Every day, the same, again

43.jpg Maskless Man Ejected from Disney’s Hollywood Studios Today While Screaming Misquotes from Pixar’s “A Bugs Life”

men found it more appealing if their committed romantic/sexual partners frequently changed their physical appearance, while women reported that they modified their physical appearance more frequently than did men, potentially appealing to male desires for novelty

How the Physical Appearance of Others Affects Attention to Healthy Foods

There is a widespread stereotype that women are better at multitasking. The present study examined a possibility that men were better at concurrent multitasking while women were better at task switching. Findings suggest that men have an advantage in concurrent multitasking.

Highly creative individuals are better than their peers at identifying uncreative products

The experience of love plays an integral role in human development as adolescents transition to young adults. This study examined whether emerging adults in the United States reach a consensus on what makes people feel loved.

Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population

If You’ve Just Had Covid, Exercise Can Cause Serious Complications, Including Heart Disease

For the first time since the Great Depression, the majority of 18- to 29-year-olds have moved back home

EncroChat was a Europe-based communications network and service provider allegedly used by organized crime members to plan criminal activities. Police infiltrated the network between at least March and June 2020 during a Europe-wide investigation. […] At least 800 arrests have been made across Europe as of 7 July 2020. […] The Dutch police arrested more than 100 suspects and seized more than 8 tonnes of cocaine, around 1.2 tonne of crystal meth, 19 synthetic drug laboratories, dozens of guns and luxury cars, and around €20 million in cash. In a property in Rotterdam, authorities found police uniforms, stolen vehicles, 25 firearms and drugs. On 22 June 2020 the Dutch police discovered a “torture chamber” in a warehouse. [Wikipedia | More: How Police Secretly Took Over a Global Phone Network for Organized Crime and Encrochat Investigation Finds Corrupt Cops Leaking Information to Criminals ]

The Billionaire Who Wanted To Die Broke . . . Is Now Officially Broke

In September of 1931, writer George Orwell disguised himself as a tramp and traveled to a farm near West Malling, a town that lays southeast of London, to pick hops.

One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection.

Coronavirus Ice Cube Mold Tray [Thank you, Cassandra]

snake as face mask on bus

I have built the most inconvenient way of playing music

Every day, the same, again

51.jpgJapan on Track to Introduce Flying Taxi Services in 2023

Amazon wants to use delivery drones to surveil your house and put ads on your body

Facebook will pay users $120 to log off before 2020 election (to assess the impact of social media on voting)

No Evidence for a Relationship between Intelligence and Ejaculate Quality [PDF]

Attachment theory is an enduring and generative framework for understanding infant and romantic relationships. Here, I advance a two-system approach to attachment, proposing that infant attachments and romantic attachments constitute etiologically distinct systems that evolved in response to different selection pressures, serve different evolutionary functions, and are fundamentally different in nature with regard to operation and necessity toward their respective evolutionary goals.

recent research has shed light on how memory of recent eating modulates future food consumption. […] In humans, overweight and obesity is associated with impaired memory performance […] Enhancing memory of eating has been shown to reduce future eating

We investigated whether surgical face masks affected the performance of human observers, and a state-of-the-art face recognition system, on tasks of perceptual face matching.

facial detection applied to grains of sand

The Effects of Laughter during US Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments we find that the side causing more instances of laughter is more likely to win the votes of individual justices

Energy ‘scavenger’ could turn waste heat from fridges and other devices into electricity

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

On the correlation between solar activity and large earthquakes worldwide

Nearly two-thirds of New York restaurants may have to close by January

Berlin’s banging Berghain club reborn as a gallery

The Economic Impact of the Black Death Previously: When the Black Death hit Europe in 1348-50, killing between one third and one half of the population, its cause was unknown. Many contemporaries blamed the Jews.

