Isukiri took his place on the cross

Saudi Arabia ‘linear city’ More: The 100-mile-long metropolis promises to accommodate nine million residents + Flying taxis, robotic avatars and holograms + satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

A new artificial intelligence (AI) system called AlphaCode outperforms many human programmers in tricky software challenges

Dramatron is a so-called “co-writing” tool that can generate character descriptions, plot points, location descriptions and dialogue. The idea is that human writers will be able to compile, edit and rewrite what Dramatron comes up with into a proper script. Think of it like ChatGPT, but with output that you can edit into a blockbuster movie script.

This summer, scientists grew an embryo in a lab without the use of sperm, or eggs, or a womb. It happened to be that of a mouse. But the species is of secondary importance. What matters is that using only stem cells, a team at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel forged something in a lab that budded a tail on day six, grew a beating heart by day eight, and even evinced the beginnings of a brain. — Breakthroughs of the Year

A new therapy that makes the immune system kill bone marrow cancer cells was successful in as many as 73 percent of patients in two clinical trials

The researchers found that longer genes are linked to longer lifespans, and shorter genes are linked to shorter lifespans. The researchers uncovered this pattern across several animals, including humans, and across many tissues (blood, muscle, bone and organs, including liver, heart, intestines, brain and lungs) analyzed in the study.

Tiny spurts of exercise throughout the day are associated with significant reductions in disease risk. Those who engaged in one or two-minute bursts of exercise roughly three times a day, like speed-walking while commuting to work or rapidly climbing stairs, showed a nearly 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality risk and a roughly 40 percent reduction in the risk of dying from cancer as well as all causes of mortality, compared with those who did no vigorous spurts of fitness.

South Koreans are about to get a year or two younger, thanks to a new law — At present it’s common for South Koreans to have not just one age, but three – an “international age,” a “Korean age” and a “calendar age.” But to end confusion, the country’s parliament has decreed that from June 2023 all official documents must use the standard “international age.” […] when asked their age in informal settings, most South Koreans will answer with their “Korean age,” which could be one or even two years older than their “international age.” Under this system, babies are considered a year old on the day they’re born, with a year added every January 1.

Founded in 2014 with a goal to reintroduce oysters — a billion of them — into the New York Harbor by 2035, the Billion Oyster Project is about giving spent oyster shells a second life. — “Oysters are just so much more than for your consumption. They clean the water, they provide habitat for other marine species, they are lessening that wave energy so that hopefully the storm that’s coming isn’t going to flood your basement” […] Sixty restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn participate in the Billion Oyster Project’s shell collection program, including Lighthouse BK in Williamsburg. Saving the leftover shells from the oysters that diners slurp provides the literal foundation for the oysters.

Khloe Kardashian and Kendall Jenner sit in a luxe doctor’s office with white walls. Behind them, a window opens onto another room containing a futuristic blue brain scanner. The sisters are gazing at the doctor, an energetic middle-aged balding man wearing a white coat. This is Dr. Daniel Amen, 68, a psychiatrist to stars who has also treated Justin Bieber, Bella Hadid, and Meghan Trainor. Amen offers “bespoke” mental health treatment informed by scans of the physical brain. […] “Kendall’s got a beautiful brain on the outside,” Amen says, gesturing at a computer screen showing four brightly colored images. “But if we look at her emotional brain, which is right here, it’s way too busy. Which is why she can struggle with anxiety.”

Insiders made millions from Justin Bieber’s NFT project. His fans are down almost 90%.

ovies sorted by the color of the film posters from light to dark

Because people have a need to glue things to other things

Shingō village is the location of what is purported to be the resting place of Jesus, the “Tomb of Christ.” — Jesus Christ did not die on the cross at Golgotha. Instead, a man alleged to be his brother, Isukiri, took his place on the cross, while Jesus escaped across Siberia to Mutsu Province, in northern Japan. Once in Japan, Jesus changed his name to Torai Tora Daitenku and became a garlic farmer. In Japan, Jesus allegedly married a woman named Miyuko, with whom he fathered three children, all daughters. After his death at an age exceeding 100, Jesus was said to have been interred into one of two grave mounds in the village.

Chapman remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye

3.jpegScammers Are Scamming Other Scammers Out of Millions of Dollars — Frequently, there are “rip-and-run” scams, Wixey says, where the buyer doesn’t pay for what they’ve received or the seller gets the money but doesn’t send across what they sold. Other types of scams involve faked data or security exploits that don’t work.

What our studies showed is that perceptions of fashion-forwardness—of being in the know—can outweigh aesthetics when choosing a luxury brand item. Ugly has somehow become a signal of taste

Indonesia passes criminal code banning sex outside marriage — Sex outside marriage will carry a jail term of up to a year under the new laws, which take effect in three years. […] the new laws apply equally to locals and to foreigners living in Indonesia, or visiting holiday destinations such as Bali. […] unmarried couples are also banned from living together - an act for which people could be jailed for up to six months. Adultery will also be an offence for which people can be jailed.

Pentagon splits $9 billion cloud contract among Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon

BuzzFeed has only three quarters to go at current burn rates […] In December 2021, BuzzFeed went public via merger with a SPAC, and got, well, only $16 million in equity funding, of the $277 million that the SPAC itself raised during its IPO, as 94% of the SPAC shareholders chose to redeem their shares and get their money back, rather than watch BuzzFeed burn through their money […] At the time of SPAC merger, BuzzFeed’s implied valuation was a ridiculous $1.5 billion. Today, the market capitalization is down to $146 million.

Bitcoin Post-Mortem

this year 50% of firms across the world had tried to use ai in some way, up from 20% in 2017

The code that ChatGPT can’t write

To commemorate the centenary of Marcel Proust’s death, Christopher Prendergast celebrates his use of pink, how its tone shifts from innocence to themes of sexual need, before finally fading out to grey at the novel’s close.

