Friday, August 22, 2014

Why Smart People Fall for Fake News

Slate: "Why Smart People Fall for Fake News"

40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire

"40 maps that explain the Roman Empire".

My favorite is this map comparing the size of Rome with the size of the continent US:
"The Roman provinces of Britain and Egypt were about as far apart as the American states of Florida and Washington. One obvious difference is that the Roman empire had the Mediterranean in the middle of it, which helped to move people and supplies over vast distances. Still, it's remarkable that emperors operating many centuries before the railroad and the telegraph — to say nothing of airplanes and the internet — were able to hold together such a vast domain for so long."

17 Impossibly Satisfying Avocado Snacks

BuzzFeed: "17 Impossibly Satisfying Avocado Snacks".

 One of the actually useful BuzzFeed posts. #9 and #14 look especially good. (Via J.S.)

Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos

Wired: "Why It's So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Water Tractor Beam

"Physicists create water tractor beam":

Physicists at The Australian National University have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.

The group, led by Professor Michael Shats, discovered they can control water flow patterns with simple wave generators, enabling them to move floating objects at will.

“We have figured out a way of creating waves that can force a floating object to move against the direction of the wave,” said Dr Horst Punzmann, from the Research School of Physics and Engineering, who led the project...

(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Awesome YoYo Routines

A pair of awesome yoyo routines from the 2014 world championship.

Single yoyo:

Double yoyo

Precision Guided AR-15

"GUN Linux: On the range with TrackingPoint's new AR-15s"

The Most Distant Star in the Milky Way

"Far Out: The Most Distant Star in the Milky Way"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Slot Machine Psychology

"Slot-machine science: How casinos get you to spend more money".

The applied psychology is pretty impressive.  Which is not surprising, given all the money that's at stake.

New Encrypted Email Proposal

Time: "Hackers Unveil Their Plan to Change Email Forever".

Related video:

Marine Vs. Knight

"Could Modern Troops Defeat Medieval Knights in Hand-to-Hand Combat?"

Short answer: Probably not.

War in the Womb

Mother-fetus game theory: "A ferocious biological struggle between mother and baby belies any sentimental ideas we might have about pregnancy". (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Update: Link was missing, now fixed!