This wearable tech uses the Google Glass camera to help kids with autism identify people's expressionsBy admin
By Queen Esther
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me
But only Jehovah God can make a tree ?
By Joyce Kilmer, was published in August 1913
Kilmer died from a sniper's bullet on a battlefield in France on July 30, 1918 at the age of 31
Why would not autism be counted as a modern day plague?
Depending on your source, (I cite the most extreme for dramatic effect) what was once 1 in 10,000 has become 1 in 29.
You can reduce the numbers on both ends, especially the first, by tricks of semantics....'autism' vs 'autism spectrum,' for example. But the disparity is still astronomical.
Given that autism victims do not die, but instead usually require lifelong care, it is but another 'plague' that will bankrupt society, even apart from its human cost.
A doctor’s poem is going viral in China and raising awareness that smog (surprise!) is a cause of cancerBy Guest Nicole
As toxic clouds of smog continue to cover much of China, more and more Chinese are turning to vent their anger online at the airpocalypse—even turning to poetry.
A poem written by a Chinese chest surgeon has gone viral for pointing out the obvious: there is a link between smog and lung cancer. But in China, where many writers and scholars are punished for speaking out about serious problems, people are hailing the poem as a bold move to raise awareness. Many websites have reproduced the poem in the past week, with the articles racking up thousands of shares and comments on domestic social media (link in Chinese, registration required).
Titled I Long to be King, the verses are told through the viewpoint of a “ground-glass opacity,” the term for a CT scan image showing fluid in the lungs that is an early indicator of lung cancer.
I long to be king,
With my fellows swimming in every vessel.
My people crawl in your organs and body,
Holding the rights for life or death, I tremble with excitement…
From tiny to strong,
From humble to arrogant.
No one cared when I was young,
But all fear me we when full grown.
I’ve been nourished on the delicious mist and haze,
That sweetly warmed my heart,
Always loving when you were heavy drunk and smoking,
Creating me a cozy home.
Dr. Zhao Xiaogang, deputy chief of thoracic surgery at the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital of Tongji University, said the Chinese public has a low level of understanding about how lung disease develops.
“I see many cancer patients everyday and I feel their pain. I wrote this poem to bring some common knowledge of lung cancer to ordinary people,” he said in an interview by phone. “Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer in China. Stress, smoking and lack of sleep are all factors that can cause cancer, while environmental pollution is also a factor that cannot be ignored.”
The poem originally ran in English in the American medical journal Chest in October. Zhao then allowed the publication of a Chinese translation of the poem in The Paper (link in Chinese), a Chinese state-funded news website, last week. He said he has long enjoyed writing poetry and finds it is a way to express his emotions.
“The intense rise in lung cancer [in China],” Zhao told the Global Times, a state-backed tabloid, “is intimately related to smog.” According to official statistics from 2012, 569,000 people in China die from lung cancer annually. Researchers at the University of California found in 2015 that air pollution kills about 1.6 million people in China each year.
Expatriates and wealthier Chinese commonly use air purifiers at home and wear masks outside to protect themselves, but air purifying machines and effective facemasks are expensive. The poor are also more likely to work outdoors in jobs such as security guards, taxi drivers, and food stall operators.
China may have declared a “war” on pollution and shut down the worst polluting factories, but it is unclear whether the country will ultimately prioritize public health over economic growth. Manufacturing is still the backbone of China’s economy, though the country’s energy agency said last week it plans to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020 in a bid to reduce reliance on burning coal.
However, authorities have sent mixed signals about whether it condones open discussion about pollution. State-run media outlets regularly air in-depth stories about pollution, but they tend to highlight steps the government is taking rather than investigate short-term or long-term health effects. Some Chinese artists have had leeway to protest against the smog, but online comments from citizens criticizing the government’s handling of the crisis have been swiftly removed. Last year, censors pulled an independent journalist’s blistering anti-pollution documentary, Under the Dome, from websites after it racked up hundreds of millions of views.
So it is unsurprising that Zhao was careful to stress that environmental factors are not the only causes of lung cancer. There are many things people can do to lower their risk, such as exercising, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, avoiding cigarette smoke, and managing stress, he said.
As for the toxic air? “Wearing masks helps of course, but it is best to avoid pollution altogether,” said Zhao. “But just as the haze in Los Angeles was solved eventually, I have faith that the Chinese government will tackle the serious pollution and that it won’t take too long.”
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By Guest Nicole
A new use for Google Glass: Helping children with autism Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 | 11:00 AM ET | 02:52
One in 68 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder and it is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Early intervention and behavioral therapy are key, but the number of therapists is not keeping up with the increase in diagnosis, so many parents are waiting months for much needed help for their children.
This is what motivated a team at Stanford University to create a therapy device for children with autism that could be used at home. The technology, called the Autism Glass Project, uses facial recognition software and runs on Google Glass. It can read facial expressions and gives the user cues as to what emotion they are seeing.
Catalin Voss, founder of the Autism Glass Project, said that typical behavioral therapy teaches children emotions by using flashcards.
"But that doesn't always translate to real-life situations," he said. "Our idea was to try to build a more holistic aid that enables the user to recognize social cues when they actually need to receive those cues right then and there."
Ronny Yang says the Autism Glass Project has helped her son understand emotions.
Google donated 35 Google Glass headsets to Stanford for the project, but because it has discontinued production of the hardware, it is not clear if the company will continue to support the project. Voss said the software could work on any augmented reality hardware.
The project has been in development for two years, and has been tested on more than 100 children with autism. The group recently gave the device to 24 families for in-home trials.
Ronny Yang from Saratoga, California, said she saw drastic improvements in her 16-year-old autistic son, Justin, after two months of practicing with the device.
Justin would wear the device each day for short sessions where he would interact with family members face to face — talking and playing games. The program runs on a smartphone, which records the sessions.
When the device's camera detects an emotion such as happiness or sadness, Justin sees a color or a corresponding emoji flash on the glass display indicating which emotion he is seeing.
Jeniece Pettitt | CNBC
16-year-old Justin Yang is able to easily recognize happiness with the help of the Autism Glass Project.
Yang said she watched Justin improve each day of the trial and he now makes more eye contact than ever before. Justin has also gotten better at verbalizing what emotion he is feeling, whereas in the past, he would often just have a tantrum.
At the moment, the device needs to be programmed to read a specific person's face, but the team at Stanford is working toward broadening the technology so it can translate everyone's facial expressions.
Yang said she would like to see the technology improve so Justin could wear the device out in public as that is where he is often most confused by the others around him.
The Autism Glass team's goal is to release the technology as a reimbursable medical product as early as next year.
"The goal is to make something that can reach families at large in areas where wait times for behavioral therapists are 36 months," Voss said.
The next step for the team is to continue clinical trials to prove that the technology works. A randomized control trial of 50 participants will begin this fall. Voss said the feedback from the families who have used the device so far has been very promising.
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