Spider News Digest: 12/2/2017


  • 72 new galaxies revealed by European telescope (CBC News): 

An innovative instrument on a telescope in Chile has discovered 72 previously hidden galaxies dating back 13 billion years, shortly after the formation of the universe.

The galaxies were discovered with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) that used data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

From September 2003 to January 2004, the Hubble Space Telescope turned towards a tiny patch of sky in the Fornax constellation and captured a stunning 10,000 galaxies in an area less than two per cent of the area of the full moon. Some of the galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang, which took place 13.8 billion years ago.

Hubble imaged the same region of the sky in the Fornax constellation many times following the initial observation, which provided the richest view of the universe ever seen.

This image shows the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2012, an improved version of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image featuring additional observation time. (NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), a)

Astronomers using MUSE were able to study 1,600 galaxies in the region not in visible light as Hubble does, but by breaking the light down into its various colours called spectroscopy.

Using that method, their data revealed 72 new galaxies dating back 13 billion years that shine in a type of light unseen by Hubble.

“MUSE can do something that Hubble can’t — it splits up the light from every point in the image into its component colours to create a spectrum,” Roland Bacon from the Lyon Centre for Astrophysics Research said in a statement. “This allows us to measure the distance, colours and other properties of all the galaxies we can see — including some that are invisible to Hubble itself.”

The new data has provided a wealth of information, including hydrogen haloes around galaxies that formed early in the universe’s history.

  • Apple launched a study to look for irregular heart rhythms on the Apple Watch (Tech Crunch): 

Apple and Stanford have teamed up for a new heart health study. Using a new Apple Watch app and the Apple Watch’s built-in sensor, researchers will work to identify irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib).

AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and can lead to heart failure or even stroke if left unchecked. The condition affects an estimated 3 million Americans (though some think those numbers may be higher) and approximately 33.5 million people around the world (or .5 percent of the world’s population).

Though the Watch can’t diagnose any conditions just yet, it is perfectly positioned to detect an irregular heart beat and alert those with a serious condition who may want to check it out further with a medical professional. That’s because, unlike some other heart rate checkers, it stays on the person most of the time and the Watch’s sensor flashes its LED green lights hundreds of times per second to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist and thus capture any abnormal heart behavior.

“Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib. These stories inspire us and we’re determined to do more to help people understand their health,” said Apple’s COO Jeff Williams. “Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science.”

However, this is not the first heart health study to use the Apple Watch. Over the past year and a half, Cardiogram has been using its own algorithm and the Watch’s sensor in a study involving heart health with the University of California San Francisco.

So far, the Cardiogram’s study results seem promising. From that study, researchers were able to determine the Apple Watch could detect an abnormal heart rhythm with a 97 percent accuracy when paired with an AI-based algorithm called DeepHeart.

Later, the same eHealth study concluded the Watch could also detect sleep apnea and hypertension with similar accuracy using its built-in sensor.

That same ongoing study has also concluded the same results may be available to any wearable heart rate sensor, including those found within Garmin, Fitbit or Android Wear as they all have similar components. However, the study focused solely on results from the Apple Watch.

Currently, the only real way to diagnose AFib is through an ECG reading, which is usually done through equipment with a built-in ECG reader at a hospital or clinic. That is, unless you have an FDA approved ECG reader you can carry with you. So far, AliveCor has the only commercially available ECG reader consumers are able to carry with them via smartphone or, as of this morning, as a built-in sensor on the Apple Watch band.

The Apple Watch’s optical heart rate sensor is instead based on photoplethysmography (PPG), which can pick up on the second signal, irregular spacing between heart beats and it is not FDA approved for diagnosis of any heart condition.

However, just having the Watch or another sensor good enough to detect an issue could help alert someone that something is wrong and, as mentioned above, prompt them to go in for further evaluation.

“Through the Apple Heart Study, Stanford Medicine faculty will explore how technology like Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor can help usher in a new era of proactive health care central to our Precision Health approach,” Stanford school of medicine dean Lloyd Minor said in a press release.

Those ages 22 and over and who might have an irregular heart beat can participate in the new Apple heart health study by installing the app on any iOS device.

  • Jay-Z explains why he and Beyonce didn’t divorce: ‘Most people walk away’ (ABC News): 

Jay-Z is continuing his public admission of guilt in a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times.

Along with talking about his latest album, 4:44, which detailed his infidelity and reconciliation with his wife of nine years, Beyonce, Jay-Z explained why the two decided to stay together after multiple incidents of infidelity on his part.

“You know, most people walk away, and the divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves,” he said. “The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself.”

The two wed in secret on April 4, 2008 in front of friends and family.

Jay-Z, 47, also said he wasn’t surprised by his wife’s album, “Lemonade,” which spoke about a woman discovering her beloved is cheating on her, among other themes such as race, daughter-father relationships and, of course, women’s empowerment.

Jay confirmed the two have also been working on a long-rumored joint album.

“We were using our art almost like a therapy session,” he said. “And we started making music together.”

“Lemonade” was released first because it was closer to complete and he said it felt like “she should go first and share her truth.”

“The music she was making at that time was further along,” he continued. “So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became.”

