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A high tech ghost story

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The grounds of the Historic Powhatan Resort nearly Williamsburg, Virginia were soaked in blood. Hundreds died along the edge of the woods to the north during the Civil War, it is said, and even more died over its long centuries as a working farm. They said a lone woman, a war widow, still wandered the woods looking for her beloved. A ghostly mourning party often stood below an ancient gallus-tree. We were haunting the resort while on vacation and found that this scarred land now featured many fine amenities including two pools, a gym, and evening activities for the kids. We partook of many of them, including a showing of Boss Baby complete with free popcorn, but on one hot August night in 2017 we decided to catch some ghosts.

As a former Taoist and current atheist, I have a tenuous relationship with the spirit world. On one hand, I once believed that we were all part of the Tao and I expressed this belief through Tai Chi and offering massages to my college friends. On the other hand, I’m content in accepting that there is either a winking out of life at our end – a TV hissing down into a final dot – or something else. What that something else is I assure you I do not know. That said, I do believe in ghosts because ghosts once partied at my house.

Rewind a few years. It’s Christmas Eve I was alone in our 1930s brownstone in Brooklyn. Water was pouring into the basement and I was angry.

When we first went to look at the house a woman who had taken care of its previous resident heard my wife was from Europe and told us, in Polish, that “No one had ever died in the house.” We thought nothing of it. After all, there are plenty of houses where no one died and even if they did, what harm could it do?

But on that Christmas Eve, it was raining and sleeting and generally miserable. Our foundation was unsound and there were cracks in the wall. A stream of cold water ran into the basement because water was collecting under the porch and so I had to clear out whatever was blocking things up. I clambered under the back deck to look for the drain. I fished around in four inches of cold water and finally found it, cursing the name of the woman who once lived in the house for not hiring a Roto-Rooter. I cursed her loudly. Our neighbors said that I sounded crazed, which was entirely possible.

From that night on I heard a party in my house every night at 3 am. The dog and I would wake up at the Witching Hour to hear glasses tinkling and a piano playing softly. We heard voices talking about the news of the 1930s. We heard laughter. I thought it was our contractor at first but then I realized he probably wouldn’t have brought his friends every night for a midnight cocktail party.

Every night for about five months I heard this party and every night the dog and I would walk down the stairs into the moonlit dining room. It would always be empty. I was now a medium, or at least I was able to break up spectral parties.

A good friend told me that I had called the spirit of that dead woman and that there were plenty more spirits floating around Brooklyn because, as we can surmise, plenty of people died there. “They just didn’t go into the light,” he said. “And when you talk about them they come to you.” He was another rational thinker so he added that the energy of the dead is all that remains and that most ghosts were harmless.

Cool, right?

Since that five-month period, I have been particularly sensitive to ghosts or, barring that, natural gas leaks or whatever it is that gives me a shiver and a feeling that someone is watching. So at the Powhatan Resort, we decided to go on a ghost tour of the old grounds. Now clearly the best ghost sightings are the organic ones. A formal tour is far too confining for the true medium to grasp the depth and breadth of spiritual depravity going on in a place but ever since my 3 am jam seasons I liked to wander dark places to see what I could find.

Our tour guide, David, the founding member of Virginia Paranormal Occurrence Research, was a decidedly high-tech purveyor of the dark arts. David told us stories of walking into the old manor house on the property – built in the 1700s but redone in about 2009 – and hearing an ominous voice telling him to “Get out!” He is also the proud owner of a photograph of a pair of spectral legs in Civil War dress standing by a cold grave. He shares this photograph with evident pride on his Facebook page.

The tour began in the dark. David led us around the manor house and into her innards. The house looked like any other staged historical location. There was period furniture, beautiful moldings, and handsome wooden floors. I loved the plasterwork but David wanted us to love the home’s spectral inhabitants. He first gave us dowsing rods and asked us to wander the walks waiting for these metal sticks to come together or fall apart. The skeptic in me saw the folly of this tool and so we asked for the true tech, tools like the Spirit Box, a sweeping AM radio scanner that is said to allow the spirits to pick out words for the living to hear. Think of it as a talk-radio-based Ouija board. 

We wandered and listened. Here or there we’d hear snippets of words – “big,” “traffic,” “Trump” – and, while frightening, I didn’t think we’d catch many ghosts by sweeping past Rush Limbaugh reruns.

