the truth

In the first case, a sex doll was mistaken for a corpse; in the second case, a corpse was mistaken for a doll […] the increasingly doll-like appearance of some people, e.g., through cosmetic surgery, will lead to a rise in such cases.

Memories from when you were a baby might not be gone — The mystery of “infantile amnesia” suggests memory works differently in the developing brain

Comedians reported significant levels of symptomatology for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Somatization Disorder, and they screened positive for alcohol and substance use problems at higher rates.

Much like biological species, languages spread, evolve, compete and even go extinct. To understand these mechanisms, physicists are applying their methods to linguistics, creating the interdisciplinary field of language dynamics

Only seven countries meet WHO air quality standard, research finds — Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand. Puerto Rico, Bermuda and French Polynesia also fell within safe levels.

Michel Talagrand Wins Abel Prize for Work Wrangling Randomness

Can a classical computer tell if a quantum computer is telling the truth? Researchers in Austria say the answer is yes.

One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal groups runs call centers that offer to buy retirees’ vacation properties and then empty their bank accounts. Cartel employees posing as sales representatives call up timeshare owners, offering to buy their investments back for generous sums. They then demand upfront fees for anything from listing advertisements to paying government fines. [NY Times]

Mozart (2X Speed) & The Bible (Chinese) spinning around you

Big Oil & Gas

8-hour time-restricted eating, a type of intermittent fasting, linked to a 91% higher risk of cardiovascular death, n=20,000

Studies have generated strong evidence for the link between the consumption of red and processed meat and negative health outcomes – particularly the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Despite evidence for the strength of this association, researchers haven’t yet worked out why this is the case. Could Genetics Influence Cancer Risk From Red and Processed Meats?

Scientists Engineer Cow That Makes Human Insulin Proteins in Its Milk

The many flavors of edible ants

Writing by hand, not typing, linked to better learning and memory

The plastic industry knowingly pushed recycling myth for decades and Evidence shows that Big Oil & Gas knew as early as the 1960s that their products would lead to climate change

The Nuclear Fallout Maps That Revealed a Contaminated Planet

AI-enabled marketing today accounts for nearly half (45%) of all advertising globally, and by 2032, AI will influence 90% of all ad revenue which is more than $1.3 trillion.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a 10-minute-long interview with OpenAI CTO Mira Murati, with journalist Joanna Stern […] When asked about what data was used to train Sora, OpenAI’s app for generating video with AI, Murati claimed it used publicly available data, and when Stern asked her whether it used videos from YouTube, Murati’s face contorted in a mix of confusion and pain before saying she “actually wasn’t sure about that.” [….] Altman’s fanciful claims include his kids “having more AI friends than human friends,” that human-level AI is “coming” without ever specifying when, that AI will replace 95% of tasks performed by marketing agencies, that ChatGPT will evolve in “uncomfortable ways,” that AI will kill us all

Bruno Mars Reportedly In $50 Million Of Debt With MGM Casino After Assuming Cocktails Were Complimentary

Post-Quantum Gravity

Relationship duration, intensity of romantic love, commitment, and elevated mood do not predict sexual frequency among young adults in the first two years of romantic love

Harvard has conducted an 85-year-long study on what makes humans happy. Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger explains what they found.

Scientists Identify Speech Trait That Foreshadows Cognitive Decline

Rapamycin has not been tested in this way in humans but, given the similarities between mouse and human biology, there is a good chance it will also extend our lifespans. By how much is not known. […] Rapamycin is thought to exert its life-extending properties by mimicking the effect of caloric restriction, one of the most reliable ways to extend lifespan in non-human animals. These pathways include autophagy, the process by which cells scavenge dysfunctional organelles and molecules for energy. This reduces the accumulation of the detritus that normally clog up our tissues as we get older, and hence slows or even reverses the ageing process. […] Doing a clinical trial of rapamycin in humans is considered almost impossible – it would take decades to detect any longevity effects. […] a rapamycin-like drug designed to prevent respiratory illness in elderly patients recently failed a phase 3 clinical trial. More: How a cheap, generic drug became a darling of longevity enthusiasts

Birds eat poop a lot. Scientists try to figure out why.

Amazon restricts authors from self-publishing more than three books a day after AI concerns

Physicists have found a new approach to solving a problem which is almost a century old—how to combine quantum physics with gravity. The new idea comes from Johnathan Oppenheim, a professor of quantum theory at University College London, and he has dubbed it “Post-Quantum Gravity.”[…] their idea doesn’t just reconcile quantum physics and gravity, it also explains dark matter and dark energy. […] Dark matter and dark energy are terms that astrophysicists have given to two hypothetical constituents of the universe. Neither has ever been directly observed; astrophysicists have merely indirectly inferred their presence from their gravitational effects.

More water pressure means shorter showers, UK study finds

weather balloons and chase cars tracker

betraying Lafayette

Scientists Discovered a ‘Fear Switch’ in The Brain, And How to Turn It Off

Activities that decrease arousal (e.g., breathing, meditating, yoga) decrease anger. […] Jogging elevated anger. […] ball sports (i.e., soccer, volleyball), physical education classes (e.g., group sports and games), and aerobic exercise (e.g., different types of cardio combined) decreased anger.

An international network of predators steeped in Satanism lure children from seemingly harmless online platforms like Discord, Minecraft, and Roblox and extort them to sexually exploit and grievously harm themselves. Some victims are even pushed to suicide. […] Our investigation found ample evidence of predatory conduct and a persistent presence across apps including Telegram and Discord, while WIRED also found com activity on Instagram, SoundCloud, and Roblox. The platforms are aware of these groups, but they have yet to successfully eradicate them.

This “Genius Wave” scam is peak neuro-nonsense. I’ve seen a lot of these scams, but this is the only one to imply that there’s a conspiracy to suppress your theta waves!

Understanding Emotions: Origins and Roles of the Amygdala — Emotions arise from activations of specialized neuronal populations in several parts of the cerebral cortex, notably the anterior cingulate, insula, ventromedial prefrontal, and subcortical structures, such as the amygdala, ventral striatum, putamen, caudate nucleus, and ventral tegmental area. Feelings are conscious, emotional experiences of these activations that contribute to neuronal networks mediating thoughts, language, and behavior, thus enhancing the ability to predict, learn, and reappraise stimuli and situations in the environment based on previous experiences. Contemporary theories of emotion converge around the key role of the amygdala as the central subcortical emotional brain structure that constantly evaluates and integrates a variety of sensory information from the surroundings and assigns them appropriate values of emotional dimensions, such as valence, intensity, and approachability.

The neuroscientist formerly known as Prince’s audio engineer

I Always Knew I Was Different. I Just Didn’t Know I Was a Sociopath.

New surveys reveal the alarming extent to which lying has become prevalent throughout the job interview process.

Craig Wright did not create bitcoin, judge says

Closing arguments in the trial between various people and Craig Wright over whether he’s Satoshi Nakamoto are wrapping up today, amongst a bewildering array of presented evidence. But one utterly astonishing aspect of this lawsuit is that expert witnesses for both sides agreed that much of the digital evidence provided by Craig Wright was unreliable in one way or another,generally including indications that it wasn’t produced at the point in time it claimed to be.

I heard a journalist say that “scoop-game” was dying; the job of reporters was no longer to vie to break a story before competitors. Her reasoning was that news often breaks on social media; the exclusivity of a scoop only lasts a few seconds. Furthermore, in the age of disinformation, accuracy trumps speed—and searching for a scoop can lead to incorrect information.

The New York Times has denied claims by OpenAI that it “hacked” the company’s artificial intelligence systems to create misleading evidence of copyright infringement, calling the accusation as “irrelevant as it is false.”

Inside Reddit’s Long, Complicated Relationship With OpenAI’s Sam Altman — The founder and CEO of OpenAI stands to profit handsomely from Reddit’s IPO

A new startup called Cognition AI can turn a user’s prompt into a website or video game.

Hackers can read private AI-assistant chats even though they’re encrypted

Most subscription mobile apps don’t make money, new report shows

New ‘Water Batteries’ Are Cheaper, Recyclable, And Won’t Explode

Millions of pieces of space junk — hardware humans sent into space and didn’t retrieve — are orbiting Earth, and because this space debris travels up to 18,000 miles per hour, a collision can seriously damage operational spacecraft. NASA tracks debris larger than 10 centimeters and will take evasive maneuvers to prevent potential collisions, but something as small as a screw can be damaging. […] A japanese startup plans to point the lasers it is developing for nuclear fusion at the sky to see if they can knock space junk out of orbit.

Female frogs communicate with males through blinking

Bumblebees socially learn behaviour too complex to innovate alone — Increasing evidence suggests that animal culture can, like human culture, be cumulative: characterized by sequential innovations that build on previous ones. However, human cumulative culture involves behaviours so complex that they lie beyond the capacity of any individual to independently discover during their lifetime. To our knowledge, no study has so far demonstrated this phenomenon in an invertebrate. […] Food-washing behaviours by macaques, pandanus-leaf tool designs by New Caledonian crows and the songs of humpback whales have all been proposed as potential examples of cumulative culture, but none have been confirmed through laboratory-based experiments. […] This does not mean that these animals are incapable of cumulative culture, or even that these examples do not represent it: it simply means that we cannot know for sure whether they do. Even with our present study, we cannot rule out the possibility that one bee in a million might manage to solve the two-step box within its lifetime, although this seems unlikely.

Virginia Woolf in The Yale Review

Hubert Védrine, one of France’s longest serving Foreign Minister and National Security Advisor (under both Mitterrand and Chirac) recounting a conversation with Madeleine Albright where she accused him of “betraying Lafayette”

‘Salvador Dalí seduced many ladies, particularly American ladies, but these seductions usually consisted of stripping them naked in his apartment, frying a couple of eggs, putting the eggs on the woman’s shoulders and, without a word, showing them the door.’ –Luis Buñuel

New York usury law makes it illegal to charge very high interest rates on loans. If you charge more than 16% on a loan in New York, the borrower might not have to pay you back; if you charge more than 25%, you might be committing a crime. Some people want to charge higher rates on loans, and so they want to structure loans that don’t look like loans to avoid usury rules.

The classic general way to do this is to structure the loan as a purchase. If the borrower — sorry, let’s use a more neutral word, maybe “customer” — has an asset that will pay $100 in cash in a year, you can buy that asset today for $80. You’ll get the $100 in a year, for a 25% return on your money; the customer gets $80 today instead of $100 in a year. That’s a lot like the customer borrowing $80 today at 25% interest, but you have called it a purchase and sale rather than a loan. Legally, this might or might not work, depending on the details (if the asset turns out to be worthless, does the customer still have to pay you?).

Lots of quite normal high-finance lending works this way — “structuring a loan as a sale” roughly characterizes things like the repo market, asset-backed securities or receivables factoring — but, also, lots of shady usurious low-finance lending works this way. […]

Yellowstone Capital, a pioneer in a form of high-risk lending called merchant cash advance, was sued by New York’s attorney general for $1.4 billion for allegedly making illegal loans to small businesses.

For years, Yellowstone lent money at rates that exceeded usury limits – sometimes more than 800% annualized, according to the lawsuit filed in New York state court in Manhattan Tuesday.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

Fashion Police

“There’s about two to five percent of all the (UFO reports that are)… what we would call truly anomalous,” says Kirkpatrick. And he thinks explanations for that small percentage will most likely be found right here on Earth. […] for decades, UFO true believers have been telling us there’s a US government conspiracy to hide evidence of aliens. But — if you believe Kirkpatrick — the more mundane truth is that these stories are being pumped up by a group of UFO true believers in and around government. […] people inside the Pentagon — with really high-level security clearances — are finally saying, we looked at every single piece of secret evidence about supposedly alien UFOs. And as far as we can tell, it’s humans all the way down.

Report on the Historical Record of U.S. Government Involvement with Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) PDF

Brain Waves Travel in One Direction When Memories are Made and the Opposite When Recalled

Female hyenas are more aggressive and 10 percent bigger than males. Sex can only occur with a female’s consent. […] As the only mammal without an external vaginal opening, female spotted hyenas have an elongated clitoris that hangs between their legs and strongly resembles a male’s penis.During mating, the female retracts this “pseudopenis” into her abdomen, making it impossible for the male to gain entry without her cooperation. […] Remarkably, the female will also give birth through her clitoris. […] Spotted hyenas face the same threats as other large African predators, but hyenas—whose leading cause of death is killing by humans—are targeted for reasons that lions and other carnivores are not. They’re snared or poisoned not only in retaliation for preying on livestock but also because they’re considered vermin and purveyors of black magic.

