Saturday, March 26, 2016

It is not a dream

OMG I love this little video clip. Once you see who said those words, it makes you want to watch the clip again and again.

"Although perhaps, humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be led willingly by the inventor's keen searching sense."

The end is Nye

The Facebook app sucks..... phone batteries that is

I had heard that the FB app really sucks the life out of your battery because it's always looking for updates even when the app is shut down.

Well, they weren't kidding. Ever since I got rid of the app, my battery lasts so much longer. Now I just access FB using a home page shortcut through Safari.


Things I learned lately - 26 Mar

  • Lego men have those little holes in the top of their head to allow air to pass through should a child ever get one stuck in their throat.
  • Canada has a national park that's larger than the entire country of Switzerland. Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta. 
  • Canada has enough forest to fill all of the following countries, combined: Japan, Italy, Cambodia, Nicaragua, France, Germany, Ghana, Cameroon, Sweden, South Korea, Uruguay, and the UK.
  • Even though Tidal and Apple are getting exclusive music contracts with big artists, Spotify continues to steamroll, adding 10 million paying customers just since last summer, for a total of 30 million paying customers to date.
  • The New York Times weren't big fans of the Wingdings font because NYT spelled out using Wingdings looked like an anti-semetic message (skull and crossbones; Star of David; and a thumbs up). They did like Webdings font though, because it seemed to spell out I love New York (an eye; a heart; a building)
  • Before municipal sewer systems, shit piled up in the privies of people's homes - essentially a deep hole in the ground. But these holes eventually filled up. That's when the night soil men were called in. Each year in cities across the US, thousands of carts brimming with excrement rattled through the night streets.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The god of astrophysics

If you've ever wanted to play a god of astrophysics on a solar system level, have I got the simulation game for you. It's called Universe Sandbox 2.

Universe Sandbox 2 is a physics-based space simulator that merges gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of the universe and the fragility of the objects that inhabit it. You can create, destroy, and interact on a scale you've never before imagined. You can see the effects of gravity on objects in the universe and run scale simulations of the Solar System, various galaxies or other simulations, while at the same time interacting and maintaining control over gravity, time, and other objects in the universe (moons, planets, asteroids, comets, black holes, etc.).

After watching the interplay of our own solar system for a while, and not wanting to wantonly destroy our own (simulated) system, I created a solar system from scratch and then threw a wrench in the works by inserting a small black hole in the neighbourhood. Then I sat back and watched things fall apart. The result wasn't what I expected, as gravity wells don't quite behave the way you'd think they would. Thus is the life of an amateur deity.

What's nice about these simulations is that you can save them to load up again later. It's like putting the universe on pause (also doable) and getting back to the excitement only when you're in the mood.

After watching the not quite so destructive interplay of sun, planets and black hole, I decided to load up a preset planetary collision. BOOM! You not only get to see the initial collision, but also the secondary (and more) collisions of matter that is blasted off the planet's surface, eventually gets captured by gravity and reintroduced to the planet's mass in the most spectacular way. In case you wondered how the dinosaurs went extinct, you could simulate that in this program. This simulator could keep me entertained for months.


"Is everything OK? You haven't photographed your food"

Beepi - an app that helps you buy or sell a reliable used car

If you want to sell a car, Beepi sends an inspector to evaluate the seller's vehicle. If the nearly 2 hour checkup is successful, Beepi makes an offer to the seller. The seller is paid when the car is sold.

Beepi seems to be able to sell cars in 10 to 12 days. When the car sells, the seller gets their cheque. Beepi keeps a 10% fee.

Buyers choose their car on the Beepi app, get a report on the car, and check out the inspectors' backgrounds. Their LinkedIn profiles are linked.

Post-purchase, the car is delivered right to the buyer with a big bow on it. There's no test drive. Instead, buyers get 10 days to return the car for a refund.

This sounds to me like the future of used car sales.

Snowman for free...

Things I learned lately - 19 Mar

  • The UK will soon tax the makers of sugary soft drinks based on the amount of sugar in their beverages.
  • The Nevada National Security Site (Proving Grounds) was the site of 100 above ground nuclear bomb tests and 828 underground nuclear bomb tests between 1951 and 1986.
  • Ingvar Kamprad, the 89 year old founder of Ikea is worth €65.5 billion. But he still buys second-hand clothes. He tries to get a haircut when he's in a developing country too.
  • In the mid to late 1800s, most immigrants to the US were from Ireland and Germany. Also, a lot of immigrants into northern states were from Canada.
  • NASA is working on a supersonic passenger jet design that produces more of a sonic thump than a boom. This could revitalize supersonic travel. The first prototype will fly by 2020.
  • Goodbye is an evolution of the contraction from the phrase 'God be with ye'.
  • The saw blade they use to cut off plaster casts (for bone break injuries) doesn't rotate, it just vibrates. There's no risk to the skin.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ant jam

Describe white people in 4 words

I found a random meme online where a guy asked his Instagram followers to describe white people using only 4 words. Some of the funnier ones are here. I added a few myself. My fave is the second one. That's me in a nutshell.

  • The skin colour crayon
  • This water's too spicy
  • "Wow, delish quinoa Susan!"
  • Wearing Birkenstocks with socks
  • "I'm not racist but..."
  • Stop twerking, no ass
  • White people be like...
  • I literally can't even
  • We cannot say nigga
  • #I #Love #Chai #Latte
  • Wearing shorts in winter
  • Check out my tat
  • Dude, size doesn't matter
  • Who doesn't like mullets?
  • Chewin' tobacc'ah be tasty
  • Balls hanging on pickup

How America's source of immigrants has changed

This amazing map shows the top country of origin for all the US states from 1850 through 2013.

I had no idea how many different European countries settled the US en masse over this period. Even Canadians in large numbers flocked to the US in the 20th century.

Bye bye Heinz

Things I learned lately - 12 Mar

  • How long it takes for various planets to complete their trip around the sun (solar year): Mars - 687 days; Jupiter - 11.86 years; Saturn - 29 years; Uranus - 84 years; Neptune - 164.8 years.
  • Mercury experiences intense variations in surface temperature, ranging from -193.15 °C (-315.67 °F) to 426.85 °C (800.33 °F). This is due to the planet’s varying distance from the Sun and its spin, which subjects one side to extended periods of extremely hot temperatures and one side to extended periods of night. 
  • A German soldier must not obey an order, if the order violates the others' human dignity, international law or consists of a crime.
  • There is a Hot Wheels version of the Mars Curiosity rover.
  • A comparative survey of couples suggests people are more attracted to those who have very different immunity genes from their own, even though they are not aware of it. The genes in question play a major role in the immune system, and are thought to leave a lingering trace in body odour. The study suggests humans have evolved to sniff out partners who have different immunity genes because they tend to produce children with stronger immune systems.
  • When Elvis Costello was on SNL in 1977 he abruptly stopped playing the approved song and jumped into "Radio Radio." Supposedly Lorne Michaels gave Costello the middle finger and kept it up until the song was over. He was banned from the show for over a decade. 

Friday, March 04, 2016

Musical ice

I never knew that ice could sound so good.

Carbon dating

2 people sitting at this table eating dinner, would be carbon dating.....

You give pirates their reasons

Dear Entertainment Industry

You don't like piracy very much, do you? No, of course you don't. Luckily, piracy of movies and TV shows have shown a decline in recent years, in large part, due to the fact that consumers of content are finally getting a taste of what they've been asking for for years. Content on demand. Thanks to the Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Shomi and Crave TVs of the world, consumers are finally being given the opportunity to watch what they want, when they want. No commercials. No lectures about piracy. No waiting.

Except, there's one giant problem. You still won't let consumers from outside your jurisdiction access certain content. As a Canadian, I cannot access Hulu. I cannot access HBO Go. I cannot access many titles that are available on the American version of Netflix. At least, not legally. If I want to access exclusive American content, I have to either lie about where I live or use some kind of network masking service to lie about where I'm connecting from. Which you don't like. Because you've negotiated various licensing agreements with various countries.

What consumers like me find confusing, is that some of the shows we can't access on demand are shows we can already see live on other channels. Or buy in the store. So why are you preventing us from accessing this content in the preferred manner? It just doesn't make sense to us. So guess what we're inclined to do?

PIRATE! If you're not going to let me pay to access all of your content at any time, I'm going to be motivated to steal that content for free. So, which would you prefer? I could continue to pay every month for access, and you give me what I want. Or I could stop paying you every month, and access everything I want elsewhere.

Your move.

Mulder as Hobbes?

Things I learned lately - 4 Mar

  • Kanye West was recently caught red-handed using The Pirate Bay torrent site.
  • In the past 75 years, 81% of New York City's biggest snowstorms fell on a weekend. Odds of that are 500:1.
  • To promote the upcoming Ghostbusters movie, a limited edition run of Key Lime Slime Twinkies has been spotted.
  • Colonel Sanders was very hands on, and was obsessed things were done right. He travelled to KFC locations and berated people if things weren't up to his standards. Nearer to his end, KFC became so huge, they decided to change the recipe for the chicken in order to better meet production needs. Sanders thought that the new chicken was absolutely terrible. He tried to start his own competing restaurant and ended up in a lawsuit battle with KFC. 
  • Dave Thomas (Wendy's) actually got his start working for Harlan Sanders (KFC).
  • The cooked hamburger meat too old to serve is saved, frozen, and used later in Wendy's chili.