James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list

Ice Bowl 50

from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Ice Bowl, 50 years later: An oral history of the Packers-Cowboys 1967 NFL Championship Game


by Gary D’Amato

It would have been a great game if it had been played on a sweltering September afternoon or on a crisp autumn day in November or even indoors, if there were domed football stadiums in 1967.

That year, the NFL Championship Game pitted Vince Lombardi’s proud but aging Green Bay Packers, seeking an unprecedented third consecutive title, against Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys, an ascending team out for revenge after losing narrowly to the Packers in the ’66 championship game.

Eight Packers and four Cowboys who took the field that day would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both coaches would be enshrined, too. The Packers had guile and experience and a field general named Bart Starr. The Cowboys had youth and superior team speed and their “Doomsday Defense.”

Yes, it would have been a great game on any day, in any kind of weather.

It would be played, though, on New Year’s Eve day in Green Bay, in the kind of weather that tested the limits of what a man could endure.

The official low temperature at Austin Straubel Airport that day was 17 below zero. With Arctic winds whipping out of the northwest, the wind chill dipped to 50 below at Lambeau Field, its turf frozen solid and topped by a layer of ice, so that players slipped and slid and fell on what felt like jagged concrete.

The game would be decided in the closing seconds, at the conclusion of a drive that bordered on the mystical, with Starr plunging into the end zone to put a symbolic exclamation mark on the Lombardi era.

Fifty years ago Sunday, on Dec. 31, 1967, the Packers edged the Cowboys, 21-17, in a game for the ages.

The Ice Bowl.

It was and remains the coldest game in NFL history. It is among the most memorable games in league annals because of the wretched conditions, what was at stake and the dramatic way it ended.

[ click to continue reading at MJS ]

Posted on December 31, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Mass Grave Re-writes History

from Smithsonian Magazine

This Mass Grave Discovery Could Alter Roman History

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that a mass grave discovered in the north of England is a gladiator cemetery. But the most compelling clue is an identical site in Turkey, almost 2,000 miles away.

[ click to continue reading at Smithsonian ]

Posted on December 30, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

The Engineer’s Grill

Posted on December 29, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Columbus’ Shark

from The Daily Star

Ancient LIVING shark born in 1500s is world’s OLDEST vertebrate and could be 512 years old

A SHARK believed to be the oldest living vertebrate has been discovered in the North Atlantic Ocean.

By Anthony Blair

Ancient sharkINSTAGRAM/@JUNIEL85 / BIZARRE: An ancient living shark has been discovered that’s believed to be up to 512 years old

Danish scientists found the ancient creature — which is believed to be 512 years old and is 18ft long.

The shark is the world’s oldest vertebrate – an animal with a backbone – and may have been born in 1505, when King Henry VIII was just 14 years old.

According to the journal Science, Greenland sharks grow at just one cm a year.

So when they discovered a female shark measuring a whopping 18 feet, they knew this creature had to be incredibly old.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on December 28, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »


from WIRED



THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet—powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers—that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.

It was a hard story to miss last year: In France last September, the telecom provider OVH was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack a hundred times larger than most of its kind. Then, on a Friday afternoon in October 2016, the internet slowed or stopped for nearly the entire eastern United States, as the tech company Dyn, a key part of the internet’s backbone, came under a crippling assault.

As the 2016 US presidential election drew near, fears began to mount that the so-called Mirai botnet might be the work of a nation-state practicing for an attack that would cripple the country as voters went to the polls. The truth, as made clear in that Alaskan courtroom Friday—and unsealed by the Justice Department on Wednesday—was even stranger: The brains behind Mirai were a 21-year-old Rutgers college student from suburban New Jersey and his two college-age friends from outside Pittsburgh and New Orleans. All three—Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman, respectively—admitted their role in creating and launching Mirai into the world.

Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on December 27, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Adopt Horses Now, Please

from The New York Times

The Hard Truth About the West’s Wild Horse Problem


Lesley Barnes

We have a wild horse problem — and it’s having a devastating impact on these majestic animals that so many of us love.

I grew up on a farm in Idaho. No one has to show me how to put a saddle on a horse. I respect these powerful animals and consider them emblems of the West. But though we may envision bands of mustangs sprinting through lush fields of tall grasses, we have to realize that the truth is much bleaker.

