Wednesday, October 30, 2013

21st Century Traffic Ticket

Wired: "In a First, Police Ticket a Driver Wearing Google Glass":
The arresting officer issued the citation to Abadie for violating California’s Vehicle Code Section 27602, which states that “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.”

MRI Of Banana

"Just look at this MRI of a banana".

And try not to get too dizzy!  (Via Howard R.)

iPad Air

Anick Jesdanun likes the iPad Air. So does Walt Mossberg.

The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior

"Are people more moral in the morning than in the afternoon?"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Classic Music Insults

"21 of the best insults in classical music". (Via B.Y.)

Douglas Hofstadter vs. Modern AI

Douglas Hofstadter vs. modern AI: "The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think"

Why a Beer Bottle Erupts When You Whack It

"The In-Depth Science of Why a Beer Bottle Erupts When You Whack It".

The article notes: "The answer, it turns out, is super complicated, and has to do with the physics of small bubbles and the power of a reflecting pressure front."

Here's the video:

Website Runs Windows 1.01 In Your Browser

"Nostalgic for old school computing? This website runs Windows 1.01 in your browser"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Star Wars Blooper Reel

This long-lost Star Wars blooper reel has now been released to the public. (It had been shown earlier this summer at Comic Con.)

Note: There's no sound until 0:50.

Specialized Acting

"He's not dead, he just plays it on TV"

More Cantor

"The math controversy that, they say, led to a mental breakdown"

Video Stores Explained To Modern Kids

"Video Stores Explained To Modern Kids". You can all get off my lawn now.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Honda Ad With Optical Illusions

This excellent Honda CR-V ad is full of clever optical illusions.

And how they made that ad:

The Economics of Interstellar Flight

"The economics of interstellar flight: Starship enterprises"

What Is the Exactly Perfect Time to Drink Your Coffee?

Chronopharmacology update: "What Is the Exactly Perfect Time to Drink Your Coffee?"

Short answer: "[B]etween 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM, when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike".

Star Trek Continues Webseries

An interesting Kickstarter project:
Star Trek Continues is a non-profit, fan produced webseries that was launched in May 2013 with its first episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity.” The show is being produced to complete the final two years of the original 5-year mission. Our inaugural episode brings back original series guest star, Michael Forest as Apollo. The accuracy of the sets, lighting, filming and the quality acting and characterization brought great praise and support from Star Trek TOS fans all over the world.
(Note: This is being done with the permission of CBS, which holds the Star Trek rights.)

Here's the video of the first episode.

(Via Howard R.)

Update: I haven't watched the episode yet. One of my friends did, and he warned that the production values were excellent but that he really disliked the ending.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Juneau's Fecal Cliff

FYI: "10 weeks until Juneau goes over a fecal cliff". (Via Debby Witt.)

Humans Vs. Lego Minifigs

"By 2019, Humans Will Be Outnumbered By Lego Minifigs".  Via xkcd:

Short Story: "To Move"

"To Move": A one-paragraph short story about mind uploading by Michael Williams.

(Click through to read it on his site, so he gets the traffic!)

Meta-Analysis of Meta-Analyses

This meta-analysis of meta-analyses just appeared in a major radiology journal:
Informative Reporting of Systematic Reviews in Radiology  
Radiology November 2013 269:2 313-314 
In this issue of Radiology, Tunis and colleagues report on a study designed to evaluate whether the completeness of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in 11 radiology journals improved between 2007 and 2011; reporting has improved, albeit slowly, but attributing the slow change entirely to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses may be too generous.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Universal Law of Urination In Mammals

"Universal law of urination found in mammals":
You'll never look at Dumbo in the same way again. Elephants, cows, goats and dogs all take roughly 21 seconds to empty their bladders. A "law of urination" now explains the physics behind what happens when you just gotta go.

Patricia Yang and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta use high-speed video to study how fluids and animals interact; they have previously investigated how dogs shake themselves dry.
(Via Instapundit.)

Don't Mess with His Jell-O

"Police Called to Investigate Breakroom Jell-O Theft"

The Secrets of Online Money Laundering

MIT Tech Review: "The Secrets of Online Money Laundering"

Zombies Vs. Animals?

"Zombies vs. animals? The living dead wouldn't stand a chance"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Angry Scottish People

"Angry Scottish People Saying Real Words Maybe"

Unreliable Research?

"Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not"

First Fossilized Blood-Engorged Mosquito Found

"A Fossilized Blood-Engorged Mosquito Is Found For the First Time Ever"

Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State

"Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State". 

As blogger Doug Mataconis notes, "It's like watching the advance and retreat of armies across a battlefield".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Does A Real Astronaut Think Of 'Gravity'?

"What Does A Real Astronaut Think Of Gravity?" (Note: Contains spoilers.)

40 Impossibly Creative Advertisements

"40 Impossibly Creative Advertisements". (Via Charlie M.)

Linux Powered Warship

"The Navy's newest warship is powered by Linux"

Pet Cremation Fraud?

Pet cremation fraud may be surprisingly widespread. Freaknomics just did an interesting (and disturbing) podcast, "The Troubled Cremation of Stevie the Cat":
If there’s a death in your family and you choose to have your loved one cremated, wouldn’t you expect that the remains that are returned to you belong specifically to your beloved? Of course you would!

Would you expect the same if the dearly departed happens to be the family pet? I suspect the answer is still yes. But in the fast-growing pet-cremation business, how do you know that the remains you’re getting back are indeed from your pet?

That’s the question we ask in our latest podcast, “The Troubled Cremation of Stevie the Cat.”
Here's the full transcript.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Death Watch?

"This 'Death Watch' Allegedly Counts Down the Last Seconds of Your Life".

What we need is the ability to "buy" extra life, like in the movie In Time!

Robotic Petting Zoo

Robotic "petting zoo".  (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Monkeys Understand Fairness

Even monkeys have an instinctive sense of "fairness" and object to unequal pay for equal work. (Via A.T.)

The Economics of a Hit TV Show

"The Economics of a Hit TV Show"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10 Unique Ocean Landscapes

10 Unique Ocean Landscapes"

Crazy Goats On Cliffs

"13 pictures of crazy goats on cliffs". (Via G.A.)

Why Do Stores Give Receipts?

Ask the Blogger: Why do stores give physical receipts?

Short answer: It's primary for the store (not the customer) as a way of preventing employee theft.  (Via Instapundit.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

How Nokia Lost It In 2008

How a journalist tried to save Nokia.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to respond adequately to his letter or to the new market conditions.  (Via Daring Fireball.)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

High-End Porta-Potties

If you're willing to spend the money, you can rent high-end portable toilets that are nicer than many in-house bathrooms.

CMU Researchers Claim NSA-Proof Messaging App

"CMU Researchers Claim To Have Created Messaging App Even NSA Can't Crack"

New Botulinum Toxin

NPR: "Why Scientists Held Back Details On A Unique Botulinum Toxin".

One interesting question is whether or not this form of "security by obscurity" will fail as it often does in other fields.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Costa Concordia Parbuckling

"The Costa Concordia Parbuckling in Pictures [24 High Quality Photos]". (Via Jamie B.)

Extinct Tree Grown From Ancient Seed Stockpile

"Extinct tree grows anew from ancient jar of seeds unearthed by archaeologists". (Via Monica H.)

Update: Link was broken, now fixed!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual this week because of external obligations.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Knights Vs. Snails?

What's the deal with all these armed knights fighting snails in 13th and 14th century illuminated manuscripts? (Via VAViper.)

How DNA Testing Can Rip Families Apart -- And Bring Them Together

io9: "How DNA testing can rip families apart -- and bring them together"

Your Child Might Be A Programmer

A sign that your child might be a programmer...

[Off topic] Hsieh Forbes OpEd: Why the Federal Government Wants to Redefine The Word "Cancer"

October 2013 is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Hence, it's apropos that Forbes has just published my latest OpEd on this topic, "Why The Federal Government Wants To Redefine The Word 'Cancer'".  Here is the opening:
The federal government wants to reduce the number of Americans diagnosed each year with cancer. But not by better preventive care or healthier living. Instead, the government wants to redefine the term "cancer" so that fewer conditions qualify as a true cancer. What does this mean for ordinary Americans — and should we be concerned?...
I discuss the reasons behind the proposed redefinition, why it could matter from a political (as well as medical) standpoint, and implications for both patients and doctors.

I'd like to thank Dr. Milton Wolf for providing the quote at the end!

(Read the full text of "Why The Federal Government Wants To Redefine The Word 'Cancer'".)