Author Archive | JacobSloan

In Vitro Fertilisation Patient Pregnant With Wrong Embryos

Receiving a call that you are pregnant with some strangers’ children — in vitro fertilizaitonnightmare medical scenario of the future? Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up.

Italy’s Health Ministry said it was launching an investigation into the error, which was only discovered when the woman was three months’ pregnant. The mistake happened on December 4, when four different couples were receiving treatment at a specialist fertility unit at the Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome, Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reported on Sunday. It is not clear whether the mistake led to any of the other women becoming pregnant with the wrong baby.

The local health authority in Rome said it only became aware there was a problem of “genetic incompatibility” between the parents and the embryos on March 27.

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Dolphin Translator Relays First Word

dolphinsCan we handle what dolphins have to tell us? CNET News reports:

Scientists at the Wild Dolphin Project (WDP) who have been developing a dolphin translator may have succeeded in getting their software to work.

WDP director Denise Herzing was swimming in the Caribbean with a pod of dolphins she has been tracking for 25 years, wearing a prototype of a dolphin translator called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Thad Starner, when one of the dolphin’s whistles was translated as the word “sargassum” — a type of seaweed.

Humans have for some time been communicating with dolphins on a rudimentary level. The animals are capable of responding appropriately to commands and learning to recognise symbols.

The whistle picked up by CHAT, translated into human speech, was not a whistle from the dolphins’ natural repertoire. Instead, Herzing and her team invented a series of whistles and ascribed them to certain things — one of which was sargassum — and trained the dolphins to repeat the whistles when they encountered those things.

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New York’s Satanic Temple Launches Campaign Promoting Freedom Of Prayer To Satan In School

schoolCould offerings to the devil in the classroom help close the test score gap between the United States and other developed nations? From the Satanic Temple’s press release:

The Satanic Temple, a religious organization based in New York City, has declared May 15th as “Protect Children Day” with the mission of putting an end to corporal punishment and the use of isolation rooms in schools for Temple followers as well as for others who share their beliefs.

In addition to making a letter available to students, The Satanic Temple is also providing fact sheets on corporal punishment and solitary confinement, a Satanic-themed activity book, and FAQs so that students can understand their religious rights in school. “We want children to know that they are permitted to pray to Satan in school and that they can even share their religious beliefs with others in accordance with certain guidelines,” Greaves said.

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Indian Man Is Addicted To Eating Nothing But Bricks

Is this the ultimate hearty, raw diet? Via Metro News:

Pakkirappa Hunagundi suffers from a rare eating disorder and says he is addicted to eating only bricks, gravel and mud. “I only like mud and bricks, nothing else,” he told Barcroft TV. “I will eat it because it is my habit. I need it every day. I can’t stop.”

The 30-year-old has been eating bricks since the age of ten. He now eats up to one brick a day and three kilos of mud and gravel to fulfill his craving. It is believed he suffers from a condition known as Pica, the persistent eating of non-food items with no nutritional value.

Mr Hunagundi has ignored pleas from friends and family to change his diet and now plans to travel across India to show off his brick-eating abilities. He says he hasn’t suffered any ill-effects from his unusual diet.

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The Wendy Carlos Multiphonic Keyboard And The Museum Of Imaginary Instruments

The altogether delightful Museum of Imaginary Instruments features not-quite-yet-real musical devices that hover at the boundaries of physical law and the human senses. Take, for instance, electronica pioneer Wendy Carlos’s dream keyboard of the new era:

Wendy Carlos is best known as a pioneer of the synthesizer who reached mass audiences with soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971). While never-before-heard timbres were a stunning feature of these works, Carlos also pursued another avenue opened up by synthesizers: the development of new tunings. Based on a design by R. H. M. Bosanquet from 1875, her proposed generalized keyboard divided the octave into 53 equal steps, strategically arranged so as to make all regular divisions of the octave playable. Carlos wrote. Alas, like the shift to meantone Carlos expected to see as digital synthesizing equipment became more common, the keyboard was not to be.

multiphonic keyboard

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Technology And The Concentration Of Power

microchipVia the Webstock Conference lecture Our Comrade The Electron, Maciej Cegłowski on the internet as a force for centralizing, rather than dispersing, power:

Technology concentrates power. In the 90′s, it looked like the Internet might be an exception, that it could be a decentralizing, democratizing force. No one controlled it, no one designed it, it was just kind of assembling itself in an appealing, anarchic way. The companies that first tried to centralize the Internet, like AOL and Microsoft, failed risibly. And open source looked ready to slay any dragon.

But those days are gone. We’ve centralized the bejesus out of the Internet now. There’s one search engine (plus the one no one uses), one social network (plus the one no one uses), one Twitter. We use one ad network, one analytics suite. Anywhere you look online, one or two giant American companies utterly dominate the field.

And there’s the cloud.

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Maryland Police Chief Cited Satirical “Mass Marijuana Deaths” News Story In Testimony Against Decriminalizion

Michael PristoopVia Reason, the evidence presented to the Maryland State Senate against legalizing marijuana earlier this year was a DailyCurrant.com joke article informing that 37 people had overdosed and died on the first day of decriminalized weed in Colorado:

Testifying against marijuana legalization before the Maryland legislature, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop warned of the potentially lethal consequences. “The first day of legalization, that’s when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana,” Pristoop told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths.”

As Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery) quickly pointed out, what Pristoop actually remembered was a joke story at The Daily Currant headlined “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado on First Day of Legalization.”

Pristoop seemed taken aback that something he had seen in print might not be the literal truth. “If it was a misquote,” he told Raskin, “then I’ll stand behind the mistake.

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Computers Can Now Read Human Emotions Better Than You Can

emotionsThe logical end point is that we will abandon trying to interpret the moods and expressions on others’ faces, and instead rely on devices to instantaneously perform the task for us. Motherboard on a computer that Ohio State University researchers trained to recognize complex and subtle emotions far more skillfully than humans are able to:

For a while now, facial analysis software has been able to distinguish between the six “basic categories” of emotion—happiness, surprise, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust. If you asked me to do the same, I could probably do it. But when you drill down into complex, compound facial expressions such as “happily surprised,” “fearfully angry,” “appalled,” “hatred,” and “awed,” I’d probably blow a couple of them. This computer doesn’t. In fact, it can decipher between 21 different “complex emotions.”

It’s another step towards machines that can decipher what we feel… in [this] context, it’s easy to imagine a future filled with robotic companions and therapists.

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Did A Mississippi Couple’s Infrared Camera Capture A UFO’s Interaction With Deer?

Mississippi UFOThis is why I would not be able to handle living in the country. Via South Mississippi’s WLOX:

They were caught on camera the night of February 16. Mysterious lights that appeared in the sky over the 150 acres that Rainer and Edith Shattles call home in the Cumbest Bluff area of Jackson County. Were they a phenomenon that’s simple to explain, or something else?

The timeline of the pictures is clear. At 7:24pm, deer appear and all is normal. At 7:29, a dim light appears. At 7:35, it gets brighter. Then at 7:53, a weird shape appears on the camera. The deer are lit up brightly, but how? The cameras are infrared and don’t emit light. At 7:56, another sharper light appears, then it gets much closer, seemingly focused on the deer. It looks like headlights, but well off the ground and there is no road. It then flies away.

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Canadian Pizzeria Is Selling Marijuana-Infused Pizza

pot_pizzaIt’s as if they plucked this straight out of people’s fondest dreams and turned it into a reality. From Canada’s CBC News:

A Vancouver pizzeria is serving up slices with an extra special ingredient — if you’re over 18 and have been prescribed marijuana by a doctor.

Anthony Risling explains that at Mega iLL, on Kingsway at Fraser, you can ask the kitchen to add their special ingredient for an extra $10. “Basically we infuse it through an oil extraction process, where we drizzle the oil onto the pizza and it medicates you when you eat it. It’s a little different effect from smoking it. It takes maybe about a half hour for it to activate.”

One customer at Mega iLL [said] the added oil has “a little bit of a tangy flavour”.

Risling aid the idea came from a trip to Cambodia, where a pizzeria called Happy Pizza used a similar process to add THC to the pies.

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