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Octopolis

from Real Clear Science

The Hidden World of Octopus Cities and Culture

By Kristin Andrews

Roy L. Caldwell via AP

A recently proposed aquaculture octopus farm in the Canary Islands would raise 3,000 tonnes of octopus a year, which means almost 275,000 individual octopuses will be killed annually.

My research examines animal minds and ethics, and to me, the phrase “octopus culture” brings to mind Octopolis and Octlantis, two communities of wild octopuses in Jarvis Bay, Australia.

In Octopolis, numerous octopuses share — and fight over — a few square metres of seabed. In these watery towns, octopuses form dominance hierarchies, and they’ve started developing new behaviours: male octopuses fight over territory and, perhaps, females by throwing debris at one another and boxing.

[ click to continue reading at RCS ]

Posted on April 30, 2022 by Editor

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No Switch Hitters

from PC Magazine

Nintendo Reminds Us Not to Hit People, Smash TVs When Playing Switch Sports

Joy-Con wrist straps are an essential accessory for this game, as is lots of free space.

By Matthew Humphries

Wii Sports caused many an injury to bodies and televisions back in 2006, and Nintendo is warning parents in an attempt to avoid a similar situation with Switch Sports.

Nintendo Switch Sports went on sale today and offers a range of motion-controlled sports to play. This inevitably sees you swinging a Joy-Con around vigorously, which can be a serious hazard to anyone standing or sitting nearby. Bruises, black eyes, and smashed TVs are all signs you’re really enjoying the challenge, but Nintendo would like to avoid them if possible.

[ click to continue reading at PC Mag ]

Posted on April 29, 2022 by Editor

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Poisonous Green Books

from National Geographic

These green books are poisonous—and one may be on a shelf near you

A toxic green pigment was once used to color everything from fake flowers to book covers. Now a museum conservator is working to track down the noxious volumes.

BY JUSTIN BROWER

still life of green books stacked
After bookcloth became a popular and affordable alternative to leather for bookmaking, publishers began releasing volumes in a range of colors, including emerald green. PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA HALE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Libraries and rare book collections often carry volumes that feature poisons on their pages, from famous murder mysteries to seminal works on toxicology and forensics. The poisons described in these books are merely words on a page, but some books scattered throughout the world are literally poisonous.

These toxic books, produced in the 19th century, are bound in vivid cloth colored with a notorious pigment known as emerald green that’s laced with arsenic. Many of them are going unnoticed on shelves and in collections. So MelissaTedone, the lab head for library materials conservation at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware, has launched an effort dubbed the Poison Book Project to locate and catalogue these noxious volumes.

To date, the team has uncovered 88 19th-century books containing emerald green. Seventy of them are covered with vivid green bookcloth, and the rest have the pigment incorporated onto paper labels or decorative features. Tedone even found an emerald green book on sale at a local bookstore, which she purchased.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Editor

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Nice Company – Thank you, Readers.

from Publishers Weekly

25 Years of Bestselling Authors and Books

By Kristen McLean

[ click to read full list at Publishers Weekly ]

Posted on April 24, 2022 by Editor

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Chik-Fil-Jam

from The Wall Street Journal

Chick-fil-A’s Crazy Long Drive-Through Lines Have Santa Barbara Residents Squawking

Backed-up traffic for chicken sandwiches plucks a nerve; ‘It’s almost like we’re in L.A. now’

By Christine Mai-Duc

Cars lined up on the street to enter the Chick-fil-A drive-through in Santa Barbara in November.
PHOTO: LARRY BICKFORD

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Business has boomed for Chick-fil-A franchisee Travis Collins during the pandemic, thanks to surging appetite for chicken sandwiches from his drive-through window.

Now he’s throwing the works at controlling the lines of cars spilling onto surrounding streets. The city council in this affluent coastal city has proposed declaring his drive-through a public nuisance.

Neighbors and city officials say customers hungry enough to brave the crowded lot for Chick-n-Strips or the signature sandwich of chicken with pickles on a buttered bun have caused so many traffic jams, bus delays and hazards on the city’s main drag that something must be done.

“It’s against the law, they know it’s against the law, but their chicken burgers are more important to them,” said nearby resident Rick Closson. The retired pharmacist once spent a week outside the Chick-fil-A counting the line of cars at 15-minute intervals and informing drivers who were blocking sidewalk space that they were breaking the law. Drivers mostly blew him off, he said, and kept their eyes trained on the line.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on April 23, 2022 by Editor

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We’re Everywhere

from Zero Hedge

“Humans” May Be All Over The Universe, Scientists Say

BY TYLER DURDEN

Authored by Katie Hutton via TheMindUnleashed.com,

Let’s pretend for a moment that in the future humanity are able to travel to other planets and discover… even more humans.

A University of Cambridge astro-biologist believes that scenario is more possible than you’d imagine, based on his research.

The BBC’s Science Focus magazine recently published an interview with Simon Conway Morris, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the university’s Department of Earth Sciences, in which he stated that researchers can “say with reasonable confidence” that human-like evolution has occurred in other parts of the universe.

The idea of convergent evolution, which, according to Science Focus, asserts that “random effects gradually average out such that evolution converges, tending to generate similar creatures in any given environment,” lies at the heart of Morris’ thinking. Flying, for instance, was used by the magazine as an illustration of how flying “had evolved independently on Earth at least four times — in birds, bats, insects, and pterosaurs.”

In summary, convergent evolution theory asserts that evolution is a natural law that operates similarly on all planets. In other words, the blue and green alien humanoids from “Star Trek” may be real.

[ click to continue reading at Zero Hedge ]

Posted on April 22, 2022 by Editor

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Justice for Galarraga

from Inside Hook

A College Law Class Is Trying to Get MLB to Recognize Armando Galarraga’s 2010 Perfect Game for Detroit Tigers

Monmouth University law students are making the case for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to add Galarraga’s gem to the perfect game list

BY EVAN BLEIER

Out of more than 200,000 Major League Baseball games that have been played over approximately 150 years of pro baseball, only 23 have been officially recognized as being perfect. Armando Galarraga threw what should be the 24th for the Tigers against the Cleveland Indians on June 2, 2010, in Detroit, but umpire Jim Joyce inexplicably called Jason Donald safe at first base on what would have been the last out of the game.

It didn’t change what had happened, but Joyce owned up to his mistake immediately upon seeing a replay and famously said he “kicked the shit out of that call” and that he was sick over taking a perfect game away from “that kid over there.” 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on April 19, 2022 by Editor

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A Million Little Corals

from WIRED

A Million Little Pieces: The Race to Rebuild the World’s Coral Reefs

Nearly half of these ocean ecosystems have been wiped out since 1950. One man is on a mission to reverse that—by speed-growing coral in hyperefficient nurseries.

by ROWAN MOORE GERETY

The Race to Rebuild the World's Coral Reefs | WIRED

LISA CARNE WAS swimming through a bed of seagrass in northern Belize when she saw a hunk of elkhorn coral lying loose on the sandy bottom. She paused to look at it. With its rich amber color and antler-like branches, the fragment seemed alive despite having broken off from its mother colony. A professional diver, Carne was struck with an idea: What if she picked this up and moved it to a patch of dead reef? What if she did it over and over again? Could she help the reef recover more quickly?

Carne kept thinking about the fragment as she finished up her dive. The reefs close to her home, near Laughing Bird Caye National Park, in southern Belize, had recently been decimated by a hurricane. When she returned home, she sat down at her computer and started searching online for anything she could find on reef restoration.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on April 18, 2022 by Editor

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Boom Montana

from Washington Post via MSN

The nuclear missile next door

by Eli Saslow

The Air Force bought an acre of the Butcher ranch during the Cold War when it was deploying hundreds of missiles in the Great Plains as part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union.
© Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post The Air Force bought an acre of the Butcher ranch during the Cold War when it was deploying hundreds of missiles in the Great Plains as part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union.

WINIFRED, Montana — Ed Butcher, 78, tied up his horse, kicked mud off his cowboy boots and walked into his house for dinner. He’d been working on the ranch for most of the day, miles away from cellphone range. “What did I miss?” he asked his wife, Pam, as he turned their TV to cable news. “What part of the world is falling apart today?”

“Russia’s aggression has gone from scary to terrifying,” the TV commentator said, as Pam took their dinner out of the oven.

“We’re talking about a war that involves a very unstable nuclear power,” the commentator said, as they bent their heads over the venison casserole to say a prayer.

“This could escalate,” the commentator said. “It could explode beyond our wildest imaginations.”

Ed turned the TV off and looked out the window at miles of open prairie, where the wind rattled against their barn and blew dust clouds across Butcher Road. Ed’s family had been on this land since his grandparents homesteaded here in 1913, but rarely had life on the ranch felt so precarious. Their land was parched by record-breaking drought, neglected by a pandemic work shortage, scarred by recent wildfires, and now also connected in its own unique way to a war across the world. “I wonder sometimes what else could go wrong,” Ed said, as he looked over a hill toward the west end of their ranch, where an active U.S. government nuclear missile was buried just beneath the cow pasture.

“Do you think they’ll ever shoot it up into the sky?” Pam asked.

“I used to say, ‘No way,’ ” Ed said. “Now it’s more like, ‘Please God, don’t let us be here to see it.’ ”

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on April 17, 2022 by Editor

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Move Over Mundi

from Vanity Fair

Will This Warhol Become the Most Expensive Artwork Ever Sold?

When one of the pop artist’s famed portraits of Marilyn Monroe goes to auction next month, some observers think it could fetch up to half a billion dollars. What is it about this particular work that gives it such potential to break the market?

BY NATE FREEMAN

Image may contain Advertisement Collage Poster Marilyn Monroe Steven A. Cohen Kenneth C. Griffin Human and Person

One morning in Rockefeller Center this month, Jeff Koons waltzed through the Christie’s front atrium, where his Balloon Dog (Orange) was installed in 2013 prior to hitting the block. Koons currently holds the distinction of world’s most expensive living artist, but on this brisk day, he was a mere viewer, there to see a work that soon seems destined to go for many multiples of the $58.4 million that shiny steel canine fetched at auction. Staffers of the auction house, owned by French billionaire François Pinault, whisked Koons into the small, chapel-like room where he could get a full glimpse at Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, one of five portraits of Marilyn Monroe made by Warhol in 1964, at what was widely considered to be the peak of his creative output. Hitting the block in less than a month on May 9, it has an estimate of $200 million, the highest ever placed on an artwork prior to auction.

“Two hundred is a huge benchmark. It’s the highest reported estimate ever, it’s the highest estimate ever put on an artwork,” said Alex Rotter, the Christie’s chairman who’s overseeing the sale. “Could we have set more? You could always say more.”

Many are indeed saying more, making the $200 million mark seem not like the estimate—but the jumping-off point. Several dealers, advisers, auction specialists, and Warhol experts who I spoke to recently believe that, if the right tech billionaires, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, Asian foundations, or pandemic-enriched shipping magnates go head-to-head during the bidding, the work could hammer as high as $500 million, making it the most expensive artwork of all time—a marker currently held by Salvator Mundi, a rendering of Jesus Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that went for $450 million in 2017.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on April 14, 2022 by Editor

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The Lonely Hole

from Astronomy

Astronomers detect first potential ‘rogue’ black hole

We’ve seen plenty of black holes tearing material off a companion, but not sitting alone in space. Now, we might have spotted one.

By Ashley Balzer

artist's impression of a black hole
A lone black hole gives off no light – but its gravity does distort the path of light traveling around it. Ute Kraus (background Milky Way panorama: Axel Mellinger), Institute of Physics, Universität Hildesheim

Each second, a brand new baby black hole is born somewhere in the cosmos as a massive star collapses under its own weight.

But black holes themselves are invisible. Historically, astronomers have only been able to detect these stellar-mass black holes when they are acting on a companion.

Now, a team of scientists has made the first-ever confirmed detection of a stellar-mass black hole that’s completely alone. The discovery opens up the possibility of finding even more — an exciting prospect, considering there should be around 100 million such “rogue” black holes drifting through our galaxy unseen.

[ click to continue reading at Astronomy ]

Posted on April 12, 2022 by Editor

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Scaryverse

from Yahoo! Finance

Metaverse without regulation would be a ‘very scary prospect,’ experts warn

by Alexis Keenan

Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled
Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled “Machine Hallucinations – Space: Metaverse” by media artist Refik Anadol, which will be converted into NFT and auctioned online at Sotheby’s, at the Digital Art Fair, in Hong Kong, China September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Meta Platforms (FB), formerly known as Facebook, lost an attempt last week to quash a proposal from shareholders who want to know whether its planned virtual world will cause real-world harm.

