'Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell' –John Milton

The Uni boxing Glove

rats, with holes in their knee joints drilled by the researchers to mimic cancer pain, who where exposed to Mozart K448 Sonata, consumed more food, gained more weight, and expressed lower amounts of p38a and p38b than the control group.

Many people may not have noticed yet but a few months ago, a kind of unassuming little pickup truck emoji appeared on most peoples' electronic devices. The story behind that little truck is actually a window into the shadowy corporate cabal behind emoji and the big and sometimes dare we say DARK MONEY that companies are pushing around behind the scenes to shape our keyboards and influence how we communicate every day. [NPR]

What Is Rough Sex, Who Does It, and Who Likes It?

What makes a good question? What principles govern human information acquisition and how do people decide which query to conduct to achieve their goals?

Speakers take a lot for granted. That is, they presuppose information. As we wrote this, we presupposed that readers would understand English. We also presupposed as we wrote the last sentence that there was a time when we wrote it, for otherwise the fronted phrase “as we wrote this” would not have identified a time interval. [...] Further, we presupposed that the sentence was jointly authored, for otherwise “we” would not have referred. And we presupposed that readers would be able to identify the reference of “this”, i.e., the article itself. And we presupposed that there would be at least two readers, for otherwise the bare plural “readers” would have been inappropriate. And so on. [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

This study uses the unprecedented changes in the sex ratio due to the losses of men during World War II to identify the impacts of the gender imbalance on marriage market and birth outcomes in Japan.

Bitcoin uses more electricity than Argentina

"bitcoin's fundamental value is negative given its environmental impact"

Doesn’t everybody jaywalk? On the motivated enforcement of frequently violated rules

Jamaica faces marijuana shortage as farmers struggle and Louis Vuitton pulls "Jamaican Sweater" from online store after using wrong flag colors

Food sharing has become quite popular over the last decade, with companies offering food options specifically designed to be shared. As the popularity has grown, so too has concerns over the potential negative impact on consumer health. Despite companies’ explicit claims to the contrary, critics maintain that food sharing may be encouraging excessive caloric intake. The current article provides the first systematic exploration of why this may be happening. [...] Our findings suggest that food sharing may be encouraging excessive caloric intake by leading consumers to underestimate the fattening potential brought on by shared food consumption.

We argue that Internet search reduces the likelihood of information being stored in memory.

What you should know about Clubhouse, the invite-only, audio social app

Facebook, which has a history of cloning its competitors, has started working on an audio chat product, to compete with Clubhouse. [NY Times]

Scientists are working on a shot that could protect against Covid-19, its variants, certain seasonal colds — and the next coronavirus pandemic. [NY Times]

In evolutionary terms, SARS-CoV-2 is an ‘evasion-light’ pathogen. It has not had to acquire an armamentarium of molecular features to outwit immune responses in general and neutralizing antibodies in particular. This is because it currently transmits from one person to another before immune responses have developed — and, in many cases, before disease symptoms are noted. Other pathogens are ‘evasion-strong’. The extreme example is HIV. It frequently co-exists with human immune systems, possibly for years, before onward transmission. [...] The emergence of another pathogen with the evasion capabilities of HIV might be the worse-case scenario for a pandemic. [...] A special class of protective antibodies called broadly neutralizing antibodies acts against many different strains of related virus — for example, of HIV, influenza or coronavirus. Such antibodies could be used as first-line drugs to prevent or treat viruses in a given family, including new lineages or strains that have not yet emerged. More importantly, they could be used to design vaccines against many members of a given family of viruses. [ Nature]

Our results show that therapeutic and prophylactic administration of EIDD-2801, an oral broad spectrum antiviral currently in phase II–III clinical trials, dramatically inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in vivo and thus has significant potential for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Israel’s swift vaccination rollout has made it the largest real-world study of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine. Results are trickling in. [...] Among the first fully-vaccinated group there was a 53% reduction in new cases, a 39% decline in hospitalizations and a 31% drop in severe illnesses from mid-January until Feb. 6, said Eran Segal, data scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. In the same period, among people under age 60 who became eligible for shots later, new cases dropped 20% but hospitalizations and severe illness rose 15% and 29%, respectively. [...] “We’ve so far identified the same 90% to 95% efficacy against the British strain [...] It’s too early to say anything about the South African variant.” [Reuters]

What other variants might be out there?

