If humans have any hope of living forever, we should probably take a hint from the dozens of other animals on Earth that far outpace our measly 71 years. One of the longest-lived of these animals is the Greenland shark, which researchers only recently discovered could survive for so long. On a 2017 expedition, researchers learned more fascinating details about the shark, including that it’s heart rate is incredibly slow — only beating once every ten seconds. Here are the rest of the longest-living animals on Earth.
Wikipedia describes “Top Gun” as a “romantic military action drama,” which is pretty appropriate when you consider the movie really has everything you could ever want. It’s got a killer soundtrack, heart-pounding dogfights and, of course, beach volleyball.
“Top Gun” was one of those movies that you watched whenever it was on TV back when people still watched TV. How much knowledge have you retained? Take this quiz to find out.
The identity of master street artist Banksy, one of the great mysteries of our time, may have been revealed once for all.
British DJ Goldie referred to him as “Robert” during the Distraction Pieces podcast — but he didn’t elaborate further.
That seems to confirm rumours and speculations that behind the mask is Goldie’s friend and Massive Attack band member Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja, himself an acclaimed graffiti artist.
Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack performs on stage during day one of Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time.
Last year, a Scottish journalist “outed” Del Naja as Banksy claiming that many of the artist’s artworks appeared in locations and days following the Massive Attack tour.
In response, Del Naja said to a crowd of fans in Bristol that “we are all Banksy”.
“It would be a good story but sadly not true. Wishful thinking I think. He [Banksy] is a mate as well, he’s been to some of the gigs. It’s purely a matter of logistics and coincidence, nothing more than that,” he later told The Daily Mail.
During the podcast, Goldie told Scroobius Pip: “For something like graffiti, which has inspired the world with font or anything to do with anyone wearing a baseball cap and sneakers, at its centre it is still misunderstood.
“But give me a bubble letter and put it on a T-shirt and write Banksy on it and we’re sorted… We can sell it now.
“No disrespect to Rob, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”
“Rob” could also refer to Robin Gunnigham, a man who the Mail On Sunday“revealed” to be the man behind Banksy in 2008.
from Mashable! http://on.mash.to/2s37T9U
The cryptocurrency market for Ethereum plummeted late Wednesday. This wasn’t a quick dip, but a flash crash that sent the price from $317 to a low of $0.10 in a matter of seconds.
Some people saw thousands of dollars in value disappear.
Things are back to normal, sort of. The price of Ether, the cryptocurrency of the suddenly hot Ethereum platform, has since rebounded and is trading back at about $318.
The crash, however, remains as a big reminder that this is a volatile, new market. Plenty of people have made small fortunes investing in these markets, but the get-rich-quick stories belie the risks that the average person faces if they want to get in on these new digital currencies.
The vice president of GDAX, the Ethereum exchange which experienced the crash, blogged about the event, explaining that a "multimillion dollar market sell" was placed midday Wednesday. This triggered prices to fall from about $317 to $224 and 800 automatic stop loss orders to go through—those are automatic sells set for when prices hit a certain amount.
Hence some people who didn’t even mean to sell ended up dumping their ether for a small percentage of what it had just been worth.
"We understand this event can be frustrating for our customers," VP Adam White wrote.
Things went down fast. The trading price of ether dropped 99 percent in a second, but then rose back up, with traders who held onto their holdings coming out just fine.
Others were not so lucky.
How many of y’all lost money from the Ethereum flash crash today. Just when you thought you could bank on crypto$$
If you’re interested in this market, use this as a learning experience. This is the wild west of investing. Exchanges like these are not mature. They’re still very new and much smaller than established stock markets. These exchanges are susceptible to huge swings like Wednesday’s flash crash. In a normal stock exchange, a multimillion sell wouldn’t throw everything off.
We have recently increased the max amount of margin funding you can take out on the ETH-USD market to $10,000 USD.
As Omega One, a crypto currency trading platform, noted, the crash shows the problems with these exchanges.
"The millions of dollars that investors lost due to forced selling of their positions will not be recovered. This incident highlights the relative immaturity of the cryptocurrency trading ecosystem," the company wrote.
If you know science, you know it’s not perfect. Outside eyes review papers their peers wrote before those papers get published, results must be reproduced to establish truths, and even then, stuff can still contain mistakes.
Physicists are now discussing a new paper published on the arXiv preprint server last week. Papers landing on the arXiv have been moderated but not reviewed by others, so it’s not clear whether they’re error-free or even worthy of publication in a scientific journal. This makes a new Forbes column from theoretical physicist and science blogger Sabine Hossenfelder especially interesting—the public got to see the reality of science through live peer-review.
