Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wash Your Hands!

Source: Economist, Mar 2020

The Rise of Skywalker – Special Effects

Source:  The Verge, Feb 2020

a new visual effects (VFX) breakdown from Industrial Light & Magic has shed more light on the process, while also offering a peek behind the curtain at some of the movie’s other big set pieces such as Rey’s leap over Kylo’s TIE Silencer, or the film’s final space battle.

… surprising to learn just how much of Fisher’s scenes were digital. While her face itself came from unused footage from The Force Awakens, her costume and hair were digitally created to give them a new appearance in the latest movie.

the entire ocean that swirled around Rey and Kylo during their battle on the Death Star’s ruins was CGI. Although real water was used to soak the actors, this had to be edited out to be consistent with the 4.2 million gallons of water that was simulated in the environment. Oh, and in case you were wondering how many ships take part in the film’s final climactic battle, it’s 16,000, and rendering them all took 8.4 million hours of processing time.

China Industrial Policy

Source: The Economist, Jan 2020

2019 Nobelist Esther Duflo @ a 1991 Moscow Protest

Source:  Meduza.io, Oct 2019

In the photograph, a group of young people has climbed onto a trolley near the White House in Moscow to hold up a poster that says “Fascism won’t fly.” Borko wrote that he did not know the people in the photo but had always dreamed of finding out who they were.

Borko recently received a Facebook message from a woman (he did not reveal her name) who recognized herself and her friends in the photo.

She wrote, “At the time, I was about to start my second year at the Second Med [i.e. the N.I. Pirogov Russian National Medical Research University] — I was training as a pediatrician, a neonatologist. The boy in between the girls is my childhood friend from [the Pushkin Museum’s Young Art Historians’ Club]. He became a chemist, and he lives in Boston now. Just today, he flew in to Moscow for a couple of days. On the right, the person raising his fist, that’s his classmate. […]

And now, most importantly, the girl in white pants holding up the sign is Esther Duflo. A week ago, she won the Nobel Prize in Economics! She was my good friend from France, and she would spend the holidays with us. She even spent almost an entire year with us in Moscow. Now, she teaches at MIT in Boston.

Related Resource: Twitter, Oct 2019

After the coup (putsch) against Gorbachev in August 1991, Esther and her friend went to the center of Moscow to see what was happening.

“We were 18 and a bit nuts… We could not see much so we climbed the bus. Someone handed me that poster.”

Next thing she knew, it was on the news in France. (They didn’t know she was French but it was a good visual.) “My parents were not happy.”

Visualizations – Charts, Diagrams, InfoGraphics

Source: WebHosting, Oct 2019

Related Resource: edrawsoft, date indeterminate

Stanley Milgram’s Experiment: Willingness to Bow to Authority

Source: Psypost, Nov 2019

An analysis of previously unpublished data raises serious questions about Stanley Milgram’s landmark obedience experiments.

The findings, which have been published in Social Psychology Quarterly, indicate that many people were willing to engage in seemingly reprehensible behavior because they saw through the researchers’ cover story. Those who believed the cover story, on the other hand, tended to be more defiant.

The Milgram experiment was designed to test people’s willingness to bow to authority — in this case, scientists in lab coats. Subjects were led to believe that they were participating in a study about learning, and were asked to deliver increasingly powerful electric shocks to another subject whenever he got an answer wrong during a memory test.

No shocks were actually delivered, but the other subject (who was actually a research assistant) made increasingly desperate cries of agony and pleas to stop.

An analysis of previously unpublished data raises serious questions about Stanley Milgram’s landmark obedience experiments.

The findings, which have been published in Social Psychology Quarterly, indicate that many people were willing to engage in seemingly reprehensible behavior because they saw through the researchers’ cover story. Those who believed the cover story, on the other hand, tended to be more defiant.

The Milgram experiment was designed to test people’s willingness to bow to authority — in this case, scientists in lab coats. Subjects were led to believe that they were participating in a study about learning, and were asked to deliver increasingly powerful electric shocks to another subject whenever he got an answer wrong during a memory test.

No shocks were actually delivered, but the other subject (who was actually a research assistant) made increasingly desperate cries of agony and pleas to stop.

“The key findings of our study, that obedience to authority is not as unreasoning and automatic as Milgram would have us believe, but was based on commonsense judgements by subjects who were variously convinced and unconvinced by the experimental scenario and responded accordingly, should prompt textbook writers to significantly revise their presentations of the research,” Perry said.

What Women Look For

Source: MSN, Nov 2019

1. You need to be taller than her.

Sadly, height bias is still very much real: 89. 5 percent of respondents said their short-term partner had to be taller than them, and only 11.9 percent viewed height as unimportant.

The good news is that “taller” might not mean as tall as you might think, given that the average adult American woman is only 5’3″. A 2018 survey by the dating website E-Harmony found that 5’8″ was considered to be the ideal height for men, which is actually slightly shorter than the 5’9″ that has been deemed the average height of an adult American man.

2. But you don’t necessarily need to be smarter.

While having similar education levels may be important for women seeking a lifelong mate, only 46.7 percent of American women thought intelligence was an important trait in a casual partner.

3. Hair is great, but only if it’s on your face.

…most women said they’d prefer a short haircut and a hairless chest for a fling than luscious locks and a virtual forest of upper body hair.

4. You don’t have to be buff.

Unsurprisingly, about half (51.8 percent) of all women surveyed considered body type to be a very important factor when deciding on a partner for a casual encounter. But if you don’t have a six-pack or bulging biceps, don’t fret.

Fit, athletic physiques were found to be the most popular among women (50.3 percent), followed by “average” body types (29.1 percent). Only 7.8 percent said they wanted someone who was very muscular.

5. Your ethnicity and religion don’t matter.

In what one might be tempted to consider a sign of progress, only 9.9 percent of women believed finding a partner with the same ethnicity was important for a fling, and only 11.6 percent thought you needed to have the same faith.

This aligns with a recent survey from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, which found that millennials care less about religion than previous generations.

6. And don’t forget to smile!

Having an attractive smile was one of the most important factors for women from almost every country in the Clue survey. So, when you’re on your date, remember to show that you’re enjoying yourself by flashing those pearly whites!