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Old 12-01-2022, 02:39 PM   #2731
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
The Cattle Mutilators are back! A 40 year gap, does that mean the alien planet is 20 light years away?
Honestly, if nothing else, the whole idea of "howling surveys" mentioned in the thread is potentially rather useful for a campaign. The PC's wind up going deeper into the woods, away from civilization, in an attempt to put distance between themselves and the local packs of wolves... not realizing one of those "packs" is actually a group of researchers trying to locate and assess the local wolf population. Or a group of amateur monster hunters hear a "wolf howl" that has some unmistakably human qualities to it and assume it's a werewolf, when it's really just a guy trying to do some research. Or someone with knowledge of wolves and the study thereof figures those not-quite-wolf howls are researchers and heads in that direction... only to indeed find a pack of werewolves, or some other wolf-like cryptid.
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:44 AM   #2732
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Not quiet "weird", but certainly an adventure seed -- article about UK's elite nanny school.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/02/s...ges-nanny.html
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Old 12-02-2022, 02:55 PM   #2733
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
Not quiet "weird", but certainly an adventure seed -- article about UK's elite nanny school.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/02/s...ges-nanny.html
For the adventure seed just add http://theavengers.tv/forever/peel2-14.htm
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:47 AM   #2734
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

They've taught AI to play Diplomacy including negotiating with and convincing human players. It can routinely beat humans, but doesn't know how to backstab.

https://www.economist.com/science-an...o-an-ai-player
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Old 12-03-2022, 10:36 AM   #2735
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
They've taught AI to play Diplomacy including negotiating with and convincing human players. It can routinely beat humans, but doesn't know how to backstab.

https://www.economist.com/science-an...o-an-ai-player
One part of why it wins at all is human players being more willing to deal with it than their human opponents, in large part due to it being far more predictable and not having any concept of grudges.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:15 AM   #2736
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

In Georgia last month, a pack of around 11 coyotes attempted to attack a herd of sheep, watched over by one Casper, a 20-month old Great Pyrenees. After half an hour of canine-on-canine combat, what remained in the field was a piece of Casper's tail, some of his torn-off skin, a good deal of his blood... and eight dead coyotes (killed in what appeared to be a running battle - three were still in the sheep pen, two were just outside it, two were beside some nearby tracks, and the last was found in a nearby creek while they were trying to find Capser, who didn't return after the attack). Casper was found in the chicken coop after two days, significantly worse-for-wear, but fortunately donations were able to cover his $15,000 (!) in medical bills, and he's now well on the mend. You can read about it here.

This is what happens when you let your player take their character's pet dog as a full Ally based on 25% of their points, rather than just using the Pet perk.
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Old 12-05-2022, 09:41 AM   #2737
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

From The Prepared

Anti-facial recognition knitting

Last summer at EMF Camp I watched a talk by Ottilia Westerlund entitled Anti-surveillance Knitting. Knitting and surveillance have a long history, most notably during wartime to encode secret messages into thread patterns. Ottilia’s project is an anti-surveillance jumper, knitted with patterns of black and white dots to incorrectly trigger facial detection algorithms.

and

In 2016 somebody in the UK registered ; DROP TABLE "COMPANIES";-- LTD as an official business name – one which contains a common form of database hack. Whilst this was a mostly harmless prank, in 2020 a new company was registered with a legal name containing a potentially much more serious exploit. Since then, that company’s name has been redacted from all public government records, and the law was amended last year to prevent company names that “consist of or include computer code.”
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:18 PM   #2738
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

But can she get it through Faerie Customs?

Diet of rainbows and sunlight: California girl given first-ever unicorn license

Quote:
Los Angeles county granted a girl named Madeline permission to own the mythical animal – if she can find one

[...]

The first-of-its-kind permit came with strings attached, however: the mythical creature must be provided ample exposure to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows and have its horn polished at least once a month with a soft cloth.

[...]


Its five conditions for unicorn ownership also require that any sparkles or glitter sprinkled on the animal be nontoxic and biodegradable, and that it be fed watermelon at least once a week.
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Old 12-08-2022, 08:42 PM   #2739
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"Young girl tricks bureaucrats into granting her a permanent license to own rhinoceros." The sunlight and moonbeam requirements can be met with simply taking the rhino outside every so often (during the day for the former, during the night for the latter), the rainbow requirement with a prism - or just a spray of water while out in the sun. Polishing the horn, restricting glitter to nontoxic and biodegradable, and providing it with watermelon should be non-issues as well.

Clever girl...
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Old 12-13-2022, 09:00 AM   #2740
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

So some researchers finally managed to create a fusion reactor that results in a net gain in energy; the US Energy Secretary is set to hold a media briefing in a couple minutes to discuss it. It's still below the level needed to actually result in a net gain in usable energy (the heat produced by the reactor is 20% greater than the energy input, so it's currently not good for anything beyond being a radioactive heater), but it's apparently an important milestone.

EDIT: I could only find brief blurbs from semi-sensationalist media outlets previously, hence no links, but it looks like this article dropped just as I was posting. I had suspected it wasn't truly a net gain in energy when I read they had used a laser (modern lasers are rather inefficient), and it looks like that's the case - but the amount of energy from the fusion reaction did indeed exceed the amount of energy coming from the laser, which was indeed the goal.
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