Posts about interesting (old posts, page 17)

The Science of Snobbery

As her study participants were untrained in classical music, Tsay expected them to do no better at choosing a winner than random chance. This proved true for the first two groups, who chose the winner less than 33% of the time. But to everyone's surprise, the amateurs did significantly better than chance when watching only a silent video.

Isaac Asimov Imagined the 2014 World's Fair

he New York World's Fair of 1964 is dedicated to "Peace Through Understanding." Its glimpses of the world of tomorrow rule out thermonuclear warfare. And why not? If a thermonuclear war takes place, the future will not be worth discussing. So let the missiles slumber eternally on their pads and let us observe what may come in the nonatomized world of the future.What is to come, through the fair's eyes at least, is wonderful. The direction in which man is traveling is viewed with buoyant hope, nowhere more so than at the General Electric pavilion. There the audience whirls through four scenes, each populated by cheerful, lifelike dummies that move and talk with a facility that, inside of a minute and a half, convinces you they are alive.The scenes, set in or about 1900, 1920, 1940 and 1960, show the advances of electrical appliances and the changes they are bringing to living. I enjoyed it hugely and only regretted that they had not carried the scenes into the future. What will life be like, say, in 2014 A.D., 50 years from now? What will the World's Fair of 2014 be like?I don't know, but I can guess.

The Data Journalism Handbook

What is data journalism? I could answer, simply, that it is journalism done with data. But that doesn't help much.Both 'data' and 'journalism' are troublesome terms. Some people think of 'data' as any collection of numbers, most likely gathered on a spreadsheet. 20 years ago, that was pretty much the only sort of data that journalists dealt with. But we live in a digital world now, a world in which almost anything can be -- and almost everything is -- described with numbers.

Rocket man

More than two decades ago, from 1989 to 1991, Musk spent his freshman and sophomore years in Kingston. That's a period in his life he now recalls with fondness and a light-hearted sense of cheer. These days he's renowned as the creative and guiding force behind PayPal, Tesla electric motor cars, and SolarCity (which leases solar-power systems to private homeowners). And his private rocket ship company, SpaceX, made headlines when it launched a cargo rocket and spacecraft that on May 25, 2012, became the first commercial vehicle to deliver a load of supplies to the International Space Station.

Rocket man

wikipedia printed

This page displays the current size of the English Wikipedia (without images) in print volumes, per logical mathematical calculation."

wikipedia printed

Kids can't use computers

'Oh... I guess these days you must find that the kids know more about computers than the teachers...'If you teach IT or Computing, this is a phrase that you'll have heard a million times, a billion times, epsilon zero times, aleph times. Okay I exaggerate, but you'll have heard it a lot. There are variants of the phrase, all espousing today's children's technical ability. My favourite is from parents. 'Oh Johnny will be a natural for A-Level Computing, he's always on his computer at home.' The parents seem to have some vague concept that spending hours each evening on Facebook and YouTube will impart, by some sort of cybernetic osmosis, a knowledge of PHP, HTML, JavaScript and Haskell.Normally when someone spouts this rubbish I just nod and smile. This time I simply couldn't let it pass. 'Not really, most kids can't use computers.'

A Pilot's Perspective on Asiana Airlines Crash

I would caution readers to be leery of what you hear from TV or the press, and be exceptionally wary of on-air testimony from eyewitnesses or passengers who were aboard the jet. The news channels salivate over these firsthand narratives, but any crash investigator will attest to the notorious unreliability of such accounts. If some of the things I've heard in interviews over the past 24 hours are any indication, stuff your ears with gauze and leave the room when an eyewitness starts talking. I don't want to insult anybody's powers of observation, but passengers have a terrible habit of misjudging and misinterpreting the basics of flight even when things are running perfectly normal, never mind in the throes of a violent emergency.

Inside A Nuclear Reactor

I got to crawl on top of, over, under, and around, one of the wonders of the modern engineering world: an operational AGR reactor. I got to look around the control room, be deafened in the turbine hall and steam-baked in the secondary shutdown test facility, gawp at the shiny bright zirconium tubes full of enriched uranium in the fuel rod assembly room, be subjected to the whole-body contamination detectors at the checkpoints, and boggle at the baroque masses of sensors and control racks that trigger a reactor trip if any of its operational parameters go out of bounds."

Inside A Nuclear Reactor