Hossenfelder dug up a new analysis of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)’s now-famous gravitational wave events and wrote her column up last Friday. She explains the paper’s findings:
A team of five researchers — James Creswell, Sebastian von Hausegger, Andrew D. Jackson, Hao Liu and Pavel Naselsky — from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, presented their own analysis of the openly available LIGO data. And, unlike the LIGO collaboration itself, they come to a disturbing conclusion: that these gravitational waves might not be signals at all, but rather patterns in the noise that have hoodwinked even the best scientists working on this puzzle.
Essentially, LIGO’s two observatories detect gravitational waves by splitting a laser beam, sending it down several kilometer-long tunnels, and merging the light waves together again. A passing gravitational wave changes the shape of space by a teeny amount, enough to move the laser beams’ light waves in and out of alignment with one another. But the movement is barely perceptible, a shift smaller than an atom. So any amount of noise, even folks running at the site, can be detected.
The new paper says that the two detectors (one in Louisiana and another in Washington) could have heard noise at the same time interval that a gravitational wave would have taken to pass between them, thus clouding the signal. This would cast doubt on the robustness of the two gravitational wave events they looked at, one that occurred in December of 2015 and another in January of 2017.
But this paper wasn’t peer reviewed, and Hossenfelder points that out. The Danish team’s analysis wasn’t as robust as LIGO’s, either. Hossenfelder even gets a source from LIGO into her article—the experiment is familiar with the Danish team’s work. The LIGO source told Hossenfelder that they “respectfully respond that [they] have talked at some length with the group in the past and do not agree on the methods being used and thus with the conclusions.”
I reached out to Salvatore Vitale at MIT who works at LIGO as well to see if the new paper holds any water. “No,” he said, “they screwed up basic things,” listing some specifics of their analysis. The LIGO collaboration ultimately responded via physicist Sean Carroll’s popular blog, Preposterous Universe, in a guest post by postdoctoral physicist Ian Harry, which you can read here.
People took this several ways. One physicist blogger, Mark Hannam at Cardiff University, was upset that Hossenfelder covered the arXiv paper. Others were happy to get to see the scientific process unfold in real time.
The truth is, science writers cover arXiv papers all the time. This is one of the places where ideas get discussed in physics, and it prevents researchers from having to wait around for months before results get published. Science writers should know that arXiv papers require lots of outside eyes to properly report. Hossenfelder does—her column ultimately ended with the requisite heavy dose of skepticism towards the Danish group.
Another astrophysicist, Jason Wright from Penn State, summarizes his own opinions in his own blog:
As I said, if I were the LIGO team I would be annoyed by the episode, but the things that would annoy me the least are that the world showed an intense interest in my work, that I had to explain my science to that interested audience, and that I got to show up a gadfly on a big stage.
Basically, he’s saying that physicists questioned a huge, famous, probably future Nobel prize-winning science organization’s results. Scientists are supposed to question one another’s results. Now, we got to see scientists take a hard look at a criticism and peer review it publicly.
And if Harry’s post on Carroll’s blog isn’t convincing, Carrol points out that “Happily, there are sufficient online tools that this is a question that interested parties can investigate for themselves.” Essentially, the more eyes on the LIGO data, the better.
Anyway, that’s what’s happening in physics this week. It’s messy and you got to see what normally happens over emails and behind-the-scenes play out in real time. Maybe you liked it, maybe you didn’t, but this is what it looks like.
If you’ve got back pain, yoga may be the last thing you feel like doing. But after 12 weeks of a gentle, beginner-level yoga program, people in a recent study had as much pain relief as those who did physical therapy sessions. And either type of exercise worked better than doing nothing at all.
If you’d like to try the moves yourself, here is the guidebook they handed out to participants. The poses start out really basic, and don’t take any special amount of flexibility or strength. In many, you’re steadying yourself against a wall, or doing a simplified “baby” version of the kind of thing lululemon models do. The participants weren’t experienced yogis, either: they were 320 people with back pain who lived in the Boston area, racially diverse and mostly low-income. They didn’t have back injuries, just a nagging pain that doctors couldn’t explain, possibly related to a lack of strength and flexibility.
