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Updated: 55 min 35 sec ago

Dark Alliance Is Going To Disappoint You - But Couch Co-Op Might Have Saved It

Jun 23 2021 - 16:06
I can know when I played a game based on whether or not I had time to play the game. Right now, for example, I have time, my kids are older, so "Frostpunk" and "The Division" will be locked into their high school years. Before they were born I had time because my wife and I would devote whole weekends to binge-watching "24" (before streaming services, there was the outstanding Replay DVR, and it even let you skip commercials) or playing a game together.

Remember when people played games together? On a couch?

It still happens but both "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" (2001) and "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II" (2004), while indifferent when it came to the actual story, were a blast playing with other people in the room on the same Playstation. 

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Beekeeper Survey Shows 6% Higher Losses Last Year Than The 39% Average

Jun 23 2021 - 13:06
Honeybees die each year in great quantities and some years are worse than others. Since they are a big business, primarily as roving pollinators for crops that need them at a certain time (like almonds(1) there is always a concern about how to keep losses low.

Causes of death were once a moving target. For as long as records of bees have been kept, there have been reports of extraordinary die-offs, recorded all the way back to the Dark Ages. Now we know the big problem are pests like varroa mites but there are also concerns about harsh winters, land use, and some environmental groups even try to raise money claiming it might be pesticides used on crops.

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How To Speak Cicada

Jun 23 2021 - 06:06

(Inside Science) -- When you first hear it, a cicada chorus may sound like simple buzzing. But to a cicada, that cacophony is full of meaning. 

There are three species in Brood X, the cohort of 17-year cicadas now emerging in much of the eastern U.S. Members of each species congregate with their own kind and talk to each other with their own species-specific sounds. Males sing to court females and "jam" the songs of other males, while females make clicks with their wings to encourage or repel suitors. 

Humans can learn to decode these sounds. John Cooley, a biologist at the University of Connecticut, can speak cicada so well he can seduce insects of either sex. He uses his voice to imitate males and gentle finger snaps to imitate females. 

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The Male Reproduction Apocalypse That Never Was

Jun 22 2021 - 12:06

As Carl Sagan once said, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

You may have recently read some extraordinary claims that total sperm count has dramatically declined among “Western” men and that endocrine disrupters - but only the synthetic kind, not natural ones - are the reason. The extraordinary evidence is lacking.

Scientists from the Harvard GenderSci Lab are putting the brakes on the alleged “apocalyptic” trends in male reproduction

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Voices From Stone: How A Scottish Graveyard Reveals The Untold Stories Of Colonial Women In India

Jun 22 2021 - 06:06

When I was a child growing up in Kolkata, I would hear stories about the European colonisation of Bengal – the precolonial name of India’s West Bengal. These were selective narratives from a particularly male perspective, and presented colonisers as transforming social benefactors installed to provide a civilising influence. The rich histories of Indian philosophy that were once associated with religion, education and health were replaced by the colonial philosophy of conversion, modernising and improvement.

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Gain Of Function Research And Why It Matters

Jun 21 2021 - 11:06

Due to unanswered questions into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, both the U.S. government and scientists have called for a deeper examination into the validity of claims that a virus could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.

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Reducing Errors In Two-Qubit Gates Bodes Well For Quantum Computing

Jun 21 2021 - 10:06

Most people in the tech world are well aware of quantum computing. Sci-Tech Daily mentions that quantum computing utilizes the power of quantum mechanics to perform calculations exponentially faster than the processors we currently have today. Quantum computing uses elements smaller than an atom to complete its processes.

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Organic Activists, Anti-Vaxxers, And Scientologists Claim We're A Corporate 'Front' Group. Their Disinformation Exposed

Jun 21 2021 - 10:06
Activist groups that endorse the organic manufacturing and are opposed to agricultural biotechnology (GMOs and gene edited crops and animals) try to claim that the Genetic Literacy Project is a “corporate front group that was formerly funded by Monsanto” — a statement found on the SourceWatch site owned by Democratic political party activists is one example.

It’s not true but what is true is that these accusations are a collaboration between extremists financed by the far left fringe of the organic community in partnership with the Church of Scientology and anti-vaccine scaremongers like Robery F. Kennedy, Jr. 

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COVID-19 Ignited The Era Of Real-World-Evidence. Now, Let’s Bring It On To Accelerate Cancer Research

Jun 19 2021 - 08:06

As we exit the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care community must consider how to apply lessons learned over the past year to improve quality of care and patient outcomes across the health care spectrum.  One critic

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COVID-19 May Accomplish The Medical Tort Reform That Predatory Lawyers Have Blocked

Jun 18 2021 - 13:06
One little-known secret in the medical community is that it is not greedy doctors or insurance companies or hospitals that made health care so expensive. It is unnecessary tests and procedures doctors and hospitals must do in order to check off the boxes for the inevitable lawsuit. They are waiting to pounce on doctors and hospitals while wrapping themselves in the flag of 'holding the medical establishment accountable' and that keeps doctors and hospitals doing some things twice. And some things doctors know are unneeded but must do.

From neurosurgery to dermatology, nearly all doctors practice this "defensive medicine" and it isn't, as conspirators claim, to make more money - it is to avoid blame if something goes wrong with a patient that was basically unavoidable.(1)

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Scientific American Unpublishes Anti-Semitic Article

Jun 18 2021 - 09:06
If you are one of the many who no longer subscribe to Scientific American, few are surprised. There is a reason they got sold for a dollar, and that reason is that they lost the trust of science readers when they became not only political, but overwhelmingly partisan. Being covertly partisan means you can even be bigoted, if the demographic you are prejudiced against is acceptable to the base.

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Do COVID-19 Vaccines Fan The Flames Of Myocarditis?

Jun 16 2021 - 08:06
Since COVID-19 emerged on the global scene, the heart has been the centre of action. Cardiovascular disease increases the risk of severe illness and death, and injuries to the heart and blood vessels are common complications.

Recent reports linking COVID-19 vaccinations of young adults to a heart condition called myocarditis are the most recent chapter in this story. Is this link a real-life medical mystery or a work of fiction?

What is Myocarditis?

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Anti-GMO Anti-Vaccine Organic Consumers Association Inspires Sokal-Type Hoax That Snared Regeneration International

Jun 15 2021 - 18:06
How hard is it to get "organic" certified?

About as hard as you think it would be when the companies that do the "certification" only make their money certifying organic farms and collecting the fees. It has about as much legitimacy as buying a Ph.D. in Theoretical Phys Ed in the mail.

There is a good reason that about 25 percent of organic food is just overpriced regular food and that reason is - there are no surprise spot checks on farms in America and if you believe Russia or China are telling the truth about their organic process, they have a bat from Wuhan wet market they'd like to sell you.

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'Hygiene Theater' Isn't Going Away, And We Can Thank The CDC For That

Jun 14 2021 - 18:06
"Hygiene theater", the kind of symbolism that makes people feel like they are caring about their fellow humans, isn't going away, so get used to having someone unqualified stick a thermometer up to your forehead and we'll all pretend your grandmother will die if they don't.

The reason is the CDC, and then ridiculously hyperactive states like California, who still haven't even adopted the overly conservative stance of the CDC. Vaccinated or not, you have to wear a mask unless you are drinking coffee - and they weirdly tried to tell people to mask up between sips, the opposite of what every expert says.

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Wuhan Coronavirus Mutater Shi Zhengli Says Things Are Just Fine

Jun 14 2021 - 14:06
If you are old enough to remember Baghdad Bob, Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf was the spokesperson for Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein who, no matter how bad things were, insisted they were on the verge of winning against a United Nations that was going to dethrone him.

He's been dead for years but if he were still around, it's easy to imagine China would want to use him.


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Terahertz Band - 6G Cell Service Has Science Obstacles That Can Be Overcome, But Cultural Ones May Be Insurmountable

Jun 14 2021 - 13:06
There are lots of advertisements for 5G cellular service but it still isn't available in most places, and devices that take advantage of it are in relatively low use. Better quality cat videos on a 5-inch screen are not all that compelling

Sooner rather than later, people are going to want the haptic internet - a virtual reality tactile experience far more advanced than a vibrating Xbox controller - and businesses will want holographic conferencing and both will require more mobile edge computing - mini-clouds closer to users than current centralized storage.

Those will require the next evolution in the terahertz band - 6G. It is blocked out to be from 95 GHz to 3 THz.

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Unsupervised Rounding Up Of Anomalous Densities With RanBox

Jun 14 2021 - 11:06
In the previous post I mentioned a research project that I was about to conclude, centered on the detection of anomalies in multidimensional data. Here I would like to give some more detail of that research, as the article I wrote on the subject is now publically accessible in the Cornell preprint arXiv (and is being sent to a refereed journal).

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Distance Learning Doesn't Teach People To Think

Jun 13 2021 - 14:06

The modern research university was designed to produce new knowledge and to pass that knowledge on to students. North American universities over the last 100 years have been exceptionally good at that task.

But this is not all that universities can do or should do. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even easier to reduce teaching to knowledge dissemination and to obscure other, equally important, forms of education that help students be better citizens, thinkers, writers and collaborators.

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Scopely Is The Most Successful Game Company All Its Customers Hate

Jun 11 2021 - 14:06
The biggest mistake a company can make is treating its customers like they are criminals. While "The Soup Nazi" was a fun bit on "Seinfeld", and there are some instances where you can adapt a 'take it or leave it' approach to how you treat people, that is not where the IPOs are.

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There Are Pipelines All Across The Country - Except For Water. That Should Change

Jun 11 2021 - 12:06

Over 26 percent of the western US  is in exceptional drought while  72 percent is in severe drought. That has not stopped the federal government from dumping so much water into rivers it creates hazardous conditions for people in them.

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