On the evening of 8 December 1980 … The killer was Mark David Chapman, an American Beatles fan who was incensed by Lennon’s lavish lifestyle and his 1966 comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. Chapman said he was inspired by the fictional character Holden Caulfield from J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, a “phony-killer” who despises hypocrisy. […] Chapman fired five hollow-point bullets from a .38 special revolver, four of which hit Lennon in the back. Chapman remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye until he was arrested by the police.

Knights of the Road

To prepare for the depths of winter when food is scarce, many animals slow down, sleep through the cold or migrate to warmer locales. Not the common shrew. To survive the colder months, the animal eats away at its own brain, reducing the organ by as much as a fourth, only to regrow much of brain matter in the spring

This paper outlines a procedure for tapping into your innermost self, and encountering a part of yourself that goes deeper than words

DNA showed a mother was also her daughter’s uncle — The answer to that medical mystery, sparked by a confusing paternity test result, is “When the genes of a vanished twin brother live on in the mother’s DNA.” — such human “chimeras” — people with DNA from more than one embryo — could be more common than we thought.

Walking backwards has a surprising number of health benefits

Singapore, population 5.45 million people, is home to around seven million trees – and manages around six million of them with LiDAR, AI and sensors.

Mutual Funds That Consistently Beat the Market? Not One of 2,132.

Computer Repair Technicians Are Stealing Your Data

Australia says law making Facebook and Google pay for news has worked

To build a great salad, start with lettuce or leafy greens. It may surprise you to learn that the type of greens you choose doesn’t really matter that much. Compared to other greens, iceberg lettuce probably has the fewest nutrients, but pretty much all lettuces are low in vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens like spinach have more micronutrients, but the type of iron in spinach is poorly absorbed, and there’s plenty of oxalate, so be careful if you’re prone to kidney stones.

To cope with the uncertainties of life, hobos developed a system of symbols they’d write with chalk or coal to provide fellow “Knights of the Road” with directions, help, and warnings.

“I sent in my manuscript, and the map along with it, to Messrs. Cassell. The proofs came, they were corrected, but I heard nothing of the map. I wrote and asked; was told it had never been received, and sat aghast. It is one thing to draw a map at random, set a scale in one corner of it at a venture, and write up a story to the measurements. It is quite another to have to examine a whole book, make an inventory of all the allusions contained in it, and with a pair of compasses, painfully design a map to suit the data. I did it; and the map was drawn again in my father’s office, with embellishments of blowing whales and sailing ships, and my father himself brought into service a knack he had of various writing, and elaborately FORGED the signature of Captain Flint, and the sailing directions of Billy Bones. But somehow it was never Treasure Island to me.”(Robert Louis Stevenson, My First Book: “Treasure Island,” 1894.)

imitator of appearances

Just asked ChatGPT to write a short story about AI taking over the world

asking the gptchat thingy how to plot a communist revolution

You’re a Senior Data Engineer at Twitter. Elon asks what you’ve done this week. You’ve done nothing.You open ChatGPT.

Building A Virtual Machine inside ChatGPT


Browse passages from books using experimental AI

TLDR This (paraphraser, summuraizer)

Lex is a new word processor that has all the features you expect from a Google docs-style editing experience. But—it also has an AI thought partner built-in to help unlock your best writing. […] If you ever get stuck, just hit command+enter or type +++ and GPT-3 will fill in what it thinks should come next. […] Also, if you want to generate title ideas based on your document, just click the button to the right of the title of the doc. It’ll ask the AI to come up with some options.

SEO-optimized and plagiarism-free content for blogs, Facebook ads, Google ads, emails…

Richard Hughes Gibson argues that large-language-model technology “is a sophist, at least on Plato’s understanding—an ‘imitator of appearances,’ creating a ‘shadow-play of words’ and presenting only the illusion of sensible argument.


dog.jpgOur observations show that visual sexual stimulus can trigger masturbation in capuchin monkeys. We observed a multi-male multi-female captive colony of 17 bearded capuchins between January and October 2014. Over this period, we registered 11 copulation events, 68 attempt copulations, and five masturbation events. The same low-ranking male (named Fu) performed all masturbation events.

UK to criminalize deepfake porn — Other abusive behaviors that will become explicitly illegal include “downblousing” (where photographs are taken down a women’s top without consent); and the installation of equipment, such as hidden cameras, to take or record images of someone without their consent.

Why would a multi-million-dollar fashion company like Balenciaga run ads for their “Object Line” using children holding teddy bears in bondage costumes? Why would they place a copy of a court document on child pornography in the ad? More: Balenciaga files $25M suit against production company for the inclusion in one of the ads of legal documents from a US Supreme Court decision on child porn laws. The two-page court summons doesn’t mention the BDSM teddy bears.

Doctors believe Bruce Lee may have died from drinking too much water

Changes to [Stable Diffusion’s] AI text-to-image model make it harder for users to mimic specific artists’ styles or generate NSFW output

OpenAI has built the best Minecraft-playing bot yet by making it watch 70,000 hours of video of people playing the popular computer game. It showcases a powerful new technique that could be used to train machines to carry out a wide range of tasks by binging on sites like YouTube, a vast and untapped source of training data. The Minecraft AI learned to perform complicated sequences of keyboard and mouse clicks to complete tasks in the game, such as chopping down trees and crafting tools. It’s the first bot that can craft so-called diamond tools, a task that typically takes good human players 20 minutes of high-speed clicking—or around 24,000 actions.

Slow Drinking of Beer Attenuates Sedative Feeling

Genetically modified tobacco plant produces cocaine in its leaves — Researchers have reproduced the entire biochemical pathway for how coca plants make cocaine in another plant, which could help people manufacture the drug for scientific study

Nearly half of all psychiatric patients get a different diagnose within 10 years. […] “Mental disorders are dynamic. They change over the course of a life.” […] The study shows which development is probable and which is improbable for the 20 most common mental diagnoses.

Within the European Union, airlines will be able to install the latest 5G technology on their aircraft, allowing passengers to use their smartphones and other connected devices just as they do on the ground.

Google: 60% Of The Internet Is Duplicate

the first house 3D-printed from bio-based materials (wood fibers and bio-resins) — The entire structure was printed in four modules and assembled on-site in a few hours. Electricity was installed just two hours after the assembly, and the house was essentially usable within a day after being brought on-site.

The Al Naslaa rock formation is Earth’s most bizarre geological feature

“Severed Spots,”, by the Brooklyn collective known as MSCHF, is based on a spot print by Damien Hirst, whose spots MSCHF excised and sold as their own works. It’s in their first art-world show, at Gallery Perrotin in New York. Related: Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953)

When AI Stole

8hh8ds.jpgBritish Airways Flight 5390, June 10, 1990 [photos] While the aircraft was flying over Didcot, Oxfordshire, an improperly installed windscreen panel separated from its frame causing the captain to be sucked out of the aircraft. The captain was held in place through the window frame for twenty minutes until the first officer landed at Southampton Airport.

In late June, Microsoft released a new kind of artificial intelligence technology that could generate its own computer code. Called Copilot, the tool was designed to speed the work of professional programmers. As they typed away on their laptops, it would suggest ready-made blocks of computer code they could instantly add to their own. […] Matthew Butterick, a programmer, designer, writer and lawyer in Los Angeles […] and a team of other lawyers filed a lawsuit that is seeking class-action status against Microsoft and the other high-profile companies that designed and deployed Copilot. Like many cutting-edge A.I. technologies, Copilot developed its skills by analyzing vast amounts of data. In this case, it relied on billions of lines of computer code posted to the internet. Mr. Butterick, 52, equates this process to piracy, because the system does not acknowledge its debt to existing work. His lawsuit claims that Microsoft and its collaborators violated the legal rights of millions of programmers who spent years writing the original code.

When AI Stole and Finished Your Drawing Then Calls You a Thief

24.6 million addresses of the total 47.9 million, are below purchase price on their investments. About 45% are in the money, which means they are boasting unrealized gains, while the rest are roughly at break-even[…]Previous bear markets ended with the majority of addresses being out of-the money. […] Past data, however, is no guarantee of future results

Expert Proposes a Method For Telling if We All Live in a Computer Program

Amazon Alexa is a “colossal failure,” on pace to lose $10 billion this year

Vladimir Nabokov’s opinions on various writers

“All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players;” — This quotation expresses a metaphor because the world is not literally a stage.


{ Alice Mann }

The brain learns continuously


According to legend, in 1040 Lady Godiva was upset that her husband, the Lord of Coventry, had imposed ruinously high taxes on his subjects. He responded that he would revoke the taxes if she would ride through the town naked. She took the challenge, and out of respect the townsfolk stayed inside during her ride, all save one tailor named Thomas, who peeked from his window and was promptly struck blind. This incident is said to be the origin of “peeping Tom” as a synonym for “voyeur.”

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX owes creditors $3.1 billion, according to court documents […] Creditors’ names were not listed on the court filing, but the largest is owed $226,280,579. The second largest entity is owed $203,292,504. FTX owes nearly $3.1 billion to top 50 creditors […] about $1.45 billion to its top ten creditors

Why some feces float and others sink […] the bacteria in the gut — some produce more gas than others.

Firing people. Talking of bankruptcy. Telling workers to be “hard core.” Mr. Musk has repeatedly used those tactics at many of his companies. […] As Mr. Musk and his advisers look for ways to generate more revenue at the company, they are said to have discussed adding paid direct messages, which would let users send private messages to high-profile users.[…] for Mr. Musk, remaking Twitter is only a part-time job. He remains chief executive of Tesla, which he said in court he continued to lead, and SpaceX, where, he said, he focuses on designing rockets rather than management. […] Mr. Musk also leads the Boring Company, a tunneling start-up, and Neuralink, a brain-computer interface technology firm. He has said his long-term goal is to save humanity by developing technology for space travel, or, in his words, by “making life multiplanetary in order to ensure the long-term survival of consciousness.” The multitasking has become an issue in a lawsuit filed by Tesla shareholders who objected to the pay package that made Mr. Musk the world’s richest person. Last week in Delaware, under questioning by a lawyer representing shareholders who have accused Mr. Musk of neglecting his duties at Tesla, the billionaire said his intense involvement in Twitter was temporary.

For the female to male transsexual, surgical options include creation of a neophallus (phalloplasty) using a vascularized free-flap or pedicle flap. […] Additional procedures are also performed: glansplasty (to give the end of the phallus a natural glans-like appearance), transposition of the denuded clitoris to the neophallus base (to consolidate erogenous sensation to the neophallus), and vaginectomy. Placement of testicular and penile prostheses, for cosmesis and erectile function, respectively, are performed at second or third stage surgery. […] Previous groups have reported that the majority of patients retain the ability to achieve orgasm following phalloplasty.

The brain learns continuously, and typically learns best when new training is interleaved with periods of sleep for memory consolidation. […] Artificial neural networks (computing systems inspired by the biological neural networks that constitute animal brains) overwrite previously learned tasks when trained sequentially, a phenomenon known as catastrophic forgetting. […] Interleaving new task training with periods of off-line reactivation, mimicking biological sleep, mitigated catastrophic forgetting

Phantom Phone Signals (PPS) and other hallucinatory-like experiences (HLEs) are perceptual anomalies that are commonly reported in the general population. Both phenomena concern the same sensory modality, but PPS are restricted to smartphone use. The current study aimed to assess similarities and differences between these types of anomalies […] Smartphone dependency proved to be a stronger predictor of PPS than other measured variables, whereas for HLEs, general psychopathology was the strongest predictor.

Eye contact marks the rise and fall of shared attention in conversation

Mind Reading

lsd.jpegdecoding fMRI-based brain activities and reconstructing images Previously: The Science of Mind Reading

A traveler at JFK Airport was arrested after $450,000 worth of cocaine was discovered hidden in the wheels of her wheelchair. Officers noticed the wheels on her wheelchair were not turning and X-rayed the wheelchair.

