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January 19, 2011
[life] Wikipedia’s List Of Common Misconceptions‘The notion that goldfish have a memory of only three seconds is false.’
January 18, 2011
[Facebook] Mary’s Welcome to Facebook‘Kellen, why did you sign me up for this?’
January 10, 2011
[media] The Death of One Middle Class Woman is Equal to that of Six Prostitutes, Reveals UK Media

The recent tragedy where two hot air balloonists were killed was quite rightly headline news.” revealed one British reporter.

“But if it had been two prostitutes flying that balloon it wouldn’t have got anywhere near the same coverage, though it might have made page 5 of The Sun, with a headline something like Slag, Bang, Wallop!”

“It would take about twelve prostitutes to die in a balloon crash to make headline news. I’m not sure why twelve prostitutes would be flying a balloon, but I guess if you had enough money and a fetish for that sort of thing then anything is possible.

December 19, 2010
[funny] Study: Women Always Answer Their Phones Unless They’re Having Great Sex With Someone Else‘The study emphasized that while women who failed to answer the phone were almost unquestionably with someone else enjoying the most volcanic sensual escapade they’d ever had, there was also the possibility that they were busy gazing deeply into another man’s eyes, knowing and feeling a type of love they had never known or felt before.’
December 15, 2010
[everest] Abandoned on Everest … powerful blogpost on the numerous dead bodies of climbers left on Everest (contains disturbing images) … ‘An area along the northeast route to the summit has earned the unassuming nickname of “Rainbow Valley”, simply because of the multicolored down jackets of the numerous corpses littering the hillside. Even in the harsh conditions of lethal altitudes, corpses can remain for decades, some appearing frozen in time with climbing gear intact.’ [via @tomcoates]
December 11, 2010
[gifs] Winnie the Pooh Mental Disorders GIFs … well done but sad animated GIFs … [click for GIF]
November 22, 2010
[comics] Superhero or supervillain: Which lurks inside you?‘Plato suggested that no one could escape the corrupting influence of having the power to do anything without being caught – a sort of earlier version of “Lord of the Rings,” Galinsky said. “Power makes people feel psychologically invisible,” Galinsky told LiveScience. “It’s ironic, because in many ways they become more visible to other people.” Galinsky and other researchers have shown how people who feel entitled to their power became moral hypocrites by holding other people to higher moral standards for speeding or breaking tax laws – even as they judged themselves less harshly for the same actions.’
October 7, 2010
[life] A single sperm has 37.5MB of DNA information in it…

A single sperm has 37.5MB of DNA information in it. That means a normal ejaculation represents a data transfer of 1,587.5TB.Fri Oct 01 06:04:23 via web


October 6, 2010
[funny] Go Look: Your Life Is A Joke.
[comics] What ‘Batman’ Taught Me About Being a Good Dad‘I am trying to build a good human being here, someone who will make the world better for his presence. Because I don’t know any other way to do it, that means I’m building a little geek. So he can’t know, yet, that death doesn’t really mean anything in comics. I want him to think that these stories have weight, that they mean something; they are our myths. I give my son comics and cartoons and episodes of Thunderbirds because I want him to understand right and wrong, and why it’s important to fight the dark side of the Force. The mantras spoken in this corner of pop culture are immature, but they have power: With great power comes great responsibility. Truth, justice, and the American Way. The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. No evil shall escape my sight.’
October 1, 2010
[cctv] Go Look: CCTV From A Cruise Liner During A Heavy Storm‘On August 1, the Pacific Sun ran into a heavy storm 400 miles north of New Zealand, hitting 25-foot-tall waves and 50-knot winds. Its 1732 passengers weren’t prepared to endure the madness that ensued. Absolutely crazy. The video seems like a slapstick comedy until you see people smacking against columns and walls…’ [click for video]
September 8, 2010
[space] Carl Sagan – Pale Blue Dot‘Consider again that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.’
September 1, 2010
[funny] Go Look: 10 Photos Capturing Moments of Spontaneous Badassery [Page 1 | Page 2] … ‘He’s practically a goddamn action figure up there: He comes complete with Uzi (mid-cock), Italian wingtips and a mustache made out of revenge.’ [click for the photo]
[lifehacks] What Should I Do to My Work Laptop Before I Leave My Job?‘How can I get my laptop sparkling clean so I can preserve my privacy and avoid runing afoul of IT or any corporate policies?’
August 26, 2010
[life] Placebo Buttons‘In many offices and cubicle farms, the thermostat on the wall isn’t connected to anything. Landlords, engineers and HVAC specialists have installed dummy thermostats for decades to keep people from costing companies money by constantly adjusting the temperature. ‘ [via As Above]
[internet] The Acceleration of Addictiveness … Paul Graham on internet addiction (amongst other things) … ‘Several people have told me they like the iPad because it lets them bring the Internet into situations where a laptop would be too conspicuous. In other words, it’s a hip flask.’
August 20, 2010
[internet] Human-flesh Search Engines in China … fascinating look at online vigilantes in China who use the internet to track down perceived wrong-doers and punish them … ‘Chali was moved by the powerful feeling that Wang shouldn’t be allowed to escape censure for his role in his wife’s suicide. “I want to know what is going to happen if I get married and have a similar experience,” Chali says. “I want to know if the law or something could protect me and give me some kind of security.” It struck me as an unusual wish — that the law could guard her from heartbreak.’ [via Sore Eyes]
August 19, 2010
[funny] Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult‘I did three things yesterday! Now I’m supposed to keep doing things? It’s like the things never end!’ (more…)
August 18, 2010
[tumblr] Go Look: Crap At My Parents House‘The goal of Crap At My Parents House is to pay homage to all of the weird crap that everyone’s parents have…’
August 16, 2010
[funny] Go Look: How The Male Angler Fish Gets Completely Screwed‘Oh God, what the shit is this?!!!’
August 9, 2010
[ants] Invasion … Tom Junod on ants and what it’s like to live on top of a colony of Argentine ants

…what an ant colony possesses is a kind of accumulated intelligence, the result of individual ants carrying out specialized tasks and giving one another constant feedback about what they find as they do so. Well, once they start accumulating in your house in sufficient numbers, you get a chance to see that accumulated intelligence at work. You get a chance to find out what it wants. And what you find out — what the accumulated intelligence of the colony eventually tells you — is that it wants what you want. You find out that you, an organism, are competing for your house with a superorganism that knows how to do nothing but compete. You are not only competing in the most basic evolutionary sense; you are competing with a purely adaptive intelligence, and so you are competing with the force of evolution itself.

August 8, 2010
[brains] Brain Drain … the New Yorker takes a look “neuroenhancing” drugs …

Alex remains enthusiastic about Adderall, but he also has a slightly jaundiced critique of it. “It only works as a cognitive enhancer insofar as you are dedicated to accomplishing the task at hand,” he said. “The number of times I’ve taken Adderall late at night and decided that, rather than starting my paper, hey, I’ll organize my entire music library! I’ve seen people obsessively cleaning their rooms on it.”

August 4, 2010
[life] He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died‘By May 4, 1997, it’s clear that he has cancer…’
August 1, 2010
[health] On Being Sane In Insane Places … long disturbing report on a now classic experiment where a number of mentally healthy people pretend to have mental ilness to enter a psychiatric hospital and once they are in return to their normal behaviour and then report on how they are treated …

One tacit characteristic of psychiatric diagnosis is that it locates the sources of aberration within the individual and only rarely within the complex of stimuli that surrounds him. Consequently, behaviors that are stimulated by the environment are commonly misattributed to the patient’s disorder. For example, one kindly nurse found a pseudopatient pacing the long hospital corridors. “Nervous, Mr. X?” she asked. “No, bored,” he said.

July 28, 2010
[life] What Makes Us Happy? … engrossing article on a long-term study of (what appeared to be) successful, happy American men and what factors might have contributed to that …

Indeed, the lives themselves—dramatic, pathetic, inspiring, exhausting—resonate on a frequency that no data set could tune to. The physical material—wispy sheets from carbon copies; ink from fountain pens—has a texture. You can hear the men’s voices, not only in their answers, but in their silences, as they stride through time both personal (masturbation reports give way to reports on children; career plans give way to retirement plans) and historical (did they vote for Dewey or Truman?; “What do you think about today’s student protesters, drug users, hippies, etc.?”). Secrets come out. One man did not acknowledge to himself until he reached his late 70s that he was gay. With this level of intimacy and depth, the lives do become worthy of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky.

July 26, 2010
[lists] A List Of Common Misconceptions‘There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets.’
[press] Overheard in the Newsroom

Editor to no one in particular: “Can’t we just have a normal murder?”

July 25, 2010
[brain] Why Minds Are Not Like Computers … a long article on the history of artificial intelligence research and why it might not be possible to create a thinking computer … ‘People who believe that the mind can be replicated on a computer tend to explain the mind in terms of a computer.’
July 22, 2010
[philosophy] The Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant in Three Minutes‘Kant. It’s a German name and I’m quite happy to sit here in silence until you’re mature enough to get over it…’
July 21, 2010
[comics] The Unwanted … a new comic from Joe Sacco on African migrants in Malta.
July 19, 2010
[weird] Go Look: No Big Deal – Just Dodging Traffic
June 24, 2010
[tech] A History Of Media Technology Scares, From The Printing Press To Facebook‘These concerns stretch back to the birth of literacy itself. In parallel with modern concerns about children’s overuse of technology, Socrates famously warned against writing because it would “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories.” He also advised that children can’t distinguish fantasy from reality, so parents should only allow them to hear wholesome allegories and not “improper” tales, lest their development go astray.’
June 20, 2010
[press] Go Look: Builders Thwarted By Fish Eating Spiders [via twitter]
June 7, 2010
[funny] A list of Great Wisdom: WAYS TO BE COOL‘Helmets’

Ways To Be Cool

May 25, 2010
[funny] What have we today? … great collection of green ink letters written to newspapers in the early nineties … ‘My eight-year-old boy is a strange lad. He’s bothered about the planet and interested in butterflies and insects as well as other animals. He never watches football. Do you think he’s going to be gay? (Daily Star)’
May 12, 2010
[life] We Stopped Checking For Monsters…

We Stopped Checking For Monsters...

April 28, 2010
[life] On Black Elephants‘A “black elephant” […] is an event which is extremely likely and widely predicted by experts, but people attempt to pass it off as a black swan when it finally happens.’
March 18, 2010
[funny] ‘Come on ladies, skank it up! There’s no shame in being a whore!’Overheard in a School in Utah.
March 16, 2010
[hhgttg] The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy On Towels‘A towel… is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.’ — Dougas Adams
March 3, 2010
[quote] ‘Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There’s genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ’s sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can’t find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don’t know crap about life.’ — Robert McKee in Adaptation.
[quote] ‘The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility.’ — Scott Adams, Crazy or Disciplined?
March 1, 2010
[religion] God Watches You Google … a religious blog poses the question of how we should feel about the morality (or lack of) displayed in our search requests …

This woman goes from searching about pregnancy, to realizing that the father does not want to keep the baby, to researching abortion clinics, to researching whether she can, according to her faith, choose abortion, to dealing with a miscarriage. And at the end of it all, life goes on and she seems ready to be married.

What is so amazing about these searches is the way people transition seamlessly from the normal and mundane to the outrageous and perverse. They are, thus, an apt reflection of real life. The user who is in one moment searching for information about a computer game may in the next be looking for the most violent pornography he can imagine. Back and forth it goes…

January 21, 2010
[life] Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. What Really Happened? … Wired on the story behind the suicides of two artificial intelligence researchers … ‘Singh was convinced that the potential of artificial intelligence was enormous. “I believe that AI will succeed where philosophy failed,” he had written on his MIT homepage. “It will provide us with the ideas we need to understand, once and for all, what emotions are.” According to Bo Morgan, a fellow student at MIT, Singh suggested that giving common sense to computers would solve all the world’s problems. “Even starvation in Africa?” Morgan asked…’
January 13, 2010
[books] I’m Not That Peter Robinson … Internet Hate Mob GO! … ‘Many thanks to all of you who have offered me your support in my time of difficulty – especially the person who said my wife was a homophobic slut who needed a good slapping around, and the other who suggested that I turn to Jesus Christ as my Saviour – but I must stress that I AM NOT Peter Robinson the politician, Northern Ireland’s First Minister.’
January 12, 2010
[life] What boyfriends and girlfriends search for on Google‘how can I get my girlfriend / boyfriend to trust me?’
January 5, 2010
[funny] Worth a look: Some QuestionsGive-A-Fuck-O-MeterCan Fail (Isn’t this a visual metaphor for life in some way rather than a fail?)
January 4, 2010
[batman] xkcd: Lease‘I don’t know what you just said because I was thinking about Batman.’
December 28, 2009
[motivational] Kurt Vonnegut Motivational Posters

Kurt Vonnegut Motivational Poster

December 9, 2009
[funny] New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths

“The most disturbing facet of this ubiquitous childhood disorder is an utter lack of empathy,” Mateo said. “These people—if you can even call them that—deliberately violate every social norm without ever pausing to consider how their selfish behavior might affect others. It’s as if they have no concept of anyone but themselves.”

“The depths of depravity that these tiny psychopaths are capable of reaching are really quite chilling,” Mateo added.

November 6, 2009
[comics] Rediscovered: Joe Matt’s How To Be Cheap (more…)

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