A bold plan to genetically engineer a version of the woolly mammoth, the tusked ice age giant that disappeared 4,000 years ago, is making some progress […] Once edited to have mammoth-like genetic traits, the elephant’s cells could be used to make eggs and sperm and an embryo that could be implanted into some kind of artificial womb. […] “I think the first engineered elephant will be the major milestone and that may be consistent with Ben’s (Lamm) prediction of six years from 2021” […] mammoths, should they return to the grasslands in the planet’s northernmost reaches in sufficient numbers, would help slow down permafrost thaw. Some scientists believe that, before their extinction, grazing animals such as mammoths, horses and bison kept the earth frozen underneath by tramping down the grass, knocking down trees and compacting snow.

Silk is stronger than steel or kevlar. We are already using it to transport vaccines without cold chains and make automatically dissolving stitches. What else could it be used for?

The Tropicana Las Vegas, which originally opened in 1957, will be demolished and turned into a 30,000 seat MLB stadium for the Athletics baseball team.

David Bordwell on Godard: He was a sketchy fellow, to put it mildly. Childhood episodes of theft were followed by larceny as an adult, when he stole his grandfather’s Renoir and swiped cash from the Cahiers du cinéma till. Notorious for taking funding for projects that were never made, he once contracted for $500,000 to create a film on the Museum of Modern Art. He declined to visit the museum and instead shot the footage from stills at home. When The Old Place was finished, he agreed to introduce it in Manhattan. Hours before he was about to fly out (on the Concorde) he canceled, using anti-American cinephilia as his excuse: “I will return to New York when the films of Kiarostami are playing on Broadway.” […] Truffaut called him “a piece of shit on a pedestal.”

Grigory Otrepyev (False Dmitriy I) managed to become the Tsar of Russia due to his deception. He was one of three impostors who claimed, during a period of civil unrest in Russia, to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible. His reign was marked by his openness to Catholicism and allowing foreigners into Russia. This made him unpopular with the boyars, who staged a successful coup and killed him eleven months after he took the throne. His wife of 10 days, Marina, would later “accept” False Dmitry II as her fallen husband. [Wikipedia via Top 10 Great Historical Impostors]

The Fashion Police in 16th-century Italy

Plants That Are Both Edible and Poisonous

Je n’en connais pas de faciles, je n’en connais que de fragiles

The practice of foot binding began in the Sung dynasty (AD 960-1280) in China, reportedly to imitate an imperial concubine who was required to dance with her feet bound.’ By the 12th century, the practice was widespread and more severe: feet were bound so tightly and so early in life that women were unable to dance and had difficulty walking. When a girl was about 3 years old, all but the first toe on each foot were broken and the feet bound with cloth strips that were tightened over the course of 2 years to keep the feet shorter than 10 cm [~4 inches] and to bend the sole into extreme concavity. Foot binding ceased in the 20th century [banned in 1912] with the end of imperial dynasties and the increasing influence of Western fashion.

{ Public Health Briefs | PDF }

In Chinese culture, bound feet were considered highly erotic. When walking, women with bound feet were forced to bend their knees and balance on their heels; the resultant unsteady, swaying movement was attractive to many men. It was also believed that the gait of a woman with bound feet would strengthen her vaginal muscles.

Although Qing Dynasty sex manuals list 48 different ways of playing with womens’ bound feet, many men preferred not to see uncovered feet, so they were concealed within tiny, elaborately embroidered “lotus shoes” and wrappings. […] This concealment from the man’s eye was considered sexually appealing in itself, though it had the practical grounding that an uncovered foot would give off a foul odour due to chronic fungus infections and potential gangrene. […]

bound feet limited a woman’s mobility to such an extent that she was largely restricted to her home and could not venture far without the help of watchful servants. She was rendered almost totally dependent on her menfolk, which appealed to male fantasies of ownership. A woman with bound feet was also seen as a desirable wife because she was assumed to be obedient and uncomplaining.

{ Dance’s Historical Miscellany | Continue reading }

Confucius lived before the Christian Jesus is said to have been born […] Adeline Yen Mah asserts that, “every Chinese person wears a Confucian thinking cap … just as foot binding once bound women‟s feet, Confucian’s teachings have quietly and surely bound women’s lives for centuries.” Confucianism was at its peak centuries before Ming Dynasty rule; […] Confucianism revolved around the belief that a man was the leader and a woman‟s priority was to be obedient to that man […]

Females in Chinese society were regarded as menial entities; continually demoralized, degraded, humiliated, ignored—which created intrinsic silence. The silence was second nature and women simply accepted mistreatment because they did not know anything different. This was a paradoxical situation since women were a remarkably prevalent motif in Ming Dynasty paintings. A woman could speak eloquently, sing, and play music, as shown in paintings, yet their individuality was stripped away

{ The Callous Fate of Chinese Women During the Ming Dynasty (2011) | PDF }

Bob Hauk : I’m not a fool, Plissken. Snake Plissken : Call me “Snake.”

