Saturday, September 29, 2007

TED and BMW Count Down to Armageddon and More...

Hurray for TED and BMW.

NEW YORK and WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Once a year, 1000 people are invited to the TED Conference in Monterey, California, to exchange something of incalculable value: their ideas. What happens there has never been shared until now. TED and BMW today announced they will team up to provide a ground-breaking, free video and audio podcast series of the best talks delivered at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference. Starting today, the public can download the talks - which will feature Al Gore, Bono, and more than 30 other distinguished speakers...

Take special note on Stephen Petranek counts down to Armageddon, well worth watching (above for your convenience ;-).

See them here.

P.S. As a side note, why can't we have more of this and less empty, useless crap? Can someone please figure out a way to make *real* information sell better than useless information? I really don't care about Celebutards like Paris or Britney, or reality non-stars. Okay... it may be hard to make most people actually think critically, so how about we just come up with a really entertaining vehicle for good quality information and science? If Poker on TV can be entertaining, or a reality show about cakes, there's gotta be a way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Parallel Universes Really do Exist

Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists described by one expert as "one of the most important developments in the history of science".

The parallel universe theory, first proposed in 1950 by the US physicist Hugh Everett, helps explain mysteries of quantum mechanics that have baffled scientists for decades, it is claimed.

In Everett's "many worlds" universe, every time a new physical possibility is explored, the universe splits. Given a number of possible alternative outcomes, each one is played out - in its own universe.

A motorist who has a near miss, for instance, might feel relieved at his lucky escape. But in a parallel universe, another version of the same driver will have been killed. Yet another universe will see the motorist recover after treatment in hospital. The number of alternative scenarios is endless.

It is a bizarre idea which has been dismissed as fanciful by many experts. But the new research from Oxford shows that it offers a mathematical answer to quantum conundrums that cannot be dismissed lightly - and suggests that Dr Everett, who was a Phd student at Princeton University when he came up with the theory, was on the right track.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Silent Guardian Pain Gun

When turned on, it emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation - similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker - that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings.

It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile.

Because the beam penetrates skin only to a depth of 1/64th of an inch, it cannot, says Raytheon, cause visible, permanent injury.

But anyone in the beam's path will feel, over their entire body, the agonising sensation I've just felt on my fingertip. The prospect doesn't bear thinking about.

"I have been in front of the full-sized system and, believe me, you just run. You don't have time to think about it - you just run," says George Svitak, a Raytheon executive.

Silent Guardian is supposed to be the 21st century equivalent of tear gas or water cannon - a way of getting crowds to disperse quickly and with minimum harm. Its potential is obvious.


New York Times Archive - Now Free

The NY Times now has made their on-line archive available for free. Here's a cool list of ., including, for example the first mention of the sinking of the Titanic (pdf):

CAPE RACE, N.F., Sunday night, April 14. -- At 10:25 o'clock to-night the White Star line steamship Titanic called "C.Q.D." to the Marconic wireless station here, and reported having struck an iceberg. The steamer said that immediate assistance was required

Monday, September 10, 2007

Candidate Calculator

Very interesting. Put in your key issues and opinions and it will match you with one of the presidential candidates. Click here.

P.S. Candidates action figures from here.

Jamaican Technology

Jamaican iPod (from here):

Jamaican Headphones:

Amazing Holes

the sheer scale of these holes reminds you of just how tiny you are.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Political Brain Divide

In a simple experiment being reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.

The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.


Friday, September 07, 2007


Pretty funny.

The most common type of American, the obese American makes up about 96% of the population A. fatassus, mostly inhabits cities like Houston and Chicago. It is often seen gathered around fast-food joints, and is easily recognizable because it is the most massive of all the species.

A. Fatassus is a parasitic omnivore, and it uses its lobes of fat to suck the ambient life force out of the surrounding environment. The obese American will also eat anything, be it shit-grade beef or compressed garbage, so long as it is sandwiched in a burger bun or taco shell. It eats in large volumes, and stores the fat in sacs that give it its obese appearance. It saves the stored energy in case it has to do something strenuous, like walking ten feet. Its two-ton body is, in many cases, too heavy to move without aid, and so it relies on SUVs to cart itself around (much like Jabba the Hut on his sail barge).

Males and females are indistinguishable, because rolls of fat block the genitals from view. Further confusing gender identification are the man-boobs seen on chest of the male, as well as the extreme quantity of blubber stored under the skin of the face, arms, legs, thighs, and ass (some scientists believe that this type of American stores the fat for easy access in the case of energy needed for extreme exertion, such as breathing and the moving of limbs). One should avoid mating with them, or watching them mate, at all costs, even if that means stabbing your eyes out to keep the horror at bay.

Now that the Commies are in power, Brazil is governed by the Robin Hood principle, as elequently (if vaguely) stated in the Brazilian constitution. Every bandit, provided they're poor, is a victim of the Brazilian unequal society and those damn American Imperialists. So every criminal is considered his own personal Robin Hood for judgement purposes, stealing from the rich to give it to the poor — the poor, in this case, being the bandit himself.

Despite the vast majority of Brazilians declaring themselves Catholics, the religious scene of Brazil is quite syncretic. Brazilians are all adept in more than one religion at the same time.

* Brazilian-style Catholicism: about the same as normal Catholicism, just that you can wear condoms and screw a lot before, during and after the marriage and don't feel any guilt. Killing a white middle-class person in Brazilian Catholicism is also considered a minor sin if performed by an almost-revolutionary-socially-excluded person.
* Fundamentalist Evangelicals: basically, the local variation was founded by street burglars. But instead of yelling "Your money or your life" they started asking: "Your money or your eternal life".
* Traditional Evangelicals: the same as Fundamentalist Evangelicals but attending services at way poorer churches because their priests never learned how to take as much money from people as the Fundamentalist Evangelical ones do.
* The Cult of The Butt: actually, the only religion practiced by 100% male Brazilians. The adepts congregate at temples called bars, drink their sacred beverage, and start singing chants about their favourite body part. When a female passes, they perform the sacred ritual named stalking. Historians once thought that the Brazilian flag was inspired by freemasonry, but the real answer is quite obvious from that curve (see above)...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Missing Girl Probably Raped

Missing Girl Probably Raped
Brilliant, from the Onion. Unfortunately this reflects a lot of what "news" organizations broadcast.

Sports News: