Category Archives: Vortices Mentales

Cracking the Brain’s Codes

How does the brain speak to itself?

IWhat Is Life? (1944), one of the fundamental questions the physicist Erwin Schrödinger posed was whether there was some sort of “hereditary code-script” embedded in chromosomes. A decade later, Crick and Watson answered Schrödinger’s question in the affirmative. Genetic information was stored in the simple arrangement of nucleotides along long strings of DNA.

The question was what all those strings of DNA meant. As most schoolchildren now know, there was a code contained within: adjacent trios of nucleotides, so-called codons, are transcribed from DNA into transient sequences of RNA molecules, which are translated into the long chains of amino acids that we know as proteins. Cracking that code turned out to be a linchpin of virtually everything that followed in molecular biology. As it happens, the code for translating trios of nucleotides into amino acids (for example, the nucleotides AAG code for the amino acid lysine) turned out to be universal; cells in all organisms, large or small—bacteria, giant sequoias, dogs, and people—use the same code with minor variations. Will neuroscience ever discover something of similar beauty and power, a master code that allows us to interpret any pattern of neural activity at will?

At stake is virtually every radical advance in neuroscience that we might be able to imagine—brain implants that enhance our memories or treat mental disorders like schizophrenia and depression, for example, and neuroprosthetics that allow paralyzed patients to move their limbs. Because everything that you think, remember, and feel is encoded in your brain in some way, deciphering the activity of the brain will be a giant step toward the future of neuroengineering.

Someday, electronics implanted directly into the brain will enable patients with spinal-cord injury to bypass the affected nerves and control robots with their thoughts (see “The Thought Experiment”). Future biofeedback systems may even be able to anticipate signs of mental disorder and head them off. Where people in the present use keyboards and touch screens, our descendants a hundred years hence may use direct brain-machine interfaces.

But to do that—to build software that can communicate directly with the brain—we need to crack its codes. We must learn how to look at sets of neurons, measure how they are firing, and reverse-engineer their message.

A Chaos of Codes

Already we’re beginning to discover clues about how the brain’s coding works. Perhaps the most fundamental: except in some of the tiniest creatures, such as the roundworm C. elegans, the basic unit of neuronal communication and coding is the spike (or action potential), an electrical impulse of about a tenth of a volt that lasts for a bit less than a millisecond. In the visual system, for example, rays of light entering the retina are promptly translated into spikes sent out on the optic nerve, the bundle of about one million output wires, called axons, that run from the eye to the rest of the brain. Literally everything that you see is based on these spikes, each retinal neuron firing at a different rate, depending on the nature of the stimulus, to yield several megabytes of visual information per second. The brain as a whole, throughout our waking lives, is a veritable symphony of neural spikes—perhaps one trillion per second. To a large degree, to decipher the brain is to infer the meaning of its spikes.

But the challenge is that spikes mean different things in different contexts. It is already clear that neuroscientists are unlikely to be as lucky as molecular biologists. Whereas the code converting nucleotides to amino acids is nearly universal, used in essentially the same way throughout the body and throughout the natural world, the spike-to-information code is likely to be a hodgepodge: not just one code but many, differing not only to some degree between different species but even between different parts of the brain. The brain has many functions, from controlling our muscles and voice to interpreting the sights, sounds, and smells that surround us, and each kind of problem necessitates its own kinds of codes.

A comparison with computer codes makes clear why this is to be expected. Consider the near-ubiquitous ASCII code representing the 128 characters, including numbers and alphanumeric text, used in communications such as plain-text e-mail. Almost every modern computer uses ASCII, which encodes the capital letter A as “100 0001,” B as “100 0010,” C as “100 0011,” and so forth. When it comes to images, however, that code is useless, and different techniques must be used. Uncompressed bitmapped images, for example, assign strings of bytes to represent the intensities of the colors red, green, and blue for each pixel in the array making up an image. Different codes represent vector graphics, movies, or sound files.

Evidence points in the same direction for the brain. Rather than a single universal code spelling out what patterns of spikes mean, there appear to be many, depending on what kind of information is to be encoded. Sounds, for example, are inherently one-dimensional and vary rapidly across time, while the images that stream from the retina are two-­dimensional and tend to change at a more deliberate pace. Olfaction, which depends on concentrations of hundreds of airborne odorants, relies on another system altogether. That said, there are some general principles. What matters most is not precisely when a particular neuron spikes but how often it does; the rate of firing is the main currency.

Consider, for example, neurons in the visual cortex, the area that receives impulses from the optic nerve via a relay in the thalamus. These neurons represent the world in terms of the basic elements making up any visual scene—lines, points, edges, and so on. A given neuron in the visual cortex might be stimulated most vigorously by vertical lines. As the line is rotated, the rate at which that neuron fires varies: four spikes in a tenth of a second if the line is vertical, but perhaps just once in the same interval if it is rotated 45° counterclockwise. Though the neuron responds most to vertical lines, it is never mute. No single spike signals whether it is responding to a vertical line or something else. Only in the aggregate—in the neuron’s rate of firing over time—can the meaning of its activity be discerned.

This strategy, known as rate coding, is used in different ways in different brain systems, but it is common throughout the brain. Different subpopulations of neurons encode particular aspects of the world in a similar fashion—using firing rates to represent variations in brightness, speed, distance, orientation, color, pitch, and even haptic information like the position of a pinprick on the palm of your hand. Individual neurons fire most rapidly when they detect some preferred stimulus, less rapidly when they don’t.

To make things more complicated, spikes emanating from different kinds of cells encode different kinds of information. The retina is an intricately layered piece of nervous-system tissue that lines the back of each eye. Its job is to transduce the shower of incoming photons into outgoing bursts of electrical spikes. Neuroanatomists have identified at least 60 different types of retinal neurons, each with its own specialized shape and function. The axons of 20 different retinal cell types make up the optic nerve, the eye’s sole output. Some of these cells signal motion in several cardinal directions; others specialize in signaling overall image brightness or local contrast; still others carry information pertaining to color. Each of these populations streams its own data, in parallel, to different processing centers upstream from the eye. To reconstruct the nature of the information that the retina encodes, scientists must track not only the rate of every neuron’s spiking but also the identity of each cell type. Four spikes coming from one type of cell may encode a small colored blob, whereas four spikes from a different cell type may encode a moving gray pattern. The number of spikes is meaningless unless we know what particular kind of cell they are coming from.

And what is true of the retina seems to hold throughout the brain. All in all, there may be up to a thousand neuronal cell types in the human brain, each presumably with its own unique role.

Wisdom of Crowds

Typically, important codes in the brain involve the action of many neurons, not just one. The sight of a face, for instance, triggers activity in thousands of neurons in higher-order sectors of the visual cortex. Every cell responds somewhat differently, reacting to a different detail—the exact shape of the face, the hue of its skin, the direction in which the eyes are focused, and so on. The larger meaning inheres in the cells’ collective response.

A major breakthrough in understanding this phenomenon, known as population coding, came in 1986, when Apostolos Georgopoulos, Andrew Schwartz, and Ronald Kettner at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine learned how a set of neurons in the motor cortex of monkeys encoded the direction in which a monkey moves a limb. No one neuron fully determined where the limb would move, but information aggregated across a population of neurons did. By calculating a kind of weighted average of all the neurons that fired, Georgopoulos and his colleagues found, they could reliably and precisely infer the intended motion of the monkey’s arm.

One of the first illustrations of what neurotechnology might someday achieve builds directly on this discovery. Brown University neuroscientist John ­Donoghue has leveraged the idea of population coding to build neural “decoders”—incorporating both software and electrodes—that interpret neural firing in real time. ­Donoghue’s team implanted a brushlike array of microelectrodes directly into the motor cortex of a paralyzed patient to record neural activity as the patient imagined various types of motor activities. With the help of algorithms that interpreted these signals, the patient could use the results to control a robotic arm. The “mind” control of the robot arm is still slow and clumsy, akin to steering an out-of-alignment moving van. But the work is a powerful hint of what is to come as our capacity to decode the brain’s activity improves.

