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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Ultimate Upload for AI

from TIME

The Human Genome Is Finally Fully Sequenced

BY ALICE PARK

Getty Images


he first human genome was mapped in 2001 as part of the Human Genome Project, but researchers knew it was neither complete nor completely accurate. Now, scientists have produced the most completely sequenced human genome to date, filling in gaps and correcting mistakes in the previous version.

The sequence is the most complete reference genome for any mammal so far. The findings from six new papers describing the genome, which were published in Science, should lead to a deeper understanding of human evolution and potentially reveal new targets for addressing a host of diseases.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on March 31, 2022 by Editor

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ZombieTok

from Study Finds

Screen time terrors: 7 in 10 parents fear their kids are becoming ‘internet zombies’

by Chris Melore

NEW YORK — Is all that time spent on social media, gaming apps, and streaming services turning kids’ brains into mush? Seven in 10 American parents are worried their children are turning into internet “zombies,” according to a survey.

The study polled 2,000 American parents of school-aged children and found 64 percent are concerned about the amount of time their children spend on the internet. Another two in three believe their child’s overall behavior has changed as a result of increased time online.

While 71 percent trust their child is mature enough to roam the web unsupervised, a quarter of parents think a child should be in their teens before allowing this. Still, the average parent surveyed let their child browse the internet independently at 11 years-old.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on March 26, 2022 by Editor

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Hadidverse

from CNN

Ambitious plans unveiled for a libertarian city in the metaverse

by Jacqui Palumbo

A rendering of the Liberland Metaverse plaza.
A rendering of the Liberland Metaverse plaza. Credit: ZHA

One of the most prominent architecture firms in the world is designing a new metaverse — a virtual city that hopes to be a libertarian utopia.

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed renderings of the “cyber-urban” Liberland metaverse, a small virtual city made of futuristic, curving buildings in the architectural style that made the late architect’s firm famous. When complete, it will offer users the ability to traverse the hub as an avatar, and feature a city hall, collaborative working spaces, shops, business incubators, and a gallery for NFT art shows. The community it hopes to foster will have a focus on self-governance as well as fewer rules and regulations.]

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on March 25, 2022 by Editor

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Memory Born

from WIRED

Scientists Watch a Memory Form in a Living Brain

While observing fearful memories take shape in the brains of fish, neuroscientists saw an unexpected level of synaptic rewiring.

by YASEMIN SAPLAKOGLU

( originally published in Quanta Magazine)

Zebrafish Brain
The brain of this zebra fish larva glows with fluorescent markers that illuminate its neural activity. PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREY ANDREEV/THAI TRUONG/SCOTT FRASER; TRANSLATIONAL IMAGING CENTER/USC

IMAGINE THAT WHILE you are enjoying your morning bowl of Cheerios, a spider drops from the ceiling and plops into the milk. Years later, you still can’t get near a bowl of cereal without feeling overcome with disgust.

Researchers have now directly observed what happens inside a brain learning that kind of emotionally charged response. In a new study published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team at the University of Southern California was able to visualize memories forming in the brains of laboratory fish, imaging them under the microscope as they bloomed in beautiful fluorescent greens. From earlier work, they had expected the brain to encode the memory by slightly tweaking its neural architecture. Instead, the researchers were surprised to find a major overhaul in the connections.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on March 21, 2022 by Editor

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Idiots All Around

Posted on March 20, 2022 by Editor

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Stray Space Rock Surprises

from The Jerusalem Post

Asteroid impacts Earth just two hours after it was discovered

The asteroid, 2022 EB5, was small and burnt up in the atmosphere. However, more asteroids are coming, one flying by closer to the Earth than the Moon.

By AARON REICH

 Asteroid (illustrative) (photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)
Asteroid (illustrative) (photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

An asteroid struck the Earth over the weekend, just two hours after it was discovered.

Designated 2022 EB5, the small rocky object impacted the planet on March 11 north of Iceland, according to numerous astronomers online. 

