Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Chairless Chair

"The Chairless Chair, an invisible chair that you can wear".

Basically, it's a lightweight exoskeleton that allows you to walk or run normally. But at the push of a button, it transforms into a chair capable of bearing your body weight.

Related video:

Feynman Film Trilogy

"The Richard Feynman Trilogy: The Physicist Captured in Three Films"

USB Condom

"USB Condom: Charge your devices without allowing sneaky data-transfers"

IKEA Uses Lots of CG

75% of all IKEA's product images are CG:
But the real turning point for us was when, in 2009, they called us and said, “You have to stop using CG. I’ve got 200 product images and they’re just terrible. You guys need to practise more.” So we looked at all the images they said weren’t good enough and the two or three they said were great, and the ones they didn’t like were photography and the good ones were all CG! Now, we only talk about a good or a bad image -  not  what technique created it.”
(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Monday, September 01, 2014

What People Cured of Blindness See

"What People Cured of Blindness See".

It can take up to a few months for the newly-sighted to match felt objects to their visual counterparts.  (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Haikus found in Supreme Court opinions

Eugene Volokh: "Haikus found in Supreme Court opinions"

World's Spiciest Noodles

"Is This the World's Spiciest Bowl of Noodles?"
Fu Niu Tang, a recently opened beef noodle restaurant in Beijing, is trying to take the spicy crown for Hunan. It claims to have the world’s spiciest rice noodles and is challenging patrons to finish a bowl of the signature dish in 10 minutes. Those who can finish the task are awarded with a T-shirt and a card that entitles them to a permanent 10% discount.

The restaurant says the hot sauce for its rice noodles is 125 times hotter than Tabasco sauce...
Click through to see the video.  (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Why You Should Break A "Pay-It-Forward" Chain

FastCompany: Breaking A "Pay-It-Forward" Chain Isn't Being A "Cheap Bastard." It's Good Economics.

Butter Knife 2.0

Wired: "The Cutting-Edge Butter Knife of Your Dreams Is Finally Here":
Australian designers -- Craig Andrews, Sacha Pantschenko, and Norman Oliveria—have come together to revamp breakfast with a new knife/grater combo that can transform a densely packed brick of butter into easily spreadable strands of creamy delight...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Star Trek: Axanar

I just watched the 20-minute fan-made short film "Prelude to Axanar", and it looks awesome. I look forward to the full-length 90 minute film coming next year.

For more information, go to either their Kickstarter page or their official ST: Axanar page. (I also donated to the project.)

New "What If?" Book From xkcd Author

Experience Armageddon in Sneak Peek at 'xkcd' Author's New Book"

Viking War Game

"This 1,600-year-old Viking war game is still awesome".  (Via C.M.)

Some excerpts:
The game is similar to chess, but with several important differences. Instead of two identical and equal opponents facing each other, Hnefatafl is a game where one side is surrounded and outnumbered -- like a Viking war party caught in an ambush.

The game might seem unbalanced. The attacking black player has 24 total pieces — known as "hunns" -- to white's meager and surrounded 12 hunns. But white has several advantages.

White has an additional unique unit, a king, which must be surrounded on four horizontal sides to be captured. Hunns require being surrounded on two sides, and that's pretty hard by itself. White's goal is also simple: move the king to one of four corner squares known as "castles." Black's goal is to stop them.

Other rules? All pieces move like chess rooks. Black makes the first move. Black cannot occupy a castle, which would end the game in short order. But black can block off several castles by moving quickly, forming the equivalent of a medieval shield wall...

Hnefatafl is a Viking's worst case scenario: Outnumbered, cut off from their boats — and on the verge of being massacred. Understanding the game played by Viking war parties on the way to raid England of its booty meant understanding something about the way the Vikings saw themselves. The total time spent playing the game may have been more than any individual warrior spent sacking the Anglo-Saxons, for instance.

200-Year-Old Alcohol Found in Shipwreck Is Still Drinkable

"200-Year-Old Alcohol Found in Shipwreck Is Still Drinkable"

Icelandic Volcano

"What Happens When A Volcano Erupts Under A Glacier?" (Via H.R.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Denser Data

"Computer memory that can store about one terabyte of data on a device the size of a postage stamp". (Via H.R.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Why Smart People Fall for Fake News

Slate: "Why Smart People Fall for Fake News"

40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire

"40 maps that explain the Roman Empire".

My favorite is this map comparing the size of Rome with the size of the continent US:
"The Roman provinces of Britain and Egypt were about as far apart as the American states of Florida and Washington. One obvious difference is that the Roman empire had the Mediterranean in the middle of it, which helped to move people and supplies over vast distances. Still, it's remarkable that emperors operating many centuries before the railroad and the telegraph — to say nothing of airplanes and the internet — were able to hold together such a vast domain for so long."

17 Impossibly Satisfying Avocado Snacks

BuzzFeed: "17 Impossibly Satisfying Avocado Snacks".

 One of the actually useful BuzzFeed posts. #9 and #14 look especially good. (Via J.S.)

Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos

Wired: "Why It's So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos"