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On 8/29/2018 at 3:03 PM, LawrenceA said:

As I understood it, this law was also intended to differentiate between traditional meat (harvested from animals), and new, experimental lab-grown meat, meaning animal muscle/fat tissue grown via laboratory processes. That's a bit different from vegan/vegetarian plant-based meat substitutes, and lies more in the realm of the GMO "Franken-foods" category.

Yuck, taste like it's made from sawdust.


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Today's encore selection -- from Evolving Ourselves by Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans. The human diet has changed radically since the days of the hunter-gatherers. And the change has been hard on our bodies:

"Much of what we eat today, often in large quantities, isn't exactly what one could call all-natural. And if you really are what you eat, then we are already quite a different species. Bodies that for hundreds of thousands of years ate 'all-natural' have been challenged to adapt fast to tidal waves of nachos and pizza.

"Dental plaque provides a small window through which to view this massive evolutionary upheaval. Anyone who has been to the dentist knows how tough it is to remove plaque. Bad for you, but good for science. Its toughness makes plaque a great reservoir of data for bioanthropologists. Diet affects plaque, and by comparing the plaque in ancient and modern human teeth, scientists can infer what kinds of things we ate and what lived in our mouths. In the pre-Twinkie era, both early humans and our close relatives had mouths that were quite healthy. There are almost no examples of Neanderthal cavities. Paleolithic and Mesolithic human skulls are almost devoid of cavities.

"As human diets began to modernize, as we began cooking and cleaning more of our daily foodstuffs, a strange thing happened: The bacterial colonies in our mouths became far less diverse. Hunter-gatherers from seven thousand years ago had far more microbial diversity in their mouths than did Stone Age agriculturalists. Bacteria that had coexisted and coevolved with our bodies and diets, that had adapted, were crowded out by a new environment, and our mouths became colonized by nastier bacteria. We further repopulated our mouths with the ever more widespread use of processed sugars. The incidence of cavities exploded. We began to suffer chronic oral disease, something that became most bothersome, and sometimes even deadly, in the pre-antibiotic, pre-brushing, pre-dentist era.

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1 hour ago, JakeHolman said:


All I know is one of the best places to snorkel in Hawaii is where Cook was killed.   Great place but one has to walk 4 miles to get there.   Beautiful hike down from the road to the beach but coming back is really difficult.     

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One example of our collective intelligence can be observed in our way of designing our technological artifacts.  Instead of referring to their sophistication, I am referring to how we identify future risks and how we protect ourselves from them.  Indeed, one of the paradoxes of our technology is that it becomes necessary to respond to two contradictory risks: the risk that those who manage it will not be obeyed and the risk that it will obey them too much. According to this distinction, there would be one type of accidents that are attributable to impotence, while others arise from omnipotence. The second type worries us more than the first type; it is more troubling to be at the mercy of men than machines.

us more than the first type; it is more troubling to be at the mercy of men than machines.

The first type of risks is more obvious. Complex systems usually function autonomously, and, without this condition, we could not possess any sophisticated technology. But this autonomy is often accompanied with ungovernability, and the same systems that we have configured escape from our hands and insanely turn against us. Literature is extensively populated with fantasies (which are now extremely realistic) pertaining to creations that take on lives of their own and rebel, from Faust and Frankenstein to the general characterization of the current world as a world that is out of control (as described in Anthony Giddens’s book Runaway World, for example).  If we consider specific problems of contemporary society, there is a multitude of examples of this absence of control, and the difficulty of regulating financial markets is perhaps the most disturbing one. When we affirm that something is not sustainable, for example, we are saying that we were capable of placing it in operation, although we are not capable of ensuring that its future functioning will obey the intentions that justified its being set in motion, or, simply, that it may collapse. Or we can consider the conventional example of the extent to which our relations with the technology that we are using have been altered. We have become accustomed to using tools whose logic is unfamiliar to us, and, for that reason, hardly anyone knows how these tools work or how to fix them. Even the specialists whom we depend upon are mostly replacing parts, rather than performing repairs. When something breaks down, it does so irreparably.

