If you carry a double-O number, it means you’re licensed to kill, not get killed

An Amazon executive […] “We had beaten publishers into submission. When Amazon asks for a nickel, publishers know to give a dime. We aren’t there yet with the Whirlpools and the Samsungs. We’ll get them under our thumb.” […]

Mr. Bezos’s disdain for taxes […]

Amazon’s yearlong pursuit of a second headquarters […] got results — nearly $600 million in incentives from Virginia officials

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

2.jpeg‘Worst day in pigeon racing history’: Thousands of birds vanish during race

‘Redneck Rave’ at Kentucky park ends with 48 people charged, throat slashing, and an impalement

Cop busted sniffing coke off model’s butt is doing OnlyFans porn now

No tuna DNA found in Subway’s tuna sandwich

The economics of dollar stores

Why wood has gotten so expensive
Since 2005, Finland has been constructing the largest nuclear reactor in Europe alongside a facility that could solve the problem of what to do with spent nuclear fuel.

Music Listening Near Bedtime Disruptive To Sleep

Blood test finds 50 types of cancer, shows ‘impressive results’ in spotting tumors in early stages

There were curious characteristics about the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 1977-78, which emerged from northeastern Asia and killed an estimated 700,000 people around the world. For one, it almost exclusively affected people in their mid-20s or younger. Scientists discovered another oddity that could explain the first: It was virtually identical to a strain that circulated in the 1950s. People born before that had immunity that protected them, and younger people didn’t. But how on earth had it remained so steady genetically, since viruses continually mutate? Scientists guessed that it had been frozen in a lab. […] It was only in 2004 that a prominent virologist, Peter Palese, wrote that Chi-Ming Chu, a respected virologist and a former member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told him that “the introduction of this 1977 H1N1 virus” was indeed thought to be due to vaccine trials involving “the challenge of several thousand military recruits with live H1N1 virus.” For the first time, science itself seemed to have caused a pandemic while trying to prepare for it. [NY Times]

21 reports of unknown phenomena possibly demonstrate technological capabilities that are unknown to the United States: objects moving without observable propulsion or with rapid acceleration that is believed to be beyond the capabilities of Russia, China or other terrestrial nations. […] The report said the number of sightings was too limited for a detailed pattern analysis. While they clustered around military training or testing grounds, the report found that that could be the result of collection bias or the presence of cutting-edge sensors in those areas. [NY Times | CNN]

power move by Angela Davis

Like the chocolate of Vavey, in the sun they’ll melt away

In building your book I wanted to pursue my own process of decomposition.  I began to think about the ways in which paper degrades.  Rotting in the ground, exposure to rain, chemicals (I used Xylene, a paint thinner, for the image transfers on the cover), and fire.  Although rain or burying paper in the ground would have created unique and unpredictable patterns of ruin in the paper, these seemed like passive processes, whereas burning paper could achieve some level of stochastic design but in a more involved, active, and risk-exposed situation.   I followed the traditional recipe for Chinese blackpowder: 75% potassium nitrate, or saltpeter, 15% carbon, 10% sulphur. […]

On a hot plate, outside, the potassium nitrate is usually dissolved in a pot of water, however instead of water I poured into the potassium nitrate a jar of my stale, sunbaked urine since it accelerates the burn process.  

{ Big Other | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

Canon Uses AI Cameras That Only Let Smiling Workers Inside Offices

Social-media users are sharing Google Street View images featuring friends and relatives who have since died
When things go horribly wrong during a stay, Airbnb’s secretive safety team jumps in to prevent PR disasters

Scientists just turned plastic bottles into vanilla flavoring

The perfect number of hours to work every day? Five

We show how pollen grains can increase the coronavirus (CoV) transmission rate in a group of people

Since 1916, the Dow has made new all-time highs less than 5% of all days, but it’s up 25,568% over that time. 95% of the time, you’re underwater. The less you look, the better off you’ll be. [The Twenty Craziest Investing Facts Ever]

Drinking straw device is instant cure for hiccups, say scientists

Bullshit Ability as an Honest Signal of Intelligence

A man’s “secret family” was exposed when he received two obituaries in the same newspaper from two different women.

Clusters Circumstances and Gestures in Daily Encounters

‘any time it’s nice outside I spend one million dollars’ –@danielleweisber

Canada, one of the most real estate-obsessed nations on earth — and one of the least affected by the 2008 crash — is up 42+% in the past year alone.

Even in Ethiopia, where my wife grew up, a three-bedroom detached house in the capital can cost you $1+ million USD.

Until recently, most people’s house price paradigm looked something like this:

A house’s market price is the maximum amount that a buyer can expect to afford over the next 25–40 years. But because wages are flatlined and purchasing parity is the same as in 1978, the only rational explanation for this current price explosion is a giant debt bubble.

But what if the paradigm — the baseline assumption of what dictates house prices — is changing?

What if the newly-redefined value of shelter is the maximum amount of annual rent that can be extracted per unit of housing? […]

As reader Valerie Kittell put it: “Airbnb-type models altered the market irreversibly by proving on a large scale that short term rentals were more lucrative than stable long-term residents.”

We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift to corporate serfdom.

Stop enriching corrupt banks — pay off your mortgages and never look back. Parents and grandparents with means: Help your kids get a start in housing before it’s out of their reach forever.

{ Jared A. Brock | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

Beer Mats make bad Frisbees, study [PDF]

Oregon third state in U.S. to legalize human composting

Petition urging Jeff Bezos to buy and eat the Mona Lisa gains steam

Careers for some women in finance are being held back by “mediocre” male middle managers adept at playing internal politics, according to a report backed by some of the City of London’s largest financial institutions.

SpaceX threatened with arrests as local authorities in Texas warn it may have committed a crime by using private security guards to block public roads

British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, dubbed the “Father of the Web” will auction the original source code for the World Wide Web as an NFT

Facebook Researchers Say They Can Detect Deepfakes And Where They Came From

when octopuses are on MDMA, it’s like watching “an eight-armed hug.”

Irreversible warming tipping point may have been triggered: Arctic mission chief

We are celebrating the 90th anniversary of Kurt Gödel’s groundbreaking 1931 paper which laid the foundations of theoretical computer science and the theory of artificial intelligence (AI). Gödel sent shock waves through the academic community when he identified the fundamental limits of theorem proving, computing, AI, logics, and mathematics itself.

Bernard Herrmann completed his work on Taxi Driver just hours before he died of a heart attack.

Analyzing Star Wars

Create your own bingo game

Drinking coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, melanoma, prostate cancer, even suicide […]

In numerous studies conducted throughout the world, consuming four or five eight-ounce cups of coffee (or about 400 milligrams of caffeine) a day has been associated with reduced death rates. In a study of more than 200,000 participants followed for up to 30 years, those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day, with or without caffeine, were 15 percent less likely to die early from all causes than were people who shunned coffee. Perhaps most dramatic was a 50 percent reduction in the risk of suicide among both men and women who were moderate coffee drinkers, perhaps by boosting production of brain chemicals that have antidepressant effects.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

Austrian man jailed for 19 months after tattooing Nazi symbol on his testicle

The woman who spent lockdown alone in the Arctic

New research published in the journal Psychological Science reveals a pervasive but unfounded stereotype: that women (but not men) who engage in casual sex have low self-esteem

More than 100 million people now have Calm on their smartphone. Calm promises to give the anxious, the depressed, and the isolated—as well as those looking to be a bit more present with their family, or a bit less distracted at work, or a bit more consistent in their personal habits—access to a huge variety of zen content for $15 a month, $70 a year, or $400 for a lifetime. For that, its investors have valued the company at $2 billion—roughly as much as 23andMe, Allbirds, and Oatly—making it one of just 700 private start-ups to hit the 10-digit mark. Now flush with venture capital, Calm is in the midst of becoming a full-fledged wellness empire: It is producing books, films, and streaming series, as well as $10 puzzles, $80 meditation cushions, and $272 weighted blankets.

In 2020 in the U.S., 59% of online recruitment of sex trafficking victims took place on Facebook. […] 65% of identified child sex trafficking victims recruited on social media were recruited through Facebook. [2020 Human Trafficking Report]

Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing Yelp to punish bars that require vaccine proof

last week, YouTube disclosed that it paid music companies, musicians and songwriters more than $4 billion in the prior year […] not far from the $5 billion that the streaming king Spotify pays to music industry participants NY Times]

Maren Altman isn’t a huge fan of TikTok. She’s amassed more than a million followers anyway. […] Her most intriguing videos apply astrology to a particularly daunting realm: cryptocurrency. Anything with a verifiable birthday or creation date has a birth chart that can be read and, according to astrologists, gleaned for predictive information. That means there’s astrology for … bitcoin. In her teenage years […] she started to seriously study astrology, and made a few bucks at parties giving “readings to drunk kids.” She saved that money and used it to invest in crypto. Then, she took her astrology skills to TikTok.

The rise of private cryptocurrencies motivated the Fed to start considering a digital dollar to be used alongside the traditional paper currency.

Is there a limit to how much worse variants can get? “The fact it has happened twice in 18 months, two lineages (Alpha and then Delta) each 50% more transmissible is a phenomenal amount of change.” […] The R0 was around 2.5 when the pandemic started in Wuhan and could be as high as 8.0 for the Delta variant […] two lineages (Alpha and then Delta) in 18 months each 50% more transmissible is a phenomenal amount of change. […] Measles is between 14 and 30 depending on who you ask […] Influenza has a much lower R0, barely above 1, but constantly mutates to side-step immunity.

Insane Nightclubs of 1890s Paris

Every day, the same, again

El Salvador to use energy from volcanoes for bitcoin mining

‘I was completely inside’: Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown

Spontaneous face touching (sFST) is an ubiquitous behavior that occurs in people of all ages and all sexes, up to 800 times a day.

How we fixed the ozone layer

Half of the pandemic’s unemployment money may have been stolen … America has lost more than $400 billion to fraudulent claims … at least 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere … Much of the rest of the money was stolen by street gangs domestically.

individuals who frequently listen to music reported persistent nighttime earworms, which were associated with worse sleep quality — instrumental music increased the incidence of nighttime earworms

MicroStrategy Inc. MSTR 11.67% is borrowing $400 million in junk bonds to buy more bitcoins, adding to the company’s bet that digital assets will outperform cash. … In a filing Monday, MicroStrategy said it expects to post a $284.5 million loss, “based on fluctuations in market price of bitcoin,” during its next earnings report.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Other Obsession — Known as a master of horror, he also understood the power—and the limits—of science.

Former Air Force Pilot Breaks Down UFO Footage

Every day, the same, again

3.jpgLaughing gas improves depression

Smart devices could someday help save your relationship

A Florida judge has tossed out a motion from a man who claimed he wanted to marry his “porn filled Apple computer.” [2014]

Pupil Size Is a Marker of Intelligence

Researchers perform magic tricks for birds, who are not amused

Australian Federal Police and FBI nab criminal underworld figures in worldwide sting using encrypted app — ANoM could only be found on phones bought through the black market, which had been stripped of the capability to make calls or send emails, according to the AFP. The phones could only send messages to another device that had the app and criminals needed to know another criminal to get a device. Unknown to the app’s users, the FBI had access to the app and its communications … and had been reading the clandestine communications of criminals since 2018

El Salvador looks to become the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender

Feds recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to Colonial Pipeline ransomware hackers — “The extortionists will never see this money. New financial technologies that attempt to anonymize payments will not provide a curtain from behind which criminals will be permitted to pick the pockets of hardworking Americans.” … “as we speak, there are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally … it’s happening all the time”

“Without question, Amazon is one of the greatest single promoters of anti-vaccine disinformation”

Each night when I return the cab to the garage, I have to clean the cum off the back seat

98.jpg

It’s hard to remember a time when scrolling through Instagram was anything but a thoroughly exhausting experience.

Where once the social network was basically lunch and sunsets, it’s now a parade of strategically-crafted life updates, career achievements, and public vows to spend less time online (usually made by people who earn money from social media)—all framed with the carefully selected language of a press release. Everyone is striving, so very hard. […]

Back in the 1990s […] nobody cool was trying to monetize their lifestyle […] But somewhere in the early 2000s, the slacker of popular culture lost ground to the striver. […]

The internet influencer is the apotheosis of all this striving, this modern set of values taken to its grotesque extreme: Nothing is sacred, art has been replaced by “content,” and everything is for sale.

