31 October 2010

How Big Is The Internet?


Click here to see the complete infographic which includes information on FaceBook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Thanks, Rick

John Stewart - Seriously


John Stewart's speech at the end of yesterday's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.

Signs From The Rally To Restore Sanity/Fear

More at TV Squad

30 October 2010

What Your Netflix Queue Says About You

The Misconception: You procrastinate because you are lazy and can’t manage your time well.

The Truth: Procrastination is fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.

Netflix reveals something about your own behavior you should have noticed by now, something which keeps getting between you and the things you want to accomplish. If you have Netflix, especially if you stream it to your TV, you tend to gradually accumulate a cache of hundreds of films you think you’ll watch one day. This is a bigger deal than you think.

Take a look at your queue. Why are there so damn many documentaries and dramatic epics collecting virtual dust in there? By now you could draw the cover art to “Dead Man Walking” from memory. Why do you keep passing over it?

Psychologists actually know the answer to this question, to why you keep adding movies you will never watch to your growing collection of future rentals, and its the same reason you believe you will eventually do what’s best for yourself in all the other parts of your life, but rarely do.
Read more at You Are Not So Smart.

Via Brooklyn Mutt

Thrilling Halloween Display

YouTube | TDW


The fellow who created the display responds in YouTube comments:

Thanks all for the kind and not so kind words. I can tell you I have nothing to do with the entertain/studio/whatever business. I'm a DIY kind of person that just loves Halloween. I do it for the kids and that’s what makes be keep doing it even thought its overwhelming. Its takes several weeks to set up and many months to program. Honestly, hardly anyone comes by to see it except for Halloween, which brings in a couple thousand kids. And I don’t mind cause I like my neighbors. Happy Halloween!

29 October 2010

Pull My Scaley Gray Toe

YouTube | TDW

A Visual History Of Halloween

Click image to enlarge



Bisou And Edgar @ 15 Months

The Auschwitz Album

Jews undergoing the selection process on the Birkenau arrival platform
known as the "ramp."
Jews who were classified as "not fit for work" waiting in a grove outside Crematorium IV
before they were to be gassed.
The Auschwitz Album is the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier.

The photos were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944, either by Ernst Hofmann or by Bernhard Walter, two SS men whose task was to take ID photos and fingerprints of the inmates (not of the Jews who were sent directly to the gas chambers). The photos show the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia. Many of them came from the Berehovo Ghetto, which itself was a collecting point for Jews from several other small towns.

Early summer 1944 was the apex of the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. For this purpose a special rail line was extended from the railway station outside the camp to a ramp inside Auschwitz. Many of the photos in the album were taken on the ramp. The Jews then went through a selection process, carried out by SS doctors and wardens. Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused and distributed to the barracks. The rest were sent to the gas chambers. They were gassed under the guise of a harmless shower, their bodies were cremated and the ashes were strewn in a nearby swamp. The Nazis not only ruthlessly exploited the labor of those they did not kill immediately, they also looted the belongings the Jews brought with them. Even gold fillings were extracted from the mouths of the dead by a special detachment of inmates. The personal effects the Jews brought with them were sorted by inmates and stored in an area referred to by the inmates as "Canada": the ultimate land of plenty. The photos in the album show the entire process except for the killing itself.

The purpose of the album is unclear. It was not intended for propaganda purposes, nor does it have any obvious personal use. One assumes that it was prepared as an official reference for a higher authority, as were photo albums from other concentration camps.

Lilly never hid the album and news of its existence was published many times. She was even called to present it as testimony at the Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt during the 1960s. She kept it all the years until the famous Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld visited her in 1980, and convinced her to donate the album to Yad Vashem.
Read more and view the multi-media presentation here.

Thanks, Ellen.

Whipped Lightning | Alcohol-Infused Whipped Cream

Introducing Whipped Lightning®, the world’s first alcohol-infused whipped cream. A tasty topping that can dress up any drink. Try it on shots & shooters, cocktails, martinis, coffees, or frozen beverages as well as spicing up your favorite desserts.

