Gary Johnson wins Libertarian presidential nomination, Weld …

At the party convention in Orlando, Florida, Johnson got his preferred running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, in a weekend gathering that drew sharp contrasts with the major party candidates — Trump and Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.

Johnson described the real estate mogul’s immigration policies as “just racist,” particularly the Republican’s call to deport 11 million undocumented people currently in the country.

Libertarian activists contend their ticket could play a pivotal role in the 2016 campaign, with Trump and Clinton both viewed unfavorably by large swaths of the electorate. Even grabbing a small percentage of the vote in key states could affect the Electoral College calculus.

Trump was a frequent target of criticism of many Libertarians at the weekend convention. In addition to immigration participants particularly took issue with Trump’s stated positions on international trade and national security — all of which stand in firm opposition to a party that tends to favor lax immigration restrictions, free trade and is skeptical of military intervention. Austin Petersen, one of the presidential candidates who lost to Johnson, called Trump a fascist, a term regularly echoed throughout the convention.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday night.

Johnson was the party’s nominee in 2012 and once again won the position despite backlash from the party’s more radical Libertarian wing.

Weld, for his part, took a somewhat more nuanced tone toward the Libertarians’ rivals.

“Someone doesn’t have to be disaffected with Ms. Clinton to think that we have a good story,” Weld said. “One doesn’t have to be Never Trump to see that we were two of the most fiscally conservative governors in the United States.”

Thanking the Libertarian delegates after his victory, Johnson played up his general election chances.

“At a minimum, I think we’re in the presidential debates,” Johnson said to cheers.

Johnson also called for inclusion in more national polling surveys.

“This is another voice at the table,” Johnson said. “How about some skeptic at the table when it comes to these military interventions?”

In the first round of voting, Johnson reached 49.5 percent of the vote, according to the official party total, just shy of the majority needed for victory. His nearest opponents, Petersen and John McAfee, reached 21 and 14 percent respectively. On the second round of voting, Johnson clinched the nomination with 55.8 percent of the vote. But his preferred choice for the vice-presidential nomination, Weld, also came up just short of 50 percent on the first round of balloting, leading to a second vote, which he won with just over 50 percent of the vote.

Many Libertarian activists were skeptical of Weld, arguing his 1991-97 gubernatorial tenure saw too much growth in government and new gun control measures. But Johnson argued Weld could bring momentum and fundraising power to the Libertarian ticket, and the delegates obliged him.

“I pledge to you that I will stay with the Libertarian Party for life,” Weld said before the vice presidential nominating contest.

Johnson received almost 1 percent of the general election vote in 2012, but said that in a year of unpopular offerings from the Democratic and Republican parties, he stands a chance of breaking through.

The Libertarian Party is the only third party with ballot access in 50 states. This means Johnson will be the only alternative to Trump and Clinton available to all voters in this election.

Just before the nomination vote, Johnson said if he were to win the nomination, he would head to New York on Monday for media opportunities.

Johnson, who served as New Mexico governor as a Republican from 1995-2003, said too few people knew what a Libertarian is, and that his job is to change that.

Libertarian National Committee chair Nicholas Sarwark spoke to press following the nomination process, discussing the Libertarian Party’s outreach and fundraising efforts. Sarwark said the party had established a “back channel” to the Koch brothers, in the hopes the wealthy libertarian-leaning funders donate to the Libertarian Party. Sarwark also said he had been speaking to Matt Kibbe, former president of conservative advocacy group Freedomworks, about supporting the party’s nominee.

The convention at times got rowdy. Many candidates issued lengthy protests and changed strategies throughout the day. Delegates stormed through the halls with signs and chants. At one point, a man did a striptease on stage until he sat before the audience — and live television — in nothing but his underwear.

“Never underestimate the ability of Libertarians to shoot themselves in the foot,” said Christopher Barber, a delegate from Georgia, said before and after the display on stage.

CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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Gary Johnson wins Libertarian presidential nomination, Weld …

The Ethics of Nanotechnology – Santa Clara University


Imagine a world in which cars can be assembled molecule-by-molecule, garbage can be disassembled and turned into beef steaks, and people can be operated on and healed by cell-sized robots. Sound like science fiction? Well, with current semiconductor chip manufacturing encroaching upon the nanometer scale and the ability to move individual atoms at the IBM Almaden laboratory, we are fast approaching the technological ability to fabricate productive machines and devices that can manipulate things at the atomic level. From this ability we will be able to develop molecular-sized computers and robots, which would give us unprecedented control over matter and the ability to shape the physical world as we see fit. Some may see it as pure fantasy, but others speculate that it is an inevitability that will be the beginning of the next technological revolution.

