Monday, October 31, 2022

T-Rex Arms

"The 120-year search for the purpose of T. rex's arms"

Ancient Bacteria

"Ancient creatures are emerging from the cold storage of melting permafrost, almost like something out of a horror movie."

Thursday, October 27, 2022


"The secret life of a super-recogniser":

It was only as she got older and started using social media that Seo became self-conscious of her skill. “I would start a new class in uni or I would meet people through social gatherings and I would remember visually what kind of photos I’d seen them in. I’d already be so familiar with them and I’d know in my head: ‘Oh, you are that person’s sibling, or you used to date so-and-so,’” she says.

“But I also knew it’d be really creepy if I said that out loud, so I’d keep it on the down low and just say: ‘Oh, nice to meet you.’”

 (Via Gus Van Horn.)

Hsieh Forbes Column: Misinformation, Mosquitoes, And Mutations, Oh My!

Yes, some people are "mosquito magnets". That's one of the topics I cover in my latest Forbes piece.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Standard Reference Peanut Butter

Yes, you can purchase Standard Reference Peanut Butter from the NIST Store (National Institute of Standards and Technology). 

Be aware that: 

1) 3 jars cost $1,069, and 

2) The lot expires December 31, 2029.


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Light Posting Notice

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

Fake Money For Films

Video: "How Fake Money Is Made For Movies And TV". (Via E.D.)

Monday, October 24, 2022

Bionic Noses

"With This Bionic Nose, COVID Survivors May Smell the Roses Again"

Chinese Armed Robo-Dogs

"China Pairs Armed Robot Dogs With Drones That Can Drop Them Anywhere":

Footage of a Chinese-made drone carrying a ‘robot dog’ that is armed with a machine gun has started to make its rounds on social media, and it looks like it was taken straight out of a dystopian war movie. It isn’t immediately clear if the video was recorded as part of a Chinese military exercise or rather in an effort to demonstrate how the pairing will operate, but even without that context, the clip could serve as a foretelling of the technology that may populate future battlegrounds.

Friday, October 21, 2022

How To Become An Excellent Physicist

"The secret to becoming an excellent physicist":

It’s simplicity itself: you become good at physics by solving physics problems. That’s it: that’s the secret. If you want to become competent at physics, you will solve physics problems in the area you wish to learn.

Backpack Ergonomics

Wirecutter: "You're Probably Wearing Your Backpack Wrong"

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Robot Takeout

"I ordered robot takeout on two campuses with wildly different results"

Japanese Microapartments

"A 95-Square-Foot Tokyo Apartment: 'I Wouldn't Live Anywhere Else'"

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Author Acceptance Bias

"Authors' names have 'astonishing' influence on peer reviewers: A Nobel prizewinner is six times more likely than someone less well known to get a thumbs-up for acceptance, finds study."

Wrinkling Math

"The New Math of Wrinkling"

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Monday, October 17, 2022

We Now Know How Many Brain Cells It Takes To Play Pong: 800,000

"Lab-grown brain cells play video game Pong":
Prof Karl Friston, of University College London, who is working with Dr Kagan, says: "The mini-brain learned without it being taught and so is more adaptable and flexible."

I can't wait to teach it how to play "Global Thermonuclear War"!


Signal And SMS

"Signal is 'starting to phase out SMS support' from its Android app"

Friday, October 14, 2022

Popular Websites By Country

"The Most Visited Website in Every Country (That Isn't A Search Engine)"

Fast Internet

"Fastest internet network in the world is upgraded to 46 Tb/s to support scientific research":

Scientists at the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) science network will hereon have access to the world's fastest internet. The DOE's Energy Science Network, ESnet, has now been upgraded to ESnet6, boasting a bandwidth of 46 Terabits per second (Tbps), enhancing the network's connectivity to new levels.

To put it into perspective, ESnet6 is 46,000 times faster than a comparatively high-speed connection of one Gbps. The current U.S. national average internet speed in 2022 is 119.03 Mbps, according to High Speed Internet.

That's a lot of cat videos per second! (Via H.R.)

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Harvard Classics Free

"Download The Harvard Classics as Free eBooks: A 'Portable University' Created in 1909"

Moldable Ceramics Discovered By Accident

"A new ceramic material that can form tiny, intricate shapes could transform smartphones". (Via H.R.)

When ceramics are subjected to abrupt temperature changes and mechanical loading, they frequently shatter (or even explode) from thermal shock. However, their sample had distorted...

Its underlying microstructure enables the all-ceramic to transmit heat and flow during the molding process effectively. At room temperature, the ceramic can be formed into exquisite geometries and exhibits impressive mechanical strength and thermal conductivity.

“It’s unique: Thermoformable ceramics, from what we’ve seen and read, don’t really exist,” [graduate student Jason] Bice says. “So it’s a new frontier in materials.”


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Friday, October 07, 2022

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Medicare Fraud

ProTip: Don't try to defraud Medicare by billing for non-existent radiology exams on deceased patients

The claims were for services that he did not provide and included approximately 151 x-ray services purportedly provided to patients on dates after the patients had died.

Mouse Neuron Data

"Huge new dataset pushes limits of neuroscience":

At the Allen Institute, a nonprofit research institute started by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, they used six Neuropixels probes to record simultaneously from eight different regions of the mouse visual system. In August, the institute released data from 81 mice—comprising the activity of around 300,000 neurons. The data is freely available to any researchers who might want to use it.

As the largest data set of this kind ever collected—three times as big as the previous record holder—the release lets researchers observe enormous groups of neurons acting in concert. That unprecedented scale may unlock opportunities to understand parts of cognition that have previously evaded the scientific community’s grasp. “We want to understand how we think and see and make decisions,” says Shawn Olsen, an investigator at the Allen Institute who played a central role in the project. “And it just does not happen at the level of single neurons.”

The challenge now is figuring out just how to parse all that data...


Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Entanglement Nobel

"Quantum experiments with entangled photons win the 2022 Nobel Prize in physics"

Plant Machete

"Living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm":

David Bowen’s installation, ‘Plant Machete,’ enables a living plant to move a machete through an industrial robot‘s bionic-like arm. The installation implements a control system that measures electrical noises found in the living philodendron. This system uses an open source micro-controller connected to the plant, which reads varying resistance signals across the its leaves.

The machine’s movements are accomplished by using a custom technology that translates electrical signals from the plant into real-time motion. Embedded patch sensors pick up electric signals from the leaves and transmit them to the machine that contains several joints that determine how the machete swings, jabs, slices, and interacts in space.

(Via P.B.)


Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Monday, October 03, 2022

Hsieh Forbes Column: You Have The Right To Your Radiology Test Results

My latest Forbes column is now out: "You Have The Right To Your Radiology Test Results: What You Need To Know".

I discuss some changes in federal law that allow near-immediate access to radiology reports (and other test results), and how best to use these rights responsibly.

Mobile Phone Privacy

"How Mobile Phones Became a Privacy Battleground -- and How to Protect Yourself".

Related article: "16 Practical Privacy Tips for Your iPhone"