At just three meters wide, 2022 EB5 was around just half the size of an average male giraffe, which grows to be around five-six meters in height. As such, it was unlikely to do any damage if it had impacted the planet. 

[ click to continue reading at JP ]

Posted on March 14, 2022 by Editor

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The Roadkill App

from AP

Road to table: Wyoming’s got a new app for claiming roadkill

By MEAD GRUVER

In this photo provided by Jaden Bales, the outline of a mule deer that was struck by a car and claimed for food using a new state of Wyoming roadkill app is seen in grass and snow near U.S. 287 south of Lander on Feb. 21, 2022. (Jaden Bales via AP)
In this photo provided by Jaden Bales, the outline of a mule deer that was struck by a car and claimed for food using a new state of Wyoming roadkill app is seen in grass and snow near U.S. 287 south of Lander on Feb. 21, 2022. (Jaden Bales via AP)

LANDER, Wyo. (AP) — The aroma of sizzling meat in melted butter wafts from a cast iron pan while Jaden Bales shows his favorite way to cook up the best steak cuts from a big game animal.

The deep red backstrap pieces, similar to filet mignon of beef, are organic and could hardly be more local. They’re from a mule deer hit by a car just down the road from Bales’ rustic home in a cottonwood grove beneath the craggy Wind River Range.

Bales was able to claim the deer thanks to a new state of Wyoming mobile app that’s helping get the meat from animals killed in fender benders from road to table and in the process making roads safer for critters.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on March 13, 2022 by Editor

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CME Triple-threat

from The Daily Star

‘Strong’ solar storm to hit Earth on Monday may pose rare ‘triple threat’ from space

People across the world may be able to see the Aurora, a light show that is often seen in high latitude areas, this is expected to be seen further towards the equator during the storm

By Jaimie Kay

Data from NASA and the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that the phenomena will impact the planet over the next two weeks.

The NOAA has predicted an 80 percent chance of a major storm hitting Earth on Monday, March 14.https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailystar.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fstrong-solar-storm-hit-earth-26451045&cre=top&cip=4&view=web

Under their current predictions, there is a 20 percent chance that the storm will impact the UK.

People across the world may be able to see the Aurora, a light show that is often seen in high latitude areas, this is expected to be seen further towards the equator during the storm.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on March 12, 2022 by Editor

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Metasex

from The U.S. Sun

Sex in the metaverse will be ‘equally enjoyable’ as real life act, experts claim

by Charlotte Edwards

SEX in the metaverse could become as common and “equally enjoyable” as sex in real life, according to two experts.

Daniel Golden, vice president of adult site DreamCam, and cam model Carly Evans spoke to The Sun about how the metaverse could evolve sex online.

Mark Zuckerberg recently said he thinks people will one day spend most of their time in the metaverse.

Turning our everyday lives virtual will take some adapting and new approaches to common activities, including sex.

Golden told The Sun: “I think the metaverse could change the sex industry and the sex industry could change the metaverse.

“The sex industry has been driving technological innovations for years, since VHS tapes, and I think the expanding technology and room for fantasy in the metaverse will provide a great environment for not just Dreamcam users but sexually curious individuals to try new things.”

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

Posted on March 11, 2022 by Editor

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Insert Scrotum Here

from WIRED

Balldo

The “world’s first ball-dildo” is less of an erotic toy,  more of a dadaist interrogation of the very concept of pleasure.

by ERIC RAVENSCRAFT

Balldo sex toy
PHOTOGRAPH: BALLDO

“WE DEFINITELY LIVE in the worst timeline, but I’m glad I get to see things like this,” my friend messaged me, along with a link to the Balldo. It took me a minute to comprehend what I was looking at. It’s a sex toy, and that’s about as clear as it gets. The company’s site described it as a “ball dildo” that allows you to “penetrate your partner with your balls,” which not only raised new questions, but unanswered so many questions about sex that I thought I previously understood.

I had to know more.

