‘Just basic memory functions and also just the level of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain that as you know encodes that neurotransmitter that codes memories into the hippocampus and so the trauma-related experience is locked there, whereas other details kind of drift.’ –Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

30 years ago, Spy magazine sent “refund” checks for $1.11 to 58 rich people.

The 26 who cashed those got another check, for $.64.

The 13 who cashed those each got a check for $.13.

Two people cashed the $.13 checks—Donald Trump and Jamal Khashoggi’s arms-dealer uncle Annan.

{ Kurt Andersen | Spy, July, 1990 p. 84 + full issue }

Every day, the same, again

333.jpgSex doll rental company will make a replica of your dead lover

Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

Assessing the calorific significance of episodes of human cannibalism in the Palaeolithic (This paper presents a nutritional template that offers a proxy calorie value for the human body)

How to Order a Beer — Cultural Differences in the Use of Conventional Gestures for Numbers

Toilet Flushing System Bursting Prompts Massive Recall

Kansas City police looking for stolen inflatable human colon

some down-for-anything fans have also reported post-slushy poop that ranges from blue to green

The Secretive Business of Facial-Recognition Software in Retail Stores

We explored personality inferences made from body shapes … Personality-trait profiles were predicted reliably from a subset of the body-shape features

Do women’s preferences for masculine voices shift across the ovulatory cycle?

A “Need for Chaos” and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies

we often forget about the fact that the frontal lobes – the most developed part of the brain – are at the same time our greatest weakness, exposed to the action of damaging factors in our evolving environment. Is depression the cost of evolution? The Evolutionary Theory of Depression

Can Moons Have Moons?

Scientists Create Artificial Wood That Is Water- and Fire-Resistant

The band Chic wrote a song in 1978, “Le Freak”, after being refused entry to Studio 54 on New Year’s Eve 1977, despite being invited by Grace Jones.

at least 20 percent of Manhattan’s street retail is vacant or about to become vacant. (The city government’s estimate is lower.)

The man who has eaten at more than 7,300 Chinese restaurants, but can’t use chopsticks and doesn’t care for food

Interviews with elederly people (1929)

Shredding Banksy’s the Girl and Balloon - The Director’s Cut

Restaurant reviews

Light travels faster than sound, this is why some people appear bright until they speak

Case of Tetanus, in Which a Large Quantity of the Tincture of Opium Was Administered by Mistake (1819)

On the Cure of Tetanus by Opium and the Warm Bath (1812)

{ PubMed }

‘This is the curse of our age, even the strangest aberrations are no cure for boredom.’ –Stendhal

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Because more and more young people are constantly presented with the opportunity to access information and connect to others via their smartphones, they report to be in a state of permanent alertness. In the current study, we define such a state as smartphone vigilance, an awareness that one can always get connected to others in combination with a permanent readiness to respond to incoming smartphone notifications. We hypothesized that constantly resisting the urge to interact with their phones draws on response inhibition, and hence interferes with students’ ability to inhibit prepotent responses in a concurrent task. […]

Results show that the mere visibility of a smartphone is sufficient to experience vigilance and distraction, and that this is enhanced when students receive notifications. Curiously enough, these strong experiences were unrelated to stop-signal task performance. These findings raise new questions about when and how smartphones can impact performance.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

Mr. Ingberg described the vodka, made with melted snow from the French Alps, as “very tasty” and “smooth and round,” but added, “It’s difficult to attribute a taste to wheat-based vodka.”

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Machine-vision systems can match humans at recognizing faces and can even create realistic synthetic faces. But researchers have discovered that the same systems cannot recognize optical illusions, which means they also can’t create new ones.

{ Technology Review | Continue reading }

The man who invented autocorrect should burn in hello

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50% of human experience has happened after 1309 AD. 15% of all experience has been experienced by people who are alive right now. […]

{ Eukaryote Writes Blog | Continue reading }

inkjet and acrylic on canvas { imp kerr, looped breathing tubes, 2018 }

Every day, the same, again

33.jpgA missing man who was murdered more than 40 years ago has been found - after a seed from a fig in his stomach grew into a tree

Seeking advice lowers mortality risk

We watched 216 episodes of five popular television series on Netflix and identified 333 separate driving scenes, of which 271 (81.4%) portrayed at least one risky driving behaviour.

This paper compares mortality between Gold and Silver medalists in Olympic Track and Field to study how achievement influences health. Contrary to conventional wisdom, winners die over one year earlier than losers.

Zurich crematorium starts to trade precious metals filtered from people’s ashes

Music training does not enhance non-music cognitive skills or academic achievement

Why Determinism in Physics Has No Implications for Free Will

Sixteen healthy volunteers without gastrointestinal disease and normal faecal calprotectin baseline values ingested their own blood twice, either by drinking or via nasogastric tube. Ingestion of blood resulted in an increase in faecal calprotectin-positive tests.

All participants were engaged in a steady heterosexual relationship. Women reported a masturbation frequency of about once per two weeks. Men reported a masturbation frequency of about twice per week. PDF

Three scholars spent 10 months writing 20 hoax papers

Salt not as damaging to health as previously thought, says study (involving more than 90,000 people people in more than 300 communities in 18 countries)

Randy Gardner is the holder of the scientifically documented record for the longest a human has gone without sleep (11 days 25 minutes).

A new mathematical model suggests that signs of extraterrestrial intelligence could be common

Scientists Use DNA to Expose the World’s Top 3 Illegal Ivory Cartels

Effects of the replacement of wheat flour with cricket powder on the characteristics of muffins

Last year, across the globe, more than 100 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten. That’s more than 13 servings for every person on the planet.

History of art paintings through the lens of entropy and complexity

artnet Intelligence Report

Who was in on Banksy’s ’self-destruct’ art stunt? [previously: Banksy’s Girl With Balloon (2006) self-destructed at the end of a Sotheby’s auction]

Self-driving homes

Putin at the photocopier

Dancing in the Streets

Funny how love becomes a cold rainy day

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Nauru is an island country in Micronesia, a subregion of Oceania, in the Central Pacific.

With 11,347 residents in a 21-square-kilometre (8.1 sq mi) area, Nauru is the third-smallest state by area in the world, behind only Vatican City and Monaco.

The Nauruan economy peaked in the mid-1970s to early-1980s, when the phosphate deposits that originate from the droppings of sea birds began to be depleted. At its peak, Nauru’s GDP per capita was estimated to be US$50,000, second only to Saudi Arabia.

In anticipation of the exhaustion of its phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of the income from phosphates were invested in trust funds aimed to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru’s economic future. However, because of mismanagement, including some wasteful foreign investment activities, the government is now facing virtual bankruptcy.

The phosphate reserves on Nauru are now almost entirely depleted. Phosphate mining in the central plateau has left a barren terrain of jagged limestone pinnacles up to 15 metres (49 ft) high. Mining has stripped and devastated about 80 per cent of Nauru’s land area leaving it uninhabitable, and has also affected the surrounding exclusive economic zone; 40 per cent of marine life is estimated to have been killed by silt and phosphate runoff.

In the 1990s, Nauru became an illegal money laundering centre, a tax haven and offered passports to foreign nationals for a fee. During the 1990s, it was possible to establish a licensed bank in Nauru for only US$25,000 with no other requirements. Under pressure from FATF, Nauru introduced anti-avoidance legislation in 2003, after which foreign hot money left the country.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

drone photo { Aydın Büyüktaş }

Empty space itself has a negative energy density

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Procrastination is a familiar and widely discussed proclivity: postponing tasks that can be done earlier. Precrastination is a lesser known and explored tendency: completing tasks quickly just to get them done sooner.

Recent research suggests that precrastination may represent an important penchant that can be observed in both people and animals.

{ Learning & Behavior | Continue reading }

art { Vogue, June 1972 | Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #9, 1973 }

No sunshine, no moonlight, no stardust, no sign of romance

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We suggest that advanced civilizations could cloak their presence, or deliberately broadcast it, through controlled laser emission.

Such emission could distort the apparent shape of their transit light curves with relatively little energy, due to the collimated beam and relatively infrequent nature of transits.

We estimate that humanity could cloak the Earth from Kepler-like broad-band surveys using an optical monochromatic laser array emitting a peak power of ∼30 MW for ∼10 hours per year.

{ Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Continue reading }

First we feel. Then we fall.

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50.43% of women considered it very important that the partner ejaculates during intercourse.

18.3% of women preferred that the partner ejaculates before they reach orgasm, whereas for 53.5% this did not matter.

22.6% of women stated that they experienced a more intense orgasm when their partner ejaculated during vaginal intercourse. […]

13.1% of women regarded the quantity of expelled ejaculate as an expression of their own sexual attractiveness.

{ The Journal of Sexual Medicine | Continue reading }

‘I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.’ –Oscar Wilde

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[W]hy are some societies more religious than others? One answer is religious coping: Individuals turn to religion to deal with unbearable and unpredictable life events. To investigate whether coping can explain global differences in religiosity, I combine a global dataset on individual-level religiosity with spatial data on natural disasters. Individuals become more religious if an earthquake recently hit close by. Even though the effect decreases after a while, data on children of immigrants reveal a persistent effect across generations.

{ J. S. Bentzen | PDF }

acrylic on canvas, in four parts { Keith Haring, Untitled, 1984 }