The System

NYU researchers reconstruct speech from brain activity, illuminates complex neural processes […] development of prostheses that can read brain activity and decode it directly into speech. While many researchers are working on developing such devices, the NYU prototype has one key difference — it is able to recreate the voice of the patient, using only a small data set of recordings, to a remarkable degree. The result may be that patients do not get a voice back after losing it — they will get their voice back.

Many primates produce copulation calls — Sexual vocalizations become longer, louder, more high-pitched, voiced, and unpredictable at orgasm in both men and women. Men are not less vocal overall, but women start moaning at an earlier stage; speech or even minimally verbalized exclamations are uncommon.

Female frogs appear to fake death to avoid unwanted advances, study shows

Amateur astronomers file class-action lawsuits alleging telescope price-fixing conspiracy

FBI warns against using public USB charging ports — Cybersecurity experts have warned that criminals can load malware onto public USB charging stations to maliciously access electronic devices while they are being charged

On TikTok, PimEyes has become a formidable tool for internet sleuths trying to identify strangers […] Originally founded in 2017 by two computer programmers in Poland, it’s an AI tool that’s like a reverse image search on steroids — it scans a face in a photo and crawls dark corners of the internet to surface photos many people didn’t even know existed of themselves in the background of restaurants or attending a concert.


Two Los Angeles Police Department officers who ignored a robbery in progress in order to catch a Snorlax and Togetic in Pokémon Go also rolled through a stop sign, sped through residential neighborhoods and zoomed over speed bumps, tailgated various cars, and drove the wrong way down a one-way road in order to catch ‘em all

Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection (UDCP) is suing TikTok over allegations that the app’s “addictive nature” harms children and that TikTok deceptively obscures its relationship with ByteDance, its parent company in China.

The Enshittification of Amazon Continues

the fashion designer creating cowboy boots with a little help from AI

Adding spider DNA to silkworms creates silk stronger than Kevlar

Quantum computing in healthcare: predicting diseases and improving patient care “Cancer cells are defeated through the precise modulation of biological quantum electron tunneling by ingenious nanoparticles. This triggers a symphony of electrical signals that activate the natural self-destruct mechanism within cancer cells,” explains lead researcher Frankie Rawson. Study co-author Ruman Rahman added, “This research highlights the potential of quantum therapy as a novel technology for communicating with biology. The combination of quantum bioelectronics and medicine brings us closer to a new treatment approach.”

Our data establish that SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary vessels, inducing plaque inflammation that could trigger acute cardiovascular complications and increase the long-term cardiovascular risk.

The System Isn’t Designed to Help You — if you manage to get what you need from the system, it’s almost by accident, or unintentional, or a byproduct of helping someone else.

the $1,000 Breakfast Club

The Garden of the Five Senses

Here lies a nearly-complete archive of Whole Earth publications

A video of a bird in a cat cage, in a cat cage

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault

Bayesian brain

Before psychedelic therapy for wartime trauma, there was narcosynthesis It was called narcohypnosis or narcosynthesis. In essence, this involved the use of potent sedatives — especially sodium pentothal and sodium amytal — to put patients in a prolonged dream-like state. Psychiatrists of the era hoped that this would allow them to process, or “synthesize,” trauma from repressed memories of violence or conflict.

New research provides evidence for conscious awareness during cardiac arrest, in the absence of clinical signs of consciousness.

placebos can work even if a patient knows they are getting a placebo the best explanation for the results of open-placebo trials suggests that, for certain illnesses where the brain amplifies symptoms, engaging in a healing drama can nudge the brain to diminish the volume or “false alarm” of what’s called central sensitization — when the nervous system overemphasizes or amplifies perceptions of discomfort. This mostly involves nonconscious brain processes that scientists call “Bayesian brain,” which describes how the brain modulates symptoms up
or down […] Considerable evidence also shows that placebos, even when patients know they are taking them, trigger the release of neurotransmitters like endorphins and cannabinoids and engage specific regions of the brain to offer relief. Basically, the body has an internal pharmacy that relieves symptoms.

at some level of heat and humidity, the human body can no longer cool itself and its internal temperature rises uncontrollably. […] Past research found that transfer of heat could no longer occur at 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) on what is known as the wet bulb temperature scale […] But, in a study published last year, the Penn State researchers found that threshold to be closer to a wet bulb temperature of 31 degrees Celsius (88 Fahrenheit) for a sample of young and healthy research subjects who were not accustomed to such muggy conditions.

the MP3 technology became patent-free in the United States on 16 April 2017 when U.S. Patent 6,009,399, held by and administered by Technicolor, expired. […] AAC and other newer audio codecs can produce better quality than MP3, but the difference is only significant at low bitrates (2017)

Our data therefore provide strong evidence that when some (but not all) people flip a fair coin, it tends to land on the same side it started

What Is a ”Document”?

numerous inexplicable phenomena

German museum employee swaps painting for fake and sells original to fund ‘luxury lifestyle’

The story of how one independent researcher conducted the largest-ever survey on fetishes

Zurich opens drive-in ’sex boxes’ — Modelled after drive-in brothels used in Germany and the Netherlands, the sex boxes will be open daily from 7pm to 5am.

