Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Myth of the Flat Earth

A short article about the mistaken belief that people used to believe the world was flat and how that belief came about.

Friday, September 28, 2007

That's not a Lego set, this is a Lego set

Gizmodo has an article about a new set from Lego. The set is a model of the Millennium Falcon which has 5000 pieces. It is the largest set Lego has ever made and costs $500.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who Owns Toronto's Air Raid Sirens?

The Toronto Star has an article about the air raid sirens installed in Toronto in the 1950s. A building owner recently found one and wanted to include it in a new building so he tried to find out who actually owned it. This was more difficult than you would think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Airships over Manhattan

The blog Fogonazos has a post with some great pictures of airships flying over Manhattan back in the 1930s.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

China Bans Unauthorized Reincarnation

MSNBC reports that the Chinese government has banned Tibetans from reincarnating in Tibet without permission. While this initially sounds laughable it seems really to be an effort to control the succession of the Dalai Lama. In Tibetan Buddhism sufficiently enlightened beings, such as the Dalai Lama, can control who they are reborn as.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Japanese Lights

Dark Roasted Blend has a post about, and with lots of pictures of, the huge neon signs that are found on Japanese streets.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Forgotten Canadian Weapons Block UK Runway

Danger room has a blog post about a World War II Canadian weapon that has blocked a runway in the UK. The Canadian Pipe Mine (also called a 'McNaughton Tube') was a device planted under airfields so that the runway could be destroyed if attacked. This would have been very useful in WWII when gliders were used by airborne troops to carry heavy equipment and supplies.

In the case of Daedalus Airfield in Hampshire, the weapon was forgotten about and never removed after the war. It was discovered last year and had to be carefully removed by the Royal Engineers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Wright Brothers' Tent

The HistoryNet picture of the day has a neat photo of the Wright brothers' tent at Kitty Hawk where they worked on their first plane.

What Osama Said

Slate has a translation of Osama bin Laden's recent news release. I was surprised that in addition to global warming, he believes that American business interests killed JFK to stop him from ending the war in Vietnam.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Light and Crime

Bruce Schneier has a short blog posting on the effects of lighting on crime rates. It seems that once again less is more.

A Periodic Table of Data Visualization Techniques

Here is a Periodic Table of Data Visualization Methods. I'm not entirely sure how the arrangement into a periodic table works but the individual entries are certainly interesting. Note that hovering over each cell will show an example of the cell's method.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Art that only Cellphones can see

An interesting blog post about some t-shirt designs where the part of the pattern can only be seen in digital photos. I'm not sure how useful this is but you could certainly get some amusing results.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hiding an Aircraft Factory

The Think or Thwim blog has a posting about efforts during World War II to hide an aircraft factory in Burbank, California. They seem to have used some giant tarps - there are pictures in the article. I'm not sure why they thought Burbank was at risk of air attack but it is still an interesting article.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Very Expensive Pocket Change

Bruce Schneier has a blog post about a fellow who had to transport a rare dime, worth $1.9 million, across the US. What did he do? He put the dime in his pocket and took a plane.