Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Night Before Space Launch

"What Is It Like To Be An Astronaut The Night Before You Launch Into Space?"

Your MLB Nickname

"The 20 rules for creating an MLB nickname (and what yours would be)"

Unfortunate Last Names

"Innocent people with dirty-sounding last names face the 'Scunthorpe problem'"

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Steak Vending Machine

"A meat vending machine exists, for all your midnight steak needs"

Swirling Wine

"Swirling your wine is not pretentious; it's just good physics".

My favorite part is how the analysis of the physics became someone's PhD dissertation. (Via H.R.)

Messages To The Stars

"Will the messages we sent to the stars be understood?"

Monday, August 27, 2018

Escape Rooms

The Escape Room Craze.

Ancient Egyptian Pregnancy Test

"Ancient Egyptian Pregnancy Test Survived Millenia Because It Worked"

Ancient Earth Globe

Excellent interactive globe showing what the Earth looked like at different times, millions of years ago. (Via H.R. and G.V.H.)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Win95 App

"Windows 95 app brings nerd nostalgia to macOS, Windows and Linux". (Via H.S.)

Flat Earth Believers

"Do People Really Think Earth Might Be Flat?"
Just 66 percent of millennials firmly believe that the Earth is round,” read the summary from the pollster YouGov. Kids today, right? But it’s not only curmudgeons eager to complain about the younger generation who ought to find the survey of interest. For despite the recent prominence of flat-earthery among musicians and athletes, YouGov’s survey seems to have been the first systematic attempt to assess the American population’s views on the shape of the Earth.

Moreover, the results raised a number of compelling questions that deserve attention...

Communicating With Subs

"MIT Researchers Develop Seamless Underwater-to-Air Communication System". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Last Blockbuster

How the last Blockbuster store in the US (in Bend, OR) has managed to survive the digital era.

Hotel Safe Override

Hotel safes also have an administrator code that bypasses the user-chosen combination.

Unless the hotel management has changed it, the override is: LOCK-LOCK-999999

Ridiculous Medical Calls

Doctors discuss, "Most ridiculous thing you've been called about in the middle of the night?"

Monday, August 20, 2018

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Internal Asymmetry

"Why aren't internal organs symmetrical?"

Renting A Goat

"Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Renting a Goat"

Breaking Spaghetti

"Two MIT mathematicians have figured out the trick to breaking spaghetti strands neatly in two: add a little twist as you bend. They outlined their findings in a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (Via H.R.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Origins Of Money

"Conflict reigns over the history and origins of money". (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Ghostbusters Logo

"The Ghostbusters Logo Only Became Famous Because Of A Legal Screw-Up"

No Time Travelers

"The Utter Failure of Fictional Time Travel". An answer to why we’ve not been visited from the future?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Poker Professional Maria Konnikova

Professional poker player Maria Konnikova explains how she exploits irrational prejudices by male poker players to her advantage:
There are people who’d rather die than be bluffed by a woman. They’ll never fold to me because that’s an affront to their masculinity. 

I never bluff them. I know that no matter how strong my hand, they are still going to call me because they just can’t fold to a girl.

Other people think women are incapable of bluffing. They think if I’m betting really aggressively, it means I have an incredibly strong hand. I bluff those people all the time. 
FWIW, she has won $200,000 over the past year of playing professionally.

Parker Solar Probe

"As strange as it may sound, it's much more difficult to reach the sun than it is to leave the solar system altogether":
“I’m always amused when someone says, ‘Shoot X or so-and-so into the sun,’” says Rand Simberg, a space consultant and an engineer. “Because they have no idea how hard that is to do.”

The reason has to do with orbital mechanics, the study of how natural forces influence the motions of rockets, satellites, and other space-bound technology. Falling into the sun might seem effortless since the star’s gravity is always tugging at everything in the solar system, including Earth. But Earth—along with all the other planets and their moons—is also orbiting the sun at great speed, which prevents it from succumbing to the sun’s pull.

This arrangement is great if you’d like to avoid falling into the sun yourself, but it’s rather inconvenient if you want to launch something there.

More Superbugs

"Hospital superbugs are evolving to survive hand sanitizers"

Monday, August 13, 2018

My Father Is Steve Jobs

"I have a secret. My father is Steve Jobs."

Ultimate Bush Plane

"One man designed and built the ultimate bush plane". (Via H.R.)

Laundering Money With In-Game Purchases

Bruce Schneier: "Evidence that stolen credit cards are being used to purchase items in games like Clash of Clans, which are then resold for cash."

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Xanadu Today

"Verses Composed Upon Reading A Review From TripAdvisor"

Battery Progress

"The next major innovation in batteries might be here":
Pellion’s battery can pack nearly double the energy of a conventional lithium-ion battery, making it able to, for example, double the time a drone can spend in the air. That 100% increase in energy density is a step change compared to the annual 10% or so improvement the battery industry currently averages.

Best Words

"10 of the best words in the world (that don't translate into English)"

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Humidity And HFT

How humidity affects high-frequency trading and the global stock markets. (Via H.R.)

Ethics And Dog Cloning

"Inside the Very Big, Very Controversial Business of Dog Cloning"

Geek Disaster Movie

xkcd: "Disaster Movie". (Via B.E.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Money-Losing Hardware

"Why Hardware Makers Rarely Make Their Money From Hardware"

Pure Sand

"The Ultra-Pure, Super-Secret Sand That Makes Your Phone Possible". (Via H.R.)

Lip-Reading AI

"Lip-reading artificial intelligence could help the deaf -- or spies"

Thursday, August 02, 2018


"How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald's Monopoly Game and Stole Millions"

Check Engine Light

"What Your Check Engine Light Means and What To Do About It"

Big Pipe

Ars Technica: "661Tbps through a single optical fiber: The mind boggles". (Via H.R.)