We then took up the Mel-Meter, an electromagnetic frequency sensing device coupled with an ambient thermometer. The Mel-Meter is a tool with a sad history. Connecticut-based inventor Gary Galka created the meters after his daughter was killed in an accident in 2004. One day, while fiddling around with some electronics, he heard his daughter say “Hi, Daddy, I love you” on a broken radio. Intent on finding out what was going on, he began building paranormal sensing equipment for others who shared his grief. His mission is at once cathartic and troubling but his grief is his alone and others have been using to far less scientific means to try to speak to the dead.

Heartbreakingly his flagship product, the Mel-Meter 8704, is named after his daughter Melissa’s year of birth – 1987 – and her year of death.

So my oldest son and I wandered around with this high-tech gear. In one room I felt a cold chill that registered on the gear but we quickly realized that the old house had central air. We stood in a dark room with the dowsing rods and an EMF meter and waited. Nothing came. We called out, asking in quiet voices for the ghost – Eliza? – to visit. We traversed the immaculately manicured garden and by an old tree where the disembodied civil war pantaloons once walked.

What did we sense?

Bupkus.

Something about that place, all that tech, did not let me spot any ghosts. Perhaps it was the regimented nature of the tour? Perhaps it was because the house had been rebuilt, stripping away all but the most vaporous of spirits? Maybe I wasn’t quite tuned to meet southern ghosts after spending so much time with their cosmopolitan Brooklyn brethren?

I’ll never know. Our sensors beeped, our spirit boxes hissed, but nothing strange came to call.

We walked back to the hotel room that night disappointed but excited. There was the frisson of the illicit, the threat of potential demons lurking in every corner. And that night after thinking back on the stories we were told about sad souls walking the verdant fields of the resort I woke at 3 am and cast my weary eyes to the edge of a low ridge to the south, searching for a company of hollow soldiers walking through the cropped grass toward homes they would never find.

I saw no one and so I went back to sleep.


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Google Adds Two New Features In Its iOS Search Engine

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Google likewise included two different highlights that incorporate its web index into iOS in new ways. One is another offer sheet choice – now, when you share a page from Safari with Google, it will likewise indicate you proposals for related substance. A comparable feature launched last year in the Google Search application, however, is annoying as it flies up finished the content when you achieve the base of the page. With the new Share with Google usefulness, it bodes well as the thought is that you could move from a website page in Safari specifically into an arrangement of Google indexed lists on the theme/

Likewise new is bolster for simplified on iPad. You can utilise the component to move content, pictures, and connections to and from the Google application, share articles from Google into iMessage or spare them into Notes for later perusing.

All highlights are accessible today, yet the iMessage augmentation is as of now U.S.- just, Google says.

It additionally gives Google another approach to achieve clients on iOS, notwithstanding when they’re not in Google’s application itself. This is essential because Google’s traffic procurement costs have been moving because of the move to cell phones, where forms and colleagues like Siri serve up a large number of the appropriate responses clients once swung to Google for, when on the work area. It likewise needs to pay Apple billions to be the default internet searcher on iOS.

The application, like other iMessage expansions, is accessible by tapping the iMessage applications cabinet in iMessage, at that point looking over to the Google application symbol. (If you have many iMessage applications as of now introduced, it might be concealed under “Additional.”)

The iMessage augmentation is one of three new highlights Google declared today for iOS clients. Notwithstanding, it has been accessible in the Google application since February 7, 2018, as per Sensor Tower, demonstrating to a higher degree a delicate dispatch.

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A Fourth Type of Human Fuel Beyond Carbs, Fats, and Protein Exists, Scientists Say

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One drink of the stuff and I’d had enough. The dry, scentless liquid represented a flavour like a clean nail remover – yet I was told it offered single focal points for my body, so I chugged away, if reasonably attentively.

The little plastic container contained unadulterated ketone ester, a substance that a gathering of scientists and business visionaries at the San Francisco-based startup HVMN are induced can supercharge the body in a way that no other execution thing has beforehand.

“It’s not fat, it’s not a protein, it’s not a carb, yet rather your body gets fuel from it,” Geoffrey Woo, HVMN’s prime supporter and CEO, uncovered to Business Insider in November when the thing was first made available to general society.

Not in the least like caffeine, Ketone isn’t a stimulant; and not at all like a granola bar, it isn’t a wellspring of sugars. Or maybe, it’s beta-hydroxybutyrate, one of the substances the body ordinarily conveys when it is fasting or starving. Ingesting the material direct gives a burst of imperativeness that could have once helped our ancestors survive long extends without sustenance.

In the occasion that ingested before a high-carb dinner, Ketone moreover appears to keep the body’s glucose levels from taking off unsafely high.

Ketones may help settle glucose

This glucose effect is HVMN’s latest region of research. In another paper, a segment of the masters working with Woo found that a ketone drink (HVMN just calls its refreshment “Ketone”) could genuinely help reduce one’s glucose levels.

In people with diabetes, high glucose can be dangerous and even lethal. In any case, specialists are adjusting more about the association between glucose control and execution, weight upkeep, and general thriving in non-diabetics, also.

For their examination, conveyed in February in the Journal of Physiology, the HVMN-collaborated experts worked with 20 healthy men and women developed 18 to 35 through the traverse of two mornings to see how drinking Ketone may influence their glucose levels. The individuals fasted overnight both days, by then half drank the HVMN Ketone liquid, and the other half picked up a power drink that also tasted shocking. Following thirty minutes, the experts had everyone eat up a sugary bottle to see how the Ketone confirmation influenced their glucose levels. On the second morning, the social occasions swapped – half were given the Ketone while the other half were given the control drink.

“It made for fascinating mornings seeing how the individuals would respond to the pith of their drinks!” Jonathan Little, an associate educator at the University of British Columbia and the lead maker on the paper, said in a declaration.

The examination exhibited checked differences between the volunteers who drank the Ketone and the people who drank the phoney treatment. Instead of spiking naturally, the glucose levels of the Ketone purchasers remained for the most part low.

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Google Pixel 2 – The Flip Switch!

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Exactly when Google Launched its Pixel 2 lead phone a year prior, it included something of a stun: A co-processor called Pixel Visual Core, the association’s first homegrown, client standing up to the bit of silicon. Furthermore, remembering that that feels like a notable assault, the co-processor has lain lazy for a significant time allotment. Monday, Pixel Visual Core goes to work.

Taking everything in the account—and as Google had signalled at as of now—the covered chip inside every Pixel fills a strong yet essential need. It will use its eight custom focuses, its ability to crunch 3 trillion exercises for consistently, all in the organisation of enhancing your photos look. Specifically, the images you take through outcast applications like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat.

Those are the three assistants at the Pixel Visual Core switch-flipping; since it’s accessible to all designers, more will see a great many. They’ll all get the powers to convey Google’s HDR+ pictures, photos that rely upon a movement of post-planning traps to make photographs shot with the Pixel appear to be more balanced and comparative. Photos taken with the Pixel Camera application have started at now benefit by HDR+ powers since dispatch—that is one reason Pixel 2 earned the most imperative stamps yet given to a mobile phone by industry-standard photo rater DxOMark. Regardless, Pixel Visual Core will extend the part to the streams, reinforces, and snaps of Pixel proprietors likewise, after a revive that will take off early this week.

HDR+

To appreciate why Google would submit its direct created phone processor to a decently constrain work—not just photography, but instead HDR+ especially—it fathoms the essentialness of HDR+ to the Pixel’s photo capacity. As a matter of first importance, it’s not the HDR you’re used to.

“HDR+ truly works shockingly in an unforeseen way,” says Isaac Reynolds, wander executive for Pixel Camera. Where HDR essentially tries to unite three or so synchronous exposures for the best result, HDR+ takes up to 10 undefined underexposed shots. “We take them all and separate them into little bits, and line them over each other, and ordinary the photo together,” says Reynolds, who ticks off the diminishment in disturbance and shading quality as just two of the points of interest.

That isn’t just development, or if nothing else not really. HDR+ genuinely has significant focal points—, especially in Google’s execution.

“HDR+ advancement is a better than average development for confusion and data protecting. This empties the uproar in the photograph,” says Hervé Macudzinski, boss of DxOMark.com. “That engages Google to give a wonderful picture low-level upheaval anomalous state detail.”

You can see an instance of what that suggests in the underneath when shots, with the commonplace stipulation that Google gave them, and your own particular experience may vary.

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