• 46 Posts
Joined 2Y ago
Cake day: Mar 14, 2021


I was worried that a headline like that was going to be some silly pseudo-science link. So I’m going to quote the fun analogies from the opening paragraph of linked article, to give a better sense to someone looking here where this is going :

I’ll start by giving you a few similar questions to answer.

  1. How perfectly do you have to build a house so that it will become a single brick?
  2. How well do you have to write an entire dictionary to change it into a single word?
  3. What would you have to do to change an entire symphony into a single note?

If you are thinking that those questions don’t make much sense, then you are feeling very much like a scientist who has been asked “How much proof does it take for a theory to graduate to being a law?”

Britain has one of the richest of all pagan heritages in Europe, defined as the textual and material evidence for its pre-Christian religions. The island is possessed of monuments, burial sites and a range of other remains not only from several distinct ages of prehistory, but also from three different major historic cultures. This lecture will look at what we know of prehistoric worship, focusing on Stonehenge and the bog body known as Lindow Man, to examine the difficulties of interpreting evidence for ritual behaviour for which no textual testimony survives.

In this year's Genetics Society JBS Haldane Lecture, Turi King will discuss leading the international research team involved in the DNA identification work of the remains of Richard III and the current project to sequence his entire genome. Watch the Q&A: [https://youtu.be/Be3lDr--l64](https://youtu.be/Be3lDr--l64) Turi King is a Reader in Genetics and Archaeology and Professor of Public Engagement at the University of Leicester. She is perhaps best known for leading the genetics analysis in the King Richard III case leading to the identification of his remains in 2014 which led to his reinterment in Leicester Cathedral in 2015. This talk and Q&A was recorded in the Ri on 26 November 2018.

The introduction of the euro (exactly twenty years ago as Greece’s currency) was presented as a big promise of economic convergence and well-being, in the spirit of the even bigger promise of permanent peace in the European continent. However, as is all too evident by now, the euro was instrumental in dividing rather than uniting Europe, and it put in action centrifugal forces that undermined unification – a prerequisite for a common European foreign policy and defense policy. Today, in the context of the biggest military conflict on European soil since decades, a critical re-evaluation of the twenty-year-long history of the common currency is more urgent than ever.

Prehistoric roots of cold sore virus traced through ancient DNA
The first ancient herpes genomes to be sequenced suggest that the virus became widespread with Bronze Age migrations into Europe and possibly the emergence of kissing.

A scientist who failed to get her preprint article published in peer review journals (basically advocating evidence for lab covid leak theory), self-publishes criticism of other scientists who did manage to get their preprints published in a peer review journal (basically advocating for covid natural origins). Fair enough, but keep in mind we are basically comparing opinion piece to peer review here.

Also it’s a bit unfortunate that she starts out describing how the media ran with the preprint she is criticising, when the media did the exact same thing (and probably did it worse) with her own preprint. She seems like a smart person, but it seems there are also reasons top be extra skeptical of her analysis.

In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that our Universe is expanding. Eighty years later, the Space Telescope that bears his name is being used to study an even more surprising phenomenon: the expansion is speeding up. The origin of this effect is not known but is broadly attributed to a type of “dark energy” first posited to exist by Albert Einstein and now dominating the mass-energy budget of the Universe. Professor Riess will describe how his team discovered the acceleration of the Universe and why understanding the nature of dark energy presents one of the greatest remaining challenges in astrophysics and cosmology. He will also discuss recent evidence that the Universe continues to defy our best efforts to predict its behavior.

Some interesting perspective from the inside. Of course one usually can’t overcome systemic biases with training, but at least some are thinking about it which is, arguably, better than completely ignoring it.

Everyone agrees that good judges are essential for the maintenance of the Rule of Law in a democratic society. But what makes a judge a good judge and how should we recruit them? The talk will consider how the role of the judiciary has been regarded over the years, how the skills and qualities needed have changed and how they have stayed the same as well as looking at different approaches to judicial appointment in different jurisdictions.

How different does the invisible Universe look from the home we thought we knew? What does the cosmos have in store for us beyond the phenomena we can see, from black holes to supernovas? Since the dawn of our species, people all over the world have gazed in awe at the night sky. But we can only see a tiny fraction of the Universe. Join Matthew Bothwell as he asks what the cosmos has in store for us beyond the phenomena we can see, from black holes to supernovas? And how different does the invisible Universe look from the home we thought we knew? Matthew Bothwell is an astronomer and science communicator based at the Institute of Astronomy and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.Matthew recieved his PhD from the University of Cambridge, working with Prof. Rob Kennicutt and Dr. Scott Chapman. Before taking up science communication, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, and the Astrophysics group at the University of Cambridge. This talk was recorded on 15 November 2021 Watch the Q&A: https://youtu.be/t8VUHQneRtc

Great, high energy talk. But I found myself getting a bit depressed thinking about the incredibly stunning amount of resources that goes into these military planes, while the government claims not to be able to afford much else. And similarly the jingo of “bad guys” and “bad-guy-land” was a bit grating to me. But there’s no denying, the technology is amazing, and the pilot is skilled at flying as well as explaining. Really interesting.

