Every day, the same, again

24.jpgUsing a cheap robot, a team of hackers has cracked open a leading-brand combination safe, live on stage in Las Vegas

A major asthma drugmaker has been quietly investing in coal on the side [Thanks Tim]

The Null Relation between Father Absence and Earlier Menarche

When researchers tried to recruit 30 people for an experiment where all phone notifications (including text and email) would be disabled for a week, they simply couldn’t find the participants.

The key to understanding this is to think about what advertisers want: they don’t want to appear next to pictures of breasts because it might damage their brands, but they don’t mind appearing alongside lies because the lies might be helping them find the consumers they’re trying to target. Facebook has two priorities: growth and monetisation.

Researchers at Facebook realized their bots were chattering in a new language. Then they stopped it.

The real victor was Microsoft, which built an empire on the back of a shadily acquired MS-DOS

16 Ways QR Codes are Being Used in China

George Peter Metesky, better known as the Mad Bomber, terrorized New York City for 16 years in the 1940s and 1950s with explosives that he planted in theaters, terminals, libraries, and offices. [Wikipedia]

Ten minutes difference, and Earth would still be Planet of the Dinosaurs

The Economic Value of Birds

Trees with “Crown Shyness” Mysteriously Avoid Touching Each Other [Thanks Tim]

Cover image orientation in celebrity cookbooks, study

Japan Is Selling Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt

How Did Pop Music Get So Slow?

The Books We Don’t Understand

Pollution is turning dogs blue in Mumbai [Thanks Brad]

Flying the Birdly Virtual Reality Simulator [Thanks Tim]

‘The problem for human artists is that the next evolutionary intelligence (AI/singularity), is now the target audience.’ –Josh Harris

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I lie about my zodiac sign and watch people break down the person I’m not

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In what appears to be the first successful hack of a software program using DNA, researchers say malware they incorporated into a genetic molecule allowed them to take control of a computer used to analyze it. […]

To carry out the hack, researchers encoded malicious software in a short stretch of DNA they purchased online. They then used it to gain “full control” over a computer that tried to process the genetic data after it was read by a DNA sequencing machine.  

The researchers warn that hackers could one day use faked blood or spit samples to gain access to university computers, steal information from police forensics labs, or infect genome files shared by scientists.  

{ Technology Review | Continue reading }

Ones propsperups treed, now stohong baroque

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The cost of building the world’s skinniest skyscraper has ballooned so enormously that the 111 W. 57th St. project is facing imminent foreclosure while it’s less than one-quarter complete.

The 82-story skyscraper has risen fewer than 20 stories and is $50 million over budget.

[…]

“Apparently they omitted some very significant items in their budget including cranes, which are very expensive in New York and can run into the millions of dollars”

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

2.jpg Biologists Use Gene Editing to Store Movies in DNA

Scientists build DNA from scratch to alter life’s blueprint

Millennials only have a 5-second attention span for ads

Fish can’t recognise faces if they’re upside down – just like us

The $100 billion per year back pain industry is mostly a hoax

Do Men Overestimate or Women Underreport Their Sexual Intentions?

Pornography trains us to redirect sexual desire as mimetic desire. That is, the sociological theory — and the marketers’ dream — that humans learn to want what they see.

Living near noisy roads could make it harder to get pregnant

Those who used maladaptive strategies like suppressing, avoiding, or denying their feelings, had higher levels of problems associated with stress.

Brain Training Has No Effect on Decision-making or Cognitive Function, Penn Researchers Report

To the French, she explains, conversations are for exchanging points of view, not finding things in common, the goal of conversation for North Americans.

War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies [PDF]

The Not-so-secret ingredients of military coups

In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. how our lives will change dramatically in 20 years

Like ancient warlords, China’s three biggest airlines have dominated their regional cities: Air China Ltd. controlling Beijing, China Eastern Airlines Corp. holding sway in the financial center of Shanghai, and China Southern Airlines Co. ruling the roost down in export gateway Guangzhou. Until now. Beijing’s New Mega Airport Will Challenge Air China’s Dominance

Jeff Bezos Surpasses Bill Gates as World’s Richest Person

How long would it take for vampires to annihilate humanity

In this paper, we focus on the difference in the way of pulling a toilet paper roll and propose a system that identifies individuals based on features of rotation of a toilet paper roll with a gyroscope.

Can’t Find a Public Bathroom in NYC? Hail This Toilet Van

“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” is a short story by American author Edgar Allan Poe about a mesmerist who puts a man in a suspended hypnotic state at the moment of death. An example of a tale of suspense and horror, it is also, to a certain degree, a hoax, as it was published without claiming to be fictional, and many at the time of publication (1845) took it to be a factual account.

Richard D. James [Aphex Twin] interviews ex. Korg engineer about their collaboration on the monologue, microtuning, geometry and dreams.

McMansion Hell: The Devil is in the Details [Thanks Tim] + How the McMansion Hell blogger fended off a lawsuit threat from real estate site Zillow

First she let her hair fal and down it flussed to her feet its teviots winding coils

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Eye movements of 105 heterosexual undergraduate students (36 males) were monitored while viewing photographs of men and women identified as a potential mate or a potential friend. Results showed that people looked at the head and chest more when assessing potential mates and looked at the legs and feet more when assessing potential friends.