Given that goalkeepers use multiple sensory cues and are often required to make rapid decisions based on incomplete multisensory information to fulfil their role, we hypothesised that professional goalkeepers would display enhanced multisensory temporal processing relative to their outfield counterparts. […] Our finding that professional goalkeepers exhibit a narrower temporal binding window [the window of time within which separate sensory inputs are merged into a single perceptual event] relative to the other two groups is consistent with prior research indicating that individuals who frequently integrate multiple sensory cues, such as trained musicians and video game players, demonstrate more precise multisensory temporal processing. However, an important unresolved question is whether this multisensory advantage stems from a preexisting skill set that initially led them to become goalkeepers, or if it results from a perceptual learning effect whereby repeated exposure to audiovisual stimuli has improved their multisensory temporal processing over time.

The association between coffee and mortality risk has been found in most previous studies, and recent studies have found an association between coffee consumption and cognition. However, there is still a lack of research exploring whether the association between coffee and mortality is influenced by cognitive function […] Our study suggested that the association between coffee consumption and mortality is influenced by cognition and varies with cognitive impairment in different cognitive domains

the plastic-eating bacteria that could change the world

seagrass beds can capture and retain carbon for centuries—even in situations where the seagrass dies off. The findings offer new optimism for using nature-based solutions in the fight against climate change.

What is the world’s biggest digital bank? No, not HSBC — it’s Brazil’s Nubank, which reported close to $5 billion in revenue last year. What is the most widely used social media platform in Vietnam? Not Facebook or TikTok — it’s Zalo, with an impressive 87% adoption rate. And what was one of the earliest online food delivery platforms? That would be Talabat, launched by a group of Kuwaiti students in Cairo, in 2004. That’s three years before the iPhone came to market. 40 trailblazing companies that, in their own ways, beat the West.

Untruths spouted by chatbots ended up on the web—and Microsoft’s Bing search engine served them up as facts. Generative AI could make search harder to trust.

Tech doesn’t make our lives easier. It makes them faster

Oldest evidence of human cannibalism as a funerary practice

Fake History Hunter: Medieval staircases were NOT built going clockwise for the defender’s advantage

5 schools of philosophy that died out

Airports live radio transmission

During the making of this programme members of the production team and crew experienced numerous inexplicable phenomena.

a very lonely life

In Singapore, the right to own a car starts at $76,000. And that doesn’t include the car.

Researchers in Germany have found that classical music audience members synchronize their heart rate and breathing during the performance.

male pattern baldness may be associated with increased risk of skin cancer, but the associations may only exist for those occurring at head and neck, particularly at scalp and “Balding men are more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer because they have less hair protection.”

The Tollund Man is a naturally mummified corpse of a man who lived during the 5th century BC. The man’s physical features were so well preserved that he was mistaken for a recent murder victim. The cause of death has been determined to be by hanging. Scholars believe the man was a human sacrifice, rather than an executed criminal, because of the arranged position of his body, and his eyes and mouth being closed. Scientists identified the man’s last meal as porridge or gruel made from grains and seeds, both cultivated and wild. Approximately 40 kinds of seeds were identified, but the porridge was primarily composed of four types: barley, flax, false flax (Camelina sativa), and knotgrass. […] Scientists identified the man’s last meal as porridge or gruel made from grains and seeds, both cultivated and wild. Approximately 40 kinds of seeds were identified, but the porridge was primarily composed of four types: barley, flax, false flax (Camelina sativa), and knotgrass. From the stage of digestion it was concluded that the man had eaten 12 to 24 hours prior to his death. Because neither meat nor fresh fruit was found in the last meal, it is suggested that the meal was eaten in winter or early spring, when these items were not available. In 1976, the Danish police made a fingerprint analysis, making Tollund Man’s thumbprint one of the oldest prints on record.

Where does my computer get the time from?

The ozone hole above Antarctica has grown to three times the size of Brazil

Los Angeles is using AI to predict who might become homeless and help before they do

Meta’s new AI-generated stickers — child soldiers, nude politicians, and lots and lots of boobs.

Anyone who uses a chatbot like Bard or ChatGPT is participating in a massive training exercise. In fact, one reason that these bots are provided for free may be that a user’s data is more valuable than her money: everything you type into a chatbot’s text box is grist for its model. Moreover, we aren’t just typing but pasting—e-mails, documents, code, manuals, contracts, and so on. We’re often asking the bots to summarize this material and then asking pointed questions about it, conducting a kind of close-reading seminar.

