The members of Longevity House are united by two things, this Toronto Life magazine feature says: a willingness to hand over $100,000 and a burning desire to live forever. At a recent gathering, "they sipped brain-boosting beverages laced with lion’s mane mushrooms and garnished with grapefruit, participated in a breathwork session and soaked up the electromagnetic pulses of the BioCharger, a $20,000 device that looks like a giant blender, sounds like a bionic mosquito and is purported to fight chronic disease, brain fog and flagging libido, among many other ailments." The evening was a soft launch for Longevity House, a private members’ club for Toronto’s burgeoning community of biohackers.
These scientists tracked a new COVID variant to a single office by studying sewage flows
Virologist Dave O’Connor admits that he was getting desperate when he started asking dog owners for poo samples. For much of 2022, O’Connor, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his colleagues have been tracking a heavily mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Early this year, they discovered the variant in Wisconsin waste water drawn from more than 100,000 people. Following the sewer system to ever-smaller watersheds, they narrowed the variant’s source to one particular area. But the dog idea turned out to be another red herring. In June, they traced the lineage to waste water from a single business with fewer than 30 employees.
A mysterious voice is haunting this airline’s in-flight announcements
Here’s a little mystery for you, via Andy Baio at Waxy.org: there are multiple reports of a mysterious voice grunting, moaning, and groaning on American Airlines’ in-flight announcement systems, sometimes lasting the duration of the flight — and nobody knows who’s responsible or how they did it. Actor/producer Emerson Collins was the first to post video, from his Denver flight on September 6. But he is just one of several people who have experienced similar noises on multiple American Airlines flights. View from the Wing’s Gary Leff asked American Airlines about the issue, and their official response is that it’s a mechanical issue with the PA amplifier. But then why does it sound like a human being moaning or groaning in pain?
This Buddhist temple has a library of carved wooden planks dating back to the 1300s
A Twitter account that specializes in bibliophile content tells the story of the Tripitaka Koreana, a vast library of Buddhist lore that was painstakingly carved onto 81,258 woodblocks in the 13th century. "It is the most successful large data transfer yet achieved by humankind," the account says — "52 million characters of information, transmitted over nearly 8 centuries with zero data loss." The library, located in a Buddhist temple in Gayasan National Park in South Korea, contains 6,568 volumes, and is the oldest version of the Buddhist canon. Its wood blocks, which measure 24 centimeters in height and 70 centimeters in length, are made of birch wood from southern Korea and treated to prevent the decay of the wood. They remain in pristine condition after more than 700 years.
Denmark and Germany are building the world's longest underwater tunnel
In 2020, after more than a decade of planning, construction started on the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, which will run 40 meters underneath the Baltic Sea, and when completed in 2029 will be 18 kilometres long — the longest underwater car and rail tunnel in the world. The tunnel is one of Europe's largest infrastructure projects, with a construction budget of over 7 billion euros. The 50-kilometer-long Channel Tunnel, which links England and France, is longer than the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, but the Chunnel was made using a boring machine, and the Danish-German tunnel will be made using pre-built tunnel sections. Where the crossing now takes 45 minutes by ferry, it will take just 10 minutes by car.
The Bond-style assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il's son
Walking through an airport departure lounge in Kuala Lumpur in the spring of 2017, Kim Jong-nam looked like just another slightly chunky Korean man on his way to check in for his flight. As he moved towards the self-check-in, an Indonesian woman in torn jeans and a sleeveless top slipped out from behind a pillar. She covered his eyes, as if playing peekaboo, then wiped her hands over his mouth, leaving an oily smear. "Sorry!" she said before disappearing into the crowd. A second later, a Vietnamese woman wearing a white jumper threw her arms over his shoulders and rubbed her hands across his face. She apologized, too, before hurrying in the opposite direction. Fifteen minutes later, Jong-nam was dead.