Media Mining Digest 29 – June 1, 2012: Forensic Pollenology and Science Advisors, Tinnitus, Mind Controlled Robot Arm, Science Sense, Mr Fix It, Renewable Energy, Aflatoxin Reduction, Press Freedom, Vaccine Distribution, Who Gets Lungs, African laptop Killer, Apple Co.Structure, Perspective Is Everything, Tracking the Trackers, Thorium Power, Virtual Dissections, Radio Control, DIY Tools, Reforming Science, Virtual Choir, Sound Cloud

The link to each item’s podcast is at the highlighted topic and reached by double-clicking or ctrl-clicking it. Actual podcasts  at 1.5x speed can be downloaded here for four months.

Forensic Pollenology and Science Advisors 28 mins – The first two segments of this four-part digest deal with pollenology and science advisors. Pollen provides the key evidence in the Bosnian war crimes trials and science advisors are made more valuable through networking with their peers as their numbers increase. Go to the link, find the title, “Material World 17th May 2012…,” right click on “material_20120517-1800b.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download the file.

Tinnitus 11 mins – Results of a randomized trial offer hope for the treatment of tinnitus, a steady or fluctuating ringing in one or both ears. It affects up to 20% of people worldwide. Key elements of the trial include assuring patients that their hearing is OK and they do not have a brain disease. Treatment was applied by a team, which isn’t cost-effective, but they helped by educating patients. Go to the link, locate “Listen to The Lancet: 25 MayFriday,” right click on “25may.mp3” below that and select “Save Link As…” to download the file.

Mind Controlled Robot Arm 10 mins – Researchers report in Nature that two individuals, both paralyzed by stroke, made reach-and-grasp movements using a thought-controlled robotic arm. One participant was even able to a sip a drink by herself. Click the “download” option to save the file.

Science Sense  71 mins –  In the 2012 Sense About Science Lecture, ‘What has science ever done for us?’, its founder and retiring chair Dick Taverne proposes that the development of science and democracy have gone hand in hand. He  delivered its annual lecture (five of previous six lectures are also available) at the Royal Society of Medicine where  he argues that … apart from making us wealthy, helping to feed the world, cutting infant mortality, explaining the origins of the planet and our species, letting us fly, watch television, expanding our lifespans, inventing anesthesia — science has made us more tolerant, compassionate and democratic. Right click “Download MP3″and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Mr Fix It  25 mins – This is the last of two stories in a one-hour program which starts about the 26 minute mark.  The first is  Joyce Johnson’s “The Fall of Texas” that chronicles a pivotal moment in the 1960s, when both the terrestrial world and the personal life of the heroine seemed about to collapse. Next is Percival Everett’s “The Fix,” read by host Isaiah Sheffer.  The story’s central character can fix anything! Go to the link, find the program title, “Miracles Can Happen,” right click on “Pcast_SS201134.mp3” and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Renewable energy 11 mins – Investment in renewable energy infrastructure is outstripping that for fossil fuels. Investment was equal in 2008, but during 2011, globally, $40 billion was invested in fossil fuels. $260 billion was invested in renewables. In the past year the price of photovoltaic cells has dropped by 50%.  Go to the link, right click on “Download Audible” and select “Save File As…”.

Aflatoxin Reduction  7 mins – Aflatoxin is a potent natural toxin and carcinogen produced by the Aspergillus fungus. It’s found in corn, dried chilli, and peanuts. Peanuts are carefully tested in western countries. But ground nuts from some African countries can’t be exported because of high levels of aflatoxins. Peter Cotty describes his lab’s work in combating the production of aflatoxin in crops. Go to link, right click “Download audio” and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Press Freedom  73 mins – Mike Ananny — Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism — describes how a public right to hear affects  what we want democracy to be with comments about “newsware,” on-demand journalism, and use of Application Programming Interfaces (API) to collect news. Right click “MP3” select “Save Link As…” to download.

Vaccine Distribution  61 mins – GAVI CEO Seth Berkley describes the challenges and successes of bringing lifesaving vaccines to people who live in the poorest countries.  A physician and epidemiologist, Berkley has devoted his career to improving international public health primarily through vaccines.  By pulling the specialist skills of all the main players in immunization –  WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, donor governments, developing countries, international development and finance organizations and the pharmaceutical industry – into one, decision-making body, GAVI has brought a single-minded focus to the urgent task of closing three critical gaps in the provision of vaccines. Go to the link, find the title, “Getting the Miracle of Vaccines to Those Who Most Need Them,” right click on the button Watch the podcast Video Podcast or Listen to the podcast Audio Podcast  and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Who Gets Lungs 15 mins – Ashley Dias is 26 years old. She has cystic fibrosis. She was told she’d need a lung transplant to survive, but lungs are a scarce resource. Unlike many scarce resources, lungs aren’t for sale. So doctors have had to develop a system to allocate them.Ashley’s life depends on that system. Go to the link and #372, right click on “npr_153038079.mp3 ” and select “Save Link As…” to download.

