Friday, November 30, 2018

[Off Topic] Hsieh Forbes Column: Could #MeToo Hurt Women's Health Care?

[Off Topic] Even good movements can create bad unintended consequences. My latest column in Forbes asks: "Could #MeToo Hurt Women's Health Care?"

I discuss recent research that fears of false accusations of sexual assault could prevent men from giving life-saving CPR to women in cardiac arrest. 

Drug-Resistant Bacteria In Space

"Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found on International Space Station Toilet"

Collector of Math and Physics Surprises

"A Collector of Math and Physics Surprises"

Payless Experiment

"Payless Opened a Fake Luxury Store, 'Palessi,' to See How Much People Would Pay for $20 Shoes The answer? A hell of a lot"

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Competence Downshifting By White Liberals

Interesting psychology research from Yale: "White Liberals Present Themselves as Less Competent in Interactions with African-Americans"

I was particular struck by the work done on "normal" people (as opposed to political candidates):
The researchers found that liberal individuals were less likely to use words that would make them appear highly competent when the person they were addressing was presumed to be black rather than white. No significant differences were seen in the word selection of conservatives based on the presumed race of their partner. 'It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect,' [Yale professor Cyndee] Dupree says. 'Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.'

Plural Forms Of Last Names

"How to make your last name plural on holiday cards and avoid apostrophe catastrophe"

100 Websites

"100 Websites That Shaped the Internet as We Know It"

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fax Machines

"The Fax Is Not Yet Obsolete". Although I really wish it were.


"Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies".

Related commentary: "What we know — and what we don’t — about the claim of world’s first gene-edited babies"

AI Boo Boo

"Chinese AI traffic cam mistook a bus ad for a human and publicly shamed the CEO it depicted for jaywalking"

Monday, November 26, 2018

Plane With No Moving Parts

"First ever plane with no moving parts takes flight":
The first ever “solid state” plane, with no moving parts in its propulsion system, has successfully flown for a distance of 60 metres, proving that heavier-than-air flight is possible without jets or propellers.

The flight represents a breakthrough in “ionic wind” technology, which uses a powerful electric field to generate charged nitrogen ions, which are then expelled from the back of the aircraft, generating thrust.

Steven Barrett, an aeronautics professor at MIT and the lead author of the study published in the journal Nature, said the inspiration for the project came straight from the science fiction of his childhood. “I was a big fan of Star Trek”...

Background Music

"Inside the booming business of background music"

Holding Cigarettes

The psychology of holding cigarettes? (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Break

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

GeekPress will be on break the rest of this week. Regular posting will resume on Monday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Lego Pain

"Why Walking on Legos Hurts More Than Walking on Fire or Ice"

Relativity And Supernovas

"Physicists Used Einstein's Relativity To Successfully Predict A Supernova Explosion"

Wombat Poop

"Scientists explain how wombats drop cubed poop".

Original academic presentation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How AI Agents Cheat

"How AI Agents Cheat"

Underwater Hotel

"Hotel's underwater villa costs $50,000 per night":
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island said the underwater villa, dubbed Muraka, includes a private gym, a stocked bar, an infinity pool, butler's quarters, an ocean-facing bathtub and an underwater bedroom with a panoramic view of the world 16feet under the surface of the Indian Ocean.

Cowen On Journal Of Controversial Ideas

Tyler Cowen: "A new scholarly journal of provocative arguments is interesting but probably redundant"

Friday, November 16, 2018

Literal Diamond Ring

"Jony Ive's latest design is the ultimate diamond ring – made only of diamond":
Creating a ring-shaped diamond is no small feat; the diamond block will be faceted with several thousand facets, some of which are as small as several hundred micrometers. The interior ring will be cylindrically cut out for the desired smoothness using a micrometer thick water jet inside which a laser beam is cast. The finished ring will have between 2000-3000 facets which has never been seen before on a single piece.

3 Rubiks At Once

"Teen solves three Rubik's cubes at once for Guinness record".

Direct link to video:

Airplane Boarding Algorithms

"All the Ways You Can Board a Plane, Ranked by Stupidity"

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Amazing Magic

"The Winning Trick at the World Championships of Magic Might Fry Your Brain Like an Egg"

Eric Chien:

Wi-Fi Spying

"Using Wi-Fi to 'see' behind closed doors is easier than anyone thought"

The All-Seeing Eye

"The DEA and ICE are hiding surveillance cameras in streetlights"

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Round Electrons

"Physicists report electron is round -- what does that mean?" (Via H.R.)

Facebook Unsend

"Facebook Messenger will soon roll out an unsend feature, which will give users a grand total of ten minutes to unsend a message, wiping it from your chat history. This will remove the message from the recipient's inbox as well."

Laser "Porchlight" For Earth

"ET, we're home: Existing laser technology could be fashioned into Earth's 'porch light' to attract alien astronomers.

Um, are we sure we really want to attract the attention of aliens? #WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Galactic Collision

"Galactic collision ripples across eons to shape our view of the cosmos"

Why Pencils Are Yellow

"The Little-Known Reason Pencils Are Yellow"

Antimatter And Gravity

"Does antimatter fall upwards? New CERN gravity experiments aim to get to the bottom of the matter"

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Monday, November 05, 2018

NASA Logos Everywhere

"Everyone's making money using NASA logos except NASA"

Expensive Art

"Why is art so expensive?"

Lab-Made Whiskey, Lab-Made Wine

"Lab-Made Whiskey, Lab-Made Wine". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Texting 911

"Why is it so hard to text 911?"

Two Women Can Carry Same Baby

"New fertility procedure allows 2 women to carry same baby, presents new choices for same-sex couples"

Harvard Pigment Collection

"Harvard's Pigment Collection"