The question comes as critics of the metaverse voice concerns that the burgeoning virtual world sorely needs regulation to protect its users. The absence of rules to police the metaverse could hurt consumers in the same ways they’ve been hurt in other online platforms, critics warn. The metaverse could also create brand-new injuries without proper oversight, according to critics.

If the metaverse becomes ubiquitous, regulation could become even more crucial.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! Finance ]

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Editor

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Mamet Uncensored

from The Wall Street Journal

David Mamet Is a Defiant Scribe in the Age of Conformity

The playwright won’t play along with woke signaling, talismanic masking or deference to petty tyrants.

By Barton Swaim

ILLUSTRATION: KEN FALLIN

Back in the 1980s and ’90s, innumerable films, TV documentaries and history textbooks instructed us that the 1950s were years of conformity and conventionalism: “The Donna Reed Show,” McCarthyism, “The Organization Man,” TV dinners. In fact, the ’50s were a time of extraordinary artistic creativity, boundless technological innovation, original thinking in politics, intellectual diversity in journalism and higher education, new energy in religion, and enormous progress in race relations. What the ’80s and ’90s mistook for conformity was a naturally evolved cultural solidarity—something nearly everybody, on the left and the right, longs for now.

An informed observer of present-day America might reasonably conclude that our own decade—at least among the educated and advantaged classes—is far more imbued with the spirit of conformism than the ’50s were. Corporate managers and military leaders parrot nostrums about diversity, inclusion and sustainability that few of them believe. Museums and orchestras studiously avoid programming that might offend ideologues. Reporters and producers in the mainstream press seize on stories—or ignore them—solely because that’s what everybody else in the press is doing. Large majorities in wealthy cities dutifully comply with public-health restrictions they know to be largely ineffective, mainly because refusing to do so would invite the ire of friends and neighbors complying with those restrictions for the same reason.

Maybe America’s deciders and describers (to use Nicholas Eberstadt’s phrase) aren’t the independent-minded lot they think themselves to be.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on April 9, 2022 by Editor

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Bet on Ice Cream in the first.

from People Magazine

Michelle Pfeiffer Bought Her Iconic Scarface Sunglasses for Just $3

By Bianca Brutus

Who says timeless style has to cost a mint? Not Michelle Pfeiffer!

The Scarface star told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning that her says her iconic cat eye sunglasses from the film cost only a few dollars. 

The actress, 63, posted a still from the film on Instagram in January, revealing that the sunglasses were originally a drugstore purchase. 

When asked by Seacrest about the “epic” post, Pfeiffer gave more information on the shades while appearing on Live with Kelly & Ryan to promote her upcoming Showtime series The First Lady.

The sunglasses were purchased for “probably for $3,” she explained. But unfortunately, when it comes to function (as opposed to fashion), you get what you pay for: “I kept them, but they kind of fell apart over time,” she said. “They were cheap.”

[ click to continue reading at People ]

Posted on April 8, 2022 by Editor

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Trapping Fish With Giant Penises

from Nautilus

The Genius of Fishing with Tidal Weirs

Native and non-native scientists have come together to counter overfishing with an ancient practice.

BY KATA KARÁTH

GONE FISHING: A fishing weir in the Micronesian state of Yap. The “arrow” of stone walls traps fish at high tides. When the tide ebbs, fishermen go to work. Photo courtesy of William Jeffery.

Seen from the air, the Micronesian state of Yap is a jewel-green archipelago of dense forests patched with taro fields, fringed by mazes of mangroves, and trimmed by coral reefs. And, fanning out from the wrack lines into the turquoise shallows like a frill of beaded tassels is a geometric design of rock structures that are shaped like arrows, beech mushrooms, or penises. The Yapese call these structures aech, and they are tidal fish weirs, one of the world’s most common Indigenous mariculture tools.

“Our aech is called Aechwol because of its luck,” says Thomas Ganang, whose family has owned for generations an aech near the village of Gachpar, off the eastern shore of Gagil-Tamil Island; in Yapese, “wol” means “luck.” “Whatever fish I catch inside the aech is a sign of luck. So it’s an ‘aech with good luck.’” Ganang, who is 66, fondly recalls how, when he was still a boy, his father, Laman, took him to the faluw—a traditional men’s house in Yap—to teach him everything about fishing, including how to use aech.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on April 7, 2022 by Editor

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Burritoverse

from The U.S. Sun

Inside Chipotle in the metaverse where users can roll virtual burritos they can never eat

by Charlotte Edwards

Your first metaverse ‘job’ could be making burritos Credit: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc./Roblox

CHIPOTLE is entering the metaverse and encouraging Roblox players to roll virtual burritos they can’t eat.

