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07 Feb 06:56

A Study Showing the Dangers of Hot Tea Reveals How Complex Cancer Risks Can Be

by Ed Cara

There are few better things on a blustery cold day than a spot of hot tea. But a new study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that some people’s tea habits—in particular, those who drink and smoke regularly—might be raising their chances of developing esophageal cancer. The findings also…

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31 Jan 19:12

Michael Mosley: 'Forget walking 10,000 steps a day'

Experts say there is a better way to get fit than counting your steps.
31 Jan 14:27

Kenya TV stations to remain off-air after Odinga 'inauguration'

The government says it is conducting an investigation after the opposition leader's "inauguration".
30 Jan 19:07

High School Seniors in Japan Share the Last Lunch Bentos Their Parents Made Them — Food News

by Elizabeth Licata

A bunch of teenagers about to graduate high school in Japan have been sharing photos of the last lunch bentos their parents made for them, and it's absolutely adorable. I am a person who cries very easily, and I must warn my fellow easy-criers that they might need a tissue, because some of these lunch boxes made me cry almost as much as the latest episode of This Is Us.

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28 Jan 13:26

10 Little Upgrades for Your Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes — Tips from The Kitchn

by Faith Durand

Have you ever tried two-ingredient banana pancakes? They're a magical little recipe — just two ingredients and a little flip time on the griddle and you've got tender, toasty, totally delicious pancakes that kind of taste like the inside of French toast.

But that's just the beginning. Since they're so easy (and so healthy), why not go the extra mile and get fancy with your pancakes? Here are 10 little upgrades that take them from delightfully simple to just plain awesome.

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28 Jan 13:17

Japan's amazing snowmen will blow your mind

Tokyo's been hit by heavy snow and people there have been turning snowmen into an art form.
25 Jan 14:16

Boris Johnson 'is descendant' of mummified Basel woman

A Swiss woman who died in 1787 after contracting syphilis is identified as an ancestor of the politician.
24 Jan 07:02

Why stress makes you fat

Dr Michael Mosley explores the link between stress and over-eating - and the best stress-busting techniques.
23 Jan 09:49

Amazon opens its first grocery store in Seattle - with no tills

No tills? No problem. Inside Amazon's new, fully automated store, which has no checkouts.
23 Jan 07:13

Crafty New Caledonian crows make hunting tools

New Caledonian crows make hooks out of plant material, using them to "fish" for grubs and spiders.
17 Jan 13:35

Salmonella Probably Killed the Aztecs

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: In 1545 disaster struck Mexico's Aztec nation when people started coming down with high fevers, headaches and bleeding from the eyes, mouth and nose. Death generally followed in three or four days. Within five years as many as 15 million people -- an estimated 80% of the population -- were wiped out in an epidemic the locals named "cocoliztli." The word means pestilence in the Aztec Nahuatl language. Its cause, however, has been questioned for nearly 500 years. On Monday scientists swept aside smallpox, measles, mumps, and influenza as likely suspects, identifying a typhoid-like "enteric fever" for which they found DNA evidence on the teeth of long-dead victims. Scientists now say they have probably unmasked the culprit. Analysing DNA extracted from 29 skeletons buried in a cocoliztli cemetery, they found traces of the salmonella enterica bacterium, of the Paratyphi C variety. It is known to cause enteric fever, of which typhoid is an example. The Mexican subtype rarely causes human infection today. Many salmonella strains spread via infected food or water, and may have travelled to Mexico with domesticated animals brought by the Spanish, the research team said. The study has been published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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17 Jan 07:15

100 in European years

by Scandinavia and the World
100 in European years

100 in European years

View Comic!




