Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Spreadsheets

"The tyranny of spreadsheets"

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Fire Rainbows

I had never heard of "fire rainbows" before!
This very rare form of rainbow - sometimes called a fire rainbow - is caused by the angle of the sunlight hitting cirrus ice crystals in the atmosphere. The effect is fleeting, usually only lasting a few seconds before either disappearing or turning normal-cloud white. 
 
This was spotted June 5 in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. 
 
Some think fire rainbows are where the concept of dragons came from.
 
The fire rainbow is play of light weather phenomenon, a form of Circumhorizontal arc.

 

Revealing Mouse Movements

"Mouse movements reveal your behavior"

Monday, June 28, 2021

Personal Flying Hoverboard

"Omni Hoverboard takes a super-simple approach to personal flight".

Video: 



 

The "Other" Map

Great map from xkcd. (Via H.R.)


 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Excel Art

"Meet Tatsuo Horiuchi, the 77-Year-Old Artist Who 'Paints' Japanese Landscapes With Excel"

Slowing Milky Way Rotation

"The Milky Way rotates at a whopping 130 miles (210 kilometers) per second, but a new study has found that dark matter has slowed the rotation of its bar by at least 24% since its formation nearly 14 billion years ago. "

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Science Headline Of The Day

NYT science headline of the day.

I imagine science writers can wait decades for an opportunity to publish something like this.



Not Dead Cat

"Family's shock as cat they thought they had cremated comes home".

Cue Monty Python line, "I'm not dead yet!" 



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

New Ocean

"Hydrography: The world's 'new' ocean"

The 30m-year-old Southern Ocean, from Antarctica to a latitude of 60° south, will now be given the same status, and typeface in maps, as the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Mapmakers often use land to mark the boundaries of oceans and seas. But where two waters converge, science is needed. The waters of the Southern Ocean are kept cold by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, for example, which has allowed a distinct ecosystem to develop.

Image via Wikipedia.


 

 

Awesome Math Professor

"Math Professor Fixes Projector Screen"


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

LEGO Typewriter

LEGO is selling a 2,000+ piece set that makes a mechanical typewriter:

Designed to mirror the function and style of a classic typewriter, the set features a center typebar that rises each time a key is pressed. This links to the carriage, which moves across as you type, and it also features a platen roller into which real paper can be fed. 

According to the company website, the set costs $200 and goes on sale July 2021


Black Hole Living

"A guide to living at a black hole"

Monday, June 21, 2021

Galactic Empires Without FTL Drive

"Aliens Wouldn't Need Warp Drives to Take Over an Entire Galaxy, Simulation Suggests"

Kodak Arc

"The Rise and Fall of an American Tech Giant"

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Grand Elbow Compromise

A fight broke out on a flight over whose elbow got which armrest, forcing the plane back to the gate for law enforcement to sort out. This is so easily avoidable by following the rules of the Grand Elbow Compromise. (Click on image to see full size version).


 

Bowie Art Find

Painting by David Bowie purchased for $5 at thrift store likely to fetch more than $12,000 at art auction.

NFT Sale Record

"Iconic 'Doge' meme NFT breaks record, selling for $4 million"

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Cat Thief

"Woman posts 'My Cat Is A Thief' sign next to her pet's stolen items". (Via H.R.)

Oxford University Press Ends Print Division

"Oxford University Press to end centuries of tradition by closing its printing arm". (Via S.L.)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Robot Storytellers

"Storytelling robots send parents of young children into AI's 'uncanny valley'"

Loki Review

"Loki Review: A Good Start To A Possibly Great MCU Series"

Friday, June 11, 2021

Slow Motion Simone Biles

"Simone Biles, Mesmerizing in Slow Motion":

In her floor exercise routine on the first day of the competition, Biles absolutely nailed a triple double — that’s three twists while doing two backflips. Timothy Burke took the footage and slowed it down so that we can see exactly what’s going on in the air. 

And, Jesus, I was NOT prepared for what I saw. The two handsprings that set up the final move are beautiful slowed down, leisurely even. 

But then Biles launches herself impossibly high into the air — like absurdly and spectacularly high — and starts twisting and flipping at a speed that seems fast even for slow motion. 

And the landing — it’s like she was standing there all along, waiting for the rest of her spirit to join her. Watching the routine at regular speed makes you appreciate the move even more.


More Monterey Features

"Buried features: There's more to macOS Monterey than the keynote let on"

Meteor Vs. Volcano

"Photographer Captures Shooting Star Falling ‘Into’ Volcano"

While the photo may look like the shooting star fell right into the volcano’s crater, it’s unclear whether that actually happened or whether it fell somewhere behind the mountain. From what’s seen in the security camera footage, however, it does appear that the meteor fell at a very close distance.


 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Spy Gap

USA Today: "The real issue with the COVID-19 lab leak theory? The US isn't spying on China like it used to"

Found Wallet

"Woman recovers wallet lost 46 years ago in California"

“I’m shaking,” Distin told KCAL-TV as she looked through the wallet. It contained poetry and notes, photographs of high school friends, the $5 ticket to a Grateful Dead concert at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and photos of Distin’s mother, who died several years ago.

Direct link to video:

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Trojan Shield Sting

"Global sting: FBI-run messaging app tricks organized crime"

More On Ransomware Recovery

Ars Technica: "US seizes $2.3 million Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware attackers". (Via A.B.)

It's possible that Colonial Pipeline chose to pay the higher ransom at the behest of law enforcement because bitcoin could be tracked and monero—the other currency accepted by DarkSide—is completely untraceable. Even if that is the case, it's not clear how law enforcement gained possession of the cryptographic key needed to empty the wallet.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Invisible Art

"An Italian Artist Auctioned Off an 'Invisible Sculpture' for $18,300. It's Made Literally of Nothing"

Wow -- I feel fortunate that I only paid $10,000 for one of those!

 

Self-Creating AI

"AI is learning how to create itself". I see no possible way this could go wrong.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Venus Missions

"NASA will launch 2 new missions to Venus by 2030 to return to Earth's hellish twin"

You know someone spent a while devising acronyms that would be good for a press release: 
The two missions, called DAVINCI+ and VERITAS were selected from NASA's shortlist...
 
DAVINCI+ (short for Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) will plunge through the thick Venus atmosphere to learn more about it changes over time.
 
Meanwhile, VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy) mission will use radar to map Venus' surface in detail from orbit.

 

Rogue Killer Drone

"A rogue killer drone 'hunted down' a human target without being instructed to, UN report says"

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Future Of Zoom

"Zoom will stay relevant despite the economy’s massive reopening, two traders suggest". (Via D.M.)

Brave Woman

California woman shoves bear off her fence to protect her dogs. (Via Boing Boing.)


Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Hsieh Forbes Column: Perks And Incentives For Covid-19 Vaccination May Backfire

My latest Forbes column is now out: "Perks And Incentives For Covid-19 Vaccination May Backfire".

I discuss the proliferation of prizes and incentives being offered to get people vaccinated, and how this can sometimes create the opposite effect of making people more suspicious of the vaccine.

Radio Stations Around The World

"The green dots on this Google Earth map represent radio stations all over the world

"Turn up the volume and click on any one of the dots and you will immediately hear that station with very good reception. For example, halfway up Ireland's east coast, there is a station playing Irish pub music." (Via H.R.)

Shoddy Research

"Questionable Research Practices I’ve Taken Part In"