how humankind should handle the first, inevitable murder in outer space

The nine alternative visions of chess that AlphaZero tested included no-castling chess, which Kramnik and others had already been thinking about. Five of the variants altered the movement of pawns, including torpedo chess, in which pawns can move up to two squares at a time throughout the game, instead of only on their first move. Draws were less common under no-castling chess than under conventional rules. And learning different rules shifted the value AlphaZero placed on different pieces: Under conventional rules it valued a queen at 9.5 pawns; under torpedo rules the queen was only worth 7.1 pawns. A more extreme change, self-capture chess, in which a player can take their own pieces, proved even more alluring. [Wired]

How to blur your house on Google Street View

The Art of the One-Word Poem

Verne Edquist, a master piano tuner who spent most of his professional life working for one client – Glenn Gould

Insects of Los Angeles (photographs taken using a special digital microscope)

Balenciaga Summer 20 Campaign [Thanks Tim]

Every day, the same, again

61.jpg Not moving to dance music is nearly impossible, according to new research

The present study examines the striking similarities between the architectural design and spatial composition of the ancient Egyptian tomb and Sigmund Freud’s office at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, Austria.

AQs on Protecting Yourself from COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission

Studies are showing that the novel coronavirus can be detected in stool samples and anal swab samples for weeks. In fact, scientists are testing wastewater as an early tracking system for outbreaks. And a recent case on an airplane identified the airplane bathroom as the potential source. When you flush a toilet, the churning and bubbling of water aerosolizes fecal matter. That creates particles that will float in the air, which we will now politely call “bioaerosols” for the rest of this article. […] Take one 2018 study of flushing toilets in a hospital. Researchers found high concentrations of bioaerosols when a toilet with no lid was flushed. […] When you flush the toilet, you’re breathing in toilet water, and whatever is in that toilet water — including viruses and bacteria. [Washington Post]

COVID-19 Can Wreck Your Heart, Even if You Haven’t Had Any Symptoms

Antibodies that people make to fight the new coronavirus last for at least four months after diagnosis and do not fade quickly as some earlier reports suggested, scientists have found.

For many of Europe’s naturists, and the tens of thousands of swingers among them, Cap d’Agde has become a traditional summer destination, but a coronavirus outbreak here has shone an uncomfortable light on their alternative lifestyle.

A strange phenomenon has emerged near Amazon.com Inc. delivery stations and Whole Foods stores in the Chicago suburbs: smartphones dangling from trees. Contract delivery drivers are putting them there to get a jump on rivals seeking orders, according to people familiar with the matter. Someone places several smartphones in a tree located close to the station where deliveries originate. Drivers in on the plot then sync their own phones with the ones in the tree and wait nearby for an order pickup. [update 9/5: Amazon Drivers Say Smartphones-In-Trees Scheme Has Been Thwarted ]

Imagine a world where wireless devices are as small as a grain of salt. These miniaturized devices have sensors, cameras and communication mechanisms to transmit the data they collect back to a base in order to process. Today, you no longer have to imagine it: microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), often called motes, are real

Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, “by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.” Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers.

Sounds of the Forest — We are collecting the sounds of woodlands and forests from all around the world, creating a growing soundmap bringing together aural tones and textures from the world’s woodlands. [more sound maps]

First noticeable effect. Concentration lagging. Palms beginning to sweat. Starting to feel like it might be difficult to focus enough to write a report.

shots taken by the Swiss photographer Rudy Burckhardt in Queens, New York, 1940


Every day, the same, again

63.jpgThe world’s most expensive sheep has just been purchased for $490,000

Democrats favoring Joe Biden are concocting strategies for preventing the theft of their signs, including smelly and irritating substances to mark the thieves. [Washington Post]

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is calling for an end to daylight saving time. Studies have pointed to health risks connected to daylight saving time and the sleep disruptions it causes. The AASM called out stroke risks, stress reactions and an increase in motor vehicles crashes, particularly in relation to the springtime clock change.  

