Friday, December 30, 2011

Off topic: The 12/30/2011 TownHall.com has published my latest health care policy OpEd, "Who Will Your Doctor Work For Under ObamaCare?"
For the purposes of international trade, Marvel would prefer that X-men mutants not be considered human.
"What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics?" (Via R.H.)
"The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Biometric butt identification.
"Awesome mathematical sculptures made out of playing cards, office supplies". (Via MR.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Best Table Tennis Shots of 2011":



(Via Stellar.)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Admin note: Posting will be lighter than usual this next week because of the holidays.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Craziest possible mountain biking video":

"The world's strangest optical illusions"
"Psychic Fails: 2011 Failed and Forgotten Predictions"
"The Magic and Miracle of the Marketplace: Christmas 1964 vs. 2011 - There's No Comparison"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Off topic: PJMedia has published my latest OpEd, "Would a President Gingrich Ban the Birth Control Pill?"
"Is setting yourself on fire a good way to treat snakebite?"
"The Great Battles of History, in Miniature"
10 cool ant farms.
"IBM's Five Predictions for the Next Five Years"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Inside North Korea's Air Koryo, The World's Only 1-Star Airline"
What your toilet paper says about you:

"Swallowed pen still works 25 years later". (Via Doug Mataconis.)

Here's the case report from the British Medical Journal.

CT scan image and working pen after 25 years (click on image to see full size) :


"Experimental HIV Vaccine Approved By FDA For Human Testing". (Via @SupaTrey.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"MIT Expands Free Online Courses, Offering Certificates"
Infographic of the day: "How your Amazon order reaches you"
The 10 Most Overused LinkedIn Profile Buzzwords
The history of television as told by puppets:



Baby Boomers will love this. Younger folks may or may not remember many of these shows. (Via J.W.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

"If Jupiter is gas giant does it have a surface that you could theoretically stand on?"
Fascinating article from earlier this year: "Inside the Secret Service".
10 Pieces of Ancient Graffitti, Translated
Porcupines are surprisingly expressive.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Banishing consciousness: The mystery of anaesthesia"
The Internet Justice League!
"Terrifying spider-like robot does cartwheels; hangs from webs".



(Via Kelly V.)
"Future Riot Shields Will Suffocate Protestors with Low Frequency Speakers".

I'm sure governments will only use this technology for good, not for evil.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Hexapod Robot Turns Into A Sphere And Back Again":

Glenn Reynolds:: "Why the Proposed Car Cellphone Ban Is Wrong"
"Angry Birds Not a Time Waster".
Clever bookends. (Via Nick B.)

I like this the best:

"The 7 Dumbest Things Students Do When Cramming for Exams"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The largest-ever computer simulation modelled "400 billion particles in a box about two thirds of the volume of the universe".
"Trillion-frame-per-second video". (Via Gideon R.)

Related NYT article, "Speed of Light Lingers in Face of New Camera":
"You can think of it as slow motion," Andreas Velten, a postdoctoral researcher who is a member of the design team, said during a recent technical presentation. "It is so much slow motion you can see the light itself move. This is the speed of light: there's nothing in the universe that moves faster."
Here's the related BBC story, "MIT's trillion frames per second light-tracking camera", including a still photo showing light propagating through a Coke bottle:

"Lightning Foundry: World's Largest Tesla Coils To Research Lightning"

Journalist Barbara Peterson gets a job with the TSA and reports, "My Life as an Airport Screener". (Note: The story is from a few years ago. Via Bruce Schneier.)
"11 Ironic and Puzzling E-Books"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Update on high-temperature superconductors.
The changing face of Superman: 1939 to 2011. (Via GMSV.)

"New laws of robotics to be explored at upcoming confab". (Via Tyler Cowen.)
"An Excellent Visual Comparison of Earthquake Strength":



(Via Howard R.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

"How Doctors Die"
Scott Aaronson responds to the earlier paper on quantum states. (Via David Jilk.)
Chart of the day:"The Rules of Magic, According to the Greatest Fantasy Sagas of All Time"
Neuroscientist Henrik Ehrsson uses mannequins, rubber arms and virtual reality to create out-of-body illusions.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Business jargon: "I Don't Understand What Anyone Is Saying Anymore"
"The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011". (Via Trey P.)
"Canada is switching to Polymer Money to thwart counterfeiters".
"How the Potato Changed the World". (Via Kottke.)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

"The Difference between Spider-Man and Santa Claus Is Very Small":

"The 10 Most Hilariously Geeky Fake Twitter Streams"
Android phone name generator. (Via Arthur Z.)
"Pressure grows for a Turing pardon". (Via Luka Y.)
Is the quantum wave function a real physical object? (Via MR.)

Original article, "The quantum state cannot be interpreted statistically". (I am not qualified to say much more than what's in the Nature summary.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"MIT's Scott Aaronson Explains Quantum Computing".

Here's his NYT piece, "Quantum Computing Promises New Insights, Not Just Supermachines".
Michael Williams: "Risk and Reward Biases"
"The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix"
"Superhydrophobic spray means no more clothes to wash". (Via C.A.P.)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"Expedia on how one extra data field can cost $12m"
"Here's How People Look at Your Facebook Profile -- Literally"
NASA discovers planet in the "habitable zone".
"We want something clean!" (Click on image to see full size.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

The economics of NYC taxicab medallions.

Because these are restricted by the NYC government, the going price for a medallion is now $1 million. The price over time has outstripped even gold, making it one of the best "investments" ever:

(Of course, this is an artifact of the government restriction on medallion supply.)
The most hated business buzzwords.
"China Announces 'Extraterrestrial Post Office'"
"The Legal and Political Issues of Space Debris Removal". (Via Rand Simberg.)

Friday, December 02, 2011

"Seasteading: Cities on the ocean".

Of course, if some land-based hostile power gets upset at these floating cities, they just have to lob a few missiles at them and it's, "Bye Bye, Libertarian Paradise".
"Welcome to Prineville, Oregon: Population, 800 Million".

A look inside Facebook's massive new data center.
Dissolving fruit labels. (Via Kelly V.)
Facebook lists the "most shared stories of 2011". (Via Mashable.)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

"Now You Can Buy Your Very Own Robot Swarm"
"Digital Narcotics May Be the Future of Drugs". (Via Francisco G.)
A single air rifle may have been the most influential weapon in American history:



Could be a great plot element for Harry Turtledove-style alternative history SF novel! (Via B.E. and J.W.)
"Stradivarius violin recreated from CAT scan, 'sounds amazingly similar'". (Via Rand Simberg.)