Exploring the virtual medical universe
Despite the weak dollar, a growing number of Americans are traveling overseas for less expensive medical care. But there's another way to become a so-called medical tourist, without a passport, luggage, or even leaving your house, notes the October 2008 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. All you need for this version of medical globe-trotting is a computer, an Internet connection, and some curiosity.
8. A lovely flower doesn’t belong to the one who appreciates it, but to the dunghill it grows on. (“To stick a lovely flower in the dunghill” is a popular Chinese saying, normally used to describe the common social phenomenon of a pretty girl marrying an ugly but rich guy).
More recently, however, General Motors made a self-driving car in 1958 that adjusted its steering wheel based on the alternating currents given off by a wire placed inside the road. While the vehicle did actually drive itself, it does not qualify as the first autonomous vehicle because it depended on wires placed inside the ground. The world's first autonomous vehicle was made by S. Tsugawa and several of his colleagues at Japan's Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. However, German engineer Ernst Dickinson is regarded as the pioneer of the autonomous car. In 1987, he developed the VaMoRs which was capable of traveling more than 90 kilometers per hour (55 mph) for about 20 kilometers (12 mi). Seven years later, he made the VaMP, which could recognize road signs, know its own position in a lane, detect other vehicles, and even decide when to change lanes. And a year after that, he and his team made another autonomous vehicle which traveled from Germany to Denmark. The vehicle had a maximum speed of 180 kilometers per hour (111 mph) and was controlled by a human for about 5 percent of the journey.
To be sure, that excitement can certainly lead to unrealistic declarations from those in the community. Some bitcoin developers and investors proclaim that within five years, all the major banks will be accepting bitcoin. That’s a stretch, acknowledges Peter Smith, COO of the bitcoin wallet Blockchain (not to be confused with the actual bitcoin block chain). “I hear a lot of predictions about how soon the whole world will be using bitcoin, and most of the time, those are unrealistic,” he says. “What we’re trying to do as an ecosystem is incredibly audacious, so it’s going to take a lot of time.”