Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[Off Topic] Hsieh Forbes Column: Health Freedom For Everyone, Not Just Women

[Off-topic] My latest Forbes column is now out, "Health Freedom For Everyone, Not Just Women".

My basic theme is that free-market reforms (not government-run health care) will best protect our medical freedoms.

From the article:
I support abortion rights and reproductive freedom rights. I love that many participants in the marches don’t want the government dictating which medical procedures women may or may not receive.

I also hope that people recognize that government-run health care will inevitably mean government controlling which medical procedures patients may or may not receive. Whenever “somebody else” pays for your health care, inevitably “somebody else” will decide what health care you do (or do not) receive.
For more details, see the full text of "Health Freedom For Everyone, Not Just Women".



Chinese Markets In Fake Girlfriends

"China girlfriend rental app popularity increases as people look to avoid pressure from family during New Year". (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Dogs Prefer Reggae

BBC: "Dogs 'prefer reggae and soft rock' to other music genres"

First Cat In Space

"The Secret History of the First Cat in Space"

Monday, January 30, 2017

Metallic Hydrogen

"Scientists finally turn hydrogen into a metal". (Via H.R.)

Alexa Woes

"Amazon's voice-controlled personal assistant is creating chaos for people called Alexis, Alex and Alexa"

Viral Marketing Success of Instant Pot

NPR: "Not Just A Crock: The Viral Word-Of-Mouth Success Of Instant Pot".

I own one, and I love it. I also heard about it via word-of-mouth from multiple sources. Then when I saw the Black Friday sale on Amazon, I decided to go for it. One of the best decisions I ever made. I'm not very skilled in the kitchen, but I've made several excellent stews and main courses with this, with minimal expertise and effort.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

SMOD Update

"A 466-million-year-old space collision is still raining shrapnel on Earth":
[T]he debris from that 466-million-year-old breakup continued to fall. And fall. And fall. Even now, they make up the largest group of meteorites that land on Earth.

“That collision cascade” — the series of smaller smashes and crashes that followed the initial breakup — “had consequences that are still felt today,” said Philipp Heck, a cosmochemist at the University of Chicago and curator of meteorites for the Field Museum.

Beer Yoga

"'Beer yoga' is a thing, now, and it's going international".

(Via D.M., who says, "Finally, Yoga for Real Americans!")

Robotic Eye Surgery

"The Tiny Robots Revolutionizing Eye Surgery". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pixar Easter Eggs Unveiled

"Disney mapped out all the Easter eggs that connect its most beloved Pixar movies":
Dogged Pixar fans, who spotted clues on their own, like the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story in the background of A Bug’s Life or a Nemo toy in Monsters Inc., had speculated for years about whether the movies were all secretly linked...

College E-Sports

"Big Ten Universities Entering a New Realm: E-Sports"

Capturing Shockwave From Light

"Superfast Camera Sees Shockwave From Light"

Monday, January 23, 2017

[Off Topic] Scenes From the Denver Women's March

[Off Topic] I have a post for Ari Armstrong's Freedom Outlook website, on my thoughts and photographs from the Denver Women's March this past weekend: "A Liberty Activist Reflects on the Denver Trump Protest".

AI Bootstrap Update

"AI Software Learns to Make AI Software". (Via F.G.)

Japanese Toilet UI

"Japanese Toilet Industry to Simplify Controls for Confusing High-Tech Toilets":
The move is meant to lessen confusion among users of the company’s products, in particular on the part of foreign tourists. Japan is currently preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which are set to be held in Tokyo. The new standardized list of images and their actions include: large flush, small flush, lift the lid, lift the seat, dryer, bidet, washer, and stop.

Laser Weapon Update

"Laser Weapons Will Turn Earth's Atmosphere into Lenses, Deflector Shields". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Light Posting

Admin note: Due to personal obligations, posting may be light for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

3D Forms of Graphene

"A team of engineers at MIT has successfully designed a new 3D material with five percent the density of steel and ten times the strength, making it one of the strongest lightweight materials known."

MIT And Exoplanets

MIT: "Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds"

Monday, January 16, 2017

Flight Attendant Tips

"Six Things You Should Know About Flying, According to Flight Attendants"

My favorite:
When we say "see you next time" to certain passengers as they deplane after arrival, that's our code word for "f-ck you - I hope you never fly with us again".

Plague Vaccine Update

"In Search Of A Vaccine To Vanquish The Plague"

Misused Words

"A Harvard linguist reveals the most misused words in English"

Friday, January 13, 2017

Animal Fart Database

"Does it fart? There's now a database -- and a hashtag -- for that"

Direct link to the database.

One typical entry:


Domesticated DogsCanis lupus familiarisYesbut often takes blame from nearby hominid, Boston Terriers are famous for their farting; known to scare selves with their farts

Classical Music Mashup

"Perfect Classical Music Mashup Merges 52 Famous Songs Into One Amazing Track". (Via H.R.)

Artificial Spider Silk Update

"Scientists Have Finally Figured Out How To Spin Artificial Silk The Way Spiders Do"

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Measuring Pain

"Measuring pain: How much does it hurt?" (Via H.R.)

World’s Oldest Surviving Piano

"What Does the World’s Oldest Surviving Piano Sound Like? Watch Pianist Give a Performance on a 1720 Cristofori Piano". (Via K.O.)

Hot Water Freezing

I find it astounding that we still don't really know whether (or why) hot water freezes faster than cold water. (Via H.R.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Riemann Hypothesis, explained

"The Riemann Hypothesis, explained"

Paper Centrifuge

"This Human-Powered Paper Centrifuge Is Pure Genius". (Via H.R.)

19 Cats Doing Sexy Poses

Ha! "19 Cats Doing Sexy Poses". (Via T.M.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Evolution Of Radiology

Dr. James Chang: "The evolution of radiology".

Yup, this seems about right! (Click on image to see full size version.)


Duvet Cover Trick

Video: "This ingenious duvet cover trick will change your life".

As Jason Kottke says:
Here’s a technique for putting a comforter inside a duvet cover that involves rolling the whole thing up “like a burrito” and then two solid pieces of matter somehow pass through each other? I dunno, that is some goddamned witchcraft that defies the laws of physics and topology...

Analysis Of 2016 Celebrity Deaths

"Was 2016 especially dangerous for celebrities? An empirical analysis". (Via D.B.)

Monday, January 09, 2017

Mine-Sweeping Drone

"These brothers built a mine-sweeping drone to clear land mines without casualties". (Via H.R.)

Sensory Isolation Tank Account

"What a Sensory Isolation Tank Taught Me About My Brain":
Instead of a transcendent excursion into an altered consciousness, sensory deprivation had hilariously underscored the primacy of my body; it was almost a purely physical experience from start to finish. It was like being at a meditation retreat with a runny nose. My brain was simply incapable of escaping the signals my body was sending it.

Unusual Urban Landscape Photographs

"Daredevil Japanese Photographer Explores Urban Landscapes From A New Perspective"

I especially liked this one:

Friday, January 06, 2017

Amazon Echo Murder Witness?

"Police want Amazon Echo to help solve a murder. Should it?"

The Confusing Borders of Lake Constance

"The Confusing Borders of Lake Constance":
Whether there are actually international borders running through the lake depends on what country you are from. One nation claims there are lines. Another says the lake belongs to all three countries. And the third doesn't really care!

Designing Annoying Alarms

"An Alarm Designer on How to Annoy People in the Most Effective Ways"

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Anti-Drone Technology

"A boom in consumer drone sales has spawned a counter-industry of start-ups aiming to stop drones flying where they shouldn't, by disabling them or knocking them out of the sky."

Of course, sometimes the old methods work pretty darned well too (*cough* skeet shooting *cough*).

Second Skin

"A team of researchers has developed a 'second skin' polymer that can provide a barrier, cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver drugs". (Via H.R.)

Open Sourcing Lucy

"Open sourcing Lucy, the world's most famous fossil". (Via H.R.)

Resurrecting Actors

"Actors Seek Posthumous Protections for Big-Screen Resurrections". (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Family Sues Apple Over Distracted Driver Death

Driver kills small child, has Apple Facetime video chat on during accident. Family of victim sues Apple, because Apple did not implement technology to "lock out" drivers from using the app while in motion at highway speeds.

Self-Healing Materials Update

"Scientists develop 'Wolverine'-inspired material that heals itself"

Kasparov On AI

"Kasparov on the future of Artificial Intelligence"