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Dark Meta

from The New York Times

The Metaverse’s Dark Side: Here Come Harassment and Assaults

As Meta and other companies bet big on an immersive digital world, questions about its harms are rising.


By Sheera Frenkel and Kellen Browning

Credit… Hannah Lock

SAN FRANCISCO — Chanelle Siggens recently strapped on an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset to play her favorite shooter game, Population One. Once she turned on the game, she maneuvered her avatar into a virtual lobby in the immersive digital world and waited for the action to begin.

But as she waited, another player’s avatar approached hers. The stranger then simulated groping and ejaculating onto her avatar, Ms. Siggens said. Shocked, she asked the player, whose avatar appeared male, to stop.

“He shrugged as if to say: ‘I don’t know what to tell you. It’s the metaverse — I’ll do what I want,’” said Ms. Siggens, a 29-year-old Toronto resident. “Then he walked away.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on December 31, 2021 by Editor

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Tell The World!

from The U.S. Sun

How Harry Reid, ex-Nevada senator born near Area 51, spent final months demanding Biden reveal US government UFO secrets

by Chris Bradford

Reid was warned that engaging on the UFO issue could 'ruin' his career
Reid was warned that engaging on the UFO issue could ‘ruin’ his career Credit: Getty

FORMER Senate majority leader Harry Reid was at the center of efforts to transform the UFO debate into a serious political issue.

For decades, discussions about unidentified aerial phenomena were often restricted to the fringes of American politics.

Reid attended a series of meetings in the mid-1990s alongside real estate magnate Robert Bigelow, parapsychologist Hal Puthoff, and “avowed” ufologist Harrison Schmitt, Politico reports.

Bigelow wanted to talk about aliens and the politician was introduced to the real estate tycoon through renowned Nevada reporter and journalist George Knapp.

In a New York Times piece, Reid recalled that his staffers said: “Stay the hell away from this.”

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on December 30, 2021 by Editor

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Madden Gone

from ESPN

NFL Hall of Fame coach, broadcasting icon John Madden dies at 85

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach-turned-broadcaster whose exuberant calls combined with simple explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades, died Tuesday morning, the NFL said. He was 85.

The league said he died unexpectedly and did not detail a cause.

Madden gained fame in a decadelong stint as the coach of the renegade Oakland Raiders, making it to seven AFC title games and winning the Super Bowl following the 1976 season. He compiled a 103-32-7 regular-season record, and his .759 winning percentage is the best among NFL coaches with more than 100 games.

“Few individuals meant as much to the growth and popularity of professional football as Coach Madden, whose impact on the game both on and off the field was immeasurable,” the Raiders said in a statement, hours before team owner Mark Davis lit the Al Davis Torch in honor of Madden, the first person to ever light the torch on Oct. 16, 2011.

[ click to continue reading at ESPN ]

Posted on December 29, 2021 by Editor

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E.O. Wilson Gone

from The New York Times

E.O. Wilson, a Pioneer of Evolutionary Biology, Dies at 92

A Harvard professor for 46 years, he was an expert on insects and explored how natural selection and other forces could influence animal behavior. He then applied his research to humans.

By Carl Zimmer

Edward O. Wilson, a biologist and author who conducted pioneering work on biodiversity, insects and human nature — and won two Pulitzer Prizes along the way — died on Sunday in Burlington, Mass. He was 92.

His death was announced on Monday by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

When Dr. Wilson began his career in evolutionary biology in the 1950s, the study of animals and plants seemed to many scientists like a quaint, obsolete hobby. Molecular biologists were getting their first glimpses of DNA, proteins and other invisible foundations of life. Dr. Wilson made it his life’s work to put evolution on an equal footing.

“How could our seemingly old-fashioned subjects achieve new intellectual rigor and originality compared to molecular biology?” he recalled in 2009. He answered his own question by pioneering new fields of research.

As an expert on insects, Dr. Wilson studied the evolution of behavior, exploring how natural selection and other forces could produce something as extraordinarily complex as an ant colony. He then championed this kind of research as a way of making sense of all behavior — including our own.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on December 28, 2021 by Editor

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Space: 2022

from Axios

Moon, Mars and asteroid missions top 2022 space goals

by Miriam KramerAlison Snyder

Illustration of an astronaut helmet forming the zero in 2022.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Space science next year will be rocketed forward with missions to the Moon, asteroids, Mars and the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope coming online.

Why it matters: The data sent back to Earth from these upcoming missions will help scientists learn more than ever before about objects in the solar system and far beyond it.

What’s happening: Space agencies like NASA, the European Space Agency and Japan’s space agency, JAXA, are all aiming to send probes to various targets around the solar system this year. They include:

Mars: The European Space Agency and Russia are planning to launch their joint ExoMars lander and rover to the surface of the Red Planet in September.

[ click to continue reading at Axios ]

Posted on December 27, 2021 by Editor

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Tutu Gone

from CNN

Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid leader and voice of justice, dead at 90

By Todd Leopold, Larry Madowo and Jessie Yeung

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Anglican cleric whose good humor, inspiring message and conscientious work for civil and human rights made him a revered leader during the struggle to end apartheid in his native South Africa, has died. He was 90.

In a statement confirming his death on Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to Tutu’s family and friends, calling him “a patriot without equal.”

“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world,” Ramaphosa said.

For six decades, Tutu — known affectionately as “the Arch” — was one of the primary voices in exhorting the South African government to end apartheid, the country’s official policy of racial segregation. After apartheid ended in the early ’90s and the long-imprisoned Nelson Mandela became president of the country, Tutu was named chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Nelson Mandela foundation called Tutu’s loss “immeasurable.”

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on December 26, 2021 by Editor

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Merry Christmas

File:Christmas wreath.png

Posted on December 25, 2021 by Editor

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Merry Krampus

from InsideHook

How Krampus, the German Christmas Demon, Took Over America

He whips naughty children with branches and eats them, and he’s winning our hearts

BY BONNIE STIERNBERG

Krampus
What says “Christmas” more than a visit from a horned goat-demon? Westend61

Here in America, we traditionally think of Christmas as being a sweet, cozy holiday full of niceties: brightly wrapped presents, twinkling lights, a genteel old man in a red suit who appears to give you presents, visions of sugar plums, that sort of thing. Sure, there’s the threat of a lump of coal in a stocking, used to keep naughty children in check, but that’s still pretty tame compared to the horned, anthropomorphic goat demon with an affinity for schnapps who shows up to whip misbehaving children with a bundle of birch branches, toss them into a large sack and — depending on which variation of the legend you subscribe to — either eat them or drag them to hell.

We’re talking, of course, about Krampus, the Christmas villain from German and Austrian folklore who serves as a malevolent foil to Saint Nicholas. As the story goes, every Dec. 5 on a night dubbed Krampusnacht (or “Krampus Night”), St. Nicholas and Krampus go from home to home; St. Nick distributes oranges, dried fruit and chocolate to the good children, while Krampus unleashes his wrath upon the bad ones. Though his exact origins are unclear and believed to date back to pre-Christian Alpine traditions, anthropologists generally believe he’s been terrorizing European children since the 17th Century.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on December 24, 2021 by Editor

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Starless

from Study Finds

Astronomers spot up to 170 giant rogue planets floating through space

Rogue planets
(Bordeaux University / ESO)

BORDEAUX, France — Nearly 200 giant planets have been spotted moving aimlessly through space, according to a remarkable discovery by astronomers. Researchers from the European Southern Observatory say these “rogue planets” float in space and don’t orbit a star — like the Earth and the rest of the planets in our solar system do.

The planets are in a star-forming region relatively close to our Sun in the southern constellations of Upper Scorpius and Ophiuchus. Although there may be billions of these rogues out there in the Milky Way, the 170 scientists found in this section of the galaxy represents the largest group of rogue planets discovered to date.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on December 23, 2021 by Editor

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Joan Didion Gone

from Vanity Fair

Joan Didion, Literary Titan, Dies at 87

BY EMILY KIRKPATRICK

Joan Didion, a resounding voice in American literature who insightfully captured the ’60s and California through observant and beautiful language, died on Thursday at home in Manhattan. She was 87 years old.

The famed writer’s cause of death was Parkinson’s disease, according to an email sent by her publisher, Paul Bogaards, an executive at Knopf, to The New York Times. Her friend, the writer Hilton Als, also confirmed the news on Instagram. He posted a black square with the simple caption: “Joan Didion. 12.5.34–12.23.21.”

