Bacterial Toxin in the Genetically Modified Corn

Hans-Hinrich Kaatz: The bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have ‘altered the surface of the bee’s intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry. —Spiegel Online via WorldChanging via Hypsographic Gleanings

A Genetic Upper Class and a Dim-Witted Underclass?

BBC: Human species ‘may split in two:’ The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the “underclass” humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures. Men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices […]

The Business Card Menger Sponge

If you had 66,000 business cards sitting around, what would you do with them? Make a Menger sponge? Wow, me too! The primary goal of the Business Card Menger Sponge Project was to build a depth 3 approximation to Menger’s Sponge as shown above, out of 66,048 business cards. This can be done by building […]

NPR Tufte Interview

Six-minute NPR interview with Edward Tufte.

Examples of Categories

Art: Leonard Cohen and Sonny Rollins on live TV. (Thanks Jon.) Commerce: Do Patents Encourage or Stifle Innovation? Culture: On media elitism and the “derivative” myth Technology: On playing with my Holux GPS unit… Cool: Velcro Being Pulled Apart

Resonant Rice

For all the psychoacoustic shamen out there: What happens if you pour rice on a steel plate and subject it to high sound pressure? It makes interesting patterns as the frequency rises.


Amazing advance in product sophistication. Apple partners with Nike on a blockbuster idea. Buy special (Nike) running shoes with a sensor in the footbed. The wireless sensor talks with a small receiver pluged into the dock connector of the (Apple) iPod. A special version of software takes over the display, and adds voice feedback cues […]

A High Degree of Mental Extensity

Here is an excerpt from a list of psychology tests from 1890. Mental Time 37. The time stimuli must work on the ear and eye in order to call forth sensations. 38. The reaction-time for sound, light, pressure and electrical stimulation. 39. The perception-time for colours, objects, letters and words. 40. The time of naming […]

Flu Simulation

Real modeling, from rocket scientist guys: Simulation of a pandemic flu outbreak in the continental United States, initially introduced by the arrival of 10 infected individuals in Los Angeles…. Without vaccination, antiviral drugs, or other mitigation strategies, the entire nation becomes infected within a few months. Depending on the reproductive number R0, effective intervention strategies […]

N-Dimensional Web 2.0

Many people are trying to define “Web 2.0” – what it is, what it means, how to build Web 2.0 apps, what makes a company a Web 2.0 company, etc. All of those efforts fall short, because Web 2.0 is n-dimensional. Web 2.0 is “reflecting more complex multivariable situations.1” Today I learned of a new […]


I had no idea that the number 153 had so many curious properties.

Another Opportunity for Weird Fear: Toxoplasma gondii

Are brain parasites altering the personalities of three billion people? The Oxford scientists knew that humans can be hosts to Toxoplasma, too. People can become infected by its eggs by handling soil or kitty litter. For most people, the infection causes no harm. Only if a person’s immune system is weak does Toxoplasma grow uncontrollably. […]

The Leap Second

Jamie Zawinski brings us the important details you need to know about tonoght’s leap second. Live it up, there’s an extra second in our lives today! (Very geeky) update: How the leap second propagated via the Network Time Protocol the keeps all the world’s computers, probably including yours, in sync.

Or Perhaps Implied Comment

My local paper had an interesting collection of stories on their “Close-Up: Science” page today. I pass them along without comment. * __Oral histories show another side of leading scientists__ Reviews the Caltech Archives Oral History Project. A storehouse of interviews with giants of American science and engineering, started in 1978, now encompassing 227 bound […]

The Future of Damaged Limbs

Sunday Times: “Scientists have created a ‘miracle mouse’ that can regenerate amputated limbs or badly damaged organs, making it able to recover from injuries that would kill or permanently disable normal animals. The experimental animal is unique among mammals in its ability to regrow its heart, toes, joints and tail. The researchers have also found […]

Literally Climbing The Walls

NY Times: Geckos, lizards that are notorious for their sticky feet, can run up walls and across ceilings, and hang tauntingly by one toe. They have no suction cups, hooks or glue on their feet, so how do they do it? Five years ago, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford; and Lewis and […]

Good Planets Are Hard to Find

Fantastic movie of Earth from the Mercury-bound Messenger spacecraft. Comprising 358 frames taken over 24 hours, the movie follows Earth through one complete rotation. The spacecraft was 40,761 miles (65,598 kilometers) above South America when the camera started rolling on Aug. 2. It was 270,847 miles (435,885 kilometers) away from Earth – farther than the […]

Any Questions?

jumping_in = { ‘bandwagon’ => ‘true’ ‘initial_impression’ => ‘good’ ‘brain_candy’ => ‘yum’ ‘project_ideas’ => ‘too_many’ ‘time_for_this’ => ‘false’ }

Scalable Inman Flash Replacement

Wow. A method to substitute high-quality text (via Flash, when present) instead of boring HTML text. Here’s the current release. Here’s the Wiki. “[Find] the exact space the headline fills up if rendered as browser text. [Now] let’s draw a Flash movie that exact size and lay the type out as snugly as possible within […]

Google code base

The idea that Google has just one code base for everything they do is mind-boggling.