What is Reality?


Below: h/t OregonMuse on A♠ Sunday Morning Book Thread

Léon Theremin

The original air guitar

223 The inventor of the Theremin, there is another interesting biography.

A Soviet defector, the musical device he invented was perhaps the least important of his inventions.

He was eventually kidnapped from the streets of Manhattan (ostensibly by Soviets), never to be seen again.

A movie exists about him.

Posted by: navybrat on A♠

The Wikipedia (yeah, I know) entry on Léon Theremin does not confirm the above kidnapping-disappearance comment.


The theremin was the product of Soviet government-sponsored research into proximity sensors.

Continue reading “Léon Theremin”

Artificial Enlightenment

Buddhist Robot Priest To Dole Out Advice In Kyoto Temple

The Android Kannon, based on the traditional Buddhist deity of mercy, delivered its first teachings at Kodaiji temple on Saturday and is due to start preaching to the public in March.

Developed at a cost of Y100 million (£692,000), the robot is a joint project between the Zen temple and Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor of intelligent robotics at Osaka University.

—h/t Blazingcatfur

Continue reading “Artificial Enlightenment”

These People Do Not Exist






A new person who doesn’t exist
with each refresh of the page.

Produced by a GAN (generative adversarial network)
StyleGAN (Dec 2018) – Karras et al. and Nvidia
Original GAN (2014) – Goodfellow et al.
Don’t panic. Learn about how it works.
Help me figure out what was learned by this AI here.

h/t Anna Puma, commenting on Ace of Spades


Helium, iPhone’s Kryptonite

Why a Helium Leak Disabled Every iPhone in a Medical Facility

Daniel Oberhaus, motherboard.vice.com, Oct 30 2018


The bizarre incident happened during the installation of an MRI machine and was a surprise to everyone except Apple.

…the MRI installation involves supercooling the giant magnet in the machine by boiling off liquid helium. This evaporated helium is usually pumped out of the facility through a vent, but this vent was leaking the helium into the rest of the facility. … helium atoms can wreak havoc on MEMS silicon chips. … Apple recently defected from traditional quartz-based clocks in its phones in favor of clocks that are also made of MEMS silicon. Given that clocks are the most critical device in any computer and are necessary to make the CPU function, their disruption with helium atoms is enough to crash the device. …

h/t Misanthropic Humanitarian on the Ace of Spades Halloween ONT