Friday, January 30, 2009

Tom's Laws of Life

Tom Hoobyar presents his Twelve Laws of Life. I don't know who Tom Hoobyar is but the laws are interesting and worth a read, even if they are a big new-agey.

For example, number 8 - Nobody wakes up in the morning choosing to be the villain.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Web Comic: Easter Island Explanation

Truck Delivered Kibble has a comic that finally explains the mystery of what the giant heads are for on Easter Island.
via reddit

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Guide to Urban Exploration

WebUrbanist has a summary post about urban exploration. The links should be enough to get you started on a life of sneaking into abandoned buildings but if you just want to watch some of the linked articles have some great photos.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TED Talk: Third World Stats

The TED conference has another talk, this one about various statistical misconceptions about the developing world. While the statistics themselves are interesting, the graphics that he uses to present them are also worth a look.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Limo for New President

The Detroit News has an article about the new US presidential limo. Built by GM it seems to be pretty much a custom vehicle made to look like a large sedan.
via Danger Room

Follow up: Bruce Schneier has a blog post with some more links. One is the same graphic linked to in one of the comments below while the LA Times article has an actual picture of the new limo.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Boring Machines

Dark Roasted Blend has an article about the giant machines used to bore underground tunnels.
The machine tows nearly 800 tons of backup equipment through the tunnel, including trailers for electrical support systems, firefighting supplies and even a lunchroom.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Light Cone

A bit of a strange one today, this site provides an RSS feed that lets you know when the theoretical light from the moment of your birth reaches various nearby star systems. Physicists call this a light cone.

For example, 5 months ago my light cone reached 58 Eridani.
edit: fixed typo in star name

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

UK planned secret army in case Germans invaded

The Times has an article about a unit of the Second World War British Home Guard which was to go into hiding in case of German invasion and perform acts of sabotage.
The only clue to their alter egos might have been the pieces of paper in their pockets – informing any police officer suspicious of their behaviour “to ask no questions of the bearer but phone this number”.

Monday, January 12, 2009

TED Talk: Giant Trees

An interesting TED Talk about the giant redwoods in California. Some pictures of climbing / camping up in the canopy and lots of information about what goes on up there. I had never heard that the redwoods were fractal for example.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rotating Mechanical Calculators

Dark Roasted Blend has a post about the old rotating mechanical calculators (the kind that look like pepper grinders). I've never played with one of these but they look like a nice steampunk gadget.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Psychology of a Con

Psychology Today has an article about why people fall for cons.
THOMAS is a powerful brain circuit that releases the neurochemical oxytocin when we are trusted and induces a desire to reciprocate the trust we have been shown--even with strangers.

The key to a con is not that you trust the conman, but that he shows he trusts you. Conmen ply their trade by appearing fragile or needing help, by seeming vulnerable.

The article includes the story of a con played on the author when he worked at a gas station.

Smashing January Wallpaper

Smashing Magazine has its January desktop wallpaper selection. I've gone with the trees.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Abandoned Antarctic Accomodations

Dark Roasted Blend has an interesting article, with some great pictures, of various abandoned human dwellings and installations in Antarctica.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Samurai Horse Archery

Yahoo has an article, with some nice photos, about Yabusame the Samurai art of mounted archery.

Factoid: Hard Drive Facts

Toms Hardware has an article with some interesting information about computer hard drives and the heads therein.
if the read/write head were a Boeing 747, and the hard-disk platter were the surface of the Earth:

  • The head would fly at Mach 800
  • At less than one centimeter from the ground
  • And count every blade of grass

The article is one of those slightly annoying multi-page click throughs.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Last Photos

The List Universe has a post with a list of last photos either of or by various famous people.

The ones found on people's cameras after their deaths are particularly interesting.