For anyone who doesn’t want to go down same rabbit hole, which includes multiple NSFW videos featuring both cartoon and real phalluses—the latter of which we won’t link to–here’s the short version of how the Balldo is supposed to work, according to its creators:

The skin of the human scrotum has a surprising number of nerve endings across its surface–an amount “comparable to the vulva,” Balldo’s marketing materials repeatedly remind the viewer. And yet, again according to Balldo’s marketing, said nerve endings have gone underutilized in sex. What—an exuberant voiceover asks two excited cartoon scientists and one inexplicably more excited cartoon naked man—could be done to solve this egregious oversight!?

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on March 6, 2022 by Editor

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“I did it for the attention.”

from The Atlantic

The Great Fracturing of American Attention

Why resisting distraction is one of the foundational challenges of this moment

By Megan Garber

A coiled cable nestled inside the silhouette of an eye
Adam Maida / The Atlantic

Last month, as Delta Flight 1580 made its way from Utah to Oregon, Michael Demarre approached one of the plane’s emergency-exit doors. He removed the door’s plastic covering, a federal report of the events alleges, and tugged at the handle that would release its hatch. A nearby flight attendant, realizing what he was doing, stopped him. Fellow passengers spent the rest of the flight watching him to ensure that he remained in his seat. After the plane landed, investigators asked him the obvious question: Why? COVID vaccines, he told an agent. His goal, he said, had been to make enough of a scene that people would begin filming him. He’d wanted their screens to publicize his feelings.

I did it for the attention: As explanations go, it’s an American classic. The grim irony of Demarre’s gambit—his lawyer has not commented publicly on the incident—is that it paid off. He made headlines. He got the publicity he wanted. I’m giving him even more now, I know. But I mention him because his exploit serves as a useful corollary. Recent years have seen the rise of a new mini-genre of literature: works arguing that one of the many emergencies Americans are living through right now is a widespread crisis of attention. The books vary widely in focus and tone, but share, at their foundations, an essential line of argument: Attention, that atomic unit of democracy, will shape our fate.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on March 5, 2022 by Editor

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Autopocalypse

from Study Finds

Death by robots? Study finds automation is ruining people’s lives — and raising mortality rates!

by Jocelyn Solis-Moreira

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Death by robots might seem like an unusual cause of death, but as robots replace people on factory floors, there has been a rise of suicides and drug overdoses — especially in people between 45 to 54. A new study found a link between automation of U.S. manufacturing and an increased mortality rate among working-class adults.

Automation is partially responsible for a decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. Prior research has estimated a loss of 420,000 to 750,000 jobs during the 1990s and 2000s, most of which were manufacturing jobs.

“For decades, manufacturers in the United States have turned to automation to remain competitive in a global marketplace, but this technological innovation has reduced the number of quality jobs available to adults without a college degree — a group that has faced increased mortality in recent years,” says lead author Rourke O’Brien, assistant professor of sociology in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences in a media release. “Our analysis shows that automation exacts a toll on the health of individuals both directly — by reducing employment, wages, and access to healthcare — as well as indirectly, by reducing the economic vitality of the broader community.”

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on February 27, 2022 by Editor

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Cloudocracy

from Project Syndicate

Our New Cloud-Based Ruling Class

by YANIS VAROUFAKIS

varoufakis88_FABRICE COFFRINIAFP via Getty Images_googlecloud

Capital is everywhere, yet capitalism is on the wane. In an era when the owners of a new form of “command capital” have gained exorbitant power over everyone else, including traditional capitalists, this is no contradiction.

ATHENS – Once upon a time, capital goods were just the manufactured means of production. Robinson Crusoe’s salvaged fishing gear, a farmer’s plough, and a smith’s furnace were goods that helped produce a larger catch, more food, and shiny steel tools. Then, capitalism came along and vested owners of capital with two new powers: The power to compel those without capital to work for a wage, and agenda-setting power in policymaking institutions. Today, however, a new form of capital is emerging and is forging a new ruling class, perhaps even a new mode of production.

