The SUV is expected to double Lamborghini’s annual sales.
It’s powered by a 650 horsepower, 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, V8 engine.
Lamborghini claims the Urus has a top speed of 190 mph.
Lamborghini unveiled the all-new Urus SUV on Monday a presentation that could best be described as shambolic. A technical glitch forced Lamborghini to temporarily shut down the launch presentation and global webstream.
While the presentation may have been a bit of a mess, the Urus is anything but. The Lambo looks lean, mean, and ready to take on the world.
The striking off-roader is just the second SUV in company history and is expected to double the company’s annual sales total to around 7,000 cars globally.
Powered by a 650 horsepower, 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8, Lambo claims the Urus can hit 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 190 mph, besting the Bentley Bentayga’s 187 mph mark.
According to Lamborghini, this makes the Urus the fastest SUV in the world.
"The Lamborghini Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of Lamborghini DNA into the most versatile vehicle, the SUV," Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a statement. "The Urus elevates the SUV to a level not previously possible, the Super SUV."
With a starting price of $200,000, the Urus is firmly entrenched in a new class of ultra-luxury, high-performance SUVs dominated by the Bentley Bentagya, Range Rover Autobiography, Porsche Cayenne, and the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is set to join that group in the near future.
In addition to the 650 horses under the hood, the Lambo is also equipped with an 8-speed automatic that sends power to an advanced four-wheel-drive system with active torque vectoring and four-wheel-steering.
The Urus is also available with carbon ceramic brakes, adaptive air suspension, and six different driving modes.
Inside, the SUV boasts room for four in a leather lined cockpit with a modern touchscreen infotainment system featuring full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Lamborghini expected to begin delivery of the Urus in the Spring of 2018.
The country of Venezuela has been mired in economic crisis for years. Now, its government is turning to cryptocurrency in hopes of turning things around.
Venezuela’s president has teased the launch of the “Petro,” a new digital cryptocurrency that would help the country “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions, and overcome the financial blockade,” according to Reuters.
The motivation for Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to launch a second currency isn’t surprising. Venezuela’s economy has been collapsing. The nation faces rampant inflation, huge debt, and strict sanctions imposed by the U.S. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have skyrocketed in value.
Venezuela’s currency is in free fall, so the government is hoping to create something new & buzzwordy. They’re calling it “petrocurrency.” http://bit.ly/2ATcN2j
But financial experts remained skeptical of the development. For one, there’s little information on how the currency would function in Venezuela. The “petro” would be backed by the country’s oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves, but that’s about as much as we know.
“It’s Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility,” Angel Alvarado, an opposition lawmaker and economist, told Reuters.
Venezuela, whose economy is in utter collapse, just announced it’s launching “Petro… a new cryptocurrency system based on oil reserves.”
He teased the launch of the new digital currency during a five-hour Christmas special televised Sunday.
There’s doubt that Venezuela would be able to manage the currency. Maduro took office in 2013. Over the last four years, the country’s socioeconomic collapse has continued to worsen.
“Even if the ‘petro’ does launch, there is no fundamental reason to hold the currency except as a tool of outright speculation,” David Coker, lecturer in accounting, finance, and governance at Westminster Business School, told Quartz.
2019 headline: “Venezuela’s Crypto Currency Hyperinflates To 2400%”
Kylo Ren is a pretty bad guy, but we cannot deny that he takes his design aesthetics very seriously. He shares an appreciation for all black outfits, a cool helmet, a bizarre lightsaber, but most importantly, he has the sleekest whip in the entire galaxy.
Sorry, Millennium Falcon.
Popular Youtuber, Colin Furze was given the task, in collaboration with eBay, to try and create a life-sized Kylo Ren TIE silencer along with a BB-9E droid from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie. Furze got some help from XRobots James Burton.
The video shows a group of children all throughly excited about the idea of flying through space with Kylo Ren’s streamlined spaceship. The entire TIE fighter took six weeks to build and will be on display at the Burghley House in Stamford until Dec. 10. Now we just have to wait for someone to build a working Star Wars X-34 Landspeeder so we can feel like Luke Skywalker. Read more…
There are many things that could be said about the GOP tax bill. But one thing is certain. It has been a great show.
Obviously, the time for real solutions to the debt problem that’s ailing the United States came and went many decades ago. Instead of addressing the Country’s mounting insolvency, lawmakers chose the expedient without exception. They kicked the can from yesterday to today.
Presently, there are no good options left to fix the mathematics bearing down on us all. Hence, in the degenerate stage of an overburdened nation-state, style over substance is what counts. Without question, Congress and President Trump played their parts to push the bill with much bravura.
On Tuesday, for example, President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan held a White House meeting with two empty chairs. Apparently, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t want to participate in a “show meeting.” Thus, they made a spectacle of themselves and ditched the meeting.
Indeed, their absence was all part of the show. Moreover, the entire episode was show; nothing more. At the time of this writing (Thursday night), the show continues on. The last we heard, the Senate vote had been delayed until Friday. By the time you read this it may be a done deal – or maybe not.
Regardless, the tax bill is all quite meaningless when you have a fiat currency that’s been stretched out like silly putty. No doubt, this has propagated immense financial speculation while outrunning actual economic growth. The effect has manifested in strange and unexpected ways.
Incidentally, following Fed Chair nominee Jay Powell’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren remarked that the Fed had the same regulatory attitude going into the crash of 2008 because they haven’t intervened in bitcoin.
Naturally, it never occurred to Warren that bitcoin could be a barometer of the Fed’s extreme intervention into credit markets. Without artificially suppressed interest rates and Fed asset purchases, bitcoin would’ve never become the recipient of such speculative fervor. Attempting to regulate it now is like assigning price controls by edict to address a Fed induced bout of consumer price inflation.
Besides, what’s Warren’s beef anyway?
Of the many bull markets that have risen from the depths of the Great Recession, none is starker than the bull market in cryptocurrencies. Having a justified axe to grind with the Fed’s policies of mass money debasement, computer geeks, contrarians, geniuses, the enlightened, speculators, hucksters, dreamers, schemers, and all those in between, saw the light of the cryptocurrency revolution.
Perhaps they’re on to something. From what we can tell, the underlying blockchain distributed ledger technology is an innovative means for providing an efficient and permanent transaction record between consenting parties – assuming big brother’s not monitoring the transaction record. We don’t doubt that it isn’t here to stay and will continue to gain further market share within society.
In fact, bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies may ultimately unseat our present fiat money system. As far as we can tell, this would be an improvement.
Idiots Get Rich
Yet bitcoin isn’t the only Fed provoked speculative mania. Nearly all financial assets have been pumped up into giant bubbles. Bitcoin just merits the most headlines.
Our skepticism, however, is not with the promise of cryptocurrencies. Rather, it’s firmly rooted in the present. Specifically, cryptocurrencies are in the grips of an epic speculative mania.
Are we in the first inning or ninth inning of the great big speculative cryptocurrency bubble? If you listen to cybersecurity guru John McAfee we’re in the first inning. He believes bitcoin is going to $1 million by 2020.
Is he right? Is he wrong? Who knows?
For now, however, several things are abundantly clear. Everyone – including you – is getting rich from bitcoin. So, too, everyone’s getting rich from FANG – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google – stocks. Likewise, everyone’s getting rich shorting the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX).
What to make of it?
Without question, there’s a bull market in idiocy. And when there’s a bull market in idiocy, idiots get rich.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being an Idiot
Thus, for idiots’ sake, we’ve boiled The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being an Idiot down to its crystalline essence:
One: Buy bitcoin north of $11,000.
Two: Buy FANG stocks at present valuations.
Three: Short the VIX at sub-10.
We consider these to be actions for idiots. But what do we know? Remember, idiots often make the wrong decision at precisely the right time.
So, with a little luck, those who follow this guide won’t just be idiots. They’ll be rich idiots to boot. Such is the poetry of life.
Hello all you leakey Twitternet pheromone squids, and welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the only dating advice column that’s descended from Sir Francis Bacon.
This week is all about the trials of modern dating. How do you approach someone you’re interested in without being the latest guy to join the douchebag conga line? And when you’ve got the soul of a nerd and the body of a jock, how do you reconcile the difference between who you want and who you’re “supposed” to want?
It’s time to get out into the jungles of love and find some treasure. Let’s do this.
It is a pleasure to contact you after having seen your advice across various sites throughout the years. I have always appreciated your candor in light of complex questions and the respect you have for all parties in a relationship. You provide a great service, I commend you for that.
I approach you with a concern that has bugged me recently. I am curious about the cold approach. I have learned a great deal about the male gaze and appreciating women beyond their physical attributes. Say I’m at a bar: how can I in good faith interact with a woman if I know that my first instinct was to approach her because I found her to be physically attractive? I feel this goes against what feminism has taught me over the past few years. Is that acceptable?