Translate: “We got a call from Google’s PR team” Excerpt: How Google Alters Search Queries to Get at Your Wallet

Not only did Isaac Newton master physics and mathematics, but he was also a theologian. He was obsessed with eschatology (end-times prophecy), and he calculated — based on his interpretation of the Bible — that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 2060. […] later in life, Newton dabbled in economics […] As Master of the Mint, Newton was tasked with tracking down currency counterfeiters […] When notorious counterfeiter William Chaloner attacked Newton’s personal integrity, he doubled down his efforts to catch him. […] Newton bribed crooks for information. He started making threats. He leaned on the wives and mistresses of Chaloner’s crooked associates. […] what truly separates Newton from other luminaries was his unparalleled creativity. He created multiple tools that simply never existed before. […] Sadly, despite his fame, Isaac Newton led a very lonely life. His incomparable brilliance came at a hefty cost; his reclusive and anti-social nature strongly suggest that he was autistic, and his obsessive and disagreeable nature suggest mental illness, perhaps obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Quicksand escape technique

Gaining Entry

13-foot-long python survives five months eating cats in trailer park

Turns out pumps at gas stations are controlled via Bluetooth, and that the connections are insecure.

A growing movement decrying the lack of proper pockets in women’s clothing has begun to find disciples in the world of high fashion, as well as among mainstream chains.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the alleged crypto criminal who stands accused of masterminding one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history, was considering paying Donald Trump $5 billion not to run for president

Psychedelics plus psychotherapy can trigger rapid changes in the brain

Meta wants to charge EU users $14 a month if they don’t agree to personalized ads on Facebook and Instagram

TikTok is reportedly testing a paid, ad-free version of its app

Several Taiwanese technology companies are helping Huawei Technologies Co. build infrastructure for an under-the-radar network of chip plants across southern China, an unusual collaboration

For years, Apple Inc. pondered building a search engine that could replace Google as the preferred option on its devices. […] Right now, Apple gets a cut of Google’s search ad revenue, a commission that has brought in roughly $8 billion annually in recent years. But imagine if Apple could keep more of that money. […] Google may be dominant in search, but the company still needs Apple and its billions of users. […] John Giannandrea, a former Google executive who now oversees machine learning and AI at Apple, has a giant search team under him. Over the past few years, his group developed a next-generation search engine for Apple’s apps codenamed “Pegasus.” That technology, which more accurately surfaces results, is already available in some Apple apps, but will soon be coming to more, including the App Store itself. […] Apple also has its own advertising technology team, which will be helpful if its search ambitions grow. […] One acquisition Apple could have made but didn’t was Bing. I reported this past week that Microsoft tried to spin off Bing and sell it to Apple in order to make it the default search engine on the iPhone and other devices. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, balked at the deal.

Exploiting the iPhone 4, Part 1: Gaining Entry — Step one. Acquire a device. I don’t know anything about writing a jailbreak or about what my approach will look like, so let’s just start somewhere obvious. I pick up an iPhone 4 and a 3GS off eBay. Older devices seem like a good place to start as their security is presumably worse, but you’ve got to find the sweet spot: really old devices are wildly valuable. […] I’ll need to be able to run some code on the device. The imagined path here is that I manage to set up a toolchain that can produce and install applications the way it was done back in 2010. Using that, I would then write an app and poke around from within the sandbox to investigate the attack surface.

Humans inherit artificial intelligence biases

Tech companies have not solved some of the persistent problems with AI language models, such as their propensity to make things up or “hallucinate.” […] Tech companies are putting this deeply flawed tech in the hands of millions of people and allowing AI models access to sensitive information such as their emails, calendars, and private messages. In doing so, they are making us all vulnerable to scams, phishing, and hacks on a massive scale.

The model takes a font description as an input, and produces a font file as an output. I named the project ‘FontoGen’.

How Mexico built a state — Building a state is not a matter of copying first world institutions. It is a tough process of deals and compromises. 19th century Mexico is a good example.

Venice Explained: Its Architecture, Its Streets, Its Canals, and How Best to Experience Them All

A pair of Chinese scam artists wanted to turn a radiation-soaked Pacific atoll into a future metropolis. They ended up in an American jail instead. […] Yan and Zhou went from hawking a miracle water cure to running a sham United Nations organization on Manhattan’s Third Avenue and rubbing shoulders with diplomats and world leaders. The pair managed to gain access to the U.N. thanks to over $1 million in clandestine payments to diplomats.

Gin Drinking in England, 1700–1850 — Gin was one of a wide range of new intoxicants — including chocolate, coffee, opium, sugar, tea, and tobacco — that, in what has been called a “psychoactive revolution”, radically expanded the mind-altering possibilities for European people between 1600 and 1800.

one of the 472 (Warhol) prints of sunsets, each in its own colorway, that got used to decorate 472 rooms in Philip Johnson’s groovy new Hotel Marquette in Minneapolis in 1972.

a third robotic arm

about half of 11- to 17-year-olds get at least 237 notifications a day. Some get nearly 5,000 in 24 hours. The pop-ups are almost always linked to alerts from friends on social media.

we ask that the Norwegian temporary ban on behavioural advertising on Facebook and Instagram be made permanent and extended to the entire European Union

Anyone who has used H&R Block’s tax return preparation services in recent years may have unintentionally helped line Meta and Google’s pockets. That’s according to a new class action lawsuit which alleges the three companies “jointly schemed” to install trackers on the H&R Block site to scan and transmit tax data back to the tech companies which then used elements of the data to engage in targeted advertising.

