2024 June

Friday, June 14, 2024

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[Flag Day] The stars-and-stripes version of the American flag was adopted as the national flag of the United States by the Continental Congress. Designed by Francis Hopkinson, it featured 13 stars and 13 stripes to represent the 13 colonies. Now, June 14 is celebrated as Flag Day.
A diet designed to reduce environmental harm has been linked to a significantly lower risk of premature death. The “planetary health” diet, first published in The Lancet five years ago, recommends reducing meat consumption, boosting fruit and vegetable intake and getting most of the needed protein from nuts, beans and lentils. A recent Harvard University study found that closely following the diet reduces the risk of major causes of death including cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., voted Wednesday to approve a resolution opposing the use of in vitro fertilization. The all men-ruled denomination still treat woman as less than equal. The last time they met they agreed to ban woman from positions of leadership and to becoming pastors. They are still allowed to clean the office and to pray.
[Friday Joke] Two elephants talking, one said he had a doctor’s appointment next week in Alabama, the other said “Tuscaloosa”, first one replied, “No, just a sore foot.”
[New AI iPhone] It’s the “hottest and most widely telegraphed partnership in Silicon Valley,” said the Financial Times, after Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Monday a venture with artificial intelligence pioneer OpenAI. The tie-up integrates AI into iPhones by embedding a suite of models into the operating system, under the “catch-all term” of Apple Intelligence. The new features showed off by Apple can read your calendar, check traffic on routes, reschedule a meeting, draft a message to contacts, summarize articles, rewrite emails or sort texts according to priority. “Groundbreaking” this is not. But think of Apple’s plans as a “top-to-bottom makeover” of the iPhone. The idea is that using AI on the devices will seem so normal that sometimes you might not even notice it’s there.

The Big Pine Book Club meets this Saturday to discuss The Wager by David Grann –shipwreck, mutiny and murder! 10am at the Big Pine Library. Link
[Streaming Services] How to save money by jumping between streaming services. You don’t have to be signed up for Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, Disney Plus, Max, and everything else all the time. Link

[Inflation] I can remember when the dollar sign ($) had to have 2 lines thru the S.  The dollar has lost so much value that they sometimes don’t even run a whole line through the S.

Most Black Americans think systemic racism at U.S. institutions is real, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. Link
[Deer Family] Well, it seems like mommy, daddy, and baby came to my house to show off the new baby. (Editor: Sorry, but the attached photo was too small to see the deer so I ad libbed.)
[Semiconductor Chips] The battle for global supremacy between the United States and China comes down to semiconductor chips. That contest is entering a new phase as the American government pumps $100 billion into subsidies for tech firms and China builds dozens of new facilities. China is the largest global supplier of older legacy chips, but the Biden administration aims to control nearly 30% of the chip market by 2032.
[Crap Car] 90% percent of new cars performed better than the Ford Expedition SUV in recent crash tests. While SUVs are often highlighted for their perceived safety features, the Expedition results show this isn’t always the case.
[Plastic Sperm] Every human semen sample contained microplastics in new study. Scientists detected Styrofoam, PVC, and other toxic particles. Link
Rivian vastly improves R1S SUV with version 2.0. With more maturity than a Tesla and an improved price, Rivian delivers. Video
[Copper Shortage] The world is facing a problematic scarcity of a key element, copper. While recent reports of a pending copper shortage may not sound consequential to the average person, experts have expressed significant concerns. Copper is widely seen as a “leading indicator of economic health” because it’s “used practically everywhere — in homes and in factories, in electronics and in power generation,” said Reuters. By 2030, however, global copper mines will only meet 80% of the world’s copper requirements. What’s behind the looming copper shortage. Video
[Old-School Screensavers] There was a time when screensavers truly saved screens. If you used any Windows computer in the 1990’s or are simply a fan of digital nostalgia, then you likely remember a PC’s suite of instantly recognizable idle modes—customizable 3D flying text or objects, infinite labyrinths, and expanding networks of complex pipes. These animation screens weren’t intended as pointless but effective distractions—they actually served a real purpose. And in the case of the original Windows options like 3D pipes, they did more than just protect computer screens. Link
[Artificial Beauty]  Models that only exist online are competing in the first-ever Miss AI virtual pageant this month. The contestants were created by artificial intelligence content teams from around the world using a combination of off-the-shelf and proprietary AI technology. FanVue, the U.K. online creator platform organizing the pageant, said it received 1,500 submissions. The 10 finalists have online personas, with videos and images shared on social media. The team behind the winner will receive a $5,000 prize.
[Ringworm For Sexually Active People] A new report warns of a “highly contagious” sexually transmitted form of ringworm after the first case was reported in an American man who had recently returned to New York City from vacationing in the U.K., Greece and California. While this has not been found before in the U.S., the skin condition has been increasingly diagnosed throughout Europe.
[Sick Dog Privacy] I went to pick up my dog’s prescription at CVS today and they wouldn’t let me have it because I couldn’t remember my dog’s birthday. And the pharmacist wouldn’t tell me the birthday because of HIPAA laws. And my dog wouldn’t tell me because he’s a dog.
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Two paintings looted from Jewish owners by the Nazis and kept on display in the Louvre have been returned to their heirs, who then immediately gave them back to the museum. “Still Life with Ham” by Floris van Schooten and “Food, Fruit and Glass on a Table” by Peter Binoit are now part of an exhibition about artwork stolen during World War II. One heir said keeping their painting on display was a “duty of memory toward my family, looted from and persecuted, whose history speaks to current generations.”

[What Is It] Ancient artifacts that still puzzle archaeologists. Link
[Friday Joke] Putin is held hostage by a terrorist. A Russian truck driver stops at the back of a long queue on the motorway. He sees a policeman walking down the line of stopped cars to briefly talk to the drivers. As the policeman approaches the truck, the truck driver rolls down his window and asks, “What’s going on?”
Policeman: “A terrorist is holding Putin hostage in a car. He’s demanding 10 million rubles, or he’ll douse Putin in petrol and set him on fire. So we’re asking drivers for donations.”
Driver: “Oh, ok. How much do people donate on average.”
Policeman: “About a gallon.”
[Witchcraft] Africans living with dementia are often accused of witchcraft, with common symptoms such as forgetfulness seen as evidence of evil. Those accused have been set on fire, stoned, beaten to death and buried alive. The United Nations estimated there were at least 20,000 victims of such harmful practices across 60 countries between 2009 and 2019, mostly women. The U.N. human rights commissioner predicted those numbers will increase as the prevalence of dementia grows across the continent.
The abortion pill mifepristone — and the FDA’s broader authority to regulate drugs — just survived one challenge at the Supreme Court.
[Popular News Source] More than 6 out of 10 users of X say that following the news is a “major or minor reason” they use the platform, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. The poll found that 65% of X users rely on the platform for their news, compared to less than half of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok users who say the same.
[Beer] Breakfast is nice and all, but I’m pretty sure the most important meal of the day is beer.
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[Friday Joke] A guy said to God, “God, is it true that to you a billion years is like a second?”
God said, “Yes.”
The guy said, “God, is it true that to you a billion dollars is like a penny?”
God said, “Yes.”
The guy said, “God, can I have a penny?”
God said, “Yes, just a second.”
The current Coconut Telegraph was published on 6/14/24 at 8:16 am.