Beyond that, I worry that I shouldn’t bother people that catch my eye because they are probably approached multiple times daily by potential suitors (weird terminology I know, but the only word that I thought fit). I don’t want to add to that annoyance in their daily lives. I realize this is more of a personal hang up but I’d appreciate if you could contextualize this.
Ok, I’m gonna level with you ShyGuy: you kinda went past wanting to be considerate of others and aware of the way that society has taught men to treat women, and straight into “bad parody of male feminist”. The former is admirable. The latter is missing the point and runs the risk of turning into a sort of performative version of wokeness that leaves people functionally paralyzed out of fear of being problematic somehow.
So let’s talk a little bit about attraction and how we meet our partners. But before we do that, let’s talk about the male gaze and attraction for a second. (Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be Feminism 101; we’re only gonna touch on this since you brought it up.)
The term “male gaze” was coined by film critic Lara Mulvey and describes how women in the arts are presented as passive objects for the sexual pleasure of straight men in cinema. It was only later that the phrase expanded to have a more overarching cultural meaning, where it’s come to describe how groups view other groups as a whole. (Side note: Lindsay Ellis has a great video on the topic and how it applies to men as well.)
The key words there are “passive” and “object”. Despite the protestations of Reddit-fueled fantasies of straw-feminists, nobody out there with any real credibility is actually claiming that simply looking at women and being attracted to them is bad, dangerous or harmful. Frankly, most people aren’t going to notice unless you’re staring or acting like the Wolf in the Red Hot Riding Hood cartoons.
Seeing somebody and being attracted to them isn’t inherently rude or disrespectful. There’s nothing wrong with seeing somebody and thinking that they’re hotter than a four alarm fire or that they have a body to make a bishop kick in a stained glass window. Humans are visual beings and one of the things that draws us to others is that we like how they look to us. How a person looks is literally the first thing we’re going to notice about somebody because no amount of makeup or hair styling is going to emphasize their doctorates in quantum mathematics.
But it’s what you do afterwards that makes a difference. Are you basing your interactions with them on the idea that they owe you their time or attention just because you’re attracted to them? Do you only like them because of their looks? Do you think that their appearance is the sole marker of their value as a person? Are you treating them as though they’re there solely for your pleasure? Are you treating them as an ornament to affirm your masculine bona-fides, to provide you with sex and validation from others? Or is their appearance just one data point in the matrix of who they are as an individual?
If you’re treating someone as an object — a passive tool for your pleasure — then yeah, you’re being an asshole. Same if you treat their appearance as the thing that’s most valuable or significant about them. But if it’s just one thing, even if it’s the thing that drew you to them in the first place, then that’s not bad, that’s just being human.
So, don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you’ve wanted to get to know somebody because they were attractive. It’s just part of what made you curious enough to want to learn more about them and see whether they were someone you wanted to actually invest your precious time into.
Which brings us to the meat of your question: how do you do a cold approach — that is, striking up a conversation with someone that you have no social connection to — in this day and age, without being a dick about it?
There are a couple key points to keep in mind. The first is to respect the social context, which make up the rules that dictate what is acceptable behavior in society. Some spaces are explicitly social spaces, where people are expected to mix, meet and mingle with others. Parties, networking events and singles bars, for example, are places where the social context says that approaching strangers with an intent to get to know them is acceptable.
Other spaces aren’t. Mass transit, for example, is generally a bad place to try to get somebody’s number because it’s not a social space. Most of the people on the bus or the subway are just trying to get through their commute and want to be left alone. Moreover, they’re in a place where they can’tleave if they decide that somebody’s bothering them. They’re functionally trapped, and trying to get away can be profoundly inconvenient. It’s a similar idea with people who’re walking down the street. Most folks are just trying to get from A to B with minimal fuss and don’t want to have to deal with every rando who thinks that he or she is entitled to their time, whether it’s a dude who wants her number or someone with a clipboard who wants her signature for their petition.
This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to meet the love of your life on your 7 AM express to work… but the odds and the context are against you. People are far more likely to be open to being approached in an explicitly social space than a non-social space.
The second point when it comes to approaching strangers is that you want to do so efficiently. Your time is valuable, and being a pushy asshole is inefficient… y’know, on top of that whole “being an asshole” thing. So you want to maximize your chances of success and minimize the waste of your time by focusing on people who want to meet you. And the way you do that is that you watch for women who are giving you what are known as approach invitations — signs that they’re interested in you and would welcome your coming to talk to them.
