One day Lisa realizes that she is both Lisa and Muriel and that they are the same person



{ Aron Klein, Bulgarian demon chasers | more }

Every day, the same, again

41.jpgEvidence that authentic people seek to appear authentic rather than be authentic

Spies Can Eavesdrop by Watching a Light Bulb’s Vibrations

Doubling effort makes up for 6 IQ points

Scientists trigger hibernation in mice, astronauts could be next

Maps of Sexual Arousal in Men and Women →

Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable.

Effect of Coitus on Nasal Temperature — Nasal temperature readings were taken approximately 20 minutes before the subject engaged in coitus and repeated within 5 minutes after termination of the act. […] post coital rise ranges from 3.5 to 6.5° F.

The majority of participants self-reported that they had experienced feelings of regret after an uncommitted sexual encounter. We found women reported feeling significantly more regret than men.

Having sex with someone you don’t live with is now illegal under coronavirus lockdown laws [in England]

police departments around the country are using software that can track and identify people in crowds from surveillance footage — often with little to no public oversight or knowledge

List of killings by law enforcement officers by country

Can US Law Enforcement Officers Refuse to Identify Themselves?

Assessing Kurzweil predictions about 2019: the results

“This virus is never going to be gone.”

The optimal strategy is broadly found to be to release approximately half the population 2–4 weeks from the end of an initial infection peak, then wait another 3–4 months to allow for a second peak before releasing everyone else.

On a normal day, over 3,000 people work in the 52-story AMA building. With only four passengers at a time, which is about half of a typically crowded elevator, that translates to about 750 elevator rides each morning launching from 24 elevator cabs [KHN]

New York State published its sit-down restaurant guidelines — restaurants will have to cut their occupancy by 50 percent

Habitual Time of Dinner Is Predisposing to Severe COVID-19 Outcome - Death

Coronavirus survival hospital bill: $1.1 million

Slowing the Coronavirus Is Speeding the Spread of Other Diseases — Diphtheria is appearing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Cholera is in South Sudan, Cameroon, Mozambique, Yemen and Bangladesh. A mutated strain of poliovirus has been reported in more than 30 countries. And measles is flaring around the globe, including in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.

Negotiating With Jihadists in the Sahel and Nigeria

As my colleague Paul Krugman cannot stress enough, the stock market is not the economy. In fact, as a wise person on TikTok once said, it’s more of a graph of rich people’s feelings. But that raises the question: Why are rich people feeling so optimistic, and what does that imply about the way the economy works? […] if the market seems to be recovering faster than the rest of the country, it’s at least in part because of “the government’s policy of giving out free money,” in the words of the investor Leon Cooperman. […] many companies are doing exceedingly well, particularly big technology corporations. Five of those — Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Facebook — together make up about 20 percent of the S.&P. 500, and they’ve all posted significant gains. […]   According to The Financial Times, some 780,000 people have created new accounts on three of America’s top brokerage platforms since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. With this “herd of newbies” charging into the market at a time of extraordinary uncertainty, she says, “people are going to get played.” […] The richest 11 percent of the world population holds more than 80 percent of its wealth. When the stock market rallies, the gains flow overwhelmingly to that wealthiest class, whose savings have to go somewhere. But instead of spurring investment, the wealth rushes into debt markets and drives long-term interest rates down, which makes corporate profits more valuable. Stock prices go up, the rich end up with more wealth still, and the cycle repeats. [NY Times]

In this report, we apply basic scientific techniques to answer the question “Is Kansas as flat as a pancake?”

Sound file for teaching your bird to mimic R2D2

How P.E. and Guerilla Funk is keepin it movin


For the second time ever, astronomers have detected a pattern in a mysterious fast radio burst coming from space. […] earlier this year when astronomers found that FRB 180916.J0158+65 had a pattern in bursts occurring every 16.35 days. Over the course of four days, the signal would release a burst or two each hour. Then, it would go silent for another 12 days.

Now, they have detected a pattern in a second repeating fast radio burst, known as FRB 121102. During this cyclical pattern, radio bursts are emitted during a 90-day window, followed by a silent period of 67 days. This pattern repeats every 157 days.

