US Army Creates Single Vaccine Against All COVID & SARS Variants, Researchers Say — Within weeks, Walter Reed researchers expect to announce that human trials show success against Omicron—and even future strains
High court juries can detect when someone is lying even when they’re wearing a face mask. Not only do face masks not hinder jurors’ ability to decide if a witness is reliable, they make it easier to discern lies from truth.
After 22 years of digital evolution, high-end movie effects are approaching a plateau near perfection. “We went from pulling off what seemed to be impossible, to a sort of inability to create surprise” in the movie industry, says John Gaeta, who helped craft the bullet-time effect. He was a visual-effects designer on the first three “Matrix” films; now he is making things for the metaverse.
Rat sightings increased by 40% in the first 11 months of 2021 compared to 2019, apparently spurred by cuts to trash collection and street-cleaning services. New York has a huge rat problem. These vigilantes with dogs think they can fix it.
Besides its innovative design and noxious chemicals, the rat trap also has a secret weapon: Oreo cookies. The scent of the cookies, crumbled and placed in the top compartment of the two-part trap, along with sunflower seeds, acts as a lure. For a week or so, rodents will be free to crawl through the device’s holes and snack as much as they want. Once the rats become regulars and “get comfortable,” Mr. Webster said, the device will be turned on, and a platform will drop them into the lower part of the contraption, which serves as a catch basin not unlike a dunking tank at a carnival booth. Mr. Webster emptied four jugs of a mysterious blue “proprietary” formula into the bottom part of the machine. He said the formula was mostly alcohol and had vapors that “knock the rat unconscious.” He topped the solution off with sunflower oil to “eliminate odor” from decomposition. Not everyone is a fan of these methods, though. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, prefers rodent control that focuses on garbage cleanup and sealing entry points, “not finding new ways to torment and kill small animals who are simply trying to live their lives, just like any other New Yorker,” the organization said in a statement. [NY Times]
Sex Ratios at Birth Linked to Pollutants […] data on 150 million people in the US over eight years, and data on 9 million Swedish people over 30 years […] airborne and waterborne pollutants such as aluminum, chromium, and mercury were associated with a higher proportion of male babies born
Belief in astrology is on the rise, although the reasons behind this are unclear. We tested whether individual personality traits could predict such epistemically unfounded beliefs. Tracking the Air Exhaled by an Opera Singer
Researchers have identified an odorless compound emitted by people — and in particular babies — called hexadecanal, or HEX, that appears to make men more docile and women more aggressive
Within the scientific research community, memory information in the brain is commonly believed to be stored in the synapse – a hypothesis famously attributed to psychologist Donald Hebb. However, there is a growing minority who postulate that memory is stored inside the neuron at the molecular (RNA or DNA) level – an alternative postulation known as the cell-intrinsic hypothesis, coined by psychologist Randy Gallistel. […] After more than 70 years of research efforts by cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists, the question of where memory information is stored in the brain remains unresolved. [PDF]
Construction creates an estimated third of the world’s overall waste, and at least 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Compare that to the 2-3% caused by aviation
This week, New York-based company Republic Realm announced it had spent a record-breaking $4.3 million on digital land through The Sandbox, one of several “virtual world” websites where people can socialise, play games and even attend concerts. That came hot on the heels of a $2.4-million land purchase in late November on a rival platform, Decentraland, by Canadian crypto company Tokens.com. And days before that, Barbados announced plans to open a “metaverse embassy” in Decentraland. […] land worth more than $100 million has sold in the past week across the four largest metaverse sites, The Sandbox, Decentraland, CryptoVoxels, and Somnium Space.
Internet 3.0 Sites are now built on the blockchain […] Your avatar is your digital wallet—you are anonymous, no company owns your data, you own everything in your wallet. […] The internet is owned by the users who use each app. […] Imagine that every time you used Facebook you were given some shares in Meta (aka Facebook).
People are regretting spending $800 on a Chanel advent calendar featuring stickers and a dust bag
A new approach for the rapid destruction of human waste using smouldering combustion is presented. Recently, self-sustaining smouldering combustion was shown to destroy the organic component of simulated human solid waste and dog faeces resulting in the sanitization of all pathogens using a batch process.
“What’s the process to add additional presidents to Mount Rushmore?”, a Trump admin official reportedly asked. — Sculpture of Donald Trump’s face carved into Mount Rushmore has been pictured at his office in Mar-a-Lago
Toyota is charging drivers for the convenience of using their key fobs to remotely start their cars. Toyota models 2018 or newer will need a subscription in order for the key fob to support remote start functionality.
