He that is thy friend indeed

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Friendships are fragile, and most aren’t built to last forever. Circumstances change, bonds diminish. That she and I made it through the better part of a decade was a feat. In 1999 and 2000, the Dutch sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst and his colleagues interviewed 1,007 people between the ages of 18 and 65 about the people they regularly talked to and spent time with. When they followed up seven years later with many of the participants, only about half of the friendships were still going.

The rules governing romantic love are clearer.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

enamel on steel, 987 plates { Jennifer Bartlett, Rhapsody, 1975-76 (detail) }

Our shades of minglings mengle them and help help horizons

Grow Your Own Cloud is a new service that helps you store your data nature’s way — in the DNA of plants.

We are at the forefront of the development of a new type of cloud, one that is organic, rather than silicon, and which emits oxygen rather than CO2.

{ GrowYourOwn.Cloud | Continue reading | Thanks Tim}

That the mind is united to the body we have shown from the fact, that the body is the object of the mind

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The mind-body problem enjoyed a major rebranding over the last two decades and is generally known now as the “hard problem” of consciousness […] Fast forward to the present era and we can ask ourselves now: Did the hippies actually solve this problem? My colleague Jonathan Schooler of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and I think they effectively did, with the radical intuition that it’s all about vibrations … man. Over the past decade, we have developed a “resonance theory of consciousness” that suggests that resonance—another word for synchronized vibrations—is at the heart of not only human consciousness but of physical reality more generally. […]

Stephen Strogatz provides various examples from physics, biology, chemistry and neuroscience to illustrate what he calls “sync” (synchrony) […] Fireflies of certain species start flashing their little fires in sync in large gatherings of fireflies, in ways that can be difficult to explain under traditional approaches. […] The moon’s rotation is exactly synced with its orbit around the Earth such that we always see the same face. […]

The panpsychist argues that consciousness (subjectivity) did not emerge; rather, it’s always associated with matter, and vice versa (they are two sides of the same coin), but mind as associated with most of the matter in our universe is generally very simple. An electron or an atom, for example, enjoy just a tiny amount of consciousness. But as matter “complexifies,” so mind complexifies, and vice versa.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading | Thanks Tim }

‘Le seul bien qui me reste au monde est d’avoir quelquefois pleuré.’ –Alfred de Musset

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Despite variation in lifestyle and environment, first signs of human facial aging show between the ages of 20–30 years. It is a cumulative process of changes in the skin, soft tissue, and skeleton of the face. As quantifications of facial aging in living humans are still scarce, we set out to study age-related changes in three- dimensional facial shape using geometric morphometrics.


We collected surface scans of 88 human faces (aged 26–90 years) from the coastal town Split (Croatia) and neighboring islands. Based on a geometric morphometric analysis of 585 measurement points (landmarks and semi- landmarks), we modeled sex-specific trajectories of average facial aging.


Age-related facial shape change was similar in both sexes until around age 50, at which time the female aging trajectory turned sharply. The overall magnitude of facial shape change (aging rate) was higher in women than men, especially in early postmenopause. Aging was generally associated with a flatter face, sagged soft tissue (“broken” jawline), deeper nasolabial folds, smaller visible areas of the eyes, thinner lips, and longer nose and ears. In postmenopausal women, facial aging was best predicted by the years since last menstruation and mainly attributable to bone resorption in the mandible.


{ Physical Anthropology | Continue reading }

The harder you look the harder you look

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Can events be accurately described as historic at the time they are happening?

Claims of this sort are in effect predictions about the evaluations of future historians; that is, that they will regard the events in question as significant.

Here we provide empirical evidence in support of earlier philosophical arguments1 that such claims are likely to be spurious and that, conversely, many events that will one day be viewed as historic attract little attention at the time.

{ Nature Human Behaviour | Continue reading }

photo { David Sims }

Every day, the same, again

31.jpgPopular Soccer App Spied on Fans Through Phone Microphone to Catch Bars Pirating Game Streams

How long does it take a man to collect his semen specimen in a busy infertility clinic? Patients accompanied by their female partners required significantly longer time to collect their sample.

Why a woman started lactating from her vulva: rare case study

In every single country, the average estimate of happiness is far lower than actual reported happiness

Recent research suggests that rates of extreme poverty, commonly defined as living on less than $2/person/day, are high and rising in the United States

Facebook’s AI researchers have developed a speech synthesizer capable of copying anybody’s voice with uncanny accuracy.

Smart devices are ripe for exploitation in domestic abuse scenarios because often one person, usually a man, controls the information technology (IT) for the house.

