Study shows those who read for at least 30 minutes each day are more likely to enjoy a longer life than non-readers [Published articles]

Surgeons urge you to throw out bristle BBQ brushes before they get stuck in your throat... Difficult to remove with surgery [Published articles]

Are we living in the Anthropocene epoch? Scientific body says "yes" [Published articles]

A scientific body has agreed that Earth has entered a new geological epoch - and humans ...

In the relatively short time we've been walking the Earth, humans have left an undeniable impact on the planet. Now a scientific body has agreed that our actions have altered the Earth's natural processes enough to usher in a new geological epoch. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Anthropocene.

.. Continue Reading Are we living in the Anthropocene epoch? Scientific body says "yes"

Category: Science

Tags: Related Articles:

Lost episodes of Doctor Who to be shown as cartoons half a century after they vanished [Published articles]

A Sneak Peek Comparison of x264, x265, and libvpx [Published articles]

What monthly subscription is worth it? [Published articles]

Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster Discovered [Published articles]

Building a Scalable Postgres Metrics Backend Using the Citus Extension [Published articles]

Researchers Map Locations of 4,669 Servers In Netflix's Content Delivery Network [Published articles]

Wave723 writes from a report via IEEE Spectrum: For the first time, a team of researchers has mapped the entire content delivery network that brings Netflix to the world, including the number and location of every server that the company uses to distribute its films. They also independently analyzed traffic volumes handled by each of those servers. Their work allows experts to compare Netflix's distribution approach to those of other content-rich companies such as Google, Akamai and Limelight. To do this, IEEE Spectrum reports that the group reverse-engineered Netflix's domain name system for the company's servers, and then created a crawler that used publicly available information to find every possible server name within its network through the common address nflxvideo.net. In doing so, they were able to determine the total number of servers the company uses, where those servers are located, and whether the servers were housed within internet exchange points or with internet service providers, revealing stark differences in Netflix's strategy between countries. One of their most interesting findings was that two Netflix servers appear to be deployed within Verizon's U.S. network, which one researcher speculates could indicate that the companies are pursuing an early pilot or trial.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kansas City from space [Published articles]

Google said to undercut Uber with expanded ride-share service in San Francisco [Published articles]

waze800 Google is running its own ride-sharing service in San Francisco, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move would put Google in direct, immediate competition with Uber, which helps explain even further the recent departure of Alphabet executive David Drummond from Uber’s board. Google’s new offering piloted in May, according to the WSJ, and uses the Google-owned Waze app to… Read More

Robotic deal with it [Published articles]

The Internet Combined The Force Awakens and Shrek to Make Kylo Ren Seem Sillier Than Ever [Published articles]

Kylo Ren as Lord Farquaad

One of the most upsetting sequences in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Poe Dameron’s torture at the hands of Kylo Ren. While it acts as an echo of Princess Leia’s torture at the hand’s of Darth Vader in A New Hope, TFA shows us more, making Poe’s pain immediate and frightening.

But in an alternate universe… Kylo Ren is in fact Lord Farquaad from Shrek, and everything changes.

Tumblr user sirenflorence created a masterwork, with the caption–the force awakens au where everything is the same except “poe’s interrogation” scene audio is replaced with shrek’s “the muffin man” audio

And here is the wondrous creation:

Sure, maybe I feel like a bad person for laughing, but I also can’t stop, so sorry/not sorry?

People in crowds do not spontaneously de-evolve into subhuman beasts [Published articles]

crowd

This episode’s guest, Michael Bond, is the author of The Power of Others, and reading his book I was surprised to learn that despite several decades of research into crowd psychology, the answers to most questions concerning crowds can still be traced back to a book printed in 1895.

Gustave’s Le Bon’s book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, explained that humans in large groups are dangerous, that people spontaneously de-evolve into subhuman beasts who are easily swayed and prone to violence. That viewpoint has informed the policies and tactics of governments and police forces for more than a century, and like many prescientific musings, much of it is wrong.

BondListen in this episode as Michael Bond, explains that the more research the social sciences conduct, the less the idea of a mindless, animalistic mob seems to be true. He also explains what police forces and governments should be doing instead of launching tear gas canisters from behind riot shields which actually creates the situation they are trying to prevent. Also, we touch on the psychology of suicide bombers, which is just as surprising as what he learned researching crowds.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Great Courses PlusThis episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries taught by
Neil deGrasse Tyson. Everything we now know about the universe—from the behavior of quarks to the birth of entire galaxies—has stemmed from scientists who’ve been willing to ponder the unanswerable. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

sssThere is no better way to create a website than with Squarespace. Creating your website with Squarespace is a simple, intuitive process. You can add and arrange your content and features with the click of a mouse. Squarespace makes adding a domain to your site simple; if you sign up for a year you’ll receive a custom domain for free for a year. Start your free trial today, at Squarespace.com and enter offer code SOSMART to get 10% off your first
purchase.

PatreonSupport the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

The Power of Others: Peer Pressure, Groupthink, and How the People Around Us Shape Everything We Do

Michael Bond’s Website

Gender Quotas and Tight Cultures Study

Gustave Le Bon’s “The Crowd”

Army Manual for Dealing With Civil Unrest

Nearly 70% of America's kids read below grade level. I am Dr. Michael Colvard and I teamed up a producer from The Simpsons to build a game to help. AMA! [Published articles]

My short bio: Hello, I am Dr. Michael Colvard, a practicing eye surgeon in Los Angeles. I was born in a small farming town in the South. Though my family didn't have much money, I was lucky enough to acquire strong reading skills which allowed me to do well in school and fulfill my goal of practicing medicine.

I believe, as I'm sure we all do, that every child should be able to dream beyond their circumstances and, through education, rise to his or her highest level. A child's future should not be determined by the zip code they happen to be born into or who their parents are.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for many children in America today. The National Assessment of Reading Progress study shows year after year that roughly 66% of 4th grade kids read at a level described as "below proficiency." This means that these children lack even the most basic reading skills. Further, data shows that kids who fail to read proficiently by the 4th grade almost never catch up.

I am not an educator, but I've seen time and again that many of the best ideas in medicine come from disciplines outside the industry. I approached the challenge of teaching reading through the lens of the neurobiology of how the brain processes language. To paraphrase (and sanitize) Matt Damon in "The Martian", my team and I decided to science the heck out of this.

Why are we doing such a bad job of teaching reading? Our kids aren't learning to read primarily because our teaching methods are antiquated and wrong. Ironically, the most common method is also the least effective. It is called "whole word" reading. "Whole word" teaches kids to see an entire word as a single symbol and memorize it. At first, kids are able to memorize many words quickly. Unfortunately, the human brain can only retain about 2000 symbols which children hit around the 3rd grade. This is why many kids seem advanced in early grades but face major challenges as they progress.

The Phoneme Farm method I teamed up with top early reading specialists, animators, song writers and programmers to build Phoneme Farm. In Phoneme Farm we start with sounds first. We teach kids to recognize the individual sounds of language called phonemes (there are 40 in English). Then we teach them to associate these sounds with letters and words. This approach is far more easily understood and effective for kids. It is in use at 40 schools today and growing fast. You can download it free here for iPad or here for iPhones to try it for yourself.

Why I'm here today I am here to help frustrated parents understand why their kids may be struggling with reading, and what they can do about it. I can answer questions about the biology of reading, the history of language, how written language is simply a code for spoken language, and how this understanding informs the way we must teach children to read.

My Proof

Hi Reddit

UPDATE: Thank you all for a great discussion. I am overjoyed that so many people think literacy is important enough to stop by and engage in a conversation about it. I am signing off now, but will check back later.

submitted by /u/Pupsquest to /r/IAmA
[link] [comments]

Unicode [Published articles]

I'm excited about the proposal to add a "brontosaurus" emoji codepoint because it has the potential to bring together a half-dozen different groups of pedantic people into a single glorious internet argument.

Remembering Gene Wilder, 1933-2016 [Published articles]

Gene Wilder

We’re saddened to report that actor Gene Wilder has passed away at age 83.

Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, he began acting while still a child, and eventually attended the Old Vic Theater school in Bristol, England. He continued his training back in the U.S., studying with Lee Strasberg, and supplementing his income by teaching fencing. After a decade in theater he became a breakout film star for his supporting turn as blanket-loving Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks’ The Producers.

A few years later, he became an icon to generations of children when he starred as a reclusive candy maker in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. From his somersaulting entrance to his snarky asides to the kids to his heartfelt rendition of “Pure Imagination”, Wilder made Willy Wonka a thorny, loving, and completely unpredictable mentor-figure to impoverished Charlie Bucket, and proving that a children’s movie could embrace moments of darkness without sacrificing heart.

The entrance was particularly important:

I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.

The reason for this elaborate entrance? “…from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

1974 saw the release of two more comedies with Mel Brooks: the Western spoof Blazing Saddles, and what is probably the greatest sci-fi satire of all time, Young Frankenstein. In both of these films, Wilder infused ridiculous roles with a surprising sweetness and even pathos, creating enduring characters rather than one-dimensional caricatures.

Wilder starred in a series of comedies with Richard Pryor which, at their best, probed race relations through increasingly wacky situations. Of these, 1978’s Silver Streak and 1980’s Stir Crazy were both the strongest artistically, and massive box office hits.

Gene Wilder was married four times, to actress-playwright Mary Mercier, Mary Joan Schutz, legendary comedian-writer Gilda Radner, and Karen Boyer. After nursing Radner during her long fight with ovarian cancer, he took fewer acting roles, instead devoting himself to raising funds and awareness of cancer through Gilda’s Club, which offers emotional support, education, and advocacy to people with cancer and their loved ones.

Wilder is survived by Karen Boyer and his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman. He contributed unforgettable characters to film, defined many childhoods, shaped countless sense of humor. He is irreplaceable, and his work, both onscreen and as an advocate for those with cancer, is going to inspire people for generations to come.

Kentucky Students Talk Live with NASA Astronauts on Space Station [Published articles]

Students in Hyden, Kentucky, will have the opportunity to speak with two NASA astronauts currently living and working aboard the International Space Station at 1:10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 31. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Infrared cameras reveal tattoo-covered mummy priestess [Published articles]

mummy-image

Archaeologist Cédric Gobeil discusses how he used modern imaging technology to find dozens of animals tattooed on the mummy of an Egyptian woman, probably a priestess of Hathor. She also had a hieroglyphic neck tattoo that is pretty creepy-looking 3,300 years later. (more…)

This 3D Printed Replica of the Stargate Portal Looks Ready for Transport [Published articles]

It took 1,000 hours for 3D printing house Vigo Universal to craft and assemble the 2,000 parts of this 20-foot-tall replica of the Stargate portal—not to mention countless viewings of the film to get all the details right. The occasion: an exhibit at Belgium’s Royal Museum of Mariemont on “Egyptian gods in geek culture.”

Read more...

Sony returns to crowdfunding for its next e-paper watch [Published articles]

Miss out on Sony's original crowdfunded watch? You're about to get a second chance... at least, if you live in Japan. It's running a campaign to fund the FES Watch U, a more polished-looking version of its e-paper wristwear. You can still customiz...

"Escape from New York" didn't have the budget for digital effects, so the "futuristic" computer rendering of the city skyline we see when Plissken is gliding into Manhattan was created using painted black model buildings and reflective white tape created by James Cameron, the DP for visual effects. [Published articles]

Ridiculously expensive disposable razors are a betrayal of Gillette's original socialist principles [Published articles]

razor-gillette

Everyone knows that shaving razors are a ripoff, with vastly overpriced blade systems being all one can easily find in stores. Malcolm Harris writes that the practice is not only sleazy, but a direct betrayal of the industry's founder, King Camp Gillette.

Gillette was a starry-­eyed utopian socialist. In 1894, he published “The Human Drift,” a book that, among other things, envisioned most of the population of North America living in a huge metropolis powered by Niagara Falls. ... His blade was a model socialist innovation: Gillette replaced toilsome sharpening labor with the smallest, most easily produced part imaginable. The very existence of the Gillette Fusion is an insult to his memory.

You don't have to even pay a dollar for a shave. Get a Merkur Safety Razor for twenty bucks (though first learn about the options) and 100 blades for $10 and you're sorted for at least a year. Once you've found a blade you like, you can order a box of 1000 and remain the best-shaven motorcycle bandit a full decade into the post-Trump apocalypse.

You Can Finally See What Thor Was Up to During Captain America: Civil War [Published articles]

Team Thor mockumentary Civil War

What’s an Asgardian to do when he’s not invited to take a side in Tony Stark and Steve Rogers’ little pissing match? Drop in on his average roommate’s office job, make Homeland-esque conspiracy theory boards about Thanos, and tuck Mjolnir in at night, apparently.

Team Thor Captain America Civil War mockumentary Chris Hemsworth Mjolnir baby blanket

Marvel Studios has finally gifted us with Civil War: Team Thor, the amazing mockumentary tracking Thor’s whereabouts during that other Civil War movie. All of the San Diego Comic-Con writeups didn’t do justice to how absolutely adorable this little gem is. After watching three and a half minutes, all we can say is that Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok needs to get here as soon as possible.

And even though it’s the apocalypse, Ragnarok should hew closer to Team Thor than Thor: The Dark World. Chris Hemsworth is positively delightful with his theories about Thanos (“doesn’t like standing up”) and sketches of giant Mjolnir wielding a tiny Thor (definitely breaking the fourth wall there). But he’s also bummed that he got left out while Bruce “why am I always wearing cutoffs?” Banner had Tony Stark blowing up his phone.

Team Thor Mjolnir sketch

Thor: Ragnarok comes to theaters November 3, 2017—plenty of time for Mjolnir to rest up.

Catch of The Year [Published articles]

Linus on Linux's 25th Birthday [Published articles]

The creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, posted his famous message announcing Linux on August 25, 1991, claiming that it was "just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu." ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols caught up with Linus Torvalds and talked about Linux's origins in a series of interviews: "SJVN: What's Linux real birthday? You're the proud papa, when do you think it was? When you sent out the newsgroup post to the Minix newsgroup on August 25, 1991? When you sent out the 0.01 release to a few friends? LT: I think both of them are valid birthdays. The first newsgroup post is more public (August 25), and you can find it with headers giving date and time and everything. In contrast, I don't think the 0.01 release was ever announced in any public setting (only in private to a few people who had shown interest, and I don't think any of those emails survived). These days the way to find the 0.01 date (September 17) is to go and look at the dates of the files in the tar-file that still remains. So, both of them work for me. Or either. And, by the way, some people will argue for yet other days. For example, the earliest public semi-mention of Linux was July 3: that was the first time I asked for some POSIX docs publicly on the minix newsgroup and mentioned I was working on a project (but didn't name it). And at the other end, October 5 was the first time I actually publicly announced a Linux version: 'version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already).' So you might have to buy four cakes if you want to cover all the eventualities." Vaughan-Nichols goes on to pick Linus' brain about what he was doing when he created Linux. In honor of Linux's 25th birthday today, let's all sing happy birthday... 1... 2... 3...

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

TIL Classc of Tea/Cha Jing/Tea Sutra by Lu Yu has been translated and published by Global Tea Hut, free of charge [Published articles]

The Story of Demon Days by Gorillaz [Published articles]

this is an amazing retrospective. got me so hyped for the new record: http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/gorillaz-demon-days-retrospective

submitted by /u/alidaei to /r/Music
[link] [comments]

Apollo Global is buying Rackspace for $4.3B [Published articles]

Belgians Are Hunting Books, Instead Of Pokemon [Published articles]

An anonymous reader shares a Reuters report:Inspired by the success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks. While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device's GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire's version is played through a Facebook group called "Chasseurs de livres" ("Book hunters"). Players post pictures and hints about where they have hidden a book and others go to hunt them down. Once someone has finished reading a book, they "release" it back into the wild. "While I was arranging my library, I realized I didn't have enough space for all my books. Having played Pokemon Go with my kids, I had the idea of releasing the books into nature," Gregoire told Reuters. Though it was only set up a few weeks ago, more than 40,000 people are already signed up to Gregoire's Facebook group.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kids Practice Reading to Shy Shelter Dogs at Humane Society [Published articles]

White House Is Planning To Let More Foreign Entrepreneurs Work In the US [Published articles]

Peter Hudson writes from a report via Recode: "After failing to get Congress to pass a 'startup visa' as part of broad immigration reform, the Obama administration is moving ahead with an alternative that would allow overseas entrepreneurs to live in the U.S. for up to five years to help build a company," reports Recode. "Already speaking out in favor of the new rules is PayPal co-founder Max Levchin: 'I believe that the most promising entrepreneurs from around the world should have the same opportunity I had -- the chance to deliver on their potential, here in America.' Levchin moved to the U.S. from the Soviet Union in 1991." There are three conditions that need to be met in order to be eligible to work in the U.S. under the new rule: the foreigner would have to own at least 15 percent of a U.S.-based startup, the foreigner would need to have a central role in the startup's operations, and the startup would need to have "potential for rapid business growth and job creation." The third requirement could be met by having at least $100,000 in government grants or $345,000 invested from U.S. venture investors. "Under [the International Entrepreneur Rule (PDF)] being formally proposed on Friday, the Department of Homeland Security would be empowered to use its existing authority to allow entrepreneurs to legally work in the country for two years, possibly followed by a one-time three-year extension," reports Recode. "While the public will have 45 days to comment, the rules aren't subject to congressional approval."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

HTTP Observatory: analyze your website and review available methods to secure it [Published articles]

Director Says It Was Chris Pratt's Idea to Put Kurt Russell in Guardians 2 [Published articles]

Given that Star-Lord spent the entire first Guardians of the Galaxy searching for his father, it seems appropriate that, for the sequel, he would pick his own daddy out of a line-up.

Read more...

‘No Man’s Sky’: Steam, Sony, And Amazon Begin Issuing Refunds, Regardless Of Play Time [Published articles]

Found in Translation: How Amazon is filling a gap in world literature [Published articles]

Chad Post, head of a nonprofit translation press at the University of Rochester, was tallying the number of books translated into English last year when he made a surprising discovery.

Of the 151 presses that published new fiction or poetry in translation in the U.S. in 2015, Amazon’s translation imprint, AmazonCrossing, led with 75 titles, three times more than the next publisher, the nonprofit Dalkey Archive.

Three times!” Post wrote at his Three Percent blog on December 6, 2015. “They make up almost 14 percent of all the translations on their own. That’s incredible.”

Post, who worked in independent bookstores and at the Dalkey Archive before taking his current position at the University of Rochester in 2007, was my guest for this week’s episode of The Kindle Chronicles podcast.

Post is a well-known expert in the world of translations into English, so I was not surprised to learn that he has been in touch with the AmazonCrossing team from the time of its debut in May of 2010.

“I talk to them a lot, especially when they were getting everything set up,” Post told me. “All the people that work there I think are really spectacular.”

At an American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference, Post made introductions for AmazonCrossing representatives “so they could meet the translation community and the different translators who have manuscripts that are either in their drawers and have never been published or are ready to do work for Amazon and the books that they buy.”

Post told me Amazon is filling a gap in the world literature publishing scene between small presses and the big publishers.

“The big corporate presses are not doing very many of these books,” he told me, referring to translations. “They do the big books that seem like they are built to make a lot of money or have a name—Haruki Murakami, Stieg Larsson, the books that are set to have a large sales base for whatever reason.”

Small presses, he said, “tend to have their idiosyncratic taste—they’re interested frequently in finding these books that are high literary, lasting important books and trying to make that kind of a library sense of literature.”

AmazonCrossing is aiming at a gap between those two approaches, Post said.

“We haven’t for a long time seen the normal mystery book that someone picks up in Spain and reads when they go on their vacation,” he explained. “That’s never been translated into English, because it didn’t seem like it would make a ton of money for one of the big presses, and the small presses are looking for something that’s more patently literary.”

“Amazon’s taken up a lot of those kind of books,” Post said, “which is really fascinating and fills in from a historical perspective a wide range of what the aesthetic is in these different countries.”

Post also said he appreciates the financial support Amazon provides to innovative literary nonprofits, including sponsorship of the University of Rochester’s Best Translated Book Awards, the only prize of its kind in the U.S.

Post noted that besides Amazon, the only other source of funding for literature on a national level is the Lannan Foundation. “For nonprofits it’s always a tricky situation,” he said, “and it’s great that there’s someone that’s stepping in in the way that they’re helping.”

I found Post’s enthusiasm for world literature infectious. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, he became interested in the writing of the Argentine novelist Julio Cortazar. In the summer following graduation Post caught up on all the books he hadn’t had time to read during college, including Cortazar’s novel, Hopscotch.

“That was a book that I absolutely loved and adored,” Post told me. He was working in bookstores for his first jobs, which enabled him to read more Latin American literature, especially writers referenced by Cortazar. But many of the titles he wanted to read were not available in English.

“It was the first time that I experienced this lack of what was not available for international books and books in translation,” he said.

What drew him to world literature was the greater experimentation and innovation he found there, compared with American authors.

“It was much more exciting to me, so I got more interested in it through that angle—that there were these things that I’d never seen before and that opened up a new world or how to write and how to think about books.”

Fast forward to Post’s job as publisher of Open Letter Books, which has a staff of three people, and it’s pleasing to see that he is now helping to increase the supply of translated books.

In our interview, he described two new Open Letter titles that sound particularly compelling.

Gesell Dome by the Dashiell Hammett Award-winning Guillermo Saccomanno, published this month, is a 616-page Argentine noire novel.

“It’s set in the winter months, when there are no tourists,” Post said. “It’s people committing adultery, crimes, violence, and no one ever solves anything. There are four people who are in charge, and they’re super-corrupt. It’s kind of like True Detective but set in a weird, small town in Buenos Aires. It’s absolutely wonderful.”

Due out on September 19th from Open Letter is A Greater Music by Bea Suah. Post said Publishers Weekly is set to highlight the novel as one of its breakout books for the fall. The book’s translator, Deborah Smith, just won the Man Booker Award for her translation of The Vegetarian by Han Kang.

“This is a slim book about a South Korean author who is in Germany for the second time,” Post said of A Greater Music. “The book is this woman who is back in with this boyfriend of hers, an on-again, off-again male friend of hers who’s kind of a jerk most of the time, remembering back to what happened the first time she was there, with a love affair she had with her female teacher. It’s an absolutely beautiful book.”

I hope you will listen to my conversation with Chad Post on the podcast, because a good deal of his enthusiasm for world literature is audible in the rush of his words and the passion of his voice.

Three books that I’ve read this year from AmazonCrossing are good illustrations of how translations can change the way we think about books.

They are Winter Men by Jesper Bugge Kold, translated from Danish by K.E. Semmel; Love in Exile by Ayse Kuylin, translated from Turkish by Kenneth Dakan; and Rage by Zygmunt Miloszewski, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Highly recommended!


Comparing Battery Life with and Without Google Services: A Week of Minimal Idle Drain [Published articles]

Juno probe makes the closest-ever encounter with Jupiter [Published articles]

If you thought the Juno probe's first photos of Jupiter were tantalizing, you're in for a treat. The spacecraft just completed the closest approach it will take during its primary mission around the gas giant, passing a mere 2,600 miles above the su...

Why You Should Absolutely Watch The Neverending Story as an Adult [Published articles]

neverending-story-book

The Neverending Story was a classic children’s fantasy of the 1980s, right up there with The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Legend, and The Last Unicorn in creating a latticework of terrifying puppets, questionable animation, and traumatizing storylines. It had an added allure for this small, library-loving nerd: it was about a book that never ended. Most fantasies just give you a perfunctory review of some scrolls or an ancient dusty text before galloping back into an action scene, but The Neverending Story is literally about a kid sitting in an attic and reading all day—making it both fantasy and Carverian realism as far as I was concerned.

Looking back at it as an adult (more or less), I was surprised by how well it holds up. True, you have to look past some extremely…emphatic acting, and Falkor is slightly creepy now that I’m older (although compared to David Bowie’s tights and Molly Grue’s lamentation for her virginity lost youth, he’s really not that bad), but most importantly, watching it now gave me a completely different experience, not just an exercise in nostalgia.

Here are 9 reasons you should revisit it, too:

 

1. Nostalgia

Neverending Story Bastian

Let’s just get this one out of the way. Being a kid sucks most of the time. You have very little agency, you’re bound by rules you don’t always understand, you often have to eat things that you hate, and there’s usually at least some amount of homework. If you were anything like me, the best days of your childhood were most likely spent huddled under a blanket, reading something—The Hobbit, Earthsea, Harry Potter, Ender’s Game—that took you somewhere else, somewhere where you were definitely not a kid, or at least you had some compensatory magical ability. The Neverending Story takes this memory and cranks the dial all the way up, adding a forgotten math test, a spooky attic, and a vicious thunderstorm to create the best possible environment for escapism.

 

2. The effects are fantastic!

I mean, they’re not always good, and they don’t quite stand up to The Dark Crystal or other Henson work of that era, but they have a particular homemade flavor. Morla the Ancient One and the Rock Biter are expressive characters who come to life with only a few moments of screen time, and the council of advisors who summon Atreyu are all unique, rather than succumbing to the discount Mos Eisley Cantina feeling. The Neverending Story isn’t lifting imagery or ideas from Star Wars, E.T., Henson, or even something like Excalibur. Fantasia feels like a fully-realized, self-supporting world, and the movie is telling a story that, while drawing on archetypes and classic mythological themes, still gives you something new.

 

3. The Auryn

Neverending Story Auryn Necklace

The Auryn is still the coolest piece of fantasy jewelry ever. It doesn’t need to be cast into a volcano, it won’t screw up any time streams, and it doesn’t require a piece of your soul. It simply functions as an elegant symbol of eternal return and interconnectedness, and occasionally mystically guides you to the Childlike Empress. No big deal.

 

4. Artax

When you were a kid, Artax’s death was shattering. His death is real, and tragic. Yes, Artax does come back, but only because Bastian—who is just as devastated as the audience—wishes it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I spent waaay too much time wondering if the Artax at the end was really the same Artax, if the newly-wished-into-existence horse would have the same memories as the original. And does he remember his death? (Like I said, maybe too much time spent on this…)

Watching The Neverending Story again as an adult is beneficial in a very specific way: You watch the horse die, it still hurts, and you remember that you’re not the hollowed-out shell of grown-up responsibility you sometimes fear you have become.

See? Helpful.

 

5. The Magic Mirror Gate is far more resonant now

To put it a better way, it probably didn’t make any sense at all when you were a kid, but now it will. As a kid, Engywook’s words of caution—“kind people find out that they are cruel. Brave men discover that they are really cowards! Confronted by their true selves, most men run away screaming!”—didn’t sound terribly scary, because they refer to a very adult type of self-doubt. Bastian and Atreyu are both confused by the Mirror—like the kids watching the film, they can’t understand why seeing your true self is so frightening. But what adult would be willing to look into it, and see that their self-image is false?

 

6. META-PALOOZA. META-GANZA. META-POCALYPSE

Now we throw the term “meta” around as carelessly as “hipster,” but The Neverending Story uses its nested story structure to illustrate a larger point. Atreyu is living his adventure as the hero, but he’s given hints that his life isn’t what he thinks it is. He sees Bastian in the Mirror Gate, hears Bastian scream when Morla first appears, sees his own story depicted in a series of narrative murals, and eventually is directly told by the Empress that Bastian has shared his adventure. Despite this, he never questions his quest. He carries on being a hero, even to the point of challenging Gmork to an unnecessary fight (more on that later) and dies in the Tower without ever realizing that he’s a fictional creation. He has a job to do, and anything beyond that job is irrelevant.

Bastian, meanwhile, also receives clues that he is more involved in the life of Fantasia than he realizes. He hears the Empress tell Atreyu that “others” are sharing Bastian’s adventures: “They were with him in the bookstore, they were with him when he took the book.” Bastian replies with a Hamill-worthy “But that’s impossible!!!” and carries on in his role of nerdy boy reading in an attic. He only truly flips his shit when the Empress addresses him directly to demand a new name. (More on that name in a second.) The movie deftly skips over that bit, and never returns to it, but think about it: those “others” are us, right? As in, the kids sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching the movie? If we’re watching Bastian, and he’s watching Atreyu, then who the hell is watching us?

Now, before we spin off into dorm room musings, I wanted to pull back and say that I don’t think the film was trying to convince us that we’re all in some reality TV show without our knowledge. But I do think they were trying to sneak in a comment about the way we construct our lives. How do we see ourselves? How do we choose our actions? If our lives were books or movies or six-issue mini-trades, what would we want them to look like? I would submit that you could do worse than this:

 

7. “If we’re about to die anyway, I’d rather die fighting”

On the one hand the fight with Gmork is Atreyu acting like a heroic automaton. But then there’s that other hand, and that other hand has an amazing moment in it. Think about it—it would be so much easier for Atreyu to give up. The Nothing is coming anyway, right? Gmork doesn’t recognize him, he’s done everything in his power to reach the Human Child—at this point no one could blame him for sitting back with the Rock Biter and waiting for the Nothing to take him.

Instead, he risks a painful death-by-combat with a giant wolf. That’s a hell of a way to rage against the dying of the light.

 

8. Bastian recreates the world from a grain of sand

Blakean imagery aside, there’s a great lesson here—a lesson that’s far better for adults than kids. When you’re a kid it’s pretty easy to bounce back from failure and disappointment, because—unless you’re a Peanuts character—you just assume that the next time will go better, and you try again. But once you’re older, and you have a longer list of break-ups, dropped classes, books you haven’t finished reading, books you haven’t finished writing, plus maybe a layoff or two, it gets harder and harder to work up enthusiasm for new projects. Here we have a story where the world really ends, and all the characters we love die—Atreyu and Bastian have both failed. How often do you see a kid fail in a children’s movie? But that failure doesn’t mean that Bastian gets to fall apart and hide in the attic forever—he has to go back to work, and, ironically enough, do exactly what his father told him to do at the film’s beginning. Fantasia is his responsibility now, and he has to rebuild it and take care of it.

 

9. Follow Your Urge to Research!

As an adult watching this you can hear the name Moon Child and think, “what the hell? Did Bastian’s grandparents conceive during a Dead show?” Alternatively, you can look up the name Moon Child, and go off on a fabulous Wiki-wormhole leading to Aleister Crowley and the history of 20th Century Magick, which is just fun. But even better, you could dive into the work of The Neverending Story’s author, Michael Ende. Ende was one of most beloved children’s authors in Germany, and while not all of his books have been translated, it’s worth the effort to find them. The Neverending Story in particular is a fascinating deconstruction of fairy tales, much darker than the film, and one of the most rewarding books I’ve ever read.

You have all followed me on the adventure of revisiting this film. Now, in true Childlike Empress style, I am turning to you. I don’t need a new name, but I would like to now: did you love this movie when you were a kid, or were you more into…I don’t know…Inkheart? What are your go-to movies for adult-ennui-relief? I can always use a few more.

This article was originally published August 26, 2013

Leah Schnelbach has never quite managed to keep her feet on the ground, no matter how hard she tries.

The Strange Reason Nearly Every Film Ends by Saying It’s Fiction [Published articles]

My 9 year old came to work with me today and spent 50 minutes presenting his Minecraft creations. He drew a small crowd that included our CEO! Proudest day yet! (xpost /r/daddit) [Published articles]

In about 11 hours, we will be streaming our development of a Flask app [Published articles]

A bit of context:

watchdog is an end to end python application built with the sole purpose of providing all known episode listings of your favorite shows in a single web page.

The intention of the application was to provide a fun weekend project that not only demonstrates value in learning new frameworks such as Flask, but also to help sharpen development skills and learn new methodologies in the programming culture.

We livestreamed the first part of the app last weekend, which can be found here.

This is a list of features that are planned: https://trello.com/b/JSTQkPAZ/

To join in, here's a link to the discord server. A separate text channel will be created once the stream starts that will link to the stream link (which will be around 12 pm Eastern / 9 am Pacific / 4 pm UTC).

You should also join the python voice channel for voice and can ask questions/give suggestions in real time.

submitted by /u/poppy_92 to /r/learnpython
[link] [comments]

Westport will be the new Atlantis [Published articles]

Colombia’s Milestone in World Peace [Published articles]

The long and twisted tale of the Nibbler arcade game [Published articles]

nibbler

Never heard of Nibbler? You’re not alone. Nibbler was one of a handful of arcade games produced in the early 80’s by Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company, a company better known for its stylish jukeboxes. Designed by programmers Joe Ulowetz and John Jaugilas, Nibbler is the bastard lovechild of the Pac-Man and the cell phone game Snake, which you may remember playing on your 2001 Nokia handheld. Oft-maligned by classic arcade gamers as less worthy than games like Donkey Kong, Dig Dug or Defender, Nibbler is actually a fun and fairly addictive game which starts out easy and steadily ramps up difficulty as the player advances through levels of mazes. Since only about 1,500 Nibblers rolled off of the assembly line, it was a somewhat rare find in the arcade scene of the day, especially when compared to the hundreds of thousands of Pac-Man cabinets that proliferated, yet interest in Nibbler has endured into the modern era, spearheaded by a coterie of die-hard Nibbler fanatics. You see, what made Nibbler special is that it held a secret, it was the first game of its era that could be played to one billion points and beyond.

The secret was discovered by Tom Asaki, who at the time was an undergraduate at Montana State University studying physics. The founding member of the “Bozeman Think Tank,” Tom had been one of the early arcade pioneers who cracked Ms. Pac-Man (on which he held world records) and he quickly mastered Nibbler. Tom soon noticed that the score counter kept adding places and noticed that the game could hold at least nine digits. This meant that a score of 999,999,999 (or more) would be possible on Nibbler. Tom decided to see how high he could get on the game and realized that reaching the billion point mark on Nibbler would require a nearly two day, non-stop marathon (on a single quarter of course). Tom embarked on a quest to become the first player to score one billion points on a video game and made several grueling attempts at the billion. Unlike today’s console games, the arcade games of yore could not be paused, so in order to take a bathroom break he had to build up a large reserve of extra lives and then dash off and return to the controls before his last man died off. Because of the pain in his elbows, Tom was forced to soak his arms in ice buckets to help reduce the swelling and discomfort that came with his billion point attempts.

During one such record attempt, while playing at the famous Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa Iowa, a sixteen-year-old local farm boy named Tim McVey noticed a crowd gathered around Tom and the Nibbler cabinet. Curious as to why Tom was receiving all the attention, he soon learned that Tom was going for a billion points on Nibbler. Though Tom failed that day, Tim decided to stick a quarter in the game that everyone was making a fuss about. Soon, he too was hooked and realized that he had a talent for playing Nibbler. With some tips from Tom and encouragement from arcade owner Walter Day, Tim decided to go for the billion points himself. The prize for such an achievement? Life-long bragging rights and a Nibbler arcade game of his very own….

***

I discovered Nibbler around 2007, it was one of a trove of games housed in a MAME (arcade emulation) cabinet, dubbed “the Ultracade” that I built from scratch and then surreptitiously smuggled onto the lot at Universal Studios where I was editing Battlestar Galactica. Working late into the evenings, doing my part to help a rag tag fleet of humans find a mythical planet known as “Earth,” arcade gaming turned out to be a perfect way to blow off steam for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I soon learned that everybody of certain age has “their game." It could be Asteroids, or Joust, Space Invaders or Pac-Man, Centipede or Dragon’s Lair, but everyone has a game they remember and enjoy playing. For me that game was Robotron, an action packed frenzy of a game in which robots rise up to destroy the human race, very fitting for the show I was working on.

During season three, when editor Tim Kinzy joined our team, I found a kindred spirit who, like myself, had a come of age in the 80s and had a nostalgia for retro gaming and 8-bit graphics. We soon started to plumb the depths of the Ultracade, seeking out lost classics and having weekly high score competitions on various games. Then one day, while scrolling through the list of rom titles, we stumbled upon Nibbler. There was something about the 8-bit snake, slithering through a Pac-Man style maze that caught our eye and we soon found ourselves competing for the Nibbler title during lunch breaks.

Our wrists and shoulders ached as we traded high scores, struggling to crest the 100,000 point mark. A few days later, returning to my editing room, I discovered a strange flyer taped to my door. It was a grainy black and white poster of a sullen looking teenager standing next to a Nibbler game with the text “Tim McVey Day” in a large type and below “congratulations for scoring 1,000,000,000 points.” The whole thing looked utterly preposterous, but a quick Google search revealed some startling details. It turned out that in 1984, a Tim McVey of Ottumwa, Iowa had in fact earned over one billion points on the game we were struggling to get one hundred thousand on. Snatching the poster off the door, I walked into our break room, where Tim Kinzy was sweating away, trying to break my Nibbler high score. Tim admitted that, in an act of desperation, he had turned to the internet looking for Nibblergame play tips and had stumbled upon the Tim McVey Day poster.

So there it was, the first-billion point game. It had all hallmarks of a classic coming of age story, of the small town local kid achieving the seemingly impossible and I wanted to know more. What had become of Tim McVey, the stalwart teenager who battled Nibbler for two days in an effort to reach the pantheon of video achievement? With all that drive and determination, what had he gone on to do; who had he become? We decided to see if we could track him down. Surprisingly, a Google search turned up quite a few Timothy McVey’s in Iowa and we proceeded to call them all — it felt kind of like the Terminator searching for the right Sarah Connor. Eventually we located Tim, the Nibbler God, and found that he was an ordinary, all-American, humble, blue collar guy, still living in Iowa, just one town over from where he grew up. We hatched a plan to fly out to Iowa and conduct a round of interviews with Tim, arcade owner Walter Day and Tim’s childhood friend (and billion-point witness) Mark Hoff, with the intention of gathering material to tell the story of the first-billion point game. We figured, one weekend, a little bit of editing and a 5-10 minute video documenting the first billion-point game for YouTube.

Footage in hand, we returned to Los Angeles and our busy day jobs, filing away the tapes until we had a free moment to edit them. Several months later, Tim called us to let us know that he intended to go for the record again. You see, at some point in the late 80s, a rumor of a higher Nibbler score had surfaced in Italy, though never officially verified, the rumor had cast doubt on Tim’s epic achievement and had always troubled him. So now, despite the passing of twenty-five years, an older, less fit Tim McVey was going to embark on a quest to once and for all lay claim to the Nibbler world record title and dispel all doubt. It struck us that there’s something universal about the story of man attempting to recapture the glory of his youth and there would be inherent drama in the two days of grueling game play that setting a new record would require. So we decided to grab our cameras and document Tim’s quest. Little did we realize that we were about to embark on a multi-year filmmaking odyssey during which we would discover other die-hard Nibbler players, including the long lost Italian and learn more about Nibbler than we ever thought possible. In the end, Tim’s journey would take him down a long and twisting road full of ups and downs and surprises and along the way we became what I like to call “accidental documentarians.” I don’t want to spoil the film for you, but the end result is a lot of fun and surprisingly inspirational, so if your interested in learning more check out the full-length film, MAN VS SNAKE.

Andrew Seklir is a producer, director and Emmy-nominated editor whose credits include WESTWORLD/HBO, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA/SyFy and ATARI: GAME OVER/Xbox Studios.

How Nextdoor reduced racist posts [Published articles]

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down with Crucial NASA Research Samples [Published articles]

SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 26, southwest of Baja California with more than 3,000 pounds of NASA cargo, science and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station.

New Virus Breaks the Rules of Infection [Published articles]

Watch a tornado flatten a Starbucks in seconds [Published articles]

P1Qw5u4y-960-540

When a tornado destroyed this Starbucks in Kokomo, Indiana on Wednesday, there were reportedly more than a dozen people inside. After store manager Kim McCartney called employee Angel Ramos to tell him about a texted tornado warning she'd received, he rushed everyone into the bathrooms. A few minutes later, a tornado destroyed the building leaving only the bathrooms intact. Amazingly, nobody was injured.

“I could see the sky from holes in the bathroom ceiling, so I figured there was some chunk of the store that would be missing,” Ramos said in a report posted on Starbucks.com. “I didn’t know it would be the whole thing.”

P1Qw5u4y-960-540

Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert rant about D&D [Published articles]

AAA study sheds light on AEB systems [Published articles]

Soft car Automatic emergency braking systems, or AEB, will be installed in 99% of all new passenger vehicles by 2022. Toyota has promised to have it on all of its vehicles by 2017, and many vehicles already have the sensors and technology in place. But that doesn’t mean every system on every vehicle works exactly the same way. That’s why AAA put five 2016 vehicles to the AEB test in 70 trials. Read More

How you can avoid committing the "conjunction fallacy" [Published articles]

vesica-pisces-as-conjunction-area-between-2-circular-waves

Here is a logic puzzle created by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

“Linda is single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with the issue of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in demonstrations. Which of the following is more probable: Linda is a bank teller or Linda is a bank teller AND is active in the feminist movement?”

In studies, when asked this question, more than 80 percent of people chose number two. Most people said it was more probably that Linda is a bank teller AND active in the feminist movement, but that’s wrong. Can you tell why?

This thinking mistake is an example of the subject of this episode – the conjunction fallacy. Listen as three experts in logic and reasoning explain why people get this question wrong, why it is wrong, and how you can avoid committing the conjunction fallacy in other situations.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the ninth in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

This episode is sponsored by Bombas – game-changing socks. Bombas decided to take socks seriously, by designing the most highly engineered, best-fitting, comfortable socks humans have ever imagined – and they look cool too. Go to Bombas.com/SOSMARTfor 20% off your first order.

This episode is also sponsored by Squarespace. Creating your website with Squarespace is a simple, intuitive process. You can add and arrange
your content and features with the click of a mouse. Squarespace makes adding a domain to your site simple; if you sign up for a year you’ll receive a custom domain for free for that year. Head to Squarespace.com and use the offer code “SoSmart” for 10 percent off your first order.

This episode is also sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Fundamentals of Photography filmed in partnership with The National Geographic and taught by professional photographer Joel Sartore. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

BobBob Blaskiewicz is an assistant professor who teaches, among other subjects, critical thinking at Stockton University. He also writes about logic and reasoning at skepticalhumanities.com, and is a regular guest on the YouTube show The Virtual Skeptics.

julia-galef-headshot

Julie Galef is the president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, a non-profit devoted to training people to be better at reasoning and decision-making. She is also the host of the Rationally Speaking Podcast and writes for publications like Slate, Science, Scientific American, and Popular Science. This is her website.

Vanessa Hill is an Australian science writer and stop-motion animator who hosts BrainCraft, a PBS series exploring psychology, neuroscience and human behavior. She previously worked for Australia’s national science agency, as a science reporter for ScienceAlert, and has appeared in TIME,The Huffington Post,Scientific American, and Brain Pickings. Her Twitter page is here.

In every episode, after I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, “You Are Now Less Dumb,” and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Justin Near who sent in a recipe for Monster Cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at} youarenotsosmart.com.

Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

BrainCraft

Center for Applied Rationality

Skeptical Humanities

Your Logical Fallacy Is

PBS Idea Channel

A Guide to Logical Fallacies

Extensional versus intuitive reasoning: The conjunction fallacy in probability judgment.

Looking at “Linda”: Is the Conjunction Fallacy Really a Fallacy?

The Conjunction Fallacy at Bias123

Italy Quake Rescuers Ask Locals To Unlock Their Wi-Fi [Published articles]

Rescue teams searching for earthquake survivors in central Italy have asked locals to unlock their Wifi passwords. The Italian Red Cross says residents' home networks can assist with communications during the search for survivors, reports BBC. From the report: On Wednesday a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Italy and killed more than 240 people. More than 4,300 rescuers are looking for survivors believed to still be trapped in the rubble. On Twitter, the Italian Red Cross posted a step-by-step guide which explains how local residents can switch off their Wifi network encryption. Similar requests have been made by the National Geological Association and Lazio Region. A security expert has warned that removing encryption from a home Wifi network carries its own risks, but added that those concerns are trivial in the context of the rescue operation.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NASA's Juno to Soar Closest to Jupiter This Saturday [Published articles]

This dual view of Jupiter was taken on August 23, when NASA's Juno spacecraft was 2.8 million miles (4.4 million kilometers) from the gas giant planet on the inbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

An update on the Juno mission, from NASA.

(more…)

Kurt Russell Is Getting His Own Art Show Because Sometimes the World Is a Good Place [Published articles]

Kurt Russell is one of the most fascinating actors in the world. From his start at Disney, to his background in baseball, his wacky comedies, insane list of cult classics, and current resurgence, it feels like there’s nothing he can’t do. So who better to be the subject of their own art show than Jack Burton, Snake Plissken, R.J. MacReady, and Wyatt Earp himself, Kurt Russell?

Read more...

Researchers are building a robotic Lionfish exterminator [Published articles]

We joke around a lot about bringing about a horrific robot apocalypse, but let's get real: sometimes, building a killer robot is just the right thing to do. Well, at least when those robots are being used to cull invasive species. Researchers at Robo...

Massimo Pigliucci on Stoicism [Published articles]

How Tesla Motors rewrote the HR game and cut its handbook to 4 pages [Published articles]

People will lie to robots to avoid hurting their feelings [Published articles]

In the future, it's possible that robots will be able to prey on our emotions. Or at least, behave in a way that makes us more sympathetic towards them. Research carried out by the University College London (UCL) and the University of Bristol has dis...

AskScience AMA Series: We have discovered an Earth-mass exoplanet around the nearest star to our Solar System. AMA! [Published articles]

Guests: Pale Red Dot team, Julien Morin (Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, Universite de Montpellier, CNRS, France), James Jenkins (Departamento de Astronomia, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile), Yiannis Tsapras (Zentrum fur Astronomie der Universitat Heidelberg (ZAH), Heidelberg, Germany).