The index case was a symptomatic patient in whom isolation was discontinued after 2 negative results on nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction testing. The patient subsequently infected multiple roommates and staff, who then infected others.

New AI tool predicts who’ll die from COVID-19 with up to 90% accuracy

Susceptibility to infection such as SARS-CoV-2 may be influenced by host genotype. We found heritability of 49% (32−64%) for delirium; 34% (20−47%) for diarrhea; 31% (8−52%) for fatigue; 19% (0−38%) for anosmia; 46% (31−60%) for skipped meals and 31% (11−48%) for predicted COVID-19.

The idea was to provide medicines preventing or treating COVID-19 at a low cost or free of charge, the British university said. [...] “We actually thought they were going to do that,” James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, a nonprofit that works to expand access to medical technology, said of Oxford’s pledge. [...] A few weeks later, Oxford—urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation —reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices—with the less-publicized potential for Oxford to eventually make millions from the deal and win plenty of prestige.

Covid reinfections may be more common than realized. In Washington state, health officials are investigating nearly 700 cases that meet the criteria for possible reinfection. In Colorado, officials estimate that possible reinfections make up just 0.1 percent of positive coronavirus cases. In Minnesota, officials have investigated more than 150 cases of suspected reinfection.

During the second wave, in autumn 1918, cantonal authorities initially reacted hesitantly and delegated the responsibility to enact interventions to municipal authorities [..] A premature relaxation of restrictions on mass gatherings was associated with a resurgence of the epidemic. Strikingly similar patterns were found in the management of the COVID-19 outbreak in Switzerland.

Vitamin D supplementation to the older adult population in Germany has the cost-saving potential of preventing almost 30,000 cancer deaths per year

The rectal depth to which the thermistor is inserted affects measurement of rectal temperature. Clinicians should insert flexible rectal thermistors 15 cm (6 in) into the rectum.

McKinsey Settles for Nearly $600 Million Over Role in Opioid Crisis -- The consulting firm has reached agreements with 49 states because of its sales advice to drugmakers, including Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin.

The Shocking Meltdown of Ample Hills — Brooklyn’s Hottest Ice Cream Company -- They had $19 million, a deal with Disney, and dreams of becoming the next Ben & Jerry’s. Then everything fell apart.

Facing deficit (a potential shortfall of $150 million because of the pandemic), the Metropolitan Museum of Art has begun conversations with auction houses and its curators about selling some artworks to help pay for care of the collection. [NY Times]

People often use short timezone abbreviations like EST and PST to refer to timezones. If you're doing this in a computer program, you are almost certainly making a huge mistake.

America's Most Hated Office Jargon -- Synergy, Teamwork, Thinking outside the box...

This is the first study to examine deception across the entire lifespan. We tested 1005 Science museum visitors from 6 to 77 years. Adolescents tell most lies, children and the elderly the least.

concordant drinking couples may achieve immediate benefits for couple harmony from drinking alcohol together.

Psychedelics in combination with psychotherapy are remarkably efficient at treating depression. At the correct doses, psychedelics are well tolerated, producing only minor side effects such as transient fear, perception of illusions, nausea/vomiting or headaches. These fleeting side effects pale in comparison to the severity of commonly prescribed antidepressants, which include dangerous changes in heart rate and blood pressure, paradoxical increases in suicidality, and withdrawal symptoms.

In 2017 a team of researchers used Google Street View images to study the distribution of car types in the US and then used that data to determine the demographic makeup of the country. It turns out that the car you drive is a surprisingly reliable proxy for your income level, your education, your occupation, and even the way you vote in elections. Another team of researchers used the images of people’s houses to determine how likely they are to be involved in a car accident.

Vaccines or Not, Scientists Now Believe Covid is Here to Stay

There are currently four endemic coronaviruses that, for most people, just cause a cold. Whether SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will join them will be down to two predominant factors that control how a virus behaves in a population: the virus’s biology and the immunity of the host population.

SARS-CoV-2 mutations similar to those in the B1.1.7 UK variant could arise in cases of chronic infection, where treatment over an extended period can provide the virus multiple opportunities to evolve, say scientists.

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter Target Resellers of Hacked Accounts -- Particularly prized are short usernames, which can often be resold for thousands of dollars to those looking to claim a choice vanity name. [...] Facebook seized hundreds of accounts — mainly on Instagram — that have been stolen from legitimate users through a variety of intimidation and harassment tactics, including hacking, coercion, extortion, sextortion, SIM swapping, and swatting.

A pro-China network of fake and impostor accounts found a global audience on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to mock the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the deadly riot in Washington that left five dead.

Researchers Test Detection Methods For AI-Generated Content

The largest ever study of facial-recognition data shows how much the rise of deep learning has fueled a loss of privacy. -- Researchers, driven by the exploding data requirements of deep learning, gradually abandoned asking for people’s consent. This has led more and more of people’s personal photos to be incorporated into systems of surveillance without their knowledge. It has also led to far messier data sets: they may unintentionally include photos of minors, use racist and sexist labels, or have inconsistent quality and lighting. The trend could help explain the growing number of cases in which facial-recognition systems have failed with troubling consequences.

Clearview AI’s CEO says that use of his company’s facial recognition technology among law enforcement spiked 26 percent the day after a mob of pro-Trump rioters attacked the US Capitol. Audio: What is Clearview AI, and what influence does it hold?

When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence

Cancer can be precisely diagnosed using a urine test with artificial intelligence

The famous Duck/Rabbit image was uploaded to Google Cloud’s Vision API [...] 73% confident it’s a duck [...] Rabbit was, however, 100% absent.

We’ve trained a neural network called DALL·E that creates images from text captions

In 2016, the N.S.A.’s own hacking tools were hacked, by a still unknown assailant. Those tools were picked up first by North Korea, then Russia, in the most destructive cyberattack in history. Over the next three years, Iran emerged from a digital backwater into one of the most prolific cyber armies in the world. China, after a brief pause, is back to pillaging America’s intellectual property. And, we are now unwinding a Russian attack on our software supply chain that compromised the State Department, the Justice Department, the Treasury, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Energy and its nuclear labs and the Department of Homeland Security, the very agency charged with keeping Americans safe. We know this not because of some heroic N.S.A. hack, or intelligence feat, but because the government was tipped off by a security company, FireEye, after it discovered the same Russian hackers in its own systems. America remains the world’s most advanced cyber superpower, but the hard truth, the one intelligence officials do not want to discuss, is that it is also its most targeted and vulnerable. At this very moment, we are getting hacked from so many sides that it has become virtually impossible to keep track. [NY Times]

A climate scientist spent years trying to get people to pay attention to the disaster ahead. His wife is exhausted. His older son thinks there’s no future. And nobody but him will use the outdoor toilet he built to shrink his carbon footprint.

Paris court finds France guilty of failing to meet its own Paris climate accord commitments

Scholars generally do agree that conspiracy theories have always existed and always will. They tap into basic aspects of human cognition and psychology, which may help explain why they take hold so easily — and why they’re seemingly impossible to kill. [...] “The general hypothesis that’s put out there in the media is [that] everyone’s becoming conspiracists, and now is the golden age of conspiracy theory,” Uscinski says. “We find no such thing whatsoever.”

You might think of serendipity as passive luck that just happens to you, when actually it’s an active process of spotting and connecting the dots.

Sterling Silver Crazy Straw, $275

Six arrested after changing Hollywood sign to ‘Hollyboob’

A Florida lawyer has been disbarred for using his attorney privileges to visit women in jail and record sexual encounters with them for a pornographic film [more]

Scientists have managed to engineer spinach plants which are capable of sending emails -- Through nanotechnology, engineers have transformed spinach into sensors capable of detecting explosive materials. These plants are then able to wirelessly relay this information back to the scientists.

bullshitters are particularly bad at seeing through the bullshit of others

Timing matters when correcting fake news -- Providing fact-checks after headlines (debunking) improved subsequent truth discernment more than providing the same information during (labeling) or before (prebunking) exposure.

The Dunning-Kruger effect (why incompetent people don’t know they’re unskilled) is probably not real

Definitive logic indicates that GOD created not only Adam and Eve but also additional people.

human-made materials now weigh as much as all living biomass, say scientists

A year into the pandemic, the evidence is now clear. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted predominantly through the air — by people talking and breathing out large droplets and small particles called aerosols. Catching the virus from surfaces — although plausible — seems to be rare. [Nature]

"You can remove your mask when you’re eating or drinking, so you have the guy eating one sunflower seed at a time so he can keep the mask off the whole flight.”

“Cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes are going to offer enormous potential for criminal groups of all sizes and scales to replace lost income elsewhere [being] constrained by virus-control conditions”

A young program that puts troubled nonviolent people in the hands of health care workers instead of police officers has proven successful in its first six months

Archaeologists unearth Egyptian mummies with golden tongues

More than 1,000 years ago, the western church was in crisis. [...] During this period there was a fairly frequent use of the early medieval equivalent of impeachment. This was a church synod held in Rome, at which the holder of the highest office in Christendom could be tried for transgressions against the traditions and customs of their office. One such synod took place in January 897 and heard charges against the most recent former pontiff, Formosus (pope from 891 to 896). The only problem was that Formosus had been dead for seven months by the time the trial started. But the new pope, Stephen VI, was of the firm opinion that even when a leader had left office they could still be punished for their transgressions. Pope Stephen had Formosus’ corpse withdrawn from its sarcophagus and brought to the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome to be put on trial. The corpse was clad in papal vestments and seated on a throne to face charges that Formosus had broken the rules of the church. Close by stood a deacon to answer in Formosus’ name. Stephen VI charged the cadaver with having broken an oath not to return to Rome and of having illegally obtained the title of pope because he was already a bishop at the time of his election. [Raw Story]

Simon Popper, Ulysses, 2006 -- [a reinterpretation of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) rearranging all the words in the original book in alphabetical order]

Written in blank verse, Paradise Lost is widely considered to be one of the greatest works of literature ever written.

The belief that humanure is unsafe for agricultural use is called fecophobia

Among the lowlights is a text from Depp to CAA agent Christian Carino, who previously repped Heard, in which he wrote: "[Heard is] begging for total global humiliation. She's gonna get it. I'm gonna need your texts about San Francisco brother … I'm even sorry to ask … But she sucked [Elon Musk's] crooked dick and he gave her some shitty lawyers … I have no mercy, no fear and not an ounce of emotion or what I once thought was love for this gold digging, low level, dime a dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market … I'm so fucking happy she wants to fight this out!!! She will hit the wall hard!!! And I cannot wait to have this waste of a cum guzzler out of my life!!! I met fucking sublime little Russian here … Which makes me realize the time I blew on that 50 cent stripper … I wouldn't touch her with a goddam glove." [...] Depp adds, "Let's drown her before we burn her!!! I will fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she's dead." [...] while shooting Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Australia, Depp swallowed eight ecstasy pills at once [...] He dropped $30,000 a month on wine alone. And in perhaps the most extravagant move of all, he spent $5 million to have Hunter S. Thompson's ashes fired from a cannon hoisted atop a 153-foot tower in a fleeting tribute to the gonzo journalist. [...] a personal sound technician to handle his earpiece needs — "so he doesn't have to learn lines," adds the source. [Hollywood Reporter]

An Historical Collection of Found Paper Airplanes

Confused, jealous wife stabs husband after seeing her younger self in old photos

New Spotify Patent Involves Monitoring Users’ Speech to Recommend Music

Subway’s tuna is not tuna, but a ‘mixture of various concoctions,’ a lawsuit alleges

People least able to detect bullshit believe they are significantly more skilled at detecting bullshit compared to everyone else

parents with more children reported that time passed more quickly

Apple announced in 2020 that it would ask app makers to fill out what are essentially privacy nutrition labels. Just like packaged food has to disclose how much sugar it contains, apps would have to disclose in clear terms how they gobble your data. The labels appear in boxes towards the bottom of app listings. [...] In tiny print on the detail page of each app label, Apple says, “This information has not been verified by Apple.” [Washington Post]

Economic gloom tends to reduce work-related burnout and the associated use of harmful substances, cut traffic deaths and workplace accidents, decrease environmental pollution. According to Ballester (and some previous literature), these effects may well counterbalance the opposite trend: While unemployment does increase suicide and crime risks, the overall effect of recent major recessions on mortality appears to be negligible. If Machines Ruled Us, Lockdowns Would Be Tougher

Teen Scientist Finds a Low-Tech Way to Recycle Water

Google is actively removing negative reviews of the Robinhood app from the Google Play Store, the company confirmed to The Verge. After some disgruntled Robinhood users organized campaigns to give the app a one-star review on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store — and succeeded in review-bombing it all the way down to a one-star rating — Google has now deleted enough reviews to bring it back up to nearly four stars.

