Date archives "March 2018"

Immunotherapy-based Cancer Vaccine Moves To Clinical Human Trials at Stanford

A recent Stanford cancer study that cured 97 percent of mice from tumors has now moved on to soliciting human volunteers for a new cutting-edge medical trial.

The trial is part of a gathering wave of research into immunotherapy, a type of treatment that fights cancer by using the body’s immune system to attack tumors.

“Getting the immune system to fight cancer is one of the most recent developments in cancer,” Dr. Ronald Levy, a Stanford oncology professor who is leading the study, told SFGATE. “People need to know that this is in its early days and we are still looking for safety and looking to make this as good as it can be.” via SFGATE.

Photo: Stanford Medicine News Center / Header Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash


The Beauty of The Bristol Pound

The ‘Bristol Pound‘ is one of the most successful and visible examples of community currency and complementary currency, keeping money IN the local economy of Bristol, UK. It is a  joint not-for-profit enterprise between Bristol Pound Community Interest Company and Bristol Credit Union.


But today let’s simply take a step back just to appreciate its vibrant local designs. Here are some prior notes,

“Graffiti Tiger” by Alex Lucas.

“Hannah Moore & Bristol Old Vic” by Anthea Page / Juraj Prodaj.

Kim Short

and NEW artists have just been announced.

A six-year-old schoolgirl from Waycroft Academy in Whitchurch is one of the artists whose designs will be going on the new Bristol Pound notes from later this year.


♫Won’t you be my neighbor?♫

Does this fellow look familiar?

There’s a ‘Mr. Rogers’ movie on the way!

And in addition, Tom Hanks will star in ‘Are You My Friend‘, about an Esquire reporter whose life was transformed when writing THIS profile.

Fred Rogers has been doing the same small good thing for a very long time…
And here are some more fond remembrances:

The legacy lives on at:

Finding Wi-Fi tricky? Try Li-Fi

What Is Li-Fi? The New Alternative To Wi-Fi
Li-Fi is likely to reshape the world in ways Wi-Fi didn’t, by transmitting data through lamps, streetlights, and more.
Li-Fi is basically just high-speed wireless data transmission . . . through light. That light can come from something as simple as a desktop lamp. The idea is that Li-Fi is built into the functional lighting that you’d want to turn on indoors anyway–except it’s also carrying your data.
Header photo by Valentin Farkasch on Unsplash


‘Third Thumb’ – The Prosthetic You Didn’t Know You Needed

For #TwitterTuesday we share Mashable’s cool summation of Dani Clode’s ‘Third Thumb’ prosthetic.

The Third Thumb is a motorised, controllable extra digit, designed for anyone who wants to extend their natural abilities.

A student of the school’s product design masters, Clode created the device as a way to challenge conventional ideas about prosthetics – usually thought of as devices only for people with disabilities.

Didn’t think you needed one? Once you’re ‘all thumbs’ it’s hard to go back.


For her graduate work at the Royal College of Art, Dani Clode created a wearable third thumb that can help its user do more complex tasks.

Project Summary:


Inspire Somalia: Reality TV vs. Fundamentalist Insurgents


A different kind of reality TV show: in 2015 the UN’s “Inspire Somalia” aimed to use culture to increase Somalia’s fragile peace.

So far it’s been well-received. Some great tunes included in the podcast below! Time for a reprise?
Perhaps the ‘developed world’ can take some tips from ‘Inspire Somalia’ and similar reality shows such as ‘Integrity Idol‘.


Reality TV is popular around the world. It’s also roundly mocked as formulaic and contrived. But can that kind of fragile fantasy meaningfully influence the real world?

Podcast Transcript

Check it out for yourself: Facebook page, Twitter

Images courtesy Inspire Somalia, NPR

#TheInternetOfLivingThings: Melbourne Fans Email Love Letters To Their Local Park Trees

Space probes have Twitter acccounts, as do architecturally famous bridges and museums.  Cats. squirrels, goats, hedgehogs are stars on Instagram. Now Melbourne’s trees have emails.  Citizen-based monitoring/engagment with culture, art, and especially *nature* is one relatively positive side of the Internet of (Living) Things; a modern day reflection of what past cultures had seen as a spiritual engagement.  (Maybe we can get whales in on the social media game?)  From The Atlantic:
When the city of Melbourne linked email accounts to trees so people could report problems, they wrote love letters to the trees instead.
Officials assigned the trees ID numbers and email addresses in 2013 as part of a program designed to make it easier for citizens to report problems like dangerous branches. The “unintended but positive consequence,” as the chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Councillor Arron Wood, put it to me in an email, was that people did more than just report issues. They also wrote directly to the trees, which have received thousands of messages—everything from banal greetings and questions about current events to love letters and existential dilemmas.

It’s a dynamic that is playing out more broadly, too, in concert with a profound shift toward the ubiquity of interactive, cloud-connected technologies. Modern tools for communicating, publishing, and networking aren’t just for connecting to other humans, but end up establishing relationships between people and anthropomorphized non-human objects, too. The experience of chatting with a robot or emailing a tree may be delightful, but it’s not really unusual.  

The move toward the Internet of Things only encourages the sense that our objects are not actually just things but acquaintances.

Photo courtesy Casey Horner on Unsplash