The McGurk Effect

Amazing. An illusion that works even if you know how it works. Freaky. And another reason to not trust eye witnesses!

Extreme Schooling

In Russia. Growing up, I wanted to do something like this with my kids, and Brenda and I have talked about living abroad for a year or two. But it’s a hard thing, and it took a lot of courage for Clifford Levy and his wife to actually do. Watch the video, too.

311 and data mining

Very interesting article about what calls to 311 show about New Yorkers, as well as things that the local government can do when they have that wealth of info.

Space Stasis

Neal Stephenson on space static. The reason why we use rockets to get stuff into orbit, and why that probably won’t change anytime soon.

Defense of Marriage Act and the US Justice Dept.

Slacktivist’s take on the latest news. And yes, I’m linking to Slacktivist again. He’s my token Christian blogger - I link to him to show that I’m open-minded, even though he believes in stuff that I think is nonsense. That he writes clearly and convincingly about politics, religion, and morality is a nice bonus.

Crazies and religion roundup

Not that I’m saying they are the same thing (Hi, almost my entire family of true believers!). Let’s see… Scientology is still a dangerous cult. Christian Reconstructionists are scary. The Huffington Post is the worst place to go for medical news and advice. Weathermen are curiously prone to mistaking weather for climate. That oughta hold you for a little while.

Giant map of American dialects

You can spend a lot of time on this, let me tell you. And of course, the way I pronounce “cot” (to rhyme with “caught”) is the correct one. I mean, sheesh. How could it not?

More Christmas postings

Why Ricky Gervais is an atheist and a follow-up Q&A. Yes, it’s Christmas related. And no, probably not in the way you’re thinking.


Both examples they give, “EP” and “AJ”, fill me with horror.

Powers of Ten

A fantastic video showing the power of zooming by powers of ten. Go watch it.

Balloon in Space!

Videos like these make me realize that I’m a failure as a father. Why don’t I do something super-awesome-cool like this with my kids? Cuz I’m lazy, I guess.

Smallpox and terrorism

Another scarily prescient article. Of course, written in 1999 there are a few things that scream “pre-9⁄11”.

The Itch

Try reading this article about itching, phantom limb pain, and our brains, without having random itches all over your body. Even while reading that what you’re feeling is all in your head, you can’t but scratch.

The Anachronism

An interesting video that I hope you watch. And after you watch it, let me know what you think of the mother’s last line.

Conspiracy theorists are crazy

And I mean that in a clinical way. Which is why it is almost never any use arguing with a creationist, a truther, a birther, a global-warming denialist, moon landing hoaxer, or an anti-stratfordian. That last link is the one I want to direct your attention to. You’ve probably heard, vaguely, that there are theories that William Shakespeare didn’t write “Shakespeare’s” plays and poems. You’ve probably not read or thought much about it.

Mendelian genetics, and the value of getting things wrong

A good overview on how Mendel got almost everything wrong, and still managed to be right. Also a good example of why I read Arstechnica. They don’t constrain themselves to just covering the latest “geek news”. I like ending the day just a little smarter than I started it, and Ars helps with that.

So sad