I strongly believe you can put some system in your curiosity, make sure that you maximize how much new inspiration you get. A system that I personally like a lot - but then I'm also a systems-type person - is Today I learned aka TIL. It kind of forces you each day to think about what you learned that day, something you didn't know before. And if you can think of anything, open up a few goto sources that inspire you differently, you'll find something you didn't know soon enough. Put a system in it. Or come here, below is what I learned today.
Bots, it seems, are better at solving CAPTCHAs than humans are. That's according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine, who tested 1,400 subjects on several types of CAPTCHAs. They found that bots are not only better at solving various forms of CAPTCHAs such as image recognition, puzzle sliders and distorted text, they're faster, too.
A new report revealed that Starlink satellites had to make 25,000 collision avoidance maneuvers in the six-month period between December 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, Space.com first reported. On average, that’s a whopping 137 collision avoidances performed by the Starlink satellites each day. Overall, SpaceX’s satellites have made a total of 50,000 collision avoidance maneuvers since the company began launching Starlinks to orbit in 2019, based on reports filed by SpaceX to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Since 2010, the media massively increased headlines that use fear, anger, disgust, and sadness. It has also decreased articles of neutrality and joy. So basically media is becoming increasingly more negative, that's a fact.
A beautiful QR code is possible... I wouldn't click the link as I don't know what's behind it, but just seeing this work is cool. Thanks to AI.
Interestingly, the use of machines increases human's workload most when the professional is cognitively constrained, for instance, experiencing time pressures or multitasking. However, situations where decision makers experience high workload is precisely when introducing AI to alleviate some of this load appears most tempting. The research suggests that using AI, in this instance, to make the process faster can backfire, and actually increase rather than decrease the human's cognitive effort.
It's pretty interesting that kale and cabbage — along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, and kohlrabi, and several other vegetables — all come from the exact same plant species: Brassica oleracea.
This ancient barrier between two islands both does and doesn't exist. Indonesia's Bali and Lombok are separated by an invisible line that explains why the islands have such starkly different wildlife.
In 2009 while watching Stewart Little (1999), Hungarian art historian Gergely Barki, saw the painting "Sleeping Lady with Black Vase" by Róbert Berény. It had been missing for 90 years and had been used as a prop. It was the original!
ChatGPT lies in some languages more than others. AI is very much a work in progress, and we should all be wary of its potential for confidently spouting misinformation. But it seems to be more likely to do so in some languages than others. Why is that?The question comes in the wake of a report by NewsGuard, a misinformation watchdog, that shows how ChatGPT repeats more inaccurate information in Chinese dialects than when asked to do so in English.
Industrial-scale bitcoin mining facilities in the US create as much carbon pollution as 3.5 million gas-powered cars, and Texas, which boasts the largest number of mining facilities in the country, will see the cost of electricity rise nearly 5% by mid-2023 due to cryptocurrency mining... Not only that, in 2021 when Storm Uri impacted the power grid, he state’s power grid operator ordered Bitcoin mining plants to shut off, under an agreement that allowed it to do so if the system was about to fail. In return, it began paying the Bitcoin company, Bitdeer, an average of $175,000 an hour to keep the computers offline. Over the next four days, Bitdeer would make more than $18 million for not operating, from fees ultimately paid by Texans who had endured the storm.
The electric snot sucker is a real thing. I'll leave it at that.
Only 12,305 of roughly 420,000 legacy verified accounts have subscribed to a paid Twitter Blue plan as of Tuesday. That's just above 3 percent of the celebrities, pro athletes, influencers, and media personalities who make up the platform's power users. That said, over the course of the nearly 4 months the subscription service has been live, Twitter has just crossed the 500,000 Twitter Blue subscriber threshold. But as stated earlier, only few of them being legacy verified accounts. What's more, 244,562 Twitter Blue subscribers have fewer than 1,000 followers. Of those, 88,085 accounts have fewer than 100 followers. And then there's the 2,585 Twitter Blue subscribers with no followers at all.
In the series 'why simple when it can also be difficult': the word "queue" is pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.
The heart of a blue whale, which can weigh in excess of 1,300 lbs and is the size of a small car. The gigantic heart beats 8 to 10 times per minute and each heartbeat can be heard from over 2 miles away. Two miles!
The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge. This has WARPED written all over it: “curiosity, which may or may not eventuate in something useful, is probably the outstanding characteristic of modern thinking. It is not new. It goes back to Galileo, Bacon, and to Sir Isaac Newton, and it must be absolutely unhampered. Institutions of learning should be devoted to the cultivation of curiosity and the less they are deflected by considerations of immediacy of application, the more likely they are to contribute not only to human welfare but to the equally important satisfaction of intellectual interest which may indeed be said to have become the ruling passion of intellectual life in modern times.”
South Africans spent at least 9.5 hours a day online in 2022. This was the highest in the world, exceeding the global figure by around three hours, a study showed. And all that while internet speeds are lower than global average.
On average, parking lots gobble up 20% of prime locations in U.S. city centers.
Starbucks Rewards is next level. Customers are incentivized to preload their account to earn 2x points. In 2019, they held $1.6bn on these cards with an avg of 10% breakage. Starbucks is effectively borrowing from its customers at a -10% interest rate.
This looks like a trap. Nice one English language... nice one.
ingenuity (noun): The ability to solve difficult problems, often in original, clever, and inventive ways.
ingenuine (adj): False, not genuine or authentic.
ingenuous (adj): Demonstrating childlike simplicity.
ingenious (adj): Of a person: Displaying genius or brilliance; inventive.
Making a decision with every word you say may actually be like weightlifting for the brain. "Kroll thinks this constant cognitive challenge that bilinguals face may be responsible for an observed improvement in what’s called executive function, or the ability to filter out unnecessary information and make decisions."
When Mount Everest was first measured it was found to be exactly 29,000 feet tall. It was reported as 29,002 because surveyors worried the public would assume 29,000 was merely an estimate.
WikiShootMe is a tool that shows all geotagged content of Wikepedia & Wikimedia on a map, it's a really interesting way to go explore a specific area you're interested in.
Europe's stunning digital divide. It’s not just the spear-shaking Sentinelese or the adamantly analog Amish who shun the 21st century. There are also a considerable contingent of Europeans who still don’t use the internet. As this map illustrates, Europe’s offliners are concentrated in the southeast of the continent. On the other hand, almost everyone in northwestern Europe is online.
As electric vehicles continues to speed ahead in the market, a new study from the University of Maryland's Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) found that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium in areas where it's easy to top up those electrons in the batteries of their plug-in rides. More charging stations basically ramp up home prices.
In Dec. 1945, Picasso created "The Bull", a series of 11 lithographs. With each successive print, a bull is simplified and abstracted. Picasso's goal was to find "spirit of the beast". The philosophy behind this is taught at companies like Apple, to be used when designing products & services.
The internet will effectively take over the functions normally performed by your instinct for enquiry. Your curiosity will be outsourced, and before you know it, you will forget how to practise it. Rather than a great dumbing-down, it’s likely that we are at the beginning of a cognitive polarisation — a division into the curious and the incurious. People who are inclined to set off on intellectual adventures will have more opportunities to do so than ever in human history; people who merely seek quick answers to someone else’s questions will fall out of the habit of asking their own, or never learn it in the first place. In the blunt formulation of the writer Kevin Drum, “The internet is making smart people smarter and dumb people dumber." (out of Curious, by Ian Leslie)
A bolt of lightning contains about ¼ of a kilowatt-hour of power. Even with recent energy price rises, it’s only worth about 9 pence. So while it might be possible to harness electricity from lightning... it's probably not worth it.
The antilibrary aka all the books in your library you haven't read yet. Coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Black Swan, "Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. [Your] library should contain as much of what you do not know. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary." I like this, gives purpose to my Tsundoku ;)
According to a new study published in Current Biology, very-low frequency (VLF) speakers pumping out deep bass makes people dance harder and the scientists behind the study don’t know why.
