Why is he smiling in this moment — during a question and answer regarding such a serious subject? A smile, when it’s out of context, is always telling.

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According to a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, you can come off as more persuasive by speaking slightly louder than you normally do, and by varying the overall volume of your voice (i.e., speaking both more loudly and softly). […] it will make you appear more confident when you speak, which has a positive impact on your overall persuasiveness, according to the study.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

Tony: [to Lady and Tramp in an Italian accent] Now-a, first-a we fix the table-a.

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related { Disney Plus warns users of ‘outdated cultural depictions’ in old movies }

‘Now looking at the screen, it feels like the future didn’t last long, so Find The Filter You Love The Most And Let It Kill You.’ –Fette Sans

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“The human eye is extraordinarily sensitive to light,” Dr. Woods said. Throw a few dozen photons its way, a few dozen quantum-sized packets of light, and the eye can readily track them. […]

N.I.S.T. disk number two was an example of advanced ultra-black technology: elaborately engineered arrays of tiny carbon cylinders, or nanotubes, designed to capture and muzzle any light they encounter. […] The N.I.S.T. ultra-black absorbs at least 99.99 percent of the light that stumbles into its nanotube forest. But scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported in September the creation of a carbon nanotube coating that they claim captures better than 99.995 of the incident light. “The blackest black should be a constantly improving number,” said Brian Wardle, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and an author on the new report. “Folks will find other materials that are blacker than ours.” […]

Psychologists have gathered evidence that black is among the most metaphorically loaded of all colors, and that we absorb our often contradictory impressions about black at a young age. […] Participants were asked to link images with traits. Which boy was likeliest to cheat on the test? Which man was likely to be in charge at work? Which girl was the smartest in her class, which dog the scariest? Again and again, among both children and young adults, black pulled ahead of nearly every color but red. Black was the color of cheating, and black was the color of cleverness. A black tie was the mark of a boss, a black collar the sign of a pit bull. Black was the color of strength and of winning. Black was the color of rage. […]

Diemut Strebe, an artist in residence at M.I.T., collaborated with Dr. Wardle on a project that would merge carbon at its most absorptive configuration, in the form of carbon nanotubes, with carbon in its most reflective and refractive state, as a diamond. One of their biggest challenges: finding a jeweler willing to lend them a chunky diamond that would be plastered with what amounts to high-tech soot. “I tried many companies, Tiffany, others,” Ms. Strebe said. “I got many no’s.” Finally, L.J. West Diamonds, which specializes in colored diamonds, agreed to hand over a $2 million, 16.78-carat yellow diamond, provided the process could be reverse-engineered and the carbon nanotube coating safely removed. The resulting blackened bling is on view at the New York Stock Exchange, which Ms. Strebe calls “the holy grail of valuation.”

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

42.jpgWomen Missing Brain’s Olfactory Bulb Can Still Smell, Puzzling Scientists

A recent experiment by Microsoft Japan suggests with a 4-day workweek we may be more productive if we work less

Tech writer Alex Wilhelm found the deck SoftBank is using to explain what just happened with their WeWork clusterfork and it is AMAZING.

This Is How the U.S. Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works

Researchers in Japan and at the University of Michigan found a way to take over Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri devices from hundreds of feet away by shining laser pointers, and even flashlights, at the devices’ microphones. In one case, they said, they opened a garage door by shining a laser beam at a voice assistant that was connected to it. [NY Times]

how many times would I need people to stream my music on Spotify to pay for this double LP?

Efficacy of light therapy versus antidepressant drugs, and of the combination versus monotherapy

Is it dangerous to wake a sleepwalker?

Airplane Mode, a game that tasks you with sitting through a nearly six-hour transatlantic flight… in real time.

Her pills, all individual and artisanally crafted from various kinds of digestible matter, disappoint and refuse any shift to reality + If I can’t sleep at night is it because I am [redacted] - Part I & II

Closed Loop is a recording of two artificial intelligence models conversing with each other - one with words the other with images

typography can save the world just kidding

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Google is engaged with one of the country’s largest health-care systems to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states.

The initiative, code-named “Project Nightingale,” appears to be the biggest in a series of efforts by Silicon Valley giants to gain access to personal health data and establish a toehold in the massive health-care industry. […] Google began the effort in secret last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, the second-largest health system in the U.S., with the data sharing accelerating since summer, the documents show.

The data involved in Project Nightingale encompasses lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth.

Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents.

Some Ascension employees have raised questions about the way the data is being collected and shared, both from a technological and ethical perspective, according to the people familiar with the project. But privacy experts said it appeared to be permissible under federal law. That law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, generally allows hospitals to share data with business partners without telling patients, as long as the information is used “only to help the covered entity carry out its health care functions.”

Google in this case is using the data, in part, to design new software, underpinned by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, that zeroes in on individual patients to suggest changes to their care.