Let’s say you’re at a bar. On one side of the bar, you have an attractive woman who has locked eyes with you, looked away, and then looked back with a smile. On the other, you have an equally attractive woman who has noticed you looking at her, but has turned her back to you and is talking to the bartender instead.
The former has given you a classic approach invitation. She’s seen you looking, looked back to see if you were still looking and gave you a smile that showed she’s pleased that she still has your attention. The latter has made it clear: she saw you, but she’s not interested.
Other signs include lingering around you when they don’t need to be there, in hopes that you’ll notice and say something to them, or saying something loud enough for you to overhear in hopes that you’ll respond. This is a common, low-investment way of trying to start a conversation with people; in fact, it’s part of how I tell my clients to approach women they’re into.
By focusing your attention on the women who show that they want you to talk to them, you’re ensuring that your approach won’t just be acceptable but welcome. You aren’t going to just be another dude trying to sling his dick at her like it’s his shitty mix-tape. You’re someone she’s been hoping would come say hi.
Pay attention to the context of your surroundings and watch for those invitations from women and you’ll be able to approach women with confidence, knowing that you’re not just another speedbump in her day.
I’m a nerd at heart, but most people would consider me to be a bit more of a jock.
I’ve recently come out of a relationship of 3 years (it’s been a few months), and I’ve been deep diving into your posts to discover how to attract not the “next girl”, but the “right girl”. Now, to be specific, I’m finding that most of the time the “right girl” generally isn’t attracted to me.
To give you some background, growing up I was the “one not good with girls” too. For the next decade after high school, I worked on myself until I became the person I wanted to be, and the “one who was good with girls”. It took a while but I got there, and for a while it was awesome.
To be specific I play guitar, train in Mixed martial arts and work to support my passion project. As far as looks go, I dress well, am tall, athletic and tanned. I have two university degrees, and quit my job to work on my passion. By all accounts, people seem to think that I’m a “jock”.
It’s not even that I have that much trouble with the opposite sex. I’ve had a good number of partners, had long term and short term relationships and casual flings. I’ve had plenty of sexual experience too. Even as we speak, I can’t find any reason to complain about any of this.
I’ve done a tonne of therapy to work on myself too. It took such a long time, but I feel that I’ve gotten myself to a really good point. I’ve removed most of my limiting beliefs. I’ve dealt with my childhood. My low self esteem is slowly coming up. I’m open, honest and insightful. I have a really good relationship with my family now too.
This is going to sound really shallow, but I feel it needs to be addressed. I feel societal pressure, and I also put pressure on myself to date conventionally attractive girls, but for some reason I can’t do it. The entire time I’ve been dating, I’ve really only been on a handful of dates with conventionally attractive “10s” (and God I hate that term because everyone is attractive in their own way, but this is for illustrative purposes only). Every time I’m on those dates, they may have gone well, but nothing really materialises from them.
Many of my male friends, who are quite jock-like seem to have little trouble with this. I’m not saying they are any better or worse than me, but they end up dating girls that are conventionally attractive.
It’s also an issue where people say “you could do so much better” when I’m with a girl. And the worst part is, most of the time I probably could, but the girls that are “better” don’t seem to be the ones that are attracted to me.
I’m not sure what to do here, because I have no reason to complain, but it’s bugging me.
So maybe this is an impossible standard that is set for “jock-type” men, and when you don’t adhere to that people don’t like it. Or maybe I’m overthinking it.
So my question to you is, do I keep doing me and date who is attracted to me, or do I try and pursued this potentially poisonous ideal, which may in fact lead to true happiness?
The truth is, when I do finally get a girl that is a “10” on a date, I don’t know what the hell gets into me but I lose all confidence. I start giving off low status signals and eventually the girl gets disinterested. It’s this terrible self sabotage. I even feel crippling approach anxiety for this certain type of girl, like I’m back in high school. For any other type of person, I have confidence. I don’t know why I value this conventionally attractive person higher than the unconventionally attractive people, but I do, and it sucks. Many times have I come so close to dating that conventionally attractive “10”, but I’ve just been unlucky, or self sabotaging.
This isn’t a problem, but I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and would like to resolve this in the best way possible. It’s the next mission on the self-help quest to enlightenment.
What do you think? Give up? Figure out a way to date “10s”? Find some new friends?