{ CNN | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

2.jpgSpanish porn star arrested after man dies during ‘mystical’ toad venom ritual - the amphibian releases a venom called 5-MeO-DMT, which is known to have hallucinogenic effects

An executive who was paid about $18,000 a month by LafargeHolcim Ltd. to do nothing failed in his suit to force the cement maker to fire him with a payout worth more than $2 million.

Belgian man has been receiving pizzas he never ordered for years, sometimes several times a day. “I cannot sleep anymore. I start shaking every time I hear a scooter on the street.”

at least 42.7% of adult women have experienced orgasm during sleep

On average, women are more sexually disgusted than men

women fantasized more so than did men about sadomasochistic fantasies, but men fantasized more than did women about intimate, exploratory, and impersonal sexual fantasies […] higher frequency of sexual fantasy were predictive of higher levels of infidelity intentions among men […] women who fantasized more frequently about exploratory fantasies were less likely to engage in physical infidelity

Results showed that bisexual individuals reported higher levels of openness than homosexual individuals, who in turn, reported higher levels of openness than heterosexual individuals. Bisexual individuals also report lower levels of conscientiousness than both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. Sex moderation effects showed that homosexual men scored higher than heterosexual men on neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, whereas homosexual women scored lower than heterosexual women on extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. There was also evidence that personality differences between sexual orientation categories tend to decline with age. [Taylor & Francis Online]

Prior research has suggested a link between communal naked activity and positive body image […] Fifty-one participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups in which they interacted with other people either naked or clothed […] as expected, participants in the naked condition reported more body appreciation

Self-driving cars could only prevent a third of U.S. crashes: study

The most common reason for contact with the police is being a driver in a traffic stop and In the early days of the automobile, the Court created an exception for searches of vehicles

Russia urges the U.S. to ‘observe democratic standards’ and respect Americans’ right to protest

As soon as an observer opens their eyes, they have the immediate impression of a rich, colorful experience that encompasses their entire visual world. Here, we show that this impression is surprisingly inaccurate. In the most extreme case, almost a third of observers failed to notice when less than 5% of the visual display was presented in color. More: How much color do we really see?

Repetitive negative thinking is associated with amyloid, tau, and cognitive decline — Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurological disease. In early stages, AD is characterized by the aggregation of amyloid beta (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau proteins in the brain and worsening memory. […] Repetitive negative thinking (also termed perseverative cognition) is a behaviorally measurable cognitive process that encompasses future‐ (worry) and past‐ (rumination) directed thoughts.

Playing hard to get may work as long as potential partners feel that their efforts are likely to be successful—eventually.

In a famous ongoing experiment started in 1960, scientists turned foxes into tame, doglike canines by breeding only the least aggressive ones generation after generation. The creatures developed stubby snouts, floppy ears, and even began to bark. Now, it appears that some rural red foxes in the United Kingdom are doing this on their own. [Science]

Fenn, 89, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that a treasure hunter located the chest a few days ago. […] Fenn posted clues to the treasures whereabouts online and in a 24-line poem that was published in his 2010 autobiography The Thrill of the Chase. Hundreds of thousands have hunted in vain across remote corners of the US west for the bronze chest believed to be filled with gold coins, jewelry and other valuable items. Some have said it was a hoax and pursued lawsuits. Many quit their jobs to dedicate themselves to the search and others depleted their life savings. At least four people are believed to have died searching for it. [The Guardian]

Aircraft detection before radar

pollen and solar radiation

We hypothesize that pollen may explain the seasonality of flu-like epidemics including COVID-19. […] We conclude that pollen is a predictor for the inverse seasonality of flu-like epidemics including COVID-19, and solar radiation is a co-inhibitor. The observed seasonality of COVID-19 during Spring, suggests that COVID-19 may revive in The Netherlands after week 33 [mid-August].

dogs can detect a person infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus

How readily can playing instruments transmit the virus?

It looks as if the low German fatality rate is not due to their superior testing capacity, but rather to the fact that the average German is less likely to get infected and die than the average Brit.