Summary: We are a team of astronomers running a campaign called the Pale Red Dot. We have found definitive evidence of a planet in orbit around the closest star to Earth, besides the Sun. The star is called Proxima Centauri and lies just over 4 light-years from us. The planet we've discovered is now called Proxima b and this makes it the closest exoplanet to us and therefore the main target should we ever develop the necessary technologies to travel to a planet outside the Solar System.

Our results have just been published today in Nature, but our observing campaign lasted from mid January to April 2016. We have kept a blog about the entire process here: www.palereddot.org and have also communicated via Twitter @Pale_Red_Dot and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/palereddot/

We will be available starting 22:00 CEST (16 ET, 20 UT). Ask Us Anything!

Science Release

submitted by /u/AskScienceModerator to /r/askscience
[link] [comments]

Protips: chefs explain how they dress up frozen pizza [Published articles]

Frozen_Grandiosa_Doublesalami

Five chefs shared their top tips for improving frozen pizza: the easiest and most plausible one on the list is to just top the thing with thin-sliced garlic before cooking, turning it into delicious roast garlic topping by the time it's done. (more…)

Beautiful wooden shell thingy is also a classic arcade cabinet [Published articles]

14022185_627723640742771_6929721855182187570_n

8Bitdo's prototype Desktop Arcade Joy Stick is a) an entire retrogame cabinet, complete with controls, display and guts, b) excellently crafted from wood, c) a surprisingly beautiful re-contextualizing of the experience of play. I'd like to own an entire arcadeful of these, in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 6 feet tall, in a colossal building the exact same shape, with anarchoprimitivist propaganda and classic arcade slowruns depicted on its vast screen. The real thing, though, is perfectly desktop-sized: about 12" across. (more…)

NPR Let Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Mutton Chops Write Him a Letter [Published articles]

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

On the list of Excellent Reasons to Catch Up on Some Reading Over at NPR.org, “letters from Hugh Jackman’s facial hair” oddly never made an appearance. Until today.

Well, until yesterday, if we’re nit-picking about it.

Glen Weldon has done us all the favor of telling the real Wolverine story—from the perspective of Hugh Jackman’s mutton chops. The very same mutton chops that he gleefully shaved off on a Twitter video for all his followers.

Needless to say, the mutton chops aren’t having it. After all, they are the reason why Jackman is a household name in the first place. And if you had any doubts about that, don’t worry. The chops are happy to explain the truth to you, at great length:

That’s because, qua coiffures, mutton chops signify something very specific: chaos and control in perfect balance. Facial hair allowed to grow thick and bushy—pure untrammeled virility!—but only within rigid parameters. The cheeks, not the chin.

Business in the front, party on the sides.

The chops also tell Jackman off for casting them aside publicly right before their 17th anniversary, which everyone knows is “the furniture anniversary.” (Side note: I absolutely did not know this.)

Point is, get over to NPR if you want to see the world greatest take-down of a true superhero legend. Or if you just find yourself weirdly aligned to the pain of cast-off facial hair.

GitLab has added a kanban issue management board (and it is awesome) [Published articles]

20% of Scientific Papers On Genes Contain Conversion Errors Caused By Excel, Says Report [Published articles]

An anonymous reader writes from a report via WinBeta: A new report from scientists Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren, and Assam El-Osta says that 20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel. In the scientific article, titled "Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature," article's abstract section, the scientists explain: "The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions." It's easy to see why Excel might have problems with certain gene names when you see the "gene symbols" that the scientists use as examples: "For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to '2-Sep' and '1-Mar', respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession '2310009E13' to '2.31E+13'). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. 'SEPT2' converted to '2006/09/02'). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem." You can view the scientific paper in its entirety here.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mylan CEO raises price of EpiPens over 400% in 9 years, is rewarded with 671% raise [Published articles]

epii

The head of the pharmaceutical company that makes EpiPens raised the price of the life-saving device by over 400%. She was rewarded with a 671% raise. (more…)

3D photos from 1850s Japan [Published articles]

Japanese-men1

These 1850s photos of Japan were taken with a stereoscopic camera like the one shown here. The photos were hand-tinted and meant to be viewed with a stereoscope. (A View Master is a stereoscope.) The images here are animated GIFs that blink back and forth between the two photos, giving you the 3D effect without having to use a stereopscope.

[via]

#311210 [Published articles]

windsor: I am beginning to think the only way for anyone from my generation to accomplish some goal (weight loss, driver's license, change of opinion, etc). is for them to feverishly document the entire process on social networking sites.

NASA Unveils New Public Web Portal for Research Results [Published articles]

Public access to NASA-funded research data now is just a click away, with the launch of a new agency public access portal. The creation of the NASA-Funded Research Results portal on NASA.gov reflects the agency’s ongoing commitment to providing broad public access to science data.

NASA TV to Air U.S. Spacewalk, Briefing [Published articles]

On Sept. 1, two NASA astronauts will spacewalk outside the International Space Station for the second time in less than two weeks.

Moist. MOIST!!!! (the science of why some people hate that word) [Published articles]

moist

New psychology research explores "word aversion," or why "as many as 20% of the population equates hearing the word 'moist' to the sound fingernails scratching a chalkboard." In a scientific paper about their study, psychologists from Oberlin College and Trinity University report that for some people the word "moist" is associated with bodily functions that trigger a visceral feeling of disgust. No surprise there. But interestingly, those "semantic features" of the word may not be the only issue at play. From their paper:

A separate possible explanation not tested in the current studies, but which the author acknowledges, is rooted in the facial feedback hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that facial movement can influence emotional experience. In other words, if facial muscles are forced to configure in ways that match particular emotional expressions, then that may be enough to actually elicit the experience of the emotion. On this explanation, saying the word “moist” might require the activation of facial muscles involved in the prototypical disgust expression, and therefore trigger the experience of the emotion. This could explain the visceral response of “yuck” people get when they think of the word. Separate research has identified the particular facial muscles involved in the experience and expression of disgust, but no research as of yet has tested whether the same muscles are required when saying “moist.”

"An Exploratory Investigation of Word Aversion" (via Scientific American)

Peak Pokémon Go has already passed [Published articles]

pikachu-pokemon-go-unhappy-sad-bad-mood-angry.png

A new report from Axiom Capital Management suggests that Pokémon Go is on a downward trend in daily active users and engagement of those users. The data comes from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia.

Additionally, "The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high," says senior analyst Victor Anthony.

(Bloomberg Markets)

-1x-1

-1x-1-1-1x-1-2

Web Scraping in 2016 [Published articles]

Amateur Radio Sleuthing Pins Down Source of Strange RF Interference [Published articles]