Results of Finland’s basic income experiment

We examine the threat to individuals’ privacy based on the feasibility of reidentifying users through distinctive profiles of their browsing history visible to websites and third parties. We then find that for users who visited 50 or more distinct domains in the two-week data collection period, ~50% can be reidentified using the top 10k sites. Reidentifiability rose to over 80% for users that browsed 150 or more distinct domains. [PDF]

across all countries and U.S. states that we study, the growth rates of daily deaths from COVID-19 fell from a wide range of initially high levels to levels close to zero within 20-30 days after each region experienced 25 cumulative deaths [PDF]

Bell Labs itself later grew to be one of the marquees of commercial labs—in the late 1960s it employed 15,000 people including 1,200 PhDs, who between them made too many important inventions to list, from the transistor and the photovoltaic cell to the first digitally scrambled voice audio (in 1943) and the first complex number calculator (in 1939). Fourteen of its staff went on to win Nobel Prizes and five to win Turing Awards.

Fact Checking Nonfiction Books

The Hidden History of the Hip-Hop Mixtape

An Ohio man built a backyard squirrel bar with seven varieties of nuts on tap — Lucky squirrels who find their way to the bar get to choose from seven different nuts named after beers. Dutko’s favorite part of the bar is its quirky bathroom sign: “Nuts” and “No Nuts.” [Video: Building a squirrel bar]

wearable cyberpunk assemblages by Hiroto Ikeuchi

the HOT NEW TREND in cyberbullying: crashing your plane into someone’s house in Microsoft flight sim and sending them the pic [Thanks Tim]

Every day, the same, again

52.jpgFacial recognition designed to detect around face masks is failing, study finds

A computer scientist is suing the Patent Office for deciding an AI can’t invent things

The Wildest Insurance Fraud Scheme Texas Has Ever Seen — Over a decade, Theodore Robert Wright III destroyed cars, yachts, and planes. That was only the half of it.

“There is no such thing as cheap food—there is a consequence. Something has been compromised to give you that product”

Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19?

Ten countries [islands] kept out Covid

Salivary Detection of COVID-19 + how saliva specimens compare with nasopharyngeal swab specimens

Please remain calm while the robot swabs your nose

Zuckerberg made the case to President Donald Trump that the rise of Chinese internet companies threatens American business, and should be a bigger concern than reining in Facebook, some of the people said.

Taxicab Geometry as a Vehicle for the Journey Toward Enlightenment [PDF]

Uber vomit fraud

There Are Only 37 Possible Stories, According to This 1919 Manual for Screenwriters

Every day, the same, again

48.jpg 750 million genetically engineered mosquitoes approved for release in Florida Keys

Researchers have demonstrated that they can make a working 3D-printed copy of a key just by listening to how the key sounds when inserted into a lock. And you don’t need a fancy mic — a smartphone or smart doorbell will do nicely if you can get it close enough to the lock.

The underlying purpose of this essay is less about the coronavirus per se and more about how having a small—but functionally complete— piece of viral RNA to analyze gives me a unique opportunity to try to understand a complete self-replicating machine from scratch

A coronavirus mutation is tied to less severe illness None of the 29 people whose viruses had the mutation needed supplemental oxygen, but 26 of the 92 people whose viruses lacked the mutation did. More: The ∆382 variant of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be associated with a milder infection

Getting an antibody test to see if you had Covid-19 months ago is pointless, according to guidelines issued this week by a major medical society. Many tests are inaccurate, some look for the wrong antibodies and even the right antibodies fade away, said experts at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which issued the new guidelines. Because current tests cannot determine if someone is immune, the society said, they “cannot inform decisions to discontinue physical distancing or lessen the use of personal protective equipment.” […] Despite the flaws of antibody tests, recent studies of patients who definitely were infected suggest that they have long-lasting immunity and that it is very unlikely they will get reinfected. That may be because white blood cells known as B and T cells, which are “primed” to recognize and attack the coronavirus, remain in circulation long after antibodies have faded away. But B and T cells are not analyzed by common antibody tests. [NY Times]

assuming everyone is wearing a mask — the risk of catching the virus on a full flight is just 1 in 4,300. Those odds fall to 1 in 7,700 if the middle seat is vacant.

