Via another great TEDEd lesson.
- Whoa, now the KKK are also fighting against Westboro Baptist
- “We still look at ourselves as survivors”: over 80 years later, remembering the deadliest school massacre in American history
- The rather interesting origin story of ‘Miranda Rights’
- Warren Ellis on The Social Web: end of the first cycle (stoked it’s close to what I’ve been mediating on throughout the year)
- UCL research paper on Why the Internet only just works (.pdf)
- What the world will look like in 2030 — as predicted by the Government
- Will we ever… have cyborg brains?
- A few Tolkien-rific facts about the book version of The Hobbit
- Try this interactive/zoomable four BILLION pixel image of Mt Everest
- Earthmoving: Ways of moving the Earth’s orbital path
Lastly, the latest TEDEd on ‘What is colour’ gives a very concise and simple explanation on the how with some very nice animation too.
- Bryan Stevenson’s crusade with the US justice system and why mass incarceration defines us as a society
- While Europe debates it, decriminalising prostitution has been great for New Zealand
- Craig Thornton and the obsessive world of underground cuisine
- “It’s so pervasive. It’s a virus.” Tom Waits’ 2002 letter on the commercialisation of songs
- The 25-GPU cluster that’ll crack a password in under 6 hours
- A letter to the TEDx community on TEDx and bad science
- Statistician Howard Wainer on the most dangerous equation (pdf)
- Study shows Fox News viewers have a 20 point lower IQ than the national average
- A man wrestled a shark to get back his nephew’s severed arm
- Wickr – now you can send ‘self-destructing’ messages
- A new trailer released for that South Park video game. Still looks good.
Here’s a simple and fascinating short video by NPR that visually explains how the human population has exponentially reached 7 billion people by using a collection of glassware and coloured water. The visual execution of this is really well done and to see the growth of the different continents over time makes for good brain juice.
This also reminds me of another video I’d meant to post ages ago, but could never figure out when/how to post it (that or I was just being a lazy sonnofabitch); but following on one of the last points in the above video: why is the world population expected peak at 10 billion? Given that we’ve gone from 1 billion to 7 billion in only two centuries, how can they come to this conclusion?
At TEDxSummit 2012, science polymath Hans Rosling gave a talk on the subject of this 10 billion threshold, framing it in the context of ‘Religion and Babies’ and trying to find the correlation between the two, which he concludes: it is non-existent. Instead, his research reasons that it’s actually the economic climate of a country that effects birthrates and via his fun humor and totally awesome data software, provides a very entertaining and informative talk on just where we’re heading.
Terry Moore explains ‘x’ as an unknown‘s origins in this short, humourous talk. Plus it’s more trivial knowledge for those bar quizzes.
- Has the Art Market Lost its Mind?
The week after The Scream sale, a sale of postwar and contemporary art took in $388.5 million at Christie’s and a sale of Impressionist and modern art garnered $266.6 million at Sotheby’s. Souren Melikian of The New York Times said it was a week of blockbuster art sale profits that “conclusively proved that the disconnect of the art market from the broader economy is now radical.”
- The Value of Facebook: A Time Capsule
- Is Fashion Ready for a New Aesthetic?
- Too Hot for TED: Income Inequality
- Andromeda’s majestic spray of billions of hot stars
- Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?
As always, big ups to my friend Findlay on finding this clip of a Copenhagen flash mob in action; and in super-classy, no frills style at that.
I love flash mobs. When done right, they can generate nothing but joy for people, be it as a participant or unwitting observer. As Fin had commented, flash mobs should be “…a surprise not sprung on one unsuspecting individual, but a treat for everyone to enjoy.” Hell, even the ones that are done a bit wrong still have a positive effect.
Probably my favourite aspect of them is how the internet has been so instrumental in bringing together these large groups of otherwise strangers to do something in real life that is both out-of-place and wonderful at the same time.
Edit: Just clicked on that flash mob: it’s like they took this earlier awesome concept and made it more awesome as a flash mob. Nice.
Yes! If there is one person I’ve wanted to hear from in regards to the issue of SOPA, PIPA and the internet in general, it’s this guy.
Ryan Adams was great. Though I’m not the biggest fan of his latest album, he still put on a great show and played a lot of personal favourites from previous albums. Well worth it.
I’m not going to Kings of Leon and just to save my sanity for that decision, I’ve convinced myself that they won’t play as many of their awesome songs from Aha Shake Heartbreak (which I still love and play constantly) and will instead perform more from their later albums which are nice, but not as awesome.
Meanwhile what I’m really looking forward to is The Kills in March. I just love this duo and their album Midnight Boom was one of my favourites of last year. Should definitely check it or… fuck, anything of theirs.
So onto the interesting stuff of the internet…
During the six months of winter, the light of the noon sun traces a path across the inside of the domed roof. During summer, with the sun higher in the sky, the shaft shines onto the lower walls and floor. At the two equinoxes, in March and September, the sunlight coming in through the hole strikes the junction between the roof and wall, above the Pantheon’s grand northern doorway (see diagram). A grille above the door allows a sliver of light through to the front courtyard – the only moment in the year that it sees sunlight if its main doors are closed (see diagram). [full article]
Astronomers have found an extrasolar planet with the smallest diameter yet measured – it is no more than twice as wide as Earth. The rocky body is also the fastest known, whipping around its star in less than a day. [full article]
It weighed 1.25 tonnes and with a length of 45 feet or more it would have been able to take on and eat pretty much any other animal it came across.
The newly discovered type of snake, named Titanoboa in honour of its immense size, was for 10 million years the largest land predator on earth.
At least 28 individual specimens have been uncovered in Colombia and, with all of them being around 40 feet long, researchers said it is likely the species could have reached much further than 45 feet. [full article]
TED, the annual gathering of the most pretentious people from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design, just got punk’d. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates released a swarm of mosquitos into the crowd.
Ending malaria is a particular passion of Gates’s, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent millions fighting the disease. But he apparently didn’t feel like TED attendees were taking the threat seriously. “Not only poor people should experience this,” Gates said as he let the bugs loose on his audience. [full article]