideas with his own. And many men can become few if they disregard the potential of the world around them. Junto offered, as TED does today, the invaluable opportunities to develop and elucidate what we already know in pursuit of what we have yet to discover. And that, to me, is the most exciting thing in the world.

Be an open book,


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Sleep Inspiration: Memory, Relaxation, Sex

I took a research web dive into dreamland today for psych class.  I liked how it came together, so here it is for you.

5 reasons why and how you should get some shut eye.

1.  “Short sleep duration was associated with weight gain and the development of obesity over 1 year in men, but not in women.”

Gents, do you see that this is a male-only butterball statistic?  This fact is a double whammy; other studies demonstrated relationships between work stresses and sleep quality, and unfortunately men’s professions tend to be much more stressful and run longer hours.  Don’t let that stress you more, though, I found a key to great sleep, so read on.

2.  “Only during deep, restful sleep, can human brain cells replenish the energy stores they deplete during a full day of thinking, sensing and reacting.”

As you think, your brain uses glycogen, its stored energy source.  This thought fuel is replaced during prolonged mental relaxation, which, according to Stanford University, happens to occur while you are sleeping.

3.  “Evidence supports a role for sleep in the consolidation of an array of learning and memory tasks.”

Newly learned items stored during the day in working memory evolve into long-term memories overnight.  You need sleep to solidify what you memorize into what you know.  It’s like storing a file on your hard drive from RAM.

4.  “Cell division and protein synthesis reach their maximum values during hours of sleep.  When tissues have been damaged, the rate of healing is greatest during sleep.”

Healing applies to everything:  replenishing energy stores, flushing out toxins, repairing damaged muscles.  When you work out, the way you gain muscle and burn calories is by tearing and subsequently rebuilding muscle tissue.  This elucidates partly why two-a-days are so brutal; there’s no sleep/repair interval in between.

5.  “Adults with moderate sleep complaints can improve self-rated sleep quality by initiating a regular moderate-intensity exercise program.”

Everyone knows it is important to get exercise.  Beyond improving the quality and duration of your sleep, it elevates confidence, energy level, happiness, and the other task to which your bed is predisposed.  If you have trouble sleeping, studies suggest using your bed exclusively for sleeping and sex (seriously); so get busy (exercise) and satisfy your body’s needs (for sleep).


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Art Show Like No Other: Lady GaGa

Seldom is creativity so bizarre that it can be labeled intriguing, disturbing, sparkly, and absurd. Modern art sometimes fits this bill..after watching the video for Bad Romance and ending with a confused and strange feeling, I’ve decided “modern art” is the only way I could attempt to classify the unclassifiable Lady Gaga’s works. Brace yourself before you watch it. It blurs through claw-like dances, kidnapping, poisoning, prostitution, diamonds, murder, and a dead polar name a few.

I call it art because the video is her abstract representation of a story. I Googled her explanation of this new wonder, and indeed, there is a plot. I’ll summarize.

Lady Gaga takes a bath to wash off her “badness” (which I assume is represented by the broken-style dancing that preceeds it). She is kidnapped by supermodels, who drug her, pour vodka down her throat, rip her clothes off, and ship her to an upscale whore house. Shots of Gaga dancing for an auction house of men while strewn in jewels are disected by clips of a reptilian-esque gaga – the beauty and the beast. Jump to a shot of the winning bidder sitting on a bed, awaiting his prize, who is shown walking up to meet him. A polar bear skin conceals a pyrotechnic bra which our little lady uses to torch the customer alive. The finale is a cigarette-smoking Lady Gaga laying in bed by the charred corpse. Hm.

Baffling, yes. Words obviously fall short. But I cannot help but find it curious and intriguing that so much organized absurdity can come from one musician/creative genius. Every detail is considered, each symbolism carefully thought out. Much like a Picasso or Matisse, the beauty lies in the bending of what we know. The first time I saw Guernica it seemed unfathomable that it could ever compare to Louis David’s immaculately executed Coronation of Napoleon; however, as I looked deeper, I found the appeal of Picasso to be in his creative portrayal of reality. This artist’s talent pulled the viewer away from her standard conception. He forced an openmindedness and reconsideration of “normal” that lay foundations for innumerable other alternative methods of expression. In my opinion, Lady GaGa does the same thing. Like all abstract and modern art, she is neither universally appealing nor understandable by our conventional means. And like all great artists, she wields elegant talent while remaining unscathed by the barrages of criticism that accompany it. To me, who will never step onto the streets in the things this woman drapes, sticks, balances, or paints onto her body, the core aspect of her appeal remains beautifully simple: She makes damn good sound!

