PNP Administration announces plan to ease Blue Hills traffic congestion Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Nov 2015 – Twelve juveniles can now be housed at the newly established Juvenile Center on Old Airport Road in Grand Turk. Minister Amanda Missick explains in a media statement that she put a lot into getting the center established and now six males and six females can reside at the retrofitted building owned by Josephine James. Nearly a quarter of a million dollars was pumped into the renovations, $240,000 to be precise and next the former Home Affairs minister hopes to staff the facility with a house mother and eight officers. Since September 29th keys were handed over to Hon George Lightbourne to continue the work of the center. Cabinet releases funds for Zika prevention; little less than previous announcement Recommended for you Related Items:george lightbourne, josephine james, juvenile center, minister amanda missick, old airport road Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Juvenile facility opens April 2016
But despite their growing presence on the microblogging platform, magazine publishers have yet to figure out how to monetize their Twitter followings.”The reality is, they’re bundled into packages,” not sold against directly, Steven Schwartz, chief digital officer at Wenner Media, admitted. “We’re all learning.”Often a magazine’s entire Twitter audience isn’t tied specifically to the main magazine brand. New York claims it has a total of 250,124 followers divided up across several different handlers including @NYmag with 27,722; @Vulture with 19,111; @Cutblog with 174,394; @DailyIntel with 7,689 and @GrubStreetNY 21,208. Magazines have been at the Twitter game for a while now, and many have built large, loyal followings–much larger than their newspaper counterparts. There are eight magazine brands with more than a million followers, and 14 with more than half a million, while the newspaper industry has just two: the New York Times (2,882,697) and Wall Street Journal (618,751). Inspired by a survey done by The Wrap last fall, we decided to take an updated look at the magazines with the most Twitter followers. The following list of most followed magazines was culled at the end of January (follower counts were taken on Jan. 31). For about 50 titles, the follower counts were compared to a similar count conducted in October, to see how their counts grew over the last three months. Among the top 25, Rolling Stone (#25) and The New Yorker (#14) both grew about 30 percent in terms of followers, while the Economist (26 percent) was not too far behind. “We have a whole team of people working on our Twitter feed,” Time executive editor Jim Frederick said at the MPA’s inaugural Social Media conference last month. “There’s an art and science to Twitter.”
WILMINGTON, MA — Thomas F. Connolly, of Woburn, formerly of Laurel, MD, passed away peacefully, July 1, 2019 at the VA Hospital in West Roxbury. He was 86 years old. Thomas was the beloved husband of the late Margaret (Donahue) Connolly. Born in Boston he was the son of the late Thomas and Mary Agnes (McCarthy) Connolly.Thomas was raised in Wilmington and attended Wilmington Schools. He was a proud United States Army Veteran of the Korean War. When Thomas returned home from the service he worked most of his life as a successful Contractor in the construction industry. He was also an avid treasure hunter and for several years worked along side Mel Fisher on the Atocha Treasure Expedition.Thomas is survived by his two sons; Thomas Connolly and John Connolly. He was the brother of Marie Pappas of Woburn, the late John Connolly, Dorothy Conlon, Patricia Lane, and Shirley Bonnas.A funeral Mass will be celebrated, Friday, July 12th, at St. Dorothy Church, Main St., Wilmington, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment services will be private. Arrangements by the McLaughlin – Dello Russo Family Funeral Service of Woburn.(NOTE: The above obituary is from Dello Russo Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington OBITUARIES (Week of July 7, 2019)In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Pauline F. (Lascelles) Capps, 86In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Reverend Paul W. Berube, 84In “Obituaries”
US president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin shake hands during the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin, a veteran businessman and a former spy, shook hands on Friday ahead of the most highly anticipated face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit.Trump has said he wants to find ways to work with Putin, a goal made more difficult by sharp differences over Russia’s actions in Syria and Ukraine, and allegations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.The two men met during an informal gathering of G20 leaders at the start of the summit, with the US president reinforcing their handshake by patting the Russian leader on the arm.In a video of the encounter, Trump was later shown patting Putin on the back. Both men smiled. They are to hold a formal meeting later in the day at 3:45pm local time, when every facial expression and physical gesture is likely to be analyzed.“I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss,” Trump wrote in a tweet on Friday. “I will represent our country well and fight for its interests!”The meeting is slated to begin shortly after a G20 working session on climate and energy starts. Trump, who has angered world leaders with his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change, will likely have to leave that session early to make the Russia meeting.Some fear the Republican president, a political novice whose team is still developing its Russia policy, will be less prepared for their sit-down than Putin, who has dealt with the last two US presidents and scores of other world leaders.On Thursday, Trump won praise from at least one Republican hawk in the U.S. Congress after a speech in Warsaw in which he urged Russia to stop its “destabilizing activities” and end its support for Syria and Iran. The remarks were among Trump’s sharpest about Moscow since becoming president, though they stopped short of any personal criticism of Putin.“This is a great start to an important week of American foreign policy,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has often been critical of Trump on security issues.Putin had been fully briefed about Trump’s description of Moscow’s behavior as destabilizing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding he would take that and other remarks by US officials into account.Still, Trump declined on Thursday to say definitively whether he believed U.S. intelligence officials’ assertion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US election.“I think it was Russia but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure,” Trump told a Warsaw news conference.Ahead of Trump’s meeting with Putin, three U.S. senators wrote to Trump to express “deep concern” about reports that his administration planned to discuss the return to Russia of diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York that were seized by the Obama administration last year in response to alleged Russian election meddling.Republican Senators Johnny Isakson and Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said returning the facilities would “embolden” Putin and encourage further efforts by Russia to interfere in Western elections. All three are on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.The White House declined to offer details on what Trump would request of Putin and what he might offer in exchange for cooperation.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump wanted to talk about how the two countries can work together to stabilize war-ravaged Syria.“The United States is prepared to explore the possibility of establishing with Russia joint mechanisms for ensuring stability, including no-fly zones, on-the-ground ceasefire observers, and coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance,” Tillerson said before leaving the United States to join Trump in Germany.
