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The Danube River reached its highest level in 500 years. The Elbe, Rhine, and other rivers and tributaries are cresting high as well as swathes of central Europe lie inundated by floodwaters that have killed 12 and displaced tens of thousands. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic have been severely affected, as Hungary prepares for the swell of water. Gathered here are images of the flooding and people affected in the last several days. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
The river Rhine floods Mainz, Germany on June 2, 2013 (picture taken with an underwater camera). (Fredrik Von Erichsen/AFP/Getty Images)     

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Голландский фотограф Антон Корбайн вот уже на протяжении тридцати пяти лет снимает культового американского музыканта Тома Уэйтса.


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Jacqueline Bisset


Jack Nicholson


Rob Lowe


Francis Ford Coppola


David Lynch


Bruce Weber


Mick Jagger


Harrison Ford


Louis L'Amour


Pierce Brosnan


Karen Black


Orson Welles


Joan Didion


Sharon Stone


Isabelle Adjani


Bette Davis


Geena Davis


Hal Ashby


Robert Mitchum


Robert Mitchum


River Phoenix


Sharon Stone


James Stewart


Nicolas Cage


River Phoenix


Mick Jagger


Tennessee Williams


Joseph Brodsky


Richard Harris


Rosanna Arquette


Sharon Stone

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The National Geographic Traveler Magazine photo contest, now in its 25th year, has begun. There is still plenty of time to enter. The entry deadline is Sunday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. Entrants may submit their photographs in any or all of the four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. The magazine's photo editors showcase their favorite entries each week in galleries. You can also vote for your favorites. "The pictures increasingly reflect a more sophisticated way of seeing and interpreting the world, making the judging process more difficult," says Keith Bellows, magazine editor in chief. (The captions are written by the entrants, some slightly edited for readability.) As always, you can take a look at some of last year's entries and winners.. -- Paula Nelson ( 40 photos total)
OUTDOOR SCENES - Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl - Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey. Okeefenokee Swamp, Georgia, USA. (Photo and caption by Graham McGeorge/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)     

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Charlie Haughey was drafted into the US Army in October of 1967. He was 24, and had been in college in Michigan before running out of money and quitting school to work in a sheet metal factory. The draft notice meant that he was to serve a tour of duty in Vietnam, designated a rifleman, the basic field position in the Army. After 63 days in Vietnam, he was made a photographer, shooting photographs for the Army and US newspapers, with these instructions from the Colonel: “You are not a combat photographer. This is a morale operation. If I see pictures of my guys in papers, doing their jobs with honor, then you can do what you like in Vietnam.” He shot nearly 2,000 images between March 1968 and May 1969 before taking the negatives home. And there they sat, out of sight, but not out of mind, for 45 years, until a chance meeting brought them out of dormancy and into a digital scanner. At first, it was very difficult for Haughey to view the images and talk about them, especially not knowing the fates of many of the subjects of his photos. When the digitization hit 1,700 negative scans, Haughey put them on a slideshow and viewed them all at once, and didn’t sleep for three days after. He’s slowly getting better at dealing with the emotional impact of seeing the images for the first time in decades. A team of volunteers has worked with Haughey to plan a 28-image show, titled A Weather Walked In, which opens April 5th in the ADX art gallery in Portland, Oregon. The difficulty of keeping notes in a war zone along with the passage of decades has faded the details behind many of the images, and the captions reflect this fact, with many shots of unknown people in forgotten locations at unspecified times. It is hoped that publication of the pictures can yield more information. More images from the collection will be released as the project progresses. You can follow the progress on facebook and Tumblr. Thanks to Chieu Hoi project volunteer Kris Regentin for preparing much of this introduction and the accompanying captions. -- Lane Turner (46 photos total)
Bowed head in truck: Soldier and location unidentified. Charlie's first response to this photo: "It was not uncommon to find anyone with a head bowed for a moment, more often when we were heading out than when we were coming back. Interesting that he has a flak jacket, he's taking precautions on both sides of the fence. M16, a steel pot, a flak jacket, and a prayer."

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New Zealand photographer, Amos Chapple, made three visits to the Islamic Republic of Iran between December 2011 and January 2013. Chapple "was amazed by the difference in western perceptions of the country and what I saw on the ground…" He goes on to say that every traveller he met inside Iran had the same sense of surprise. The government continues its anti-western campaign, but Chapple explains what was once a popular sentiment has long since faded with Iranians. Chapple describes this as a "constant embarrassment for ordinary Iranians. In the time I spent there, I never received anything but goodwill and decency, which stands in clear contrast to my experience in other middle eastern countries." A sampling of Chapple's images are featured in this post. -- Paula Nelson (The captions were provided by the photographer. All images are copyrighted.)( 25 photos total)
Palangan Village, in the mountains near the Iraq border. Palangan, illustrative of many of the country's rural settlements, has benefitted handsomely from government support. Many villagers are employed in a nearby fish farm, or are paid members of the Basij, whose remit includes prevention of "westoxification", and the preservation of everything the 1979 islamic revolution and its leader the Ayatollah Khomeini stood for - including strict rules on female clothing and male/female interaction. (Amos Chapple)