I want you to throw your eyeballs back up a few paragraphs and look at what I said to ShyGuy about the Male Gaze. One of the issues you’re having is the fact that you’re treating these “10s” as though they were more important or more valuable than anyone else because of how they look. Now, maybe some of them are poets laureate or Nobel Prize nominees, but you’re putting so much value and status on their looks alone that it’s cratering your own self-worth. You’re falling back to the person you used to be because you don’t believe that you two have similar or equal social value and frankly, that’s horseshit.
Look, I’ve spent a lot of time around some of the most gorgeous women in the world and I can tell you from experience: they’re people. Some are brilliant and some are as sharp as a sack of wet mice. Some are sweet and some are assholes. But they all fart, pick their noses, snore, have obnoxious food preferences, watch shit you can’t stand on Netflix, stub their toes, and forget their keys. They are like you and me and the only importance they have in your life is what you invest them with.
So stop seeing them as the “pinnacle” of achievement or whatever, or as sources of validation to “prove” that you’re as awesome as you want to be. They’re individuals, same as anyone else. You may find them insanely attractive but as I said earlier: that’s just one data point in the matrix that makes them who they are. Don’t let that one thing about them blow your hard-won confidence away.
Now, second of all: are you sure that the “10s” you’re pursuing are women you actually want to date? I mean, sure, they’re hot… but are you pursuing them because they’re someone you actually are compatible with, with aspects other than their looks that you find appealing? Or are you dating them because they have an ass like woah and boobs like PWHOAR?
Are you going after them because they’re what a jock-looking motherfucker like you is supposed to want? Are you finding that maybe they’re not quite it, but you’re willing to give it a shot because hey, look at how your buddies are all giving you the thumbs up?
‘Cuz I’m here to tell you: hotness is great, but hotness fades, very quickly. Hedonic adaptation is a part of the human experience and what starts out as phenomenal quickly becomes mundane and every-day when you get used to it. To quote Billy Bob Thornton: she can be the hottest woman in the world, but after a while, it can become like fucking the couch.
Having the same sense of humor, on the other hand, keeps things alive and vital. Shared interests, goals and values mean that you’ll have a connection long after even the most intense Korean skin-care regimine has ceased to work it’s magic. Being in awe of somebody’s wit or their brains, their sense of adventure or the way they can turn any situation into a positive, is going to serve you far better than just “will she look good on my Instagram feed?”
I suspect that part of the problem you’re having finding women who’re into you is that you’re chasing after women you’re not actually that into. You said it yourself: you’re feeling this pressure to go after a specific type of woman. And if that type isn’t the type you vibe with… well, that goes both ways, my dude. They may be drawn in by your crunchy jock-like exterior but just aren’t diggin’ on the chewy nerd center. And maybe your bros are doing better because they are into that type of woman. They speak the language, as it were, and they have the things that those women are looking for.
There’s no shame if you don’t have what they want; it just means that they’re not right for you. Better to find that out on the first couple of dates than try to paper over it, only to realize a year down the line that you’re lonely even when they’re in the room with you.
So when you’re looking at who to date, focus on the people who make you happy, not just the ones who make your dick smile. Maybe that person’ll be a 10 after all. Or maybe they’ll be a 7… but the way she smiles, or the fact that she’s more excited about Persona than you’ll ever be, or the fact that she can put you in an arm-bar before you can blink, will make you realize that you’ve rounded her up to a 10 because she’s just that awesome.
And as for the people who tell you “you can do so much better?” Fuck ‘em. Your love life isn’t a democracy. There’s no comment period where people get to register a complaint or tell you that, based on your height and body fat percentage, you should be dating X, Y or Z. Are you happy? Is your snugglebunny seven pounds of terrific in a five pound sack? Yes? Then the people who’re telling you “duuuude, you can do better” can collectively take that flying fuck at a rolling donut and you can get yourself a better class of friend.
Did you meet your partner on a cold approach? Have you dealt with friends’ opinions about how “you could do better”? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. We’ll be back with more of your questions in two weeks.
Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku’s bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O’Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove. Got a question you’d like answered? Write firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Kotaku” in the subject line.
Harris O’Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek’s Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.
The good ole ripe age of 50, about the same time that people start counting down how many more years until they can retire. But Jean Titus is not about to stop crushing it in his life. He is only just beginning. The 50-year-old fitness fanatic is killing it as a fitness consultant and motivational speaker. Despite being 50-years-old, Titus is shredded, so much so that he has the nickname of “Ripped Grandpa.”
