Mullet Challenge

25.jpgYour face mask selfies could be training the next facial recognition tool

‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Asks America To Join ‘Mullet Challenge’ To Promote A Presidential Pardon

The Effects of Barefoot Running on Working Memory — working memory may be enhanced after at least 16 minutes of barefoot running if the individual has to focus attention on the ground

People in long term, committed relationships try to support their decisions to maintain their relationships with marriage illusions

Peru took strict measures. Covid-19 surged anyway.

“What’s crazy is, we’re three months in, and we’re still not able to calibrate our risk management. It’s a mess,” […] Scientists are still trying to understand the virus they call SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease covid-19. Basic questions are not fully answered: How deadly is this virus? How contagious? Are there different strains with different clinical outcomes? Why does SARS-CoV-2 create a devastating disease in some people while leaving others without symptoms or even knowledge that they were infected? [Washington Post]

an 1/3 + 1/3 = 2/6? It seemed so!

Arthur Schopenhauer and Psychiatry

The Guggenheim Museum offers 200+ exhibition catalogs that you can download for free

‘Dogs never bite me. Just humans.’ –Marilyn Monroe

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{ Marilyn Monroe poses naked in bed for photographer Douglas Kirkland on the evening of November 17th 1961 in Los Angeles | more }

In the morning signorina we’ll go walking

City of Wuhan said that it had collected coronavirus swab tests from more than nine million of its 11 million people over the past 10 days, 180 asymptomatic carriers identified [WSJ]

white people so determined to get skin cancer they’re willing to risk covid

Every day, the same, again

24.jpgYou have five appetites, not one, and they are the key to your health

we found converging evidence that men showed a greater preference for variety in potential short-term mates than did women. Related: the Coolidge effect

Scientists find brain center that ‘profoundly’ shuts down pain (in mice)

Scientists have developed a bionic eye that could make blind people see

These samples are usually vomit found at the scene of a crime, either in fresh form or as a dried stain on clothings.

two virtual rockets were launched to the horizon moon and to the zenith moon. These virtual rockets carry exactly the same physical characteristics (length, width, colors, and speed). Our observers had noticed when the rocket travelling horizontally to the horizon moon, it appears to move way slower. [PsyArXiv]

Nvidia researchers taught an AI system to recreate the game of Pac-Man simply by watching it being played. The AI agent was so good at the game that it hardly ever died. “That made it hard for the AI trying to recreate the game to learn the concept of dying” [The Verge]

Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior

Researchers claim new internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps (it was achieved over 75km of standard fiber cable)

This Lickable Screen Can Recreate Almost Any Taste or Flavor Without Eating Food

Florida’s Lost Blue Bee Rediscovered

Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions

Trans Sex Zine

Antidepressants or Tolkien

Obamagate?

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey

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In Germany and China, they already reopened all the stores a month ago. You look at any survey, the restaurants are totally empty. Almost nobody’s buying anything. Everybody’s worried and cautious. And this is in Germany, where unemployment is up by only one percent. Forty percent of Americans have less than $400 in liquid cash saved for an emergency. You think they are going to spend? You’re going to start having food riots soon enough. Look at the luxury stores in New York. They’ve either boarded them up or emptied their shelves, because they’re worried people are going to steal the Chanel bags. The few stores that are open, like my Whole Foods, have security guards both inside and outside. We are one step away from food riots. There are lines three miles long at food banks. That’s what’s happening in America. You’re telling me everything’s going to become normal in three months? That’s lunacy. […]

They just decided Huawei isn’t going to have any access to U.S. semiconductors and technology. We’re imposing total restrictions on the transfer of technology from the U.S. to China and China to the U.S. And if the United States argues that 5G or Huawei is a backdoor to the Chinese government, the tech war will become a trade war. Because tomorrow, every piece of consumer electronics, even your lowly coffee machine or microwave or toaster, is going to have a 5G chip. That’s what the internet of things is about. If the Chinese can listen to you through your smartphone, they can listen to you through your toaster. Once we declare that 5G is going to allow China to listen to our communication, we will also have to ban all household electronics made in China. So, the decoupling is happening. We’re going to have a “splinternet.” It’s only a matter of how much and how fast. […]

