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Photos of families around the world, sorted by income level

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"We visited 264 families in 50 countries and collected 30,000 photos," says Gapminder. "We sorted the homes by income, from left to right."

The poorest family is 12 people from Burkina Faso, with an income of $29/month. The richest family is a couple from France with an income of $14,753/month. — Read the rest

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4 days ago
Love this. What a great and useful way to view the world.
San Francisco, CA
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Reddit App 'Apollo' Gets Major Update With New Notification Experience

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Popular Reddit client Apollo today received a notable update that overhauls the notification experience. The app now features custom subreddit watchers that provide alerts when content you're interested in is posted, plus it supports alerts for trending posts in your preferred subreddits.

For those who often use the Reddit Remind Me bots, Apollo now has an option to schedule a notification for a post you want to revisit for an update. The app includes a rebuilt inbox notifications experience, plus there are customizable notification sounds.

In addition, there are 10 new icons to choose from, plus a number of other smaller tweaks and bug fixes. The entire set of notes for the update are available below.
- Brand new, completely redesigned notification experience
- Introducing custom subreddit watchers. Incredibly powerful, you can now create filters and have Apollo watch for interesting content in your favorite subreddits, and get a notification as soon as a matching post exists. So you'll never again miss out on a fascinating discussion about your favorite character Mark in your favorite TV show subreddit, or about PS5 or Xbox sightings in your city's subreddit, or about the squirrels being posted in r/aww. It's so unbelievably handy.
- Trending subreddit posts. With a tap you can turn on trending post notifications for subreddits of your choosing, so when a post in your favorite subreddit does super well, Apollo will send you a little notification to brighten your day
- Remind Me In... tired of summoning "remind me bots" in comments? Apollo can now easily schedule a notification for a post you want an update on, so you can know to come back when OP posts the juicy update they promised
- Completely rebuilt inbox notifications (post replies, comment replies, messages, mentions)
- Probably the best set of icons ever added to Apollo. An absurdly talented crew of designers created some of Apollo's best icons for this update, and guess what, there's like literally 10 of them, ready to make your home screen shine
- A bunch of new custom notification sounds. You can even have A-P-O-L-L-O being typed on a mechanical keyboard as your notification sound!
- Added Video Deblurinator feature/setting which helps with videos not appearing blurry for the first few seconds
- Added option to hide media controls by default when opening media viewer
- Improved album/gallery loading speed
- On profiles can sort user comments and post by time period now
- Greatly improved efficiency with enormous images
- Added option to paste Reddit URL into Search tab search bar to open that link
- Fixed issue where users could be sorted incorrectly in subreddits list
- Option to share watchers via a URL
- Can long-press on Search tab to quickly go to the search bar
- Can long-press on Posts tab to quickly jump to the Jump Bar
- Tweaked Apollo logo for Safari extension
- Fixed bug where it looked like you could edit the text of what you were replying to
- Playback speed options for YouTube videos using API
- Fixed bug where sometimes titles weren't selectable in Select Mode
- Added option to completely hide blocked users
- Fixed missing "Open in YouTube" setting
- Fixed Markdown formatting for long lists of subreddits in comments
- Added pretty icons for long-pressing notification actions
- Underscores can italicize/bold in Markdown editor now
- Fixed bug with favorited users
- Fixed bug where some URLs wouldn't open properly
- Fixed linking of some strange subreddit shortlinks
- Fixed bug where underscores in links could load weirdly in Apollo
- Fixed Open in Apollo redirect loop
- Improved some icons in comment composer
- Fixed weird animation when upvoting a comment with a Wikipedia link
- Fixed bug where custom gestures and Markdown tables could conflict
- Fixed bug where some table-heavy posts could crash (mostly in r/LeagueOfLegends)
- Keyboard opens faster when commenting
- Fixed bug with Face ID/Touch ID
- Fixed bug where the pulsing "live sort" icon for comments would stop animating
- Fixed bug with some Reddit shortlinks
- A ton of other small little improvements

Apollo is free to download from the App Store, but more functionality can be unlocked through Apollo Pro or Apollo Ultra purchases. Apollo Pro is priced at $4.99 as a one time purchase, and Apollo Ultra is priced starting at $0.99 per month.
Tags: Apollo, Reddit

This article, "Reddit App 'Apollo' Gets Major Update With New Notification Experience" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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4 days ago
The best.
San Francisco, CA
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Teenage Engineering's TX-6 Portable Mixer

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Teenage Engineering has created another beautiful (and pricey!) tech object in their TX-6, a portable mixer. It's "comparable to larger units, but with even more tech packed into one sturdy little machine," the company writes.

