Parliament House, Sydney

The Parliament House in Sydney is a heritage-listed complex of buildings housing the Parliament of the state of New South Wales, Australia. The building is located on the east side of Macquarie Street in the state capital; the façade consists of a two-storey Georgian building, the oldest public building in the City of Sydney, flanked by two Neo-gothic additions containing the parliamentary chambers. These buildings are linked to a 1970s 12-storey block at the rear, it is known as Parliament of New South Wales, Parliamentary Precincts and the Rum Hospital. Built with the initial purpose of a public hospital, unlike the parliamentary buildings of Australia's other capital cities, Sydney's Parliament House is not grand in its architectural appearance, it was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 19 April 2002. The main entrances are contained in a two-storey building with a colonnaded front verandah. On the ground floor, there are two entrance halls. Between these halls is the Greenway Room, used for small committee meetings and events.

The upstairs rooms are used by Hansard. To the north of this building is the chamber of the Legislative Assembly, the lower house; the colour scheme of the chamber is green, following the colours in the United Kingdom House of Commons. At one end of the room is the speaker's chair, in front of this is a table holding the mace. Government members sit in the two rows of seating to the speaker's right, opposition members to the left. There are galleries for the press behind the speaker, Hansard to the speaker's left, guests of the speaker opposite the speaker and the public above the speaker's gallery and to the speaker's right. At the opposite end of the entrance building is the Legislative Council chamber. Here, the colour scheme is red; this chamber contains a vice-regal chair, for use by the Monarch in Australia or her representative, the governor, the chair of the president of the council. Both chairs are made from red cedar, the vice-regal chair in 1856 and the president's chair in 1886; the table in front of the chairs was made in 1856 from red cedar.

The wall behind the two chairs is covered by bookshelves holding the Hansard records. The chamber is decorated with seven busts, four depicting early presidents of the council in ceremonial dress and three of other prominent former members in Roman togas; as in the lower house, government members sit on the president's right and opposition members on the left. Behind the entrance building is the Jubilee Room, used for public functions. In this area, open to the public, there is the Fountain Court, an exhibition venue containing a fountain by Robert Woodward. Beneath the Fountain Court is a 166-seat theatrette and above it a roof garden sometimes used for functions. Together with a small post office, these 1970s features form a "square doughnut"-shaped building linking the streetfront buildings with a 12-storey block at the rear; this block, with views over the Domain contains offices for members and other staff and meetings rooms, as well as dining facilities, a fitness area and car parking and service areas.

The building has a power co-generation unit that serves Sydney Hospital and the State Library of New South Wales as well as Parliament House. The oldest part of Parliament House was built first as the north wing of Governor Macquarie's "Rum Hospital". Macquarie Street was created and land in the Domain was assigned by Governor Macquarie in 1810; as there was no funding from the British government, a contract to build the hospital was arranged involving convict labour and a monopoly on rum imports. The building of three two storey colonnaded buildings was completed in 1816 and was praised as "elegant and commodious" but criticised for both its design and construction by Francis Greenway. Defects resulting from short cuts taken by the builders were still being discovered in the 1980s; the north wing was the Chief Surgeon's quarters. When the Legislative Council was formed in 1824, it did not have a permanent home and met in places such as the old Government House. In 1829, the Council's membership increased from five to 15 members, it began to meet in the downstairs northern room of the Surgeon's quarters from 21 August.

Only two rooms were left for the Chief Surgeon, with the remaining five rooms used as offices by the Clerk of the Executive and Legislative Councils and other government officials. From 1831 to 1836, the Clerk was the curator of Australia's first museum, a small natural history collection which became beginning of the Australian Museum collection; the Legislative Council was increased to 36 members by the new colonial constitution in 1843. The room in the old building was no longer large enough, so a new chamber was added to the north of the building; this chamber became the home of the new Legislative Assembly when a bicameral system was introduced in 1856. The Legislative Council was relocated to a prefabricated iron building, assembled at the southern end of the original hospital building; the building had been manufactured in Scotland by engineering firm Robertson & Lister and shipped to Melbourne. It was purchased for £1,835; the cost of erecting and furnishing the building as well as the new offices was £4,475.

The incomplete building was used first for the official opening of the new parliament on 22 May 1856. The new chamber was not without its problems; the walls lined with packing boards covered with hessian and plastered, the curved iron roof cause problems with acoustics and ventilation. The roof was replaced with slate in 1959. Other changes followed as the façade was moved 3 metres closer to the street in

Zoƫ Records

Zoë Records is an independent record label, a part of the Rounder Records group. Zoë predominantly distributes albums by folk rock and alternative pop artists. Artists who have released albums on the label include Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lisa Loeb, Grant Lee Phillips, Juliana Hatfield, Jules Shear, The Nields. Preteen pop girl group Girl Authority recorded for the label. Zoë is the American distributor for releases by a number of Canadian artists who have separate deals with major or independent labels in Canada, such as Jann Arden, Cowboy Junkies, Sarah Harmer, Kathleen Edwards, Great Big Sea, the Cash Brothers, the Tragically Hip; the record label is named after Zoë Virant, the daughter of CEO John Virant and former member of pop group Girl Authority. List of record labels Official Website

Neural computation

Neural computation is the hypothetical information processing performed by networks of neurons. Neural computation is affiliated with the philosophical tradition known as Computational theory of mind referred to as computationalism, which advances the thesis that neural computation explains cognition; the first persons to propose an account of neural activity as being computational was Warren McCullock and Walter Pitts in their seminal 1943 paper, A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity. There are three general branches of computationalism, including classicism and computational neuroscience. All three branches agree that cognition is computation, however they disagree on what sorts of computations constitute cognition; the classicism tradition believes that computation in the brain is digital, analogous with digital computing. Both connectionism and computational neuroscience do not require that the computations which realize cognition are digital computations. However, the two branches disagree upon which sorts of experimental data should be used to construct explanatory models of cognitive phenomena.

Connectionists rely upon behavioral evidence to construct models to explain cognitive phenomenon, whereas computational neuroscience leverages neuroanatomical and neurophysiological information to construct mathematical models which explain cognition. When comparing the three main traditions of the computational theory of mind, as well as the different possible forms of computation in the brain, it is helpful to define what we mean by computation in a general sense. Computation is the processing of vehicles, otherwise known as variables or entities, according to a set of rules. A rule in this sense is an instruction for executing a manipulation on the current state of the variable, in order to produce an specified output. In other words, a rule dictates which output to produce given a certain input to the computing system. A computing system is a mechanism whose components must be functionally organized to process the vehicles in accordance with the established set of rules; the types of vehicles processed by a computing system determines which type of computations it performs.

Traditionally, in cognitive science there have been two proposed types of computation related to neural activity - digital and analog, with the vast majority of theoretical work incorporating a digital understanding of cognition. Computing systems which perform digital computation are functionally organized to execute operations on strings of digits with respect to the type and location of the digit on the string, it has been argued that neural spike train signaling implements some form of digital computation, since neural spikes may be considered as discrete units or digits, like 0 or 1 - the neuron either fires an action potential or it does not. Accordingly, neural spike trains could be seen as strings of digits. Alternatively, analog computing systems perform manipulations on non-discrete, irreducibly continuous variables, that is, entities which vary continuously as a function of time; these sorts of operations are characterized by systems of differential equations. Neural computation can be studied for example by building models of neural computation.

There is a scientific journal dedicated to Neural Computation. Artificial neural networks is subfield of the research area machine learning. Work on ANNs has been somewhat inspired by knowledge of neural computation