Student Used Snapchat Filter to Pose as Teen Girl, Ended up Busting Pedophile Cop

Men Are More Satisfied By ‘Bromances’ Than Their Romantic Relationships, Study Says [thanks GG]

Cocaine contamination in pubic hair

Woman banned from pooing in public has breached court order 20 times in two years

The Puzzle of Open Defecation in Rural India

The zero rupee note

Life expectancy in Canada has stopped increasing for the first time in more than four decades, due largely to soaring overdose deaths

US homicide rates fell sharply in the early 1990s, a decade that also saw the mainstreaming of cell phones – a concurrence that may be more than a coincidence, we propose.

Dead Duck Day also commemorates the billions of other birds that die(d) from colliding with glass buildings

Telegram blames China for cyberattack coinciding with Hong Kong protests + Telegram’s description of DDoS attack is the best

The Economic Effects of the 2017 Tax Revision: Preliminary Observations

How Much Do Museum Employees Actually Make? A Tell-All Google Spreadsheet Is Now Making the Rounds

This paper explores the law and economics of “literary fan art,” i.e. unauthorized derivative works by third parties that are based on someone else’s literary work product. What is the legal status of such fan art?

Dora Maar was one of the most important Surrealist photographers and the only artist to exhibit in all six of the group’s international exhibitions.

A digital ‘dress’ sold for $9,500

Using techniques coming from ultra intense laser science, we show that for high enough laser intensities, two lightsaber blades can `feel’ solid to each other.

A Visit to Chernobyl as It Transforms Into a Solar Farm

Instagram influencers are flocking to Chernobyl

It costs three times more to build a subway station in New York than in London or Paris.

Notable Women is an AR Experiment that lets anyone see 100 historic American women where they’ve historically been left out: U.S. currency. [Thanks Tim]

This Vancouver market is handing out embarrassing plastic bags to customers

‘Praying for something implies that, despite My omniscience, I don’t already know what you want.’ –@TheTweetOfGod

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Weather forecasters need a ton of knowledge and a fair bit of experience with local weather patterns to do their job well. They also need a good forecast model. These computer models take in measurements from weather stations on the ground, satellites in orbit, and balloons in between and then simulate the physics of weather forward in time a few days.

For the first time in about 40 years, the guts of the US model got swapped out for something new today. The upgrade brings us a new “Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere” (or FV3) dynamical core, which simulates the basic atmospheric physics at the heart of this endeavor, a change that has been in the works for a while.

{ ArsTechnica | Continue reading }

photo { The main prize in the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest went to Chu Weimin | Upernavik is a fishing village on a tiny island in west Greenland. Historically, Greenlandic buildings were painted different colors to indicate different functions, from red storefronts to blue fishermen’s homes—a useful distinction when the landscape is blanketed in snow. }

You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.

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During my clinical internship over 20 years ago, my boss, a psychiatrist, asked me to research how PMS prevents women from thinking clearly. I told him he was a relic of the Stone Age. Women were as consistently clearheaded as men, if not more so.

But recently, a researcher in my lab, Joe Andreano, an expert on female hormones, showed me some surprising data. As a woman’s levels of progesterone and estrogen vary, so does the connectivity between two brain networks: the default mode network and the salience network. These networks play key roles in creating your emotional life.

If I hadn’t seen the data with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.

When scientists say that brain networks are “strongly connected” or have “increased connectivity,” it means that the neurons have an easier time passing information back and forth. In the case of the default mode and salience networks, increased connectivity means (among other things) that you may experience more powerful negative emotions. In earlier research, for example, my colleagues and I found that people reported more intense sadness when watching the sentimental movie “Stepmom” and more intense fear when watching the horror movie “The Ring Two” in the moments when these brain networks were more connected.

There has also been a flurry of recent studies indicating that certain cocktails of ovarian hormones can make women feel lousy, particularly a week or so before menstruation. Female test subjects who receive ovarian hormones designed to mimic the menstrual cycle, for example, report an increase in negative mood. They also remember negative material better, and they show enhanced stress responses. […]

 I’m not saying that women turn into helpless snowflakes for a few days each month. I’m just saying that the biology is real: Some women may have a short window before their period when, if something bad happens, they will feel more negative or stressed and will remember that unpleasant event more easily.

A few bad feelings or memories aren’t inherently harmful, of course. But this window of vulnerability, combined with other risk factors, could increase the odds of developing mood disorders like depression.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

enamel on linen { Christopher Wool, Untitled, 1998 }

HELP US VALIDATE THE HIGH OPINION WE HAVE OF OURSELVES

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YouTube’s most lucrative channel in the UK did not feature a pop superstar, a legendary rock band or the biggest TV show around . . . but a child from Lancashire.