“Japan, I think a lot of people agree, kind of did everything wrong, with poor social distancing, karaoke bars still open and public transit packed near the zone where the worst outbreaks were happening. But the one thing that Japan did right was masks.” [NY Times]

Two-meter distancing might halve infection risk compared to one meter

Covid-19 can last for several months in some people

Nearly Half of Coronavirus Spread May Be Traced to People Without Any Symptoms — Another concern is that the virus may be damaging the bodies of asymptomatic in other, silent ways.

First Human Trial for COVID-19 Antibody Drug Begins — The antibody was discovered in a recovered patient’s blood using microfluidics, machine vision, and big-data tools

Nobody knows exactly what will happen as communities open up. The most likely scenario is that virus cases will continue to surge and fall around the globe for the foreseeable future. 5 Rules to Live By During a Pandemic

Every day, the same, again

r.jpegSuper-flexible woman can look at her own butt from behind

only a small fraction of Americans prioritize democratic principles in their electoral choices

Black men are woefully underrepresented within VC firms at just 2%, based on the most recent data. Black women don’t even rank a percentage point.

Research-based solutions to stop police violence

There’s 50 years of research on violence at protests, dating back to the three federal commissions formed between 1967 and 1970. All three concluded that when police escalate force — using weapons, tear gas, mass arrests and other tools to make protesters do what the police want — those efforts can often go wrong, creating the very violence that force was meant to prevent. [FiveThirtyEight]

There were only 27 days in 2019 where people did not kill someone

Once a crowd has gathered in response to an incident, there are still two hurdles that would-be rioters must overcome to transform a mere crowd into a destructive mob.

there are three main obstacles that prevent innocent suspects from generating accurate and believable alibis

Drug dealers turn corporate by selling customer databases for more than $180,000, also using product placement and branding.

What nudists do during a lockdown

The coronavirus shutdowns reduced traffic, but faster driving led to an uptick in fatality rates.

Facial expressions can still be detected when obscured by a face covering. In the study, observing the area around the eyes was usually enough to recognize someone else’s feelings. We examined this question with scarves, niqabs and masks. Confusion only occurred for fear and surprise. [Scientific American]

Coronavirus Lockdowns May Raise Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution — levels of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) increased by 15 to 30 percent in more than 1,000 homes across several European countries.

Is the Worst of the Coronavirus Behind Us Now? Italy, Germany and Spain have also avoided serious flare-ups in cases and deaths as restrictions are eased. It’s similar in Austria and Denmark, which lifted lockdowns back in April. Weekly confirmed cases show the continuation of a declining trend.

The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday.

Sweden has seen a far higher mortality rate than its nearest neighbours and its nationals are being barred from crossing their borders.

Iceland never imposed a lockdown. Only a few types of businesses—night clubs and hair salons, for example—were ever ordered closed. Hardly anyone in Reykjavík wears a mask. And yet, by mid-May, when I went to talk to Pálmason, the tracing team had almost no one left to track. During the previous week, in all of Iceland, only two new coronavirus cases had been confirmed. The country hadn’t just managed to flatten the curve; it had, it seemed, virtually eliminated it. [New Yorker]

things we think we know about coronavirus and things that scientists and public health officials have yet to understand

How Coronavirus Will Change Board Games (7 Guesses)

The impact of COVID-19 on the UK fresh food supply chain

Walmart uses Everseen [AI software] in thousands of stores to prevent shoplifting at registers and self-checkout kiosks. But the workers claimed it misidentified innocuous behavior as theft and often failed to stop actual instances of stealing. [Ars Technica]

Electrocortical Activity in a Pianist Playing ‘Vexations’ by Erik Satie Continuously for 28 Hours

For years, Nepal and China have sparred over the height of the Mount Everest straddling their shared border, specifically whether or not the official number should account for the snow atop it. 

Now don’t tell me you’ve never heard of the marvelous Madame Mim?


Originally created from chickens too old to lay eggs, McNuggets are now created from chickens with unusually large breasts. They are stripped to the bone, and ground up into a sort of chicken mash, which is then combined with all sorts of additives and preservatives, pressed into familiar shapes, breaded and deep-fryed, freeze-dried, and then shipped to a McDonald’s near you.


