February 10, 2007

Cool tutorials

Want to convert a photograph into line art? Into a Lichtenstein-inspired pop-art poster? Melissa Clifton has written tutorials on how to do just that.

January 22, 2007

Anything for Science

These guys do a bunch of demonstrations and recreations (e.g., the Cheney shotgun experiment). (hat-tip: Marginal Revolution.)

July 03, 2006

More Cheese

Gourmet Sleuth provides links to cheese recipes.

August 26, 2005

Efficient Keyboard

Peter Klausler used some genetic algorithms to design an efficient keyboard for the English language. Efficient, but ugly.

(hat-tip: MeFi)

August 12, 2005


I had heard about Supersize Me, and completely disagreed with Mr Spurlock's conclusions.

He inspired this woman to try out a fast-food diet for herself, on which she lost 37 lbs.

Also interesting is Rob Cockerham's adventures in eating in and eating out. He had no change in his weight either way, and found that eating in was cheaper and faster.

These cases only add further credence to my conclusion about eating: don't be an idiot.

June 08, 2005

Beethoven on the Beeb

BBC Radio 3 is broadcasting the complete works of Beethoven, as performed by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. They even provide free MP3s of his nine symphonies to download.

March 22, 2005

Making Stuff

3M has published a steb-by-step guide to making a wallet out of duct tape. (h/t Boing-Boing)

O'Reilly is hosting a blog devoted entire to making stuff. Cool!

October 30, 2004


Paul Graham answers the question of why nerds are unpopular.

September 29, 2004

Home Science

A.K.A. another use for Taco Bell Hot Sauce: cleaning pennies.

More unrelated science experiments here.

(Hat-tips Anil Dash, and judi, respectively.)

September 28, 2004


Better ways to tie your shoelaces.

A faster way to fold a T-shirt.

(Hat-tips: Cottleston Pie, and Thighs Wide Shut, respectively.)

October 30, 2003

On writing

This is pretty cool. It's the gender genie. It analyzes your writing, and says whether the writer is male or female. Works quite well actually. I gave it a bunch of saved emails, blog posts, etc. and it worked every time. I've heard other people have had mixed results. The method it uses is described there as well. The original is from an article in Nature, I think, but they simplified it.

Once again, November is National Novel Writing Month, so if you want to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, have at it.

And the opposite of that, 50 word fiction. This is a far more difficult thing to write, because you must evoke enough within 50 words, to stoke the imagination of the reader. Sort of like the single-panel cartoon of literature. They may not be great, but like pringles, you can't stop after just one.

There's also a 100 words a day thing, but it isn't nearly as cool as just 50 words.

September 25, 2003


Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat Ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.

The trouble is, it isn't always that easy. The longer a word is, the more difficult it is to unscramble. But that isn't the only factor, as these guys prove.

20041019 Update: The phenomenon seems to have originated in a 1976 PhD thesis. More details here.

May 06, 2003

Libertarian State

A bunch of Libertarians want to set up the ideal state by moving enough people there that would vote as a bloc. Check out The Free State Project.

(20040929 Update) A bunch of Christians want to do a similar thing to set up a Christian state, either by establishing a Christian government, or by seceding from the Union. Once again, South Carolina leads the secession.

August 16, 2002

Profiling and Airport Security

Here's a paper that shows profiling for potential terrorists is bad, and can be manipulated to be LESS secure than random checks. See? It's not just bad for civil libertarians.

July 25, 2002

Female Computer Scientists

Here is a paper by Dr. Ellen Spertus, about gender inequity in Computer Science. I suppose it applies equally well to any other technical or engineering field.

What's sad is that even though the paper was published in 1991, most of the problems she talks about are still true.

It's a fairly long paper, and clumsy to navigate, but still definitely worth the read, especially if you are in or are contemplating entering a technical field.

July 17, 2002

Computer-generated music

Douglas Hofstadter writes about computers writing music.

June 23, 2002

Scholarly work

We used to be like this, discussing things like what color a watermelon is before you cut it open, how to peel a banana, how to find a lost person in a grocery store, chicken or egg, and just how many monkeys it takes to equal The Bard.

But leave it to NASA to try to figure out what happens when you pop a water balloon in space. I can't believe my taxes paid for this research, and I didn't get to do any of it.

February 20, 2002

Rob Pike says

System Software Research is Irrelevant.

December 30, 2001

Star Trek Episode

I'm beginning to understand Star Trek's cult following. This article is an interesting read about discrimination against children.

David Deutsch is one of the founding members of "Taking Children Seriously", a group that is all about non-coercive education. Take a look at their site.

I came across his site looking for info on Quantum Computing and cryptography but as always, the search is more rewarding than the find.

(20040910 Update: Article moved here, TCS moved here)

May 27, 2001

Spice Index

Just that. An index of spices in various languages.

May 10, 2001

So you want a PhD

You probably want to read the fourth one in this list of guides.