naval research

Survivorship Bias

I have posted about survivorship bias and how it affects your career choices: how a Hollywood actor giving the classic “follow your dreams and never give up” line is bad advice and is pure survivorship bias at work.

When I read up on the wikipedia page, I encountered an interesting story:

During WWII the US  Air Force wanted to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire. The Center for Naval Analyses ran a research on where bombers tend to get hit with the explicit aim of enforcing the parts of the airframe that is most likely to receive incoming fire. This is what they came up with:


So, they said: the red dots are where bombers are most likely to be hit, so put some more armor on those parts to make the bombers more resilient. That looked like a logical conclusion, until Abraham Wald - a mathematician - started asking questions: 

- how did you obtain that data?
- well, we looked at every bomber returning from a raid, marked the damages on the airframe on a sheet and collected the sheets from all allied air bases over months. What you see is the result of hundreds of those sheets.
- and your conclusion?
- well, the red dots are where the bombers were hit. So let’s enforce those parts because they are most exposed to enemy fire. 
- no. the red dots are where a bomber can take a hit and return. The bombers that took a hit to the ailerons, the engines or the cockpit never made it home. That’s why they are absent in your data. The blank spots are exactly where you have to enforce the airframe, so those bombers can return.

This is survivorship bias. You only see a subset of the outcomes. The ones that made it far enough to be visible. Look out for absence of data. Sometimes they tell a story of their own.

BTW: You can see the result of this research today. This is the exact reason the A-10 has the pilot sitting in a titanium armor bathtub and has it’s engines placed high and shielded.

Chapter 84 - The Salty Post

Disclaimer - salty and uncensored.  This is the one time I’m going to step out of my lane. If you prefer the unsalted version, here’s Chapter 84 - The Meta Post 

Okay first a general confession…I’m only here for Eruri and the Veterans.  I know, shocking right?  Who’d have guessed it.  

I have very little interest in most of the 104th.  I used to appreciate their role in the plot but, apart from Ymir and Historia, I have no personal investment in them. If pushed I’d confess to having a bit of a soft spot for Jean, okay quite a big soft spot for Jean, and I’ve got a lot of time for Connie and Sasha who rarely get the respect they deserve. I’m ambivalent about the Warriors, though I really want to know wtf is going on there, and the Shiganshina trio leave me cold. 

One of the things I’ve always liked about SnK is that, as well as the inevitable teenagers, it has grown up adult characters with grown up adult relationships and perspectives, and as a supposedly grown up adult myself that’s something I can relate to. At my age I have no interest in reading a story that centres on teenage protagonists.  I can understand why other readers might enjoy that, but honestly it’s not for me. 

I usually try very, very hard to stay in my lane and not get involved in drama. I hate getting dragged into drama, so I usually just ignore things I’m uninterested in or dislike but I can’t turn a blind eye to Eren and Mikasa’s behaviour in chapter 84.  Yes they’re young, yes they’re hurting, and yes it’s understandable that they want their closest friend in the world to survive.  But they’re also supposed to be soldiers and, as I understand it, they should obey the chain of command.  Eren’s behaviour is manipulative at best and insubordination at worst, while Mikasa’s behaviour is insubordination at best and mutiny at worst. Raising a weapon to a senior officer is a court martial offence in pretty much every military organisation, real or fictional.  Leaving aside the fact that Levi has saved both Eren and Mikasa’s lives several times, he is their superior officer, and as such they should obey him, not argue with him or attack him.  

Perhaps my take on this is coloured by one of the other things I do when I’m not here unhappily reblogging beautiful Eruri art and fic - I research naval history.  Specifically the history of midshipmen aboard British Royal Navy ships during the Napoleonic Wars.  Seriously, I write books about this shit. Midshipmen at that time were junior commissioned officers in training, they could be as young as 13 or as old as 30+ but most were around 15/16.  About the same age as the 104th.  As junior officers they were expected to adhere to the same standards of discipline and behaviour as the senior officers and men they fought and died alongside. No lee way was made for their age.  Though they were often referred to as “young gentlemen” they were seamen and officers first and foremost.   You can argue about the ethics of sending children that young to war at sea, and that is a valid and necessary discussion, but historically that is what happened. So when I see the kind of insubordination that appeared in chapter 84 I can help thinking that soldiers would never get away with that kind of behaviour in a combat zone. It really throws me out of the story and I find it hard to suspend my disbelief.  And I also can help thinking about real historical 15 year olds, whose lives I’ve traced through the archives, who endured the horrors of war with dignity, bravery and respect for their fellow men. 

Okay, that’s it.  I’m done now.  I’ll get back in my lane and stay there. 

Logan Echolls: Naval Aviator

So, not so much in honor of Veteran’s Day (because, you know, fictional character) but in consonance with Veteran’s Day I thought I’d share a little of my Navy!Logan research. I’m quite sure someone else has done this, but here is my poor feeble attempt.

Lets talk about Logan’s uniform “decorations” (as I thought of them before my research, because I know noooothing) 

On his chest, at the top, are what are supposed to be his “Wings of Gold,” which Naval Aviators receive when they get winged (after two-ish years of training, but before being assigned to a squad, deployment, etc.) These are a BIG deal and are often bought specially by family or loved ones. 

Actual Naval Aviator wings look like this though:

The version on Logan’s uniform, with the star in the center, seems to be made up. 

Below that are the Service Ribbons. Service Ribbons are smaller versions of Medals that are approved for wear on the uniform. So, if you were issued the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Top row, Left on Logan’s chest), you would receive this medal:

 and wear this ribbon:     

As far as what it is for: “The Achievement Medal is awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service not of a nature that would otherwise warrant awarding the Commendation Medal." 

Next to that, still on the top row is the Air Medal: ”awarded for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight"

(Small point of pedantry, the Air Medal actually has greater precedence than the Achievement Metal and should probably be worn on the left)

Below that, the bottom row, from left to right:

National Defense Service Medal: “awarded to anyone who serves on active duty in the United States military during the Global War on Terrorism" 

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal: "to receive, a military service member must perform duty in a designated anti-terrorism operation for a period of either 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of duty”

Afghanistan Campaign Medal: “It is awarded to any member of the U.S. military who has performed duty within the borders of Afghanistan (or its airspace) for a period of thirty consecutive days or sixty non-consecutive days”

On the shoulders of the Service Dress Whites (from the airport scene) are shoulder boards indicating his rank of Navy Lieutenant.

A Naval Aviator is generally eligible to be promoted to Lieutenant a minimum of four years from the date of commission.

Caveat: All of my information is from the internet and, if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that there are a LOT of intricacies to this stuff. I welcome corrections or any additional information from anyone with more military knowledge than me!

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand the world as humans do.

“The model performs in the 75th percentile for American adults, making it better than average,” said Northwestern Engineering’s Ken Forbus. “The problems that are hard for people are also hard for the model, providing additional evidence that its operation is capturing some important properties of human cognition.”

Keep reading

As a young U.S. Army soldier during World War II, Rollins Edwards knew better than to refuse an assignment.

When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn’t complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.

“It felt like you were on fire,” recalls Edwards, now 93 years old. “Guys started screaming and hollering and trying to break out. And then some of the guys fainted. And finally they opened the door and let us out, and the guys were just, they were in bad shape.”

U.S. Troops Tested By Race In Secret World War II Chemical Experiments 

Photo Credit: Naval Research Laboratory

Brain Boost: Research to Improve Memory through Electricity

In a breakthrough study that could improve how people learn and retain information, researchers at the Catholic University Medical School in Rome significantly boosted the memory and mental performance of laboratory mice through electrical stimulation.

The study, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global, involved the use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, on the mice. A noninvasive technique for brain stimulation, tDCS is applied using two small electrodes placed on the scalp, delivering short bursts of extremely low-intensity electrical currents.

“In addition to potentially enhancing task performance for Sailors and Marines,” said ONR Global Commanding Officer Capt. Clark Troyer, “understanding how this technique works biochemically may lead to advances in the treatment of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety—which affect learning and memory in otherwise healthy individuals.”

The implications of this research also have great potential to strengthen learning and memory in both healthy people and those with cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer’s.

“We already have promising results in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Claudio Grassi, who leads the research team. “In the near future, we will continue this research and extend analyses of tDCS to other brain areas and functions.”

After exposing the mice to single 20-minute tDCS sessions, the researchers saw signs of improved memory and brain plasticity (the ability to form new connections between neurons when learning new information), which lasted at least a week. This intellectual boost was demonstrated by the enhanced performance of the mice during tests requiring them to navigate a water maze and distinguish between known and unknown objects.

Using data gathered from the sessions, Grassi’s team discovered increased synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical to memory processing and storage.

