Lilly Singh produces comedy sketches, music videos, and other media on her one-woman YouTube channel, "Superwoman," where she has a rabid fan base of over 12.7 million followers. Singh has also released a feature film, called "Trip to Island Unicorn," for YouTube Red, the company’s premium service.
No. 8 (tie): Ryan ToysReview — $11 million
Income: $11 million
Likely the envy of elementary school kids worldwide, the 6-year-old Ryan of YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview makes millions for his family by opening and reviewing new toys. The family-run channel has over 10 million followers.
No. 8 (tie): Smosh — $11 million
Income: $11 million
Smosh, started by comedy duo Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, was one of the first YouTube sensations, becoming well known for the duo’s slapstick comedy videos that parodied video games and pop culture.
Anthony Padilla left the Smosh channel in June 2017 to create his own solo YouTube account, which now has over 2 million followers.
The fusion reactor everyone is anticipating is currently under construction in France. It’s called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and could be the fusion reactor to lead a new era of clean energy. The reactor recently hit a major milestone, its construction is halfway complete. Following is a transcript of the video.
This is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). It’s a project partnership between the US, China, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. ITER would generate power by fusing atoms together. Similar to the nuclear fusion process that powers our sun. Nuclear fusion offers a cleaner, safer alternative to nuclear fission, which is what powers today’s nuclear reactors.
But so far, no one has built a fusion reactor that could power a small town, let alone, a city, state, or country. ITER is the machine that could change that. The countries began the ITER project ten years ago with plans to achieve full fusion by 2023. But massive delays have pushed that goal back to 2035. The project is now four times over budget with some critics saying it’s unclear if the technology will even work. The machine is projected to cost over $20 billion to complete. One thing is certain: Harnessing the power of the sun is no easy task.
It may not always be on the forefront of our minds, but everything on earth (that isn’t, ya know, trees and animals and stuff) has been inspired by the curiosity of humankind. Without certain scientific innovations — some dating back many centuries — our society would be vastly different.
Innovation is a key component to businesses today as well, especially with the speed in which industries evolve. More often than not, discoveries from the past continue to shape the present as our society adapts to various technological advancements.
These seven inventions were remarkable when they were first discovered, and continue to be essential to our daily lives.
1. The Model T
Cars are one of the most transformative inventions in America’s history. Where would we be without the sports car, minivan, or wood-paneled station wagon?
Although the first automobile can be traced back to the nineteenth century, Henry Ford’s affordable Model T and the introduction of mass production changed the way we thought about transportation.
Without cars, it would be difficult to keep up with our fast-paced culture, since they allow us to seamlessly get from one place to another. Today, innovative ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft rely entirely on the automobile in their business model. So the next time you’re running late and opt for an Uber to save time, thank Mr. Ford for his curiosity that led to this novelty some 100 years ago. Just don’t forget to leave a tip afterwards.
2. Electric light
These days, it’s easy to take electricity for granted. But all it takes is one power outage that leaves us feeling helpless to remind us why this invention was so significant. Many curious inventors worked to develop electric lights throughout the nineteenth century, before Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan created the first long-lasting light bulbs in 1879 and 1880. The light bulb’s wiring networks also helped fuel the creation of domestic electrical wiring, which is included in many of our home appliances.
So the next time you walk into a room and switch on the lights, consider the years of work that went into making it possible.
3. The printing press
The printing press helped democratize knowledge and made it easier to spread information and communicate. Although many aspects of our lives have adapted to the digital age, the printing press paved the way for these modern forms of communication like social media and the dreaded email newsletter. (Not to mention bloggers.)
Everything from our culture’s love for literature, to advertisements, to concert posters, and even your favorite food blog wouldn’t exist as they do today without Johannes Gutenberg’s revolutionary invention.
As of 2016, 95 percent of adults in the U.S. owned a cell phone, and as of this year 99 percent of U.S. households possess at least one television. You may even be reading this on your phone right now, or parked in front of the TV binge-watching your latest obsession.
These vital pieces of technology would not work without transistors, which help regulate the flow of current through the circuit boards. Although they may be lesser known than other innovations, transistors are in radios, televisions, cell phones, and computers — making them a key component of our everyday lives. In a world where owning a smartphone is essential, consider the alternative and thank your lucky stars technology has come this far.
Something we all have in our kitchens is also the result of innovation. Refrigeration — the process of removing heat from an enclosed space — was developed in the 1850s, transforming how we ate and prepared food. Because of the refrigerator, we can now store food for longer and nosh on delectable treats like cake and leftover pizza. This also led scientists to invent air conditioning, so refrigeration not only helps our food stay fresh, it helps us beat the heat as well.
Today, common illnesses can easily be treated with antibiotics. But before these drugs existed, illnesses like strep throat could lead to serious complications. One of the first antibiotics, penicillin, was actually discovered by accident in 1928 by Dr. Alexander Fleming.
Antibiotics are an important medical innovation since they can kill and prevent the growth of bacteria, often saving people’s lives. Antibiotics still play a key role in the medical world, treating bacterial infections and acting as a preventative measure before surgery.
7. The internet
This list wouldn’t be complete without the internet.
It’s no secret that people would be lost without online connectivity — and without Google Maps, we’d be literally lost, too. With the invention of smartphones, we have the internet’s search and browsing power with us at all times. Things like email, GPS, and music streaming would be obsolete without the invention of the internet.
Thanks to the questions these people asked and the projects they pursued, our homes, work environments, and transportation methods are more efficient. But just because our society has come this far already, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more innovation and improvement.
from Mashable! http://on.mash.to/2B2pfMp
You have probably seen photos on the internet where the same person appears in multiple spots in a single photo. At first sight, you might not have believed it, and later you must have gone berserk looking for ways that effect can be achieved. Well, who does not want that superhero feeling where you can appear in 2-3 different places doing 2-3 different things as well in a single photo.
Let me tell you, it is not at all complicated or difficult to clone yourself multiple times in a single frame. You can achieve this effect by going through two simple stages, the execution stage (shooting) and the post-processing stage. By the end of this tutorial, I am sure you will be able to create pretty awesome clone photos, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Part One – How to Clone Yourself – Execution
In the execution stage all you need is a:
A digital camera
Shutter release remote or use the built-in self-timer
Mount your digital camera on a tripod. As you will be taking multiple photos you need to make sure that the frame in each photo remains the same and the camera doesn’t move.
Make sure that Manual Mode is selected as you do not want any aperture, shutter speed, or white balance variations in your multiple photos. This is to make sure that all your photos are consistent in exposure, depth of field and color temperature.
Now focus on the point where you will be standing or sitting and switch the focusing mode to Manual as well. This is again to ensure that each photo is consistent in terms of depth of field and sharpness. An important suggestion is to use an aperture which is not too wide, something around f/5.6 – f/8 would be ideal to get good depth of field.
Switch on the 10-second timer on your digital camera so that you have enough time to position yourself in the frame and get ready for the photo. If you have one, you can also use a wired/wireless shutter release remote to click photos once you are ready and in position.
That’s it, now you are ready to take as many photos you as want to by positioning yourself at different spots in the frame.
Here you can see the four shots I took. It’s important to take one of just the scene without you in it as well as you’ll need it for the next stage.
Note: It’s important to take one of just the scene without you in it as well as you’ll need it for the next stage!
Part Two – How to Clone Yourself – Post-Processing
Now comes the interesting part of this tutorial where you get to learn how you can clone yourself multiple times in a photo using software such as Adobe Photoshop. Let me take you through a step-by-step explanation of how I achieved this photo.
Note: you need an image editing software that works with layers to do this. Lightroom cannot do this.
Import all the photos into Adobe Photoshop and get them to a single workspace by going to individual photos, pressing CTRL/CMD + A (select all) and again pressing CTRL/CMD + C (copy). Now go to the photo where you want all other photos to be brought together and press CTRL/CMD + V (paste). Do this for all the other photos until you have all the photos in one workspace as layers.
Make sure the image without you is the bottom layer. If it is not, drag it there now.