Age doesn’t slow down the 50-year-old fitness fanatic from Washington D.C. who hits the gym at least five times a week for an hour-and-a-half each day. He can bench press 400 pounds, deadlift 440 pounds, and squat 460 pounds. The hard work pays off because he has an impressive 48-inch chest and 18-inch biceps. To fuel his workouts he feasts on four to five meals a day and a total of approximately 3,400 calories per day.
“Before I got into fitness, I was a skinny kid,” says Jean. “Looking back, I feel that I wasn’t as strong and that I had not tapped into my true physical potential. Weight-lifting was a part of the strength and conditioning training program for college athletes, of which I was one.” “People are amazed by my physical abilities, due to my age,” Titus says. “On a daily basis, I have several people approach me asking about my workout routine and diet, and complimenting my physique.”
As for some advice on how to get shredded like Ripped Grandpa, Jean says, “I’ve realized over time that your most valuable asset is your physical and mental health, which is why it is so important to be in shape. My advice for anyone looking to get into fitness would be to focus on the daily tasks, fall in love with the process and most importantly, be consistent,” Jean explains. “You are your only competition, make an effort everyday to beat yesterday’s output and with that mindset, in time you will achieve your goals.” Ripped Grandpa has made his own brand with his gym dedication and his stylish fashion sense and has over 137,000 followers on his Instagram.
Right after reinventing existing public services with private apps, hacking death may be the ultimate dream of SiliconValley’s elite. Death is truly the final boss for anyone who thinks enough money and lines of code can solve anything, and boy are they attacking it hard. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged $3 billion toward a plan to cure all diseases by the end of the century.
“By the time we get to the end of this century, it will be pretty normal for people to live past 100,” Zuckerberg said in 2016.
And to be sure, science, medicine and unlocking more about how the body functions have already worked what would look like a miracle to someone living centuries ago: the average life expectancy for someone born in the United States doubled in just 130 years, from 39 years in 1880 to 78 years in 2011. So Zuckerberg’s prediction may actually be easier than ridding his platform of Russian bots. Longevity—and potential immortality—is a particularly popular obsession with the tech world and Silicon Valley billionaires, who seem to be offended that death would ever get the better of them, and that somehow future generations MUST be able to bask in their immortal wisdom, even if their bodies are just throbbing electric impulses in a jar sustained by regular infusions of monkey testicles (yes, a real thing people tried for awhile).
The ultimate problem is that human bodies, these sad, slumping, failure-prone products of evolution, just aren’t cut out for living forever. People throughout history have tried, but the garbage body always gets in the way.
“We humans, as we are now, messy bags of blood and bone, are not really fit for immortality,” Stephen Cave, a philosopher at the University of Cambridge and author of the book Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization, told me. “So some really profound thing has to happen if we’re going to [change that].”
But if you’re interested in trying, oligarchs, rich lunatics and scientists throughout history provide some a framework, and a lot more is in the works at this very moment. Below, a rundown of the different approaches that have been taken up in the never-ending quest for life to never end.
Hack all diseases out of existence
Zuckerberg, along with his Silicon Valley pals from Google and 23andme, set up the Breakthrough Prize in 2012 to celebrate and promote science innovations, including fighting disease and living longer.
He also set up The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will donate $3 billion over a decade to basic medical research with the goal of curing disease. Some have argued this approach isn’t the most efficient and the money would be better spent targeting single diseases at a time instead of an across-the-board assault. For instance, eradicating smallpox cost just $300 million in less than 10 years.
There is a problem with this approach, said Brian Kennedy, the director of Center for Healthy Aging at the National University of Singapore: even if you treat diseases, you still haven’t cured aging itself.
“We don’t do healthcare [in the medical community], we do sick care,” he said, pointing out that the goal shouldn’t be just giving rich people access to cures for any disease but rather fundamentally attacking “aging” itself as a threat.
“Aging is the biggest risk factor to all these diseases that go out of control,” he said. “This is not just about a few billionaires living longer. This is about a million people living longer.”
Aging itself creates risks, he said, because organs and body systems inevitably break down over time. His center is researching ways to halt aging at the enzyme level. One of the most promising is the TOR pathway, a kind of cellular signaling that tells a cell to grow and divide or hunker down and turn up stress responses. Scientists believe that manipulating that pathway could slow down aging.
“It’s a really robust effect,” Kennedy said.
Once people realize that, he hopes his cause will be as flashy and imagination-capturing as Zuckerberg’s longevity quest.
“The most important thing we can do right now is to validate [the idea that]we can affect the aging,” he said. “Once that happens, I think interest level will go way up.”
