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The COVID Bulge

from The Wall Street Journal

The Covid 15: Lockdowns Are Lifting, and Our Clothes Don’t Fit

Apparel shoppers upsize after putting on weight in quarantine, boosting sales—and returns; ‘Holy moly, I gained 11 pounds’ 

By Suzanne Kapner

Amanda Ponzar knew she had gained weight from all her baking while sheltering at home in Alexandria, Va., but she hadn’t realized how much until she ordered shorts online from Walmart Inc.

They had an elastic waist but were still too tight. “You need smaller thighs to wear those,” her 12-year-old son told her.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on June 25, 2020 by Editor

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Ring Of Fire Summer

from AFP via Yahoo! News

‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse thrills skywatchers on longest day

AFP photographer Sam Yeh snapped a near-perfect picture of the eclipse from Yunlin in Taiwan (AFP Photo/Sam Yeh)

Hong Kong (AFP) – Skywatchers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and the Far East witnessed a dramatic “ring of fire” solar eclipse Sunday.

So-called annular eclipses occur when the Moon — passing between Earth and the Sun — is not quite close enough to our planet to completely obscure sunlight, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.

They happen every year or two, and can only be seen from a narrow pathway across the planet.

Sunday’s eclipse arrived on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year — the summer solstice — when the North Pole is tilted most directly towards the Sun.

It was first visible in northeastern Republic of Congo from 5:56 local time (04:56 GMT) just a few minutes after sunrise.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on June 21, 2020 by Editor

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Amazing Disturbing

Posted on June 17, 2020 by Editor

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They’re Right Next Door

from The Mirror

Up to 36 ‘intelligent alien races’ could be living in our galaxy, scientists say

Scientists from the University of Nottingham have calculated that there could be more than 30 active communicating intelligent civilisations in the Milky Way

By Mark Waghorn & Shivali Best

Getty Images

We are not alone – with 36 intelligent alien races living in our galaxy, according to a new study.

British scientists have calculated that there could be dozens of other extra terrestrial lifeforms within the Milky Way.

But they said it is likely the average distance to such civilisations would be 17,000 light-years – making detection and communication “very difficult” with our present technology.

Their findings, published in The Astrophysical Journal, aim to shed fresh light on the age old question whether there are other life forms within our Universe.

The University of Nottingham team said that obtaining good estimates of the number of possible extraterrestrial civilisations has previously been “very challenging.”

They decided to take a new approach to the problem.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on June 16, 2020 by Editor

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Six Million Dollar Man Soon

from The Daily Star

Elon Musk ‘a year away from creating Six Million Dollar Man through implanted chips’

Billionaire Elon Musk says the chips, which will be implanted in human brains, will allow paralysed people to walk again, similar to 1970s cult TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, starring Lee Majors

By Paul Donnelley

Space billionaire Elon Musk says he is just one year away from creating the ‘six million dollar man’. 

The eccentric tech tycoon said implanting chips into the human brain will allow paralysed people to walk again.

His new device will help improve vision, strength and host of other injuries connected to the brain.

Musk, 48, said: “The device would be implanted in your skull.

“Electrode threads would be inserted carefully into the brain and you wouldn’t know that somebody has it.

“It can interface anywhere in the brain.

“In principle it can fix almost anything that is wrong with the brain and it can restore limb functionality.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on June 14, 2020 by Editor

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Great East Japan Earthquake

Posted on June 8, 2020 by Editor

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Inside Party Girls

from The New York Post

Inside the shady world of promoters who recruit ‘hot girls’ for parties

By Raquel Laneri

Author Ashley Mears joined promoters and models at clubs like 1OAK to get a behind-the-scenes look at the high-class — and tawdry — world of “Very Important People.”
Author Ashley Mears joined promoters and models at clubs like 1OAK to get a behind-the-scenes look at the high-class — and tawdry — world of “Very Important People.” Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

For years, Ashley Mears would get text messages from Thibault,* a Manhattan club promoter she met when she was a model in the early 2000s.