{ Wall Street Journal | Continue reading }

oil on panel { Mark Ryden, Incarnation, 2009 | Work in progress of the intricate frame for Mark Ryden’s painting Incarnation }

Nature does not work with an end in view

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[A]verage quality-adjusted single-family house prices, corrected for overall inflation, have risen a paltry 1.1% at a compound annual rate since 1972. […] Since 1972, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates in real terms have averaged 4.1%, meaning it has cost the homeowner 3% per year to own a house before taxes, maintenance, utilities and insurance. That’s a real negative return.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

photo { Frank Lloyd Wright at the Guggenheim Museum during construction, photographed by Sam Falk, 1957 | NY Times }

How do we make use of this life that we still have?

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Several weeks ago, I met up with a friend in New York who suggested we grab a bite at a Scottish bar in the West Village. He had booked the table through something called Seated, a restaurant app that pays users who make reservations on the platform. We ordered two cocktails each, along with some food. And in exchange for the hard labor of drinking whiskey, the app awarded us $30 in credits redeemable at a variety of retailers. […]

To throw cash at people every time they walk into a restaurant does not sound like a business. It sounds like a plot to lose money as fast as possible. […]

If you wake up on a Casper mattress, work out with a Peloton before breakfast, Uber to your desk at a WeWork, order DoorDash for lunch, take a Lyft home, and get dinner through Postmates, you’ve interacted with seven companies that will collectively lose nearly $14 billion this year. […]

The meal-kit company Blue Apron revealed before its public offering that the company was spending about $460 to recruit each new member, despite making less than $400 per customer. […] since Blue Apron went public, the firm’s valuation has crashed by more than 95 percent. […]

{ The Atlantic | Continue reading }

photo { Detroit Science Center, 1979 }

unrelated { Apple announces $2.5 billion plan to ease California housing crisis }

Every day, the same, again

4.jpgNew York train rider reports suspicious packages, turn out to be machines used to report suspicious packages

Man kept getting drunk without drinking. Docs found brewer’s yeast in his guts.

Australia wants to use face recognition for porn age verification

Man saves his nail clippings for a year and turns them into engagement ring

Men are funnier than women, study claims

Rats taught to drive tiny cars to lower their stress levels

MIT Taught Self-Driving Cars to See Around Corners with Shadows

You Got a Brain Scan at the Hospital. Someday a Computer May Use It to Identify You. The brain scans of 84 volunteers were used to create reconstructions of their faces, then tested against photographs. A facial recognition program correctly matched 70 subjects. [NY Times]

Fingerprinting isn’t yet as widespread as cookies, but it’s concerning because it’s much, much more aggressive.

Uber made a feature called “Copter” available to all of its users in New York City. A significant portion of helicopter traffic above NYC isn’t monitored. Since 1983, there have been at least 30 crashes.

Air pollution trigger hundreds more heart attacks and strokes, research suggests

Facebook alters video to make people invisible to facial recognition [ De-Identification Video Samples ]

Silicon Valley drug-fueled, sex-laced parties

It was June 6, 1984, and Tetris had just started its journey from behind the Iron Curtain.

What was Condé Nast? And what is Condé Nast today?

Why Thousands Are Watching The Decay Of A Decade-Old McDonald’s Burger

Emoji Frequency

roboto a roboto

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Electrical activity from the brains of a pair of human subjects was transmitted to the brain of a third individual in the form of magnetic signals, which conveyed an instruction to perform a task in a particular manner. […]

In [another] report, a human using a noninvasive brain interface linked, via computer, to the BCI of an anesthetized rat was able to move the animal’s tail.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

art { Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, San Francisco Museum of Art, Calendar, 1969 }

Wazowski! Where is it, you little one-eyed cretin?

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photo { Javier Ruperez, 6th place, 2019 Photomicrography Competition }

The largest set of matryoshka dolls in the world is a 51-piece set hand-painted by Youlia Bereznitskaia of Russia, completed in 2003

Chinese businessman Tan Youhui was looking for a hitman to take out a competitor, Wei Mou, and was willing to pay 2 million yuan (£218,000) to get the job done. The hitman that Mr Youhui hired decided to offer the job to another hitman for half the original price. The second hitman then subcontracted to another hitman, who then subcontracted to a fourth, who gave the job to a fifth. However, hitman number five was so incensed at how much the value of the contract had fallen, that he told the target to fake his own death, which eventually led to the police finding out about the plot, Beijing News reported.

{ Metro | Continue reading }

Why, why, tell ‘em that it’s human nature

Neumann created a company that destroyed value at a blistering pace and nonetheless extracted a billion dollars for himself. He lit $10 billion of SoftBank’s money on fire and then went back to them and demanded a 10% commission. What an absolute legend.

{ Matt Levine / Bloomberg | Continue reading }