Categories
TWTW

The week that was

Three men stranded at a remote island in the Pacific were rescued by the oldest form of communication, an SOS message drawn in the sand.

A cat was taken into custody at a high-security Sri Lankan prison for smuggling drugs to inmates (two grams of heroin, SIM cards and a memory chip in a plastic bag tied to its collar). Now the cat has escaped.

People in a Berlin park were treated to the spectacle of a nudist bather chasing after a wild boar who made off with his laptop in a bag.

Things are not going well for the Trump campaign. First the governor of Ohio tested positive for COVID-19 and could not host him. Then a tone deaf staffer picked Live and Let Die as the walk-on music, not the best theme song for the pandemic. Finally, the sinking campaign chose to schedule a talk at a Whirlpool factory resulting ironically less-than-ideal background graphics.

Sensing opportunity in thousands of college students stuck at home with another semester of remote learning, two Princeton grads have reserved space in a hotel off Waikiki Beach and are accepting applications for 150 students to join them in their remote learning bubble in paradise. What could possibly go wrong?

Giuseppe Paternò, 96, graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Palermo. He was first in his class with top honors and is now considering a graduate degree.

The scientific body in charge of standardizing the names for genes has decided to rename several genes which have run into problems because of Microsoft Excel’s overly helpful auto-formatting feature. Turns out a gene such as Membrane Associated Ring-CH-Type Finger 1 or MARCH1 for short is cheerfully transformed by Excel to 1-Mar which can be disastrous, if not fatal for the recipient.

Apparently there is a huge community of witches on TikTok that are lending their services to cast protection spells on BLM protestors via livestream. They call it WitchTok. Do Microsoft or Twitter know what they are buying?

I leave you this week with a video of popcorn popping in extreme slow motion.

Stay well.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.

Categories
Current Events

Old Film, Transformed

Two cities, each on the other side of the world, captured on old film which has been digitized, colorized, and upscaled using neural networks to 4k and 60 frames/second.

Tokyo 1913 – 1915
New York City 1911

Some of the technical details about what Denis Shiryaev, a YouTuber known for restoring vintage videos does to achieve his magic:

4k upscale – Each frame can be upscaled using specifically-targeted data that perfectly aligns with your footage. Our neural network will “redraw” the missing data and increase the frame resolution 4x or more.

FPS boosting – A neural network trained via slow-mo movies will artificially generate additional frames for your footage. Even 14 fps films can easily be boosted to 60 fps.

Denis also ran his algorithms across the famous Trip down Market Street film (recorded just days before the 1906 earthquake). As he narrates, over the course of half a month, he upscaled the origianl and transformed it into a 50,000 frame, 380 gb file, using the algorithms to fill in information that was not captured in the original.

More examples of his work and services at https://neural.love/

Categories
TWTW

The week that was

A man’s Roomba was a bit too helpful when it cheerfully tried to clean up after the dog while he was out and spread dog shit all over his house.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, famous for his refusal to wear a mask, tested positive for the ‘rona during a pre-flight screening for a campaign visit to his home state with the president on Air Force One.

The let’s-just-leave-this-headline-as-it-is award goes to AFP. Trump retweets viral video of doctor saying US government is run by ‘reptilians’

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita became Greek citizens.

Scientists poking around at the the bottom of the ocean discovered they can revive bacteria from 100 million years ago. Don’t we have enough to worry about?

Up top in Siberia, a massive “thaw slump” of permafrost is melting away and exposing what locals call a “gateway to the underworld.” Global warming has made the slump to almost 900 meters wide.

A considerably more chill group of scientists have figured out how to modify a strain of cannabis to be an effective against certain strains of cancer.

Play the games, fake the crowds. Instead of having empty stadiums for the baseball games on TV, Fox Sports is using video game software to fill in the seats with virtual attendees.

The NBA has a different approach. For each game played in “the bubble” 320 fans are invited to watch via videoconference. They are not only seen but also heard on the court. In order to keep it clean, each team assigns several crowd monitors who have to be ready to eject anyone who gets too spicy for family TV. Watching the crowd instead of the game, worst job ever.

Two Taiwanese octogenarians made the New York Times when their Instagram profile went viral. They run a laundromat and model the clothes that people leave behind. It was their son’s idea, “I had no idea so many foreigners would take interest in my grandparents.”

If you’re looking for something feel-good, check out Alanis Morissette singing her new song, Ablaze, with her daughter on Jimmy Fallon.