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Blaze your trail

Duck Chess (chess.com)

The duck is a brick, pieces cannot move through the square occupied by the duck. However, knights can jump over the duck. Each player's turn has 2 steps: After moving a piece, the duck must be moved to an empty square. There is no check or checkmate. Capture the opponent's king to win.

This is a fascinating new variant for chess. I first saw it on a video by Eric Rosen, an International Master who streams and posts videos to YouTube. By introducing this one new piece, the game is exponentially more complicated. I quite enjoyed watching this video as he first plays it and figures out the ins and outs of the game.

"These Scientists Tried a Coral-Breeding Moonshot—and It Worked" (motherjones.com)

10/1/2022 8:54 am | Respond via Email
Tags: science, conservation, ocean

Tesla is working on a bi-pedal robot and it's due out "soon" (theverge.com)

I'll believe it when I see it. As a friend reminded on social media, Elon has been saying full AI driving has been coming "soon" for six years.

Cubans protest in Havana for the 2nd night since Hurricane Ian knocked out power (washingtonpost.com 🗝️)

Climate Change reaches so deeply into the world with the effects it creates.

9/30/2022 11:52 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: cuba, climate change, hurricane ian

With news of Google Stadia's imminent shutdown, a game dev mourns on Reddit (/r/gamedev)

He and the team had spent 4 months working on getting their game successfully ported to Stadia and were just about to finish the process. Just brutal.

[Disclosure: Out of an abundance of caution, I'll disclose I work for another game company, Wizards of the Coast. We are not in any way directly tied to this story, but given that it is in the gaming sphere, I felt it prudent to call this out.]

9/30/2022 12:16 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: gaming, technology

Apparently some people take installment plans when buying designer puppies at 199% interest rates! (washingtonpost.com 🗝️)

Insane. Thankfully the article is about states beginning to go after stores which do this.

9/30/2022 10:19 am | Respond via Email
Tags: economics, consumer protection, scams

Batman as a Silent Film (twitter.com)

"Engaging with History" on the importance of history and context (collabfund.com)

Marcus Aurelius said, "We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own," which to be honest sounds like something you'll find written on an $11 IKEA poster today. Part of the value of reading an Aurelius quote like that is that he said it almost 2,000 years ago. Its age is the important part. If it was true then, and it's true today, then it's a fundamental part of how humans work and of course it's going to be true for the rest of my life. So I should pay close attention to it.

9/29/2022 5:08 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: sociology, psychology, history, economics

Close look at Europa, Jupiter's moon (twitter.com)

9/29/2022 5:03 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: astronomy, space, science

"The people resurrecting India's ancient fruit trees" (bbc.com)

It can take an entire village to grow a new-age garden. That's what 42-year-old Shyju Machathi, a policeman living in Kannapuram in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, found out when his town was declared an "Indigenous Mango Heritage Area" by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board in 2020.

The honour came after the villagers had got together to grow over 200 indigenous species of mangoes, sourced from surrounding towns and villages, preserving diverse varieties that were in danger of dying out.

The technique that made it possible, Machathi says, is the age-old art of grafting. He started experimenting with the technique in July 2016, despite no formal training in farming, after an unfortunate incident shook the village of Kannapuram.

9/29/2022 1:00 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: agriculture, biodiversity, conservation, india, farming

UN estimates 1 in 150,000 people is currently enslaved (theconversation.com)

When I become a multibillonaire with the ability to devote large sums of money in the name of fighting wrongs in this world, slavery is going to be my target. I am always appalled at hearing it exists and to hear the latest UN estimates makes me incredibly angry.

This article on TheConversation.com delves into that number, highlighting that the underlying data used to come to that number is unavailable so people have to trust the UN's methodology.

9/29/2022 9:11 am | Respond via Email
Tags: slavery, human trafficking, human rights, united nations

In recognition of it being the end of Friday (youtube.com)

9/23/2022 4:59 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: mr rogers, television

American Airlines has something weird going on with their flight intercoms apparently (waxy.org)

9/23/2022 4:50 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: flying, airlines

Wyoming team makes 4.4 mile rifle shot (cowboystatedaily.com)

It was apparently the 69th shot of the day, but they eventually were able to land the round inside an 8" painted circle from over 4.4 miles away. The bullet's flight took 24 seconds, and as part of it had to account for rotation of the earth under it as it moved.

Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. - Kevin Kelly (twitter.com)

9/23/2022 3:14 pm | Respond via Email
Tags: quote, wisdom