Note:Alternatively you can open Adobe Bridge and find your images. Select all the ones you want to use (CMD+click on each to select more than one) and go to Tools > Photoshop > Load files into Photoshop layers. This will achieve the same thing as copy and pasting each image. If you work in Lightroom you can select them all, right-click and select Open as Layers in PS as well.
Now add a black layer mask (press and hold ALT and then click on Add vector mask icon as shown in the photo below) in order to start the editing process. Select the Paintbrush tool and make sure that black is selected as the foreground color, and then click once on the mask of the layer you want to work on first.
Note: Make sure the mask is selected not the layer. See the white bracket corners on the mask? That means it is selected.
Layer by layer, start painting (at 100% brush opacity)_ over the area where you are located in that frame to make yourself visible in the photo. Do this with all the layers in order to make yourself appear in the photo at multiple spots as shown in the image below.
While bringing back one of yourself in the frame, if by mistake you erase your previous photo (your clone) you can bring it back by selecting the foreground color as white and painting back over it on the mask. So basically, painting with black lets you make the elements of the current layer visible, and the white color erases the elements of that current layer if you by mistake overdo it.
Black reveals – white conceals
Once you are done cloning all your photos proof check the final photo carefully, there is a chance that you might have erased a part of one of your clones by accident. Make sure you aren’t missing any toes or limbs.
So once you are satisfied with the final result, export it and start flaunting it on your social media channels and please share in the comments below.
In How Do You Take Yours?, The Takeout solicits staff and outside expertise for secret tips on improving one dish.
What Ghost did for pottery, Jon Favreau’s Chefdid for grilled cheese sandwiches—both films used close-up framing and background music to fetishize an inanimate object in the sexiest possible manner. That scene in Chef illustrates the endless allure of the grilled cheese. It takes a simple sandwich brimming with childhood nostalgia and makes it adult-legitimate, a dish worthy of interpretation by professional chefs.
Because the grilled-cheese formula is simply bread plus cheese plus butter, assuming you source quality ingredients, it’s technique that determines the success of the finished product. Should you preheat the skillet? How high should you set the flame? Cover with a lid or not? Slather butter or mayo on the outside of the bread? We reached out to knowledgable food writer friends, professional grilled cheese chefs, and our own staff for tips and tricks. Share your grilled cheese secrets in the comments.
Kevin Pang, The Takeout editor-in-chief
My tip assumes you can already construct a kickass grilled cheese sandwich. My secret is a level 202 add-on—bacon onion jam. I, for one, think there’s no greater flavor combination than cheese, bacon, and onions (especially on burgers). A light slather of bacon onion jam between slices of cheese adds incredible smokiness and caramelized sweetness to your sandwich. And it’s easier to make than you think. Here’s a video tutorial where I walk you through the process.
Caity PenzeyMoog, The A.V. Club assistant editor
Take two slices of whatever bread you like (for grilled cheese, I like mine on the hearty side). Generously butter one side of both. Throw an ample amount of butter in a roomy pan. Put the non-buttered side in the pan, and once crisp, flip to the pre-buttered side. Now place your thinly sliced aged sharp cheddar cheese on top of each slice while they’re still in the pan. Buttering and frying all four sides of the bread makes for an extra rich and crunchy grilled cheese, and also helps the cheese to melt. If the cheese is thick, you can put a lid over the pan to steam it and help it melt. Just take it off in time for the bottom layer to crisp up again.
Marah Eakin, The A.V. Club senior editor
A couple of years ago, portobello mushroom caps were 25 cents each at the local grocery store for about two weeks. I love mushrooms, so I bought a few dozen of them and then set about trying to figure out how to use a few dozen portobello mushrooms before they all got damp and weird. In that time, I stumbled across this recipe for fontina, arugula, and portobello grilled cheese sandwiches, and my life has never been the same. They’re crazy easy to make, and you can even toast up more than you’d need and enjoy them again the next day for lunch, provided you have some sort of toaster oven in your office for reheating. Seriously. Try them. They’re great.
