Saturday, May 31, 2014

3D-Printed, Self Assembling Heat Robots In The Making From MIT

MIT Develops 3D Printed, 'Baked' Robots

Headlines & Global News - ‎4 hours ago‎
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) introduced 3D printed robots that can be baked for easy assembly.
3D-Printed, Self Assembling Heat Robots In The Making From MIT
3D printed robots begin to self-assemble
Easy-Bake Robots? 3D-Printed Bots Could Self-Assemble When Heated

3D-Printed, Self Assembling Heat Robots In The Making From MIT

Two new studies have demonstrated an innovative design in which 3-D robots, when exposed to heat, can automatically fold, shape and assemble themselves.
Daniela Rus, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT, has confirmed the progress in the promise of 3D printed robots by her research team.
3D-Printed, Self Assembling Robots In The Making From MIT
She has decided to announce the research at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Hong Kong this weekend.
The researchers also traversed the path to build electrical components, like resistors, inductors, and capacitors, as well as sensors and actuators — from these self-assembling materials.
Rus and her colleagues used heated sheets of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, placed between two rigid polyester films that are full of slits to make a two-dimensional sheet of material literally jump off the page and assemble itself into a 3-D machine.
3D-Printed, Self Assembling Robots In The Making From MIT
“The PVC shrinks when heated and the slits eventually shut, pushing against each other and altering the shape of the PVC.” “This process bends the material into different shapes, based on the pattern of slits and how the heat interacts with the PVC.”
“We have this big dream of the hardware compiler, where you can specify, ‘I want a robot that will play with my cat,’ or ‘I want a robot that will clean the floor,’ and from this high-level specification, you actually generate a working device,” Rus said in a statement. “So far, we have tackled some subproblems in the space, and one is this end-to-end system where you have a picture, and at the other end, you have an object that realizes that picture.”
Shuhei Miyashita, a researcher at MIT and part of the research team, created an aluminum-coated polyester sensor that can be attached to robots once completely assembled.
The sensor looks like a small accordion, with folds of material that compress and help electrical currents pass through the system.
You’re doing this really complicated global control that moves every edge in the system at the same time,” said Rus. “You want to design those edges in such a way that the result of composing all these motions, which actually interfere with each other, leads to the correct geometric structure.”

end quote from:

3D-Printed, Self Assembling Heat Robots In The Making From MIT

Veterans voicing frustration over crisis at VA hospitals

Veterans voicing frustration over crisis at VA hospitals

Boston Globe - ‎13 minutes ago‎
WASHINGTON - Marc Schenker, a US Air Force veteran in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is having surgery this month to remove a golf-ball-size hernia - but not at a veterans hospital.
He was Shinseki's commanding officer in Vietnam
Reactions differ on VA official's resignation
Abolish VA health and turn to insurance
VA audit: Staff falsified records to collect bonuses
Eric Shinseki