I was recently in South Korea. I met the head of Hyundai, the third-largest automaker in the world. He told me that tomorrow, they could convert their factories to run with all robots and no workers. Why don’t they do it? Because they have unions that are powerful. In Korea, you cannot fire these workers, they have lifetime employment. But suppose you take production from a labor-intensive factory in China — in any industry — and move it into a brand-new factory in the United States. You don’t have any legacy workers, any entrenched union. You are going to design that factory to use as few workers as you can. […] But you’re not going to get many jobs. The factory of the future is going to be one person manning 1,000 robots and a second person cleaning the floor. And eventually the guy cleaning the floor is going to be replaced by a Roomba because a Roomba doesn’t ask for benefits or bathroom breaks or get sick and can work 24-7. […]

There’s a conflict between workers and capital. For a decade, workers have been screwed. Now, they’re going to be screwed more. […]

Millions of these small businesses are going to go bankrupt. Half of the restaurants in New York are never going to reopen. How can they survive? They have such tiny margins. Who’s going to survive? The big chains. Retailers. Fast food. The small businesses are going to disappear in the post-coronavirus economy. So there is a fundamental conflict between Wall Street (big banks and big firms) and Main Street (workers and small businesses). And Wall Street is going to win.

{ Nouriel Roubini | NY Mag | Continue reading }

photo { Susan Meiselas, Soldiers search bus passengers along the Northern Highway, El Salvador, 1980 }

for many cities, wide-scale al fresco dining is unrealistic

In Peru, where roughly 20 percent of the world’s cocaine is produced, public health lockdowns imposed by local communities brought coca growing and paste production to a standstill, according to Pedro Yaranga, a Peruvian security analyst. “What in nearly four years the drug control agency could not do, the coronavirus did in a few weeks,” he said. In Bolivia, which produces about one tenth of the world’s coca, the picture is reversed, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In that country, “COVID-19 is limiting the ability of state authorities to control coca bush cultivation, which could lead to an increase in coca production,” the UNODC said in a May 7 report. In Colombia, where 70 percent of the world’s cocaine is produced, the picture is more mixed. […] Exports to the world’s other biggest cocaine market, Europe, have suffered even less disruption. Unlike exports to the United States, cocaine bound for Europe is typically moved in legal air and sea cargoes, especially fast-moving fresh goods such as flowers and fruit. The latter, as food, has continued to move unimpeded during the pandemic, helping feed Europe’s 9.1 billion euro-a-year cocaine habit. [OCCRP]

Bots may account for between 45 and 60% of Twitter accounts discussing covid-19. Many of those accounts were created in February and have since been spreading and amplifying misinformation, including false medical advice, conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus, and pushes to end stay-at-home orders and reopen America. [Technology Review]

In Brazil, 15 percent of deaths have been people under 50 — a rate more than 10 times greater than in Italy or Spain. In Mexico, the trend is even more stark: Nearly one-fourth of the dead have been between 25 and 49. [Washington Post]

A Hong Kong paper awaiting peer review found that of 7,324 documented cases in China, only one outbreak occurred outside—during a conversation among several men in a small village. The risk of infection indoors is almost 19 times higher than in open-air environments, according to another study from researchers in Japan. […] Our understanding of this disease is dynamic. Today’s conventional wisdom could be tomorrow’s busted myth. Think of these studies not as gospels, but as clues in a gradually unraveling mystery. […] On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its summary of COVID-19 transmission to clarify that the virus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects—like, say, elevator buttons. Instead, they wrote, “the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person … through respiratory droplets.” […] “Until there’s a vaccine, I don’t think dine-in restaurants will get back to normal in this country,” Steve Salis, a restaurant owner in Washington, D.C., told me. […] Some American cities, including Berkeley, California, and Cincinnati, have done just that, by announcing the closure of streets to free up outdoor dining space for restaurants. But for many cities, wide-scale al fresco dining is unrealistic, not only because of necessary road use, but also because we can’t ask the weather to stop. There will be snow in Boston, wind in Chicago, and rain in Seattle. […] Germany has reportedly banned singing at religious services, and South Korea has prohibited spitting in its professional baseball league. [The Atlantic]