African Laptop Killer 15 mins – No infrastructure, no electricity. No electricity, no cable lines. No cable lines, no coaxial Internet connection. No coaxial Internet connection, no problem, because this is how, on the continent of Africa, Android and cell phones become the solution, according to Claire Hunsaker. Her mission is to cultivate consumer market within poverty-stricken areas of Kenya by focusing on access to practical data, developing payment systems, and efficient networking using Google’s Android operating system. Kenya mobile phone use for text and messaging is declining, but net access is increasing — to check crop prices, for health care and to use the mobile wallet. Right click on “Download” and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Apple Co. Structure 58 mins – “Adam Lashinsky, Fortune senior editor-at-large, shares an insider look at Apple, one of the world’s most iconic and secretive companies. Based on his research into the technology giant’s internal processes and approaches to leadership and building products, Lashinsky offers insights and surprises from his book, Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired–and Secretive–Company Really Works.”

Perspective Is Everything 18 mins – Rory Sutherland makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness. He stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment. Click on “download”button, right click audio or video and select “Save Link As…”

Tracking the Trackers 7 mins – As you surf the Web information is being collected about you. Behavioral tracking is not 100% evil — personal data can make your browsing more efficient; cookies can help your favorite websites stay in business. But, says Gary Kovacs, it’s your right to know what data is being collected about you and how it affects your online life. He unveils a Firefox add-on, called Collusion Project, to do just that. At the end of one day he found more than 150 sites tracking him which he had not visited! His 9-year-old daughter using the web produced a similar result. Kovacs is the CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, where he directs the development of Firefox. Click the “Download” button, then select audio or visual download, right click and select “Save Link As…”

Thorium Power 25 mins – Thorium is discussed starting about the five minute mark of this 25 minute digest. Decades ago, uranium won out over thorium as the nuclear fuel of choice to power the world’s reactors. A new book makes the argument that it’s high time to revisit thorium to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and deliver a safe energy source for the future. The book is called “Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future.” Right click the download button at the page bottom and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Virtual Dissection  7 mins –   Jack Choi demonstrates a powerful tool for training medical students: a stretcher-sized multi-touch screen of the human body that lets you explore, dissect and understand the body’s parts and systems. Jack is the CEO of Anatomage, a company specializing on 3D medical technology. Go to the link, click the “Download” button, right click audio or video and select “Save Link As…” to download.

Radio Control 66 mins – Episode #227 and #228  (78 minutes) chat about social activities of the hosts for the first half, but insights of interest are shared about small electric motors and batteries in the second half when they answer email. You’ll learn that electric motors produce constant rmp while gas motors produce constant power. Electricity generated by a running electric motor affects its performance and  changes as rpm slows. Its magnets lose magnetism when exposed to heat which affects power. Failing motor sounds, causes and prevention are also discussed. It’s RC geek talk that other hobbyists may find useful. Right click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to download the files. “Crashcast,” a related podcast in the “Duck Lipping” episode (#163, 80 mins) at the one-hour mark talks about a PhlatBoyZ3D printer being built for anyone wishing to check later on project progress.

DIY Tools  7 mins – Marcin Jakubowski in “Can We Open-Source Hardware?” describes fifty tools for a do-it-yourself civilization, including big tools like a DIY tractor, with links to related projects such as Open Source Ecology. Click Download to get the file.

Reforming Science Vincent, Rich, and Alan consider how to reform the scientific enterprise to make it more effective and robust. 91 mins – Three experienced researchers discuss two recent important articles from the American Society of Microbiology’s “Journal of Infection and Immunology” dealing with issues and solutions concerning the scientific community. The articles are “Reforming Science: Methodological and Cultural Reforms” and “Reforming Science: Structural Reforms” with over seventy references between them. Topics discussed include research types and goals, promotions, philosophy, collaboration, competition, teaching, retractions, budgeting, loss of women and minorities and lab size. The U.S. spends 99 times more on war than science research!  Right click “TWIV 184” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Virtual Choir 10 mins – Composer Eric Whitacre conducts thousands of singers from around the world. He explains the possibilities and challenges of making music. Over 2000 participants made submissions for one piece of music. Click Download to get the file.

Sound Cloud 63 mins – Alexander Ljung, founder of Sound Cloud, talks about the “Flickr” or “YouTube” of sound. Free accounts can be created with two hours of audio at any resolution or file size, i.e., high resolution. The smallest paid account is for four hours and costs 29 Euros/year (about $36). The company is European and five years old. A large mix of audio files are available, from individual freelancers to The New Yorker and Economist as well as the University of Cambridge. A companion site is Wattpad for writers where material can be presented as it is prepared. Right click “Audio” in the “download” section and select “Save Target As” to download file.

The 88 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are gathered using Feedreader3 and are available as a opm file at Google Docs. A PDF of feeds is also available there. Free Commander is used to compare old and new downloads to remove duplicates. MP3SpeedChanger is used to change playback speed of multiple files as a batch. Speed listening background article here.

Thanks for stopping by.


About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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