"TX–6 is our powerful 6 channel stereo mixer with built-in equalizer, filters, compressor, aux send, cue and digital effects. This ultra-portable mixer can also be used as a multi-functional usb-c audio interface. Constructed in anodized aluminum with PU leather backing."

Here's a rundown of its features and UI:

As handsome as the object is, that screen is definitely designed for Teenage eyes. The functionality does indeed seem powerful, but I think there's quite a bit of a learning curve:

As for the aforementioned price, the diminutive TX-6 rings in at an eye-watering $1,200.

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33 days ago
so cute
San Francisco, CA
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Scientists Used Brain Scans to See How Magic Mushrooms Battle Depression. Here’s What They Found

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magic mushrooms psychedelics

For depression, magic mushrooms may indeed be magic.

Over the past decade, a slew of pioneering trials found that just one or two doses of psilocybin, the main component in magic mushrooms, rapidly pulls people out of severe depression. The treatment—when coupled with behavioral support—acted lightning fast, even in those who hadn’t responded to conventional antidepressants.

The results spurred intrepid neuroscientists to pursue psilocybin and other psychedelics as a dramatically new route to battle depression, even with their illegal status in most countries. Ketamine, the party drug and horse tranquilizer, won an early battle, gaining FDA approval in 2019 as the first fast-acting antidepressant and putting psychedelics on the therapeutic radar.

It may now be psilocybin’s time to shine. Despite their antidepressant potential, how magic mushrooms work their magic remained elusive, limiting their entry as a serious contender for mental health treatment.

A new study in Nature Medicine headed by psychedelic experts Drs. David Nutt and Robin Carhart-Harris at the Imperial College London may have cracked the enigma. Combining brain imaging results from two trials of people with severe depression treated with psilocybin, the study found that the chemical shakes up global neural networks in the brain, essentially “rebooting” how they communicate and forcing the brain out of its entrenched depressive funk.

“These findings are important because for the first time we find that psilocybin works differently from conventional antidepressants—making the brain more flexible and fluid, and less entrenched in the negative thinking patterns associated with depression,” said Nutt in a press release. “This … confirms psilocybin could be a real alternative approach to depression treatments.”

Even more impressive, when compared toe-to-toe with Lexapro, a classic antidepressant, psilocybin acted faster at alleviating symptoms and retained its effect for weeks after stopping treatment.

This rework of the brain’s connections might not be limited to depression. “One exciting implication of our findings is that we have discovered a fundamental mechanism via which psychedelic therapy works not just for depression, but other mental illnesses, such as anorexia or addiction,” said Carhart-Harris.

Depression, Interrupted

Depression feels like dragging yourself through mud. All the willpower and pep talks to “pull yourself up” stumble and fail, because you’re stuck in a monochrome bleakness that seeps into every corner of your life.

As is the brain.

The brain is often locked in a state of negative cognitive bias, which draws people to think more negatively with a rigid idea about themselves and their future. It’s a type of fixation that’s difficult to shake off, leading some to dub these episodes as “attractor states,” emotional states that depressed people naturally fall into, as if pulled by gravity.

This fundamental shift made some neuroscientists dig deeper: what’s going on with brain networks that supports those negative outlooks? As it happens, there are quite a few involved. One is the default mode network, which covers wide-ranging connections of brain regions related to introspection and self-referential thinking and becomes overactive in depression. The executive network, which helps control and maneuver your thoughts based on your goals—for example, switching your attention or focusing on the job at hand—is also disrupted. A final malfunctioning network is the salience network, which normally helps you hone in on relevant stimuli and supports communication and social interactions.

Unlike a healthy brain, one with depression is characterized by segregation, said Daws. This break in network function undermines a brain’s ability to flexibly switch between patterns of thinking and viewpoints.

In other words, depression makes the brain’s networks and information processing far more rigid. Unfortunately, most antidepressants today zone in on a different aspect of depression—that is, lack of a brain chemical called serotonin—but don’t necessarily target these network-level changes.

Through the Looking Glass

For the past two decades, Imperial College London has taken on the unpopular role of trying to revitalize psychedelics for mental health research. Although psychedelics were broadly banned in the 1970s, they were previously examined in thousands of trials for their impact on the brain two decades prior.

