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A Rhode Island woman found a pearl in a clam she was served at a restaurant and it ended up becoming her engagement ring. Sandy Sikorski and Ken Steinkamp said they were dining at The Bridge Restaurant and Raw Bar in downtown Westerly, with Sikorski’s brother and his wife in December 2021, when Sikorski ate the last of the quahog clams.
“That’s when I tasted this big round thing in my mouth. I’m thinking, ‘What the heck is this?’ So, I take it and spit it down on the table, in my hand, and my sister-in-law says, ‘Is that a tooth?'”
Sikorski’s sister-in-law, a jewelry enthusiast, soon surmised [that] the object was a 9.8 millimeter pearl. Marc Fishbone of Black Orchid Jewelers examined the object and confirmed the suspicions.
“He said it is called a Mercenaria pearl, which is a mollusk type of little animal, which makes what looks like a little pearl. It’s made out of the same material, calcite, and another mineral […]. [It] takes years and years to grow,” Sikorski said. “He said the weight of this and the size of this, [it} probably [took] 50 years to make.”
Sikorski and Steinkamp agreed that, if they ever decided to get married, they would have the pearl made into an engagement ring. That plan came to pass when Steinkamp proposed July 8, using a ring Fishbone had fashioned with the pearl as its stone. The couple celebrated their engagement by returning to the restaurant […].
UPI Odd News
Pearl Found In Clam
July 27, 2023
A Westerly woman feels like the luckiest girl in the world for two reasons. For the past four years, Sandy Sikorski and Ken Steinkamp have been regulars at The Bridge Restaurant and Raw Bar in downtown Westerly. For years, the restaurant, which looks over the Pawcatuck River, has offered deals on seafood.
“We come here often to get the clams,” said Sikorski. “They’re bigger, they come on platters, upraised, they have great horseradish and everything I love about it…they taste delicious.”
There was one [clam] left.
“What are the odds of a pearl being inside of this shell?” said Sikorski.
The perfectly shaped oval had been hiding in the meat of the clam. Sikorski held on to the […] pearl and became curious about it. First, she brought it to The Compass Rose in Westerly. The owner there took a look and referred her to their jewelry maker, Marc Fishbone, of Black Orchid Jewelers.
“Wow, you got a beauty there. It’s heavy,” stated Fishbone. “It’s probably one in a million, one in a million to have it perfect […]. [U]sually, there’s pieces of them missing and it looks like a tooth or something […]. [I]t is never like a whole, perfect little oval. Plus, it’s big.”
According to several online articles, the odds of finding one in a clam are about one in 100,000.
They wanted Fishbone to make the setting.
“[I] want it to be the most beautiful setting you’ve ever made and I like gold,” said Sikorski. “I didn’t want a hole in the bottom of the stone, I just wanted it secured.”
Steinkamp, who asked Sikorski’s dad for approval first, got down on one knee and popped the question with the beautiful ring in hand.
“[W]e’re not getting any younger and we felt, in a way, that this was kind of a signal or an odd bit of synchronicity,” said Sikorski. “It’s beautiful. It has diamonds, and a sparkle, and I know minerals are becoming more fashionable gemstones vs. a big diamond thing.”
She hopes to eventually pass the ring off to her 8-year-old granddaughter, Nora.
Westerly Woman Finds Rare Pearl
NBC 10 News
July 25, 2023
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You’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, a computer program that is trained to follow your instruction and provide a variety of wide ranging responses. As someone that has spent some time actually using the AI, I have to say, the results it produces can be eerily human but, did you know that computer scientists have been working alongside chatbots as early as the 1960s?
It was the late 1960’s and Joseph Weizenbaum, an MIT computer scientist, had just completed work on his revolutionary chatbot ELIZA. Weizenbaum was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1923 and fled the country with his family in 1935 to escape the political turmoil. Weizenbaum came to the United States where his road to computer science would ultimately begin. After time spent in the Air Force, Weizenbaum would go on to study as a computer scientist and eventually work in the industry. You have to remember, computers at that time were not portable devices that could fit in our pockets. In fact, they often barely fit into a room! As an associate Professor at MIT, Weizenbaum became obsessed with the way computers could directly interact with humans through language. It was this early through line between computers and human language that would work to lay the foundation for his own chatbot and eventually lay the groundwork for the AI development of programs such as ChatGPT, Siri and Alexa.
Eliza was completed in 1966 and Weizenbaum offered MIT students the opportunity to interact with the chatbot. This process consisted of messages typed into the computer by students and, responses would then be provided by ELIZA, […] routed to an electronic typewriter and printer. Weizenbaum was initially happy with the response that was garnered from users’ experience with ELIZA but, there was one thing he did begin to notice that he viewed as considerably concerning. Overtime, Weizenbaum made note of users starting to divulge deep personal information, looking for help similar to that of a therapy session. This observation ended up pushing Weizenbaum to advocate for caution when relying too heavily on computers for human thought…
“There are aspects to human life that a computer cannot understand—cannot. It’s necessary to be a human being. Love and loneliness have to do with the deepest consequences of our biological constitution. That kind of understanding is in principle impossible for the computer.”
New York Times
May 8, 1977
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A runaway bull, that was spotted running down Main Street in Kutztown (Pennsylvania), prompted the Kutztown University Police Department to issue an aggressive cow alert after the animal made its way onto campus, Sunday night. The bovine appeared scared because it was unfamiliar with its surroundings, police said in the alert that went out via its emergency notification system, about 7:15p. It advised recipients to avoid the North Campus and to not approach the bull, if encountered.
About 30 minutes later, campus police sent an update saying the animal’s owner, from the Fleetwood area, was on his way to retrieve the runaway. A third update, sent about 8:45p, indicated the threat to the campus community had ended but, the bull was, reportedly, still on the loose, last seen in Fleetwood. A video taken by Aaron Merkel and, shared to YouTube, showed the bovine as it trotted down Main Street in Kutztown, trailed by a police car. It could not be verified Monday morning with Fleetwood Police whether there were any livestock sightings in the borough and whether the bull was back in its owner’s possession.
A Berks County 911 Supervisor said there were no calls Monday morning for wandering livestock.
The bovine’s owner was contacted but, the cow left the scene before it could be captured. University spokesman Matt Santos said the cow made a second visit to campus on Tuesday night. He said police caught up with the animal near Lytle Hall but, it fled into the nearby woods before it could be wrangled.
I don’t think they have found Mr. Moo, yet. ~Vic
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