They went to an hour-long yoga class every week, and were assigned to practice for 30 minutes on their own every day they didn’t have class. The guidebook explains how to practice at home, but if you want more details, check out the teacher’s manual. Before the yoga program, 70 percent of participants were using pain medication. Afterwards, only 50 percent were. (People who hadn’t done the yoga or physical therapy programs had no change in their pain meds.) This yoga program doesn’t work miracles, but it does seem to help.
I tried the routine (I jumped straight to the more advanced moves, since I’ve done yoga before) and they’re simple, gentle, and totally not intimidating. If you have back pain, get it checked out, but it’s good to know that yoga might be able to help.
Ableton Live’s dominance over a lot of workflows is unparalleled. But the software itself is looking long in the tooth. There are clearly some features long in coming, and despite some updates, the UI is still largely unchanged since the software’s debut over a decade and a half ago. That’s good in some ways, but it means the software can be clunky on modern displays and in certain use cases.
It says something about the love for the software that UI/UX designer Nenad Milosevic would create a deep redesign project, spec, just for the heck of it.
If Nenad’s redesign demonstrates anything, it may be to prove just how hard a redesign is. But the results are nothing if not interesting, even if you wouldn’t necessarily want to replace Ableton Live with this UI. Especially compelling, Nenad did extensive polling to determine what features mattered and how they would look. So the results have some ideas in them, and reflect a bit of what the Ableton user base imagines they’d like a future version of the software to look like.
Personally, I really like the colors, and would love someone to implement a skin of this. (It’s not a skin yet. Anyone?)
And yeah, the similarity to Bitwig Studio is unmistakable.
This is a telling line, too: “I didn’t blindly follow what Live users said in surveys I conducted. Because 1. what users assume they need do not necessarily align with what they really need. 2. I didn’t conduct usability testing to see what actually needs fixing and how users behave.”
But even if it’s not practical to expect anything of this project, I think UI buffs will find it entertaining, and Nenad did a lot of lovely work. It also speaks to the appetite for a new generation of Ableton Live software that this story has been all over the Web.
Check it out, along with other design goodies:
I will meanwhile wait for the real thing, as I don’t necessarily see anything here I’d want to use, personally. A new skin would be cool, though.
As a fan of music, I’d love to learn how to make a song. Devoting time to learning music theory, however, isn’t exactly on my list of priorities. Music lessons are intimidating, they’re a little inconvenient, and definitely pricey.
So this interactive tutorial on beat-making from Ableton is perfect for the budding musician in all of us. It’s got a ton a tools that make advanced concepts dead simple, especially since you can play with them yourself.
The lessons are broken up in chapters and subsequent lessons, starting with the basics of beat-making. The lessons break down what you need to know in just a few sentences, provide an example of the concept. Each lesson, from chords to song structures, has an interactive component so you can experiment with what you’ve just learned. The scales section, for example, presents you with a full piano scale you can play around with, along with a looping piano track you can mess with to learn about scales. It even features examples of beats from Queen and Beyoncé, among others.
The interactive music-making tools are easy to understand and present one concept at a time, letting you understand how each one interacts with the other as you progress. By the time you finish the six introductory chapters you’ll understand how to use the playground section, a page where all the tools are available for you to make some rudimentary tunes. You can clear the work to experiment or export it to work on it in Ableton Live.
If you want to learn more you can check out the advanced section, which offers even more song creation tools to explain concepts like inversions and diatonic triads. In an hour I made a beat I thought was pretty cool, and just exported it with a click.
As the United States continues to investigate the extent of hacking in the 2016 election, reports continue to emerge that make things sound a lot worse than they did a few months ago. The latest comes from Time, which reports that the attack included "at least one" successful attempt at modifying voter information. It also states that thousands of voter records were stolen by Russian agents, which exposes sensitive information including partial social security numbers. Time was careful to note that this hacking was specifically related to state and local election databases and says its information comes from current and former officials.
Specifically, Time’s sources claim that an investigation discovered a county-level election database where voter data had been manipulated. Those alterations were discovered and fixed but Time doesn’t say when that investigation took place. In this case, it’s not clear whether the hackers were Russian agents.
As for the data that was stolen, the state of Illinois had almost 90,000 records stolen by Russia — more than 90 percent of which contained driver’s license numbers. About 25 percent of that 90,000 also contained the last four digits of people’s social security numbers. Sources have also said that an ongoing investigation is looking into whether any of this data made its way back to the Trump campaign.
This news follows a report claiming that hackers attacked voting databases in 39 states. That reported stated that hackers had tried to alter and delete data in Illinois’ voter database — it appears that attempt wasn’t successful, but hackers were able to make off with some data.
The US continues to state that none of the attacks directly election vote counts. "It is true there is no evidence that the tampering with voter machines or tampering with voter registrations or any of like that affected the counting of the votes," Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves on the House Intelligence committee, said back in January. "That’s not the same thing as saying there was no impact on the outcome [of elections]."
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate if any laws were broken relating to the hacking attacks last fall. Regardless of what he finds, there’s no doubt that security relating to the 2018 mid-term elections will be a major focus over the next year — and that’ll be doubly true for 2020’s presidential election.
Staring at this squishy little vibrator, that looks more like something you’d find on the beach than in a sex store, two thoughts went through my mind. The first was that I now understood what the seashells in Demolition Man were for. The second thought was perhaps more relevant to Tenga’s $120 Iroha Kushi: It is the perfect example of the rising trend of sex toys as art. It’s the sex toy industry venturing past pure utility into art for art’s sake, and it feels great humming against your clit.
The Iroha Kushi is ribbed and beige, taking its inspiration from a conch shell. It comes with a sleek square wireless charging dock, and the kind of clear plastic cover that basically demands it be put on display by the edgy sex-positive set. Sort of like that vibe you wear around your neck so you look cool and also know you can rub one out in an Amtrak bathroom.
The Iroha Kushi lasts an hour on a charge, but it also takes two hours to charge fully, so you’re all but required to put it back on its pedestal charger between uses or find yourself running out of batteries at a very inconvenient time. It’s also difficult to see whether it’s charging or not because the charge light is smaller and more baffling than the Playstation 4’s power and eject buttons.
As a vibrator, its features are pretty unremarkable and perfectly comparable to any bullet vibrator you can pick up on Amazon. There’s no tiny vacuum. Just a few different vibration speeds and patterns. If clitoral stimulation is your jam it will get you off once you find the speed and vibration pattern that best suits your particular needs. While the ridges do nothing for grip the shape is great and fits easily into the palm. Also, because it’s waterproof it’s a cinch to wash and put back in rotation.
And it’s super squishy—an unusual feature for a vibe. The Iroha Kushi is made of body-safe silicone and begs to be squeezed and formed in the hand. It’s essentially a vibrating stress ball for your snatch, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
As pleasant as it is to squeeze, what really distinguishes the Iroha Kushi from the pack is that it’s beautiful to look at. It’s discreet and pretty enough to leave on your nightstand when your parents come to visit. If you were not well-versed in sex toys, you might have no idea what you were even looking at, exactly. The only thing stopping me from having it out on display at all times is the harrowing thought of someone mistaking it for a particularly stylish wireless mouse. That and the fact that, you know, I don’t want houseguests fondling my vibrators.
But don’t get it twisted, the Kushi is not the queen of vibes. There will always be the mammoth and unmistakable Hitachi Magic Wands hidden in bureau drawers beneath the period underwear. After all, they get the job done. But Tenga Kushi is a different breed. It’s vibrator as sculpture. It is meant to be displayed proudly in the home. Your grandmother had her Precious Moments figurines, now you’ve got your Japanese squishie-inspired sex toys to put on the mantle. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I have vibrators I can leave out and that I like more. The MIMIC Massager by Clandestine Devices ($125) is another work of art, but with a shape and vibration features that make it infinitely more appealing. I cannot say that Iroha Kushi is going to supplant the MIMIC any time soon. But the look of the Kushi, and the squeeze of it, keep me from shoving it into the recesses of my closet full of rejected sex toys. I mean, I don’t exactly have a lot of sex toys that I just like to sit around squeezing. This is one of them. Like any strange piece of modern art, the Iroha Kushi grows on you. I’m not saying I’d put it in a museum and sell postcards of the thing, but when it comes to something I use to tend to my vagina’s orgasmic needs that’s a hell of a lot more than some other vibrators have to offer.
It might last an hour on a charge, but takes two whole hours to charge and that is very lame.
Squishie likes a stress ball.
Shell shape design makes it easy to hold for most users.
5 vibration strengths, 2 rhythm pattern settings means most people into clitoral stimulation can find a setting that will work
Can join you in the tub without electrocuting you.
Rebecca Jane Stokes is writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She’s the senior sex writer for YourTango and her work has appeared on Jezebel, XOJane, The Hairpin, The Toast, Bustle, MTV News, The Barnes and Noble Books Blog, and elsewhere. Follow her on twitter @beccastokes