One-hour training is all you need to control a third robotic arm

Sleep regularity is a stronger predictor of mortality risk than sleep duration […] Sleep regularity may be a simple, effective target for improving general health and survival.

Tire Dust Makes Up the Majority of Ocean Microplastics, Study Finds — 78 percent of ocean microplastics are from synthetic tire rubber […] It’s an emissions problem that won’t go away with the transition to electric vehicles […] EVs tend to shed around 20 percent more from their tires due to their higher weight and high torque compared to traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

Waste plastic can be recycled into hydrogen fuel and graphene

Eduardo Williams on The Human Surge 3

painful wedgie

Couple suing Disney World claims water slide caused ‘painful wedgie’

Top Chinese Scientist Says India’s Moon Landing Not Even Close to South Pole

Scientific experiments have repeatedly shown that sharks have no interest in human blood

Walking more than five flights of stairs (at least 50 steps up) a day can cut risk of heart disease by 20%, data collected from more than 450,000 adults over 12.5 years shows

Ten weird things you can buy online

Letterboxd has been acquired in a deal that values it at $50 million — and promises ‘very little’ will change

some of Silicon Valley’s biggest AI companies are hiring poets and writers with humanity degrees

Many of our systems for producing and certifying knowledge have ended or are ending.

The octopus, considered to be separated from us by about 700 million years of evolution, is believed to be the most intelligent invertebrate. It challenges many common assumptions about animal intelligence because it is also a short-lived loner. And we are discovering that its nervous system apparatus for intelligence is also completely different from typical mammal or bird models.

Dark Tower

A viral account is using off-the-shelf facial recognition tech to dox random people on the internet for the amusement of millions of viewers.

Hotel hackers redirect guests to fake to steal cards

Mastercard sells cardholder transaction data through third party online data marketplaces and through its in-house Data & Services division, giving many entities access to data and insights about consumers at an immense scale. […] For example, Mastercard’s listing on Amazon Web Services Data Exchange states that companies can access data like the amount and frequency of transactions, the location, and the date and time. Mastercard creates categories of consumers based on this transaction history, like identifying “high spenders” on fast fashion or “frequent buyers” of big ticket items online, and sells these groupings, called “audiences”, to other entities. These groups can be targeted at the micro-geographic level, and even be based on AI-driven scores Mastercard assigns to consumers predicting how likely they are to spend money in certain ways within the next 3 months.

we find no consistent relation between hormones and unethical behavior or tendencies

two thirds of U.S. children are unable to read with proficiency. An astounding 40 percent are essentially nonreaders. Most are taught through phonics—a system of instruction based on sounding out letters that is mandated in at least 32 states and the District of Columbia. The phonics method of converting each letter to a particular sound is totally unsuited to the English language.

For decades, tobacco companies hooked people on cigarettes by making their products more addictive. Now, a new study suggests that tobacco companies may have used a similar strategy to hook people on processed foods. In the 1980s, tobacco giants Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds acquired the major food companies Kraft, General Foods and Nabisco, allowing tobacco firms to dominate America’s food supply and reap billions in sales from popular brands such as Oreo cookies, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Lunchables. By the 2000s, the tobacco giants spun off their food companies and largely exited the food industry — but not before leaving a lasting legacy on the foods that we eat.

Dark Tower was the subject of trade secret litigation in 1985. Two independent game developers named Robert Burton and Allen Coleman submitted a game to Milton Bradley titled “Triumph” that involved an electronic tower as the centerpiece. Milton Bradley rejected the game, but proceeded to release Dark Tower some time later. The inventors sued for misappropriation of trade secrets and won a jury verdict for over $700,000.

‘Shrunken skull. And old.’ –James Joyce

A cornerstone of cognitive science is that mental systems are limited: There is a maximum amount of information they can process or store, beyond which performance breaks down. Yet so far the study of such limits has been focused on core systems like attention and memory. Here we explore the limit of self-representation, the ability to represent someone or something as you. […]

results are consistent with the view that the mind employs a cognitive architecture that can represent at most one self at a time, and which serially switches out the items it represents. […]

The self-representational limit of one item at a time differs markedly from known limits on other systems, like attention and short-term memory. The number of items we can both track and remember in short-term memory is greater than one, and somewhat flexible depending on the nature of the stimuli and their relations. For instance, people can track more items if they are evenly spaced out on the display rather than clumped together (Alvarez & Franconeri, 2007), remember more items if they are less complex (e.g., simple colors rather than shaded cubes) (Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2004), and both track and remember more items if they span the visual hemifields rather than occur within a single visual hemifield (Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2005; Strong & Alvarez, 2020). Self-representation appears to have a limit that is more severe and inflexible.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

sexual activity of anchovies

How two photographers captured the same millisecond in time — We had what looked like the exact same image, taken at the exact millisecond in time, from what looked like the same exact location and perspective. Aside from choices made in Lightroom, the photos at first glance look virtually identical aside from water in front and some of the white caps being in different position. […] I was concerned that maybe MY image was stolen and altered a bit.

An online order for grouper fillets that was supposed to cost $10 ended up costing one woman more than $44,000 after scammers took control of her Android phone and banking details remotely.

Spyware can infect your phone or computer via the ads you see online – report

The 2023 Ig Nobel Prize Winners — using cadavers to explore whether there is an equal number of hairs in each of a person’s two nostrils, why many scientists like to lick rocks, the sensations people feel when they repeat a single word, the mental activities of people who are expert at speaking backward, how electrified chopsticks and drinking straws can change the taste of food, measuring the extent to which ocean-water mixing is affected by the sexual activity of anchovies…

Despite lacking a centralized brain, jellyfish can learn from past experiences to avoid bumping into obstacles

Investigating the strange disappearance of Mrs Agatha Christie

different types of love

Ancient Stone Tools Once Thought to be Made by Humans Were Actually Crafted by Monkeys, Say Archaeologists

Amazon made a new version of its cashierless tech that doesn’t need cameras

Airlines make more money from mileage programs than from flying planes — United’s MileagePlus program, for example, was valued at $22 billion, while the company’s market cap at the time was only $10.6 billion.

China has announced plans to become the world’s leader in biotechnology by 2035, and it regards genetic information — sometimes called “the new gold” — as a crucial ingredient in a scientific revolution that could produce thousands of new drugs and cures.[…] To develop drugs for a global market, China needs highly diverse sources of genetic information along with individual patient histories, which provide critical context, researchers say. So, beginning early in the past decade, China began to ramp up its acquisition of such records. In 2013, Complete Genomics, a San Jose company and a U.S. leader in gene-sequencing technology, was purchased for $118 million by BGI Group, a Chinese company formerly called Beijing Genomics Institute. […] By 2019, through business partnerships and stock purchases, nearly two dozen Chinese companies had acquired rights to genetic data and other private records of U.S. patients […] A Justice Department indictment in 2019 accused Chinese operatives of illegally accessing patient databases at four U.S. companies. The hackers are believed to have siphoned the private health-care data, including DNA information, of more than 80 million Americans, according to prosecutors. […] in January 2020, amid the virus’s rapid spread across the planet, BGI unveiled a new portable coronavirus testing facility, called Huo-Yan in Mandarin — “Fire-Eye” in English. […] Over the following months, BGI would manufacture about 100 labs in different configurations. […] Amid the pandemic, Fire-Eye labs would proliferate quickly, spreading to four continents and more than 20 countries, from Canada and Latvia to Saudi Arabia, and from Ethiopia and South Africa to Australia. Several, like the one in Belgrade, now function as permanent genetic-testing centers.

ShadowDragon tracks BabyCenter, a website for people expecting children, as well as social media sites specifically for Black people, bodybuilders, and the fetish community

We find converging evidence that prenatal gonadal hormones influence the development of human sexual orientation […] Evidence is particularly strong that androgens increase sexual attraction to females. […] Some evidence also indicates that estrogens increase sexual attraction to males

Researchers at Aalto University have made a map of where in the body different types of love are felt and how strongly they are experienced

Your Brain Is Not an Onion With a Tiny Reptile Inside

Why We’ll Never Live in Space

The vast majority of NFTs are now worthless, new report shows

the impossibility of the future

When I first signed my creator-owned publishing contract with DC Comics, the company was run by honest men and women of integrity, who (for the most part) interpreted the details of that agreement fairly and above-board. When problems inevitably came up we worked it out, like reasonable men and women. Since then, over the span of twenty years or so, those people have left or been fired, to be replaced by a revolving door of strangers, of no measurable integrity, who now choose to interpret every facet of our contract in ways that only benefit DC Comics and its owner companies. At one time the Fables properties were in good hands, and now, by virtue of attrition and employee replacement, the Fables properties have fallen into bad hands. Since I can’t afford to sue DC, to force them to live up to the letter and the spirit of our long-time agreements […] I’ve decided to take a different approach, and fight them in a different arena, inspired by the principles of asymmetric warfare. The one thing in our contract the DC lawyers can’t contest, or reinterpret to their own benefit, is that I am the sole owner of the intellectual property. I can sell it or give it away to whomever I want. I chose to give it away to everyone.