Original Summary: Using the latest experimental data from the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and labs and observatories around the world, including a neutrino detector buried a kilometre under an Italian mountain to a gravitational wave detector nestled in the humid pine forest of Louisiana, particle physicist Harry Cliff will reveal what the newest findings tell us about the the fundamental ingredients of matter and their origins. Harry Cliff is a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge working on the LHCb experiment, a huge particle detector buried 100 metres underground at CERN near Geneva. He is a member of an international team of around 1400 physicists, engineers and computer scientists who are using LHCb to study the basic building blocks of our universe, in search of answers to some of the biggest questions in modern physics.

Nebula is a subscription service started by some significant youtubers to share revenue and get out from under youtube’s enormous thumb (if possible). Most of the content you can find also posted on youtube for “free”, but Nebula is ad-free and has some unique content, and tries to support creators more equitably.

It’s not exactly a worker’s co-op, but maybe as close to it as we viably have for streaming video so far. See the FAQ. It’s not FLOSS, or even free, but it is an alternative to potentially consider.

For free and FLOSS, TILVids node of peertube might be of interest.

Summary from source: In 1977 or thereabouts a collection of scientists huddled around a secret radio receiver in the US desert. This was the start of GPS, Glonass, Gallileo and the whole navigation industry. A GPS chipset now costs, in bulk, a few dollars so your watch, your phone, your computer all have GPS receivers and everyone knows where they are all the time. But how does this technology work? And are there situations when it does not work? A lecture by [Richard Harvey](https://www.gresham.ac.uk/professors-and-speakers/richard-harvey/) The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the [Gresham College website](https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/gps)

I found this lecture a bit hard to follow. And I found myself wondering “but why??” a lot; there is a lot of description of the phenomenon, but not a lot of explanation. The Q&A at the end is quite helpful in filling in some gaps and answering some questions. Really interesting, though I’m still a bit baffled as to the “why” of it.

The best way I could analogize my understanding might be like if foreign films subtitled in English inserted stereotypical “valley girl” phrases into all the foreign women’s speech, making all foreign women seem like “valley girls”. And all foreign men added the word “cool”, on the end of many of their sentences. This is, I think, a more extreme and more ridiculous example than what is being described, but gives the idea (maybe). But I’m still wondering why, and how this came to be a norm! Some hints are in the Q&A, but not enough.

The example given in the lecture of Ripley in the movie “Alien” having her lines “I got you, you son of a removed!” translated with these stereotypical “softening/feminizing” words inserted was particularly hilarious.

Original summary: UBC Asian Studies presents "Foreign Femininity and Masculinity in Japanese Translation," held on October 1st, 2021 with professor and author Momoko Nakamura. This public lecture occurred as a component of JAPN465: Japanese Media and Translation. The talk was presented in English. This paper investigates how Japanese translators use Japanese gendered features in translating the speech of non-Japanese women and men (Inoue 2003; Shibamoto Smith 2004). The data consists of the translated speech in English and Russian literary works, TV dramas, films and newspaper interview articles. Based on the methodology of discourse analysis, Dr. Momoko Nakamura examines the occurrences of feminine and masculine features in the wide range of media discourse (Nakamura 2013). The analysis shows: 1) Japanese translators overwhelmingly use feminine features in translating non-Japanese women’s speech, and 2) while they also employ masculine features in translating non-Japanese men’s speech, with respect to the casual, laid-back speech of non-Japanese men, they have created a specific Japanese style used only in the translation of the speech. The findings suggest: 1) the predominant use of feminine features for the speech of non-Japanese women works to naturalize Japanese femininity beyond linguistic and ethnic boundaries, and 2) the invention of the style for non-Japanese men serves to enregister the Japanese stereotype of non-Japanese casual masculinity, depending on which Japanese masculinity maintains its idealized status. In sum, this paper contributes to elucidating the inter-lingual intersections of gender construction. Guest Speaker: Momoko Nakamura, Ph.D. is Professor of English at Kanto Gakuin University, Japan. Her research interest includes linguistic construction of gendered, sexualized identity and discursive formation of gendered styles. She is the author of Jibunrashisa to nihongo [Identity and Japanese] (2021, Chikuma shobo), Shinkeigo ‘majiyabaissu’: shakaigengogaku no shiten kara [New Honorifics “Majiyabaissu”: A Sociolinguistic Approach] (2020, Hakutakusha), Gender, Language and Ideology: A Genealogy of Japanese Women’s Language (2014, John Benjamins), and Honyaku ga tsukuru Nihongo: Hiroin wa onna kotoba o hanashi tsuzukeru [Translation and Japanese: Heroines Speak Women’s Language] (2013, Hakutakusha).

