Daily Archives: July 12, 2021

Reality Show Seeks Idiots Who Have Forgotten Their Bitcoin Passwords – Futurism

Posted: July 12, 2021 at 8:05 am

"Have you lost your key? Have you tried everything to unlock your crypto wallet with no luck?"Tales from the Crypt

The producers of the popular Netflix series Queer Eye are working on a new show andto the crypto crowd, it might hit a little too close to home.

A casting call, spotted by New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz, outlines what the show is about.

Have you forgotten your crypto wallet password? reads the notice, posted to a casting site and LinkedIn. Have you lost your key? Have you tried everything to unlock your crypto wallet with no luck?

If so, this show is for you. The producers are looking for people who are currently locked out of their crypto wallets and on the verge of losing their money.

In the notice, the producers offer the help of trained experts to give you guidance, suggesting that the show may eventually be about them regaining or failing to regain access to their long-lost millions.

In other words, its a potential feel good hit for Netflixs global audience or, alternately, a theater of tragedy.

There have been countless incidents in which hapless crypto-heads have lost access to their digital wallets, leaving them locked out of potentially enormous sums. While many have gotten filthy rich by investing in the tokens early, others were far less lucky, unknowingly losing access to their newfound wealth.

Some have a few password attempts left, making their last endeavors to access their wallets a hair-raising and binge-worthy affair.

For instance, German programmer Stefan Thomas only has two password guesses left to access his 7,002 Bitcoin currently worth around $234 million. Thomas simply lost the paper where he wrote down the password and has used eight of his ten possible guesses.

I would just lay in bed and think about it, Thomas told The New York Times back in January. Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldnt work, and I would be desperate again.

More on crypto: Neighbors Accuse Bitcoin Mining Facility of Warming Up Entire Lake

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New Research: There’s Enough Meth in Some Rivers to Get Fish Addicted – Futurism

Posted: at 8:05 am

Researchers dumped 60 brown trout in a water tank that contained low levels of methamphetamine to see if they would get addicted,like humans.

After eight weeks, the fish started preferring waters with concentrations of the illicit drug over waters without it, suggesting they were starting to get hooked.

While it sounds a little crass, the levels of meth used in the experiment actually mimicked those found in some freshwater rivers, a result of the drug ending up in sewage and eventually bodies of freshwater a stark reminder,as CNN reports, of the negative effects drug use can have not just on human health but on the local environment as well.

The team, led by led by Pavel Horky, a behavioral ecologist from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, found that the 60 trout exposed to meth were less activethan a control group of 60 other trout.

According to the teams study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the meth-exposed trout were subsequently placed in a tank with two streams of water: one with and one without methamphetamine in it. The ones previously exposed to meth preferred the meth-spiked water in 50.5 percent of the observations. The control group preferred the meth-laced waters only 41.5 percent of the time.

The drug also caused other physical side effects. After just ten days, traces of the drug showed up in the exposed groups brains.

Fish are sensitive to adverse effects of many neurologically active drugs from alcohol to cocaine and can develop drug addiction related to the dopamine reward pathway in a similar manner as humans, Horky told CNN.

Such effects could change the functioning of whole ecosystems as adverse consequences are of relevance at the individual as well as population levels, he added.

In fact, according to Horky, the desire to get another hit might even supersede the natural inclination to mate with other fish.

But the results of the experiment should be taken with a grain of salt.

Im not sure you can truly say these fish are addicted to methamphetamine, but they certainly show a preference for the compoundwhich they shouldnt, really, Gabriel Boss, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Utah who was not involved in the study, told Live Science.

Boss also argued that because the preference died down after a few days, the fish may not have actually been addicted. If they were, he said, the preference would have stuck around longer, and possibly experienced withdrawal.

READ MORE: Methamphetamine in waterways may be turning trout into addicts [CNN]

More on drugs in the water supply: Scientists Propose Adding Psychoactive Drug to our Water Supplies

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This New Rooftop Bar Boasts Never-Before Seen Views of New York City – Vogue

Posted: at 8:05 am

The two worked with Parts and Labor Design to create an elegant, jewel-box restaurant and lounge inspired by Futurism (Italian, Afro, and beyond). Because we felt we were doing something unprecedented in NYC, we decided to really embrace the future, says Rose. The future can sometimes be described as cold, so it was important for us to make the space feel chic, warm, and inviting. We want to be a beacon for the islandyoure able to see this moment atop this building on Roosevelt Island, and it gives a sense of intrigue.

Design details includea large-scale, monolithic chandelier with translucent tubular acrylic set above an Orobico Red marble bar top; palatial black mosaic tile columns adorned with geometric chrome sconces; vintage-inspired blush velvet lounge sofas; additional seating in deep wine and grey velvet; and touches of chrome and marble everywhere.

Parts and Labor Design custom-made all of the furniture and lighting in the space.

Parts and Labor Design custom-made all of the furniture and lighting in the space, except for a show-stopping sculptural mirrored DJ booth near the entrance. This was designed by Cdric Hervet, the longtime creative director of Daft Punk, who has a furniture atelier in Normandy with his cousin.

When we talked to Cdric before COVID about the DJ booth, Daft Punk was still together as a band, and this went on for so long that now theyre no longer a band, says Rose. So we kind of feel like this is almost a piece of Daft Punk, and maybe well be lucky enough to get a stop on the reunion tour.

Rose and Abrous enlisted two friendsAnna Furney, who runs the Venus Over Manhattan gallery in NYC and designer/creative director Darren Romanelli, who is based in L.A.to curate the restaurants art collection. There are pieces including a painting by Spencer Lewis from a series he has been working on for nearly a decade but has rarely shown; Norwegian artist Ida Eklbads textural and brightly colored Tannin Stains a Noble River, 2020; and a sculptural piece custom-made for the space by Brian Belott.

The duo partnered with an all-female team to run the kitchen, with JaToria Harper (Michael Mina restaurants) as executive chef, Lindsey Verardo (Benno and Gramercy Tavern) as executive pastry chef, and Estelle Bossy (Union Square Hospitality Group and Del Posto) as beverage director.

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There’s Something Fishy About the Teletubbies’ Vaccination Cards – Futurism

Posted: at 8:05 am

Image by @TeletubbiesHQ via Twitter / Futurism

The Teletubbies the nightmare half-baby-half-television creatures from your childhood are all vaxxed up and ready for a wild summer, according to a bizarre tweet from the TV shows brand account.

Were all vaxxed! the tweet reads. Just in time for a Tubby hot summer. Whos ready to come outand play.

Its eyebrow-raising, if not mildly off-putting, that beloved childrens television characters are getting in on the hot vax summer trend. But accompanying the tweet are images of all four tubbies holding up their vaccination cards not unlike the selfie you probably took after your own jab and something seems off.

Were not talking about how they got shots manufactured by companies like Noo-nson & Noo-nson and AstraTubbica or that there seems to be a health agency in the world of Teletubbyland with the inscrutable acronym TDC Teletubbyland for Disease Control and Prevention?

No, were more curious about the fact that all four Teletubbies seem to have told their local vaccine-doling pharmacist that they were born on February 20, 2003 nearly six full years after the first episode of the TV show aired.

Also, all four Teletubbies claimed that they got their second shot on July 22, 2021, a date that astute readers will note has not yet arrived.

All of this raises important questions. Like Do the laws of space and time apply to the Teletubbies as they do us mere mortals?

Or perhaps Did the Teletubbies forge their vaccination cards so they could book a flight out of their bizarre, fever-dream meadow home? If so, why would they be so bold as to broadcast the evidence of their particularly selfish crime to all 33,400 of their Twitter followers? Have they no shame?

Oh dear god, during the time I spent writing this article, the Teletubbies Twitter account announced that they vaccinated a sentient vacuum. Im sorry, my brain has short-circuited and the article will end here.

As of this articles publication, the Teletubbies brand account has not responded to Futurisms questions.

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Another Heatwave Is Coming for the West Coast – Futurism

Posted: at 8:05 am

Cities like Las Vegas are expected to break all-time heat records. The West Coast Re-Heated

Stop me if youve heard this one before: a sweltering heatwave is set to hit the West Coast.

Less than a week after a record-breaking heatwave that pummelled the Pacific Northwest, rising temperatures are now set to hit the West Coast this weekend with California and Nevada bearing the brunt of it, according to Gizmodo. On Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) even issued heat warnings for Northern and Central California.

This is a multi-day excessive heat event, the NWS alert said.

Gizmodo also reported that Death Valley in California might see temperatures hit a brain-melting 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius). If that happens, it would tie the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth which coincidentally, also occurred in Death Valley.

Cities such as Las Vegas, Nevada are expected to surpass their all-time record high temperatures.

So far 2021 has been a summer of climate crisis for the US.

Not only has the country seen a series of deadly heatwaves that have killed hundreds of people and might have decimated more than a billion sea creatures, the East Coast is dealing with torrential downpours, flash floods, and a tropical storm that threatens to exacerbate it all even more.

If one thing is clear, its this: Climate change is here, and its having a direct, outsized impact on our day-to-day lives in profound and often deadly ways.

READ MORE: A New Dangerous Heat Wave Is Coming for the West (Yes, Another One) [Gizmodo]

More on climate change: AOC Blames Subway Flooding on Politicians Taking Orders from Fossil Fuel Execs

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In search of perfection: a new kind of Frankensteins Monster – The Fifth Estate

Posted: at 8:05 am

Is there anything more natural than birth? The birth of our planet. The birth of a human being. The cycle of birth, life, death forms the foundation of our being.

You might even say that God gave us a soul because the gift of immortality would be seen as overindulgence. Now science and technology are changing all that.

Throughout history, there has been a fascination to make a better human. To eliminate the fundamental flaw in the human lifecycleto overcome ageing, the cruel deterioration of ones faculties and, ultimately, death.

The ideal of replicating ourselves as something smarter, stronger, and impervious to the ravages of time is perhaps humanitys greatest unfinished ambition. To elevate ourselves from mere mortals to God status.

From a science and technology perspective, this kind of pseudo-immortality is called transhumanism: the biotechnological enhancement of humans that virtually eliminates the terminal frailties of human biology.

Transhumanists envision that we will soon haveimplants to augment our senses and enhance our cognitive processes by bonding ourselves to brain interface memory chips and other human-enhancement technologies.

In short: the merging of man and machine is becoming a reality, perhaps within the next one or two decades.

The endgame is that science and technology will create humans with hugely enhanced intelligence, superhuman strength, speed and stamina, and significantly extended lifespans.

An odd endeavour when globally, the principal driver of environmental degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and thus climate change is exponential population growth.

A far cry from Paul and Anne Ehrlichs inciteful warning in their bookThe Population Bomb(1968). In which they predicted a deteriorating natural environment, social upheaval, and mass starvation as a consequence of overpopulation hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.

Of course, this hasnt happened yet, although our planet shows signs of severe wear and tear, and starvation and malnutrition regularly occur on varying scales.

Conversely, the global fertility rate has halved since 1950 and continues to fall. Predictions suggest that the global population willpeak at 10.9 billion by 2100and go into reverse. By that time, however, things could have gone seriously awry.

Nonetheless, the quest for immortality is unwavering as it is timeless. Author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) set the cat among the pigeons with one of literatures classic allegories,Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus(1831).

Not only did Victor Frankenstein create artificial life that was void of a soula sacrilege of sorts in a time dominated by the Church but one that would not experience death.

A dramatic leap from the wooden legs, false teeth, and average life expectancy of around 35 years in seventeenth-century England.

ShelleysFrankensteinwas originally published anonymously in 1818 following the French Revolution in 1789 and the end of the Enlightenment (1685-1815).

The famed German philosopher Immanuel Kant, in his essayWhat Is Enlightenment?(1784), captured the zeitgeist of the period with the maxim Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason.

In accord with this maxim, both Mary Shelleys parents were Enlightenment philosophers, and both influenced her writing.

The tenets of the Enlightenment centred on egalitarianism a social doctrine that emphasises equality among all societys members which inspired Mary Shelleys mother, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1787), to writeVindication of the Rights of Women(1792), in which she argued that women were not naturally inferior to men.