Although tDCS has been used for years to treat patients suffering from conditions such as stroke, depression and bipolar disorder, there are few studies supporting a direct link between tDCS and improved plasticity—making Grassi’s work unique.

More important, the researchers identified the actual molecular trigger behind the bolstered memory and plasticity—increased production of BDNF, a protein essential to brain growth. BDNF, which stands for “brain-derived neurotrophic factor,” is synthesized naturally by neurons and is crucial to neuronal development and specialization.

“While the technique and behavioral effects of tDCS are not new,” said ONR Global Associate Director Dr. Monique Beaudoin, “Dr. Grassi’s work is the first to describe BDNF as a mechanism for the behavioral changes that occur after tDCS treatment. This is an exciting and growing research area of great interest to ONR.”

Beaudoin said tDCS treatment could one day benefit Sailors and Marines, from helping them learn faster and more effectively to easing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Our warfighters face tremendous challenges that are both physically and cognitively taxing,” she said. “They perform their duties in stressful environments where there are often suddenly and randomly varying levels of environmental stimulation, disrupted sleep cycles and a constant need to stay alert and vigilant.

“We want to explore all interventions that could help them stay healthy and perform optimally in these environments—especially when treatments are potentially noninvasive, effective and lead to long-lasting changes.”

Learn more about the work of Grassi and his team, which was published in Scientific Reports.

The IBM Naval Ordnance Research Calculator

Shown here is the control console of the NORC. Switches can be used to start and stop the machine and to modify the written program. In normal operation, however, the calculator proceeds automatically according to instructions, recorded on magnetic tape, without control by th eoperator. Any number or instruction in the calculator can be shown on the faces of cathode ray tubes, at left. Selected portions of the program also can be examined in slow motion through this display.

15 Ways the International Space Station is Benefiting Earth

With astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station, we’re learning a great deal about creating and testing critical systems, maintaining efficient communications and protecting the human body during a deep space mission. While these are critical to our journey to Mars, it is important to also note all the ways in which research conducted and technology tested aboard the orbiting laboratory help us here on Earth.

Here are 15 ways the space station is benefiting life on Earth:

1. Commercializing Low-Earth Orbit

An exciting new commercial pathway is revolutionizing and opening access to space, fostering America’s new space economy in low-Earth orbit. For the first time, the market is expressing what research can and should be done aboard the microgravity laboratory without direct government funding. Our move to purchase commercial cargo resupply and crew transportation to the space station enables U.S. businesses to develop a competitive capability they also can sell as a service to others while freeing our resources for deep space exploration. Private sector participation provides a new model for moving forward in partnership with the government.

2. Supporting Water Purification Efforts Worldwide

Whether in the confines of the International Space Station or a tiny hut village in sub-Saharan Africa, drinkable water is vital for human survival. Unfortunately, many people around the world lack access to clean water. Using technology developed for the space station, at-risk areas can gain access to advanced water filtration and purification systems, making a life-saving difference in these communities. The Water Security Corporation, in collaboration with other organizations, has deployed systems using NASA water-processing technology around the world.

3. Growing High-Quality Protein Crystals

There are more than 100,000 proteins in the human body and as many as 10 billion in nature. Every structure is different, and each protein holds important information related to our health and to the global environment. The perfect environment in which to study these structures is space. Microgravity allows for optimal growth of the unique and complicated crystal structures of proteins leading to the development of medical treatments. An example of a protein that was successfully crystallized in space is hematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase (H-PGDS), which may hold the key to developing useful drugs for treating muscular dystrophy. This particular experiment is an example of how understanding a protein’s structure can lead to better drug designs. Further research is ongoing.

4. Bringing Space Station Ultrasound to the Ends of the Earth

Fast, efficient and readily available medical attention is key to survival in a health emergency. For those without medical facilities within easy reach, it can mean the difference between life and death. For astronauts in orbit about 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station, that problem was addressed through the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) investigation. Medical care has become more accessible in remote regions by use of small ultrasound units, tele-medicine, and remote guidance techniques, just like those used for people living aboard the space station.