Summary from source: As the world continues the battle against the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are paying closer attention than ever to the development and implementation of public health policy and research. As McGill University’s 67th Beatty lecturer, Dr. Anthony Fauci will share his insights and remarkable life experience as an infectious diseases expert and public health official on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. In this the university’s bicentennial year, the public lecture will be presented exclusively online on Friday, October 1, 2021, as part of McGill’s virtual Homecoming festivities. The chief medical advisor to President Biden—and advisor to six presidents before him—Dr. Fauci has served as Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, overseeing an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2. Notably, he was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world since its launch in 2003. He remains a leader in the global HIV research response. He has also led research efforts to combat tuberculosis, malaria, as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. Dr. Fauci is considered a pioneer in the field of human immunoregulation and is the longtime chief of the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Laboratory of Immunoregulation. Born in New York in 1940, as a young man Dr. Fauci delivered prescriptions for the neighborhood pharmacy that his parents owned and operated. He earned a medical degree from Cornell University in 1966, and then began his 53-year career at the NIH in 1968, assuming his NIAID director position in 1984. Today he is one of the world’s most-cited biomedical scientists. Dr. Fauci is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal, the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians, and the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as many other professional societies.

Summary: In her Perimeter Public Lecture webcast on October 6, 2021, physicist Naoko Kurahashi Neilson will discuss her experience conducting research in one of the least habitable places on Earth and share some of the insights into our universe that high-energy neutrinos can offer. Kurahashi Neilson is an associate professor at Drexel University and a member of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica.

Synopsis: Nell Painter combines the discursive meanings of scholarship with the visual meaning of painting, to answer, literally, why white people are called 'Caucasian,' what that looks like, and how they all relate to our ideas about personal beauty.

Description: What information and stories work to keep people positive about the future, and how can climate professionals discuss their work in public without the 'doom and gloom'? With so many headlines warning of impending climate doom, it's tempting to think the situation is hopeless and nothing can be done. But if we are going to avoid the worst effects of the changing climate, we need to acknowledge the scale and seriousness of the problem without falling into despair. The scientists, engineers and campaigners that are working on a better future will need to inspire people, not lecture them, and listen to their concerns, not dismiss them. This talk is part of our new series on the climate crisis in partnership with the Grantham Institute. Join a panel of experts as they discuss the psychology of climate change: - Lorraine Whitmarsh is an environmental psychologist, specialising in perceptions and behaviour in relation to climate change, energy and transport. She is Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). Her research projects have included studies of energy efficiency behaviours, waste reduction and carrier bag reuse, perceptions of smart technologies and electric vehicles, low-carbon lifestyles, and responses to climate change. - Amiera Sawas joined Climate Outreach in 2021 as Director of Programmes and Research. She is responsible for overseeing the programmatic and research implementation of the organisation’s strategy. - Amiera has a PhD in Human Geography, a Masters in Global Politics and a Bachelors in Psychology. - Renzo Guinto, MD DrPH is Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Public Health and Inaugural Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine in the Philippines. He is also Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab – a “glo-cal think-and-do tank” for advancing the health of both people and the planet. Watch the Q&A: https://youtu.be/bDYVmfiQsyo

Lovely looking game. But I don’t see any indication it is open source?

Cons here too. It’s been Con since the riding was created, but the sadder thing is that it’s actually getting close here to marginal change (mainly just due to changing demographics – urbanization). Last federal election was within around 2000 votes. I think Libs could have had it, but as far as I could see they put in very little effort until the last days, and although the race tightened up in the last week, they lost by more this time than last time. This despite the PPC doing embarrassingly well also. Didn’t help that the candidate the Libs dropped in was a former candidate for mayor, who in that race opposed a lot progressive issues, but despite being seemingly mysteriously well financed thankfully lost that race against the incredibly boring establishment incumbent.

I had to hold my nose pretty hard while strategically voting for this guy, just hoping against hope for a Con upset. Oh well. None of the candidates for any party here were actually interesting to me. So at least I don’t have to feel bad for not voting for a person I actually liked. Is that a bright side?