26 October 2010

The Baby Cage

Getty Images
Built in 1937 and distributed in London to members of the Chelsea Baby Club, the baby cage was meant for women with children but without a backyard, garden or terrace for them to play in or on. Suspended from the side of the building, the baby would have access to fresh air and sunlight through the cage's wire frame, and still have sufficient room to play with toys, according to a patent filed in 1922 by an Emma Read of Spokane, WA. The patent also notes that the cage could double as a place to sleep, with removable curtains working to prevent a draft.
The Atlantic | Old Weird Tech via Neatorama

25 October 2010

Anniversary Of Loch Raven Dam UFO Sighting

Loch Raven Reservoir | sneakerdog (flickr) | Creative Commons
Just north of the city limits of Baltimore, MD, sits the Loch Raven Dam where Philip Small and Alvin Cohen stumbled upon a strange sight on the night of October 26, 1958. What the two men witnessed, rising above the dam, was a glowing egg-shaped UFO that shutdown the electrical functions of their automobile and left the two with reddened skin on the side of their bodies facing the object. But the 1958 incident was not the only UFO incident associated with the Loch Raven Dam, as Lon Strickler demonstrates in a collection of sightings that were made through the years since 1958 above and around the structure.
The Anomalist

Illusion | Floating Cube

YouTube via TDW

Monkey Monday | Gorillas

YouTube | The Cincinnati Zoo

20 October 2010

"Bravest College Student In North America" | Marisol Valles Garcia

AP Photo
A 20-year-old criminology student has been named the chief of police in one of the most dangerous municipalities in Mexico's violence-wracked northern state of Chihuahua.

Marisol Valles Garcia, the only person to accept the post, took charge of public security for Guadalupe Distrito Bravo on Monday, according to radio station network Notisistema. The district has a population of 9,148 residents, according to newspaper La Jornada, and comes with at least one police car, Notisistema reported.

The state of Chihuahua has borne the brunt of spiraling drug-related violence that has left around 28,000 dead throughout Mexico in the last four years. Guadalupe's former mayor was assassinated in June, and local police have been kidnapped and murdered. At least eight people were slain in the last week alone in Guadalupe, news.com.au reported.

The tiny but energetic Valles Garcia says she wants her 13 officers to practice a special brand of community policing. She plans to hire more women — she currently has three — and assign each to a neighborhood to talk with families, promote civic values and detect potential crimes before they happen.

Valles Garcia said during her swearing in that her job will not be to fight drug trafficking because that responsibility falls on other organs of government, according to Notisistema. Instead, she will focus on preventative programs for schools and neighborhoods, rehabilitating public spaces and fostering better relationships between neighbors in order to improve general security, according to Notisistema.

... Local residents say the drug gangs take over at night, riding through the towns in convoys of SUVs and pickups, assault rifles and even .50 caliber sniper rifles at the ready. The assistant mayor of nearby El Porvenir and the mayor of Distrito Bravos were killed recently even after they took refuge in nearby Ciudad Juarez. Drug cartels in many drug-plagued parts of Mexico have killed or threatened police chiefs and their departments, buying off some officers and prompting some others to quit en masse.

MSNBC via Gawker

What Americans Eat In A Year

Click image to enlarge

visualeconomics via 9GAG

19 October 2010

The Rent Is 2 Damn High | Jimmy McMillan For Governor Of New York

YouTube via The Daily Beast
... You'd think it'd be hard to stand out in a field of candidates including a former madam (Kristin Davis) and celebrity chef Sandra Lee's boyfriend (Andrew Cuomo), but [Jimmy] McMillan made it look easy. Some of his finest moments:
  • On the deficit: "It's like a cancer. It will heal itself."
  • On negative campaigning: "As a karate expert, I will not talk about anyone up here."
  • On gay marriage: "The Rent Is 2 Damn High Party feels if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you."
  • On ... [whatever]: "We plan to bulldoze some of those mountains in Upstate to make New York an independent state. I want my own cable company; I want my own telephone company."
  • On the rent: Too damn high.
Gawker | Jimmy McMillan Governor 2012

17 October 2010

The Thatcher Effect

Flip image
The Thatcher Effect or Thatcher Illusion is a phenomenon where it becomes difficult to detect local feature changes in an upside down face, despite identical changes being obvious in an upright face. It is named after British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on whose photograph the effect has been most famously demonstrated. This was originally created by Peter Thompson, who is a professor at the University of York, England (Thompson, 1980).

... the changes [in the altered photograph] are not immediately obvious until the image is viewed in normal orientation. This is thought to be due to specific psychological processes involved in face perception which are tuned especially to upright faces. This effect is not present in people who have some forms of prosopagnosia, a disorder where face processing is impaired, usually after brain injury or illness. This suggests that their specific brain injury may damage the process that analyses facial structures.

Rhesus monkeys also show the Thatcher Effect (Adachi, et al., 2009), indicating that the brain mechanisms involved in processing faces may have evolved in a common ancestor 30+ million years ago.


16 October 2010

15 October 2010

TGIF | The Confuzzle


Amaze and confound your friends! Instructables has step-by-step instructions.

14 October 2010

13 October 2010

Jim's Pancakes

Jim's Pancakes is a site on which the world's coolest dad makes amazingly creative pancakes for his 3-year-old daughter.

Unreliability Of U.S. Electric Grid May Offer Protection From Terrorist Attack

Click image to enlarge
The US government worries that terrorists could take down the country's electrical grid just by hitting a small node in the system. But a new study reveals the grid is too unreliable for that kind of attack.

Last year, network theorists published some papers suggesting that terrorists could take down the entire US electrical grid by attacking a small, remote power station. But new research shows that network theory models, which great for analyzing many complex systems, don't work for patchwork systems like the US electrical grid. Basically, the grid was set up so haphazardly that you'd have to take out a major node before you'd affect the entire thing. The researchers based their conclusions on real-world data from the power grid in the eastern U.S.


Read the scientific paper at Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science

12 October 2010

Happy Hump Day | What A Wonderful World

April 2010. Two days ago I was playing this Louis Armstrong Album in my room cleaning up while Lance was playing in his room ... and he went inside our room, sat in front of the pc and listened to the song ... he liked it! And asked me to repeat the song again and asked me to get the chords for him so he can play it with his ukulele :)

Even though he still needs more practice ... i just can't help taking his vid singing the song :) Who would say the World isn't wonderful when kids are around? (Lance is 4 years old.)
This is my favorite song. I love it when he sings, "I fink to myself."

11 October 2010

Monkey Monday | R.I.P. Charlie The Smoking Chimp

YouTube via Gawker

From CBS News Healthwatch:
Charlie the smoking chimp has taken his last puff. The cigarette-loving simian, who gained worldwide fame years ago after videos of him puffing away were widely circulated, has died at the relatively advanced age of 52 at a South African zoo. Only about seven percent of captive chimps make it past age 40, according to a 2007 Harvard study cited by the New York Daily News.

Smoking certainly takes a heavy toll on humans, causing an estimated halfa-million deaths each year in the U.S. alone. But it doesn't seem to have caused Charlie's demise. "He appears to have died of old age," a zoo spokesman said, according to the newspaper. Maybe that's because he was only an occasional smoker. One zoo worker told the Daily Mail that in the 15 years he has worked there, he saw Charlie smoke about five times.

Then again, no one knows exactly how much Charlie smoked, because he did tried hard to hide his habit. Whenever he got caught, he would throw the cigarette down and grin, trying to keep zookeepers from noticing the discarded butt. Charlie apparently learned to smoke while working as a circus performer in the U.S.
He does look pretty badass walking through his compound ...

10 October 2010

Nuts About Safe Sex

A district judge from Intercourse, Lancaster County, hid condoms inside acorns and handed them out to women in the state Capitol complex last week, police said.A summary charge of disorderly conduct was filed Tuesday against Isaac H. Stoltzfus, who presides over low-level cases as a district judge. The citation from Capitol Police said the 58-year-old jurist gave the acorns to unsuspecting women, who were offended when they discovered the contents.
WGAL via Jezebel

Is Yoga Too Pagan And Demonic For Christians?

A recent essay by the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., warned Christians that yoga is contradictory to Christianity. And local megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church went even further, saying earlier this year that yoga is "absolute paganism."

"Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic," Driscoll said. "If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you're signing up for a little demon class."

Even as yoga has become a mainstream form of exercise and stress relief in the United States, the question of whether Christians should practice it is making the rounds once again, raising a stir among some Christians and yoga practitioners alike.
Read more at The Seattle Times

Via Gawker

08 October 2010

Flabby Physics

Simple -- just hit the star with the ball using only the spacebar to control the shapes.

Link via Neatorama

06 October 2010

Make The Pie Higher! | The Eloquence Of George W. Bush

Back in 2001 or 2002, Washington Post cartoonist Richard Thompson used verified Bushisms to create Make The Pie Higher. It still makes me laugh until I remember that this man represented America to the world for eight years.

My favorite line? "I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity."

Make the Pie Higher!
by George W. Bush

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked --
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
and the fish can coexist.

Families is where our nation finds hope,
where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize Society!
Make the Pie Higher!

Map Of Online Communities v2.0 | xkcd

Randall Munroe
Click image to gigantify

xkcd via Neatorama

05 October 2010

Researchers Speculate That Genetic Mutation Created Our "Extra-Large" Brains

The Outer Limits | The Tomorrow Man
Two papers published over the weekend in Nature reveal that human brain size can be manipulated genetically by tampering with just one gene, called WDR62. Mutations to this gene cause microencephaly (MCPH), a condition where humans (and other animals) are born with small brains. In humans, the condition can cause severe disabilities. But, researchers speculate, the gene is also involved in creating humans' extra-large brains as well.

In one paper, written by Adeline Nicholas, et. al., the researchers say that this gene controls a cell-division mechanism that is "critical both in causing MCPH when perturbed and, when modulated, generating the evolutionarily enlarged human brain."

Is this the gene that we'll go to if we want to create a generation of super-intelligent, giant-brained posthumans?




Sequence is an experimental musical petri-dish. Adopting a biological metaphor, Seaquence allows you to create and combine musical lifeforms into unique, dynamic compositions. This is an initial alpha release and [is] still under development.

The way each creatures looks and sounds is determined by the step-sequencer pattern, and other parameters you can tweak including their audio waveform, octave, scale, melody, envelope, and volume. You can add multiple creatures to your dish by clicking the 'add' button at the top right of the screen. The combination of different creatures results in unique compositions that always change due to the creatures movement. You can click and drag on the world to move around your composition. Compositions can be saved by clicking 'share', which can then be sent to others allowing them to hear what you've made. This demo video [above] gives you a feel for how to create your own Seaquence composition. >

Seaquence is a work in progress from Ryan Alexander, Gabriel Dunne, and Daniel Massey, in collaboration with Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

04 October 2010


Tykylevits' YouTube Channel

Via Urlesque

Bunnies In Paper Cups

YouTube via Buzzfeed

Monkey Monday | Baby Chimp's First Steps

Flint, a wild baby chimpanzee, takes it's first walk in this short clip from "People of the Forest: The Chimps of Gombe," by the great Hugo van Lawick. Working with his wife, Jane Goodall, he spent over 20 years in the jungle with the chimps, creating one of the best documentaries ever made, spanning multiple generations in a family of apes we get to know well.

02 October 2010

The Number Of Women In A Group Is Linked To Effective Problem-Solving

Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Fox News
Many social scientists have long contended that the ability of individuals to fare well on diverse cognitive tasks demonstrates the existence of a measurable level of intelligence in each person. In a study published Sept. 30, in the advance online issue of the journal Science, [researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Union College] applied a similar principle to small teams of people. They discovered that groups featuring the right kind of internal dynamics perform well on a wide range of assignments, a finding with potential applications for businesses and other organizations.

"We set out to test the hypothesis that groups, like individuals, have a consistent ability to perform across different kinds of tasks," says Anita Williams Woolley, the paper's lead author and an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business. "Our hypothesis was confirmed," continues Thomas W. Malone, a co-author and Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. "We found that there is a general effectiveness, a group collective intelligence, which predicts a group's performance in many situations."

That collective intelligence, the researchers believe, stems from how well the group works together. For instance, groups whose members had higher levels of "social sensitivity" were more collectively intelligent. "Social sensitivity has to do with how well group members perceive each other's emotions," says Christopher Chabris, a co-author and assistant professor of psychology at Union College in New York. "Also, in groups where one person dominated, the group was less collectively intelligent than in groups where the conversational turns were more evenly distributed," adds Woolley. And teams containing more women demonstrated greater social sensitivity and in turn greater collective intelligence compared to teams containing fewer women.

Read more at Science Daily

01 October 2010

Chinar Leaf Carving

Natural leaf carving is actual manual cutting and removal of a leaf's surface to produce an art work on a leaf. The process of carving is performed by artists using tools to carefully remove the surface without cutting or removing the veins. The veins add detail into the subject matter of the carving. The most common leaf used ... is the leaf of a Chinar tree. The Chinar tree is native to India, Pakistan and China. Chinar leaves have a close resemblance to maple leaves.
Longal Craft via TDW

The Ig Nobel Prizes 2010

Nobel laureates Roy Glauber (Physics, 2005), left, Sheldon Glashow (Physics, 1979), center, and James Muller (Peace, 1985) demonstrate how women's bras can be used as emergency gas masks during the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony on Thursday at Harvard.

Prize winners for 2010 include:

ENGINEERING PRIZE: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PRIZE: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker of the UK, for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.

PHYSICS PRIZE: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.

PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists.

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.

MANAGEMENT PRIZE: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.

Improbable Research via Neatorama

Photo credit: AP | Charles Krupa