Laboratories, such as the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF), have already been researching nanofabrication techniques with applications in fiber optics, biotechnology, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and wide variety of other research fields relevant to today’s technology. MEMS, “tiny mechanical devices such as sensors, valves, gears, mirrors, and actuators embedded in semiconductor chips”, are particularly interesting because they are but a mere step away from the molecular machines envisioned by nanotechnology. MEMS are already being used in automobile airbag systems as accelerometers to detect collisions and will become an increasing part of our everyday technology.

In 1986, a researcher from MIT named K. Eric Drexler already foresaw the advent of molecular machines and published a book, Engines of Creation, in which he outlined the possibilities and consequences of this emerging field, which he called nanotechnology. He was inspired by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman’s 1959 lecture, There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, about miniaturization down to the atomic scale. Since then, Drexler has written numerous other books on the subject, such as Unbounding the Future, and has founded the Foresight Institute, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible development of nanotechnology. It hosts conferences and competitions to raise the awareness of nanotechnology and the ethical issues involved in its development.

Today, nanotechnology research and development is quite wide spread, although not high profile yet. Numerous universities, such as Univ. of Washington and Northwestern Univ., have established centers and institutes to study nanotechnology, and the U.S. government has created an organization, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), to monitor and guide research and development in this field. In fact, as noted in an April 2001 Computerworld article, the Bush administration increased funding to nanoscale science research by 16% through its National Science Foundation (NSF) budget increase. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the NSF are currently the two largest sources of funding for nanotechnology research and have an enormous influence on the direction of scientific research done in the United States. With so many resources dedicated to its development, nanotechnology will surely have an impact within our lifetime, so it is important to examine its ethical implications while it is still in its infancy.

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology, also called molecular manufacturing, is “a branch of engineering that deals with the design and manufacture of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter.” [] The goal of nanotechnology is to be able to manipulate materials at the atomic level to build the smallest possible electromechanical devices, given the physical limitations of matter. Much of the mechanical systems we know how to build will be transferred to the molecular level as some atomic analogy. (see nanogear animation on the right)

As envisioned by Drexler, as well as many others, this would lead to nanocomputers no bigger than bacteria and nanomachines, also known as nanites (from Star Trek: The Next Generation), which could be used as a molecular assemblers and disassemblers to build, repair, or tear down any physical or biological objects.

In essence, the purpose of developing nanotechnology is to have tools to work on the molecular level analogous to the tools we have at the macroworld level. Like the robots we use to build cars and the construction equipment we use to build skyscrapers, nanomachines will enable us to create a plethora of goods and increase our engineering abilities to the limits of the physical world.

Potential Benefits…

It would not take much of a leap, then, to imagine disassemblers dismantling garbage to be recycled at the molecular level, and then given to assemblers for them to build atomically perfect engines. Stretching this vision a bit, you can imagine a Star Trek type replicator which could reassemble matter in the form of a juicy steak, given the correct blueprints and organization of these nanomachines.

Just given the basic premises of nanotechnology, you can imagine the vast potential of this technology. Some of it’s more prominent benefits would be:

Along with all the obvious manufacturing benefits, there are also many potential medical and environmental benefits. With nanomachines, we could better design and synthesize pharmaceuticals; we could directly treat diseased cells like cancer; we could better monitor the life signs of a patient; or we could use nanomachines to make microscopic repairs in hard-to-operate-on areas of the body. With regard to the environment, we could use nanomachines to clean up toxins or oil spills, recycle all garbage, and eliminate landfills, thus reducing our natural resource consumption.

Potential Dangers…

The flip side to these benefits is the possibility of assemblers and disassemblers being used to create weapons, be used as weapons themselves, or for them to run wild and wreak havoc. Other, less invasive, but equally perilous uses of nanotechnology would be in electronic surveillance.

Weapons are an obvious negative use of nanotechnology. Simply extending today’s weapon capabilities by miniaturizing guns, explosives, and electronic components of missiles would be deadly enough. However, with nanotechnology, armies could also develop disassemblers to attack physical structures or even biological organism at the molecular level. A similar hazard would be if general purpose disassemblers got loose in the environment and started disassembling every molecule they encountered. This is known as “The Gray Goo Scenario.” Furthermore, if nanomachines were created to be self replicating and there were a problem with their limiting mechanism, they would multiply endlessly like viruses. Even without considering the extreme disaster scenarios of nanotechnology, we can find plenty of potentially harmful uses for it. It could be used to erode our freedom and privacy; people could use molecular sized microphones, cameras, and homing beacons to monitor and track others.

Ethical Issues & Analysis

With such awesome potential dangers inherent in nanotechnology, we must seriously examine its potential consequences. Granted, nanotechnology may never become as powerful and prolific as envisioned by its evangelists, but as with any potential, near-horizon technology, we should go through the exercise of formulating solutions to potential ethical issues before the technology is irreversibly adopted by society. We must examine the ethics of developing nanotechnology and create policies that will aid in its development so as to eliminate or at least minimize its damaging effects on society.

Ethical Decision Making Worksheet

Most relevant facts

We are reaching a critical point where technology will enable us to build complex molecular machines. Molecular assemblers and disassemblers could be developed from this technology, which would have great potential for both good and bad. The two greatest threats from development of nanotechnology are catastrophic accidents and misuse.

Professional Issues

Legal/Policy Issues

Ethical Issues


Possible Actions


Individual Rights/Fairness

The second and third options seem to be the most prudent course of action since the second option is commonly done now for emerging technologies and the third option consciously prevents designs that could lead to the catastrophic scenarios.

Common Good

The second and third options also seem to advance the most common good since the second option involves promoting ethics within the research community and the third option is a set of design principles to discourage unethical or accidental uses of nanotechnology.

Final Decision

Nanotechnology research should be allowed to continue but with a non-government advisory council to monitor the research and help formulate ethical guidelines and policies. Generally, nanomachines should NOT be designed to be general purpose, self replicating, or to be able to use an abundant natural compound as fuel. Furthermore, complex nanomachines should be tagged with a radioactive isotope so as to allow them to be tracked in case they are lost.


It would be difficult to deny the potential benefits of nanotechnology and stop development of research related to it since it has already begun to penetrate many different fields of research. However, nanotechnology can be developed using guidelines to insure that the technology does not become too potentially harmful. As with any new technology, it is impossible to stop every well funded organization who may seek to develop the technology for harmful purposes. However, if the researchers in this field put together an ethical set of guidelines (e.g. Molecular Nanotechnology Guidelines) and follow them, then we should be able to develop nanotechnology safely while still reaping its promised benefits.


Drexler, K. Eric Engines of Creation. New York: Anchor Books, 1986.

Drexler, K. Eric Unbounding the Future. New York: Quill, 1991.

Feynman, Richard P. There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom. 03 March 2002.

The Foresight Institute. 03 March 2002.

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing. 03 March 2002.

National Nanotechnology Initiative. 03 March 2002.

Thibodeau, Patrick. “Nanotech, IT research given boost in Bush budget”. 03 March 2002. (April 11, 2001)

[Definitions]. 03 March 2002.

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The Ethics of Nanotechnology – Santa Clara University

Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Medical Education …

Apr 20, 2016

The New York Times interviews Dr. Chinazo Cunningham about the growing acceptance of harm reduction approaches to drug addiction and treatment.

Apr 20, 2016

Reuters interviews Dr. Geoffrey Kabat about the WHOs cancer agency, questioning how it determines which foods and materials are classified as carcinogenic.

Mar 29, 2016

CNN interviews Dr. Richard Lipton about a new study that finds moderate to intense exercise may slow the rate of mental decline.

Mar 24, 2016

PBS interviews Dr. Ruth Stein regarding her research on how often pediatricians screen for postpartum depression.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Medical Education …

Turks and Caicos Worlds Top Island – Turks and Caicos …

World class hotels, spas, and restaurants await, as do our famous stretches of uncrowded beaches and vibrant coral reefs. On land or below the water, youll relax in the unique serenity, hospitality and beauty of our islands.