Definitely recommended for the boomers. It’s relatively user friendly, will work/sync on all their devices without you having to think about it. And if it doesn’t work out in the future, there’s no lock in.

I’ve used it for years. I ran my own server at first, just to make sure it was possible and reasonable. It was nice, and fully featured (I used the third-party bitwarden_rs sever, now called vaultwarden). But eventually I got tired of maintaining it and just switched to the free account bitwarden offers, reassured that I could load a backup to self-hosted again at any time if bitwarden’s servers ever go away, or get bought out by a disagreeable corporation, or whatever.

I just found it interesting how the Canadian founder of Farm Aid sees things differently than his American partners in regards to Covid-19 delta context.

How about a simple but ambiguous directive: “Use the Link” (“Use the link, Luke” would be going to far! haha)

Let’s see more ideas. The more the better.

You sound like you might have been a thoughtful and attentive high school student. Too bad you couldn’t vote! (Just kidding, re: your other recent reply. ha ha)

Anyhow, thanks for the urban heat island article. Q uite interesting. I hadn’t come across that before.

You make some valid points, but my perspective somewhat differs. I’m not sure we understand the significance of “fully developed brain” in this case. For example, would you advocate that there must be an IQ threshold required for voting? I understand IQ is narrow and limited test, just the way that a drivers license is a limited analogy for voting competence. It’s just one example. What tests would you suggest require being passed? What about adults with various cognitive impairments?

Then there is also the issue of there being a fairly wide range of development levels in individual teens. Some seem to mature much sooner than others. Currently we seem to try to pick some sort of average which may be weighted a little on the cautious side. (I have a family member turning 16 in a few weeks – this isn’t abstract to me – I know how very young she is, in so many ways.)

My personal bottom line argument is probably not going to impress you though, as it’s not based on brain development or any other technical condition. I think simply that if they want to vote they should be able to vote. Most adults vote for stupid reasons, I don’t think kids would do much worse. And it would have the virtue of potentially engaging some of them in society sooner. Of course a lot will just be compelled by their family’s views; and a few might vote simply to spite their family. This is nothing new.

Once upon a time, shockingly recently in our culture, women were said not to be mentally developed enough to vote. Scientific arguments were made in this regards. Obviously not exactly the same situation, but if I’m making a mistake I’d rather make a mistake on the side of personal volition. If women want to vote, they should be able to vote, regardless of what the science says (said) about their smaller brain sizes, their limited domestic understanding of the world, their easily manipulated maternal instincts. Ditto for kids.

Yeah I understand what I’ve expressed is a little simplistic, lacking in consideration of various details. But the details could be hammered out later. I’m just interested in the principle for now. Actually my passing interest is almost worn out. Maybe ADHD should exclude me from voting. Which makes me wonder: do we have any stats on how many people vote drunk? Maybe breathalizers should be installed in voting booths.

On the other hand, now that you’ve made me think about it, the legal age to drive clearly should be raised to at least 29. Driving is (usually) a lot more dangerous than voting. And I don’t want non-fully developed brains hurtling around in massive steal objects! So, I say 25 + 4 is 29. You gave me the good idea of the +4. Thanks! 25 to let their brain fully develop, and then 4 years buffer for them to ease in to their awesome fully developed cognitive powers.

Anyhow, isn’t every vote a referendum of sorts?


The data visualization examples in this lecture are amazing. There is a visualization of wars this century using poppies. Elements of the #MeToo movement using dandelions. David Bowie’s Space Oddity (!) using vinyl records. As well as other examples, such as overlying cases on maps to solve the origin of a historical cholera outbreak in London, and one showing the amount of various types of water on earth.

For a constant flow of data visualizations of varying qualities (but often quite good!) see reddit’s DataIsBeautiful sub. (Sorry to referrence reddit here! But that’s where it is.)

Haven’t tried the new guided thing, but had to do a new install a few weeks ago without much time, so decided to give the Anarchy Installer a try. Just accepted all the defaults, and it was super fast to get up and running with Arch without hardly a thought – which some may not appreciate, but I did.

Digikam has a few options for metadata. It stores everything in its own SQLite database by default. Optionally one can set up mysql/mariadb. Also you can have metadata stored embedded in your actual photo files as EXIF and/or XMP tags. Finally you can have XMP sidecar storage which is an XML file with same filename as image but XMP extension. EXIF and XMP (embedded or sidecar) are fairly standardized. So shotwell likely (I’ve never used it so I don’t know) embedded your metadata in the image files, and Digikam picked it up from there. You can use a command line tool like exiv2 to see what metadata is in your files.

My Sorels of course. Just kidding. Thought about getting the slackline out a few times in the snow, but never did.