Didion became renowned for her linguistic froideur, keen insights, and provocative yet elegant prose, writing fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays over the course of her lengthy career. But she saved her most personal subjects for last. Her acclaimed 2005 book, The Year of Magical Thinking, in which she grappled with the unexpected death of her husband, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. She also attempted to come to terms with the death of her child in 2011’s Blue Nights. 

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on December 22, 2021 by Editor

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Rods From God

from The U.S. Sun

STAR WARS The terrifying future space weapons – ‘rods from God’ meteorites, molten metal cannons and weaponised asteroids

The Sun Online takes a glimpse at the array of weapons and space tech under development which are set to make outer-space the ultimate battleground

by Patrick Knox

WEAPONISED asteroids, “rods from god” raining down on Earth and cannon firing molten metal and — it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie.

But these bizarre weapons may soon become a reality as space becomes the final frontier for superpower warfare.

The reality of a space war moved closer today as Putin revealed a new alliance with China to create space weapons that could unleash havoc in the West if its satellites were targeted.

Speaking at his annual news conference, the Russian strongman leader said the partnership was “strategic” amid growing tensions with NATO.

As previously revealed by Sun Online, Russian and Chinese space weapons could send the West into the Dark Ages should it destroy satellites.

It is feared an orbital onslaught could shut down hospitals, crash the economy, knock out communications, and cause mass blackouts.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on December 21, 2021 by Editor

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Bridge Stealers

from Greenwich Time

A 58-foot bridge disappeared from a field in Ohio. A man hired a crane service to steal it, police say.

by Jaclyn Peiser

The metal frame of this 58-foot bridge was found to be missing on Nov. 11, about a week after the deck boards had been stolen,

For almost two decades, a 58-foot-long, 10-foot-wide and 6-foot-high pedestrian bridge sat idly in an overgrown field in Akron, Ohio. It had been removed from a nearby park for a restoration project, police said.

But early last month, a passerby noticed something was amiss with the structure. The brush around the bridge had been cleared and the deck boards were missing, police said.

A week later, the entire structure was gone.

[ click to continue reading at GT ]

Posted on December 20, 2021 by Editor

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Battle In New Canaan

from Patch

Gates Battle of the Bands is Back!

Raising money for Meals on Wheels, New Canaan

by Ms. Tootsie

Live music venue Gates Restaurant will be hosting their third ‘Battle of the Bands’ in January 2022. Hosted by radio presenter Jon Kamal, sponsored by Karl Chevrolet, and produced by Rock Paper Scissors Custom Events, this fierce competition brings in talented bands from all over Fairfield County and beyond.

The expert panel of judges include International best-selling author James Frey and Jon Kamal. The four heats are FREE to the public. To attend the final costs $20 per person, with 50% of every sale being donated to Meals on Wheels, New Canaan. Previous winners include Mind The Gap (2019) and All Night Thing (2020). Space is limited so book your tickets early. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gates-battle-of-the-bands-final-tickets-80118511625

Gates Restaurant, 10 Forest Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 / www.gatesrestaurant.com

[ click to continue reading at Patch.com ]

Posted on December 19, 2021 by Editor

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Web3

from The Wall Street Journal

Jack Dorsey and the Unlikely Revolutionaries Who Want to Reboot the Internet

Members of the tech elite are banding together to bring the Web back to its idealist origins. They call their vision ‘Web3.’

By Christopher Mims

Former Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey is now into cryptocurrency. PHOTO: COLE BURSTON/BLOOMBERG NEWS

The internet hasn’t turned out the way it was supposed to.

In its earliest incarnation, before some Wall Street Journal readers were born and the rest had fewer automatically renewing digital subscriptions, it was supposed to be distributed, user-controlled and, in a word, democratic.

Then came Big Tech and the attendant centralization, windfall profits, culture wars, misinformation campaigns, Congressional hearings, EU rulings, antitrust battles and techno-nationalism that have characterized the past decade.

What if there was another way?

What if, to take but one example, users of social networks collectively owned them, or at least could vote on how they were run and what kind of speech they allowed? And what if similar questions could be asked of just about any tech company whose primary product is software and services—whether financial, cloud computing, or even entertainment-related?

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on December 18, 2021 by Editor

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The Meh Courses

from The New Yorker

What’s So Great About Great-Books Courses?

The humanities are in danger, but humanists can’t agree on how—or why—they should be saved.

By Louis Menand

Roosevelt Montás was born in a rural village in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States when he was eleven years old. He attended public schools in Queens, where he took classes in English as a second language, then entered Columbia College through a government program for low-income students. After getting his B.A., he was admitted to Columbia’s Ph.D. program in English and Comparative Literature when a dean got the department to reconsider his application, which had been rejected. He received a Ph.D. in 2004 and has been teaching at Columbia ever since, now as a senior lecturer, a renewable but untenured appointment. He is forty-eight.

Arnold Weinstein is eighty-one. Although he was an indifferent student in high school, he was admitted to Princeton, spent his junior year in Paris, an experience that fired an interest in literature, and received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1968. He was hired by Brown, was tenured in 1973, and is today the Richard and Edna Salomon Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature. These two men started on very different life paths and ended up writing the same book.

They are even being published by the same university press, Princeton. Montás’s is called “Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation”; Weinstein’s is “The Lives of Literature: Reading, Teaching, Knowing.” The genre, a common one for academics writing non-scholarly books, is a combination of memoir (some family history, career anecdotes), criticism (readings of selected texts to illustrate convictions of the author’s), and polemic against trends the author disapproves of. The polemic can sometimes take the form of “It’s all gone to hell.” Montás’s and Weinstein’s books fall into the “It’s all gone to hell” category.

Both men teach what are called—unfortunately but inescapably—“great books” courses. Since Weinstein works at a college that has no requirements outside the major, his courses are departmental offerings, but the syllabi seem to be composed largely of books by well-known Western writers, from Sophocles to Toni Morrison. At Columbia, undergraduates must complete two years of non-departmental great-books courses: Masterpieces of Western Literature and Philosophy, for first-year students, and Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West, for sophomores. These courses, among others, known as “the Core,” originated around the time of the First World War and have been required since 1947. Montás not only teaches in the Core; he served for ten years as the director of the Center for the Core Curriculum.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on December 17, 2021 by Editor

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The Apocalypse Has Arrived

from The U.S. Sun

Are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos being discontinued?

by Nina Clevinger

While the Frito-Lay company has not commented on the reported shortage of Flamin’ Hot Chips, social media users have adamantly said supplies of the snack are becoming harder to find.

In September of 2021, someone posted to the Sacramento Reddit thread asking if anyone knows where they can find a specific flavor of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, adding that they are seemingly “vanished.”

One user commented on the post, writing: “There’s a chip shortage because of supply and labor issue.”

On November 29, 2021, a Twitter account by the name of SAY CHEESE! posted about the rumored shortage, writing: “Theres a Hot Cheetos Shortage in the U.S right now. This shortage is mainly because of increased demand and tightening supply.

“Some stores are putting limitations on how many you can buy,” the account continued.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on December 16, 2021 by Editor

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Anne Rice Gone

from Deadline

Anne Rice Dies: ‘Interview With The Vampire’ Author Was 80

By Tom Grater

Anne Rice Dead obituary
Anne Rice / AP

Anne Rice, the American writer whose Interview with the Vampire sold more than 150 million copies, has died. She was 80.

“The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated,” he wrote. “As my mother, her support for me was unconditional — she taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity and challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt.”

Born on October 4, 1941, in New Orleans, Rice initially struggled to find popularity, with her debut novel Interview with the Vampire receiving mixed reviews upon its release in 1976. The book, penned while she was grieving the loss of her daughter to leukemia, since has been reappraised as a key text in the modern vampire genre and spawned 11 sequels, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on December 13, 2021 by Editor

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Jiggle Jiggle Tinkle

from Vice

Workers Are Using ‘Mouse Movers’ So They Can Use the Bathroom in Peace

“The tables have turned in favor of the Worker,” said one mouse jiggler company. “They are in power today.”

By Samantha Cole

Leah didn’t expect her TikTok video about a work-from-home hack to go viral. She started using a mouse mover—a small device placed under her computer mouse, to keep the cursor active—after her job as a business lead in advertising transitioned to remote work at the start of the pandemic. Her company-issued computer set her status to “away” whenever she stopped moving her cursor or got up from her desk for more than a few seconds, and with three kids at home who needed help doing remote classes during school lockdowns, that little “away” signal was driving her nuts.

“Working remotely, your colleagues can’t physically ‘see’ when you get up to go to the bathroom or grab lunch. Or even take 30 minutes to reset on the couch,” Leah told me. “The last thing I wanted during those moments was to be paranoid that people thought I wasn’t working—especially since I felt like I was working more than ever.”

[ click to continue reading at Vice ]

Posted on December 12, 2021 by Editor

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The New Present

from The Wall Street Journal

Is the Metaverse Really the Next Big Thing?

Its advocates say more immersive interfaces will increase our sense of presence. I think they have their definitions wrong.

By Steven Johnson

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to an avatar of himself during a live-streamed presentation about the company’s rebranding from Facebook. PHOTO: VIA REUTERS

Mark Zuckerberg would like you to be a little more present.

That’s the message that the Facebook founder hammers home in one of the most elaborate concept videos ever produced by a tech company: an 80-minute video rolling out his company’s vision of “the metaverse,” which Mr. Zuckerberg believes is the next paradigm shift in computing. The video—and Facebook’s decision to re-christen itself with the new corporate name Meta Platforms Inc. —marked a fitting endpoint for a year in which the somewhat murky concept of the metaverse became one of the most hyped buzzwords in technology.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s primary complaint about the existing interfaces we use today is that they aren’t immersive enough. When we interact with our friends or colleagues virtually, we’re experiencing a heavily mediated version of them—email threads, text messages, grainy Zoom videos with choppy audio. And all of that interaction is compressed through a two-dimensional screen, often the size of a pack of playing cards.

“Screens…can’t deliver that deep feeling of presence,” he says at one point in the video. “Presence is the defining quality of the metaverse.”

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on December 11, 2021 by Editor

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Robbie Shakespeare Gone

from Jamaica Observer

Robbie Shakespeare has died

POPULAR bass guitarist Robbie Shakespeare of ‘Riddim Twins’ Sly and Robbie is dead. He passed away earlier Wednesday.

According to sources, Shakespeare was ailing for sometime.

“Robbie’s loss will be severely felt by the industry at home and abroad. My condolences to those he leaves behind,” said Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Entertainment and Culture, in a release sent to the Jamaica Observer.

Throughout the 1980s, Sly and Robbie worked with some of the biggest and brightest names in pop. Among them, Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, Gwen Guthrie and rapper KRS 1.

Their patented sound ensured mainstream interest in Jamaican music following the death of Bob Marley in 1981. Indeed, they were the driving force behind Black Uhuru, a Waterhouse group marketed by Island Records, the company that helped break Marley’s music internationally.

[ click to continue reading at Jamaica Observer ]

Posted on December 10, 2021 by Editor

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I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t know how to unlock your front door.

from Bloomberg

How Amazon Outage Left Smart Homes Not So Smart After All

by Isabella Steger

Compx National D8890,Barrel Key, Antique Style

The outage at Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud-computing arm left thousands of people in the U.S. without working fridges, roombas and doorbells, highlighting just how reliant people have become on the company as the Internet of Things proliferates across homes.

The disruption, which began at about 10 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday, upended package deliveries, took down major streaming services, and prevented people from getting into Walt Disney Co.’s parks.

Affected Amazon services included the voice assistant Alexa and Ring smart-doorbell unit. Irate device users tweeted their frustrations to Ring’s official account, with many complaining that they spent time rebooting or reinstalling their apps and devices before finding out on Twitter that there was a general Amazon Web Services outage. Multiple Ring users even said they weren’t able to get into their homes without access to the phone app, which was down.

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg ]

Posted on December 9, 2021 by Editor

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Unreality

from Real Clear Markets

The Metaverse Will Change the Way We Live, Think and Work

By Roger James Hamilton

At GeniusU we talk a lot about the metaverse and how it will usher in – like the first iteration of the internet – a new era and change the way the way we learn, interact, collaborate, and run our businesses.   

This is the year 1995 (the year the internet was launched) all over again, but much much bigger. The metaverse is only in the first stage, but it is here.  Now, its participants are wearing goggles and glasses to enter a new 3D world, but the day will come in the not-too-distant future when there will not be virtual headsets or augmented reality glasses, but chips implanted in humans that allow them to connect in real-time by simply thinking the name or business or organization or friend with whom they want to interact. 