The Atacama desert, which stretches for approximately 1,600 km along the western coast of the cone of South America, is the driest place on Earth. Some weather stations there have never recorded rainfall throughout their existence. But it‘s far from barren: many species live here that occur nowhere else, adapted to its extreme conditions. And approximately every five to 10 years, from September to mid-November, the Atacama hosts one of the most spectacular sights of the natural world: the ‘desierto florido’ (literally ‘blooming desert’).

the whole idea was that electronic tokens whose validity was established with techniques borrowed from cryptography would make it possible for people to bypass financial institutions. […] It has never been clear exactly why anyone other than criminals would want to do this. […] cryptocurrencies are largely purchased through exchanges like Coinbase and, yes, FTX, which take your money and hold crypto tokens in your name.These exchanges are — wait for it — financial institutions, whose ability to attract investors depends on — wait for it again — those investors’ trust. In other words, the crypto ecosystem has basically evolved into exactly what it was supposed to replace: a system of financial intermediaries whose ability to operate depends on their perceived trustworthiness. Why should an industry that at best has simply reinvented conventional banking have any fundamental value? […] But if the government finally moves in to regulate crypto firms, which would, among other things, prevent them from promising impossible-to-deliver returns, it’s hard to see what advantage these firms would have over ordinary banks. Even if the value of Bitcoin doesn’t go to zero (which it still might), there’s a strong case that the crypto industry, which loomed so large just a few months ago, is headed for oblivion.

The iconic brand’s latest venture is a metaverse play called .Swoosh, a Web3-enabled platform where people will be able to buy its virtual products. […] Swoosh exists on a domain named “.nike” and will be an experimental digital space for registered members. […] the platform will use cash (USD), not cryptocurrency […] the NFT studio RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) was bought by Nike in December 2021, so the porting of “codesigned” virtual clothing to that platform is hardly surprising. Nike acquired RTFKT last year and made $3.1 million selling 600 pairs of “Cryptokicks” NFT sneakers in April 2022

TikTok creators have gotten into the habit of coming up with substitutes for words that they worry might either affect how their videos get promoted on the site or run afoul of moderation rules. […] a fear that sexual topics would trigger problems prompted some creators to use “leg booty” for L.G.B.T.Q. and “cornucopia” instead of “homophobia.” Sex became “seggs.”

Almost everything with the truffle label that is available in stores or served in restaurants is a lie and a fraud. If you think you know what truffles taste like because you had them at restaurants, or you may have prepared something with the products you bought at specialty food stores, you almost certainly still don’t know the authentic truffle flavor. The flavor you are familiar with is the added aroma found in all the products labeled as containing “truffles.” […] There are more than 60 classified truffle species, around 25 species are edible, and four of those are most commonly used.

Florida house of Ron Rice, creator of Hawaiian Tropic lotion, is on sale

American democracy

4.jpegin the middle of the ballroom at Trump’s address, somebody had placed on one of the tables a manila envelope with handwritten letters: ‘Top Secret Nuclear Codes.’ [photo left]

The firm that bought my car for more than I paid new has lost 98 percent of its value — Carvana, the used car dealer that trusts robotic algorithms to buy your car practically sight unseen, was the third-fastest company to ever make it onto the Fortune 500 — only Amazon and Google did it faster. But for the third day in a row, its stock is trading for just around $7 a share, plummeting 98 percent from its all-time high of over $360 last August.

Some types of artificial intelligence could start to hallucinate if they don’t get enough rest, just as humans do

U.S. intelligence officials have compiled a classified report detailing extensive efforts to manipulate the American political system by the United Arab Emirates, […]The UAE has spent more than $154 million on lobbyists since 2016, according to Justice Department records. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on donations to American universities and think tanks, many that produce policy papers with findings favorable to UAE interests. There is no prohibition in the United States on lobbyists donating money to political campaigns. […] it illustrates how American democracy is being distorted by foreign money […] One of the more brazen exploits involved the hiring of three former U.S. intelligence and military officials to help the UAE surveil dissidents, politicians, journalists and U.S. companies. In public legal filings, U.S. prosecutors said the men helped the UAE break into computers in the United States and other countries. Last year, all three admitted in court to providing sophisticated hacking technology to the UAE, agreeing to surrender their security clearances and pay about $1.7 million to resolve criminal charges. […] Thomas Barrack, a longtime adviser to former president Donald Trump, who was acquitted this month of charges alleging he worked as an agent of the UAE and lied to federal investigators about it. […] the UAE’s extensive courtship of retired high-ranking U.S. military personnel. The investigation showed that over the past seven years, 280 retired U.S. service members have worked as military contractors and consultants for the UAE, more than for any other country, and that the advisory jobs pay handsomely.

Apple is tracking you even when its own privacy settings say it’s not — The researchers said that the Health and Wallet apps, for example, didn’t transmit any analytics data at all, whereas Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, the iTunes Store, and Stocks all did. […] For example, the Stocks app sent Apple your list of watched stocks, the names stocks you viewed or searched for and time stamps for when you did it, as well as a record of any news articles you see in the app.

Apple Sued for Allegedly Deceiving Users With Privacy Settings After Gizmodo Story

People have always craved post-death contact with their loved ones. Efforts to remain in touch with the dead have existed for eons, such as photographing deceased children, holding seances and even keeping a corpse in the house for posterity. But artificial intelligence and virtual reality, along with other technological advances, have taken us a huge step closer to bringing the dead back to life. […] a platform called Augmented Eternity, which allows someone to create a digital persona from a dead person’s photos, texts, emails, social media posts, public statements and blog entries that will be able to interact with relatives and others. […] In June, Amazon unveiled a new feature it’s developing for Alexa, in which the virtual assistant can read aloud stories in a deceased loved one’s voice after just hearing a minute of that person’s speech. “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last,” said Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Amazon Alexa. […] HereAfter’s app takes users through an interview process before they’ve died, prompting them to recollect stories and memories that are then recorded. After they’ve passed, family members can ask questions, and the app responds in the deceased’s voice using the accumulated interview information, almost like it’s engaging in a conversation. [Washington Post]

Around 20% of people who survive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after cardiac arrest may describe lucid experiences of death that occurred while they were seemingly unconscious and on the brink of death.

