Archive for the 'Science' Category

Powers of ten

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

A conversation this weekend about the classic Eames short, Powers of ten, caused me to hunt it down on Youtube. No surprise that I found more than I was looking for: Powers of Ten Simpsons version Interactive Java version

Fictional Futures

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Slides from a presentation on stories, belief and the aesthetics of artefacts in science fiction, from a workshop at the Fictional Futures project, Goldsmiths Feb ’06. 50 slides, so this will take about half an hour. Many interesting links to follow. Catalhoyuk had a population of up to 10,000 people, and a few strange features […]

Atlas of the universe

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

An Atlas of the universe. Spend a bit of time clicking in and out of the scales to get a sense of our place in all of this. Mindblowing, and I already know it all. Large scale structure of the universe is one of the two scientific ideas that I believe everybody should understand. The […]

The Singularity

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

ZD net reports on ยป the great Singularity debate. Here’s a primer if the Singularity (big ‘S’) is a new idea to you: Sometime in the next few years or decades, humanity will become capable of surpassing the upper limit on intelligence that has held since the rise of the human species. We will become […]

Hypnic jerk

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

Do you ever wake up suddenly to a falling sensation and a strong muscle twitch just after you have fallen asleep? This is known as a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch or Hypnic jerk. I call this ‘tripping over the curb’, because that’s what I think has usually happened in my semi-conscious state. Apparently I do it […]

David Hahn

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

In 1994 David Hahn, an eagle scout in suburban Detroit, attempted to build a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard shed. Leaving aside the mind boggling stupidity of this, you’ve got to admire the guy for giving it a go, and his Mitnick-esque social engineering skills. While we’re on the subject, here’s Wikipedia’s comprehensive list […]

This week in New Scientist

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

Most of the content on is available only to subscribers, so I’m quoting heavily here. I’ve still linked to the stories though, just in case you happen to have a login. Excellent anti-ID argument on the letters page: "The use of retrospective probability analysis by ID adherents as proof of God is fatuous. Try […]

Robot links

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Robot person Review of robot injuries (pdf warning). First fatality: Japan, 1981. Robot pushed repairman into grinder. Defend yourself against the coming robot rebellion Robotic sentry gun. You know, like the ones in the Aliens special edition.

Science links

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

There’s a considerable leaf-litter of links in my ‘to-post’ folder. Let’s start with the science ones: The Sokal hoax “…Social Text journal published an article by Allan Sokal, Professor of Physics at New York University, entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” The article was a hoax … submitted to see […]

Happy birthday

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Today as I left work I had to run pretty fast to stay motionless as the Earth span beneath me, and London Bridge rotated my way. I was lucky to keep up: If I hadn’t boarded my train I would’ve been stranded in the city, and carried northwards as it zoomed away, leaving my still […]