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Topics - Worldtraveller

1
Science / I for one....well, you know the rest.
Super strong robot muscles.

https://wyss.harvard.edu/artificial-muscles-give-soft-robots-superpowers/

Quote
researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created origami-inspired artificial muscles that add strength to soft robots, allowing them to lift objects that are up to 1,000 times their own weight using only air or water pressure, giving much-needed strength to soft robots. The study is published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
. . . . .
"In addition to their muscle-like properties, these soft actuators are highly scalable. We have built them at sizes ranging from a few millimeters up to a meter, and their performance holds up across the board," Wood says. This feature means that the muscles can be used in numerous applications at multiple scales, such as miniature surgical devices, wearable robotic exoskeletons, transformable architecture, deep-sea manipulators for research or construction, and large deployable structures for space exploration.
A real Iron Man suit!?!  Sign me up!
2
Science / Space bacteria.
Not sure yet if they've found a new form of extremeophile, or something we've known about for a while.

Bacteria found on outside of ISS.

Some of it has been there at least 3 years...surviving...in space.  :ohmy:
4
Along comes the B-21.

It doesn't say, but I'm guessing this is a manned aircraft and not a UAV, but who knows. Supposedly, the AF is also producing a 'fighter' with the capability to escort the B-21. 

Our tax money, hard at work, because fuck poor people! 
5
Science / Giant Coconut crabs are also predators!
Holy shitballs. Pretty gruesome video footage.   :eek:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shock-large-bird-hunted-killed-11500842

It's been known that they scavenge, but until now, we didn't think they were actually predatory. Maybe a sleeping booby looks like just a still piece of meat? 
6
Science / This just in: Weaponized mosquitoes!
What could possibly go wrong? 

Actually, this one looks like it might not completely backfire and doom us to death. The mosquitoes are all male, and when they mate with the females, they carry a bacteria that causes the eggs to not hatch.

https://qz.com/1123456/the-epa-has-approved-the-release-of-weaponized-mosquitoes-in-20-us-states/

How long before mother nature finds a way to beat this?
7
Prompted by this article about bots being used to spread propaganda in the WA state election, which was heavily funded by interests outside the state, and the ongoing investigations at the federal level, I'm prompted to ask:  How do we reduce/minimize/fix this?

Is there a technology answer to at least a lot of the 'bot' problem? I wouldn't mind so much if the GOP swept every house and senate and gov, etc....if the votes were legit, the districts weren't gerrymandered to fuck with things, and there wasn't so much outright voter suppression.

Also, all of these things (even the one I linked to above) are explicitly GOP tactics being used to cheat and win elections. If I were a republican, even if I were winning, I would be pushing to change this from within, but the MAGAbots, and even the less enthusiastic GOPers  seem to be totally with 'cheat to win' as a strategy. We suck at democracy, I guess?
8
Science / quark fusion?
According to the theory, it's 1) 8x more powerful than plain old nuclear fusion, and 2) already possible with the LHC, at least enough to confirm whether it would work or not.

https://phys.org/news/2017-11-theoretical-quark-fusion-powerful-hydrogen.html


What could possibly go wrong?  :dunno:
11
Yellowstone spawned twin super-eruptions that altered global climate
There might be a few extra zeros in the dates. ;) 

Can't wait to see the next eruption in person!!!   :parrot:
12
Science / Better than superglue - surgical glue.
Quote
Repairing tissue ruptures during surgery can be complicated: Suturing requires piercing an already damaged tissue, and sealants such as glues may not match the material properties of the tissue, leading to subsequent leakage or rupture. Annabi et al. capitalized on the elastic properties of the human protein tropoelastin to engineer a photocrosslinkable hydrogel sealant material. The injectable material, MeTro, successfully sealed surgical incisions in blood vessels in rats and in lungs in pigs without evidence of leakage or rupture. Tunable elastic hydrogel sealants offer a promising adhesive, biocompatible, biodegradable material for tissue repair.

Neato!
13
In today's daily dose of GOP hypocrisy:

Pro-Life Rep. Tim Murphy Pressured Mistress to Get Abortion
I know you're all shocked and dismayed to find out that this fine, upstanding member of the GOP is a hypocrit of the worst sort.

Over-under on whether it matters to the yokels who elected this clown?

Quote
Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, who has a strong anti-abortion voting history, acknowledged last month he had an affair with Shannon Edwards, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh. Text messages sent between Murphy's phone number and Edwards in January show the two discussing the pregnancy scare, and Edwards pointed out Murphy's hypocrisy in pressuring her to get an abortion.
14
Linky.

Highlights:
Quote
A ProPublica investigation found that attorneys in the Manhattan District Attorney's office spent about two years building a case against the two Trump children that included emails showing the Trumps knew they were using inflated figures to attract potential buyers to the condo.
.
.
The case disappeared after Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, met with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to ask him to drop the investigation.
.
.
Three months after the meeting, Vance overruled his own prosecutors and dropped the case. That same year, Kasowitz donated $25,000 to Vance's campaign, which Vance said was returned shortly before their meeting.

"I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed," Vance told ProPublica. "I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call."

A later donation of $50,000, however, occurred less than six months after Vance dropped the case. When confronted with this information, according to ProPublica, Vance pledged to return this donation as well, pledging that it would not be a "millstone" around the neck of his office.
15
Unfortunately, it was probably just a drug overdose, and not being punched in the face repeatedly.

Quote
Using official-sounding domain names like CNN.co.de and Microsoftsite.com, Horner's stories swerved from over-the-top jokes to political firebombs, namely the super-viral "Donald Trump Protester Speaks Out: 'I Was Paid $3,500 To Protest Trump's Rally."

His stories followed a simple formula: Use a famous name, include a real photo and make at least the first few sentences read like a standard news story. That way, his stories would have credibility before readers began to doubt.
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/09/26/z-fake-news-writer-paul-horner-dies-phoenix/701038001/
16

Quote
[T]he U.S. Commerce Department that will impose duties on Bombardier Inc's (BDRBF) C-Series jets after a complaint from rival Boeing Co. (BA - Get Report)  that the Canadian group receives unfair government support.

The 219.63% duty on new commercial jets made by Bombardier and sold in the United States would effectively triple the $80 million base cost of the C-Series and likely lead to its scrapping. Montreal-based Bombardier called the ruling "absurd" and vowed to challenge it through the International Trade Commission.
Link

Given that Boeing makes billions/year, and pays no taxes, is this actually a legal thing, or is just because the US Commerce Department is a racket? Any of the lawyers here familiar with tariff law, because it seems like it's run by the fucking mafia to me.
17
That's more than I was actually expecting!

Over/under on actual time spent behind bars?
18
General Discussion / Talkfreethought about to close down.
Anyone with membership over there that wants to put out an invite?  I know a lot of people there wouldn't like the posting 'standards' we have here, but I suspect a fair number of them might.

19
Politics and Current Events / German elections
Anyone else following this? It looks likely that Merkel will win re-election as chancellor, which is probably good. However, there is a disturbing rise in the far right party AfD, which is the first far right party in Germany since the actual nazis. 
There are some good reference links at the bottom of the linked story with background on the different factions.

Moar:
Lots of news links.
20
I realize it's late in the year to get this started, and it could theoretically go in an existing thread, but it doesn't really directly have much to do with the trumpster fire either, so....

I'll be updating this occasionally, so if the mods feel like it's worth it to sticky, have at. :)

Today's edition: the so called 'Nashville Statement' wherein evangelical xians once again piss into the wind with their mouths wide open......
Quote
A coalition of evangelical leaders released a "Christian manifesto" Tuesday asserting their belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and condemning the acceptance of "homosexual immorality or transgenderism."
And you'll love what they call themselves:
Quote
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Still looking for any kind of information on the actual makeup of this council, but it's a safe bet that it's all male, and mostly white and old.
Love this little juxtoposition:
Quote
The "manifesto," which is composed of 14 beliefs, rejects the idea that "otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree" on gay, lesbian and transgender issues. The leaders refer to this mentality as "moral indifference.
. . . . .
"White evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Trump during the election -- 80 percent."
I guess if we can't just agree to disagree, then they'd be ok with banning xianity, or at least their version of it, if that's what the majority wanted? :D

I guess the good news here is that this is pretty much at least settled law. These slack jawed yokels just need to catch up, or die off. Either one, really is ok by me.
21
Like actual training films, propaganda, and stuff like that?

WW2 documentaries and misc 'training films.

I spend way too much time watching these. Some of them are very corny, but a lot of them are actual quite interesting.

22
Arts and Entertainment / the Ultimate Rickroll.
23
From here.
First off, Roy Moore??  Again?  WTF AL? He was removed from office as a judge, (disbarred too, I think), ran again and lost, but not by as much as he should have, and now they're gonna put him congress? 

I did find this quote entertaining, though:
Quote
The three candidates spent much of the race jockeying over who could be the best steward of Trump's message in the Senate. That dynamic made Trump's decision to endorse Strange, the fruit of a push by top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a powerful one.
 
Yet it has also opened the door for his opponents to tar Strange as the pick of Washington insiders -- both Moore and Brooks have evoked McConnell in campaign ads as the embodiment of the very swamp that Trump has promised to excise from Washington.
Trumpster fire is already seen as an insider, or at least the label is being applied already. Funny that. :D
24
Politics and Current Events / Another OK city bomber.
Luckily, they caught this one before he blew anything up.

Linky
Quote
The FBI has arrested an Oklahoma man on charges that he tried to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb, acting out of a hatred for the U.S. government and an admiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy Mc­Veigh, according to court papers.

Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested shortly after an early Saturday morning attempt to detonate a fake bomb packed into what he believed was a stolen cargo van outside a bank in Oklahoma City, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. He was charged with attempted destruction of a building by means of an explosive.
25
Computers and Technology / Digital camera?
I'm going to hold off on a VR headset for the next generation to come out.

So, I'm looking at getting a decent entry level digital camera that I'll be able to expand with additional lenses as I get proficient with it. Hah! 

There's a Nikon DX D5200 on the local CL for $375. The reviews seem decent for this camera, but there are some others I was looking at too (Nikon D3100, Canon EOS 700D). 

Any recommendations? I'll mostly be using for wildlife photography, so I'll want to get a good telephoto lens soon, probably. Also for sports (racing) photos, but less of that. I would think the same lens would probably be wanted for that anyway?