Google X Built A Fully Self-Driving Car From Scratch, Sans Steering Wheel And Pedals

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Google’s experimental Google X division has been working on self-driving cars for a while, but it’s created the prototype for a brand new version that looks nothing like the retrofitted version.

“We took a look from the ground up of what a self-driving car would look like,” Brin said at the CODE Conference tonight, after showing a demo video.

What does a built-from-the-ground-up self-driving car look like? Well, you start by taking away all the things that allow you to actually drive the thing — you take away the steering wheel and pedals that give a driver control.

Brin said the company has not had any crashes so far, but the company has also been testing it in pretty safe conditions. But for Google, the self-driving car is part of a bigger vision for re-envisioning the transportation environment.

“What I’m excited about is how we could change transportation today,” Brin…

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Memorial Day Gigs ~ 2014

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America. ~ Bill Clinton

SaxPeepsThis 20-year veteran retiree is thinking about the things he saw in the military. Some was amazing, some was tragic, and most were just us doing our jobs. Now almost 20 years after retiring, I have participated in and even created some non-profit music organizations where most of our performances are for charities.

The hobbyists, semi-pros, and professional musicians all come together to create music, mostly from our illustrious past, and usually for dancing. On this Memorial Day however, there are a lot of great musicians performing at cemeteries, cemeteries that whole the resting place of the many, many valiant soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and coasties who gave their lives so that we could live a life of freedom from tyranny.

To those American heroes I tip my cap and play my musical instrument with a passion and reverence to fit the occasion. We remember those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. May we never forget them or take for granted what they have given us.

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Analysis of my Zip Code ~ Stats 2014

I thought I’d research my corner of this blue marble and save the findings here.

imageBothell is a city located in King and Snohomish Counties in the state of Washington. It is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. The population was 33,505 as of the 2010 census.

Prior to European settlement, the Sammamish River Valley from Lake Washington to Issaquah Creek south and upstream of Lake Sammamish was inhabited by a population of as many as 200 native Americans known as the Sammamish. The Sammamish were relocated after the Puget Sound War in 1856 to reservations and non-reservation lands.

In 1870, Columbus S. Greenleaf and George R. Wilson filed land claims in the area formerly inhabited by the Sammamish near present-day Bothell, and built homes. Eight families followed over the next six years. In 1876, Canadian George Brackett bought land and began commercial logging out of a camp located on the north bank of the Sammamish River in what is now the heart of downtown Bothell. A store, school, and sawmill followed over the next several years.

Zip Code 98012

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In 1885, Brackett sold 80 acres (320,000 m2) to David Bothell, a settler from Pennsylvania. The town’s first postmaster, who bought his property from Bothell, named the town in his honor in 1888. Later that same year, a local railroad was built through the town to transport coal from Issaquah. Bothell was officially incorporated on April 14, 1909.

Zip Code 98012

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Bothell continued to grow as logging expanded and boat traffic brought increasing amounts of goods and passengers up and down the river. As more people moved into the area, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to dredge and straighten the river in the years shortly after Bothell’s incorporation. Most boat traffic came to an abrupt end only a few years later when Lake Washington was lowered in 1917. Water transport also shifted to trucks after a brick road was built from Seattle. The logging economy declined quickly around the same time, and the local economy shifted to farming.

After World War II, better highways and a post-war boom brought suburban development to Bothell. These new neighborhoods and a series of annexations dramatically expanded Bothell’s population from about 1000 in 1950 to over 30,000 as of 2006. Bothell was mostly a bedroom community for people working in Seattle until the 1990s when business development brought new jobs to create a regional employment center with about 20,000 jobs, many in high technology sectors such as biotechnology and software development. In 1990, a branch campus of the University of Washington opened in Bothell, co-located with Cascadia Community College, which opened in 2000.

As of 2013, Bothell downtown has undergone a huge reconstruction, including the expansion and redirection of multiple streets.

Here is more on my neighborhood, just north of Bothell:

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References:

1. Wikipedia: Bothell, WA

2. Zip Code 98012

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Just for fun …

DontPlay

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“Gadgets and Gizmos:” Smartphone Apps to Improve Low Brass Teaching and Performance

Originally posted on The Reforming Trombonist:

The development of smartphones and other hand-held computing devices has brought rapid changes to the ways in which we live, work, and play. Not all of these changes are positive; I doubt I’m alone in reporting that I am more distracted and find myself less able to focus on long-term mental tasks (such as long periods of time reading difficult texts) than I did ten years ago. “The jury is still out,” as they say, regarding the benefits and risks of allowing young children to use these devices.

For now, though, it is enough to say that these devices are here, they’re not going anywhere, and they might as well be put to good use in brass playing and teaching. In today’s short post, I’ll present six apps that I use in my practicing and teaching, some on a daily basis. While there are many other such apps available for…

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The Fallacy of Sexual Freedom: Our Bodies Our Sins

Originally posted on Dr. Nymphobrainiac:

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This quote from Budokon University founder Cameron Shayne, who is a practitioner of his own style of therapeutic yoga, martial arts, and lifestyle interventions, moved me to reflection; particularly the first and last passages:

“We shame our children by teaching them that their naked bodies should be covered, because we ourselves somehow are in sin when nude, or we project our own sexuality on children’s nudity.”

Our culture seems to struggle needlessly when necessarily making nudity and sex mutually exclusive…while there is an undeniable connection, the uncoupling of these concepts…to celebrate our bodies…allows us to enjoy an entirely new experience of expression, freedom, and self-love…which extends to the love of an-other…and ultimately leads to an increase in the love we share for ALL others.

Holding this view, when we then consider our sexuality…and our sexual energy…as connected and yet untied to our bodies…we see that,

“Everything creative and inspiring has…

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Crazy …

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

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