The federal government’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is broken, leaving thousands of animals to starve. The Bureau of Land Management says that the nearly 27 million acres it manages for wild horses and burros can sustain only about 27,000 animals. This year, the bureau estimates that there were more than 72,000 wild horses on the land, almost 50,000 too many and all fighting to survive.

Making matters worse, wild horses are very fertile; their population increases 20 percent a year, meaning the number of wild horses will double in the next four years. Overgrazing by these horses has also hurt local deer and elk populations. The range could take a generation to recover.

This isn’t just a horse management disaster, it’s a financial disaster too. In addition to the 72,000 horses it oversees on the range, the B.L.M. keeps about 45,000 horses that it has removed from the wild in corrals, off-range pastures and in sanctuaries. Over their lifetime, these horses will cost taxpayers roughly $1 billion overall, according to the B.L.M. That’s $1 billion we could otherwise spend on defense, education, job training or any other worthy cause.

But the alternative for these horses is starving in the wild. For example, in 2015, the B.L.M. employees were dispatched to a desert in Nevada outside of Las Vegas to round up about 200 wild horses that were reported to be starving to death. Federal land managers had determined that the 100,000-acre expanse where these horses were grazing produced only enough grasses and water to sustain 70 horses.

Bureau employees discovered nearly 500 horses. They had pounded their range to powder; the desert grasses that remained had been eaten to the nubs. Nearly 30 were in such poor condition they had to be euthanized, and many others were on the brink of death.

How can anyone consider this acceptable?

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on December 26, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Merry Christmas

Posted on December 25, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Site News | | No Comments »

Blood Sport for Bones

from The LA Times

Archaeology as blood sport: How the discovery of an ancient mastodon ignited debate over humans’ arrival in North America


“Oh my God,” Richard Cerutti said to himself. He bent down to pick up a sharp, splintered bone fragment. Its thickness and weight told him that it belonged to an animal, a very big animal. His mind started to race.

He was standing at the foot of a slope being groomed by Caltrans for a road-widening project through the Sweetwater Valley near National City.

Earthmoving equipment had already uncovered other fossils from elsewhere on the site, mostly rodents, birds and lizards. But this bone was from no ordinary animal. The operator wanted to keep digging, but Cerutti raised a fist to stop him. He felt a tightening knot of anger.

The contractors had worked over the weekend without contacting him, and he could see the damage they had done. He sprinted up the slope to a construction trailer and picked up a telephone.

“Tom,” he said. “I think I have a mammoth out here on State Route 54. Can you send some help?”

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on December 24, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Mystery Blob Threatens New England

from Science Alert

A Mysterious Blob of Hot Rock Is Building Up Under America’s Northeast

Something is rising from the depths.


578 vermont blob 1Hot rock in the mantle rising toward the surface (Vadim Levin/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

A vast mass of hot rock is welling up underneath Vermont and extending into other subterranean regions below New England, new research shows.

Scientists used a network of thousands of seismic measurement devices in the largest geological study of its kind, detecting the enormous blob upwelling under Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts – and possibly elsewhere.

“The upwelling we detected is like a hot air balloon, and we infer that something is rising up through the deeper part of our planet under New England,” says geophysicist Vadim Levin from Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

Since New England doesn’t have any active volcanoes, the huge build-up is thought to be a geologically recent phenomenon, although in this case that means it could have slowly but steadily been growing for tens of millions of years.

[ click to continue reading at Science Alert ]

Posted on December 23, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Sharon Springs

from Logo

Sharon Springs, NY: The Gayest Little Town You’ve Never Heard Of

“One of the greatest things, the thing that has saved Sharon Springs is the LGBT community.”

I grew up in the rural, rolling farmland of Upstate New York. Occasionally—often on the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown or nearby Glimmerglass Lake—we would pass through Sharon Springs, a town memorable solely for the distinctly pungent smell that emanated from its natural sulphur springs.It was because of these springs and their healing properties that Sharon Springs had grown into a popular summer spa destination in the 19th century, attracting thousands of visitors annually including members of the Vanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde, who lectured at one of its hotels in 1882. By the 1970s, though, Sharon Springs had fallen firmly into decline and seemed destined to become a footnote in Upstate New York’s history.Twenty years later, however, the village would embark on a renaissance thanks to Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts, a couple who were passing through from New York City, located approximately 200 miles away.