More Than 100 in Germany Found to Be Infected With Coronavirus After Church’s Services — Social distancing was observed and building disinfected for affected Sunday May 10 ceremonies, says senior member

the virus dies off relatively quickly in direct sunlight

Philippines: 2020 Grads Accept Diplomas Via Robot at Virtual Graduation [Thanks Tim]

Shorter menus, pricier food, less service

With surgical masks (or equally efficient substitutes) and 80% and 90% adoption levels, respiratory epidemics with R0 of about 3 and 4, respectively, would be theoretically extinguished.

An antibody discovered in the blood of a patient who caught SARS in 2003 appears to inhibit all related coronaviruses — including the one that causes COVID-19. Researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Vir Biotechnology say that the antibody they’ve identified, known as S309, “likely covers the entire family of related coronaviruses.” One of the chief obstacles to the development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine — or potent antiviral — is that the virus is perpetually mutating. But the Vir Biotechnology study suggests that S309 targets and disables the spike proteins that all known coronaviruses use to enter human cells. […] COVID-19’s fatality rate appears to be 13 times higher than the seasonal flu’s. […] Between March 1 and April 5 of this year, 5,449 COVID-19 patients were admitted to Northwell Health’s New York-based hospitals. Some 36.6 percent of those patients ended up suffering acute kidney injuries. [NY mag]

A quarter of Americans have little or no interest in taking a coronavirus vaccine.

Thoughts that the young are not much affected by SARS-CoV-2 look wrong. It seems to manifest as a rare syndrome called Kawasaki disease.

Young adults are also affected by Kawasaki-like disease linked to covid-19, doctors say (Although the number of cases is extremely small)

Shorter menus, pricier food, less service, servers wearing masks and surgical gloves: The future of dining out looks far from festive. Tables and booths will be separated by everything from plexiglass shields to clear shower curtains. Diners may have to wait in their cars or on the sidewalk for a text saying their table is ready. Paper tablecloths will replace fabric ones, condiments won’t be left on the table, and disposable plates and glasses may reign supreme. […] Less frequent busing of tables, to avoid contact. […] The OpenTable CEO predicts that 25% of restaurants will close permanently. […] Occupancy restrictions will mean that restaurants can serve only a fraction of the number of people they did before. (In Florida, for instance, re-opening restaurants must operate at no more than 25% capacity.) [Axios]

On April 24, as more than 25,000 Americans continued to test positive for COVID-19 each day, Georgia became the first U.S. state to initiate the fraught process known as “reopening.” First it allowed hair salons, gyms, barber shops, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys to resume operations. Dine-in restaurants and movie theaters followed a few days later. Today much of the state is open for business, under guidelines including a 6-foot social distancing rule. […] 26 days have passed since the state started to reopen — and that punishing new wave of infections has not materialized. […] Georgia’s rolling seven-day average of new daily cases — an important metric that helps to balance out daily fluctuations in reporting — has fallen for three weeks in a row. [Yahoo News]

To get technical, airplanes deliver 10 to 12 air changes per hour. In a hospital isolation room, the minimum target is six air changes per hour for existing facilities and 12 air changes per hour for new. Airplanes also use the same air filter — a HEPA filter — recommended by the CDC for isolation rooms with recirculated air. Such filters capture 99.97 percent of airborne particles. [Washington Post]

