Stuff I Found

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dust Mites

You never sleep alone! Sweet dreams!

Video Games' Hidden Truths

The Sims
The premise: Take control of your Sim avatar and run every aspect of their life.
The Hidden Truth: God allows bad things to happen because they're more interesting.

Ah... more funny stuff... though English teachers can make a living off of stuff like this.

Meditation for Geeks

Funny stuff.

Smallest Teapot

The world's smallest teapot is probably not dishwasher safe.


Even though I think the whole trend of naming things with an "r" instead of an "er" is stupid, this dictionary does seem to go pretty fast! It starts searching through its database right when you start typing... that's efficiency! Wow! Omg! That's 1337!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Flushing at the Same Time

What would happen if everyone flushed the toilet at the same time? The result probably wouldn't be very pretty.

Since as far as we could find out -- no one's ever tried it before -- we can't say for certain exactly what would happen. But we can take a pretty good guess: "It would be ugly," says Steve Cox, one wastewater treatment facility operator we interviewed.

There would simply be too much wastewater trying to pass through the pipes at the same time -- kind of like trying to force an orange through a drinking straw -- and the flow of sewage would stop. Sewage already past the lift stations would return downhill, and as the lift stations flooded, the lines leading to them would back up.

Eventually this sewage would find its way to the place where this whole debacle originated -- your home. Backflow valves probably wouldn't help. Not only would your toilet overflow, but so, too, would every wastewater line in your home, including your shower, kitchen and bathroom sinks, and even your dishwasher and washing machine.

Publishers Ban Fire-breathing Dragon

A leading children's author was told to drop a fire-breathing dragon shown in a new book - because the publishers feared they could be sued under health and safety regulations.

Not quite sure what they're worried about.

I enjoyed watching the smoke rise from Disney characters when I was young, like Cruella DeVil and that caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. Anybody remember that old Mickey Mouse Jack in the Beanstalk cartoon in which the giant stuffs Mickey into a home-made cigar and smokes him?

Human Statue of Liberty

It looks like it was taken quite a while ago, but this picture is pretty cool... 18,000 men form the statue of liberty... how do they do that?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chocolate was a Mistake

Scientists have discovered that chocolate was invented at least 3,100 years ago in Central America and not as the sweet treat people now crave, but as a celebratory beer-like beverage and status symbol.

... The cacao brew consumed at the village of perhaps 200 to 300 people may have evolved into the chocolate beverage known from later in Mesoamerican history not by design but as "an accidental byproduct of some brewing," Henderson said.


How does an alcoholic chocolate drink taste? I want some.

Why Coins have Ridges

... dishonest people sought to make an illegal profit from these coins. They filed off the edges and sold them for their value in gold or silver. The smaller-sized coin often went unnoticed, but this dishonest practice decreased the value of the original gold or silver coin.

To prevent this, the government began milling, or grooving, the edges so a coin could easily be identified if it was trimmed.

That makes cents.

Swimming in Syrup

Curious people filled a pool with goo to see what effect it would have on the act of swimming.

The swimmers didn’t go any faster in water than in the goo. Cussler says that’s because that while the goo generates more drag on your body, it also lets you generate more force with each push and kick.

Seems like it would still be a fun thing to try... would it be more painful to open your eyes under the surface?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Use IMs to avoid embarrassment

Sure, instant messaging is fast and efficient. For many teenagers, it's also a great way to avoid those OMG moments -- that's "omigod" -- of mortifying face-to-face confrontations.

More than four in 10 teens, or 43 percent, who instant message use it for things they wouldn't say in person, according to an Associated Press-AOL poll released Thursday. Twenty-two percent use IMs to ask people out on dates or accept them, and 13 percent use them to break up.

"If they freak out or something, you don't see it," said Cassy Hobert, 17, a high school senior from Frenchburg, Kentucky, and avid IMer who has used it to arrange dates. "And if I freak out, they don't have to see it."

Joke telling can also be hard through IM because it can be hard to make your sarcasm apparent. I've accidentally insulted people through online communication because they take me seriously when I'm not trying to be.

Then again, it's more embarrassing to accidentally insult someone face-to-face because they just don't care for your brand of sarcasm... I suppose it's better to be anti-social in such cases.

Paleontologist unveils dinosaur

A PALEONTOLOGIST has unveiled a 110-million-year-old African dinosaur with a weird anatomy, including a mouth that powered through greenery like a vacuum.

Now they have to make a Jurassic Park V.

World's Weirdest Weather

I think snow is pretty weird, but these are weirder...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

High Speed Popcorn

A high speed camera watches the popping of popcorn.

Good Dissonance

The compulsion to justify decisions may seem irrational, and maybe petty, too, like the fox in Aesop’s fable who stopped trying for the grapes and promptly told himself they were sour anyway. But perhaps Aesop didn’t appreciate the evolutionary utility of this behavior for humans as well as animals.

Once a decision has been made, second-guessing may just interfere with more important business. A fox who pines for abandoned grapes or a monkey who keeps agonizing over food choices could be wasting energy better expended obtaining the next meal.

I wonder if these same cognitive dissonance procedures effect tastes in music?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Death makes us feel... Happy?!?

Researchers say it's a kind of psychological immune response — faced with thoughts of our own death, our brains automatically cope with the conscious feelings of distress by nonconsciously seeking out happy feelings.

Not only is this a very interesting article, but it may provide clues as to why people like reading books about main characters that suffer, which has always seemed to be a mystery to me... readers don't want to suffer in real life, yet they always enter this fantasy world in which it's quite boring and meaningless not to...

And... huh... those last two sentences made me cringe... (recall this post).

read more | digg story

10 Ways to Increase Your Energy

Here are 10 simple (and unique) exercises you can use to increase productivity and energy levels. If you are in search of a boost, consider implementing a few of these recommendations over the next few weeks, and see how you feel...

It's not like I'm actually going to eat healthy or not do homework because it's not stimulating, but makes for an interesting blog post at least... maybe.

read more | digg story

Identity Theft

Never ever ever reveal your sorsor rorororororo ...