Thursday, September 29th, 2022


The Apple of My AI

From the earliest experiments with camera obscura to the daguerreotype to the calotype to the Kodak to the Leica to the Polaroid to the insanely powerful camera in your pocket right now, humans have long been obsessed with capturing photos. Until now, that process has usually included aspects like light and vision. The next photographic revolution may have a different source: words. Like all new technologies, this one is being greeted with both excitement and concern. WaPo (Gift Article): AI can now create any image in seconds, bringing wonder and danger. "Once the line between truth and fake is eroded, everything will become fake. We will not be able to believe anything."

+ Here's my result when I typed in, The Apple of My AI. I also combined some recent news stories and came up with a new way to stop asteroids from hitting Earth. More interesting are these images of what celebrities who died young would look like today.

+ While you were deciding how worried to be about AI-created images, Meta announced a new AI that can turn text prompts into videos.



"The storm is thought to have brought more than 17 inches of rain over West-Central Florida ... The historic Naples Pier was reportedly destroyed under waves at least 20 feet high, and parts of the only bridge linking Sanibel Island to the mainland were washed away. The two coastal counties hit the hardest — Lee County, home to Fort Myers and Cape Coral, and Charlotte County to the north — are "basically off the grid." Ian hit Florida hard, but it's not done yet. It seems to be regaining strength as it moves towards other states. Here's the latest from NPR and CNN.

+ A camera six feet off the ground on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers shows just how powerful Ian got. Wow. And Tampa Bay was emptied of water as the storm approached.

+ "On Monday morning, Hurricane Ian had wind speeds of 75 miles per hour. Just 48 hours later, those speeds had more than doubled." Hurricane Ian's rapid intensification is a sign of the world to come.

+ Sam Kinison famously joked that starving people around the world should, "Move to where the food is." Maybe Americans move to where the storms aren't. WaPo: Maps show how millions of people have moved into Hurricane Ian's path.


Blaming the Messenger

While we're being constantly reminded of the threats related to climate change, here's a stat to keep in mind. "An environmental activist has been killed every two days on average over the past decade."


Damn, Yankee!

"In 1961, Roger Maris broke the American League home run record with 61 long balls. 61 seasons later, Aaron Judge has matched him — on his hardest-hit homer of the year." Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris as his mom and Maris's son looked on. The ball was missed by fans, including one named Frankie Lasagna, fell into the Blue Jays bullpen and was promptly handed over to the Yankees. After coach Matt Buschmann picked the ball up, his sportscaster wife who was covering Hurricane Ian from her home state tweeted, "Bad news is I'm down here in Florida battling a hurricane, but the good news is I can announce my retirement…" When she saw how quickly her husband handed the ball over, she followed up with, "Oh cool. He just handed that back without checking to see if our house is still here? I'd next like to announce our divorce." She was just Yankee-ing his chain. The ball got to Judge. And a nice guy just achieved a hell of a milestone.


Extra, Extra

Stocks Broken: "For markets to really turn higher, after U.S. stocks have lost more than 20% of their value this year, analysts say investors will need to see a break from the high inflation that's swept the world. That hasn't arrived yet, with even more data arriving Thursday showing the opposite." Wall Street drops back to lowest since 2020 as fear returns.

+ Calling It Like It Is: "From trenches, dugouts and in occupied homes in the area around Bucha, a western suburb of Kyiv, Russian soldiers disobeyed orders by making unauthorized calls from their cellphones to their wives, girlfriends, friends and parents hundreds of miles from the front line." And the NYT got some recordings. Intercepted Calls Reveal Russian Army in Disarray.

+ Bet the Under(world): Records show that English football clubs had affiliate deals with gambling sites. What does that mean? They were getting a share of dough when people lost bets. I'm highlighting this story because every problem England has when it comes to legal sports betting is going to be bigger and worse as American leagues, corporations, and governments embrace sports wagering.

+ Plane Truth: "Are the batteries on the prototype aircraft capable of propelling the certification aircraft, capable of providing sufficient energy? The answer is no, absolutely not." Electric commuter planes are a beautiful thing. But to make it to prime time, we need battery tech that just doesn't exist yet.

+ Bean Alive: "Drinking two to three cups a day of most types of coffee may protect you from cardiovascular disease and an early death." (I'm currently way too wired to die.)

+ What Can Brown Do For You? I shared the wrong link for this interesting NYT Gift Article yesterday. Can Brown Noise Turn Off Your Brain?


Bottom of the News

The box comes with a meal and a classic McDonald's character like Grimace or the Hamburglar. McDonald's will have adult Happy Meals this October. Try to share some with your kids since you've been eating off of theirs for years.

+ This should probably not need to be said, but when a hurricane makes landfall, don't go swimming.