August 31, 2013
Universe Goes Poof?

This is a nice article that neatly sums up most of the *physical* (as apposed to biological) reasons none of anything around us should exist. They're not talked about all that much, or in a particularly clear way, because the simplest answer is the one a set of fundamentalists refuse to consider. Unlike biology, this conclusion isn't the result of willfully ignoring and distorting the data. Quite the opposite.

Posted by scott at 10:51 AM
August 30, 2013
It's Not Like They Paint Themselves

Posted by scott at 08:16 AM

Why go through complex finite element analysis when you can just pick one up and drop it? As with most big impacts, it doesn't look all that bad from the outside. It's the interior shots that bring the forces involved to life.

Posted by scott at 06:44 AM
August 28, 2013
Element 115

Scientists are accumulating more evidence that another element exists at the far end of the periodic table. Like most of the newer ones, it's very radioactive and very unstable, assuming it's not just some glitch in the sensors. From what I've read, they keep trying because eventually they may ramp up to a heavy element that sticks around for awhile, and who knows what it'll be good for?

Posted by scott at 09:19 AM
August 27, 2013
Tomb Stones, for the Rest of Us

Exactly why Southern cemeteries aren't studded with these things is a bit beyond me. Nobody has ever gone broke underestimating a red neck's taste. Proof positive that they don't all speak English, I guess.

Posted by scott at 01:12 PM
August 26, 2013
Just Better Watch the F- Out

Posted by scott at 09:30 AM
Some Pig

Well, it's not like they come with labels, ya know? This actually happened to friends of ours a few years ago, although they paid about 1/10th that price, and I don't think (so far at least) it's anywhere near that big.

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM
August 25, 2013
That Ended Well

Darwin on the river: young man goes swimming in crocodile-infested river, chew-larity ensues. I mean, Australia tries plenty hard enough to kill you on a good day. There's no need to go and make it easy.

Posted by scott at 04:05 PM
August 23, 2013
Dive Bomber

It's all fun and games, but only after the hawks head south for the winter. Ah, Canada. They're even polite to homicidal wildlife!

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM
August 22, 2013
Stupid Res

Sure, this "common sense" guide to ultra HD is nearly a year old, but I still found it informative. And, really, that's the only metric any of you should need to read an article. My take-away: our current TV, which we are quite happy with, will remain with us until OLED becomes affordable. Which is fine. Our last TV soldiered on for nearly fifteen years before it finally just broke down. At barely 4, the current unit is still just a baby.

Posted by scott at 07:02 AM
That's-a Spicey Meat Ball

Scientists have found direct evidence that Europeans, at least, have been using spices to flavor their food for at least six thousand years. Yeah, this is one of those "common sense requires evidence, too" sort of studies. But, hey, even common sense answers usually yield interesting details.

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM
Rate the States

Well, I guess it's a certain sort of distinction that none of the states I've lived in rate best, or worst, at anything. States Ellen has lived in? Not so much. I do think it's funny everyone seems to want to vote Texas off the island.

Posted by scott at 06:13 AM
August 21, 2013
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 06:54 AM
Star Jets

A new radio telescope array has captured new images of a star being born. Bonus: carbon monoxide jets. In space!

Posted by scott at 06:44 AM

Another week, another story about "drones" finding a civilian use. Yep, you guessed it, RC helicopters! I was never good enough to get mine that close to the ground without crashing. The multi-rotor types are supposed to be easier to fly, and do less damage with their rotors.

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM
August 20, 2013

Canadians have admitted they're working on a "stealth" snowmobile. No, I didn't know radar detection was that much of a problem when it came to cold-weather mobility, either. It turns out what's most important is making the thing as quiet as possible. That makes a little more sense, eh?

Posted by scott at 06:48 AM
Old Metal

Scientists have now confirmed a necklace older than the pyramids is made up in part of meteorite. The necklace was created a full two thousand years before iron was in common use.

Posted by scott at 06:39 AM
August 17, 2013

And now, film of a Perseid meteor going "kerplooey". Not quite as spectacular as knocking down pieces of the Russian landscape, but still pretty nifty looking.

Posted by scott at 10:16 AM
I Want To Believe

For the very first time the government has officially acknowledged that Area 51 exists. The Russians were selling satellite photos of the place starting back in the '80s, and for the longest time you could watch planes land and take off from a nearby ridge. Then there was the expose that revealed the secrecy was more about protecting boneheaded ticket-punchers than it ever was about national security. Maybe now they'll actually start to run the place right.

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM
August 16, 2013
Documentary Debunk

I'd long known Spurlock's documentary was full of crap, but I didn't know just how full it was. Most of the time, just a little critical thinking will blast big holes in the "super dramatic, super revealing" documentaries. Me, I stick with Attenborough. He's too busy trying to to get eaten by lions and stuff to get into too much trouble.

Posted by scott at 08:02 AM
August 14, 2013
Old Station

Another year, another breathless article about New York's "hidden" subway stop. I think this is at least the second, maybe even third article about this exact subject. It's like the city isn't quite up to the task of actually pulling the idea off.

