Top Science Podcasts: AI Beats Humans At A Video Game, Arthropods In Decline (Nature)

Nature PodcastHear the latest science news, with Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell. This week, a computer beats the best human players in StarCraft II, and a huge study of insects and other arthropods.

In this episode:

00:51 Learning to play

By studying and experimenting, an AI has reached Grandmaster level at the video game Starcraft IIResearch Article: Vinyals et al.News Article: Google AI beats experienced human players at real-time strategy game StarCraft II

10:08 Research Highlights

A record-breaking lightning bolt, and identifying our grey matter’s favourite tunes. Research Highlight: Here come the lightning ‘megaflashes’Research Highlight: Why some songs delight the human brain

12:24 Arthropods in decline

Researchers have surveyed how land-use change has affected arthropod diversity. Research article: Seibold et al.

18:30 News Chat

Young Canadians file a lawsuit against their government, an Alzheimer’s drug gets a second chance, and South Korean efforts to curb a viral epidemic in pigs.

 

Timelapse Travel Videos: “Chicago” By Jay Anne Boza

I spent a couple of days compiling clips of Chicago and put it all together into one minute. This is a combination of Time Lapse, Hyperlapse and Video created using Nikon, Timelapse Plus, Syrp Genies and Osmo Pocket. Locations are The Chicago Cultural Center, The Flamingo at the Federal Building, The Bean, the Chicago Skyline from the Planetarium, the Chicago “L” train, and sunrise from the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

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Take me back to Chicago! #insta_chicago

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Science & Culture: Human’s Early Ancestors, Digital Transformation (Economist Podcasts)

The Economist BabbageScientists believe they have located the ancestral home of one of humanity’s early ancestors—in northern Botswana. Tom Siebel, a Silicon Valley veteran and the founder of C3.ai, explains how digital transformation stops companies from going extinct. And, host Kenneth Cukier takes a trip to the Natural History Museum in London to learn about bias in species collection

Research: Older Adults’ Memory Benefits From High-Intensity Workouts (No Change W/ Moderate)

From a MedicalXpress.com online release:

largepreviewResearchers suggest that intensity is critical. Seniors who exercised using short, bursts of activity saw an improvement of up to 30 percent in   performance while participants who worked out moderately saw no improvement, on average.

Researchers at McMaster University who examine the impact of exercise on the brain have found that high-intensity workouts improve memory in older adults.

Technology Podcasts: What To Consider With DNA Testing (Kiplinger)

KiplingerKiplinger’s vice president of content Sarah Stevens joins our podcast hosts Sandy Block and Ryan Ermey to talk about the advantages, risks, obstacles and other things to consider when having your DNA tested.

Future Of Avation: “Safe Return” Emergency Autolanding In A Cirrus G2 Vision Jet (Video)

From a New Atlas online review:

An important step towards autonomous aviation was taken today, as Cirrus Aviation announced “Safe Return” functionality for its G2 Vision jet, which will find the nearest airstrip, alert authorities and land itself in an emergency.

The Vision is a small private jet capable of seating seven people, cruising at over 300 knots at 31,000 feet. Small, quick and user-friendly, it’s good for those that wish to fly themselves, as well as being flown. It’s been a successful product for Cirrus, but its new functionality could represent something bigger. CEO Zean Nielsen calls it “a product that we believe is going to change personal aviation forever.”

Safe Return Autonomous Autoland, developed in conjunction with Garmin, manifests as a button on the roof of the Vision jet that is accessible to passengers. If something happens to the pilot, a passenger can hit the button and request an autoland.

To read more: https://newatlas.com/aircraft/cirrus-vision-g2-automatic-emergency-landing/

Road Trip Adventures: The “Khar Us Nuur National Park” In Mongolia

From a Wall Street Journal online article:

A will to avoid traveling absurd distances had informed our itinerary, but in Mongolia, it seems, you can’t get anywhere without one hell of a journey. The arena for this particular expedition was the Khar Us Nuur National Park. Accessible by road from the dusty town of Khovd, itself a two-hour flight from the capital, Ulaanbaatar, the park spans a transitional zone between the Altai highlands and the Gobi Desert. In the company of our driver, Gala, my friend Marcus and I had set out to experience three of Mongolia’s predominant habitats—steppe, mountains and desert—in the space of one drivable circuit.

Khar Us Nuur National Park - Wall Street Journal Illustration by JOHN S. DYKES

WE HAD already been driving for three hours when the lake appeared in the heat-shimmer and the pink smear behind it resolved into sand dunes. I guessed it would be around 10 minutes until we reached the shore. Fifteen tops. We arrived at the water’s edge two hours later. On the empty plains of Western Mongolia, perspective is illusory, patience a necessity.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-road-trip-in-mongolia-bizarre-in-the-best-way-11572520659