CNN: Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos is TripAdvisors latest pick for the worlds top island. Grace Bay Beach got the 2nd best beach in the world based on TripAdvisor Travelers choice. Top Beaches of the World

Home to the Best Beach in the World, breathtaking hues from inviting waters, and legendary diving, snorkeling and fishing, the Turks & Caicos Islands beckon you to an undiscovered Caribbean. Travel to the Turks and Caicos is easy and efficient. Just a short flight from the east coast of the US, our islands are a tropical classic, a throwback in time where relaxation is unavoidable and rejuvenation ensured.

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Turks and Caicos Worlds Top Island – Turks and Caicos …

Mind of a Worm Uploaded to a LEGO Robot to Make the …

Ashley Allen / 10 months ago

In a breakthrough for artificial intelligence research, a digital clone of the mind of a roundworm (C. Elegans) has been uploaded into a robotic body made from LEGO, as part of the Open Worm Project.

Once the software facsimile of the worm brain was integrated into the LEGO robot it, with no additional programming, exhibited behaviour consistent with the C. Elegans species, avoiding obstacles and attracted by food. The robot carries sensors that imitate the senses of a roundworm, bridged by software modelled on a worms nervous system.

Stephen Larson, the projects co-ordinator, told US news network CNN, Weve been working on it for four years and while we have a lot more to achieve its been the most surprising project Ive been involved in. Its certainly exceeded my expectations.

The research teams says that it will take some time for the robot to learn to avoid predators or search for a mate, but that the progress made so far bodes well for the future.

We definitely have further to go, but I think what captures peoples imagination is how much information we have managed to put together, said Larson.

Source: CNN

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Mind of a Worm Uploaded to a LEGO Robot to Make the …

Astronomy News – Topix

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Astronomy News – Topix

City floating on the sea could be just 3 years away –

(CNN) — A floating city off the coast of San Francisco may sound like science fiction, but it could be reality in the not-too-distant future.

The Seasteading Institute has drawn up plans for a floating city off the coast of San Francisco.

The Seasteading Institute already has drawn up plans for the construction of a homestead on the Pacific Ocean.

One project engineer described the prototype as similar to a cruise ship, but from a distance the cities might look like oil-drilling platforms.

According to the plans, the floating cities would not only look different from their land-based counterparts, but they might operate differently, too.

Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who now works for the Seasteading Institute, said floating cities are the perfect places to experiment with new forms of government.

Some of the new political ideas the group is tossing around include legalizing marijuana and making intellectual property communal — so that everyone would take ownership in art produced on the city at sea.

“The idea isn’t just about getting away from rules or getting rid of rules. It’s about a system that encourages experimentation with different political systems,” he said.

Friedman said the floating city may be built in modular pieces so that city blocks and neighborhoods can be recombined to create new urban layouts.

The idea of building cities on the sea is not new, he said, but the Seasteading Institute has come closer to realizing the goal than others.

“A lot of people over the past hundred plus years have had this idea and even specifically building cities on the ocean to try out new forms of government,” he said. “But they’ve pretty much been totally imagined and if they did try, they totally failed.”

There are several unknowns about future attempts to create floating cities, said Christian Cermelli, an engineer and architect with Marine Innovation and Technology, based in San Francisco.

Cermelli, who is part of a team of designers creating a blueprint for the first seastead, said it’s unclear if construction is possible — or what it would cost.

Still, a prototype for the idea may be finished in as little as three years, he said.

Friedman said seasteads are loosely based on oil rigs, but with important modifications.

“We care more about sunlight and open space, so the specifications are different,” he said. “Also, oil platforms are fixed in place. We think it’s important to have more modular cities. So you would build a city out of buildings that can actually be separated and rearranged.”

Cermelli said the ocean cities may use technology from suspension bridges “to expand the space at sea and basically get a roomier platform.”

Friedman says the idea of seasteading has met a range of reactions.

“Some people think we’re crazy. A lot of people think we’re crazy,” he said. “Some people think terrible things could happen, others think it would be great.”

About 600 people have joined the Seasteading Institute.

Some of them, like Gayle Young, say the idea is exciting partly because it’s so different.

“I love the idea because it’s audacious. It’s big,” she said. “It’s about pushing frontiers.”