Alex McCown-Levy, The A.V. Club assistant editor
I’m going to assume everyone already knows that you damn well butter your bread in advance, letting it soak in before going anywhere near that pan, so I’ll head straight to the secret step. Besides the demonstrable fact that tomato slices are an improvement, the best step you can take is to slather some Grey Poupon on there—not on the inside of the bread, but rather in between the slices of cheese. That way, it doesn’t get infused into the toasted cheese container, but rather stays potent and sharp in its cheese-bonded swaddling. Great, now my mouth is watering.
Laura Adamczyk, The A.V. Club copy editor
Grilled cheese sandwiches taste better over an open fire. They’re a perfect camping meal—easy to assemble and cook in a cast iron pan on a fire pit’s grill grate. What puts them over the top is a few thin apple slices, added after cooking to preserve their crunch. With its classic cheddar and tart apple combination, this sandwich is worlds better than a Cliff bar.
My goal with grilled cheese is to have an even, brown, crunchy exterior with a soft interior. I don’t want a piece of toast. The key to even browning is a fairly low temperature. I like to joke that making grilled cheese is like making love—take your time with it for best results. With the traditional stove-top method, preheat your pan, and make sure it’s a low, even heat. The most common mistake is people turning the heat up too high, because you want the cheese inside to melt (without burning the outside). Covering the pan also traps the heat and helps the cheese melt faster.
On ingredients, one trick to great grilled cheese is moisture control. You want as little moisture as you can in that sandwich. If you put wet vegetables in, like a slice of tomato, it’s even better if you roast the vegetable before hand. As vegetables heat, they’ll release all their moisture, and it’ll make a soggy grilled cheese. Then when I construct the sandwich, I like multiple cheeses, and I make sure the hardest cheeses are against the bread. And make sure to keep the sandwich symmetrical—you want bread-cheese-filling-cheese-bread. If you just put the toppings on top, you won’t have the melted cheese to trap the fillings and stick to the bread.
It’s very important to butter the bread and not the pan. Because I want that crispy, crunchy outside, the best thing to use is room-temperature-softened butter, not melted butter. If it’s already melted in the pan, it’ll soak through the bread instead of crisping it. Lastly, compound butter is the easiest thing in the world and makes everything fancy instantly. We make rosemary butter, chipotle powder butter—it could be just some garlic granules mixed in with the butter. Spread that on the outside of the sandwich, and you get a huge punch of flavor. It’s the first flavor your mouth encounters.
Nick Wanserski, The A.V. Club staff illustrator
My favorite, exceedingly simple inclusion to a grilled cheese is adding a handful of alfalfa sprouts before cooking, daikon sprouts if you want some kick. Like the previous suggestions of apple and mustard, it’s a great way to add a contrasting sharpness to the base flavor of cheese and bread. But sprouts give a great textural dimension as well, forming a latticework that threads through the sandwich like rebar in concrete. Hmm, I seem to be at a loss for providing a tantalizing analogy, but I swear to god, they’re delicious.
Erik Adams, The A.V. Club TV editor
Tomato soup is a classic grilled cheese complement. But tomato soup is also just salsa that somebody heated up, then forgot to add flavor to. The points of your sandwich (because what kind of maniac cuts a grilled cheese vertically, rather than diagonally?) aren’t going to glide into a cup of salsa as easily as they would a cup of tomato soup, but they are going to come out of that cup with some added spice that goes great with the sandwich’s crispy exterior and creamy interior. (Maybe what I’m really angling for here is “Nachos: The Sandwich.”)
Sean O’Neal, The A.V. Club senior editor
As a Texan, I guess it’s my duty to stump for the use of Texas Toast—the bread that’s sliced thick as my state’s air of self-satisfaction, and the best possible choice for making a grilled cheese sandwich. Disregarding any additional ingredients my colleagues may be suggesting here as a means of making what is more accurately called a “panini,” the grilled cheese sandwich really comes down to just cheese and bread. You want that other 50 percent to be just as richly satisfying as the other half, so get yourself some thick Texas Toast and slather it in butter with a little touch of garlic. Sure, it doubles the caloric count, but you’re eating a goddamned wad of melted cheese. Do it right.