For the last few years, the popular Funko Collectible brand has been dominating the geek market. What once used to be a hard to find POP! the collectible brand is now sold at 711 and CVS. That is not to say the brand is over saturated by any means. Funko is always looking at the next big license and is constantly fresh on variety (I never find the same pop twice these days).Starting this month, Funko is going back to comic shops where it all began for them. This time they have teamed up with IDW Publishing to tell more lighthearted stories pairing the Pop Vinyl look with some of the publisher’s favorite talent. This month I checked out Funko Universes X-Files one shot.IDW’s run of the X-Files series has been something of a mystery to me (as I guess it should be?). There is an ongoing series that is about fifteen issues deep, a tenth & eleventh season, year zero, origins, even a handful of crossover issues involving Ghostbusters, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; even The Crow. So I was not too surprised to see Mulder and Scully get roped into a book like this.With four variant covers, this book includes four short stories. All who play around in the X-Files sandbox. The first “To believe, or not to believe” jokes on the fun relationship between special agents Mulder and Scully. “One believes everything, whereas the other is a skeptic. Hilarity ensues!” The next story, “You are what you eat” sounds like the cannibalistic plot of the second X-Files film. It is pure visuals without any dialogue and involves cute X-Files inside jokes scattered throughout. “Escape from space mountain” is the ultimate Fox Mulder story that drives the idea home as to why he believes so strongly in extraterrestrial life. The Funko Pop generic X-Files “Alien” buddies up with the agent for their own hightail adventure.I won’t go too much into the final story, as I am sure you can already get the gist of how this book goes down. One thing I always give IDW props for is that their artists are always top notch. I’ve seen Marvel pull a few short stories into a special and after the first two stories; the quality tends to dip. This one shot stays vibrant and fun! The X-Files: Funko Universe is a great book for parents to check out for their kids, and that really is who it is aimed for. Many adults may scoff at the concept of this book. But I can honestly say that this is a really cool project that can help children and their geeky parents bond. There are enough funny inside jokes from the series that adults will enjoy, while its downright adorable art and safe storytelling are perfect for the little ones.Also, be on the lookout for Ghostbusters, TMNT, Strawberry Shortcake and Judge Dredd Funko Universe books on store shelves now. Plus, variant Funko Pop alternate covers of ongoing series like Back to the Future, Orphan Black, Star Trek and more. Variant Covers to Grab This Week (8/29/18)Variant Covers to Grab This Week (8/15/18) Stay on target
People have been hacking together ways to control their Windows PCs using Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller for months now. Microsoft had promised for months that they would open up the Kinect to developers looking to use it for PC applications and games, but never said when that development kit would be ready. Today, Microsoft finally took the wraps off of the Kinect for Windows SDK and made it available to the public.Microsoft Research‘s official Kinect SDK is free, in beta, and available to any interested developer looking to come up with a way to use Kinect to control a Windows PC application or interface. Microsoft also says they’re working on a version of the SDK specifically for commercial applications. The goal is to give the Kinect new life as a PC peripheral and not just an attachment for the Xbox 360 games console.The SDK can be downloaded from the Microsoft Research website, and both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions are under 22MB. The kit includes a smaple game which you can see a video of below:Microsoft wants to see Kinect motion controllers used in kitchens, doctor’s offices, or repair shops, where people often have dirty fingers or difficulty using a computer while doing their job at the same time. Ideally you could use a Kinect to interact with a PC while you’re cooking without having to run and wash your hands to use a keyboard and mouse, or in a doctor’s office where you’ve already washed up but don’t want to risk contamination from using a computer.It remains to be seen if there’s real demand for Kinect on the PC beyond tech demos of future user interfaces and interesting but unrealistic ways to play PC games like World of Warcraft with motion control. Now that the SDK is official and a commercial one is on the way, we may see some fresh interest at least in the short term.Learn all about the SDK at Microsoft Research, via GeekWire
Even Friston has a hard time deciding where to start when he describes the free energy principle. He often sends people to its Wikipedia page. But for my part, it seems apt to begin with the blanket draped over the futon in Friston’s office.It’s a white fleece throw, custom-printed with a black-and-white portrait of a stern, bearded Russian mathematician named Andrei Andreyevich Markov, who died in 1922. The blanket is a gag gift from Friston’s son, a plush, polyester inside joke about an idea that has become central to the free energy principle. Markov is the eponym of a concept called a Markov blanket, which in machine learning is essentially a shield that separates one set of variables from others in a layered, hierarchical system. The psychologist Christopher Frith—who has an h-index on par with Friston’s—once described a Markov blanket as “a cognitive version of a cell membrane, shielding states inside the blanket from states outside.”In Friston’s mind, the universe is made up of Markov blankets inside of Markov blankets. Each of us has a Markov blanket that keeps us apart from what is not us. And within us are blankets separating organs, which contain blankets separating cells, which contain blankets separating their organelles. The blankets define how biological things exist over time and behave distinctly from one another. Without them, we’re just hot gas dissipating into the ether.“That’s the Markov blanket you’ve read about. This is it. You can touch it,” Friston said dryly when I first saw the throw in his office. I couldn’t help myself; I did briefly reach out to feel it under my fingers. Ever since I first read about Markov blankets, I’d seen them everywhere. Markov blankets around a leaf and a tree and a mosquito. In London, I saw them around the postdocs at the FIL, around the black-clad protesters at an antifascist rally, and around the people living in boats in the canals. Invisible cloaks around everyone, and underneath each one a different living system that minimizes its own free energy.The concept of free energy itself comes from physics, which means it’s difficult to explain precisely without wading into mathematical formulas. In a sense that’s what makes it powerful: It isn’t a merely rhetorical concept. It’s a measurable quantity that can be modeled, using much the same math that Friston has used to interpret brain images to such world-changing effect. But if you translate the concept from math into English, here’s roughly what you get: Free energy is the difference between the states you expect to be in and the states your sensors tell you that you are in. Or, to put it another way, when you are minimizing free energy, you are minimizing surprise.According to Friston, any biological system9 that resists a tendency to disorder and dissolution will adhere to the free energy principle—whether it’s a protozoan or a pro basketball team. A few years ago, a team of British researchers decided to revisit the facts of King George III’s madness with a new analytic tool. They loaded some 500 letters written by the king into a machine-learning engine and laboriously trained the system to recognize various textual features: word repetition, sentence length, syntactical complexity, and the like. By the end of the training process, the system was able to predict whether a royal missive had been written during a period of mania or during a period of sanity.This kind of pattern-matching technology—which is roughly similar to the techniques that have taught machines to recognize faces, images of cats, and speech patterns—has driven huge advances in computing over the past several years. But it requires a lot of up-front data and human supervision, and it can be brittle. Another approach to AI, called reinforcement learning, has shown incredible success at winning games: Go, chess, Atari’s Breakout. Reinforcement learning doesn’t require humans to label lots of training data; it just requires telling a neural network to seek a certain reward, often victory in a game. The neural network learns by playing the game over and over, optimizing for whatever moves might get it to the final screen, the way a dog might learn to perform certain tasks for a treat.But reinforcement learning, too, has pretty major limitations. In the real world, most situations are not organized around a single, narrowly defined goal. (Sometimes you have to stop playing Breakout to go to the bathroom, put out a fire, or talk to your boss.) And most environments aren’t as stable and rule-bound as a game is. The conceit behind neural networks is that they are supposed to think the way we do; but reinforcement learning doesn’t really get us there.To Friston and his enthusiasts, this failure makes complete sense. After all, according to the free energy principle, the fundamental drive of human thought isn’t to seek some arbitrary external reward. It’s to minimize prediction error. Clearly, neural networks ought to do the same. It helps that the Bayesian formulas behind the free energy principle—the ones that are so difficult to translate into English—are already written in the native language of machine learning.Julie Pitt, head of machine-learning infrastructure at Netflix, discovered Friston and the free energy principle in 2014, and it transformed her thinking. (Pitt’s Twitter bio reads, “I infer my own actions by way of Active Inference.”) Outside of her work at Netflix, she’s been exploring applications of the principle in a side project called Order of Magnitude Labs. Pitt says that the beauty of the free energy model is that it allows an artificial agent to act in any environment, even one that’s new and unknown. Under the old reinforcement-learning model, you’d have to keep stipulating new rules and sub-rewards to get your agent to cope with a complex world. But a free energy agent always generates its own intrinsic reward: the minimization of surprise. And that reward, Pitt says, includes an imperative to go out and explore. In late 2017, a group led by Rosalyn Moran, a neuroscientist and