Blurt!Commonplace Book

“We have a variety of reference frames tied to the deeper hot spots. These exclude the presumed shallow spots which come from the upper mantle. We can also create a reference frame from those shallow spots. … Now all plates are moving west! Even Europe, which other frames bring to a halt, is now taking part.”

posted Dec. 28, 2022, 8:00pm

“Zuul’s back and flanks are covered in various spikes and bony structures called osteoderms. Just as [Dr. Victoria] Arbour predicted, there is evidence of broken and injured osteoderms on both sides of the flanks, some of which appear to have healed.”

posted Dec. 27, 2022, 8:37pm

“Respondents explained that they found spellings with u to be less confusing because that spelling kept the initial letter in common with usual — as long as a silent e was there at the end to cue the pronunciation of the u away from the sound in untie. I find this resolution elegant in its clunkiness: Solving the problem of two unwritten sounds by writing a further, unpronounced letter is a truly Englishy solution.”

posted Dec. 26, 2022, 8:00pm

“[T]he modeling estimated that COVID-19 vaccination [in the United States] prevented 3.25 million deaths…. Averted hospitalizations were estimated at 18.6 million…. For infections, the model estimated a dodge of 119.85 million.”

posted Dec. 24, 2022, 8:00pm

“No longer needing to sing at high frequencies that could be heard over the highway’s rumble, the sparrows’ songs became more expansive, occupying more of the soundscape’s ‘acoustic bandwidth.’ Even those with quiet voices became audible; in those first months, ‘you could hear four times as many birds as you could before,’ says [Professor Elizabeth] Derryberry.”

posted Dec. 23, 2022, 8:00pm (edited)

“[T]here’s the uncomfortable fact that producing the 2 megajoules of laser power that started the fusion reaction took about 300 megajoules of grid power, so the overall process is nowhere near the break-even point. … [W]e’re still left with major questions about whether laser-driven fusion can be optimized enough to be useful.”

posted Dec. 22, 2022, 8:00pm

“I am 100% convinced there are inter­esting new ‘ways of relating’ waiting on these overlay networks, these pocket internets. They might require config­u­ra­tions beyond what’s currently supported, but these compa­nies are suffi­ciently young and flex­ible that, presented with a compelling idea, I get the sense they’d just … implement it! Maybe you should set up a ZeroTier or Tailscale network with a few friends or collab­o­ra­tors and … see what happens?”

posted Dec. 21, 2022, 8:00pm

“Matching the density of the two planets produces a model that has a bit over 10 percent of the planet’s mass composed of water. This, however, means that about half the planet’s volume is water. … Due to the planet’s mass, the pressure of the atmosphere would be immense and could create a layer of supercritical water between the atmosphere and the ocean.”

posted Dec. 20, 2022, 8:00pm

“As a consequence of always tending to others, very little space is left for the child to know or express her own needs. The only legitimate needs seem to be those of others. Expressing her own needs is met with frustration, anger or other parental emotions that link her needs with fear and shame.”

posted Dec. 19, 2022, 8:00pm

“[T]he coffee it makes is good. … That grown in South Sudan had ‘notes of raspberry coulis, figs, plums, and milk chocolate.’ It has comparable caffeine levels to Arabica, so can be an appropriate substitute as growing conditions for Arabica continue to decline.”

posted Dec. 18, 2022, 8:00pm

“Ironically, the Times reports that Crossover’s own employees so resented the company’s intrusive monitoring of them (as they created and sold intrusive monitoring tools) that Crossover hemorrhaged employees and struggled to hire replacements. Eventually, Crossover had to turn off its most intrusive features so that it could keep the employees needed to make and sell its bossware product.”

posted Dec. 17, 2022, 3:19pm

“They didn’t give a shit about journalism; they just wanted prime real estate that they could develop. And news organizations had it in the form of buildings in the middle of town. So financiers squeezed the news orgs until there was no money to be squeezed and then they hung them out to dry.”

posted Dec. 7, 2022, 8:28pm

“Wolves with antibodies against [Toxoplasma gondii] were significantly more likely to disperse (leave their packs and set out on their own) and to become pack leaders. Pursuing both of these courses of action constitutes aggressive and risky wolf behavior.”

posted Dec. 5, 2022, 8:00pm

“SpaceKnow detected 25 ships passing through the region…. In total, 23 of these vessels had their automatic identification system (AIS) transponders turned on. Two did not have AIS data turned on, and these ships passed the area during the days immediately ahead of the leaks being detected.”

posted Dec. 4, 2022, 8:00pm

“Over time, it became a master at [Diplomacy], reportedly achieving ‘more than double the average score’ of human players and ranking in the top 10 percent of people who played more than one game.”

(Andy Baio adds “building extremely persuasive AIs that are more effective negotiators than humans, what could go wrong”.)

posted Dec. 3, 2022, 8:00pm