No Time To Die reshoots ‘required for James Bond's now out-of-date product placements’

Zookeepers and veterinarians obtained semen from Mufasa through the process of electro-ejaculation. But Mufasa, aged 20, could not survive the procedure.


Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Scientists Want to Shorten the Minute to 59 Seconds

"The rooster cry is a French tradition that needs to be preserved." -- France has passed a law protecting the sounds and smells of the countryside

Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year

How law enforcement gets around your smartphone’s encryption -- Openings provided by iOS and Android security are there for those with the right tools.

Lying makes us mimic the body language of the people we are talking to

at least one third of SARS-CoV-2 infections are asymptomatic

Presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the Cornea of Viremic Patients With COVID-19

Air travel has accelerated the global pandemic, contributing to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) throughout the world. We describe an outbreak that demonstrates in-flight transmission, providing further evidence to add to the small number of published studies in this area. The flight was 7.5 h long and had a passenger occupancy of 17%. Thirteen cases were passengers on the same flight [...] resulted in a total of 59 cases

The Michigan Republican Party has moved to replace the Republican member of the Board of State Canvassers who certified Joe Biden’s victory in the state in November.

Treasury nominee Yellen is looking to curtail use of cryptocurrency. Yellen argues many cryptocurrencies are used "mainly for illicit financing."

Over the course of the 20th century, capitalism preserved its momentum by molding the ordinary person into a consumer with an unquenchable thirst for more stuff.

News Use Across Social Media Platforms in 2020 -- Facebook stands out as a regular source of news for about a third of Americans

these drinks exist for your subclinical anxiety needs

San Francisco on Film

local legends and obscure curiosities from days of yore

Trump Urine Test Kit

Identical twins are not so identical, study suggests -- they differ by an average of 5.2 early mutations, adding new perspective to nature-versus-nurture debates

After group conversations, people underestimated how much they were liked by others

Bottle-cork injury to the eye: a review of 13 cases

Is Light Fundamentally A Wave Or A Particle?

being angry increases your vulnerability to misinformation -- Human memory is prone to error — and new research provides evidence that anger can increase these errors.

Genetic Variants of SARS-CoV-2—What Do They Mean?

Flu strains mutate regularly so vaccines need to be slightly altered every year. There are, however, several “universal” flu vaccines currently being studied that aim to make annual flu vaccinations a thing of the past. n fact, according to the American Society for Microbiology, some of these vaccine candidates are in phase 2 and phase 3 trials right now.

Covid-19 immunity likely lasts for years A new study shows immune cells primed to fight the coronavirus should persist for a long time after someone is vaccinated or recovers from infection.

Gorillas test positive for coronavirus at San Diego Zoo

school closures and lockdown are the only interventions modeled that have a reliable impact on Rt, and lockdown appears to have played a key role in reducing Rt below 1.0. We conclude that reversal of lockdown, without implementation of additional, equally effective interventions, will enable continued, sustained transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.

Integrated information as a possible basis for plant consciousness

2019-2020 Tech company donations to Republicans who voted to overturn the election

As The New York Times noted in 2016, not even Oprah Winfrey, the queen of all media, succeeded in turning her personal franchise into a cable powerhouse. Can Trump do something the far-wealthier and much more appealing Winfrey couldn’t?

migrating a large product off Amazon Web Services can take months of staging and possibly years to execute [more]

I review 65 years of Playboy centerfolds to consider how their bodies—physical characteristics, positions, contexts, and explicitness—have changed, and how this reflects the broader social change to which they are subject. I find that, overall, very little changes over the years, with two notable exceptions: increased visibility of the montes pubis and the slow decreasing in the amount of pubic hair the models have

A law buried in the 5,600-page emergency relief bill requires the US intel agencies to deliver an unclassified report on UFOs. More:US intelligence agencies have 180 days to share what they know about UFOs.

Of all the premature deaths among the ranks of the creative, none is more painful to contemplate than Franz Schubert’s

Lessons for Philosophers and Scientists from Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown

Stealing Your Private YouTube Videos, One Frame at a Time

A single icon can represent any number up to 9999

Touching door with pan