All About Engineering Architecture San Francisco

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City floating on the sea could be just 3 years away –

Health News – Medical, Mental and Dental Treatment …

Coping with infertility: Don’t give up hope, and more advice

By Ashley Strickland, CNN

When we asked readers to share their infertility stories with us on iReport, they opened up about their personal journeys, but also provided advice for people experiencing infertility, and the families of these couples, as well.

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Health News – Medical, Mental and Dental Treatment …

Atlanta Astronomy Club About

The Atlanta Astronomy Club (AAC) is one of the largest organizations of beginner and amateur astronomers in the South Eastern United States. The club seeks to provide enjoyment and education to the public through amateur astronomy.

Dr. William Calder, who came to Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia from the Harvard College Observatory, founded the Atlanta Astronomy Club in 1947 to promote the collaboration of professional and amateur astronomers and to provide a venue for non-professionals to share their interests.

The AAC incorporated in 1963 as a nonprofit organization. It is educational, literary and scientific in nature and is dedicated especially to promoting the public knowledge of and interest in astronomy.


Membership in the AAC is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. Peter Herdvary, a Hungarian-born geologist and AAC member, had a lunar crater named for him by the International Astronomical Union, in recognition of his work as an amateur astronomer.

In 1994, AAC members Jerry Armstrong and Tim Puckett discovered a supernova in the Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier object M51). Another Club member, Alex Langoussis, assists Tim Puckett in his supernovae searches and now has over a dozen to his credit. Official recognition by the IAU brought worldwide attention to this pair of Georgia amateur astronomers. They were featured on CNN, as well as other news media around the globe.


Monthly meetings are held at 3pm on the 2rd Saturday usually at the Fernbank Science center (always check the club calendar for updates and locations). Amateur and professional speakers from all over the country present topics and then club business is briefly discussed.

Also scheduled is a Dark Sky Observing (DSO) event every new moon weekend, so that observers can have an opportunity to pursue their own observing agendas.

Sessions for beginners and the public are also scheduled through the year.

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Atlanta Astronomy Club About

Nasdaq will start using Bitcoin technology – May. 11, 2015

Most people have heard of Bitcoin (XBT) as a system of electronic money — one that hasn’t really caught on yet.

But what gets less attention is blockchain, the technology that powers the Bitcoin system. It’s a computer program that automatically processes transactions and creates a perfect, reliable digital record.

High-tech bankers are starting to realize this could revolutionize trading. Nasdaq (NDAQ), a favorite exchange among many technology companies, is making the first move.

On Monday, the stock market announced it will start using a blockchain system to keep records for its Nasdaq Private Market, which handles trading of shares in the pre-IPO phase before a company goes public.

Nasdaq sees the blockchain’s perfect recordkeeping as a major step in the right direction for more transparency. The pre-IPO market doesn’t typically see as much trading and what does occur is often by a tight circle of employees and early investors.

“Blockchain technology will provide extensive integrity, audit ability, governance and transfer of ownership capabilities,” Nasdaq said in its public announcement.

This doesn’t mean Nasdaq is using actual Bitcoins as currency. But Nasdaq will be interacting with the Bitcoin system to slip data into the blockchain.

By using Bitcoin’s core technology, this is a major acknowledgment of Bitcoin’s contribution to finance and trade. This is the first time the world has seen a trading system that doesn’t require a trusted middleman. It sounds boring, but in the banking world, it’s revolutionary.

CNN explains: What is Bitcoin?

It seems odd to equate Bitcoin with better security. The world’s first true big digital currency is generally known for two things. One, its popularity in online black markets. Two, the epic fall of Mt. Gox, a major Bitcoin exchange market that wiped out $400 million in people’s savings.

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Nasdaq will start using Bitcoin technology – May. 11, 2015

More than 70,000 people attended event


A pack of 2016 Republicans made their pitch for president Friday before the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Nashville, blasting the Obama administration for what they described as an erosion of freedom while punctuating their remarks with sharp enthusiasm for Second Amendment rights.

The contenders also used the principles behind gun rights to fire off criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of national security, further signaling the influential role that foreign policy is expected to have in the presidential election.

