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The Confessions of Samuel Little

from The Washington Post via San Francisco Chronicle

How America’s deadliest serial killer went undetected for more than 40 years

by Wesley Lowery, Hannah Knowles and Mark Berman, The Washington Post

Samuel Little guided his car to a stop in a secluded area off Route 27 near Miami and cut the engine. Before long, Mary Brosley had straddled his lap. He started playing with her necklace.

He’d met her at a nearby bar, drinking away the final hours of 1970. She was a tiny, beautiful mess of a woman, about 5-foot-4 and anorexic, barely 80 pounds. The tip of her left pinkie finger was missing, sliced off in a kitchen accident, and she walked with a limp from hip surgery.

Brosley said she had left a series of lovers and two children in Massachusetts after endless confrontations about her drinking. Estranged from her family, struggling to survive, she was the kind of woman who might disappear from the face of the Earth without attracting much notice.

Little admired the way the moonlight illuminated her pale throat.

“I had desires. Strong desires to . . . choke her,” he would later tell police. “I just went out of control, I guess.”

By New Year’s Day 1971, Mary Brosley, 33, had become the first known victim of a man since recognized as the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. Over more than 700 hours of videotaped interviews with police that began in May 2018, Little, now 80, has confessed to killing 93 people, virtually all of them women, in a murderous rampage that spanned 19 states and more than 30 years.

[ click to continue reading at Chron ]

Posted on November 30, 2020 by Editor

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Darth Vader Gone

from The Verge

Darth Vader actor David Prowse has died at 85

The 6-foot-6 former bodybuilder played the Star Wars villain in the original trilogy

By Kim Lyons

David Prowse as the Green Cross Code Man in 1981 Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, has died, the Associated Press reported. He was 85. 

George Lucas asked Prowse to audition for Star Wars after seeing the 6-foot-6 actor in the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange. Prowse had his choice of playing Chewbacca or Vader, and opted for the latter because, as he told the BBC, “you always remember the bad guy.” Plus, he added, he didn’t fancy wearing Chewbacca’s fur suit.

Prowse played Luke Skywalker’s erstwhile father in Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, but famously, his voice didn’t make it into the films. He said all Vader’s lines, but the voice of James Earl Jones was later dubbed in.

[ click to continue reading at The Verge ]

Posted on November 29, 2020 by Editor

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A51 Why?

from CBS News

What is Area 51? And why is it so secretive?

BY JESSICA LEARISH

Revellers Descend On Nevada Desert For "Storm Area 51" Gathering Men dressed as aliens dance at “Alienstock,” a  “Storm Area 51” spinoff event, on September 20, 2019 in Rachel, Nevada. GETTY IMAGES

It’s been a perennial American obsession for more than 50 years. It’s provided a shadowy backdrop for shows like “The X-Files” and movies like the 1996 summer blockbuster “Independence Day.” And in 2019, this well-known but little-understood location took over social media when one jokester inspired millions of people to RSVP “yes” to trespassing.

The place: Area 51, a remote patch of desert some 83 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas, next to a salt flat at the foot of a mountain. This military outpost — and what’s happened inside it — is so top-secret that its very existence was disputed until 2013.

In short, Area 51 was created during the Cold War to help America peek in on the Soviet Union. But, because of its clandestine beginnings and cutting-edge tech, many Americans came to associate the base with extraterrestrial ships and little green men. 

[ click to continue reading at CBS News ]

Posted on November 28, 2020 by Editor

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Monolith Returned

from artnet

A Mysterious Steel Monolith Was Discovered in the Utah Desert. Is It a Work of Art—or the Work of Aliens?

Theories about who or what is behind the object have started circulating online.

Cue Also sprach Zarathustra

A mysterious steel monolith has been discovered deep in the red rock canyons of southern Utah. And no one seems to know who—or what—is behind it.

Officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) eyed the object from a helicopter last week while counting bighorn sheep in the area. The spotters were quick to posit two theories about the polished steel block: it’s either a work of art, or the work of aliens. 