Veterans voicing frustration over crisis at VA hospitals

Many in survey praise care while decrying delays

Marc Schenker, an Air Force veteran from Florida, opted for private hernia surgery after waiting for months for an appointment at a Veterans Affairs hospital.
Oscar Hidalgo/New York Times
Marc Schenker, an Air Force veteran from Florida, opted for private hernia surgery after waiting for months for an appointment at a Veterans Affairs hospital.
WASHINGTON — Marc Schenker, a US Air Force veteran in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is having surgery this month to remove a golf-ball-size hernia — but not at a veterans hospital. Schenker, 67, said he had given up on the Veterans Affairs hospital in Miami after waiting months to get the procedure scheduled and turned to a private surgeon instead, using Medicare.
“It’s frustrating and infuriating that there are so many dedicated doctors who work for the VA but it seems impossible to get to them,” said Schenker, who served in the Tactical Air Command in Vietnam. “They’re serving too many people.”
In interviews and in hundreds of responses to a questionnaire posted on The New York Times website, veterans around the country expressed frustration with delayed access to care and what many described as an impenetrable and unresponsive bureaucracy at department hospitals and clinics, even as many praised the quality of care they received once they saw doctors.
Their complaints included repeated canceled appointments and unreturned calls, lengthy waits for appointments, and rapid turnover in physicians.
They give voice to findings by the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs last week that officials at the veterans medical center in Phoenix and elsewhere used a variety of schemes to hide increasingly long waits for medical care. The complaints were not independently verified.
A department audit released Friday confirmed the systemic nature of the abuse, finding that in nearly two-thirds of facilities there had been at least one instance of reporting false wait-time data. The secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, who had come under bipartisan attack for the widening scandal, resigned after presenting the audit to President Obama.
Many veterans interviewed Friday said they did not fault Shinseki for the problems that have plagued the department, which is straining to accommodate a rising tide of veterans from not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Vietnam and earlier wars.
Yet some expressed relief that their grievances had finally been confirmed, and said they saw Shinseki’s departure as an opportunity for an aggressive overhaul of the health care system, the nation’s largest, with 150 hospitals and 820 outpatient clinics serving more than 8 million veterans.
“I think that firings need to go on all over the country,” said Claude V. D’Unger, 68, an Army veteran in Corpus Christi, Texas, who said he had all but stopped seeking care at the department after he could not get a timely CT scan to check a nodule on his lung. After calling for an appointment and being told that he would have to wait at least two months, D’Unger said, he contacted a private doctor who performed the scan the next day.
The Phoenix medical center is at the center of the scandal, with a department investigation confirming last week that 1,700 patients were not placed on the official waiting list for doctors’ appointments and may never have received care. Veterans outside the hospital Friday had differing views on whether Shinseki’s resignation would change anything.
Kimberly Mitchell, 53, who served in the Navy from 1979 to 1983, said she had been consistently happy with the care she had received at veterans hospitals, including surgery for a noncancerous brain tumor in Denver in 2010. Her comments echoed many responses to the Times questionnaire that described care in the system as superb and in some cases said it did not require long waits.
“I thank God every day for the VA,” she said.
  end quote from:

Veterans voicing frustration over crisis at VA hospitals

Also, with Shinseki gone nothing is really going to change because it is about funding. Not everyone is going to be covered because there is not enough money to pay the doctors and nurses for everyone who is a veteran. It is very simple. I don't know why Republicans and Democrats aren't talking about the truth which is all Republicans and some Democrats won't vote for the funding of the VA to properly cover everyone. And they aren't talking about this because that would be the truth and voters would really be pissed off to know the truth.

War of words from China towards U.S. and Japan

China hits back at US, Japan for 'provocative' remarks

Times of India - ‎6 minutes ago‎
SINGAPORE: China denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US defence secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday for "provocative" remarks accusing Beijing of destabilizing actions in contested Asian waters.
Chuck Hagel: Beijing 'destabilising' South China Sea
China hits back at US and Japan for 'provocative' remarks

Libya closer to full civil war

Analysis: Libya closer to full civil war

Jerusalem Post - ‎2 hours ago‎
According to a report published in the British newspaper, The Times, on Friday, quoting Olivier Guitta, the director of the London-based Henry Jackson Society think-tank, French, American and Algerian special forces are on their way to southern Libya ...
Libya's general in his labyrinth
General: Libya will fight it out, then go to polls

Analysis: Libya closer to full civil war

06/01/2014 06:34

The situation in the country has deteriorated so much that the US suspended training by US special forces after a local militia stole a cache of American-provided weapons.