Much of Imperial College London’s work was funded philanthropically. Tapping into modern technology, including functional MRI (fMRI)—a looking glass at how the brain reacts in real time—the studies hinted at psilocybin’s antidepressant potential. “In the last 15 years, at least 6 separate clinical trials have reported impressive improvements in the depressive symptoms with psilocybin therapy,” the authors wrote.

Among those were two clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of psilocybin treatment for depression under careful clinical care. One was open-labeled in patients with treatment-resistant depression and lasted six months. Another was a double-blind, randomized control trial—neither the patient nor the doctor knew what the patient was getting—comparing psilocybin with Lexapro.

In the new study, the team took advantage of brain scans from those two trials to uncover how magic mushrooms work in the depressed brain. Psilocybin rapidly decreased depression symptoms in both trials, based on a standardized questionnaire. With just two in-clinic doses, psilocybin reduced the patients’ depressive score by 64 percent after 3 weeks. In contrast, Lexapro dropped the score by only 37 percent 6 weeks after taking it daily. Patients treated with psilocybin scored low for depression even half a year after stopping treatment.

Peeking into their brains, the team analyzed the brain scans with a method dubbed “network modularity,” which looks at how connected or segregated different brain areas are. Comparing fMRI scans of peoples’ brains before and after psilocybin treatment, the team found increased connectivity just one day after psilocybin. Previously segregated networks re-formed their social networks, causing an increase in brain connectivity, especially in networks normally disrupted by depression.

Using a metric called dynamic flexibility, the team also found that brain networks treated with psilocybin changed their community allegiance more rapidly over time. This suggests that rather than their locked state in depression, the networks are shaken up to restructure their communications across the brain to alleviate depressive symptoms. Psilocybin doesn’t dampen brain activity—rather, it “liberates the entrenched depressed brain, making it more integrated and flexible,” wrote the editors of Nature Medicine.

In contrast, Lexapro didn’t drive any network changes and only had modest effects on depression.

Free Your Mind

The team stresses that the study is just the first step in tearing off psilocybin’s veil for treating mental health disorders.

While there’s growing evidence that psychedelic therapy is an option for psychiatry, our understanding of how it works remains rudimentary. Digging into its function will help bring forth a paradigm-changing—and challenging—therapeutic model, with both scientific and political roadblocks along the way.

For now, we don’t know what happens after treatment stops in half a year or longer—that is, whether the network shakeup lasts. And although long in the making, the study is still just a starting point. “It’s a little bit like looking out into the universe with a telescope and seeing interesting things and then starting to build theories based on that,” said Dr. Stephen Ross at the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

Psilocybin phase 3 trials are underway to assess its safety and efficacy on a greater scale. The team especially highlights the need for replication—that is, to see if the same dynamic brain connectivity changes happen in separate groups of people. Meanwhile, they strongly caution against DIYing treatment. The psilocybin trials took place in clinical settings with careful monitoring, and taking magic mushrooms in lieu of these guardrails to self-medicate for depression could be detrimental, if not outright dangerous.

While psychedelics haven’t yet fully proven themselves for therapy, the team is thankful for modern neuroscience technologies to start offering plausible models of their action on the brain.

“It might sound trite to say, but I think psilocybin therapy opens up the mind, and that’s its strength,” said Carhart-Harris.

Image Credit: Hans / 20749 images

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39 days ago
San Francisco, CA
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Turning Plastic Pill Bottles Into Robots

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Turning Plastic Pill Bottles Into Robots


TheCrafsMan SteadyCraftin starts off this video with a lesson on injection molding and the different kinds of plastics which can be recycled. He then proceeds to show us how to melt down some polypropylene pill bottles, then molds them into a bunch of adorable little orange robots.

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78 days ago
San Francisco, CA
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Le Marais Baker Taps Childhood Nostalgia to Bring Buckwheat Crepes and Cafe au Lait to the Ferry Building

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A view of the counter and bakery case at Grande Creperie.
Photos courtesy of Grande Creperie

For Patrick Ascaso and the Le Marais family, crepes taste like seaside vacations in Brittany

The Le Marais team is finally opening its new creperie within the Ferry Building on Wednesday, March 9, which is news that will surely charm pancake fans. Since the much-mourned departure of Ti Couz more than a decade ago in the Mission, there haven’t been many great crepes in San Francisco, at least not Brittany-style buckwheat crepes layered with good ham and gooey cheese. But Grande Creperie intends to satisfy the craving, serving a combo of sweet and savory crepes with views of the Bay Bridge and ferry boats. It’s a refreshing waterfront spot to have a breakfast crepe with a cafe au lait or a happy hour crepe with a glass of dry white, and you know the Le Marais family has other sweets in store.

Owner Patrick Ascaso may be known best for his croissants, but he says crepes were also a childhood favorite. He grew up outside of Paris but says the best crepes hail from Brittany, where he snacked on them during summer vacations to the coast. He says he and his wife Joanna Pulcini-Ascaso have wanted to open a creperie for years but were too consumed with running the bakery. “We’ve been talking about this for more than a decade,” Ascaso says. “Crepes and champagne are the perfect marriage.”

A square-shaped crepe filled with ham and cheese and a side salad on a white plate.
A tarte Normandie on white cake stand.

Originally, he was hoping to partner with star pastry chef Gontran Cherrier, but with pandemic interruptions, Cherrier got pulled onto other projects. Fortunately, Ascaso was still able to call in a pancake pro: Emanuelle Condessa of La Bara-K, a seaside creperie in Saint-Nazaire, flew in to help develop the batters. It was an effort to source the right buckwheat, as French flours have a distinct flavor, so they’re starting with flour from an American mill, but plan to eventually import from Brittany to get just the right toasty flavor and color. Condessa also schooled the team on technique, as there’s a trick to ladling and spreading batter on the round pans to ensure the crepes are thin and lacy with just the right “crispiness” at the edges. Condessa likes to watch the edges lift — she doesn’t believe in any flipping.

In the traditional Breton style, there are two batters, one sweet and white and one savory and buckwheat, the latter naturally gluten free. There are nine crepes in each style, for a total of 18 crepes across the full menu. Given the proximity, bien sur, Ascaso says he’ll be sourcing from the farmers’ market, where he and his family have been regular shoppers for a dozen years. His daughter Aurelia rolls in on the cart at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings, happily accepting strawberries from farmer friends — she’s cool with Poli of Yerena Farms. Ascaso is also stereotypically very into cheese, and he’ll be featuring a mix of French gruyere and comte plus California locals like goat cheese from Adante.

The savory crepes include a classic ham and cheese, completed with a sunny egg folded into the center; fishy types laid with smoked salmon and piled with Dungeness crab; and veggie variations smothered with wild mushrooms and broccoli di ciccio. The sweet crepes counter with all housemade ganache, Nutella, caramel, and marmalade, as well as fresh strawberries and spiced pears. Beyond crepes, there’s a simple salade verte and a selection of favorite pastries from Le Marais, should you require an almond croissant. Ascaso is also getting into gateaux des enfants, or childhood cakes, including traditional Breton cakes that may be simply sugar glazed or spread with jam. And a seaside vacation calls for ice cream, in this case extra creamy French vanilla soft serve pumped into a buckwheat waffle cone. Espresso comes from local Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, and once they sort out the liquor license in a couple of weeks, dry white wines will hail from France and Austria, and cider will be another treat from Brittany — dry and effervescent, it pairs beautifully with crepes and cheese.

The patio at Grande Creperie with turquoise planters and tables.

Grande Creperie has moved into the former Frog Hollow Farm space in the Ferry Building, just across from canelé legend Boulettes Larder. It’s a smaller storefront on the east side of the building, but it opens out onto big bay views. Diners can order at the counter indoors and snag one of 10 seats inside, or step outdoors to 30 bistro seats on a heated patio. Of course, in addition to being a historic food hall, the Ferry Building is also a transit hub, and the design of Grande Creperie took inspiration from French train stations. A big clock stands guard in the shop, for any commuters keeping an eye on the time. But the space is also washed with ocean blues, whites, and cheery tiles, if you want to embrace the seaside mood and linger a while.

Croissant fans were up in arms when Le Marais was forced to close its original Marina location in fall 2021 due to unresolved landlord issues. But Le Marais still has three locations in Mission Dolores, Polk Gulch, and Mill Valley, in addition to the new Grande Creperie.

A round crepe pan.
The white counter with blue and white tiles at Grande Creperie.
A folded buckwheat crepe with ham, cheese, and an egg.
The pastry case at Grande Creperie with croissants, cakes, and more.
The view towards the Bay Bridge and ferry boats from the patio at Grande Creperie.

Grande Creperie opens in the Ferry Building on Wednesday, March 9. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with plans to extend through dinner hopefully before the end of the month.

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81 days ago
This looks awesome. Still miss Ti Couz to this day.
San Francisco, CA
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