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.”

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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

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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

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{ 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

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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!

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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

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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]

Das große Fressen

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Instead of killing animals for food, why not manufacture beef or chicken in a laboratory vat? That’s the humane idea behind “lab-grown meat.” The problem, though, is making the stuff at a large scale. Take Upside Foods. The startup, based in Berkeley, California, had raised more than half a billion dollars and was showing off rows of big, gleaming steel bioreactors.

But journalists soon learned that Upside was a bird in borrowed feathers. Its big tanks weren’t producing its flagship “whole textured chicken” filets; to produce those it was growing chicken skin cells in much smaller laboratory flasks. Thin layers of cells were then being manually scooped up and pressed into chicken pieces. In other words, Upside was using lots of labor, plastic, and energy to make hardly any meat. […]

And even though lab-grown chicken has FDA approval, there’s doubt whether lab meat will ever compete with the real thing. Chicken goes for $4.99 a pound at the supermarket. Upside still isn’t saying how much the lab version costs to make, but a few bites of it sell for $45 at a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco.

{ The worst technology failures of 2023 | Technology Review }

oil on panel { Pablo Picasso, La Poule, 1950 }

Sublimity

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A loophole got him a free New York hotel stay for five years. Then he claimed to own the building

Wyze says camera breach let 13,000 customers briefly see into other people’s homes

The man on the phone knew my home address, my Social Security number, the names of my family members, and that my 2-year-old son was playing in our living room. He told me my home was being watched, my laptop had been hacked, and we were in imminent danger. “I can help you, but only if you cooperate,” he said. — How I Fell for an Amazon Scam Call and Handed Over $50,000

There’s an enormous and largely invisible campaign to use fraudulent notices under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to remove critical articles from the internet. We don’t know who is running the campaign, but we do know it’s facilitated by Google’s amazingly trustworthy approach to DMCA complaints made by companies that don’t exist.

Los Angeles-based EQTY Lab created a new method, employing cryptography and blockchain, to track the origins and characteristics of large language models, and provide transparency on their inner workings, so companies and regulators can easily inspect them. Its software essentially tracks the different parts of an AI model as it’s being developed, and turns the information into a cryptographic signature stored on a blockchain, making it theoretically impossible to tamper with.

OpenAI tries to trademark ‘GPT’. US Patent Office says nope

there are small RNA species, hitherto unknown, that seem to be colonizing bacteria in the human oral mucosa and gut

consumption of certain food additive emulsifiers may increase the risk of cancer — the researchers found that higher intakes of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (E471) were associated with increased risks of cancer overall (a 15% higher risk among those consuming the most – 3rd tertile – compared with those consuming the least – 1st tertile), breast cancer (a 24% higher risk), and prostate cancer (a 46% higher risk). On the other hand, women with higher carrageenan intakes (E407 and E407a) had a 32% higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared with the group with lower intakes.

Room Acoustics and Musical Emotion in Recorded Music Listening — The main findings showed that room acoustic features did not have a strong effect on ‘Unease’ or ‘Vitality’ components of the GEMS, but rather influenced aspects of ‘Sublimity’ (i.e., ‘Nostalgia’, ‘Transcendence’, ‘Wonder’).

Inside Johnny Depp’s Epic Bromance With Saudi Crown Prince MBS

In ancient Sparta, it was accepted practice for more women to marry and have children by more than one man […] unmarried men could be forced to march around the public square in the winter, wearing a tunic and singing about themselves. In contrast, men with three sons were exempt from military service, and those with at least four didn’t have to pay any taxes.

10,996

The most blatant exaggeration was the listed size of Mr. Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. For years, the former president had valued it as if it were 30,000 square feet, when it was actually 10,996.

Trump Supporters Start GoFundMe Page for $355M Fine

update feb 18: Trump launches a pair of gold sneakers named “The Never Surrender High-Tops,” $399, “At Least 10 Randomly Autographed by Trump,” “Only 1000 Pairs,” SOLD OUT, also selling two versions of sneakers that have “T” and “45” on the sides for $199, the “Victory47 Cologne by President Trump” for $99…

This work investigated the prevalence of filter bubble or echo chamber-related phenomena, psychological factors rendering individuals resilient or vulnerable to them, and their associations to political views focusing on extremity and polarization. […] These findings challenge the prevailing notion of filter bubbles and echo chambers as widespread phenomena and indicate that relationships between political news consumption homogeneity and political views are not necessarily deleterious with respect to extremization and polarization. […] As such, the results suggest that these phenomena might not be as significant for the general population as previously thought

The replication crisis is an ongoing methodological crisis in which the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to reproduce.

A year or more after weight loss, the desire to eat grows stronger, study

States with higher narcissism had lower obesity and depression rates, and a lower likelihood of heart failure and hypertension deaths. However, these states reported less sleep and higher demand for plastic surgeons.

Water found on the surface of an asteroid for the 1st time ever […] that can shed light on how water was delivered to Earth […] asteroids are believed to be the primary source of Earth’s water, providing the necessary elements for life as we know it.

Our human ancestors often ate each other, some of the time they did it to honour their dead

With maceration, bones are cleaned of tissue by bacteria; it is a rotting process. There are several maceration techniques, of which warm-water maceration at 35 C is the most effective. This temperature is optimal for the bacteria to live, digest and multiply. With these techniques, all cartilage gets dissolved, and all unfused bones will separate. Therefore, warm-water maceration is not the most ideal technique for complete skeletons of small mammals (up to the size of a rabbit), since putting the many small bones of hands and feet together will be extremely difficult. […] A closed container is needed, like a plastic bucket with lid, a glass jar or a metal can.

It wasn’t illegal to drink alcohol during Prohibition […] In 1851 the Maine legislature passed a statewide prohibition on selling alcohol […] To this day, 10 states still contain counties where alcohol sales are prohibited outright. 10 Things You Should Know About Prohibition

While most fast food restaurants have their Coca-Cola syrup delivered to them in plastic bags,
McDonald’s gets their syrup specially delivered in stainless steel tanks.

passing stars

Sapolsky’s “Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will” employs modern scientific evidence to argue that intent and volition are products of antecedent causes rather than manifestations of free will. Through a comprehensive review of cognitive neuroscience, Sapolsky illustrates how intent emerges from the complex interplay of brain structures that are effectively predetermined by a web of causality that includes genetic, environmental and cultural factors. This review also highlights the book’s implications of determinism for concepts such as moral responsibility, retributive justice, and societal perceptions of human exceptionalism.

We recruited 204 marital dyads from South Korea […] Wives with long and high-quality hair have more frequent sex

Attraction to an Alternative and Romantic Relationship Quality, Breakups and Infidelity

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What happened to the doll? It was destroyed.

At 40, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, was walking through a park one day in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully. Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would come back to look for her.

The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter “written” by the doll saying “please don’t cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.” Thus began a story which continued until the end of Kafka’s life.

During their meetings, Kafka read the letters of the doll carefully written with adventures and conversations that the girl found adorable. Finally, Kafka brought back the doll (he bought one) that had returned to Berlin.

“It doesn’t look like my doll at all,” said the girl. Kafka handed her another letter in which the doll wrote: “my travels have changed me.” The little girl hugged the new doll and brought the doll with her to her happy home. A year later Kafka died. Many years later, the now-adult girl found a letter inside the doll. In the tiny letter signed by Kafka it was written: “Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way.”

{ Avi | a true anecdote, unproven }