New data on electricity consumption has offered an insight into Americans’ level of wariness in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic: Many appeared to be staying home to avoid the virus even before lockdown orders were issued in March. The data, on consumption in homes in 30 states, shows that energy use began to rise in many states about a week before stay-at-home orders were issued but after states of emergency were declared. […] Two states, Arizona and North Carolina, bucked the trend, with far lower energy consumption increases during the time period. [NY Times]

“The cause of this recession — a global pandemic — means that our economic future will be determined in large part by the path of the virus,” said John C. Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “It’s impossible to know exactly how and when workers and businesses will be fully back to work and when consumers will return to the businesses that are open.” [NY Times]

the dick pics you’ve been waiting for

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{ Huntington Beach, California, May 13, 2020 | more gloomy photos }

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{Huntington Beach, California }

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{ amazon.com | Related: Mrs. Trump had chosen some furniture for the White House residence […] in her absence, President Trump — whose tastes veer toward the gilded, triumphal style of Louis XIV — replaced her choices with several pieces he liked better. One of two people familiar with the episode cited it as an example of Mr. Trump’s tendency not to relent on even the smallest requests from his wife. | NY Times }

every three weeks Biden exits the basement, tells people not to vote for him, and disappears again

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“Attitudes are more important than facts,” Peale preached.

“Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding,” Peale writes in “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

“Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade.”

[…]

Paula White, a televangelist, belongs to the Word of Faith movement, which teaches that God bestows health and wealth on true believers.

In a Rose Garden ceremony for the National Day of Prayer earlier this month, White quoted from the Bible’s Book of Job: “If you decree and declare a thing, it will be established.”

“I declare no more delays to the deliverance of Covid-19,” White continued. “No more delays to healing and a vaccination.”

{ CNN | Continue reading }

‘Anything can happen, but it usually doesn’t.’ —Robert Benchley

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The Navy records, known as “hazard reports,” describe both visual and radar sightings, including close calls with the aerial vehicles, or “unmanned aircraft systems.”

One incident, on March 26, 2014, over the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia Beach, involved a silver object “approximately the size of a suitcase” that was tracked on radar passing within 1,000 feet of one of the jets, according to the report. […]

Defense Department officials do not describe the objects as extraterrestrial, and experts emphasize that earthly explanations can generally be found for such incidents. Even lacking a plausible terrestrial explanation does not make an extraterrestrial one likely, astrophysicists say.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

I contacted Alexander Wendt, a professor of international relations at Ohio State University. Wendt is a giant in his field of IR theory, but in the past 15 years or so, he’s become an amateur ufologist. […] “It’s possible they’ve been here all along. And that’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately, which is a bit unsettling. Because it means it’s their planet and not ours. They could just be intergalactic tourists. Maybe they’re looking for certain minerals. It could just be scientific curiosity. It could be that they’re extracting our DNA. I mean, who knows? I have no idea. All I know is that if they are here, they seem to be peaceful. […] I think if they are here, they’ve probably been here a very long time — that’s my guess. ”

{ Vox | Continue reading }

Regarding UFOs, I see three key explanation categories:

Measurement Error – What look like artificial objects with crazy extreme abilities are actually natural stuff looked at wrong. This is widely and probably correctly judged to be the most likely scenario. Nevertheless, we can’t be very confident of that without considering its alternatives in more detail.

Secret Societies – There really are artificial objects with amazing abilities, though abilities may be somewhat overestimated via partially misleading observations. These are created and managed by hidden groups in our world, substantially tied to us. Secret local military research groups, distant secret militaries, non-state Bond-villain-like groups, time-travelers from our near future, dinosaur civilizations hidden deep in the Earth’s crust, etc.

Aliens – Again these objects really do have amazing abilities, and are created by hidden groups. But in this case the relevant groups are much less integrated with and correlated with our societies and history. Little green men, their super-robot descendants, simulation admins, gods, etc. If these groups had a common origin with, competed with, or were much influenced by the groups that we know of, those things mostly happened long ago, and probably far away.