Becca James, The A.V. Club contributor
I agree that 50 percent of the success of a grilled cheese comes down to the bread, but Texas Toast is not a part of that winning combination. Big, bulky, and overpowering, it butts into a grilled cheese like a portly and overbearing uncle taking too much space at a family festivity. This is why I recommend using English Muffin Toasting Bread. The lighter and absolutely delicious bread lends itself well to a perfectly grilled state and complements a good cheese in a more refined way, leaving you satisfied instead of overstuffed.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a vehicle for pickles. Lots of pickles. All of the pickles in the known universe. It’s a pickle sandwich that happens to have some melted cheese on it. Not fancy, artisanal pickles—goodness no. Dill slices, possibly crinkle-cut, happily from a jar. If there’s a blob of sinus-clearing mustard into which I can swipe it, even better. I suppose my ideal would be a quasi-Cubano, minus the meat, but honestly, if you gave me Kraft singles toasted onto squishy white bread, it’s not like I’d protest. (But please let there be pickles.)
The most important thing to do when you think about improving a grilled cheese sandwich is to stop yourself. Sure, kimchi makes everything delicious, as does miso, as do pickled hot peppers. If you want mozzarella en carozza, make that. But if what you want is a grilled cheese, let yourself have that. Get white bread that looks like an emoji. If you have access to a Japanese bakery, avail yourself of its offerings.
For me a grilled cheese is made with American cheese; Land O’Lakes sharp American is my favorite. Cook it on a cast iron to make yourself feel rugged and connected to the Earth. Use enough butter that your arteries reflexively quiver. You could paint the exterior with mayonnaise before cooking it, but I’m not from the part of the country where that is done, so I don’t. Eat it too hot. Find a can of soup. Save your “inspirations” for less perfect, elemental foods.
Marnie Shure, The Onion deputy managing editor
Pesto is something I really enjoy, but as someone who doesn’t eat pasta, it’s not a flavor I get to experience as often as I’d like. On a grilled cheese, pesto is right at home: It clings to the bread as reliably as it does a linguine noodle, and it adds an herbal freshness to the flat saltiness of so much cheese. And unlike adding some other fresh element, like a tomato, it doesn’t slip and slide around as you take each bite. (Nor does it leave that matted, watery stamp on the cheese that tomato slices do.)
Danette Chavez, The A.V. Club assistant editor
At this point in our culinary history, avocado has been added to so many dishes that it seems a rather uninspired choice to combine with a grilled cheese. But long before every idiot chef—amateur and otherwise—decided to just throw some avocado into their dishes, I was slipping a few slices in between toasted cheese and bread. You might be thinking that the avocado would yield too quickly to the heat of the pan; that’s entirely possible, which is why I wait until I’m ready to bring the cheddar-covered sides together before adding it. It’s not just more colorful this way—the cool avocado is a tasty counterpoint to the cheesy goodness.
William Hughes, The A.V. Club contributing writer
I’m a firm believer that there are few savories that can’t be improved with a pinch of garlic salt. That includes grilled cheese; drop just a bit into your butter wash. Soak it into the bread, and welcome yourself to a better tier of cheesy indulgence. Just be careful: A little goes a long way, and you don’t want to have to explain to your friends and loved ones that you’re a garlic monster now, just because you wanted your lunch to have a little extra kick.
Matt Gerardi, The A.V. Club Gameological editor
I’ll suppress my urge to whip out some fancy-pants grilled cheese recipe that diverges too far from the classic configuration and instead go with something that’s only slightly off-brand: jalapeño-popper grilled cheese. (Full disclosure: This is a recipe from my girlfriend, and she used it to handily trump my crab-rangoon grilled cheese in a one-on-one sandwich battle.) If you’re going for quick and dirty, it’s as easy as spreading cream cheese between your processed cheese slices and throwing some pickled jalapeño bits in there for a sandwich with creaminess, heat, and a bit of vinegary bite. For the deluxe version, upgrade to sharp cheddar and/or pepper jack and roast some fresh jalapeños in the oven before adding them to the mix.
Aerobic exercise provides a ton of benefits, from a lift in mood to more toned muscles.
Some of the benefits can emerge within minutes, while others might take several days or weeks to crop up.
A new study suggests that aerobic exercise also changes the makeup of the microbes in our gut.