“He would always text the same thing, like, ‘Oh baby, sushi dinner this weekend. Are you coming?’ ” recalled Mears.

Still, she never blocked his messages. Plenty of her acquaintances knew Thibault: He and his crew were notorious for hanging around modeling agencies, pursuing beautiful young women to fill VIP tables at exclusive nightclubs like 1OAK and Lavo. And she remained intrigued.

So, finally, in 2011 — after she had left New York City for a sociology professorship at Boston University — she responded to one of his invites.

“I was like, ‘I’m curious about this sushi dinner. Yeah, I’ll come,’ ” she said.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on June 6, 2020 by Editor

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Earth Splitting?

from Science Alert

The Mysterious Anomaly Weakening Earth’s Magnetic Field Seems to Be Splitting 

by PETER DOCKRILL

(Division of Geomagnetism, DTU Space)

New satellite data from the European Space Agency (ESA) reveal that the mysterious anomaly weakening Earth’s magnetic field continues to evolve, with the most recent observations showing we could soon be dealing with more than one of these strange phenomena.

The South Atlantic Anomaly is a vast expanse of reduced magnetic intensity in Earth’s magnetic field, extending all the way from South America to southwest Africa.

Since our planet’s magnetic field acts as a kind of shield – protecting Earth from solar winds and cosmic radiation, in addition to determining the location of the magnetic poles – any reduction in its strength is an important event we need to monitor closely, as these changes could ultimately have significant implications for our planet.

[ click to continue reading at Science Alert ]

Posted on May 30, 2020 by Editor

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SuperBob

Posted on May 29, 2020 by Editor

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Accelerating AI

from The Wall Street Journal

What History Tells Us About the Accelerating AI Revolution

By Irving Wladawsky-Berger

3d rendering robot learning or machine learning with education hud interface
3d rendering robot learning or machine learning with education hud interface PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

A few weeks before our lives were turned upside down by Covid-19, I read Technology at Work v4.0, the fourth report in the Technology at Work Series developed by Citigroup in collaboration with Oxford University.  The report includes an excellent chapter on What History Tells Us About the Coming AI Revolution by Oxford professor Carl Benedikt Frey based on his 2019 book The Technology Trap.

Recent AI advances have “sparked much excitement…  yet despite this, most ordinary people don’t feel particularly optimistic about the future,” wrote Mr. Frey.  For example, a 2017 Pew Research survey found that three quarters of Americans expressed serious concerns about AI and automation, and just over a third believe that their children will be better off financially than they were.

But, in fact, serious concerns about the impact of technology are part of a historical pattern.  “Many of the trends we see today, such as the disappearance of middle-income jobs, stagnant wages and growing inequality were also features of the Industrial Revolution,” he writes.

“We are at the brink of a technological revolution that promises not just to fundamentally alter the structure of our economy, but also to reshape the social fabric more broadly. History tells us anxiety tends to accompany rapid technological change, especially when technology takes the form of capital which threatens people’s jobs.” 

As the Covid-19 pandemic looks to likely accelerate the rate and pace of technological change, what can we learn from the Industrial Revolution that can help us better face our emerging AI revolution?  Let me summarize some of Mr. Frey’s key points. 

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on May 27, 2020 by Editor

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The Other Plague

from NPR

They’re Back: Millions Of Cicadas Expected To Emerge This Year 

by Jason Slotkin

In parts of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, cicadas will climb out of the ground for their once-in-17-year mating cycle. Scientists have dubbed this grouping brood IX. Stephen Jaffe/AFP via Getty Images

As summer nears, 2020 has another trick up its sleeve. This time, it’s cicadas. A lot of cicadas. 

In parts of southwestern Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, it’s nearly time for a brood of the insects to emerge for their once-in-17-year mating season. As many as 1.5 million cicadas could emerge per acre. And did we mention the bugs are known for their distinct — and overwhelming — chirping?

