Tales of Transformations: Brooks Serves Up Science

first_imgMeet Brooks Weisblat, VP of Technology at Frost Science, who – as he says – is responsible “for everything that has a button on it.” That’s very modest. In fact, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a 250,000 square foot state-of-the-art marvel. Every part of it, from the exhibits to the wildlife tanks to the gift shop, uses the latest technology to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Building these interconnected systems was a massive undertaking for Brooks and a small team of developers.Brooks started his career as a web developer at a small science museum in Miami… and two decades later, he was planning the technological backbone for a $330 million new building. Have a look at how Dell Technologies centralized infrastructure helped Brooks make it happen. Here is his Tale of Transformation:A modern infrastructure enables Brooks and his team to spend their time being creative and helping the museum’s staff think big.If you want to learn more about how Brooks melded creativity and technology to help create a state-of-the-art modern marvel, check out this podcast.Are you ready to modernize your infrastructure? Then learn more here.last_img read more

Professor promotes the importance of sleep

first_imgSleep deprivation is an epidemic across college campuses and its pernicious effects often go unnoticed, according to Jessica Payne, Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair in Psychology.Payne delivered a talk titled “The Neuroscience of Being Your Best Self” in Jordan Hall on Wednesday and focused on the importance of sleep.“I’ve spent years and years working with students and now over 10 years working with corporations and it’s very clear to me, you are truly going to be at your best — and that means best in terms of grades, best in terms of athletic performance, best in terms of creativity — you really need three fundamental cognitive functions in order to do that,” Payne said.According to Payne, these three factors are good sleep, moderate stress and positive emotions. Payne said these cognitive functions are all interrelated and and often declines and deprivations in one will lead to damaging consequences for the other two.“The good news is that for any one of those areas you decide to get better and really improve, you’ll see improvements in the other ones as well,” Payne said.Quantity and quality of sleep are often the most lacking components of optimal brain function for college students, Payne said, because of bad habits like all-night cramming sessions or simply underestimating how much sleep is necessary and healthy. Payne said as much as college students might wish they could somehow live without sleeping at all, sleep remains an integral and essential aspect life for not only humans, but also for animals.“There is no known way to replace or effectively simulate sleep,” Payne said.Therefore, Payne said, it is vital to maximize the effectiveness of sleep and encourage students to take stock of their own sleeping habits and work to improve on them.Payne said the mean amount of sleep needed is approximately eight hours, but follows the a normal or bell curve distribution meaning the amount of sleep needed varies somewhat per person. However, Payne, said the vast majority of people will fall in seven to nine hour range.“Regardless of the specific amount that you … need to be at your best, you really need to go ahead and get that because if you don’t, you might as well be drunk — but you’re going to be having a lot less fun,” Payne said.Often the reason behind people neglecting to get proper sleep, Payne said, is a mistaken belief that sleep is a relatively useless inactive state“Most people think sleep is a dormant state; most people think sleep is a time where the brain is just switched off, [where] it’s powered down like a computer, it’s shut down like a car, it’s resting, maybe it’s rejuvenating but it’s not doing anything,” Payne said.Payne said this widespread fallacy lingers despite contradicting well-established science.“Your brain when you’re asleep is highly active, intensely active,” Payne said.According to Payne, some regions of the brain including the hippocampus, the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex are, in fact, more active during sleep than wakefulness. These regions are associated with memory and learning, making them especially important for college students, Payne said.“We can test for memory in two ways: for specific details and to remember the gist,” Payne said.Payne said studies have shown that both kinds of memory are dramatically impacted by how many hours the subjects of the test had slept.Moving on to the other two factors influencing brain function, Payne said, moderate stress is beneficial for the cognition. This is described by the Yerkes-Dodson Law, which shows an absence of stress results in apathy, boredom and tiredness, while a surplus of stress is debilitating, Payne said. However, college students are much more likely to be over-stressed than suffering from a lack of stress, so they should focus on stress reduction methods such as getting adequate sleep, exercise, social support and relaxation training, which includes yoga and meditation, Payne said. According to Payne, relaxation training and meditation in particular can lead to profound and positive changes in the brain.“When we talk about building neural real estate, I’m not saying you have to go to Tibet and become a monk for 20 years,” Payne said. “I’m saying look at this eight-week experiment where people had no idea what meditation even was and for eight weeks, [then] they meditate for 20 minutes a day and, all of a sudden, at the end of eight weeks, they see all these changes I’m talking about.”Payne said creating a positive emotional state is also vital for college students, and she recommends many of the same methods for reducing stress, but also emphasizes emotion regulation strategies. These techniques range from simply recognizing and labelling emotions to reappraising negative situations and training yourself to present to the moment, Payne said. Tags: neuroscience, sleep, sleep deprivationlast_img read more

FIFA Passes the Ball to Qatar for 2022 World Cup

first_imgRussian President, Vladimir Putin, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, took part in a ceremony to hand over the role of FIFA World Cup hosts from Russia to Qatar on Sunday in Moscow.The trio gathered in the Georgievsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace and, in place of a baton to symbolise the changing of the Host Nation, they used the official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia knockout rounds, the adidas Telstar Mechta. Mr Putin himself took it down from the podium and handed it to the Emir of Qatar.Russia 2018 came to an end on Sunday, as France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the Final at the Luzhniki Stadium to become world champions for the next four years. The next World Cup will be held in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022. According to the Russian President: “Today is a ceremonious occasion as Russia passes the FIFA World Cup torch to the state of Qatar. The World Cup is coming to an end in Russia. We are proud of what we’ve managed to achieve for fans of this wonderful sport.“The whole country has taken enormous pleasure from interacting with the world of football and the fans who have visited us from all over the planet. I am sure our friends from Qatar will manage to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup just as exceptionally.“It goes without saying that we are ready to share the experience we’ve built up hosting the World Cup with our Qatari friends. We will do everything to ensure football can carry out its amazing and humanitarian role of uniting people, countries and continents,” concludes Putin.FIFA President also spoke highly of the exceptional show put up by Russia:“Dear Mr President, Your Highness, I am a happy person today. Welcome, dear friends,” the head of the world governing body said in English, Russian and Arabic. “These words have accompanied us for this entire month and will accompany us further over the next four years.“It’s a huge honour to be in such a special place, the Kremlin, to celebrate the end of the 2018 World Cup and pass on the torch to the organisers of the 2022 World Cup.“Football is all about passion, emotions, love, family and unity – we have experienced this fully in Russia and now we’re handing it over to Qatar. I am sure that in four years we will see the same energy, the same positive influence in Qatar as we have seen in Russia. I can certainly say we have fallen in love with Russia. And I’m sure that in four years we will all love Qatar. This is already happening. We invite everyone to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar!” stressed Infantino with optimism.Emir of Qatar also gave assurance to emulate the good hosting put up by Russia: “Mr President, allow me to congratulate you and the Russian nation on a fantastic World Cup, which we hope to host just as successfully.“I’d also like to express my gratitude to the members of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee, who are helping our colleagues from the Qatar 2022 Organising Committee. We look forward to continuing to work alongside our friends from Russia.“I would like to thank Mr Gianni Infantino and congratulate him on a successful 2018 FIFA World Cup. We hope to enjoy a fruitful partnership until 2022.“Staging the 2022 World Cup in our country is a really important event in the history of Qatar. I remember that when our country was awarded the right to host the World Cup, it was a huge celebration for the whole Arabic world. I invite all of our friends to come as guests.We really hope our national team will repeat the success of Russia and maybe even go further. We will try to at the very least!” conclude Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more