‘I do NOT recommend this place to my friends at all.’ –Dr. Takeshi Yamada and Seara (sea rabbit)

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{ continue reading | more reviews | Thanks Tim }

Where the sun doesn’t shine

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ML is short for machine learning, referring to computer algorithms that can learn to perform particular tasks on their own by analyzing data. AutoML, in turn, is a machine-learning algorithm that learns to build other machine-learning algorithms.

With it, Google may soon find a way to create A.I. technology that can partly take the humans out of building the A.I. systems that many believe are the future of the technology industry. […]

The tech industry is promising everything from smartphone apps that can recognize faces to cars that can drive on their own. But by some estimates, only 10,000 people worldwide have the education, experience and talent needed to build the complex and sometimes mysterious mathematical algorithms that will drive this new breed of artificial intelligence.

The world’s largest tech businesses, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, sometimes pay millions of dollars a year to A.I. experts, effectively cornering the market for this hard-to-find talent. The shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, just because mastering these skills takes years of work. […]

Eventually, the Google project will help companies build systems with artificial intelligence even if they don’t have extensive expertise.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

art { Ellsworth Kelly, Concorde I (state), 1981-82 }

Every day, the same, again

2.jpgChinese restaurant offers discounts to women depending on their bra size

Scientists have called for Kyrgyzstan’s only mummy to be immediately dug back up after the 1,500-year-old relic was taken from a museum and hastily reburied on the eve of a presidential election in a decision celebrated by self-professed psychics.

NYC chess hustler makes $400 a day

Earlier this fall, Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters (known as HQ2) and asked cities to submit requests for proposal. It had received 238 proposals. Massachusetts offered a $500 million package that included 100 percent property tax exemptions for the headquarters’ employees. Philadelphia’s price tag was $2 billion. Newark, New Jersey upped the ante to $7 billion in tax benefits…

Virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities

The scientist who traveled the world in a shipping container to study cold storage

How quantum physics is bending the rules

Medical uses for paperclips

Males were perceived as being more likely to be creepy than females. Only four occupations were judged to be significantly higher than the neutral value of “3” on the creepiness rating scale: Clowns, Taxidermists, Sex Shop Owners, and Funeral Directors. [On the nature of creepiness | PDF]

Higher quality sleep patterns are associated with reduced activity in brain regions involved in fear learning

Participants rated women in less revealing and less tight clothing more positively.

A certain number of single-vehicle crashes into stationary roadside objects such as trees are thought to be occult suicides. More: Complex suicide is usually defined as the application of more than one killing mechanism to ensure a fatal outcome.

Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology

In memory of the Girl in Blue / Killed by Train / December 24, 1933 / Unknown but not forgotten

How to Spend $1,900 on Gene Tests Without Learning a Thing

The human genome was never completely sequenced. Some scientists say it should be.

Anyone can track you with $1,000 of online ads

Wireless charging will make drones always ready to fly

Company Rents Out Grounded Jets So Instagrammers Can Fool Followers About Their Luxurious Lifestyle [Thanks Tim]

White House Lobby during renovation, 1949

Every day, the same, again

22.jpgScientists say 43 kilos of gold is flushed through Swiss sewers each year

New bill will make it legal for Californians to liquefy their corpses after death

Mobile phone companies appear to be providing your number and location to anyone who pays

The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.

Nearly every country on earth is named after one of four things

Domestication has not made dogs cooperate more with each other compared to wolves

Participants who had been breastfed scored lower in neuroticism, anxiety, and hostility and higher in openness and optimism than those not breastfed. Neuroticism was lowest for those breastfed for 9-12 months and highest for those either breastfed for >24 months or exclusively bottle-fed.

Wise and her colleagues recruited 10 heterosexual women to lay in a fMRI scanner and stimulate themselves to orgasm. They then repeated the experiment but had their partners stimulate them.

Wanting to know more about threesomes, he decided to conduct research on the subject himself. This led to a PhD about threesomes among two men and one woman (MMF).

“Forecasting agencies determine the trends to come and fashion companies are reluctant to take risks and to deviate from the path that forecasters have set them as their main aim is to make profit.”

Recognizing the popularity of John Waters films and the absence of merchandise for them, Curator Tyson Tabbert assembled a crew of designers to produce limited editions of such virtual merchandise.

Da Vinci is probably the only artist in history ever to dissect with his own hands the face of a human and that of a horse to see whether the muscles that move the lips are the same ones that can raise the nostrils of the horse’s nose More: Mona Lisa (Prado’s version), possibly painted simultaneously by a student of da Vinci in the same studio where he painted his own Mona Lisa

Has Duchamp’s Final Work Harbored a Secret for Five Decades?

“This page has intentionally been left blank.” Intentionally blank pages have been around, in abundance, since at least the 18th century

Three Chinese women stuck at South Korea airport unable to confirm identities after plastic surgery

zzz.— Supposed to represent the sound of snoring. A snoring sound, implying that somebody is asleep.

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The common assumption that population sleep duration has declined in the past few decades has not been supported by recent reviews, which have been limited to self-reported data. The aim of this review was to assess whether there has been a reduction in objectively recorded sleep duration over the last 50+ years. […]

The results indicate relative stability of objectively-recorded sleep durations in healthy sleepers assessed over the last half-century. Similar results were found across all age groups, in both men and women. […] These data are consistent with recent comprehensive reviews that found no consistent or compelling evidence of significant decrements in self-reported sleep duration and/or prevalence of short sleep over a similar range of years. Together, these data cast doubt on the notion of a modern epidemic of insufficient sleep. […]

The cliche of an ever-expanding 24/7 society is not well-supported by empirical evidence, at least not over the past 50 y. For example, evidence suggests that the prevalence of shift-work has remained stable at about 15-20% over this interval of years. Such data might seem counterintuitive in light of the increased number of 24-h services and businesses. However, while many of these businesses (e.g., restaurants and convenience stores) can operate all-night with just a few employees, over the past half-century there has been a dramatic shutdown of factories which once employed thousands of shift-workers. Moreover, over the past 10-20 y, protective regulations and practices which limit shift-work and sleep deprivation and/or better accommodate individual’s preferences (e.g., flex time and telecommuting), have been implemented for various occupations, including medical residents, truck drivers, and transportation workers.

It is a widely repeated hyperbole that never before in human history have we faced such challenges to our sleep. It has been hypothesized that industrialization, urbanization, and technological advances have caused us to ignore or override our natural tendency to sleep more, and we do so at great costs to our health and quality of life. […] The light bulb has been blamed for sleep loss. However, recent anthropologic studies of people in societies with little or no electricity have failed to indicate that these people sleep more than people in industrialized societies. […]

The notion of a recent epidemic of insufficient sleep, and speculation that this is a primary contributor to modern epidemics of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc., rests largely on the question of whether sleep duration has declined in the last few decades. Consistent with recent reviews of subjective data, this review does not support this notion, at least not in healthy sleepers. […]

Reasons for persistent assumptions about a temporal decline in societal sleep duration could include a larger number of people assessed and diagnosed with sleep disorders with the emergence of sleep medicine; greater knowledge about sleep and the risks of inadequate sleep; increased prevalence of depression; misperceptions about population norms; and persistent claims in the popular and scientific literature regarding a so-called modern epidemic of insufficient sleep.

{ Sleep Medicine Reviews | PDF }

photo { Aug. 5, 1962. Police officer points to an assortment of prescription bottles on the bedside table in Marilyn Monroe’s bedroom in Los Angeles, where she was found dead }

Like in much of theoretical physics, the answer is effectively a non-answer

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Strange-face illusions are produced when two individuals gaze at each other in the eyes in low illumination for more than a few minutes.

Usually, the members of the dyad perceive numinous apparitions, like the other’s face deformations and perception of a stranger or a monster in place of the other, and feel a short lasting dissociation. […]

Strange-face illusions can be considered as ‘projections’ of the subject’s unconscious into the other’s face. In conclusion, intersubjective gazing at low illumination can be a tool for conscious integration of unconscious ’shadows of the Self’ in order to reach completeness of the Self.

{ Explore | Continue reading }

photo { Richard Kern }

Every day, the same, again

24.jpgMultiple arrested after fight inside Berkeley’s ‘empathy tent’

Eminem music shares to hit the stock exchange

“Digital self-harm” is the anonymous online posting, sending, or otherwise sharing of hurtful content about oneself. The current study examined the extent of digital self-harm among adolescents.

Parents of teenage daughters are more likely to divorce

Tattooed people, especially women, were rated as stronger and more independent, but more negatively in other ways

The visibility of social class from facial cues

3D Face Reconstruction from a Single Image (via, Thanks Mark!)

‘La sève des arbres vous entre au cœur par les longs regards stupides que l’on tient sur eux.’ –Flaubert

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When making trust decisions in economic games, people have some accuracy in detecting trustworthiness from the facial features of unknown partners. […] We observed that trustworthiness detection remained better than chance for exposure times as short as 100 ms, although it disappeared with an exposure time of 33 ms.

{ Experimental Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Miles Alridge }

Every day, the same, again

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Senate map gerrymandered for senator’s house

Entrepreneurs are finding profits turning human waste into fertiliser, fuel and even food. The new economy of excrement

Chinese sex doll rental service suspended amid controversy

Tourists at the Koorana Saltwater Crocodile Farm in Coowonga, Queensland, Australia, were randomly assigned to play a laptop-simulated Electronic Gaming Machine

Sleep deprivation rapidly reduces depression symptoms in nearly half of depressed patients

Is Shame Hallucinogenic?

Voynich manuscript: the solution More: Has a Mysterious Medieval Code Really Been Solved? Experts say no.

Two mathematicians have proved that two different infinities are equal in size, settling a long-standing question

Quasi-steady state aerodynamics of the cheetah tail

Two British science museums held a majestic, two-day fight on Twitter

Never pay a penny of a debt which isn’t yours. Identity Theft, Credit Reports, and You

Your future sex robot could be hacked and programmed to murder you

This elevator has a call button 30 feet away so that the elevator is there when you arrive

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 }