16 Jan 13:55

See Why Japanese Women Are Paying to Cry with a 'Handsome' Man

by Austa Somvichian-Clausen
In a society that values emotional suppression, see how this attractive man is being paid to make you weep.
16 Jan 11:25

Comic for 2017.12.05

by Dave McElfatrick
16 Jan 07:24

Black Death 'spread by humans not rats'

Human body lice, rather than rat fleas, spread plague during the Black Death, a study simulating the outbreak suggests.
12 Jan 11:56

The serial killer and two unsolved murders

Unravelling a 40-year-old mystery
12 Jan 08:48

Take a 3-D Tour of a Space Cloud Full of Baby Stars

by Nadia Drake
NASA pictures merge with movie magic to create a stunning fly-through of the Orion Nebula.
11 Jan 06:42

The World's Biggest Tech Show Just Lost Power [UPDATED]

by Rhett Jones

Journalists, industry heads, and tech enthusiasts descended on Las Vegas this week for the annual CES showcase of bleeding-edge electronics. On Wednesday, everyone gathered around giant gleaming TVs, strapped on VR headsets, played fetch with robot dogs, and then the power blew out.

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08 Jan 08:09

Ridley Scott Is Ready For Another Blade Runner Sequel

by Julie Muncy on io9, shared by Tom McKay to Gizmodo

Androids dream of electric sheep, and Ridley Scott dreams of sequels.

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06 Jan 15:23

Paper Scraps Recovered From Blackbeard's Cannon Reveal What Pirates Were Reading

by George Dvorsky

Old-timey pirates are typically portrayed as stupid, unrefined thugs whose only interests involved plundering captured ships and forcing enemies to walk the plank. The recent discovery of legible text on paper pulled from the cannon of Blackbeard’s flagship paints a strikingly different picture of these misunderstood…

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05 Jan 13:24

2017-та в снимки

by Evgeni

С известно закъснение, представям кратък фото-очерк на местата, които съм посетил през изминалата 2017-та година.

2017-та започна обсипана с обилен сняг, който създаде доста главоболия с придвижването.

tarnovo

Сняг беше покрил дори и плажовете.

burgas

Балканът, колкото и да е труднодостъпен през зимата, е още по-пленителен, особено ако си се запътил сам към хижа Рай.

balkan

Вечер в нощното небе грейват безброй ярки звезди.

balkan

Рила предлага микс от назъбени скали подаващи се страховито в намусеното време.

rila

В равнинните части на страната е почти сигурно, че там, където има хълм, някога се е издигала крепост, също като тази край село Венчан.

venchan

С настъпването на пролетта, лилави великденчета изпълват поляните.

burgas

Всичко се мени бързо и непрестанно. Както грее слънце, ще завали дъжд и ще се покаже дъга. Мимолетни макове обагрят в алено произволни площи.

burgas

Сезонът, който изпълва с оптимизъм всяко живо същество.

sozopol

Правим бърза отбивка в Андалусия, която с невероятната си история ни връща в миналото.

andalucia

Колкото да хвърлим поглед на двореца Алхамбра в Гранада.

andalucia

Както и на приказният мост Nuevo Ponte в Ронда.

andalucia

Но не се изкушаваме да тръгнем по курортите на Коста дел сол.

andalucia

Съвсем спонтатто се пренасяме на колоритният остров Мадейра.

madeira

Където има от всичко по много - планини, крайбрежие...

madeira

Древни гори.

madeira

И слънце в изобилие.

madeira

За момент се връщаме в България, за да видим какво е положението в живописният циркус на Урдини езера.

rila

Оказва се, че голямо стадо игриви коне е обсадило всичко наоколо.

rila

Юли е, лавандула е покрила като лилав килим многобройни кътчета в Тракийската низина.

lavender

Време е за море, време е за някой гръцки остров, защо не Лефкада.

lefkada

Където морето е по-синьо от небето.

lefkada

А небето се слива с морето.

lefkada

И така неизбежно пристигаме в Родопите, където млечният път свети като фар в мрака на необятната вселена.

shirokapolyana

А край Карадере луната изгрява за да прогони мрака.

karadere

Неусетно пристига есента, покрила с пъстра премяна котловини и хребети на Кормисош.

rhodope

Неустоими и пленителни са Родопите в средата на есента, дори и сред най-забутаните дерета.