“Communities and farms with large numbers of cicadas emerging at once may have a substantial noise issue,” predicts Eric Day of Virginia Tech’s department of entomology. He tells Virginia Tech Daily, “Hopefully, any annoyance at the disturbance is tempered by just how infrequent — and amazing — this event is.”

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on May 25, 2020 by Editor

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Space Viruses

from Bloomberg via Yahoo! News

NASA Should Beware of Viruses From Outer Space

by Adam Minter

NASA Should Beware of Viruses From Outer Space

(Bloomberg Opinion) — This summer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will launch a rover designed to collect samples of the Martian surface and store them until they can eventually be brought back to Earth. When they arrive, according to a former NASA scientist, they’ll be “quarantined and treated as though they are the Ebola virus until proven safe.”His statement caused a minor media sensation, and understandably so. In the midst of one pandemic, Americans aren’t ready for another imported from outer space. But ready or not, the U.S. and other spacefaring nations need to start updating planetary-protection measures for a new era of spaceflight.In the years ahead, NASA’s Mars initiatives will likely be emulated by other countries. Ambitious private space companies are eager to follow with their own robots (and perhaps, eventually, humans). Clearer safety guidelines are essential both for protecting Earth and for ensuring that a wary public is comfortable with humanity’s next steps into the solar system.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on May 24, 2020 by Editor

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And now from the bright side…

from StudyFinds

Silver Lining: 2 In 5 Adults Have ‘Changed For The Better’ Thanks To Lockdown

by Jacob Roshgadol

LONDON — Many people have been using their extra time during the coronavirus lockdown wisely and have adopted new habits to keep themselves busy. In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 British adults reveals that 43% of people feel they’ve “changed their ways for the better” as a result of all the time inside these past few months.

Researchers sought to learn how habits and daily lives have changed as a result of the lockdown. Nearly half of those surveyed expect to keep up these new hobbies, skills, and daily habits they’ve taken on after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Learning new computer skills, creating podcasts, participating in online fitness classes and going for long walks are some of the new activities people have turned to as a new means to occupy their time.

[ click to continue reading at StudyFinds ]

Posted on May 23, 2020 by Editor

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VC-20 Virus Hits

from The Verge

A pizzeria owner made money buying his own $24 pizzas from DoorDash for $16

This is your brain on venture capital

By Bijan Stephen

Photo: DoorDash

There are many things that don’t make sense about global capitalism that I enjoy anyway — the clearly inadvisable, venture-backed monstrosities like dockless scooters and ride-sharing that, in the before times, changed how I interacted with the places I went. The thing that doesn’t compute for me is how these companies continue to burn through a reality-warping amount of other people’s cash in a way that upends the basic economics of things like taxi service and food delivery and fail, intentionally, to turn a profit. 

Yesterday, Ranjan Roy, a content strategist and writer, wrote about the latter in his newsletter The Margins; one of his friends who owns a few pizza restaurants suddenly got an influx of customers complaining about delivery when the restaurants didn’t offer delivery. “He realized that a delivery option had mysteriously appeared on their company’s Google Listing. The delivery option was created by Doordash,” Roy wrote.

Apparently, this is one way that DoorDash does customer acquisition — by bullying restaurants. But what’s funnier about Roy’s friend’s problem (and it was a real problem because of Yelp reviews and angry customers) is that DoorDash priced the pizzas incorrectly. “A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash,” emphasis Roy’s. And then: “My third thought: Cue the Wall Street trader in me…..ARBITRAGE!!!!” 

And so the story unfolds. “If someone could pay Doordash $16 a pizza, and Doordash would pay his restaurant $24 a pizza, then he should clearly just order pizzas himself via Doordash, all day long. You’d net a clean $8 profit per pizza [insert nerdy economics joke about there is such a thing as a free lunch],” wrote Roy. They order 10 pizzas this way, and it worked! The money was free, a seamless transfer from SoftBank’s deep venture capital-lined pockets to Roy’s friend’s business bank account. Eventually, in another series of what Roy hilariously calls “trades,” they just ordered pizza dough through DoorDash for $75 in pure profit.

[ click to continue reading at The Verge ]

Posted on May 20, 2020 by Editor

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Corona Quads

from CBS Dallas

Born Into A Pandemic: Mother, Father Bring Identical Quadruplets Home

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County. (credit: Texas Health Resources)

A North Texas mother and father are celebrating a rare blessing, growing their family by four during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County.

“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” said Lauren Murray, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Dallas ]

Posted on May 16, 2020 by Editor

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The Green Comet Coming

from The Daily Mail

Green-tinged Comet Swan with an 11 million-mile-long tail flies past Earth on its way to the Sun – and you don’t need a telescope to see it

By RYAN MORRISON

The space rock, discovered in April by astronomer Michael Mattiazzo from Australia, has already passed the Earth but is getting brighter as it approaches the Sun

The green-tinged ball of ice and dust visits the inner part of the solar system once every 11,597 years and has a long blue tail stretching 10 million miles behind it.

Currently moving from the southern to the northern skies, it is just faintly visible to the naked eye, but current estimates suggest that, by the end of May, it could be significantly brighter – if it survives that long. 

The more material ejected from the comet as it warms up on its way towards the sun, the more sunlight it reflects and the more visible it becomes. 

Comets are fragile and often break apart as they approach the Sun – this happened to Comet ATLAS last month after it was also predicted to become very bright.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on May 15, 2020 by Editor

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Four Horsemen Afoot

from The Express

‘Four Horsemen are ACTIVE’ Bible scholars claim Book of Revelation seals broken

BIBLE scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the return of Jesus Christ in the holy book, have all been released.

By CALLUM HOARE

The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world
The Four Horsemen bring destruction to a quarter of the world (Image: GETTY)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear in the Book of Revelation, where they are named as a punishment of God, but some believe they are an analogy of real-life events to come in the future. Revelation 6 tells of a scroll in God’s right hand that is secured with seven seals, which, when opened, summons four beings that ride out on white, black, red and pale horses to bring about death, war, famine and plague. It states: “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

In 2005, Bible scholar Fred Dattolo published an article in ‘The Trumpet’ where he claimed “the galloping hoofbeats of the four horses are getting ever louder and closer,” stating that a future pandemic was all that was needed to set free the final Horseman, who would spread a disease to a quarter of the world.

He said: “The four horsemen are depicted in the Book of Revelation Chapter 6 as the first four of seven seals.

“These seals are benchmarks of end-time events leading up to and including the return of Jesus Christ.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on May 12, 2020 by Editor

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Lord Of The Real

from The Guardian

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman

by Rutger Bregman

A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite. 

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flieswould sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Editor

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And The Poor Woman Isn’t Even A Fan

from NBC News

Stormtrooper trying to get customers’ attention taken down by officers in Canada

Callers reported seeing a weapon being carried by an employee who had been trying to drum up business for a restaurant hit hard by the coronavirus.

by Tim Stelloh

Image: Stromtrooper arrest
A woman dressed as a stormtrooper speaks to Lethbridge police Monday when they believed the gun she had could be real. The actions of those officers are now being investigated internally after video of the incident was posted to social media. Brad Whalen

A restaurant employee in a “Star Wars” costume was detained in Canada on Sunday after 911 callers reported seeing someone in a Stormtrooper costume with a gun, police said.

The employee, who was carrying a plastic blaster, had been trying to drum up business for the struggling restaurant, which opened two months before Canadian authorities shuttered eat-in dining because of the coronavirus, the woman’s boss, Brad Whalen, told NBC News.

“When she was told to drop the blaster, she did,” he said. Whalen said it was also difficult to move in the $1,200 costume, which he decided to use for the promotion when showing “Star Wars” films to customers wasn’t an option for May 4.