{ Rosie Spinks | Continue reading }

image { De Niro’s wig from Taxi Driver }

Crypto Vegas

welcome.png

bitcoin.png

dogecoin.png

4queens.png

{ large, printable PDF }

Every day, the same, again

A bride collapsed and died at her wedding. The groom then married the woman’s sister with her dead body lying in the next room.

TikTok just gave itself permission to collect biometric data on US users, including ‘faceprints and voiceprints’

Astrophysicist on UFO sightings: It looks terrestrial, not alien

Why is there no blue food?

Children Now Account For 22% Of New U.S. COVID Cases

Some people are resistant to local anaesthetic, meaning they must endure dental and medical procedures without such pain relief. And we’re only beginning to understand why.

After Years Of Detecting Land Mines, A Rat Is Retiring

The Study Web is a constellation of digital spaces and online communities—across YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, Discord, and Twitter—largely built by students for students. Videos under the #StudyTok hashtag have been viewed over half a billion times.

How Victorian Cultists in Rural Donegal Created the World’s First 18 Rated Video Game

In 1977, the small market town of Hay-on-Wye declared independence from the UK, as a publicity stunt.

‘I like to help women to spend not a lot of money - to feel powerful, elegant, glamorous, to feel good about themselves.’ –Melania Trump

4.jpg

{ Reagan and Gorbachev wearing worn shoes, November 19, 1985 }

she bergened a zakbag, a shammy mailsack, with the lend of a loan of the light of his lampion, off one of her swapsons, Shaun the Post, and then she went and consulted her chapboucqs, old Mot Moore, Casey’s Euclid and the Fashion Display and made herself tidal to join in the mascarete

44.jpg

{ Interview with Copenhagen model and knitwear designer Laura Hagested }

Every day, the same, again

6.jpgA New Mexico sheriff who is running for mayor of Albuquerque was punched at a campaign event by a man who police say first tried to disrupt the event by flying a drone with a sex toy attached to it around the candidate while he was stage.

people with hearing loss reported miraculous religious healing experiences - but hearing tests found no objective improvement

This testimony presents definitive logic and extensive evidence to support The Claim by Jesus Christ that Jesus Is Son of GOD rather than GOD.

over a third (36%) of respondents reported having one or more sex secrets

Why a Failing New Jersey Deli Is Valued at $100 Million: A Theory

frogs have teeth

study suggests eating 18g of mushrooms a day cuts your risk of developing cancer by 45 per cent

Employees Are Considering Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home

the data suggests these NFT fads are fading faster than the others

Embracing has several positive health effects, such as lowering blood pressure and decreasing infection risk, and is associated with better daily mood in lonely individuals

How often do emergency vehicles get into accidents?

Synthetic Messenger is a botnet that artificially inflates the value of climate news. Everyday it searches the internet for news articles covering climate change. Then 100 bots visit each article and click on every ad they can find.

To see in his horrorscup he is mehrkurios than saltz of sulphur

5.jpg

On Sept. 16, 2008, the day after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, the Reserve Primary Fund “broke the buck”: Its net asset value fell below $1 per share. The fund — often called the first money-market fund — held $785 million of Lehman commercial paper that was suddenly worthless. Although the paper represented only 1.2% of the fund’s total assets of $64.8 billion, demands for withdrawals escalated, and the fund lost two-thirds of its assets within 24 hours. This triggered a general run on money-market funds that stopped only when the U.S. Treasury issued an extraordinary guarantee of essentially all money-market fund liabilities. The episode underscored how important that $1 net asset value is to investors.

Certain cryptocurrencies known as stablecoins are today’s economic equivalent of money-market funds, and in some cases their practices should have us worried that they could break the buck, creating significant damage in the broader crypto market.

One such stablecoin is Tether. With a market capitalization close to $60 billion, it is almost as big as the Reserve Fund was in 2008. Each Tether token is pegged to be equivalent to $1. But, as with the Reserve Primary Fund, the true value of those tokens depends on the market value of Tether’s reserves — the portfolio of investments made with the fiat currency it receives.

Tether recently disclosed that as of March 31, only 8% of its assets were in cash, Treasury bills and “reverse repo notes.” Almost 50% was in commercial paper, but no detail was provided about its quality. “Fiduciary deposits” represented 18%. Even more troubling: 10% of total assets were in “corporate bonds, funds & precious metals,” almost 13% were in “secured loans (none to affiliated entities),” and the remainder in “other,” which includes digital tokens.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

oil on canvas { Picasso, Still Life with Skull, Leeks, and Pitcher, March 14, 1945 }

Every day, the same, again

6.jpegWorld’s First Invisible Sculpture Sells for a Whopping $18,000

Art studio Robert Alice has created the first iNFT, an NFT linked to a machine-learning chatbot. Will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in June

Self-styled satanist beheaded his cellmate, but the guards didn’t notice. […] Guards found Osuna wearing a necklace made of Romero’s body parts.

This survey asked young adults (n = 593), younger-old adults (n = 272), and older-old adults (n = 46) whether they would take a hypothetical life extension treatment as well as the youngest and oldest age at which they would wish to live forever. in all three age cohorts, a plurality indicated that they would not use it

Giraffes, it turns out, have solved a problem that kills millions of people every year: high blood pressure. — The cardiovascular secrets of giraffes

As Virginia prepares to legalize adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana on July 1, drug-sniffing police dogs from around the state are being forced into early retirement

Satellites may have been underestimating the planet’s warming for decades

Worker-Owned Cooperative Tries to Compete With Uber and Lyft [NY Times]

Testing whether blockchain-based smart contracts can measurably improve weather index insurance products

Iran’s government announced a ban on the mining of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as officials blame the energy-intensive process for blackouts in a number of Iranian cities

A new antitrust case shows that Amazon Prime inflates prices across the board, using the false promise of ‘free shipping’ that is anything but free.

To better understand how birds perform their architectural wonders let’s follow the work of the familiar thrush step by step.

you have 15 minutes to fill up your car with mannequin body parts from their mannequin mountain

Click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up

Nyoooooooooooom

‘I was following orders’

For six years after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, Hollywood studios avoided making films that made the Nazis look bad, because they did not want to lose access to the German market. […]

Now history seems to be repeating itself, with the studios kowtowing to Communist China. […] John Cena, star of the new Fast and Furious movie, just issued an abject apology for casually referring to Taiwan as a “country.”

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

Uber Tracks Passengers’ Locations Even After They’re Dropped Off

7.jpg

Let’s start with the Navy cases. Some of the pilots have told of seeing flying objects shaped like Tic Tacs or other unusual forms. The recordings from the planes’ cameras show amorphous shapes moving in surprising ways, including appearing to skim the ocean’s surface and then disappear beneath it. This might appear to be evidence of extraterrestrial technology that can defy the laws of physics as we understand them — but in reality it doesn’t amount to much.

For one thing, first-person accounts, which are notoriously inaccurate to begin with, don’t provide enough information for an empirical investigation. Scientists can’t accurately gauge distances or velocity from a pilot’s testimony: “It looked close” or “It was moving really fast” is too vague. What a scientist needs are precise measurements from multiple viewpoints provided by devices that register various wavelengths (visual, infrared, radar). That kind of data might tell us if an object’s motion required engines or materials that we Earthlings don’t possess.

Perhaps the videos offer that kind of data? Sadly, no. While some researchers have used the footage to make simple estimates of the accelerations and other flight characteristics of the U.F.O.s, the results have been mixed at best. Skeptics have already shown that some of the motions seen in the videos (like the ocean skimming) may be artifacts of the cameras’ optics and tracking systems.

There are also common-sense objections. If we are being frequently visited by aliens, why don’t they just land on the White House lawn and announce themselves? There is a recurring narrative, perhaps best exemplified by the TV show “The X-Files,” that these creatures have some mysterious reason to remain hidden from us. But if the mission of these aliens calls for stealth, they seem surprisingly incompetent. You would think that creatures technologically capable of traversing the mind-boggling distances between the stars would also know how to turn off their high beams at night and to elude our primitive infrared cameras.

{ Adam Frank/NY Times | Continue reading }

encaustic on newspaper and cloth over canvas { Jasper Johns, Green Target, 1955 }