Mary Wollstonecraft passed away soon after Mary Shelleys birth. However, the spirit of her fight for equality is reflected inFrankenstein, which is, in essence, a metaphorical retort to the philosophical and political values that beset societys progress and equality at the time.

Mary Shelleys father, William Godwin (17561836), was a political philosopher and writer. He is celebrated for his workEnquiry Concerning Political Justice(1793).

Godwin argued that government was a corrupting force in society that propagated dependency and ignorance but would gradually be rendered powerless once people became educated and human understanding expanded.

The substance of her fathers thesis parallels Mary Shellys own novel. Victor Frankensteins Monster was rejected by society and solely dependent on its creator, who likewise rejects him.

Governments foster dependency similarly by providing sustenance with one hand while oppressing with the other.

Shelley uses the themes of isolation and loneliness, rejection and oppression to mirror her societys fears and bigotry. But which also reflect modern society: the hegemonic constructs of the privileged class define the constitution of humanity and reject self-determination by individuals. Indigenous communities and other minority groups can attest to this.

Shelley moreover instils her mothers innate influence, gender inequality one of societys enduring prejudices when Frankenstein reneges on his promise to create a female companion for the Monster, denying her the right to life. Even though he had mastered the science to do so.

Far from being the smartest possible biological species, we are probably better thought of as the stupidest possible biological species capable of starting a technological civilization (sic) a niche we filled because we got there first, not because we are in any sense optimally adapted to it.

Nick Bostromis a theoretical physicist and philosopher at Oxford University. He believes sentient beings, the sort created via genetic engineering, molecular nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, posea greater threat to humanity than climate change.

But like everything else, Bostroms endeavour to mitigate anthropocentric stupidity is drowned out by our overwhelming obsession with technology. I mean, we cannot seem to divert our attention from it, literally!

And we all have an opinion about Artificial Intelligence (AI): succinctly defined as the systematic separation of information and knowledge from the human body-brain to some other non-human form of embodiment.

And if knowledge is power, and we can assume that it is, it need only be instantiated in some other medium to exist, thereby excluding the need for a human presence.

And a human presence is destined for redundancy. As the final phase in AIs evolution is to replicate, or displace, the consciousness of modern humans. An enterprise that will contribute nothing to the enlightenment of humanity.

One must therefore ask the question: what price are we willing to pay for perfection? Is this question significantly more complex than we can imagine? Bearing in mind that increased efficiencies in this sense is an infinite proposition, not unlike pi.

And in the context of capitalism, all humans are imperfect because of the cost of their labour and the maintenance of their physical and mental health.

ShelleysFrankensteinremains an indictment on modern society and its inability, or undesirability, to escape the ugliness of privilege and prejudice and survives as a counter to the Enlightenment philosophers who believed that scientific endeavour and economic progress would continually improve the human condition.

Enlightenment philosophers held that once the barriers to knowledge were eliminated, the conditions for perpetual peace and prosperity will have been established.

In short: they embraced the ideal that advancements in science and technology comprised the principal elements for the evolution of a better society.

Much the same as transhumanists. AsBostrom writes: Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold (sic) in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution.

However, like the Enlightenment philosophers, transhumanists fail to acknowledge the double-edged sword of knowledge as both a promise of prosperity and an insidious threat.

That is, 400 years of history tells us that traditional religious beliefs and medieval philosophy might have failed, but the promise of science to solve the problem of human morality has also failed.

Shelley embodies this with Victors bloody-minded pursuit to create a monster that eventually transforms into the destroyer of his own life.

We can place this in todays context by referencing a 2017 journal article in Bioscience titledFrankenstein and the Horrors of Competitive Exclusionby evolutionary biologistsNathaniel J. Dominy and Justin D. Yeakel.

Dominy and Yeakel conclude that Frankensteins reasoning for denying a female mate for his male monster can be justified empirically. They show that if such a union was successful, it would have led to the extinction of our own species through competitive exclusion two species cannot coexist indefinitely if they compete for the exact same resources.

Even a slight advantage of one over the other will lead to the extinction of the inferior. Today, wealth might constitute that advantage. A human with enhanced intelligence, strength, stamina and an extended lifespan would constitute another.

More pointedly, with only the single-minded quest of science in mind, and disregard for its possible ruinous consequences, prioritising societal advancement engenders a less moral and equal world.