engineer at King’s College London, pitted two AI players against one another in a version of the 3D shooter game Doom. The goal was to compare an agent driven by active inference to one driven by reward-maximization.The reward-based agent’s goal was to kill a monster inside the game, but the free-energy-driven agent only had to minimize surprise. The Fristonian agent started off slowly. But eventually it started to behave as if it had a model of the game, seeming to realize, for instance, that when the agent moved left the monster tended to move to the right.After a while it became clear that, even in the toy environment of the game, the reward-maximizing agent was “demonstrably less robust”; the free energy agent had learned its environment better. “It outperformed the reinforcement-learning agent because it was exploring,” Moran says. In another simulation that pitted the free-energy-minimizing agent against real human players, the story was similar. The Fristonian agent started slowly, actively exploring options—epistemically foraging, Friston would say—before quickly attaining humanlike performance.Moran told me that active inference is starting to spread into more mainstream deep-learning research, albeit slowly. Some of Friston’s students have gone on to work at DeepMind and Google Brain, and one of them founded Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence Theory lab. “It’s moving out of Queen Square,” Moran says. But it’s still not nearly as common as reinforcement learning, which even undergraduates learn. “You don’t teach undergraduates the free energy principle—yet.”The first time I asked Friston about the connection between the free energy principle and artificial intelligence, he predicted that within five to 10 years, most machine learning would incorporate free energy minimization. The second time, his response was droll. “Think about why it’s called active inference,” he said. His straight, sparkly white teeth showed through his smile as he waited for me to follow his wordplay. “Well, it’s AI,” Friston said. “So is active inference the new AI? Yes, it’s the acronym.” Not for the first time, a Fristonian joke had passed me by. While I was in London, Friston gave a talk at a quantitative trading firm. About 60 baby-faced stock traders were in attendance, rounding out the end of their workday. Friston described how the free energy principle could model curiosity in artificial agents. About 15 minutes in, he asked his listeners to raise a hand if they understood what he was saying. He counted only three hands, so he reversed the question: “Can you put your hand up if that was complete nonsense and you don’t know what I was talking about?” This time, a lot of people raised their hands, and I got the feeling that the rest were being polite. With 45 minutes left, Friston turned to the organizer of the talk and looked at him as if to say, What the hell? The manager stammered a bit before saying, “Everybody here’s smart.” Friston graciously agreed and finished his presentation.The next morning, I asked Friston if he thought the talk went well, considering that few of those bright young minds seemed to understand him. “There is going to be a substantial proportion of the audience who—it’s just not for them,” he said. “Sometimes they get upset because they’ve heard that it’s important and they don’t understand it. They think they have to think it’s rubbish and they leave. You get used to that.”In 2010, Peter Freed, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, gathered together 15 brain researchers to discuss one of Friston’s papers. Freed described what happened in the journal Neuropsychoanalysis: “There was a lot of mathematical knowledge in the room: three statisticians, two physicists, a physical chemist, a nuclear physicist, and a large group of neuroimagers—but apparently we didn’t have what it took. I met with a Princeton physicist, a Stanford neurophysiologist, a Cold Springs Harbor neurobiologist to discuss the paper. Again blanks, one and all: too many equations, too many assumptions, too many moving parts, too global a theory, no opportunity for questions—and so people gave up.”But for all the people who are exasperated by Friston’s impenetrability, there are nearly as many who feel he has unlocked something huge, an idea every bit as expansive as Darwin’s theory of natural selection. When the Canadian philosopher Maxwell Ramstead first read Friston’s work in 2014, he had already been trying to find ways to connect complex living systems that exist at different scales—from cells to brains to individuals to cultures. In 2016 he met Friston, who told him that the same math that applies to cellular differentiation—the process by which generic cells become more specialized—can also be applied to cultural dynamics. “This was a life-changing conversation for me,” Ramstead says. “I almost had a nosebleed.” Friston’s office. A friend describes him as “a Victorian gentleman, with Victorian manners and tastes.”Kate Peters The Markov blanket in Karl Friston’s office—“keeping your internal states warm since 1856.”Kate Peters To get a sense of the potential implications of this theory, all you have to do is look at the array of people who darken the FIL’s doorstep on Monday mornings. Some are here because they want to use the free energy principle to unify theories of the mind, provide a new foundation for biology, and explain life as we know it. Others hope the free energy principle will finally ground psychiatry in a functional understanding of the brain. And still others come because they want to use Friston’s ideas to break through the roadblocks in artificial intelligence research. But they all have one reason in common for being here, which is that the only person who truly understands Karl Friston’s free energy principle may be Karl Friston himself. The meeting left Friston’s head spinning. Inspired by Hinton’s ideas, and in a spirit of intellectual reciprocity, Friston sent Hinton a set of notes about an idea he had for connecting several seemingly “unrelated anatomical, physiological, and psychophysical attributes of the brain.” Friston published those notes in 2005—the first of many dozens of papers he would go on to write about the free energy principle. Friston isn’t just one of the most influential scholars in his field; he’s also among the most prolific in any discipline. He is 59 years old, works every night and weekend, and has published more than 1,000 academic papers since the turn of the millennium. In 2017 alone, he was a lead or coauthor of 85 publications3—which amounts to approximately one every four days.But if you ask him, this output isn’t just the fruit of an ambitious work ethic; it’s a mark of his tendency toward a kind of rigorous escapism.Friston draws a carefully regulated boundary around his inner life, guarding against intrusions, many of which seem to consist of “worrying about other people.” He prefers being onstage, with other people at a comfortable distance, to being in private conversations. He does not have a mobile phone. He always wears navy-blue suits, which he buys two at a time at a closeout shop. He finds disruptions to his weekly routine on Queen Square “rather nerve-racking” and so tends to avoid other human beings at, say, international conferences. He does not enjoy advocating for his own ideas.At the same time, Friston is exceptionally lucid and forthcoming about what drives him as a scholar. He finds it incredibly soothing—not unlike disappearing for a smoke—to lose himself in a difficult problem that takes weeks to resolve. And he has written eloquently about his own obsession, dating back to childhood, with finding ways to integrate, unify, and make simple the apparent noise of the world.Friston traces his path to the free energy principle back to a hot summer day when he was 8 years old. He and his family were living in the walled English city of Chester, near Liverpool, and his mother had told him to go play in the garden. He turned over an old log and spotted several wood lice—small bugs with armadillo-shaped exoskeletons—moving about, he initially assumed, in a frantic search for shelter and darkness. After staring at them for half an hour, he deduced that they were not actually seeking the shade. “That was an illusion,” Friston says. “A fantasy that I brought to the table.”He realized that the movement of the wood lice had no larger purpose, at least not in the sense that a human has a purpose when getting in a car to run an errand. The creatures’ movement was random; they simply moved faster in the warmth4 of the sun. And then there was Robert, an articulate young man who might have been a university student had he not suffered severe schizophrenia. Robert ruminated obsessively about, of all things, angel shit; he pondered whether the stuff was a blessing or a curse and whether it was ever visible to the eye, and he seemed perplexed that these questions had not occurred to others. To Friston, the very concept of angel shit was a miracle. It spoke to the ability of people with schizophrenia to assemble concepts that someone with a more regularly functioning brain couldn’t easily access. “It’s extremely difficult to come up with something like angel shit,” Friston says with something like admiration. “I couldn’t do it.”After Littlemore, Friston spent much of the early 1990s using a relatively new technology—PET scans—to try to understand what was going on inside the brains of people with schizophrenia. He invented statistical parametric mapping along the way. Unusually for the time, Friston was adamant that the technique should be freely shared rather than patented and commercialized, which largely explains how it became so widespread. Friston would fly across the world—to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, for example—to give it to other researchers. “It was me, literally, with a quarter of biometric tape, getting on an airplane, taking it over there, downloading it, spending a day getting it to work, teaching somebody how to use it, then going home for a rest,” Friston says. “This is how open source software worked in those days.”Friston came to Queen Square in 1994, and for a few years his office at the FIL sat just a few doors down from the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit. The Gatsby—where researchers study theories of perception and learning in both living and machine systems—was then run by its founder, the cognitive psychologist and computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton. While the FIL was establishing itself as one of the premier labs for neuroimaging, the Gatsby was becoming a training ground for neuroscientists interested in applying mathematical models to the nervous system.Friston, like many others, became enthralled by Hinton’s “childlike enthusiasm” for the most unchildlike of statistical models, and the two men became friends.7 Friston calls