Aerobic exercise, or "cardio," might be the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have.
When we commit to regular workouts that raise our heart rate and get us moving and sweating for a sustained period of time, magical things happen to our mind and body. We start to think more clearly, feel better about ourselves, and even build buffers against age-related cognitive decline. Our lungs and heart get stronger, too.
But cardio may have other less obvious benefits as well. A small study published in November suggests that activities like walking, swimming, and running — while they are no short-cut to weight loss — also change the makeup of the microbes in our gut. These microbes play a role in everything from our energy levels to inflammation, a key early warning sign of illness.
"These are the first studies to show that exercise can have an effect on your gut independent of diet or other factors," Jeffrey Woods, a University of Illinois professor of kinesio logy and community health who led the research, said in a statement.
That could have important implications for learning more about why exercise seems to be so uniquely capable of lifting our spirits and energizing our bodies.
Cardio impacts our gut — but not in the way you might think
For the most recent study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports Exercise, Woods and a team of other scientists looked at 32 lean and obese women who had been essentially inactive before the study. For six weeks, three days each week, the participants either cycled, walked or ran on a treadmill, or used an elliptical machine. They started with a moderate 30-minute workout and worked up to a vigorous one-hour burst by the time the study finished.
"They had a choice of activity on any given day, but most chose the treadmill," Woods told Business Insider.
After their six-week workout regimen ended, the participants were instructed to go back to their normal sedentary lifestyles for another month and a half.
The researchers looked at the microbes in participants’ guts using fecal samples immediately after their exercise program, and then again after six weeks of not working out. They found that after weeks of exercise, people’s concentrations of butyrate — a special type of fatty acid that helps keep our guts happy by tamping down on inflammation and producing energy — went up. These concentrations soared in the lean participants, and picked up modestly among those in the obese group.
"The bottom line is that there are clear differences in how the microbiome of somebody who is obese versus somebody who is lean responds to exercise," Woods said. "We have more work to do to determine why that is."
How aerobic workouts clear the mind and lift our mood
Precisely how cardio affects different types of bodies remains somewhat murky. But its powerful ability to clear the mind has been well documented by a handful of recent studies.
"Aerobic exercise … has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress," the authors of an article in the Harvard Medical School blog "Mind and Mood" wrote.
Some of cardio’s benefits — like a lift in mood — can emerge as soon as a few minutes into a sweaty bike ride, while others — like improved memory — might take several weeks to crop up.
The reason aerobic workouts seem to lift our spirits seems related to its ability to reduce levels of natural stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, according to a recent study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. Activities like running and swimming also increase overall blood flow and provide our minds with fresh energy and oxygen — another factor that could help us feel better.
Those benefits may be one of the reasons that working out is so helpful for people with depression. A pilot study in people with severe depression found that just 30 minutes of treadmill walking for 10 consecutive days was "sufficient to produce a clinically relevant and statistically significant reduction in depression."
But the mental benefits of heart-pumping workouts aren’t confined to better moods. This kind of exercise also seems to improve our memory and may even guard against some of the detrimental effects of aging. Those boons suggest cardio may help defend the brain against physical changes that come with age.
Have over $1 million laying around and want to get a street-legal racecar? The McLaren Senna might just be the road-melting hypercar for you. McLaren unveiled their latest supercar that has unbelievable performance and has a futuristic cockpit that would make a fighter pilot weak in the knees.
This rocket ship has to be fast because it is named after legendary three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna. McLaren Senna says the Senna is “legalized for road use, but not sanitized to suit it.” The McLaren Senna boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with 789-horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque as well as a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This extreme vehicle features a “Race Mode” with lower ride height and stiffer suspension settings. The Senna has an overhead Formula One-style periscope air intake for increased performance. This track-focused road car boasts Senna-specific Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires. McLaren hasn’t provided any performance statistics yet, but they are sure to not disappoint.
On the outside, two things are very noticeable including Senna’s two-element rear wing that is fully active. The wing constantly adjusting its angle to suit the situation to keep the downforce away when you don’t need it, but grab it when you do. The other odd feature on this supercar is that it has windows on the door. Not at the top half of the door, but a small window in the middle of the door. It also has an F1-style roof scoop on the top of the car for jetfighter-like aerodynamics. The interior is also full of carbon fiber and synthetic suede with limited interface because you’re driving a world-class car and you don’t need distractions.
There will only be 500 McLaren Sennas made, so better get money in your bank account because it will cost over $1 million. McLaren plans to officially debut the Senna at the Geneva motor show on March 18, 2018.
Initial results from a new gene therapy technique suggest it could open the doors to a cure for "bubble baby" disease. Lacking the ability to ward off even the most common infections, infants born with the genetic disorder — known as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) — usually die before their second birthday. And, those untreated must be kept in isolation from the outside world, hence the term "bubble baby." Even with the best available treatment (a stem cell transplant), around 30 percent of children end up dying by the age of 10.
Roughly four months after the genetic modifications, six out of seven babies are out of protective isolation and leading healthy lives, according to doctors at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The remaining infant’s immune system is still in the process of constructing itself.
The patients in the study were all born with the inherited X-linked SCID, which is limited to boys as it’s triggered by a genetic defect in the male X chromosome. The treatment they received uses an inactivated form of HIV to apply genetic modifications to bone marrow — which is prepped using low doses of chemotherapy — in order to kickstart it to produce all three major immune cell types. "The initial results also suggest our approach is fundamentally safer than previous attempts," said lead study author Dr. Ewelina Mamcarz.
At first glance, the treatment is being viewed as a possible cure. But, more work is needed — specifically, the babies need to be monitored to ensure they remain stable with no side effects. Their response to vaccination will also need to be tracked.
Gamebuino META is a tiny handheld gameboy like system that allows you to program games as well as as play unique video games. It’s so tiny it can fit in a t-shirt pocket for retro vibes on the go. Read more…
Robots are only cost-effective in the narrow niches of commoditized tasks.
In the view of Universal Basic Income (UBI) advocates, substituting robots for human labor will not only free virtually all humans from working, it will also generate endless wealth because the robots will be doing almost all of the work.
To reach a more realistic understanding of the economics of robots, let’s return to author Peter Drucker’s maxim: enterprises don’t have profits, enterprises only have expenses. In other words, from the outside, it looks as if businesses generate profits as a matter of course.
Enterprises don’t have profits, enterprises only have expenses captures the core dynamic of all enterprises: the only reliable characteristic of enterprises, whether they are owned by the state, the workers or private investors, is that they have expenses. Profits–needed to reinvest in the enterprise and build capital–can only be reaped if revenues exceed the costs of production, general overhead and debt service.
Robots are complex machines that require substantial quantities of energy and resources to produce, program and maintain. As a result, they will never be super-cheap to manufacture, own or maintain.
Robots, and the ecosystem of software, engineering, spare parts, diagnostics, etc. needed to produce, power and maintain them, are a large capital and operational expense.
The greater the complexity of the tasks the robot is designed to complete, the greater the complexity and cost of the robot.
Robots only make financial sense in a very narrow swath of commoditized production, or in situations such as war or hazardous rescue missions where cost is not the primary issue.
Compare the following two tasks and the cost and complexity of the robots needed to complete them in a cost-effective manner.
Task one: move boxes around a warehouse with flat concrete floors and fixed shelving mounted with hundreds of sensors to guide robots.
Task two: navigate extremely rough and uneven terrain with no embedded sensors, dig deep holes in rocky soil, and plant a delicate seedling in each hole. Each hole must be selected by contextual criteria; there is no pre-set grid pattern to the planting.
The first task has all the features that make robots cost-effective: easily navigable flat floors, fixed, easily mapped structures embedded with multiple sensors, and a limited, easily programmable repertoire of physical movements: stock boxes on the shelving, retrieve boxes from the shelving. The compact working space makes it practical to reprogram, recharge and repair the robots; spare parts can be kept onsite, and so on.
The second task–one of the steps in restoring a habitat–has none of these features. The terrain is extremely uneven and challenging to navigate; the varied surfaces may be hazardous in non-obvious ways (prone to sliding, etc.); there are no embedded sensors to guide the robot; it’s difficult and costly to service the robots onsite, and the task is extremely contextual, requiring numerous judgments and decisions and a wide variety of physical steps, ranging from the arduous task of digging a hole in rocky ground to delicately handling fragile seedlings.
Exactly what sort of robot would be capable of completing these tasks without human guidance? A drone might be able to ferry the fragile seedlings, but any drone capable of landing and punching a hole in unforgiving ground would be very heavy. Combining these disparate skills in one or even multiple robots—the heavy work of digging a hole in rocky soil on uneven ground, embedding a fragile seedling in just the right amount of compost and then watering the seedling deeply enough to give it a chance to survive—would be technically challenging.
And what profit is there to be earned from this restoration a public-land habitat? Since the habitat is public commons, there is no customer base to sell high-margin products to. If the state is paying for the job, it chooses the vendor by competitive bidding. Given the conditions, a vendor with human labor will likely be more reliable and cheaper, as this is the sort of work that humans are supremely adapted to perform efficiently.
Given that restoring a habitat generates no profit, perhaps the work is done entirely by volunteers.
In any of these cases, a costly array of robots facing a daunting challenge that could cause multiple failures (robots sliding down the slope, seedlings crushed, too little compost, compost over-compressed, water didn’t soak in, etc.) is simply not cost-effective.
You see the point: humans have few advantages in a concrete floor warehouse with fixed metal shelving. Robots have all the advantages in that carefully controlled environment performing repeatable, easily defined tasks. But in the wilds of a hillside jumble of rocks, fallen trees, etc., handling tasks that require accuracy, strength, judgment, contextual understanding and a delicate touch, humans have all the advantages.
In other words, robots are only cost-effective in the narrow niches of commoditized tasks: repeatable tasks that are easy to break down into programmable steps that can be performed in a controlled environment.
Those with little experience of actually manufacturing a robot may look at a multi-million dollar prototype performing some task (often under human guidance, which is carefully kept off-camera) and assume that robots will decline in price on the same trajectory as computer components.
But the geometric rise in computing power and the corresponding decline in the cost of processing and memory is not a model for real-world components such as robots, which will continue to be extraordinarily resource and energy-intensive even if microchips decline in cost.
Vehicles might be a more realistic example of the cost consequences of increasing complexity and the consumption of resources: vehicles haven’t declined in cost by 95% like memory chips; they’ve increased in cost.
Self-driving vehicles are another example of how commoditized automation can be profitable performing a commoditized task. First, roadways are smooth, easy to map and easy to embed with sensors. Second, vehicles are intrinsically complex and costly; the average price of a vehicle is around $40,000. The sensors, electronics, software and motors required to make a vehicle autonomous are a relatively modest percentage of the total cost of the vehicle. Third, manufacturing vehicles is a profitable venture with a large base of customers. Fourth, the actual tasks of driving—navigating streets, accelerating, braking, etc.–are relatively limited in number. In other words, driving is a commoditized task that lends itself to automation.
Once again, robots have multiple advantages in this commoditized task as they are not easily distracted, don’t get drunk, and they don’t fall asleep. Humans have few advantages in this environment. And as noted, manufacturing autonomous vehicles will likely be a highly profitable business for those who master the processes.
Since so much of the production of goods and services in the advanced economies is based on commoditized tasks, it’s easy to make the mistake of extending these very narrowly defined capabilities in profitable enterprises to the whole of human life. But as my example illustrates, a wide array of work doesn’t lend itself to cost-effective robots, as robots have few if any advantages in these environments, while humans are supremely adapted to doing these kinds of tasks.
In effect, proponents of Universal Basic Income (UBI) assume robots will be able to perform 95% of all human work, ignoring the limitations of cost: robots will only perform work that is profitable, and profitable work is a remarkably modest subset of all human labor.
But this is not the truly crushing limitation of robots; that limit is intrinsic to the economics of automation.
This essay was drawn from my new book, Money and Work Unchained, which I’m offering to my readers at a 25% discount ($7.45 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition) through Saturday, December 9, after which the price goes up to retail ($9.95 and $20).