Among the most important codes in any animal’s brain are the ones it uses to pinpoint its location in space. How does our own internal GPS work? How do patterns of neural activity encode where we are? A first important hint came in the early 1970s with the discovery by John O’Keefe at University College in London of what became known as place cells in the hippocampus of rats. Such cells fire every time the animal walks or runs through a particular part of a familiar environment. In the lab, one place cell might fire most often when the animal is near a maze’s branch point; another might respond most actively when the animal is close to the entry point. The husband-and-wife team of Edward and May-Britt Moser discovered a second type of spatial coding based on what are known as grid cells. These neurons fire most actively when an animal is at the vertices of an imagined geometric grid representing its environment. With sets of such cells, the animal is able to triangulate its position, even in the dark. (There appear to be at least four different sets of these grid cells at different resolutions, allowing a fine degree of spatial representation.)

Other codes allow animals to control actions that take place over time. An example is the circuitry responsible for executing the motor sequences underlying singing in songbirds. Adult male finches sing to their female partners, each stereotyped song lasting but a few seconds. As Michale Fee and his collaborators at MIT discovered, neurons of one type within a particular structure are completely quiet until the bird begins to sing. Whenever the bird reaches a particular point in its song, these neurons suddenly erupt in a single burst of three to five tightly clustered spikes, only to fall silent again. Different neurons erupt at different times. It appears that individual clusters of neurons code for temporal order, each representing a specific moment in the bird’s song.

Grandma Coding

Unlike a typewriter, in which a single key uniquely specifies each letter, the ASCII code uses multiple bits to determine a letter: it is an example of what computer scientists call a distributed code. In a similar way, theoreticians have often imagined that complex concepts might be bundles of individual “features”; the concept “Bernese mountain dog” might be represented by neurons that fire in response to notions such as “dog,” “snow-loving,” “friendly,” “big,” “brown and black,” and so on, while many other neurons, such as those that respond to vehicles or cats, fail to fire. Collectively, this large population of neurons might represent a concept.

An alternative notion, called sparse coding, has received much less attention. Indeed, neuroscientists once scorned the idea as “grandmother-cell coding.” The derisive term implied a hypothetical neuron that would fire only when its bearer saw or thought of his or her grandmother—surely, or so it seemed, a preposterous concept.

But recently, one of us (Koch) helped discover evidence for a variation on this theme. While there is no reason to think that a single neuron in your brain represents your grandmother, we now know that individual neurons (or at least comparatively small groups of them) can represent certain concepts with great specificity. Recordings from microelectrodes implanted deep inside the brains of epileptic patients revealed single neurons that responded to extremely specific stimuli, such as celebrities or familiar faces. One such cell, for instance, responded to different pictures of the actress Jennifer Aniston. Others responded to pictures of Luke Skywalker of Star Wars fame, or to his name spelled out. A familiar name may be represented by as few as a hundred and as many as a million neurons in the human hippocampus and neighboring regions.

Such findings suggest that the brain can indeed wire up small groups of neurons to encode important things it encounters over and over, a kind of neuronal shorthand that may be advantageous for quickly associating and integrating new facts with preëxisting knowledge.

Terra Incognita

If neuroscience has made real progress in figuring out how a given organism encodes what it experiences in a given moment, it has further to go toward understanding how organisms encode their long-term knowledge. We obviously wouldn’t survive for long in this world if we couldn’t learn new skills, like the orchestrated sequence of actions and decisions that go into driving a car. Yet the precise method by which we do this remains mysterious. Spikes are necessary but not sufficient for translating intention into action. Long-term memory—like the knowledge that we develop as we acquire a skill—is encoded differently, not by volleys of constantly circulating spikes but, rather, by literal rewiring of our neural networks.

That rewiring is accomplished at least in part by resculpting the synapses that connect neurons. We know that many different molecular processes are involved, but we still know little about which synapses are modified and when, and almost nothing about how to work backward from a neural connectivity diagram to the particular memories encoded.

Another mystery concerns how the brain represents phrases and sentences. Even if there is a small set of neurons defining a concept like your grandmother, it is unlikely that your brain has allocated specific sets of neurons to complex concepts that are less common but still immediately comprehensible, like “Barack Obama’s maternal grandmother.” It is similarly unlikely that the brain dedicates particular neurons full time to representing each new sentence we hear or produce. Instead, each time we interpret or produce a novel sentence, the brain probably integrates multiple neural populations, combining codes for basic elements (like individual words and concepts) into a system for representing complex, combinatorial wholes. As yet, we have no clue how this is accomplished.

One reason such questions about the brain’s schemes for encoding information have proved so difficult to crack is that the human brain is so immensely complex, encompassing 86 billion neurons linked by something on the order of a quadrillion synaptic connections. Another is that our observational techniques remain crude. The most popular imaging tools for peering into the human brain do not have the spatial resolution to catch individual neurons in the act of firing. To study neural coding systems that are unique to humans, such as those used in language, we probably need tools that have not yet been invented, or at least substantially better ways of studying highly interspersed populations of individual neurons in the living brain.

It is also worth noting that what neuroengineers try to do is a bit like eavesdropping—tapping into the brain’s own internal communications to try to figure out what they mean. Some of that eavesdropping may mislead us. Every neural code we can crack will tell us something about how the brain operates, but not every code we crack is something the brain itself makes direct use of. Some of them may be “epiphenomena”—accidental tics that, even if they prove useful for engineering and clinical applications, could be diversions on the road to a full understanding of the brain.

Nonetheless, there is reason to be optimistic that we are moving toward that understanding. Optogenetics now allows researchers to switch genetically identified classes of neurons on and off at will with colored beams of light. Any population of neurons that has a known, unique molecular zip code can be tagged with a fluorescent marker and then be either made to spike with millisecond precision or prevented from spiking. This allows neuroscientists to move from observing neuronal activity to delicately, transiently, and reversibly interfering with it. Optogenetics, now used primarily in flies and mice, will greatly speed up the search for neural codes. Instead of merely correlating spiking patterns with a behavior, experimentalists will be able to write in patterns of information and directly study the effects on the brain circuitry and behavior of live animals. Deciphering neural codes is only part of the battle. Cracking the brain’s many codes won’t tell us everything we want to know, any more than understanding ASCII codes can, by itself, tell us how a word processor works. Still, it is a vital prerequisite for building technologies that repair and enhance the brain.

Take, for example, new efforts to use optogenetics to remedy a form of blindness caused by degenerative disorders, such as retinitis pigmentosa, that attack the light-sensing cells of the eye. One promising strategy uses a virus injected into the eyeballs to genetically modify retinal ganglion cells so that they become responsive to light. A camera mounted on glasses would pulse beams of light into the retina and trigger electrical activity in the genetically modified cells, which would directly stimulate the next set of neurons in the signal path—restoring sight. But in order to make this work, scientists will have to learn the language of those neurons. As we learn to communicate with the brain in its own language, whole new worlds of possibilities may soon emerge.

Christof Koch is chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University and a frequent blogger for the New Yorker, is coeditor of the forthcoming book The Future of the Brain.

Vía Technology Review

Fossil finger points to early humans in Arabia 85,000 years ago

Fossil bone of what scientists believe is part of a Homo sapiens’ middle finger found in the Al Wusta site in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Ian Cartwright

An international team of scientists say they have found the oldest Homo sapiens fossil outside of Africa and the Levant corridor — suggesting that early humans left Africa 20,000–25,000 years before most earlier evidence suggested.

Why it matters: The finding published in Nature Ecology and Evolution Monday supports the view that rather than migrating out of Africa 60,000 years ago in a single large migration, small groups of early humans may have left the continent earlier and in more complicated patterns than previously thought.