“That’s what she was trying to yell,” he said. “You can’t kneel. You can’t sit when you wear it.”

He’d begun promoting auctions and other events online to generate business. When he settled on using the Stormtrooper armor, the employee, who’s been working with him since January, happily agreed to wear it.

“The ironic thing is, she’s not even a ‘Star Wars’ fan,’” he said. “Now I don’t think we’ll ever convince her to be one.”

[ click to continue reading at NBC ]

Posted on May 7, 2020 by Editor

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Coronadance 2020

from The Hollywood Reporter

Was Sundance a “First Petri Dish” of Coronavirus in the States?

by Tatiana Siegel

Getty Images; Courtesy of SubjectAshley Jackson at a Sundance premiere and, later, in a mask while sick.

A swath of attendees suffered harsh flu-like symptoms, leading a microbiologist to question whether the January festival was “the perfect formula to contaminate everybody.”

On Jan. 27, actress Ashley Jackson felt the first symptoms of a nasty bug — fever, clammy skin, fatigue and shortness of breath. Given her current locale — Park City — she chalked it up to altitude sickness and toughed out her final day at the Sundance Film Festival, where she had attended the world premiere of Blast Beat, a family drama in which she co-stars, as well as a dizzying array of parties and lounges. The next day, the 20-year-old college student flew home to Atlanta, just as more intense symptoms began to emerge, including sore throat, aches and pains and a cough so violent, her neck swelled. Within 24 hours, she made her first of multiple visits to an urgent care facility or emergency room and was diagnosed with the flu based on her condition (though no flu test was given at the time).

Like many who make the annual trek to the indie film mecca, Jackson left Sundance far worse off than when she entered. After all, the quaint mountain oasis transforms into a petri dish as some 120,000 festivalgoers from around the world huddle in crowded movie theaters during cold and flu season. In recent years, the festival’s organizers have placed an emphasis on attracting international filmmakers, and this year was no exception, with a lineup of 118 feature-length films representing 27 countries.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on May 6, 2020 by Editor

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Viral Parenting

from The Atlantic

Being a Parent Has Made My Pandemic Life Simpler, If You Can Believe It

Hear me out.

by Tom McTague

A mother and her child hold hands in a park.

Jonas Bendiksen / Magnum

Perhaps it’s the strange effect of being forced to slow down, to spend all of one’s time outside work pootling and pottering rather than actually doing things and seeing people. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere, the eerie streets, the cordoned-off playgrounds and lines of masked shoppers. Perhaps it’s just being a dad with a garden, a shelf full of Dr. Seuss stories, and sudden access to Disney’s entire back catalog. Whatever it is, something in the air is making a time that should be anxious, monotonous, and frustrating somehow pleasant, and even meaningful.

One might assume my life to be an unrelenting grind right now—I’m locked down in London, a global epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, trying to juggle my day job with looking after a 3-year-old. Yet that hasn’t been my experience. Having children does add pressure to lockdown life, no doubt, and those without children are always very gracious to say how much harder it must be than what they’re experiencing. I am conscious that this pressure is doubled for single parents, parents without a steady income, or parents whose jobs require them to risk their health in the service of everyone else’s. But for the privileged professional middle classes, I am beginning to think that parents have it better than nonparents.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on May 4, 2020 by Editor

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Happy Whales – The Pearl In The Shell

from The Guardian

Silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise

Curtailing of shipping due to coronavirus allows scientists to study effects of quieter oceans on marine wildlife

by Karen McVeigh

In cities, human lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic have offered some respite to the natural world, with clear skies and the return of wildlife to waterways. Now evidence of a drop in underwater noise pollution has led experts to predict the crisis may also be good news for whales and other sea mammals.

Researchers examining real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories run by Ocean Networks Canada near the port of Vancouver found a significant drop in low-frequency sound associated with ships.

