Blurt!Commonplace Book

“[A] team of European researchers decided to model an event that should be relatively uncommon: the two black holes didn’t start out in a mutual orbit but happened to pass close enough to gravitationally latch onto each other. … The models that produced a chirp that best matched the GW190521 signal saw a single pass that drew the black holes closer, followed by a single rapid curve into the collision.”

posted Mon., Nov. 28, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“The spiders searched the part of the web where the cricket had been—the sheet or the lines—which indicated a memory of prey location. And when Sergi stole prey from the gumfooted lines, the spiders made more searches for prey that was especially large relative to themselves.”

posted Sun., Nov. 27, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“[O]ctopuses can alter the coloration of their skin, with darker colors typically being indicative of aggression. The authors found that octopuses with dark coloration threw debris more forcefully and were more likely to hit another octopus.”

posted Sat., Nov. 26, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“They also found that, in general, the size of the birds’ repertoire decreased as anthropogenic noise increased, especially when the birds were exposed to levels of anthropogenic noise that were above the usual noise to which they were accustomed.”

posted Fri., Nov. 25, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“[T]he earliest image indicates that it was roughly 100,000 Kelvin, which suggests we were looking at it just six hours after it exploded. The latest lensed image shows that the debris had already cooled to 10,000 K over the eight days between the two different images.”

posted Thu., Nov. 24, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“Translated, the inscription reads, ‘May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.’ … This purpose was confirmed when the authors searched for evidence of head lice on the comb under a microscope and found some remains on the second tooth, still in the nymph stage of development.”

(See also the discussion at Language Hat.)

posted Wed., Nov. 23, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“Over the next 1,500 years, during especially hot summers, the remains and artifacts were partially exposed, which explains the deterioration of the most exposed parts of the body and additional damage to the artifacts. Eventually, around 3,800 years ago, snow and ice finally sealed off the gully until the discovery of the mummified remains in 1991.”

(Ötzi was a recurring interest of my old @sben_links account on Twitter, the predecessor to this microblog. If I had completed my long walk in 2017, I would have passed through the next valley east from where he was found, and would have certainly stopped by his museum when the trail passed through Bolzano.)

posted Tue., Nov. 22, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“For all the grandiose talk about The Light Of Consciousness and The Future Of Humanity that has come out of Silicon Valley during its ascent, what it has delivered has mostly been spectacularly useless, lifeless, and anti-human. In this sense, it reflects its owners perfectly.”

posted Mon., Nov. 21, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“Today’s America has seen decades of the intentional conservative-led starving and squeezing of public education … and also the devastation of newspapers, journalism, and a vast misinformation campaign. All this adds up to preventing many who are educable from becoming educated. Thomas Paine, and those I’m using him to represent, would recognize this as a sabotage of their system.”

posted Sun., Nov. 20, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“Ogbogu wasn’t familiar with Hollie Mengert’s work at all. He was helping another Stable Diffusion user on Reddit who was struggling to fine-tune a model on Hollie’s work and getting lackluster results. He refined the image training set, got to work, and published the results the following day. He told me the training process took about 2.5 hours on a GPU at Vast.ai, and cost less than $2.”

posted Sat., Nov. 19, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“Bubbles of hydrogen-ripping galaxy light began to grow, carving holes in the cold, quiet bulk of the intergalactic gas. Over a billion years, the bubbles filled the cosmos and nearly every hydrogen atom was torn in two, leaving protons and electrons to wander the Universe separately again.”

posted Fri., Nov. 18, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“Here, rare earth extraction cleared 90 percent efficiency, taking 67 hours to get there. By contrast, leaching didn’t max out until 130 hours after extraction started, and its maximum efficiency was only 60 percent. Again, the extraction that used electricity had fewer contaminating metals.”

posted Thu., Nov. 17, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST (edited)

“Twitter encourages a very extractive attitude from everyone it touches. The people re-publishing my Mastodon posts on Twitter didn’t think to ask whether I was ok with them doing that. The librarians wondering loudly about how this ‘new’ social media environment could be systematically archived didn’t ask anyone whether they want their fediverse posts to be captured and stored by government institutions.”

posted Wed., Nov. 16, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“[M]y professional bias influences my priorities: Ensure the vulnerable around us (like grandparents) do not end up in the hospital with COVID-19 (or flu or RSV). This means we are going to do everything in our power to break transmission chains before gathering for the holidays.”

posted Tue., Nov. 15, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST

“The cities that had a US embassy that set up one of these monitors and tweeted out air-quality data saw a decrease of PM2.5 particulates to the tune of 2 to 4 micrograms per cubic meter—compared to their air quality before getting the monitor and to other similar cities that do not have a monitor.”

posted Sun., Nov. 13, 2022, 8:00:00pm PST