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The late graphic designer Milton Glaser’s final project aims to foster unity during a divisive time.
It’s no secret that the United States is mired in a divisive political climate. Despite this, a grassroots nonpartisan initiative started by Milton Glaser is aiming to promote a sense of unity. The initiative, “We Win Together,” sees the late graphic designer’s reinterpretation of the word “together”—in which each letter is styled differently yet contains a vivid spectrum of colors—popping up in unexpected places. Billboards, live mural paintings, nighttime video projections, banners flown by airplanes, and even crop art hopes to spark positivity during turbulent times. “A key to America’s success and strength as a nation springs from our unique-in-the-world belief that anything is possible,” Charlie Haykel, a producer and group collaborator, said in a statement. “At this moment, we can choose to let our differences weaken us, or we can draw energy from them and realize something far greater for all.”
MIT researchers create an AI that detects asymptomatic Covid-19 infections based on coughs.
What can’t AI do? Researchers at MIT have created an AI model that detects asymptomatic Covid-19 infections through the audio of coughs recorded by cell phones. According to the study, asymptomatic patients differ slightly from healthy individuals in the way they cough. While these differences are imperceptible to the human ear, they can easily be picked up by AI. For the system to work, researchers trained the model with tens of thousands of cough samples to the point that the system can accurately identify 98.5 percent of coughs from those infected with Covid-19. “The effective implementation of this group diagnostic tool could diminish the spread of the pandemic if everyone uses it before going to a classroom, a factory, or a restaurant,” Brian Subirana, a research scientist in MIT’s Auto-ID Laboratory and co-author of the study, said in a statement. The team is currently working on incorporating the model into a user-friendly app and is seeking FDA approval to roll it out on a large scale.
The miraculously placed tail of a whale sculpture saves a derailed train in the Netherlands.
In a surreal scene on Monday in the Netherlands, a derailed train was discovered teetering atop a whale sculpture’s tail. “It’s like the scene of a Hollywood movie,” said Ruud Natrop, a spokesman for safety in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond area, where the accident occurred. “Thank God the tail was there,” said Joey Bremer, the photographer who tweeted photos of the train that went viral. In a bit of irony, he added: “This is very over the top.” Thankfully, the driver was the only one on board and was not injured.
In Australia, scientists discover a massive coral reef taller than the Empire State Building.
In some rare good environmental news, a massive new coral reef that measures more than 1,600 feet long has been discovered in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Scientists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute found the detached reef—the first to be discovered in more than 120 years—in waters near the northern shores of the Australian state of Queensland while on an expedition aboard the research vessel Falkor. “This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our ocean,” Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said in a statement. “Thanks to new technologies that work as our eyes, ears, and hands in the deep ocean, we have the capacity to explore like never before.” Recent studies have shown that the Great Barrier Reef has lost more than 50 percent of its coral populations in the last three decades, making the satisfaction of this discovery all the sweeter.
A historian uncovers the 12th-century selfie of a stonemason in one of Spain’s greatest cathedrals.
A British art historian has discovered an unusual stone figure hidden in Spain’s Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. “A lovely image of a chap hanging on to the middle of the capital as if his life depended on it,” said Dr. Jennifer Alexander, a specialist in the architectural history of the great churches and cathedrals of the medieval period. The depiction of the stonemason’s “selfie” shows the figure from the waist up flashing a wry smile, Alexander notes. “He’s pleased with himself. He’s splendidly carved, with a strongly characterized face.”