Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Harvard Atheist Chaplain

"Harvard University's new chief chaplain is... an atheist"

21st Century Relationship Problems

"My [31M] fiancee/girlfriend [28F] is upset that I proposed with an NFT instead of a ring. What can I do about this?"

Monday, August 30, 2021

Missing Nazi Uranium

"More than one ton of Nazi uranium is still missing".

(Random musing: "Missing Nazi Uranium" would be a good for a punk band.)

Drum Prodigy Nandi Bushell

11 year-old drum prodigy Nandi Bushell plays Everlong live on stage with the Foo Fighters at LA Forum, 8/26/2021.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Amazon Tolkien Series Background

"Tolkien and Amazon's Fight for a Franchise":

What the Tolkien estate sold was the rights to the Second Age, but reportedly not the parts of those stories told in the books primarily about the First Age (the Silmarillion, etc.) At the same time, Amazon cannot contradict those stories either. Amazon’s series will have to be consistent with the Tolkien canon, while at the same time drawing on the vaguest, least detailed portion of it...

Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey (who was involved in the production), explains further:

Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something, since, as I said, very few details are known about this time span. The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same. 

But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain "Tolkienian"...

Health Benefits Of Coffee

European Society Of Cardiology: "Light-to-moderate coffee drinking associated with health benefits"

Up to three cups of coffee per day is associated with a lower risk of stroke and fatal heart disease, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2021. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Magic Windows

"Hiding Images in Plain Sight: The Physics Of Magic Windows"

I recently made a physical object that defies all intuition. It's a square of acrylic, smooth on both sides, totally transparent. A tiny window. But it has the magic property that if you shine a flashlight on it, it forms an image. And if you take it out in the sun, it produces this 3D hologram. This post describes the math that went into making the object, and how you can create your own...

Robots Doing Parkour

"Robots Doing Parkour"

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Coming Regulatory Challenge For Crypto

Jerry Brito: "The coming regulatory challenge for crypto is essentially the same as the messaging encryption debate that's been roiling for years"

Ball Drop Videos

"I challenged 3D artists to guide a chrome ball from point A to point B in the most creative way possible. Nearly 2,000 artists entered, and in this video, the Top 100 renders are featured"

Monday, August 23, 2021

Foundation Trailer

"Foundation -- Official Trailer"

Insulin Delivery Update

"An implantable device for delivering insulin that can be refilled by an ingestible capsule". 

Note: The system works so far in test animals, but is not yet ready for human trials. (Via H.R.)

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Solar Power From Space?

"Solar Power from Space? Caltech’s $100 Million Gambit". (Via H.R.)

Noncompetes Growing

"Noncompete Agreements Are Everywhere, Even Neighborhood Yoga Studios"

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Declining Karens

"Nobody Wants to Name Their Kid 'Karen' Anymore"

Floating Micro-Origami

"Floating Micro-Origami that Magically Unfolds in Water". Click through to see video.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Auto-Aiming Bo

"Incredible Never-Miss Auto-Aiming Bow Puts Robin Hood to Shame". (Via H.R.)

Fusion Update

"General Fusion Takes Aim at Practical Fusion Power; The company plans to demonstrate its compact nuclear fusion technology in the UK by 2025".

I hope they succeed. But I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Samsung Folding Phones, Again

"How Samsung beefed up its new folding phones: metal, tape, and a dab of goo"

Pink Salt Pond

"The Pink Salt Ponds of Camargue, France". Click through to see some beautiful images.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Tracking Stolen Scooter With Airtags

Dan Guido: "My scooter was stolen last week. Unknown to the thief, I hid two Airtags inside it. I was able to use the Apple Find My network and UWB direction finding to recover the scooter today. Here's how it all went down".

Read the full thread!

Space Olympics

"Astronauts Give Us a Delightful Look at What the Olympics Would Be Like in Space". (Via H.R.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Questionable Grad Degrees

"The Great Master's-Degree Swindle". 

 The article states, "Colleges are making a killing selling dubious credentials to naïve students."

New Carnivorous Plant Discovered

"This Sweet White Flower Is Actually A Sneaky Carnivore, Scientists Discover"

Monday, August 09, 2021

Most Translated Books

The most-translated book in each nation. (Via M.R.)

Google AI Update

"Google is developing a new superintelligent AI but ethical questions remain"

Inadvertent Life On Mars?

"Could humans have contaminated Mars with life?"

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Show-Off Goose

"Goose flying upside down is simply showing off, say experts".

Hey, I knew a guy just like that in high school!

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Don't Do This With Hammocks

"Sheriff: Stop hanging hammocks from high-voltage power lines"

Useful Asparagus

"The Biophysicist Transforming Asparagus Into Medical Implants".  (Via D.W.)

And then came the biggest surprise of all. Rats with severed spinal cords that had been implanted with the asparagus tissue were able to walk again, just a few weeks after implantation... 

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Amazon LOTR Update

"The Lord of the Rings TV series has finished filming, and it has a release date"

Pro Bowling Balls

"The insides of pro bowling balls will make your head spin". These are not regular bowling balls.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Monday, August 02, 2021

Time Crystal

"Researchers at Google in collaboration with physicists at Stanford, Princeton and other universities say that they have used Google’s quantum computer to demonstrate a genuine 'time crystal.'"

A novel phase of matter that physicists have strived to realize for many years, a time crystal is an object whose parts move in a regular, repeating cycle, sustaining this constant change without burning any energy.

“The consequence is amazing: You evade the second law of thermodynamics,” said Roderich Moessner, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, and a co-author on the Google paper. That’s the law that says disorder always increases.

Time crystals are also the first objects to spontaneously break “time-translation symmetry,” the usual rule that a stable object will remain the same throughout time. A time crystal is both stable and ever-changing, with special moments that come at periodic intervals in time.


Earth From Space

"Only 24 people have journeyed far enough to see the whole Earth against the black of space. The images they brought back changed our world." (Via GVH and HR.)

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Physics Of Drink Coasters

"Beer mats make bad frisbees".  ("Beer mat" = drink coaster.)

In this article we show why flying and rotating beer mats, CDs, or other flat disks will eventually flip in the air and end up flying with backspin, thus, making them unusable as frisbees. The crucial effect responsible for the flipping is found to be the lift attacking not in the center of mass but slightly offset to the forward edge...


Spectacular Saturn

"This is the best time all year to see the ringed magnificence of Saturn"