Monday, December 24, 2007

This Cellphone Feels Empty

The New Scientist has an article about an application for cellphones that uses a phone's accelerometer (a relatively new feature) and vibrator to make the phone feel like it is partly full of liquid when you shake it. The phone can be made to feel more and more empty as the batter gets closer to flat.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Roads that Play Music

The Guardian has an article about some roads in Japan that play music as you drive along them. They use a series of rough strips across the roadway to play a song if you are driving at the correct speed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The New York Times has an article about swarming and how swarms can sometimes exhibit intelligent behavior.
By studying army ants — as well as birds, fish, locusts and other swarming animals — Dr. Couzin and his colleagues are starting to discover simple rules that allow swarms to work so well. Those rules allow thousands of relatively simple animals to form a collective brain able to make decisions and move like a single organism.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Panarama by the last men on the moon

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a panoramic photo taken by the astronauts of Apollo 17 - the last men on the moon.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

An Awesome Looking Bookstore

Coolhunter has a post (with photos) about a gorgeous looking bookstore in the Netherlands. The store is in an 800 year old church in Maastricht and won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thing we don't have a word for in English

The Mirror (not that I read the Mirror) has an article about words in other languages that can't be translated easily into English.

A few that I liked:
  • Spesenritter - German: a person who shows off by paying the bill on the firm's money, literally "an expense knight".
  • Pelinti - Buli, Ghana: to move very hot food around inside one's mouth.
  • Tartle - Scottish: to hesitate when you are introducing someone whose name you can't quite remember.
  • Prozvonit - Czech and Slovak: to call someone's mobile from your own to leave your number in their memory without them picking it up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Demo video of exoskeleton

Danger Room has an article with a YouTube video of an experimental powered exoskeleton. They don't mention how much practice the operator has but some of the things he does with it are quite impressive.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

PeaceCorps is seeking older recuits

The New York Times has an article about how the American Peace Corps is actively recruiting older members. Traditionally seen as a post-graduation job, today more and more members are post-retirement.