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AFRO-NETS> Supercourse Newsletter - February 2, 2003

  • From: Ron LaPorte <super1+@pitt.edu>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 01:45:16 -0500 (EST)

Supercourse Newsletter - February 2, 2003


Dear Friends,

There is considerable exciting news, and sad news also.

Supercourse Crossing the Digital Divide:

A major stumbling block for using the Internet and education is that
only about 10% of the world has access to the Internet.

David Deerfield from the Pittsburgh Supercomputer center has came up
with some brilliant ideas to bridge the digital divide. He indicated
that they were working on compression technology such that with the
next CD of lectures we can include all our lectures, plus the visual
human. The visual human was produced by NLM, and is digitalized CT
cuts of humans where one can see organ systems and take them out. One
can say link between an epidemiology of stomach cancer lecture di-
rectly to a stomach slice.

The second thought was even more brilliant. He indicated that we
could use a PDA such as a Palm Pilot and load the complete Super-
course into it. Alternatively, we could use a cell phone, and call a
number, and dial 797 and almost in an instant, download a lecture on
the Epidemiology of Measles. A simple wire can make a presentation
system by linking the phone directly to a TV. Any one who has a cell
phone and TV may soon be able to present Supercourse lectures and
prevention. This can potentially push prevention down to the last
mile. Vint Cerf, the father of the Internet, thought it was cool.

Machine Translation: Another exciting development was by Eric Marler.
He discovered a new English-Arab machine translator. Sherine Shawky
from Egypt looked over the translations and they were not bad. We
have held off major translation efforts for the Supercourse waiting
for machine translation and it is almost there. We hope to put ma-
chine translators onto the Supercourse this year.

Mirrored Servers: There has been major construction of mirrored serv-
ers. We are under discussion with scientists at NIH and CDC to in-
clude a mirrored server on their sites. Also, there is a huge US Gov-
ernment portal called e-gov, they asked us for our lectures. We are
also very excited that there will be two new mirrored servers in Af-
rica. Dr. Suad Sulaiman, is guiding the development of a mirrored
server in the Sudan. Dr. Francis George recently had the grand open-
ing of the second mirror in Africa, which serves all members of the
West African Doctors Network. This will bring even more eyes looking
at the Supercourse. The Norway site has 8 million hits a year, and we
in Pittsburgh, 12 million. We can crudely estimate the total number
of hits on the Supercourse across the 35 sites as ~50-100,000,000.
You are a part of one of the most hit health sites.

Sadness in Science: The deaths of the global family of astronauts in
the Columbia space-craft was very sad. Scientists from the U.S., Is-
rael, and an India-American, gave their lives for Science, and the
future. Science has to fail to succeed. It is a privilege for we of
the Supercourse to be a part of our own global family of science, and
we honor the young scientists who lost their lives.

Astronaut McCool's mother said: They went up there because they
wanted to do something for humanity. ---- this is why we, 9,200 sci-
entists from 148 countries are working together

Global science and Global Health will move on, it has to move on, the
Supercourse family can help.

This newsletter is dedicated to the global family of scientists of
the world.

Ron, Faina, Mita, EunRyoung, Eugene, Julia, Soni, Rania, Beatriz,
Akira, Tom, Deb, Wendy

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