almost a new virus

Ice cream tests positive for coronavirus in China

mutant strain in South Africa strongly resistant to past immunity. almost a new virus.

Smartwatches can help detect COVID-19 days before symptoms appear (subtle heartbeat changes)

Almost a third of recovered Covid patients return to hospital in five months and one in eight die — Research has found a devastating long-term toll on survivors, with people developing heart problems, diabetes and chronic conditions

Evidence is growing that self-attacking ‘autoantibodies’ could be the key to understanding some of the worst cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

‘In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile — and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely…’ –Hunter S. Thompson

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Among the lowlights is a text from Depp to CAA agent Christian Carino, who previously repped Heard, in which he wrote: “[Heard is] begging for total global humiliation. She’s gonna get it. I’m gonna need your texts about San Francisco brother … I’m even sorry to ask … But she sucked [Elon Musk’s] crooked dick and he gave her some shitty lawyers … I have no mercy, no fear and not an ounce of emotion or what I once thought was love for this gold digging, low level, dime a dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market … I’m so fucking happy she wants to fight this out!!! She will hit the wall hard!!! And I cannot wait to have this waste of a cum guzzler out of my life!!! I met fucking sublime little Russian here … Which makes me realize the time I blew on that 50 cent stripper … I wouldn’t touch her with a goddam glove.” […]

Depp adds, “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.” […]

while shooting Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Australia, Depp swallowed eight ecstasy pills at once […]

He dropped $30,000 a month on wine alone. And in perhaps the most extravagant move of all, he spent $5 million to have Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes fired from a cannon hoisted atop a 153-foot tower in a fleeting tribute to the gonzo journalist. […]

a personal sound technician to handle his earpiece needs — “so he doesn’t have to learn lines,” adds the source

{ Hollywood Reporter | Continue reading }

I got 99 problems and can’t find my notebook to write them all down, so I guess that makes 100

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Speakers take a lot for granted. That is, they presuppose information. As we wrote this, we presupposed that readers would understand English. We also presupposed as we wrote the last sentence, repeated in (1), that there was a time when we wrote it, for otherwise the fronted phrase “as we wrote this” would not have identified a time interval.

(1) As we wrote this, we presupposed that readers would understand English.

Further, we presupposed that the sentence was jointly authored, for otherwise “we” would not have referred. And we presupposed that readers would be able to identify the reference of “this”, i.e., the article itself. And we presupposed that there would be at least two readers, for otherwise the bare plural “readers” would have been inappropriate. And so on.

{ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy | Continue reading }

photo { Pieter Hugo, Escort Kama, Enugu, Nigeria from Nollywood, 2008 }

Every day, the same, again

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Facial recognition can determine a person’s political party, with reasonable accuracy

Calculations Show It’ll Be Impossible to Control a Super-Intelligent AI

How Successive Summarization Alters the Retelling of News

Ventilation and viral loads: the key misunderstandings of how coronavirus spreads

Wastewater-based epidemiology: a 20-year journey may pay off for Covid-19

The Sensitivity and Costs of Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Infection With Saliva Versus Nasopharyngeal SwabsFREE

Saliva testing for detection of SARS-CoV-2 had a similar sensitivity and specificity to that of nasopharyngeal testing

Samsung inadvertently uses iPhone to tweet Galaxy Unpacked promo

Apple fails to overturn VirnetX patent verdict, could owe over $1.1 billion
+ VirnetX has been described as being a patent troll

How Social Media’s Obsession with Scale Supercharged Disinformation

A British man who accidentally threw a hard drive loaded with bitcoin into the trash has offered the local authority where he lives more than $70 million if it allows him to excavate a landfill site.

Why Is Bitcoin Making New All-Time Highs?

Baking with AI-made recipes

Macaques are infamous for brazenly robbing unsuspecting tourists and clinging on to their possessions until food is offered as ransom payment. Researchers have found they are also skilled at judging which items their victims value the most and using this information to maximise their profit.

The total number of galaxies in the universe is probably in the hundreds of billions, rather than 2 trillions

James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball

Is it possible to locate a man given only his photograph and first name?

