Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ravens as wise as a child of four years old

Human is the top of all creature. And what makes us supreme is intelligence. Most of other animals are driven by their instinct. Finding a new way to a solution is our unique ability.


However, some animals have also splendid intelligence, according to recent studies. Among them, ravens are considered to match infants in their thought, surprisingly.

The researchers examined the problem-solving skills of ravens with some tasks. Many examinees passed the challenge in using tools and abandoning the immediate reward for better one in the future.

Independent: Ravens can be better at planning ahead than four-year-old children, study finds

Ravens had been known for excellent skills for hoarding foods. But they were considered as genetically programmed skills. This study suggested that they were good at constructing a broad strategy regardless of the stimuli in front of them.

I was surprised to know that ravens are superior to other animals. In general, birds have limited intelligence because they have sacrificed the volume of the brain for better flying ability. Even if not always available, the volume of the brain is consistent with the level of intelligence. The more the brain is heavy, the more it has synapses. It is hypothesized that human rose because their brain became too heavy to be supported with crawling posture. It is interesting that ravens have the same level of intelligence as chimpanzees.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Driving deprives your intelligence?

A surprising result of a study regarding driving and intelligence was announced recently in the UK.


Kishan Bakrania, a medical epidemiologist at the University of Leicester, explained the date he obtained suggesting that people with driving habit more than two hours in a day are likely to drop their cognitive function. According to the media, this survey investigated 93,000 people aged from 37 to 73 for five years. Participants who regularly drive a car for two or three hours in a day had lower IQ than those without or with little hours of driving. Also, they declined the IQ score more rapidly.

Independent: Driving for more than two hours a day makes you less intelligent, study finds

The researchers claimed that driving is an inactive behavior for your brain for an explanation of this result. Furthermore, they said to have found that use of a computer and gaming have a protective effect on your intelligence.

Unfortunately, I could not find the protocol of this cohort study on the online registry of clinical trials in the UK. Therefore, I cannot judge the validity of this study itself.

In my impression, this result is quite doubtful. At least, I will never trust this outcome unless this study is published in an academic journal with a good peer-review system. The causal relationship is not so easy to be proven in a mega-cohort.

An alternative explanation for this result is reverse causality. People with lower intelligence, perhaps with a tendency to decline, are likely to get a job for low income, typically driving jobs. Thus, their decline is not because they drive a car frequently. The researcher should comment this possibility.

In addition, examination of cognitive function is not so simple. This study is a cohort with large sample size. It is likely that a few simple tasks were adopted to measure their intelligence. Some cognitive tasks require examinee's dexterity. Others demand knowledge. It is difficult to evaluate a person's intelligence exactly with limited time.

I am worrying that several media reported this result sensationally. If the quality of this study does not match today's standard, vehicle drivers will get angry.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

T Rex may be slower than you

Do you like dinosaurs? They attract many people, especially boys, for their huge figure.


However, since dinosaurs had perished before humankind appeared, the real ecology of dinosaurs is still under argument. Why they were eradicated is yet to be completely clarified. Today's figure of dinosaurs in the media and films, including Jurassic Park, is considerably fictitious constructed by the imagination of the creators.

Surprisingly, latest studies suggest Tyrannosaurus could even not run. Their maximum speed is suspected as only 20km/h.

Independent: Tyrannosaurus rex would not have been able to outrun a speedy human, research suggests

We easily imagine that a gigantic dinosaur runs with high speed using their long legs up and down. But this way of running does serious damage to its legs. The magnitude of pressure on the leg depends on the height of them. Dinosaurs' big body itself is a burden to their life. Therefore, most gigantic animals, such as whales and elephant seals, live in the sea.

Having a big body is a unique characteristic. But the environment of the earth is not always friendly to giants.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Google's homepage will be no more simple

Google is going to amend the homepage design completely.


Google's homepage is famous for its simplified design. All contents are the logo of Google which is occasionally altered and the search box. Google's decision is for the first time since it was developed in 1996.

The Guardian: Google to radically change homepage for first time since 1996

Nowadays, many people can make an internet search without Google page. Google Chrome and other internet browsers equip a search window shared with the address bar. Indeed, I dare not to go to http://www.google.com.

Google is planning to show a compilation of personalized information on its homepage. Thus, it will be different from Yahoo and other popular portal website. Personalization according to search history is one of the greatest advantages for Google. It is rational for Google not to make its homepage common among persons.

On the other hand, increasing number of people is going to quit the use of a PC. In each Android Phone, Google has already provided personalized portal page as Google Now. Considering it, the amendment of Google's homepage will have little impact on your lifestyle, perhaps.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Is the second referendum for Brexit real?

The decision of Brexit was one of the topics in the last year. The majority of the UK citizens supported the idea to withdraw from EU. The referendum made David Cameron, the concurrent Prime Minister, resign. And his successor, Theresa May, is preparing for the Brexit.


However, according to the figure after Brexit gradually clarified, not a few people began to regret the vote. There are a considerable amount of the UK citizens, including the voter for Brexit, who want to reset the decision of Brexit.

And latest poll shows that 41% of respondents wanted another vote on Brexit, according to the media.

International Business Times: Support grows for a second Brexit referendum in the UK as EU talks begin

In real, there is little possibility for the government to take another referendum for Brexit. It would damage the historic decision on Brexit. Even the majority of the citizens do not want Brexit, amending the policy determined by a democratic way should be avoided.

After all, opposing opinions to Brexit are a setback for May's administration. If citizens' opinion is split, she cannot take the initiative in the negotiation with the EU. May's conservative party was defeated in the latest general election. The administration is in peril now.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

CEO of security company hacked to bankrupcy

Online hacking is a rapidly growing type of crimes. And if happened it will do severe damage to you.


Nowadays, no one is secure from cyber crimes regardless of your position, lifestyle, or abilities. There is a person who had been a CEO of a security company forced to bankrupt because of a hacking.

Alf Göransson, chief of Swedish company Securitas, declared bankrupt. Subsequently, he was dismissed as the chairman. But, these events were results entirely from the online hacking of his identity. The culprit deliberately submitted the document to apply for the bankruptcy to the Stockholm District Court.

International Business Times: Security exec 'declared bankrupt' after his own identity stolen by hackers

The figure or purpose of the offender remains uncertain. It is was sorry for Göransson not to have notified for weeks since the hacking started.

Sweden is one of the leading nations which proceed digitization of the official application. While there are several benefits on IT utilization, the magnitude of the risk of cyber crimes is increased following digitization. In Japan, some people are opposed to the introduction of digitized management for this reason.

I think the global trend of digitization is unstoppable. Preventing unsafe use of digital tools is a serious issue. Education for users, fail-safe system, and eclecticism of analog and digital management are expected for a solution.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Renho under fire in the issue of dual citizenship

Renho, the leader of opposing Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), disclosed her descent.


She has been suspected of having dual-citizenship. Renho was born in Taiwan, but she claimed that she had been nationalized. However, her explanation seemed not true. Recently, she disclosed some documents to prove her citizenship as a Taiwanese had expired.

However, her act ignited broader criticism. Some people do not trust her explanation. And others criticize her behavior will deteriorate the discrimination against foreign people living in Japan through exampling that they must disclose their census registration. On the other hand, some people believe VIPs such as lawmakers should disclose their origin as a duty.

Japan NEWS by the Yomiuri Shimbun): Renho dragged her feet in responding to the ‘dual nationality’ scandal

To be honest, I am completely indifferent to her nationality. If she had violated some Japanese laws, she should be punished according to each legislation. That is all.

At least in my sense, it is not problematic that a foreigner becomes a politician. In the general election, the winner is right. It is the rule of democracy.

Also, even if her nationality belongs to Taiwan, I accept her as far as she is working for Japan. In many private companies, foreign persons seat an important position including the president. The top should be elected according to her or his talent, not nationality. Besides, foolish Japanese should never be the top of Japan.

Of course, absolute loyalty to Japan is required to lawmakers. If the leader of Japan is a spy of a foreign nation, the situation will be critical. But, the degree of the loyalty to Japan does not depend on her or his nationality. Indeed, some Japanese politicians do not respect the Emperor. The definition of loyalty is another issue, however.

The core members of DPJ seems to consider that the issue of dual citizenship of Renho was attributable to the defeat in the latest election of Tokyo Metropolitan embassy. It is a ridiculous idea, I think. Actually, since I do not agree with Renho's policy, I do not support Renho. That is all.