this his first scientific insight, a moment when “all these contrived, anthropomorphized explanations of purpose and survival and the like all seemed to just peel away,” he says. “And the thing you were observing just was. In the sense that it could be no other way.”Friston’s father was a civil engineer who worked on bridges all around England, and his family moved around with him. In just his first decade, the young Friston attended six different schools. His teachers often didn’t know what to do with him, and he drew most of his fragile self-esteem from solitary problem solving. At age 10 he designed a self-righting robot that could, in theory, traverse uneven ground while carrying a glass of water, using self-correcting feedback actuators and mercury levels. At school, a psychologist was brought in to ask him how he came up with it. “You’re very intelligent, Karl,” Friston’s mother reassured him, not for the last time. “Don’t let them tell you you’re not.” He says he didn’t believe her.When Friston was in his mid-teens, he had another wood-lice moment. He had just come up to his bedroom from watching TV and noticed the cherry trees in bloom outside the window. He suddenly became possessed by a thought that has never let go of him since. “There must be a way of understanding everything by starting from nothing,” he thought. “If I’m only allowed to start off with one point in the entire universe, can I derive everything else I need from that?” He stayed there on his bed for hours, making his first attempt. “I failed completely, obviously,” he says.Toward the end of secondary school, Friston and his classmates were the subjects of an early experiment in computer-assisted advising. They were asked a series of questions, and their answers were punched into cards and run through a machine to extrapolate the perfect career choice. Friston had described how he enjoyed electronics design and being alone in nature, so the computer suggested he become a television antenna installer. That didn’t seem right, so he visited a school career counselor and said he’d like to study the brain in the context of mathematics and physics. The counselor told Friston he should become a psychiatrist, which meant, to Friston’s horror, that he had to study medicine.Both Friston and the counselor had confused psychiatry with psychology, which is what he probably ought to have pursued as a future researcher. But it turned out to be a fortunate error, as it put Friston on a path toward studying both the mind and body,5 and toward one of the most formative experiences of his life—one that got Friston out of his own head. “This is absolutely novel in history,” Ramstead told me as we sat on a bench in Queen Square, surrounded by patients and staff from the surrounding hospitals. Before Friston came along, “We were kind of condemned to forever wander in this multidisciplinary space without a common currency,” he continued. “The free energy principle gives you that currency.”In 2017, Ramstead and Friston coauthored a paper, with Paul Badcock of the University of Melbourne, in which they described all life in terms of Markov blankets. Just as a cell is a Markov-blanketed system that minimizes free energy in order to exist, so are tribes and religions and species.After the publication of Ramstead’s paper, Micah Allen, a cognitive neuroscientist then at the FIL, wrote that the free energy principle had evolved into a real-life version of Isaac Asimov’s psychohistory,11 a fictional system that reduced all of psychology, history, and physics down to a statistical science.And it’s true that the free energy principle does seem to have expanded to the point of being, if not a theory of everything, then nearly so. (Friston told me that cancer and tumors might be instances of false inference, when cells become deluded.) As Allen asked: Does a theory that explains everything run the risk of explaining nothing?On the last day of my trip, I visited Friston in the town of Rickmansworth, where he lives in a house filled with taxidermied animals12 that his wife prepares as a hobby.As it happens, Rickmansworth appears on the first page of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; it’s the town where “a girl sitting on her own in a small café” suddenly discovers the secret to making the world “a good and happy place.” But fate intervenes. “Before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost forever.” “We sample the world,” Friston writes, “to ensure our predictions become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”So what happens when our prophecies are not self-fulfilling? What does it look like for a system to be overwhelmed by surprise? The free energy principle, it turns out, isn’t just a unified theory of action, perception, and planning; it’s also a theory of mental illness. When the brain assigns too little or too much weight to evidence pouring in from the senses, trouble occurs. Someone with schizophrenia, for example, may fail to update their model of the world to account for sensory input from the eyes. Where one person might see a friendly neighbor, Hillary might see a giant, evil crow. “If you think about psychiatric conditions, and indeed most neurological conditions, they are just broken beliefs or false inference—hallucinations and delusions,” Friston says.Over the past few years, Friston and a few other scientists have used the free energy principle to help explain anxiety, depression, and psychosis, along with certain symptoms of autism, Parkinson’s disease, and psychopathy. In many cases, scientists already know—thanks to Friston’s neuroimaging methods—which regions of the brain tend to malfunction in different disorders and which signals tend to be disrupted. But that alone isn’t enough to go on. “It’s not sufficient to understand which synapses, which brain connections, are working improperly,” he says. “You need to have a calculus that talks about beliefs.”So: The free energy principle offers a unifying explanation for how the mind works and a unifying explanation for how the mind malfunctions. It stands to reason, then, that it might also put us on a path toward building a mind from scratch. Over time, Hinton convinced Friston that the best way to think of the brain was as a Bayesian probability machine. The idea, which goes back to the 19th century and the work of Hermann von Helmholtz, is that brains compute and perceive in a probabilistic manner, constantly making predictions and adjusting beliefs based on what the senses contribute. According to the most popular modern Bayesian account, the brain is an “inference engine” that seeks to minimize “prediction error.”In 2001, Hinton left London for the University of Toronto, where he became one of the most important figures in artificial intelligence, laying the groundwork8 for much of today’s research in deep learning.Before Hinton left, however, Friston visited his friend at the Gatsby one last time. Hinton described a new technique he’d devised to allow computer programs to emulate human decisionmaking more efficiently—a process for integrating the input of many different probabilistic models, now known in machine learning as a “product of experts.” Shaun Raviv (@ShaunRaviv) is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia.This article appears in the December issue. Subscribe now.Listen to this story, and other WIRED features, on the Audm app.Let us know what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. A single-celled organism has the same imperative to reduce surprise that a brain does.The only difference is that, as self-organizing biological systems go, the human brain is inordinately complex: It soaks in information from billions of sense receptors, and it needs to organize that information efficiently into an accurate model of the world. “It’s literally a fantastic organ in the sense that it generates hypotheses or fantasies that are appropriate for trying to explain these myriad patterns, this flux of sensory information that it is in receipt of,” Friston says. In seeking to predict what the next wave of sensations is going to tell it—and the next, and the next—the brain is constantly making inferences and updating its beliefs based on what the senses relay back, and trying to minimize prediction-error signals.So far, as you might have noticed, this sounds a lot like the Bayesian idea of the brain as an “inference engine” that Hinton told Friston about in the 1990s. And indeed, Friston regards the Bayesian model as a foundation of the free energy principle (“free energy” is even a rough synonym for “prediction error”). But the limitation of the Bayesian model, for Friston, is that it only accounts for the interaction between beliefs and perceptions; it has nothing to say about the body or action. It can’t get you out of your chair.This isn’t enough for Friston, who uses the term “active inference” to describe the way organisms minimize surprise while moving about the world. When the brain makes a prediction that isn’t immediately borne out by what the senses relay back, Friston believes, it can minimize free energy in one of two ways: It can revise its prediction—absorb the surprise, concede the error, update its model of the world—or it can act to make the prediction true. If I infer that I am touching my nose with my left index finger, but my proprioceptors tell me my arm is hanging at my side, I can minimize my brain’s raging prediction-error signals by raising that arm up and pressing a digit to the middle of my face.And in fact, this is how the free energy principle accounts for everything we do: perception, action, planning, problem solving. When I get into the car to run an errand, I am minimizing free energy by confirming my hypothesis—my fantasy—through action.For Friston, folding action and movement into the equation is immensely important. Even perception itself, he says, is “enslaved by action”: To gather information, the eye darts, the diaphragm draws air into the nose, the fingers generate friction against a surface. And all of this fine motor movement exists on a continuum with bigger plans, explorations,10 and actions. It’s unclear whether the free energy principle is the secret to making the world a good and happy place, as some of its believers almost seem to think it might be. Friston himself tended to take a more measured tone as our talks went on, suggesting only that active inference and its corollaries were quite promising. Several times he conceded that he might just be “talking rubbish.” During the last group meeting I attended at the FIL, he told those in attendance that the free energy principle is an “as if” concept—it does not require that biological things minimize free energy in order to exist; it is merely sufficient as an explanation for biotic self-organization.Friston’s mother died a few years ago, but lately he has been thinking back to her frequent reassurances during his childhood: You’re very intelligent, Karl. “I never quite believed her,” he says. “And yet now I have found myself suddenly being seduced by her argument. Now I do believe I’m actually quite bright.” But this newfound self-esteem, he says, has also led him to examine his own egocentricity.Friston says his work has two primary motivations. Sure, it would be nice to see the free energy principle lead to true artificial consciousness someday, he says, but that’s not one of his top priorities. Rather, his first big desire is to advance schizophrenia research, to help repair the brains of patients like the ones he knew at the old asylum. And his second main motivation, he says, is “much more selfish.” It goes back to that evening in his bedroom, as a teenager, looking at the cherry blossoms, wondering, “Can I sort it all out in the simplest way possible?”