Face Masks and GDP

Callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers are trying to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims

Recently, scientists discovered bacteria that had been buried beneath the ocean floor for more than a hundred million years and was still alive. What would change if we could live for even just a million years?

We conducted a 10-year study in which we assembled a data set of more than 17,000 C-suite executive assessments and studied 2,600 in-depth to analyze who gets to the top and how. We then took a closer look at “CEO sprinters” — those who reached the CEO role faster than the average of 24 years from their first job. We discovered a striking finding: Sprinters don’t accelerate to the top by acquiring the perfect pedigree. They do it by making bold career moves over the course of their career that catapult them to the top. We found that three types of career catapults were most common among the sprinters. [Harvard Business Review]

Can Robots Keep Humans from Abusing Other Robots?

The Case of the Top Secret iPod

Gigapixel AI Accidentally Added Ryan Gosling’s Face to This Photo

GPT-3 is an artificial intelligence that has been fed all the text on the internet

Elf Surveillance Santa Camera - Dummy CCTV Camera - Simply attach the camera in your child’s room and have them really thinking that Elfie is watching their behaviour

Every day, the same, again

6.jpgLego piece falls out of New Zealand boy’s nose after being stuck for two years

Berlin brothels reopen after lockdown, but no sex allowed

Liking a painting increased the ability to recall on which wall the painting was hung. Since recalling the wall requires recalling heading direction, this finding suggests positive aesthetic experience enhances first-person spatial representations.

Rocking together: Dynamics of intentional and unintentional interpersonal coordination [PDF]

Population immunity is slowing down the pandemic in parts of the US

Making a Covid-19 Vaccine Is Hard. Making One for Kids Is Harder.

The Strange Theory of Coronavirus from Space

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. ran into a lot of trouble (nobody renting cars during a pandemic, used-car values declining and triggering margin calls on its used-car securitization, etc.) and filed for bankruptcy. Instead of trading down to zero, as you might expect (bankruptcy tends to zero stocks), the stock traded up, on heavy volume, due to retail day-trader enthusiasm and the general mystery of financial markets in 2020. Hertz was like, okay, well, if people really want to buy Hertz stock, we have Hertz stock, we should sell them some. Hertz went to the bankruptcy judge and said that. “There are forces at work that us non-financial people, that we can only observe,” they told her. She had no objections. On the morning of Monday, June 15, Hertz filed a prospectus announcing that it would sell up to $500 million of stock in an “at the market” (“ATM”) offering, meaning that Hertz’s bank (Jefferies) would just sell the shares on the stock exchange from time to time; if you bought stock, you’d have no way of knowing if you were buying it from Hertz or from one of the many other people who were selling Hertz stock. Of course the stock was probably worthless, as Hertz said in the prospectus. […] Hertz Global Holdings Inc. raised $29 million selling its likely worthless stock before regulators dissuaded the bankrupt rental-car company from selling more.

Was Shakespeare a Woman?



Every day, the same, again

32.jpgHusband discovers wife’s affair after spotting her in the act on Google Maps

a new ocean will form in Africa as the continent continues to split into two

Bald eagle attacks government drone and sends it to bottom of Lake Michigan

Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates

Painting Eyes on The Butts of Cattle Can Protect Them From Lions, Research Shows

A billionaire art collector is commissioning a $1.5 million diamond-encrusted, 18 carat gold, face mask

Thieves are making a fortune from stealing used cardboard that’s been left out to be recycled, and selling it on.

