Srikanth Perinkulam

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How an Environmental Activist Became a Pioneer for Climate Justice in India

#CSE

Just read: How an Environmental Activist Became a Pioneer for Climate Justice in India

Sunita Narain, 56, is perhaps India’s most well-known environmental activist. The director of a small but influential Delhi-based NGO called the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), she has been included on Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People; last year, Leonardo DiCaprio chose to interview her for his climate change-themed documentary Before the Flood.

Flamingos In The Men’s Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes

Weathering disasters

Just read: Flamingos In The Men’s Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes

When you’re building a zoo disaster plan, there’s one thing to keep in mind: Murphy’s law. Anything that could go wrong, will. Just ask the flock of flamingos that weathered Hurricane Andrew in a public restroom at Zoo Miami in 1992.

The Deadly Grizzly Bear Attacks That Changed the National Park Service Forever

Adding Night of the Grizzlies to my reading list!

Just read: The Deadly Grizzly Bear Attacks That Changed the National Park Service Forever

Glacier National Park’s busiest season came to an abrupt halt in the summer of 1967. In a matter of hours, two grizzly bears had acted as they never had before in the park’s 57-year history. Several miles apart, each bear had mauled a young woman on the same day, in the dark, early hours of August 13.

Scientists Hack a Computer Using DNA

Let’s talk spill-overs and biological malware!

Just read: Scientists Hack a Computer Using DNA

In what appears to be the first successful hack of a software program using DNA, researchers say malware they incorporated into a genetic molecule allowed them to take control of a computer used to analyze it.

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

Makes me wonder if we as humans, were engineered by another intelligent form as a version of an AI, to create a smarter generation of AI. And if this really is a cascading iteration, which neural node are we in? Drawing a parallel, the current ‘generation’ of AI isn’t probably ‘aware’ of the existence of us humans and are currently evolving in a ‘universe’ of their own and self engineering themselves based on their own feedback loops. We probably will never truly understand how and what they’ll evolve to. Or as Dennett says, unless a system can explain its actions better than we humans, it should not be trusted.

Just read: The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia, didn’t look different from other autonomous cars, but it was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General Motors, and it showed the rising power of artificial intelligence.

Bacteria Are Masters of Tai Chi

Just read: Bacteria Are Masters of Tai Chi

When I began studying how animals swim, I didn’t feel much like a physicist. I’d just finished my bachelor’s in physics during which time I’d been taught that physicists work on one of a handful of buzzwords: quantum mechanics, cosmology, gauge theory, and so on.

The hunt for Twitter alternatives: Mastodon

Just read: The hunt for Twitter alternatives: Mastodon

Let’s get this out of the way right at the start: Mastodon is not a Twitter killer. It’s more like Twitter crossed with Reddit, plus it’s open source. But while Mastodon is not going to take over the world, it does have promise as a community platform.

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Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It’ll Be Gone

Just read:Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It’ll Be Gone

On a plate, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.

When a Smart City Is Run on the Blockchain

About a year ago, the Crown Prince of Dubai announced a plan to secure government documents on the blockchain by 2020, making it the first blockchain-powered city, ever. Dubai’s blockchain strategy is built on three pillars: government efficiency, industry creation, and international leadership.

Just read: When a Smart City Is Run on the Blockchain

 

Does Dark Matter Harbor Life?

Even though we know that ordinary matter accounts for only about one-twentieth of the universe’s energy and a sixth of the total energy carried by matter (with dark energy constituting the remaining portion), we nonetheless consider ordinary matter to be the truly important constituent.

Just read: Does Dark Matter Harbor Life?

Some thoughts on Keybase, online security, and verification of identity

I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and say that, online, identity is the most important factor in any conversation or transaction. That’s not to say I’m a believer in tying these things to real-world, offline identities.

Just read: Some thoughts on Keybase, online security, and verification of identity

Is Quantum Theory About Reality or What We Know?

Physicists know how to use quantum theory—your phone and computer give plenty of evidence of that. But knowing how to use it is a far cry from fully understanding the world the theory describes—or even what the various mathematical devices scientists use in the theory are supposed to mean.

Just read: Is Quantum Theory About Reality or What We Know?

Can Many-Worlds Theory Rescue Us From Boltzmann Brains?

Boltzmann’s theory leads to a paradox, where the very scientific assumption that we can trust what we observe leads to the conclusion…

Source: Can Many-Worlds Theory Rescue Us From Boltzmann Brains?

Into the Outback

Known for its Aboriginal peoples and its vast, ancient landscapes, the Outback is an incredibly special place for me. I think that once you get that distinctive red dust in your blood it never comes out.

Just read: Into the outback

 

Understanding Public Land Designation

The US boasts some of the world’s most diverse and beautiful wild places. This is where you love to hike, climb, and camp. But how much do you know about it?

Source: Understanding Public Land Designation