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How to create a global brain in only a few lines of code

This is where my research was going years ago and I found so many interesting things that I forgot that's why I was doing it. Here's the summary of the plan:

User Interface can be anything which is statistically balanced and has continuous input and output of at least 1 dimension between each person and their computer. A simple example is the speed they are moving the mouse, if its increasing or decreasing at the time, and an output could be some music which is playing becomes a little slower or faster at the time. It could be more complex things like realtime video, evolved audio, Nintendo Wii controllers, Kinect, Emotiv Epoc or OpenEEG mind reading game controllers, or many other things. The User Interface is a stream of vectors in and vectors out, of at least 1 dimension, through any devices. If there is any audio or video, that is part of the User Interface. The core idea is a kind of math and is calculated independently of any game content which players create while in the game.

N people play the game at once, streaming data to eachother's computer through the Internet as it was all 1 system with many inputs and outputs as paths of information flow between the players.

The output to each player is a prediction of the next input of that player. The player must hear/see/experience the output in some way so it affects their state of mind.

The combined inputs of all players are used to predict the combined outputs of all players. This can be done many ways. A bayesian network should work well for this since it calculates using the math of conditional-probability and scales up efficiently.

Here's what makes it work extremely more than the intelligence of the AI or any 1 player:
Since the bayesian network calculates relevance of inputs and outputs to its prediction accuracy, whichever inputs of other people are most useful (combined in some statistical way) to predict the next few inputs of this local person, will gradually be given more influence here, and because of that this local person, who "must hear/see/experience the output in some way", will tend to become more statistically relevant for the AI to use their inputs to predict the other peoples' next few inputs, and the feedback loop is complete and amplifies peoples' ability to play the game in a way that helps the AI use people to predict other people.

In this feedback loop of N people, without needing conscious knowledge or intent of it, people will unavoidably be influenced toward flowing their thoughts together because the set of all possibilities where that does not happen is partially cancelled-out by the bayesian network.

Depnding on the accuracy of whatever kind of AI does these predictions and is the "glue code" for networking our minds together, and how skilled people become at the game, a superintelligence is somewhere along this research path and it will be made of the minds of billions of people and computers flowing thoughts together at the subconscious psychology level.

This is the simplest way to build a superintelligence. My research years ago took a different direction in finding User Interfaces, like Audivolv, BayesianCortex, and Physicsmata (all open source), and now I have a good idea of how to put it all together. We can proceed with these experiments toward thinking more like a global brain.

Does anyone have idea on what kind of game it should be? The research path leaves many possibilities.

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Most parts of governments, religions, and many other parts of the world are far more complex than other ways things could be done that would work better.

If a government department is simple, more people would understand what is happening in it.

If more people understand what government is doing, more people would be able to have an opinion against it, and some would reduce support for or act against it. Those whose opinion would be positively influenced would do less than those whose opinion is negatively influenced.

Complex government departments breed other complex government departments. The more you have, the more there will be later, if few people resist.

Most people involved probably don't know they're doing it, but society evolved toward patterns where complex things survive because we don't have the brain power to understand them, which would be required to solve those problems. Complexity is a problem like AIDS. It spreads unnoticed for many years because its deep in the system (biology in this case) in ways its not easily observed, and being so well evolved with the system its hard to remove. It consumes resources to continue its own survival. It disables you just enough that its hard to fight back but little enough that you survive more years to spread it. Like we want a cure for AIDS, we should want a cure for Complexity.

Complexity is an evolved defense against progress, because progress includes many of the ways the world works, including some parts of governments and religions, becoming obsolete.

Complexity is a cost, not something to measure progress by. Something may need to be a certain level of complex to accomplish something else, but complexity by itself is negative and should be avoided like spending money. If something simpler or cheaper does the same job at least the same quality, then its a mistake to pay higher complexity or pay more of other resources.

People say things like "They spent billions of dollars researching it, and if they can't do it, why do you think you can?" Did they try spending only thousands of dollars researching it? With the ability to do complex things often comes the overlooking of simple things.

Similarly, why don't people say things like "If you want to build a system as advanced as animals or Humans, you've got to have AIDS in the system overall or something equally complex." Some parts we should not include in our world.

In open source, for example, we usually don't have the resources of a business, so we have to explore deeper into simple ways to make things work, so how are open source products staying competitive? We cure complexity because we have to. Others are still infected and allow their Complexity to refuse the cure which would obsolete itself.

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