“At the beginning, I think, I heard the nurse say ‘dial 444 cardiac arrest’. I felt scared. I was on the ceiling looking down.”[Veridical Near-Death-Experiences]

Previously: All features of a classic Near-Death-Experiences can be reproduced by the intravenous administration of 50 - 100 mg of ketamine.

Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after [PDF]

Zolgensma is a one time shot that cures spinal muscular atrophy in infants by injecting a new DNA to correct the faulty gene. Novartis set the price at $2.125 million but offers insurers the ability to pay $425,000 a year for five years. This price tag makes Zolgensma the most expensive drug ever approved. [2019]

Zolgensma associated with two deaths — The deaths, which resulted from acute liver failure, occurred in Russia and Kazakhstan.

The Search of Shame — everyone you follow, who’s also paid Elon $8 for a dodgy tick

those who subscribed to Blue Verified were often accounts promoting right-wing politics, cryptocurrency speculation or adult content such as pornography

Web search hasn’t changed in 20 years. We’re building a new search engine from scratch, using the same ideas behind DALL-E and Stable Diffusion. Metaphor is a language model that’s trained to predict links instead of text. You feed the model a “prompt” (similar to a GPT-3 prompt), and it tries to predict what link is most likely to come after.

It might be hard to remember that the index,the handy list of subjects at the back of a book, with the corresponding page numbers on which each subject is discussed, was invented in the early 13th century. […] “it’s invented twice at the same time […] once in Paris, and at the same time in Oxford.”

Honey bee life spans are 50% shorter today than they were 50 years ago

This sand-filled condom from Long Island was choked down in the 1750s by the likes of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, George Washington at Mount Vernon, and Benjamin Franklin as he declared it his favorite apple. Perhaps the Newtown Pippin was once a great apple whose quality has degraded over the centuries like the crumbling democracy the Founding Fathers established. Or perhaps, after decades of eating pigeon pie and squirrel meat, these wooden-toothed slave owners’ tastebuds are not to be trusted. Either way, in today’s world, aside from being excellent for apple cider production, the Newtown Pippin is a tasteless hunk of malformed donkey shit that should’ve been abolished during the reign of King George III. [Apple Rankings]

Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases

Operation Popeye

Positive and negative memories are stored in different parts of the brain. Additionally, positive and negative memory-formation is associated with vastly different gene expression profiles. This raises the distinct possibility of therapeutic memory manipulation.

Here we distinguished between 27 different types of love

Consumption of ultraprocessed foods containing little or no whole foods in their ingredients contributed to 57,000 premature deaths in Brazil in 2019

Lab-grown blood given to people in world-first clinical trial

An informal, unofficial guide for non-technical people who want to use Mastodon and the wider Fediverse.

Interiew with the founder of Stability AI [audio]

How to run a small social network site for your friends [2019]

Stories are now available on Signal

Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, created a VR headset that kills you if you die in the game: Oculus co-founder makes a VR headset that can literally kill you — the new VR headset uses three embedded explosive charges, planted above the forehead, that can “instantly destroy the brain of the user.” The lethal explosion is triggered via “a narrow-band photosensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a specific frequency.”

Operation Popeye was a military cloud-seeding project carried out by the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War in 1967–1972. The highly classified program attempted to extend the monsoon season over specific areas of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in order to disrupt North Vietnamese military supplies by softening road surfaces and causing landslides.

Submarines are valued primarily for their ability to hide. The assurance that submarines would likely survive the first missile strike in a nuclear war and thus be able to respond by launching missiles in a second strike is key to the strategy of deterrence known as mutually assured destruction. Any new technology that might render the oceans effectively transparent, making it trivial to spot lurking submarines, could thus undermine the peace of the world. For nearly a century, naval engineers have striven to develop ever-faster, ever-quieter submarines. But they have worked just as hard at advancing a wide array of radar, sonar, and other technologies designed to detect, target, and eliminate enemy submarines. […] Nuclear-powered submarines each cost roughly US $2.8 billion […] the game of submarine hide-and-seek may be approaching the point at which submarines can no longer elude detection and simply disappear. It may come as early as 2050

50 years ago, an artist convincingly exhibited a fake Iron Age civilization – with invented maps, music and artifacts

Glenn Gould - “How Mozart Became a Bad Composer”

defense, attack, and communication

Sticky Vicky’s magic show began with her undressing slowly to background music. She later pulled several objects from her vagina, including ping-pong balls, eggs, handkerchiefs, sausages, razor blades, and Machetes. The lights dimmed, and Vicky pulled out a lit lightbulb. She concluded her act by opening a bottle of beer with her vagina, pouring it on the stage.

An Analysis of Vulva Appearance in Video Pornography — It is evident that both websites are depicting mostly uniform vulvas—small, groomed, and tidy. Undeviating depictions could influence women’s genital ideals, pushing them to seek out extreme surgery and beauty measures in order to adhere to the standards presented. Much like clothing advertisements, which now present a range of body shapes and sizes, presenting a diverse set of images of vulvas could be beneficial to viewers.

The supposed association of penile length and shoe size has no scientific basis

In paintings depicting nude males, the size of the penis has gradually increased throughout the past 6 centuries, and especially after the 20th century.

US Banks Spent $1 Billion on Ransomware Payments in 2021, Treasury Says

Distinguishable Cash, Bosonic Bitcoin, and Fermionic Non-fungible Token

Kanye West can’t sell ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts because two Black men own the trademark They became the legal owners of the phrase’s trademark for its use on clothing late last month to prevent West from using it.

His new aim is clear: to unlock Twitter’s moneymaking potential once and for all […] $1 billion in annual interest payments alone

Estimates from Bot Sentinel suggest that more than 875,000 users deactivated their accounts between October 27 and November 1, while half a million more were suspended.

