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It's Constituent Work Week, a time when, traditionally, members of Congress return to their districts and hold in-person townhall meetings. This year, however, more than 200 Republicans are skipping townhalls, despite calls from their constituents to hold them. [more inside]
The dude at the chopping board has already pushed the lettuce, diced seafood, and salted fish from his side to our side of the table. We take a quick glance at the order sheet. First, we grab a medium-sized portion of rice. Then we transfer everything from our side of the table to the table directly accessible to the wok guys. We tell him, “no MSG, not too oily”. We then fetch a serving tray, six small plates, a small rice bowl, and a metal dish. The wok guy makes the fried rice, dumps it in the metal dish, then we portion the fried rice using the small rice bowl (so that every portion is in a neat little mound). This fried rice example is a very simple example involving a bit of communication between our section and the wok line.
How Europe became so rich - "In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?" (via) [more inside]
An oldie but a goodie: All 25 of the G.I. Joe PSA parodies, made by Eric Fensler circa 2003, Remastered in HD and Compiled in one youtube video (previously, previouslier)
SFWA Announces 2016 Nebula, Norton, and Bradbury Award Nominees! [SFWA.org] The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is pleased to announce the nominees for the 51st Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. [more inside]
pix2pix-tensorflow uses machine learning to allow you to draw an outline and get back an image, constructed by mashing up pieces from a database of thousands of stock photos. In other words, you draw a outline of a cat, and you get back an image of a cat. Output ranges from the fairly straightforward to the horrifyingly twisted to the terrible mistake. The algorithm has also been turned loose on building facades, shoes, and handbags.
Hi-Phi Nation is a new podcast that uses narrative storytelling to explore ideas in philosophy, featuring thoughtful interviews with philosophers and nuanced storytelling, created by philosopher Barry Lam. [more inside]
Food Wishes with Chef John - Do you want to learn how to cook fancy meals? Simple meals? Was Alton Brown a bit too high-concept? An actual chef, with a puckish voice and self-deprecating humor and dedicated to education, tackles your questions on "How do I cook...(dish here)?" on the Food Wishes youtube channel. [more inside]
Folding Ideas is a Youtube channel that analyzes movies and video games. By popular demand, the latest video is on Triumph of the Will and how it reflects fascist ideology and the historical context in which it was made.
Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. The exoplanets circle the star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth — a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. So speculation about the alien worlds' life-hosting potential should soon be informed by hard data, study team members said. Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star [more inside]
Slate is publishing short stories that "imagine the dystopian future of Trump's America" in the Trump Story Project. Direct links plus a bonus below the fold. [more inside]
In 1969 a young danish girl had been given permission to travel the countryside alone (on foot), which apparently was considered highly unusual at the time. She even had a document with a stamp from the local police chief. In this video a reporter asks what she would do to protect herself if harrassed. [speaking only]
A few days before Christmas 2016, a phone call took place that no one could have predicted. One of the world’s most esteemed HIV doctors, Professor Sheena McCormack – whose life’s work as an epidemiologist has been to track and fight the virus – picked up the phone to deliver a message that would make headline news: In the space of 12 months, the number of gay men in London being diagnosed with HIV had dropped by 40%. The man McCormack credited with this unprecedented reduction in HIV transmissions was not a fellow doctor, nor the head of a charity, nor even a politician. Greg Owen is unemployed, a former sex worker, and homeless. [more inside]
Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer at Uber, recounts her year of employment at the company, including stories of sexual harassment, retaliation by managers, and a pattern of inaction or coverups by the human resources department. [more inside]
How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans, MIT Technology Review, 4 AUG 2009.
Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What’s interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans.[more inside]
"The Department of Homeland Security issued a sweeping set of orders Tuesday that implement President Trump's plan to increase immigration enforcement, placing the vast majority of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation." (SLtheUSAToday) [more inside]
How to make a wooden bucket. 6th generation cooper George Smithwick charmingly discusses his craft as me makes a bucket. [more inside]
Many of Pixar's films can seem like magic, and while much of that relies on storytelling, the art of animation has many, many, many skills in it. Pixar has partnered with the Khan Academy to provide a free practical introduction to how the best-of-the-best do their job. Because who doesn't want to understand how you simulate hair?
Cloudflare CDN has been dumping uninitialized memory from its reverse proxies, including all sorts of things that are supposed to be under HTTPS. Like passwords and private messages from dating sites and cookies and online password manager data. [more inside]