Creativity. Bad Actors. Leadership. Finite Imaging. Pure Talent. Mothers.

Never Be Afraid to Fail. AI Regulation. Proportionate Response. A Breakthrough with Heart Disease? The Seven Army Nation. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Quote of the Week: “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” -Edwin H. Land

Malmo, Sweden was the site for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The competition is the world’s most-watched annual music event with 160 million viewers featuring 37 acts, all of whom are European except Australia and Israel. The European Broadcasting Union organizes this annual songwriting competition, and there are strict rules and guidelines for the competing artists and their songs:

  • Songs must be original and no more than three minutes in length.
  • Lead vocals must be performed live.
  • No more than six performers can take to the stage during any one performance.

The format includes two semifinals followed by a grand finale. The twenty-six finalists, selected through a combination of a public vote and expert picks, include ten winners from each semifinal, the previous year’s winner, and contestants from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

Eurovision, known for finding musical talent featuring extravagant costumes, has launched the careers of many icons, including ABBA and Céline Dion. Regarding Edwin Land’s quote, none of the performers at Eurovision have been afraid to fail, including Loreen, who won the competition last year and in 2012. Yesterday’s competition was won by Nemo Mettler. Here is a quick look at all of the finalists who performed in the grand finale.

A Review of the Eurovision 2024 Finalists.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly evolving. Every day, society is experiencing the fascinating potential of AI while keeping an eye on ensuring that AI is implemented and used to better humanity. In previous posts I have called for greater regulation with AI, for reasons including the use of AI with biological research. AI is quickly transforming the way that we understand DNA, from sequencing and genetic variations to medicines and disease predictions. All of this seems so positive as biotechnology has evolved so quickly in the last ten years.

The flip side is the ability of AI to be used in the wrong way. An example: a North Carolina-based technology company recently evaluated if their AI software was able to generate thousands of molecules that could be used as chemical weapons – in just a few hours. They deemed the test a success and obviously stopped the research experiment before any of these molecules could be fully developed.

Do not get me wrong, I am a proponent of technology and the use of AI. I am only restating that the world needs to get its arms around the use and development of AI to ensure there is regulation as it relates to nuclear, biological, and chemical protection.

Regulation is a Must.

  • This video clip made me think about leadership. When I watch and listen to Martin Sheen in this two-minute segment of The West Wing, I immediately refer to the current candidates running for President of the United States. How will they process “the virtue of a proportional response” when faced with the grim realities of terrorism? How will they come to grips that a ‘proportional response’ may not be the answer depending on circumstances? Forget your political party prerogative for a moment and think through the three current candidates and their desire and ability to deal with terrorism and warfare. Do they have the mental fortitude to ask a question about the ‘virtue of a proportional response?’ Last week, one of three candidates went public stating that “a worm got into my brain and ate a portion of it.” I am not making light of that ailment, but can Martin Sheen please run for president?

Sidenote to this episode of The West Wing: Later in the episode the National Security Team does explain to President Bartlett that in this circumstance, there is value of a proportional response.

The Virtue of a Proportional Response.

I Have Five Questions:

  • Last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby finish was fantastic. I am still wondering why the stewards did not light the inquiry sign letting people at Churchill Downs and the worldwide television audience know that the race was under review?
  • MIT published a white paper on sound suppression using silk. I did understand three of the 7 paragraphs of the white paper…I think?
  • Howard Schultz is Starbuck’s fifth-largest shareholder. When Schultz officially left Starbucks as CEO in March 2023, the shares were at $100, and the company was worth $115 billion. Now, the stock is $76 a share and Starbucks’s market capitalization is $86 billion. Why did he leave the CEO position in the first place?
  • Should the U.S. lift or ease tariffs with offshore electric vehicle manufacturers? How would that affect EV providers GM, Ford, Rivian, Lucid, and Telsa?
  • Does the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 40,000 this week?

  • A new imaging technique tested on patients could improve the evaluation of cardiac conditions and undiagnosed chest pain. While existing imaging technologies can visualize large vessels on the heart’s surface, there has been a gap in identifying smaller micro-vessels within the heart muscle. This gap leads to a lack of understanding of how the blood flows within the small vessels of the heart which is especially important when treating cardiovascular diseases.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease listed as the underlying cause of death accounted for 931,578 deaths in the United States in 2023. This information certainly nets it out for all of us: “Cardiovascular diseases are a persistent challenge that led to an enormous number of premature and preventable deaths,” said Gregory A. Roth, MD, MPH, senior author of the paper and director of the Program in Cardiovascular Health Metrics at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “There are many inexpensive, effective treatments. We know what risk factors we need to identify and treat. There are simple healthy choices that people can make to improve their health.” Just as importantly, how does AI fit into this path of diagnostics?

Better Imaging of the Heart.

  • For this week’s edition of Pure Talent: The Seven Army Nation is played at many sporting events around the world, especially after a team scores. This rendition, from classically trained violinist Evangeline Victoria, is done with a classical twist. Her fantastic smile certainly added to this performance pre-game at an Australian Rules Football match played last month. No doubt, Pure Talent.
Talent with a Great Smile – A Great Combination.

  • To all the moms, now and forever, thank you for all you do. Happy Mother’s Day!!
Happy Mother’s Day!!

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, have a Sunday Funday and Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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