So when I got this tip that Elon Musk and his people were telling people, print out your last 30 to 60 days of code, I thought, well, that can’t be true. […] oh my god, he’s actually asking people to print out their code! […] This is a weird way to evaluate how good someone is as a software engineer. People are generally not evaluated by how much code they’ve written, right? If you show up with a printout of 100 pages of code, that’s not necessarily a good thing. You might have done better for the company by eliminating some code, right? […] Also, who prints code? […] two hours later, they get — all the Twitter folks get this new notification […] change of plans […] why don’t you just bring it in on your laptop, and if you have printed out any code, we’re going to need you to shred it. So all the Twitter engineers have to run to the paper shredder on the 10th floor, I believe, and just start shredding the code base. […] Elon Musk folks are obsessed with figuring out who is a good engineer at the company, right? […] Elon Musk considers himself an engineer. [NY Times]

How one unwilling illustrator found herself turned into an AI model

AI Helps Design Baldness Treatment That Works Better Than Testosterone or Minoxidil

British govt is scanning all Internet devices hosted in UK

While disconnecting broad swaths of the population from the web remains a favored blunt instrument of Iranian state censorship, the government has far more precise, sophisticated tools available as well. Part of Iran’s data clampdown may be explained through the use of a system called “SIAM” […] The tools can slow their data connections to a crawl, break the encryption of phone calls, track the movements of individuals or large groups, and produce detailed metadata summaries of who spoke to whom, when, and where.

Fully enclosed in a 7m (23ft)-high steel container, the battery consists of 100 tonnes of low-quality sand, two district heating pipes and a fan.

Anonychia is the absence of fingernails or toenails

Bioluminescence is the name given to the light that living organisms emit. This light comes from a reaction between two groups of molecules — luciferins and luciferases. While the exact form of these molecules varies from animal to animal, they all work in essentially the same way through the catalyzed oxidation of luciferin by the luciferase enzyme. […] there are three broad areas of bioluminescence: defense, attack, and communication

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upon reflection, the new shelton resurrects — sorry for the change of mind


Mondrian painting has been hanging upside down for 75 years — Despite the discovery, the work, titled New York City I, will continue to be displayed the wrong way up to avoid damaging it

Strangers smiled less to one another when they had their phones in a waiting room

Earlier this month, the European Union approved legislation aimed at regulating social media platforms: the Digital Services Act. The law will take effect in 2024 [a subset of obligations for VLOPs and VLOSEs (avery large online platforms and very large online search engines) will start to apply next year. […] The law, among other requirements, places substantial content moderation expectations on large social media firms—many based in the U.S.—which include limiting false information, hate speech, and extremism. It’s not clear how social media firms will adapt to the law, but the fines they will face for failing to comply will be massive. Firms can be fined up to six percent of their annual revenue—that’s $11 billion for Google and $7 billion for Meta. […] That means an American politician’s conspiracy-filled Facebook post will create legal liability for Meta. The company might then take it down to avoid huge fines in Europe.

Tech industry appeals the bad Texas social media law to the Supreme Court The law makes bans on hate speech — or any content moderation — impossible

As lawsuits continue piling up against social media platforms for allegedly causing harms to children, a Pennsylvania court has ruled that TikTok is not liable in one case where a 10-year-old named Nylah Anderson died after attempting to complete a “Blackout Challenge” she discovered on her “For You” page. The challenge recommends that users choke themselves until they pass out, and Nylah’s mother, Tawainna Anderson, initially claimed that TikTok’s defective algorithm was responsible for knowingly feeding the deadly video to her child. The mother hoped that Section 230 protections under the Communications Decency Act—which grant social platforms immunity for content published by third parties—would not apply in the case, but ultimately, the judge found that TikTok was immune. [Memorandum]

Mr. Musk already has about $13 billion in debt from lenders, while other investors, like the venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, chipped in about $7.1 billion in cash. Mr. Musk was personally responsible for the buyout’s remaining roughly $25 billion, and it remains unclear whether he gathered more investors to help lighten that load. […] If even cost cuts do not help, Mr. Musk may need to raise more money from outside investors within a year, Mr. Talley said. […] Mr. Bruner said the worst deals are typically struck at the peak of a market — as with Mr. Musk’s purchase of Twitter. He offered what he thought could be a worst-case scenario for the company. In that future, Mr. Musk would not be able to “get the expenses down to the level necessary to cover the debt burden.” That would “slowly erode the company’s equity, and he’s unable to find more equity investors.” The final outcome? “Slowly, Twitter implodes,” Mr. Bruner said.

Mr. Musk’s companies, and his fortune, were built with billions of dollars’ worth of subsidies for his electric-car company, Tesla, and billions more in NASA contracts to ferry American astronauts into space, launch satellites and provide high-speed internet services tethered to his fleet of some 3,000 satellites. he is not the self-made genius businessman he plays in the media. Instead, his success was prompted and paid for by taxpayer money and abetted by government officials who have allowed him and other billionaire businessmen to exercise more and more control over our economy and our politics.

There is no character in the entire canon of world literature and drama more useful for explaining markets than Wile E. Coyote. In the Roadrunner cartoons, he would run off the edge of a cliff, and continue running into midair. Only once he stopped, looked down, and realized that he was in midair, did he fall. He thus gave the market the invaluable concept of a Wile E. Coyote moment, when investors realize they’ve been running without support for a long time, and prices that should have long since been gradually coming down suddenly collapse.

