AI–Danger and/or Opportunity

 

          Should we Fear Artificial Intelligence?

                                                           Listen to 25-minute program:  BBC The Inquiry                                                                                                                  source

Billions of dollars are pouring into the latest investor craze – artificial intelligence. But serious scientists like Stephen Hawking have warned that full AI could spell the end of the human race. How seriously should we take the warnings that ever-smarter computers could turn on us? Our expert witnesses explain the threat, the opportunities and how we might avoid being turned into paperclips.

Wonderful Sounds of the Lyrebird

 

The lyrebird is capable of imitating almost any sound and they have been recorded mimicking human sounds such as a mill whistle, a cross-cut saw, chainsawscar engines and car alarms, fire alarms, rifle-shots, camerashutters, dogs barking, crying babies, music, mobile phone ring tones, and even the human voice.   

 

lyre

lyrebird

liar (Pinocchio)

 

Vocalizations and mimicry

 

SEVERAL VIDEOS      MORE VIDEOS AT YOU TUBE

A lyrebird’s song is one of the more distinctive aspects of its behavioural biology. Lyrebirds sing throughout the year, but the peak of the breeding season, from June to August, is when they sing with the most intensity. During this peak they may sing for four hours of the day, almost half the hours of daylight. The song of the superb lyrebird is a mixture of seven elements of its own song and any number of other mimicked songs and noises. The lyrebird’s syrinx is the most complexly-muscled of the Passerines (songbirds), giving the lyrebird extraordinary ability, unmatched in vocal repertoire and mimicry. Lyrebirds render with great fidelity the individual songs of other birds and the chatter of flocks of birds, and also mimic other animals such as koalas and dingos. The lyrebird is capable of imitating almost any sound and they have been recorded mimicking human sounds such as a mill whistle, a cross-cut saw, chainsawscar engines and car alarms, fire alarms, rifle-shots, camerashutters, dogs barking, crying babies, music, mobile phone ring tones, and even the human voice. However, while the mimicry of human noises is widely reported, the extent to which it happens is exaggerated and the phenomenon is quite unusual.[3]

The superb lyrebird’s mimicked calls are learned from the local environment, including from other superb lyrebirds. An instructive example of this is the population of superb lyrebirds in Tasmania, which have retained the calls of species not native to Tasmania in their repertoire, but have also added some local Tasmanian endemic bird noises. It takes young birds about a year to perfect their mimicked repertoire. The female lyrebirds of both species are also mimics, and will sing on occasion but the females do so with less skill than the males] A recording of a superb lyrebird mimicking sounds of an electronic shooting game, workmen and chainsaws was added to the National Film and Sound Archive‘s Sounds of Australia registry in 2013.

One researcher, Sydney Curtis, has recorded flute-like lyrebird calls in the vicinity of the New England National Park. Similarly, in 1969, a park ranger, Neville Fenton, recorded a lyrebird song which resembled flute sounds in the New England National Park, near Dorrigo in northern coastal New South Wales. After much detective work by Fenton, it was discovered that in the 1930s, a flute player living on a farm adjoining the park used to play tunes near his pet lyrebird. The lyrebird adopted the tunes into his repertoire, and retained them after release into the park. Neville Fenton forwarded a tape of his recording to Norman Robinson. Because a lyrebird is able to carry two tunes at the same time, Robinson filtered out one of the tunes and put it on the phonograph for the purposes of analysis. The song represents a modified version of two popular tunes in the 1930s: “The Keel Row” and “Mosquito’s Dance“. Musicologist David Rothenberg has endorsed this information.  Wikipedia

Killing Melanoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinomas can occur anywhere on the body. They can appear as flat, pale or pink areas, like this one. Larger basal cell carcinomas may have oozing or crusted areas.

Basal Cell Carcinoma                             Basal Cell CarcinomaBasal cell carcinomas may also appear as raised, pink or red, translucent, shiny, pearly bumps that may bleed after a minor injury. They may have a lower area in their center, and blue, brown, or black areas.

 

 

Melanoma

Melanoma

Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, but it is far more dangerous. Like this one, melanomas may have different colors and jagged borders. They may not be round, and one half might not look like the other half,

More photos

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We’ve had melanoma in our family.  A friend of Laura’s recently died of melanoma. I’ve had basal cell and squamous cell tumors.  I neglected the first tumor I had; it grew to be two inches across and its removal required a skin graft.

