Now gluten-free!

Friday, May 31, 2013

The 'Harlem Shake' video to end all 'Harlem Shake' videos

A fitting end to yet another ridiculous meme.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Starbucks in Hong Kong uses toilet water to make coffee

"Yes, I'd like a venti half-caf, non-fat, vanilla latte, please. Wait...uh... You use water from a dirty bathroom to make your coffee? Oh. Just make it a grande then."

(via Gizmodo)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Extreme Barbie Jeep racing

Those of you who thought those kid-sized Barbie Jeeps were just for little girls, think again.

(via The Poke)

Friday, May 24, 2013

'Don't try to fix it. I just need you to listen.'

Come on, guys. Why do you always insist on trying to fix the problem when all she really wants you to do is listen?

(via 22 Words)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Don't expect quidditch to be an Olympic sport any time soon

Fans of Harry Potter are familiar with the game of quidditch, a rather violent game played by kids flying around on magic brooms:

Author J. K. Rowling claims to have invented the game in a small Manchester hotel after a fight with her boyfriend. Makes sense.

Believe it or not, quidditch is also played in the real world. There is even an International Quidditch Association, complete with its own set of official rules. The IQA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and its "mission is to promote, develop, and govern the sport of quidditch and inspire young people to lead physically active and socially engaged lives."

In case you're wondering what a game of quidditch played by a bunch of muggles might be like, take a look at this match between UCLA and Emerson:

OK, so it's much more exciting in the world of fiction. But then again, what isn't?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recent tornado outbreak a result of 'global cooling'?

That's what scientists were saying four decades ago, as this 1975 Newsweek article shows:

It's worth reading through the entire article, but here's the relevant excerpt:
In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic.

Any wonder why so many scientists and politicians now opt for the more ambiguous term "climate change"?

(via The Tea Party Economist)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Elderly tornado survivor finds her missing dog during TV interview

Barbara Garcia survived the devastating tornado that ripped through Oklahoma and destroyed her home, but her dog was missing. This is what happened during her interview with a local TV reporter:


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Scientists find a cure for earworms

Whenever I hear the term "earworm" I think of that creepy scene in Star Trek II in which Khan goes after Captain Terrell and Commander Chekov with a couple of Ceti eels. Not a pretty sight.

In reality, earworms are annoying tunes that get stuck in your head. But like Ceti eels, they burrow into your brain and drive you crazy. Fortunately, it seems someone has finally discovered a way to remove them.

According to a report in The Telegraph, researchers believe the best way to get rid of an earworm is to solve anagrams. If you don't have access to a book of anagrams, reading a novel may also help alleviate the suffering.

According to Dr. Ira Hyman, a music psychologist (that's an actual job?) at Western Washington University who conducted the research, the trick is to make sure the anagram isn't too difficult, otherwise the earworm may return:
The key is to find something that will give the right level of challenge. If you are cognitively engaged, it limits the ability of intrusive songs to enter your head.

Something we can do automatically like driving or walking means you are not using all of your cognitive resource, so there is plenty of space left for that internal jukebox to start playing. Likewise, if you are trying something too hard, then your brain will not be engaged successfully, so that music can come back. You need to find that bit in the middle where there is not much space left in the brain. That will be different for each individual. It is like a Goldilocks effect – it can't be too easy and it can't be too hard; it has got to be just right.
Interestingly, the research found that Lady Gaga (whose name cannot be spelled without "GAG") was the artist most responsible for creating dreaded earworms. Seems rather fitting to me.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Protect yourself by printing your own handgun

That unregistered, untraceable 3D-printed handgun you've been waiting for is finally here.

The world's first entirely 3D-printed gun (photo: Michael Thad Carter, Forbes)

OK, it isn't pretty. In fact, it looks like the spray nozzle on a bottle of Windex. But it works. And you can bet the gun-control crowd will be up in arms about it (no pun intended).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Final pieces hoisted atop new World Trade Center building

The final section of the spire is raised to the top of One World Trade Center. (CNN)

The last two sections of the 408-foot spire that will sit atop One World Trade Center have been hoisted onto a temporary platform earlier this morning. The spire, essentially a giant antenna, will put the building at 1,776 feet, making it the tallest skyscraper in the nation.

We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make a decent zero-G barf bag

Did you know that half of the astronauts who travel into space throw up from space sickness? Neither did I, nor did I really care. However, I was intrigued when I saw this video of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station, demonstrating the overly complicated barf bags NASA developed to deal with the problem of zero-G hurling. Talk about complicated! By the time you get one of these things open, you'll already be flailing around in a floating cloud of your own stomach contents.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin