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ED Reality

Posted on December 16, 2017 by Editor

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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

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Awesome.

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Editor

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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

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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

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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

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Faux-Toblerone

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

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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

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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

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EAT, BRAINS, LOVE Cast

from Deadline

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

by Amanda N’Duka

Rex/Shutterstock
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

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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

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Quantum Reality Really

from Nautilus

Is Quantum Theory About Reality or What We Know?

BY JAMES OWEN WEATHERALL

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

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Up In Hudson

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Editor

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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

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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

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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

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