rhodope

Какво остава пък, ако случайно се окажем по изгрев някъде над виещите се из пъстрите гори меандри на Арда.

rhodope

Понякога ми се струва, че това е всичко, което ми се иска да съм видял, но както се казва, с гледането идва апетита за още и още.

rhodope
Годишни отчети
05 Jan 12:19

Kyle Edmund loses to Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane International

British number two Kyle Edmund has an injury scare in his defeat by Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane International.
04 Jan 07:53

Rush to fix 'serious' computer chip flaws

Devices with microchips made by firms including Intel, ARM and AMD are vulnerable say researchers.
28 Dec 15:56

Официално е - TURISAS ще гостуват в София на 6 май

news picture
   Преди няколко дни първи ви съобщихме за евентуално първо гостуване на финските езически "воини" TURISAS в София. Днес идва и ...
27 Dec 11:09

This Is Why Some People Get Headaches from Red Wine — Food News

by Susmita Baral

The world can be divided into two types of people: those who can guzzle down a bottle of red wine without any health repercussions and those who get a painful headache from just a single glass. The mystery surrounding the latter — why do some people get migraines from red wine? — involves understanding the effects of key substances found in a bottle of red.

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22 Dec 06:56

Only a True Star Wars Fan Can Appreciate This Gingerbread Masterpiece — Food News

by Sarah Rae Smith

It's that time of year when gingerbread houses seem to be coming out of our ears. No, not literally, that sounds horribly painful, but you get the idea. If you have children you've probably been asked to assemble one. In the beginning this sounds fun, but 200 pounds of candy and icing in your carpet later all sanity has been lost.

Your interest might be regained in the craft of gingerbread, however, when you lay eyes on this festive Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars. It's huge!

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21 Dec 09:48

Albert Guinon

"There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves."
20 Dec 13:17

Islamic instant divorce 'not legal' under EU law, says ECJ

Europe's top court says EU members need not legally recognise divorces not granted by a state court.
19 Dec 09:47

My Grandfather’s Travel Logs and Other Repetitive Tasks

by by Daniel Warren

My grandfather, James, was a meticulous recordkeeper. He kept handwritten journals detailing everything from his doctor visits to the daily fluctuations of stocks he owned. I only discovered this part of his life seven years after his death, when my family’s basement flooded on Christmas Eve in 2011 and we found his journals while cleaning up the damage. His travel records impressed me the most. He documented every trip he ever took, including dates, countries and cities visited, methods of travel, and people he traveled with. In total, he left the United States 99 times, visited 80 countries, and spent 1,223 days at sea on 48 ships.

A section of the handwritten travel log kept by the author’s grandfather
A section of the travel log.

I was only twenty-four when he died, so I hadn’t yet realized that I’d inherited many of his record-keeping, journaling, and collecting habits. And I had never had the chance to ask him many questions about his travels (like why he went to Venezuela twelve times or what he was doing in Syria and Beirut in the 1950s). So, in an effort to discover more about him, I decided to make an infographic of his travel logs.

Today, we take for granted that we can check stocks on our phones or go online and view records from doctor visits. The kinds of repetitive tasks my grandfather did might seem excessive, especially to young web developers and designers who’ve never had to do them. But my grandfather had no recording method besides pencil and paper for most of his life, so this was a normal and especially vital part of his daily routine.

A photograph of a ship called SS Amor, taken by the author’s grandfather in the West Indies in 1939.
SS Amor in the West Indies. Taken by the author’s grandfather in 1939.
A photograph of the New York City skyline, taken by the author’s grandfather, probably in the 1930s.
New York City. Taken by the author’s grandfather, probably in the 1930s.

Whether you’re processing Sass, minifying, or using Autoprefixer, you’re using tools to perform mundane and repetitive tasks that people previously had to do by hand, albeit in a different medium.

But what do you do when you’re faced with a problem that can’t be solved with a plugin, like my grandfather’s travel data? If you’re a designer, what’s the best way to structure unconventional data so you can just focus on designing?