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What the team found: After searching a site in the Al Wusta region of Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, they found part of a finger bone in 2016 along with hundreds of artifacts like stone tools and various types of animal fossils, including hippos. “It was like a dream come true,” Michael Petraglia, one of the study authors, told reporters during a press conference.

How they tested it: They directly dated the fossil using radioisotopes, which they say is more reliable than solely testing the surrounding sediment or artifacts. They also tested the surrounding sediment, animal fossils and artifacts at independent laboratories and found the ages roughly matched.

The testing “very strongly demonstrates” the bone is from an early human, according to University of Oxford’s Huw Groucutt, another study author who also spoke at the press briefing. Not only did labs confirm this, but the boneshape is much longer and thinner than Neanderthal fingers, he said.

Yes, but: Richard Potts, paleoanthropologist and director of the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program, says he agrees the bone is “probably” from a Homo sapiens but adds the claim that it is the oldest may downplay other recent findings in East Asia and Australia that also support the idea of smaller, periodic exits from Africa or its bordering Levant region.

The response: The authors say those prior studies are limited though because they either did not date the fossils directly (instead they tested associated layers of sediments and artifacts) or were unable to directly prove their fossils were Homo sapiens.

The big picture: “It’s not just one single wave out of Africa 60,000 years ago,” Petraglia said. “We’re arguing here there were multiple dispersals out of Africa. The movement was far more complicated” than originally thought.

Vía Axios

Stuff No One Told Me (20+ Pics)

In 2010, illustrator Alex Noriega was having some problems at work and so he started a blog as a way to figure out where he was going wrong. “I wanted to put on paper all that I had learned in life as simple as possible and try to see if what was happening around me made any sense,” he says. Although it didn’t help him to make sense of anything, it did however lead to this beautiful series of illustrations.

His blog is called Stuff No One Told Me (SNOTM for short), but while Alex may have learned life’s lessons the hard way, he’s making it easy for the rest of us by teaching us everything we need to know. His illustrations range from sobering reminders of things we often overlook in life to useful nuggets of zen-like wisdom to help us to become more conscientious humans. Take a look for yourself, and don’t say no one told you.

More info: SNOTM

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 Vía Bored Panda

40 Painless Website Improvement Tactics for a Better UX

Today i would like to share with you, this amazing article i found on the Orbit Media Blog and has to do a lot with the user experience applied to websites, but that can be translated right to app user experience. Sometimes happens that you get a client that needs a website redesign just because he grown bored of its old one, having something new just because we all love to see something new, but before take away the old one, is better to analize if it perform good in some areas and identify the ones that perform weak. Having this knowledge can help us to achieve a better result and avoid to do the same mistakes over and over again.

There are two kinds of website improvement projects.

The first and more obvious one is creating a new website. Done effectively, the process requires careful planning, the collaborative efforts of a team of talented specialists, and of course, time—usually months.

The other way to improve your website is to tackle small, but meaningful tasks one at a time, over time, on a regular basis. If your website is built on a user-friendly content management system (CMS), you should get in the habit of identifying things that can be improved quickly and making the changes.

I give you this article to give you ideas for refining your website, so visitors are quietly and smoothly swept deeper into it.

Have a user-first mindset

When a restaurant, store, airport, stadium, or any place, satisfies its customers it profits from the experience, draws them back again and cashes in on word of mouth marketing.

A great website must do the same. It must deliver a great user experience (UX). You can define UX a number of ways, but in an effort to keep it simple, I’ll tell you it means the customer got what they came for with no hassles. Pleasure? Yes. Pain? No, thank you.

The interesting thing about designing for user experience is you succeed when the design is invisible to the customer. The user doesn’t experience fussing with your website to find the content they’re after.

A telling stat from HubSpot research: 76% claim the most important factor of website design is the ability to find information.

 

Your website might be beautiful. The content might be the best in the business. However, if your website introduces unnecessary challenges to its visitors, it’s bound to impede your success.

Let’s get serious now about UX website improvement tactics you can jump on fast without overly taxing your time and resources.

Branding:

How’s the logo look? Your logo shouldn’t be gigantic or puny. And it shouldn’t be crowded by other elements or lost in the mix. Place it top left and give it breathing room.

Color me simple. You don’t want to dump the entire box of crayons on your site. Shore up your color palette all across your site with 2-3 main colors that work well together.

Add a favicon. The little icon that appears in browser tabs is called a favicon. Add one to help brand your website. Favicons are also used when your site is bookmarked.

Viola! There’s a favicon, the company’s logo mark is used to also mark the website itself. It’s a smart branding play and simple to execute.

 

Messaging:

Clean up a headline. If there’s a muddy message where a clear and concise headlineshould be, clean it up and clarify.

Sliders be gone. If you have a multi-frame slider kicking off your home page, it’s time to nix that old trick. Determine your most compelling message and focus readers solely on it.

Can’t decide? You don’t know what your main message should be? Perform an A/B test and allow the results to guide this important decision.

Get to the point. Chances are you can easily find a page that’s overly wordy. Your busy readers appreciate brevity and clarity, so edit pages that are slow to get to the point.

Meet the A/B split test. In one corner we have A (above) and in the other we have B (below). One will produce better results, which effectively removes opinion or intuition from the equation and allows user interaction to guide the website improvement process. Source: Behave.org.

 

Credibility:

Replace your stock. Do you have stock photography screaming, “we’re fake” on a key page? Put a more authentic image there.

Prove some points. If you’re stashing all your best testimonials and other forms of social proof on one predictable page or burying them deep, resurface them on popular pages where they’ll reach more eyeballs. If you need help collecting testimonials, here’s a complete guide to website testimonials with examples.

Testimonial pages don’t draw well, but testimonials on pages that do generate traffic perform a valuable role for increasing credibility. (Shameless promotion courtesy of Orbit Media.)

 

Readability:

Break it up. Even a wonderfully written page or post may feel monotonous if it’s not broken up into sections. Add subheadlines to improve readability.

Whiten and lighten up. Lighten the perceived “weight” of the copy by increasing white space between lines and sections. Avoid dreadfully long line lengths as well.

Want to read this copy? No thank you. It’s even uglier than the illustration that accompanies it. (Thanks for making this point visually for us JeremySai.com.)

 

Bring in some bullets. Find a paragraph that’s overly dense and laborious to read and turn it into a skimmable list of bullet points.

Reduce hyper type. Don’t go overboard with fancy fonts. Use a small number of elegant fonts consistently. Use italics sparingly. Consider making the text a bit bigger.

Layout:

Use a grid. Examine pages that contain multiple messages and make sure each earns a rightful place in your design hierarchy. Create an attractive grid with borders, backgrounds and column variations.

Relocate your social media icons. Put those social media chiclets somewhere that says we value you following us, but we value you visiting our website more.

Our resident UX champion Andy Crestodina calls these “candy colored exit signs” because their placement and prominence suggest visitors should leave the page to get social here and now. Obviously, such a strategy discourages consuming your onsite content.

 

Navigation:

Too many items on the menu. Menus with an overabundance of choices may prompt users to make no choice at all. Demote items in the navigation to interior pages when possible.

Jump to it. Did you feel the need to write a massively long page? Fair enough. You can help readers navigate with a menu of links atop the page that “jump” straight to the relevant section.

Decrease defections. One way or another, usually as a result of a missing page or visitor mistake, a generic 404-error page is served. Make yours helpful with links to favorite pages to keep visitors from bailing on you.

Sh*cks happens. Would-be visitors enter URLs that don’t exist and web hosts retire pages. A useful 404 error page can redirect them to the pages they likely do seek.

 

Enable onsite search. If yours is a deep website or blog, add onsite search functionality to help readers find what they seek. (Doing so will also help you gather insights for content planning).

Serve up specific routes. If your site means to serve multiple personas, partners, clients, applicants, media writers, etc., create signs to point the way.

Link cleansing. Your site probably has broken links. Find ‘em and fix ‘em using a broken link checker.

