Category: BBC

Google hopes AI can predict heart disease by l…

Google hopes AI can predict heart disease by looking at retinas:

I can look into your eyes and see straight to your heart.

It may sound like a sappy sentiment from a Hallmark card. Essentially though, that’s what researchers at Google did in applying artificial intelligence to predict something deadly serious: the likelihood that a patient will suffer a heart attack or stroke. The researchers made these determinations by examining images of the patient’s retina.

Google, which is presenting its findings Monday in Nature Biomedical Engineering, an online medical journal, says that such a method is as accurate as predicting cardiovascular disease through more invasive measures that involve sticking a needle in a patient’s arm.

The Digital Human, Series 13, Episode 6 – Oracle

Lunchtime lecture from the incredible Nadia Th…

Lunchtime lecture from the incredible Nadia Thalmann, re-creating humans is so complicated. We are complex wee primates.

The Digital Human, Series 13, Episode 3 – Visage

Took some photos while recording with Malcolm …

Took some photos while recording with Malcolm Knight at The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre – an amazing place to visit if you’re in Glasgow 🙂

The Digital Human, Series 13, Episode 3 – Visage

Fleeing Rohingya carry one key asset: solar pa…

Fleeing Rohingya carry one key asset: solar panels:

UKHIYA, Bangladesh (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Rohingya refugees began arriving in Bangladesh, after violence erupted in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State in August, local residents were puzzled to see some toting small solar panels on their shoulders.

“When we saw they were carrying a solar panel with them, I was surprised. I would never do this in such a situation,” Jashim Uddin, a tea stall owner in Ukhiya, in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Main Uddin, a government official in charge of Ukhiya sub-district during the Rohingya exodus, said the panels were being carried in despite the sound of gunfire on the border and reports of landmines.

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since August, when the Myanmar army launched a crackdown following attacks on police posts and an army base by Muslim militants.

Many reported making an arduous trek lasting between 5 and 15 days along hilly and waterlogged roads – but the hazardous journey did not prevent many of them from carrying a solar panel with them.

“This solar panel saved my life,” said Ayatullah, 18, once a shopkeeper in Myanmar’s Mongdu township and now a resident of the Thaingkhali refugee camp in Bangladesh.

He said he had to take care to avoid Myanmar’s army when he fled the country.

“They were killing everyone they came across. We had to depend on information from our people about the safe route, and a mobile phone was needed for that. This solar panel helped us to charge the mobile phone,” he said.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

Why Iranian women are wearing white on Wednesd…

Why Iranian women are wearing white on Wednesdays:

A new social media campaign against a law which forces women to wear a headscarf is gaining momentum in Iran.

Using the hashtag #whitewednesdays, citizens have been posting pictures and videos of themselves wearing white headscarves or pieces of white clothing as symbols of protest.

The idea is the brainchild of Masih Alinejad, founder of My Stealthy Freedom, an online movement opposed to the mandatory dress code.

Before the 1979 Islamic revolution many Iranian women wore Western-style outfits, including miniskirts and short-sleeved tops, but this all changed when the late Ayatollah Khomeini came to power.

Women were not only forced to cover their hair in line with a strict interpretation of Islamic law on modesty, but also to stop using make-up and to start wearing knee-length manteaus. More than 100,000 women and men took to the streets to protest against the law in 1979, and opposition to it has never gone away.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

The Cutting Edge of Human Rights | Alex Glad…

The Cutting Edge of Human Rights | Alex Gladstein | SingulartyU South Africa

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

Researchers Examine The Psychology Of Protest …

Researchers Examine The Psychology Of Protest Movements:


And so if you are taking part in a protest, is your message getting out? Are you having an impact? It turns out what you think is happening might not be reality. And let’s talk about that with NPR’s social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantam, who’s back in our studios. Hey, Shankar.


GREENE: So what are these researchers actually testing here?

VEDANTAM: Well, the researchers wanted to study what happens when people protest. We all have intuitions about the effectiveness of protests, and protesters certainly have those intuitions as well. This was an attempt to actually measure whether those intuitions were accurate. I was speaking with Robb Willer. He’s a sociologist and psychologist at Stanford University. Along with his colleagues, Matthew Feinberg and Chloe Kovacheff, Willer found that many protesters tend to equate being effective with getting a lot of attention from the public and the media.

So they wanted to test if this was true. They presented volunteers with different kinds of protests. Some were at a Donald Trump presidential campaign rally. Some of the protests involved people just simply holding up signs and chanting slogans. But others involved what Willer calls extreme tactics. Protesters used violence. They blocked people from assembly. They blocked traffic. Willer measured the effects of the different protest tactics on the volunteers.

ROBB WILLER: What we found was that the extreme protest tactic led people to report increased support for Trump. So this would be consistent with the idea that exposure to an extreme protest event risks creating a public opinion backlash where people actually turn away from your cause even if they might have supported it otherwise.

GREENE: Extreme anti-Trump protests where they were, you know, like, breaking things actually caused volunteers who were watching this to support Donald Trump. So the protesters were not getting done what they wanted to.

VEDANTAM: Exactly. And now, certainly the people who felt this way included Trump supporters. But what was interesting is they also included people who were Trump opponents and people who were neutral. Compared to milder protest tactics, volunteers of all political stripes became more inclined to support Trump when they saw the protesters use extreme tactics. Willer thinks this is because when people see a protest, they ask themselves whether they can see themselves identifying with the protesters. He explains what happens inside the minds of the audience.

WILLER: I might have agreed with their cause, but the way they’re doing it is not the way I would have done it. And so I think that’s the risk with extreme protest tactics, is they lead people – observers, bystanders – to answer that question – am I like those people? Should I go join them? – in the negative where they might have said, yeah, I am like them. I’m going to join that movement.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

Silent, unseen but not forgotten: Poland’s res…

Silent, unseen but not forgotten: Poland’s resistance fighters honoured:

Senior officers and veterans from Polish and British special forces are to gather in London to mark the 75th anniversary of a little-known chapter of the secret war against the Nazis.

The soldiers will on Saturday be honouring the Cichociemni (the Silent and Unseen) – Polish guerrilla fighters trained in Britain. They were parachuted at night into occupied Poland from 1941 onwards, the first such air drops behind German lines, to lead the resistance movement against the Nazi occupation.

The Armia Krajowa (the “home army”) had 300,000 men and women fighting for it at its peak, by far the biggest resistance movement under the Third Reich, and it temporarily succeeded in liberating Warsaw in the summer of 1944. Many of its leaders were Cichociemni. However, their history was suppressed even before the war was over by Poland’s new Soviet occupiers, who saw them as British agents.

Of the 316 Cichociemni who parachuted into occupied Poland, 103 were killed in the war, either in combat or in camps or under Gestapo torture. Nine were killed by the Soviet secret police after the war, and many more were imprisoned. Some managed to avoid capture by melting back into postwar Polish life, either changing their names or keeping their wartime exploits a secret.

Just one of the 316 is still alive. Aleksander Tarnawski, who flew to London for this weekend’s event, is 95 but evidently still fit. Less than two years ago, he carried out a parachute jump.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

My Stealthy Freedom

My Stealthy Freedom:

In Iran women have to cover their hair in public according to the dress rule enforced after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. My Stealthy Freedom is an online social movement where Iranian women share photos of themselves without wearing the hijab.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

‘Flash Drives for Freedom’: How smuggled weste…

‘Flash Drives for Freedom’: How smuggled western media could take down Kim Jong-un:

Balloons are one way to get information into the Hermit Kingdom, but Gladstein says the vast majority of the flash drives make their way to the Chinese border and then cross into North Korea through the flourishing black markets of the country’s underground economy.

The North Korean government has executed peoplefor possessing what it views as illicit, foreign content. But people are willing to pay a week’s wages for the USB drives on the black market.

According to Gladstein, defectors say that what they are seeing changes their lives.

“The majority of them have come into contact with foreign media, and they have displayed a huge interest,” Gladstein says. “The North Koreans who escaped have told us that this is transforming society.”

He says even in Pyongyang, where the regime is most controlling and has the most support, there are signs of change.

“Western reporters who are brought in to the capitol — into this highly choreographed, you know, sort of stage setting — even they can see little cracks.

"I mean, they can see people wearing jeans, they can see people speaking a little bit differently, wearing maybe South Korean haircuts [or] having jewelry or some sort of accent on them that shows a little bit of colour and individuality.”

“So even in the heart of the regime, you’re starting to see some change.”

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.