Monday, July 28, 2014

Hole-In-One Insurance

Yes, you can buy insurance against unusually good luck such as hole-in-one insurance:
The concept of hole in one insurance may baffle the uninitiated, but to many it is a wise precaution as golf tradition holds that anyone who scores a hole in one should buy drinks back at the clubhouse for his playing group -- if not everyone present. In Japan, many give extravagant gifts to friends and family after scoring a lucky ace...

A number of firms offer hole in one insurance, frequently bundled with other services that golfers commonly buy like insurance for golfing equipment or personal liability. (Apparently yelling “Fore!” can’t ward off lawsuits if you hit a ball right at someone.) Golfplan, a U.K. insurer, covers $340 to $510 worth of drinks for hole in one celebrations. (Clubs’ set of rules for validating a hole in one makes it easier to process claims.) When it is sold unbundled, hole in one insurance can be cheap; Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd offers Japanese golfers hole in one insurance for as little as a $3 premium. Outside of individual policies, golf tournaments also get hole in one insurance so that they can offer huge cash prizes for a hole in one as a marketing promotion -- it's the same type of "prize indemnity" insurance that covers teams when a fan sinks a half court shot or makes a field goal.
(Via Marginal Revolution.)

The Psychology of First Impressions

"The psychology of first impressions - digested".

I'm sure glad I got rid of those facial piercings! (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Free Self-Education Resources

"12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free".

On a lighter note: "10 Odd Skills You Can Learn Online".

High Speed Photos of People Shot Out Of Water Slide

"High Speed Photos of the Moment People are Shot Out of a Water Slide"

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lego Microscope

"This fully functional microscope is built entirely out of Lego". (Via S.F.)

Alternative Fusion Technologies

"Alternative Fusion Technologies Heat Up: Start-ups in fusion-energy research are fueled by venture capital and a lot of hope".

(Click on image below to see full-sized.)

Redesigned Parking Sign

A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed". (Via Trey P.)

Induction Lightbulb

"This Super-Efficient Lightbulb Uses Tesla Tech for an Incandescent Glow". (Via H.R.)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crazy Circle Illusion

Superb visual "illusion".  (Via IFLS.)

Watch a Watch Being Made

BoingBoing: "Watch a watch being made". (Via H.R.)

Darth 2016!

"Darth Vader More Popular Than Anyone Who Might Run For President In 2016".

Why waste your vote on the lesser of two evils?

MIT Professor Proposes Better Traffic Light Timing

"By optimizing the timing of traffic lights beyond the capabilities of current systems, new software models have been shown to cut rush-hour travel times by 22 percent."  Work from MIT professor Carolina Osorio.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Do Radio Waves Bounce Off Each Other?

Physicist Hans Schantz asks, "Do Radio Waves Bounce Off Each Other?"

He answers that in the affirmative in his technical paper: "On the Superposition and Elastic Recoil of Electromagnetic Waves". 

The full paper is available here at FERMAT (PDF).

His summary for a lay audience:
My technical paper on superposition and electromagnetic recoil is now available online. I argue that the conventional view of radio waves passing through each other is fundamentally flawed. Instead, I present a relatively simple and straightforward argument that the energy associated with electromagnetic waves actually bounces or recoils when radio waves interfere with each other. We've been using this new physical perspective quite successfully in our near-field indoor location systems at Q-Track

Here's a recent WebWire news release.

And related commentary from wireless engineer Steven Crowley, "Looking at radio wave interaction as an electromagnetic Newton’s cradle".

(Caption: "When two identical waves interact, no energy transfers through the point of interaction. The energy “bounces” as the waves exchange their energy.")

Wedding Drones

"The Rise of the Wedding Drone"

Related video: "Wedding Rings delivered via DJI Phantom Quadcopter"

Terminator At Age 30

"The Terminator at 30: An oral history"

I'm really glad they didn't cast OJ Simpson as the Terminator!

How to Flawlessly Predict Anything on the Internet

Adapting an old con game to the Twitter era: "How to Flawlessly Predict Anything on the Internet"

Friday, July 18, 2014

Former Comcast Employee Explains Horrifying Customer Service Call

"A Former Comcast Employee Explains That Horrifying Customer Service Call"

11 Tricks to Get Engineers to Sort of Respect You

"11 Tricks to Get Engineers to Sort of Respect You"

IEEE on D-Wave

IEEE: "How D-Wave Built Quantum Computing Hardware for the Next Generation"

Smart Contact Lenses

"Google and Novartis hope to launch smart contact lens in five years":
The two companies have a few ideas for a smart contact lens. The first is the original glucose-monitoring lens, which could detect a diabetic person's glucose level via his or her tears. The second is an "autofocus" lens for people who have difficulty switching between near and long-distance vision. Novartis said this focusing problem affects 1.7 billion people, with Joe Jimenez, Novartis' chief executive, calling it “the holy grail for vision care.”
 (Via Trey P.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

High Place Phenomenon

"That weird urge to jump off a bridge, explained". It may be an urge to live, not to die.

Don't Drink Ultrapure Water

Why you shouldn't drink ultrapure water.

Viral Tweet

Here's What Happens When Your Joke Goes Massively Viral On Twitter".  (Via Trey P.)

USB Thumb Drive for iPhones and iPads

"Finally, a USB Thumb Drive for the Latest iPhones and iPads"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I, For One, Welcome Our New Self-Assembling Microchip Overlords

"Self-Assembly Shows Promise for Extending Moore's Law".

I, for one, welcome our new self-assembling microchip overlords.

140 Google Interview Questions

"140 Google Interview Questions".

Note: These are from 2009, so the questions may be different now.  (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Sapphire Glass

Gizmodo: "What's Sapphire Glass, and Why Would Apple Want It In Your iPhone?"

Cooler 2.0

"21st Century Cooler that's Actually Cooler". (Via H.R.)