Let’s start with Fortnite as an example. Fortnite is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) in which 100 players fight it out until the last man standing in a fast-paced, action packed 3D environment which was developed by Epic Games. It was recently valued at $17 billion. In 2020, 15,000,000 gamers experienced Fortnite’s Galactus event. According to Charlieintel.com, Epic has nearly 400 million registered users. The demand for 3D virtual reality games is off the charts and growing. Roblox, a gaming/educational platform, has 160 million users.

Keep in mind, the very first MMORPG, Everquest, launched in 1999, and barely a year later, Everquest creators Ken and Roberta Rucker sold their company, Sierra Online, to Cendant for $1 billion (with a B). That’s $1.6 billion in 2021 dollars, and that was just the first glimmer of the metaverse.

While the internet was built on code, today’s metaverse is built on engines that build 3D universes. Discover Unity, a game engine that can create 3D, VR, and AR experiences for any industry, including “Auto, AEC, Film, and More.” Fifty-three percent of the 1,000 top-grossing mobile games globally are powered by Unity, according to their website.

[ click to continue reading at RCM ]

Posted on December 8, 2021 by Editor

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Anything Brooks

from NPR

Mel Brooks says his only regret as a comedian is the jokes he didn’t tell

by Terry Gross

Mel Brooks (shown here in 1984) calls comedy his “delicious refuge” from the world: “I hide in humor and comedy. I love it.” Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As a child in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mel Brooks assumed he would grow up to work in Manhattan’s garment district. That’s what most of the kids in his working-class Jewish neighborhood did.

But everything changed when he saw his first Broadway musical — Anything Goes, starring Ethel Merman.

“My hands stung from applauding so much after it was over,” he says. “And I remember going back in Uncle Joe’s cab and I remember saying as he was driving me back home to Williamsburg, ‘Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe! I’m going to do that! … I want to be in show business!’ “

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on December 7, 2021 by Editor

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D

from The New York Times

Denzel Washington, Man on Fire

The actor never leans in — he’s all in. And in his latest, “Macbeth,” conjured by Joel Coen, he is as sharp and deadly as a dagger.

By Maureen Dowd

Dana Scruggs for The New York Times

When Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand began rehearsing to play the Macbeths, he asked her how she thought the couple had met.

Oh, she replied blithely, the Macbeths met when they were 15. They were Romeo and Juliet, but they didn’t commit suicide. They just stayed married for 50 years. But they didn’t have any kids and his career stalled, so thinking legacy, they suddenly went gangster and killed their nice, old friend, the king.

“This is one of the only good marriages in Shakespeare,” said Joel Coen, who adapted and directed “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” opening widely on Christmas Day. “They just happen to be plotting a murder.”

James Shapiro, a Shakespeare scholar at Columbia, backed up the director, adding dryly, “But there’s not much competition, is there? The Capulets? Richard II and his nameless Queen? Richard III and the doomed widow, Anne?”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on December 4, 2021 by Editor

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Depressed Shrooms

from The Daily Beast via Yahoo! News

Are Psychedelics the Next Big Treatment for Depression?

by Hannah Thomasy

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

In 2019, the FDA made a groundbreaking decision to approve a form of ketamine as a clinical treatment for patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, a condition which is estimated to affect nearly three million Americans. The drug, called Spravato, is the first psychedelic drug to be approved for the treatment of mental illness. This approval, along with large-scale clinical trials of LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin (the active component of magic mushrooms), marks a sea-change in the medical community’s perception of psychedelics: Instead of viewing them purely as drugs of abuse, many clinicians are now seeking to repurpose them as therapeutics.

So far, Spravato has been revolutionary for the field of psychiatry as a whole, in part because it seems to act very differently than other available antidepressants. This drug, Yale-New Haven Hospital Chief of Psychiatry John Krystal told The Daily Beast, “has caused us to question most of our prevailing assumptions about the treatment of depression.”

“All prior antidepressants needed weeks to months to produce meaningful clinical improvement, whereas ketamine produces clinical improvement rapidly, sometimes within hours of the first dose,” said Krystal.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on December 3, 2021 by Editor

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12 Tones Of Christmas

Posted on December 2, 2021 by Editor

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You wanna run your f†cking mouth no problem, you came to the right guy….

Posted on December 1, 2021 by Editor

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