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August 2017 Media Thread

2 Post author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16AM

This is the monthly thread for posting media of various types that you've found that you enjoy. Post what you're reading, listening to, watching, and your opinion of it. Post recommendations to blogs. Post whatever media you feel like discussing! To see previous recommendations, check out the older threads.


  • Please avoid downvoting recommendations just because you don't personally like the recommended material; remember that liking is a two-place word. If you can point out a specific flaw in a person's recommendation, consider posting a comment to that effect.
  • If you want to post something that (you know) has been recommended before, but have another recommendation to add, please link to the original, so that the reader has both recommendations.
  • Please post only under one of the already created subthreads, and never directly under the parent media thread.
  • Use the "Other Media" thread if you believe the piece of media you want to discuss doesn't fit under any of the established categories.
  • Use the "Meta" thread if you want to discuss about the monthly media thread itself (e.g. to propose adding/removing/splitting/merging subthreads, or to discuss the type of content properly belonging to each subthread) or for any other question or issue you may have about the thread or the rules.

Comments (40)

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:17:13AM 0 points [-]

Short Online Texts Thread

Comment author: morganism 04 August 2017 11:35:50PM 2 points [-]

Taming wave functions with neural networks

"In my thesis, I considered a toy system of 4 spin-\frac{1}{2} particles interacting via the Heisenberg Hamiltonian. Solving this system is not difficult so I was able to focus on fitting the two disparate parts – machine learning and Matrix Product States – together.

Success! My model solved for ground states with arbitrary precision."


Comment author: morganism 05 August 2017 11:22:46PM *  1 point [-]

Could diabetes spread like mad cow disease?

"Prions are insidious proteins that spread like infectious agents and trigger fatal conditions such as mad cow disease. A protein implicated in diabetes, a new study suggests, shares some similarities with these villains. Researchers transmitted diabetes from one mouse to another just by injecting the animals with this protein. The results don’t indicate that diabetes is contagious like a cold, but blood transfusions, or even food, may spread the disease.


(implications for Alzheimers protein plaques too..and prion transmission is happening in the wild still, north american deer populations are infecting each other.)

Comment author: MaryCh 06 August 2017 03:58:20PM 1 point [-]

The first question is - what kind of diabetes?

Comment author: morganism 12 August 2017 08:39:23PM 1 point [-]

That would be type 2, since it is corresponding liver damage ?

Comment author: morganism 05 August 2017 08:29:18PM 1 point [-]

Meet ‘Spoofy’. How a Single entity dominates the price of Bitcoin.

"You’ll see evidence of spoofing, wash trading, a sketchy scheme associated closely with Bitfinex known as ‘Tether’ among other shenanigans."


Comment author: morganism 27 August 2017 07:41:13PM 0 points [-]

scientists demonstrate that liquid water can generate THz waves

scientists in the new study found that the THz radiation from water exhibits very different characteristics compared to the THz radiation from air plasma. For example, a longer laser pulse duration increases the amount of THz radiation energy generated from water, but for air plasma the opposite is true: a shorter pulse increases the THz radiation. The scientists also found that, when positioned away from the normal incident angle of optical excitation, the strength of the THz radiation from water depends on the polarization of the laser beam, whereas the THz radiation from the air plasma is polarization-independent.

The researchers explain that these observations cannot be fully explained by physicists' current understanding of the mechanisms involved in THz wave generation.



Comment author: morganism 27 August 2017 07:20:45PM 0 points [-]

Pink noise helps with sleep and memory in older adults


The study used a new approach, which reads an individual’s brain waves in real time and locks in the gentle sound stimulation during a precise moment of neuron communication during deep sleep, which varies for each person.

During deep sleep, each brain wave or oscillation slows to about one per second compared to 10 oscillations per second during wakefulness.