Conversion:

Call out your call to action. Can you find a call to action (CTA) that doesn’t call attention to itself? Redesign it as a button. Are some pages actionless? Add a prominent CTA.

A call to action designed as a button with a contrasting color and clear value proposition will help increase conversion.

 

Fussy forms. Generally, forms that don’t convert at the rate you’d like are simply too demanding. Remove fields that request information you really don’t need.

Slow growing email lists. If you’re trying to build an email list, carefully consider the tools and tactics used wherever you’re asking visitors to opt-in. Experiment with new value propositions until your subscription rates rise.

Email addresses are dangerous. You invite spammers to your inbox by publishing email addresses as CTAs. Put contact forms on pages from which you’d like visitors to connect.

Want foot traffic? If you want site visitors to make actual physical visits to your store or office, offer a map and directions on your website.

Engagement:

Watch this. If you’ve so far refrained from creating video for your site, make one. No need to hire out. Make it simple. Your About page is perfect place to insert your first video.

Promote sharing. Feature social media shares bars on your blog and make sure they can be found instantly. Turn the counters on.

Make links look like links. Have you tried to make hyperlinks an art form? Don’t. Make them obvious. Also, make them longer than one word to help make them obvious.

Add scroll cues. As more and more webpages are designed with border-to-border artwork single-column style, content below the fold is more likely to be missed. Add arrows or other visual cues to encourage scrolling.

Be there for your buyers. Far too many sites hoping to sell products and services make it cumbersome for prospects to get answers. When possible, man your website with a chat feature (and attendant).

The PRP1000.com eCommerce site supports its visitors with the option to ask questions via online chat, phone, SMS or email.

Site Speed:

Got bloat? Identify images that are bandwidth hogs and optimize them for an acceptable screen resolution and faster page loading.

An auto accelerator. Plugins such as WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache will cache parts of your site, so return visitors enjoy an even faster user experience.

Search Engine Optimization:

Titles that matter. The title tags of your pages should describe the page and indicate relevance to search engines. Swap in meaningful keywords where pages are tagged generically with terms such as home, about, or services.

Descriptions that pull. If you find a page with no meta description, write a keyword-rich meta description you hope will attract clicks when it’s served as a snippet in search results.

Image alts. Search bots don’t see images, but will see the alt text (or tags) you mark them with so be sure use keywords and make this change to your nameless images.

When you include images on your page, use the “Alternative Text” field to tag your image with relevant keywords.

 

Keep linking. You probably publish blog posts then move on to the next one. However, with each new topic and angle, your blog explores comes new opportunities to create internal links, so dig through older posts and optimize them further with new links to recent content.

Boost a second page post. Use your analytics to identify a post that ranks on page two of search. Give that post new life and greater search potential with something new: a video, expert quote, graphic, SlideShare or a new section.

Analytics:

Get smarter. Google Analytics is an essential tool for monitoring your traffic, page views and goals. Make sure you have your tracking code in place.

Tool up. Search Console is another free tool Google offers to help you monitor, diagnose and optimize your site. Have it setup properly.

Go forth and improve your website

Website user experience impacts your customers’ experience with your brand in a big way. A great user experience ensures visitors can find what they seek easily and fast.

It’s on you to create a user experience that engages visitors and converts them into leads, buyers and brand advocates. The process need not call for a website overhaul, but rather, a commitment to perpetual website improvement.

My job is done here. Now it’s your turn. Do something to improve your UX today.

Vía Orbit Media

Un tinaco de 500 litros, mezcal y aguas frescas para hacer la madre de las aguas locas y unos adolescentes palurdos ¿que podría salir mal? #GettingNuts #SoFuckingDrunk

La universidad es un tiempo para descubrirse, conocer a buenos amigos y organizar fiestas que todos recordarán por el resto de sus días, y unos estudiantes universitarios en Guanajuato un día se deciden organizar una buena fiesta, un poco de bebida, botanas y mucha diversión, total, que mal pueden hacer unos chicos inocentes que solo quieren divertirse y pasar un muy buen rato.

Pues para unos universitarios en Guanajuato decidieron que una vitrolera de 50 litros de aguas locas era para #Poosers o #Maricas las cosas se fueron rápidamente al cuerno, ya que se decidieron en crear la madre de las aguas locas, un tinaco de 500 litros,con mucho refresco y aún más mezcal para que nadie quedara en sus 5 sentidos, y que después no se quejarán de que se había acabado el alcohol, vaya forma de ponerse realmente estúpidos y terminar tirados en el pasto sin recordar nada al lado de un semental que ni siquiera sabemos su nombre – aunque bendito Facebook, jamas nos permitirá olvidar nuestras idioteces de juventud – vaya, que bellos recuerdos tendrán estos chicos.

Pero con 500 litros de alcohol las cosas no se pueden quedar así de simples, y no sólo hablamos de las chicas que en 9 meses descubrirán porque no es buena idea ponerse hasta las chanclas en una fiesta loca y salvaje  o a los chicos que terminaran desnudos tirados en el pasto al lado de su mejor o peor amigo- hasta parece trama de película ochentera llena de sexo, alcohol y muchas idioteces juveniles – y lo mas triste es que los chicos no recordarán esta buena fiesta debido a la tremenda congestión alcohólica que seguramente tuvieron al día siguiente, y solo sus redes sociales les permitirán saber que paso.

Y no sería más que una muy estúpida forma de acabar hecho polvo en el pasto si no fuera porque para una chica las cosas terminaron aún peor, y sus amigos tuvieron que marcar al 911 para pedir ayuda, y aunque se había dicho que estaba herida, los paramédicos que arribaron solo la encontraron extremadamente ebria e inconsciente. Los chicos al ver que su #EpicaBorrachera se había ido de las manos, argumentaron que la fiesta era organizada por la Universidad de Guanajuato, lo cual fue negado por los dueños del lugar donde se organizó la fiesta.

Para estos chicos, su extrema borrachera será recordada por muchos aunque no la mayoría que una buena mañana seguramente se dijeron… ¿porque no hacer un tinaco de aguas locas? #EpicDrunk.

Vía am.com.mx y sinembargo.mx

https://www.am.com.mx/2017/10/15/guanajuato/sucesos/fiesta-se-sale-de-control-estudiante-de-la-ug-se-intoxica-con-aguas-locas—383566

http://www.sinembargo.mx/16-10-2017/3330389

 

The Far and deep part of the explored world, the planet #butthole

Remove this rusted metal cap and the world’s deepest hole tunnels miles into the Earth. However, we know more about certain distant galaxies than we do about what lies miles beneath our very own feet. For that reason, Soviet scientists in the 1970s decided to probe deeper than humanity has ever done before. For the next 24 years, they drilled on and off into the Earth’s crust. 

The result was the Kola Superdeep Borehole and a drill-depth of more than 7.5 miles (12 kilometers). To put that in perspective, Kola descends further than the deepest point of the ocean, which lies at nearly 6.8 miles (11 kilometers). The borehole is located on the Kola Peninsula of Russia. 

So did we learn anything from these decades of labor? Thankfully, yes! Scientists found microscopic fossils of single-celled organisms at 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) down. And at nearly the same depth, they discovered water. They also found that the temperature at the bottom of the hole reached a blistering 356°F (180°C). Too hot to continue, drilling officially halted in 1994. 

However, what’s even more impressive is that scientists estimate that the distance to the center of the Earth is nearly 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers). Turns out, 7.5 miles barely scratches the surface. 

Watch a video about the Kola Superdeep Borehole presented by Hank Green from SciShow below:

Vía SciShow

1816, the Year Without a Summer

 

 

We use to think that this world has a climate that stands the same among our lifetimes, but climate and this world is a dinamic enviroment that makes our world a interesting place to live in. I found this article about the 1816 frozen summer and how this climate changes almost the way this world is right now. If this mini ice age never came to happen, USA will never be the way it is right now and many LaTam countries will never be without the huge number of europeans that scape the famine.