An imbalance occurs that favours the privileged who are insulated from the threats posed by technological and scientific progress but can use them to their utmost advantage.

To paraphraseJoshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, from their 2019 bookInnovation + Equality: the world today is more unequal than ever and more technologically advanced than ever. While the top one per cent increases its share of wealth, those with few skills and few assets languish at the bottom. For them, it can seem like the worst of times.

We can affirm the unavoidable use of technical devices, and also deny them the right to dominate us, and so to warp, confuse, and lay waste our nature.

The influential German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was not blindly anti-tech. His concern was societys failure to recognise its danger as a means to an end, like creating an enhanced human with no expiry date.

The essence of which poses a moral question: what is perfection? And if the quest for longevity, or perhaps immortality, is achieved, who decides how long the human lifespan will be? And what will that do to an already overpopulated planet?

We might thus deem perfection as immoral. For instance, we can view Frankensteins Monster as a human chimera of sorts, although fashioned from a compilation of human body parts. Sure its perceived as a monster, but only from a human perspective.

Shelley uses the word chimera in her book, defining it as the elixir of life as opposed to chemistry which promised much but delivered little.

And its this hodgepodge creation of a simulated human being a chimera that constitutes the elixir of life. Thus, if its immortality that we desire, the Monster embodies that kind of perfection, however immoral.

With this in mind, in April of this year,scientists injected embryos from a macaque with human stem cellsto study how the two cells developed together. Macaques are Old World monkeys that share a common ancestor with humans from about 25 million years ago.

For reasons of immorality, the cells were allowed to grow for 20 days before being terminated. But there is this unwavering desire to see what we can create by modifying the current human condition in the name of scientific progress.

Arguably, however, the human machine in the context of science and technology, whether artificial, robotic, or transhuman, was not meant to be perfect.

The backaches and absentmindedness are part of the bargain of reaching old age, relatively unscathed and with some semblance of our faculties in place, and finally exiting the field of life.

Whats more, our finite planet could not cope with humans of a limitless capacity. Its under immense pressure as it is.

Despite knowing this, we are still unable to separate the ecological from the technological. We seem oblivious to their inseparability, which has led to the relentless degradation of the former.

Recognising this inseparability would enable us to reconcile our existence with the natural world and put aside our techno-centric fixations, even momentarily, and see humankinds future possibilities, with all its imperfections, in a whole new light.

Dr Stephen Dark has a PhD in Climate Change Policy and Science. He has lectured at Bond University in the Faculty of Society & Design, teaching Sustainable Development and Sustainability Economics. He is a member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the author of the bookContemplating Climate Change: Mental Models and Human Reasoning.

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How Vladimir Putin Runs Russia Without Intermediaries or Institutes – The Moscow Times

Posted: at 8:04 am

Another Direct Line with Vladimir Putin has come and gone, with one questioner wondering why governors are not required to make use of such a convenient way to connect with the people. Putin liked the idea: why not take up a grass-roots suggestion and organize not only federal, but also regional direct lines?

Picture it: Every governor will field calls from individual citizens, who will wave their golden tickets and rattle off complaints about their particular leaky roofs or problems with the gas. Then officials (and photographers) will materialize on site, the roofs will be fixed and gas will flow. Citizens living in Russias regions may also enjoy learning some fun facts about their leadership.

For example, their thoughts on geopolitics, what kind of music they like, and where they get their shirts pressed. Of course, only if such license is not considered an infringement on the presidential prerogative. Ramzan Kadyrov was quick to point out that an analogous direct line has long existed in Chechnya.

I have written before about how Direct Line, where the president engages with the people, is becoming the only political institution in the country. In Russia, where courts are unreliable, the ruling party does not risk leaving elections to chance, the president is not subject to opposition criticism when appearing before parliament and news organizations are tossed from the Kremlin pool for reporting on protests, Direct Line is a space where authorities and citizens air their feelings toward one another. If ordinary democratic institutions for effective governance, legitimacy and feedback cannot be had, a homegrown Russian invention has sprung up in its place.

There are no intermediaries between the president and the people nothing but Direct Line and the scorched earth of Russian politics.

In 2021, this model will naturally be reproduced on the regional level: We are ready to become the first country in the world where public politics and governance are carried out via daytime TV.

On Direct Line, the president had time to express his thoughts on many topics: no, sinking a British destroyer off the coast of Crimea would not lead to a third world war; yes, there are problems with subsidized mortgages, but the advantages are greater; increased costs for holiday-makers within Russia can be traced back to fears of traveling abroad; we braved the worst of the pandemic better than many countries, for which the Duma deserves some credit; climate change may turn the earth into Venus, where temperatures reach 500 degrees Celsius; the problem of waste management in the Russian Federation is a serious concern.

But the most challenging of all issues raised on Direct Line concerned the sharpest controversy of recent weeks: the social conflict around voluntary (and compulsory) vaccination. After months of speculation as to which formulation he received, the president confirmed that he was vaccinated with Russias Sputnik V and recommended that others follow his example. At the same time, he expressed his opposition to compulsory vaccination and maintained that a worker cannot be fired for refusing the jab. This hedged stance leaves vaccine skeptics room to speculate and fails to provide a concrete answer as to how Russia plans to beat back the pandemics third wave and its record deaths.

As in 2020, responsibility for introducing new restrictions has been delegated to the regions. Accordingly, it is governors who will bear the brunt of any criticism that follows.

Not all questions were topical. The traditional questions were asked about the presidents plans: will there be a successor, and what will Putin do after his retirement?

In Russias current political reality, such questions belong to the genre of science fiction, dedicated as they are to the distant future possibly the era of transhumanism. With Putins constitutional term limit reset to zero, he can delay the search for a successor for decades more. The president even appeared to hint at this in his ironic response: the time will come and a successor will be named, and then the Russian people will decide whether to accept him or not.

As for retirement plans, well, maybe hell do nothing at all, just sit by the fire, as Putin himself said towards the end of the broadcast.

Direct Line 2021 has thus outlined the new contours of Russian political life. The president now has neither public opponents nor partners for debate, not counting the metaphysical construct of the Russian public, summoned into existence by a television show to become one with its national leader. Beyond that, Putin offers neither promises nor plans. To him, it seems, we already live in the best of all possible worlds.

A Russian version of this article was first published by Novaya Gazeta.

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A matter of life and death, again and again – Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: at 8:04 am

FICTIONShould We Stay or Should We GoLionel ShriverBorough Books, $29.99

Is life, no matter its quality, sacrosanct? In 2018, Aurelia Brouwers, a 29-year-old girl, caused controversy by ending her life legally in the Netherlands. Her case was anomalous: she did not suffer from a terminal illness, rather struggled with a history of mental illnesses, suicide attempts, self-harm and psychosis.

Assisted-dying remains a fiercely contested area in global euthanasia laws, belonging to the interdisciplinary branch of ethical discourse known as bioethics, which debates the value of human life. With the advances in modern medical knowledge, the global average life expectancy has increased to 72.6 years, up from 65.3 in 1990, as estimated by the United Nations.

Lionel Shriver confronts the issue of assisted-dying in her latest novel.Credit:Edwina Pickles

And the transhuman movement, which advocates the research and development of human-enhancement technologies, theorises that near-future breakthroughs will extend human lifespans indefinitely.

In Should We Stay or Should We Go, Lionel Shriver, best known for We Need to Talk about Kevin, confronts the issue of assisted-dying and euthanasia when her protagonists Kay and Cyril Wilkinson propose that we get to 80 and then commit suicide. They are not suffering unbearably when they make the decision; in fact, theyre in their mid-50s, and in excellent health. Their reasoning is simple: humans were never meant to live beyond 80, and they ought to die on their own terms, before they succumb to the entropy of their biological clocks on borrowed time.


The novels departure point is March 29, 2020 the day of Kays 80th birthday. After the giddy, mind-racing rush to capitalise on time remaining, the world has unexpectedly changed. Brexit reignited Cyrils fierce anti-leave sentiment, and coronavirus turned Britain into a ghost land. As a result, Kay and Cyril appraise the lethal pills before them and begin to soliloquise about death in a corollary of Hamlets to be, or not to be. Problem is that as octogenarians, they remain in good health, not the mindless or stupefied walking corpses they feared they would become.

From here, Shriver disrupts the narrative with multiple scenarios that imagine what Kay and Cyril do next. Using this non-linear structure, Shriver creates a novelistic thought experiment, a network of possibilities, with each chapter reverting in time to choose a different path.

Kay goes ahead, Cyril backs out, and soon has a stroke that imprisons him inside his own body. Advances in medicine produce a magic pill that reverses ageing and allows people to live at optimal youth indefinitely. Their children, aghast that their parents planned suicide, and had squandered their inheritance, subject them to a cruel assisted-living home. Kay succumbs to dementia, and her family grieves as if shes already dead.

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LBUSD sees massive summer school enrollment, and it’s more than remedial classes Long Beach Post News – Long Beach Post

Posted: at 8:03 am

A combination of factors led by the yearlong COVID-19 shutdown has spurred massive enrollment in the districts Supports, Enrichment and Accelerated Learning program, abbreviated as SEAL, which runs over the summer.

The LBUSD has 14,351 students enrolled in either SEAL or traditional high school credit recovery programs, more than 20% of LBUSD students. Compare that to the 5,433 students in traditional summer school in 2018, or the 8,663 in 2019 after the district first introduced SEAL, and its obvious that this year is unique (there were very limited in-person summer programs in 2020 due to the pandemic).

The reality is that our summer program this year, the number of students enrolled is larger than many school districts in the state of California, said Brian Moskovitz, the LBUSDs assistant superintendent over early learning and elementary schools, and one of the administrators running the SEAL program.

Indeed, the enrollment of over 14,000 students would put just the summer program in the top 10% of the largest school districts in the state. Moskovitz said that in 2019, the district applied surplus funding toward SEAL in an effort to transform the negative connotations around summer school into a summer program that actually attracted students.

Weve always had a summer school program in different iterations, he said. But summer school always had a reputation of remediation. Two summers ago we started SEAL as a summer program that included enrichment and that was available to general education students, bringing in some cool enrichment programs so that it wasnt just for students who needed remedial support.

That change led to a jump in enrollment, with parents attracted by a wider class range than just catch-up math and English. The SEAL program offers reading, writing, math, science, poetry, drawing, painting and dual-immersion language instruction. Moskovitz said that a lot of people in the district have been excited about the SEAL program, which spans multiple different-level offices within the administration.

Because of learning loss associated with COVID-19 shutdownsas well as social isolation experienced by many studentshe said the district really attacked this summer as a way to start turning things around before fall.

Knowing that we would be able to provide an in-person program, and what learning has been like over the last 18 months, we were intentional about building a robust program, he said. We have a full art program for example thats grounded in social-emotional learning.

The SEAL program isnt just serving to help catch up students who may have fallen behind over the last school year, its also serving as the re-introduction to in-person learning for many students. Moskovitz said that finalized numbers werent yet available, but that a sizable portion of the summer enrollment included students who did not return for in-person learning in the spring.

For many of our students, this is the on-ramp back to in-person learning, he said.

There will be a lot of attention paid to the LBUSDs reopening when the new school year starts at the end of August, with campuses reopened to full capacity for the first time since COVID-19 closed them in March of 2020. But a lot of students are getting their first taste of campus life in 15 months this summer because of SEALand are also being integrated back into school routines with SEAL programs that will be used again in the fall.

Even for those students who attended school in the spring, many of them were only in-person for half the day or every other day. The SEAL program is much closer to the regular school schedule students will see in the fall.

Our plan is, were fully prepared to reopen with all in-person learning this fall, said Moskovitz. We recognize in those first weeks if you have 20-25 kids back in the classroom, were going to have to help people transfer back in, building routines and community, and allowing students who havent done SEAL to do some of that.

Moskovitz said hes been in several classrooms over the last few weeks that the program has been running, and hes seen first-hand what that transition has been like for students. Normal art programs like creating a family shield are helping with the social-emotional learning goals of helping students re-integrate, as young students use their depictions of family life to express what their family has been through over the last year.

With the social-emotional learning were trying to make sure they have ways to express themselves if theyre frustrated and give them an opportunity to express their identities and share about themselves, he said.

Moskovitz, whose job focuses him on the districts youngest students, also said hes been blown away by how quickly kids have bounced back in classrooms hes visited.

The students are incredibly well-behaved and engaged. You wouldnt notice from surface behaviors that theyve been out of school for a year and a half, he said. Theyre resilient.

After a dark year, LBUSD hopes for full-day, in-person classes next year

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LBUSD sees massive summer school enrollment, and it's more than remedial classes Long Beach Post News - Long Beach Post

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Chester 10k 2021: What runners and residents need to know – The Chester Standard

Posted: at 8:03 am

THE organisers of this year's Aldi Chester 10k are making sure the running race will provide safe footing for competitors, volunteers and residents.

The fourth running of the city's 10k event will take place on Sunday, July 18.

All runners are being asked to take a Covid test the day before the race, and not to attend on race day if they have a positive result and/or are feeling any Covid symptoms.

Test kits can be collected at pharmacies in the city and from the dedicated Covid testing sites set up in Chester. People without symptoms can also get tested at Chester Cathedral.

As a further precaution, runners will be split into four different start time waves, and starters will be further divided into four groups.

Runners must wear masks before and after the race. It is not required for them to run the race while wearing a mask.

Due to the number of different start times, that means the roads used for the 10k route will be closed a little longer than usual.

People will not be allowed to drive on the roads used for the course and residents on the route who need to leave during the closure period should move their car before the road closures begin.

For runners, there will be no parking on site and they are advised to park nearby in the city if travelling in by car. In addition, there is no baggage storage bring only what you plan to run in or wear additional clothes which you wish to leave at the start and donate to charity.

For residents, Parkgate Road (A540) by Chester will be closed from 7.30am to noon.

The race starts will be on Chester Racecourse. There will be short delays on New Crane Street and Sealand Road between 7.30am and 10.30am.

In the Garden Quarter, the main road closures are: Raymond Street, Canal Street, Walpole Street, Cheyney Road, Garden Lane and Bouverie Street, which will be closed from 7.30am until 12.30pm.

Stadium Way and Saughall Road between Sealand Road and the Deva Link will be closed between 7.15am and 10.30am.

Parkgate Road from Liverpool Road to Deva Link, and the Deva Link, will be closed from 7.30am to noon.

Residents of Bouverie Street north of Garden Lane can exit via West Lorne Street onto Chichester Street. Residents of Raymond Street are advised to park south of the junction with Canal Street, and will be able to exit on Tower Road to New Crane Street, except for the short periods when runners are passing.

For Mollington residents, Parkgate Road (A540) will be closed from 7.15am to 11.45am. Residents can access Chester or the Wirral using Station Lane to get onto the A41. To access Saughall, use either Overwood Lane or Coalpit Lane.

Road closures do not apply to pedestrians. If you are on the run route please take care as there will be race vehicles on the route.

Sadly, no spectators will be permitted for the event, and runners should turn up to the event by themselves if possible, no more than 30 minutes before the start of their race.

Chris Hulse of Active Leisure Events, the team behind the Aldi Chester 10K, Essar Chester Half Marathon and the MBNA Chester Marathon, said: Weve missed hosting our events and seeing runners in Chester.

We have gone the extra mile to plan a race that conforms to all the Covid-19 guidelines and then some more to produce an event that will mark a safe return to running for all whilst still being the memorable experience that people expect from us.

Runners unable to attend on race day or would prefer to take part away from Chester can sign up to the 'Run Your Way' version of the race, which they can do any time up until August 15. Those unable to attend should email info@activeleisureevents.co.uk .

Chris added: We are over the moon to be finally back and doing what we love to do for the runners. Feedback we have had so far indicates that the runners are happy that we are playing it so safe. This is reflected in the surge of entries being received.

I am also delighted to announce that the coveted Chester Triple medal is back for 2021 for runners who complete the Aldi Chester 10K and Essar Chester Half Marathon and either the MBNA Chester Marathon or the MBNA Chester Metric Marathon.

Running is bouncing back and we are so glad to be part of it!

Continued here:

Chester 10k 2021: What runners and residents need to know - The Chester Standard

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