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Fantasy Experts

from RealClearLife

How the Experts Win at Fantasy Football

by Will Levith

Fantasy FootballAntonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a touchdown catch in front of Greg Toler #28 of the Indianapolis Colts during at 2014 game at Heinz Field. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Every year, it’s the same old thing. You buy the fantasy preview magazine. You do the research. You get the ESPN alerts on your phone. You don the Manning jersey and fly to Vegas. When the time comes for you to make your first pick of the year at the big draft, you freeze. Anxiety sets in, as do the cold sweats. You second-guess yourself. Did I do enough? Do I really know what I’m doing?

Hopefully, this isn’t you, but the fantasy yips are something every football team owner has faced at one point or another throughout his or her career. Whether you take part in a snake draft or auction league or another derivation, nobody’s immune to draft day failure. That is, unless you listen to your friends at RealClearLife.

With the biggest weekend for fantasy drafts fast-approaching—Aug. 26-28—we’ve got you covered going into the big night and beyond. We’ve gone ahead and done the heavy lifting, tracking down some of the top experts in the fantasy football world and getting the inside scoop from them.

Our panel includes Rick Wolf, president of FantasyAlarm (he also hosts a popular fantasy sports–related show on Sirius XM radio); Will Carroll, managing editor of FanDuel; and Stacie Stern, general manager of Head2Head Sports. (RealClearLife staff writer Will Levith also threw in his decades worth of fantasy sports knowledge, which has led to at least one title, a runner-up, and a whole lot of losing.)

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Editor

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Eyeball Planets

from Nautilus

Forget “Earth-Like”—We’ll First Find Aliens on Eyeball Planets


eyeball planet schematic revisedA planet that is tidally “locked” to its star. As the planet orbits the star along the dotted line, the same side of the planet always faces toward the star. The stick figure is standing at the substellar point, where the star is always directly overhead.

Imagine a habitable planet orbiting a distant star. You’re probably picturing a variation of Earth. Maybe it’s a little cloudier, or covered in oceans. Maybe the mountains are a little higher. Maybe the trees are red instead of green. Maybe there are scantily clad natives … OK, let’s stop there.

That image may very well be completely off-base. There is good reason to think that the first potentially life-bearing worlds that are now being detected around other stars (see here for example) probably look very different than Earth. Rather, these planets are more likely to look like giant eyeballs whose gaze is forever fixed on their host stars (which is not something I recommend doing with your own eyeballs).

Let’s take a step back. The easiest planets to find are those that orbit close to their stars. The sweet spot for finding a habitable planet—with the same temperature as Earth—is on a much smaller orbit than Earth’s around a star much fainter than the Sun. But there are consequences of having a smaller orbit. A planet close to its star feels strong tides from its star, like the tides Earth feels from the Moon, but much stronger. Strong tides change how a planet spins. Tides drive the planet’s obliquityto zero, meaning that the planet’s equator is perfectly aligned with its orbit. The planet will also be “tidally locked”: It always shows the same side to the star.

If you were standing on the surface of a planet like this, the Sun would remain fixed in one spot on the sky. The hemisphere facing the star is in constant daylight and the far hemisphere in constant darkness. In between lies a ring of eternal sunset, quite possibly the most romantic place in the Universe. The hottest part of the planet is the location where the star is directly overhead (the “substellar point” in astro-speak). The hottest part of Earth is spread out across the tropics, depending on the time and the season. But on a tidally locked planet the Sun stays in the same place in the sky and the hot spot never moves. This creates visible differences across the planet’s surface; the relatively small hot spot is the “pupil” of an eyeball planet.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Editor

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Rh Negative Aliens

from Ancient Code

Humans with blood type Rh Negative belong to an Extraterrestrial lineage according to new theory

by Ivan

Humans have possible four general blood types: A, B, AB and O; this classification is derived, according to scientists from proteins which are found on the surface of cells which are designed to fight off bacteria and viruses in the human body. The vast majority of humans beings on this planet have these proteins which means they are Rh positive. But a minor group, the Rh Negative lacks these proteins. So how is this crucial difference explained scientifically? And why does it even exist? Throughout the years, several scientific studies have searched for this answer.

Now, scientists believe they have found out a fascinating thing in regards of Rh Positive and negative. According to this “scientific” theory, in the distant past, extraterrestrial beings visited the Earth and created, through “genetic manipulation,” the Rh Negative with an intention of creating a race of “slaves”.