Giovanni Santostasi, a study coauthor, developed an algorithm that delivers the sound during the rising portion of slow wave oscillations. This stimulation enhances synchronization of the neurons’ activity"

Comment author: morganism 13 August 2017 09:54:23PM 0 points [-]

Nervous system manipulation by electromagnetic fields from monitors


Abstract Physiological effects have been observed in a human subject in response to stimulation of the skin with weak electromagnetic fields that are pulsed with certain frequencies near ½ Hz or 2.4 Hz, such as to excite a sensory resonance. Many computer monitors and TV tubes, when displaying pulsed images, emit pulsed electromagnetic fields of sufficient amplitudes to cause such excitation. It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set. For the latter, the image pulsing may be imbedded in the program material, or it may be overlaid by modulating a video stream, either as an RF signal or as a video signal. The image displayed on a computer monitor may be pulsed effectively by a simple computer program. For certain monitors, pulsed electromagnetic fields capable of exciting sensory resonances in nearby subjects may be generated even as the displayed images are pulsed with subliminal intensity.

Comment author: morganism 12 August 2017 08:35:27PM 0 points [-]

Nightmares in the general population: identifying potential causal factors.



Nightmare occurrence, adjusting for negative affect, was associated with higher levels of worry, depersonalisation, hallucinatory experiences, paranoia, and sleep duration (odds ratios 1.25-1.45). Nightmare severity, controlling for negative affect, was associated with higher levels of worry, depersonalisation, hallucinatory experiences, and paranoia (R 2s: 0.33-0.39). Alcohol use and physical activity levels were not associated with nightmares.

and sleeping too long gives more REM time, increasing amount of time for nightmares.

Comment author: cousin_it 06 August 2017 09:54:52AM *  0 points [-]

A summary of some recent neuroscience research about consciousness:


The Helmholtzian view inverts this framework, proposing that signals flowing into the brain from the outside world convey only prediction errors – the differences between what the brain expects and what it receives. Perceptual content is carried by perceptual predictions flowing in the opposite (top-down) direction, from deep inside the brain out towards the sensory surfaces. [...] A number of experiments are now indicating that consciousness depends more on perceptual predictions, than on prediction errors.

Comment author: morganism 05 August 2017 08:33:11PM 0 points [-]

geo-engineering with tethers, or tall chimneys. Benefits include electric production and copious water condensate


25,000 chimneys will offset Global Warming.
Each chimney will produce electricity
Each chimney will induce rain generation in surrounding areas
Each chimney will transform desert into arable land capable of trapping . CO2
Comment author: morganism 12 August 2017 08:37:44PM *  0 points [-]



they can now make spidersilk at room temp, with cheap hydrogels. would help.

Comment author: Viliam 07 August 2017 02:57:50PM 0 points [-]
  1. I don't understand what is the difference between the air inside the chimney and the air outside the chimney. They have the same temperature so why will the air inside the chimney be rising?

At the bottom of the chimney air has the same temperature inside and outside. The inside and outside air will be rising up. However, the air outside will be cooling adiabatically, so its temperature will be dropping. The air inside will be not affected by adiabatic cooling and will maintain its energy, so it will be warmer and less dense than outside air. And the higher we go, the bigger that difference will be. That difference will be the driving force of the chimney.

I am bad at physics, so I want to ask others whether this part actually makes sense. I strongly suspect it does not.

Comment author: Lumifer 07 August 2017 03:08:02PM 0 points [-]

Without knowing much physics... "cooling adiabatically" means that both the temperature and the density decrease. If the air inside is not affected by this, it will be warmer, but will also be more dense.

Comment author: Viliam 07 August 2017 08:50:10PM 0 points [-]

I am suspicious about the part where the density decreases. That means, the air expands to a larger volume. But larger in which dimension: horizontally or vertically? I suppose it cannot be horizontally, because next to it there is air in exactly the same situation, which also tries to expand with equal pressure. But if vertically, then what is the difference between being in a (vertical) chimney or being outside of it?

Comment author: Lumifer 08 August 2017 02:44:20PM 0 points [-]

These superchimneys are pure nonsense. Don't bother.