And now, the much anticipated and rarely understood Lady GaGa in “Bad Romance” :

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Ladies and Gentlemen

About a year ago I moved into the lovely house I still call home. Three days after I unpack, in comes another new mate. Suddenly, I live with two guys.

I cordially invite you to my musings about life with these men.

First, let me introduce you to the other two thirds of Chadwell House: Ben and Daniel. Benny owns the house and Izzy, our crazy Weimaraner. He brokers corporate insurance and co-hosts our pool parties with me. Daniel plays pro baseball for Germany. He’s been in Huntsville for the off season and heads back in a month.

1. There is no such thing as “your” beer, or vodka, or cognac. Think community supply.

2. Three foods Always in stock: peanut butter, spagetti, milk.

3. “clean up” = put in sink.

4. Four different girls in one week is no longer an anomaly. And if you’re still up at 4am after a night out, better turn up the music to drown out a different kind of singing.

5. “Handyman” is shenanigans. Ad asking for help? Doubt it. Case in point: last winter we didn’t turn on the fireplace once. Ben thought it was broken. Turns out he just didn’t know how to light the pilot.

6. ESPN and HBO might as well be the only channels.

7. Sarcasm, lightheartedness, and laughs are a dime a dozen. Drama is virtually non-existant. My perception of “lewd” has been drastically modified; in stead of responding with “dear God..animals!” when I hear guy to guy exposés I can usually laugh along. Bypassing shock lets me see the entertainment value.

Ben and Daniel are both great frends, they’re like the big brothers I never had. Crude, hilarious, wild and strange, the world of men will always be somewhat of a mystery to me. Living with you two has really opened my eyes to what I can see when I’m beyond passing judgement. Love y’all!

Kid Sis A

Our backyard during summer

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Just threw iTunes on shuffle.  Here are the first ten songs that play:

1.  The Beatles – Eight Days A Week

2.  James Taylor – How Sweet It Is

3.  Kiss – Parasite

4.  Los Lonely Boys – Velvet Sky

5.  Schumann – Manfred Overture, Op. 115

6.  Frank Sinatra – I Have Dreamed

7.  Jack Johnson – The News

8.  Yo-Yo-Ma – Happy Xmas (War is Over) [stellar remix!]

9.  Bach – Suite for Cello No. 6 in D Minor

10. Dave Matthews Band – Lover Lay Down

I listened to Beatles, Schumann, Yo-Yo-Ma, Bach & DMB all the way through.  Point?  Make your own decisions, otherwise half the time you’ll end up fastforewarding to see if something better is up.  Unlike iTunes, life can’t be rewound.


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Social Media

I sit here contemplating the most efficient method for streamlining my social media system.  I have accounts on Twitter, WordPress, Delicious, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook (1personal, 2SCUBA).

How do I decide which updates on which medium are transferred to other mediums? And how do I automate this process? I mean besides copying and pasting links and logging in all over..the whole point of these internet evolutions is to streamline information and networking capacity.  Can anyone put the following concept into computer coded action? :  ‘Type your thought, post your link or photo or video, tag people across different systems, and check the boxes of your different sites where you want to display.”  Isn’t there an app for this?  And what a wealth of human social networking activity/data such an administrator could examine!  Would love to play around with that.

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Dave Chappelle

Yesterday, while bingeing out on some classic Chappelle, we found these diamonds.  The first is ridiculously funny about food and culture and examines our stereotypes in a typically DC way: blunt and hilarious. The second presents his astute observations on how impressions can be deceiving.. No intro will do justice..just watch.  On another cultural note, listen for a vocal resemblance when Dave breakes into his “white guy voice”. He sounds just like Obama!  I give you, “Grape Drink” and “How Women Dress”.  Enjoy

Davie C we miss you, come back!

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Intricate Language

” The presence of an organism modifies the environment to which it is exposed, so that the physical stimulus received from the environment is partly determined by the physiological response to the environment.”  – Principles of Environmental Physics, J.L. Monteith and M.H. Unswoth.

Intricately put.  A differential equation in action.  I wonder how to measure these things. 

Might it apply to psychological or social scenereos, too?

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