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Autism Connects: Design Challenge Invites Students to Create ASD Solutions

While certain celebrities are busy disseminating misinformation about autism, the fine folks at Core77 have launched Autism Connects – a technology and design competition challenging students to envision solutions for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which affect nearly 1 percent of the world's population and 1 out of 70 boys, helping them better connect with the world around them and their fellow beings.


The $10,500 prize will be awarded to solutions that improve various facets of communication -- interpersonal, between and within communities, and among individuals with ASD. The competition encourages a wide lens of platforms, from low-tech designs to bleeding-edge interactive concepts. An esteemed panel of judges, including 2010 National Design Honoree Lisa Strausfeld and iconic autism advocate Temple Grandin, will select the winners – a grand prize of $5,000 to the individual or team who creates the top entry as judged by the panel vote; $1,000 stipends for the top three designs, alongside free admission to the 2011 International Meeting for Autism Research; and $2,500 worth of Popular Vote prizes to the first 6 places as judged by the community.

The competition runs from January 2 to March 30 and is open to all students.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

Videos
  • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
  • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.

Coronavirus
  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
  • Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation

Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

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