Posts about interesting (old posts, page 16)

Fukushima radiation: none dead, none sick

Heard much about Fukushima lately? You know, the disaster that spread deadly contamination across Japan and spelt the end for the nuclear industry.You should have, because recent authoritative reports have reached a remarkable conclusion about a supposedly "deadly" disaster. No one died, nor is likely to die, according to the most comprehensive assessments since the Fukushima nuclear plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The Banality of Don't Be Evil

The section on "repressive autocracies" describes, disapprovingly, various repressive surveillance measures: legislation to insert back doors into software to enable spying on citizens, monitoring of social networks and the collection of intelligence on entire populations. All of these are already in widespread use in the United States. In fact, some of those measures -- like the push to require every social-network profile to be linked to a real name -- were spearheaded by Google itself.

10 Best Recent Dinosaur Discoveries

Dinosaurs aren't all big and scaly. The more fossils they find, and the closer they examine them, the more scientists realize how diverse these animals were. Sure, some were massive. Some took to the air on giant wings. But lots more scampered around on the ground chomping on vegetation. And many more than previously thought may have sported feathers, perhaps using them to impress a mate with a bit of tail-shaking action the way peacocks do today.

10 Best Recent Dinosaur Discoveries

10 Best Recent Dinosaur Discoveries

Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Exam

None," I replied. "You are UCLA students. The brightest of the bright. Let's see what you can accomplish when you have no restrictions and the only thing that matters is getting the best answer possible."Once the shock wore off, they got sophisticated. In discussion section, they speculated, organized, and plotted. What would be the test's payoff matrix? Would cooperation be rewarded or counter-productive? Would a large group work better, or smaller subgroups with specified tasks? What about "scroungers" who didn't study but were planning to parasitize everyone else's hard work? How much reciprocity would be demanded in order to share benefits? Was the test going to play out like a dog-eat-dog Hunger Games? In short, the students spent the entire week living Game Theory. It transformed a class where many did not even speak to each other into a coherent whole focused on a single task-beating their crazy professor's nefarious scheme.

US terror vs gun laws

If only Americans reacted the same way to the actual threats that exist in their country. There's something quite fitting and ironic about the fact that the Boston freak-out happened in the same week the Senate blocked consideration of a gun control bill that would have strengthened background checks for potential buyers. Even though this reform is supported by more than 90% of Americans, and even though 56 out of 100 senators voted in favour of it, the Republican minority prevented even a vote from being held on the bill because it would have allegedly violated the second amendment rights of "law-abiding Americans".So for those of you keeping score at home - locking down an American city: a proper reaction to the threat from one terrorist. A background check to prevent criminals or those with mental illness from purchasing guns: a dastardly attack on civil liberties. All of this would be almost darkly comic if not for the fact that more Americans will die needlessly as a result. Already, more than 30,000 Americans die in gun violence every year (compared to the 17 who died last year in terrorist attacks).

Visiting All 193 Countries

As business goes increasingly global, many wonder: Is it true that people are the same wherever you go? One man has an answer. Not very many people in the world have visited all 193 countries, but one more person is about to accomplish this spectacular goal.His name is Chris Guillebeau. He's the architect of the Art of Non-Conformity and bestselling author of The $100 Startup: Reinventing the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love and Create a New Future. I've visited less than 20 countries. Every time I go someplace new, my entire perspective is radically changed. The idea of visiting 193 is so tantalizing not only for the promise of a new vision and countless thrilling, terrifying and illuminating experiences, but because it shows that anything is possible.

The imaginary part of financial systems

Most of the money is made, at root, in one of two ways: oppressing other people, or destroying the natural world. The political, legal and social frameworks which enable these acts to be performed are then encoded into the structures which govern the wealth so-created, and that wealth can no more flow to constructive ends than water can flow up hill. In fact it is critical to understand the contradiction and paradox at the heart of constructive capitalism in all of its forms to really appreciate how difficult it will be to turn the ship around.

Seattle bar bans Google Glass

A Seattle bar has issued a preemptive ban of Google Glass to preserve the privacy of its tipplers.The 5 Point Cafe in Seattle announced plans to suppress the futuristic devices on its Facebook page this week, and didn't mince words."The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses," the bar wrote. "And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators.

Pixars 22 Rules of Storytelling

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coates, Pixar's Story Artist. Number 9 on the list - When you're stuck, make a list of what wouldn't happen next - is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.