{ In many states, especially in the South and Midwest, traffic at fast-food restaurants is now higher than it was before the restrictions | Washington Post | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

32.jpgMen hired for sexual fantasy break into wrong house

The monkeys attacked the lab assistant and stole the sample box with three samples

A Security Flaw In Qatar’s Contact Tracing App Exposed Hundreds Of Thousands Of People’s Personal Data

In the past, national emergencies in the United States have resulted in increased gun preparation (ie, purchasing new guns or removing guns from storage); in turn, these gun actions have effected increases in firearm injuries and deaths. The aim of this paper was to assess the extent to which interest in gun preparation has increased amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic using data from Google searches related to purchasing and cleaning guns. […] Our results corroborate media reports that gun purchases are increasing amid the COVID-19. [JMIR]

Introductions and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York City area

Covid-19 has, so far it seems, three modes of transmission. One route is via surfaces, deposited on things like door handles or silverware that then picked up by someone who touches some entry point into the body—eyes, nose, mouth. […] A second route is through large droplets, like those someone might give off in a cough. […] the third, more complicated route. A vast number of the particles that come out of a person’s mouth are much smaller, under 5 microns. They dry out quickly in the air and become so light they can float around for hours. Even the slightly warm layer of air constantly wafting upward from every person—our “thermal plume”—can carry these particles up, up, and away. Random air flow makes their spread turbulent, bounced around by currents like sand in a tide pool. And we emit them all the time. […] “The overarching assumption is that the probability of transmission is proportional to the number of virus particles floating around in the air. The more that you inhale, the more likely you are to get it,” says William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis who studies disease transmission. “The room you’re in right now has a roof. Turbulent diffusion goes up and can’t go through the roof. It reflects off. Outdoors, it can turbulently diffuse away.” [Wired]

The emerging long-term complications of Covid-19 — Somewhere between 5 and 80 percent of people who test positive for Covid-19 may be asymptomatic, or only develop symptoms days or even weeks after their test, and many of these people will have a mild form of the illness with no lasting symptoms. But the UK National Health Service assumes that of Covid-19 patients who have required hospitalization, 45 percent will need ongoing medical care, 4 percent will require inpatient rehabilitation, and 1 percent will permanently require acute care.

New Design Helps N95 Mask Wearers Breathe Easier (new device prevents oxygen deprivation)


Healthy Selfishness and Pathological Altruism: Measuring Two Paradoxical Forms of Selfishness

How do children learn the typical features of objects in the world? For many objects, this information must come from the language they hear. However, people are more likely to talk about atypical features (e.g., “purple carrot”) than typical features (e.g., “orange carrot”). Does the speech children hear from their parents also overrepresent atypical features?

Octave Durham went to prison for stealing two van Gogh paintings. […] “I didn’t have a buyer before I did it,” he said. “I just thought I can either sell them, or if I have a problem I can negotiate with the paintings.” By “negotiate with the paintings,” Mr. Durham meant using the paintings as a bargaining chip with law enforcement officials, in case he got into trouble for something else. […] Mr. Brand said many thieves think they will be able to sell paintings on the open market, and then quickly find out that there aren’t legal buyers. “You have thieves who think there are buyers who would really like to have stolen art on their wall. That doesn’t exist.” […] That’s when they offer them to other criminals, often for much less than their real value. Mr. Brand estimates that a work of art in the criminal underworld is worth about 10 percent of its value in the legitimate art market — so if a painting might sell for $10 million at auction, it can be traded among criminals for a value of about $1 million. Mr. Durham said the value is even lower than that — about 2.5 to 5 percent of market value. [NY Times]

I can’t remember the last time I read a novel that feels so LA. Cooper’s rendering of the flat affect of Southern California is spot-on; in “Board,” the posters respond to vulgar depictions of violence with comments like “Here we go again” and “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (LOL).” That’s what it’s like there — there’s no social space for reasoning or explanation, for genuine self-reflection. Sometimes you just shrug your shoulders and say, “Honey, it’s LA.” In a way, this L.A. affect prefigures the flat affect of the Internet, or even life in the 21st century. Sometimes you just shrug your shoulders and say, “Honey, it’s late capitalism.” [The New Inquiry]

One of the most important moments in the transition between the Eighties and Nineties, for live rock bands, was how much rock to leave behind.

