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What Is A Micro-cheat And Are You One?

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      There are worrying signs of a new puritanism creeping into relations between the genders. Last summer, a survey of over 5,000 adults for the New York Times found that significant numbers of heterosexual Americans regard eating lunch, driving in a car, or even having work meetings alone with someone of the opposite sex as sexually risky behaviour.

      My 2 "pence" worth.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/what-is-a-micro-cheat-and-are-you-one-1.3360117

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      How To Tickle Your Rat.

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          I was tickled pink by this.

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          Why Isn't Big Tech Regulated Like Big Oil Or Big Tobacco.

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              What Can Be Done About the Attention Economy's Dark Side? Powerhouse Commission Ponders Reeling In Facebook and Google Before It's Too Late Big Tech's algorithms have turned billions of device users into addicts whose every whim is tracked and baited.

              Jan. 20, 2018

              Everywhere you look, high tech is in somebody’s bullseye. . . . On the inside, top investors are worriedabout its products’ effects on children. On the outside, liberal activists are grousing about its offshore billions it can now bring home under GOP tax reform. Even usually anti-regulation conservatives at the National Review are asking why Big Tech isn’t regulated like Big Oil or Big Tobacco.

              https://www.alternet.org/media/what-can-be-done-ab...

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              Virgin's Hyperloop: Future Or Fantasy?

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                  I think this could be a serious contender for transport, if not for passengers most definitely for freight.

                  Millions less trucks on the road, ships on the sea and planes in the air.

                  The pneumatic delivery system of old was based on a similar principle, here's a modern version of that.

                  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42730916

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                  500 Years Later, Scientists Discover What Probably Killed The Aztecs

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                      "Within five years as many as 15 million people – an estimated 80% of the population – were wiped out in an epidemic the locals named “cocoliztli”. The word means pestilence in the Aztec Nahuatl language."

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                      'In 1545 disaster struck Mexico’s Aztec nation when people started coming down with high fevers, headaches and bleeding from the eyes, mouth and nose. Death generally followed in three or four days.

                      'Within five years as many as 15 million people – an estimated 80% of the population – were wiped out in an epidemic the locals named “cocoliztli”. The word means pestilence in the Aztec Nahuatl language. Its cause, however, has been questioned for nearly 500 years.

                      'On Monday scientists swept aside smallpox, measles, mumps, and influenza as likely suspects, identifying a typhoid-like “enteric fever” for which they found DNA evidence on the teeth of long-dead victims.

                      '“The 1545-50 cocoliztli was one of many epidemics to affect Mexico after the arrival of Europeans, but was specifically the second of three epidemics that were most devastating and led to the largest number of human losses,” said Ashild Vagene of the University of Tuebingen in Germany.

                      '“The cause of this epidemic has been debated for over a century by historians and now we are able to provide direct evidence through the use of ancient DNA to contribute to a longstanding historical question.”

                      'Vagene co-authored a study published in the science journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

                      'The outbreak is considered one of the deadliest epidemics in human history, approaching the Black Death bubonic plague that killed 25 million people in western Europe in the 14th century – about half the regional population.'

                      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/16/mexi...

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                      Strangest Things: Fossils Reveal How Fungus Shaped Life On Earth

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                          "Much of the weirdness depicted in the TV show Stranger Things is distinctly fungal. The massive organic underground network, the floating spores, and even the rotting pumpkin fields all capture the “otherness” of fungi: neither plants nor animals, often bizarre-looking, and associated with decay. As weird as they may seem to us, fungi are integral to the story of the evolution of our landscapes and climate.

                          "Molecular studies show us that animals and fungi share a more recent common ancestor than either group does with plants, and that these groups had all diverged over a billion years ago. A sparse fossil record for fungi is not entirely surprising, given the low preservation potential of soft, microscopic threads, but we still have tantalising glimpses of their history. Recent work on the Rhynie Chert, a deposit formed in hydrothermal wetlands 407m years ago, preserving an early land ecosystem in exquisite detail, has helped to reveal the hidden history of fungi. All modern groups of fungi are abundant in Rhynie chert samples apart from the basidiomycota, the group which includes those most familiar of fungi: mushrooms. New findings have been published in a special volume of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

                          "Prototaxites is an organism as odd as anything in Stranger Things. Bearing a superficial similarity to a fossil conifer trunk (and initially described and named as such in the 19th century), some specimens are up to a metre in diameter and more than eight metres long. It has long been debated, but most researchers have settled on a fungal affinity for Prototaxites. Until the appearance of the first forests around 375 Ma, the largest organism on land, towering over the landscape, was an enormous fungus."

                          https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jan/16/st...

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                          Submersible Implodes

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                              ...At 11 atmospheres. An atmosphere being 1 bar. or about 14.5 pounds per square inch of downforce. When looked at this way, we carry quite a lot of pressure without even knowing it.
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                              Two Suns? No, It's A Supernova Drawn 6,000 Years Ago, Say Scientists

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                                  "For decades, stone carvings unearthed in the Himalayan territory of Kashmirwere thought to depict a hunting scene. But the presence of two celestial objects in the drawings has piqued the interest of a group of Indian astronomers.

                                  "They have proposed another theory. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of History of Science, the Kashmir rock drawings may be the oldest depiction of a supernova, the final explosion of a dying star, ever discovered.

                                  "Archaeologists found the carvings nearly half a century ago in Kashmir’s Burzahama site, where the oldest settlements have been dated to about 4,300BC. It showed two hunters, a bull, and two beaming disks in the sky initially speculated to be two suns.

                                  "That explanation did not satisfy Mayank Vahia and a team of astrophysicists in India and Germany. “Our first argument was, there cannot be two suns,” Vahia said. “We thought it must have been an object that appeared and attracted the attention of the artists.”

                                  "Stars that die in dazzling explosions called supernovas release signals that emanate throughout the universe for thousands of years, allowing astronomers to trace their timing and coordinates.

                                  "Vahia and his team searched their catalogue, guided by the ancient depiction. “We needed one that would have been brighter than the moon in the night sky and visible in the daytime,” he said.

                                  "They settled on Supernova HB9, a star that exploded around 4,600BC.

                                  "Rewinding the map of the sky back that far revealed more clues.

                                  "Viewed from Kashmir, the supernova would have occurred somewhere near the Orion constellation. “Which is known as the scene of a hunter,” said Vahia.

                                  "“The supernova also went off just above the constellation of Taurus, the bull, which is also seen in the drawing,” Vahia added.

                                  "The astronomers no longer believed the ancient artists had depicted a hunting scene illuminated by a spectacular supernova. “They had drawn the entire sky.”"

                                  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/10/two-...

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