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Yonatan Zunger has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
STEM Women on G+146,738Join us for a STEM Women HOA as we speak to Dr.  @103389452828130864950 on how men can help with the issues of gender inequality in STEM fields. Yonatan is the Chief Architect of Google+ and also has a PhD in Physics with a strong engineering background. He is a passionate advocate of gender equality in STEM, and will talk to us about what we can do to encourage women in STEM. This HOA will be hosted by Dr @108510686109338749229   and Dr @110756968351492254645  , and you can tune in on Sunday March 2nd at 12.30 PM Pacific/ 8.30PM GMT. The hangout will be available for viewing on our YouTube channel(http://www.youtube.com/stemwomen) after the event. Follow us on Twitter @stemwomen and on www.stemwomen.netSTEM Women: How Men Can Help with Dr Yonatan Zunger2014-03-02 21:30:0096  
Blogger1,316,391We’re hosting a Hangout on Air with lead Product Manager @109161242786054443993 and lead Engineer @103389452828130864950 to discuss last week’s launch of Google+ Comments for Blogger. If you’ve got questions about the launch, please leave them in the comments below so that Dan and Yonatan can answer them during the Hangout.Join the team behind Google+ Comments for Blogger for a Hangout on Air2013-04-25 20:30:001087  

Yonatan Zunger has been shared in 418 public circles

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AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Михаил Пушкарев973#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2015-03-30 16:23:07499000
Camila Pedraza0Great people who love to like and have friends,this is my elite circle and i want to shared with you.2015-03-22 13:48:15110000
Daniel Gibbs21,977Active users on Google+. Circle Share If you received a notification, please reshare to your #circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next #circleshare: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#placed #somewhere #in #the #Malay #Archipelago #The #terms #Southeast #Asia #and #Oceania #devised #in #the #th #century #have #had #several #vastly #different #geographic #n #in #greenGeographical #Asia #is #a #cultural #artifact #of #European #conceptions #of #the #world #being 2015-03-17 11:02:414272311
Jayant Khoshiya18,343 +Jayant yadavhttps://plus.google.com/+JayantYadav #circle #circles #circleshare #circleshares #circleshared #circlesharing #circleoftheday #circleoftheweek #follow #followme #followers #following #authicle #authiclecircleshare #authiclecircle #authiclevol45  #public #publiccircle #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #photography #photographer #bestphotographer #topphotographer #AddCircle #FindCircles #awesome #AwesomePeople #AwesomeCircle #addmetoyourcircles #addcircle #addpeople 2015-03-13 11:18:05458000
Kenneth Nicholson21,521This circle contains people who are very active on Google+.People in this Circle are top google+ engagers and great resharers. These are people that will share and re-post your circles and other content. This is a good circle to connect with each other and gain followers. I highly suggest adding each person in this Circle to your circles as they are likely to interact with youIf you want to continue or wish to get in the next version, please complete 1-4 below.INSTRUCTIONS1. Add me to your circles, if you haven't done so already.2. +1 this circle.3. Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles.4. Comment to inform me that you have done the above three things.#circlesharing #publiccircle #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles #circlesharing #circleshare #regions #Languages #of #languagesTime #zones #UTC+ #to #UTC+Internet #TLD #asiaLargest #cities #of #metropolitan #areas #in #Asia #by #population #of #cities #in #AsiaAsia #eni/'e #or #/'e #is #the #Earth's #largest 2015-03-11 06:55:27457336
Robert Best2,685Google+ Relevance CircleWhat people of "relevance" do we have in common? Care to share?This big shared circle contains my most "relevant" circles according to G+. It also only contains people/profiles who post publicly (Either occasionally or prolifically).Do you recognize others in the list? (I think the probability is high)As far as I know, the visual beside the "Add people" button below shows you the 8 people from this circle who are most "relevant" to you. Also, if you click that add people button, the list inside is ordered by "relevance".Some people in this circle I know very well... others I haven't met at all (Besides interfacing with what they share publicly on G+) I'm curious, what circles do we share of high relevance? Give a few people shout outs! Let's have a random chat.You were likely notified of this post... I normally don't share to any of my specific circles, so as to avoid sending out unwanted notifications... But since I have you and your attention here... HELLO! Have we talked before? Why do you think I have you circled? What's of relevance for you? (Besides people on G+) If we do know each other... Have we been in touch lately? If not, let's please catch up!2015-03-03 01:03:39455111
Kristina Natacha0#CircleShar  of the DayBoost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!------------------------#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshar #news   #travel   #travelphotography   #update #IndonesiaOnly #Jalan #Aberdeen #Belfast #Birmingham #Bristol #Cardiff #Dublin #EastMidlands #Edinburgh #Glasgow #LeedsBradford #London #Manchester #Newcastle #circle #circles #public #publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing 2015-02-25 16:45:00482000
Allan watson21,270Active users on Google+. Circle Share If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#awesomecircle #circleme #malawi #lilongwe #morocco #morocco #agadir #morocco #casablanca #morocco #fez #morocco #marrakech #morocco #tangier #mozambique #mozambique #maputo #namibia #namibia #walvis_bay #namibia #windhoek #nigeria #nigeria #abuja #nigeria #lagos #rwanda #rwanda #kigali #senegal #senegal #dakar #sierra_leone #sierra_leone #freetown #bloemfontein 2015-02-25 09:53:314838613
Hemant Atrish157"Circle brings together nice and interesting people.Join the Gathering Circle !! Full of nice and active friends #Engagers #EngagersCircle  #SharedCircle #Marketing #SocialMediaMarketing  #Shared,#Marketing#ZigZag,#Influencersmore at-http://www.poolarchitects.co.uk/2015-02-24 12:03:10246000
Silvio De Rossi50,421TOP INFLUENCERS DeroPLUS CIRCLE 21!Yeppa! It's the DAY of the my new Circle Plus!#sharedcircle #sharedcircles #topcircleshare #deroplusThis is my new #Sharedcircle of #topengagers, a group of TOP interesting people who share unique and original contents.What are you waiting to add them to your circles? :)To be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1) Do +1 at the post!2) Include the circle among your circles!3) Share the circle (include yourself)!4) Smile to life, sun in sunshine!Have a good life!Special thanks my BEST #friends and #followers!#topsharedcircle   #facciamolastoria   #leonardo   #deroplus   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #sharedcircleoftheday   #myseoissocial   #besocial   #socializethesocial  #trust #circles  #circleshare  #sharedcircle   #circlesharing   #followers   #social   #socialnetworking   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #googleplus  #communities   #topsocialcircle   2015-02-18 15:27:54483875781
bob wong547Check out this circle for A+ googlers #sydney #G+ #google+2015-02-01 19:48:20176000
Richard Green93,025Engagers Showcase Circle, February 1, 2015If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Ramanujan's nested radicalhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/3WmvWEHyMNBThe exceptional symmetryhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ioQW2zGjwwMThe mystery of the missing areahttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/QU8aYaTCufqSunrisehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/9QWbSALP2XUShakespearean Logichttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/MBqnMRgBiBJ“Nines” by Eric Standleyhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/aR5BF9uV5n8Cherry pi (reshared from +David Richeson)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/bixJ7eGk3QmHappy New Year!https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ZJYFj1RogaSThe mathematics of card shufflinghttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/fAS8Y3YccfsThe sky and the fork in the path immediately preceding the arrival of the ice rinks of doomhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/2MiqiTJ1FeuiPad landscape art (reshared from +Paul Haworth)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/27EwU49z1g8The fractional chromatic number of the planehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/VbBk9JrLxqmDull (in Scotland) and Boring (in Oregon)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ZuMzApfSPR4Partition and sum is fasthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/Ad1ism1vJpJThe tautological clockhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/diAyvxM7NuwMathematical Mr Menhttps://pl2015-02-01 15:55:59476198139246
Circles Circles Circles49,036SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles  Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS: http://goo.gl/fVX5bZPublished Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/GNkGJhPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/s9RkeEMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/W8VDbBPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD: http://goo.gl/5mr38oOthers CirclesCREATIVES: http://goo.gl/9c5A3XSCIENCE: http://goo.gl/4UAeINTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/whvLzNG+ Pages: http://goo.gl/jNZdWf#circleshare   2015-01-22 16:19:121067218
Circles and Photography35,863Builders 5    1.16.15Add this circle to Build-up your G+ network! Please ReShare.#circleoftheday #circleshare  #circlesharing     #circlesharingforthepeopleplc #sharedcircles     #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles       #sharedpublicircles  #circle   2015-01-16 21:44:5840810717
GuruOmBha1,393This circle will add amazing, and wonderful content to you stream.Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles#sharedcircleoftheday #circlesunday #share #shared #followers #addcircles#publicsharedcircles #share #addpeople #addcircle #addfriends #circle#круги   #круглим  #друзья   #дружба   #circle   #circleshare   #circles  #circlesharing  #круги   #круглим   #кругляши   #музыка   #music   #musicvideo   #love   #lol  #russia   2015-01-09 18:58:4849616822
Sakari Maaranen3,848Here's a circle that's about Life on Earth. Add these people and organizations for everything about the #environment , #biodiversity , and the kind of #values  that can bring sustainable development.This is a broad range of people, many of whom are not necessarily activists, but scientists and experts with generally the right kind of mindset and deep knowledge of these and related issues. Some are thinkers, artists, or younger people with similar interests.Shared because we need more this kind of thinking! Feel free to re-share —  #sustainability  deserves all our attention and is needed right now.Let's make 2015 the year of positive change!Oh, and please let me know, if I'm missing some active people or important organizations. Remember that I don't care about status. It doesn't matter if you are someone new or young or already a superstar, or if your main field is something else. All it takes is some genuine drive to engage and/or follow these topics. So don't be shy! You are as welcome as anyone.2015-01-03 23:20:49115200
Михаил Пушкарев420#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2015-01-01 08:18:30500005
Becky Collins20,667Mobile Marketing Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-12-26 05:30:104645517
Eduard Dimitrov3,781Start of my "Google must be better place campaign". Week one: This post. People currently working for Google. 114 Google's Google+  profiles to add - people actually working for Google  company.Week 2: Shared circle two: More 100 Google employees next week.Week 3: I will show you how to work with google webspam team to aviod problems in Google Webmaster Tools - the right way, tools and tactics.Week 4: Ethics of non-natural links problems in GWT and communication with google webspam team  in Google Webmaster Tools.If you want to receive notifications from me, add me in separate circle and switch on notifications for this circle.Happy Holidays!  #worksatgoogle #googleteam #googleemployees2014-12-23 14:29:071145816
Aly Hodge13,741This is my social media/SEO circle, which contains pages for people who share lots of content on social media, not just about G+.2014-12-20 07:50:59362003
Silvio De Rossi46,461TOP INFLUENCERS DeroPLUS CIRCLE 20!Yeppa! It's the DAY of the my new Circle Plus!#sharedcircle #sharedcircles #topcircleshare #deroplus This is my new #Sharedcircle of #topengagers , a group of TOP interesting people who share unique and original contents.What are you waiting to add them to your circles? :)To be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1) Do +1 at the post!2) Include the circle among your circles!3) Share the circle (include yourself)!4) Smile to life, sun in sunshine!Have a good life!Special thanks my BEST #friends and #followers !#topsharedcircle   #facciamolastoria    #leonardo    #deroplus    #circleoftheday    #sharedcircle    #topsharedcircle    #sharedcircleoftheday    #myseoissocial    #besocial    #socializethesocial   #trust #circles   #circleshare   #sharedcircle    #circlesharing    #followers    #social    #socialnetworking    #topsharedcircle    #circleoftheday    #googleplus   #communities    #topsocialcircle    2014-12-17 15:45:20495160109189
Brian Mcquillan16,218Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #circleshare #SocialMedia #SharedPublicCircles #PublicCircle #Prague #CircleOfTheDay #followers #follow #AddCircle #Sharers #Engagers #Awesomepeople #ShareAndBeShared #london   #uk  #Aberdeen #Belfast #Birmingham #Bristol #Cardiff #Dublin #EastMidlands #Edinburgh #Glasgow #LeedsBradford #Gatwick #Heathrow 2014-12-17 06:43:524887466112
Daniel Mihai Popescu67,133Music, Twitter and SFMy most recent circle! I hope you don't mind if I mention you in comments, since my notification system doesn't seem to work.It is the first round, I'm not sure this will be the definitive version.Best wishes :)Lately I developed a fixation for Tsu, and if you don't have a profile there, this is my invitation:http://www.tsu.co/DanielMihaiPopescuIf you already have one, let's be friends and help each other grow!It'll be awesome to meet you there too! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  A "+1" will be greatly appreciated :) 2014-12-16 20:37:1549811757146
Allan watson14,719Active users on Google+. Circle Share. If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday2014-12-16 11:36:17423616289
Михаил Пушкарев0#ActiveUsers #Add #AddCircle #AddFriends #AddMeToYour #AddPeople #artcircles #artistcircle #AuthorCircle #AutoFollow #AutoFollowBack #Awesome #AwesomeArt #AwesomeCircle #awesomecircle #awesomecircles #AwesomeDay #AwesomeFace #AwesomePeople #AwesomePublick #AwesomePublickCircle #AwesomeSauce #beautiful #BeautifulPhotographs #BeautifulPictures #belarus #Best #bestcircle #bestengagers #bestgoogleplususers #bestofgoogleplus #bestofgoogleplus #BestShared #BestSharedCircle #BestSnowball #BlackSndwhitePhotography #blogger #bloggers 2014-12-13 08:06:48496213
Daniel Mihai Popescu66,628This circle is called Amalgam :)It is a mixture of new and very old friends. Of course, the Invincible is always present :)I've been a little bit disappointed for losing some guys I've even grown so fond of lately, so fond that they were in my notification circle, something very rare. They left me without a word, but that's not a problem, because everything goes on :)You are not required to do a single thing, I'll mention you in comments, I hope you don't mind :) I do this because the notifications don't work with my account, it's still an enigma, so I can't say that if you receive a notification from me, you're a member in this circle. It's sure you're a member if I mention you. That's one thing.Another thing is that you, the members, don't have to share the circle. I can't pretend from you, what I don't do with your circles. It's somehow a kind of reciprocally membership, which is a signal for others :) You, my circle members, are some of the most precious people on G+, and you have to be sure of that.So, for my followers, especially the new ones, it'll be good for you to add this circle because you'll gain a lot on your stream! #danielmihaipopescusharedcircle   #maximumperformance  2014-12-11 22:33:4849412866154
Norman E Grant2,529Share this Circle of passionate people and grow your network. 2014-12-08 20:18:364787312
Richard Green88,785Engagers Showcase Circle, December 1, 2014If I sent you a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of the posts listed below, in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. I have not posted much in the last couple of months because I have been too busy, and so it has been a long time since the last reshare of the circle.Everyone mentioned below is also included in the circle.Millcreek Canyon Vista (reshared from +Tom Malloy)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/HuXLKw4GBwjAvoiding the unavoidablehttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/TnW3pTWt6d7Hydrangea flowershttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/3LDn2js6pWpMicroscopic Victorian arthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ieybEmL7tUCApproximating e using the digits 1–9https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/W5E6HyihSuY“Vertebral 03 – Pendant Lampshade” by cordycepthttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/eSo9svRbLapCentred polygonal numbershttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/QowshFUnPZ2Reinventing the wheel: Reuleaux polygonshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/gDxTM5Ko8hbSunrise at Maroon Lake (reshared from +Jason Hill)https://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/hvWMqo1HwvVSchmidt arrangementshttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/eM3adto6nsj“Dream Creatures” by Elido Turcohttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/ckjru8sN6AG“The Awakening III—Rebirth” by Luc Railhachttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/KyNg9DD4YnXPoincaré and topologyhttps://plus.google.com/101584889282878921052/posts/bmnd2URRAsfLytham St Annes (reshared from +Paul Haworth)https://plus.google.com/1015848892828789210522014-12-01 22:15:07443146111188
Sport News95Dear Google Friends! - You're in this CircleAdd Users & Pluss +1 & ShareThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top Google+ users that share unique and original contents.Follow this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow your dreams and smile to life.More you share more you get! :)Thanks!#circleshare #circlesharing #circle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circlecount #circlecircle #naturephotographers #naturephotography #birdphotography #birdphotographers #circlesharing #circlesharingforthepeopleplc #sharedcircleoftheday #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers 2014-11-30 05:41:14500332
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov2,751SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FRIENDS : Circle V.1.11. Link to my own scientific research topic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212005/  To be included in future circle-editions, please ENGAGE: add me to your own circles/+1/re-share/comment on the original circle-post, or on some of the other science-related posts on my wall (this is needed since the number of people that could be circled is limited from Google – and therefore I am forced to keep included just the most active users). Currently featured science-related GOOGLE PLUS post:https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/8LU6LVz75jxI would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #nutrition    #ScienceSunday   #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech   #GameTechnology    #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch    #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol   #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct   #artists   #foodies   #cars   2014-11-27 06:30:22451423271
Amaresh Singh11Circle Of the DayTo be considered for this circle, please:1- Share this circle in your stream.2- Ask to be included in the comments section of the original post.3- Make sure you've added our page to your circles.4- You must post your own original work in your stream.2014-11-21 09:58:32238231124
Circles Circles Circles45,721SCIENCE CircleDo you want more science in your life? Then, be sure to add these fascinating pages and people who dwell on science daily and are actively engaging.  Enrich your stream.If you are a scientist or someone who primarily posts about science and would like to be included in this circle please make a request in the comments section below.If you have someone or an organization's G+ page to recommend please add their name in the comments section below.Note: To those included in the circle, you were added by the generous recommendation of others  -- their help is deeply appreciated. Your add back and re-share would be also deeply appreciated as it would help spread the word about science.Current Circles   Published Mondays ORIGINAL CONTENT CREATORS: http://goo.gl/pOzhN7Published Wednesdays:BLOGGERS & THEIR BLOGS: http://goo.gl/mlXh9WPublished Thursdays:WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS : http://goo.gl/DgeQIAMEN ARE FROM MARS : http://goo.gl/hhJPlSPublished Fridays:A CIRCLE TO PAY IT FORWARD:  http://goo.gl/Ik2RfOOthers CirclesCREATIVES: http://goo.gl/Ahy2X9SCIENCE: http://goo.gl/pzaC4yTECHNOLOGY: http://goo.gl/a1jWG6G+ Pages: http://goo.gl/9v2o43        #sciencecircle   #circleshare   #sharingcircles  2014-11-19 18:04:35106205
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,950SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS : CIRCLE V.8; maintained by +Atanas Georgiev Atanasov  ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday   #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech   #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch    #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol   #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct   2014-11-17 05:24:2236226837
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,633SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS : CIRCLE V.7; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   #cars2014-11-13 05:47:40346101
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,550SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : CIRCLE V.6; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   2014-11-10 06:22:16330123
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,294SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : CIRCLE V.5; maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov ; You can learn more about my personal scientific research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science   #Research   #Technology   #NASA    #Space   #Innovation   #Engineering   #NIAC   #nutrition   #Entrepreneur   #Commercial #ScienceSunday  #Sundayscience   #Science   #Research   #Tech #GameTech  #GameTechnology   #Gaming   #VideoGaming   #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation   #Inflammation   #Brain #mindcontrol  #photography   #tech   #socialmedia   #googleplus #naturalproduct  #artists   #foodies   2014-11-06 08:10:3436954038
Sharon Caroline1,691Hello my friends, good morning/evening for you all!Boost Your visibility On Google+!Shared and be shared. :)Thank you for sharing and promoting this.#circleshare #sharedcircles #sharingcircles #sharedcircleoftheday2014-11-05 08:31:58463203
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,228SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY + FRIENDS of it : Circle V.3, maintained by +AtanasGeorgievAtanasov To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment/add me to your circles. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation  #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists #foodies 2014-11-05 07:02:42362515
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,127Science and Technology +Friends: Circle 2014 V.2 To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA  #Space #Innovation  #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming +Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch  #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists #foodies #cars 2014-11-04 06:51:44407103
Brian Mcquillan12,931This circle contains people who are very active on Google+If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#circle #Sharedcircles #circleshare #publiccircle #followme #public #sharedpubliccircles #circleoftheday #tampa #florida #denver #Colorado #circleall #circlecircle #circleday 2014-11-03 08:05:03421464385
Allan watson11,045Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to or stay in this Circle - Share the circleIf you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshar #Pennsylvania  #Philadelphia2014-11-03 07:27:5044371017
Atanas Georgiev Atanasov1,054Science and Technology Circle 2014 To be added to the circle, please +1/reshare/comment. I would be happy to connect on other networks too:http://about.me/Atanas_At   You can learn a bit more about my personal scientific research from these links: https://plus.google.com/115938908270684192009/posts/MGt3zvEtTgq  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25083916   Below I am just pasting some keyords/topics to improve the visibility of the circle and to make it more discoverable: #Science  #Research #Technology #NASA   #Space #Innovation   #Engineering #NIAC #nutrition #Entrepreneur #Commercial #ScienceSunday #Sundayscience #Science #Research #Tech #GameTech #GameTechnology #Gaming #VideoGaming #Microsoft #MicrosoftResearch   #innovation #Inflammation #Brain #mindcontrol #photography #tech #socialmedia #googleplus #naturalproduct #artists 2014-11-02 08:37:19453526
Kenneth Nicholson6,980Circle share with new friendsHi friends follow this circle1 - Include me in your circles2 - Share the circle (Publicly)3 - Add +1 to the post.4 - Leave a comment if you like.I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#sharedcircleday #publiccircles #publicsharedcircles #sharedpublicircles #circle #circles #circlemeup #awesomepeople #awesomecircle #circleme #sharedpoint #sharewithyou #ShareYourCircle #epicengagers #davidromaphotography #addcircle #addpeople #affiliate #awesome #awesomecircles #awesomepeople #besocial #bestengagers #bestsharedcircle #circle #circlefriday #circlemonday #circlesunday #circleoftheweek #circlemeup #circles #circleshare #communities #community #coolpeople #findcircles 2014-10-24 12:15:41498435682
Diana Breath8,322#8  If you received this Notice - You're in this Circle                       •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Circle Share 146  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•                 •-::-•:*:•-:¦: Fall Share and Be Shared :¦:-•:*:•.::-•      •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  If you want to be shared in this circle  :¦:-•:*:•.::-• •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Just share it and I will keep you in this circle  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•        •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Boost your visibility on Google+  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•                       •-::-•:*:•-:¦:  Share the circle!  :¦:-•:*:•.::-•This circle contains people who really are interesting and active people on Google Plus.Grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done.If you would like to be included in the next Circle Share, you only have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshar2014-10-18 15:17:39480001
Becky Collins17,500Top Active Engager's Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-10-13 05:05:404783111
Elizabeth Rose5,970#5 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-10-10 16:39:1548810021
Diana Breath7,336#8 GOOGLE FRIENDS! -  RESHARE if you want to be included *'"*:•:••:*:•-:¦:*  *SHARE AND BE  SHARED*  *:¦:-•:*:••-:•:''''*  This is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the top   Google + users that share unique and original contents.Follow   this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:boost   visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 3 - Share the circle (Publicly) 4 - Add +1 to the post 5 - Follow  your dreams and smile to life.More you share More you get! :)I will thankful if you plus and share this circle!#circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-10-08 14:51:3148112720
RokSimec.com7,554To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-10-01 11:44:4749811914
Allan watson7,797Grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:If you received the notice you are in this circle, then well done. If you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#News #BusinessNews #TechNews #Aviation #Flight #Flights #Passengers #Airport #Travel #KLM #Aircraft #AirTravel #Airbus #Flying #AvGeek #Boeing #Chicago #Safety #AmericanAirlines #Canceled #SharedCircles   #weeklyreview #sharedcircle     #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle2014-09-27 12:27:02303283042
RokSimec.com7,248 To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post*More you share more you get!*#circle                    2014-09-26 10:33:5149813920

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Most comments: 288

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2015-03-29 10:31:22 (288 comments, 36 reshares, 307 +1s)Open 

~ The first U.S. penny touts science, not God ~ [Why Evolution Is True] :: The interesting part is the motto on the coin: “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry”. Now we all know that the “In God We Trust” motto is a relatively recent innovation, but I was surprised to find (although I shouldn’t have been) that the founders rated science as one of the boons of liberty. And nary a mention of the creator. Just another little nail in the coffin of “America founded as a Christian nation.” ::  #atheism

Most reshares: 222

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2015-02-26 00:35:27 (125 comments, 222 reshares, 493 +1s)Open 

In further news, the US House of Representatives has continued their plans to bring about the Apocalypse, passing a bill (on almost exactly party lines) to effectively ban scientists from being on the EPA's scientific advisory board. Under these new rules, anyone who has done research on anything which the board studies is considered to have a conflict of interest, and therefore cannot sit on the board. Fortunately, simply having a financial stake in the matters which the board studies does not constitute a conflict of interest, so the scientific advisory board continues to be open to corporate public affairs officers, demented preachers, or roving madmen off the street.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate, where it has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the committee chaired by Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming... more »

Most plusones: 593

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2015-02-27 21:32:40 (19 comments, 76 reshares, 593 +1s)Open 

Leonard Nimoy's (ז"ל) last tweet, from a few days ago: a perfect capsule of the things which made him so dear to so many people's hearts, and a fitting epitaph.

Latest 50 posts

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2015-03-29 10:31:22 (288 comments, 36 reshares, 307 +1s)Open 

Something interesting I learned today. Also, it's quite a beautiful coin: the image feels halfway between 18th-century representations of national figures (Columbia, Brittania, Marianne, etc) and late 19th-century Romantic representations of science, nature, and so on.

We had some good numismatic art back in the 1790's apparently.