C’est la vie, say the old folks


{ While the Great Recession in 2007–2009 reduced wealth in all age groups, the broader long-term trend has been that the wealth of older age groups (65-75+) has increased, while the wealth of successive cross-sections of younger age groups (25-54) has fallen. | Brookings Economic Studies | PDF }

every day, the same, again


It is possible that a significant number of people who’ve never been infected with the novel coronavirus already possess some immunity to it.[…] Examining blood samples taken between 2015 and 2018 (when the novel coronavirus was still just a twinkle in Satan’s eye), researchers found that roughly 50 percent of these blood-givers possessed “SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells” — which is to say, their immune systems appeared capable of immediately recognizing and combating the novel coronavirus. Since none of these individuals could have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the most likely explanation for their possession of such T cells is previous exposure to a common-cold coronavirus. […] researchers at Yale University believe they’ve discovered a metric that can predict major municipal outbreaks a week in advance — the concentration of the coronavirus in a city’s sewers. […] The Swedish economy has suffered roughly as severe a downturn as that of Denmark. And in recent days, it’s had the highest per-capita coronavirus death rate in Europe. […] Worldwide, the number of new, confirmed coronavirus cases is growing by about 100,000 a day, which is the highest sustained rate of new infections we’ve seen since the pandemic began. [NY mag]

There’s a good chance the coronavirus will never go away. Even after a vaccine is discovered and deployed, the coronavirus will likely remain for decades to come, circulating among the world’s population. Experts call such diseases endemic — stubbornly resisting efforts to stamp them out. Think measles, HIV, chickenpox. […] There are already four endemic coronaviruses that circulate continuously, causing the common cold. And many experts think this virus will become the fifth — its effects growing milder as immunity spreads and our bodies adapt to it over time. [Washington Post]

With restaurants closed, CDC warns of increasingly aggressive rodents looking for new food sources

India detains pigeon on suspicion of spying for Pakistan

9 Local TV Stations Pushed the Same Amazon-Scripted Segment

The expedition cruise ship departed from Ushuaia, Argentina, for a planned 21-day cruise of the Antarctic Peninsula, including Elephant Island, before sailing to South Georgia Island on a route similar to that taken by the British explorer, Ernest Shackleton, in 1915–1917. The ship departed mid-March 2020, after the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the WHO, with all 128 passengers and 95 crew screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and body temperatures were taken before boarding. No passengers or crew that had transited through China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea or Iran in the previous 3 weeks were permitted to board, given that these countries were where COVID-19 infection was most prevalent at the time. Multiple hand hygiene stations were positioned throughout the ship and especially in the dining area. […] Of the 217 passengers and crew on board, 128 tested positive for COVID-19 on reverse transcription–PCR (59%). Of the COVID-19-positive patients, 19% (24) were symptomatic; 6.2% (8) required medical evacuation; 3.1% (4) were intubated and ventilated; and the mortality was 0.8% (1). The majority of COVID-19-positive patients were asymptomatic (81%, 104 patients). [BMJ]

Transmission within community: R= 0.8. Transmission from hospital to community: R=0.2. Transmission from community to hospital: R=0.4, Transmission within hospital: R=0.7. All these numbers are less than 1, so it might appear as though the disease is now under control. But unfortunately that isn’t the case. The overall value of R for the population is actually about R=1.04 for this example. []

Supercomputer simulates the impact of the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs [Previously: The event appears to have hit all continents at the same time

The uncanny valley (UV) effect refers to an eerie feeling of unfamiliarity people get while observing or interacting with robots that resemble humans almost but not quite perfectly.

Six-month old infants recognize when adults imitate them, and perceive imitators as more friendly

Motion Sickness in Amphibians — None of the species that we studied vomited during the 8 to 10 parabolas of each flight. However, [some frogs] vomited in a period of 0.5 to 42 h after flight. […] we suggest that the previously observed behavior of three frogs on the MIR Space Station was a manifestation of motion sickness

America’s Never-Ending Battle Against Flesh-Eating Worms

A Passion for Castration: Characterizing Men Who Are Fascinated With Castration, but Have Not Been Castrated More: The most appreciated aspect of castration was the sense of control over sexual urges and appetite (52%).

The Grymoire - A web site containing a collection of useful incantations for wizards

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