Nostalgia mapping. Interesting to see how our nostalgia moved decades in just 15 years. Soon back to the Sixties then? Or more back?
Birds give up the complexity of song for volume in noisy places - so they sing louder but less interesting (to both humans & mates) songs in cities. When traffic noise in San Francisco fell due to COVID, birds began to sing more complex, quieter songs like they did 50 years ago!
MIT researchers developed a machine learning technique that learns to represent data in a way that captures concepts which are shared between visual and audio modalities. Their model can identify where certain action is taking place in a video and label it.
Interesting story about the Italian streets that don't exist: “So the authorities invented this system of a made-up street, which doesn’t exist in real life but is in the city’s registry. You can call it anything—Nutella Street, for example, and next to ‘Nutella Street’ in the registry, you write the names of all the people who don’t have a fixed address but have an economic reason for staying in the city, like their circus coming to town,” says Sibillano. Nowadays, Italy’s peculiar system of fictitious streets is used less for trapeze artists or lion tamers and more for people who are homeless or precariously housed. Homeless people can ask to be registered as a resident of a fictitious street, which gives them an official address that they can put on their ID.
In 1969, Dali designed the Chupa Chups logo. Also, keenly aware of branding, he suggested that the logo be placed on top of the lolly instead of the side so that it could always be seen intact.
“Sneezing is such a great feature!” Earth is a simulation, and now you can submit a user review. Just discovered this website via The Morning News. Love it.
Algorithms have become something we all know about 'thanks' to the important role it plays in sorting out our social media feeds. This video from BBC Ideas explains that the term has its roots in the work of 9th century Persian mathematician Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, who also gave the world the word “algebra”.
Americans overestimate the size of minority groups and underestimate the size of most majority groups. Interesting chart, wouldn't that be true for everyone though? Not just Americans?
There is a mall in China that offers "husband storage" where wives can leave their husband while they shop.
If everybody lived as densely as they do in Bangladesh... The Human Race could fit in Australia. Say what?!
And versus &. A colleague who used to do some writing for TV shows learned me about the difference of this in credits of movies or TV. The ampersand means that the two writers are a team, and are treated as one person for WGA purposes. When it says and this indicates that the writers worked at different times.
Astronaut Mark Kelly once smuggled a full gorilla suit on board the International Space Station. He didn't tell anyone about it. One day, without anyone knowing, he put it on.
Where fashion goes to die. Deep in the Atacama Desert of Chile, new dunes are forming — not of sand, but of last year’s unsold clothing from around the world. Piled high atop the previous year’s fast fashion casualties and unpurchased lines of clothes, the garments are usually filled with toxins and dyes and do not biodegrade. The horror.
How the paperclip became a symbol of resistance in WWII. The first mass outbreak of civil disobedience occurred in the autumn of 1940, when students of Oslo University began to wear paper clips on their lapels to demonstrate their resistance to the German occupiers and their Norwegian collaborators. A seemingly innocuous item, the paper clip was a symbol of solidarity and unity, implying resistance. The wearing of paper clips was outlawed and could lead to arrest and punishment.
Just in time for the holidays. And honestly, the fun Microsoft is having with some of its legacy is fantastic, this is just one example. Very self-aware, very enjoyable.
Most ransomware is designed not to install on computers that have Russian or Ukrainian language keyboards. I sense a little hack here.
Here's a remarkable fact: For the past two decades, 10 percent of all the electricity consumed in the United States has come from Russian nuclear warheads. Curious to know more... click the link.
A tiny handbag for your AirPods: the AirBag. This exists, not making stuff up.
It appears that Tom and Jerry aren’t in fact the true first names of the titular characters! In MultiVersus, an upcoming video game by Warner Bros, the mouse and cat’s full names are listed as “Gerald Jinx ‘Jerry’ Mouse” and “Thomas Jasper ‘Tom’ Cat, Sr” respectively. Who knew ;-)
The Author Clock doesn’t just tell the time, it tells a story too. Putting a wonderfully creative spin on the time-telling experience, the Author Clock has you do more than just reading time. It has you reading excerpts from literature too! Isn't that just beautiful?
