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Is my husband gay, is my wife crazy?

from Vox

Proof that Americans are lying about their sexual desires

by Sean Illing

Two weeks ago, I interviewed Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies, a new book that uses data on America’s Google habits as an insight into our national consciousness.

Two findings from the book dominated the conversation: America is riddled with racist and selfish people, and there may be a self-induced abortion crisis in this country.

But there was plenty more revelatory data in the book that we didn’t cover. So I wanted to follow up with Stephens-Davidowitz to talk about some of the other provocative claims he is making.

I was particularly interested in sexuality and online porn. If, as Stephens-Davidowitz puts it, “Google is a digital truth serum,” then what else does it tell us about our private thoughts and desires? What else are we hiding from our friends, neighbors, and colleagues?

A lot, apparently.

Among other things, Stephens-Davidowitz’s data suggests that there are more gay men in the closet than we think; that many men prefer overweight women to skinny women but are afraid to act on it; that married women are disproportionately worried their husband is gay; that a lot of straight women watch lesbian porn; and that porn featuring violence against women is more popular among women than men.

I asked Stephens-Davidowitz to explain the data behind all of this. Here’s what he told me.

[ click to continue reading at Vox ]

Posted on July 8, 2017 by Editor

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More Skull Cult

from Reuters

Tower of human skulls in Mexico casts new light on Aztecs

By Roberto Ramirez | MEXICO CITY

Skulls are seen at a site where more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments were found in the cylindrical edifice near Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City, Mexico June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

A tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.

Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

The tower is believed to form part of the Huey Tzompantli, a massive array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes, and mentioned the structure in contemporary accounts.

Historians relate how the severed heads of captured warriors adorned tzompantli, or skull racks, found in a number of Mesoamerican cultures before the Spanish conquest.

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Posted on July 7, 2017 by Editor

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Skull Cult

from National Geographic

Hints of Skull Cult Found at World’s Oldest Temple

Carved human skull fragments from a Stone Age archaeological site hint at a surprisingly complex culture.

By Shaena Montanari

Göbekli Tepe, site of the possible skull cult, is considerd the world’s oldest temple. PHOTOGRAPH BY VINCENT MUSI, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

Around 10,000 years ago, the already striking presence of Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey could have been even more impressive—as human skulls might have dangled in what is considered the world’s oldest temple.

According to new research published in Science Advances, three Neolithic skull fragments discovered by archaeologists at Göbekli Tepe show evidence of a unique type of post-mortem skull modification at the site.

(Read more about Göbekli Tepe, the “world’s oldest temple.)

The deep, purposeful linear grooves are a unique form of skull alteration never before seen anywhere in the world in any context, says Julia Gresky, lead author on the study and an anthropologist at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. Detailed analysis with a special microscope shows the grooves were deliberately made with a flint tool. One of the fragments even has a hole drilled in it, resembling skull modifications made by the Naga people of India who used the hole to hang the skull on a string.

[ click to continue reading at NatGeo ]

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Editor

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NASA Asteroid Killer

from CNN via ClickOrlando

NASA unveils plan to test asteroid defense technique

DART launch set for October 2022

By DAKIN ANDONE, CNN

(CNN) – Humanity could face one less doomsday scenario if NASA has its way.

On Friday, the space agency announced plans to redirect the course of a small asteroid approaching Earth, as part of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), according to a NASA press release.

The release notes that asteroids hit Earth nearly every day, but most are small enough to burn up in the atmosphere.

But the DART project — a joint effort between NASA and the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland — is for the asteroids that are too big to break up — those that could have severe consequences for the Earth if they hit.

“DART would be NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique — striking the asteroid to shift its orbit — to defend against a potential future asteroid impact,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer in Washington, in the press release.

“This approval step advances the project toward an historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid.”

[ click to continue reading at ClickOrlando ]

Posted on July 5, 2017 by Editor

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Happy Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2017 by Editor

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Top 10 Wieners

from The New York Times

We Taste-Tested 10 Hot Dogs. Here Are the Best.

By JULIA MOSKIN

The 10 hot dogs that were part of the taste test, clockwise from top left: Applegate, Nathan’s, Oscar Mayer, Wellshire Farms, Boar’s Head, Trader Joe’s, Niman Ranch, Ball Park, Brooklyn Hot Dog Company and Hebrew National. Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The New York Times Food department hasn’t taken a close look at hot dogs in some time. Back when hot dogs were on every list of foods to avoid — alarming additives, questionable cuts, salt and fat galore — home cooks didn’t want to know too much about what was in them.

But cooks are different now, and so are hot dogs. We want to know that what we’re eating is as good as it can be. Hot dogs are made from better ingredients, with fewer additives.

One thing hasn’t changed: Billions of hot dogs will be eaten at cookouts this summer, and serving them is one of the easiest ways we know to make people happy.

And so, we present our first official hot dog blind tasting.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Editor

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A little too much magnesium, I guess.

Posted on July 2, 2017 by Editor

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The Evel Museum

from NPR

A New Museum Dares To Showcase Stuntman Evel Knievel

by Frank Morris

Half a century ago war, protests, and political scandal rocked the United States. Sound familiar? But, out of all that a small-time hoodlum from Butte, Montana rocketed into national prominence, on a motorbike. Evel Knievel’s career took off like a rocket, but crashed even faster. Now a new museum celebrates all that is Evel.

Robert Craig Knievel was the kind of kid you’d probably medicate these days— an ornery, reckless small town guy always in trouble with the law. He tried lots of careers: mining, insurance, semi-pro hockey, and selling Honda motorcycles, before declaring himself a professional daredevil. He started with a jump over two mountain lions, and a box of agitated rattle snakes. By his late 20s he’d hustled his way into the national spotlight.

“Evel Knievel was an original. And to a lot of people, young people, he was a super hero,” says Brad Zimmerman, director of the Evel Knievel Museum, in Topeka, Kansas.

Evel certainly dressed the part. With his flamboyant red, white and blue, motorbikes, helmets, leather jumpsuits, and, yes, capes, Knievel was part Elvis, part Liberace, part John Wayne.

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on July 1, 2017 by Editor

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Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

from Phys.org

Are asteroids humanity’s ‘greatest challenge’?

by Mariëtte Le Roux

Close encounter: NASA graphic showing asteroid 1998 QE2, which caused a brief scare when it skimmed past Earth in 2013. But one Close encounter: NASA graphic showing asteroid 1998 QE2, which caused a brief scare when it skimmed past Earth in 2013. But one day a space rock is bound to be on target, say worried scientists

Throughout its 4.5-billion-year history, Earth has been repeatedly pummelled by space rocks that have caused anything from an innocuous splash in the ocean to species annihilation.

When the next big impact will be, nobody knows.

But the pressure is on to predict—and intercept—its arrival.

“Sooner or later we will get… a minor or major impact,” Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, told AFP ahead of International Asteroid Day on Friday.

It may not happen in our lifetime, he said, but “the risk that Earth will get hit in a devastating event one day is very high.”

For now, there is little we can do.

And yet, the first-ever mission to crash a probe into a small space rock to alter its trajectory suffered a major setback when European ministers declined in December to fund part of the project.

[ click to continue reading at Phys.org ]

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Editor

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Wienerdrone

Posted on June 29, 2017 by Editor

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James Bond’s Evil Penis

from Dangerous Minds

‘THE PENIS IS EVIL!’: SEAN CONNERY & CHARLOTTE RAMPLING IN ‘ZARDOZ,’ THE PLAYBOY SPREAD (NSFW)

Zardoz might be the only movie that can fairly be compared to D-Day, in that if you haven’t endured it yourself, you really haven’t the slightest notion what it’s like.

Zardoz was released in 1974, the second movie that Sean Connery made after leaving Cubby Broccoli’s Bond franchise for good. According to the movie’s director and writer, John Boorman, Connery badly needed money and agreed to do the movie on that basis. He must’ve been really broke.

The movie is 23rd-century romp in which all of humanity is divided up into the lusty and animalistic “Brutals” and the psychic and ethereal “Eternals” at the “Vortex” who have no need to procreate, while a huge flying stone head distributes armaments across the countryside. Sean Connery plays “Zed,” an “Exterminator” who manages to infiltrate the “Vortex,” where he discombobulates the Eternals’ barren notions of sex and violence—or something. Along the way the huge stone head—“Zardoz” to you—memorably bellows the mottos “The gun is good!” and “The penis is evil!” The movie is heady and trashy in a way that only the cinema of the 1970s could possibly muster.

Boorman made several straightforwardly excellent movies, including Excalibur, Hope and Glory, Point Blank, and Deliverance, which makes the eternal peculiarities of Zardoz all the more astonishing.

[ click to continue reading at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on June 28, 2017 by Editor

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Prison Strippers

from the Sunday Times

Red-faced: Officials in trouble after strippers entertain inmates

BY TIMESLIVE

Pictures of strippers 'entertaining' prisoners have set tongues wagging.Pictures of strippers ‘entertaining’ prisoners have set tongues wagging. Image: Twitter/DJ Fresh

Managers and lower ranking officials are among 13 people facing possible suspension as the Correctional Services department was on Monday left red-faced by images that surfaced on social media showing scantily clad women in lingerie entertaining prisoners.

“The intention was never to have strippers in the facility‚” Acting National Correctional Services Commissioner James Smalberger told a news briefing.

“That is unacceptable and we cannot tolerate that at all.

[ click to continue reading at the Sunday Times ]

Posted on June 27, 2017 by Editor

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They’re here…?

from The Sun

Hacking group Anonymous claims NASA is about to announce ‘evidence of alien life’

Last week Nasa announced it had discovered 10 Earth-like planets in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ of other solar systems

By Laura Burnip

HUMANS are about to discover alien life, Nasa believes – according to the latest video from hacktivist group Anonymous.

The hackers published YouTube clip which claims a Nasa scientist made the announcement at the last meeting of the US Science, Space and Technology committee.

It comes after Nasa’s Kepler space observatory discovered 219 “potential new worlds” in other solar systems.

Ten of the planets are “rocky” like the Earth and fall in their systems’ “Goldilocks zone”– so-called because it is not too hot or too cold for life to exist.

In their video, Anonymous claimed head of Nasa Science Mission Directorate Professor Thomas Zurbuchen told the meeting: “Our civilisation is on the verge of discovering evidence of alien life in the cosmos.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on June 26, 2017 by Editor

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Not So Paranoid Android

from The New Yorker

The Whispered Warnings of Radiohead’s “OK Computer” Have Come True

By Amanda Petrusich

Though Thom Yorke insists that “OK Computer” was inspired by the dislocation of non-stop travel, it’s now understood as a record about how overreliance on technology can lead to alienation.

I’ve noticed a nugget of embarrassment buried in the recent avalanche of critical reappraisals and retroactive interrogations of Radiohead’s “OK Computer,” a record that was released in 1997 and is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this summer. Critics (and some fans) approached its reappearance with trepidation—as if we were all about to be strong-armed into reckoning with our pretentious and over-serious past selves. As if someone had just slid an unmarked manila envelope under the door, and it contained photographic evidence of that one time we Scotch Taped a poster of Nietzsche to our dorm-room ceiling, with instructions to await further notice. Even Thom Yorke, the band’s singer, has been nearly sheepish when discussing its legacy. “The whole album is really fucking geeky,” he recently told Rolling Stone.

To mark the anniversary, the band has just released “OKNOTOK,” which includes a remastered version of the original album, plus eight B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks: “I Promise,” “Man of War,” and “Lift.” (In addition, a special vinyl edition, available in July, will offer a hardcover art book, a collection of Yorke’s notes, a sketchbook of what the band is calling its “preparatory work,” and a cassette tape containing demos and additional session recordings.) None of the extraneous material is exactly revelatory—live versions of “Lift” and “I Promise” have been drifting about the Internet for years—though it does help complete a portrait of a band bucking against itself, and learning how to express its fear effectively.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on June 25, 2017 by Editor

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Mad Max in Berdoo

from The San Bernardino County Sun

Self-described ‘Mad Max’ found with illegal weapons — including sawed off shotgun — in Barstow

By Beatriz Valenzuela

A sawed-off shotgun was among the items seized Thursday night, June 22,from Jack Lee Ernest, 39, of Barstow, who fashioned himself after Mad Max. Brass knuckles and two knives were also seized.A sawed-off shotgun was among the items seized Thursday night, June 22,from Jack Lee Ernest, 39, of Barstow, who fashioned himself after Mad Max. Brass knuckles and two knives were also seized.Courtesy of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

BARSTOW >> A Barstow man on a quad claiming to be “Mad Max” was arrested Thursday night after they found a cache of illegal weapons including a sawed-off shotgun, officials said.

Jack Lee Ernest, 39, had several weapons, including brass knuckles, two knives — which deputies say “Ernest had positioned for tactical access” — and the shotgun, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s Barstow station officials.

Around 11 p.m., Deputy Kenneth Bubier noticed someone riding a quad in the area of Old Highway 58 and Leona Road, according to a news release.

Because of the late hour, Bubier attempted to pull over the rider, later identified as Ernest, officials said.

[ click to continue reading at SBSun.com ]

Posted on June 24, 2017 by Editor

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More.

from SPACE

The Family Tree of Exoplanets Has Just Divided Into Two Branches

By Elizabeth Howell, Seeker

The Family Tree of Exoplanets Has Just Divided Into Two BranchesThis sketch illustrates a family tree of exoplanets. Planets are born out of swirling disks of gas and dust called protoplanetary disks. The disks give rise to giant planets like Jupiter as well as smaller planets mostly between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. Researchers using data from the W. M. Keck Observatory and NASA’s Kepler mission discovered that the smaller planets can be cleanly divided into two size groups: the rocky Earth-like planets and super-Earths, and the gaseous mini-Neptunes. / Credit: NASA/Kepler/Caltech (T. Pyle)

Scientists have reorganized the exoplanetary tree of life into two distinct branches. Most exoplanets discovered so far are close in size to Earth or either Neptune, according to a new study led by the California Institute of Technology. But astronomers are puzzled as to why there is a gap between these two planetary sizes.

The work, which is based on an analysis of thousands of known exoplanets, shows that planets in our galaxy overwhelmingly fall into two groups. The first includes rocky planets up to 1.75 times the size of Earth, and the second group is made up of gaseous Neptune-like worlds between 2 to 3.5 times the size of Earth. (Neptune, by comparison, is roughly 4 times the size of Earth.)

The work includes data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which searches for Earth-like worlds in the habitable zones of their stars, and the W. M. Keck Observatory, which detects planets using the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) on the Keck I telescope. The researchers attempted to classify these planets similarly to how biologists classify animal species.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Editor

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They’re coming…

from The Sun

Earth set for an ‘asteroid encounter’ THIS WEEK and 750ft space rock could be ‘potentially hazardous’

Nasa’s eagle-eyed asteroid hunting team have spotted 1803 potentially hazardous asteroids

By Margi Murphy

This asteroid rotation map shows how close 441987 (2010 NY65) will swoop by the EarthThis asteroid rotation map shows how close 441987 (2010 NY65) will swoop by the Earth

A ROCK hurtling through space will make a close encounter with Earth on Saturday, according to Nasa.

But don’t cancel the BBQ just yet – it’s unlikely to smash into our planet.

If it did, it could potentially wipe out life as we know it.

So Nasa is keeping an eye on it just in case.

The asteroid – named 441987 (2010 NY65) – is marked as a concern because it’s 230 metres in diameter and travelling just 7.9 lunar distances (that’s about three million km) from us.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Editor

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Black Coffee In Dread

from The Independent

Psychopaths drink their coffee black, study finds

by indy100 staff

giphy-54.gif

If you like your coffee black, you may be someone who prefers strong flavours, takes good care of their health, or just wants to drink their coffee the way it’s supposed to be drunk. 

Or, you may be a psychopath.

At least, that’s according to a new study published in the journal Appetite, which found a correlation between a love of black coffee and sadist or psychopathic tendencies.

The research surveyed more than 1,000 adults, asking them to give their food and flavour preferences. The participants then took a series of personality tests assessing antisocial personality traits, such as sadism, narcissism and psychopathy.

The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Innsbruck, found that a preference for bitter flavours was linked to psychopathic behaviour.

The closest association was between bitter foods and “everyday sadism” – that is to say, enjoyment of inflicting moderate levels of pain on others.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Editor

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Space Corps

from Roll Call

House Defense Panel Would Create Space Force

Next stop for the military, outer space? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A House Armed Services panel intends to create a new fighting force called Space Corps within the Air Force to improve the U.S. military’s ability to address threats in space, according to a summary of the Strategic Forces panel’s forthcoming fiscal 2018 mark.

“There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” said a joint statement from Mike D. Rogers of Alabama and Jim Cooper of Tennessee, the panel’s chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively. “We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems. Thus, Congress has to step in.”

The Space Corps, they added, would be “a separate military service responsible for national security space programs for which the Air Force is today responsible.”

The panel intends to mark up its portion of the sweeping defense policy measure on Thursday.

Its mark also would establish U.S. Space Command as a four-star position under U.S. Strategic Command.

[ click to continue reading at Roll Call ]

Posted on June 20, 2017 by Editor

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Climate Change Killing Coffee

from BBC

Coffee under threat

Will it taste worse as the planet warms?

By Nassos Stylianou

Coffee beans drying

Coffee drinkers could face poorer-tasting, higher-priced brews, as a warming climate causes the amount of land suitable for coffee production to shrink, say scientists from London’s Kew Gardens.

Coffee production in Ethiopia, the birthplace of the high quality Arabica coffee bean and Africa’s largest exporter, could be in serious jeopardy over the next century unless action is taken, according to a report, published in Nature Plants today.

“In Ethiopia and all over the world really, if we do nothing there will be less coffee, it will probably taste worse and will cost more,” Dr Aaron Davis, coffee researcher at Kew and one of the report’s authors, told the BBC.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on June 19, 2017 by Editor

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Charming Porno

from VICE

Charming Pornographic Photographs of French Prostitutes from the 1930s

by MONSIEUR X AND GEOFFREY LE GUILCER

I talked to collector Alexandre Dupouy about a cache of pictures donated by an anonymous photographer.

This article originally appeared on VICE France. Note: This article contains images with full-frontal nudity.

Alexandre Dupouy is a sex archaeologist. The French collector has spent his entire life collecting what he defines as “erotic and pornographic junk.” His shop, the Tears of Eros—now open only by appointment—has been selling pictures, paintings, and sex objects for almost half a century. It’s a sort of small museum that traces the history of sex in France.

In 1975, he received a call from a bookseller friend who said that he had an old gentleman with “something special to show him.” What he had was a luxury car with a trunk full of black-and-white photographs of naked and smiling prostitutes from the 1930s. He explained that he took most of the pictures in a brothel on the Rue Pigalle. Given that he could feel his days were numbered, the old man agreed to part with the pictures as long as he could remain anonymous. That man became known as “Monsieur X.”

Nearly four decades later, Dupouy has decided to reprint some of this impressive collection as a book called Bad Girls (La Manufacture Books, 2014). The book is co-authored by both Dupouy and Monsieur X. Given that the actual photographer is no longer alive, I decided to have a word with Depouy about the book.

[ click to continue viewing at VICE ]

Posted on June 18, 2017 by Editor

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Oops.

from The New York Post

Male model apologized after allegedly raping wrong roommate

By Shawn Cohen

Henry Romero / Steven Hirsch

The male model accused of raping a woman in a Hell’s Kitchen apartment was full of apologies moments after the alleged attack — but only because he’d climbed into bed with the wrong roommate.

“He went into my room, thinking it was me!” the alleged victim’s roommate told The Post Wednesday, describing overhearing the ruckus in the bedroom next to hers after a boozy night out with friends.

“I heard her say, ‘Get off me! Get off me!’ and then he said, ‘I’m sorry! I thought you were [your roommate].”

The ear-witness account adds new detail to the alleged attack by male mannequin Henry Romero, 30, on a young woman in March.

Romero had spent the night drinking with both women and a few male friends, the one roomie told The Post, which is withholding both women’s identities.

The woman who spoke to The Post said she was Romero’s date that night, and had even told Romero that he could sleep on her living room floor overnight to avoid the trip back to Astoria.

But she left the gathering early because Romero began acting creepy as they partied at a gay bar in Midtown, she said.

“He said, ‘I want you to dance for me — that’s why I brought you here,’” the roommate recalled to The Post. “The way he said it was just weird.”

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on June 17, 2017 by Editor

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Underwood Renaissance

from AP

Vintage typewriters gain fans amid ‘digital burnout’

NoneIn this April 23, 2017 photo, vintage typewriters are on display at a “type-in” in Albuquerque, N.M. “Type-ins” are social gatherings in public places where typewriter fans test different vintage machines. The vintage typewriter is making a comeback with a new generation of fans gravitating to machines that once gathered dust in attics and basements across the country. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Typewriter enthusiasts gather at an Albuquerque restaurant to experiment with vintage Smith Coronas. Fans in Boston kneel in a city square and type stories about their lives during a pro-immigration demonstration. A documentary on typewriters featuring Tom Hanks and musician John Mayer is set for release this summer.

In the age of smartphones, social media and hacking fears, vintage typewriters that once gathered dust in attics and basements are attracting a new generation of fans across the U.S.

From public “type-ins” at bars to street poets selling personalized, typewritten poems on the spot, typewriters have emerged as popular items with aficionados hunting for them in thrift stores, online auction sites and antique shops. Some buy antique Underwoods to add to a growing collection. Others search for a midcentury Royal Quiet De Luxe — like a model author Ernest Hemingway used — to work on that simmering novel.

The rescued machines often need servicing, leading fans to seek out the few remaining typewriter repair shops.

“I haven’t seen business like this in years,” said John Lewis, a typewriter repairman who has operated out of his Albuquerque shop for four decades. “There’s definitely a new interest, and it’s keeping me very busy.”

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Editor

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Being Algorithm’d

from Fox News

News Corp. CEO: The Almighty Algorithm – “fake news” and other consequences of Google, Amazon and Facebook’s relentless focus on quantity over quality

By Robert Thomson

Editor’s note: These remarks were delivered by the chief executive officer of News Corporation, Robert Thomson, during London Tech Week on June 14, 2017.

We are here to pay homage to the almighty algorithm.  Algorithmic alchemy is redefining our commercial and social experiences, turning base matter into noble metals. But like the alchemists of old, algorithms are also a charlatan’s charter, allowing claims of pure science when human intervention is clearly doctoring results to suit either commercial imperatives or political agendas.

And there is the enduring contradiction between the claimed sophistication of, say, Google’s ability to target audiences and track tastes for advertisers, and its inability to identify the tasteless, the terroristic, the perverted and the pirated. As the over-alliterative title to this short address suggests, it is profit before provenance and probity. And for journalists, it is penury.

This séance with science is particularly poignant during one of our periodic phases of fascination with AI, artificial intelligence.  When is artificial intelligence merely the artifice of intelligence?  The most telling recent sign of cerebral superiority was Google’s machine-minded triumph in the board game Go over a Chinese grand master.  Chinese call the game weiqi, Japanese call it Go. And so we should turn to the sage Japanese author, Yasunari Kawabata, who presciently wrote The Master of Go sixty-six years ago.  He wrote, ”From the Way of Go, the beauty of Japan and the Orient had fled…One conducted the battle only to win, and there was no margin for remembering the dignity and the fragrance of Go as an art.”

[ click to continue reading at Fox ]

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Editor

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Eat Me, Bobby D.

from The Edmonton Journal

Older female elk ‘virtually bulletproof’ as they learn to avoid hunters

MICHELLE LEPAGE

After seven years of studying the movements and behaviours of female elk, University of Alberta researchers discovered they become “virtually bulletproof” as they age.

“Elk learn to become shy as they get older,” said University of Alberta biologist Mark Boyce. “They hunker down in the deep forest and stay in rugged terrain. Those types of behaviours were very effective (for survival) in heavily hunted areas.”

Boyce and two former post-doctoral fellows used radio collars fitted with GPS technology to track elk in southwestern Alberta and southeastern British Columbia between 2007 and 2012.

In their study, published Wednesday, they found female elk learned behaviours that helped them better avoid hunters with each hunting season.

“The bold elk move the most, are the most aggressive and will bolt out into the open. Those elk died at a high rate.” said Boyce. “As they age, they tend to become shy, more savvy, learn to avoid roads.”

While some elk started out shy, most learned to adopt the shy behaviours.

“The magic number is 10,” said Boyce. “After this age threshold, female elk become almost bulletproof, virtually invulnerable to hunting.”

[ click to continue reading at EdmontonJournal.com ]

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Editor

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Gaming For Jaguar

from InsideHook

JAGUAR IS HIRING GAMERS TO MAKE THE CARS OF THE FUTURE. APPLY WITHIN.

Solve this puzzle. Get fast-tracked. Prosper.

BY SHARI GAB

Getting a job has come a long way since the days of plastic Help Wanted signs hanging in the window.

For their part, Jaguar is keeping up with the times and the changing global culture as we become an even more connected, digitized civilization: The company just announced an intiative to recruit 5,000 new hires from electronics experts to engineers, and since they are targeting the most tech-savvy candidates, the application involves completing several puzzles and games to enter into the running.

To apply: Download their app (of course), study and solve the skill-testing puzzles, including building a rendering of their upcoming I-PACE concept. If you’re an ace, they’ll call you in. That part’s not so different from traditional job hunting.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on June 13, 2017 by Editor

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Bird Butts

from New Scientist

Birds use cigarette butts for chemical warfare against ticks

By Natasha Khaleeq

Is this a cigarette habit with some benefits? A species of urban bird seems to harness the toxic chemicals in cigarette butts in its fight against nest parasites – although there is a downside to the practice.

Constantino Macías Garcia at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and his colleagues, have spent several years studying the curious cigarette habit in urban house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Initial evidence hinted that nicotine and other chemicals in the butts might help deter insect pests from moving into the nests – nicotine does have anti-parasite properties – but it wasn’t conclusive.

To firm up the conclusion, Macías Garcia and his team experimented with 32 house finch nests. One day after the eggs in the nest had hatched, the researchers removed the natural nest lining and replaced it with artificial felt, to remove any parasites that might have moved in during brooding. They then added live ticks to 10 of the nests, dead ticks to another 10 and left 12 free of ticks.

They found that the adult finches were significantly more likely to add cigarette butt fibres to the nest if it contained ticks. What’s more, the weight of cigarette butt material added to nests containing live ticks was, on average, 40 per cent greater than the weight of cigarette butt material added to nests containing dead ticks.

[ click to continue reading at New Scientist ]

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Editor

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It really does happen.

from The Orlando Sentinel

Fake cop accused of trying to pull over real police department employee

by Barbara Hijek

All that traffic, so many cars … what are the odds?

When a Hialeah security guard apparently decided to give himself a promotion to police officer, he landed on the wrong side of the bars.

The security guard, Milton Morales-Perez, flashed a badge while trying to pull over a woman talking on the phone who just happened to be a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, and was driving an unmarked car and wearing a uniform, according to his arrest affidavit, reports The Miami Herald.

After backup arrived on the scene, the security guard stated he tried to make a traffic stop because it’s dangerous use a phone while driving, records show.

[ click to continue reading at The Orlando Sentinel ]

Posted on June 11, 2017 by Editor

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Reminiscing on the Greatest Pitch Ever just for the hell of it…

Posted on June 10, 2017 by Editor

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Hellchange

from WIRED

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CHINA BUILDS A 20-ROAD INTERCHANGE FROM HELL

by 

Motorists drive on an interchange in Chongqing, China. It has five layers, 20 lanes, and goes in eight different directions. – FRED DUFOUR/GETTY IMAGES

TO A HARRIED motorist, the Huangjuewan flyover is a vision of hell, a mishmash of lanes and ramps that go in eight in directions. But where a driver sees chaos, Fred Dufour sees beauty, even order.

“It’s impressive, all the layers, stacked one by one,” the Getty photographer says. “From above, it’s impressive, too.”

He makes a compelling argument. The Huangjuewan opened last month on the outskirts of Chongqing, a sprawling city in southwest China. The highest of the interchange’s five levels soars 12 stories overhead, and the 20 lanes send cars this way and that. Getting the best view required standing on the roof of a building perched on a nearby hill.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on June 9, 2017 by Editor

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Mahoney

from The Hollywood Reporter

Meet the High Priest of Hollywood Tattoo Artists

by Gary Baum

Mahoney doesn’t share prices but larger custom pieces cost thousands, depending on the time required.Photographed By Brian Bowen Smith

Johnny Depp calls him brother. Adele and Angelina are clients. After 40 years of body ink, Mark Mahoney, whose style now dominates the craft, has become an icon of the Sunset Strip.

A life spent injecting ink into flesh has taken Mark Mahoney, Hollywood’s most influential and respected tattoo artist, across the human experience. He began tattooing drunk Hell’s Angels beneath a swastika flag in a Massachusetts motorcycle club, then made his way for a time to Manhattan, where he set up shop at the bohemian Chelsea Hotel. (Sid Vicious was a client.) Now, with the fully mainstream acceptance of what was an outlaw aesthetic when he started in the business 40 years ago, he finds his booked-six-months-out appointment calendar filled with green-juice-toting “mothers and their daughters from Beverly Hills. I feel like I’m dreaming.”

Also stars: David Beckham is covered in Mahoney’s work, a fine-line style involving solely black-and-gray ink known as “single needle” that he has popularized — and that a coterie of younger practitioners has propagated on increasingly dewier millennial dermis. Other clients include Adele, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey, who cast him as her muse in two music videos.

In the past, he offered his services to rivals 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. — the latter just days before he was killed. (Quincy Jones has joked that musicians thank “God and Mark Mahoney” at the Grammys; awards season in general is particularly busy for him, with extra house calls and visits to the Four Seasons hotel on Doheny Drive.) Longtime patron and friend Mickey Rourke stopped calling to get together after he couldn’t be squeezed in before a boxing match in Russia. “People have told me he’s gettin’ over it,” says Mahoney. “But it breaks my f—in’ heart.”

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Editor

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ROMAINE CALM

from The Sun

Plants can HEAR and use their ‘sense’ to seek out flowing water, scientists discover

By Margi Murphy

PLANTS listen out for the sound of dripping water when they’re thirsty, scientists have discovered.

They can sense water in a flowing pipe – or even a buzzing insect – by detecting the vibrations the water makes, experts claim.

There has long been a question mark over how plants tend to toward water sources.

Evolutionary biologist Monica Gagliano and her colleagues decided to get the bottom of it.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Editor

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Why Adults Think New Music Sucks

from aeon

Now THAT was music

One grim day (when youth is over) you find that new music gets on your nerves. But why do our musical tastes freeze over?

Some of us are more susceptible than others, but eventually it happens to us all. You know what I’m talking about: the inability to appreciate new music – or at least, to appreciate new music the way we once did. There’s a lot of disagreement about why exactly this happens, but virtually none about when. Call it a casualty of your 30s, the first sign of a great decline. Recently turned 40, I’ve seen it happen to me – and to a pretty significant extent – but refuse to consider myself defeated until the moment I stop fighting.

I’ve been fighting it for more than 10 years now, with varying degrees of vigour and resolve. Sometimes the fight becomes too much – one tires of the small victories that never break open into anything larger – and the spirit flags. I continually if not consistently stay abreast of what’s deemed the best of the new – particularly in rap and rock and R&B (which I stubbornly and unapologetically refer to, like a true devotee of its 1960s incarnation, as ‘soul’). These ventures into the current and contemporary have reaped dividends so small, they can be recounted – will be recounted – with no trouble at all.

But why should I care? Why should any of us care? Maybe it’s about the fear of becoming what we’ve always loathed: someone reflexively and guiltlessly willing to serve up a load of things-were-better-in-my-day, one of the most facile and benighted of all declarations. If you take pride in regarding yourself as culturally current, always willing to indulge the best of everything wherever it’s found, such taste blockages can be pretty frustrating, even embarrassing. And that hoary old consolation for the erectile dysfunction of the slightly older – ‘It happens to everyone’ – is no consolation at all.

[ click to continue reading at aeon ]

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Editor

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