Friday, April 29, 2022

Chocolate And Wine

"French Nun Who Enjoys Chocolate and Wine Becomes Oldest Person Alive at 118"

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual for the next few days due to external obligations.

Ikea Psychology

"How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff".

"Tricks" might be a bit too strong. But "uses psychology" would be correct. Casinos are also notorious users of psychology to get customers to drop more money at their venues. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Hsieh Forbes Column: Traffic Safety Signs May Be Hazardous To Your Health

My latest Forbes column is now out: "Traffic Safety Signs May Be Hazardous To Your Health".

I cover some fascinating behavioral science research showing how traffic safety signs can create unintended -- and sometimes deadly -- consequences.

Traffic Deaths Statistics Expressway Overhead Road Sign

Old-School D&D

"How to run an old-school open world D&D campaign like Gary Gygax"

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Copper Acetate Crystals

"How to Grow a Perfect Copper Acetate Crystal with Scrap Copper & Vinegar"


Invisible Mending

"The Magic of Invisible Mending"

A father and daughter at a tailoring workshop in Japan have mastered kaketsugi, the art of invisibly mending clothes -- that is, repairing holes and tears in fabric so seamlessly and completely that they appear to never have been damaged in the first place. The before and after photos are incredible... you absolutely cannot tell where the repair was made, even under close inspection...

Monday, April 25, 2022

Friday, April 22, 2022

Honeybee Flight

"There's a Really Weird Effect When Honeybees Fly Over a Mirror". (Via H.R.)

Avocado Multitool

"Here's a multi-tool for avocados! Wait, what?"

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


"'Oreology' investigates mystery of why Oreo creme filling usually sticks to one side". (Via H.R.)


Best Chess Movies

"Every Chess Movie, Ranked. And one obvious TV series."

Monday, April 18, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022

New Money

"Money is about to enter a new era of competition"

Beautiful Places

"The Most Beautiful Place in Every U.S. State"

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Powerful X-Rays

"All that needs to happen now is the cool-down of the accelerator to -456° Fahrenheit and the tuning of the entire structure so that the electrons traveling through it can move fast enough to generate 1 million X-ray pulses per second." (Via H.R.)

Eye Of Sauron Update

"Your Digital Footprint: It's Bigger Than You Realize"

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

AI Chest X-ray Reader

"First autonomous X-ray-analyzing AI is cleared in the EU"

An artificial intelligence tool that reads chest X-rays without oversight from a radiologist got regulatory clearance in the European Union last week — a first for a fully autonomous medical imaging AI...

The tool, called ChestLink, scans chest X-rays and automatically sends patient reports on those that it sees as totally healthy, with no abnormalities. Any images that the tool flags as having a potential problem are sent to a radiologist for review. Most X-rays in primary care don’t have any problems, so automating the process for those scans could cut down on radiologists’ workloads, the Oxipit said in informational materials.

The tech now has a CE mark certification in the EU, which signals that a device meets safety standards. The certification is similar to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in the United States...


AI In Medicine

"AI for medicine is overhyped right now"

Monday, April 11, 2022

Hyperpolyglot Brains

"MIT scans brain of hyperpolyglot Vaughn Smith, who speaks 24 languages"

Robotic Advance

"Researchers have now unveiled a robot capable of executing the delicate task of peeling a banana without squashing the fruit inside." (Via H.R.)

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Black Watch

"Drop This Watch Covered in the World's Blackest Paint at Night and You May Never Find It Again". (Via H.R. and J.P.)

Black Hole Update

"Massive Black Holes Shown to Act Like Quantum Particles"

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Oldest Pants

"The world's oldest pants are a 3,000-year-old engineering marvel". (Via H.R.)

Hacking Hondas

Man In The Middle Attack: "Honda bug lets a hacker unlock and start your car via replay attack". (Via A.O.)

This week, multiple researchers disclosed a vulnerability that can be used by a nearby attacker to unlock some Honda and Acura car models, and start their engines wirelessly.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2022-27254, is a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack or more specifically a replay attack in which an attacker intercepts the RF signals normally sent from a remote key fob to the car, manipulates these signals, and re-sends these at a later time to unlock the car at will.


Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Genome Mapped

"Scientists Have Finally Mapped the Whole Human Genome". (Via H.R.)

Late PhD

"Why I got a PhD at age 61".

Great story! (I confess similar thoughts have crossed my mind on more than one occasion.)

Monday, April 04, 2022

Spectacular Sun Photo

"The Highest Resolution Photo of the Sun Ever Taken". 

Direct link to ESA site with zoomable image.


New Warehouse Robot

"Boston Dynamics' 'Stretch' robot hits production, and it's already sold out". (Via H.R.)

Faux Saltiness

"Powered chopsticks use electricity to make food taste 50% saltier"

Sunday, April 03, 2022

MIT Reinstates SAT/ACT Test Requirement For Admissions

I like this recent policy change by my alma mater, MIT: 

After careful consideration, we have decided to reinstate our SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles. Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT. 
We believe a requirement is more equitable and transparent than a test-optional policy.

Distant Star

"Hubble sees most distant star ever, 28 billion light-years away"