"I'll do it in a jiffy". Did you know that a jiffy is actually a legitimate unit of time? It is the length of one cycle of a computers system clock (about 10 milliseconds). I had no idea!
In Denmark, there are libraries where you can borrow a person instead of a book to listen to their life story for 30 minutes. The aim is to fight against prejudices. Each person has a title - "unemployed", "refugee", "bipolar", etc. - but by listening to their story, you realize how much you shouldn't "judge a book by its cover". This innovative and brilliant project is active in more than 50 countries. It's called "The Human Library". Never heard of this before but totally love the idea. Unfortunately no "Human Library" in my country :-(
Picking up the daily updates after a long summer break!
Talk about stickyness for TikTok. Never in the past year dropped the % of users opening the app on weekly bases below 95%!!
The Google app on iOS appears to have gotten a new Easter egg: a rather entertaining little pinball app hidden away in the “Tabs” menu.
Humans are becoming less creative. "Kim feared that society was headed for a “creativity crisis,” alluding to the rushed day-to-day lives and the “ever-increasing amounts of [time] interacting with electronic entertainment devices of the modern era.” Thankfully, this means creative ruts are easier to identify and remedy than tanking IQ scores. Due to the immediate gratification of modern technology, people have forgotten to nurture creativity and find beauty in the mundane. The remote life gives us an opportunity to fix that, Inc. reassures."
Brown trout can become addicted to the illegal drug methamphetamine when it accumulates in waterways, according to new research. Researchers led by Pavel Horky, a behavioral ecologist from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, set out to investigate whether illicit drugs alter fish behavior at levels found in bodies of water, according to the study published Tuesday.
Mind blown. Brickit helps to build new creations from your Lego bricks:
- Scan your pile of bricks
- Brickit will show you what you can build with them
- Assemble ideas with the help of instructions
- Find bricks by looking at their location in the pile
This website gives a great view on the data behind "Taxi and Ridehailing Usage in New York City" worth a visit. What I take from this is that Ridehailing apps did put way more cars on the road, whereas the usage for Yellow Cabs per car is a lot higher (trips per car).
America has eight parking spaces for every car!!
The average car had more than 150 million lines of code to run increasingly complex systems. some 40% of the cost of a new car can be attributed to semiconductor-based electronic systems, a cost doubling since 2007. It estimates this total will approach 50% by 2030. The company further predicts that each new car today has about $600 worth of semiconductors packed into it, consisting of up to 3,000 chips of all types.
The NIXOID NEXT is the world’s first dual-core nixie tube wristwatch. With one core dedicated to keeping the watch running, and another core for powering the watch’s built-in accelerometer. Looks incredibly unpractical. Totally want it!
Just found out there's an agency called Thinkerbell. Tinker / Thinker. I like it. That's all :-)
A Gucci bag in Roblox resold for 350,000 Robux or roughly $4,115. The same purse IRL costs $3,400. Remember: this Roblox purse is NOT an NFT and thus has no value/use/transferability outside the Roblox world-yet it's worth more than the physical one. Mind blown.
"Starbucks customers have something like $1.4 billion in balances in the Starbucks app at any given time. We give them a billion and a half dollar loan, no interest, and only ask for it back when we want to buy some 90% margin coffee from em. Amazing." Read the whole Twitter thread if interested.
A search engine for memes. And as for the record: a whopping 10,000 new memes are added every day from all sources combined.
You can now (almost) literally nuke a Tweet. And I like it :-)
So there appears to be a Wikipedia page featuring the most odd Wikipedia entries around: "Of the over six million articles in the English Wikipedia there are some articles that Wikipedians have identified as being somewhat unusual. These articles are verifiable, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia, but are a bit odd, whimsical, or something one would not expect to find in Encyclopædia Britannica." Enjoy!
This site that reveals rude word combinations in What3Words, here's what that looks like for London (or allow location to see your local area)
Seeing MIKO being mocapped live is pretty impressive. In case you don't know who MIKO or The Technician are then check this out.
The Lion's roar from the Metro-Goldwyn logo is actually made from tiger vocalizations, as "lions don't make that kind of ferocious noise and the logo needed to be ferocious and majestic".
Marvel.AI will let creators, media figures, and others generate deepfake clones of their voice to license as they wish. So make the money without doing the work.
Very cool paper analyzed Doctor Who episodes to find a way of increasing creativity: regularly shaking up a team by adding new members with new connections. Switching in team members upped creative quality; going against manager’s desire for stable teams.
The new electric BMW i4will offer IconicSounds driving sound, developed in cooperation with Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer. How about that for sound design or sonic branding!
Had to call Adobe support yesterday for an issue with some older software on my dad’s computer. Their support line isn’t available in Dutch so I chose English and after a few numeric choices I got connected to someone in India. He fixed my issue in like 5 minutes and yet we talked for over 20. He asked about the virus, and it didn’t take long to realize he was feeling lonely, locked in an apartment with no-one to talk to. I was heartbroken, here you have a guy who’s on the line with people around the world for his job all day long and yet they’re lonely. So sad.
This is a ‘realtime’ visualization of all the debris in space. With what they call near-earth as the most problematic part of space. Like we fail to see that space isn’t infinite, but starts to look like a space version of landfill. “Near-Earth space is becoming cluttered with objects, whether that be probes sent by different governments vying for dominance, or test equipment launched by a growing number of commercial companies. Within the next five years, U.S. companies alone are planning to send 15,000 satellites into space. The areas of space most readily accessible to us are becoming more limited, and it all boils down to the fact that people fail to recognize near-Earth space as a finite resource.” Within the overland (aka off road camping) or trail communities we always talk about the ‘leave no trace’ principle. How it’s okay to wildcamp as long as you make sure you leave no trace of it when you leave, respect where you have been. We’re definitely not doing that in space.
There was a scary article on Fast Company about how Apple’s new AirTags could enable domestic abuse in terrifying ways - never really thought about this, but sounds bloody obvious when you read it. It makes me wonder if the real threat of surveillance technology isn’t the government spying on us all, but individuals spying on each other. At least the first one is kinda public and regulated, the second is under the radar, invasive, bad behavior. “Surveillance devices can be a serious issue for survivors of domestic abuse. A woman in Houston was followed constantly by her ex before she realized the culprit was a locater that had been placed in her car. As NNDEV explains, it’s now standard procedure for halfway houses to talk through the technology a person is carrying or left behind. Smartphones are the most obvious tracker, and staff will check that these devices have options such as Find My iPhone turned off. Often, they’ll even search the bags of survivors, hunting down potential trackers. “There are many instances, in doing that, they have discovered a tracker in a bag, or a stuffed animal a little kid brought,” says Olsen.”
"Tea vs Cha. Across languages, there are two primary ways of referring to the golden liquid we all love - chai or tea. English (tea), Dutch (thee), Tamil (te-neer) or Hindi (chai), Persian (chay), Arabic (shay). The reason is interesting, showing how the imprint of globalization remains on languages. Tea originated in China and it was represented by the letter "茶" - this character was called "cha" in Mandarin spoken in mainland China and "te" in Min Nan variety of Chinese, spoken in the coastal province of Fujian. The countries that got tea via China through the Silk Road (land) referred to it in various forms of the word "cha". On the other hand, the countries that traded with China via sea - through the Min Nan port called it in different forms of "te". Interestingly, Portugal traded with China from the Macaw port instead of Fujian and thus uniquely adopted cha, in contrast with its neighboring countries." Facebook can be useful sometimes. Sometimes.
“Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. It appears to be more common than major depression — and in some ways it may be a bigger risk factor for mental illness.” So there’s a word for this then. Not 100% sure this is where I am right now, but it does definitely resonate with the sentiment I often have these days.
This weekend I learned. How much recharge you really get from a solid disconnect. We just spent 3 days by the Semois river with the Land Rover, rooftop tent making chili con carne in a Dutch Oven (cast iron pot that hangs over a fire basically). I only had camera gadgets with me, no iPads or computers and we hardly had decent mobile internet connection anyway. I didn’t think about work, didn’t even think about the kids back home. It was the best. I feel incredibly energized. And with that I learned that the investment to build out the Land Rover further was more than worth it, so that’s good news. And I’m now even more confident that the outdoor idea of WARPED is maybe a better idea than I thought it could be.
I guess we all know this, yet it’s still quite fascinating to see it proven by science the way they do here. Our brain needs breaks to perform better.
Today, Google announced a new 3D time-lapse feature in its Google Earth platform. It allows users to navigate to any spot on the globe and press Play to watch the geography change. The timeline goes back 37 years, from 1984 through today. Each frame of the time-lapse is pulled from one year of imagery. While the playback is running, users can move the camera’s position to view the shifting landscape from different angles. This proves that the things you know are bad are way worse when visualized properly.
Lightning can strike upwards? I had no idea.
Meanwhile on Reddit, Amazon delivery drivers are discussing leaving packages upside down -- a frown -- as a form of protest against working conditions
A reindeer cyclone. When reindeers sense a threat, this is what they do to protect the herd (with the little calves in the centre). Mesmerizing, especially the way it’s filmed here as well.
Americans have a new pandemic-related problem to worry about: zombies. No, not the kind that kills to eat brains, but the type that kills because their own noggins aren’t operating at full capacity. So-called Zoom zombies are terrorizing U.S. drivers and pedestrians, according to the Root Insurance Distracted Driving Awareness Survey, released today. According to the survey, 54% of motorists who have driven their vehicles soon after using a videoconferencing platform report having trouble concentrating on the road.
I know we don't need more proof climate change is real. What I liked about this one is that is measures the peak bloom day of cherry blossoms in Kyoto since the year 812! That graph is 1200 years of data!
Mission Minnow. That’s the name of a sponsor on the Scuderia Ferrari F1 car for the last 2-3 years. Never really knew what it was, never really paid attention. (I might be a petrolhead but just don’t find F1 to be really exciting.) But the story behind it is pretty interesting… Mission Minnow is essentially a division from Philip Morris. It’s totally unclear what they do, question is if they do anything at all… the article digs into how this is all subliminal advertising for Marlboro, which historically was a Scuderia Ferrari sponsor and used to be on the cars for years.
I just found out there’s been an ongoing study in Belgium (ongoing during pandemic that is) that measures the evolution of people’s motivation. I’ll link to the study down below although it’s in Dutch. But you get a ton out of the graph below. The blue line is ‘voluntary motivation’, the red line literally translates as ‘MUST-ivation’ so I guess you can tell that is ‘mandatory motivation’ or something similar. And the last one is ‘Amotivation’ which I guess translates as lack of motivation or not doing without understanding why you do it?
A “first-review effect” on e-commerce sites suggests that the first piece of user-generated feedback about a product can have an impact on word of mouth for up to 36 months. Whether a first review is positive or negative was found to have a lasting influence on the number of future reviews, and the associated star ratings. This analysis was based on a study of over 170 vacuum cleaners sold on the websites from Amazon and Best Buy.
"Container ships have lost at least 2,980 containers since November. According to American Shipper, these ships lost a year’s worth of lost cargo in only two months. These ships were carrying cargo like like Ikea furniture, Puma shoes, Kate Spade accessories, frozen shrimp and even vacuum cleaners." A negative side effect of e-commerce? Or just a coincident. It makes you wonder how much cargo has been lost to the bottom of the oceans over time though.
n 1930 the Indiana Bell building was rotated 90°. Over a month, the structure was moved 15 inch/hr, all while 600 employees still worked there. There was no interruption to gas, heat, electricity, water, sewage, or the telephone service they provided. No one inside felt it move.
"With No Time to Die pushed back to fall now, it bears reminding that James Bond is not only an industry leader when it comes to movie delays, but also when it comes to product placement. And it's precisely that reason why it's being speculated Daniel Craig’s 007 could be called back on the field to reshoot some scenes." The idea that they have to reshoot scenes because the product placements of Nokia etc is already outdated, makes you wonder if movies are more time sensitive than they were.
share your own learning and it might end up here as well.