More than 70,000 people descended upon Music City to attend the convention, but tickets to see the candidates speak in a five-hour long forum was limited to about 5,000 people.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was the only declared candidate on stage Friday. Other potential contenders included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

1. Candidates show off gun credentials

As tradition at the annual NRA gathering, the speakers tried to establish their own longstanding history with guns in different ways. Santorum held up his concealed carry card before the audience and boasted that his wife requested ammunition for an upcoming birthday.

Walker talked about bow-hunting, while Huckabee perused the firearm vendor hall and later listed on stage the guns he grew up with, including his first BB gun at the age of five. “I still have the same gun in mint condition,” he said.

Perry screened a video showing off his shooting skills (the same video was also shown at the 2013 NRA convention). The former governor also crowed about the gun manufacturers he recruited to Texas from other states.

For Bush, the NRA meeting was a chance to tout his record, including his A+ rating from the NRA, before a conservative crowd that’s largely skeptical of him due to his more moderate positions on immigration and Common Core.

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More than 70,000 people attended event

Vacation nightmare: Other Virgin Islands vacationers may have been exposed to deadly pesticide

ST. JOHN, U.s. Virgin Islands (CNN) Government officials are trying to track down vacationers who stayed at villas in the Virgin Islands who may have been exposed to a deadly pesticide. Local officials said methyl bromide is suspected to have been used improperly several times in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in different parts of []

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Vacation nightmare: Other Virgin Islands vacationers may have been exposed to deadly pesticide

Futurist Jack Uldrich: Yesterdays Lessons, Todays Visions, Tomorrows Reality

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) April 13, 2015

Today, April 13th, Industrial futurist Jack Uldrich is slated to keynote Stiles Executive Briefing Conference. The conference which will “provide decision makers with the knowledge, strategies and attitude necessary for success in today’s manufacturing world” opened yesterday and will run through Tuesday, April 14th.

Uldrich, playing with Stiles’ theme of Be part of the vision by helping to create “whats next” will deliver a custom designed keynote address: Yesterdays Lessons, Todays Visions, Tomorrows Reality.

His call and response to his audiences is: “What will the world of tomorrow look like? The time to start thinking about this is now.”

In his article, 3D Manufacturing is Out of This World – Literally Uldrich touches on just how far 3D printing will take the world of manufacturing, and that, he says is out of this world and into outer space. Additionally he says, “Another out of this world concept is that a little over five years ago, a 3D printera device that can manufacture physical objectscost $100,000. Today, similar printers are available for $1000 and are poised to revolutionize the world of manufacturing.”

Uldrich travels the world speaking on future trends, emerging technologies, innovation change management and leadership. His manufacturing clients include the PMA, Siemens, the IBD, and PMMI. Other leading clients include Verizon Wireless, ABB/Thomas and Betts and Emerson.

Jack is a best-selling author and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC and NPR. He is highly regarded for his unique ability to present complex information in an entertaining, understandable and digestible manner. Following his keynote at EBC, this week he will present to BCBS of North Carolina in Raleigh, Foth & Van Dyke in Green Bay and the North Carolina Association of Coops in also in Raleigh, NC.

Parties interested in learning more about him, his books, his daily blog or his speaking availability are encouraged to visit his website. Media wishing to know more about either the event or interviewing Jack as a futurist or trend expert can contact Amy Tomczyk at (651) 343.0660.


Futurist Jack Uldrich: Yesterdays Lessons, Todays Visions, Tomorrows Reality

Vacationers sought in resort poisoning

Story highlights Methyl bromide is suspected to have been used improperly several times in the U.S. Virgin Islands, local officials say Teen brothers exposed to the pesticide while on vacation are both in comas; parents are recovering

Local officials said methyl bromide is suspected to have been used improperly several times in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in different parts of the island; even the governor said his condominium complex was fumigated with it in 2013, without his knowledge.

Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened at the Sirenusa resort, where a Delaware family’s vacation in paradise turned into a nightmare. Theresa Devine and Steve Esmond and their two children fell gravely ill and suffered seizures; two brothers, ages 14 and 16, remain in comas.

But this was likely not an isolated incident. Local authorities here tell CNN there is evidence methyl bromide was used at least twice at the gated Sirenusa resort on St. John by the pest control company Terminix. They also say Terminix used the pesticide across the islands on different occasions.

Dawn Henry, the commissioner designee of the local Department of Planning and Natural Resources, or DPNR, said that while investigating what happened, the agency found methyl bromide was likely also used last fall at the same Sirenusa resort, as well as in a vacation villa in St. Croix and in two nontourist locations.