As the company of Facebook grew, we faced a lot of challenges. One of them was explaining our company’s mission, history, and culture to new employees.: Facebook’s Little Red Book

Dreambooth, a tailor-made AI image generation tool [Start creating your unique images, How to

Fans waited four years for Frank Ocean’s second studio album, and on August 19, 2016 they got a 46-minute-long, high contrast black and white experimental visual album with an unmarked tracklist. Released exclusively as a video on Apple Music, Endless had no purchase option. It would be the next day when critics got what they were looking for but under the title Blond(e). Another album, this time sixty minutes long with eighteen tracks plus one unlisted, and widely available to stream and buy. The press would learn in the days to come that Endless marked the end of Ocean’s contractual obligations to Def Jam Records. Blond(e) was his first official release as an independent artist. […] Where Ocean imagined freedom from a future designed by UMG, Kara Keeling’s Queer Times, Black Futures (henceforth QTBF) looks, within the realm of the poetic, to expressions of what is beyond the future designed by racial capitalism. […] If capitalism therefore consigns futures only to that which is presently knowable and if it seeks to police the imagination by limiting the possible only to that which is presently available to “common sense,” QTBF alternatively considers how Afrofuturist and Black queer media reveal otherworldly and profoundly non-linear futures that exist here, now. “Here now” is a refrain that is echoed throughout Keeling’s engagements with her capacious archive of audio, visual, and literary media, which she reads as instances of the impossible, errant, opaque, utopic and dystopic—the Black and queer. Asking what these works may offer us in the present and in our material relations to futures that remain beyond view, Keeling’s theoretical and close reading practice is animated by a commitment to “the stubborn spatiotemporalities of our senses”—something that she again credits to Lorde’s writing—so as to “intervene in the smooth and seductive assertions of capitalism’s inevitability.”

The world is running out of helium. Here’s why doctors are worried. Liquid helium, the coldest element on Earth, is needed to keep the magnets in MRI machines running. Without it, doctors would lose a critical medical tool. […] With a boiling point of minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit, liquid helium is the coldest element on Earth. Pumped inside an MRI magnet, helium lets the current travel resistance-free. […] At any point, an MRI machine contains about 2,000 liters of liquid helium, though suppliers need to replenish any helium that boils off. Mahesh estimates that an MRI machine uses 10,000 liters of liquid helium over its life span. (According to GE Healthcare, a manufacturer of the machines, that life span is 12.8 years.) […] An enormous new facility in eastern Russia was supposed to supply nearly one-third of the world’s helium, but a fire last January derailed the timeline. Although the facility could resume operations any day, the war in Ukraine has, for the most part, stopped trade between the two countries. […] The forced innovation may preview what’s to come for MRIs. […] “There’s only a finite amount of helium in the Earth’s crust”

The idea that humans could be frozen and later brought back has survived for decades. The hope is still alive and even growing today— never mind that it’s still not possible. […] Today, around 500 people are preserved in liquid nitrogen globally, the vast majority in the United States. Around 4,000 people are on waiting lists of cryonics facilities around the world

Flushing a toilet produces both aerosol droplets that mix with the air in the room and larger droplets that land on and contaminate surrounding surfaces.

Manhattan congressional candidate publishes a porn video to highlight his sex positive platform

Black men account for fewer than 2 percent of sperm donors at cryobanks. The severe shortage is forcing Black women who need donor sperm into a painful choice: Choose a donor of another race and raise a biracial child or try to buy sperm from unregulated apps and online groups.

In a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, merely anticipating that a lecture would be boring led students to feel more bored

how ultra-processed meals are unhealthier than you think […] a study in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology found that people born after 1990 are more likely to develop cancer before they’re 50 than people born before 1970 […] “The ultra-processed nature of modern food generally means that the complex structure of the plant and animal cells is destroyed, turning it into a nutritionally empty mush that our body can process abnormally rapidly.”

Personal lubricant made from cow mucus may protect against HIV

Transparent wood could soon replace plastics

While the culture has always relied heavily on recycling, that impulse seems to have gone into overdrive in recent years; dance music’s most established genres (e.g. house, techno, jungle, electro, garage, dubstep, etc.) frequently sound as though they’re stuck in a neverending time loop, with sounds from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s being constantly regurgitated for fresh crops of ravers. […] Dance music often swaddles itself in sci-fi imagery and utopian fantasy, but in many ways, it’s become a deeply nostalgic realm, with a healthy fetish for formats (e.g. vinyl and cassettes), gear (e.g. vintage synths and drum machines) and general modes of operation that were once cutting edge, but are now frequently impractical, wildly expensive or both. […] Dance music and DJ culture are no longer subversive, and arguably haven’t been for at least a decade; they’re now quite literally everywhere

Integrating Real-World Distractions into Virtual Reality [demo video]

Apple’s Sleeping Advertising Business

Apple bought all of the advertising space in November/December special election issue of Newsweek in 1984, and devoted it all to Macintosh

Mark Zuckerberg Is Going To Kill His Company

Man stole $122m from Facebook and Google by sending them random bills

How social media platforms respond to misinformation

More than just a hit, TikTok has blown up the model of what a social network can be. Silicon Valley taught the world a style of online connectivity built on hand-chosen interests and friendships. TikTok doesn’t care about those. Instead, it unravels for viewers an endless line of videos selected by its algorithm, then learns a viewer’s tastes with every second they watch, pause or scroll.

In this article I’ll explain what sound is, how it’s created and propagated. Throughout this presentation you will be hearing different sounds, which you will often play yourself.


you can also follow me on twitter to learn when a new post comes out

from swerve of shore to bend of bay

Starting next month, publications of the New Shelton wet/dry will occur on the New Inquiry. See you there!

‘Not only were we happy, but we knew it.’ –Rudyard Kipling


The cells that make up our body are constantly making new cells by dividing. A biological technicality causes us to lose a bit of DNA at the ends of our chromosomes (structures made up of DNA and proteins) after each replication. DNA contains the blueprint for our lives, so in order to make sure we aren’t losing crucial information during these divisions, the long molecules of DNA are protected by shorter segments of DNA at their ends called “telomeres.” An analogy would be the plastic tips on a shoelace that prevent it from unraveling. When a cell multiplies, the only part of the chromosome that is lost is a piece of the telomeres. But as we age, our telomeres get shorter, until they reach a critical point where the cell can no longer replicate without damage to its essential DNA. When this occurs, the cell becomes inactive or dies. Shortening of telomeres is linked to senescence and increased risk of disease. Other contributors to aging include oxidative stress (hence the appeal of antioxidants).