Via +Jennifer Freeman​

~ The first U.S. penny touts science, not God ~ [Why Evolution Is True] :: The interesting part is the motto on the coin: “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry”. Now we all know that the “In God We Trust” motto is a relatively recent innovation, but I was surprised to find (although I shouldn’t have been) that the founders rated science as one of the boons of liberty. And nary a mention of the creator. Just another little nail in the coffin of “America founded as a Christian nation.” ::  #atheism___Something interesting I learned today. Also, it's quite a beautiful coin: the image feels halfway between 18th-century representations of national figures (Columbia, Brittania, Marianne, etc) and late 19th-century Romantic representations of science, nature, and so on.

We had some good numismatic art back in the 1790's apparently.

Via +Jennifer Freeman​

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2015-03-26 11:41:42 (60 comments, 38 reshares, 231 +1s)Open 

This graph is Greek to me. Actually, it's Chinese, as my native language is Hebrew and that's our metaphor for incomprehensibility. Were it Chinese, I would say that it's Heavenly Script to me, instead.

Reminds me of the old joke about how people say that something isn't brain surgery. So someone asked a bunch of brain surgeons what they say, and the answer was "it's not rocket science." Rocket scientists, in turn, say that it's not theoretical physics; theoretical physicists say that it's not car mechanics.

Fascinating graph. "The phrase actually comes from a Medieval Latin proverb, “Graecum est; non potest legi,” meaning “It is Greek; it cannot be read.” From there, the phrase filtered into many European languages. Today, English, Spanish, Polish, Norwegian and Swedish all use Greek as a metaphor for incomprehensibility.

Mark Liberman, a professor linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, started wondering what the equivalent was in different languages. Drawing on a variety of sources, including Wikipedia, Omniglot and user comments, he created the graph above, which shows the language that other languages use to describe things that are hard or impossible to understand."___This graph is Greek to me. Actually, it's Chinese, as my native language is Hebrew and that's our metaphor for incomprehensibility. Were it Chinese, I would say that it's Heavenly Script to me, instead.

Reminds me of the old joke about how people say that something isn't brain surgery. So someone asked a bunch of brain surgeons what they say, and the answer was "it's not rocket science." Rocket scientists, in turn, say that it's not theoretical physics; theoretical physicists say that it's not car mechanics.

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2015-03-25 06:49:37 (155 comments, 20 reshares, 232 +1s)Open 

An important reminder: pit bulls are actually very sweet-tempered dogs and are known for being good with children. The infinite media reports about how they (or various other breeds; the panic of the day varies) are somehow "inherently dangerous" are nothing but sloppy reporting; they don't have magical locking jaws, or a native bloodlust, or anything else other dogs don't have. If a dog is vicious, that's because of the way it's been reared - and any dog can be reared viciously.

There are serious consequences to this media frenzy: cities and apartments set up "breed restrictions" which force dogs or residents out, and dogs die in shelters because people are afraid to adopt them.

Don't fall for this nonsense. If you're looking to adopt a dog, keep an eye out for these unloved breeds - they're great dogs and need you badly.

Despite their reputation, the United Kennel Club doesn't recommended using pitbulls as guard dogs because they're too friendly with strangers.___An important reminder: pit bulls are actually very sweet-tempered dogs and are known for being good with children. The infinite media reports about how they (or various other breeds; the panic of the day varies) are somehow "inherently dangerous" are nothing but sloppy reporting; they don't have magical locking jaws, or a native bloodlust, or anything else other dogs don't have. If a dog is vicious, that's because of the way it's been reared - and any dog can be reared viciously.

There are serious consequences to this media frenzy: cities and apartments set up "breed restrictions" which force dogs or residents out, and dogs die in shelters because people are afraid to adopt them.

Don't fall for this nonsense. If you're looking to adopt a dog, keep an eye out for these unloved breeds - they're great dogs and need you badly.

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2015-03-22 06:35:29 (32 comments, 6 reshares, 130 +1s)Open 

Quoth +Saladin Ahmed: Every other science fiction illustration is bullshit compared to this. ht @PulpLibrarian.

And, seriously, can you argue with that? Although I'm not sure, between the man and the giant chicken, which is meant to be the food and which the god.

(h/t +Chris Stehlik for finding this among Saladin's tweets, where I somehow missed it)

Quoth +Saladin Ahmed: Every other science fiction illustration is bullshit compared to this. ht @PulpLibrarian.

And, seriously, can you argue with that? Although I'm not sure, between the man and the giant chicken, which is meant to be the food and which the god.

(h/t +Chris Stehlik for finding this among Saladin's tweets, where I somehow missed it)___

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2015-03-21 21:31:09 (166 comments, 85 reshares, 293 +1s)Open 

There's a new paper out in Genome Research which shows something rather fascinating that seems to have happened in human history, right after the agricultural revolution. The two graphs below show the number of men (left) and women (right) alive at various times in history whose genes are still around today. (We can measure this separately because Y-chromosome DNA is transmitted only through men, and mitochondrial DNA only through women) 

There are lots of reasons that you would expect this curve to increase as you move forward in time. The simplest part of this is the "common ancestor" effect. If someone is your ancestor, then all of their ancestors are your ancestors, too. This means that, as you go farther back in time, anyone who's along your family tree is an ancestor of a bigger and bigger chunk of people. In fact, once you go far enough back, you'll encounter a... more »

There's a new paper out in Genome Research which shows something rather fascinating that seems to have happened in human history, right after the agricultural revolution. The two graphs below show the number of men (left) and women (right) alive at various times in history whose genes are still around today. (We can measure this separately because Y-chromosome DNA is transmitted only through men, and mitochondrial DNA only through women) 

There are lots of reasons that you would expect this curve to increase as you move forward in time. The simplest part of this is the "common ancestor" effect. If someone is your ancestor, then all of their ancestors are your ancestors, too. This means that, as you go farther back in time, anyone who's along your family tree is an ancestor of a bigger and bigger chunk of people. In fact, once you go far enough back, you'll encounter a person who is a common ancestor for everyone in your population group, or even in the world -- and once you've encountered this first common ancestor, every one of their ancestors is a common ancestor, too! This means that a bit further back in time, you suddenly pass a second threshold: at that point, everyone who was alive then is either a common ancestor of everyone alive today, or of nobody alive today. (If you're curious about this, there are a few famous papers by +Douglas Rohde and a few others on this subject, where with a combination of historical population data and computer simulations, they managed to show that the most recent common ancestor of all humanity probably lived only a few thousand years ago, and in either southeast or northeast Asia: http://tedlab.mit.edu/~dr/Papers/Rohde-MRCA-two.pdf)

So because of this effect, you would expect that as you go far back in time, the number of people who are ancestors of people alive today would end up being a roughly fixed fraction of the population: everyone's either a common ancestor, or not an ancestor at all.

Now, the other important thing about the agricultural revolution is that it made the population boom: grain fields can support orders of magnitude more people than hunting and gathering or nomadic herding. (This is also why the agricultural revolution leads to the original rise of cities)

If you look at the curve on the right -- estimated number of women who are ancestors of living humans today, as a function of time -- you see exactly that. Right around 15,000 years ago (15kya), the number of women skyrockets, and starts to level off around 10,000 years ago. This is exactly what you would expect if nutrition suddenly improved by a lot, and it suggest that it was the early agricultural revolution -- that first cultivation of crops, rather than the rise of effective mass agriculture and the rise of early cities -- that had the biggest effect.

But the plot for men is bizarrely different. At 15kya, the gauge for men doesn't move. And then at 10kya, when the "big" agricultural revolution hits and cities start to emerge, the number for men plummets, only to recover and show the giant population-related spike around 5,000 years ago. At its most extreme, the ratio of female to male ancestors was 17:1!

What happened here? The authors suggest that this was most likely a cultural effect, rather than a mysterious plague which only affected men. My own quick summary of thoughts:

(1) The effects which created the initial surge in female long-term reproduction, around 15kya, don't seem to have affected men much at all. This suggests that we're seeing a huge nutritional effect on the success rate of pregnancies.

(2) The crash in male reproduction around 10kya suggests that most men were suddenly unable to reproduce, even as lots of women were doing so. This means that small numbers of men were having lots of children, and most weren't having any at all, or at least none which appear to have survived. Since you would suspect that most men might object to this, that suggests rather extraordinary application of force: i.e., the rise of the agricultural state brought with it tremendous power asymmetries and the rise of very wide polygyny. 

(3) Around 5kya, this effect seems to have vanished even more quickly than it appeared. If anything, that's more fascinating, because 5kya is already within visibility of the literary record. (The story of the marriage of Inanna, for example, contains some fairly clear allusions to the tension between nomadism and agriculture) A change this rapid, from extremely concentrated harems to some kind of more level marriage system, would seem to require a tremendous social event going with it, something big enough that I'm surprised that we don't see at least allusions to it in a wide range of early literary records.

In fact, this third point is enough to make me actively suspicious: this is a huge effect, something which would have defined human society for hundreds of generations and the response to which would likely have had effects for hundreds of generations to come. Its uniformity across geographic regions (colors in the graph) is similarly surprising: cultural shifts affecting the entire world don't Just Happen.

So I'm going to take this result with a great deal of caution until there's further confirmation, but the questions which it poses are fascinating, and this is clearly a direction worth more research.___

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2015-03-21 04:04:37 (23 comments, 22 reshares, 184 +1s)Open 

I really shouldn't find this article quite as amusing as I do. But I suppose this article was inevitable: one way or another, the truth would out.

Man Who Powers Microsoft’s Internet Explorer To Retire After 20 Year’s Service
#nerdhumour   #nerdhumor  ___I really shouldn't find this article quite as amusing as I do. But I suppose this article was inevitable: one way or another, the truth would out.

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2015-03-20 23:00:24 (26 comments, 36 reshares, 164 +1s)Open 

The New Horizons spacecraft is quickly approaching Pluto, and we will soon have high-resolution maps of this distant world's surface. The New Horizons team has decided to do something unusual: they're opening up a public campaign to nominate and vote for names for the surface features that will be discovered.

Names will come from three different themes: the history of exploration, the literature of exploration, and the mythology of the underworld. (You can read more about the themes, and why they were chosen, on the site) The ballot will be open until April 7th. 

For all those who want to join in leaving our mark on an alien world, now is the time!

The New Horizons spacecraft is quickly approaching Pluto, and we will soon have high-resolution maps of this distant world's surface. The New Horizons team has decided to do something unusual: they're opening up a public campaign to nominate and vote for names for the surface features that will be discovered.

Names will come from three different themes: the history of exploration, the literature of exploration, and the mythology of the underworld. (You can read more about the themes, and why they were chosen, on the site) The ballot will be open until April 7th. 

For all those who want to join in leaving our mark on an alien world, now is the time!___

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2015-03-19 19:49:28 (41 comments, 3 reshares, 73 +1s)Open 

In case you were wondering: Yes, cadaver dogs can tell if you left a dead body on the carpet and then moved it later. 

And I won't even ask why you were already wondering about this. But that does explain the carpet cleaning bills.

Three Reasons Not to Leave a Dead Body on the Carpet (more on cadaver dogs) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/dog-spies/2015/03/19/three-reasons-not-to-leave-a-dead-body-on-the-carpet/___In case you were wondering: Yes, cadaver dogs can tell if you left a dead body on the carpet and then moved it later. 

And I won't even ask why you were already wondering about this. But that does explain the carpet cleaning bills.

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2015-03-19 17:28:13 (74 comments, 33 reshares, 126 +1s)Open 

This is a very interesting essay on the cognitive and social psychology of religion: about how religious belief and ritual serve to stabilize societies and achieve important ends. This can range from enforcing rules about stealing and charity (in urbanized societies) to resource conservation and border management (among Siberian herders). Generally, the idea of this article is that religion is a strategy for social organization.

And it includes some interesting and non-obvious results about how our minds work. For example:

"There appears to be a rule, then, deep in our mental programming that tells us: minds without bodies know more than those with bodies."

God is an evolved organizational strategy that made people think they were being watched: http://j.mp/1MRil7U  ___This is a very interesting essay on the cognitive and social psychology of religion: about how religious belief and ritual serve to stabilize societies and achieve important ends. This can range from enforcing rules about stealing and charity (in urbanized societies) to resource conservation and border management (among Siberian herders). Generally, the idea of this article is that religion is a strategy for social organization.

And it includes some interesting and non-obvious results about how our minds work. For example:

"There appears to be a rule, then, deep in our mental programming that tells us: minds without bodies know more than those with bodies."

2015-03-19 03:50:32 (17 comments, 9 reshares, 121 +1s)Open 

Some interesting calculations: What would it look like if our Sun were replaced by various other stars, from the tiny, red, Barnard's Star, just 14% of its size, all the way up to Aldebaran, 70% more massive but 44 times the diameter.

Why doesn't this image show what would happen with even bigger stars? Because you would very quickly be seeing an image of nothing but blinding bluish-white light taking up the entire sky. And stars which are even only a bit larger than Aldebaran start to pose bigger problems: if our Sun were replaced with Deneb, we would almost be inside it. And Deneb is far from the largest star known; that would be UY Scuti, merely ten times our Sun's mass, but large enough that not only Earth, but even Saturn would be engulfed by it; it almost reaches out to Uranus. (And at 340,000 times the total brightness of the Sun, the view from inside it could best be described as... more »

The Sun replaced with other stars, "based on the absolute brightness, spectral class, and radius" of the various substitutions. Which is to say, the artists are aware that more than the sky would look different if you actually made the substitution.

I do wonder about the colors, I think we all learned from that dress business that these things are tricky at best.___Some interesting calculations: What would it look like if our Sun were replaced by various other stars, from the tiny, red, Barnard's Star, just 14% of its size, all the way up to Aldebaran, 70% more massive but 44 times the diameter.

Why doesn't this image show what would happen with even bigger stars? Because you would very quickly be seeing an image of nothing but blinding bluish-white light taking up the entire sky. And stars which are even only a bit larger than Aldebaran start to pose bigger problems: if our Sun were replaced with Deneb, we would almost be inside it. And Deneb is far from the largest star known; that would be UY Scuti, merely ten times our Sun's mass, but large enough that not only Earth, but even Saturn would be engulfed by it; it almost reaches out to Uranus. (And at 340,000 times the total brightness of the Sun, the view from inside it could best be described as "bright")

Also on this site: pictures of what it would look like if the Moon were replaced with various other bodies. (http://www.halcyonmaps.com/moon-replaced-with-other-bodies/) However, I don't think that one adequately captures the brightness impact: by my quick calculation, a night by the light of a full Jupiter would be about as well-lit as the interior of a well-lit home at night. 

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2015-03-18 22:56:54 (85 comments, 71 reshares, 375 +1s)Open 

How do you keep mosquitos out of a hospital in the jungle? With a laser sentry gun, that's how.

This thing optically tracks bugs, identifies them, and then shoots them with a short, high-powered laser pulse. It can apparently keep bugs out of a large area very effectively - including areas where netting is completely impractical.

For example, in our new Enrichment Center.

h/t +Rugger Ducky​

This model of a laser bug zapper, which will soon be manufactured in the US, uses a photonic fence to track bugs within a specified area and kill them. The inventors hope it can be used in places like African hospitals to rid them of mosquitos that carry malaria and cause major issues. http://bit.ly/1bfh1Ac___How do you keep mosquitos out of a hospital in the jungle? With a laser sentry gun, that's how.

This thing optically tracks bugs, identifies them, and then shoots them with a short, high-powered laser pulse. It can apparently keep bugs out of a large area very effectively - including areas where netting is completely impractical.

For example, in our new Enrichment Center.

h/t +Rugger Ducky​

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2015-03-18 20:43:26 (24 comments, 24 reshares, 233 +1s)Open 

Zoom in on this picture. You won't get its full majesty up small. When you look at it up close, you'll see the roiling storms on the Jovian surface, and how amazingly three-dimensional Europa appears, floating above it.

Europa / Jupiter, by NASA Voyager. (credit: NASA/Kinetikon Pictures) via +reddit.___Zoom in on this picture. You won't get its full majesty up small. When you look at it up close, you'll see the roiling storms on the Jovian surface, and how amazingly three-dimensional Europa appears, floating above it.

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2015-03-18 19:24:38 (76 comments, 38 reshares, 229 +1s)Open 

This is not a satire piece. I want to try to emphasize that. 

Yes, a State Department spokesperson did respond to allegations that we were involved in some putative coup planning around Venezuela by saying that "[a]s a matter of long standing policy the United States does not support transitions by non-constitutional means." Yes, she did get called on it by a reporter who asked her just what "long-standing" is supposed to mean. She even managed to keep an almost-straight face while answering that -- but even she seems to have been on the verge of breaking out laughing.

I'll let Claude Rains give the appropriate commentary on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

h/t +Kee Hinckley​ 

This is not a satire piece. I want to try to emphasize that. 

Yes, a State Department spokesperson did respond to allegations that we were involved in some putative coup planning around Venezuela by saying that "[a]s a matter of long standing policy the United States does not support transitions by non-constitutional means." Yes, she did get called on it by a reporter who asked her just what "long-standing" is supposed to mean. She even managed to keep an almost-straight face while answering that -- but even she seems to have been on the verge of breaking out laughing.

I'll let Claude Rains give the appropriate commentary on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

h/t +Kee Hinckley​ ___

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2015-03-18 00:27:19 (62 comments, 34 reshares, 168 +1s)Open 

I'm watching the Israeli election results with bated breath. So far, exit polls show the election extremely close, with a slight edge towards Netanyahu's attempt to form a new coalition government -- but it's close. This campaign has been marked by a new kind of polarization, one fostered rather actively by Avigdor Lieberman and his Israel Beiteinu party, and has spread among more of the right wing -- overt and rather bloodthirsty racism appears to now be the name of the game.

Updated: As more votes are counted, it's looking like 30 seats for Likud, 24 for Zionist Union, so Netanyahu is most likely going to get to form the new government. Whee.

The diagram below is the best summary I've seen of the exit polling. Even if you follow Israeli politics, it may be very hard to figure out who the players in it are, because the parties seem to change from one... more »

I'm watching the Israeli election results with bated breath. So far, exit polls show the election extremely close, with a slight edge towards Netanyahu's attempt to form a new coalition government -- but it's close. This campaign has been marked by a new kind of polarization, one fostered rather actively by Avigdor Lieberman and his Israel Beiteinu party, and has spread among more of the right wing -- overt and rather bloodthirsty racism appears to now be the name of the game.

Updated: As more votes are counted, it's looking like 30 seats for Likud, 24 for Zionist Union, so Netanyahu is most likely going to get to form the new government. Whee.

The diagram below is the best summary I've seen of the exit polling. Even if you follow Israeli politics, it may be very hard to figure out who the players in it are, because the parties seem to change from one election to the next, so for those who are interested, here's a short summary. (NB: The parties here are ordered not based on a single, linear political spectrum -- there are two major axes in Israel, left-right and secular-religious -- but based on their likelihood to ever form a coalition with one another.)

Starting from the left:

The three Arab parties decided to merge and run together as the Joint List, and they seem pretty likely to end up at 13 seats. These represent the Israeli Arab population.

Meretz ("Vigor") is a left-wing secular party, advocating a two-state solution, social justice, human rights, and environmentalism.

The biggest center-left party, Labor, and the second-biggest, Hatnuah, ("The Movement") joined up to run together as the Zionist Union. This would be the center of any left-wing coalition. Labor supports having a peace process, and Hatnuah is also particularly interested in integrating the Arab and Haredi (ultra-orthodox) communities more deeply into society. On those rare occasions that economics really matter in an election, Labor is Socialist; but in Israel, the gamut of economic positions is relatively narrow, from "we should have a free market with a few aspects of socialism" to "we should have a free market with a few more aspects of socialism."

Yesh Atid ("There is a future") is a secular party that popped almost out of nowhere a few years ago. Their main interest is in checking the influence of the ultra-orthodox, and ending their various special exemptions and religious privileges. They generally align with the left bloc on other issues.

Kulanu ("All of us") is a center-right secular party. (It and Hatnuah formed out of the fission of the Kadima ("Forward!") party a few years ago, which in turn formed out of the fusion of various left- and right-wing elements after both of the major center-left and -right parties collapsed in flames) They're focused on economic issues, especially keeping the cost of living under control and breaking up monopolies; on strategic issues, they're fairly security-oriented but also believe in a two-state solution.

UTJ is where things start to get weird. They're an ultra-orthodox party that I've posted about before, in the context of their campaign during the last election against geometry. (https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/QinuQ5yTzgP) They are also, in general, against any sort of system of public education apart from religious education, and think that we shouldn't have all of these public works and instead invest more in religious education. They have no opinion on matters of peace and security at all; these things involve secular people and non-Jews, so they really don't care. If you think of them as an isolationist and non-violent version of the Taliban, you'll basically get the idea.

Shas is another religious party, which likewise doesn't care much about peace and such issues. They have only two issues they really care about -- religion and corruption -- and they're strongly in favor of both. Their votes are basically for sale to whichever coalition will pay them off appropriately, and as a result they end up in nearly every coalition. Unfortunately, part of their price includes continuing control over the Interior Ministry, which means things like marriage law being determined by their rabbis. They represent a somewhat mystically-oriented branch of Judaism which is very popular among parts of the Sephardic working class, and so their campaigns tend to involve people taking oaths and receiving talismans and so on. Israeli politics is surreal.

Likud ("The Consolidation") is the big secular center-right party, and the party of the current PM, Netanyahu. Historically, the party has been on the "security" side of the peace/security tension, and is a bit more free-market oriented than Labor, in those few elections where economic issues matter. (But there's no radical difference here; their economic policies are pretty similar to those of Kulanu or Yesh Atid) However, thanks to their very close relationship with Israel Beiteinu and similar groups, they've recently gone in, shall we say, a more interesting direction, with Netanyahu making a statement earlier today about keeping all those Arabs from voting too much and making sure the state stays Jewish.

Netanyahu is known as being profoundly opportunist, and willing to do anything and hold any platform he needs in order to get power. Racism sells to voters he's unsure about, so: more racism. He has also been explaining, in the past few weeks, how an international Zionist conspiracy is trying to unseat him. (No, really. cf: https://plus.google.com/+AndreasSchou/posts/auDniwSz6Ui)

(Incidentally, this is tied to the parties you don't see on this chart, Yahad ("Together") and Otzma Yehudit ("Jewish Strength"). The OY party is described as "neo-Kahanist," with Meir Kahane being the assassinated former leader of the Kach party, a party which was basically kicked out of the country for being a terrorist organization. The Kach platform can be summarized as "genocide." They are not nice people. These guys are the equivalent of European political parties that don't try to hide their Nazi affiliations much at all. They're not on this chart because, thank all the gods, they didn't get enough votes to pass the 3.25% threshold to get any seats. But these are the "stray votes to pick up" that many parties on the farther right are interested in)

And now we get to Israel Beiteinu. ("Israel is our homeland") If you're familiar with European far-right secular political parties, you can basically guess what these guys are like; think of an Israeli version of UKIP, at best. However, in the run-up to the election they've decided to dispense with the subtlety, calling for "disloyal" Arab citizens to be beheaded. (https://plus.google.com/+AndreasSchou/posts/VkZp2D1ShLM) The exact definition of "disloyal" was left as an exercise for the listener. This party's voting base is basically entirely working-class Russian immigrants who feel generally disenfranchised and disconnected from broader society, and who are quite familiar with what we politely call "nationalist" political parties.

Finally, we have Habayit Hayehudi. ("Jewish Home") They are a right-wing, religious party which believes that Jews are divinely commanded to maintain control over the entire land of Israel. Settlement-building is a divine commandment for them, and that's what many of them go off and do, legally or otherwise.

So you can see why some of these parties might not want to make a coalition with one another.

Another way to read this graph: The Joint List, Meretz, and the Zionist Union are all fairly together on subjects of peace and human rights, which is ultimately their primary issue. Likewise, Likud, Israel Beiteinu, and Jewish Home are all fairly together on subjects of security and Jewish supremacy, which are their primary issues. Yesh Atid, UTJ, and Shas are all primarily about the religious/secular divide; YA lines up enough with the left-wing coalition on other things that they'll join that, which means that UTJ and Shas will join the right wing.


Basically, what a lot of it is boiling down to is this. The Zionist Union will try to form a center-left bloc, which will be committed to a two-state solution, to broader integration of the Arab population, and to human rights. They're going to need Yesh Atid, which means they're going to also be anti-clerical. Simultaneously, Likud is going to try to form a center-right bloc, with a kind of nationalism / racism as party platform, and Netanyahu stated firmly and publicly yesterday that there will be no two-state solution or real negotiations so long as he is in power. Shas and UTJ will join this coalition, if nothing else because Yesh Atid will join the other one.

And that leaves Kulanu in the middle, and its party head, Moshe Kahlon, as kingmaker. The party's policies could get along with either coalition; while historically, Kulanu is basically a break-off of Likud, Likud has also shifted since then, so Kulanu's allegiance isn't a slam-dunk. The two large party leaders -- Netanyahu (aka Bibi) for Likud, Herzog (aka Bugi) for Labor -- will be up very late tonight negotiating and offering deals.

Oddsmakers are giving a slight edge to the right wing as of now, but it's still fairly far up in the air. But the difference between the two putative coalitions is stark and has gotten starker in the past few days: the left bloc being committed to a peace process, a two-state solution, and integration of Arab, Orthodox, and secular Jewish citizens into a single polity, and the right bloc being committed to increased settlements, no giving up of land, and to rather thoroughly disenfranchising Arabs in particular.

Those of you who occasionally talk about wanting multi-party government in the US: watching this sort of thing in action, and just how much power fairly small parties end up with, is exactly why I think that would be a terrible idea.

And now, having offended nearly everybody who has read this far, I'll go back to watching the news.___

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2015-03-16 22:13:55 (16 comments, 19 reshares, 133 +1s)Open 

Alas, no Brazil or Doctor Strangelove in this deck.

Via +Piera Coppola.

Cult movies turned into children's books
by Josh Cooley
http://www.cooleycooley.com/___Alas, no Brazil or Doctor Strangelove in this deck.

Via +Piera Coppola.