“There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time,” he said. “[We were] … both very, very uncomfortable, but […] the best place in the, you know, hurricane is like in the middle of it.”

“We were sitting in the eye of that hurricane,” Jay-Z added. “Uh, maybe not use hurricane because so many people are being affected right now. But the best place is right in the middle of the pain. And that’s where we were sitting. And it was uncomfortable. And we had a lot of conversations.”

Jay-Z, who has three young daughters with Beyonce, 36, said he was “proud” of the “Lemonade” album, released in April 2016 to much fanfare.

“And, you know, at the end of the day we really have a healthy respect for one another’s craft,” he added. “I think she’s amazing.”


A “slightly drunken” Waffle House customer from South Carolina decided to take matters into his own hands after he found the staff at the West Columbia outlet asleep early Thursday.

Alex Bowen, 36, stopped at the restaurant and cooked his own meal finding the staff asleep. He even posted hilarious pictures of himself from the restaurant.

Bowen said he walked into the restaurant while on his way home after a few drinks with friends and found it empty of other customers.

He told NBC affiliate WIS-TV 10 that he was very hungry and added: “I walked back outside to look for employees. No one in sight.”

He also said he waited for 10 minutes at the register. “Walked back in and waited a few more minutes and then it went time,” Bowen said.

“Got hot on the grill with a double Texas bacon cheesesteak melt with extra pickles,” Bowen added. “When I was done I cleaned the grill, collected my ill-gotten sandwich and rolled on out.”

The pictures in his Facebook post showed Bowen in the cooking areas and with a stacked sandwich. He also posted a picture of the sleeping employee he had spotted later in the background.

“I give all the credit to my old friend vodka,” he claimed. “I wouldn’t normally have done that.”

Bowen further said he stopped by the same Waffle House Thursday afternoon to check on the store and make sure no one was asleep on the job.

He said one of the employees says the store isn’t very happy with what he had done. “Yeah guess old waffle house just gonna have to take the L on that one (sic),” Bowen said.

Bowen also replied in the negative when asked if he had paid for his food before he left but added that he gave the employee $5 when he went back on Thursday afternoon.

WIS-TV also cited a Waffle House spokesperson saying that the sleeping employee was suspended for a week. He also said that after speaking with Bowen they found out his actions pointed out greater issues that they will address in the future.

A statement from Waffle House said: “Our local Division Manager has spoken to Alex and apologized. For safety reasons, our customers should never have to go behind the counter. Rather they should get a quality experience delivered by friendly associates. We are reviewing this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action.In a related note, obviously Alex has some cooking skills, and we’d like to talk to him about a job since we may have something for him.”

ABC News reported that after Bowen’s story went viral, a Waffle House district manager reached out to him and asked him to become a Waffle House secret shopper and even thanked him for throwing light on a flaw in their business.

Bowen said he hoped someone at Waffle House would be awake the next time he went to order. “But if not, I’d know what to do,” he said.

  • Five Quick Tips To Spark Innovation On Your Marketing Team (Forbes): 

When I think of sparking innovation in the workplace, images of startup companies with open floor plans, large windows and loft-style brick walls come to mind. I can visualize free lunch Fridays, teams gathered around ping pong tables instead of conference room tables and nap pods. Ah, nap pods.

Creating a visually open and creative-style work environment is just one approach to help your marketing team become more innovative, but here are five more ideas that can spark innovation and elevate your marketing campaigns to the next level.

1. Encourage trial and error.

The most notable innovation driver to remember is that failure is an option. Trial and error is an important part of the learning process, and many innovative concepts, campaigns and products have come on the heels of far less successful ones. Share outside examples of how past failures turned into great achievements. Continue to give lots of positive reinforcement during the brainstorming process to foster more idea generation.

2. Create innovation teams.

Innovation teams can consist of more than marketing team members if you choose. The goal of having an innovation team is to brainstorm, putting all ideas out there for future campaigns, messaging, tactics and creative elements. Set aside a designated time and find some space away from desks and computers. Team members are more likely to offer unique perspectives and ideas when presented with a welcoming environment free from distraction and the dedicated time to do so.

3. Question the status quo.

Some of the best innovations come when the status quo is challenged. Don’t fall victim to the phrase “we’ve always done it that way” — improving the way things are done and making them more efficient, profitable and successful is a fantastic way to get started with innovation best practices.

4. Encourage risk taking.

I’m not suggesting you take your newly formed innovation team and have them jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I’ve found that some marketers feel compelled to play it safe instead of pushing the envelope creatively. Think about ways to differentiate your offer or campaign from the noise. Each company will have to determine just how far the envelope can be pushed, but it can go beyond today’s comfort zone, often with successful outcomes. Look to other companies for examples of campaigns that catch your eye and build your own original ideas off of what worked to get your attention.

5. Reward creativity.

Implement a program that rewards innovation and creativity. Designate a team member as “Innovator of the Month” or, if budget allows, provide a small token or financial incentive for thinking outside the box. I would encourage you to make this a fun and unique award, like a funny hat or inexpensive trophy that moves around the team periodically. Bragging rights are included.

Challenging your team members to actively contribute their own ideas, while keeping the focus on the positive achievements and teamwork that resulted during the process, will go a long way toward fostering and sparking innovation from your marketing team well in the future.


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