An Educational Blog
Facial Recognition (Technology): _____ _____ Prologue: Faces are special. Days after birth, an infant can distinguish his/her mother’s face from those of other women. Babies are more reliably engaged by a sketch of a face than they are by other images. Though human faces are quite similar in their basic composition, most of us can differentiate effortlessly among them. A face is a codex of social information: it can often tell us at a glance, someone’s age, gender, racial background and mood. The human brain is often less reliable than digital algorithms, but it remains superior at facial recognition. At the airport, when a scanner compares your face with your passport photo, the lighting is perfect and the angle is perfect. By contrast, an average human can recognize a family member from behind. No computer will ever be able to do that. Though we may take for granted our brain’s […]
Sexual Harassment: _____ _____ Prologue: In October 2016, a month before the presidential election, a 2005 tape came to the public’s attention. In raw footage from behind the scenes on Access Hollywood, Republican candidate Donald Trump bragged boldly about kissing women without their consent, grabbing at their genitals, and simply having his way: “…when you’re a star, they let you do it.” In a subsequent debate, CNN’s Anderson Cooper called the actions that Trump described “sexual assault.” Trump called it “locker room talk.” Whatever the term, the behavior and the attitude ultimately proved inconsequential, not sufficiently meaningful or outrageous to derail Trump’s election victory. In January 2017, Trump took up the position as the most powerful man in the world. Yet, almost exactly one year later, scores of women are stepping up and speaking out. They tell heart-breaking, terrifying stories of sexual harassment, and sexual assault at the hands of […]
ATHEISM: _____ Caveat: This article has no desire to insult anybody in any way at all. If anyone feels offended, it is a regrettable misunderstanding because the criticisms are aimed at the objectives of the belief, never at believers as individuals. I recognize and respect right of all individuals to believe in their faith and their God if that helps them to live better life in the brief period of human existence allotted to them. But religious beliefs and doctrines become dangerous if they threaten the liberty and the integrity of the individual or of the society. _____ _____ Prologue: According to Psalm 14 of the Bible, people who don’t believe in God are filthy, corrupt fools, entirely incapable of doing any good. Before the 18th century, the existence of God was so accepted in the western world that even the possibility of true atheism was questioned. This is called […]
HUMAN EVOLUTION: _ Figure below shows conservator Effie Verveniotou and human origins researcher Dr Louise Humphrey examine the oldest nearly complete modern human skeleton ever found in Britain before it goes on display in the gallery. Cheddar Man is a human male fossil found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. Excavated in 1903, Cheddar Man is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton. Cheddar Man lived around 10,000 years ago. Analysis of his nuclear DNA indicates that he was a typical member of the western European population at the time, with lactose intolerance, dark skin, blue eyes, and dark curly or wavy hair. ________ Prologue: Recently, minister of state for human resource development of India said that the Darwinian theory of evolution was scientifically wrong and should not be taught in Indian institutions. Many scientists and students signed a petition calling upon him to withdraw his remarks. Three science academies […]
DERAILMENT: _______ _______ Prologue: A tremor was followed by a “loud sound like an earthquake”. The carriages began to shake and inside them, passengers began falling on each other. Some carriages telescoped into each other, others rose vertically, “almost standing upright”. In a major train derailment accident, at least 23 passengers were killed and over 60 injured when 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express jumped the rails in Khatauli, India at 5.45 pm on19 August 2017 as seen in the figure above. Indian Railways has had the most derailments in a decade in 2016-17: 78 derailments with 193 people dead. On September 14, 2017 (coincidentally my birthday) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for $17 billion bullet train, the Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express jumped the tracks at New Delhi station, the ninth derailment in 27 days, a consequence of […]
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