Friday, December 02, 2022

Old Code

"It took nearly 500 years for researchers to crack Charles V's secret code"

Glass Klein Bottle

Video: "Making a Glass Klein Bottle"

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Universal Constructor In Conway's Game Of Life

It is possible to build any arbitrary pattern in Conway's "Game Of Life" with only 15 gliders.

Urinal Design

"What's the best design for splash-free urinal? Physics now has the answer":

Scientists at the University of Waterloo have determined the optimal design for a splash-free urinal: a tall, slender porcelain structure with curves reminiscent of a nautilus shell, playfully dubbed the "Nauti-loo." That's good news for men tired of having urine splash onto their pants and shoes—and for the poor souls who have to regularly clean up all the splatter. Bonus: It's quite an aesthetically appealing design, giving this workhorse of the public restroom a touch of class.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lighting Zig-Zags Solved

"Physicists strike gold, solving 50-year lightning mystery":

For the past 50 years, scientists around the world have debated why lightning zig-zags and how it is connected to the thunder cloud above...

The answer? Singlet-delta metastable oxygen molecules.

Gene Therapy Advance

"New gene therapy restores night vision of people with inherited eye disorder"

Monday, November 28, 2022

AI Diplomat

"CICERO: An AI agent that negotiates, persuades, and cooperates with people":

Games have long been a proving ground for new AI advancements — from Deep Blue’s victory over chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, to AlphaGo’s mastery of Go, to Pluribus out-bluffing the best humans in poker. But truly useful, versatile agents will need to go beyond just moving pieces on a board. Can we build more effective and flexible agents that can use language to negotiate, persuade, and work with people to achieve strategic goals similar to the way humans do?

Today, we’re announcing a breakthrough toward building AI that has mastered these skills. We’ve built an agent – CICERO – that is the first AI to achieve human-level performance in the popular strategy game Diplomacy...

Direct link to the Science article: "Human-level play in the game of Diplomacy by combining language models with strategic reasoning".


(Via A.B.)


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting will be pretty light this week due to the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Is Wine Fake?

Scott Alexander: "Is Wine Fake?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Octopus Brains

"How squid and octopus get their big brains"


[Medical content warning] Dr. Nitin Joshi (gastroenterologist) performs upper GI endoscopy on himself

This video from 2018 has been making the rounds again, perhaps because of more recent other work being done by Dr. Joshi on early cancer detection.