My idea for the travel web app was to graph each country based on the number of my grandfather’s visits. As the country he visited the most (twenty-two times), Bermuda would have a graph bar stretching 100 percent across the screen, while a country he visited eleven times (St. Thomas, for example) would stretch roughly 50 percent across, the proportions adjusted slightly to fit the name and visits. I also wanted each graph bar to be the country’s main flag color.

The big issue to start was that some of the data was on paper and some was already transcribed into a text file. I could have written the HTML and CSS by hand, but I wanted to have the option to display the data in different ways. I needed a JSON file.

I tediously transcribed the remaining travel data into a tab-separated text file for the countries. I added the name, number of visits, and flag color:

...
honduras	    1    #0051ba
syria	1	#E20000
venezuela	    16    #fcd116
enewetak	2	rgb(0,56,147)
...

For the ships, I added the date and name:

...
1941    SS Granada
1944    USS Alimosa
1945    USS Alcoa Patriot
...

Manually creating a JSON file would have taken forever, so I used JavaScript to iterate through the text files and create two separate JSON files—one for countries and one for ships—which I would later merge.

First, I used Node readFileSync() and trim() to remove any quotation marks at the end of the file so as to avoid an empty object in the results:

const fs = require('fs');

let countriesData = fs.readFileSync('countries.txt', 'utf8')
	.trim();

This returned the contents of the countries.txt file and stored it in a variable called countriesData. At that point, I outputted the variable to the console, which showed that the data was lumped together into one giant string with a bunch of tabs (\t) and newlines (\n):

"angaur\t2\t#56a83c\nantigua\t5\t#ce1126\nargentina\t2\trgb(117,170,219)\naruba\t10\trgb(0,114,198)\nbahamas\t3\trgb(0,173,198)\nbarbados\t6\trgb(255,198,30)\nbermuda\t22\trgb(0,40,104)\nbonaire\t1\trgb(37,40,135)\nguyana\t2\trgb(0,158,73)\nhonduras\t1\trgb(0,81,186)\nvirgin Islands\t2\trgb(0,40,104)\nbrazil\t3\trgb(30,181,58)\nburma\t1\trgb(254,203,0)\ncanary Islands\t1\trgb(7,104,169)\ncanal Zone\t7\trgb(11,14,98)\ncarriacou\t1\trgb(239,42,12)\n ..."

Next, I split the string at the line breaks (\n):

const fs = require('fs');

let countriesData = fs.readFileSync('countries.txt', 'utf8')
.trim()
.split('\n');

After split(), in the console, the countries’ data lived in an array:

[
  "angaur\t2\t#56a83c",
  "antigua\t5\t#ce1126",
  "argentina\t2\trgb(117,170,219)",
  "aruba\t10\trgb(0,114,198)",
  "bahamas\t3\trgb(0,173,198)",
  "barbados\t6\trgb(255,198,30)",
  "bermuda\t22\trgb(0,40,104)",
  ...
]	

I wanted to split each item of country data at the tabs, separating the name, number of visits, and color. To do this, I used map(), which iterates and runs a function on each item, returning something new. In this case, it split the string at each tab it found and returned a new array:

const fs = require('fs');

let countriesData = fs.readFileSync('countries.txt', 'utf8')
	.trim()
	.split('\n')
	.map(item => item.split('\t'));

After I used map(), countriesData was an array of arrays with each country and its data split into separate items:

[
  [
    "angaur",
    "2",
    "#56a83c"
  ],
  [
    "antigua",
    "5",
    "#ce1126"
  ],
  [
    "argentina",
    "2",
    "rgb(117,170,219)"
  ],
  [
    "aruba",
    "10",
    "rgb(0,114,198)"
  ],
  [
    "bahamas",
    "3",
    "rgb(0,173,198)"
  ],
  ...
]

To create the final output for each country, I used reduce(), which uses an accumulator and a function to create something new, whether that’s an object, a value, or an array. Accumulator is a fancy way of referring to the end product, which in our case is an object ({}).

const fs = require('fs');

let countriesData = fs.readFileSync('countries.txt', 'utf8')
	.trim()
	.split('\n')
	.map(item => item.split('\t'))
	.reduce((countries, item) => {
		return countries;
	}, {countries: []});

I knew I wanted {countries: []} to contain the data. So instead of creating it on the first pass and testing whether it existed on each iteration, I added {countries: []} to the resulting object. That way, it existed before I started iterating.

This process returned an empty object because I hadn’t told reduce() what to do with each array of data.

To fix this, I used reduce() to push and add a new object for each country with the name (item[0]), visits (item[1]), and color (item[2]) into the end result object. Finally, I used a capitalization function on each name value to ensure formatting would be consistent.

const fs = require('fs');

const cap = (s) => {
  return s.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + s.slice(1);
};

let countriesData = fs.readFileSync('countries.txt', 'utf8')
	.trim()
	.split('\n')
	.map(item => item.split('\t'))
	.reduce((countries, item) => {
		countries["countries"].push({
			name: cap(item[0]),
      			visits: item[1],
      			color: item[2]
		});
		return countries;
	}, {countries: []});

I used the same method for the ships.txt file and merged the two using Object.assign, a method that takes two objects and creates a new one.

let result = Object.assign({}, countriesData, shipsData);

I could have created a function that took a text file and an object, or created a form-to-JSON tool, but these seemed like overkill for this project, and I had already transcribed some of the data into separate files before even conceiving of the infographic idea. The final JSON result can be found on CodePen.

I used the JSON data to create the infographic bars, defining the layout for each one with CSS Grid and dynamic styles for width and color. Check out the final product at ninetyninetimes.com. I think my grandfather would have enjoyed seeing his handwritten logs transformed into a visual format that showcases the breadth of his travels.

He passed away in 2005, but I remember showing him my Blackberry and explaining the internet to him, showing him how he could look at pictures from around the world and read articles. He took a sip of his martini and sort of waved his hand at the screen. I think he preferred handwritten notes and life outside of the internet, something many of us can appreciate. After sifting through all his travel logs, I more clearly understood the importance he placed on having different experiences, meeting new people, and fearlessly exploring the world. To him, his travels were more than just dates on a page. Now they’re more than that for me, too.

The author wishes to thank Mattias Petter Johansson, whose video series, “Fun Fun Function,” inspired some of the thinking in this article.

19 Dec 06:58

Older Adults' Forgetfulness Tied To Faulty Brain Rhythms In Sleep, Study Says

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Older brains may forget more because they lose their rhythm at night. During deep sleep, older people have less coordination between two brain waves that are important to saving new memories, a team reports in the journal Neuron. The finding appears to answer a long-standing question about how aging can affect memory even in people who do not have Alzheimer's or some other brain disease. The study was the result of an effort to understand how the sleeping brain turns short-term memories into memories that can last a lifetime, says Matt Walker, the author of the book Why We Sleep. "What is it about sleep that seems to perform this elegant trick of cementing new facts into the neural architecture of the brain?" To find out, Walker and a team of scientists had 20 young adults learn 120 pairs of words. "Then we put electrodes on their head and we had them sleep," he says. The electrodes let researchers monitor the electrical waves produced by the brain during deep sleep. They focused on the interaction between slow waves, which occur every second or so, and faster waves called sleep spindles, which occur more than 12 times a second. The next morning the volunteers took a test to see how many word pairs they could still remember. And it turned out their performance was determined by how well their slow waves and spindles had synchronized during deep sleep. Next, the team repeated the experiment with 32 people in their 60s and 70s. Their brain waves were less synchronized during deep sleep. They also remembered fewer word pairs the next morning. And, just like with young people, performance on the memory test was determined by how well their brain waves kept the beat, says Randolph Helfrich, an author of the new study and a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley. The team also found a likely reason for the lack of coordination associated with aging: atrophy of an area of the brain involved in producing deep sleep. People with more atrophy had less rhythm in the brain, Walker says.

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