{ Overcoming Bias | Continue reading }

photo {Ansel Adams, The Golden Gate, San Francisco, c. 1950 }

Every day, the same, again

results are consistent with the notion that adolescents are more prone than adults to take risks when faced with unlikely but costly negative outcomes

DoorDash was providing delivery services for his nondelivery pizzeria: taking web orders without his knowledge, phoning in for takeout and sending a DoorDash delivery worker to pay and pick up the food, and often delivering to a customer who would be annoyed that the pizza arrived cold. And then he was surprised to see DoorDash was selling his $24 pizzas for only $16. This meant he had an arbitrage opportunity: Order his own pizzas at $16, sell them to DoorDash for $24 each, and pocket the difference. This worked even better if he didn’t put real pizzas in the delivery boxes. But how on earth was DoorDash ever supposed to make money selling his pizzas at a loss? […] A mental model that a lot of people have for these businesses is that they are waiting to establish a dominant market position, at which point they can raise prices to a level where they will be profitable. That is, in the future, restaurants and customers will pay even more in delivery fees, and DoorDash will make money. The problem with this view is that “the future” never seems to come. Uber has been providing rides for ten years. When does the “profit” phase of its business show up? [NY mag]

New York Times phasing out all 3rd-party advertising data

85 years of advertising

Our findings indicate that Pennsylvania counties with fracking activities have higher rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia infections (7.8% and 2.6%, respectively), as well as higher prostitution related arrests (19.7%). [Economics & Human Biology]

we find no evidence that fracking increases prostitution when using our national data, suggesting sex work may not be the principal mechanism linking fracking to gonorrhea growt. [Journal of Health Economics]

The Wonderful, Transcendent Life of an Odd-Nosed Monkey

a word that does not exist; it was invented, defined and used by a machine learning algorithm. [reload for new word]

the effect of wind speed on social distancing

We computationally investigate the effect of wind speed on social distancing. For a mild human cough in air at 20○C and 50% relative humidity, we found that human saliva-disease-carrier droplets may travel up to unexpected considerable distances depending on the wind speed. When the wind speed was approximately zero, the saliva droplets did not travel 2 m, which is within the social distancing recommendations. However, at wind speeds varying from 4 km/h to 15 km/h, we found that the saliva droplets can travel up to 6 m with a decrease in the concentration and liquid droplet size in the wind direction. [Physics of Fluids]

Superspreading events are ill-understood and difficult to study […] Individual patients’ characteristics play a role as well. Some people shed far more virus, and for a longer period of time, than others, perhaps because of differences in their immune system or the distribution of virus receptors in their body. […] Singing may release more virus than speaking, which could help explain the choir outbreaks. People’s behavior also plays a role. Having many social contacts or not washing your hands makes you more likely to pass on the virus.

We know most people get infected in their own home. A household member contracts the virus in the community and brings it into the house where sustained contact between household members leads to infection. But where are people contracting the infection in the community? I regularly hear people worrying about grocery stores, bike rides, inconsiderate runners who are not wearing masks…. are these places of concern? Well, not really. In order to get infected you need to get exposed to an infectious dose of the virus; based on infectious dose studies with other coronaviruses, it appears that only small doses may be needed for infection to take hold. Some experts estimate that as few as 1000 SARS-CoV2 infectious viral particles are all that will be needed (ref 1, ref 2). Please note, this still needs to be determined experimentally, but we can use that number to demonstrate how infection can occur. Infection could occur, through 1000 infectious viral particles you receive in one breath or from one eye-rub, or 100 viral particles inhaled with each breath over 10 breaths, or 10 viral particles with 100 breaths. Each of these situations can lead to an infection. […] We still do not know whether a person releases infectious material in feces or just fragmented virus, but we do know that toilet flushing does aerosolize many droplets. Treat public bathrooms with extra caution (surface and air), until we know more about the risk. […] A single cough releases about 3,000 droplets and droplets travels at 50 miles per hour. A single sneeze releases about 30,000 droplets, with droplets traveling at up to 200 miles per hour. If a person is infected, the droplets in a single cough or sneeze may contain as many as 200,000,000 (two hundred million) virus particles which can all be dispersed into the environment around them. […] A single breath releases 50 - 5000 droplets. Most of these droplets are low velocity and fall to the ground quickly. There are even fewer droplets released through nose-breathing. Importantly, due to the lack of exhalation force with a breath, viral particles from the lower respiratory areas are not expelled. Unlike sneezing and coughing which release huge amounts of viral material, the respiratory droplets released from breathing only contain low levels of virus. […] Speaking increases the release of respiratory droplets about 10 fold Speaking increases the release of respiratory droplets about 10 fold; ~200 virus particles per minute. Assuming every virus is inhaled, it would take ~5 minutes of speaking face-to-face to receive the required dose. […] Remember the formula: Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time. […] In meat processing plants, densely packed workers must communicate to one another amidst the deafening drum of industrial machinery and a cold-room virus-preserving environment. There are now outbreaks in 115 facilities across 23 states, 5000+ workers infected, with 20 dead. […] Weddings, funerals, birthdays: 10% of early spreading events. […] infection events were indoors, with people closely-spaced, with lots of talking, singing, or yelling. The main sources for infection are home, workplace, public transport, social gatherings, and restaurants. This accounts for 90% of all transmission events. In contrast, outbreaks spread from shopping appear to be responsible for a small percentage of traced infections. [Erin Briomage]

Coronavirus is going to make film shoots more expensive. […] To manage the on-set health and safety measures, studios are expected to hire “COVID coordinators” who will lead staffs of 10 to 15 people on smaller movies, according to one production source. For bigger shoots, that staff could be 30 people or more. […] Studios’ insurance costs are also likely to rise because of the risk of having to pause shooting for weeks when a member of the cast or crew gets sick. […] So-called intimacy coordinators, who work with actors to ensure appropriate behavior during sex scenes, may be called upon to help performers feel comfortable during other types of shooting that require people to be near each other. [LA Times]

Some film sets are talking about quarantining together so they can keep working.

it turns out that one of the biggest obstacles to dining in a restaurant, renewing a doctor’s appointment or going back to the office is the prospect of having to use a public restroom — a tight, intimate and potentially germ-infested space. […] A Texas barbecue restaurant reopened only after hiring for a new job category: a bathroom monitor, who assures that people waiting their turn are spaced well apart. In Florida, malls are installing touch-free sinks and hand dryers in restrooms before opening their doors. McDonald’s is requiring franchisees to clean bathrooms every 30 minutes. Across the country, businesses are replacing blow dryers with paper towels, decommissioning urinals that now seem too close together, and removing restroom doors to create airport-style, no-touch entrances. […] The Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In theater in North Ridgeville, Ohio, reopened this week with 10 portable toilets added to the eight existing stalls. On its marquee facing the highway, the theater touted the advantages of outdoor, in-car movie watching: “Social Distancing Since 1965.” [Washington Post]

The purpose of a phase 1 clinical trial is to establish whether or not the drug or vaccine being investigated is safe. It’s not designed to test for efficacy. That being said, the trials can still provide some insights into the potential of the drug or vaccine to treat patients.

Clinical trial phases

Genetic Engineering Could Make a COVID-19 Vaccine in Months Rather Than Years

How to take a digital detox during the Covid-19 pandemic

The pandemic is emptying call centers. AI chatbots are swooping in.

To Avoid Coronavirus Risks, Some People Live Where They Work

Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues

world’s daily carbon emissions fell 17% in April […] total emissions this year will be between 4% and 7% lower than 2019’s total […] Almost half of the world’s emissions reductions last month came from a drop in transportation pollution, as people confined to their homes drove less. Reduced air travel only accounted for 10% of the emissions drop. [study]

Their brand new Full Metal Jacket is indeed made mostly of copper, a known virus-killing material for generations […] 15 kilometers of copper fiber is put into each jacket, in a production process that takes a full week to create […] Available in two colors from Vollebak, for $1095.