Saturday, January 31, 2009

The physics of the football "hit".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The earlier link on how to hack programmable road signs was purely for informational purposes.

Hence, GeekPress cannot condone doing anything like this.

(Via Chris Zeh, who notes, "Now that the info is out there, I wonder if this sort of thing will happen more often. I'm just worried if zombies do attack, nobody will pay attention to the warnings ;-) ")
Organ Donation Ads on Craigslist? (Via KevinMD.)
Did Abraham Lincoln Invent the Smiley Emoticon? (Via BBspot.)
"Ten sci-fi devices that could soon be in your hands".
"Why do wind turbines have three narrow blades, but ceiling fans have five wide blades?"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Insurance companies leery of nanotechnology. (Via SciTechDaily.)
Video of the day: 650 years of continental drift in 1 min 20 sec.

Covers from 400 million years ago until 250 million years in the future. (Via DRB.)
"The Elements Of Spam".
"Three years undercover with the identity thieves". (Via BBspot.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Which personality types let you cut in line?" (Via Marginal Revolution.)
Inside Programmable Road Signs.

Warning: Do not tamper with these signs. This is for informational purposes only. (Via Linkfilter.)
Laser shoots down UAV.
"A Ball-Bearing Drum Machine"

Monday, January 26, 2009

The far side of the moon may once have faced Earth.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
"Can you get out of a DUI conviction by chugging alcohol after getting pulled over?"

Short answer, "Probably not".
"Epigenetics and Identical Twins":
Just how identical are identical twins? That is the question Art Petronis at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and his colleagues investigate in a paper just published in Nature Genetics. The answer is "not as identical as you might think".

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Flexible display technology is advancing rapidly.
"Quantum information teleported between distant atoms".
Israeli-developed pistonless engine could get 100 mpg. (Via YID With LID and Vik Rubenfeld.)
How to make your own M41-A Pulse Rifle from Aliens. (Via BBspot.)
Unintentionally funny British road signs.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Apply for your own federal bailout.

(Hey, if the porn industry can ask for one, then why not you?)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"What would the first Cyber War be like?"
"How Google's PageRank predicts Nobel Prize winners".
"Heavy coffee drinkers are more likely to have hallucinations or feel
'the presence of dead people'
..." (Via BBspot.)
More holes = better armor:
It may seem like a strange solution but introducing holes to vehicle armour can actually provide a protective advantage. DSTL scientist Professor Peter Brown explained:

"You shouldn't think of them as holes, you should think of them as edges. When a bullet hits an edge, it gets deflected, and turns from a sharp projectile into a blunt fragment - which is much easier to stop."
(Via StrategyPage.)
"Why Google Employees Quit". (Via MeFi.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Liquid wood? (Via Marginal Revolution.)
Virtual bicycle lane. (Via DRB.)
"Give your brain an electric shock, learn stuff faster".
"Long Exposure Photography: 15 Stunning Examples". (Via Radley Balko.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Obama's Private Inauguration Ritual: Receiving the Nuclear Launch Codes". (Via Gizmodo.)
Robots at war: Present and future. (Via ALDaily.)
Medical history of the day, from the radiology order sheet at my workplace:
I'm sure someone enjoyed typing that one into the medical record!...
Taxonomic chart of heavy metal band names. (Via BBspot.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

"What Your Cellphone Says About You"
StrategyPage on torture: What works and what doesn't.

(Update: Fixed bad link.)
"New Study Says Don't Believe Every 'New Study'". (Via Ari Armstrong.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Hack your brain: How to hallucinate with ping-pong balls and a radio". (Via BBspot.)
Yet more progress on invisibility cloaks. Here's a related story.
Yoshimoto cube.
What happens when one of the world's top violinists plays incognito in a subway station?
"When art and math collide".

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"How many AAAAAs in Khaaaaaaaan?" (Via Flibbertigibbet.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Sleepwalking, Sleep Sex... Now Sleep E-Mailing?" (Via Ars Technica.)
"Wingsuit base jumpers are human flying squirrels". (Via Howard Roerig.)
A peek inside the dark side: "Interview with an Adware Author". (Via Waxy.)
"Do lobsters feel pain when they're boiled alive?"
Space storms? (Via SciTechDaily.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Could we reduce love to a pill?"
How not to respond to getting a speeding ticket.
Movie trivia for The Princess Bride. Some excerpts:
* Rob Reiner once ran into John Gotti at a restaurant. One of his henchmen, who was outside waiting on Gotti as Reiner was leaving, looked Rob in the eye and growled, "You killed my father, prepare to die." Reiner said he about "went" in his pants right there, but then the thug said, "Princess Bride, I love that movie!"

* Billy Crystal specified that his character's makeup should look like a cross between Casey Stengel and his grandmother. Rob Reiner had to leave the room every time Billy had a scene, because he would laugh so hard he would ruin the take otherwise. Mandy Patinkin says, "God's honest truth," that despite all of his risky fencing scenes, the only injury he sustained during the whole movie was bruising a rib from holding in his laughter during Billy Crystal's scenes.
Video of the day: "How to drive a Ford Model T. It's more complicated than you'd think". (Via Fark.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Armchair logic quiz.

It's a cute quiz, provided that you understand it's a test of whether you can assess validity within a purely deductive (as opposed to inductive) reasoning context. Hence, it is a bit artificial, given that regular everyday thinking requires a constant interplay between deductive and inductive reasoning. I got 15/15. (Via BBspot.)
"It's time to stop reporting on the 'wind chill'".
"The Evolutionary Origins of Hiccups and Hernias"
"Sixteen Tons of Moondust". (Via Cosmic Log.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cloth physics simulator. (Via Clicked.)
Nuclear fusion update: "The challenges of building an earth-bound sun".
"How would I go about laundering money?"
Fractal teddy bear. (Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Techie justice: "Text messages nab carjacking suspects". (Via Jason Crawford.)
Nanotechnology brings us "socks that don't smell and windows that clean themselves". (Via SciTechDaily.)
Video game design between 1990-2008. A nice retrospective. (Via DRB.)
"Do you suffer from blogaholism, Twitteritis, RSS Dependency, or Status Update Disorder? Then this is the seminar for you..." (Via ALDaily.)
"Artificial molecule evolves in the lab". (Via David Jilk.)
Whopper Sacrifice: Burger King will give you a free Whopper if you delete 10 of your Facebook friends. (Via GMSV.)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Accidental maps.
Palm's last gasp.
Invisibility update:
...But the weirdest extension of the cloaking concept is undoubtedly the "matter" cloak described this past year by Shuang Zhang, a postdoctoral associate in Xiang’s lab. Subatomic particles like electrons travel as waves, and Shuang showed how metamaterials could be used to divert an atomic wave the same way the invisibility cloak re­directs a light wave. If such a device could be scaled up to the human-size world (far from certain, alas), it might be able to steer a bullet around a bulletproof cloak.
(Via DRB.)
Video of the day: Inside the 7x7x7 Rubik's Cube.
Scissors beat paper. (Via BBspot.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

"Can a Jedi lightsaber cut through Superman?" (Via Found on the Web.)
We're getting closer to the point where robotic aircraft might outperform manned pilots in air-to-air combat:
The one topic no one wants to touch at the moment is air-to-air. This appears to be the last job left for pilots of combat aircraft. The geeks believe they have this one licked, and are giving the pilot generals the, "bring it on" look. The generals are not keen to test their manned aircraft against a UAV, but this will change the minute another country, like China or Russia, demonstrates that they are seriously moving in that direction.
I really hate it when my ski lift leaves me hanging upside down and pantless for 15 minutes.

(Warning: Contains some bare hind end imagery.)
How exactly does the NFL "Yellow Line" work? (Via Oliver Willis.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Off-topic: Today's (January 7, 2009) edition of the Christian Science Monitor has published my latest OpEd on health care entitled, "Universal healthcare and the waistline police".

My theme is that adopting government-run universal healthcare will lead to a "nanny state on steroids" deeply antithetical to core American principles of individual freedom and responsibility.

Here is the opening section:
Universal healthcare and the waistline police

Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling. Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines.

Is this some nightmarish dystopia?

No, this is contemporary Japan.

The Japanese government argues that it must regulate citizens' lifestyles because it is paying their health costs. This highlights one of the greatly underappreciated dangers of "universal healthcare." Any government that attempts to guarantee healthcare must also control its costs. The inevitable next step will be to seek to control citizens' health and their behavior. Hence, Americans should beware that if we adopt universal healthcare, we also risk creating a "nanny state on steroids" antithetical to core American principles...
Read the rest here.
"Who Checks the Spell-Checkers? Microsoft Word's dictionary is old and outdated. Here's how to fix it." (Via ALDaily.)
"Why Saturn's rings are so sharp"
"If You Dropped a Corn Kernel From Space, Would it Pop During Re-Entry?" (Via Instapundit.)
Common writing mistakes. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Recently-fired Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan explains what he'll do with his time off:
...Shanahan told the NFL Network in an interview that aired Sunday that if he does take a year off from coaching, he'll take computer courses and spend some time learning how to send e-mails and text messages.
And apparently rejoining the 21st century...
Must... resist... new Macbook Wheel.
Michael Hanlon has written a detailed first-hand description of parabolic flight and weightlessness. (Via Rand Simberg.)
"The Finer Points of Finding Free Images".

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Moore's Law photo gallery.
"Toshiba Introducing 512GB Solid State Drive". (Via Brian Schwartz.)
"Is Yellowstone Park sitting on a supervolcano that's about to blow?"
"The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time":
To give you some insight into how predictable humans are, the following is a list of the 500 most common passwords. If you see your password on this list, please change it immediately. Keep in mind that every password listed here has been used by at least hundreds if not thousands of other people...

Don't blame me for the offensive words; you were the ones who picked these, not me.
(Via BBspot.)