Biohacking will also open up new avenues—and intense ethical debates—about what lengths people can go to to change their genetic code. Scientists, for instance, are still carefully exploring CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology, which acts like a homing missile that tracks down a specific DNA strand, then cuts and pastes a new strand in its place. It can be used to alter just about every aspect of DNA. In August, scientists for the first time in the United States used the gene editing technology on a human embryo to erase a heritable heart condition.
Harvesting young body parts
Throughout history, people have seized on the idea that you can essentially patch or infuse the human body with parts of other bodies and cheat death, kinda like jailbreaking your iPhone so it can accept any software.
Take, for instance Serge Voronoff, a Russian-born scientist who in the early 20th century believed animal sex glands held the secret to prolonging life. In 1920, he tried it out, taking a piece of monkey testicle and sewing it to a human’s (although, it should be noted, not his own) scrotum. The idea seemed to catch on: by the mid-1920s, according to Atlas Obscura, 300 people underwent his procedure; at least one woman received a graft of monkey ovary.
“The sex gland stimulates cerebral activity as well as muscular energy and amorous passion,” Voronoff wrote in his 1920 book, Life; a Study of the Means of Restoring Vital Energy and Prolonging Life. “It pours into the stream of the blood a species of vital fluid which restores the energy of all the cells, and spreads happiness.”
Voronoff eventually built his own monkey enclosure on his property and claimed he was able to restore 70 year olds to their youthful vigor. Some could live to 140, he claimed. He was able to charge as much as an average year’s salary at the time for the procedure.
Voronoff died in 1951, apparently never having rejuvenated himself.
Monkey testicles have fallen out of style, but, unlike the good doctor Voronoff, the idea of harvesting body parts is still very much alive.
Trump surrogate, Gawker killer and overall too-rich person Peter Thiel has talked about his interest in parabiosis, the process of getting transfusions of blood from a younger person, to reverse aging.
“I’m looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect,” he told Inc. “It’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely under-explored.”
It certainly didn’t work out for Alexander Bogdanov, a science fiction writer, doctor, and pioneer of cybernetics who dabbled in blood transfusions in the 1920s. He thought that if he ran a train of blood transfusions on himself, he could become functionally immortal. This thirst for blood met a hubristic end: he eventually took a blood transfusion from a malaria patient. The patient survived, but he did not.
Redefining the soul
Cave’s book breaks up immortality schemes throughout history into four classifications: the first one, staying alive in the body, involves all those life extending medicines and life hacking gene therapies discussed above. The second one involves resurrection, an idea that has fascinated people throughout history, from Luigi Galvani’s 18th century experiments running electricity through a dead frog’s legs to more recent efforts at cryonics, the process of freezing your body with the hope that future medicine or technology will be able to restore you to health. Some in Silicon Valley are interested in new versions of cryonics, but so far it doesn’t seem to be getting that much attention.
Cave’s third path involves finding immortality through the soul, something that has driven religious wars and controlled populations for eons. It takes as a fact that your physical body is a degrading mess that will one day betray you, but that doesn’t matter, since the soul is the real, eternal essence of who you are. But it’s best left to religious discussions nowadays, as science can’t seem to prove it exists.
“If bits of your brain are damaged, then bits of you, the fundamental deepest idea of who you are, have disappeared,” Cave said. He’s talking about the idea that if the soul is the indestructible essence of you that can survive eternity, why does our essence change when we suffer brain damage or other personality altering maladies? If your soul lets you live forever, which version of you exactly is the one that lives forever?
“That leads us to wonder if your soul is somehow supposed to be maintaining all these things, why can’t your soul do that for you? If it can do that when your whole brain is gone, why can’t that do that when a part of your brain is gone?”
But some techies argue the nature of these projects will redefine what a soul is entirely: not so much a ghostly essence of your being connected to a higher power, but more a specific set of brain signatures unique to you, a code that can be hacked like any other code.
“Consider, then, the modern soul as the unique neuronal-synaptic signature integrating brain and body through a complex electrochemical flow of neurotransmitters. Each person has one, and they are all different,” Marcelo Gleiser a theoretical physicist and writer and a professor of natural philosophy, physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College, wrote for NPR in April. “Can all this be reduced to information, such as to be replicated or uploaded into other-than-you substrates? That is, can we obtain sufficient information about this brain-body map so as to replicate it in other devices, be they machines or cloned biological replicas of your body?”