Gabriella — or Gaby, as she is known to her 12m-plus subscribers […] could be pulling in between £2,100 and £40,000 a day, depending on daily views, with earnings of up to £1m a year. […]

To novices like me, YouTube’s advertising system is incredibly complex and opaque. Fundamentally, the more popular you are, the more advertisers are prepared to pay. But you need to clock up 4,000 hours of viewing time for your videos in a year and have at least 1,000 subscribers to qualify for the Google Partner Programme, which provides a share of ad revenue.

Vloggers who choose cost-per-month advertising get a share ranging from 5p to £7 for every 1,000 “monetised” views — that is after YouTube takes 45 per cent. Only 40 per cent to 60 per cent of overall views are deemed worthy of advertising spending, based on various factors such as the location of the viewers and their level of “ad engagement”, that is, how much they skip or click on ads. […]

Competition on YouTube is brutal, with more than 450 hours of video uploaded every minute. Most of the experts who spoke to the Financial Times agreed that one or two videos a week was the bare minimum now required for success. Dan Middleton, a British gaming star who earned £25m last year, recently admitted working 12-hour days to post daily videos and stay ahead of the algorithm, which was recently tweaked to reward busier creators. Just missing a day can drastically reduce your views, subscribers and overall revenue.

Small wonder that “influencer burnout” is on the rise. […]

One vlogger with about 80,000 subscribers, who wished to remain anonymous, told me: “My most popular videos get six-figure views but the maximum I earn is a few hundred pounds. When I think about all the research, time, skills and promotion I put into each video, I wonder just how sustainable it can be.” […]

But YouTube advertising is not the only game in town. Creators increasingly make extra cash from influencer marketing. […]

Successful vloggers, and the agents managing their careers, can be cagey about the sums earned from influencer marketing. However, prying some numbers from leading agencies, I found that someone with at least 7m subscribers could earn about £250,000 for a sponsored video, while someone notching up 1m subscribers would command about £100,000. Even so-called “micro-influencers”, defined as having between 3,000 and 100,000 followers on any given platform, can earn between £2,000 and £50,000 for sponsored posts or videos.

{ Financial Times | Continue reading }

concrete with beehive structure, wax, and live bee colony { Pierre Huyghe, Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt), 2012 }

Max Headroom was portrayed as “The World’s first computer-generated TV host,” although the computer-generated appearance was achieved with prosthetic make-up and hand-drawn backgrounds

In Siege, Wolff quotes Bannon saying investigations into Trump’s finances will cut adrift even his most ardent supporters: “This is where it isn’t a witch hunt – even for the hard core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50m instead of $10bn. Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.”

{ The Guardian | Continue reading }

update 6/3 { Italy is revoking a lease granted to Steve Bannon after reports of fraud in the competitive tender process. A letter used to guarantee the lease was forged. }

‘Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.’ — Confucius

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The mainstream sciences are experiencing a revolution of methodology. This revolution was inspired, in part, by the realization that a surprising number of findings in the bioscientific literature could not be replicated or reproduced by independent laboratories and were likely false discoveries.

In response – as reflected in a 2018 report of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – scientific norms and practices are rapidly moving towards openness. These reforms promise many enhancements to the scientific process, notably improved efficiency and reliability of findings.

Changes are also underway in the forensic sciences (although they have recently hit substantial political roadblocks). After years of legal-scientific criticism and several reports from peak scientific bodies, efforts are underway to establish the validity of several forensic practices and ensure forensic scientists perform and present their work in a scientifically valid way.

In this article, the authors suggest that open science reforms are distinctively suited to addressing the problems faced by forensic science. Openness comports with legal and criminal justice values, helping ensure expert forensic evidence is more reliable and susceptible to rational evaluation by the trier of fact.

{ LawArXiv | Continue reading }

transparency in lightbox { Jeff Wall, A Sunflower, 1995 }

Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice

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US actor Ashton Kutcher testified in an LA courtroom that he called on a young woman’s home for a date in 2001, not realising she lay dead inside.

When the woman, Ashley Ellerin, did not answer the door, Mr Kutcher said he looked in her window and saw what he thought were wine stains on the floor. […]

Prosecutors allege Ellerin was slain by “Hollywood Ripper”, Michael Gargiulo.

{ BBC | Continue reading }

photo { Stephen Shore, Grand Canyon, June 1972 }