The Basque people of Spain and France have the highest percentage of Rh negative blood. About 30% have (rr) Rh negative and about 60% carry one (r) negative gene.

But Aliens… really? According to investigators, this would explain why Rh negative mothers do not tolerate fetuses with RH Positive blood; thus, this radical, hard-to-explain, by most natural laws intolerance could derive from an ancient genetic modification why Rh positive and Rh negative groups tend to “repel” each other instead of merging.

This theory goes back to ancient Sumerian times when a highly advanced “alien” race came from elsewhere in the cosmos; The Anunnaki, building and creating the first human societies.

It is believed that these ancient beings planned and genetically altered primitive human species, creating stronger and more “adequate” beings that were used as slaves in the distant past.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Editor

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Damon Baehrel

from The New Yorker


Damon Baehrel’s methods are a marvel, and his tables are all booked until 2025. Or are they?


“He is an unheralded genius,” a food critic said of Damon Baehrel. “He really should be in the upper echelons of the greatest chefs who have ever lived.” ILLUSTRATION BY ELEANOR DAVIS

The first time Jeffrey Merrihue came across the name Damon Baehrel, he was amazed that he hadn’t heard of him. “I didn’t understand how the secret had been kept,” Merrihue said recently. “The people I go around with, it’s hard for us to find something that is genuinely unique and new.” The people Merrihue goes around with are gastronomes, the trophy hunters of haute cuisine, the kind who travel the world to dine at famous, or famously obscure, restaurants. After a trip to Cape Town this spring, to a restaurant called the Test Kitchen, Merrihue, who lives in London and produces promotional videos for restaurants, became, he says, the second person to have eaten at every restaurant on the so-called World’s 50 Best list. He’s also been to eighty of the restaurants to which Michelin has granted three stars.

Around Christmas in 2013, a friend of Merrihue’s alerted him to a Bloomberg News piece about an unranked contender, which Bloomberg called the “most exclusive restaurant in the U.S.” It described a gourmet operation—in Earlton, New York, a half hour south of Albany—in the basement of a woodland home. Once called Damon Baehrel at the Basement Bistro, the place was now simply called Damon Baehrel, after its presiding wizard and host, who served as forager, farmer, butcher, chef, sous-chef, sommelier, waiter, busboy, dishwasher, and mopper. Baehrel derived his ingredients, except meat, fish, and dairy, from his twelve acres of yard, garden, forest, and swamp. He made his oils and flours from acorns, dandelions, and pine; incorporated barks, saps, stems, and lichen, while eschewing sugar, butter, and cream; cured his meats in pine needles; made dozens of cheeses (without rennet); and cooked on wooden planks, soil, and stone. He had christened his approach Native Harvest. The diners who got into the restaurant raved about it online. But at the time it was booked through 2020. “We spend our lives looking for places like this,” Merrihue said.

Undaunted, Merrihue sent an e-mail to the address provided on Baehrel’s Web site. A man who identified himself as Terrance, a friend of the chef’s, wrote that Baehrel had stopped taking reservations. “That wound me up even more,” Merrihue said. “I pride myself on getting into restaurants.” Still, it didn’t look good. “I thought, I might die before I get a chance to eat there.”

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on October 23, 2016 by Editor

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We Know When You Diddle

from vocativ

‘Smart’ Dildo Company Sued For Tracking Users’ Habits

We-Vibe’s makers sued after customer finds out they know all about her orgasms (and also her email address).

By Sara Morrison


A woman is suing her dildo manufacturer for knowing too much about when and how she uses it.

A few weeks ago, two researchers told the Defcon hacking convention audience that We-Vibe “smart” sex toys send a lot of data about their users back to the company that makes them. According to Courthouse News, one We-Viber took this news hard. A woman known only as “N.P.” filed a class action civil suit in a federal court in Illinois against Standard Innovation, which makes the We Vibe line of sex toys and corresponding app.

The smartphone app lets users “customize” their We-Vibe experience, unlock app-only “bonus” vibration modes such as the “cha-cha-cha” and the “crest,” and “create unlimited custom playlists,” according to the product’s website. In the suit, N.P. says she bought a We-Vibe in May and used it “several times” until she realized that it was sending data about her usage practices back to Standard Innovation’s servers, including when she used it, which vibration settings she used, and her email address.

