Whales Aren’t Keen on Being Flayed Alive By Gulls
"Kelp gulls, like most of their kind, are opportunists. They’ll pluck fish from the sea, and scraps from landfill sites. And those near Peninsula Valdes in Argentina have started stripping flesh from the backs of whales.
The wounds might riddle the whales with skin infections, especially if the gulls are sticking their faces in rubbish heaps beforehand. Fazio found that the whales spend a quarter of their daylight hours trying to avoid the gulls, which might exhaust them, while depriving them of feeding opportunities."
Complex life may be possible in only 10% of all galaxies
Of the estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, only one in 10 can support complex life like that on Earth, a pair of astrophysicists argues. Everywhere else, stellar explosions known as gamma ray bursts would regularly wipe out any life forms more elaborate than microbes. The detonations also kept the universe lifeless for billions of years after the big bang, the researchers say.
Race and Justice: Much More Than You Wanted To Know
"Does the criminal justice system treat African-Americans fairly? I decided to waste my precious free time reading seven zillion contradictory studies to figure out what was going on.
There seems to be a strong racial bias in capital punishment and a moderate racial bias in sentence length and decision to jail.
There seems to be little or no racial bias in arrests for serious violent crime, police shootings in most jurisdictions, prosecutions, or convictions."
Did Boys Use To Wear Pink?
About 100 years ago, we’re told, boys wore pink clothes, but then during the early 20th century, it flipped over. This is often used as an example of how arbitrary gender stereotypes are.
However according to psychologist Marco Del Giudice, the whole “pink-blue reversal” is an ‘urban legend’. According to Google NGram, a searchable database of over 5 million books, there are lots of instances of the terms “blue for boys” and “pink for girls” going back to 1890, but none for the reverse at any time point.
The exceptions are four magazine articles – quoted in the paper that started the whole debate – but these examples may be typos or attempts to subvert existing conventions.
How Magic Leap Is Secretly Creating a New Alternate Reality
"Remember when Mark Zuckerberg justified Facebook's $2B purchase of virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR by calling it the next great communication platform? It sounds like Magic Leap wants to do the same thing—only layered on top of the real world.
It sounds like they hope to do that with a lightweight headset mostly indistinguishable from eyeglasses, save a fiber optic cable running down to a pack where the projector (and possibly the battery and other processing components) are housed. It sounds like that device will be absolutely jam-packed with cameras and sensors to exactly know where it is, and which direction it's pointing, inside a depth-mapped recreation of the real world. It sounds like it will run Android, have its own app store, and focus on games and interactive comic books to start.
In other words, it sounds absolutely bonkers. But $542 million in funding and Google on the board of directors suggests it's pretty damn real, and that it might only be a matter of time until Magic Leap can make it small enough to comfortably wear. Which could put Facebook and Google in one heck of a battle for the future of wearable computing, I imagine."
Essential Math for Games Programmers
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