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  • Nieuwsarchief van afgelopen donderdag 17 september 2020 23:58:47

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    29 items in de category Big_Think.com in donderdag     De links 1 t/m 29.
     
    http://bigthink.com World: Big Think.com:   (Laatste update: donderdag 17 september 2020 22:04:29)







  • As of August 2020, United States' unemployment rate remains at 8.4 percent, more than double February 2020's numbers.
  • A new survey, commissioned by Amazon, found that roughly half of today's job seekers are looking as a result of coronavirus.
  • Amazon released survey highlights in advance of its Career Day event, where it will seek to fill some of its 33,000 open corporate and tech positions.


    • The United States economy added 1.4 million jobs this August, reducing the unemployment rate to 8.4 percent. That's terrific for the million-plus Americans who found work during these trying times, but this good news is small solace. To date, the unemployment rate remains 4.9 percentage points higher than it was in February. That means more than double the number Americans are unemployed today than when they rang in the New Year.

      According to a recent Morning Consult survey, that fact is largely the fault of novel coronavirus another of 2020's soul-crushing trends. The survey found that about half of today's job seekers are looking as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Survey says! It's still 2020


      The survey was commissioned by Amazon in advance of its 2020 Career Day, the mega-corporation's nationwide hiring event. Career Day provides attendees the opportunity to attend fireside chats with career experts, receive one-on-one career coaching, and apply to work at various Amazon positions, while simultaneously filling the company's coffers with resumes. According to Amazon, last year's event saw 17,000 job seekers attend across six U.S. cities. This year, the event has gone digital.

      "COVID-19 continues to affect millions of people across the country, and people are eager for the opportunity to get back to work," Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of human resources, said in a release. "We're continuing to hire people from all backgrounds and at all skill levels, and we're glad to be able to mobilize our team of experienced recruiters and HR professionals to help job seekers across the country learn about opportunities at Amazon and elsewhere."

      For the event, Amazon commissioned Morning Consult to take a survey of the changing job hunt dynamics and then posted the highlights on its blog. The results showed that 53 percent of job seekers are on the hunt because of the coronavirus pandemic.

      Unless you're a prehistoric ice man, frozen in time since the halcyon days 2019, these results will hardly be surprising. Unemployment plunged to unprecedented levels in April of this year, a direct consequence of economic shutdowns enacted to repress the transmission of novel coronavirus. Spotty as they were, those shutdowns may have saved 2.7 million lives; however, many furloughed workers believe those temporary layoffs have become permanent. For others, they have.

      Did coronavirus kick start the future of work?


      The survey's more interesting findings inform on how job seekers have been approaching their search. About a third of those surveyed believe their current work did not utilize either their skills or training, and 61 percent are actively looking for work in a different industry. Industries singled out include healthcare and technology.

      To stay relevant, these job seekers are also seeking opportunities to gain new skills. The survey found that nearly a third of them believe technical skills will a key factor in a successful search. Nearly half would change jobs if their new employer offered upskill training.

      These results provide a clue that the pandemic may have accelerated predicted employment trends of the 21st-century. Many experts have warned that automation and other technological advancements have the potential to take millions of jobs from human workers. Kalus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, dubbed this seismic shift the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

      As noted by the World Economic Forum in its "The Future of Jobs Report 2018": "There are complex feedback loops between new technology, jobs and skills. New technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialist skills but they can also displace entire roles when certain tasks become obsolete or automated."

      Preparations and prescriptions recommended by these experts have varied. Former Democratic president candidate Andrew Yang proposed a universal basic income. Others, like the World Economic Forum and Kenzie Academy, support innovative education and upskilling efforts to teach workers the hard and soft skills necessary to compete in a tech-driven market.

      This forecast looks eerily similar to a post-COVID-19 one. With the pandemic scattering employees to the four winds, and home offices, employers are increasingly turning to technology to survive. Tech-focused companies, like Amazon, are thriving. These companies need workers who can work alongside technology and cultivate the skills machines and AI cannot easily replicate.

      This survey suggests that many of today's job seekers have intuited this paradigm shift. Hopefully, the resources and infrastructure will be available to help people develop their capacity and make the post-COVID-19 job market a more promising one.



      Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:27:20 +0000

    • The Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile is about to get the world's biggest camera for astronomy.
    • The images the camera takes contain billions of pixels.
    • It can capture objects 100 million times fainter than the human eye can see.


      • This camera takes colossal digital pictures. It would take 378 4K ultra-high-definition televisions to display just one of them at full size. So what kind of test picture might one take with such a beast? Well, a head of broccoli, of course.

        The world's largest digital camera for astronomy captures 3,200-megapixel images. It's destined to photograph panoramic views of the night sky in unprecedented detail for the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) database at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, 8,700 feet above sea level atop Cerro Pachón. Right now, people at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are finishing up its construction. The exquisitely detailed broccoli portrait was taken in January 2020 as a test of the camera's focal plane.

        Everyday produce notwithstanding, project manager Vincent Riot says that, "this is a huge milestone for us. The focal plane will produce the images for the LSST, so it's the capable and sensitive eye of the Rubin Observatory."

        Building a bigger focal plane


        The tech involved in the focal plane is incredibly sophisticated and its assembly is downright harrowing.

        The sensors that capture 16-megapixel images in high-end digital cameras are called charge-coupled devices, or CCDs. (Our phones and tablets instead use CMOS sensors.) The LSST camera contains 189 CCD sensors. The sensors are arranged into 21 squares of nine CCDs each each square is called a "science raft." The 2-foot-tall, 20-pound rafts are mounted in a grid inside the camera. This all adds up to 3.2 billion pixels, each of which is tiny at 10 microns in size, about a tenth of the width of a human hair.

        As you might expect, assembling such sophisticated hardware is not for the faint of heart. The rafts must be precisely positioned in the grid so that they're separated by a width equivalent to just five human hairs. If they touch they crack, and down the drain goes $3 million per raft. The SLAC team practiced the assembly operation for a year before the six-month assembly process commenced.

        Amazingly detailed images


        The camera will be worth the effort.

        The flatness of its giant focal plane over 2 feet wide, as opposed to 1.4 inches in a consumer camera will allow it to capture images of the heavens about 40 moons across. Zoomed in, the team says an image it produces will be so clear it will be like seeing a golf ball from 15 miles away. The camera will also be highly sensitive to dim objects, so it will be able to take pictures of things that are more than 100 million times dimmer than what we can see with our eyes it's comparable to being able to see a candle from 1,000 miles away. Project scientists Steven Ritz sums it up: "These specifications are just astounding."

        Once assembled, the focal plane was put inside a custom-built cryostat for cooling the required operating temperature is -150° F.

        Broccoli, say "cheese."


        broccoli image captured by LSST camera

        Broccoli's surface is packed with tiny details, making it a sensible candidate for testing out the focal plane. The camera housing hasn't yet been completed, so the scientists created a pinhole device that projected the broccoli's image onto the focal plane.

        The man in charge of assembling and testing the LSST focal plane is Aaron Roodman, who says that "taking these images is a major accomplishment. With the tight specifications we really pushed the limits of what's possible to take advantage of every square millimeter of the focal plane and maximize the science we can do with it."


        Next up for the SLAC team is moving the cryostat/focal plane structure into the actual camera body along with the camera's lens assembly, which is also remarkable it's the world's largest optical lens. The three-lens array was built by Ball Aerospace and Arizona Optical Systems and (carefully) driven 17 hours from Boulder, Colorado to SLAC 's Menlo Park, New Jersey facility.

        "Nearing completion of the camera is very exciting," says JoAnne Hewett, SLAC's chief research officer. "And we're proud of playing such a central role in building this key component of Rubin Observatory."

        The LSST camera's mission is to take one complete, incredibly detailed panoramic image of the Southern sky per day for 10 years. Adds Hewett, "It's a milestone that brings us a big step closer to exploring fundamental questions about the universe in ways we haven't been able to before."


        Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:38:54 +0000















      • COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads through human airways.
      • New images taken with a scanning electron microscope show coronavirus swarming over bronchial cells.
      • The images further stress the importance of preventative measures such as handwashing and wearing a mask in public.



      • Even cast sterile monochrome, the pictures are spine shivering. At first blush, they appear to depict some unknown fungus devouring a sea anemone or maybe spider egg sacs infesting some poor soul's hair. But the actual subject is far too familiar these days. Those pictures show novel coronavirus in the microscopic flesh.

        Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the images offer an up-close and far-too-personal look at lung cells teeming with coronavirus. They were produced by Camille Ehre, an assistant professor at the University of School of Medicine's Marsico Lung Institute, and her team. They wanted to research how coronavirus occupied human airways and what happened to the inundated cells. And they vividly got their answer.

        Not exactly camera shy


        To start, Ehre and her team exposed epithelial cells to novel coronavirus in a biosafe laboratory. Epithelium tissues are found at the barriers between the human body and the outside world, often lining the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels. They serve many functions, including protection, fluid balance, particle clearance, and triggering immune responses. These functions make them important to the health and safety of our respiratory system.

        The researchers took their epithelial cells from a bronchus, major airway passages by which air moves from the windpipe and into the lungs. The initial cells were taken from a transplanted lung and later grown in lab dishes. So, unlike your typical photoshoot or family portrait, this experiment remained ethically above board.

        After exposing the cells to coronavirus, they waited for the infection to take hold. They then captured images of the epithelial cells with a scanning electron microscope, a device that uses a focused beam of high-energy electrons to produce images. They discovered a high density of virions individual particles of the virus existing outside the host cell had been produced and were swarming over the cells. In a mere 96 hours, virus production skyrocketed to reach a multiplicity of infection of three to one. That means there were three virions for each targeted airway cell.

        "When we looked at these infected cultures under an SEM microscope, the most striking observation was the astonishing number of virions produced by a single infected cell," Ehre told Gizmodo in an interview. "Some of these infected cells were so engorged with viruses that they rounded up and detached from the epithelium, giving the impression that they were about to burst."

        The image at the top of this article shows the invasion at one-micrometer magnification. The tentacle-looking projections are respiratory cilia, hair-like organelles on epithelium that move microbes and other debris out of our airways. That spider-web looking stuff is mucus produced by goblet cells; it's used to trap microorganisms and protect the bronchus. Neither are effective against the locust-like plight of virions.

        Above is the same scene but at 100 nanometers (10 times closer). From this all-too intimate vantage, you can clearly see the peplomers those spiky protrusions on the virions' envelopes. These peplomers give the coronavirus family its name as they have a crown-like appearance when viewed under such a high magnification corona coming from the Latin for "garland or crown."

        Protect your lungs, wash those hands


        These images are a stark reminder of why COVID-19 infections can so devastate the human body. It's not only that our bodies serve as their viral birthing centers. It's that we're their all-in-one resource smorgasbord.

        Because viruses can't reproduce on their own, they have to inject their genetic material into host cells. They incorporate their DNA or RNA into a host cell's genome, and a bouncing baby virion is born, one that often kills the host upon release. It's basically the backstory of "Aliens" at a Lilliputian scale, and should viral proliferation spread too quickly, even our immune-responsive Marines can't put up a fight. If enough cells are destroyed, the harm can affect the entire host organism which now includes us.

        "These images of SARS-CoV-2 infected cultures showing ciliated cells jam-packed with viruses releasing large clumps of virus particles make a strong case for the use of masks by infected and uninfected individuals to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission," Ehre said.

        They certainly do. Warnings about coronavirus in the abstract can make the case for physical distancing, shuttered schools, and wearing stifling makes while shopping. For a while. But as we've seen, people will eventually tire of their social sacrifices. Perhaps the idea of the above horror show occurring more closely to home will spur us to keep up the fight and listen to the experts for a while longer.


        Thu, 10 Sep 2020 16:44:29 +0000





      • Science is often blamed for making the world less 'magical,' but geology maps are proof of the opposite.
      • William Smith and William Maclure produced amazing geology maps of Britain and the U.S., respectively.
      • Their pioneering work is still important – and enchanting – today; but one William's legacy outshines the other one's.


      • Weirdly beautiful maps


        Strata Smith: The Man & The Map

        Here's one of the worst raps science gets: it has disenchanted the world. Literally dis-enchanted it, by replacing magic with measurement. And so, it has reduced the miracle of life to the banality of being.

        There is plenty wrong with that assessment, but nowhere is it more untrue than in the field of geology. Earth scientists have given eloquent voices to the dumb mud and mute rocks beneath our feet. They've pieced together the deep history of the subterranean world – more ancient and more violent than anyone imagined. And they've produced weirdly beautiful maps like these.

        Weird, because those colors and borders resist all identification with subdivisions we're more familiar with, like political entities, climate zones or land-use types. No, geological maps strip away all those fads and deal only with the non-ephemeral: the origin and nature of the land itself.

        The map that changed the world


        'A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with Part of Scotland; Exhibiting the Collieries and Mines, the Marshes and Fen Lands Originally Overflowed by the Sea, and the Varieties of Soil According to the Variations in the Substrata, Illustrated by the Most Descriptive Names'.

        Arguably the most famous map in the history of geology is this one, published in 1815 by William Smith, showing the stratification of England, Wales and part of Scotland. For the first time ever, this map presented a detailed overview of the geology of an entire country.

        It set the standard for all geology maps that have followed. And it turned geology into a 'practical' science – helping industrialists locate mineable coal seams, for example. Indeed, this was "The Map that Changed the World," as described in a bestselling book of that title.

        The book, by Simon Winchester, focuses on the mapmaker's compelling life story. Nicknamed 'Strata' Smith, the lowly-born surveyor noticed how fossils occurred in predictable layers in the side of a freshly dug canal. He struck upon the idea of a stratified geological past and spent the first decade and a half of the 19th century surveying most of Britain to prove his theory.

        Ostracism and plagiarism


        William Smithu2019s Geological section from London to Snowdon, showing the varieties of the strata, and the correct altitude of the hills.

        Smith's map is remarkably similar to current geological maps of Britain, proving the accuracy of his work. But he had some trouble convincing his contemporaries – which was due at least in part to class differences: London's Geological Society was a gentleman's club, not the natural milieu for a blacksmith's son.

        In his fight against social ostracism and professional plagiarism, Smith was forced to sell his fossil collection to the British Museum, lost his house and ended up in debtor's prison. Free again but still homeless, he worked as an itinerant surveyor, until one of his employers recognised him for his work and appointed him Land Steward at an estate near Scarborough.

        Smith later designed the Scarborough Rotunda, one of Britain's oldest surviving purpose-built museums. Only in 1831 was he acknowledged by the Geological Society as the 'Father of English Geology.' His work was an inspiration for Charles Darwin.

        America beats Britain by 6 years


        u200bBedrock Geology of the UK and Ireland

        William Smith's original map can be visited at the Geological Society's headquarters at Burlington House in London, where it hangs side by side with the geological map of England and Wales by George Greenough, the Geological Society's first president and Smith's mapping rival.

        Smith's is an impressive rags-to-fame story, and his accomplishments are now widely acknowledged, thanks in large part by the Simon Winchester book.

        However, the brightly shining star of Smith's celebrity somewhat obscures the work of one of his American colleagues. In 1809, six years before Smith published his map, William Maclure produced a geological map of the United States. Although inevitably dubbed the 'Father of American Geology', Maclure has not received the bucketloads of fame (granted, mostly posthumous fame) that Smith did.

        Page-turner material


        A Map of the United States of America. By Samuel G. Lewis. Published In: Observations on the Geology of the United States, explanatory of a Geological Map. By William Maclure.

        What a difference a star biographer makes. For Maclure's life story sounds like page-turner material too. A successful Scottish merchant, Maclure was rich enough to retire at 34. Settling in Virginia but moving back and forth to Europe, he devoted the rest of his life to science and philanthropy – an example of the latter was his introduction to Philadelphia of educational courses based on the principles of the Swiss innovator Pestalozzi. He later also contributed to the establishment of a utopian community in New Harmony, Indiana.

        Maclure had been bitten by the geology bug on a trip to France. In 1807, he personally started mapping the geology of the then United States, crossing and recrossing the Allegheny Mountains no less than 50 times. The monumental work took him two years to complete. Although he used a different system of classification than Smith, later surveys have confirmed the general accuracy of Maclure's observations.

        In 1817, he became the president of the newly founded Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, which he would remain almost until his death. Failing health forced him to abandon the attempt to set up an agricultural college in Indiana. He died in Mexico in 1840. In his will he provided for the establishment of 160 working men's libraries.