The subjective world of depression was characterized by an altered experience of emotions and body (feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions, unable to experience positive emotions, stuck in a heavy aching body drained of energy, detached from the mind, the body and the world); an altered experience of the self (losing sense of purpose and existential hope, mismatch between the past and the depressed self, feeling painfully incarcerated, losing control over one’s thoughts, losing the capacity to act on the world; feeling numb, empty, non-existent, dead, and dreaming of death as a possible escape route); and an altered experience of time (experiencing an alteration of vital biorhythms, an overwhelming past, a stagnation of the present, and the impossibility of the future).

“jamais vu”, when something you know to be familiar feels unreal or novel in some way.

Scientists figured out how to write in water

a new “pop-up fashion PR agency” called the OutLaw Agency

Facebook could prevent users from ever forgetting a colleague’s name, give a reminder at a cocktail party that an acquaintance had kids to ask about or help find someone at a crowded conference. — The Technology Facebook and Google Didn’t Dare Release

Isaac Newton’s later career […] as Warden of the Mint […] contains many elements of a modern crime thriller: including an ingenious arch-adversary, Newton visiting the gin houses of London in disguise, personally interrogating suspects, playing good cop–bad cop, and using every trick in the book, before the book had been written.

A total of 4.8% of the participants (N = 82,243) were at high risk of experiencing CSBD (compulsive sexual behavior disorder) […] The highest CSBD scores were observed in Turkey, followed by China and Peru.

The rapidly growing art therapy literature claims that there is solid evidence that engaging with art ameliorates mental and physical disorders and increases wellbeing. […] there is no compelling evidence that art objects and activities can induce physiological changes to the human nervous system that result in health improvements and wellbeing.

Herding dogs are often initially taught control around livestock with the use of a long lead line. Having another experienced herding dog to assist with modeling behavior is an asset. How to Train Your Dog to Herd Sheep

Horseshoe crabs have 10 eyes, a pair of compound eyes on the cephalothorax, and “photo receptors” in other areas, primarily along the tail. Horseshoe crabs are not actually crabs at all, they are much more closely related to spiders and other arachnids than they are to crabs or lobsters.

1,280 reproducing individuals

Researchers gave 200 people $10,000 each to study generosity

the feeling of orgasm can be considered a form of “nonaversive pain.” For example, the intense facial grimace expressed during pleasurable orgasm can be surprisingly similar to that of persons in extreme pain […] the brain regions that classically respond to pain are also selectively activated during orgasm

Scientists say they have pinpointed the moment humanity almost went extinct — 900,000 years ago when the global population dwindled to around 1,280 reproducing individuals

When FBI agents arrived at James Nott’s Kentucky apartment with a search warrant on Tuesday, they asked if anyone else was home. “Only my dead friends,” Nott replied. That’s according to the FBI, who in a criminal complaint detailed 40 human skulls and other remains they found decorating Nott’s home, tying him to a ring of people allegedly buying and selling human body parts illegally – including a Harvard Medical School morgue manager, who is accused of stealing cadaver parts.

The World Bank poured billions of dollars into fossil fuels around the world last year despite repeated promises to refocus on shifting to a low-carbon economy

Is air conditioning making cities hotter? A study found that waste heat generated by a city’s worth of air conditioners during a heatwave can raise the outside temperature by more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Look beneath the surface of Bach’s music and you will find a fascinating hidden world of numerology and cunning craft

Why is the ocean salty?

from age 9 to age 94

Texas paid bitcoin miner more than $31 million to cut energy usage during heat wave

Nasdaq receives SEC approval for AI-based trade orders

A magician’s guide to zero-knowledge proofs (magic tricks are zero-knowledge proofs)

Our results showed that life satisfaction decreased from age 9 to 16 (d = −0.56), increased slightly until age 70 (d = 0.16), and then decreased again until age 96 (d = −0.24). Positive affect declined from age 9 for almost the entire time until age 94.

You Aren’t Lazy: Exploring a Lack of Motivation

The human male expels two fluids in response to sexual stimulation: semen (containing a variety of nutrients in addition to sperm cells) and pre-ejaculate (a colorless lubricant and an acid neutralizer that creates a favorable environment in the urethra for sperm). Females, on the other hand, expel four: vaginal lubrication (clear, slippery, and slightly acidic plasma), ejaculate (thick, whitish fluid from the Skene’s gland), coital incontinence (urine), and — the most mysterious — squirt. Occasionally, when a woman is highly aroused, a gush of ten or more milliliters of clear, watery fluid can erupt from her vagina. […] the fluid released during squirting comes from the bladder. So yes, it’s pretty similar to urine, although there are small amounts of other compounds including sugars and proteins. Additionally, to the likely relief of women and their partners everywhere, it tends to be far more watered down than typical pee. […] To build toward squirting, women used harder, more intense touch than usual, exerted pressure inside the vaginal wall, and concurrently applied outer and inner pressure. To release the fluid, some reported swiftly relaxing clenched muscles, applying a burst of speed or pressure with their chosen stimulation, or bearing down. For around 40% of women, squirting occurred unexpectedly simply from clitoral stimulation alone or without any specific pattern.

The fruit machine was an actual machine built to aid in the detection of gay people in the Canadian Civil Service from 1950 to 1973 […] The idea was to unmask perverts by measuring involuntary pupillary dilations and other physiological reactions to pictures and words. […] the technology came in several proposed models. One involved perspiratory responses to vocabulary with homosexual meanings like queen, circus, gay, bagpipe, bell, whole, blind, mother, punk, queer, rim, sew, swing, trade, velvet, wolf, blackmail, prowl, bar, house, club, restaurant, tea room, and top men.

being alone

This is how money is laundered on Spotify

“artificial general intelligence” ever arrives — an AI that surpasses human intelligence and capability […] if you read between the lines of a new, exhaustive profile of OpenAI […] “Somewhere in the restructuring documents is a clause to the effect that, if the company does manage to create AGI, all financial arrangements will be reconsidered”

Wilson et al. explored the state of being alone with one’s thoughts and found that it appears to be an unpleasant experience. In fact, many of the people studied, particularly the men, chose to give themselves a mild electric shock rather than be deprived of external sensory stimuli. [2014]

Physical activity is highly beneficial for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety and distress

dietary supplements containing antioxidants can accelerate tumour growth and metastasis “There’s no need to fear antioxidants in normal food but most people don’t need additional amounts of them,” says Professor Bergö. “In fact, it can be harmful for cancer patients and people with an elevated cancer risk.”

Cancer cases in under-50s worldwide up nearly 80% in three decades — poor diets, alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity are likely to be among the factors.

‘Modern cars are a privacy nightmare’ 92 percent of the reviewed automakers provide drivers with little (if any) control over their personal data, with 84 percent sharing user data with outside parties.

3,200-year-old pants on Chinese mummy are like modern-day jeans

the most expensive liquid on the planet

Woman named ‘Barbie Oppenheimer’ says she’s having trouble checking into hotels

2 passengers were kicked off an Air Canada flight because they refused to sit in seats covered in puke, fellow traveler says

Each scorpion produces about 2 milligrams of venom daily, which is harvested or milked using a pair of tweezers and tongs, before being dried ready for export. A liter of the venom is worth about $US10 million, Mr Orenler told Reuters. It’s previously been described as the most expensive liquid on the planet. Some cosmetics companies are now adding scorpion venom or its extracts to their products, claiming near-miracle-like results from their concoctions.

Are deep blue seas fading? Oceans turn to new hue across parts of Earth, study finds

Scientists have discovered that “acute exposure” to microplastics — tiny bits of plastic material that are now pretty much everywhere, from remote Antarctic ice to human lungs, breastmilk, and bloodstreams — causes dementia-like symptoms in mice, among other behavioral shifts.

Are self-driving cars already safer than human drivers? More: The streets of San Francisco are buzzing with autonomous taxis, prompting questions about traffic safety [NYT podcast]

Cool Science Tricks

How a TV Works in Slow Motion

broken promises

I Tracked an NYC Subway Rider’s Movements with an MTA ‘Feature’ “Obviously this is a great fit for abusers,” an expert on domestic violence and cybersecurity said.

Hackers typically target victims with Qakbot by sending them spam emails containing malicious attachments or links. As soon as a victim downloads the attachment or clicks the link, Qakbot infects their computer, which then becomes part of a botnet — or a network of infected computers controlled remotely by hackers. From there, bad actors can install additional malware on their victims’ devices, such as ransomware. To take down the network, the FBI routed Qakbot through FBI-controlled servers

Most of My Instagram Ads Are for Drugs, Stolen Credit Cards, Hacked Accounts, Counterfeit Money, and Weapons — The ads are a window into a blatantly illegal underground economy that Meta is not only failing to moderate, but is actively profiting from and injecting into users’ feeds. More: Instagram Throttles 404 Media Investigation Into Drug Ads on Instagram

Tech’s broken promises: Streaming is now just as expensive and confusing as cable. Ubers cost as much as taxis.

The Art of Lying — A 51-year-old man I will call “Mr. Pinocchio” had a strange problem. When he tried to tell a lie, he often passed out and had convulsions. In essence, he became a kind of Pinocchio, the fictional puppet whose nose grew with every fib. For the patient, the consequences were all too real: he was a high-ranking official in the European Economic Community (since replaced by the European Union), and his negotiating partners could tell immediately when he was bending the truth. His condition, a symptom of a rare form of epilepsy, was not only dangerous, it was bad for his career. Doctors at the University Hospitals of Strasbourg in France discovered that the root of the problem was a tumor about the size of a walnut. The tumor was probably increasing the excitability of a brain region involved in emotions; when Mr. Pinocchio lied, this excitability caused a structure called the amygdala to trigger seizures. Once the tumor was removed, the fits stopped, and he was able to resume his duties.

The devious art of lying by telling the truth

McKinsey unveils its own generative AI tool for employees: Lilli

Is quantum computing hype or almost here?

Fighting fire with fire (and drones)

Chronic sleep deprivation — when you consistently get less rest than what you require — has more pernicious effects. Memory and learning suffer even more: Sleep is when the brain consolidates information after all. Blood pressure and heart rate tick higher. Immune functions fall. Metabolism slows, leading to weight gain. Inflammation rises. Brain cells die from overwork. All of these physiological effects seem to lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. […] In a 2021 study, subjects slept an average of 5.3 hours for ten nights and then were given a week to sleep as long as they liked. While they felt normal after that week of unrestricted sleep, their cognitive function did not totally return to baseline levels before their sleep deprivation. […] if a person who needs eight hours of rest per night only gets five hours on a particular night, it will take six days of 8.5 hours of sleep to “repay” those three lost hours.


22.png Georgia man arrested for stealing neighbor’s entire front porch

Most Americans have very little choice but to provide their personal information to credit bureaus. Hackers have found a way into that data supply chain, and are advertising access in group chats used by criminals.

Inside the AI Porn Marketplace Where Everything and Everyone Is for Sale — “For some reason adding ‘hands on hips’ to the prompt completely breaks this [model]. Generates just the balls with no penis 100% of the time. What a shame,” one user commented on the model.

The social and psychological characteristics of individuals who hoard physical items are quite well understood, however very little is known about the psychological characteristics of those who hoard digital items […] analyses of email deletion and archiving behaviours in organisations show that users do not manage digital information in an effective way. They typically keep half of the emails they receive and reply to about a third of them (e.g. Dabbish, Kraut, Fussell, & Kiesler, 2005); with very few people engaging in proactive ‘clean-up’ of that stored information. […] As digital hoarding rises, businesses find it more difficult to extract value from the stored information and the risks associated with that information grow significantly […] Digital hoarding was significantly higher in employees who identified as having ‘data protection responsibilities’

Prohibition worked better than you think — America’s anti-alcohol experiment cut down on drinking and drinking-related deaths — and it may have reduced crime and violence overall. […] as Prohibition reduced drinking, it also reduced alcohol-induced violence, like domestic abuse. So the increase in organized crime may have been offset by a drop in more common, and less publicly visible, types of violence driven by alcohol. […] There are 88,000 deaths linked to alcohol each year — more than drug overdose deaths, car crash deaths, or deaths from gun violence. […] In modern times, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimated alcohol is a factor in 40 percent of violent crimes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated that alcohol contributed to 47 percent of homicides.

1 in 5 women report mistreatment from medical staff during pregnancy

Build a business, not an audience

How to sabotage your salary negotiation efforts before you even start

Time of day perception in paintings

2012 was a “tipping-point” year

Is there another word for synonym?


{ Focus. The stairs will change direction every ~10 seconds. }

avoidance of feared situations

Texas electricity prices soar 6,000 percent as a fresh heat wave is expected to shatter records – Spot electricity prices jumped to $4,750 per megawatt-hour from the average of $75

What everyone agrees on is that the environment’s influence on our genes, or epigenetics, has played a large role in the rise of allergies, as does the makeup of our nose, gut and skin microbiomes. In the end, it appears, we are at least partially doing this to ourselves. Modern living is likely at the root of the recent rise in allergies.

excessive avoidance of feared situations prevents learning through exposure […] Anxious individuals shift emotion control from lateral frontal pole to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

The man who can talk backwards

Some called Tether the central bank of crypto. […] I’d been hearing rumors about illicit uses of Tether […]but pig butchering was the most concrete example I found. People around the world really were losing huge sums of money to the con. A project finance lawyer in Boston with terminal cancer handed over $2.5 million. A divorced mother of three in St. Louis was defrauded of $5 million. And the victims I spoke to all told me they’d been told to use Tether, the same coin Vicky suggested to me. Rich Sanders, the lead investigator at CipherBlade, a crypto-tracing firm, said that at least $10 billion had been lost to crypto romance scams. […] Most pig-butchering operations were orchestrated by Chinese gangsters based in Cambodia or Myanmar. They’d lure young people from across Southeast Asia to move abroad with the promise of well-paying jobs in customer service or online gambling. Then, when the workers arrived, they’d be held captive and forced into a criminal racket. Thousands have been tricked this way. Entire office towers are filled with floor after floor of people sending spam messages around the clock, under threat of torture or death. They described abuses that were worse than I could have imagined. Workers who missed quotas were beaten, starved, made to hit one another. One said he’d seen people forcibly injected with methamphetamine to increase productivity. Two others said they’d seen workers murdered, with the deaths passed off as suicides. They said the bosses would buy and sell captive laborers like livestock.