Posted by scott at 06:50 AM
August 13, 2013
An Island, for the Rest of Us

Posted by scott at 04:01 PM
Cave Tool

Scientists have announced the discovery of specialized bone tools that were used by Neandertals. One of the hallmarks of earlier hominids was their toolkits were based on stone. Even on the occasions they did use other materials, the tool was still the same shape. However, it seems quite possible they copied the tool instead of came up with it on their own. Bonus: We know what the bone tool does because, at least 50,000 years later, people are still using them.

Posted by scott at 06:15 AM
Blood and Rust

You'd think that, with commodity prices what they are, giant piles of very high-quality steel wouldn't just be left out to rust. I know in the US they recycle entire tank hulls for precisely this reason. Then again, nearly all of it seems to be mouldering in old Soviet-bloc nations, so I guess you could say "because Communism!"

Posted by scott at 05:44 AM
August 12, 2013

It looks like a surly teenager may no longer be the one cooking up your next fast food order. Automating fast-food production has been ongoing probably for as long as there's been fast food. Kind of the point, I guess.

Oh, and those of you pining for a "true living minimum wage"? Yeah. You can dine on the ashes they'll be serving up over there.

Posted by scott at 09:06 AM
He Lost His What?

It's just like I tell my daughter, this is what happens when you don't pick up after yourself. Of course, she's not likely to lose THAT. Me? I'm married. I always know where mine is--in that purse over there.

Posted by scott at 06:53 AM
August 11, 2013
Insert Gilligan's Island Reference Here

On the one hand, yeah, fleeing the US in your own boat because of various beefs with the US government is a pretty ridiculous idea. On the other, they did manage to survive more or less intact for 90 days in the Pacific ocean. Sounds like they almost got it right. Still, I'd think next time a plane ticket or three might be a better idea.

Posted by scott at 06:19 AM
August 09, 2013

Well, they DO use social media to make announcements, after all. Yeah, I know, but I hear Hell has beaches!

Posted by scott at 09:20 AM
Paging The Black Knight, White Courtesy Phone, Please

Posted by scott at 09:11 AM

Posted by scott at 07:07 AM
Meanwnile, in the 80s

I would not be surprised at all if this was a video in Ellen's house, back in the day. She is the QUEEN of workout videos. I also wouldn't be surprised if she knew who the lady was.

Posted by scott at 06:49 AM
Your Fifteen Seconds of Fame

I know I shouldn't think some of these are funny, but I do. Some scenes are NSFW, others are patently offensive. So don't watch it. Eh?

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM
Disaster Time

This collection of disaster pictures is pretty darned impressive, but "stromboli volcano?" What's next, "pizza hurricane?" Mmm... Pizza...

Posted by scott at 06:38 AM
August 08, 2013
Burial Bonanza

Hooray for big public works projects in first-world countries! The archeologists get to find all the cool stuff. And, unlike over here in America, I don't think there are any pesky repatriation laws in the UK. Dig 'em up and examine the heck out of 'em, boys! The medieval history geek in me wishes it was about five hundred years older or so, but then I remember people in the 17th century didn't really live THAT much differently than their ancestors in the 11th. With such a cross-section of people, the demographic information should prove fascinating.

Posted by scott at 09:08 AM
August 06, 2013

There's "Holy crap, a spider!" and then there's OMFG! SPIDERS! F- YOU AND YOUR CONNECTING FLIGHT I'M OUTTA HERE! Personally, I don't have a problem with this. Some of my friends would likely want the tower burned to the ground and rebuilt before they set foot in it again.

Posted by scott at 02:44 PM
Mormons Got Game

Posted by scott at 09:26 AM
August 05, 2013
Vertigo Much?!?

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM
Captain Obvious at a Vending Machine

Now, I know you'll be just as surprised as I am, so sit down before you read this. "Sugary drinks" have been tied to childhood obesity. I have a feeling the BMI of the parents will be a stronger predictor than anything the kid actually consumes.

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM
August 03, 2013

A group of scientists have announced that our genetic "Adam" lived about 150,000 years ago. Unless you ask a different group of scientists, who think it was about 250,000 years ago. And then when you ask yet another different set, they say something like 500,000 years ago. In a nutshell, they're doing cool stuff you won't completely understand so you really should renew their grants. Because SCIENCE.

Posted by scott at 08:03 AM
August 02, 2013
Fun with Alfas

You know, they keep showing videos like this, I'll start to think the thing exists. Of course, it's always been easy to get Alfas to appear in Europe. Appearing on this side of the Atlantic, that's the real trick.

Posted by scott at 06:47 AM
Mark Your Calendars

This Sunday, the BBC will officially announce who will be the next Doctor. BBC One *and* BBC America, for once.

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM
August 01, 2013
That's Ms. Seal to You, Bub

A US Navy Seal with a 20 year service record is now openly living as a woman. I raise my eyebrows in a "well you don't see THAT every day" sort of way, but since it passes my three rules*, it's really none of my business.

* Pay your taxes, stay out of trouble, keep off my lawn.

Posted by scott at 10:55 AM
How Do You Say "Duck and Cover" In Italian?

Posted by scott at 09:27 AM
Oh, I Thought They Meant Exercise

I'm not completely sure if this is for-real or not. Normally the real deal are about 20 lbs heavier and speak with a heavy Southern accent. The one on the right especially seems like she's auditioning for a role or something. I'm sniffing shenanigans, but it's teeth-clenchingly funny regardless.

Posted by scott at 09:10 AM