Lobsters have a perpetual supply of telomerase – the enzyme that can restore telomeres, helping cells avoid that fateful end. Humans also have telomerase, just not enough to overcome the constant shortening of telomeres. In fact, telomerase is often found in cancer cells, giving tumours a survival advantage.

[A] large supply of telomerase can be a double-edged sword. Lobsters are still more likely to die with age because their hard-shell exoskeleton moults and has to be regrown. This requires reams of energy, eventually too much. As a result, common causes of death for lobsters are exhaustion, immobility, and shell disease, although the leading cause is still predation.

{ McGill | Continue reading }

Everything you see is from 15 seconds in the past

22.jpgCrypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi made headlines in March 2021 when he paid $2.9m for an NFT of Twitter boss Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. But his efforts to resell it have run aground, with a top bid of just $6,800 as of Thursday. While announcing the NFT sale in a tweet on 6 April, Estavi pledged to give 50% of the proceeds – which he expected to be at least $25m – to charity.

Everything you see is from 15 seconds in the past, New Research Claims

NY times: New York beaches are stepping up shark patrols — including the use of drones and online shark tracking — amid an increase in sightings. And: Scientists say the reason it may seem like more sharks are being spotted is because more people are looking for them.

Ten years ago scientists announced one of the most momentous discoveries in physics: the Higgs boson. The particle, predicted 48 years earlier, was the missing piece in the Standard Model of particle physics. The machine built in part to find this particle, the 27-kilometer-long, circular Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, had fulfilled its promise by showing signals of a new fundamental bit of nature that matched expectations for the Higgs. —- How the Higgs Boson Ruined Peter Higgs’s Life

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has observed three never-before-seen particles: a new kind of “pentaquark” and the first-ever pair of “tetraquarks”

Quantum Computing for Dummies — Whereas classical computers switch transistors either on or off to symbolize data as ones or zeroes, quantum computers use quantum bits, or “qubits,” which because of the peculiar nature of quantum physics can exist in a state called superposition where they are both 1 and 0 at the same time. This essentially lets each qubit perform two calculations at once. The more qubits are quantum-mechanically linked, or entangled, within a quantum computer, the greater its computational power can grow, in an exponential fashion.

Information could become the fifth state of matter alongside gas, plasma, liquid, and solid states. A scientist has proposed an experiment involving particle annihilation that could establish that information truly has mass. If successful, the experiment could shed light on the mysterious dark matter in our universe—and help us manage the future of data storage.

Knife and fork chained to the table

The gunslinger effect, also sometimes called Bohr’s law or the gunfighter’s dilemma, is a psychophysical theory which says that an intentional or willed movement is slower than an automatic or reaction movement. The concept is named after physicist Niels Bohr, who first deduced that the person who draws second in a gunfight will actually win the shoot-out. […]

Bohr staged mock gunfights using cap guns with his students to test this hypothesis. Bohr found that the person who drew second always won in these experiments, leading him to conclude that drawing first created a distinct disadvantage.

Based on the inevitability of this outcome, Bohr suggested that the most logical conclusion to a gunfight would be a peaceful settlement, since neither gunslinger would want to draw first knowing that they would lose.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

ionic wind

aardvark.jpgJapan: Man loses USB flash drive with data on entire city’s residents after night out

Coinbase Is Reportedly Selling Geolocation Data to ICE

Death is a trip – how new research links near-death and DMT experiences

we identified three previously unnamed, but distinct, anal touch techniques that many women find pleasurable and that expand the anal sexual repertoire beyond the more commonly studied anal intercourse behaviors: Anal Surfacing, Anal Shallowing, and Anal Pairing.

Those who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee per day, even with a teaspoon of sugar, were up to 30 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who didn’t drink coffee. Those who drank unsweetened coffee were 16 to 21 percent less likely to die during the study period, with those drinking about three cups per day having the lowest risk of death when compared with noncoffee drinkers. […] This new study is the latest in a robust line of research showing coffee’s potential health advantages, he said. Previous research has linked coffee consumption with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver and prostate cancers and other health issues. Scientists don’t know exactly what makes coffee so beneficial, Dr. Goldberg said, but the answer may lie in its antioxidant properties, which can prevent or delay cell damage. [NY Times]

Married off at age 12, Isabella put up with her husband’s shenanigans over decades. Eventually, the She-Wolf of France had had enough.

640th Avenue? 180th Street? The backstory behind long rural addresses

MIT engineers have built and flown the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of propellers or turbines, the light aircraft is powered by an “ionic wind” — a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard the plane, and that generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight. [Video: Ion drive: The first flight]

If you’ve flown recently, or attempted to, it might have gone something like this: Your 1 p.m. flight became a 5 p.m. flight that became a midnight flight before being summarily canceled. No explanation is given. The next flights out are already fully booked, but they have a middle seat with two stopovers leaving next week if that still works for you. […] According to FlightAware, a website that tracks flight cancellations and delays, there were 1,629 delays and 631 cancellations “within, into, or out of the United States” just Sunday. This was only by noon. Cancellations and delays become more likely as the day progresses. […] Throughout the last two years, airlines received more than $50 billion in pandemic relief money. […] That money was meant to preserve jobs and save an industry. […] Instead, the industry is in disarray, staff were laid off anyway and the money is gone.

Google and Meta are now investing fortunes into building massive subsea cables […] the cables will also give the U.S.-based tech giants an unprecedented level of control

half-wheel bike shows two halves make a whole

Spinoza defines the first kind of knowledge as the lowest or most inadequate kind. It is also the natural way humans have knowledge.

Humans can think about possible states of the world without believing in them, an important capacity for high-level cognition.

Here we use fMRI and a novel “shell game” task to test two competing theories about the nature of belief and its neural basis.

According to the Cartesian theory, information is first understood, then assessed for veracity, and ultimately encoded as either believed or not believed. According to the Spinozan theory, comprehension entails belief by default, such that understanding without believing requires an additional process of “unbelieving”. […]

findings are consistent with a version of the Spinozan theory whereby unbelieving is an inhibitory control process.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }