Friday, July 31, 2020

Hsieh Forbes Column on Blood Type and Covid Risk

Another cautionary tale on how early science reporting can be easily overturned by further study.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mars In 4K

Aeroscreen Lifesaver

"IndyCar’s Aeroscreen gets first real test, saves lives at Iowa race". (Via H.R.)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Redesigned Chocolate Chips

"A Tesla Designer Reengineers the Chocolate Chip":
Labesque’s redesign for artisanal Dandelion Chocolate is a square, faceted pyramid, kind of like a flattened diamond. Two edges are thick, and two exceedingly thin, for even more textural pleasure...

Enhanced Moon Landing Video

"Historic Moon Landing Footage Has Been Enhanced by AI, And The Results Are Incredible". (Via H.R.)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Searching Before Google

"What Did People Use Before Google to Search the Web?" (Via H.R.)

Tiny Cameras

"A Bug-Sized Camera for Bug-Sized Robots and Bug-Sized Bugs"

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Movie Recommendation: A Town Has Turned To Dust

I recently watched "A Town Turned To Dust", available on YouTube.

Excellent 90-minute play, written by Rod Serling before Twilight Zone. Although it was written in 1958, it touches on various themes of human nature and political behavior that are chillingly relevant for today.

Bonus #1: It stars a very young William Shatner, who does a great job of playing the lead role as an unsavory storekeeper in an Old West town.

Bonus #2: Includes embedded 1950's commercials. OMG.

Serling's experiences in getting the script approved apparently pushed him to the direction of science fiction:
Network pressure and sponsor meddling was making it almost impossible for him to say anything meaningful in a straight dramatic setting. A series with a sci-fi/fantasy twist, on the other hand, would open up new story possibilities — and allow Serling's social jabs to fly under the radar of nervous sponsors.
"On The Twilight Zone, I knew I could get away with Martians saying things that Republicans and Democrats couldn't," he said. And a TV legend was born.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Super Hard Proteus

"This new ultrahard material inspired by nature could make uncuttable bike locks"

Ultrablack Fish

"Scientists unlocked the secret of how these ultrablack fish absorb light". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


"Swedish region hires medieval knights on horseback to fight coronavirus". 

The UK really needs to up their game and get The Knights Who Say "Ni!" into action.

Solar Flares Everywhere

"The closest images of the Sun ever taken reveal tiny solar flares dotting the star's surface". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Amazon Fake Review Marketplace

"My Bizarre Stint As An Amazon Reviewer for Hire"

Enigma Rebuilt

"Enigma code-breaking machine rebuilt at Cambridge". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Light Posting

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual the rest of this week due to external circumstances.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Cat Burglar

"Mysterious clothing thief turns out to be neighborhood kitty". (Via H.R.)

Noise-Cancelling Window

"Noise-Cancelling Smart Window Blocks Street Din"

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Kung Fu Nuns

"The Kung Fu Nuns Of Kathmandu"

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Penguin Poo Physics

"The explosive physics of pooping penguins: They can shoot poo over four feet"

Colonizing The Sun

Robin Hanson: "We Colonize The Sun First"

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

New Larson

New cartoons from Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson.

Tesseract Visualization

Bartosz Ciechanowski has an amazing interactive Tesseract visualization tool.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Black Hole Collision

"A supermassive black hole lit up a collision of two smaller black holes":
Astronomers from Caltech have reported that they’ve observed a collision between two black holes. Normally such an event is invisible, but this time a more massive black hole sitting nearby helped illuminate the other two as they collided. If confirmed, the findings, published in Physical Review Letters, would be the first optical observations ever made of a black hole merger.

Mega Coffee

"What Does Death Wish Coffee Taste Like? (And Is It Safe?)"
Death Wish is billed as the “world’s strongest coffee.” And although the company doesn’t release caffeine-content figures, we have seen third-party test results in an eye-opening range of 650 to 728 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce (Starbucks “tall”-size) cup. By contrast, Starbucks’s dark, medium, and blonde roasts have 193, 235, and 270 mg, respectively. (Darker beans generally have less caffeine than lighter ones.) So drinking a cup of Death Wish is like drinking 2½ to 3 cups of Starbucks coffee.

After brewing a 12-ounce cup of Death Wish (using the company’s recommended brewing ratio and grind size, and our top-pick pour-over dripper), I found the taste hearty and, yes, potently strong—all coffee, no subtlety. It was stronger than two Starbucks dark roasts I compared it with, but not bitter or unpleasant. It’s what I’d expect to find in the thermos of a lumberjack or a Bering Sea crab-boat skipper.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Holiday Hiatus

Admin note: I'll be taking a quick posting break for the long holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 01, 2020