Friday, July 25, 2008


What is nothing? Is it the absence of particles? Is it only a mere concept? Does "nothing" exist? If "nothing" exists, what shapes would it take? If it is nothing then you shouldn't be able to see it - right? What was there before the Big Bang? Nothing or "Nothing"? If there was a block of nothing a mile long could I stick my hand into it and have my fingers stick out a mile away because of course it is nothing. No space, no distance - "Nothing" or nothing?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Consciousness - what does it mean?

I got an interesting question from theo regarding the Blue Brain post:

"What, do you think, does it mean to become [artificially] conscious at the level of a human brain?"

I thought about this and have some thoughts. To become conscious means 3 things -

1) Being able to acknowledge your own existence
2) Being able to have a change of opinion
3) Being able to have an irrational bias

What do you think it means?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blue Brain

This is something that I think is really cool!

IBM and a Swiss company called EPFL together have started a project to recreate the human brain in computer form. Its name is Blue Brain. This new supercomputer, if everything goes well, may become conscious at the level of a human brain in ten years.

It may take longer than that, or the project could completely crash and burn. Whether it is a success or a failure, it is still the closest we will have come to artificial intelligence yet.

Just imagine being brought into existence and being told that you're a computer, you're a one of a kind, you're an experiment, and that everyone else is made of flesh and bones...and you aren't.

For more information, go to the Blue Brain homepage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Feed the Hungry!

Free Rice is an amazing website that everyone should visit. What you do is go to the website and play a vocabulary game they have set up. The best part is that for every time you get a word right, 20 grains of rice are donated to starving people around the world.

If you do 100 words, which takes 10 minutes, you've already donated 2,000 grains of rice! How do they pay for the rice? Ad banners along the bottom of the screen. It's ingenious. Try it out! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask or click on the Free Rice FAQ.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Out-of-Body Experience

Just yesterday I went to Six Flags over Georgia with my family and one of my friends. Right before the park closed, we decided to go on Goliath. It had taken over an hour of convincing for my friend to finally decide he would ride the largest roller coaster in the Southeast.

As we got into Goliath, both of our stomachs were doing somersaults, me and my friend.

"IF YOU'RE READY, SAY YEAAAAAHHHHHH!" shouted the ride operator -- and off we went.

Click, click, click, click the ride went as we ascended the hill. The second before we plummeted towards our death, I took a deep breath and held it.

Then it happened. Right after the second hill I started to get this strange feeling. I looked down at my hands madly grasping the bar in front of me. Everything went blurry and I completely forgot everything -- who I was, what I was doing, where I was. I was half expecting to wake up from this nightmare. I tried to move my hands but couldn't. It wasn't as if they were stuck, it was as if they were not my own hands.

I eventually realized I was on a roller coaster, which explained why I was being so crazily jerked around. I looked over at my friend and could not even think of who he was or how I thought I was supposed to know him. After about 10 seconds of this strange feeling, I remembered who and where I was.

Then the ride came to a stop.

Brain Food

Welcome to The Wide Screen! This is my first blog post and I'm not quite sure what exactly I'll be talking about, but once in awhile I'll just throw out some questions or ideas like this one:

This is a philosophical question I came up with on my own when I was about 9. If there is a perfectly round sphere and a perfectly flat surface, could either one of them touch the other?

We've all played with the spherical blocks in pre-k and hit them together against the flat blocks, trying to stack them into a tower, and of course they touched. This is my own answer to the question...

If they could touch, then the part of the sphere touching the flat surface would not be perfectly round. So they cannot touch if they are both perfect, even past the molecular level, as if there were no atoms or molecules.

Another question is if they cannot touch, then what would the distance be between them at which they could not move any closer?