In fact, an automatic pilot system is a good example of the paradox that arises when we ask who is in control of a situation. A pilot believes that he is piloting an airplane, but it is entirely the reverse. A pilot places the system in operation, but it is subsequently the machine that specifies details for everything that the pilot should do. The pilot must adapt to the logic of flight. A system is intelligent when it can even disobey certain absurd orders. No one in their right mind should regret this principle, because we are indebted to it for an enormous number of mechanisms, whereby our lives are made easier and are literally sustained in some instances.

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NASA explores product endorsements and rocket naming rights

'We have liftoff for the Red Bull mission to Mars.'

NASA's new leader is gung-ho on privatizing spaceflight, and that could lead to some new approaches to branding... like it or not. Administrator Jim Bridenstine has unveiled a NASA Advisory Council committee that will explore the feasibility of commercializing the agency's operations in low Earth orbit to lower its costs while its eyes turn toward the Moon and Mars. Some of these plans could include product endorsements from astronauts and even selling the naming rights to rockets and other spacecraft. You could see an astronaut on a box of Wheaties, or a Red Bull mission to the Red Planet.

Committee head Mike Gold indicated that the committee would also consider scrapping "obsolete" regulations to let American astronauts support private activities aboard the International Space Station. Companies shouldn't have to "turn to Russian cosmonauts" for private operations, he said, suggesting that astronauts could even be involved in filming ads.

Bridenstine stressed that he didn't know if this kind of commercialization was possible (hence the committee). However, he also noted that it might help NASA compete with private spaceflight companies. The US has a shortage of military pilots precisely because they can make more money with airlines, the administrator argued -- there could be a similar problem if they're tempted away by the likes of SpaceX. He also noted that this could spread NASA's influence in pop culture.

It won't be surprising if there's significant resistance. Scientists, for example, aren't always fond of commercializing their work -- NASA has traditionally been a 'safe' space for pure scientific pursuits. There's also the question of whether endorsements and naming rights might skew the missions themselves. Would astronauts jockey for roles based on suitability, or on the chance for a lucrative sponsorship deal? There are more than a few ethical and practical concerns NASA would have to consider before opening the floodgates.

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Windows 10 Leak Exposes Microsoft's New Monthly Charge

Ever since its creation, Microsoft MSFT -0.55% has described Windows 10 “as a service”. The fear has always been that this meant Microsoft would start charging users a monthly fee to maintain the operating system, and now a new leak has confirmed this is exactly what will happen… 

In a new report, CNet’s well connected Microsoft specialist Mary Jo Foley reports the company will soon launch ‘Microsoft Managed Desktop’ which will charge a monthly fee to configure computers running Windows 10 and keep them running smoothly as new updates are released.


Foley also notes “Microsoft already has a number of the pieces in place to make this happen” such as a Windows Autopilot automatic device provisioning service, device financing programs like Surface Plus and a ‘Surface as a Service’ leasing program. Microsoft also has a subscription bundle including Windows 10 and Office 365 called Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 Enterprise subscription plans.  




Furthermore, Foley states “One of my contacts said that Bill Karagounis - former Director of the Windows Insider Program & OS Fundamentals team, who last year joined the Enterprise Mobility and Management part of Windows and Devices - is in charge of the coming Microsoft Managed Desktop.”

With Microsoft also publicly hiring for this new division, managed subscriptions for Windows 10 appear to have the green light.


So what’s the good news? At this time, Foley believes Microsoft Managed Desktop will be targeted at businesses. But the obvious question, given the clear direction Microsoft is moving becomes: for how long?

Foley did ask Microsoft to go on the record about Microsoft Managed Desktop, but the company declined to comment.

All of which means those users who chose to stay on Windows 7 and Windows 8 are probably feeling pretty smug right now. As for everyone who upgraded for ‘free’ to Windows 10, the nagging question must be: will it prove too good to be true?

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Soviet Designers' Amazing Predictions About Smart Homes, Smart Watches & More


From the 1960s to the 1980s, Soviet designers created a multitude of projects which would have found themselves at home among the best technological innovations made in the US, Europe and Japan. Olga Druzhinina, director of development at the Moscow Museum of Design, revealed some of the life-changing devices predicted by the Soviets.

The foundation for the USSR's most advanced technological research projects was established in 1962 with the creation of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Technical Aesthetics, headquartered in Moscow and with branches all across the country. The Institute was responsible for a series of projects in the spheres of transportation, consumer goods, and perhaps most ambitiously, the SPHINX project, a Soviet vision of the smart home and smart devices of the future.

ZIL-Sides VMA-30

In the early 1970s, Soviet engineers were tasked with the construction of a fundamentally new fire truck. In 1975, joint work began between the Soviet side's Vneshtekhnika Institute and Sides, a leading French manufacturer of firefighting vehicles. The result was the ZIL-Sides, a futuristic design featuring improved speed, visibility and comfort characteristics, as well as ease of entry and speed of deployment for operators.


In total, three of the experimental trucks were built, two in the French city of Saint-Nazaire, and a third in Ukraine. The vehicles participated in a variety of exhibitions, and even served at sports arenas during the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, and later in Leningrad. Unfortunately, the Zil-Sides concept proved too expensive, and never made it into mass production.

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The celebration of work is a sign of our times. Unemployment is regarded as a social ill, while avowed workaholics are revered as role models that should inspire the rest of us, simple souls who sometimes need a break, to get off our couches and become more productive. So, when Elon Musk mentioned in a recent interview with The New York Times that he has been working 120 hours a week, no one was really surprised. Isn’t that the road to success, “no friends, nothing,” as Musk succinctly put it? We all know, at least since Benjamin Franklin, that time is money, and who does not need some extra cash in the pocket?

In case you are speculating that the glorification of labor should be dismissed as one of the worst side effects of an unbridled capitalist ethics, think again. Marx believed that work is what makes us truly human and the product of our labor is merely an objective reflection of this process. Capitalism alienates workers from the product of their toil but this condition can be overcome by the proletarians’ control of the means of production and of the goods they produce. For Marxism, then, the source of evil is the way we organize labor, not work as such. It suffices to think of the Soviet Union’s efforts to deify workers in literature and in art to realize that workaholism is preached as a panacea for all kinds of social ills across the political spectrum.

But labor was not always regarded as a good thing. In literary depictions of humanity’s Golden Age, as in theological representations of Eden, humans roamed freely in nature, reaping the bountiful produce of the land and enjoying an easy, leisurely life devoted to pleasurable pursuits. In Ancient Greece, Hesiod described in his Works and Days a race of men who lived like gods off the abundant fruit of the earth, free from toil. Already in the Roman period, Ovid’s Metamorphoses offered another glimpse into the imagined primordial Golden Age of humanity, an era of milk and honey when food grew without cultivation.

Similar to Greco-Roman thought, the Jewish tradition also posited a time without toil in the Book of Genesis, when Eve and Adam dwelled happily in the Garden of Eden. In all of these instances, the current state of humanity was perceived as a fallen condition that demands hard work. Hesiod, for instance, was sorry to live in the Iron Age, when men never rest from labor. And in Genesis, humans are evicted from Paradise after the original sin and condemned to work for a living, eking their meager existence out of a cursed earth.


Labor vs. Leisure. The ultimate debate

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On ‎9‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 1:29 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

All I know is one of the best places to snorkel in Hawaii is where Cook was killed.   Great place but one has to walk 4 miles to get there.   Beautiful hike down from the road to the beach but coming back is really difficult.     

whatz the story with that highway you can't move pork over on certain days?



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