At the beginning of this change was free-to-air commercial television. The programming itself could not be commodified, so it was used to attract viewers’ attention before selling it to advertisers. Programs’ sponsors used their access to people’s attention to do something audacious: harness emotions (which had escaped commodification) to the task of deepening… commodification.

The essence of the advertiser’s job was captured in a line spoken by Don Draper, the fictional protagonist in the television serial Mad Men, set in the advertising industry of the 1960s. Coaching his protégé, Peggy, on how to think about the Hershey chocolate bar their firm was peddling, Draper caught the spirit of the times:

“You don’t buy a Hershey bar for a couple of ounces of chocolate. You buy it to recapture the feeling of being loved that you knew when your dad bought you one for mowing the lawn.”

[ click to continue reading at Project Syndicate ]

Posted on February 25, 2022 by Editor

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Xbombing

from The Wall Street Journal

SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites Are Photobombing Astronomy Images, Study Says

Streaks left by passing satellites mar observatories’ celestial images, potentially hinder spotting of dangerous asteroids

By Aylin Woodward

A streak from a Starlink satellite appears in this image of the Andromeda galaxy. PHOTO: CALTECH OPTICAL OBSERVATORIES/IPAC

As the armada of satellites circling Earth grows, a new study shows that astronomy images are being marred by streaks of reflected sunlight left by the fast-moving objects.

SpaceX alone launched nearly 150 of its expanding fleet of Starlink telecommunications satellites in the past month.

For the study, published Jan. 14 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers examined the effects of Starlink satellites on about 300,000 images taken by an instrument at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California. Between November 2019 and September 2021, they noted a 35-fold increase in the number of corrupted images.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on February 5, 2022 by Editor

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Gold Cube

from The U.S. Sun

Mystery as gold cube worth $11.7million ‘pops up’ in NYC’s Central Park – and it has its own security guards

by Frances Mulraney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPPwpD8zffo

A MYSTERIOUS gold cube worth an estimated $11.7million appeared in New York’s Central Park on Wednesday morning accompanied by its very own security detail.

The cube, composed of 186 kilograms of pure 24-karat gold, was rolled out in front of a snowy Naumburg Bandshell at 5am in the morning surrounded by photographers and NYPD officers.

The hollow gold block is the creation of 43-year-old German artist Niclas Castello, who has branded it the “Castello Cube.”

The 410-pound work is not for sale but was used as publicity for the launch of accompanying cryptocurrency, the Castello Coin.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on February 3, 2022 by Editor

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Magnet Fishing

from Military Times

Florida boy reels in .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles while fishing

By Sarah Sicard

Over a balmy winter weekend in South Miami-Dade, Florida, a young boy and his grandfather set out to fish along a canal. What they reeled in weren’t fish, but holy mackerel were they a catch.

Duane Smith was shocked when his grandson Allen Cadwalader pulled in two .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles while magnet fishing, the Miami Herald reported.

Smith and Cadwalader went out with magnetic rods after viewing a YouTube video on it, and decided to drop lines in the C-102 canal.

“We ended up with two pounds of scrap metal and 40 pounds of gun,” Smith told the Miami Herald, adding, “I figured, since it was our first time, this was beginner’s luck.”

[ click to continue reading at MT ]

Posted on February 1, 2022 by Editor

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Trappedverse

from WIRED

My Family Is Trapped in the Metaverse

Virtual reality isn’t great, but it’s a lot better than dealing with everything else out there.

by Adrienne So

A child wearing VR glasses experiences AI technology
PHOTOGRAPH: VCG/GETTY IMAGES

ON A WHIM, I recently started rewatching Ready Player One, the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Ernest Cline’s seminal novel about a future in which virtual reality is the real world. In the opening scene, protagonist Wade Watts clambers around a ramshackle trailer park before placing a headset on his face. Everyone has largely abandoned the decrepit, rundown reality for the Oasis—a virtual world of limitless possibilities, where everyone can do, be, or look like pretty much anything they want.

If you’d asked me if we were close to Ready Player One a year ago, I would’ve snorted and listed any of the objections my more skeptical colleagues have noted. However, on a recent Saturday afternoon, my husband put on the Meta Quest 2 VR headset to play Puzzling Places, a 3D puzzling game, while our children played with their stuffed animals and I sorted laundry.

After lunch, my 6-year-old daughter was allowed to spend a half-hour in Google’s Tilt Brush, a 3D drawing app where she created a frosty winter scene, complete with falling snow and snowmen named Lisa and Tom. My 4-year-old watched, enraptured, as the headset cast to the screen. After dinner, I caught my husband putting the headset on again. I told him to charge it when he was done because I was going to try a few new games with my coworker in an hour.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on January 26, 2022 by Editor

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B-O-L-O-G-N-A Mask

from c|net

Oscar Mayer bologna-inspired face mask hydrates and horrifies

My bologna face mask has a first name.

by Amanda Kooser

oscar-mayer-bologna-face-mask-hero-visual
Maybe don’t wear this out in public.Oscar Mayer

I have no idea what’s in bologna. The off-pink deli meat is something I haven’t thought about since childhood. Then along comes meat-maker Oscar Mayer with a bologna face mask, and I’m now having deep thoughts about lunch and self-care.

Scratching sound. Rewind. Bologna face mask?! Oscar Mayer, never one to shy away from flashy marketing moves, is selling a $4.99 Bologna Hydrogel Sheet Face Mask on US Amazon as of today, for as long as supplies last.

Oscar Mayer is riffing on the playful idea of biting out eye and mouth shapes from a piece of bologna and then holding it over your face like a mask. Where did this bizarre ritual come from? I don’t know and I’m afraid to ask, but it sounds like a very American thing to do.

[ click to continue reading at c|net ]

Posted on January 24, 2022 by Editor

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The Beautiful Model

from The Conversation

The Standard Model of particle physics: The absolutely amazing theory of almost everything

The Standard Model of elementary particles provides an ingredients list for everything around us. Fermi National Accelerator LaboratoryCC BY

The Standard Model. What a dull name for the most accurate scientific theory known to human beings.

More than a quarter of the Nobel Prizes in physics of the last century are direct inputs to or direct results of the Standard Model. Yet its name suggests that if you can afford a few extra dollars a month you should buy the upgrade. As a theoretical physicist, I’d prefer The Absolutely Amazing Theory of Almost Everything. That’s what the Standard Model really is.

Many recall the excitement among scientists and media over the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson. But that much-ballyhooed event didn’t come out of the blue – it capped a five-decade undefeated streak for the Standard Model. Every fundamental force but gravity is included in it. Every attempt to overturn it to demonstrate in the laboratory that it must be substantially reworked – and there have been many over the past 50 years – has failed.

In short, the Standard Model answers this question: What is everything made of, and how does it hold together?

[ click to continue reading at The Conversation ]

Posted on January 22, 2022 by Editor

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Bulltheft

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Why thieves are snatching French bulldogs across the US

French bulldogs like Magnolia -- seen here sporting a tiny Chanel bag during New York Fashion Week in February 2021 -- have become a favored target of thieves, some of them violent (AFP/Angela Weiss)

The two thieves who brutally robbed 27-year-old Marieke Bayens at gunpoint on a California street were not after her purse — or her. They wanted the little dog at the end of her leash: Merlyn, a French bulldog.

From New York to Los Angeles, and from Miami to Chicago, thefts of the prized breed have been on the rise.

Small and friendly — and thus easy to grab — French bulldogs are hugely popular, selling for thousands of dollars on the black market.

They have the added draw of being a “dog of the stars.”

The most famous victim so far has been Lady Gaga. Armed men last year stole her pet bulldogs Koji and Gustav, even opening fire on an employee who was walking them (he was wounded but survived).

The superstar singer offered a $500,000 reward for their return and eventually got the dogs back. Police made five arrests in the case.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on January 16, 2022 by Editor

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Except for the whole eating-people part…

from The Seattle Times

In 1973, ‘Soylent Green’ envisioned the world in 2022. It got a lot right.

By George Bass / The Washington Post

The year is 2022. Our overpopulated planet is experiencing catastrophic climate change, megacorporations have excessive power over the government, and clean living is a luxury only the 1 percent can afford.

It may read like a scan of the front-page headlines, but these predictions were laid out half a century ago in the dystopian film “Soylent Green.”

Hundreds of films have attempted to visualize the future; most didn’t do a great job. “Freejack” (1992) imagined widespread time-traveling assassins by 2009, while box office bomb “The Postman” (1997) predicted 2013 would be post-apocalyptic.

But about 50 years ago, Hollywood’s prognosticators seemed to hit on the truth.

In 1972, the “Planet of the Apes” franchise released its fourth film, “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.” It’s set in the year 1991 and imagines Earth in the grip of a lethal pandemic. Draw your own AIDS/SARS/Zika/covid comparisons.

But “Soylent Green,” released in 1973 and based on a novel by Harry Harrison, was even more eerily prescient. It’s set in the then-far-off future of 2022. It stars Charlton Heston – known for playing Moses in “The Ten Commandments” (1956) and for being the five-time president of the National Rifle Association – as Thorn, a New York police detective. And the planet he inhabits looks a lot like ours.

[ click to continue reading at The Seattle Times ]

Posted on January 9, 2022 by Editor

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Plastic Surgeryverse

from The New York Post

Metaverse clothing, travel, plastic surgery: Experts predict life in 2030

By John Mac Ghlionn and Brad Hamilton

In the metaverse you’ll be able to swim with the sharks, tour the Parthenon in Athens, or go skydiving — all from your VR glasses. And “you” can be anyone you want, even LeBron James or a jaguar.
In the metaverse you’ll be able to swim with the sharks, tour the Parthenon in Athens, or go skydiving — all from your VR glasses. And “you” can be anyone you want, even LeBron James or a jaguar. NY Post photo composite

Imagine scaling Everest, swimming with hammerheads or skydiving over the Grand Canyon — without ever leaving your living room. All will supposedly be possible in the metaverse, a new level of virtual reality being developed by the world’s top tech gurus.

“I want to walk through the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin, to turn the pages of the Book of Kells, and I’ll be able to do that in VR,” said British futurist Andrew Curry, referring to the 800-year-old gospel scrolls housed at Ireland’s top university.

In its fully realized form, the metaverse promises to offer true-to-life sights, sounds and even smells, where a tour of ancient Greece or a visit to a Seoul café can happen from your home, Curry said. Decked out with full-spectrum VR headsets, smart clothing and tactile-responsive haptic gloves, the at-home traveler can touch the Parthenon in Athens or taste the rich foam of a Korean dalgona coffee.

[ click to continue reading at The New York Post ]

Posted on January 8, 2022 by Editor

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Gravity Slaves

from Study Finds

Gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon impact behavior of all organisms — even humans

by Chris Melore

cat moon
(Credit: Pixabay from Pexels)

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Maybe there really is something to the stories that strange things happen during a full moon. A new study finds that all biological organisms, from plants, to animals, to human beings, all have a connection to the gravitational forces coming the Sun and Moon.

Researchers from Brazil and the United Kingdom say their work reinforces the historical link between gravitational tides and how they affect the behavior of all life on Earth.

“All matter on Earth, both live and inert, experiences the effects of the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon expressed in the form of tides. The periodic oscillations exhibit two daily cycles and are modulated monthly and annually by the motions of these two celestial bodies. All organisms on the planet have evolved in this context. What we sought to show in the article is that gravitational tides are a perceptible and potent force that has always shaped the rhythmic activities of these organisms,” study author Cristiano de Mello Gallep says in a media release.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on January 7, 2022 by Editor

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