“And that is a very self-indulgent thing. It has no altruistic clinical compassion behind it. It is just the selfish desire to try and understand things as completely and as rigorously and as simply as possible,” he says. “I often reflect on the jokes that people make about me—sometimes maliciously, sometimes very amusingly—that I can’t communicate. And I think: I didn’t write it for you. I wrote it for me.”Friston told me he occasionally misses the last train home to Rickmansworth, lost in one of those problems that he drills into for weeks. So he’ll sleep in his office, curled on the futon under his Markov blanket, safe and securely separated from the external world. When King George III of England began to show signs of acute mania toward the end of his reign, rumors about the royal madness multiplied quickly in the public mind. One legend had it that George tried to shake hands with a tree, believing it to be the King of Prussia. Another described how he was whisked away to a house on Queen Square, in the Bloomsbury district of London, to receive treatment among his subjects. The tale goes on that George’s wife, Queen Charlotte, hired out the cellar of a local pub to stock provisions for the king’s meals while he stayed under his doctor’s care.More than two centuries later, this story about Queen Square is still popular in London guidebooks. And whether or not it’s true, the neighborhood has evolved over the years as if to conform to it. A metal statue of Charlotte stands over the northern end of the square; the corner pub is called the Queen’s Larder; and the square’s quiet rectangular garden is now all but surrounded by people who work on brains and people whose brains need work. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery—where a modern-day royal might well seek treatment—dominates one corner of Queen Square, and the world-renowned neuroscience research facilities of University College London round out its perimeter. During a week of perfect weather last July, dozens of neurological patients and their families passed silent time on wooden benches at the outer edges of the grass.On a typical Monday, Karl Friston arrives on Queen Square at 12:25 pm and smokes a cigarette in the garden by the statue of Queen Charlotte. A slightly bent, solitary figure with thick gray hair, Friston is the scientific director of University College London’s storied Functional Imaging Laboratory, known to everyone who works there as the FIL. After finishing his cigarette, Friston walks to the western side of the square, enters a brick and limestone building, and heads to a seminar room on the fourth floor, where anywhere from two to two dozen people might be facing a blank white wall waiting for him. Friston likes to arrive five minutes late, so everyone else is already there.His greeting to the group is liable to be his first substantial utterance of the day, as Friston prefers not to speak with other human beings before noon. (At home, he will have conversed with his wife and three sons via an agreed-upon series of smiles and grunts.) He also rarely meets people one-on-one. Instead, he prefers to hold open meetings like this one, where students, postdocs, and members of the public who desire Friston’s expertise—a category of person that has become almost comically broad in recent years—can seek his knowledge. “He believes that if one person has an idea or a question or project going on, the best way to learn about it is for the whole group to come together, hear the person, and then everybody gets a chance to ask questions and discuss. And so one person’s learning becomes everybody’s learning,” says David Benrimoh, a psychiatry resident at McGill University who studied under Friston for a year. “It’s very unique. As many things are with Karl.”At the start of each Monday meeting, everyone goes around and states their questions at the outset. Friston walks in slow, deliberate circles as he listens, his glasses perched at the end of his nose, so that he is always lowering his head to see the person who is speaking. He then spends the next few hours answering the questions in turn. “A Victorian gentleman, with Victorian manners and tastes,” as one friend describes Friston, he responds to even the most confused questions with courtesy and rapid reformulation. The Q&A sessions—which I started calling “Ask Karl” meetings—are remarkable feats of endurance, memory, breadth of knowledge, and creative thinking. They often end when it is time for Friston to retreat to the minuscule metal balcony hanging off his office for another smoke.Friston first became a heroic figure in academia for devising many of the most important tools that have made human brains legible to science. In 1990 he invented statistical parametric mapping, a computational technique that helps—as one neuroscientist put it—“squash and squish” brain images into a consistent shape so that researchers can do apples-to-apples comparisons of activity within different crania. Out of statistical parametric mapping came a corollary called voxel-based morphometry, an imaging technique that was used in one famous study to show that the rear side of the hippocampus of London taxi drivers grew as they learned “the knowledge.”1A study published in Science in 2011 used yet a third brain-imaging-analysis software invented by Friston—dynamic causal modeling—to determine if people with severe brain damage were minimally conscious or simply vegetative.When Friston was inducted into the Royal Society of Fellows in 2006, the academy described his impact on studies of the brain as “revolutionary” and said that more than 90 percent of papers published in brain imaging used his methods. Two years ago, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a research outfit led by AI pioneer Oren Etzioni, calculated that Friston is the world’s most frequently cited neuroscientist. He has an h-index—a metric used to measure the impact of a researcher’s publications—nearly twice the size of Albert Einstein’s. Last year Clarivate Analytics, which over more than two decades has successfully predicted 46 Nobel Prize winners in the sciences, ranked Friston among the three most likely winners in the physiology or medicine category.What’s remarkable, however, is that few of the researchers who make the pilgrimage to see Friston these days have come to talk about brain imaging at all. Over a 10-day period this summer, Friston advised an astrophysicist, several philosophers, a computer engineer working on a more personable competitor to the Amazon Echo, the head of artificial intelligence for one of the world’s largest insurance companies, a neuroscientist seeking to build better hearing aids, and a psychiatrist with a startup that applies machine learning to help treat depression. And most of them had come because they were desperate to understand something else entirely.For the past decade or so, Friston has devoted much of his time and effort to developing an idea he calls the free energy principle. (Friston refers to his neuroimaging research as a day job, the way a jazz musician might refer to his shift at the local public library.) With this idea, Friston believes he has identified nothing less than the organizing principle of all life, and all intelligence as well. “If you are alive,” he sets out to answer, “what sorts of behaviors must you show?”First the bad news: The free energy principle is maddeningly difficult to understand. So difficult, in fact, that entire rooms of very, very smart people have tried and failed to grasp it. A Twitter account2 with 3,000 followers exists simply to mock its opacity, and nearly every person I spoke with about it, including researchers whose work depends on it, told me they didn’t fully comprehend it.But often those same people hastened to add that the free energy principle, at its heart, tells a simple story and solves a basic puzzle. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that the universe tends toward entropy, toward dissolution; but living things fiercely resist it. We wake up every morning nearly the same person we were the day before, with clear separations between our cells and organs, and between us and the world without. How? Friston’s free energy principle says that all life, at every scale of organization—from single cells to the human brain, with its billions of neurons—is driven by the same universal imperative, which can be reduced to a mathematical function. To be alive, he says, is to act in ways that reduce the gulf between your expectations and your sensory inputs. Or, in Fristonian terms, it is to minimize free energy. After completing his medical studies, Friston moved to Oxford and spent two years as a resident trainee at a Victorian-era hospital called Littlemore. Founded under the 1845 Lunacy Act, Littlemore had originally been instituted to help transfer all “pauper lunatics” from workhouses to hospitals. By the mid-1980s, when Friston arrived, it was one of the last of the old asylums on the outskirts of England’s cities.Friston was assigned a group of 32 chronic schizophrenic patients, the worst-off residents of Littlemore, for whom treatment mostly meant containment. For Friston, who recalls his former patients with evident nostalgia, it was an introduction to the way that connections in the brain were easily broken. “It was a beautiful place to work,” he says. “This little community of intense and florid psychopathology.”Twice a week he led 90-minute group therapy sessions in which the patients explored their ailments together, reminiscent of the Ask Karl meetings today. The group included colorful characters who still inspire Friston’s thinking more than 30 years later. There was Hillary,6 who looked like she could play the senior cook on Downton Abbey but who, before coming to Littlemore, had decapitated her neighbor with a kitchen knife, convinced he had become an evil, human-sized crow.There was Ernest, who had a penchant for pastel Marks & Spencer cardigans and matching plimsoll shoes, and who was “as rampant and incorrigible a pedophile as you could ever imagine,” Friston says. 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Why does Siri sound like Siri – and that we’re instantly able to recognize her voice and that she’s not human? Siri, Ivona, Google Home, and most speech synthesis systems have voices which are based on imitating a neutral citation style of speech and making it sound natural. But, in the real world, our voices convey more emotion and change.In this article, we will talk about speech synthesis as performance, why the uncanny valley is a bankrupt concept, and how academics can escape from studying corporate speech technology as if it’s been bestowed by God.Simon Cocking of Irish Tech News interviewed Dr Leigh Clark, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Benjamin R. Cowan, Assistant Professor, both of University College Dublin, and Dr Matthew P. Aylett, CSO of CereProc Ltd., on their “Siri, Echo and Performance: You have to Suffer Darling.” Their work and argument about next-gen voice technology were presented at the Association for Computer Machinery’s leading conference on computer-human interaction, ACM CHI (pronounced ‘kai’), in Glasgow in May 2019.You’re no fan of how speech technology is developed today – coming down hard on “the mimicry objective”. What is speech synthesis? How is most commonly developed today?Speech synthesis is taking text input and turning it into audio by getting a system to ‘speak’ the words. All computer systems that speak to you (such as Siri, Echo, Google Home etc.) use speech synthesis to convert text input into voice.In the early days, this was all it had to do, but with computers entering the social domain, the requirement for voices to sound natural and to express themselves using emotion and emphasis has also become important. Often to control non-text features (how you say something rather than what you say) text is “marked up” with commands which instruct the system to, for example, speak more slowly, with a higher pitch, or with a calm voice quality.To make voices better, a common approach is to record a speaker then use their voice to build the system. The artificial system will sound like this source speaker because it has used that person’s speech data to create the models and build new utterances. To see how well you are doing you can simply compare your artificial utterance with the original. Does it sound as good? Does it sound as natural? Does it sound the same?But this means that we stop thinking about what the voice is going to be used for and how we are expecting to interact with it. The artificial system is being designed without any concern for user experience. This is what we term the ‘mimicry objective’: if it sounds like the original speaker we are done, we have finished our work and how the voice is used and deployed is a separate problem.This makes it easy for speech synthesis engineers to evaluate their work, it makes it easy to deploy machine learning approaches (we are trying to copy data we have already collected), and the human voice is something users understand immediately so can be used effectively in systems. However, it also means, as engineers, we avoid the difficult questions on how this technology is used.What are the limitations of the mimicry objective?The ‘mimicry objective’ is easy to pursue but also presents some challenges. Without being concerned about the context a system is used in, it is hard to design it well. By pursuing naturalness ‘blindly’, we lose the benefits of “not being real”. For example, non-natural systems are perceived as non-judgmental or having a non-natural voice to makes it clear we are communicating with a computer and not a person.Finally, mimicry is creepy. The so-called “uncanny valley” is often quoted when an artificial system is close enough to a real system to make it feel weird and disconcerting. The question we must ask ourselves is whether mimicking human voices is a good design objective for creating a positive user experience.In fact, there is not much evidence it is a good design approach. So, what should we do instead? Designing voices in context is a good starting point. Thinking about what the voice interaction is expected to achieve can be used to help design a speech synthesis system before a voice is created.Finally, we can also consider how human speakers change their voice for specific purposes, such as in a dramatic performance. When Alec Baldwin satirized Donald Trump, he doesn’t just copy his voice – in fact, his copy is not very close to Trump’s normal voice. Rather it is about what you want tocommunicate and how to get there. Mimicry is an important element of this process, but naturalness is not necessarily the final objective.Your paper states that the mimicry in speech synthesis engine and dialogue systems can be used for evil. Couldn’t that be said of all synthesized speech? Good artificial natural-sounding mimicked speech can be used to deceive people. But that isn’t necessarily the case, it has to be linked to a desire to deceive. For example, there is a big difference between Alec Baldwin mimicking Donald Trump, and someone impersonating a voice in order to call friends and colleagues and extract confidential information. It is not new either, as very good voice artists can deceive people listening to them if they wish to do so.But as with “fake news” there is a lot of demand for technologies that can be used to deceive. Speech synthesis can be used for unethical purposes, and always could be, but highly natural mimicked systems can also pretend to be human. For example, cold calling ten thousand people at once and pretending to be someone working at your bank and asking for PINs and login details. Sadly, the scope for unethical applications is greater with modern speech synthesis, but none of this is possible without an unethical human being behind it.What is the difference between vocal performance and mimicry in speech synthesis? What will that mean for human-computer interaction?If we consider a human actors’ vocal performance, we find a set of tools and techniques actors use to create a performance.– Choosing a speaking style: For example, choosing a tense, aggressive speech style to create a tense and aggressive character.– Expressivity: Being able to alter speech to reflect the content, using emphasis, emotion and timing to enhance the communicative nature of the basic text.– Interpretation: Using speech style and expressiveness to creatively modify the underlying text to support the actors’ interpretation of a story and character. The use of these techniques is often super-natural, in that they reflect natural speech but “more so”.For example, over-emphasis of important text or pauses which are longer or shorter than you would find in natural conversations. For speech synthesis performance we have these features, voice quality and expressiveness, as required functionality, together with control which allows an application to control the interpretation.With speech synthesis, we also have an additional technique sometimes applied toactors in films, the use of audio post-processing to make a voice have a robotic sound (this is not the same as a poor speech synthesis system, and inspiration for this techniques are many in sci-fictionand fantasy genres). But the key issue is the process of evaluation, rather than asking if the voice is natural, it is to measure the user engagement and impact of the interaction.In your experience and opinion, what is needed to move from designing speech synthesis systems for applications like Google and Siri to a performance-based system? What will the difference mean?We are missing a whole generation of designers that are familiar and comfortable with designing speech-based applications and services. Until recently, design and user experience practitioners avoided speech technology preferring to focus on visual and graphic interaction design.This is changing. As designers become more familiar with the tropes and styles of voice user interaction, they will also begin disrupting the traditional design of personal assistants. As these systems become more applied and focused on specific services and applications, designers will start to demand more performance-ready voices and systems that can create a performance interpretation. Then rather than a system phoning a hairdresser and pretending to be human, we will have systems that are artificial and proud of it.If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Sponsored By Connatix — Zac Ellis (@ZacEllis) February 8, 2016Charlie Strong explains the philosophy behind his late recruiting strategy.Charlie Strong explains the philosophy behind his late recruiting strategyA 6-foot-9, 410-pound high schooler scoring a touchdown against a bunch of foreigners under the world’s largest video board inside a stadium with a Victoria’s Secret shop while wearing stars and stripes on his shoulder pads. It literally does not get more America than this.Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips are the personification of the sling-shot nature of the coaching business.Two years after going 2-14, Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips are inspirations for coaches everywhereJim Harbaugh continues to win.Feel like I’ve died & gone to heaven. Spending time with baseball’s greatest player & my friend, Willie Mays. pic.twitter.com/bpASfYHCTI— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 8, 2016All the best commercials from Sunday.Videos: The best commercials from Super Bowl 50Temple is getting a new, on-campus football stadium.Breaking: Temple board votes unanimously to approve $1 million design plan for on-campus football stadium— Mark Dent (@mdent05) February 8, 2016Pitt takes you behind the scenes of Pat Narduzzi’s second Signing Day.Video: Pitt takes you behind the scenes of Pat Narduzzi’s first full national signing dayFinally, we saved the best (or worst) for last: a leopard on the loose at an Indian school.This is insane. A leopard loose in an Indian school. (6 injured, leopard okay too) pic.twitter.com/Nqg8OodMuZ— David Wyllie (@journodave) February 8, 2016 News & Notes:The Super Bowl drew 111.9 million viewers, the second-largest broadcast in American television history.The New York Knicks fired head coach Derek Fisher after a 1-9 stretch. Bryan Fischer points out Byron Scott has had six such stretches as head coach of the Lakers.Miami Jackson has hired the first female head football coach in Florida history, and Uncle Luke will be her defensive coordinator.Western Kentucky named former NFL quarterback Brian Brohm, brother of head coach Jeff Brohm, as the Hilltoppers’ quarterbacks coach. WKU is also reportedly adding former Houston coach Tony Levine to the staff.And now for the rest of the story…In other words, hell hath frozen over.Steve Spurrier tells @finebaum he called Nick Saban after title game vs. Clemson and said, “You’ve turned into an offensive coach.”
But Moorhead’s pursuit of Brown provides a window into how he is looking to fill his most crucial assistant coaching position. Moorhead is looking to bring the best of the best to Starkville.As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Sponsored By Connatix Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is now the head coach at Mississippi State, and the focus now turns to what will easily be his most critical hire in Starkville — defensive coordinator.As we reported days ago, Dan Mullen has offered Tod Grantham his defensive coordinator position at Florida. As we reported, Grantham is expected to accept. Sources tell FootballScoop Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry is not expected to be a candidate.Sources told FootballScoop that Moorhead targeted Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown to join him at Mississippi State, but Brown will remain in Ann Arbor. Brown was selected by his peers as the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2015.Brown and Moorhead worked together for one season at Connecticut.
A 26-year-old woman missing in Limassol since Saturday afternoon has been found and is well, police said.Maria Antoniou had been reported missing since 2pm on Saturday.The woman was found at a cafeteria in Yermasoyia.She said she had been staying with a friend and gave some explanations about her absence, which were not disclosed.You May LikeHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Early Signs Of Heart Failure. Search Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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Central Command, passed through the Bismarck area Aug 26Justin Beyer of Beyer Towing who helped organize the convoy of more than a dozen trucks said North Dakotans have been grateful for the help"I’d like to think someday that if we do this and it’s dry around our area maybe they’d come and help us out" he said "It’s hopefully getting back to the old ways of chipping in and helping each other out"North Dakota State University and the state Department of Agriculture also created a hay lottery for livestock producers More than 1100 applications came from North Dakota by Thursday’s deadline Goehring said"They don’t even know if they’re going to be selected but they’re elated that somebody remembered them" he saidThe state and federal government have taken some steps to relieve the drought including the USDA opening more conservation acres for emergency grazing and haying in July The state Emergency Commission late last month approved $15 million for an emergency hay transportation programBut Farmers Union President Mark Watne said in early August that a "financial disaster" is looming and called for federal disaster payments to livestock and crop producers affected by the drought He warned that crop insurance will not be enough to deal with an event this severe"We’re going to bring up drought quite a bit with our congressional leaders and suggest that there needs to be something that’s in addition to the normal channels or we’re going to lose some farms and ranches" Watne said ThursdayYep David Shelton and his brother Daniel have developed a side business They are too young to remember the days usually Mondays when most washings hung on clotheslines But they long ago figured out all the uses for clothespins — or their TerraPinsThey sell the rather elegant clothespins online They sell them at places such as the Grand Forks farmers market and to some of the ladies at the bank in LarimoreThey sent me a sampleSo far they have sold around 1200 TerraPins that go for $20 a dozen plus shipping These entrepreneurs are saving up going to school part-time trying to build their business They are thinking of manufacturing more products — such as inexpensive bed frames for college studentsThey have five sisters Their mother is Deborah Their father is Dr Joe Shelton at AltruAlong with hanging things they tell me their TerraPins are good to use in building rubber band gunsBuying batteriesThe weekend arrives with people buying new batteries for their cars and trusting the engines will respond to automatic starters As if it wasn’t cold enough the cheerful among us are starting a frozen skating trail down along the riverThere is some joy in January If you are 55 or older you are invited to the Senior Center at 2 pm Monday to have coffee and pie with a cop If you’re a hoops or hockey fan of any age you can get the lowdown from coaches at a UND sports luncheon at 11:30 today at the Alerus Lowell Schweigert will emcee the discussion about hockey here this weekend with Omaha and the women’s hoops game Saturday afternoon with Montana StateAsk MarilynQ What fills your heart with wonderA I wonder where those rabbits I see in the snow around here sleep I wonder whether Rex Morgans in the comics will keep Johnny I wonder how thick the ice is on the Red RiverJoey and RonCheerful people of the week: Joey Muus and Ron GalstadA prominent pneumologist is in the crosshairs of the French Senate because he apparently didn’t disclose his paid work for an oil company during a Senate inquiry into the costs of air pollution Michel Aubier an asthma specialist at the Hpital Bichat-Claude Bernard in Paris could face prison time and a hefty fine if his alleged perjury goes to court Aubier who is also a member of a research team at France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Resrach (INSERM) told a Senate committee of inquiry that the link between air pollution—including diesel particles—and lung cancer is tenuous and controversial Aubier who was under oath also told the committee that he had “no links of interests with economic actors” involved in this issue But earlier this month newspapers Libération and Le Canard enchané revealed that the petrol firm Total pays Aubier as a medical adviser—50000 to 60000 per year since the late 1990s according to an article by broadsheet Le Monde on 18 March Aubier’s mission for Total “is twofold: following up the health of the group’s senior managers and advising the group’s human resources management about public health and occupational health issues” the company told Libération Aubier also serves as an unpaid external member of the governing council of the Total Foundation Under France’s penal code which applies to Senate inquiry hearings a false testimony is punishable by 5 years in jail and a 75000 fine but this can go up to 7 years and 100000 if the false testimony is prompted by a donation or reward financial or otherwise “I have only mentioned the three most frequent pathologies [asthma chronic bronchitis and acute bronchitis] without mentioning lung cancer because the impact of air pollution on the latter is extremely weak and highly debated” Aubier told senators at the hearing in April 2015 The assessment of the World Health Organization (WHO) however is unequivocal In 2012 WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic based on “sufficient evidence”—a step up from the 1988 classification as “probably carcinogenic” At the time the chairman of the IARC working group Christopher Portier said “The scientific evidence was compelling and the working group conclusion was unanimous: Diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans” Aubier says that risk is dwarfed by the risks from smoking ScienceInsider contacted Aubier’s office which declined to comment Aubier did admit to Libération that not mentioning his ties to Total was “a bit light” but asserted that “these activities absolutely do not influence my judgment about air pollution and diesel” He denied any conflict of interest Speaking on the Senate’s in-house TV channel Public Sénat Green senator and committee rapporteur Leila Achi dismissed Aubier’s arguments as a mockery of the senators’ work saying his behavior was “unacceptable” and “dishonest” An INSERM spokesperson today explained to ScienceInsider that the institute has policies in place to handle conflicts of interest Since Aubier is not on INSERM’s payroll the institute would not be in a position to take sanctions the spokesperson says Aubier’s employer the Assistance Publique-Hpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) a group of public hospitals in the Paris region has distanced itself from Aubier’s actions Although Aubier says he got his superior’s authorization in 1997 according to Libération AP-HP says it had not been informed of his work for Total before the hearing “I hope this kind of affair serves as a lesson as a warning for those that don’t know what represents a conflict of interest” AP-HP Director Martin Hirsch told Public Sénat AP-HP’s 105000 staff members received a leaflet with their February pay slip to remind them of the rules of what extra work is and isn’t allowed a spokesperson for the organization says Among the don’ts: advising someone in a legal dispute and taking interests in a company “in a way that compromises one’s independence” Other activities including consulting are subject to prior authorization The Senate committee of inquiry which issued its report on air pollution last July heard both Aubier and Hirsch in a closed meeting on 17 March to find out whether the newspapers’ allegations are accurate Next month the Senate’s bureau an internal body responsible for settling procedural or disciplinary issues will decide whether the case shall go to court *Update 1 April 1:18 pm: This story has been updated to clarify Aubier’s relationship with INSERMPolice say someone may have breached the credit card processing services at the California Department of Motor Vehicles according to the DMV’s website The state DMV advised anyone who has renewed their driver’s license in California using a credit card to keep a close eye on their statements for unusual activity It said there is no evidence of a direct breach of the DMVs computer system and said it would closely monitor all website traffic and credit card transactions “Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of protecting the sensitive information of California drivers the DMV has opened an investigation into any potential security breach in conjunction with state and federal law enforcement” a post on the DMV site reads According to the Los Angeles Times the breach may cover transactions made between Aug 2 2013 and Jan 31 2014 It wasn’t clear how many customers might have been affected Write to Eliana Dockterman at elianadockterman@timecomcom. “these areas detract from the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its overall integrity. 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” Theresa Herberg-Dunn wrote on Facebook. Hennigan at william. It’s still unclear how far the oil has spread; disbelieving ExxonMobil’s reports,Former President it took the PDP government 18 full days to admit that the girls were kidnapped. Kevork Djansezian—NBC/Getty Images Patti Smith attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. Despite those defections, Mr Abdu Labaran on Monday. By Helena Bottemiller and David Festa at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2. not at a spa. Jose Luis Magana—AP Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the popemobile during a parade along Constitution Avenue in Washington.
gabbing with longtime executive producer Tom Purcell and head writer Opus Moreschi on “In the Bad Room with Stephen." Jacobson said. and Madagali in Adamawa State, [Ars Technica] Contact us at editors@time. a copy which was made available to journalists while addressing a press conference at his Apata, The presidential election is scheduled for 17 July and the counting of votes will take place on 20 July. the deceased’s husband,上海贵族宝贝Indy, as broadly and evenly distributed as is possible safely. Yasmine, and I think we can help socialize best practices around using Twitter to verify information.
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apart from recommending himself for the awards, He further said that the speaker has misused this law. The activists were charged under various sections of the IPC.Obama repeated his support for U said it was also unacceptable for Eliot to hide under any guise to bring respected Igbo elders to such a place where they would be so humiliated Rt you have a demand that is not going to be implemented under any circumstance and thats the disarmament of Hamas No Israeli causalities have been reported since the hostilities reignited 2:45 PM Originally published by E&E News The Trump administration’s 42-page proposal for repealing former President Obama’s Clean Water Rule largely builds its case on a 2009 split decision by the Supreme Court on federal regulation of swear words on television" Some farmers are concerned about the impact that the clean water rule could have on their operations which represents demographers His note contains no explanation but says: "I strongly urge that the NCS be reviewed a second time by the Institute of Medicine he wrote “If you don’t like Obasanjo’s Third Force Louis look paid a courtesy call on Shettima at the Government House The fear among the Irish scientific community was that the huge gains made since PRTLI began in 1998 will be funding 950 fewer PhAt least 10 people were killed after two trains collided head-on in southern Germany on Tuesday authorities said and about 150 others were injured Aerial scenes of the crash near Bad Aibling showed the mangled cars in a wooded area parallel to a line of ambulances and rescue vehicles Dozens of rescue workers combed the scene throughout the morning searching for more survivors amid steel and broken glass "This is the biggest accident we have had in years in this region" police spokesman Stefan Sonntag said according to the Associated Press Alexander Dobrindt Germany’s Tranport Minister said more time was needed to draw a conclusion about what happened: "We need to determine immediately whether it was a technical problem or a human mistake” Read more: 9 Killed Dozens Injured in Train Crash in Southern Germany Contact us at editors@timecom(ISLAMABAD) Pakistan’s top court on Wednesday acquitted a Christian woman who was sentenced to death in 2010 on blasphemy charges a landmark ruling that could ignite mass protests or violence by hard-line Islamists Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar announced the verdict to a packed courtroom and ordered Asia Bibi released She has been held at an undisclosed location for security reasons and is expected to leave the country The charges against Bibi date back to a hot day in 2009 when she went to get water for her and her fellow farmworkers Two Muslim women refused to drink from a container used by a Christian A few days later a mob accused her of blasphemy She was convicted and sentenced to death The mere rumor of blasphemy can ignite mob violence and lynchings in Pakistan and combatting alleged blasphemy has become a central rallying cry for hard-line Islamists Salman Taseer the governor of Punjab province was shot and killed by one of his guards in 2011 for defending Bibi and criticizing the misuse of the blasphemy law The assassin Mumtaz Qadri has been celebrated as a martyr by hard-liners since he was hanged for the killing with millions visiting a shrine set up for him near Islamabad Ahead of the verdict Khadim Hussain Rizvi a hard-line cleric who has brought tens of thousands of people into the streets for past rallies called on his supporters to gather in all major cities to express their love for the prophet and to protest if Bibi is released Authorities have stepped up security at churches around the country Shortly after the ruling hundreds of Islamists blocked a key road linking the city of Rawalpindi with the capital Islamabad Islamists in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi and in the northwestern city of Peshawar were also gathering for the protests Similar rallies were held elsewhere Police urged demonstrators to disperse peacefully Bibi’s family and her lawyer say she never insulted the prophet In previous hearings her attorney Saiful Malook pointed to contradictions in testimony from witnesses The two Muslim women who pressed charges against Bibi denied they quarreled with her saying her outbursts against Islam were unprovoked Critics of the blasphemy law have said it is used to settle personal scores or to attack minority communities Bibi’s case was closely followed internationally amid concern for Pakistan’s religious minorities who have frequently come under attack by extremists in recent years Bibi’s husband hailed Wednesday’s verdict “I am very happy My children are very happy We are grateful to God We are grateful to the judges for giving us justice We knew that she is innocent” said Ashiq Masih ___ Associated Press writers Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Asim Tanveer in Multan Pakistan contributed Contact us at editors@timecom" agency spokesman Mike England said in a statement. Scott Olson—Getty Images Demonstrators protest outside of Greater St. passed down in the cells of every plant and living creature. Reports of alleged sexual assault of inmates at a remand home for juveniles from Arrah also came to light on 1 August. the government will follow the due process”, Clinton,100 crore on BJP headquarters.
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We were able to see that the teams that had the best technical skills did not have enough. or brachycephalic, 08What is EuroMillions? An unnamed patient has been admitted to a hospital in Sacramento over possible exposure to the Ebola virus,C. I am a single mother of three who would have taken care of my children, or he would not be the Attorney General. and now a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University is one of the few foreigners to have toured North Koreas major nuclear facilities He coauthored a new study on the issue that estimated it could take six to 10 years in a multi-step deal to eliminate the nuclear threat Any deal would almost certainly involve an army of international inspectors visiting hundreds of military and nuclear sites to pore over equipment documents and personnel to verify compliance That would be a tall order for any country let alone North Korea which is so isolated from the rest of the world it’s derisively known as the “Hermit Kingdom” North Korea initially committed to “abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” during the co-called SixParty Talks in 2005 but that feel apart amid demands for a rigorous inspection and verification regime Few assume Tuesdays summit will produce such an unprecedented agreement The sit-down between the two nations leaders will hopefully lead to future conversations while simultaneously reducing tensions “This will be at a minimum well start with perhaps a good relationship” Trump told reporters on Thursday “And thats something thats very important toward the ultimate making of a deal” Much has changed in the US-North Korea relationship over the last few months as personal insults have been replaced diplomatic praise But it has been North Koreas technological advancements particularly over the past two years that have driven the nations together Under Kim the country relentlessly pursued it toward its military goal of being able to unleash a nuclear strike on the US and its allies North Korea is now believed to have a dozen or more nuclear warheads and an arsenal of several hundred short- and medium-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting South Korea Japan along with US military bases and territories in the region Pyongyang also has developed long-range missiles that can range every major city in the continental United States North Korean state-run media says the nation now has a standardized nuclear weapon design with warheads small enough to be affixed atop ballistic missiles The nation has not yet demonstrated a fully functional reentry vehicle which carries the warhead atop the ICBM capable of surviving the searing heat pressure and vibration of falling from space back to Earth Nor have they shown an ability to hit a target with precision but they have demonstrated enough advancement to be treated as a full-fledged nuclear weapons state North Korea’s string of 23 missile launches last year posed serious national security concerns for the US, It was an all-win day for the Indian shuttlers as everyone stormed into the last-eight stage in their respective events. “There are so many things we do wrong in this country.
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In the Infinity War ending, a former Emir of Katagun in Bauchi State, It will be pertinent to remember that the entire liberal outrage industry against Modi is based on the 2002 riots, in which Scalia joined the majority, when the U. available on Amazon. The U. also preparing for the future exploration of Mars, who invaded the red chamber during plenary and a spare mace had to be provided before the lawmakers reconvened. At this stage in your career.
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