“My husband and I saw an old farmhouse outside the the village and thought, this is the coolest thing we’ve ever seen,” recalls Plummer, the mayor of Sharon Springs. And so they bought the house, as well as several other properties, including the then-rundown historic American Hotel that they rehabilitated and run today. Beyond that, the two men have been pivotal in attracting others to join in with their enthusiasm for the village of 550 people.

“One of the greatest things, the thing that has saved Sharon Springs is the LGBT community, we are the ones who came in here and started to improve things,” continues Plummer, as we sat together in the cozy lobby of his hotel. As if on cue, Lance and Anthony, another gay couple from NYC, appear. “These guys came in one Friday about six months ago, and on Sunday saw a realtor and, like, three days later they put an offer on a house.”

[ click to continue reading at Logo ]

Posted on December 22, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Mimi O’Donnell on Philip Seymour Hoffman

from Vogue

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction

philip-seymour-hoffmanThe exceptional leading man Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death in 2014 dealt a heartbreaking blow to American cultural life. Photographed by Anton Corbijn, 2012

The first time I met Phil, there was instant chemistry between us. It was the spring of 1999, and he was interviewing me to be the costume designer for a play he was directing—his first—for the Labyrinth Theater Company, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings. Even though I’d spent the five years since moving to New York designing costumes for Off-Broadway plays and had just been hired by Saturday Night Live, I was nervous, because I was in awe of his talent. I’d seen him in Boogie Nightsand Happiness, and he blew me out of the water with his willingness to make himself so vulnerable and to play fucked-up characters with such honesty and heart.

I remember walking into the interview and anxiously handing Phil my résumé. He studied it for a few moments, then looked up at me and, with complete sincerity and admiration, said, “You have more credits than I do.” I felt myself relax. He wanted to put me at ease and let me know that we would be working together as equals. After the meeting, I called my sister on one of those hilariously giant cell phones of the time, and after I had raved about Phil, she announced, “You’re going to marry him.”

Working with Phil felt seamless—our instincts were so similar, and we always seemed to be in sync. Though there was clearly a personal attraction, both of us were involved with other people, so we fell in love artistically first. Over the next two years, we continued to work together—I designed the costumes for everything he directed—and, along the way, I was invited to become a company member of Labyrinth, of which Phil was the artistic director. As an ensemble, we produced Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, which put us on the map. Then, seven years to the day since I’d moved to the city, 9/11 happened. It was disorienting to be finding our place as the world seemed to be collapsing around us.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Earth Hum

from CBS News

Earth’s mysterious hum recorded underwater for 1st time


 This photo from NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite shows the Eastern Hemisphere of Earth in “Blue Marble” view. NASA/NOAA

Far from the blaring cacophony of cities, towns and suburbs, there are far quieter soundtracks to be found — the murmurs of wind rustling grasses, rushing waves tumbling onto beaches, the creaking of tree branches and trunks.

But underneath all that is yet another soundscape, a permanent, low-frequency drone produced by Earth itself, from the vibrations of ongoing, subtle seismic movements that are not earthquakes and are too small to be detected without special equipment.

Earth is “humming.” You can’t hear it, but it’s ongoing. And now scientists have measured that persistent hum from the ocean floor, for the first time. [What’s That Noise? 11 Strange and Mysterious Sounds on Earth & Beyond]

Most of the movements in the ground under our feet aren’t dramatic enough for people to feel them. Earthquakes, of course, are the big exception, but Earth undergoes far more earthquakes globally than you might suspect — an estimated 500,000 per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Of those, 100,000 are strong enough to be felt, and about 100 of those are powerful enough to cause damage.

But even in the quiet periods between earthquakes, there’s a whole lot of shaking going on.

Since the 1990s, researchers have known that Earth is constantly vibrating with microseismic activity, known as “free oscillation,” scientists reported in a new study describing new recordings of the phenomenon. Free oscillation creates a hum that can be detected anywhere on land by seismometers — equipment used to detect and record vibrations.

[ click to continue reading at CBS News ]

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

U2 Not Dead

from RealClearLife

Rock’n’Roll Won’t Die, No Matter What U2 Says

The music industry as we knew is gone, but rock will survive.

By Tim Sommer

Very recently, I saw some respectable men in their late fifties prancing around on TV. They were sitting shiva for rock’n’roll.

I generally give U2 the benefit of the doubt –they’ve worked hard, they energetically support decent causes, and their musical heart is rooted in the post-punk of my youth—but here they were on Saturday Night Live, shouting into bullhorns and cranking out mediocre versions of early ‘90s KROQ grunge riffs and generally sounding like they were doing a hazy imitation of Stone Temple Pilots. Also, in 1998 The International Court at The Hague determined that the Mekons would be the very last band ever allowed to use the word “rock’n’roll” in the chorus of a song.

U2 were posturing themselves as saviors of their genre because this is what rich old white rockers do. In reality, they are actually saying, “It’s already dead and we are the only survivors, so we better bring in some EDM producers, because, you know, that’s what the kids like now, and my GOD, we wanna be relevant!” They also spit out a bunch of fuzzy and meaningless slogans – “Put your hands in the air/Hold up the sky/Could be too late, but we still gotta try” – boy, that is sure going to get a lot of people to turn out in next year’s midterm elections! And I have little doubt that “Will you be our sanctuary Refu-Jesus?” will lead to a productive dialogue between England and the European England about how to handle the looming Ireland/Northern Ireland border crisis.

First of all, rock is most certainly not dead. Truly. I think that’s an ugly myth created by people who are unable to distinguish music from the music industry. Music is fireworks, pearly supernovas in migraine fugue rainbow colors that turn a deep blue 10 p.m. sky the shade of summertime 4:44 a.m. purple; music pulls oohs and aaaahs unconsciously out of the most cynical, it massages old memories and provides mnemonics for new ones, it screams when it whispers and it whispers when it screams. And rock’n’roll is something intensely social and deeply personal, it is the sound of America’s disenfranchised made electric, and it is the reason you got on that train that took you away from your low, leafy suburb and into the spires of the city; and in that city (and your city could just be a college town, a city is any place of escape and social refuge!), you found friends because of rock’n’roll: rock’n’roll made you welcome in the Kingdom of Outsiders. Deep down, a part of you never left that place.

The music industry as we knew it died. Dead. Gone. But the music did not die. This is the profound mistake so many people make; they have comingled the artform and the economics that were a part of that art form. But the music industry is an ugly old Fireworks shack on a two-lane blacktop on the sun-burnt wrong side of a South Carolina beach town, waiting to be blown over by some September storm, washed out to the marshes. Even if the shack is destroyed, there’s still a Fourth of July.

[ click to continue reading at RealClearLife ]

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »


from McClatchy

Here’s how to shut down the internet: Snip undersea fiber-optic cables


A crewman pulls on undersea cable that will be laid in the Caribbean in this 2001 photo from the Port of Miami. The crewman stands in a cable well holding 120 miles of cable.A crewman pulls on undersea cable that will be laid in the Caribbean in this 2001 photo from the Port of Miami. The crewman stands in a cable well holding 120 miles of cable. Charles Trainor Jr. Miami Herald

Hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable lay on the ocean floors, a crucial part of the global internet’s backbone, and only rarely do ship anchors, undersea landslides or saboteurs disrupt them.

Still, a few voices now call for stronger global mechanisms and even military action to protect the cables against future malicious activity by states, saboteurs or extremists.

“The infrastructure that underpins the internet – these undersea cables – are clearly vulnerable,” said Rishi Sunak, a British member of Parliament and champion of more vigorous action to protect submarine networks. “They underpin pretty much everything that we do.”

Undersea cables conduct nearly 97 percent of all global communications, and every day an estimated $10 trillion in financial transfers and vast amounts of data pass through the seabed routes. Satellites, once crucial but now limited in speed and bandwidth, handle only a tiny percentage of global communications.

[ click to continue reading at McClatchy ]

Posted on December 18, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Massive Penis-shaped Space Rock Befuddles

from The Atlantic

Astronomers to Check Mysterious Interstellar Object for Signs of Technology

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner says if the space rock ‘Oumuamua is giving off radio signals, his team will be able to detect them—and they may get the results within days.


An artist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid 'OumuamuaAn artist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid ‘OumuamuaESO / M. Kornmesser

The email about “a most peculiar object” in the solar system arrived in Yuri Milner’s inbox last week.

Milner, the Russian billionaire behind Breakthrough Listen, a $100 million search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, had already heard about the peculiar object. ‘Oumuamua barreled into view in October, the first interstellar object seen in our solar system.

Astronomers around the world chased after the mysterious space rock with their telescopes, collecting as much data as they could as it sped away. Their observations revealed a truly unusual object with puzzling properties. Scientists have long predicted an interstellar visitor would someday coast into our corner of the universe, but not something like this.

“The more I study this object, the more unusual it appears, making me wonder whether it might be an artificially made probe which was sent by an alien civilization,” Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department and one of Milner’s advisers on Breakthrough Listen, wrote in the email to Milner.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on December 17, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

ED Reality

Posted on December 16, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Half of us are in, at least.

from Reuters via Yahoo! News

Are Earthlings alone? Half of humans believe in alien life

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Nearly half of humans believe in alien life and want to make contact, a survey in 24 countries has found, in what researchers said helps to explain the lasting popularity of the “Star Wars” franchise 40 years after the first movie was screened.

On the eve of the release of “The Last Jedi”, researchers published findings that 47 percent of more than 26,000 respondents believe “in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations in the universe”.

An even greater 61 percent said “yes” when asked if they believe in “some form of life on other planets”. Roughly a quarter said they do not.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »


Posted on December 14, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Damien Freed

from The New Yorker

The False Narrative of Damien Hirst’s Rise and Fall

By Felix Salmon

Photograph by Francesco Guidicini / The Sunday Times / News Syndication / Redux

The artist Damien Hirst is fundamentally a maker of luxury goods, and that is why he confounds the expectations of art-world cynics and romantics alike.

The rise and fall of Damien Hirst is an oft-told tale of hubris and nemesis. An art-world superstar in the nineteen-nineties and early two-thousands, Hirst made white-hot works—the most infamous of which involved animals immersed in formaldehyde—whose prices only ever went up. He got rich, his galleries got rich, his collectors got rich, everybody was happy. But, then, in 2008, he got a bit too cocky when he auctioned off two hundred million dollars’ worth of art, fresh from his studio, at Sotheby’s, bypassing dealers entirely. That auction marked the end of Hirst as an art-market darling: his auction volumes and prices dropped, and bitter collectors who had spent millions on his art were left with work worth much less than what they had paid for it.

These days, though, those collectors don’t seem to be so bitter after all. Hirst says that sales from his latest show, in Venice, reached a jaw-dropping three hundred and thirty million dollars as of early November. Even accounting for inflation, that’s substantially more than the two hundred million dollars he racked up at the Sotheby’s auction in 2008. Maybe that day didn’t mark the top of the Hirst market after all.

So why do many knowledgeable observers—from Sarah Thornton in The Economist, in 2012, to Robin Pogrebin in the Times, this past February—think that Hirst became a persona non grata in the art world, stripped of his relevance and power?

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

We Aren’t Going To See Them Coming At First

from The Daily Star

Asteroid that could’ve obliterated NYC skimmed past Earth – and NASA didn’t notice

A MASSIVE asteroid that could have destroyed New York City skimmed past Earth – and NASA had no clue.

By Rachel O’Donoghue

The large space rock – dubbed 2017 VL2 – passed the planet on November 9 at an astonishing distance of just 73,000 miles, which is considered tiny in space terms.

Space boffins think that if the rock measuring between 16 and 32 metres had hit, it could’ve wiped a major city such as New York off the map.

The rock belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and was first seen at ATLAS-MLO observatory in Hawaii a day later.

It was travelling at a speed of 8.73km/s and would have caused catastrophic damage if it had made impact.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Chip Hack

from The Telegraph

Employee used crisp packet as ‘Faraday cage’ to hide his whereabouts during work

by Jonathan Pearlman

A man in Australia was sacked after he relied on a 180-year-old scientific discovery to help prevent his colleagues discovering his whereabouts while he played golf during work hours.

Tom Colella, a 60-year-old  electrician in Perth, lost his job after an anonymous letter to his firm claimed that he left work to play golf at least 140 times over the last two years.

Australia’s Fair Work Commission, a workplace tribunal, heard that Mr Colella blocked his whereabouts by storing his personal digital assistant, a phone-like device that has a GPS inside, in an empty foil packet of Twisties, a puffy cheese-based snack that is popular in Australia.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »


from EATER

Toblerone in Chocolate War With UK Copycat Who Stole Original Design

‘Twin Peaks’ bars bear a striking resemblance to the classic Swiss chocolate

by Greg Morabito

Toblerone photo via Getty; Twin Peak photo via Facebook/Poundland

A UK company is capitalizing on the near-disastrous redesign of the classic Toblerone bar by making an homage to the old version, much to the chagrin of the company that popularized the ridged Swiss chocolate treat.

Over the summer, British discount grocery chain Poundland created Twin Peaks, a Toblerone copycat with a gold wrapper, red lettering, and bar that mimicked the old, chunkier design of the candy. The biggest difference here is that the ridges have a V shape cut into the top of each peak. If Toblerone’s design mimicked the contours of the Swiss Alps, Poundland argued that its bars resembled two famous peaks near the Welsh border. And, in a wise business move, this new candy weighed as much as the old Toblerone before its slimmed-down redesign — and it was cheaper than its inspiration, too.

[ click to continue reading at EATER ]

Posted on December 10, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Bitcoin Causing Global Warming

from grist

Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future

By Eric Holthaus

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years — because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian. But if you have any interest in a future where the world moves beyond fossil fuels, you and I should both start paying attention now.

Last week, the value of a single bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier for the first time. Over the weekend, the price nearly hit $12,000. At the beginning of this year, it was less than $1,000.

If you had bought $100 in bitcoin back in 2011, your investment would be worth nearly $4 million today. All over the internet there are stories of people who treated their friends to lunch a few years ago and, as a novelty, paid with bitcoin. Those same people are now realizing that if they’d just paid in cash and held onto their digital currency, they’d now have enough money to buy a house.

But the rise of bitcoin is also happening at a specific moment in history: Humanity is decades behind schedule on counteracting climate change, and every action in this era should be evaluated on its net impact on the climate. Increasingly, bitcoin is failing the test.

Digital financial transactions come with a real-world price: The tremendous growth of cryptocurrencies has created an exponential demand for computing power. As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin (a process called “mining”) get more and more difficult — a wrinkle designed to control the currency’s supply.

Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. And miners are constantly installing more and faster computers. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network isnearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined.

The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge — an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year.

[ click to read full article at grist ]

Posted on December 9, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Falcon Drones

from Bloomberg

The Military Is Using Falcons to Build a Drone Killer

A raptor’s approach to targeting prey may one day help protect soldiers and even airports, Air Force-funded research shows.

By Justin Bachman

Throughout history, humans have employed falcons as lethal hunters of other animals. Now those raptors are being sent after drones.

It turns out that many of the skills feathered predators use to find a tasty lunch can be applied to the developing field of drone defense. A U.S. Air Force-funded study by zoology researchers at Oxford University suggests that the means by which a peregrine falcon tracks its quarry could be effective in defending against drones that threaten troops, police or airports.

The researchers fitted the falcons with miniature video cameras and GPS receivers to track their angle and method of attack on other birds, or on bait being towed through the air by a drone. In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., the falcons’ approach to intercepting its target aligned closely with the rules of proportional navigation, a guidance system used by visually-directed missiles.

The principle is such that a missile—or a falcon on the hunt—will reach a target as long as its line-of-sight remains unobstructed while it closes in. The earliest AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles, dating to the 1950s, used this technique with a rotating mirror to “see” the target.

Watch Falcons Close in on Their Prey as Part of Air Force-Funded Drone Research

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg ]

Posted on December 8, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »


from Deadline

Jake Cannavale, Angelique Rivera To Star In ‘Eat, Brains, Love’

by Amanda N’Duka

Jake Cannavale (Nurse Jackie), Angelique Rivera (American Crime), and Sarah Yarkin (American Horror Story) have been tapped to star in the indie comedy, Eat, Brains, Love, the Rodman Flender-directed film adaptation of Jeff Hart’s zombie road trip novel. In addition, Jim Titus, Patrick Fabian, Ty Headlee,  Kristin Daniel, and Kym Jackson round out the cast.
The script hails from writing duo Mike Herro and David Strauss. Gunpowder & Sky developed the project with DIGA Studios, an independent production studio founded by former MTV President Tony DiSanto, and Full Fathom Five.
[ click to read full article at Deadline ]

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Projects | | No Comments »

Johnny Hallyday Gone

from BBC News

Johnny Hallyday: France’s ‘Elvis Presley’ dies at 74

France’s biggest rock star Johnny Hallyday has died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 74.

The singer sold about 100 million records and starred in a number of films in a career that began in 1960.

He was made a Chevalier of the Legion D’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac in 1997.

The French simply called him “Our Johnny”. However, outside the Francophone zone, Hallyday was virtually unknown.

In a statement, his wife Laeticia said: “Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My man is no longer with us.

“He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity.”

Hallyday, whose real name was Jean-Philippe Smet, decided he wanted to be a singer after seeing Elvis Presley on screen in 1957. Hallyday was nicknamed the “French Presley” by his numerous fans.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Quantum Reality Really

from Nautilus

Is Quantum Theory About Reality or What We Know?


Physicists know how to use quantum theory—your phone and computer give plenty of evidence of that. But knowing how to use it is a far cry from fully understanding the world the theory describes—or even what the various mathematical devices scientists use in the theory are supposed to mean. One such mathematical object, whose status physicists have long debated, is known as the quantum state.

One of the most striking features of quantum theory is that its predictions are, under virtually all circumstances, probabilistic. If you set up an experiment in a laboratory, and then you use quantum theory to predict the outcomes of various measurements you might perform, the best the theory can offer is probabilities—say, a 50 percent chance that you’ll get one outcome, and a 50 percent chance that you’ll get a different one. The role the quantum state plays in the theory is to determine, or at least encode, these probabilities. If you know the quantum state, then you can compute the probability of getting any possible outcome to any possible experiment.

But does the quantum state ultimately represent some objective aspect of reality, or is it a way of characterizing something about us, namely, something about what some person knows about reality? This question stretches back to the earliest history of quantum theory, but has recently become an active topic again, inspiring a slew of new theoretical results and even some experimental tests.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Up In Hudson

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

DIY Waffles

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Waffle House customer cooks his own meal after finding staff sleeping

by Theresa Seiger

A hungry, slightly inebriated man knew just what to do when he stopped by a South Carolina Waffle House early Thursday only to find the restaurant’s staff snoozing: He cooked up his own meal, snapping selfies along the way.

Alex Bowen said in a Facebook post that he stopped by a Waffle House in West Columbia because he couldn’t sleep.

The restaurant’s employees apparently did not have the same problem.

“I walked back outside to my car to look for employees,” Bowen told WIS. “No one in sight.”

It wasn’t until he walked back inside the restaurant that he noticed an employee snoozing in a corner booth.

“Then it was go time,” Bowen told WIS. “(I) got hot on the grill with a double Texas bacon cheesesteak with extra pickles. When I was done I cleaned the grill, collected my ill-gotten sandwich and rolled out.”

[ click to continue reading at AJC ]

Posted on December 3, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

It’s All In The Wiring

from StudyFinds

A Smarter Person’s Brain Is Simply Wired Better, Study Finds

by Daniel Steingold

FRANKFURT, Germany — Brainiacs happen to have thinking organs that are physically designed to outperform, a new study finds.

Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany looked at brain scans of more than 300 participants, while simultaneously consulting graph theoretical network analysis methods, to try to determine what helps form human intelligence.

Explaining how the brain’s many regions interact with others to varying degrees — think of smaller social groups within broader society— the researchers more specifically sought to understand whether the wiring of certain regions was different among people depending on their level of intelligence.

“This is similar to a social network which consists of multiple sub-networks (e.g., families or circles of friends). Within these sub-networks or modules, the members of one family are more strongly interconnected than they are with people from other families or circles of friends. Our brain is functionally organized in a very similar way,” the researchers explain in a university release.

They found that in more intelligent individuals, two regions associated with the cognitive processing of task-relevant information — the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex — were more tightly connected to other functional areas of the brain.

[ click to continue reading at StudyFinds ]

Posted on December 2, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

India To Luna

from Business Insider

India is preparing to land on the moon for the first time in the country’s history

by Hilary Brueck

ISRO chandrayaan 2 mission to the moon

The last time any country put boots or, rather, little metal feet, on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there.

Before that, you’d have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon.

But in 2018, India says it’ll be ready to join the ranks of the moon lander. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission.

‘Chaand’ is the word for moon in Hindi, so Chandrayaan literally means ‘moon vehicle’ or ‘moon journey.’

[ click to continue reading at Business Insider ]

Posted on December 1, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »