I originally decided to post this picture because I thought we'd never succeed on the internet unless we posted pictures of naked women. It turns out that this is scientific-grade porn, so I can safely post this without having to nettle Sam's moral qualms.
The test is to see which way the lady is rotating. If you see her rotating clockwise, you're right-brained, which means you're a soap-fearin', hybrid-drivin', dashiki-worshippin', LSD-totin' hippie. If you see her rotating counter-clockwise, then you're left-brained, which makes you a clench-reared, 401K-understandin', Nader-thankin', type A type. Pick your side, so that we may all fight each other.
You can actually get her to switch directions if you look at her for long enough (GET A ROOM, PERV!) I did it by focusing on her shadow.
If there's any neurologists out there, please let me know whether or not this is complete crap. My gut feeling is that it has nothing to do with brain hemispheres, but that won't stop me from looking at it in-depth.
To discuss in the comments section: what else qualifies as scientific-grade porn?
BTB: Being from Seattle, I came out heavily right-brained
My buddy Evan tips me off to his Google maps mashup of nanotechnology hotspots. While clicking around, I found some interesting things. One registered company, the dark blue pin in the middle of Seattle, is Nordstroms. Why on earth is Nordstroms researching nanotechnology? Are fashion designers planning on shrinking clothes sizes again?
The game of Go (a game exponentially more complex than chess) has succumbed to the Turing test. Scientists previously thought it impossible to program computers to play this difficult game with any effectiveness. Instead, artificial intelligence has taken another step towards robo-domination of the world.
Should you be afraid? Not necessarily. I see a silver lining. I'd previously mentioned that the omission of Dr. Mario from Smash Bros. Brawl was disappointing from the standpoint of a biotechnological house rule. Fortunately, the new house rule can be adapted to the cybernetic, flesh-free paradigm, by replacing Doc with the demented R.O.B. who assimilates humans into his matrix of evil.
I have a simple explanation. It's been nine long years since Rob Thomas teamed up with Carlos Santana to drop magic in our ears. Without conga-infused cha-cha chart-toppers, what will serve as a compass for our nation's weary hearts?
Fortunately, the nation does seem to be moving back on the right track. That's right... Pluto is working behind closed doors to make powerful friends... the kind that can help it regain its planetary status. Three cheers for Illinois' severe political corruption! This calls for a Santhomas encore.
This elegant solutions still raises interesting questions. Since you can't count on having enough fuel or a functioning computer for a millennium, you don't have the privilege of making course corrections. Essentially, you get to chuck a probe as hard as you can into the recesses of the universe and hope it falls back to terra firma. At this distance, planet Earth looks like an awfully small bullseye... a fraction of a degree off and your letter falls into the sun.
For comparison, we look at comets, wicked portents of the night sky. Halley's comet, easily the best-known comet, still has an orbit too complicated to be calculated exactly. The periodic comet with the longest known period is Ikeya-Zhang, at 341 years, which puts its aphelion around the inner Oort Cloud (greatest astronomical name ever, and a decent name for a band).
I suspect the alternative, a low-earth orbit, would be too difficult to accomplish due to the problem of orbital decay. Requiring a satellite to stay in orbit for a thousand years would require an orbit well into the earth's exosphere where it's less likely to collide with atmospheric particles.
Ultimately, I assume some rocket scientist could concoct an orbit with a decent chance of getting the message to fall back to earth. With the error rates we're talking about, however, we can't assume we can precisely target the letter to the appropriate coordinates on Earth. Assuming it hits the planet, about 2/3 of the time it would land in the ocean.
Despite the issues, astronomical message delivery is still about the most interesting answer I've heard to the problem yet. Kudos!
Inspired by the latest XSDC comic (sp?), I looked up the TV Tropes website, a wiki where people identify tropes in literature, TV, movies, songs, and the like, and let you wiki surf until you wipe out your life. I found this site last night, and woke up dead tired today.
Some Canadian scientists have finally come down from their ivory tower and decided to conduct some research we can all benefit from. An upcoming book named Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress ( a future NY Times Bestseller by title alone) includes an article which presents a mathematical model for a possible outbreak of zombie infection. I think I speak for all of us when I say, It's about damn time!
The basic model is quite simple and can be summed up thus:
(S stands for Susceptible, Z for Zombie, and R for Removed, i.e. dead but not undead)
kind of obvious, really. If you add latent infections though, it gets a bit trickier:
(I stands for infected)
You can read the whole paper online, it's actually quite interesting. Their scientific conclusion is that capturing or curing the zombies would only put off the inevitable and humanity's only hope for survival is to "hit them hard and hit them often." Now that's exactly the kind of conclusion you want to hear from such a study, none of that pandering to the zombophiles.
Best of all, one of the researchers is named "Professor Robert Smith?" That's right, the question mark is part of his name! I didn't know we could do that! I sense a whole new trend of punctuation marked children ("No, my name's not 'Bob', it's 'Bob!'" "That what I said, Bob." "No, Bob!" et cetera). Too bad Abbott and Costello aren't around to make use of it:
Settle down, class. You remember that crazy Mr. Azoulay from down the hall? Well, you might say he's never been shy about his love of poetry, so in honor of him I've decided to teach you 2day's science lesson in the form of limericks.
The Periodic Table
There once was an odd kind of table,
where no eating occurred. You were able
to see at a glance
which elements dance,
and which of them were and weren't stable.
An 'H' was the first one to see,
and next came the element "He,"
a "Li" and a "Be,"
a 'B' and a 'C,'
then an 'N,' 'O,' and 'F,' and a "Ne."