[ click to continue reading at vocativ ]

Posted on October 22, 2016 by Editor

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BJI Endorses Hillary Clinton for President & Madonna for Secretary of Throatf†cking

from The Hill

Madonna pledges oral sex for Clinton voters

By Judy Kurtz

Madonna is pledging to perform oral sex on voters who cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton.

The pop queen, known for her shocking antics, made the remark Tuesday while opening for comedian Amy Schumer in New York.

“If you vote for Hillary Clinton,” Madonna told the crowd at Madison Square Garden, “I will give you a blow job.”

“And I’m good,” the 58-year-old “Like a Virgin” singer, an outspoken supporter of the Democratic presidential nominee, said to cheers from the audience.

“I’m not a tool. I take my time,” Madonna boasted.

[ click to continue reading at The Hill ]

Posted on October 21, 2016 by Editor

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Creepy Field Recordings by Cabaret’s Chris

from Dangerous Minds


Photo by Kate Humble, via

Chris Watson is the coolest. He’s most famous as one of the three founding members of Cabaret Voltaire. Since leaving the Cabs in ‘81, he’s continued to make experimental music (see, for instance, his wonderful 2005 collaboration with KK Null and Z’EV), but he’s best known for his field recordings. BBC Radio 4 has a whole page dedicated to programs that feature Watson and his work; if you’re not careful, you can lose yourself for hours there listening to stories like “Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson presents the crested tit.”

Richard H. Kirk is, of course, the longest-lasting (and sole remaining) member of Cabaret Voltaire, but I wonder if it’s significant that Watson’s name got top billing on the back cover of the Cabs’ first two albums. Watson’s attic was the band’s practice space from ‘74 to ‘78, and Kirk credits his distinctive guitar sound on the first records to a fuzzbox Watson, then a phone engineer, built for him. (Check out the Burroughsian news cut-up Watson contributed to a 1981 tape compilation released by Jhonn Balance.)

[ click to continue reading at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on October 20, 2016 by Editor

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Dr. Orgasm

from The Guardian

Dr Orgasm will see you now: is the O-Shot what women need for better sex?

Dr Charles Runels has been called a miracle-worker by the women whose clitorises he has injected with their own blood. But many medical professionals believe the effects are simply placebo – and question Runels’ methods


Dr Charles Runels does an O-Shot procedure on a patient inside his clinic in Fairhope, Alabama, with help from staff member Danielle Gautier.

Seven years ago, Dr Charles Runels’ lover surprised him at his office, demanding that he inject blood into her clitoris as a Valentine’s Day present. She hiked up her dress, hopped on to the exam table and motioned for Runels to put on his headlamp. She explained that she’d been watching him inject his own penis with blood for about a year, and that while his bigger and stronger erections had been fun, she’d grown tired of the one-sided sexual enhancement. It was her turn. So Runels bowed between her legs, numbed her clitoris with an ice cube and shot her up.

“I don’t know how graphic you can be with this thing,” he said over the phone, pausing mid-story to ask me about the Guardian’s policy on discussing orgasms. “But the next afternoon, she came to see me, and her orgasms came more quickly – very strong, ejaculatory orgasms. The passion, the thunder, the sounds that she was making …”

He sighed at the memory.

“That’s when I thought: I should try this on my patients.”

And just like that, the O-Shot was born.

The non-surgical treatment that aims to facilitate and improve orgasms in women, which Runels trademarked in 2011, can only be performed by him or one of the more than 500 certified practitioners he’s trained over the years. It has two steps: first, he extracts PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, from a woman’s blood (usually taken from her arm). He then re-inserts it into the clitoris and the ceiling of her vagina with a syringe. The infusion of white blood cells, according to Runels, increases lubrication and sensitivity, allowing the patient to reach climax easily.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Editor

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SPY Is Finally Back!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

from Inside Hook


Election 2016 is finally getting the coverage it deserves


Esquire has revived SPY, the biting NYC-based satirical mag that ruled the pre-Internet zeitgeist before shutting up shop in 1998.

Now a digital pop-up that’ll run until the end of election season, the new SPY lives on as a channel on the men’s magazine’s website. In a profile, the Wall Street Journal suggests the revived mag will publish five new articles per day.

“Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, SPY magazine pretty much had the American satirical-journalism field all to itself,” wrote co-founder Kurt Andersen this morning on SPY‘s new site (Vanity Fair’s E. Graydon Carter was the other founder). “Then came the full-blown Internet, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, mainstream journalists getting snarky, and everybody cracking wise on social media 24/7 — some of which SPY prefigured and spawned and influenced.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Editor

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Venetian First, Angeleno Second

from The LA Times

As Venice booms, some residents wonder whether L.A. is holding them back

by Sarah Parvini

Venice exploring cityhood effort

There are few places so ingrained in the identity of Los Angeles as Venice — the quirky artistic vibe, the bustling boardwalk and the designer real estate.

For decades, the beach district has served as a cultural touchstone for the larger city, from the days of beatniks, Jim Morrison and the Z-Boys to the upscale Venice of today, with its Silicon Beach money, trendy restaurants and avant-garde homes profiled in architecture magazines.

Now, some Venice residents believe the connection to Los Angeles is holding the neighborhood back and are exploring a cityhood effort that would break free from L.A. government.

Though even backers say secession is a long shot, it has heightened a long-running debate in Venice about the future direction of the community, a reckoning for the once counter-culture stronghold that has grown into an affluent hot spot with some rough edges.

Venice residents speak less of specific issues than a general feeling that City Hall — about 20 miles to the east — isn’t serving their needs and that local government would serve residents better.

Some cityhood supporters look to Santa Monica as a model for an independent government, with its booming shopping district and innovative focus on environmentalism and sustainability. Cityhood skeptics, on the other hand, see their upscale neighbor to the north as exactly what Venice doesn’t want to become.

“If Venice was its own city, it wouldn’t be encumbered by all of Los Angeles’ issues,” said Nick Antonicello, chairman of the ad-hoc neighborhood council committee on cityhood. “There’s a great pride of living here, and I think people believe the services are lacking — whether it’s repaving or public safety.”

“People perceive themselves as Venetian first and Angeleno second,” he added.

[ click to continue reading at The LA Times ]

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Editor

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They’re Still Coming


Earth Vulnerable to Major Asteroid Strike, White House Science Chief Says

By Mike Wall

Earth Vulnerable to Major Asteroid Strike, White House Science Chief Says
Artist’s concept of an asteroid striking Earth.
Credit: NASA/Don Davis

The world is still vulnerable to a potentially catastrophic asteroid strike, according to President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser.

NASA has made substantial progress in finding the asteroids that pose the biggest threat to Earth, but there’s still a lot of work to do, said John Holdren, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“We are not fully prepared, but we are on a trajectory to get much more so,” Holdren said today (Sept. 14) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, during a discussion of the agency’s planned Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). [Images: Potentially Dangerous Asteroids]

Holdren cited the February 2013 meteor explosion over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and the 1908 Tunguska airburst as reasons to take the asteroid threat seriously.

The Chelyabinsk strike, which injured about 1,200 people, was caused by an object that is thought to be about 65 feet (20 meters) wide. The Tunguska event was much more powerful; a space rock perhaps 130 feet wide (40 m) exploded over a mostly unpopulated region of Siberia, flattening 800 square miles (2,070 square kilometers) of forest. Both strikes caught the world completely by surprise.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on October 16, 2016 by Editor

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199-mile Long Lightning Bolt

from USAToday

[ click to view at USAToday ]

Posted on October 15, 2016 by Editor

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X’s In The Desert

from NPR

Decades-Old Mystery Put To Rest: Why Are There X’s In The Desert?


Pez Owen was joyriding in her Cessna airplane when she first spotted a giant X etched in the desert. “It’s not on the [flight] chart. There just wasn’t any indication of this huge cross,” she says. Chuck Penson/Pez Owen

Pez Owen was flying over the desert in her single-engine Cessna airplane when she spotted a huge “X” etched in the desert below. She says it was the strangest thing.

“It’s not on the [flight] chart,” Owen says. “There just wasn’t any indication of this huge cross.”

Then she spotted another one.

“There had to be some reason,” she says. “So, of course, I immediately thought I had to get Chuck in on this.”

Chuck Penson is her former colleague from the University of Arizona. Penson worked in facilities, and Owen worked in the planetarium. Now, they’re adventure-seeking friends. That’s how Scott Craven from The Arizona Republic described them in a recent article.

Their version of hanging out is exploring abandoned mineral mines and military radar bases. Mysterious X’s plotted in the desert was too good to pass up.

“I was not going to rest until I knew what was going on with these,” Penson says.

“It’s conspiracy theory stuff, you know?” Owen says. “It’s right out of the movies.”

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on October 14, 2016 by Editor

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James Lackington, Bookseller

from Literary Hub



By John Pipkin

Today, few people are likely to remember James Lackington (1746-1815) and his once-famous London bookshop, The Temple of the Muses, but if, as a customer, you’ve ever bought a remaindered book at deep discount, or wandered thoughtfully through the over-stocked shelves of a cavernous bookstore, or spent an afternoon lounging in the reading area of a bookshop (without buying anything!) then you’ve already experienced some of the ways that Lackington revolutionized bookselling in the late 18th century. And if you’re a bookseller, then the chances are that you’ve encountered marketing strategies and competitive pressures that trace their origins to Lackington’s shop. In the 21st-century marketplace, there is sometimes a longing for an earlier, simpler age, but the uneasy tension between giant and small retailers seems to have been a constant since the beginning. The Temple of the Muses, which was one of the first modern bookstores, was a mammoth enterprise, by far the largest bookstore in England, boasting an inventory of over 500,000 volumes, annual sales of 100,000 books, and yearly revenues of £5,000 (roughly $700,000 today). All of this made Lackington a very wealthy man—admired by some and despised by others—but London’s greatest bookseller began his career inauspiciously as an illiterate shoemaker.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on October 13, 2016 by Editor

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American Fear

from USAToday

Survey reveals what Americans fear the most

As the presidential election campaign drags on, it may come as no surprise that corrupt government officials are one of the greatest fears many Americans have, according to a new study. 

People are scared of a lot of things, ranging from terror attacks to identity theft and deaths within the family, according to the third annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears.

The 2016 survey data showed a shift from 2015, where many of the top fears were economic and “big brother type issues,” Christopher Bader, a professor of sociology at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., said in a statement. Bader, who led the team effort, said this year the responses showed more of a focus on health and finance.

But while the overall focus of fear may have shifted, corruption of government officials remained the top fear for the second year in a row.

“People often fear what they cannot control, and we find continued evidence of that in our top fears,” Bader said.

The survey asked 1,511 people nationwide about fears and concerns across different categories, including crime, the government, natural disasters and personal fears and technology.

[ click to continue reading at USAToday ]

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Editor

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The United States of Books

from Electric Lit

INFOGRAPHIC: 50 States of Literature

A tour of the United States through books!

[ click to read at ]

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Editor

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Hawking Hunts Aliens

from c|net

Stephen Hawking wants to find aliens before they find us

The famed cosmologist is all in on searching for signals from E.T., but warns that we should be careful about inviting aliens over.


Stephen Hawking is again warning about announcing our presence to any alien civilizations that might be out there, especially those that could be more technologically advanced.

In his new half-hour program “Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places” on science-themed subscription service CuriosityStream, the world’s most famous theoretical physicist flies by the potentially habitable exoplanet Gliese 832c in a CGI spaceship as part of his hypothetical dream itinerary for a tour of the universe.

The super-Earth is only 16 light-years away and just the sort of world the Hawking-supported Breakthrough: Listen initiative hopes to scan for signs of alien signals using our most sensitive radio telescopes.

“If intelligent life has evolved (on Gliese 832c), we should be able to hear it,” he says while hovering over the exoplanet in the animated “U.S.S. Hawking.” “One day we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back. Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”

[ click to continue reading at c|net ]

Posted on October 10, 2016 by Editor

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BJI Endorses Gary Johnson For President

from Facebook

Posted on October 9, 2016 by Editor

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USA ‘Elements’ James Frey & Amblin TV


USA Sets ‘Elements,’ Canadian Series Adaptation With James Frey & Amblin TV


tempsmortBabel Films

USA Network has put in development Elements, a high-concept drama from writer James Frey and his Full Fathom Five, Amblin TV, Intrigue and Universal Cable Prods.

Written by Frey, Elements is based on Babel Films’ French-language Canadian film/web series Time Out (Temps Mort). It follows the aftermath of an extreme environmental shift across the world. On a beautiful day in Miami, it starts to snow, and doesn’t stop — leaving the world frozen as one man searches for his fiancée before the world falls into complete stasis.

This would mark the TV writing debut of Frey, who started off as a feature scribe with 1998’s Kissing a Fool before embarking on book writing, including his controversial debut novel A Million Little Pieces. He then launched the YA publishing company Full Fathom Five, which has been leveraging its IP into producing TV series and movies.

Elements reunites Full Fathom Five and Amblin TV, who recently collaborated on the TNT pilot Lumen.

[ click to contiue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on October 8, 2016 by Editor

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These People Really Exist

from LiveLeak

[ click to view at LiveLeak ]

Posted on October 7, 2016 by Editor

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The Matrix Is Real

from The Independent

Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it

Many of the world’s richest and most powerful people, including Elon Musk and Bank of America, think that we live in a simulation of the real world

by Andrew Griffin

Some of the world’s richest and most powerful people are convinced that we are living in a computer simulation. And now they’re trying to do something about it.

At least two of Silicon Valley’s tech billionaires are pouring money into efforts to break humans out of the simulation that they believe that it is living in, according to a new report.

Philosophers have long been concerned about how we can know that our world isn’t just a very believable simulation of a real one. But concern about that has become ever more active in recent years, as computers and artificial intelligence have advanced.

That has led some tech billionaires to speculate that the chances we are not living in such a simulation is “billions to one”. Even Bank of America analysts wrote last month that the chances we are living in a Matrix-style fictional world is as high as 50 per cent.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on October 6, 2016 by Editor

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Alien MegaStructure Update


‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Keeps Getting Stranger

By Mike Wall

'Alien Megastructure' Star Keeps Getting StrangerArtist’s illustration showing a cloud of comet fragments blocking light from a star — one of the possible explanations for the strange, occasional dimming of KIC 8462852, also known as “Tabby’s Star.”
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The more scientists learn about “Tabby’s Star,” the more mysterious the bizarre object gets.

Newly analyzed observations by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope show that the star KIC 8462852 — whose occasional, dramatic dips in brightness still have astronomers scratching their heads — has also dimmed overall during the last few years.

“The steady brightness change in KIC 8462852 is pretty astounding,” study lead author Ben Montet, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]

“Our highly accurate measurements over four years demonstrate that the star really is getting fainter with time,” Montet added. “It is unprecedented for this type of star to slowly fade for years, and we don’t see anything else like it in the Kepler data.”

KIC 8462852 hit the headlines last September, when a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian of Yale University announced that the star had dimmed dramatically several times over the past few years — in one case, by a whopping 22 percent.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on October 5, 2016 by Editor

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Sabbath’s BORN AGAIN Demos (sans the cheesy keyboards and sound effects)

Posted on October 4, 2016 by Editor

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World’s Most Mysterious Book

from Yahoo! News

Tiny Spanish publisher clones world’s most mysterious book

Voynich, is one of the world's most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one -- not even the best cryptographers -- has crackedVoynich, is one of the world’s most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one — not even the best cryptographers — has cracked (AFP Photo/Cesar Manso)

Burgos (Spain) (AFP) – It’s one of the world’s most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one — not even the best cryptographers — has cracked.

Scholars have spent their lives puzzling over the Voynich Manuscript, whose intriguing mix of elegant writing and drawings of strange plants and naked women has some believing it holds magical powers.

The weathered book is locked away in a vault at Yale University’s Beinecke Library, emerging only occasionally.

But after a ten-year quest for access, Siloe, a small publishing house nestled deep in northern Spain, has secured the right to clone the document — to the delight of its director.

“Touching the Voynich is an experience,” says Juan Jose Garcia, sitting on the top floor of a book museum in the quaint centre of Burgos where Siloe’s office is, a few paved streets away from the city’s famed Gothic cathedral.

“It’s a book that has such an aura of mystery that when you see it for the first time… it fills you with an emotion that is very hard to describe.”

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on October 3, 2016 by Editor

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Morphic Resonance TEDx

Posted on October 2, 2016 by Editor

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Society’s Fears In Words

from TIME

What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears

by Sarah Begley

Censors are increasingly focusing on books that represent diverse points of view

For as long as humans have printed books, censors have argued over their content and tried to limit some books’ distribution. But the reasons for challenging literature change over time, and as Banned Book Week begins on Sept. 25, it’s clear that public discomfort with particular ideas has evolved rapidly even in the last 20 years.

When the American Library Association started keeping a database of challenged books in the early ’90s, the reasons cited were fairly straightforward, according to James LaRue, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “‘Don’t like the language,’ or ‘There’s too much sex’—they’d tend to fall into those two categories,” he says. Some books are still challenged for those reasons—Fifty Shades of Grey is a common example. But there’s been a shift toward seeking to ban books “focused on issues of diversity—things that are by or about people of color, or LGBT, or disabilities, or religious and cultural minorities,” LaRue says. “It seems like that shift is very clear.”

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on October 1, 2016 by Editor

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They’re Still Coming…

from The Mirror

‘Huge meteor’ crashes to earth as flash of light is spotted in sky and houses start to shake


A ‘ meteor ‘ crashed into earth causing tremors and a huge “flash of light” in the sky, it has been reported.

The fireball was spotted at Turkey Beach and Emerald in Queensland, Australia, as hundreds of locals took the social media to report their houses shaking and a “burning light” in the sky.

Police received a number of calls from concerned residents in the Gladstone area, reporting tremors in what was initially believed to be an earthquake.

Geoscience Australia has since officially ruled out an earthquake and Higgins Storm Chasing crew said a “meteorite impacted somewhere offshore”.

In a Facebook post , the group said: “The light was seen as far south as Hervey Bay and as far north as Yepoon with a tremor being felt upon impact over the general Gladstone area and Boyne Island.

Witnesses took to social media to describe a “ball of flame falling from the sky” and a “brilliant meteor flash overhead and disappear over the sea”.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on September 30, 2016 by Editor

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Pornography Explained

from The New Yorker


While the Internet has made porn ubiquitous, it has also thrown the industry into severe decline.


A new study of the porn industry tries to sidestep ideological battles, with a neutral, fact-driven approach. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARA CWYNAR

If you watch pornography, it’s likely that you do so on the Internet. The days when consuming pornography meant buying or borrowing a pinup magazine or watching a film loop in a peepshow booth are long gone, as are those of tracking down adult-video stores in faraway neighborhoods. Most porn is viewed on easily accessible “tube sites,” such as YouPorn, RedTube, XVideos, and Pornhub. These work on the same model as YouTube: they are free, and steer users to amateur videos, snippets uploaded by commercial producers, and pirated material. Watching pornography no longer requires leaving the privacy of your home, though that doesn’t mean you necessarily do it there: according to a recent CNBC report, seventy per cent of American online-porn access occurs during the nine-to-five workday.

Pornography has changed unrecognizably from its so-called golden age—the period, in the sixties and seventies, when adult movies had theatrical releases and seemed in step with the wider moment of sexual liberation, and before V.H.S. drove down production quality, in the eighties. Today’s films are often short and nearly always hard-core; that is, they show penetrative sex. Among the most popular search terms in 2015 were “anal,” “amateur,” “teen,” and—one that would surely have made Freud smile—“mom and son.” Viewing figures are on a scale that golden-age moguls never dreamed of: in 2014, Pornhub alone had seventy-eight billion page views, and XVideos is the fifty-sixth most popular Web site in the world. Some porn sites get more traffic than news sites like CNN, and less only than platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and PayPal. The twenty-first-century porn kings aren’t flamboyant magazine owners like Larry Flynt, whose taboo-breaking Hustler first published labial “pink shots,” in the mid-seventies, but faceless tech executives. The majority of the world’s tube sites are effectively a monopoly—owned by a company called MindGeek, whose bandwidth use exceeds that of Amazon or Facebook. Its C.E.O. until recently was a German named Fabian Thylmann, who earned a reported annual income of a hundred million dollars; he sold the company while being investigated for tax evasion.

The millions of people using these sites probably don’t care much about who produces their content. But those who work in porn in the United States tend to draw a firm line between the “amateur” porn that now proliferates online and the legal adult-film industry that took shape after the California Supreme Court ruled, in California v. Freeman (1989), that filmed sex did not count as prostitution. Since then, the industry has been based in Los Angeles County’s San Fernando Valley, where its professional norms and regulations have mimicked its more respectable Hollywood neighbors. In “The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know” (Oxford), Shira Tarrant explains how that industry works in the new age of Internet porn, and sets out to provide neutral, “even-handed” information about its production and consumption.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on September 29, 2016 by Editor

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Huge-ass Fungus

from Atlas Obscura

This 84-Year-Old Retiree Wants ‘the Internet’ to See a Massive Mushroom He Found

Don Smith is proud.

By Erik Shilling

You may not be able to tell from the photo, but, as his granddaughter wrote on Facebook, Don Smith is a very happy man. That’s a mushroom he’s got on his lap, a 15-pound mushroom, which he found on his 100-acre property in North Dorchester, Ontario, about 90 miles southwest of Toronto.

“I look for them once in awhile because I know a few people who like them,” Smith explained to the CBC. “I don’t like them myself, but I give them to my friends.”

[ click to continue reading at Atlas Obscura ]

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Editor

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The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

from Dangerous Minds


by Christopher Bickel

I just finished watching Colin Hanks’ impressive documentary on the rise and fall of Tower Records, titled All Things Must Pass.

While I’d recommend the film to anyone who was ever a frequent Tower shopper, I’d say it’s a must-see for anyone who has ever worked music retail, particularly those who worked during the late ‘90s to early ‘2000s, which saw the decline of physical media sales.

The film centers on Russ Solomon who founded Tower Records in Sacramento, California in 1960, and traces the path he took in building the Tower brand from a single “supermarket of music” to a worldwide mega-chain. The documentary does a fair job at assessing the “perfect storm” that caused the ultimate collapse of the chain, culminating with the closing of their last company-owned store in 2006.

Interviews with David Geffen, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and the obligatory Dave Grohl documentary appearance (is there some rule that says Grohl has to appear in EVERY music-related documentary?) give some insight to Tower’s cultural significance, rounding out the insider interviews with Tower’s top brass who detail the company’s rise and fall.

[ click to continue reading at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on September 27, 2016 by Editor

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The Best Year Of Her Life… in pictures.

from WFMY

Naked Man Photobombs Student’s Senior Photos

EUGENE, Ore. — A South Eugene High School student is getting a lot of attention for her unique, if somewhat disturbing, senior photos.

Jillian Henry tweeted one of the pictures out this weekend and now it’s been retweeted 24,000 times and has 74,000 likes.

The extra attention is due to the completely unexpected naked photo-bombers in the picture; a naked man and his dog.

Jillian and a friend were down at the river, snapping shots for the yearbook, when a man in the buff wandered down to the opposite river bank.

“His dog was running around and I was like, ‘He’s naked!’” Jillian said. “And I was like, ‘He has to see us. He has to know we have a camera.’”

[ click to continue reading at WFMY ]

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Editor

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“The power of an ellipsis…”

from The Times Literary Supplement

Byron burning


A sketch from The Wonderful History of Lord Byron & His Dog by E. B. Pigot, 1807 © Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Byron knew, more than any author before him, the power of an ellipsis. Foreshadowing twentieth-century theorists such as Wolfgang Iser, who posited that it is primarily the reader who creates a poem’s meaning by navigating gaps in the text, Byron filled his work with tantalizing omissions to fire the imagination. One of his bestselling poems, The Giaour, a classically Byronic tale of a brooding hero avenging his murdered beloved, was subtitled “A Fragment” to create an illusion that the full story lay elsewhere. The poem is riddled with as­terisks that mark supposedly lost sections. “An outline is the best,” Byron wrote in his final epic Don Juan, “– a lively reader’s fancy does the rest”.

The poet invited conjecture not only about his work but also about his personal life. Readers were quick to see a link between Byron’s melancholic aristocratic heroes and the poet himself. In his preface to the work that made him famous in 1814, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Byron insisted that his character was not based on a “real personage”, but purely “the child of imagination”. Yet he continually gave his heroes the same dark hair and pale brow that readers were seeing in reproduced portraits of the poet that hung in countless print shop windows, and he often dropped in teasing autobiographical references to ancestral homes and heroic acts abroad. Readers looked for coded messages that they felt revealed the real Byron amid the gossip, and the Byronic hero was just ambiguous enough for them to see in him whatever suited them.

It is a wonderful dramatic irony, then, that Byron’s memoirs – which might have finally provided the “truth” about his life – were destroyed soon after his death. The story goes that three of his closest friends (his publisher, John Murray; his fellow celebrity poet, Thomas Moore; and his companion since his Cambridge days, John Cam Hobhouse), together with lawyers representing Byron’s half-sister and his widow, decided that the manuscript was so scandalous, so unsuitable for public consumption, that it would ruin Byron’s reputation forever. Gathered in Murray’s drawing room in Albemarle Street, they ripped up the pages and tossed them into the fire. The incident is often described as the greatest crime in literary ­history. It has certainly served to fuel curiosity and conjecture about Byron’s personal life for another couple of centuries. What was the damning secret his friends needed to protect? Domestic abuse? Sodomy? Incest? Probably all three, we imagine.

[ click to continue reading at The Times Literary Supplement ]

Posted on September 25, 2016 by Editor

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Crow Dance. Wild.

Posted on September 24, 2016 by Editor

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