Archaeologists Take Wrong Turn, Find World’s Oldest Stone Tools | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

A happy accident led to the discovery of the ancient tools. Sonia Harmand of Stony Brook University and her team had been en route to a known fossil site on the western shore of Lake Turkana one morning in July 2011 when the group took a wrong turn and ended up in a previously unexplored area. The researchers decided to survey it and by teatime they had found stone artifacts. They named the site Lomekwi 3, and went on to recover dozens of tools—including flakes, cores and anvils–from both the surface and below ground. Harmand described the findings April 14 in a talk given at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco. “The cores and flakes we recovered are clearly knapped and are not the result of accidental or natural rock fracture,” Harmand said. “The Lomekwi 3 knappers were able to deliver sufficient intentional force to detach repeatedly series of adjacent and superposed flakes and then to continue knapping by rotating the cores.” The team determined the age of the tools based on their stratigraphic position relative to two layers of volcanic ash and a magnetic reversal of known ages. - blogs.scientificamerican.com
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My Year Ripping Off the Web With the Daily Mail Online

As part of my initial training session, I was told that any link or attribution in an aggregated piece should be placed no higher than the first set of images in the post—which were typically three or four paragraphs in, where a reader might overlook the fact that the information provided in the preceding paragraphs had no attribution. If the original report was an article in the New York Daily News, a direct competitor of the Mail's, I was sometimes instructed to not give attribution at all. (The Mail, contacted for comment, maintains that its standards for attribution are high: "We often link above the first three photos and we link to the NYDN on a daily basis," it says. "We always strive to attribute." After this article was first published, a spokesperson followed up: "We always strive to make the story better, whether through a new angle, new photographs, or additional information and quotes.") - tktk.gawker.com
#journalism #nyc #gossip 0 comments

Twitter Guy Says He Hoaxed NYT In Teen Vape Article

i originally wrote a solid 3 pages before the interview, basically wrote down this fake person’s entire life. I was gonna give a fake history of Vaporwave, saying the genre of music stemmed from two dudes who loved Too Vape then she calls and she’s really nice, it dissarms me, so I just kinda stick to what I really wanted to do which was get lil ugly mane’s name in the new york fucking times - tktk.gawker.com
#nyt 0 comments

fiat spider

The little four-seat convertible made its debut at the Turin Motor Show in 1966. The man who designed it, Tom Tjaarda, had also designed earlier versions of the Corvette and Ferrari 275 GTS, and this car reflects some of that influence. It had 128 horsepower on a four-cylinder engine, and later versions were used as successful rally race cars. - bloomberg.com
#cars 0 comments

Digital comedy

A microphone placed at the front of the theater would provide White with a recording of the audience’s laughter, against which to edit future versions of the film. If a joke didn’t send the crest of the waveform sufficiently high, it would either be tweaked or replaced with an alternate joke and demoted to the film’s “B-cut” — a version composed of jokes that hadn’t killed but that Feig wasn’t ready to trash. Some test audiences would unwittingly watch the B-cut, and if certain jokes went over great, “then I’ll steal them and drop them into the A-cut,” White said. Last year, Paramount Pictures went as far as to give the “Anchorman 2” B-cut its own limited theatrical release: Overseen by Bretherton, White’s deputy, it told the exact story as the official release, but with 763 different jokes slotted in. - nytimes.com
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Herding viral political cats

Still, for campaigns used to message control, it can be a double-edged sword, says Cyrus Krohn, who directed digital efforts for the Republican National Committee in 2008 and is now with Cheezburger.com, an online hub of Internet culture. “You used to be able to just interact with your five or 10 talking heads who went and did the TV shows, and now you’ve got an infinite number of social-media content creators who are carrying your water in one way, shape or form,” he says. “And how do you herd the cats? How do you coalesce all of these people to help? They’re already very independent and they don’t want to be told what to do. But if the right level of respect and interaction can be constructed, then you’ve built up a cadre of digital advocates who aren’t official members of the campaign.” - macleans.ca
#politics #social-media #viral 0 comments

Hungary loses 700 billion in EU funding because of rigged project bidding?

It was not the system the Commission criticized but the specific requirements stated in the tenders. They were formulated in such a way that for all intents and purposes only one company could fulfill all of them. So there was no competition. Moreover, the projects were grossly overpriced, on average by 46%. […]The auditors came to Hungary in November and randomly chose not thousands but only 55 applications, out of which they found 16, or 29%, unacceptable. It would take too long to report on all the individual cases, so I chose two I found especially outrageous. One involves Közgép, Lajos Simicska’s company, that won the tender to build a harbor on Csepel Island for 3.6 billion forints. The tender was written in such a way that only Közgép could compete. The government demanded several previous accomplishments that were totally unnecessary to accomplish the job. It wasn’t enough to show that a company had earlier built at least a 2,000 meter network of street lighting; it had to have been done on an “industrial site.” The same was true about a 5,000 m² basalt-concrete facing. The construction of a three kilometer asphalt road also had to be accomplished in an industrial setting. As if there were any difference between roads or lighting inside or outside of an industrial park. But the best was that, in order to get the job, the company had to have built at least 2,000 m. long railroad tracks. There were no railroads anywhere near the harbor. The fine in this case alone is 633 million forints. - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary #europe 0 comments

$1 billion on top 10 charity races

In 2013, the top ten powerhouses affiliating with, or holding, such events raised more than $1 billion, led by the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at $380 million, followed by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Race for the Cure at almost $107 million, according to Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. But six of those top ten events saw income declines, continuing a trend despite the improving economy. - outsideonline.com
#racewithme #charity 0 comments

In long run, do charity races pay?

Rooney and his co-authors found that special events, including fun runs, generated an average of $3.20 per $1 dollar spent organizing them. Telephone solicitations, by contrast, raised almost $12 per $1 spent, the study found, while capital campaigns raised $20 for every $1 spent. - usatoday.com
#racewithme #charity 0 comments

In the late 1880s, walking marathons were all the rage

There were other races. Especially popular was a men’s round-the-clock six-day race: The competitors walked from just after midnight on Monday, June 10, until just before midnight the following Saturday, stopping only occasionally to rest inside tents within the oval track. “The largest number of spectators that has yet been attracted by the pedestrian exhibitions was present,” the Post reported. Fourteen men competed. One entrant, an Englishman named Alfred Elson, was a veteran of long-distance walks who, like many pedestrians, considered alcohol a stimulant. He imbibed liberally the first two days of the race, and by Tuesday night he was so drunk he fell headfirst over the railing that ringed the track, rendering himself unconscious. By Friday, only three men remained: Dan Dillon, Martin Horan and, far behind, poor concussed Elson. They were a bedraggled bunch: sleep deprived, dehydrated, likely malnourished and perilously close to delirium. Dillon won the race with 454 miles. Horan was second with 450. Elson was a distant third with 239. - startribune.com
#running #runwme #walking 0 comments

JK Rowling's flash back to being a newbie

[…]“The Cuckoo’s Calling[…]was treated like any new novel by a first-time writer. Little, Brown sent out bound galleys and talked it up to retailers, as they do with all new titles. We aim for all of our books to reach the widest possible audience and make every effort to market and publicize each title in a way that connects it with that audience.” I spoke to several book retailers, at both large chains and independent stores, and not one could recall seeing an advance reading copy, or hearing anything from the Little, Brown sales representatives.“There was absolutely no buzz,” Ms. Coady said. “There was no direct correspondence from the editor or a publicist. We didn’t hear anything from the sales representatives. They’ll usually tell us that there are five to 10 books on their list that we want to make sure you read. They know our customers and what they like, so we trust them. This book wasn’t one of them. I don’t know if we bought any copies. Maybe one.”[…]The publisher procured two quotes, or blurbs, for its news release, one from the Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, the other from the English novelist and actor Mark Billingham, who said, perhaps all too presciently, that the book was “so instantly compelling it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel.” Booksellers said Little, Brown could have rustled up more prominent authors, including at least one American. […]I asked Little, Brown for reviews that appeared before the identity of the author was known, and the only examples it provided were from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist, all trade publications. Several newspapers reviewed it in London, but no mainstream American book critic did. The early reviews were positive — far more so than those for “Casual Vacancy” — which must have been heartening to Ms. Rowling. But those in Publishers Weekly and Booklist were a single paragraph, and they failed to generate much buzz or help it stand out from the masses of genre fiction published each year. - nytimes.com
#publishing #advertising #marketing 0 comments

Once A Company Has One Woman Exec, It's Harder For Another To Get A Top Job

Among S - huffingtonpost.com
#managing #sexism 0 comments

Incubators hurt start-ups?

Incubators promise a lot of resources to startups, like office space, printers, paper, events, networking, assistance connecting startup founders to funders, help with presentations and many other services, says Fetsch. “But the average incubator actually has less than two full-time staff and 25 businesses. That’s a lot of service to provide for two people. So are they really providing all the services they say?  It seems unlikely,” she says. Although incubated businesses have slightly higher employment, growth and sales, they also have slightly lower survival rates after they graduate. - forbes.com
#start-ups #VC 0 comments

The Klan's uncivil war

The white counter-revolution and its uses of terror reversed the Clauswitzian doctrine: In America, too much of the political process of Reconstruction became war by other means. By whippings, rapes, the burning of houses, schools and churches, the violent disruption or intimidation of local Republican party meetings, and hundreds of murders and lynchings over a period of less than a decade the Klan and its minions (called variously “Red Shirts” or “white leaguers” and many other names) sought to win back as much of a status quo antebellum as they could achieve. Their victims were teachers, black students, white and black politicians, and uncounted numbers of freedmen and their families who participated in politics or gained some economic autonomy. The record of Reconstruction violence has been clinically detailed, but it is a piece of history that most Americans still prefer to avoid. - m.theatlantic.com
#USAUSA #Klan 0 comments

The culture of the Civil War veterans

Even veterans who managed to keep their bodies and wits intact often proved unable or unwilling to escape the pull of the war. They created numerous magazines, attended post meetings, and wrote a blizzard of reminiscences and regimental histories in which they forged a culture of memory, of military detail, of mutual recognition and heroism, of communal support. Civil War veterans, drawing and pouring over their countless hand-drawn maps, arguing about old campaigns in letters and in sketches and speeches they delivered to each other, raising funds for monuments to their own units, were themselves the first Civil war “buffs,” a tradition passed on now through at least six or seven generations of readers, re-enactors, and Civil War roundtable members. - m.theatlantic.com
#USAUSA #civil-rights 0 comments

Civil War's massive scale

The death toll, the sheer sense of human loss experienced in the war, North and South, among blacks and whites, left a profound and haunting pall on American society and culture for generations to come. The old, official count of Civil War dead relied upon for a century and a half was approximately 620,000. According to some remarkable new research, as many as 750,000 American soldiers and sailors may have died in the conflict, the majority from disease. Approximately 1.2 million were wounded, including perhaps 30-40,000 northern amputees (there are no equivalent numbers for Southerners) who struggled with life and livelihood well into the late nineteenth century. There is no reasonable count of civilian deaths, nor of the numbers of freed slaves who perished in the struggle for their own emancipation. Research now suggests that a quarter of all freedmen who made it to contraband camps operated by the Union forces died in the process. Based on the military death count alone, per capita, if the Civil War were fought in the United States today with its ten-fold greater population, 7.5 million soldiers would die. For most Americans that is an unthinkable toll, but such was the equivalence for their kinfolk in the 1860s. - m.theatlantic.com
#USAUSA #civil-rights #the-south 0 comments

Canada's beer monopoly

“Truth be told, it is a highly cost efficient model for consumers,” said a Beer Store spokesman. “I know what’s best for consumers. And having seen a wide range of retailing across the world, I can tell you that this is a system that is low¬ cost and passes that cost along to consumers.” Which might be fine except for two things. First, it’s not actually low cost. Second, The Beer Store is actually owned by three of the world’s largest breweries – Anheuser¬Busch InBev, Molson Coors and Sapporo – which include Canada’s two largest firms, Labatt’s and Molson. And that spokesman for The Beer Store? That’s the CEO of Molson Coors Canada. What seemed like a good idea at the time has become problematic now that the industry subject to regulated distribution has effectively captured the distribution. - forbes.com
#communism #beer #Canada 0 comments

Focusing the Brain on Better Vision - NYTimes.com

as people aged, the random firing of neurons in the brain’s visual system increased, creating a kind of internal noise. At the same time, the aging brain struggles harder with external visual noise, such as snowflakes in a blizzard that obscure words on a road sign. The latest study’s exercises were designed to train adults to filter such external visual noise so they could better discern edges of contrast. “It’s possible that the brain might simultaneously have been trained to reduce internalized noise,” Dr. Andersen said. Researchers are increasingly focused on perceptual learning, the brain’s ability to discriminate among stimuli — training the ear, for example, to distinguish between Shostakovich and Bartok, or the palate to discern a cabernet sauvignon from a pinot noir. There is also much research on the aging brain. But until now, few scientists have thought to examine the possibilities for improving perceptual learning in older adults. - well.blogs.nytimes.com
#aging #neurons #noise 0 comments

Clouds or clocks?

There has long been disagreement among social scientists about how scientific social science can be, and the skeptics have argued that social phenomena are more cloudlike. They don't have Newtonian clocklike regularity. That cloud versus clock distinction has loomed large in those kinds of debates. If world politics were truly clocklike and deterministic then it should in principle be possible for an observer who is armed with the correct theory and correct knowledge of the antecedent conditions to predict with extremely high accuracy what's going to happen next. If world politics is more cloudlike–little wisps of clouds blowing around in the air in quasi random ways–no matter how theoretically prepared the observer is, the observer is not going to be able to predict very well. Let's say the clocklike view posits that the optimal forecasting frontier is very close to 1.0, an R squared very close to 1.0. By contrast, the cloudlike view would posit that the optimal forecasting frontier is not going to be appreciably greater than chance or you're not going to be able to do much better than a dart-throwing chimpanzee. One of the things that we discovered in the earlier work was that forecasters who suspected that politics was more cloudlike were actually more accurate in predicting longer-term futures than forecasters who believed that it was more clocklike. Forecasters who were more modest about what could be accomplished predictably were actually generating more accurate predictions than forecasters who were more confident about what could be achieved. We called these theoretically confident forecasters "hedgehogs." We called these more modest, self-critical forecasters "foxes," drawing on Isaiah Berlin's famous essay, "The Hedgehog and the Fox." - edge.org
#managing #predictions 0 comments


One of the reactions to my work on expert political judgment was that it was politically naïve - edge.org
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How To Apologize Like You Really Mean It | Fast Company | Business Innovation

When you fail to deliver on your promises, or when you wrong another person in some way, it not only diminishes trust—it damages the sense of us that exists between you and your perceiver. You run the risk of becoming a them. Remind the injured party of your shared history, your commonalities, your shared goals. Reassure him or her that you are on the same team and have no intention of letting the team down again. - fastcompany.com
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"We" are partners

In another study, from 1998, participants answered questions about their level of commitment to their romantic relationship and then performed a task in which they were asked simply to share some thoughts concerning the relationship, as many or as few as they wished. These thoughts were subsequently analyzed for plural pronoun use (“we” and “our” rather than “I” and “my”), a subtle indicator of the extent to which participants had fused their identities with those of their partners.The study found that participants who were highly committed to their relationships used many plural pronouns, whereas participants who were not especially committed used fewer. Interestingly, this tendency to exhibit a fused, interdependent identity was observed when participants listed thoughts about their relationships with their romantic partners, but not when they listed thoughts about their relationships with their best friends. Continue reading the main story Write A Comment - nytimes.com
#marriage #synchronize 0 comments

Self-identity and shared traits in marriage

Married research participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed whether they possessed each of 90 personality traits and whether their spouses possessed each of those same traits. Next, to test their gut-level certainty about these assessments, the participants performed a computerized task in which they indicated, as rapidly as possible, whether they possessed each of the 90 traits. The computer measured response times in milliseconds.How did they fare at the computerized task? The participants were significantly faster at determining whether a given trait applied to them if it applied to both them and their spouses — or neither them nor their spouses — than if it applied to one of them but not the other.In other words, it is easier for you to assess whether you yourself are funny if you and your spouse are both funny or both not funny. If you and your spouse are dissimilar when it comes to humor, you experience some amount of identity confusion: You have less intuitive certainty about whether you are funny. - nytimes.com
#marriage #synchronize 0 comments

Once in 3 billion years? Fix your model.

The Oct. 15 gyration, when Treasury yields fluctuated by almost 0.4 percentage point, was an “unprecedented move” that would have serious consequences in a stressed environment[…] Treasuries are supposed to be among the most stable securities. […]It’s just a matter of time until some political, economic or market event triggers another financial crisis, he said, without predicting one is imminent. The Treasuries move was “an event that is supposed to happen only once in every 3 billion years or so,” Dimon wrote. A future crisis could be worsened because there “is a greatly reduced supply of Treasuries to go around.” - bloomberg.com
#prediction #trust #bonds #black-swans 0 comments

How thick are Hungary's Asian roots?

A group of geneticists at the University of Szeged did research on the DNA composition of human remains from graves dating from the early tenth century. On the basis of their findings they came to the conclusion that the number of invaders was most likely very small because even in these early graves only 36% of the people had markers indicating Asiatic origin. Fifty percent of them were of purely European origin. Their DNA indicated that their ancestors had lived in Europe for at least 40,000-50,000 years. By now 84% of the Hungarian-speaking inhabitants of the Carpathian basin are of purely European origin, and only 16% carry any Asiatic markers at all. - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary #DNA 0 comments

Hungarians as neo-Kazakhs

“Crudely put, the argument used by Bíró and company sounds like this: the Madijars [whom the authors misleadingly called Madjars] are genetically extremely distant from all other populations, and they are very distant from Hungarians: therefore they must be the closest relatives of Hungarians.” - hungarianspectrum.org
#Hungary 0 comments