44444.jpg

Again and again in the animal world, males have shorter lifespans than females, an effect scientists attribute in part to the deleterious effects of testosterone.

[In 2012,] researchers who looked at historical records of Korean eunuchs castrated during boyhood found that the eunuchs lived considerably longer than ordinary, testicled men. […]

testosterone, a hormone involved in testes growth, muscle development and aggression, but that also seems to have an immune system-weakening effect. […] Women do tend to live longer than men, but that could be for other reasons, including the longevity-enhancing effects of estrogen, the female sex hormone.

{ Wired | Continue reading }

photo { Robert Mapplethorpe, Tattoo Artist’s Son (1984) }

ASCII art

Dozens of Ghost kitchens, restaurants that serve food exclusively by delivery on apps like DoorDash and Grubhub, are selling food that they promote to customers with AI-generated images

Scientists are using organoids to screen drug candidates, grow viruses, build biocomputers, and much, much more.

This meta-analysis examined the rank-order stability of domain-specific self-esteem by comprehensively synthesizing the available evidence in eight domains of self-esteem (i.e., academic, appearance, athletic, morality, romantic, social, mathematics, and verbal abilities). In sum, the findings suggest that rank-order stability of domain-specific self-esteem is relatively high, even over long periods of time, indicating that the eight investigated facets of domain-specific self-esteem should be considered trait-like constructs.

Historically, most subways were built using what’s known as ‘cut and cover’ excavation: digging an open trench, building the tunnel structure within it, and then covering the trench up. Why we stopped building cut and cover

Researchers jailbreak AI chatbots with ASCII art

Gmail, Docs, and more will now come with Gemini baked in. But Europeans will have to wait before they can download the app.

The Irony and the Agony of Elon Musk’s Lawsuit against OpenAI

Photographer steps inside Vietnam’s shadowy ‘click farms’

Jesús Franco Manera (1930-2013) was perhaps the most prolific filmmaker of modern times. By IMDB’s count he made 195 feature films. During his peak period he averaged 9 films per year. […] Fritz Lang called Franco’s Succubus “the first erotic film I’ve seen all the way through because it’s a beautiful piece of cinema”. Orson Welles chose Franco to be his Spanish assistant director on the strength of one of Franco’s surreal, pulpy crime thrillers – much to the horror of the Madrid establishment who scorned Franco.

Kind of Blue

Pittsburgh Area Naturalists are hosting another Balls Out bowling event, where you can bowl in the nude. Nudity is required with the exception that women can wear bottoms. Also, sexual activity is not permitted.

“Tap the fuck in” Hackers are gaining access to sensitive drug ordering tools and then order controlled substances like oxycodone. Some of the hackers then appear to sell these substances for profit online.

Law enforcement doesn’t want to be “customer service” reps for Meta any more Forty-one state attorneys general penned a letter to Meta’s top attorney on Wednesday saying complaints are skyrocketing across the United States about Facebook and Instagram user accounts being stolen and declaring “immediate action” necessary to mitigate the rolling threat.

Single dose of LSD provides immediate and lasting relief from anxiety, study says

Tiny fragments of microplastics are making their way deep inside our bodies in concerning quantities, significantly through our food and drink. Scientists have now found a simple and effective means of removing them from water. 90 percent of the microplastics were removed by the boiling and filtering process

The animals that birthed our shared mammal lineage crawled out of the ocean 400 million years ago. About 50 million years ago, the four-legged ancestors of whales crawled back in, likely somewhere near present-day Pakistan.

The brain’s nutritional content is unique, too: It’s rich in several nutrients that are essential for brain health. […] In many parts of the world, people never forgot the value of eating brain.

Sell for Half a Billion & Get Nothing — Liquidation preference is one of the most important terms in a term sheet. Liquidation preference determines who gets paid first and how much they get paid when there’s an acquisition.

AI Prompt Engineering Is Dead — There is an alternative to the trial-and-error style prompt engineering that yielded such inconsistent results: Ask the language model to devise its own optimal prompt. Recently, new tools have been developed to automate this process. […] Battle and his collaborators found that in almost every case, this automatically generated prompt did better than the best prompt found through trial-and-error. And, the process was much faster, a couple of hours rather than several days of searching.

In January 2010, Google announced that the Chinese government had been targeting Google (and, it would turn out, around 20 other U.S. companies) with a long-term attack aimed at gaining access to the email accounts of human rights activists working in China and around the world. The attacks led to a number of changes at Google, both in terms of security infrastructure and policy. As a result, Google decided to shut down operations in China. Later that year, Google introduced their two-factor authentication system. Initially only for business accounts, it was rolled out to all Google users in early 2011. For the first time, 2FA was available to the general public for an average user account. In the years since, other major companies such as Microsoft, Twitter, Apple, and Amazon have begun to offer 2FA options across a multitude of online platforms. […] However, many consumers are still not availing themselves of these options, as demonstrated by a continued flood of well-publicized email account breaches.

[In 2016:] Acknowledging there’s a risk that SMS messages can be intercepted or redirected, NIST is encouraging any service considering adopting two-factor authentication in the future to “consider alternative authenticators.” NIST claims that services need to verify the phone number it sends codes to belongs to a legitimate network and not a VoIP service. The alternative is to use a dedicated 2FA app like Google Authenticator or RSA SecurID, or a dedicated secure device like a dongle. There are plenty of options — SMS was just the easy one.

Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time. Here’s what it was like inside the studio with Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans on the day they laid down one of the record’s iconic tracks.

A friend of Bill Evans, Pianist Warren Barnhardt, claims that he ‘never heard him make a harmonic mistake. Never. not one wrong note’ Bill Evan’s co-composed much of the music on Miles Davis’s ‘Kind of Blue’

electronicplastic.com (All the games on this website are from my personal collection. And all games are complete with the original packaging.) games NOT in the collection

adult domain names for sale

If both identical twins go missing and one shows up dead, will genetic tests alone be able to tell them apart (I’m a writer, not a murderer)?

Type III civilization

a hardcore band named Llorona has fired their singer after he allegedly dosed his bandmate with estrogen in a plot to steal his fiancée.

Seventy-five percent of facial plastic surgeons reported a spike in demand from clients under 30, while 79 percent agree that “looking better in selfies” is a trend that continues to rise

In this research, we see a so-called nocebo effect when people eat gluten. If people expect gluten to produce negative effects, they experience symptoms, even if it turns out afterwards that they were not actually eating gluten.

Study Links Everyday Chemicals to Parkinson’s Disease in Western U.S. […] The study involved 21.5 million people. […] researchers looked for a possible relationship between rates of Parkinson’s and the use of 65 pesticides. They found that the pesticides and herbicides simazine, atrazine, and lindane had the strongest relationship with Parkinson’s disease

psychedelic research raises concerns about the potential for psychedelics to enhance suggestibility and create false memories

ChatGPT fails to meet the criteria of authorship because it lacks the ability to perform illocutionary speech acts such as promising or asserting, lacks the fitting mental states like knowledge, belief, or intention, and cannot take responsibility for the texts it produces.

One swipe from a tiger’s claw could kill you instantaneously. Meanwhile, grizzly bears have more strength in one paw than we do in our whole bodies, and gorillas can lift up to four times their own body weight. The world’s strongest animals are fearsome and for the most part predictable, but at the top of this formidable list is one that might surprise you: elephants. African bush elephants are the most powerful land animal by far […] During dry seasons, they dig up riverbeds and create watering holes that their neighbors benefit from, too. They clear away trees and saplings to keep the savannah accessible for other animals such as zebras. And they spread vast quantities of seeds through their dung, gardening and helping plants to thrive.

Asian elephants loudly mourn and bury their dead calves, new study

The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy it is capable of using. The measure was proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev (1932–2019). […] A Type I civilization is able to access all the energy available on its planet and store it for consumption. Hypothetically, it should also be able to control natural events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. A Type II civilization can directly consume a star’s energy, most likely through the use of a Dyson sphere. A Type III civilization is able to capture all the energy emitted by its galaxy, and every object within it, such as every star, black hole, etc.

What happens if you take motion blur past its logical extreme?

A speculative essay proposing that the human subconscious mind can understand language but, while it can communicate with the sleeping mind via images in dreams, it can only communicate to an individual’s awake mind via what appear to the individual as a random recall of a musical song in working memory.

mindfulness

2222.jpg
Lawyers who voided Elon Musk’s pay as excessive want $6 billion fee, payable in the electric car maker’s stock […] The fee works out to an hourly rate of $288,888

Cambridge academic escapes toilet using eyeliner and cotton

the researchers observed the body switching energy sources – from glucose to fat stored in the body – within the first two or three days of fasting. The volunteers lost an average of 5.7 kg of both fat mass and lean mass. After three days of eating after fasting, the weight stayed off – the loss of lean was almost completely reversed, but the fat mass stayed off. […] results provide evidence for the health benefits of fasting beyond weight loss, but these were only visible after three days of total caloric restriction

researchers in South Korea have figured out a way to use sound to influence the formation of connections between neurons — and not only could it lead to new medical treatments, it might even make learning easier for everyone.

The 3 myths of mindfulness Not all thoughts are equal […] Attention is often beyond your control […] It is impossible to “seize the day”

Now that generative AI has dropped the cost of producing bullshit to near zero, we see clearly the future of the internet: a garbage dump.

The checks being cut to ‘owners’ of training data are creating a huge barrier to entry for challengers. If Google, OpenAI, and other large tech companies can establish a high enough cost,

Is it possible to deduce the shape of a drum from the sounds it makes? Last summer, Polterovich and his international collaborators—Nikolay Filonov, Michael Levitin and David Sher—proved a special case of a famous conjecture in spectral geometry formulated in 1954 by the eminent Hungarian-American mathematician George Pólya. The conjecture bears on the estimation of the frequencies of a round drum or, in mathematical terms, the eigenvalues of a disk.

A pair of orcas working in concert have been killing great whites along a stretch of South African coastline since at least 2017, plundering the sharks’ nutrient-rich livers and discarding the rest. […] Scientists witnessed one of the hunters, a male orca known as Starboard, single-handedly kill a 2.5-meter (8.2-foot) juvenile white shark within a two-minute time frame last year. The killer orcas are scaring off great white shark populations, but researchers don’t know where the sharks are relocating. “As they relocate, they might end up overlapping with heavy commercial fisheries”

about 30% of the world’s countries mandate left-side driving and another 70% or so stay to the right […]

The Trojan War was fought in Finland and Ulysses sailed home to Denmark, says one controversial theory.

Portrait of a Woman of the Hofer Family (Why does this lady have a fly on her head?)

Roads

Rogue Editors Started a Competing Wikipedia That’s Only About Roads

Meta’s layoffs continue to impact advertisers as the company replaces account team members with AI

It bothers me that there is so little usable infrastructure beneath artists and so much baroque architecture built on top of us. I’m sorry to bring him up incessantly but Pablo Picasso wasn’t fucking around with artist statements. He and his buddies were hanging out, inventing new ways to use the senses […] They want us to describe ourselves in GRANT-WRITING LANGUAGE like we are PROJECT MANAGERS rather than to describe our ideas with the MANY VARIED LANGUAGES OF ART! […] Participating in their strange bureaucracies is a major concession of our time that we could use for our animal purposes, to observe and make sense of the world

Late last year, astronomers discovered a fascinating star system only 100 light-years away from us. Its six sub-Neptune planets circle very close to their host star in mathematically perfect orbits, piquing the interest of scientists searching for alien technology, or technosignatures, which they argue would offer compelling evidence of advanced life beyond Earth.

Arctic Ice shipped its first container of around 22 tons of Greenland ice to Dubai this year for sale to high-end bars and restaurants

How does the sky turn dark at night?

Reminds me of Apichatpong Weerasethakul talking about how he doesn’t watch many films either

2gsrg.jpeg

{ Emma Stone by Yorgos Lanthimos for W | full story }

40 percent

Isolated for six months, scientists in Antarctica began to develop their own accent

botanical gardens can lower the temperature of inner city air by as much as 5 °C. Wetlands and rain gardens are not far behind in the cooling stakes, at 4.7 and 4.5 °C respectively, trees planted along streets also lowered air temps by 3.8 °C while city parks managed 3.2 °C.

Maker uses Raspberry Pi and AI to block noisy neighbor’s music byhacking nearby Bluetooth speakers

A New York City medical school will offer students free tuition following a $1bn donation from the 93-year-old widow of a major Wall Street investor.

the number of active serial killers dwindled from 198 in 1987, the largest number on record, to 12 in 2018. Why the decline? Simply put, it’s harder than ever to get away with serial murder.

Why are there fewer serial killers now than there used to be?

Police only make an arrest — or “clear” a case, in justice jargon — in about 60 percent of all homicides. The other 5,000 end without closure. In other words, murderers have a 40 percent chance of getting away with murder. The question is, how many of those unsolved cases are the work of a serial killer?

PG-13

44.jpeg
Mary Poppins’ UK age rating raised to PG — It was changed because of a derogatory term for the Khoikhoi, a group of people who were among the first inhabitants of southern Africa.

The creation of the PG-13 rating in 1984

“Today’s date is April 20, approximately 7 a.m. Just want to document my visit to the Hayden Library. My attorney and I are just curious and would like to document this visit to see what kind of materials are on display here.” update: full video

Waymo’s self-driving cars keep hitting things, including a cyclist, a gate and a pickup

After listening to the same playlist, people from the United Kingdom, the United States, and China reported feeling nearly identical bodily sensations

Madame Medusa: You FORCE them to like you, idiot!

3.jpg

More Generative AI Tools are Coming to Social Apps — there are already a heap of these options available, which, intentional or not, effectively reduce, and even eliminate, human input in the process.

Y chromosome

33.jpg
the human Y chromosome is degenerating and may disappear in a few million years, leading to our extinction unless we evolve a new sex gene.

How Incidental Sadness Reduces Morally Questionable Behavior

positive fortune telling can yield increased financial risk taking in men, but not (or less so) in women

American drivers are now even more distracted by their phones. Pedestrian deaths are soaring.

The division that includes the Apple Watch and AirPods now accounts for 10% of the company’s revenue, up from less than 5% a decade ago.

If generative models make video creation easier, it will mean we see more unwanted video in more and more places, as well as the further development of techniques to use video to confuse and con people.

Hallucination has been widely recognized to be a significant drawback for large language models (LLMs). There have been many works that attempt to reduce the extent of hallucination. These efforts have mostly been empirical so far, which cannot answer the fundamental question whether it can be completely eliminated. In this paper, we formalize the problem and show that it is impossible to eliminate hallucination in LLMs.

New compact facial-recognition system passes test on Michelangelo’s David

Do people and bananas really share 50 percent of the same DNA? […] “You share 50 percent of your DNA with each of your parents. But with bananas, we share about 50 percent of our genes, which turns out to be only about 1 percent of our DNA” […] One thing to keep in mind is that genes, which are the regions of the DNA that code for these proteins, only make up 2 percent of your DNA. […] Eight percent of the rest of your DNA regulates genes (as to whether a gene should be turned on or off). The other 90 percent appear to have unknown functions or functions that have been lost through evolution.

these shrimp are actually born with eyes, but they lose the eyes and develop a light sensor on their body as they reach adulthood

How Google is killing independent sites like ours And why you shouldn’t trust product recommendations from big media publishers ranking at the top of Google

first date

A total of 30 male and 30 female subjects attended four speed-dates each. Subjects were more likely to choose those dating partners with whom they shared more eye-contact with. Perceived attractiveness played an important role for mate choice. Receiving but not giving eye-contact also predicted individual mate choice.

weird information to dispense on a first date

Attention deficits linked with proclivity to explore while foraging

chatgpt is apparently going off the rails right now and no one can explain why, more

During World War II, when materials were scare, the Academy started using plaster for their Oscar bases as it was less expensive. (After the war, spun brass was used and still is today.)

Fake Funeral Live Stream Scams Are All Over Facebook

Kilt-clad man

Kilt-clad man seen sticking antiques ‘in his rectum’ then ‘placing them back on the shelves,’ cops say

Mind-reading devices are revealing the brain’s secrets

Your fingerprints can be recreated from the sounds made when you swipe on a touchscreen

“For all adults engaging in any regular physical activity, compared to being inactive […] mortality risk was reduced by 24% in women and 15% in men.”

Researchers have created lab-grown testicle organoids

Penn Engineers have developed a new chip that uses light waves, rather than electricity, to perform the complex math essential to training AI. The chip has the potential to radically accelerate the processing speed of computers while also reducing their energy consumption.

Microsoft announced that it caught Chinese, Russian, and Iranian hackers using its AI tools — presumably coding tools — to improve their hacking abilities.

AI Your Home on Street View

Chinese Robot Waiter Enhances Dining Experience [Thanks Tim]