Media & Events

Bible Belt, Religion, Grief and a Horrendous Crime

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The latest film directed by Atom Egoyan (2008 laureate) investigates religion, grief, guilt and innocence in the true story of a horrific murder commited in the United States Bible Belt (see CUTV interview with Atom Egoyan below).

On May 5, 1993, three eight-year-old boys (Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore) went missing from their neighborhood in West Memphis, Arkansas. After an extensive search, their bound and beaten bodies were found the next day. The religious community and small police department were convinced that the murders were the work of a satanic cult due to the violent and apparent sexual nature of the crime. A month later, three teenagers (eighteen-year-old Damien Echols, sixteen-year-old Jason Baldwin, and seventeen-year-old Jessie Misskelley Jr.) were arrested after Misskelley, who was mentally handicapped, confessed after four hours of interrogation. Despite the lack of evidence connecting them to the crimes, they were convicted; Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life and Echols to death.

August 19, 2011 they were allowed to walk free, while still maintaining their innocence and vowing to find the perpetrators.

Watch the CUTV interview

 

What Happens to Revolutionaries After the Revolution?

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ADAM MICHNIK (2006 laureate) 

An Uncanny Era: Conversations Between Václav Havel & Adam Michnik

If the revolution fails, the answer is easy: they [revolutionaries] end up in exile, in prison or dead. But what if the uprising succeeds? Then the answer is more complicated.

Post-Communist Eastern Europe, with its Hieronymus Bosch panorama of greed, corruption, hedonism and cynicism, gave the former revolutionaries much to be disillusioned about. Was this the freedom they had sacrificed so much to attain? 

THE PROBLEM was that the end of Communism had created an ideological vacuum, and a “coarse and primitive nationalism” was rushing to fill it, in Michnik’s words. Xenophobia, anti-Semitism and ethnic intolerance were on the rise. Talk about racial purity and the need for a strong leader was back. 

... his [Michnik's] calls are for the more humble virtues: compromise, dialogue, mutual understanding and pluralism. He opposes vengeance, fanaticism in any form and all dogmatic certainties—in politics, economics, religion and philosophy. He celebrates contingency and ambiguity. His is the idealism of moderation.

It’s not a good time for the Adam Michniks. Moderates need all the help they can get. As a former dissident, however, Michnik can at least say that he’s been through this before, and worse, and though he tends to be more pessimistic than his idol Havel, he has endured enough to have earned his own strain of optimism, however ironic it may be. “In Poland,” he says, “everything is possible: even change for the better.”

Read The National Interest article

Ask Jennifer Aniston - Beauty Meets Brilliant Science in 'Living Proof'

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Laureate for 2005, Prof. Robert Langer, MIT Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Professor, is co-founder of Living Proof. 

"The Living Proof story is a story of beautiful chemistry. An alchemy of brilliant scientists coming together with industry veterans to truly solve beauty problems."

"Whenever we have an idea, we would call these wonderful people from MIT and say, let's figure out the perfect curl or the fix to damaged hair. It's nice having access to that."  Jennifer Aniston

Living Proof philosophy:
We are not a traditional beauty company.
We are more than that.
We believe in rethinking conventional wisdom.
We believe when you can’t find something that works, you invent it.
We believe the answers are found in science.
We believe that beauty and brains are the best formula.
We believe a product should keep its promises.
We believe every day can be a good hair day.
We believe beauty is more than skin deep.
We believe in day-making, bliss-creating, confidence-boosting results.
We believe you are the living proof.

Read the AsiaOne article, August 20, 2014

Bioinformatics: Where Math Meets Molecules

 

Bioinformatics identifies important things that are too subtle for a person to identify with mere observation and it also gives people the capacity to look through and process a large amount of data, which they would otherwise not be able to do. 

Watch the informative video by Prof. Brian Y. Chen, Lehigh University 

What are Historical Sources?

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The selected field for the 2015 Dan David Prize in the Past Time Dimension is: Retrieving the Past: Historians and Their Sources.

Let's take a look at what historical sources actualy are, where they come from, what primary and secondary resources are and how to use them.

Read the in-depth analysis by the University of Cambridge Faculty of History

 

 

On the Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics

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Taking Artificial Intelligence (2014 selected field) and Bioinformatics, this year's selected field for the Future Time Dimension, one step further to provide tools researchers can use to help them store, manipulate study and analyze biologica data.

 

"By 1977 a method for sequencing DNA was discovered and bioinformatics began to come into its own. The Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence alignment was published in 1981 and in that same year an impressive 579 human genes were fully mapped using the principles of bioinformatics.

Artificial intelligence involves the use of complex computer algorithms that are capable of not only storing and sorting data, but also helping with analysis and extrapolation.

 

As bioinformatics and artificial intelligence applications advance, the future of both fields remains bright. What path they will take next in unlocking the mysteries of the body is unknown, but it is clear that researchers believe collaboration in both arenas is crucial for future advancement."

Read the Government Health IT article