Lately, Elon Musk also likes to live-tweet his poops […] His rockets, built from scratch on an autodidact’s mold-breaking vision, have saved taxpayers billions […] “I’ll be surprised if we’re not landing on Mars within five years.” Related: Crypto Casinos
Crypto is basically an anything goes markets like we saw in the 1920s before the Securities Act of 1933 cleaned up the mess of illegal practices. Exchanges can wash trade, which means being the buyer and seller of buy sides of a trade to create the illusion of market activity. Some reports put wash trading at an unprecedented 70% of all trading volume. Exchanges can front-run their own customers by putting their own trades in before client execution and trade on their advance knowledge of their customer order flow. Exchanges can offer 100x leverage on derivatives which allows them to liquidate their customers’ funds if the price (which the exchange sets) of the underlying moves by even 1% out of range. Exchanges can arbitrarily halt trading or cancel trades if any market conditions aren’t to their liking and there’s no obligation on them to report any accurate price information or give any kind of best execution. If you work at the exchange, or are friends with someone there, you have foreknowledge about every listing and you can insider trade with no consequences. They even brag about trading against their customers openly.
“It is currently possible to drive a mid-size electric car 1.8 million kilometres using the same energy it takes to mine one single Bitcoin” Europe must ban Bitcoin mining to hit the 1.5C Paris climate goal, say Swedish regulators
In the early 2010s, the leading music-intelligence company was the Echo Nest, which Spotify acquired in 2014. Founded in the MIT Media Lab in 2005, the Echo Nest developed algorithms that could measure recorded music using a set of parameters similar to Serrà’s, including ones with clunky names like acousticness, danceability, instrumentalness, and speechiness. To round out their models, the algorithms could also scour the internet for and semantically analyze anything written about a given piece of music. The goal was to design a complete fingerprint of a song: to reduce music to data to better guide consumers to songs they would enjoy. By the time Spotify bought the Echo Nest, it claimed to have analyzed more than 35 million songs, using a trillion data points. […] The result is that users keep encountering similar content because the algorithms keep recommending it to us.
Massachusetts-based cybersecurity firm Recorded Future has counted about 50 cryptocurrency exchanges in Moscow City, a financial district in the capital, that in its assessment are engaged in illicit activity. […] Laundering the cryptocurrency through exchanges is the final step, and also the most vulnerable, because criminals must exit the anonymous online world to appear at a physical location, where they trade Bitcoin for cash or deposit it in a bank. The exchange offices are “the end of the Bitcoin and ransomware rainbow,” said Gurvais Grigg, a former F.B.I. agent who is a researcher with Chainalysis, the cryptocurrency tracking company. The computer codes in virtual currencies allow transactions to be tracked from one user to another, even if the owners’ identities are anonymous, until the cryptocurrency reaches an exchange. There, in theory, records should link the cryptocurrency with a real person or company. It is at this point, cybersecurity experts say, that criminals should be identified and apprehended. But the Russian government has allowed the exchanges to flourish, saying that it only investigates cybercrime if Russian laws are violated.
Your next smartphone might have a camera that’s always watching This week, chipmaker Qualcomm revealed its latest Snapdragon processor, which will power many of the high-end Android smartphones you’ll see in stores in 2022, including models from Motorola, Sony, OnePlus. And a new feature built into that chip could allow smartphone makers to keep those front-facing cameras on all the time in a sort of low-power mode, waiting and watching for a face to appear in front of it. Qualcomm insists the move is meant to make phones not just more convenient, but more secure.
Fifty percent of Facebook Messenger’s total voice traffic comes from Cambodia. — Keyboards weren’t designed for Khmer. So Cambodians have just decided to ignore them
Black Oxygen Organics, or “BOO” for short, is difficult to classify. It was marketed as fulvic acid, a compound derived from decayed plants, that was dug up from an Ontario peat bog. Put more simply, the product is dirt — four-and-a-half ounces of it, sealed in a sleek black plastic baggie and sold for $110 plus shipping. […] Montaruli called for “a reset,” telling BOO sellers to delete the pages and groups and start over again. One slide suggested alternatives for 14 popular BOO uses, including switching terms like ADHD to “trouble concentrating,” and “prevents heart attack” to “maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.” Related: When Multilevel Marketing Met Gen Z
we are many years away from storing data on DNA. Ignoring the technical complexities, DNA data storage is simply too expensive — a few megabytes would cost thousands of dollars
Kübler-Ross’s fundamental premise was that the dying individual goes through five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. […] Kübler-Ross extended application of the five stages to the experience of (anticipatorily) bereaved persons. […] The five stages model of grief has been widely accepted by the general public, taught in educational institutions and used in clinical practice. […] Stage theories have a certain seductive appeal – they bring a sense of conceptual order to a complex process and offer the emotional promised land of “recovery” and “closure.” However, they are incapable of capturing the complexity, diversity and idiosyncratic quality of the grieving experience.
hugs that lasted less than one second were the least pleasurable; the ones lasting between five to 10 seconds, the most. the findings surprised the authors of the study
Can Afghanistan’s underground “sneakernet” survive the Taliban? A once-thriving network of merchants selling digital content to people without internet connections is struggling under Taliban rule.
Since at least 2017, a mysterious threat actor has run thousands of malicious servers in entry, middle, and exit positions of the Tor network in what a security researcher has described as an attempt to deanonymize Tor users. The Tor Project has removed hundreds of KAX17 servers in October and November 2021.
Reef Global Inc. operates “ghost kitchens” from trailers in parking lots. So it’s a food-service company basically. It has raised over $1.5 billion, some of it from SoftBank. That would buy a lot of trailers, but naturally Reef used the money to buy parking lots […] Reef quickly used much of the $1.2 billion it raised to buy two giant companies that manage and operate parking lots, becoming what it says is the largest parking-lot network in North America. […] except they also somehow bought the wrong parking lots […] Reef found it wasn’t able to put trailers on many of its lots, as some had enclosed garages, where propane tanks and utility hookups aren’t allowed. Others were owned by landlords who didn’t want food trucks, former employees said. As a result, Reef rents lots from other parking owners for more than 70% of its kitchens. […] For a couple of years SoftBank really created an environment where startups had to spend money faster than they could think, and we are still enjoying the fallout.
Self-reported hand preference for masturbation was examined in 104 left-handed and 103 right-handed women, and 100 left-handed and 99 right-handed men […] For kissing the preferred cheek of an emotionally close person from the viewer’s perspective, left-handers showed a left-cheek preference, and right-handers a weaker right-cheek preference.
Changes in Penile-Vaginal Intercourse Frequency and Sexual Repertoire from 2009 to 2018 Compared to adult participants in the 2009 NSSHB, adults in the 2018 NSSHB were significantly more likely to report no PVI in the prior year (28% in 2018 vs. 24% in 2009). A similar difference in proportions reporting no PVI in the prior year was observed among 14–17-year-old adolescents (89% in 2018 vs. 79% in 2009). Additionally, for both adolescents and adults, we observed decreases in all modes of partnered sex queried and, for adolescents, decreases in solo masturbation.
The Science of Mind Reading — Cognitive psychologists armed with an fMRI machine can tell whether a person is having depressive thoughts; they can see which concepts a student has mastered by comparing his brain patterns with those of his teacher. By analyzing brain scans, a computer system can edit together crude reconstructions of movie clips you’ve watched. One research group has used similar technology to accurately describe the dreams of sleeping subjects.
Rather than being centralized in one part of the body like our own brains, the jellyfish brain is diffused across the animal’s entire body like a net. The various body parts of a jellyfish can operate seemingly autonomously, without centralized control; for example, a jellyfish mouth removed surgically can carry on “eating” even without the rest of the animal’s body. But how does the decentralized jellyfish nervous system coordinate and orchestrate behaviors?
In August 2014, a padded FedEx envelope arrived at the Calgary International Airport. It had been shipped from an address in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and on the customs form it had been labelled “Book.” As it was being sorted, a customs agent saw the package move. Inside the envelope was a slim cardboard box with holes along its sides. Inside that box were two small fabric pouches with duct-taped edges. An agent carefully opened the pouches into a plastic mail-carrying bin. Golf ball–size baby turtles emerged.
A variety of insects can produce honey – bumblebees, stingless bees, even honey wasps – but only honey bees (Apis species) produce enough to stock grocery store shelves. This ability didn’t happen overnight; it was millions of years in the making.
Team Builds First Living Robots That Can Reproduce — AI-designed Xenobots reveal entirely new form of biological self-replication—promising for regenerative medicine
Who Owns a Recipe? U.S. copyright law protects all kinds of creative material, but recipe creators are mostly powerless in an age and a business that are all about sharing.