December 21st, 2019

Porsupah head on arms

We are all made of furries

Did you know there's an open source project along the lines of Wolfram Alpha? SymPy Gamma awaits. ^_^

Very old, and furry, cave artwork found in Indonesia; at some 44,000 years old, the earliest of its kind discovered so far. '"The portrayal of multiple hunters confronting at least two separate prey species possibly suggests a game drive, a communal hunt in which animals are indiscriminately flushed from cover and directed towards waiting hunters," the scientists wrote. The hunters in question appear to be therianthropes,or humans with animal characteristics. Until now, the oldest piece of art thought to depict these characteristics is a 40,000-year-old ivory figure found in a cave in Germany that includes a human body with a feline head.' You realise, of course, that this means we are all descended from furries. =:D

Whoa! How's this for a mural?

You know, I can't believe I never thought to try a non-polar solvent to get rid of the tacky layer that remains after curing UV nail gels. For the past year or so, I've simply settled for vigorous rubbing with hand cleanser and letting it sort of wear off through the rest of the day. (It's a very thin layer, not really a problem - but it does prevent the gloss from showing until it's gone) But, on the suggestion of a friend, I tried a little nail polish remover (ie diluted acetone) - a quick wipe, and it's gone. ^_^

Quite a fascinating paper looking at just what causes death in alcoholic hepatitis cases - and it seems it may not be the ethanol itself, but a specific bacterium that happens to thrive in such environments. "There have been mouse experiments that suggested that Enterococcus faecalis (a common human-associated bacterial species) might be involved in alcoholic hepatitis, but this latest work provides a great deal of proof that it might in fact be a causative agent. Presence of the bacteria in human stool is strongly correlated with the disease. More particularly, it’s presence of the E. faecalis cytolysin, a bacterial toxin that’s one member of a large family of similar proteins." "One of the more eyebrow-raising takeaways from the new paper is that 89% of the patients with cytolysin in their stool samples died within 180 days of hospitalization, but only 3% of alcoholic hepatitis patients without it died over the same period. This situation can be recapitulated exactly in mouse models, using regular strains of the bacteria versus cytolysin-deficient ones and then adding alcohol to their diet. Even further, using gnotobiotic (germ-free) mice (expensive little beasts, those are) and colonizing them with human stool samples (with and without cytolysin) showed exactly the same pattern." Intriguingly, it seems phage therapy may be effective.

Wow. Despite seeing this story on a reputable site, I'm still boggling at it.. "A Hollywood studio executive once suggested the idea of Julia Roberts playing the iconic abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman in a biopic, according to Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard." '[...] when challenged on the casting, the Hollywood exec who allegedly floated the idea said, "It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference."'

Quite an interesting look back at radical activism in the 1970s in the Bronx. "In November of 1970, the Young Lords and the Black Panther Party seized a section of Lincoln Hospital, establishing the first drug detox program in the South Bronx, the center of the city’s heroin epidemic. The “People’s Detox” operated out of the old nurses’ residence under a coalition of Black and Puerto Rican left nationalists, socialists, and radical medical workers. Influenced by the psychological work of Frantz Fanon, they saw revolutionary political education as essential for overcoming drug addiction. Mutulu Shakur, Vicente “Panama” Alba, Cleo Silvers, Dr. Richard Taft, and others who ran the program innovated the use of acupuncture as a drug treatment modality in the US, a practice that has since become institutionalized and widespread. They won city funding for the detox program in 1971. They continued to run it until the police raided the detox facility in 1978, expelling the revolutionary leadership. These years were peak periods of political organizing for the Bronx, as well as the years that HIV — still unnamed and unnoticed by medical authorities — first started to claim the lives of injection drug users."

"The Lincoln Hospital Offensive, as the Young Lords called it, was one of their several health-related campaigns. The Young Lords held a sit-in at a health commissioner’s office demanding lead paint screening for children in East Harlem and the South Bronx, and hijacked a mobile X-ray truck to screen for tuberculosis. In this way, they anticipated the coming decades of crack addiction, the epidemic of HIV and AIDS, and the rapid growth of mass incarceration."

Say hello to Lanarkshire council's new vehicle keeping the roads safe in wintertime: Gritter Thunberg. ^_^;

If you're minded to get into FPGA development, this HN thread is well worth a look, with some good advice, and plenty of useful links to cheap dev boards, toolchains, and books.

Have you ever wanted a Wireshark equivalent to analyse cellular traffic? Here you go, if you have a rooted Android phone with a Qualcomm baseband.

This six minute short is quite beautiful: Fox Fires. Furry or not, you'll like this. ^_^

Some profound and inspiring, fiery thoughts from Pia Klemp.

Here's a long-form article from the New Republic on just how deep the rot is at Boeing, and how it gradually took hold, such that the lethal debacle of the MAX8 came about.

Earlier in the year, the Guardian ran a very good interview with Margaret Hamilton, who led the Apollo software development team. "G: 'Did your life as a software engineer and a mother ever collide?'
MH: 'Often in the evening or at weekends I would bring my young daughter, Lauren, into work with me. One day, she was with me when I was doing a simulation of a mission to the moon. She liked to imitate me – playing astronaut. She started hitting keys and all of a sudden, the simulation started. Then she pressed other keys and the simulation crashed. She had selected a program which was supposed to be run prior to launch – when she was already “on the way” to the moon. The computer had so little space, it had wiped the navigation data taking her to the moon. I thought: my God – this could inadvertently happen in a real mission. I suggested a program change to prevent a prelaunch program being selected during flight. But the higher-ups at MIT and Nasa said the astronauts were too well trained to make such a mistake. Midcourse on the very next mission – Apollo 8 – one of the astronauts on board accidentally did exactly what Lauren had done. The Lauren bug! It created much havoc and required the mission to be reconfigured. After that, they let me put the program change in, all right.'"

One of the outstanding music videos of 2019 has to be Eugene Lee Yang's "I'm Gay". It's an intense production, highly emotional, and backed up by some outstanding choreography. Seriously, don't miss this, but do be prepared.

A rather delightful little opening to how the apparently mooted remake of The Princess Bride ought to go. ^_^