Should We Conserve Parasites? Apparently, Yes

Consumers prefer older drugs

AI invents new ‘recipes’ for potential COVID-19 drugs

herd immunity could happen with as little as one quarter of the population of a community exposed — or perhaps just 20 percent. […] well, it almost certainly does not, considering that recent serological surveys have shown that perhaps 93 percent of the population of Iquitos, Peru, has contracted the disease. […] and as many as 68 percent in particular neighborhoods of New York City. […] a handful of studies have found that a quite significant number of people unexposed to the coronavirus nevertheless exhibited what are called “cross-reactive” T-cell immune responses to the disease. In other words, you didn’t necessarily need to catch COVID-19 for your T-cells to know how to fight it, because previous exposure to similar coronaviruses (chiefly the common cold) had already taught your immune systems how to respond to this one. […] At least 20 percent of the public, and perhaps 50 percent, had some preexisting, cross-protective T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2, according to one much-discussed recent paper. An earlier paper had put the figure at between 40 and 60 percent. And a third had found an even higher prevalence: 81 percent. […] According to [Francois Balloux], a cross-reactive T-cell response wouldn’t prevent infection, but would probably mean a faster immune response, a shorter period of infection, and a “massively” reduced risk of severe illness. […] T-cell cross-immunity, Eric Topol said, “is very likely playing a significant role. Why are some people asymptomatic? Why do some people who get the infection have such a mild response — so mild they hardly get sick? Is it because of the T-cell activation? I think it’s part of this story. It may even be the main explanation of why people never develop symptoms, or why they might have such mild symptoms. [NY mag]

The Coronavirus May Mess With Thyroid Levels, Too

This coronavirus is here for the long haul — here’s what scientists predict for the next months and years

You might have seen reports this week that Chinese authorities said a surface sample from a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus. But don’t panic. Yes, the virus was detected on the food product in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, according to a statement from the municipal government. But test results for people who might have had contact with the chicken wings have so far come back negative, the statement said. [CNN]

An appliance such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot can thoroughly disinfect an N95 without degrading it. […] The dry heat produced by such electric cookers (rice cookers or multicookers such as Instant Pots) may be an effective way of decontaminating medical-grade N95 masks. Using the rice preset on the Farberware cooker and N95 respirators from 3M, a major manufacturer of the protective coverings, the researchers found that 50-minute treatments without pressure at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit left the masks thoroughly cleaned without compromising fit or filtration efficiency. [Washington Post]

Inspired by llamas’ unique antibodies, scientists create a potent anti-coronavirus molecule

An Austrian tourist is in hot water with museum officials in Italy after accidentally breaking the toes off of a 200-year-old statue while posing for a photo. According to the museum, the tourist quickly moved away from the exhibit without telling anyone […] The tourist was tracked down by police using personal information the guest had left with the museum for contact tracing in the event that a coronavirus outbreak is tied to the gallery. [Travel & Leisure | Thanks Tim]

Research has shown that boys are highly sensitive in roughly the same numbers as girls. But boys who violate cultural norms of masculinity may “suffer more shame and rejection, even violence and anger directed toward them” at school, according to Dr. Cooper. […] Sensitivity is also sometimes confused with being shy. While the majority of highly sensitive children are introverts, roughly 30 percent are extroverts, despite their tendency to get easily overstimulated in social situations. […] Like horses, highly sensitive children will tend to enter new situations more slowly. [NY Times]

Ratfucking is an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks, particularly pertaining to elections

A reading list retracing the @Roland_US sound in rap, Miami bass, bounce, electro, and instrumental hip-hop.

the Pavlok is exactly what the ad suggests: a Bluetooth-connected, wearable wristband that uses accelerometers, a connected app, and a “snap circuit” to shock its users with 450 volts of electricity when they do something undesirable. The device costs $149.99 and is available on Amazon. The company says it has over 100,000 customers who use the device to help kill food cravings, quit smoking, and to stop touching their face.

Disney just ended the 20th Century Fox brand

Trump Unable To Produce Certificate Proving He’s Not A Festering Pile Of Shit

Kinopio design

Every day, the same, again

d.jpgFox found with impressive shoe collection in Berlin

scientists solve mystery behind body odour, trace the source of underarm aromas to a particular enzyme in a certain microbe that lives in the human armpit

For centuries, people have described unusual animal behavior just ahead of seismic events: dogs barking incessantly, cows halting their milk, toads leaping from ponds.Now researchers say they have managed to precisely measure increased activity in a group of farm animals prior to seismic activity.

Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine, and nobody knows if it’s legal or if it works

Covid-19 vaccines appear to be “reactogenic,” meaning they have induced short-term discomfort in a percentage of the people who have received them in clinical trials. This kind of discomfort includes headache, sore arms, fatigue, chills, and fever.

The bill included $9,736 per day for the intensive care room , nearly $409,000 for its transformation into a sterile room for 42 days, $82,000 for the use of a ventilator for 29 days, and nearly $100,000 for two days when he appeared to be on his deathbed. […] In New York City, hospitals received more than $3bn in federal funds last month from an early round of bailout payments. The money is supposed to compensate hospitals and healthcare providers for the expense of treating coronavirus patients and make up for the revenue hospitals lost from canceling elective procedures. Though the federal money comes with some conditions that are intended to protect patients from medical debt, loopholes remain. Doctors who treat patients can send their own bills to patient directly. The doctors who treated Mendez individually charged between $300 and $1,800 for each day.

The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, it infected 500 million people–about a third of the world’s population at the time–in four successive waves. The death toll is typically estimated to have been somewhere between 17 million and 50 million. […] The second wave began in the second half of August. [Wikipedia]

Allan Lichtman is the Nostradamus of presidential elections. He’s accurately predicted them for four decades. He also prophesied Trump would be impeached. […] Professor Lichtman walks us through his system, which identifies 13 “keys” to winning the White House. Each key is a binary statement: true or false. And if six or more keys are false, the party in the White House is on its way out. [NY Times]

Rite Aid deployed facial recognition systems in hundreds of U.S. stores

Japanese robotics startup invented a smart mask that translates into eight languages

Twitter Hack Zoom Court Hearing Interrupted by Ass-Eating Porn Video

Education is by definition a competitive system that sorts winners from losers. As long as we accept its role as a key determinant of social outcomes, the result will necessarily be inequality.

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free

Lunch on the Grass (A Bite-Sized History of the Picnic)

The story of 212-OPEC-SID — Three decades ago, the punk rockers, hardcore kids and metalheads of New York City relied on the operators of one answering machine to find out where bands were playing.

The Wild Story of Creem, Once ‘America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine’ [NY Times]

a calendar celebrating seasonal skin conditions

Every day, the same, again

6.jpg Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Accuse Each Other of Peeing and Pooing All Over Their House

Student-developed device predicts avocado ripeness

Human activity causes vibrations that propagate into the ground as high-frequency seismic waves. Measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread changes in human activity, leading to a months-long reduction in seismic noise of up to 50%. The 2020 seismic noise quiet period is the longest and most prominent global anthropogenic seismic noise reduction on record. [Science]

presence of groovy background music promoted interest in meeting a dating partner again

The most powerful predictors of relationship quality are the characteristics of the relationship itself — the life dynamic you build with your person.

After reviewing forty‐four publications from 1889 to 2019 it became apparent that clinical and anatomical studies conducted during recent decades provide substantial evidence in support of the female ejaculatory phenomenon

This protocol, implemented through an app in conjunction with a wearable sleep-tracking sensor device, not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes by repeating targeted information at sleep onset, thereby enabling incorporation of this information into dream content.

Do dreams exist to protect the brain’s visual cortex?

A Michigan man allegedly managed to steal more than $100,000 from casino patrons […] by illegally obtaining their personal information and then using counterfeit driver’s licenses to withdraw funds from their personal bank accounts via self-service kiosks at the casinos The kiosks require users to insert their driver’s license and the last four digits of both their Social Security number and phone number before checking account funds can be withdrawn.

What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power

the book charts, apparently the gold standards of literary commercial success, can be rigged, and all it needs is cash.  How to cheat the bestseller list

Try ‘glory holes’ for safer sex during coronavirus, British Columbia CDC says

every single party in San Francisco [Thanks Tim]

Every day, the same, again

52.jpgExperimental Blood Test Detects Cancer up to Four Years before Symptoms Appear

Amazon Met With Startups About Investing, Then Launched Competing Products Some companies regret sharing information with tech giant and its Alexa Fund; ‘we may have been naive’

In this research, we show that 5G millimeter waves could be absorbed by dermatologic cells acting like antennas, transferred to other cells and play the main role in producing Coronaviruses in biological cells

an illustrated guide on what deepfakes are — and how to spot them

findings indicate that humans have a stereo sense of smell that subconsciously guides navigation.

Physical exercise leads to increases musical pleasure

There’s one case study of a woman with epilepsy who would orgasm while she brushed her teeth. Some people on the antidepressant clomipramine develop the ability to orgasm from yawning.

Locusts in swarms the size of Manhattan have been ravaging crops through East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia The impact of the locusts is starting to eat into the respective countries’ GDP and have a devastating effect on local economies. […] India recently surpassed Brazil to become the biggest sugar producer in the world and about 40% of the planted area of sugarcane is in a main agricultural province currently under threat from locusts. […] Locust outbreaks in the significant cereal and protein exporters are rare, so significant disruptions in the international food supply chain are unlikely.

Prisoners have long used contraband cellphones to pull off all manner of scams from the inside. But in attempting to build and sell a house from behind bars, Murray allegedly took things to a new level of sophistication.

This week marks nine years since South Sudan was admitted to the United Nations, becoming the 193rd and most recent entrant into the club of internationally recognized countries. This is the longest period in modern history during which the world map has remained unchanged.

Changing the radio collar on a 350-pound hibernating bear should have been a routine task—if he’d been sleeping soundly.

no other spacecraft has been able to take images of the Sun’s surface from a closer distance

Apps that Darwin would have loved

Every day, the same, again

21.jpgScientists Say You Can Cancel the Noise but Keep Your Window Open — Researchers in Singapore have developed an apparatus that can be placed in a window to reduce incoming sound by 10 decibels. […] The prototype is not yet the most practical device in real world conditions, but it points the way toward the development of technologies that may help ease the strain of noisy city living. Borrowing from the same technological principles used in noise-canceling headphones, the team expanded the concept to fit an entire room by placing 24 small speakers in a window. The speakers emit sound waves that correspond to the incoming racket and neutralize it — or, at least some of it. [NY Times]

What Miniature Lab-Grown Brains Reveal About the Effects of Covid-19 […] Known as “mini brains,” or organoids, these minuscule structures made from stem cells contain neurons that spontaneously emit electrical activity as a real brain would. […] What she found was that the virus could infect the mini brains and, 72 hours later, it began multiplying inside them, suggesting that human brain cells are susceptible to the virus. 

If SARS-CoV-2 is airborne—which basically means tiny viral particles can survive air for at least a few hours and still infect people—it’s far from the only disease. Measles is notorious for being able to last in the air for up to two hours. Tuberculosis, though a bacterium, can be airborne for six hours, and Lisa Brosseau, a retired professor of public health who still consults for businesses and organizations, suggests that coronavirus superspreaders (people who seem to eject a larger amount of the virus than others) disseminate the virus in patterns that recall the infectiousness of tuberculosis. The evidence that this type of transmission is happening with SARS-CoV-2  arguably already exists. Several big studies point to airborne transmission of the virus as a major route for the spread of covid-19. [Technology Review]

Extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19

 Immunity to covid-19 may be short-lived, according to a new longitudinal study of people who have caught the disease and recovered. Like other coronaviruses, covid-19 could reinfect people repeatedly. 
The Math of Social Distancing Is a Lesson in Geometry

Hundreds of hyperpartisan sites are masquerading as local news

Post Office Delivery Trucks Keep Catching on Fire — approximately one every five days since May 2014

Write Your “Leaving New York” Essay With Our Handy Chart