Please read it and enjoy, because even now, we are not in control of our own world.

“We have had the most extraordinary year of drought and cold ever known in the history of America,” wrote former US President Thomas Jefferson to his friend Albert Gallatin in September 1816, when Jefferson was living in retirement on his farm in Virginia. In Europe, Lord Byron expressed himself in a more lyrical tone in his poem Darkness: “I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars did wander darkling in the eternal space, rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth swung blind and blackening in the moonless air.” At the same time, the British landscape painter William Turner was painting strange twilight skies wrapped in a translucent veil.

“Chichester canal”, oil on canvas. Author: J.M.W. Turner

The chronicles recount that summer, 200 years ago, it snowed and froze in parts of Europe and North America. Crops were ruined, triggering the worst famine of the nineteenth century. A medallion of the time from Germany read: “Great is the distress, O Lord, have pity.” That year, 1816, became known as “the year without a summer,” a climatic anomaly that affected the northern hemisphere, whose cause at the time was obscured and whose consequences were unexpected. For example, the shortage of oats to feed the horses inspired the German inventor Karl Drais to create his Laufmaschine or velocipede, the first bicycle.

The apocalyptic poem by Byron was just one of the literary works born from that unusually cold summer. Gathered in a villa next to Lake Geneva (Switzerland), the romantic author and his guests entertained themselves during their forced seclusion by writing horror stories. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, then still the girlfriend of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, began to shape her immortal work Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. Byron’s personal physician, John William Polidori, conceived his work The Vampyre.

But the effects of this glacial wave were global and lasting, as recounted by Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Professor of English at the University of Illinois (USA), in his book Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World (Princeton University Press, 2014). Wood explained to OpenMind that typhus was especially intensified in countries such as Ireland and Italy, and that large-scale mortality in Europe led to mass migration to Russia and America. “In the longer term, European governments began to develop policies of trade protection, social welfare and humanitarian aid,” he says.

The consequences were not confined to Europe; in Southeast Asia economic disaster led to the revival of slavery. Torrential rains in India brought about a cholera epidemic that swept the world, killing tens of millions. Famine in Yunnan, in southwestern China, forced farmers to switch from rice cultivation to the more profitable opium. “By mid-century, Yunnan was the largest opium-growing region in the world. It was the beginning of what we know as the Golden Triangle,” says Wood.

1816 summer temperature anomaly (°C) with respect to 1971-2000 climatology. Source: NOAA

In North America, the year without a summer helped to shape the current United States: “The huge demand for grain from the northwest frontier leads to land speculation, Indian removal, and rapid settlement of states such as Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky,” explains Wood. When that economic boom declined and prices returned to normal, along came the so-called Panic of 1819, the first depression in the history of the country, whose effects continued until 1820 and included the halt of the expansion westward.

The cause of all this disaster did not begin to be unravelled until a century later. In the early twentieth century, scientists began to study the impact of volcanic eruptions on climate. By analysing historical records, the American atmospheric physicist William Jackson Humphreys linked the phenomena from the year without a summer to the violent eruption of the Tambora volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, which began in April 1815. The speculative hypothesis of Humphreys was confirmed in 1979 by the oceanographer Henry Stommel and his wife Elizabeth in their article “The year without a Summer,” published inScientific American.

Commemorative stamp of the Tambora’s great eruption bicentennial. Credit: Postal Service

Evidence of the long range of the emissions from Tambora has been found in the high sulphur content in samples of polar ice from the time, says paleoclimatologist Robert Mulvaney of the British Antarctic Survey to OpenMind from a research vessel in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica). “Very large eruptions (such as Tambora) can lift material very high in the atmosphere, and into the stratosphere,” explains Mulvaney. “Once in the stratosphere, the sulfur dioxide can oxidise into sulphuric acid, which is taken up by tiny water droplets to form a haze in the stratosphere that can reflect incident sunlight back away from the Earth, causing less light to penetrate through the atmosphere, and the Earth to cool.” This sulphuric acid circulating in the stratosphere is then detected in ice cores. In this way, scientists can estimate the volume of emissions from an eruption.

But even though nowadays the idea has spread that Tambora was the cause of the year without a summer, this is really only half true. The truth is that cooling had already begun before the eruption, between 1809 and 1810. In the late eighteenth century, a period of low solar activity called the Dalton Minimum began, which lasted until 1830 and reduced temperatures worldwide. And the story does not end there; in the ice cores, scientists found the smoking gun of another strong eruption, which occurred in 1808 or 1809 and which must have contributed to cooling even before Tambora. Of this eruption we knew absolutely nothing.

Sulphate content in samples of polar ice. Peaks are connected with great volcanic eruptions. Credit: Robert Mulvaney

We learned more in 2014, when a team of geologists, volcanologists and historians from the University of Bristol (UK) managed to unearth two historical accounts written by, respectively, the Colombian scientist Francisco Jose de Caldas and Peruvian Jose Hipolito Unanue. Both men describe atmospheric anomalies typically associated with volcanic eruptions, which have allowed the researchers to suggest a date: December 4, 1808, give or take a week.

Where the eruption happened is still a mystery. As noted by the first author of the work, the Spaniard Alvaro Guevara-Murua, “the eruption must have occurred in the tropics,” but “the location may be remote.” As an example, in 1883 the atmospheric signs of the eruption of Krakatoa took six days to reach Colombia. Somewhere in the world, perhaps on a remote island, perhaps under the sea, a volcano partially responsible for the year without a summer is still waiting to be discovered.

By Javier Yanes 

Vía BBVA Open Mind

@yanes68

The Here and Now…

One simple question has torment my life since i was a child… what is the real meaning of here and now. This is not a philosophical question but a physical one.

What really mean here and now.

How this universe can exist in the way we perceive with our limited senses. Why the time flows in one direction and not in another. But more in deep worried feel, what is this reality.

As a child, i use to read books on astronomy and physics that explains how the interaction of protons and neutrons actually build our reality from the its very bottom. This though makes me wonder how we are here in first place and how we became to exist. If this universe build its precisely engineering from its smallest parts maybe we are just an expression of this infinite order that drag us all.

Most of my fears came from not really knowing what this universe is and were whe really are. If this universe is just a local phenomenon, even tough massive at our scale, will be always an small part of a huge existence that are build in almost different way but we just a singularity destined to fade in time.

Maybe this is just an small part of the massive universe in wich we live. Maybe this is just a very local and focused area that eventually will fade and we with it. This is the fear that torment my little mind.

Maybe instead of an artist i will need to choose a carer on astrophysics and be a part of the many minds trying to figure out how this is and how we become this.

However what makes feel uneasy is the tough that even in that case our limited minds maybe aren’t designed to fully understood what this reality is. The fact that what we see and perceive with our senses is a matter of fact, just a fraction of the world around us also makes me think that in some way we need to develop the technology that someday will allow us to fully understand this reality.

What makes me feel uneasy at times is realizing that i will not see most of the things the humankind will do in its short history trying to understand their place in the cosmos. We will live only a tiny fraction of the time of this universe and even the full history of our race will be a small part of it, even almost any human that will be alive in the future will be unable to experience this universe in its full glory and that, even sand one is a very sad tough.

El diablo está en los detalles

Crónicas de feminismo, igualdad de género y supervivencia humana y boludeces varias.

Nota:este artículo es un ensayo simplista desde un punto de vista limitado y paleto por lo que no debería ser tomado en serio, pero si lo toma en cuenta como si valiera la pena hágalo bajo su riesgo.

Algo que me genera algo de curiosidad y ternura es escuchar a aquellas mujeres que defendiendo su libertad de ser o no madres deciden no serlo. Esto en muchos aspectos suena bastante bien, en tono con lo feminista y lleno de libertad e igualdad de género que tantos siglos han peleado cientos de miles de mujeres en todo el mundo. No me gustaría sonar como un moralista en contra de ello, porque no esté de acuerdo con la posibilidad de ser libre y de usar la propia autodeterminación para algo tan esencial , al contrario, siempre he creído no sólo en la libertad de elegir lo que uno desea de si mismo, sino además de como uno desea vivir esa vida.