        The US is much bigger than in Maclure's day, and geology is much more advanced; yet the current map still builds on some of the observations he made in the early 19th century.

        Strange Maps #1046

        Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.







        Wed, 09 Sep 2020 14:00:00 +0000


        Big Think.com
        Laatste 50 Nieuws Berichten en/of updates van database donderdag
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        - BBC_World Coronavirus: WHO says weekly cases in Europe eclipse March peak-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:35:18 GMT
        - volkskrant opinie Het kussen van de rechtspleging moet worden opgeklopt-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:33:00 GMT
        - Filmvandaag - Vandaag op TV Jackass Number Two [22:30, Spike, IMDb: ]-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:30:00 +0200
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        - Independent.co.uk World Ex-Pence aide will vote for Biden due to Trump's 'flat out disregard for human life'-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:25:00 GMT
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        - Leeuwarder_Courant Hûs en Hiem niet blij met zonnepanelen op dak stelpboerderij Zandhuizen-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 21:24:31 +0100
        - Independent.co.uk World I converted a Trump supporter — my 87-year-old mom-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:24:14 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World First lady promotes Trump's approach to opioid crisis in NH-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:23:13 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Study: Ending census early will cost Florida, Montana seats-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:22:51 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World In bizarre speech at National Archives, Trump warns of left-wing ‘segregation’ and pushes ‘patriotic education’-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:19:46 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Labour conference: US congresswoman Ilhan Omar to address activists at Momentum-backed event-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:18:48 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Security guard brandishes gun at protesters demonstrating against hysterectomies forced on migrant women-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:18:27 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World AP FACT CHECK: Trump's big distortions on mail-in voting-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:18:24 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Trump administration threatens to step up pressure against Iran and Venezuela in run-up to 2020 election-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:17:21 GMT
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        - Independent.co.uk World Gulf between Trump and doctors on mask wearing gets wider-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:14:59 GMT
        - ad_sportwereld Weghorst scoort twee keer voor Wolfsburg, PSV volgende week naar Slovenië-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:14:00 GMT
        - BNdestem.nl Weghorst scoort twee keer voor Wolfsburg, PSV volgende week naar Slovenië-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:14:00 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Burberry takes to Twitch to livestream collection that sees Riccardo Tisci hit his stride-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:13:01 GMT
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        - The Guardian Covid-19: UK test and trace 'barely functional' as nearly 10 million face lockdown-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:10:19 GMT
        - volkskrant opinie De nieuwe lokale krant zou nog weleens groot kunnen worden-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:10:05 GMT
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        - Independent.co.uk World Justice Dept. memo: Sedition statute ‘could potentially apply to some of the violent acts that have occurred' in unrest-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:09:06 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World iOS 14: If your iPhone shows an orange or green dot in the corner, someone may be watching you-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:08:06 GMT
        - The Guardian Cheer star Jerry Harris arrested on charges of child sexual abuse images-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:06:31 GMT
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        - BNdestem.nl Lees alles over de Nationale Sportweek 2020-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:04:00 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World US judge blocks Postal Service changes that slowed mail -Thu, 17 Sep 2020 20:01:06 GMT
        - Tweakers.net Elektrische 'zonneauto' krijgt in Nederland lagere bijtelling-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:59:57 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Smoke from west coast wildfires reaches provinces in eastern Canada -Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:56:08 GMT
        - The Guardian Ontario announces new restrictions and steep fines amid Covid-19 surge-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:55:39 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World US-Canada border has seen 1000 percent increase in drug smuggling since lockdown began-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:55:34 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World 'This is amazing': Gwen Stefani replaces ex-husband Gavin Rossdale with longtime boyfriend Blake Shelton in throwback picture-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:53:42 GMT
        - ad_sportwereld Ibrahimovic helpt AC Milan aan zege op Ierse dreumes Shamrock Rovers-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:52:00 GMT
        - BNdestem.nl Ibrahimovic helpt AC Milan aan zege op Ierse dreumes Shamrock Rovers-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:52:00 GMT
        - Independent.co.uk World Pennsylvania judge extends mail-in ballot deadline to November 6, three days after Election Day-Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:51:50 GMT

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