Google’s lifespan-extending project Calico launched in 2013 with a mission statement that calls aging “one of life’s greatest mysteries.” Also a great mystery is exactly what Calico has been up to: the company’s work has been shrouded in secrecy, which has led to lots of curiosity and frustration from the rest of people in the anti-aging field. So far, according to a New Yorker piece in April, all that’s known is the company is tracking a thousand mice from birth to death to find “biomarkers” of aging, what can be described as biochemical substances whose levels predict death. The company has invested in drugs that may help fight diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Creating a lasting legacy
The tech side of things brings us to Cave’s fourth path to immortality: legacy. For ancient civilizations, that meant creating monuments, having your living relatives chant your name after you’re gone or carving names on tomb walls.
“If your name was spoken and your monuments still stood, they thought,” he wrote in his book, “then at least a part of you still lived.”
Today’s legacies look different than giant stone shrines, but the ego behind them is probably comparable. The idea of uploading consciousness to the cloud has crossed from science fiction into science possible: Russian web mogul Dmitry Itskov in 2011 launched the 2045 Initiative, an experiment to make himself immortal within the next 30 years by creating a robot that can store a human personality.
“Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer,” Itskov told the BBC last year.
Fears of an immortal tech bro planet
So here is one of the obvious main problems with Silicon Valley-led innovations, like many other tech-based lurches into the advanced future: it could be too expensive for everyone to afford. Which in turn could mean that we’ll have a class of near immortals, or cloud-based consciousnesses, ruling over people bound to their horrifying analog bodies. The meshing of human/computer/nantech parts will also open up a whole new thinkpiece industry about when someone stops becoming a “person” all together and is just lines of code.
Kennedy said opening these options up to everyone will depend on what avenue of research proves the most effective. If aging is treated as a disease (and healthcare in general somehow becomes affordable to everyone), there’s hope.
“The challenge is to figure out ways to improve health span and get it to everybody as quickly as possible,” he said. “If it’s drugs, it’s achievable. If it’s a bunch of transfusions of young blood, that’s less achievable.”
If all this has you bristling at the thought of techies creating their own super race of “disruptors” impervious to the torments of time and the limits of flesh, that’s understandable. But Cave said you may be encouraged by the entire history of people who’ve chased extended lifespans, from ancient Egypt to the people clinging to their diets and exercise throughout the 21st century.
“The one thing that everyone has pursued immortality has in common,” he said, “is that they’re now six foot under, pushing up daisies.”
NASA’s Voyager 1 has been drifting farther and farther away from our planet for the past 40 years. Now, the agency has ensured that it can maintain contact with the farthest spacecraft from Earth for at least two to three more years by waking up a set of backup thrusters it hasn’t used since 1980. Voyager needs to rotate itself every so often so that its antenna points to our planet. It orients itself by firing several 10-millisecond puffs with its thrusters — problem is, the ones it regularly uses haven’t been performing as well after four decades in space.
Since nobody can physically check the condition of a probe 13 billion miles away, the team first gathered experts to assess the situation. On November 28th, they finally test-fired the backup thrusters, which worked perfectly and rotated the spacecraft just as well as the primary ones can. Todd Barber, one of the propulsion experts who looked at the issue closely, said that "The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test. The mood was one of relief, joy and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all."
Thanks to the successful test, Voyager will switch to the backup thrusters in January and will be able to beam data back to Earth a bit longer. The team might conduct a similar test with Voyager 2’s backups to ensure it can also send data back after it follows its older sibling to interstellar space in a few years’ time.
Although the majority of the upper-deck "SkyPark" is reserved exclusively for the hotel’s guests, daytime visitors can grab an admission ticket that lets them up to the separate, but equally as scenic, observation deck — meaning that anyone can snap a shot of the sun setting over Singapore for their Instagram.
Inside the resort, guests can enjoy luxurious private cinema screens, designer shopping malls featuring the likes of Dior and Dolce and Gabbana, and serene spa facilities.
The hotel is also home to a number of restaurants and bars, including multiple rooftop bars, an open-air restaurant, and the more private "Club 55" — a first-class exclusive bar boasting incredible views of Singapore from the 55th floor of the resort.
Over one million photos of Marina Bay Sands have been uploaded to Instagram, making it the most popular hotel in the world on the social media platform, beating the likes of Dubai’s Atlantis the Palm and Las Vegas’s Caesar’s Palace to first place.
Meanwhile, depsite Singapore taking the top spot, seven of the top 10 most Instagrammed hotels in the world all reside in Las Vegas, USA.
These are the 10 most Instagrammed hotels in the world: