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Virtual Reality

April 18, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Would you want your surgeon to party hearty the night before you went under his scalpel? Probably not. Yet there are no rules on the amount of alcohol a surgeon may (or may  not) consume on the eve of a day in the operating room. This despite the fact that 42% of healthcare workers acknowledged having a hangover at work, according to a 1993 study. And among doctors, surgeons are known to have a particular fondness for drinking, according to some other studies and the casual observations of many physicians.
January 6, 2011 | By Kevin Thomas
Mamoru Hosoda's "Summer Wars," an official entry for the animated feature Oscar, imagines an online community known as Oz, a virtual world so vast that it has become a marketplace, a social media site and a gaming enterprise ? in short, the engine that drives the electronic universe. The film certainly functions as a cautionary tale about humanity's increasing reliance on technology, but it's also a superb example of Japanese anime, balancing science fiction fantasy with a paean to the timeless value of family life.
July 5, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Beyond drugs, beyond exercise, beyond simply getting better are other ways to control pain. Typically referred to as complementary alternative medicine, many people consider their use to be common sense. • At the top of the list is the ancient practice of meditation. A number of studies suggest it can help people feel less pain. In one study, published in May in the journal Pain, people who had some experience with mindful meditation were subjected to bouts of pain. Those who had more experience with meditating showed less activity in certain parts of their brain as they anticipated pain.
January 10, 2010 | By Ben Ehrenreich
Despite the binary nature of his own neural wiring, each synapse an on/off switch, passing electrochemical messages from axon to dendrite, Jaron Lanier will be the first to tell you that the mind is not a digital device. We are analog creatures, staticky and mysterious, resistant to the normalizing containment of code. Lanier's mind has few apparent boundaries. It grapples with zombies and "gray goo," "inner trolls" and the "lords of the computing clouds," with "cephalopod envy" and "songles" -- "A songle is a dongle for a song," Lanier explains, in case you didn't know -- with "the mystery of Bengalese finch musicality" and the bucket containing all red things.
August 6, 2009 | Chris Lee
Moving quickly to capitalize on fans' appetite for anything related to Michael Jackson, administrators for the singer's estate have mapped out elaborate plans for merchandising deals, a tribute concert, a television special and even a traveling exhibition of Jackson memorabilia. In a court filing last week, Jeryll S. Cohen, a lawyer for the administrators, said she expected the deals to generate an amount in the "high eight figures" -- tens of millions of dollars -- for the singer's estate.
November 24, 2007 | Paloma Esquivel, Times Staff Writer
In a computer lab at UCLA, the worlds of cyberspace and Medieval Europe merge. A large group of computer engineers, scholars, students and other experts at UCLA have built a virtual cathedral -- a computer re-creation of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral as the building probably appeared when it was dedicated in northwest Spain in 1211. Projected onto a screen curving nearly a half-circle, the image looks as if it belongs in the virtual world of a video game.
August 24, 2007 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
Exploring the connection between our mental and physical perceptions of ourselves, scientists on Thursday said they used virtual-reality goggles to induce out-of-body sensations in healthy volunteers. In simple experiments carried out by teams in Switzerland and England, test subjects looking at video images of themselves projected through the goggles reacted as if their own bodies had been touched when their virtual selves were stroked or poked.
June 4, 2007 | Lisa Cornwell, Associated Press
Kathy Choi touches a kiosk screen, then looks up at a larger wall screen to see digitally created yellowish-brown mounds snaking through bright green grassland dotted with brilliant blue rivers and lakes. The ancient earthworks in the Ohio River Valley now are grass- and tree-covered mounds and walls diminished by development, floods and agriculture. But she's seeing them as they might have looked 2,000 years ago by way of a computerized fly-over.
March 8, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Capitalizing on the popularity of social networks and online worlds, Sony Corp. will launch its virtual universe and a 3-D game built almost entirely by players. "Home" is a real-time, networked world for the PlayStation 3 in which players create human-looking characters called avatars. The concept is strikingly similar to Linden Lab's "Second Life," a Web-based phenomenon with nearly 4.5 million residents.
February 9, 2007 | Larry Gordon, Times Staff Writer
NONE of this is really happening, but the experience is almost overwhelming in "virtual Iraq." The Humvee plows along a desert road. The engine rumbles underfoot and Blackhawk choppers whirl overhead. A sandstorm blows in, and insurgents pop up and start to shoot with sickening blasts that shatter the windshield. Is that the smell of burning rubber? Those sensations of war are being fed into a special helmet, goggles and earphones.
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