Friday Four

Friday, November 21, 2014

1. Interesting medical news concerns a possible role for marijuana in treating an aggressive form of brain cancer:

"We've shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults," Dr. Wai Liu, one of the study's lead authors, wrote in an op-ed earlier this week. "The results are promising ... it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives."
Fortunately, legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug might, in some jurisdictions, keep the FDA out of the way for anyone who wishes to try this in the meantime.

2. A news story about a girl who joined "Santa" for a meal to keep him company sounds a little like something my daughter might do:
"As soon as we walked in, Gracie was saying, 'Look Mommy, he's here,' and 'Daddy, look, it's Santa!' He obviously heard her because 3-year-olds aren't quiet by any stretch of the imagination. We didn't know if he wanted to eat and be left alone, but he said that if she wanted to come talk to him, it didn't bother him at all. He was open-arms welcoming to her," said [mother Lindsey] Wilson.
File under "too cute to pass up".

3. Not that I condone theft, but I can't think of a more deserving victim of car theft than Elizabeth "Fuck the Police" Vega:
So while debriefing after the action my car got stolen.
Perhaps this incident will spur reflection on the legitimate role of the police by Vega, but I doubt it. In any event, she got the poetic variety of what she and so many other hooligans are claiming to want: justice.

4. Do you Shazam? Then you may enjoy this story on how the ubiquitous music identification app is affecting the industry:
By studying 20 million searches every day, Shazam can identify which songs are catching on, and where, before just about anybody else. "Sometimes we can see when a song is going to break out months before most people have even heard of it," Jason Titus, Shazam's former chief technologist, told me. (Titus is now a senior director at Google.) Last year, Shazam released an interactive map overlaid with its search data, allowing users to zoom in on cities around the world and look up the most Shazam'd songs in São Paulo, Mumbai, or New York. The map amounts to a real-time seismograph of the world's most popular new music, helping scouts discover unsigned artists just as they're starting to set off tremors. (The company has a team of people who update its vast music library with the newest recorded music -- including self-produced songs -- from all over the world, and artists can submit their work to Shazam.)
Also interesting is how the algorithm works, which is among the first things in the article.

-- CAV

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