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2015-03-16 20:10:29 (34 comments, 17 reshares, 126 +1s)Open 

Already, the scarecrows in Nagoro outnumber the living. Gradually, as its human inhabitants die or leave, they are being replaced by straw men in their honor, and Ayano -- their maker -- continually makes the rounds, repairing them and adding new ones.

But one day, she will no longer be there to maintain them, and if there is no-one else to take up the mantle, they have only a few years to live before they fall apart. The last remains of Nagoro will be schoolrooms full of gradually collapsing straw children.

There is only one good way to avert this. The scarecrows need to be taught to maintain one another.

h/t +Rosa Golijan.

Already, the scarecrows in Nagoro outnumber the living. Gradually, as its human inhabitants die or leave, they are being replaced by straw men in their honor, and Ayano -- their maker -- continually makes the rounds, repairing them and adding new ones.

But one day, she will no longer be there to maintain them, and if there is no-one else to take up the mantle, they have only a few years to live before they fall apart. The last remains of Nagoro will be schoolrooms full of gradually collapsing straw children.

There is only one good way to avert this. The scarecrows need to be taught to maintain one another.

h/t +Rosa Golijan.___

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2015-03-15 21:47:58 (146 comments, 18 reshares, 289 +1s)Open 

Your question for today: was the Senate conspiracy to assassinate Caesar a good idea at the time? Was it a good idea with twenty years' hindsight, given the civil war which followed and the ultimate rise of Augustus? How about now, with over two thousand years worth of hindsight?

You would think that these answers would get easier over time, but they really don't seem to.

h/t +Jordan Peacock​

___Your question for today: was the Senate conspiracy to assassinate Caesar a good idea at the time? Was it a good idea with twenty years' hindsight, given the civil war which followed and the ultimate rise of Augustus? How about now, with over two thousand years worth of hindsight?

You would think that these answers would get easier over time, but they really don't seem to.

h/t +Jordan Peacock​

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2015-03-15 20:04:02 (75 comments, 55 reshares, 195 +1s)Open 

There's a very interesting article here, giving a new hypothesis about the underlying mechanism of autism: that it's a disorder of the system that lets us predict the future based on the past. This could explain a wide variety of the observed features across the spectrum, depending on whether prediction is more compromised at short or long timescales; e.g., trouble with predicting at millisecond timescales could lead to language impairment, whereas second timescales would affect social interaction.

There's rather a lot to this hypothesis, but the paper is short and easy to read, so if you're interested I would recommend just jumping directly to it at http://www.pnas.org/content/111/42/15220.full . It gives plausible explanations for a wide variety of traits on the autistic spectrum, from "insistence on sameness" to sensory hypersensitivity to islands of proficiency.... more »

" #autism  as a disorder of prediction" in #openacces #neuroscience___There's a very interesting article here, giving a new hypothesis about the underlying mechanism of autism: that it's a disorder of the system that lets us predict the future based on the past. This could explain a wide variety of the observed features across the spectrum, depending on whether prediction is more compromised at short or long timescales; e.g., trouble with predicting at millisecond timescales could lead to language impairment, whereas second timescales would affect social interaction.

There's rather a lot to this hypothesis, but the paper is short and easy to read, so if you're interested I would recommend just jumping directly to it at http://www.pnas.org/content/111/42/15220.full . It gives plausible explanations for a wide variety of traits on the autistic spectrum, from "insistence on sameness" to sensory hypersensitivity to islands of proficiency. Usefully, the paper makes a number of very concrete predictions, so it should be possible to test this model and figure out if it's correct in relatively short order.

If correct, it's also got a lot of practical use. On the research side, this would give some strong hints towards the biological basis for autism, focusing on the systems that learn from time series. On the daily life side, understanding what someone else isn't understanding could be very helpful in communicating and working better with people along the autistic spectrum.

h/t +Daniel Estrada 

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2015-03-15 01:52:46 (92 comments, 20 reshares, 186 +1s)Open 

Apparently, there has been a sharp rise in membership in paramilitary organizations in Poland, ever since the USSR Russia invaded the Crimea. I can't say as this seems ill-founded to me; Putin has made it fairly clear that he is not only opposed to European involvement in what he sees as his sphere of influence, but that he is quite willing to go to war to achieve that. (Or rather, "recognize that the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine wants to fight off opp..." oh, nevermind, I can't put together proper Official Sentences to explain how the Russian forces in Ukraine aren't really Russian at all, they just look Russian and happen to be wearing uniforms and bearing arms that were in Moscow not long ago)

I would estimate that the risk is highest in places where there are significant ethnic Russian minorities -- especially areas like Kaliningrad, and the Baltic states where... more »

Apparently, there has been a sharp rise in membership in paramilitary organizations in Poland, ever since the USSR Russia invaded the Crimea. I can't say as this seems ill-founded to me; Putin has made it fairly clear that he is not only opposed to European involvement in what he sees as his sphere of influence, but that he is quite willing to go to war to achieve that. (Or rather, "recognize that the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine wants to fight off opp..." oh, nevermind, I can't put together proper Official Sentences to explain how the Russian forces in Ukraine aren't really Russian at all, they just look Russian and happen to be wearing uniforms and bearing arms that were in Moscow not long ago)

I would estimate that the risk is highest in places where there are significant ethnic Russian minorities -- especially areas like Kaliningrad, and the Baltic states where Stalin made sure to move lots of Russians (like he did in Ukraine) for precisely this sort of purpose. Of course, Poland has the classic problem of geography: it's big, flat, and between Russia and Germany, so rather than forming a natural barrier it's often seen as the area that various sides need to control "for their own safety."

I don't expect war in Poland or in the Baltics in 2015, but under the circumstances, I wouldn't say that it's insane for those countries to start drilling and preparing for trouble pre-emptively. Sometimes clear military readiness is a good way to avert wars, too.

[Cue arrival of furious Russian apologists calling me a Ukrainian shill or a Western shill, furious Ukrainian apologists calling me a Russian shill, and probably furious Mongol apologists calling me a Khwarezmi shill. Seriously, you would think that by now, given the number of articles I've put up on which every side was absolutely convinced that I was being paid by the other side, someone would get kind of suspicious of these hypotheses.]___

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2015-03-14 23:31:33 (29 comments, 12 reshares, 94 +1s)Open 

I don't normally post business articles -- it's not my main subject -- but this is a rather interesting analysis of Keurig's business model. It's often been described as a classical "razors and blades" model, where you buy the device cheaply and then spend a lot on refills, but this article points out that the model is different because the consumable you buy in this case is the primary thing you want, and that changes customers' attitudes towards the product. (Another example they give of a similar model are game consoles, where you buy the initial device and then games) The argument is that this leads to fundamentally different dynamics, more similar to those of software services than to traditional hardware.

NB that this isn't an analysis of Keurig machines per se; there's plenty of argument about their environmental costs, the quality of coffee, etc.,... more »

I don't normally post business articles -- it's not my main subject -- but this is a rather interesting analysis of Keurig's business model. It's often been described as a classical "razors and blades" model, where you buy the device cheaply and then spend a lot on refills, but this article points out that the model is different because the consumable you buy in this case is the primary thing you want, and that changes customers' attitudes towards the product. (Another example they give of a similar model are game consoles, where you buy the initial device and then games) The argument is that this leads to fundamentally different dynamics, more similar to those of software services than to traditional hardware.

NB that this isn't an analysis of Keurig machines per se; there's plenty of argument about their environmental costs, the quality of coffee, etc., etc. Which is good, because I have yet to hear a single interesting thing said about that subject. (And as I'm the sort of coffee drinker who has his own regular suppliers, I'm really not the target market for those anyway.)___

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2015-03-14 20:09:54 (49 comments, 10 reshares, 108 +1s)Open 

The sorts of things that show up in my threads...

Part of me really wants to figure out if someone could make a decent game out of this. I mean, when this happens in real life, the stakes could not possibly be higher: it's literally life or death for millions of people, generally including you and your family.

The problem, of course, is that negotiations always feel like you're slogging through a complete lack of agency. When video games succeed, it's typically because they're a "fantasy of agency" in the sense of Bujold's famous talk. (http://www.dendarii.com/denver08.html) If this idea seems completely ridiculous, it's not because the stakes are low or the complexity can't have a good curve, it's because you're watching the characters in the game bash their heads against tables and scream at each other because they can't get anything... more »

OMG this video is riotous. Thunk!

h/t's to +Yonatan Zunger for starting the comment parade (very good reading in itself), which led to a comment by +LM Stewart  who provided the YouTube link.

For a helping of Yonatan's instigation agitation, go read
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+YonatanZunger/posts/HTHqiU9jojM___The sorts of things that show up in my threads...

Part of me really wants to figure out if someone could make a decent game out of this. I mean, when this happens in real life, the stakes could not possibly be higher: it's literally life or death for millions of people, generally including you and your family.

The problem, of course, is that negotiations always feel like you're slogging through a complete lack of agency. When video games succeed, it's typically because they're a "fantasy of agency" in the sense of Bujold's famous talk. (http://www.dendarii.com/denver08.html) If this idea seems completely ridiculous, it's not because the stakes are low or the complexity can't have a good curve, it's because you're watching the characters in the game bash their heads against tables and scream at each other because they can't get anything done.

So here's a question for gamers and game designers: Is it possible, even in theory, to make a good game which involves challenges that are about a lack of agency and working hard to make a really complicated system change? Or is this something which the medium is fundamentally not good at?

(Yes, I can turn even a 1-minute clip from John Oliver into a serious philosophical discussion. I have the power!)

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2015-03-14 06:03:10 (164 comments, 21 reshares, 283 +1s)Open 

A few days ago, a sitting US Senator and candidate for President announced his intention to, if elected, stage a military coup. ("Hah hah! I was only joking! Really!" went the correction, several hours later) (I'm paraphrasing. He didn't actually issue a correction. His press secretary issued a statement saying that he didn't really mean it. You should all feel safe now.) 

Today, noted right-wing commentator Glenn Beck threatened to quit the NRA because it was being infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. To make it clear, the Muslim Brotherhood is an Egyptian right-wing political organization, and the alleged agent of this infiltration is Grover Norquist, a noted anarchist who has through a strange sequence of events become very powerful among Washington's right wing. Because, you know, conservative government officials are often beholden to anarchists.

Why,... more »

A few days ago, a sitting US Senator and candidate for President announced his intention to, if elected, stage a military coup. ("Hah hah! I was only joking! Really!" went the correction, several hours later) (I'm paraphrasing. He didn't actually issue a correction. His press secretary issued a statement saying that he didn't really mean it. You should all feel safe now.) 

Today, noted right-wing commentator Glenn Beck threatened to quit the NRA because it was being infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. To make it clear, the Muslim Brotherhood is an Egyptian right-wing political organization, and the alleged agent of this infiltration is Grover Norquist, a noted anarchist who has through a strange sequence of events become very powerful among Washington's right wing. Because, you know, conservative government officials are often beholden to anarchists.

Why, exactly, an Egyptian religio-political organization would want to infiltrate the NRA is left as an exercise for the reader.

Maybe this seems unusually strange to me because I grew up during the Cold War. I hear things like this and imagine Soviet propagandists cackling with glee, while inside the Kremlin, urgent meetings of the Politburo discuss KGB reports and try to figure out if the US is actually about to fall to a military dictatorship. Missile silos go on alert. And I imagine the right wing of the US government quickly clubbing anyone who went too crazy over the head, possibly literally, because the last thing they want would be to strengthen the USSR's hand.

But no, we live in a post-Soviet era, and I am starting to suspect that one of the most lasting consequences of the "hyperpower" era of the US may be that all of the chains which held complete lunatics in check have simultaneously been released, and so the inmates are not only running the asylum, they have been elected to its board of directors.

I don't even know how to satire, anymore.

h/t +Irreverent Monk​​ for this article, and for the further gradual erosion of my sanity.___

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2015-03-14 05:11:14 (56 comments, 8 reshares, 162 +1s)Open 

Because you need some questionable horror for your evening.

I'm not sure what's most disturbing: the children's glassy, drugged stares, that make it not quite clear if they're real or dolls, or their father's knowing, almost flirtatious smirk, as he looks in the rear-view mirror.

Mid-century children's books: WTF?

... To Hell!___Because you need some questionable horror for your evening.

I'm not sure what's most disturbing: the children's glassy, drugged stares, that make it not quite clear if they're real or dolls, or their father's knowing, almost flirtatious smirk, as he looks in the rear-view mirror.

Mid-century children's books: WTF?

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2015-03-12 02:50:29 (167 comments, 118 reshares, 459 +1s)Open 

Senator Graham (R-SC), during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, announced his intention to stage a military coup if elected. The exact quote:

"[A]nd here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We’re not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts."

I really have no idea what one can add to this. He wants to use the military to force Congress to give more money to the military. After that, presumably, he would tell the military to go home, and not use them against Congress ever again.

(And as Taub notes in the story, he's not even saying that he'll use the military to hold Congress prisoner until they vote up or down on the issue; he'sgoing... more »

Senator Graham (R-SC), during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, announced his intention to stage a military coup if elected. The exact quote:

"[A]nd here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We’re not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts."

I really have no idea what one can add to this. He wants to use the military to force Congress to give more money to the military. After that, presumably, he would tell the military to go home, and not use them against Congress ever again.

(And as Taub notes in the story, he's not even saying that he'll use the military to hold Congress prisoner until they vote up or down on the issue; he's going to hold them prisoner until they vote a particular way.)

What the ever-loving fuck has this country come to that sitting US Senators consider calling for a military coup to be the sort of thing one does while campaigning for President?

(Audio recording here: http://benswann.com/graham-military-force-congress/)___

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2015-03-12 01:14:02 (67 comments, 55 reshares, 253 +1s)Open 

In 2007, I encountered an unusual news story: the Chinese government had decreed that it would be illegal for Buddhist lamas to reincarnate without government permission. Having already encountered news stories about the Dongzhou Buddha Council, officially described as "a superstitious organization in charge of divine activities in Dongzhou," I started to imagine a special unit of the People's Liberation Army, trained in doctrine and religion, then killed so that they could infiltrate the Celestial Bureaucracy and ensure that nobody reincarnated without authorization.*

This week, postmortem tensions rose again, as the Dalai Lama suggested that he may decide not to reincarnate at all. The Chinese government is apparently quite unhappy with this, and says that this is not up to him: "Decision-making power over the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and over the end or survival of... more »

In 2007, I encountered an unusual news story: the Chinese government had decreed that it would be illegal for Buddhist lamas to reincarnate without government permission. Having already encountered news stories about the Dongzhou Buddha Council, officially described as "a superstitious organization in charge of divine activities in Dongzhou," I started to imagine a special unit of the People's Liberation Army, trained in doctrine and religion, then killed so that they could infiltrate the Celestial Bureaucracy and ensure that nobody reincarnated without authorization.*

This week, postmortem tensions rose again, as the Dalai Lama suggested that he may decide not to reincarnate at all. The Chinese government is apparently quite unhappy with this, and says that this is not up to him: "Decision-making power over the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and over the end or survival of this lineage, resides in the central government of China," according to Party official Zhu Weiqun. 

If you ever thought that government gets too involved in your affairs, you ain't got nothing on the Dalai Lama.


In case it isn't clear, what Zhu is really saying is that the Dalai Lama should have no choice in whether he has a successor; he will have a successor, and that successor will be chosen by Beijing, and that successor will support Chinese official policy in Tibet. There are two things the Chinese government is perpetually terrified of: that regions which it considers "its own" (such as Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, the South China Sea, and for all I can tell also Japan, Australia, and Poland) might openly reject its rule, making its inability to control everyone it wants to manifest and exposing it to collapse; and that a religious or political movement within the country would lead to revolution. Religious movements are particularly worrisome because historically, many of China's biggest revolutions have been driven by the rise of sects like the Yellow Turbans; political movements tend to be driven by dissatisfied high officials with strong regional ties. For similar reasons, they work hard to suppress any notion of regional identity, suppressing local languages and festivals, and moving around populations to create new facts on the ground; this is why there has been a huge (government-sponsored) Han migration into Xinjiang, previously ethnically Uighur, in the past several years.

This is also why you will make enemies by referring to Chinese "languages;" officially, everything from Mandarin to Cantonese to Hakka is a single language, despite being mutually incomprehensible. The official argument is that they share a writing system, but as any linguist will explain to you, written languages are simply additional languages which people speak, not an intrinsic part of a spoken language; written and spoken English differ far more than you might guess. But suggesting that there is not a single Chinese language might imply that there is not a single Chinese people, and so perhaps there should not be a single Chinese state.

To be fair, there is some good reason behind this beyond a simple will to power: when Chinese governments fall, it historically leads to spectacularly bloody civil wars. The Communist takeover (including its various "cleanups" like the Great Leap Forward) cost between 30 and 70 million lives, by most estimates;** the previous uprising, the Taiping Rebellion of 1850-64, killed nearly 20 million, a figure all the more alarming when you realize that it was done mostly with farm implements. It was (by far) the deadliest war in human history at the time, and only the World Wars have surpassed it.

Of course, that's a fancy way of saying that by guaranteeing that any succession to you will have to be incredibly violent, you create a certain kind of incentive to let you stay in power. The overall logic of this, and how it might be applied elsewhere in life, is left as an exercise for the reader. 

* Several years later, this turned into a major plot point of an RPG I was running. The lama which the PC's were looking for turned out to have gone into hiding; he had died, and while an "official" reincarnation had been installed in his place, it quickly became clear that this wasn't the real deal; in fact, this special unit was still looking for the real incarnation, hoping to extract key information from him. The players ultimately found him in the countryside, having reincarnated as a Bactrian camel. When pressed as to why he chose this unusual hiding place, he replied in English: "Camel is sort of like lama, no?"

It is possible that I may have set up that entire year-long plot arc just so I could use that line.

** See e.g. http://necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm#Mao for a collection of estimates by different authors.___

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2015-03-11 22:04:35 (47 comments, 13 reshares, 184 +1s)Open 

OK, so this is kind of beautiful to watch. It's also a profoundly bad idea: don't do this at home, or in the lab, or anywhere else. Quite apart from the fact that you're setting a rather large open fire on your table, the smoke coming off of this is something you really do not want to be inhaling. 

Trimethyl borate isn't particularly useful on its own, but it's a key ingredient in making several more useful substances, like sodium borohydride, which is an important bleaching agent, is important in the production of many antibiotics, and may prove useful in storing hydrogen for fuel. (In all these cases, the material is used as a tool in an intermediate step, and is not part of the finished product) 

It's also a key ingredient in manufacturing triethylborane (TEB), which is used as an igniter for rocket engines and other engines that use very hot-burning fuels,l... more »

OK, so this is kind of beautiful to watch. It's also a profoundly bad idea: don't do this at home, or in the lab, or anywhere else. Quite apart from the fact that you're setting a rather large open fire on your table, the smoke coming off of this is something you really do not want to be inhaling. 

Trimethyl borate isn't particularly useful on its own, but it's a key ingredient in making several more useful substances, like sodium borohydride, which is an important bleaching agent, is important in the production of many antibiotics, and may prove useful in storing hydrogen for fuel. (In all these cases, the material is used as a tool in an intermediate step, and is not part of the finished product) 

It's also a key ingredient in manufacturing triethylborane (TEB), which is used as an igniter for rocket engines and other engines that use very hot-burning fuels, like the ones on an SR-71. TEB is useful as an igniter because it's pyrophoric (bursts into flame very quickly on contact with air) and burns very hot; whenever your fuel and oxidizer aren't hypergolic (i.e., burst into flame on contact with each other) and you need too much heat to use something like an electrical starter like your car does, it's handy. Just don't stand downwind when it fires.

(Really, you shouldn't stand directly behind a rocket engine for a whole host of reasons, and TEB combustion fumes are kind of the least of them)

h/t +David Stroe.___

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2015-03-11 04:26:06 (22 comments, 33 reshares, 215 +1s)Open 

This is kind of wonderful, but also makes me want to go in and adjust everything until it works right again.

Via +Daniel Estrada​

Faig Ahmed: Carpet Woven To Look Like A Glitch.
Join the Simple Science and Interesting Things Community and share interesting stuff!
https://plus.google.com/communities/117518490246975838002

Baku-based artist Faig Ahmed combines the beauty of traditional Azerbaijani rugs with technological glitches in his on-going series of contemporary carpets. Using the artistic qualities of these tapestries, he disassembles their conventional structure to rearrange and fragment it. The result often resembles a rug that doubles as a fascinating modern sculpture
http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/faig-ahmed-glitch-rugs___This is kind of wonderful, but also makes me want to go in and adjust everything until it works right again.

Via +Daniel Estrada​

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2015-03-11 00:24:43 (82 comments, 35 reshares, 249 +1s)Open 

It looks like #GamerGate  has finally achieved something important: it got Congress to lean on the FBI to make harassment and stalking a priority. I'm very happy to hear this: while there are some laws on the books, they're often unevenly enforced, often for the simple reason that police departments don't know they exist, or because local law enforcement has very little experience with the Internet as a whole and doesn't really know what's going on. 

I'm also going to take this as an opportunity to recommend a very important new book on the subject. +Danielle Keats Citron of the University of Maryland just put out Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, which is possibly the best book written on the subject. She studies the situation, explains the range of things going on, what the law and social customs are like, and offers a range of concrete proposals, for everything from lawen... more »

It looks like #GamerGate  has finally achieved something important: it got Congress to lean on the FBI to make harassment and stalking a priority. I'm very happy to hear this: while there are some laws on the books, they're often unevenly enforced, often for the simple reason that police departments don't know they exist, or because local law enforcement has very little experience with the Internet as a whole and doesn't really know what's going on. 

I'm also going to take this as an opportunity to recommend a very important new book on the subject. +Danielle Keats Citron of the University of Maryland just put out Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, which is possibly the best book written on the subject. She studies the situation, explains the range of things going on, what the law and social customs are like, and offers a range of concrete proposals, for everything from law enforcement to legislation to company policies.

Those who have worked with me or discussed serious legal or policy issues with me know that I am not famous for saying yes to proposals; rather, I tend to respond with half a dozen complicated corner cases designed to show all the ways in which a proposal can go wrong. So you may particularly appreciate how rare it is for me to say that this analysis is profoundly nuanced, comes with a deep understanding of tradeoffs and consequences, and seems overall quite feasible and to include numerous good ideas. If you're at all interested in this subject, I strongly recommend picking it up.

https://books.google.com/books?id=wmiABAAAQBAJ___

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2015-03-10 08:10:00 (64 comments, 69 reshares, 233 +1s)Open 

Some unusual science for the day: Using modern computer science to understand just where Rock n' Roll came from. Normally, people who talk about the history of music break it down into genres which have a lot to do with marketing, country of origin, and so on, and talk about individual bands as historical influences on each other. But these boundaries can be quite arbitrary: for example, "gospel" and "rock" are considered very far apart, but if you go back to the 1950's, rock was so influenced by gospel that it was hard to tell them apart at times.

So these researchers tried something else. They analyzed the songs which topped the US charts from 1960 to 2010, about 17,000 in all. For each song, they examined features not of the marketing around the music, but of the music itself: instrumentation, chord changes, timbre, types of harmony. They then used a technique... more »

Some unusual science for the day: Using modern computer science to understand just where Rock n' Roll came from. Normally, people who talk about the history of music break it down into genres which have a lot to do with marketing, country of origin, and so on, and talk about individual bands as historical influences on each other. But these boundaries can be quite arbitrary: for example, "gospel" and "rock" are considered very far apart, but if you go back to the 1950's, rock was so influenced by gospel that it was hard to tell them apart at times.

So these researchers tried something else. They analyzed the songs which topped the US charts from 1960 to 2010, about 17,000 in all. For each song, they examined features not of the marketing around the music, but of the music itself: instrumentation, chord changes, timbre, types of harmony. They then used a technique called "k-means" to find the natural clusters into which the songs fell by these measures, and found thirteen natural groupings. To understand these groupings better, they adapted a technique from molecular genetics which is used to understand the functions of genes: they took song tags from last.fm, and did a mathematical analysis to see which song tags were most strongly associated with each cluster. (For example, if one cluster had songs tagged "R&B" far more often than the other clusters did, it's a good sign that this tag describes the cluster) 

They came up with 13 clusters -- what you might call the "purely musical" genres of the music, since they're based entirely on the songs' musical qualities, not on the politics or marketing around them. These ranged from cluster #2 (hip hop / rap / gangsta rap / old school) to #9 (classic rock / country / rock / singer-songwriter) to #8 (dance / new wave / pop / electronic). 

The image you see a bit of below is the history of the popularity of these genres over time, with 1960 at the bottom of the graph and 2010 at the top. You can see the sudden rise of rap (leftmost column), the gradual vanishing of jazz and the blues from the charts (the dwindling figure center-right), and the coming and going of hard rock (the dark blue bubbly thing at the center).

Interestingly, they have answered one important historical question, about the significance of the British Invasion: apparently no, this was not the key catalyst of the revolution in American music; the revolution was already well underway before the Beatles arrived in 1964. (Which shouldn't really surprise people too much, given that this is where rock came from) 

If you look at the bottom of the image, you'll notice a tree structure which the summary on the arXiv blog doesn't talk about; you'll have to read the article itself (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.05417v1.pdf) for that. It's basically a genetic tree of these genres of music. This is constructed using the same techniques of "genetic relatedness" which are used to create modern evolutionary trees of species, only instead of being based on DNA snippets, they're based on those underlying musical features like chord changes which were the basis of the clustering. So you can see (for example) that hip-hop comes from a completely different ancestry than all the other observed genres, while pairs like country and classic rock are close relatives.

Why is this interesting? Apart from the obvious fun of studying music history using the methods of molecular biology, it shows the ways in which these techniques can be used to describe a whole host of things. To make this work, what you need is a large sample of items to classify (here, songs); for each item, a large collection of features to measure (a few hundred at least; in this case, things like chord changes and instrumentation); and if you want to be able to describe the function of these features, have functional labels (here, song tags) for at least a good collection of the items you want to classify. Then you can do a "genetic analysis," grouping them into families, observing family trees, and (if you have additional data, like the year of release in this case) understand things like the evolution of these groups over time or space.

What's marvelous is that you can do this sort of analysis with all sorts of things. Do it on news articles, with the features being words, and you'll discover that they cluster into stories, which in turn cluster into subjects. (Why? Because you'll see, say, a bunch of stories with the word "Brezhnev" which also include references to the USSR, and these come and go over time, and at later times start to also include stories about "Andropov," "Chernenko," and "Gorbachev." Depending on how finely you slice these, you can either see the life of a politician, or the history of the Soviet Union.) Do it on a city's road network, with features involving the number of cars on each chunk of the road at a given time, and you'll discover... well, I'm not sure what you'll discover. I don't know if anyone's ever done that analysis. But you could do it and find out.

This is the real magic of data analysis: it gives you new ways to stare at what seem like hopelessly complex piles of data, and see meaningful patterns.___

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2015-03-09 21:30:11 (59 comments, 18 reshares, 182 +1s)Open 

Katy Levinson writes a compelling article about how dealing with sexism, and especially sexual harassment, in tech is a lot like being a whistleblower. She also gives three concrete, and very good, proposals for things to do as organizations and as leaders.

I would add a fourth: remember that the people who will call you on your mistakes -- even your very serious ones, ones for which you are likely to face real consequences -- are your most important friends. We all miss things, we all mess things up, we all do things wrong sometimes, and the only way to function whenever you're doing anything important is to have people around who can look at a situation from many angles and tell each other when something is wrong. 

In particular: when you have a whistleblower in your organization, cherish them. Don't simply accept them and leave them to dangle in the wind: these people are... more »

Katy Levinson writes a compelling article about how dealing with sexism, and especially sexual harassment, in tech is a lot like being a whistleblower. She also gives three concrete, and very good, proposals for things to do as organizations and as leaders.

I would add a fourth: remember that the people who will call you on your mistakes -- even your very serious ones, ones for which you are likely to face real consequences -- are your most important friends. We all miss things, we all mess things up, we all do things wrong sometimes, and the only way to function whenever you're doing anything important is to have people around who can look at a situation from many angles and tell each other when something is wrong. 

In particular: when you have a whistleblower in your organization, cherish them. Don't simply accept them and leave them to dangle in the wind: these people are extremely important to you. Make blowing the whistle when it's needed something that furthers someone's career, not something that destroys it.

Via +A.V. Flox ___

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2015-03-09 18:15:39 (127 comments, 35 reshares, 324 +1s)Open 

Really, why is this still a thing? I have yet to hear a single decent argument in its favor. Personally, I've always suspected that it was part of some kind of conspiracy by morning people: it means that in the winter, when daylight is scarce, people awake early in the day get more daylight hours, whereas in the summer, when there's already a surplus of light, people get more of it in the evening. So every spring, we get to lose an hour of sleep, and every fall, we get to suddenly never see the sun because it's set by the time people leave work.

Seriously, why are we doing this?

Really, why is this still a thing? I have yet to hear a single decent argument in its favor. Personally, I've always suspected that it was part of some kind of conspiracy by morning people: it means that in the winter, when daylight is scarce, people awake early in the day get more daylight hours, whereas in the summer, when there's already a surplus of light, people get more of it in the evening. So every spring, we get to lose an hour of sleep, and every fall, we get to suddenly never see the sun because it's set by the time people leave work.

Seriously, why are we doing this?___

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2015-03-07 11:22:15 (46 comments, 50 reshares, 224 +1s)Open 

This is a bizarre enough story that it's worth a read. Arlan Galbraith is now serving a seven-year prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme -- only instead of moving money from one investor to another, to hide the lack of real profits, he moved around pigeons. The "Pigeon King"'s business involved selling breeding pairs of pigeons to investors, and promising to buy the resulting pigeons back from them at a fixed price; as time passed, the idea was that these pigeons would be sold either for racing or as food. But no such market actually existed, and the pigeons he bought were simply sent off to other investors.

As with a classical Ponzi scheme -- in which investments from new suckers are used to pay off the original investors -- this only continues to work so long as he can keep finding new investors. But when what you're moving isn't money but live birds, any excess... more »

This is a bizarre enough story that it's worth a read. Arlan Galbraith is now serving a seven-year prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme -- only instead of moving money from one investor to another, to hide the lack of real profits, he moved around pigeons. The "Pigeon King"'s business involved selling breeding pairs of pigeons to investors, and promising to buy the resulting pigeons back from them at a fixed price; as time passed, the idea was that these pigeons would be sold either for racing or as food. But no such market actually existed, and the pigeons he bought were simply sent off to other investors.

As with a classical Ponzi scheme -- in which investments from new suckers are used to pay off the original investors -- this only continues to work so long as he can keep finding new investors. But when what you're moving isn't money but live birds, any excess pigeons that you haven't been able to use to lure in investors aren't profit, they're birds which you have to house and feed. Which probably has something to do with why people do not, generally, try to run Ponzi schemes using live animals as currency.

What's strange about this case is that it's very hard to tell whether or not Galbraith understood that he was running a scam. As the article puts it, to tell whether he was a "skilled con man or hapless businessman or hapless con man or all three" is nearly impossible.

But it's as unusual an implementation of the idea of the Ponzi scheme as you're likely to ever see, and the story of this man, and his victims, is quite fascinating.___

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2015-03-07 04:50:45 (62 comments, 23 reshares, 128 +1s)Open 

In which several notable linguists, including +Gretchen McCulloch​​, opine on the rise of the standalone subordinate clause on the Internet, a proposition about trends in grammar is raised, and the passive voice is used somewhat unnecessarily, but to excellent dramatic effect.

IN WHICH, we subordinate a clause...

I’m a fan of all the betentacled linguistic lifeforms that have emerged from our cambrian explosion online. These days, people write insanely more text than they did before the Internet and mobile phones came along. So the volume of experimentation is correspondingly massive and, for me, delightful. One joy of our age is watching wordplay evolve at the pace of E.coli.

[...]

Subordinate-clause tweets and Yik-Yak postings seduce us into filling out that missing info, McCulloch says. “Our brain has to work a little bit harder to figure out what it’s referring to, and so making that connection is very satisfying. It’s like getting a joke. You have to draw that connection for yourself a little bit — but because you can do it, it works really well.”

A historic parallel? The crazy, long chapter headings in 19th-century novels, which often were also dependent clauses, inviting the reader to imagine the rest of the baroque narrative. “In Which Our Protagonist Meets A Dashing Stranger,” McCulloch jokes. “The ‘in which’ is doing a very similar thing.”

h/t +Daniel Estrada 

https://medium.com/message/that-way-we-re-all-talking-now-49e255037f15___In which several notable linguists, including +Gretchen McCulloch​​, opine on the rise of the standalone subordinate clause on the Internet, a proposition about trends in grammar is raised, and the passive voice is used somewhat unnecessarily, but to excellent dramatic effect.

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2015-03-06 04:57:46 (54 comments, 29 reshares, 300 +1s)Open 

No more need be said.

"Captchas are getting hard. Last one wanted to know why I wasn't helping a tortoise that I'd flipped on its back in the middle of the desert."
Source: https://twitter.com/DJBogtrotter/status/573603729578061824
#nerdhumor   #nerdhumour   #scifi   #sciencefiction  ___No more need be said.

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2015-03-05 22:06:41 (48 comments, 31 reshares, 236 +1s)Open 

Some things seem so natural to us that we forget to ask why they happen. One of those is "old age:" in most species, creatures continue to produce young their entire lives, and by the time they can't, they're generally dead. In humans, on the other hand, elders serve extremely important roles, especially in preliterate societies: they act as central repositories of knowledge. For rare but catastrophic events like major droughts or storms, which may happen once in 50 years or more, the difference between having someone who has survived such an event before around and not is often the difference between life and death for the entire tribe.

Very few species share this with us: for elders to act as a store of knowledge, they must be able to communicate and share that knowledge, which requires complex social minds. 

According to this new study, orcas are apparently one of those... more »

This study on female whales, who give birth until about the age of 40 but often  live to the age of 90, sheds light on the evolutionary benefit of "senescence': the years we live following our most reproductively fertile years.   ~RA

Menopause is a downright bizarre trait among animals. It's also rare. Outside of the human species, only the female members of two whale species outlive their reproductive lives in such a major way. Female killer whales typically become mothers between the ages of 12 and 40, but they can live for more than 90 years. Males rarely make it past 50. Now, researchers have new evidence to explain why.
*

Older individuals serve as key leaders, directing younger members of whale society, and especially their own sons, to the best spots for landing tasty meals of salmon. In so doing, older females help their kin to survive. This leadership role takes on special significance in difficult years when salmon are harder to come by.

The researchers say the discovery offers the first evidence that a benefit of prolonged life after reproduction is that post-reproductive individuals act as repositories of ecological knowledge.

"Menopause is one of nature's great mysteries," says Lauren Brent of the University of Exeter. "Our study is the first to demonstrate that the value gained from the wisdom of elders may be one reason female killer whales continue to live long after they have stopped reproducing."

To understand why menopause is such a great mystery, it's important to recall that evolution is all about reproduction and survival. Traits that enable individuals to pass more of their genes onto the next generation win out. The question, then, was how to explain the fact that killer whale females could live for decades beyond their ability to pass on any genes to future generations directly.

CONT___Some things seem so natural to us that we forget to ask why they happen. One of those is "old age:" in most species, creatures continue to produce young their entire lives, and by the time they can't, they're generally dead. In humans, on the other hand, elders serve extremely important roles, especially in preliterate societies: they act as central repositories of knowledge. For rare but catastrophic events like major droughts or storms, which may happen once in 50 years or more, the difference between having someone who has survived such an event before around and not is often the difference between life and death for the entire tribe.

Very few species share this with us: for elders to act as a store of knowledge, they must be able to communicate and share that knowledge, which requires complex social minds. 

According to this new study, orcas are apparently one of those rare species: they live well beyond menopause, and these elders become critical group leaders, especially when food availability becomes unusually low.

So when you encounter these apex predators -- some of the most intelligent and fearsome hunters in our world -- realize that they have acquired their sophistication not just through individual intelligence, but through profound social and intergenerational links.

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2015-03-05 21:25:52 (45 comments, 9 reshares, 152 +1s)Open 

Thinking about the cognitive worlds of other animals is always fascinating, but octopodes are among the strangest of all: because of the rather unusual way their central nervous system (it's almost hard to say "brain" here) is organized, each tentacle is partially independent of the body. As +Andreas Schou puts it, an octopus "is probably something like an unruly parliament of snakes ruled by a dog."

Of course, that doesn't stop them from being incredibly sneaky bastards.

Science fiction often talks about "starfish aliens," aliens whose psychology is as different from ours as a starfish's. But "octopus aliens" may actually be closer to the mark: something which unquestionably shows signs of complex thought and intelligence, but which does it in a way very different from what we're used to.

What in god's name was this octopus trying to do?

Maybe that's the wrong question. There's no question that octopi are smart -- they can puzzle their way through surprisingly complex tasks -- but they're also not a lot like humans. There's only a limited extent that we can empathize with animals -- and there's a good chance that we'll get it wrong. (c.f. http://goo.gl/D8yjd)

Octopi, though. Octopi are particularly difficult, and I don't know if "volition" is really the right model to describe what this animal is trying to do.

Most of an octopus' neurons are in its arms. The rest are in a donut-shaped brain that surrounds its digestive tract. Vision and hearing are handled centrally, but proprioception, smell, touch, and taste are mostly delegated to the nerve cords in the arms. Which means that, subjectively, an octopus is probably something like an unruly parliament of snakes ruled by a dog. 

If you've ever gotten a chance to interact with an octopus in person, you'll find that it really doesn't have much control over the details of what its tentacles do. Run your finger over the sensory surface, and its suckers will cup your fingers and the end will curl around it. Only afterward -- when the octopus actually looks at what you're doing -- does the octopus seem to get a grip on what its tentacle is gripping. 

This octopus is crawling out of its tank. But it probably doesn't have a great idea about where the tips of its tentacles are, and -- because it can't see what its arms are doing -- probably doesn't yet know that it's trying to make a break for freedom. ___Thinking about the cognitive worlds of other animals is always fascinating, but octopodes are among the strangest of all: because of the rather unusual way their central nervous system (it's almost hard to say "brain" here) is organized, each tentacle is partially independent of the body. As +Andreas Schou puts it, an octopus "is probably something like an unruly parliament of snakes ruled by a dog."

Of course, that doesn't stop them from being incredibly sneaky bastards.

Science fiction often talks about "starfish aliens," aliens whose psychology is as different from ours as a starfish's. But "octopus aliens" may actually be closer to the mark: something which unquestionably shows signs of complex thought and intelligence, but which does it in a way very different from what we're used to.

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2015-03-04 18:09:11 (21 comments, 31 reshares, 180 +1s)Open 

Wow. Seriously, wow. You should click through the link to see a gallery of more of these. 

If I had a big open wall somewhere in my house, I would want something like this painted on it.

Murals of Greek Gods Rendered Against a Chaotic Backdrop of Graffiti by Pichi & Avo

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/03/murals-of-greek-gods-rendered-against-the-backdrop-of-graffiti-by-pichi-avo/___Wow. Seriously, wow. You should click through the link to see a gallery of more of these. 

If I had a big open wall somewhere in my house, I would want something like this painted on it.

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2015-03-04 03:20:41 (58 comments, 15 reshares, 134 +1s)Open 

This is weird. This is not necessarily practical. This is also somewhat beautiful, and I find many aspects of it extremely appealing - to the extent that I'd seriously consider getting one. Shells in materials like wood, brass, and copper; attachments for pocket chains and USB; clever use of the round shape as a control surface.

I often feel that our designs quickly find a single thing that sort of works, and then companies all compete around that central notion. That's both at the functional level - eg, the typical smartphone form factor - and at the aesthetic, eg the current obsession with making things "premium" with lots of brushed metal and variants in gold tone. Even if this device never takes off - as it quite likely won't - I'm glad they're exploring the space.

Via +God Emperor Lionel Lauer​ and +Irreverent Monk​.

Easily the strangest thing we've seen out of Mobile World Congress this year...___This is weird. This is not necessarily practical. This is also somewhat beautiful, and I find many aspects of it extremely appealing - to the extent that I'd seriously consider getting one. Shells in materials like wood, brass, and copper; attachments for pocket chains and USB; clever use of the round shape as a control surface.

I often feel that our designs quickly find a single thing that sort of works, and then companies all compete around that central notion. That's both at the functional level - eg, the typical smartphone form factor - and at the aesthetic, eg the current obsession with making things "premium" with lots of brushed metal and variants in gold tone. Even if this device never takes off - as it quite likely won't - I'm glad they're exploring the space.

Via +God Emperor Lionel Lauer​ and +Irreverent Monk​.

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2015-03-03 22:59:08 (32 comments, 44 reshares, 169 +1s)Open 

While I'm not sure you would ever actually need to do this, I find this pleasing: there's a technique that lets you find a point any given fraction along the length of an edge of a square of paper, using nothing but folding the page. You want to find the spot exactly 3/7 of the way down the side without a ruler? Here you go.

Really, this is tied to my fascination with mechanical calculation as a whole. There's a whole art out there of computing things using the physical motion of objects, which (until the invention of working electronic computers) had tremendous practical significance -- that's everything from a slide rule or an abacus up to the incredibly intricate and beautiful Curta calculators of the 1940's-70's. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loI1Kwed8Pk) At the extreme, it was used to build full-scale computers, like the fire control computers used in ships.... more »

While I'm not sure you would ever actually need to do this, I find this pleasing: there's a technique that lets you find a point any given fraction along the length of an edge of a square of paper, using nothing but folding the page. You want to find the spot exactly 3/7 of the way down the side without a ruler? Here you go.

Really, this is tied to my fascination with mechanical calculation as a whole. There's a whole art out there of computing things using the physical motion of objects, which (until the invention of working electronic computers) had tremendous practical significance -- that's everything from a slide rule or an abacus up to the incredibly intricate and beautiful Curta calculators of the 1940's-70's. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loI1Kwed8Pk) At the extreme, it was used to build full-scale computers, like the fire control computers used in ships. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1i-dnAH9Y4)

The realization of mathematics in physical objects is beautiful.

Via +Alexander Kruel and +John Baez.___

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2015-03-03 21:24:52 (160 comments, 61 reshares, 361 +1s)Open 

If you've ever had to deal with contact management in GMail, you'll appreciate our launch today -- the preview of the new contacts.google.com. Your eyeballs (and your urge for a good UX) will thank you.

(For those of you who are excited by org charts, Contacts also are part of Bradley's bailiwick, along with Photos and our stream products, Google+, Blogger, and News.)

Big launch for the team today!  We've hugely improved Google Contacts.  The once tedious task of "managing" your contacts on Google has been made a lot easier, more intelligent... and more beautiful...  The launch is still a 'preview', so go to contacts.google.com/preview, check it out, and let them know what you think!___If you've ever had to deal with contact management in GMail, you'll appreciate our launch today -- the preview of the new contacts.google.com. Your eyeballs (and your urge for a good UX) will thank you.

(For those of you who are excited by org charts, Contacts also are part of Bradley's bailiwick, along with Photos and our stream products, Google+, Blogger, and News.)

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2015-03-03 02:14:58 (68 comments, 18 reshares, 226 +1s)Open 

Our new NSA Director, Mike "Backdoor all the things!" Rogers, then and now.

Meth: Not Even Once.

(For those who haven't seen the interview where he explained his position on backdoors: http://goo.gl/eL5Jx1 . Note to the wise: There ain't no such thing as a backdoor that works for some people and not others.)

Our new NSA Director, Mike "Backdoor all the things!" Rogers, then and now.

Meth: Not Even Once.

(For those who haven't seen the interview where he explained his position on backdoors: http://goo.gl/eL5Jx1 . Note to the wise: There ain't no such thing as a backdoor that works for some people and not others.)___

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2015-03-02 23:01:24 (105 comments, 14 reshares, 248 +1s)Open 

Humans did not evolve to eat the starchy and sugary foods which we consume today. Our paleolithic forebears knew that they should be eating vegetables, nuts, and raw protein -- and when they needed to lose weight fast, there was one trick which never failed. And for only $29.99, you can learn about it, too!

(This diet plan is perfect. Nothing can go wrong.)

(Also, despite what +Charles Barouch may imply, I actually am an honest-to-Cthulhu Doctor. See! You can clearly trust my diet advice. Hey, I'm at least as qualified as Vani Hari.)

+Yonatan Zunger has a new book coming out...

Read the original announcement (buried in the comments) here:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/103389452828130864950/posts/jkqCGLTyM3L___Humans did not evolve to eat the starchy and sugary foods which we consume today. Our paleolithic forebears knew that they should be eating vegetables, nuts, and raw protein -- and when they needed to lose weight fast, there was one trick which never failed. And for only $29.99, you can learn about it, too!

(This diet plan is perfect. Nothing can go wrong.)

(Also, despite what +Charles Barouch may imply, I actually am an honest-to-Cthulhu Doctor. See! You can clearly trust my diet advice. Hey, I'm at least as qualified as Vani Hari.)

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2015-03-02 20:11:54 (20 comments, 21 reshares, 362 +1s)Open 

Quantum mechanics: more dangerous than you may suspect.

Via +Koushik Dutta​

"BRING ME SCHRÖDINGER’S HEAD!"___Quantum mechanics: more dangerous than you may suspect.

Via +Koushik Dutta​

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2015-03-02 01:14:16 (63 comments, 29 reshares, 260 +1s)Open 

Science makes great inspirational quotes. From +A.V. Flox: "You are not alone. Only one tenth of the trillion cells that make up our bodies are human -- the rest are microbial. No matter how lonely you feel, your microbes are with you and always will be."

Wherever you go, there will always be lactobacillus and E. coli, right there with you.

More inspirational quotes at https://www.pinterest.com/avflox/sciencepirational/ . She is also, apparently, taking requests / suggestions.

Science makes great inspirational quotes. From +A.V. Flox: "You are not alone. Only one tenth of the trillion cells that make up our bodies are human -- the rest are microbial. No matter how lonely you feel, your microbes are with you and always will be."

Wherever you go, there will always be lactobacillus and E. coli, right there with you.

More inspirational quotes at https://www.pinterest.com/avflox/sciencepirational/ . She is also, apparently, taking requests / suggestions.___

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2015-02-27 21:32:40 (19 comments, 76 reshares, 593 +1s)Open 

Leonard Nimoy's (ז"ל) last tweet, from a few days ago: a perfect capsule of the things which made him so dear to so many people's hearts, and a fitting epitaph.

Leonard Nimoy's (ז"ל) last tweet, from a few days ago: a perfect capsule of the things which made him so dear to so many people's hearts, and a fitting epitaph.___

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2015-02-27 18:05:32 (41 comments, 47 reshares, 480 +1s)Open 

While this had been expected for a while, I am sad to say that today we lost a man who was a great artist, a great actor, and an all-around mensch. The world will be poorer without him.

While this had been expected for a while, I am sad to say that today we lost a man who was a great artist, a great actor, and an all-around mensch. The world will be poorer without him.___

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2015-02-26 00:35:27 (125 comments, 222 reshares, 493 +1s)Open 

In further news, the US House of Representatives has continued their plans to bring about the Apocalypse, passing a bill (on almost exactly party lines) to effectively ban scientists from being on the EPA's scientific advisory board. Under these new rules, anyone who has done research on anything which the board studies is considered to have a conflict of interest, and therefore cannot sit on the board. Fortunately, simply having a financial stake in the matters which the board studies does not constitute a conflict of interest, so the scientific advisory board continues to be open to corporate public affairs officers, demented preachers, or roving madmen off the street.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate, where it has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the committee chaired by Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming... more »

In further news, the US House of Representatives has continued their plans to bring about the Apocalypse, passing a bill (on almost exactly party lines) to effectively ban scientists from being on the EPA's scientific advisory board. Under these new rules, anyone who has done research on anything which the board studies is considered to have a conflict of interest, and therefore cannot sit on the board. Fortunately, simply having a financial stake in the matters which the board studies does not constitute a conflict of interest, so the scientific advisory board continues to be open to corporate public affairs officers, demented preachers, or roving madmen off the street.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate, where it has been referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the committee chaired by Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future and other light classics, in which he tells us that because of the existence of God, the "arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is... outrageous." So in all, it's a good year for public affairs officers, demented preachers, and roving madmen off the street in all aspects of our government, and I forecast excellent career opportunities for each of these categories going forward. 

h/t +Peter da Silva for the link.___

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2015-02-25 18:40:47 (81 comments, 42 reshares, 457 +1s)Open 

Some things never change. "Please inscribe your complaint on a clay tablet, bake it in the sun, and then..."

1750 BC problems.

via Reddit___Some things never change. "Please inscribe your complaint on a clay tablet, bake it in the sun, and then..."

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2015-02-25 06:36:59 (58 comments, 22 reshares, 136 +1s)Open 

The Soviet fox domestication (not taming!) experiments are pretty fascinating. But what is it like to actually have one as a pet? What kinds of people import them? Why do humans want unusual animals as pets, anyway? And would you like to see a video of a domesticated fox?

All these questions answered, and more.

I'd read about the Soviet fox domestication experiment many times before, but this had a lot to say about other animals people have had as pets, and was rather amusingly written.___The Soviet fox domestication (not taming!) experiments are pretty fascinating. But what is it like to actually have one as a pet? What kinds of people import them? Why do humans want unusual animals as pets, anyway? And would you like to see a video of a domesticated fox?

All these questions answered, and more.

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2015-02-24 18:49:11 (28 comments, 13 reshares, 163 +1s)Open 

Betelgeuse -- Orion's left shoulder -- is one of the closest red supergiants to us. It's quite possible that it will explode "soon." (Where "soon" is defined in astronomical terms, as anytime between "600 years ago" and "one million years from now." Since the star is 600 light-years away, we can only see what it looked like back then; it may have already exploded, for all we know) This article tells you a bit about what it will look like when it does.

The short version is that the star will have an apparent magnitude of -10 (about as bright as a quarter moon) for a few years. That would make it visible during the day if you look for it, but bright enough to cast shadows at night. (For those of you who enjoy photography, apparent magnitude is related to exposure value by EV = - 1.32(AM + 1.35), so it would have an exposure value of 11.4 stops if you... more »

"If Betelgeuse explodes right now, could we see it with naked eye?"

One of the great, catastrophic truths of the Universe is that everything has an expiration date. And this includes every single point of light in the entire sky. The most massive stars will die in a spectacular supernova explosion when their final stage of core fuel runs out. At only an estimated 600 light years distant, Betelgeuse is one (along with Antares) of the closest red supergiants to us, and it’s estimated to have only perhaps 100,000 years until it reaches the end of its life. Here's the story on what we can expect to see (and feel) on Earth when Betelgeuse explodes!___Betelgeuse -- Orion's left shoulder -- is one of the closest red supergiants to us. It's quite possible that it will explode "soon." (Where "soon" is defined in astronomical terms, as anytime between "600 years ago" and "one million years from now." Since the star is 600 light-years away, we can only see what it looked like back then; it may have already exploded, for all we know) This article tells you a bit about what it will look like when it does.

The short version is that the star will have an apparent magnitude of -10 (about as bright as a quarter moon) for a few years. That would make it visible during the day if you look for it, but bright enough to cast shadows at night. (For those of you who enjoy photography, apparent magnitude is related to exposure value by EV = - 1.32(AM + 1.35), so it would have an exposure value of 11.4 stops if you pointed a camera directly at it, like a piece of art in a well-lit gallery. The light it cast on the surface would be like a quarter-moon, about EV -6.) 

No, it would not roast us. But it would look pretty cool.

Via +Ciro Villa 

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