20 August 2011


Today's post is a melange of curiosities, absurdities, and a dash of actual reality.

15 Shocking Exercise Facts ~ this is the reality bit. Mortality risk, dark chocolate, erectile dysfunction, depression relief, level of education, music, gender, casual Friday, smoking, swimming, astronauts, teens, race, and running all have a correlation with regular exercise. To see what the correlation is, check out the article.

12 NASA Blueprints ~ more reality, but on the fun side. Click on a blueprint to enlarge for details ~ everything from a Saturn 5 rocket booster to the Hubble telescope, an Apollo moon lander to the space shuttle. Very cool.

Optical Illusion Revealed ~ demonstrates how unreliable our eyes/brains are as light meters. The famous checker shadow illusion is created as we watch, yet our senses are still fooled. Here's the video.

Cocktail Party Physics ~ Jennifer Ouellette shares nine wildly varied "I didn't know that"s, with links to supportive research. Yeah, why DO mirrors reverse left and right, but not down and up?

A Short Thesaurus of Academic Phrases ~ satire with a sharp edge of truth from Sheril Kirshenbaum ~ when you hear a professor or grad student say "X", he/she is really saying "Y". Why? Because we like you !!

Science Reveals Women Who Wear Less Clothing Live Longer ~ alas and ah me, this is a put-on, but an amusing one. Besides a guy can fantasize, can't he? I mean, the writer sounds credible. Never mind that he doesn't address whether men who wear less clothing live longer. Sigh.

The Difference ~ between normal people and scientists, that is. An xkcd installment that has the absurdist ring of truth. I know Andrea Kuszewski will back me up on this.

I Love xkcd ~ this is the first time I've encountered the distinctive artwork of xkcd in animated form. Winsome and whimsical. Win times 1000.

The 7 Types of Republican Idiots ~ what, only 7? This isn't just conservative-bashing, it's a thoughtful analysis of the factual and logical fallacies indulged in by each "type", along with what to remember when debating them. Assuming you have the inclination. Caution: not all Republicans are idiots, and not all Republican idiots fall into these 7 types. Some fall into multiple types. You're on your own.

5 Best Political Gaffes of the Week ~ so much lunacy, so little time. I'm not picking on Republicans (well, not too much, they're just so easy). Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry (among others) just happened to be in this week's news more than Democrats, largely due to the cat fight among Republican contenders for their party's nomination for president in 2012. But Obama shows up on the list as well, so hey.

Tea Party Movement Getting Americans Steamed ~ what? Finally? It's taken this long? I'm not certain to attribute this slow awakening to indifference, lassitude, drugs, boredom, or simply being so worn out by what passes for politics that the public stopped paying attention. In any event, if the Tea Party is indeed wearing out its welcome through lies, distortions, drama, and manipulation which all conspired to bring us to the brink of fiscal collapse and humiliation in the eyes of the world, then it is about f***ing time that people started to question their legitimacy. IMHO.

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