Fighters protest
Fighters protest Photo: ISMAIL ZITOUNY/ REUTERS
Libya seems to be heading towards a major civil war, waiting for its next strong man to put a lid on the chaos and control the various parties.
The Libyan government is unable to control its territory.
The situation in the country has deteriorated so much that the US suspended training by US special forces after a local militia stole a cache of American-provided weapons.
According to a report published in the British newspaper, The Times, on Friday, quoting Olivier Guitta, the director of the London-based Henry Jackson Society think-tank, French, American and Algerian special forces are on their way to southern Libya to attack al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
After a contested vote in parliament three weeks ago, businessman Ahmed Maiteeq was appointed as Libya’s third prime minister in two months – with backing from Islamists and independents in the splintered General National Congress (GNC).
On Wednesday, his predecessor, acting prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni, refused to hand over power after questioning the legality of Maiteeq’s appointment by parliament.
Meanwhile, a former Libyan army officer, Khalifa Haftar, began a self-declared campaign against extremists he accuses Islamist parties in the GNC of allowing to flourish.
The West helped create a vacuum in Libya where various tribes, militias and Islamist groups roam, where each group seeks to aggrandize and/or protect its own power and territory.
Like in other Arab countries, local identity, or that of the family or ethnic group, override an overarching, modern national one.
Philip S. Koury and Joseph Kostiner wrote in the introduction to their book Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East: “States that contain or coexist with tribal societies have encountered difficulty developing efficient administrative machineries and compelling ideologies necessary to achieve legitimacy.”
“Instead, they have depended heavily on physical and psychological coercion to expand their control,” they said.
The continuing chaos that broke out upon the uprising and the subsequent Western military intervention in 2011 is because no one party has been able to monopolize power within Libyan territory, and hence, put a stop to inter-group warfare.
And like in other Arab countries, to maintain order, it seems necessary for an unforgiving strongman to hold the disparate factions together. Former Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi was able to do it, though brutally.
In Syria, the country is suffering from similar chaos due to ethnic and religious divisions and President Bashar Assad has lost control of much of the country’s territory.
And in Sudan, which borders Libya to the southeast, it broke up into two states, and the strife there is still far from over.
Some analysts have opined that breaking up the Arab states and drawing new borders that better reflect ethnic and tribal divisions would provide for more stability.
But drawing such borders would be difficult to carry out and moreover, would not perfectly align with ethnic divisions on the ground, with disputes lingering as to their location.
Libya, which lies on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is bordered by Algeria on the West, Niger, Chad and Sudan to the south, and Egypt to the East.
These countries are very concerned about the instability in Libya and are no doubt interfering to support groups in the country that support their interests.
Egypt’s newly elected president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is likely to continue the all-out battle against the Islamist insurgency at home and work to prevent Libya from becoming an Islamist bastion – along with its Gulf allies, led by Saudi Arabia.
For this reason, they are likely to support the upstart Haftar and his forces that struggle against the Islamist- backed Maiteeq.
Weapons are already flowing from Libya to Islamists in Sinai and even into Gaza. If Haftar’s forces can help control the border-area and reduce the Islamist threat to Sisi’s government, cooperation could be carried out.
On the other hand, Qatar and Turkey, which have a history of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, could throw their support behind Maiteeq.
Reuters contributed to this report.
  end quote from:

Analysis: Libya closer to full civil war

group of 6 feared dead on Mount Rainier

Minneapolis Star Tribune - ‎1 hour ago‎
A St. Paul man is among a group of six people - four climbers and two guides - who were likely killed in a rockslide or avalanche on Mount Rainier in Washington.
Six dead in disaster on US peak Mount Rainier
Official: 6 climbers likely died in mountain fall
'No chance of survival' for 6 missing Mount Rainier climbers

St. Paul man in group of 6 feared dead on Mount Rainier

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 31, 2014 - 11:34 PM
Mark Mahaney, 26, was passionate about climbing.
Mark Mahaney of St. Paul
Photo: Provided photo,
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A St. Paul man is among a group of six people — four climbers and two guides — who were likely killed in a rockslide or avalanche on Mount Rainier in Washington.
Mark Mahaney, 26, was among the group that was due back from their climb on ­Friday.
The climbers were killed in a 3,300-foot fall along the steep north slope of the mountain, officials said Saturday, in the worst disaster on the mountain in more than three decades.
When they were overdue, a helicopter search found a debris field of tents, clothing and other items over Carbon Glacier on the mountain’s steep north side. The pattern of the debris suggests an avalanche or rockslide. Helicopters got low enough to pick up pings from avalanche beacons, buried in the snow, said Fawn Bauer, spokeswoman for the National Park Service.
“They [rescuers] feel there is no chance of survival at this point,” Bauer said. Air and ground searches were suspended four hours before nightfall.
Mahaney had two great passions in his life, said his uncle, Rob Mahaney: his girlfriend and climbing.
“He was following his dream,” he said of his nephew, adding Mark Mahaney’s devastated father and brother were heading to Washington.
A graduate of Prior Lake High School before making his home in St. Paul, he had climbed Mount Rainier once before, his uncle said. He was an experienced climber, had scaled Mount McKinley in Alaska and particularly loved the sport of ice climbing. His nephew reveled in the physical challenge and the emotional exhilaration climbing brought to his active life.
“We have to celebrate Mark. This is what he loved to do,” Rob Mahaney said. “This was his passion.”
Mount Rainier, southeast of Seattle, stands at 14,410 feet and attracts thousands of climbers trying to reach its summit every year. Nearly 11,000 people attempted to reach the summit of Mount Rainier in 2013, and in most years about half of those try reach the top, according to National Park Service statistics.
About 200 people were on the mountain about this time last year, which is considered early in the climbing season. Some of the climbs on Mount Rainier can be completed in a few hours, though most people take two or three days to reach the summit.
Bauer said climbing rangers conducted a thorough search for Mahaney’s group that included looking into crevasses.
“That is a steep face, almost like an avalanche chute,” she said of the Liberty Ridge route that the six took. The Liberty Ridge route is one of the toughest and most dangerous ways up the mountain.
Last week, the Park Service reported the Liberty Ridge route as being in good condition with soft snow on the ground during the day. Snow flurries passed through the national park late Wednesday.
The climbers were last heard from Wednesday about 6 p.m., when they reported they would camp overnight at 12,800 feet elevation.
The two guides were from a respected company called Alpine Ascents. The lead guide for the missing climbers, Matt Hegeman, had climbed Rainier more than 50 times.
“Obviously this is a tragedy — it is very sad,” said Todd Burleson, the company’s founder. “We are very sad for the families and the loss of our guys. Everyone mourns this.”
Since 1897, at least 89 people have died on Mount Rainier during summit climbs, according to the Park Service. Forty-five search and rescue operations took place between October 2012 and September 2013, costing about $150,000, according to the Park Service.
end quote from:

St. Paul man in group of 6 feared dead on Mount Rainier

Self Discipline

Self Discipline is a part of western culture and comes from places like the Knights of the Round Table and Noblesse Oblige and Chivalry and Knights in Western Culture. I was raised to think this way too.

If I think back why I was able to not kill myself or do other bad things in my early 20s it was mostly because I was taught to think of myself as a Christian Knight and that I had an obligation to protect women and my parents and anyone who needed my protection including myself. This self respect kept me alive when others would have killed themselves in my position. It also kept me from harming or raping women, it also kept me from becoming a criminal and harming others, it's also was why I would form a line waiting to get into a movie or anything else. Or as the British would say, "Form a Que".

However, this self discipline is not a natural part of non-European Cultures. I would call what we mistake for self discipline is obedience to family, loyalty to family, loyalty to religion or to a monarch or to the state. Yes. It is true that many individuals in those cultures respect what I would call self disciplne, chivalry, Western European honor and the ability to die in battle in a self disciplined manner based upon western values but this is not a general truth within non-western cultures.

This chivalry and Noblesse Oblige also exists in young men especially in the middle class and upper class in America in regard to rape in that young men in America generally are taught to be self disciplined enough to not engage in rape of women or men.

Around the world, this way of thinking is often foreign to those cultures even though some people in those cultures strive to the code of chivalry and nobles oblige.

Often women in western cultures fought alongside their men in battle. This also created situations on into the future where equality for women became a more natural thing in many western cultures. Often if someone tried to rape these women who fought in battle the women killed these people if they could because they were trained to fight. This extends all the way down through history to today.

Whereas if a young woman in say Africa in some cultures there is asked for for sex from a man and she is single she might be required to say "yes". So, this is often how these kinds of things play out in other cultures. This was especially bad when AIDS began in those cultures when millions began to die from this custom.

Whereas often in Asian cultures men have rights and women don't because all property is owned by men. So, in a culture like this all women become property and don't have individual rights except within a family setting. In these kinds of cultures rape especially becomes endemic to those cultures except where a family protects the honor of it's women or the honor of the family in whatever that means to the family there.

Whereas in Tibetan Culture property is generally owned by women so a man's role might be different in a culture like this.

So, what I'm saying here is that "Self Discipline" the way we think of it here in America and Europe does not exist in the same way in other cultures but is based upon a group loyalty rather than the self respect of oneself and the protection of oneself, women, children and others. So, the concept of self respect and even of individuality might not exist like it does in western culture. So, how it would manifest might be something more like family honor but not necessarily self discipline or self respect.

So, expecting this kind of thing in non-western Cultures isn't necessarily useful because it is not a natural phenomenon but rather when it exists is for them an adaptation to the mores of another culture than their own.

Chivalry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is a code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealised German custom.

Noblesse oblige - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges". It is the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person ...

Reprint: 750,000 Teen Pregnancies in U.S. per year

750,000 Teen Pregnancies in U.S. per year

I noticed several people reading this article that I wrote and compiled in 2011 so I thought it was appropriate because of what happened at UCSB recently and several articles examining misogyny and rape culture and other related topics.

Monday, November 7, 2011

750,000 Teen Pregnancies in U.S. per year

I was reading on page 31 of the latest Time Magazine of November 14th 2011 how Teenage Mom's have a 41 percent chance of their children engaging in delinquent behavior as they grow up. As I was reading this I also found that we have the highest amount of teenage pregnancies in the industrialized world. This didn't sound very good and then my wife got really upset about this and said, "You cannot get a girl who gets pregnant at 16 through college usually after that!" and then got really angry about the whole thing being very into upward mobility for women. So then she asked "What does 41 percent mean?" So, I looked the statistic up and it is based upon 750,000 pregnancies with 8 of 10 unwanted and about the same unmarried.

So, at least in regard to teenage pregnancies we are one of the most backward nations in the industrialized world. This does not bode well for our future because 41% equals 307,500 delinquents born every year. And this means hiring more police and prison guards than college teachers or high school teachers after about age 12 to 14 for this group. It also means less productive citizens for a longer period in each of these kids lives and it also means unwanted crimes committed and unwanted deaths along the way for society to deal with. So, at least in regards to teenage pregnancies our country is devolving in this respect and becoming a less safe place for everyone as a direct result of these ongoing statistics.

My other source of statistics for this blog article is the following:

However, it is also important to consider that teenage birth rates used to be much worse than now. In fact they peaked from 1965 to 1980 according to the following report:

In the middle and upper middle class area I grew up in Los Angeles County it was quite common for girls 15 to 16 years old then in 1965 to say something like, "Oh. I want a pretty little baby." And then they would go  to convince their latest boyfriend to give them a baby. Unfortunately, this mostly didn't wind up in a marriage or even two parents living together raising that child but usually just the girls parents raising their grandchild along with their now 16 or 17 year old daughter who was a new mother. I remember, visiting a Thifty Drug Store in Glendale during this time and meeting old friends who had married at age 16 because the girl had gotten pregnant. They seemed so very 16 like me but wanted to show me their new baby. I fought back panic and nausea at this experience because from my point of view they might as well have been 10 years old as 16 and I knew that I wouldn't be ready for this until I was 21 to 25 at the very earliest. However, I must also say that getting married soon after high school graduation was a pretty normal thing to do in 1965 for many people not going to a 4 year college. And there were always a lot of people who married then at 18 out of high school so they could live together at college and both sets of parents often supported this at that time as well. People all just generally were expected to grow up a lot sooner than now. This all changed with the 1960s, the 1970s, the Viet Nam War, AIDS etc. to where we are now. But then getting married very young was very common except among Ivy Leagers and people in College Prep High schools who tended to wait until at least 20 to 25 to get married even then. (Although there were always exceptions to every rule).  

2 girls left hanging from a Mango Tree in India after being gang raped

2 more men arrested in gang-rape of teens left hanging from tree in India

CNN - ‎11 minutes ago‎
New Delhi (CNN) -- Indian authorities arrested two more men in the gang-rape of two teenage girls found hanging from a mango tree in a rural northern village.
Badaun Gang-Rape: 'I Don't Need Compensation, I Want Justice,' Says Father
Rahul Gandhi meets family of Badaun gang-rape victims, demands CBI probe
Rahul meets family of Badaun gangrape victims



2 more men arrested in gang-rape of teens left hanging from tree in India

updated 2:12 AM EDT, Sat May 31, 2014
Watch this video

Do women feel safe in India?

  • The shocking attack on the cousins ages 14 and 16 sparks outrage worldwide
  • The two arrested are a police constable and one of three brothers
  • A total of five men are in custody so far: three brothers and two police officers
  • All five men are facing rape and murder charges, authorities say
New Delhi (CNN) -- Indian authorities arrested two more men in the gang-rape of two teenage girls found hanging from a mango tree in a rural northern village.
Angry villagers surrounded the bodies for hours when they were found Wednesday, accusing police of siding with the suspects and blocking them from taking the girls down.
The allegations fueled anger in the community, but calm was restored after authorities promised to take action.
The arrests of a police constable and another man on Friday night bring the number of suspects in custody to five, authorities said.
All five men -- three brothers and two police officers -- are facing rape and murder charges, said R.K.S. Rathore, a senior police officer.
More charges
In addition to the rape and murder charges, the police officers have been charged with conspiracy in the crime and negligence of duty, but the prosecution may review the counts as the investigation progresses, he said.
The shocking attack on the cousins ages 14 and 16 sparked outrage in Katra Sadatganj village and beyond.
A photo from the village in Uttar Pradesh state showed the body of one girl, dressed in a green tunic and pants, hanging from the tree. A crowd that included young children gathered around the grisly scene.
Police said an autopsy confirmed the girls had been raped and strangled. They were cremated Wednesday night in line with Hindu customs, said Mukesh Saxena, a local police official.
Police under scrutiny
The girls were out in the orchard relieving themselves Tuesday night when the attackers grabbed them, authorities said.
Some people saw the abduction, but were unable to stop it, Saxena said, citing eyewitnesses.
The victims' relatives accused local police of failing to respond and siding with the suspects when the parents reported the case. The allegations have fueled anger among the villagers.
'Endemic' violence
The horrific gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi in late 2012 shook India, focusing sharp attention on violent crimes against women in the country, the world's second most populous after China.
The case prompted protests in many cities, soul-searching in the media and changes to the law. But shocking instances of sexual violence continue to come to light.
"Laws can only do so much when you have to end something which is as endemic and as entrenched as violence against women," said Divya Iyer, a senior researcher for Amnesty International in Bangalore, India.
The country's new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has said he wants to take steps to ensure women are safe, particularly in rural India. But women's rights groups have criticized what they say is a lack of specific proposals to tackle the problem, suggesting gender inequality doesn't appear to be high on his list of priorities.
CNN's Harmeet Shah Singh reported from New Delhi, and Faith Karimi reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Jethro Mullen contributed to this report
end quote from:

2 more men arrested in gang-rape of teens left hanging from tree in India

Unfortunately, this is an example of a rape culture where after being raped the girls are killed by hanging. This is an example of what discrimination against women and rape culture when they come together looks like. IN this kind of culture the women would be blamed for the rape by the men who did it and then killed after being gang raped.