David Barclay, assistant professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University, the lead author of a paper reviewing the phenomena, examined sound power – a way of measuring “loudness” – in the 100 Hz range from two sites, one inland and one farther offshore. He found a significant drop in noise from both.

“Generally, we know underwater noise at this frequency has effects on marine mammals,” Barclay said. 

“There has been a consistent drop in noise since 1 January, which has amounted to a change of four or five decibels in the period up to 1 April,” he said. Economic data from the port showed a drop of around 20% in exports and imports over the same period, he said.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 30, 2020 by Editor

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Worse Than COVID

from c|net

Scientists pinpoint ‘most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth’

A paleontologist says time travelers would not survive long in this predator-packed area of Africa 100 million years ago.

by Amanda Kooser

Once you build your time machine, please do not set your destination for 100 million years ago in Morocco. 

An international team of scientists led by paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim of the University of Detroit Mercy and the University of Portsmouth in the UK conducted a wide-ranging survey of the creatures and geology of an area in southeastern Morocco called the Kem Kem Group.

“This was arguably the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth, a place where a human time-traveler would not last very long,” Ibrahim said in a University of Portsmouth release on Friday. Some of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever discovered once roamed the region. 

The researchers published a paper on their Kem Kem Group findings in the journal ZooKeys this week. The University of Portsmouth called this “the first detailed and fully illustrated account of the fossil-rich escarpment.” 

Back in the Cretaceous, the area was home to rivers and packed with predators ranging from massive land-bound dinosaurs to flying pterosaurs. They had an abundance of prey to feed on. “This place was filled with absolutely enormous fish, including giant coelacanths and lungfish,” said co-author David Martill from the University of Portsmouth.

[ click to continue reading at c|net

Posted on April 29, 2020 by Editor

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Pas plus, Nicoderm! Merde!

from The New York Post

France limits sales of nicotine products after fewer smokers catch coronavirus

By Laura Italiano

Nicotine patch
picture alliance via Getty Images

Fearing a run on nicotine gum and patches, France has banned the online sale of the products — a move spurred by reports of a lower-than-expected number of smokers among those hospitalized with the coronavirus.

In addition to the online ban, French authorities are limiting people who purchase the smoking cessation products at pharmacies to one month’s supply only, BBC.com reported.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on April 27, 2020 by Editor

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New York No York

Posted on April 25, 2020 by Editor

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When You Can’t Afford Gallery Prices

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Editor

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Fake Planet News

from USA Today

What scientists had believed was a planet beyond our solar system has now apparently disappeared from sight, a study says, which suggests “that what was heralded as one of the first exoplanets to ever be discovered … likely never existed,” according to the University of Arizona.

The “exoplanet,” a planet outside our solar system, supposedly orbited around Fomalhaut, a star 25 light-years away.

Instead of a planet, which had been named Fomalhaut b, what astronomers likely saw was a large cloud of dust from two icy bodies that had smashed into each other. 

“These collisions are exceedingly rare, and so this is a big deal that we actually get to see one,” study lead author András Gáspár of the University of Arizona said in a statement. “We believe that we were at the right place at the right time to have witnessed such an unlikely event with the Hubble Space Telescope.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on April 21, 2020 by Editor

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Rogue Waves

from The Future of Things

The Wave That Changed Science

by Ran Levi

Historical image of a possible Rouge Wave
(Credit: NOAA Photo Library)

Over the centuries many sailors described seeing huge ocean waves, monsters of the seas that towered to heights of 30 meters and more. Those Rogue Waves, as they were called, appeared suddenly and rammed into the unfortunate vessel. Scientists tended to ignore these stories. They considered them to be legends, fairy tales that sailors tell each other to pass the time on long journeys. They had good reason to doubt these stories: contemporary mathematical models predicted that the biggest possible ocean storm wave could be twelve to fifteen meters high.

But those tales, passed from one sailor to another in pubs or late at night on the ship’s bridge, told also of a massive ‘hole’ in the water, tens of meters deep. This hole was followed by a nearly-vertical wall of water – a wave so steep no ship could ‘climb’ it. According to the stories, when a ship was hit by such a wave it usually drowned within seconds.

For a long time, scientists thought their understanding of ocean waves was reasonably good. The way they saw it, the mathematical models that were developed for other kinds of waves, like sound waves and electromagnetic waves, could be applied to waves in the ocean. And why should these models not be appropriate? A wave is just a wave, after all – an interference making its way from point A to point B, energy being transported from one place to another. Based on these mathematical models, scientists believed a thirty meter may exist, but is likely to occur only once every thirty-thousand years. Thus, Rogue Waves reports were placed in the same category sea-dragon stories, Bermuda Triangle oddities, and mermaid tales.

A single wave that crashed on a tall oil-rig in the northern Atlantic Ocean shocked the foundations of these scientific models.

[ click to continue reading at The Future of Things ]

Posted on April 20, 2020 by Editor

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Anal Contact Tracing

from The Mirror

Smart toilet recognises users by their ‘anal print’ and can detect early signs of cancer

Scientists say the smart toilet could be useful to individuals who are predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure

The smart toilet

Going to the loo may never be the same again thanks to scientists who claim to have invented a device that can be fitted on toilets to detect signs of various diseases in stool and urine.

The gadget, which fits inside the bowl, uses cameras, test strips and motion sensing technology to analyse the deposits and sends the data to a secure cloud server.

The researchers said their so-called “smart toilet” technology could be useful to individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure. 

Dr Sanjiv Gambhir, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford University ‘s School of Medicine in the US, and senior author on the study, said: “Our concept dates back well over 15 years.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Editor

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Tubular Bells

Posted on April 14, 2020 by Editor

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Happy Easter

via GIPHY

Posted on April 12, 2020 by Editor

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Back To Our Primal Selves

from AP

The howling: Americans let it out from depths of pandemic

By DAVID ZALUBOWSKI and JAMES ANDERSON

DENVER (AP) — It starts with a few people letting loose with some tentative yelps. Then neighbors emerge from their homes and join, forming a roiling chorus of howls and screams that pierces the twilight to end another day’s monotonous forced isolation.

From California to Colorado to Georgia and upstate New York, Americans are taking a moment each night at 8 p.m. to howl in a quickly spreading ritual that has become a wrenching response of a society cut off from one another by the coronavirus pandemic.

They howl to thank the nation’s health care workers and first responders for their selfless sacrifices, much like the balcony applause and singing in Italy and Spain. Others do it to reduce their pain, isolation and frustration. Some have other reasons, such as to show support for the homeless.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on April 10, 2020 by Editor

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Hello, Everest

from FORBES

Pollution Recedes Amid Lockdown, And A View Of The Himalayas Emerges For The First Time In 30 Years

by Marley Coyne

India, Kashmir, Aerial View Of The Himalayas.
India, Kashmir, Aerial View Of The Himalayas. (Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via … [+] UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Topline: Residents in north India’s Punjab—where a nationwide coronavirus lockdown has curtailed daily activity—shared a rare look at the snow peaks of the Himalayas, a view that has for decades been obscured by the state’s heavy air pollution. 

  • India, with 1.3 billion residents, is consistently rated as one of the worst polluted countries in the world, according to IQAir, but the coronavirus lockdown has eased the problem’s severity.  
  • Accompanying a significant dip in automobile and flight traffic, at least 85 Indian cities had cleaner air, one study reported, following the first week of the March 25 lockdown.
  • In Jalandhar, Punjab, air quality received a “good” rating 16 out of 17 days post-lockdown—a feat not achieved even once during the same period last year.
  • “If the air cleans up like this, forget mountain ranges, we may even see god soon,” one Twitter user joked.
  • The Himalayan mountain range is the world’s highest and includes Mount Everest.

[ click to continue reading at FORBES ]

Posted on April 9, 2020 by Editor

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