{ Archives of Sexual Behavior | Continue reading }

photo { Michelle Pfeiffer photographed by Jim Britt, 1979 }

Nature does not work with an end in view

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Neurobiological research on memory has tended to focus on the cellular mechanisms involved in storing information, known as persistence, but much less attention has been paid to those involved in forgetting, also known as transience. It’s often been assumed that an inability to remember comes down to a failure of the mechanisms involved in storing or recalling information. 

“We find plenty of evidence from recent research that there are mechanisms that promote memory loss, and that these are distinct from those involved in storing information,” says co-author Paul Frankland.

One recent study in particular done by Frankland’s lab showed that the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus seems to promote forgetting. This was an interesting finding since this area of the brain generates more cells in young people. The research explored how forgetting in childhood may play a role in why adults typically do not have memories for events that occurred before the age of four years old. 

{ University of Toronto | Continue reading }

art { Masao Mochizuki, The Air Power of the World, 1976 }

‘A sound mind in a sound body.’ –Juvenal

Chang et al. investigated the well-known asymmetry of the scrotum in man and showed that in right-handed subjects the right testis tended to be higher, whereas the converse applied in left-handed subjects.

{ Nature | PDF }

But just then there was a slight altercation between Master Tommy and Master Jacky

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{ On the Inability to Ignore Useless Advice }

oil marker on acrylic on canvas on wood { François Morellet, Rococoncret n°4, 2012 }

Every day, the same, again

22.jpgYou could live in Canada and U.S. at the same time: House straddling the border is on the market for $109,000

The biggest challenge for Justin Trudeau’s forthcoming legal recreational marijuana market is a shortage of pot

Researchers have found a way to root out identity thieves by analyzing their mouse movements with AI [study]

Visual Face-preference in the Human Fetus?

We find that the shock of having acne is positively associated with overall grade point average in high school, grades in high-school English, history, math, and science, and the completion of a college degree.

People are often encouraged to only present the best aspects of themselves at interview so they appear more attractive to employers, but what we’ve found is that high-quality candidates — the top 10% — fare much better when they present who they really are. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for poorer quality candidates who can actually damage their chances of being offered the job by being more authentic.

What triggers that feeling of being watched?

From 2014 to mid-2016, 75 people have died while attempting selfie in 52 incidents worldwide. Mean age of the victims was 23.3 and 82% were male.

Which individuals become fatter when they practice exercise?

Why Urine Doesn’t Work To Treat Jellyfish Stings

Why Is the Speed of Light So Slow?

Can falling bullets kill you?

Celebration of genius generals encourages the delusion that modern wars will be short and won quickly, when they are most often long wars of attrition

The Mutilated Currency Division

Bitcoin is on the verge of losing its position as the dominant virtual currency. The value of Ether has risen an eye-popping 4,500 percent since the beginning of the year. [NYT]

Personalized ads in the real world

“We found that people remember ads with sexual appeals more than those without, but that effect doesn’t extend to the brands or products that are featured in the ads”

Google is the internet’s largest ad company. So why is it building an ad blocker? The new Chrome feature, slated to be rolled out next year, won’t block all ads. Rather, it will block ads that Google considers particularly intrusive.

Google will no longer mine your emails for advertising data

Investors think Vice is worth more than the NYT, WaPo and FT combined. Not sure that assessment will age well.

Goldie may have confirmed that Banksy is Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja

Pythagoras’s best puzzles

In the most comprehensive study of egg shapes to date, scientists say that the best predictor of long or pointy eggs is a bird’s flying ability. [Science | NYT]

Nondestructive determination of watermelon flesh firmness by frequency response

Eugene Schieffelin was a pharmacist who lived in the Bronx. He was an eccentric Anglophile and a Shakespeare aficionado. As deputy of the American Acclimatization Society of New York, Schieffelin, it is believed, latched onto the goal of bringing every bird mentioned in the works of Shakespeare to Central Park.

“We are aware of Oksana Zhnikrup’s work and have a license to use it for Mr Koons’s work.”

Restoring Yves Klein’s “Blue Monochrome” (1961)

Egon Schiele standing in front of a full-length mirror in his studio

Popsicles Made From 100 Different Polluted Water Sources

A vending machine in Russia for buying Likes for your Instagram pics

‘The more powerful the class, the more it claims not to exist.’ –Guy Debord

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While pornography is not the only medium in which orgasm is portrayed, it is the most explicit, and it is widespread and easily accessible. As such, pornography is an ideal medium for examining representations of male and female orgasm. […] Only 18.3% of women, compared to 78.0% of men, were shown reaching orgasm.

{ Journal of Sex Research | Continue reading }

related { Objectification was depicted more often for women through instrumentality, but men were more frequently objectified through dehumanization }

previously { We found few major differences in pornography aimed at a homosexual versus heterosexual male audience, other than those that reflect the different anatomy involved, and none that reflect an anti-female agenda }

‘Infinite—nothing.’ –Pascal

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The urge to be permanently blind is an extremely rare mental health disturbance. The underlying cause of this desire has not been determined yet. […] Only 5 people with an urge to be blind were found to participate in the study (4 female, 1 male). […]

The hypothesis that people with a desire for blindness suffer from a significantly higher visual overload in activities of daily living than visually healthy subjects was confirmed.

{ Case Reports in Ophthalmology | Continue reading }

art { Douglas Huebler, Variable Piece #44 / Global, 1971 | more }