Methyl bromide is banned from indoor use, and is only approved as an agricultural pesticide. Other pest control companies on the Virgin Islands were found in possession of methyl bromide and officials said they are checking records to see whether it was used improperly. Ken Mapp, the governor of the Virgin Islands, said it was.

“What these companies did or appear to have been doing is clearly a violation of the law and they’ll be held accountable for it,” Mapp said. He said he learned his own complex was fumigated with methyl bromide in 2013, but said there have been no additional reports of people falling ill.

Authorities are trying to track down anyone who has stayed at the affected villas or who might have been exposed.

Family slowly recovering from illness after Virgin Islands trip

Terminix issued a statement saying it is “committed to performing all work … in a manner that is safe for our customers, employees, the public and the environment” and is “looking into this matter internally, and cooperating with authorities.”

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Vacationers sought in resort poisoning

Mindy Kaling's brother: I faked being black to get into medical school

(CNN) — Actress Mindy Kaling’s brother says that he posed as a black man years ago to get into medical school and that the experience opened his eyes to what he calls the hypocrisy of affirmative action.

The revelation comes as Vijay Chokal-Ingam, who is of Indian descent, is pitching a book about his experiences as a “hard-partying college frat boy who discovered the seriousness and complexity of America’s racial problems while posing as a black man.”

On his website,, Chokal-Ingam says he hatched the plan in 1998 after realizing in college that his grades weren’t going to be good enough to get into med school as an Indian-American.

“So, I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man,” he wrote on the website. “My change in appearance was so startling that my own fraternity brothers didn’t recognize me at first.”

He says he joined an organization for black students and applied to schools using his middle name, JoJo.

The plan had some drawbacks, said Chokal-Ingam, who describes himself now as a “professional resume writer, interview coach, and graduate school application consultant.”

“Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me or couldn’t keep their hands off me,” he wrote. “What started as a devious ploy to gain admission to medical school turned into a twisted social experiment.”

He says it worked. Despite a relatively mediocre 3.1 college grade-point average and a good-but-not-great score of 31 on the Medical College Admission Test, Chokal-Ingam claims he was wooed by several top medical schools.

He even posts documents on his website to bolster his claims, including an enthusiastic letter from a dean at the Emory University School of Medicine congratulating him on his “excellent scores” on the MCAT.

But there’s little evidence to suggest his posturing as a “black” applicant helped him get into these schools. First, there is no point of comparison: Chokal-Ingam never applied to medical schools as an Indian-American.

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Mindy Kaling's brother: I faked being black to get into medical school

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, April 8

Microsoft will offer a peek at new Office apps next week

A Microsoft event on April 16 promises an advance look at how the next version of Office will work with Windows 10, PC World reports. Demonstrations are expected to include applications that run across all platforms from mobile to desktop, and some new features in Office 2016, optimized for a touch interface.

Intel shrinking RealSense 3D camera

Intel has shrunk its RealSense 3D camera and is in China pitching it to smartphone makers. In Shenzhen on Wednesday, CEO Brian Krzanich showed off a 6-inch prototype phone built with the new camera, which will be available in devices later this year.

US drug agency collected bulk phone records way before the NSA

Bulk collection of U.S. citizens phone records by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency started earlier and may have amassed more data than a similarly reviled program carried out by the National Security Agency, a report Tuesday by USA Today suggests. The secret program started in 1992 and collected information on virtually all international calls made by Americans to about 116 countries. Some operators were hesitant to supply the data, but none went to court to contest the blanket subpoenas.

SingTel eyes managed security with TrustWave buy

Singaporean communications provider SingTel is paying US$810 million to acquire TrustWave Holdings, the largest U.S. independent provider of managed security services. TrustWave will continue as a separate business unit in Chicago, focused on addressing the managed security services market that Gartner expects will grow to $24 billion in the next three years from $14 billion last year.

Russians crack the White House

Hackers working for the Russian government got access to sensitive parts of White House computer systems, CNN reported. Investigators believe they gained access via compromised systems at the State Department, which has spent months trying to purge its email servers of lurkers. The hackers apparently had access to sensitive information such as real-time, non-public details of the presidents schedule.

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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, April 8