Comment author: morganism 04 August 2017 10:46:56PM 0 points [-]

a poster at Arctic Sea Ice News has put together a disturbing article. Sea ice at arctic is breaking apart, and may disconnect with Canadian mainland before fall starts. A major warming trend , and lots of wind is causing trouble, and a hole has developed in the ice at 85 N.


some pics and graphs from pg 68 - 70 show some of the probs with sattelite observations.


Comment author: Thomas 01 August 2017 09:04:20AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:17:09AM 0 points [-]

Online Videos Thread

Comment author: morganism 05 August 2017 10:00:12PM *  1 point [-]

What the Hell is Going On?


"The lack of new physics beyond the Higgs at the LHC has left the field in a difficult state."

" If you want to understand the conventional wisdom on the state of the subject, you can watch Nima Arkani-Hamed’s three and a half hour lecture which he starts off by describing as on the topic “What the Hell is Going On?”.

A lot of the first part is historical, starting off with the Georgi-Glashow GUT and the arguments for SU(5) or SO(10) GUT unification first put forward 43 years ago. He then walks the audience through the sequence of steps theorists have taken to solve the problems of such models, after an hour ending up at the landscape, spending a half an hour promoting the anthropic solution to the CC and other problems. The second part of the talk is largely devoted to making the case for his favored split SUSY models, with anthropics and the landscape taking care of their naturalness problems. By the end of the three and a half hours, Arkani-Hamed admits that this scenario is not that convincing, while arguing that it’s the only thing he can see left that is consistent with the idea that theorists have been following a correct path since 1974:"

"The disadvantage to the trajectory of going with what works and then changing a little and changing a little is that you might just be in the basin of attraction of the wrong idea from the start and then you’ll just stay there for ever."


Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:17:05AM 0 points [-]

Fanfiction Thread

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:17:02AM 0 points [-]

Nonfiction Books Thread

Comment author: morganism 04 August 2017 10:42:41PM 1 point [-]

Carlos Rovelli has a new book out, another pop physics one. Last one sold a million

Carlo Rovelli’s Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

and an interview of his hippie youth


Comment author: Torello 03 August 2017 12:57:38AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:57AM 0 points [-]

Fiction Books Thread

Comment author: Torello 03 August 2017 12:54:28AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:53AM 0 points [-]

TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:50AM 0 points [-]

TV and Movies (Live Action) Thread

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:47AM 0 points [-]

Games Thread

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:43AM 0 points [-]

Music Thread

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:40AM 0 points [-]

Podcasts Thread

Comment author: moridinamael 04 August 2017 06:52:02PM 0 points [-]

I visited with the good folks on the Bayesian Conspiracy podcast. We discussed the ideas from Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:36AM 0 points [-]

Other Media Thread

Comment author: morganism 05 August 2017 10:33:35PM 0 points [-]

We want you to willingly install one of our viruses onto your computer. Or maybe a bacteriophage. Or a white blood cell. Don’t worry — you won’t need virus protection. We’re spreading these viruses to serve as your new digital wallpaper.


At XVIVO Scientific Animation, our goal is to advance knowledge by translating complex concepts into compelling visuals. We work with innovators across science and medicine to develop elegant and precise medical animations, medical illustrations, and medical interactive productions.

Comment author: morganism 05 August 2017 09:46:19PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2017 08:16:32AM 0 points [-]

Meta Thread

Comment author: gwern 01 August 2017 02:35:26PM 2 points [-]
Comment author: Dr_Manhattan 01 August 2017 04:14:38PM 1 point [-]

Slightly overlapping with Online Videos, but I'd love to recommend and be recommended online courses

Comment author: Cloakless 04 August 2017 01:50:52PM 3 points [-]

I've been looking for jobs, and was recommended this free course in Machine Leaning - https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning/ - which I've really enjoyed. It's pretty thorough, although if you have a strong mathematical background you might want to play most of the videos through on double speed because they're still understandable and there's an interactive transcript so you can easily find the bits you don't understand so well.