The first doctor I showed that tumor to did not recognize it and prescribed a cream.  Years later I went to a dermatologist.  She examined it with her magnifying glass,  and then I sat up on the end of the exam table.  She said, “Do you know what  carcinoma is?”  When I said no, she said, “Well, it’s cancer.”  I must have shown a strong reaction to that, because she grabbed my shoulders to steady me.”

Of three main types of skin cancer, the most serious is melanoma because it is invasive and spreads through the body basal cell and  squamous cell carcinoma are named for the skin in which they occur

Here is a source of information on the kinds of skin cancer, preventing it, identifying it, and treating it.

ryn

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Groundbreaking treatment uses herpes to combat skin cancer

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY  27 May 2015  source

A new treatment may be in the cards for patients with skin cancer – in the form of a genetically engineered herpes virus.
The researchers found that 16.3% of melanoma patients who received T-VEC had a strong treatment response lasting more than 6 months, compared with only 2.1% of patients who received the control immunotherapy.
In a phase 3 trial, researchers found the treatment, called Talimogene Laherparepvec (T-VEC), slowed disease progression in patients with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The trial was led by researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust – both in the UK – and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In the US, rates of melanoma have been on the rise for the past 3 decades. This year, around 73,870 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed, and almost 10,000 people will die from the disease.

According to the research team – led by Kevin Harrington, professor of biological cancer therapies at ICR and honorary consultant at the Royal Marsden – their study represents the first phase 3 trial to demonstrate the benefits of viral immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Herpes virus engineered to produce immune-boosting molecule
To reach their findings, Prof. Harrington and colleagues randomized 436 patients with advanced, inoperable malignant melanoma to receive either an injection with T-VEC or a control immunotherapy.

Developed by biopharmaceutical company Amgen – who funded the study – T-VEC is a genetically modified form of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which can multiply inside cancer cells and kill them.

The virus has been engineered to produce a molecule called GM-CSF, which works by coaxing the immune system to destroy cancer cells. The virus has also been modified to remove two genes – ICP34.5 and ICP47 – preventing it from multiplying in healthy cells.

“There is increasing excitement over the use of viral treatments like T-VEC for cancer, because they can launch a two-pronged attack on tumors – both killing cancer cells directly and marshaling the immune system against them,” explains Prof. Harrington.

“And because viral treatment can target cancer cells specifically,” he adds, “it tends to have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy or some of the other new immunotherapies.”

Treatment response lasted longer than 3 years for some patients given T-VEC
Compared with patients who received the control immunotherapy, those who received T-VEC showed a much better treatment response.

The researchers found that 16.3% of patients who received T-VEC had a strong treatment response lasting more than 6 months, compared with only 2.1% of patients who received the control immunotherapy.

The treatment response of some patients given T-VEC even lasted longer than 3 years – a time period oncologists frequently use as a benchmark for a cure when it comes to cancer immunotherapy, according to the team.

Patients with stage III and early stage IV melanoma who were given the control immunotherapy survived for an average of 21.5 months, the results show, while those who received T-VEC lived for an average of 41 months.

The researchers found patients with stage IIIB, IIIC and IVM1a melanoma – less advanced forms of the cancer – showed the strongest responses to T-VEC, as did those who had not undergone any other treatment for the disease. This indicates that T-VEC could be used as a primary treatment for inoperable metastatic melanoma, notes the team.

“It is encouraging that the treatment had such a clear benefit for patients with less advanced cancers,” says Prof. Harrington. “Ongoing studies are evaluating if it can become a first-line treatment for more aggressive melanomas and advanced disease.”

Prof. Paul Workman, chief executive of ICR, believes the findings emphasize the benefits for using human viruses to tackle cancer:

“We may normally think of viruses as the enemies of mankind, but it’s their very ability to specifically infect and kill human cells that can make them such promising cancer treatments.

In this case we are harnessing the ability of an engineered virus to kill cancer cells and stimulate an immune response. It’s exciting to see the potential of viral treatment realized in a phase 3 trial, and there is hope that therapies like this could be even more effective when combined with targeted cancer drugs to achieve long-term control and cure.”

Last month, Medical News Today reported on study by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, which revealed how personalized vaccines can trigger a strong immune response against tumor mutations in patients with melanoma.

Written by Honor Whiteman

Copyright: Medical News Today

 

Memorial Day

The uniforms                                                                                                                  who rang the bell
didn’t say your kid is dead.
Said soldier fought with valor,
fell in battle, earned this medal.
Norm said shove your medal,
go to hell, my kid is dead.

rjn

 

Dulce Et Decorum Est *

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

DULCE ET DECORUM EST – the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode by ancient Roman Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean “It is sweet and right.” The full saying ends the poem: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – it is sweet and right to die for your country.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster

Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing, captured in 16 mm Kodachrome motion picture film. The view looks west

VIDEO:  famous 1940 film shows bridge destroying itself.

The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. Its main span collapsed into the Tacoma Narrows four months later on November 7, 1940, at 11:00 AM (Pacific time) as a result of aeroelastic flutter caused by a 42 mph (68 km/h) wind. The bridge collapse had lasting effects on science and engineering. In many undergraduate physics texts the event is presented as an example of elementary forced resonance with the wind providing an external periodic frequency that matched the natural structural frequency, even though the real cause of the bridge’s failure was aeroelastic flutter. A contributing factor was its solid sides, not allowing wind to pass through the bridge’s deck. Thus its design allowed the bridge to catch the wind and sway, which ultimately took it down.[2] Its failure also boosted research in the field of bridge aerodynamics/aeroelastics, fields which have influenced the designs of all the world’s great long-span bridges built since 1940.

No human life was lost in the collapse of the bridge. The only fatality was a cocker spaniel who perished after it was abandoned in a car on the bridge by its owner, Leonard Coatsworth. Professor Frederick Burt Farquharson (an engineer from U. Washington who had been involved in the design of the bridge) tried to rescue it, but was bitten by the terrified dog when he attempted to remove it. The collapse of the bridge was recorded on 16 mm film by Barney Elliott, owner of a local camera shop, and shows Farquharson leaving the bridge after trying to rescue the dog and making observations in the middle of the bridge. In 1998, The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by theLibrary of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. This footage is still shown to engineering,architecture, and physics students as a cautionary tale.  Wikipedia

The rest of this article.

Obama’s Texas Takeover

 

Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor a joint U.S. Special Forces training taking place in Texas, prompting outrage from some in his own party.   Eric Gay/AP

Since Gen. Sam Houston executed his famous retreat to glory to defeat the superior forces of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Texas has been ground zero for military training. We have so many military bases in the Lone Star State we could practically attack Russia.

So when rookie Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was ordering the Texas State Guard (not the National Guard) to monitor a Navy SEAL/Green Beret joint training exercise, which was taking place in Texas and several other states, everybody here looked up from their iPhones. What?

It seems there is concern among some folks that this so-called training maneuver is just a cover story. What’s really going on? President Obama is about to use Special Forces to put Texas under martial law.

Let’s walk over by the fence where nobody can hear us, and I’ll tell you the story.

You see, there are these Wal-Marts in West Texas that supposedly closed for six months for “renovation.” That’s what they want you to believe. The truth is these Wal-Marts are going to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners. The prisoners are going to be transported by train cars that have already been equipped with shackles.

Don’t take my word for it. That comes directly from a Texas Ranger, who seems pretty plugged in, if you ask me. You and I both know President Obama has been waiting a long time for this, and now it’s happening. It’s a classic false flag operation. Don’t pay any attention to the mainstream media; all they’re going to do is lie and attack everyone who’s trying to tell you the truth.

Did I mention the ISIS terrorists? They’ve come across the border and are going to hit soft targets all across the Southwest.They’ve set up camp a few miles outside of El Paso.

That includes a Mexican army officer and Mexican federal police inspector. Not sure what they’re doing there, but probably nothing good. That’s why the Special Forces guys are here, get it? To wipe out ISIS and impose martial law. So now you know, whaddya say we get back to the party and grab another beer?

It’s true that the paranoid worldview of right-wing militia types has remarkable stamina. But that’s not news.  What is news is that there seem to be enough of them in Texas to influence the governor of the state to react — some might use the word pander — to them.

That started Monday when a public briefing by the Army in Bastrop County, which is just east of Austin, got raucous. The poor U.S. Army colonel probably just thought he was going to give a regular briefing, but instead 200 patriots shouted him down, told him he was a liar and grilled him about the imminent federal takeover of Texas and subsequent imposition of martial law.

“We just want to make sure our guys are trained. We want to hone our skills,” Lt. Col. Mark Listoria tried to explain in vain.

One wonders what Listoria was thinking to himself as he walked to his car after two hours of his life he’ll never get back. God bless Texas? Maybe not.

The next day Abbott decided he had to take action. He announced that he was going to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm from start to finish.

“It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed upon,” Abbott said.

The idea that the Yankee military can’t be trusted down here has a long and rich history in Texas. But that was a while back. Abbott’s proclamation that he was going to keep his eye on these Navy SEAL and Green Beret boys did rub some of our leaders the wrong way.

Former Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tried to put it in perspective for outsiders when he explained, “Unfortunately, some Texans have projected their legitimate concerns about the competence and trustworthiness of President Barack Obama on these noble warriors. This must stop.”

Another former Republican politician was a bit more pointed.

“Your letter pandering to idiots … has left me livid,” former state Rep. Todd Smith wrote Abbott. “I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do.”

There’s no argument that after the 2014 election, Texas politics took a further step to the right. The 84th session of the state Legislature has given ample proof of that. But the events of this last week have been an eye-opener for Texans of all political stripes.

You will find the names of Texans etched into marble at war memorials from Goliad to Gettysburg, from Verdun to the Ardennes and Washington, D.C. The governor’s proposition that these soldiers and sailors constitute a potential threat and need watching as they go about their duties certainly stakes out some new political ground for the leader of the Texas GOP to stand on.

CorrectionMay 3, 2015  An earlier version of this story indicated that Gov. Greg Abbott had deployed the National Guard in Texas, when in fact it was the Texas State Guard.

Desert in Spring

PS  When Alice got to Roswell NM a couple of of days ago, she learned that a small tornado had gotten there ahead of her.  No injuries, little damage.  Yes, that’s the famous UFO Roswell.

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DESERT IN SPRING

Today Alice said that the desert in New Mexico is in bloom, that’s the Chihuahuan desert that reaches up from Mexico.

If you think a desert is all barren sand dunes you would like to see and smell what Alice is enjoying.  Plants of many kinds from the tall ocotillo with red blossoms to the low clumps of prickly pear cactus, with bright red or yellow blossoms, grow in the desert. They just grow a few feet apart, rather to form continuous growth as on a lush prairie farther north.

prickly pear Image result for prickly pear cactus bloomocotillo

More photos of flowering desert.

 And the scented plants !

Among them are the creosote bush, said to give off the “smell of rain”, and sagebrush with a “pungent fragrance”, “somewhat spicy.”  The scents mix and fill the air.

creosote           sagebrushsagebrush

 

Of course we have sand dunes, too, notably at Great Sand Dunes National Park  and White Sands National Monument which Alice will visit today.

The U.S. has four major deserts.  They are distinguished by geography and climate  and therefore plants and animals.

And its wonderful to remember that among all this glory are the fascinating animals, roadrunners, quail, javalinas, bobcats, lizards, tortoises, snakes, spiders . . .

Click here for photos of desert animals.

rjn

 

Underground and Above

 

Alice called from Carlsbad Caverns National Park in Arizona this morning, just before going underground.  Exciting!

When we visited there some years ago, we took an elevator from the visitors’ center down to the cafeteria to start our walk–not exciting.  This time Alice went in through the natural opening on the desert surface, giving her a winding trail down, longer than she’d anticipated.

 

Outside the entrance to the caverns.

The natural entrance

  Carlsbad Caverns           On the tour.

Click here for lots of photos.

 

Alice had reserved places on a ranger-guided tour of nearby Slaughter Cave, a dark cave–not prepared for visitors, no lights, slippery trail. While we waited at the cave entrance toward the top of a hill, I asked one of the rangers whether she knew the books of Nevada Barr, a ranger who writes detective stories set in the national parks. She said, “Oh yes, no one wants to work with Barr; you end up in a book!” Coming out of the cave through the air-tight door, we saw a large group of light-brown wild sheep grazing down below. A man looked up and said, “There he is!” At the top of the hill, on the edge of a rock-face, lay the ram with his huge horns coiling back, keeping watch on the ewes. The ranger said these were not native sheep, but Barbary sheep imported from North Africa by ranchers for hunting. She said they had driven out the native big-horn sheep.

Barbary ram.

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Viet Nam–Photo of Horror

 

Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?. Anti-war slogan.

The Viet Nam War ended in more horror, 40 years ago this week.  rjn

I’ve never escaped from that moment: Girl in napalm photograph that defined the Vietnam War 40 years on

It only took a second for Associated Press photographer Huynh Cong Ut to snap the iconic black-and-white image 40 years ago.

It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history.

But beneath the photo lies a lesser-known story. It’s the tale of a dying child brought together by chance with a young photographer.

Crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them

Crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them

 

A moment captured in the chaos of war that would serve as both her savior and her curse on a journey to understand life’s plan for her.

‘I really wanted to escape from that little girl,’ says Kim Phuc, now 49. ‘But it seems to me that the picture didn’t let me go.’

Kim Phuc giving a lecture at Oundle Festival of Literature in Cambridgeshire in 2010

Kim Phuc giving a lecture at Oundle Festival of Literature in Cambridgeshire in 2010

It was June 8, 1972, when Phuc heard the soldier’s scream: ‘We have to run out of this place! They will bomb here, and we will be dead!’

Seconds later, she saw the tails of yellow and purple smoke bombs curling around the Cao Dai temple where her family had sheltered for three days, as north and south Vietnamese forces fought for control of their village.

The little girl heard a roar overhead and twisted her neck to look up. As the South Vietnamese Skyraider plane grew fatter and louder, it swooped down toward her, dropping canisters like tumbling eggs flipping end over end.

‘Ba-boom! Ba-boom!’

The ground rocked. Then the heat of a hundred furnaces exploded as orange flames spit in all directions.

Fire danced up Phuc’s left arm. The threads of her cotton clothes evaporated on contact. Trees became angry torches. Searing pain bit through skin and muscle.

‘I will be ugly, and I’m not normal anymore,’ she thought, as her right hand brushed furiously across her blistering arm. ‘People will see me in a different way.’

In shock, she sprinted down Highway 1 behind her older brother. She didn’t see the foreign journalists gathered as she ran toward them, screaming.

Then, she lost consciousness.

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, left, is visited by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut at her home in Trang Bang, Vietnam in 1973

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, left, is visited by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut at her home in Trang Bang, Vietnam in 1973

 

Ut, the 21-year-old Vietnamese photographer who took the picture, drove Phuc to a small hospital.

There, he was told the child was too far gone to help. But he flashed his American press badge, demanded that doctors treat the girl and left assured that she would not be forgotten.

‘I cried when I saw her running,’ said Ut, whose older brother was killed on assignment with the AP in the southern Mekong Delta. ‘If I don’t help her – if something happened and she died – I think I’d kill myself after that.’

Back at the office in what was then U.S.-backed Saigon, he developed his film. When the image of the naked little girl emerged, everyone feared it would be rejected because of the news agency’s strict policy against nudity.

But veteran Vietnam photo editor Horst Faas took one look and knew it was a shot made to break the rules. He argued the photo’s news value far outweighed any other concerns, and he won.

A couple of days after the image shocked the world, another journalist found out the little girl had somehow survived the attack. Christopher Wain, a correspondent for the British Independent Television Network who had given Phuc water from his canteen and drizzled it down her burning back at the scene, fought to have her transferred to the American-run Barsky unit. It was the only facility in Saigon equipped to deal with her severe injuries.

‘I had no idea where I was or what happened to me,’ she said. ‘I woke up and I was in the hospital with so much pain, and then the nurses were around me. I woke up with a terrible fear.’

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, right, with Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, left and Phan Thi Kim Phuc, center in London in 2000

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, right, with Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, left and Phan Thi Kim Phuc, center in London in 2000

Thirty percent of Phuc’s tiny body was scorched raw by third-degree burns, though her face somehow remained untouched. Over time, her melted flesh began to heal.

‘Every morning at 8 o’clock, the nurses put me in the burn bath to cut all my dead skin off,’ she said. ‘I just cried and when I could not stand it any longer, I just passed out.’

