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Showing posts from July, 2024

[14th July 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

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1. Self-hosting your location history with OwnTracks : OwnTracks is an open-source alternative to Google Maps Timeline, allowing users to privately track and store their location history. Many are dissatisfied with Google's upcoming changes to location history storage and seek a replacement. OwnTracks involves a server-side component to store location data and mobile apps to report location. The author details a setup using Docker, Caddy, and Tailscale for a private, self-hosted solution. While the initial setup is complex, the author finds OwnTracks promising, with potential for improvement in the mobile app's user experience and the web app's features. My Take: OwnTracks is an interesting alternative. I have not tried it yet, the only thing I am scared of is hosting something which is accessible on the internet.  Source: Florida Museum 2. Sea level rise claims first victim, tree cactus goes extinct : Rising sea levels, linked to climate change, are believed to have cl

[7th July 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

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Image credit: Google Arts & Culture  1. World's oldest cave art found showing humans and pig : Scientists in Indonesia and Australia discovered the oldest figurative cave art in Indonesia. The painting, located on Sulawesi island, depicts a wild pig and human-like figures and is estimated to be 51,200 years old. This pushes back the date for when modern humans were believed to have creative thought. The discovery suggests that storytelling was a bigger part of early human culture than previously thought. Researchers believe this finding may lead to reevaluation of other cave art sites around the world. My Take:   Humans have probably been telling stories for much longer than 51,200 years, but as words do not fossilise we can only go by indirect proxies like depictions of scenes in art – and the Sulawesi art is now the oldest such evidence by far that is known to archaeology The above is what is the most amazing part of the whole article. There is so much more to learn about th

[30th June 2024] Interesting Things I Learnt This Week

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   1. Chimps use more plant medicines than any other animal : A new study suggests chimpanzees might be the animal kingdom's top self-medicators. Researchers observed chimps in Uganda seemingly choosing plants with medicinal properties to treat illnesses and injuries. The chimps even ate plants outside their usual diet when sick. Interestingly, 11 out of the 13 plants identified by the researchers are already used in traditional local medicines. While the study can't definitively prove the chimps' motivations, it offers compelling evidence for their self-medication skills. This discovery could not only benefit chimp conservation but also lead to new drug development for humans. My Take: Animals' intelligence is likely underestimated. Their evolution may have led to different forms of smarts. While using them to discover new drugs is a fascinating idea, it's important to consider the limitations – what works for chimps might not translate to humans. However, veterin