‘The doors of hell are locked on the inside.’ –C. S. Lewis

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What Trump needed to do to make Television City a reality was to bring together different stakeholders: locals (like the late actor Paul Newman) who wanted parks and a less imposing development, and Ed Koch [mayor of New York City]. […]

Koch said Trump was “squealing like a stuck pig.” Trump said Koch’s New York had become a “cesspool of corruption and incompetence.” Koch said Trump was a “piggy, piggy, piggy.”

Trump said the mayor had “no talent and only moderate intelligence” and should be impeached. […]

Trump promised that he would eventually build Television City “with or without the current administration” in City Hall. But he never did.

Although New York developer William Zeckendorf Jr. offered Trump $550 million for the site in 1989 — which would have given him a handsome return on the $115 million in borrowed money he used to acquire the Yards four years earlier — he refused to sell.

In 1994, with the Yards bleeding about $23.5 million in annual carrying costs, and long after Koch had departed City Hall, Trump’s bankers forced him to give up control of the site. The property went to a group of Hong Kong investors, including New World Development, for $82 million and the assumption of about $250 million in debt Trump had amassed.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.’ –John Milton

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{ Garry Winogrand, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1957 }

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{ Nick Tauro Jr., The same house, 60+ years later }

Every day, the same, again

4.jpg Sony’s New Lip-Reading Technology Could Boost Accessibility—or Invade Privacy

The endowment effect occurs when people assign a higher value to an item they own thanto the same item when they do not own it. In a meta-analysis and three laboratory experiments, we show for the first time that ownership has no effect on beliefs about either: (a) the quality of the item or (b) the appropriate market price for the item.

Are couples with daughters more likely to divorce than couples with sons?

Law Firm Giving Away Free Divorce for Valentine’s Day

Sexual Practices and Satisfaction among Gay and Heterosexual Men in Romantic Relationships: A Comparison

Non-violent offenders serving time for drug use or possession should be freed immediately and their convictions erased, according to research published in the peer-reviewed The American Journal of Bioethics.

Previous research suggests that “Duchenne smiles,” indicated by the combined actions of the orbicularis oculi (cheek raiser) and the zygomaticus major muscles (lip corner puller), signal enjoyment. This research has compared perceptions of Duchenne smiles with non-Duchenne smiles among individuals voluntarily innervating or inhibiting the orbicularis oculi muscle. Here we used a novel set of highly controlled stimuli: photographs of patients taken before and after receiving botulinum toxin treatment for crow’s feet lines that selectively paralyzed the lateral orbicularis oculi muscle and removed visible lateral eye wrinkles, to test perception of smiles. Smiles in which the orbicularis muscle was active (prior to treatment) were rated as more felt, spontaneous, intense, and happier. Post treatment patients looked younger, although not more attractive.

Social cooling refers to the idea that if “you feel you are being watched, you change your behavior.”

The Man Who Turned Credit-Card Points Into an Empire [NY Times]

Stefan Thomas, a programmer in San Francisco, owns 7,002 Bitcoin [about $220 million] that he cannot retrieve because he lost the password to his digital wallet. He lost the paper where he wrote down the password for his IronKey, which gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He has since tried eight of his most commonly used password formulations — to no avail. [NY Times]

A roundup of research on US presidential transitions

“Relative frequency of hashtags that call for execution by hanging”

NASA spacecraft discovers there may be fewer galaxies than we thought

Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming

Discovered within the last ten years, formicamycins have great potential because, under laboratory conditions, superbugs like MRSA do not become resistant to them. However, Streptomyces formicae only produce the antibiotics in small quantities.

Information abundance, like all markets of abundance, is bad for the average person but great for a small number of people

How did Zoroaster speak? What did he speak?  When did he speak? There seems to be a lot of dissension, even among Iranists, concerning the basic facts of his life and times. 

James Joyce’s Ulysses is an anti-stream of consciousness novel

Many AIs that appear to understand language and that score better than humans on a common set of comprehension tasks don’t notice when the words in a sentence are jumbled up, which shows that they don’t really understand language at all.

Stockfish evaluates about 100 million positions per second using rudimentary heuristics, whereas Leela Chess evaluates 40 000 positions per second using a deep neural network trained from millions of games of self-play. They also use different tree search approaches.

How Seinfeld’s Costumers Built One of TV’s Most Iconic Wardrobes

The Serpentine Illusion

That’s for us to know and you to find out

bulls.jpg A couple in Canada have been fined for breaking Covid curfew rules after the woman was caught “walking” her husband on a leash

We are currently faced with the question of how the CoV-2 severity may change in the years ahead. […] once the endemic phase is reached and primary exposure is in childhood, CoV-2 may be no more virulent than the common cold

First detection of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein N501 mutation [B.1.1.7/UK variant] in Italy in August, 2020

We have detected a new variant circulating in December in Manaus, Amazonas state, north Brazil

Japan has found a new Covid variant

How Dangerous Are New COVID-19 Strains?

These results provide evidence for the neuroinvasive capacity of SARS-CoV-2 and an unexpected consequence of direct infection of neurons by SARS-CoV-2

mRNA vaccines, what are in those injections and what happens once the shot is given

The Importance of Face Masks for COVID-19

The best masks remain N95s, which are designed with ultrahigh filtration efficiency. Layering two less specialized masks on top of each other can provide comparable protection.

N95 mask with RGB LEDs and voice projection. Each of the respirator-meets-amplifier rings can glow in the color of your choosing. Microphones and amplifiers embedded in the ventilators project your voice through the mask.

Every day, the same, again

71.jpgHacker Locks Internet-Connected Chastity Cage, Demands Ransom

Identical twins are not so identical, study suggests — they differ by an average of 5.2 early mutations, adding new perspective to nature-versus-nurture debates

After group conversations, people underestimated how much they were liked by others

Bottle-cork injury to the eye: a review of 13 cases

Is Light Fundamentally A Wave Or A Particle?

being angry increases your vulnerability to misinformation — Human memory is prone to error — and new research provides evidence that anger can increase these errors.

Genetic Variants of SARS-CoV-2—What Do They Mean?

Flu strains mutate regularly so vaccines need to be slightly altered every year. There are, however, several “universal” flu vaccines currently being studied that aim to make annual flu vaccinations a thing of the past. n fact, according to the American Society for Microbiology, some of these vaccine candidates are in phase 2 and phase 3 trials right now.

Covid-19 immunity likely lasts for years A new study shows immune cells primed to fight the coronavirus should persist for a long time after someone is vaccinated or recovers from infection.

Gorillas test positive for coronavirus at San Diego Zoo

school closures and lockdown are the only interventions modeled that have a reliable impact on Rt, and lockdown appears to have played a key role in reducing Rt below 1.0. We conclude that reversal of lockdown, without implementation of additional, equally effective interventions, will enable continued, sustained transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.

Integrated information as a possible basis for plant consciousness

2019-2020 Tech company donations to Republicans who voted to overturn the election

As The New York Times noted in 2016, not even Oprah Winfrey, the queen of all media, succeeded in turning her personal franchise into a cable powerhouse. Can Trump do something the far-wealthier and much more appealing Winfrey couldn’t?

migrating a large product off Amazon Web Services can take months of staging and possibly years to execute [more]

Clearview AI’s CEO says that use of his company’s facial recognition technology among law enforcement spiked 26 percent the day after a mob of pro-Trump rioters attacked the US Capitol. Audio: What is Clearview AI, and what influence does it hold?

When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence

I review 65 years of Playboy centerfolds to consider how their bodies—physical characteristics, positions, contexts, and explicitness—have changed, and how this reflects the broader social change to which they are subject. I find that, overall, very little changes over the years, with two notable exceptions: increased visibility of the montes pubis and the slow decreasing in the amount of pubic hair the models have

A law buried in the 5,600-page emergency relief bill requires the US intel agencies to deliver an unclassified report on UFOs. More:US intelligence agencies have 180 days to share what they know about UFOs.

Of all the premature deaths among the ranks of the creative, none is more painful to contemplate than Franz Schubert’s

Lessons for Philosophers and Scientists from Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown

We’ve trained a neural network called DALL·E that creates images from text captions

Stealing Your Private YouTube Videos, One Frame at a Time

A single icon can represent any number up to 9999

Touching door with pan

‘Murder the Media’

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The business challenges to launching a TV channel or other high-profile media property seem beyond the talents, resources and patience of Trump and his crew. This isn’t to predict that Trump won’t enter the media business, only to record that if he does, he won’t get very far. […]

Assuming that he can raise the hundreds of millions of dollars to stand up a competitive network—Trump has always preferred using other people’s money in his ventures—what sort of luck might he have in getting AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other major cable companies to carry his new channel? He has no friends at AT&T […] Comcast doesn’t desire a new entry in the news market to go against its MSNBC property. As The New York Times noted in 2016, not even Oprah Winfrey, the queen of all media, succeeded in turning her personal franchise into a cable powerhouse. Can Trump do something the far-wealthier and much more appealing Winfrey couldn’t?

But let’s say Trump does the unlikely. If you think Fox has been distancing itself from the toddler-in-chief since the Biden victory, you can be assured that it will savage him when he poses a threat to its viewership and revenues. The same goes for the Trump-lovers at NewsMax and OAN. Trump’s better bet would be to buy NewsMax, something Trump allies flirted with in November, or even OAN. But again, doing so would draw the ire of Fox, where the majority of his followers currently park their TV sets.

{ Politico | Continue reading }

related { A scholar of American anti-Semitism explains the hate symbols present during the US Capitol riot }

related { Appears the Trump campaign’s digital director tried to give Trump his account. Twitter promptly suspended him }

‘Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell’ –John Milton

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“History is full of civilizations that have collapsed, followed by people who have had other ways of living,” Sale said. “My optimism is based on the certainty that civilization will collapse.” […]

In the final pages of his Luddite book, Sale had predicted society would collapse “within not more than a few decades.” Kelly, who saw technology as an enriching force, believed the opposite—that society would flourish. Baiting his trap, Kelly asked just when Sale thought this might happen. […] Sale blurted out 2020.

Kelly then asked how, in a quarter century, one might determine whether Sale was right.

Sale extemporaneously cited three factors: an economic disaster that would render the dollar worthless, causing a depression worse than the one in 1930; a rebellion of the poor against the monied; and a significant number of environmental catastrophes. […]

“I bet you $1,000 that in the year 2020, we’re not even close to the kind of disaster you describe,” Kelly said. […]

In May 2020, Sale and Kelly settled on the terms of the decision. Their editor, Bill Patrick, would name the winner. Kelly proposed that Patrick wait until the last day of the year to issue his verdict, giving civilization every possible chance to self-destruct. […] the bet was constructed on three clear conditions, and Patrick would consider each one separately […]

Economic Collapse. Sale predicted flatly that the dollar and other accepted currencies would be worthless in 2020. Patrick points to the Dow at 30,000 and the success of new currencies such as Bitcoin. “Not much contest here,” Patrick writes. Round goes to Kelly.

[…] it’s hard to dispute that we are at least ‘close to’ global environmental disaster,” Patrick wrote in his final decision. This one is Sale’s.

The War Between Rich and Poor. […] Patrick calls this round a toss-up, with an edge to Sale. […]

Round by round, the outcome would seem to make it a draw. But when making the final call, Patrick stuck to the language of the original bet. […] Sale called for a convergence of three disasters.

{ Wired | Continue reading }

The virus will evolve fast enough to keep itself going

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UK scientists worry vaccines may not protect against South African coronavirus variant Vaccine makers are testing shots against new variants

In southeastern England, where the B.1.1.7 variant first caught scientists’ attention last month, it has quickly replaced other variants “One concern is that B.1.1.7 will now become the dominant global variant with its higher transmission and it will drive another very, very bad wave”

E484K (South African lineage) worrying for immune escape; RBD mutations in UK lineage less so (1/n).

In-Flight Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Despite Predeparture Testing

“Even if we rolled out the best vaccine coverage program ever, we’re not going to vaccinate everybody. We can’t do it simultaneously. The virus will evolve fast enough to keep itself going. I think it’s endemic.”

Transmission Dynamics of Sars-CoV-2 Are More Complex Than Previously Believed

Breathing techniques from declassified CIA documents