After multiple skin grafts and surgeries, Phuc was finally allowed to leave, 13 months after the bombing. She had seen Ut’s photo, which by then had won the Pulitzer Prize, but she was still unaware of its reach and power.

She just wanted to go home and be a child again.

Phan Thi Kim Phuc embraces Associated Press staff photographer Nick Ut during a reunion in Cuba in 1989

Phan Thi Kim Phuc embraces Associated Press staff photographer Nick Ut during a reunion in Cuba in 1989

For a while, life did go somewhat back to normal. The photo was famous, but Phuc largely remained unknown except to those living in her tiny village near the Cambodian border. Ut and a few other journalists sometimes visited her, but that stopped after northern communist forces seized control of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, ending the war.

Life under the new regime became tough. Medical treatment and painkillers were expensive and hard to find for the teenager, who still suffered extreme headaches and pain.

She worked hard and was accepted into medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. But all that ended once the new communist leaders realized the propaganda value of the `napalm girl’ in the photo.

She was forced to quit college and return to her home province, where she was trotted out to meet foreign journalists. The visits were monitored and controlled, her words scripted. She smiled and played her role, but the rage inside began to build and consume her.

I wanted to escape that picture,‘ she said. ‘I got burned by napalm, and I became a victim of war … but growing up then, I became another kind of victim.’

She turned to Cao Dai, her Vietnamese religion, for answers. But they didn’t come.

In this 1992 photo provided by Phan Thi Kim Phuc shows her, top row second from right, and her husband Bui Huy Toan, top row right, with guests during their wedding day in Havana, Cuba

In this 1992 photo provided by Phan Thi Kim Phuc shows her, top row second from right, and her husband Bui Huy Toan, top row right, with guests during their wedding day in Havana, Cuba

‘My heart was exactly like a black coffee cup,’ she said. ‘I wished I died in that attack with my cousin, with my south Vietnamese soldiers. I wish I died at that time so I won’t suffer like that anymore … it was so hard for me to carry all that burden with that hatred, with that anger and bitterness.’

One day, while visiting a library, Phuc found a Bible. For the first time, she started believing her life had a plan.

Then suddenly, once again, the photo that had given her unwanted fame brought opportunity.

She traveled to West Germany in 1982 for medical care with the help of a foreign journalist. Later, Vietnam’s prime minister, also touched by her story, made arrangements for her to study in Cuba.

She was finally free from the minders and reporters hounding her at home, but her life was far from normal. Ut, then working at the AP in Los Angeles, traveled to meet her in 1989, but they never had a moment alone. There was no way for him to know she desperately wanted his help again.

While at school, Phuc met a young Vietnamese man. She had never believed anyone would ever want her because of the ugly patchwork of scars that banded across her back and pitted her arm, but ui Huy Toan seemed to love her more because of them.

In this May 25, 1997 file photo, Phan Thi Kim Phuc holds her son Thomas, 3, in their apartment in Toronto. Her husband, Bui Huy Toan is to the left.

In this May 25, 1997 file photo, Phan Thi Kim Phuc holds her son Thomas, 3, in their apartment in Toronto. Her husband, Bui Huy Toan is to the left.

The two decided to marry in 1992 and honeymoon in Moscow. On the flight back to Cuba, the newlyweds defected during a refueling stop in Canada. She was free.

Phuc contacted Ut to share the news, and he encouraged her to tell her story to the world. But she was done giving interviews and posing for photos.

‘I have a husband and a new life and want to be normal like everyone else,‘ she said.

The media eventually found Phuc living near Toronto, and she decided she needed to take control of her story. A book was written in 1999 and a documentary came out, at last the way she wanted it told.

She was asked to become a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador to help victims of war. She and Ut have since reunited many times to tell their story, even traveling to London to meet the Queen.

‘Today, I’m so happy I helped Kim,’ said Ut, who still works for AP and recently returned to Trang Bang village. ‘I call her my daughter.’

Huynh Cong Ut visits Kim Phuc's house near the place he took his famous Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of her as a terrified 9-year-old in Trang Bang, Tay Ninh province, Vietnam

Huynh Cong Ut visits Kim Phuc’s house near the place he took his famous Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of her as a terrified 9-year-old in Trang Bang, Tay Ninh province, Vietnam

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2153091/Napalm-girl-photo-Vietnam-War-turns-40.html#ixzz3YsvhjrXt
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