“I’m assuming it’s some new-wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ fan,” Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot, told the Utah news outlet KSL 5 News

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on November 27, 2020 by Editor

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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on November 26, 2020 by Editor

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Maradona Gone

from GOAL

Maradona: The making of a footballing legend

by Daniel Edwards

The Argentine hero celebrated his 60th birthday shortly before his untimely death on Wednesday, and Goal looks back on what made him such an icon 

A legend, a man whose every word and action is headline news.

Diego Maradona passed away on Wednesday at the age of 60, though the Argentina and Napoli idol seemed to pack in enough action into his six decades to fill 10 regular lives. 

From the mop-haired prodigy that first took the Primera Division by storm, through his adventures in SpainItaly and on the international stage, Maradona has rarely been away from the public eye.

[ click to continue reading at GOAL.com ]

Posted on November 25, 2020 by Editor

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Mushies Going Mainstream

from The Observer

The Hunt For The Other Magic Ingredients In Magic Mushrooms

By Chris Roberts

Harvesting Mazatec psilocybin mushrooms from their growing tubs May 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

In the late 1980s, Jochum Gartz, a chemist at the Institute for Biotechnology in Leipzig, Germany, noticed something intriguing about magic mushrooms.

There are more than 200 species of fungus that produce psilocybin, which was then and now thought to be the “active ingredient” in psychedelic mushrooms. Those different mushrooms, found all over the world and grown in different conditions, were not at all the same. And what they did to the humans who ate them, Gartz observed, was definitely not the same.

Gartz noted 24 cases of “accidental” hallucinogenic mushroom ingestion. In every case, the users all reported intense euphoria—all positive vibes, with no anxiety, dystopia, or unease. No bad trip.

All 24 of the “good trippers” had eaten a species of mushroom called Inocybe aeruginascens. That species has relatively high levels of a compound called aeruginascin, one of several chemical compounds identified in psilocybin-producing mushrooms.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on November 24, 2020 by Editor

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The Genius of M B-W

from Real Clear Politics

Margaret Bourke-White’s True-to-Life Gift

By Carl M. Cannon

Eighty-four years ago today, a shiny and sophisticated pictorial publication hit the newsstands. The brainchild of Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, two prep school friends who ran the college newspaper at Yale, this glossy magazine would change the way Americans looked at their world. It was called, fittingly, Life.

Although Briton Hadden may be an unfamiliar name to you, he was a singular and pivotal figure in 20th century journalism. He and Luce had burst onto the scene in 1923 with Time, the nation’s first modern weekly newsmagazine. Its very conception was Brit Hadden’s, as was its distinctive voice, dubbed “Timestyle.” It was also Hadden who raised the money to launch it. All this was known in the 1920s, including by Time’s readers. In his authoritative account of those early years, scholar Isaiah Wilner produced an unpublished letter-to-the-editor from a reader who said, flatly, “Briton Hadden was the presiding genius.”

[ click to continue reading at RCP ]

Posted on November 23, 2020 by Editor

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Herzog’s Fireball

from Inside Hook

What Does Werner Herzog Think About Trader Joe’s, Texas and Meteors?

BY NADJA SAYEJ

In 1954, a woman was hit by a grapefruit-sized meteorite while napping on the couch. Known today as the Sylacauga meteorite, this asteroid flew in through the ozone layer, through the Alabama sky and hit Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges in her farmhouse. She was bruised on her torso but survived to become the subject of much publicity.

This story and more is featured in Werner Herzog’s latest documentary, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, a far-reaching portrait of the fascinating world of meteorites premiering Friday on Apple TV+ Considering that this cosmic dust falls on the planet every day, the film, co-directed by Herzog and scientist Clive Oppenheimer, helps us better understand the phenomenon of meteorites, from their history to how we track them today to their cultural significance.

The duo traveled to over 10 countries, from Saudi Arabia to India and Australia, visiting places where fireballs and massive meteors have fallen — like the Chicxulub crater, the largest asteroid ever known to hit the earth in Chicxulub Puerto, Mexico. They interviewed countless experts on meteors, from geochemist Nita Sahai to Cambridge University’s Simon Schaffer and even the Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA, which protects the earth from incoming asteroids with giant telescopes at the SJ Pan-STARRS Observatory in Haleakalā, Hawaii.

It isn’t all science, however, as it taps into the poetic beauty of meteors and their symbolic meaning, as with a tribe on Murray Island off the coast of Papua New Guinea, where locals have a traditional fireball dance.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on November 22, 2020 by Editor

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Brain Decoder

from NextGov

Army-Funded Algorithm Decodes Brain Signals

The algorithm is part of an effort to eventually establish a machine-brain interface.

By Mila Jasper

But researchers funded by the U.S. Army developed a machine-learning algorithm that can model and decode these signals, according to a Nov. 12 press release. The research, which used standard brain datasets for analysis, was recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience

“Our algorithm can, for the first time, dissociate the dynamic patterns in brain signals that relate to specific behaviors and is much better at decoding these behaviors,” Dr. Maryam Shanechi, the engineering professor at the University of Southern California who led the research, said in a statement. 

Dr. Hamid Krim, a program manager at the Army Research Office, part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, told Nextgov Shanechi and her team used the algorithm to separate what they call behaviorally relevant brain signals from behaviorally irrelevant brain signals. 

“This presents a potential way of reliably measuring, for instance, the mental overload of an individual, of a soldier,” Krim said. 

[ click to continue reading at NextGov.com ]

Posted on November 21, 2020 by Editor

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Stupid Asteroid

from CNN

Dinosaurs would have continued to thrive had it not been for the asteroid, researchers say

By Amy Woodyatt, CNN

An artist’s interpretation of the asteroid impact that wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs

Dinosaurs were doing well and could have continued to dominate Planet Earth if they had not been wiped out by an asteroid, new research has found.

After emerging during the Triassic period some 230 million years ago, dinosaurs occupied every continent and were dominant in most terrestrial ecosystems, until they were rendered extinct by the asteroid impact 66 million years ago. 

Some scientists believe the creatures were beginning to lose their edge and were already heading for extinction when the asteroid hit Earth at the end of the late Cretaceous period.

But researchers from the UK’s University of Bath are hoping to put this theory to bed. Gathering diverse and up-to-date data, researchers used statistical analysis to assess whether the dinosaurs were still able to produce new species up until their untimely demise.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on November 20, 2020 by Editor

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B.E.E. Serial

from MovieMaker

Bret Easton Ellis Serializes New High School Serial Killer Story — on His Podcast

by Tim Molloy

Bret Easton Ellis serializes new serial killer novel The Shards on his podcast

For the last six episodes of his podcast, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has held readers rapt with an early 1980s story of Los Angeles high school kids who become entangled with a handsome new student named Robert Mallory — and a serial killer known as The Trawler.

Adding to the intrigue: Ellis says everything in the story really happened to him and his friends.

Ellis, a frequent critique of Hollywood and literary censorship, explained early on that he was releasing the podcast to his paid subscribers in part because he isn’t sure anyone would publish it, given its sometimes horrific contents. He has also wondered if his most successful works – including American Psycho and Less Than Zero — would find publishers today, given the sensitivities of 2020.

The new story, which Ellis has alternately described as a novel and a memoir, is full of details that might migraine the minds of modern-day publishers: a killer who trawls home before his murders (like the Manson family once did), learning their blueprints and stealing pets; underage sex; and ghastly violations involving dead fish. The working title is The Shards.

Ellis is, as he explains on the podcast, completing a new installment every two weeks in time to read it at the start of each B.E.E. Podcast. He has no editor, no notes from a nervous publisher, no corporate board worried about potential fallout. He has changed names and other details, he says, but sometimes friends from Buckley, his Sherman Oaks private school, will contact him after an episode to make minor corrections.

[ click to continue reading at MovieMaker ]

Posted on November 19, 2020 by Editor

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Dupree G.O.D.

Posted on November 18, 2020 by Editor

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Kid Groupie

from Vulture

Our ‘Lost’ Weekend With Van Halen

A couple college dudes won an MTV contest to tour with Van Halen. Then all hell broke loose.

By Chris Lee

On an overcast morning in the spring of 1984, Kurt Jefferis and Tom Winnick, a couple of college-age bros of no particular renown, departed the world of normalcy in a stretch limousine to embark on a rock-and-roll fantasy. Their destination: Detroit. More accurately: oblivion. Jefferis, a 20-year-old department-store stock clerk, had bested more than a million other competitors to win the MTV contest “Lost Weekend With Van Halen.” He and his plus-one, Winnick, a childhood buddy, would in a matter of hours find themselves backstage with the legendarily hard-partying Atomic Punks on a two-day bender that ticked every box of rock debauchery synonymous with the Big Hair era. “You’ll have no idea where you are,” Van Halen’s vainglorious front man, David Lee Roth, said in a promo for the contest. “You’ll have no idea where you’re going and probably no memory of it after you go.”

That turned out to be partially true. As Jefferis and Winnick tell it now, nearly 40 years later, in the weeks following Hall of Fame guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen’s death, certain elements from the Weekend remain fixed points in their lives — the private jets, the Champagne and lobster, the cocaine, the onstage chugs of Jack Daniel’s, a woman named Tammy — while other details have been lost to the fog of time. The contest becamesomething of Van Halen folklore in the intervening years; it was the subject of a short film, Lost Weekend, which screened in competition at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, as well as a dedicated chapter (subtitled “MTV and Van Halen Team Up to Nearly Kill a Super-Fan”) in the 2011 book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. The events surrounding the contest unfolded just as Van Halen was first ascending the heights of multiplatinum superstardom but only months before Roth would quit the quartet for a solo career. What took place in front of MTV’s cameras served as a primitive precursor to reality television: loosely scripted situational intrigue that wound up far beyond anyone’s control.

[ click to continue reading at Vulture ]

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Editor

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The Oracle Returned

from The New Yorker

Wikipedia, “Jeopardy!,” and the Fate of the Fact

In the Internet age, it can seem as if there’s no reason to remember anything. But information doesn’t always amount to knowledge.

By Louis Menand

Is it still cool to memorize a lot of stuff? Is there even a reason to memorize anything? Having a lot of information in your head was maybe never cool in the sexy-cool sense, more in the geeky-cool or class-brainiac sense. But people respected the ability to rattle off the names of all the state capitals, or to recite the periodic table. It was like the ability to dunk, or to play the piano by ear—something the average person can’t do. It was a harmless show of superiority, and it gave people a kind of species pride.

There is still no artificial substitute for the ability to dunk. It remains a valued and nontransferrable aptitude. But today who needs to know the capital of South Dakota or the atomic number of hafnium (Pierre and 72)? Siri, or whatever chatbot you use, can get you that information in nanoseconds. Remember when, back in the B.D.E. (Before the Digital Era), you’d be sitting around with friends over a bottle of Puligny-Montrachet, and the conversation would turn on the question of when Hegel published “The Phenomenology of Spirit”? Unless you had an encyclopedia for grownups around the house, you’d either have to trek to your local library, whose only copy of the “Phenomenology” was likely to be checked out, or use a primitive version of the “lifeline”—i.e., telephone a Hegel expert. Now you ask your smartphone, which is probably already in your hand. (I just did: 1807. Took less than a second.)

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on November 16, 2020 by Editor

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The Largest Astronomy Book In The World

from National Geographic

Why the Nasca lines are among Peru’s greatest mysteries

The lines drawn in geometric patterns and distinct animal shapes across the Peruvian desert have inspired many theories over the years. Here’s what we know—and what remains to be seen.

BY JASON GOLOMB

AS A PLANE soars over the high desert of southern Peru, the dull pale sameness of the rocks and sand organize and change form. Distinct white lines gradually evolve from tan and rust-red. Strips of white crisscross a desert so dry that it rains less than an inch every year. The landscape changes as lines take shape to form simple geometric designs: trapezoids, straight lines, rectangles, triangles, and swirls. Some of the swirls and zigzags start to form more distinct shapes: a hummingbird, a spider, a monkey.

These are the renowned Nasca lines—subject of mystery for over 80 years. How were they formed? What purpose could they have served? Were aliens involved?

The lines are found in a region of Peru just over 200 miles southeast of Lima, near the modern town of Nasca. In total, there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs, also called biomorphs. Some of the straight lines run up to 30 miles, while the biomorphs range from 50 to 1200 feet in length (as large as the Empire State Building).

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on November 15, 2020 by Editor

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Tower Records Reborn

from Deadline

Iconic Tower Records Returns As Website Selling Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs

By Bruce Haring

YouTube

One of the most iconic retailers in entertainment has returned in a new incarnation. Tower Records, which closed its stores 14 years ago and declared bankruptcy, today announced it has come back as an online service.

The new Tower Records has online events, the return of its Tower Pulse! magazine, a merchandise section, and, of course, music, music, music, including vinyl and cassette selections in various genres.

Founded in Sacramento in 1960 as a section in a drug store, the chain grew to an international success behind the savvy of the late Russ Solomon, who was memorialized in a 2015 film, All Things Must Pass, which studied the chain’s rise and eventual demise, save for a giant store in Tokyo that retained the name and remains open.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on November 14, 2020 by Editor

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Banksyangelo

from The Wall Street Journal

Was Michelangelo a Renaissance Banksy? 

Scholars consider whether the master was behind a wall carving; ‘Who would ever say it is by my hand?’

By Kelly Crow

Tour guides in Florence, Italy, have long claimed that the small outline of a curly-haired man carved into the stone wall of the city’s town hall, known as the Palazzo Vecchio, was covertly chiseled by Michelangelo. 

Some versions of the legend say the Renaissance master caricatured the face of a heckler. Other versions say he documented the face of a stranger headed for execution.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on November 13, 2020 by Editor

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Fiddy Roth Frey

from Deadline

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Partners With Eli Roth, 3BlackDot For Three-Pic Deal

By Greg Evans

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Eli Roth / Mega

Producer and recording artist Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is partnering with Eli Roth and entertainment studio 3BlackDot for a three-picture feature film deal. The deal expands Power player Jackson’s G-Unit Film & Television in the horror film space.

Jackson’s G-Unit will team with the Arts District Entertainment, Roth’s banner with Roger Birnbaum and Michael Besman. The deal, according to G-Unit and 3-BlackDot, involves an “8-figure investment in 50 Cent and G-Unit Film & Television from 3BlackDot.” The latter will act as financier and studio across all the films.

The three entities will collaborate on each film, while utilizing 3Blackdot’s in-house resources in gaming, publishing, and merchandise to build out entertainment properties. A statement announcing the deal says the film IP will be leveraged using Jackson, Roth and 3Blackdot “to platform into a 360-degree experience across video games, publishing and merchandise.”

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on November 12, 2020 by Editor

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Great Tits Gone

from The New York Post

Great tits could be wiped out by climate change in near future

By Ben Cost

The great tit could soon go the way of the dodo.
The great tit could soon go the way of the dodo.

We mean the birds, dirtbags.

The unfortunately named great tit has joined a long list of species that could soon disappear due to Earth’s rapidly warming climate.

“If the changes happen too fast, species can become extinct,” said Emily Simmonds, an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s department of biology. She authored an article in the journal Ecology Letters detailing how the food supply of the great tit — a colorful songbird endemic to Europe and Asia — and other bird species can be impacted by a premature season shift caused by rising temperatures. 

Simmonds argued that warmer winters and resultant early springs prompt plants to leaf earlier, causing tree-eating larvae to hatch ahead of time, Science Daily reported. This can prove problematic to birds like the great tit that depend on the spring bug bounty when they’re babies.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on November 11, 2020 by Editor

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All Gold Stars

from Astronomy

Does all the gold in the universe come from stars?

Humanity’s fascination with this precious metal is increased by knowing it comes from the stars.

By Raymond Shubinski

ASYCG1120_03
This gold coin from the First Persian Empire was struck around 420 b.c. It honors King Darius II. Deflim/Wikimedia Commons

In a remote galaxy, two neutron stars circled one another in a ballet of ultimate destruction and inevitable creation. Both objects were the remnants of massive stars, probably from a binary system, that had become supernovae long before. Each was incredibly massive, with neutrons so closely packed that their cores became diamond. The dance, alas, could not go on forever and the stars collided, releasing unimaginable energy and sending gravitational waves speeding through the fabric of space-time.

In 2017, 1.3 billion years later, astronomers detected those waves with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Albert Einstein’s prediction that the universe should be filled with such faint ripples caused by gravity from massive objects included sources such as neutron star mergers. Yet finding a disturbance in the fabric of space-time from this kind of event had proven elusive until then. When news of the detection of gravitational waves broke, the media wanted to know what else happens when neutron stars collide. Astronomers explained that, beyond the destruction of the stars and the ripples in space, such events also create all the heavy elements we know in the blink of an eye. But what did the media key into? That gold comes from outer space.

[ click to continue reading at Astronomy ]

Posted on November 10, 2020 by Editor

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That’s great – thanks.

from The Atlantic

The Next Decade Could Be Even Worse

A historian believes he has discovered iron laws that predict the rise and fall of societies. He has bad news.

Story by Graeme Wood

Peter Turchin, one of the world’s experts on pine beetles and possibly also on human beings, met me reluctantly this summer on the campus of the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he teaches. Like many people during the pandemic, he preferred to limit his human contact. He also doubted whether human contact would have much value anyway, when his mathematical models could already tell me everything I needed to know.

But he had to leave his office sometime. (“One way you know I am Russian is that I cannot think sitting down,” he told me. “I have to go for a walk.”) Neither of us had seen much of anyone since the pandemic had closed the country several months before. The campus was quiet. “A week ago, it was even more like a neutron bomb hit,” Turchin said. Animals were timidly reclaiming the campus, he said: squirrels, woodchucks, deer, even an occasional red-tailed hawk. During our walk, groundskeepers and a few kids on skateboards were the only other representatives of the human population in sight.

The year 2020 has been kind to Turchin, for many of the same reasons it has been hell for the rest of us. Cities on fire, elected leaders endorsing violence, homicides surging—­­to a normal American, these are apocalyptic signs. To Turchin, they indicate that his models, which incorporate thousands of years of data about human history, are working. (“Not all of human history,” he corrected me once. “Just the last 10,000 years.”) He has been warning for a decade that a few key social and political trends portend an “age of discord,” civil unrest and carnage worse than most Americans have experienced. In 2010, he predicted that the unrest would get serious around 2020, and that it wouldn’t let up until those social and political trends reversed. Havoc at the level of the late 1960s and early ’70s is the best-case scenario; all-out civil war is the worst.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on November 9, 2020 by Editor

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Alex Trebek Gone

from ABC News

Legendary ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek dead at 80

By Justin Doom and Troy McMullen

Alex Trebek hosts “High Rollers” in an undated promotional image. Getty Images

Alex Trebek, the quick-witted and debonair television host who won over generations of fans at the helm of the popular quiz show “Jeopardy!,” has died after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

“This is an enormous loss for the JEOPARDY! staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans. He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years,” Mike Richards, the show’s executive producer, said in a statement. “Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host JEOPARDY! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”

Telegenic and handsome, the beloved Trebek first became familiar to American audiences as host of more than a dozen daytime game shows stretching back to 1966, including “High Rollers,” “Double Dare” and “The $128,000 Question.”

But it was “Jeopardy!” — a unique quiz show that challenged contestants on topics from history to literature to pop culture — that made Trebek a pop culture icon. Over his three decades with the show, he has hosted nearly 8,200 episodes — a Guinness World Record.

[ click to read full obit at ABC News ]

Posted on November 8, 2020 by Editor

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Fulton Ryder Redux

from artnet

Wet Paint: Richard Prince to Reopen His Secret Gallery, the Shocking Story Behind the Odeon’s Missing French Fries, & More Juicy Art-World Gossip

Which hot new artist did Anderson Cooper visit in the studio? Which Hamptons gallery is opening a space in Chelsea? Read on for answers.

by Nate Freeman

Richard Prince selling copies of his edition of <em>The Catcher in the Rye</em> on September 29, 2011, as author James Frey takes a picture of the books. Photo by Bill Powers.
Richard Prince selling copies of his edition of The Catcher in the Rye on September 29, 2011, as author James Frey takes a picture of the books. Photo by Bill Powers.

SLIGHT REBELLION OFF MADISON

In 2014, Richard Prince closed Fulton Ryder, the mysterious bookstore-slash-gallery that he clandestinely ran out of a space at a never-repeated address—though, reader, if you can keep a secret, it was on East 78 Street between Park and Madison. Fulton Ryder (which is a name that Richard Prince has used as a pseudonym) had a pretty solid two-year run, selling the now-infamous edition of J.D. Salinger‘s The Catcher in the Rye that read, on the cover, “a novel by Richard Prince.” It also hosted the debut solo show of current market star Genieve Figgis, whom Prince discovered on Instagram, and published books by artists such as Dan ColenMarilyn MinterJohn Dogg, and Howard Johnson (the latter two names are, again, pseudonyms of Richard Prince).

And so it was a bit of a surprise to see Prince, the great American artist, getting back into the book publishing business this year. In May, during the peak of lockdown, Prince sat down on a bench near Central Park—the same bench, in fact, where he first sold copies of his cover-sleeve remix of the Salinger classic—and offered his edition of Truth Vs. Lies, a book penned by the UnabomberTed Kaczynski. Turns out Prince purchased the one and only proof of the math-professor-turned-domestic-terrorist’s manuscript in 2014.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on November 7, 2020 by Editor

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Jessica Esquivel Rocks

from Nautilus

What a Real Superhero Looks Like

Particle physicist Jessica Esquivel on diversity, perseverance, and the search for a new understanding of our universe.

By Mary Ellen Hannibal

19-0216-09
Jessica Esquivel with some of the equipment at the Muon g-2 project. 

The physics of superheroes is more than a fun exercise in the world of Jessica Esquivel. A particle physicist in the Muon Department of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Esquivel works at what she calls “the bleeding edge” of the known universe. In the world of physics, Esquivel is frequently the “only.” The only woman, the only Mexican, the only black person, and the only lesbian. 

Recently she brought her experience to Wakandacon, the comic book conference based on the African-centric world of Black Panther. Making her own costume, Esquivel cosplayed as Shuri, the technological genius who designs weaponry for her brother, Black Panther. Esquivel also organized a panel of black scientists and was on hand to answer questions at Fermilab’s booth at the conference. To many women of color interested in the hard sciences, Esquivel herself is a superhero.

You knew you wanted to be an astrophysicist from a young age. How did you get the idea? 

My aunt babysat for me when I was really young and we watched a lot of sci-fi shows on television. One featured an astronaut in space fighting aliens while an astrophysicist back at NASA directed him to press this or that button, go right, go left—it was very dramatic. I thought the astrophysicist was the actual hero in the story, so I walked around saying I was going to be one. I grew up in Texas, and when I was about 12 my family took me to NASA in Houston. They sprang for the VIP tour, but I was bored! There was no astronaut floating in space on the screen, and everyone was typing on their keyboards and drinking coffee.

On that same trip we saw astronauts and a space shuttle in a big pool, simulating the absence of gravity in space. The scientists working on this were engineers, so I changed my ambition and said, “okay, I’ll be an engineer and work on that.”

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on November 6, 2020 by Editor

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Old School Audiophiles Return

from Executive Traveller

This weekend, why not build a stereo from scratch?

The old-fashioned appeal of audio kits never goes away – especially during a pandemic.

By Bloomberg Pursuits

Brad Breedlove never considered himself an audiophile. The project manager for an Indianapolis-area industrial piping company has been collecting vinyl for about five years, and the records in frequent rotation on his midrange Audio-Technica turntable include the well-worn now-classics that belonged to his parents when he was growing up.

It’s a good stereo system – but not obsessively so – that includes SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers and an SVS SB 4000 subwoofer powered by a Schiit Vidar amp.

In September, however, Breedlove took a step into the deeper waters of the sonically serious and ordered a US$369 Reduction 1.1 phono preamplifier from Bottlehead, an audio kit maker in Washington state.

When it arrived, the box contained slabs of unfinished alder wood, carefully packed circuit boards, vacuum tubes, and bags full of capacitors and resistors.

Before he could turn on his preamp, he would have to put it together.

In the golden age of hi-fi in the 1950s and ’60s, building your own stereo equipment was almost as common as buying it.

Entire magazines dedicated to the craft were full of black-and-white halftone depictions of Brylcreemed dads hunched over disemboweled sound systems from companies such as Heathkit and Dynaco, soldering irons in hand.

These days, it’s often the warm glow of vacuum tubes on Instagram – and a surfeit of time – that draws in people.

[ click to continue reading at Executive Traveller ]

Posted on November 5, 2020 by Editor

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Dark Soul Good

from The Guardian

Into the night: why walking in the dark is good for the soul

by Lizzie Enfield

The sun setting behind Mount Caburn, near Lewes, in the South Downs. Photograph: Peter Cripps/Alamy

The lights from the cottage windows recede, all too rapidly, as we walk along an unlit country lane and take a footpath through a field into open countryside. Thick cloud cover prevents the moonlight from illuminating the way ahead. Yet, as my eyes begin to get used to the darkness, the landscape around me reveals itself in a new light – albeit a shady one.

The contours of Mount Caburn, an iron-age hill fort, are like shadows against the sky. On the horizon, a tree bent by the wind is silhouetted, and the rocky outcrop at the top of the field turns out to be a flock of sleeping sheep. A fox cries, a pheasant crows and the air is full of a heady earthy scent.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on November 4, 2020 by Editor

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Dead Not Dead

from Real Clear Science

Could Schrödinger’s Cat Exist in Real Life?

By Stefan Forstner

Dhatfield

Have you ever been in more than one place at the same time? If you’re much bigger than an atom, the answer will be no.

But atoms and particles are governed by the rules of quantum mechanics, in which several different possible situations can coexist at once.

Quantum systems are ruled by what’s called a “wave function”: a mathematical object that describes the probabilities of these different possible situations.

And these different possibilities can coexist in the wave function as what is called a “superposition” of different states. For example, a particle existing in several different places at once is what we call “spatial superposition”.

It’s only when a measurement is carried out that the wave function “collapses” and the system ends up in one definite state.

Generally, quantum mechanics applies to the tiny world of atoms and particles. The jury is still out on what it means for large-scale objects.

In our research, published today in Optica, we propose an experiment that may resolve this thorny question once and for all.

[ click to continue reading at RCS ]

Posted on November 3, 2020 by Editor

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Sarcophagi Conspiracy

from The Observer

Is a Conspiracy Theory Behind the Mass Vandalism of Art in Berlin?

By Helen Holmes

Damage to a sarcophagus of the prophet Ahmose in Neues Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island. Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images

When people vandalize art in museums, they usually do it either for deeply personal or backwards reasons, or it was an accident. Neither of these options seem to sufficiently explain a bizarre instance of vandalism in Berlin that took place earlier this month, but which was only just now revealed to the press. According to the German media, over 70 artworks in the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum on Berlin’s museum island were smeared with a mysterious oily substance on October 3. Among the items damaged are Egyptian sarcophagi, 19th-century paintings and stone statues scattered throughout the three museums.

At the present moment, there are reportedly no concrete leads on who might have committed the crime, and no definitive evidence left behind pointing authorities to a particular motive. “This is a variety of objects that do not have any immediate connection in terms of context,” Carsten Pfohl, the head of Berlin Police’s Art Crime Unit, told NPR news. “We have no self-incriminating letter or anything like that, so we have to assume for now that the motive is completely unclear.” However, upon breaking the news, members of the German media were quick to connect the oily vandalism to certain conspiracy theorists who might have influenced the crime in some way.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on November 2, 2020 by Editor

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Jet-pack Man

from The U.S. Sun

Another ‘man in jet pack’ seen above LAX as China Airlines crew ‘spots mysterious flier at 6,000ft’ and FAA alerts cops

by Neal Baker / Fionnuala O’Leary

ANOTHER apparent sighting of a man in a jet pack flying above Los Angeles International Airport was made on Wednesday – with a China Airlines crew reporting seeing the mystery flier at 6,000ft.

The Federal Aviation Administration has alerted law enforcement and is investigating the report, which is the second such sighting in weeks.

An FAA spokesman told The Sun: “A China Airlines crew reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack at an approximate altitude of 6,000 feet, about seven miles northwest of Los Angeles International Airport around 1:45 pm [on] Wednesday. 

“The FAA alerted local law enforcement and will look into the report.”

[ click to continue reading at The U.S. Sun ]

Posted on November 1, 2020 by Editor

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