Although a virtual burrito is pretty useless, some lucky users will be able to exchange their virtual labor for real life food.

The Mexican food chain has announced a Chipotle Burrito Builder experience that will let metaverse users roll their own burritos.

It’s also revealed a behind the scenes look at the pixelated ‘food’ and a ‘90s themed restaurant that pays homepage to the first ever Chipotle.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Editor

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The New Unreal

from TIME

Inside Epic’s Unreal Engine 5—and What It Means for the Future of Gaming, Movies, and the Metaverse

BY ANDREW R. CHOW

For years, the 3D software development tool Unreal Engine has powered some of the biggest video games on the market—from Fortnite to Valorant—as well as television shows like The Mandalorian and even Porsche engineering. On Tuesday, Epic Games showed off the public release of Unreal Engine 5, the engine’s first major update in 8 years.

The company promises that the new updates to Unreal Engine 5 will make it the bedrock for the next generation of Web 3 developments—from metaverse experiences to movies, and of course, video games.

Unreal Engine is the second-most widely used video game engine, trailing only Unity, and is known for its depth of features and visual quality. Unreal Engine 5 augments those strengths, giving its users hyper-intricate 3D detail, facial realism, and large-scale world building. Its release opens the door for Disney to create a live Mandalorian video game that looks nearly as real as the show does, for example, says Kim Libreri, the CTO at Epic Games.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on April 5, 2022 by Editor

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Cancelling Picasso

from France24

Is Picasso being cancelled?

Fifty years after his death, the debate around Pablo Picasso’s treatment of women is only getting more heated – AFP/File

Pablo Picasso’s track-record with women certainly would not make him a feminist pin-up today.

There were two wives, at least six mistresses and countless lovers — with a tendency to abandon women when they became ill, a voracious appetite for prostitutes, and some eye-popping age differences (his second wife was 27 when he married her at 79).

Some of the quotes attributed to him would probably cause Twitter’s servers to combust if he said them now (“For me there are only two kinds of women: goddesses and doormats”).

None of this is new — it has been recycled through books and articles from (sometimes traumatised) family members since soon after his death in 1973.

But in a post-MeToo world, it poses a challenge for those who manage his legacy.

[ click to continue reading at France24 ]

Posted on April 4, 2022 by Editor

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WWNFT

from AdWeek

How NFTs Are Helping Produce an Animated Series on Wrestling

The Gimmicks is being developed by Sixth Wall and Toon Stars, featuring former WWE stars

By Stephen Lepitak

How NFTs Are Helping Produce an Animated Series on Wrestling
The Gimmicks could be seen as a test case for the sector, writes Stephen Lepitak. Sixth Wall/Toonstars

Remember when Saturday morning cartoons were funded mostly to promote plastic action figures and sugary snacks on television? Well, with adult animated content and potentially future online content, that commercial strategy of how shows are promoted and produced could be set for a revolution that won’t be televised.

The boom of the non-fungible token (NFT) over the last year might have caused a great deal of cynicism as to how viable the purchase of digital IP at eye watering prices might be. But it’s already proving a vehicle for funding online entertainment—with animated series beginning to appear, tapping into the trend.

One such series titled The Gimmicks could be seen as a test case for the sector. Created by the web 3.0 animation studio Toonstar, which will produce 20 short episodes with Sixth Wall, featuring a group of former WWE wrestlers, the series will rely on those buying NFTs connected to the show to access exclusive content. This will test the viability of such a commercial strategy through community building.

[ click to continue reading at AdWeek ]

Posted on April 2, 2022 by Editor

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Binaural Buzz

from Brain Tomorrow

Newest psychedelic drug — is sound? How people are using binaural beats to get high

by Chris Melore

Will the next generation of drugs be coming out of your headphones? A new survey is revealing the growing use of sound as a psychedelic drug.

Researchers from RMIT University in Australia say their study looked at the phenomenon of binaural beats, which are sounds that can allegedly trigger a psychoactive effect in the brain. More specifically, binaural beats are illusionary tones created by the brain when someone hears two different sound frequencies in each ear.

[ click to continue reading at Brain Tomorrow ]

Posted on April 1, 2022 by Editor

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