TechCrunch: Google has created an AI-powered nightmare creature generator. “Surely the strangest thing to hit Google’s AI blog for at least a month, the Chimera Painter does actually have something like a reason for existing. The team was looking at ways to accelerate the creation of art for games, which is often fantastical and creative. An AI assistant that could produce a reasonable image of, say, an owlbear on the hunt, might be helpful to an artist looking for inspiration.”
Associated Press: AP Exclusive: Docs show top WH officials buried CDC report. “The decision to shelve detailed advice from the nation’s top disease control experts for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic came from the highest levels of the White House, according to internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press. The files also show that after the AP reported Thursday that the guidance document had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it to be fast-tracked for approval. The trove of emails show the nation’s top public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spending weeks working on guidance to help the country deal with a public health emergency, only to see their work quashed by political appointees with little explanation.”
Not new, but certainly new-to-me: an online database of Japanese ghosts and monsters!. “Within these pages you’ll find an ever-growing collection of yokai and yokai legends from all parts of Japan and all periods of Japanese history. Some of them have never appeared in English before, while others will be intimately familiar to fans of Japanese folklore. They have been collected from books, from the internet, and by word of mouth from yokai lovers who remember the tales from their childhoods. The illustrations accompanying each yokai are based on written descriptions or on Edo-period illustrations painted on scrolls hundreds of years ago.” In English. I looked up the first Japanese mythical creature I could think of (Kirin) and it was there with a thorough description and a few illustrations.