Sin embargo cuando uno observa quienes son las mujeres mas propensas a no tener hijos, curiosamente son las mas exitosas, aquellas que de un modo u otro han conseguido superar. En la mayoría de los casos se debe a que el entorno laboral local, es tremendamente enfocado a resultados rápidos y traer humanos al mundo es una tarea harto demandante. Aunque en más de un sentido también es producto de una sociedad poco equitativa y que aún no cree en la igualdad no sólo de hombres y mujeres sino también de ricos y pobres, mexicanos y mexicanos-judíos entre otras muestras de racismo en este país condenado por el narco.

En que se convierte todo este juego simulado de libertad individual donde elegimos la extinción propia, puesto que al final, solo aquellas mujeres que se reproducen son las que o bien, no persiguen un éxito profesional, o no lo desean, o la educación de su comunidad no les permite alcanzar sueños más altos que ser madres adolescentes o simplemente están domesticadas a lo que la televisión y medios les marcan como éxito femenino.

Si esta fuera una conspiración gubernamental, seria una magnifica y planeada estrategia para eliminar a las mujeres de alto coeficiente intelectual y dejar solo aquellas a las que su propia educación no les importa.

¿Brutal? claro, en 100 años veremos los resultados de esta selección macabra y veremos mujeres obedientes que son hijas o nietas de mujeres que provienen de una generación que en algún momento quiso libertad e igualdad, pero que al conseguirla desaparecieron porque los medios les convencieron de que debían tener carrera y dinero y que los hijos eran un estorbo. Estos conspiradores buscarían moldear una sociedad de mujeres dóciles y controlables y aunque triste tal vez nos ayude a sobrevivir.

Como digo, aquello que debiera parecer noble, aceptable e incluso deseable en una sociedad moderna puede volverse la causa de su extinción. Después de todo, el diablo esta en los detalles… aquello que suena como una causa noble, tiene un fondo de una cruel realidad, donde para que la raza humana sobreviva hacen falta mujeres dóciles y no hembras que sea demasiado inteligentes para que su propio ADN pueda controlarlas.

Curioso, pero parece que nuestro genoma tiene especial afecto a estas ultimas y tras mas de 150’000 años de hembras humanas dóciles, que sera de nuestro futuro cuando nuestras mujeres elijan todas al unisono no tener hijos creando una generación que sera la ultima de la raza humana de la tierra.

Al final del día, por más que ese complejo de que somos únicos y divinos que los humanos nos hemos contado por siglos es nada cuando al analizar con cuidado nos damos cuenta de que la crueldad, la muerte y un planeta salvaje fue lo que modelo lo que eventualmente nos convertimos como individuos y aún más, modelo nuestro ADN como especie para tener sólo aquello que nos ayudó a sobrevivir.

Nos gusta creer en una entidad todopoderosa que nos moldeó a la perfección pero despreciamos con ello a un proceso evolutivo que en su simpleza halla su perfección infinita… Intentar miles de soluciones con la esperanza de que al menos una sea funcional y resulte en algo, un diminuto paso que sumado a miles de pequeños pasos a lo largo de las eras se convierte en algo más complejo. Quizá ese método de crear cosas simples que en conjunto crean cosas complejas debería ser un método que apreciamos y aprendiéramos a usar para nuestra tecnología y quizá ello nos ayude a salir a las estrellas algún día.

Aunque quizá nuestra necesidad de divinidades sea también una conducta modelada por la misma evolución para ayudarnos a entender un mundo muy complejo y intraducible para nuestros limitados sentidos. Quizá necesitamos poder explicar la complejidad del universo a través de seres aún más complejos y avanzados que nosotros aunque en el proceso nos privemos de ver la belleza de la evolución.

El diablo está en los detalles, lo que podría parecer bueno y justo causará que sus mejores componentes desaparezcan de nuestro genoma y ello no deja de parecer terrible. Porque no podemos integrar la reproducción de nuestros mejores individuos a nuestra prioridad como cultura y especie.

Si una institución dedicada criara a estos hijos de gentes con alto IQ tal ves ellos podrían dejar su aporte genético valioso en nuestro genoma al mismo tiempo que explotan su potencial sin preocuparse de sus crías.

Ello tal vez sería la solución que nos deshumanizaría pero preservaría estos genes para el futuro en lugar de aquellos que no llevarán a la raza humana a ninguna parte salvo a su final terrible.

Imaginar una institución que seleccionará los mejores genes y los llevará a través de un proceso de selección a ser mejores sería un sueño posible aún con nuestra limitada tecnología y aunque el estigma racial que el nazismo le impuso al propio proceso de selección es imborrable creo firmemente que tenemos que dejar de ser meros espectadores y tenemos que volvernos partícipes de nuestra evolución debido a que con nuestra intervención la hemos detenido de manera brutal.

Nuestra especie llegó al punto actual a través de un proceso evolutivo que es brutal y cruel en todas sus variantes… Guerras, conquistas, selección genética brutal que se debió a violencia sexual sin sentido, epidemias y hambre que moldearon nuestro genoma de un modo que no entendemos pero que fue necesario para dar origen a nuestra especie. Nosotros mismos fuimos responsables de la extinción de especies emparentadas con la nuestra al verlas como competencia no desde nuestro punto de vista sino de los limitados recursos del entorno.

Este es un mundo de carencias brutales donde la vida lucha por sobrevivir con recursos limitados en extremo pero no siempre fue así , una vez el entorno era rico en carbón y esto formó nuestra biosfera rica y llena de vida, sin marco los procesos biológicos de los vegetales fijaron el carbono en sus tejidos dando a cambio oxígeno por lo que este mundo idílico desapareció, y con el la riqueza de recursos que hacían de este un lugar cálido y lleno de vida.

Ello me pone a pensar que esto es otra cosa que al interponerse con nuestros intereses humanos vemos como algo que nos es pernicioso.

El clima de la tierra cuando fue rico para la vida era mucho más cálido que ahora, lleno de carbono que potenciaba formas de vida enormes y además un ecosistema de criaturas enormes, los polos no existían y este era un mundo de calor y vida. Como es lógico nuestro entorno es mucho menos cálido y sin tanta vida por lo que asumimos que es el mejor entorno para la vida, al menos la nuestra.

Estamos jodidos si asumimos que esto es verdad, la tierra cuando más rica fue, fue justo cuando el clima era mucho más cálido. Nuestro clima frío se debe a un un hecho ajeno a nosotros y que hizo que nuestro cálido mundo fuera más frío: las plantas fijaron el carbono de la atmósfera y ello causó que se formarán los enormes depósitos de petróleo que ahora mueven nuestra economía.

Asumir que el carbono que el petróleo tiene no era ya parte del ecosistema es una barbaridad y que al devolverlo dañamos nuestro entorno es ignorar las complejidades de nuestro ecosistema. Los periodos más fríos de la tierra simple correspondieron a atmósferas con alto contenido de oxígeno y bajo en carbono como lo prueban muchos estudios -insertar cita Wikipedia – sobre los periodos interglaciales

Así que, como es nuestra buena costumbre, tendemos a considerar pernicioso aquello que nos afecta como individuos y no como especie. Un mundo cálido sería ideal para la vida pero horrendo para nosotros. Esto es una prueba más que como humanos pensamos en nuestro propio beneficio más que en el del planeta.

Triste es darnos cuenta que nosotros con nuestra ignorancia estamos creando un mundo donde los únicos que sobreviven son aquellos con abundantes recursos y no aquellos que con su inteligencia puedan hacer de este mundo un lugar mejor para todos, no sólo la raza humana sino toda la vida en la tierra. Asumimos que la habilidad de sobrevivir en este mundo estaba ligada a dominar grandes recursos y por ello que quienes eran capaces de amasarlos en grandes volúmenes eran los más adecuados y deseables pero objeto esa misma percepción.

La inteligencia debería ser un recurso deseable y proclive de ser conservada pero avanzamos en un sentido contrario. No apreciamos el regalo que la naturaleza nos dio a través de la inteligencia y lo dilapidamos en leyes absurdas que parecen defender el derecho de cada ser humano a decidir sobre su cuerpo, ocultando las intenciones de muerte de un ser egoísta llamado hombre. Si acaso existe un ser perverso y diabólico ese es el perfecto depositario de lo más crudo y vil que existe en la tierra.

En lugar de amar y apreciar el regalo de la vida lo tiramos a la basura porque no nos es conveniente. Y pronto estaremos viendo los resultados de nuestra pequeña imbecilidad. Europa ya vive las consecuencias de esta libertad ficticia, de lo que la no reproducción hace que los gobiernos acepten migrantes por carecer de trabajadores que muevan su industria en los próximos 50 años.

Así que me pregunto, sé que le sirve a países como Alemania tener una población con tanta libertad si el precio a pagar es una población de viejos que tendrán que ver cómo su nación queda en manos de jóvenes musulmanes que harán de Europa una tierra de extremismo religioso. Pronto la imbecilidad de los europeos será la causa de su propia ruina y en unos 100 años causa de un cambio genético en su población que al final dejará a esta tierra de progreso y libertad una donde la población tendrá menos libertad que sus padres.

Esto es una muestra más de que el demonio se oculta en más acciones más nobles si la inteligencia no las respalda. Nuestro deseo de tener una falsa libertad donde la elección de aquello que presuponemos nos hace libres está respaldado más por un instinto que por un sentido común y practico. Pero más aún si respaldo del conocimiento científico necesario para asegurar que sea real y no una fantasía como tantas cosas en nuestra vida que son más producto de la imaginación que de algo real.

Dejemos nuestros gobiernos y poblaciones en manos de imbeciles y el resultado será un desastre. Dejemos que nuestro deseo de libertad individual egoísta nos domine y el resultado es el desastre por nuestra propias manos. Dejemos que el verdadero demonio tome las riendas de este mundo y un día seremos solo un recuerdo, nuestro enemigo si existiera sería muy listo y sabría que para eliminarnos solo debe destrozarnos usando nuestros propios complejos… Si no qué sentido tendría, un ser superior ocupado por hacer que los humanos vivamos en el pecado sería casi ponerlo a un nivel humano y primitivo. Incongruente o no?

Animalidad Humana y Nuestra Infinita Evolución.

Es curioso escuchar como algunos de nosotros nos avergonzamos de algunas funciones biológicas esenciales para nuestra supervivencia como seres humanos. A veces olvidamos que muchas de estas funciones les tomo millones de años desarrollarse e incluso fueron claves en la evolución de las especies que nos dieron origen. 
  
Hace 20 millones de años en este mundo los humanos no existían, ni siquiera la especie de pro-simios que le daría origen se había desarrollado aun. Ellos, esos antecesores de primates vivían una vida arboricola y su supervivencia nos marco como futuras especies. Desde aquello que comían hasta su conducta sexual, nos lo heredaron a través de nuestro ADN y de ese lugar hasta ahora todas los factores medioambientales que los modelaron quedaron grabados en nuestro Genoma.

  
Nuestra conducta sexual es producto de esos siglos de evolución, eso que tanto nos avergüenza y nos asusta, esas conductas que llamamos de maneras peculiares porque en el fondo nos exita y vuelve locos es producto de milenios de lenta evolución, de una selección brutal que mato a miles de individuos y solo dejo existir a unos pocos. La sexualidad y su forma actual es producto de esos tiempos brutales. La propia exitacion es producto refinado de la evolución, de un proceso refinado y brutal pero que al final dio origen a la vida que existe actualmente.

  
El simple acto de defecar que tanto nos asquea es un producto altamente refinado de la evolución, la digestión fue un gran hito de esta larga carrera evolutiva y permitió a los primeros animales evolucionar a formar más complejas. Sin este acto de comer-defecar la evolución no hubiese ocurrido y nosotros jamás hubiésemos pisado este maravilloso y variado mundo. Y a pesar de que nuestra miríada de instintos nos mantuvieron vivís por millones de años los despreciemos porque están en contra de nuestras limitadas ambiciones humanas.

  
Quizá la propia naturaleza aun necesito desarrollar los mecanismo de equilibrio que una colmena de simios necesitaría para sobrevivir, y debido a que somos criaturas muy nuevas la naturaleza no tuvo aun tiempo de crearlo. Como colmena humana somos una criatura masiva y brutal que busca sobrevivir en un mundo que considera dominado por el intelecto. 

   

 
Nuestro intelecto fue el virus que la naturaleza jamás hubiese podido prever o calcular, esta criatura masiva que es el ADN y que en su peculiar inteligencia aun lucha por controlar. Nuestros instintos están hechos para que aunque a veces podamos negarlos siempre ganaran y terminaremos haciendo aquello que es biológicamente necesario. 

  
Es gracioso escuchar a esa parejas que afirman con gran convicción que no desean tener hijos y que jamás los tendrán pero que felizmente se entregan al sensorialmente delicioso acto de frotar sus genitales, afirman que los hijos no son necesarios en un mundo tan poblado pero aun así copulan como conejos. Apenas se dan cuenta que el ADN en su infinita paciencia y sabiduría siempre cuenta con que un pequeño error les hará concebir, algo mínimo permitirá a la vida continuar y seguir existiendo eternamente en este mundo o tal ves otros. Y aun cuando falle en usar a sus vehículos, el propio acto de negarse a reproducirse es un acto de selección, y aquellos machos o hembras que se nieguen a reproducirse sembrarán su propia extinción, su muerte al final hará que ese mismo acto o defecto genético que les llevo a tomar esa misma decisión desaparezca del genoma humano, ese preciso gen que permitió por error al vehículo del ADN elegir su extinción desaparecerá y por ello no afectará al resto de la raza humana. Es por ello que en el futuro solo los vehículos dóciles serán los que sobrevivan y se conviertan en el futuro de la raza humana, si los machos o hembras humanos prefieren su bienestar al de su especie su recompensa será la cruda extinción de su genoma. Por cada hembra o macho que se niega a reproducirse habrá otro que lo reemplace y es por ello que el ADN como un dios sabio jamás no recriminara nada, jamás nos juzgará por nuestras malas decisiones, solo nos recompensará con el regalo mas grande y es el de la sobrevivencia.

  
El ADN como vemos es una criatura sabia e infinita, que desde su origen no ha cesado de crecer y que de existir como una criatura viviente seria la mas grande muestra que la evolución siempre buscara los vehículos más simples y efectivos, la naturaleza no tiene tiempo para tonterías y siempre buscara a un vehículo dócil para su supervivencia. Seria el ser viviente de escala planetaria mas masivo que conocemos y tal ves su origen sea más antiguo de lo que pensamos, tal ves una criatura que sabiamente a podido aprender a sobrevivir aun a la destrucción de los mundos en los que ha prosperado y continuar existiendo en otros mundos con nuevas formas adaptadas a esos ambientes. La eternidad es pues una recompensa a ser adaptable y paciente y el ADN ha probado esto a lo largo de los eones. La paciencia que los eones han dado a esta magnifica criatura seguramente han modelado esos comportamientos tal como la evolución ha modelado nuestra conducta.

  
Y por cada violación, asesinato, conquista brutal y dominación de un grupo humano a otro, una criatura oculta fue la gran victoriosa, una criatura gano con cada uno de esos actos que consideramos reprobables, el ADN consiguió un nuevo vehículo para su infinita expansión, poco le importo nuestra debilidad, tristeza o impotencia, y en el gran esquema de las cosas nuestras emociones al final poco importan, al final de los milenios lo que somos y lo que representamos muere con nosotros pero el ADN sigue vivo y continúa siendo inmortal en nosotros y en nuestros mismos cuerpos. 

Este artículo es opinión personal de su autor y no refleja las ideas que representa este blog de noticias.

Arte Termosexual, Sátira Hiperbacanal y Escultura de Sara Lucas

 

Las imágenes fueron obtenidas por cristiano corte © british council

En el marco de la bienal de arte de Venecia 2015, del 9 de mayo al 22 de noviembre de este año la artista británica Sara Lucas presenta una obra que arrancará las miradas pervertidas y los pensamientos mas inpuros t mezquinos de más de un visitante. El genero, la muerte y la sexualidad turbia han sido temas que han definido el arte de Sara por décadas y en el pabellón británico de la Expo podemos admirar su instalación titulada ‘I scream daddio’ curada por el crítico británico Richard Riley.

Para un público latinoamericano esta instalación podría parecer sexista y hasta cierto punto pornografica. Los mas hipsters la llamaran una imagen conceptual termosexual.

En todo caso se mofa de lo que siempre relacionamos con lo más crudo de la sexualidad humana, los lugares, las situaciones y los mas puros conceptos, en suma lo más crudo es lo que tenemos en la mente y no aquello que entra por los ojos. Nuestra mente busca estímulos donde sea y cuando los ojos nos alimentan con visiones tan directas, nos causa repulsión, deseo o admiración, vil calentura disfrazada de simples ideas superficiales, simple deseo reprimido bajo una mirada de desprecio y una cruda visión a nosotros mismos, nuestro deseo.

 Si embargo todos pueden ver ese crudo humor británico, crudo y directo, nada disfrazado de eufemismos y dotado de esa chispa que le da sabor a todo lo que hacen los británicos.

De su montaje Lucas comento: ‘el humor nace de la negociación de las contradicciones que plantean los convencionalismos, hasta cierto punto el humor y la seriedad son intercambiables. De lo contrario nada seria divertido o devastador.

 Curioso que el arte conceptual de un artista que se mofa de la preconcepción que aun en estos días tenemos de la sexualidad generaría protestas en un país como el nuestro – Mexico si esto no es evidente – sobre todo porque la intención del artista es jugar con el humor mas que con los genitales, al usar la crudeza visual trata de golpear nuestras retinas y darle una impresión cruda pero cómica de lo que creemos es nuestro sexo humano.

Un instinto que fue refinado por millones de años por la naturaleza y que por nuestra natural ignorancia tendemos a juzgarlo en el desconocimiento y no en su más pura expresión, nuestra sobrevivencia es producto de ella y al modificarla para que se adapte a nuestra pobre concepción de ella dilapidamos el regalo que la naturaleza hizo en ella para nosotros, un regalo que la naturaleza nunca es tan generosa de dar.


Dejamos la galería para que astille un poco sus ojos y mentes, al observarla dejen atrás lo que creen haber visto antes y solo dense la oportunidad de vivenciarla sin un prejuicio que los limite.


  
Vía designboom y Artsy

Empaque para semillas, Producto Ruso con un #empaquedebolas

Este empaque llamo mi atención especialmente por el tipo de producto, semillas de piña de pino, un producto que en Rusia tiene sus aplicaciones. Este empaque me encanto por el fino arreglo de su tipografía e imagen, la fina mescla de texturas y colores y ante todo su origen.

 

  
Es curioso que en un lugar como Rusia el buen gusto en el diseño se esté volviendo la tendencia y ver estos empaques me hace pensar que a veces más que falta de recursos como en México a veces decimos o nos atrevemos a afirmar, a veces es simple falta de talento de los diseñadores que los conciben, o tal ves una pobre dirección de arte o tal ves ambos. 

 

 les dejamos con este caramelo visual, un buen empaque que en muchos sentidos expresa la línea delgada de las regulaciones que obligan a saturar los empaques y la capacidad del diseñador aun así de crear algo memorable y que en las condiciones de mercado es necesario, destacar el producto para que el consumidos lo vea y así darle una única oportunidad de ser probado y con ello ganar a un nuevo consumidor.

  
En México los empaques comerciales son pobres en general, esto casi siempre es debido a que las marcas al no poder competir con las extranjeras tienen que bajar sus precios para poder competir y atender a la parte pobre del público – o aquella muy tacaña – y esto unido a que la no valoración de la necesidad del diseño gráfico este tienda a regalarse a cambio del servicio de impresión, por lo que la calidad del empaque suele ser pobre. Existen ejemplos que se salvan pero en México jamás vemos empaques tan bien resueltos como este.

Y la verdad es una pena, puesto que el empaque es un punto que puede ser la diferencia entre competir y no poder hacerlo en un mercado como el mexicano, que está saturado de marcas extranjeras y que en la mayoría de los casos están en proceso de desaparecer por la brutal competencia que existe.

   

    
  
Vía GeekcastBlog 

Mike Pelletier: Animaciones 3D en arte conceptual que provocan emociones Creepy

El artista interactivo radicado en Amsterdan, Mike Pelletier esta explorando las emociones cuantificadas, una tecnología que monitorea el estado relativo de las emociones humanas y que es parte del software de reconocimiento facial. Vía manipulación de imagen presenta la animación ‘parametric expression’, que nos muestra figuras humanas que son de pronto alteradas en extremo por el software hasta crear impresiones visuales que en mas de un modo lucen cuasi-diabolicas, enfadadas y explosivas en mas de un sentido.

Pueden ver mas de este artista viendo el video adjunto o los gifs animados que muestran un poco este experimento visual, apto solo para hipsters urbanos que gusten del arte conceptual.

parametric expression from mike pelletier on Vimeo.

Vía DesignBoom y LaughingSquid

Heath Ledger: Un vistazo a su diario de preparación para su papel en la película de Dark Knight.

 

El modo como un actor se prepara para un papel sea de cine o teatro es particularmente distinto, algunos rituales suelen ser muy peculiares y siempre dará a uno curiosidad saber como cada Actor se pone a tono para un papel en particular. En el caso del póstumo actor Heath Ledger es aun mas peculiar por las circunstancias de su muerte y mas aun para su padre, conocerlo después de su muerte puede ser una fuerte experiencia. En el video que forma parte de un documental podemos ver al padre de Ledger hojear entre las paginas y describir como su hijo se sumergió tanto en el papel que llego al extremo de encerrarse en un cuarto de hotel por semanas, en una suerte de bootcamp extremo de preparación para encarar su papel de The Joker.

Las paginas finales muestran a Ledger ya caracterizado como The Joker, en una prueba de maquillaje para llegar a una enigmática pagina final donde unas enormes letras leen “Bye Bye”… El padre del actor no puede más que decir: – Es muy duro ver esto –

Vía AV Club

Micro-Casas en Honk Kong

Si bien la simple idea de optimizar espacios luce interesante al menos en papel, en ciudades como Hong Kong es mas una necesidad debido a los altos costos de las propiedades y las rentas cada ves mas costosas, por lo que la mayoría de sus habitantes deben vivir en casa de menos de 1.5 por 1.5 y hacer lo mas que pueden en este espacio. Curioso que, no hace mucho, la ciudad fue declarada uno de los mejores lugares para vivir por sus altos estándares de vida.

micro casas

Este trabajo fotográfico es parte de un esfuerzo de la  human rights organization Society for Community Organization en Hong Kong que documenta 100’000 personas viven en departamentos-cubiculo, en espacios de menos de 40 pies cuadrados or lo que su calidad de vida esta seriamente comprometida. En cada foto se muestra un código QR que nos liga a una pagina para firmar una petición con el gobierno de China y hacer algo al respecto.

Las imágenes dentro de su crudeza son ampliamente recomendables y un caramelo visual para quienes gustamos de las imágenes donde la realidad supera la ficción.

 

 

Vía Lense.fr y Petapixel

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