5. Improving Eye Surgery with Space Hardware

Laser surgery to correct eyesight is a common practice, and technology developed for use in space is now commonly used on Earth to track a patient’s eye and precisely direct the laser scalpel. The Eye Tracking Device experiment gave researchers insight into how humans’ frames of reference, balance and the overall control of eye movement are affected by weightlessness. In parallel with its use on the space station, the engineers realized the device had potential for applications on Earth. Tracking the eye’s position without interfering with the surgeon’s work is essential in laser surgery. The space technology proved ideal, and the Eye Tracking Device equipment is now being used in a large proportion of corrective laser surgeries throughout the world.

6. Making Inoperable Tumors Operable with a Robotic Arm

The delicate touch that successfully removed an egg-shaped tumor from Paige Nickason’s brain got a helping hand from a world-renowned arm—a robotic arm, that is. The technology that went into developing neuroArm, the world’s first robot capable of performing surgery inside magnetic resonance machines, was born of the Canadarm (developed in collaboration with engineers at MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates, Ltd. [MDA] for the U.S. Space Shuttle Program) as well as Canadarm2 and Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s family of space robots performing the heavy lifting and maintenance aboard the International Space Station. Since Nickason’s surgery in 2008, neuroArm has been used in initial clinical experience with 35 patients who were otherwise inoperable.

7. Preventing Bone Loss Through Diet and Exercise

In the early days of the space station, astronauts were losing about one-and-a-half percent of their total bone mass density per month. Researchers discovered an opportunity to identify the mechanisms that control bones at a cellular level. These scientists discovered that high-intensity resistive exercise, dietary supplementation for vitamin D and specific caloric intake can remedy loss of bone mass in space. The research also is applicable to vulnerable populations on Earth, like older adults, and is important for continuous crew member residency aboard the space station and for deep space exploration to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and on the journey to Mars.

8. Understanding the Mechanisms of Osteoporosis

While most people will never experience life in space, the benefits of studying bone and muscle loss aboard the station has the potential to touch lives here on the ground. Model organisms are non-human species with characteristics that allow them easily to be reproduced and studied in a laboratory. Scientists conducted a study of mice in orbit to understand mechanisms of osteoporosis. This research led to availability of a pharmaceutical on Earth called Prolia® to treat people with osteoporosis, a direct benefit of pharmaceutical companies using the spaceflight opportunity available via the national lab to improve health on Earth.

9. Developing Improved Vaccines

Ground research indicated that certain bacteria, in particular Salmonella, might become more pathogenic (more able to cause disease) during spaceflight. Salmonella infections result in thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths annually in the United States. While studying them in space, scientists found a pathway for bacterial pathogens to become virulent. Researchers identified the genetic pathway activating in Salmonella bacteria, allowing the increased likelihood to spread in microgravity. This research on the space station led to new studies of microbial vaccine development.

10. Providing Students Opportunities to Conduct Their Own Science in Space

From the YouTube Space Lab competition, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, and SPHERES Zero Robotics, space station educational activities inspire more than 43 million students across the globe. These tyFrom the YouTube Space Lab competition, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, and SPHERES Zero Robotics, space station educational activities inspire more than 43 million students across the globe. These types of inquiry-based projects allow students to be involved in human space exploration with the goal of stimulating their studies of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is understood that when students test a hypothesis on their own or compare work in a lab to what’s going on aboard the space station, they are more motivated towards math and science.

11. Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment Technology

A surgical instrument inspired by the Canadian Space Agency’s heavy-lifting and maneuvering robotic arms on the space station is in clinical trials for use in patients with breast cancer. The Image-Guided Autonomous Robot (IGAR) works inside an MRI machine to help accurately identify the size and location of a tumor. Using IGAR, surgeons also will be able to perform highly dexterous, precise movements during biopsies.

12. Monitoring Water Quality from Space

Though it completed its mission in 2015, the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) was an imaging sensor that helped detect water quality parameters such as water clarity, phytoplankton concentrations, light absorption and the distribution of cyanobacteria. HICO was first designed and built by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for the Office of Naval Research to assess water quality in the coastal ocean. Researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the data from HICO and developed a smartphone application to help determine hazardous concentrations of contaminants in water. With the space station’s regular addition of new instruments to provide a continuous platform for Earth observation, researchers will continue to build proactive environmental protection applications that benefit all life on Earth.

13. Monitoring Natural Disasters from Space

An imaging system aboard the station, ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV), captured photographs of Earth from space for use in developing countries affected by natural disasters. A broader joint endeavor by NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development, known as SERVIR, works with developing nations around the world to use satellites for environmental decision-making. Images from orbit can help with rapid response efforts to floods, fires, volcanic eruptions, deforestation, harmful algal blooms and other types of natural events. Since the station passes over more than 90 percent of the Earth’s populated areas every 24 hours, the ISERV system was available to provide imagery to developing nations quickly, collecting up to 1,000 images per day. Though ISERV successfully completed its mission, the space station continues to prove to be a valuable platform for Earth observation during times of disaster.

14. Describing the Behavior of Fluids to Improve Medical Devices

Capillary Flow Experiments (CFE) aboard the space station study the movement of a liquid along surfaces, similar to the way fluid wicks along a paper towel. These investigations produce space-based models that describe fluid behavior in microgravity, which has led to a new medical testing device on Earth. This new device could improve diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in remote areas, thanks in part to knowledge gained from the experiments.

15. Improving Indoor Air Quality

Solutions for growing crops in space now translates to solutions for mold prevention in wine cellars, homes and medical facilities, as well as other industries around the world. NASA is studying crop growth aboard the space station to develop the capability for astronauts to grow their own food as part of the agency’s journey to Mars. Scientists working on this investigation noticed that a buildup of a naturally-occurring plant hormone called ethylene was destroying plants within the confined plant growth chambers. Researchers developed and successfully tested an ethylene removal system in space, called Advanced Astroculture (ADVASC). It helped to keep the plants alive by removing viruses, bacteria and mold from the plant growth chamber. Scientists adapted the ADVASC system for use in air purification. Now this technology is used to prolong the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables in the grocery store, and winemakers are using it in their storage cellars.

For more information on the International Space Station, and regular updates, follow @Space_Station on Twitter. 

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:http://nasa.tumblr.com 

2

Will future surveillance missions start with spools of plastic filament, pop-in components and a 3-D printer? It would certainly save valuable space aboard the naval, coastal patrol and research ships that are often the platform from where drones are launched.

Engineers at the University of Southampton in the UK recently demonstrated the concept by launching their small 3-D printed SULSA unmanned aerial vehicle off the deck of a Royal Navy warship. The almost seven-pound, five-foot-long drone flew 1,640 feet to shore after being catapulted off the HMS Mersey. Learn more below.

Keep reading

For example, the math SAT used to have a section that required students not to solve a problem but to determine if they had enough information to solve it. Women did very well on this type of problem, better than men. But the Educational Testing Service, which develops and administers the SAT, eliminated the section, claiming that it was too easily coached. As Susan F. Chipman, a cognitive psychologist at the U.S. Office of Naval Research, writes, however, ‘In any case, the historical fact that the Educational Testing Service chose to drop a class of items that consistently favored females from a test that consistently favors males should cast doubt on the tendency to treat the SAT as if it were some gold standard of mathematical ability.’
—  Linley Erin Hall, Who’s Afraid of Marie Curie?
5

This is Flimmer, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s latest innovation. Inspired by birds who dive into the ocean to catch their dinner, Flimmer is a drone that can fly as well as dive into the ocean. It can then convert itself into a submersible for underwater surveillance, making it one of the first amphibious drones being developed today.

Facts from the I'm-researching-a-fic Corner

In case you weren’t impressed enough with Logan’s career choice in the movie:

- To even be considered for Naval Aviator training, you must first be a commissioned officer in the Navy; no easy task in and of itself.

- Every year, approximately 10,000 applicants take the Aviation Selection Test (indicating that they want to become a Naval Aviator). About 15% of applicants are selected to continue training. Less than 10% of applicants eventually receive their wings.

-In the entire history of the US Naval Aviator program (since 1911) only a little under 200,000 pilots have earned their wings in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard combined. From what I could find, about 70,000 of those were Navy pilots and maybe 30,000 to 40,000 were strike (fighter jet) pilots.

- It takes a ridiculously grueling two years of training to even get your wings, then months more training on a specific aircraft before being assigned a squadron.

In conclusion, Logan Echolls can get it.

And it is hard as shit to become a Naval Aviator.

10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Intuition is challenging to define, despite the huge role it plays in our everyday lives. Steve Jobs called it, for instance, “more powerful than intellect.” But however we put it into words, we all, well, intuitively know just what it is.

Pretty much everyone has experienced a gut feeling — that unconscious reasoning that propels us to do something without telling us why or how. But the nature of intuition has long eluded us, and has inspired centuries’ worth of research and inquiry in the fields of philosophy and psychology.

“I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it,” Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, tells The Huffington Post. “It’s different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis … It’s a knowing without knowing.”

Our intuition is always there, whether we’re aware of it or not. As HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington puts it in her upcoming book Thrive:

Even when we’re not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way. But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.

Cognitive science is beginning to demystify the strong but sometimes inexplicable presence of unconscious reasoning in our lives and thought. Often dismissed as unscientific because of its connections to the psychic and paranormal, intuition isn’t just a bunch of hoo-ha about our “Spidey senses” — the U.S. military is even investigating the power of intuition, which has helped troops to make quick judgments during combat that ended up saving lives.

“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” Ivy Estabrooke, a program manager at the Office of Naval Research, told the New York Times in 2012.

Here are 10 things that people in touch with their intuition do differently.

They listen to that inner voice.

External image

“It’s very easy to dismiss intuition,” says Burnham. “But it’s a great gift that needs to be noticed.”

The No. 1 thing that distinguishes intuitive people is that they listen to, rather than ignore, the guidance of their intuitions and gut feelings.

“Everybody is connected to their intuition, but some people don’t pay attention to it as intuition,” Burnham say. “I have yet to meet a successful businessman that didn’t say, ‘I don’t know why I did that, it was just a hunch.’”

In order to make our best decisions, we need a balance of intuition — which serves to bridge the gap between instinct and reasoning — and rational thinking, according to Francis Cholle, author of The Intuitive Compass. But the cultural bias against following one’s instinct or intuition often leads to disregarding our hunches — to our own detriment.

“We don’t have to reject scientific logic in order to benefit from instinct,” says Cholle. “We can honor and call upon all of these tools, and we can seek balance. And by seeking this balance we will finally bring all of the resources of our brain into action.”

They take time for solitude.

External image

If you want to get in touch with your intuition, a little time alone may be the most effective way. Just as solitude can help give rise to creative thinking, it can also help us connect to our deepest inner wisdom.

Intuitive people are often introverted, according to Burnham. But whether you’re an introvert or not, taking time for solitude can help you engage in deeper thought and reconnect with yourself.

“You have to be able to have a little bit of solitude; a little bit of silence,” she says. “In the middle of craziness … you can’t recognize [intuition] above all of the noise of everyday life.”

They create.

External image

“Creativity does its best work when it functions intuitively,” writes researcher and author Carla Woolf.

In fact, creative people are highly intuitive, explains Burnham, and just as you can increase your creativity through practice, you can boost your intuition. In fact, practicing one may build up the other.

They practice mindfulness.

Meditation and other mindfulness practices can be an excellent way to tap into your intuition. As the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute explains, “Mindfulness can help you filter out mental chatter, weigh your options objectively, tune into your intuition and ultimately make a decision that you can stand behind completely.”

Mindfulness can also connect you to your intuition by boosting self-knowledge. A 2013 study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science showed that mindfulness — defined as “paying attention to one’s current experience in a non-judgmental way” — may help us to better understand our own personalities. And as Arianna Huffington notes in Thrive, increased intuition, compassion, creativity and peace are all wonderful side effects of meditating.

They observe everything.

External image

“The first thing to do is notice — keep a little journal, and notice when odd things happen,” Burnham says. You’ll gain a keen sense for how often coincidences, surprising connections and on-the-dot intuitions occur in your daily life — in other words, you’ll start to tap into your intuition.

They listen to their bodies.

Intuitive people learn to tune into their bodies and heed their “gut feelings.”

If you’ve ever started feeling sick to your stomach when you knew something was wrong but couldn’t put your finger on what, you understand that intuitions can cause a physical sensation in the body. Our gut feelings are called gut feelings for a reason — research suggests that emotion and intuition are very much rooted in the “second brain” in the gut.

They connect deeply with others.

External image

Mind reading may seem like the stuff of fantasy and pseudo-science, but it’s actually something we do everyday. It’s called empathic accuracy, a term in psychology that refers to the “seemingly magical ability to map someone’s mental terrain from their words, emotions and body language,” according to Psychology Today.

“When you see a spider crawling up someone’s leg, you feel a creepy sensation,”Marcia Reynolds writes in Psychology Today. “Similarly, when you observe someone reach out to a friend and they are pushed away, your brain registers the sensation of rejection. When you watch your team win or a couple embrace on television, you feel their emotions as if you are there. Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, embarrassment, disgust and lust can all be experienced by watching others.”

Tuning into your own emotions, and spending time both observing and listening to others face-to-face can help boost your powers of empathy, says Reynolds.

They pay attention to their dreams.

External image

Burnham recommends paying attention to your dreams as a way to get in touch with your mind’s unconscious thinking processes. Both dreams and intuition spring from the unconscious, so you can begin to tap into this part of your mind by paying attention to your dreams.

“At night, when you’re dreaming, you’re receiving information from the unconscious or intuitive part of your brain,” says Burnham. “If you’re attuned to your dreams, you can get a lot of information about how to live your life.”

They enjoy plenty of down time.

External image

Few things stifle intuition as easily as constant busyness, multitasking, connectivity to digital devices and stress and burnout. According to Huffington, we always have an intuitive sense about the people in our lives — on a deep level, we know the good ones from the “flatterers and dissemblers” — but we’re not always awake enough to our intuition to acknowledge the difference to ourselves. The problem is that we’re simply too busy.

“We always get warnings from our heart and our intuition when they appear,” she writes in Thrive. “But we are often too busy to notice.”

They mindfully let go of negative emotions.

Strong emotions — particularly negative ones — can cloud our intuition. Many of us know that we feel out of sorts or “not ourselves” when we’re upset, and it may be because we’re disconnected from our intuition.

“When you are very depressed, you may find your intuition fails,” says Burnham. “When you’re angry or in a heightened emotional state … your intuition [can] fail you completely.”

The evidence isn’t just anecdotal: A 2013 study published in the journal Psychological Science showed that being in a positive mood boosted the ability to make intuitive judgments in a word game.

That’s not to say that intuitive people never get upset — but your intuition will fare better if you’re able to mindfully accept and let go of negative emotions for the most part, rather than suppressing or dwelling on them.

Peace & Blessings,

Our Journey to Balance

 

Cooperating Satellites Could Help Find Planes And Ships Lost At Sea

by Michael Keller

A virtual constellation of satellites already in orbit could help searchers find planes and ships lost at sea.

A team of space scientists and remote sensing experts tapped into the surveillance power of 54 Earth-observing satellites, which are currently tasked with recording only images of land beneath their orbits.

By expanding the mission of the spacecraft to take pictures of the world’s oceans and inland waters and then feeding the data into a single system, the group believes search-and-rescue operations could be quickly focused on areas of several hundred square miles.

“We’ve been looking at ways in which spacecraft can be operated in a coordinated way to acquire imagery over areas of water in such a way that those images may be used at a later date in the search for ships, small vessels and aircraft that go missing and which are very difficult and time-consuming to find when rescue crews are out there looking for survivors,” says Nigel Bannister, a physicist at the University of Leicester in the UK who led the research.

Keep reading

youtube

Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS)

Unmaned autonomous helicopters on demand via an app on your tablet? Check.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) demonstrates the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS), which gives helicopters the capability for unmanned flight. AACUS consists of software and sensors that can be applied to a variety of rotary wing aircraft, and will provide the U.S. Marine Corps with the ability to rapidly support forces on the front lines, as an alternative to convoys, manned aircraft or air drops in all weather and possibly hostile conditions, with minimal training required by the requestor.

anonymous asked:

Do you think we should increase/decrease/maintain defense spending?

There are areas that could be cut, yet we need to be able to maintain global dominance. 

Here’s some examples of waste coming from our defense budget.

  • The Navy funded research on what the behavior of fish can teach us about democracy. 
  • The Navy and Air Force funded a study that compared the jargon that New Yorkers vs. Californians use on Twitter.
  • The Air Force Office of Scientific Research funded a study that examined how to make it easier to produce silk from wild cocoons in Africa and South America.
  • The Navy funded research on developing an iPhone app to alert users when it is the best time to take a coffee break.
  • The Pentagon funded a conference that included a session titled “Did Jesus Die for Klingons too?”
  • The Pentagon has spent more than $1.5 million to develop its own beef jerky roll ups treats.*
  • The Air Force funded a study on if men holding guns appear taller, stronger, and more masculine than those not holding guns.
  • The Office of Naval Research funded research on the social interactions between robots and babies.
  • The Air Force funded a study on the feather colors of the first birds on Earth. They concluded that their feathers were most likely black.
  • The Pentagon has spent about $6 million studying the science of storytelling.

More here and here

*I disagree on this point, beef jerky is the greatest thing ever. I suggest we divert our entire federal budget into research and production of dried beef products.