If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, February 27, 2009

Scientists Model Words as Entangled Quantum States in our Minds


Researchers have modeled the human mental lexicon as consisting of words that cannot be separated from other words, which may explain why words have many associations, a feature which helps us communicate.

When you hear the word “planet,” do you automatically think of the word’s literal definition, or of other words, such as “Earth,” “space,” “Mars,” etc.?

Especially when used in sentences, words tend to conjure up similar words automatically. Further, human beings’ ability to draw associations and inferences between words may explain why we’re generally able to communicate complex ideas with each other quite clearly using a limited number of words.

Monday, February 23, 2009

An Update on Samuel Armas "The Hand of Hope"


"The Hand That Touched The World" Nearly Four Years Later

It was the "hand of hope," a photo of an unborn baby's hand, that made its way around the world within days of appearing in USA Today. Taken by Michael Clancy, the color photo showed Samuel's tiny hand grasping a surgeon's finger during in utero surgery. See story, page 9 about Samuel's visit to a Senate Committee hearing. Photo above by John Imbody

A Flash of Life

Special to NRL News by Jonathan Imbody

Flashing an impish grin, three-year-old Samuel Armas quickly ducked behind a chair as a photographer tried to capture his picture at a recent Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Samuel hadn't seemed quite so shy during his first photographic session.

A photo of his tiny hand, grasping a surgeon's finger during in utero surgery, traveled around the globe and stunned a world that had tried to hide its face from the reality of life in the womb. (The photo can be viewed at www.michaelclancy.com.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Debate


Back ten centuries ago, the Pope decided that all the Muslims had to leave Jerusalem. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Muslim community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Muslim community. If the Muslim won the debate, all the Muslims could stay. If the Pope won, all the Muslims would have to leave.

The Muslims realized that they had no choice. They looked around for a champion who could defend their faith, but no one wanted to volunteer. It was too risky. But they finally picked their representative, an old Mullah who unknowingly agreed without knowing what he was getting himself into. He agreed only on the condition that neither side be allowed to talk but communicate by miming. The Pope agreed.

The day of the great debate came. The Mullah and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. The Mullah looked back at him and raised his middle finger…

The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. The Mullah  pointed to the ground and stamped his foot.

The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. The Mullah pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, 'I give up. This man is too good. The Muslims can stay.'

An hour later, the Cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and stamping on it, showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple, reminding me of the first sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Muslim community had crowded around the Mullah in total astonishment. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said the Mullah, "First he said to me that we Muslims had three days to leave Jerusalem. I told him up yours. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Muslims. I said none of us leaving this land!"

"And then?" asked a woman.

"He took out his lunch and I took out mine," said the Mullah.