Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fermi Paradox Revisited

"What If We Haven't Found Aliens Because Humans Came First?"

And "Relative Likelihood for Life as a Function of Cosmic Time". (Links via J.R.W.)

Excerpt:
...one possible explanation for the classic Fermi paradox: Have we struck out in our attempts to detect alien intelligence simply because we are the first example of it to show up to the cosmic party? 
 ...implying that life around low mass stars in the distant future is much more likely than terrestrial life around the Sun today. 
If we insist that life near the Sun is typical and not premature, ... then we must conclude that the physical environments of low-mass stars are hazardous to life. 
Although our result puts the probability of finding ourselves at the current cosmic time within the 0.1% level, rare events do happen.

PokΓ©mon Gone

"People are quickly losing interest in PokΓ©mon Go"

Bagpipe Lung

Another hazard of playing the bagpipes: "Bagpipe lung" from the fungus and mold growing inside the apparatus.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fingerprint Cloner

"$500 Fingerprint Clone Unlocked Murder Victim's Samsung S6 -- It Can Hack iPhones Too"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Spectrum Auction Economics

"The Spectrum Auction: How Economists Saved the Day"

Real Vs. Bogus Physics Papers

Can you spot the real-vs-bogus physics papers? Test your skills at arXiv vs. snarXiv.

Trailers Vs. Previews

"Why Are They Called 'Trailers' If They're Shown Before the Film?"

Smart Tattoos

"Microsoft Research and MIT unveil DuoSkin, the latest in smart tattoos"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How Big Is A Fart?

"How Big Is A Fart? Somewhere Between A Bottle Of Nail Polish And A Can Of Soda". (Via A.A.)

Olympic Gold

"How Much Is an Olympic Gold Medal Really Worth?"

Omnicopter

The Omnicopter has 8 rotors, "that maximizes the vehicle's agility in all directions. The resulting vehicle possesses full force and torque authority in all three dimensions, allowing it to fly novel maneuvers."

Doggie MRI

"Cutest MRI ever shows that most dogs prefer praise over food". (Via Debby Witt.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kyle MacLachlan Explains Dune Using Only Emojis

"Kyle MacLachlan gives a summation of Dune in one tweet using only emojis."

Squirrel-Cam

Squirrel takes GoPro camera, gives great footage of running along the treetops:

Awesome Chromebooks

"Attention, College Students: Chromebooks Are About to Get Awesome"

10 New Ways to Use Drones

"10 New Ways to Use Drones"

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lottery Jackpot Psychology

NYT: "The Billion-Dollar Jackpot: Engineered to Drain Your Wallet"
If you’ve noticed that colossal lottery winnings are becoming almost common this year, it’s no accident. Four of the 10 biggest jackpots in United States history have already occurred in 2016, an engineered outcome intended to generate mind-bogglingly big winners.

That’s thrilling if you are the rare winner of hundreds of millions of dollars. But whether it’s a good thing for scores of millions of other people who play government-sponsored lottery games is highly questionable, as a close look at the numbers reveals.

Rogue One Trailer

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer (Official).  This could be really good.

Stronger Carbon Composites

"MIT Aerospace Engineers Develop Carbon Nanotube 'Stitches' to Strengthen Composites". (Via H.R.)

After The Asteroid

"What Happened in the Seconds, Hours, Weeks After the Dino-Killing Asteroid Hit Earth?"

Monday, August 15, 2016

Snow White and LOTR

"Snow White Is A LOTR Sequel: A Mind-Blowing Theory". (Via Gus Van Horn.)

Argentine Ants

"Meet the worst ants in the world". (Via H.R.)

The Infamous Collatz Conjecture 

"The infamous Collatz Conjecture":
David Eisenbud explains the Collatz Conjecture, a math problem that is very easy to understand but has an entire book devoted to it and led famous mathematician Paul ErdΕ‘s to say "this is a problem for which mathematics is perhaps not ready".

The problem is easily stated: start with any positive integer and if it is even, divide it by 2 and if odd multiply it by 3 and add 1. Repeat the process indefinitely. Where do the numbers end up? Infinity? 1? Loneliness? Somewhere in-between?

Roomba Vs. Dog Poop.

When the Roomba runs over dog poop.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Eastern Europe's 'Elevator of Death'

"Paternoster: Eastern Europe's 'Elevator of Death'"
I take a ride on a paternoster, an old school type of elevator consisting of a series of constantly moving "shelves" with open fronts. Passengers just step on and off the revolving "shelves" as they wish. A dozen or so are still in use in Prague -- quite a few, it turns out, throughout Europe. The one I rode in is in the Lucerna Pasaz in central Prague. According to Wikipedia, five people have died in paternosters since 1970. (The title of this video is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, by the way.)

Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy Template (click on image to see full size version):

60TB SSD

"Seagate's new 60TB SSD is world's largest". (Via H.R.)

How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes

"How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes"