October 31, 2013
Space Rods

File this one under "those crazy 60s ideas:" NASA tried to create a massive radio antenna in space by dumping millions of tiny copper wires into orbit. Fifty years ago there wasn't all that much to run into out there, so it probably wasn't as dangerous as it sounds. Some of it is still out there.

Posted by scott at 06:45 AM
October 30, 2013
Like a Boss

Posted by scott at 01:53 PM
October 29, 2013
Sticky Landing

As if there weren't enough problems just getting to the damned place, it seems Europa might be too "prickly" to land on. They haven't been directly observed just yet, but the indirect evidence seems pretty strong.

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM
October 28, 2013

Personally, I think this says more about the quality of mainstream outlets than it does about the habits of the general public. And that always seems to be the pattern: a new form of communication is created, and people pretty quickly start using it to get news.

Posted by scott at 06:55 AM
October 25, 2013
Gear Up

You have to wade through a bizarre intro to get to it, but it seems that nature worked out how to evolve functional gears a very long time ago. Of course it'd be in a bug. Most everything really clever in natural engineering happens in insects, it seems.

Posted by scott at 07:11 AM
How About "No?"

Let's just say I'm glad guys aren't typically invited to baby showers. And I don't eat cake all that often, either. Meh. Your money, your party.

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM
My Wife, Let Me Show You Her

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM
I'm OK with This

Must be a slow news day: the Wall Street Journal seems shocked to find out employers are using technology to keep tabs on their employees when they're on the clock. If you're using a cellphone I'm providing, driving a truck I own, you're damned right I'm gonna be interested in what you're doing with and in them. Now, I do think the other trend--tracking private activities like facebook or requiring personal passwords--is unconscionable. But this? This I'm ok with.

Posted by scott at 06:33 AM
October 24, 2013
Strange Brew

Leave it to the Scots to come up with a beer that's stronger than most whiskeys. And yes, in case you were wondering it'll probably catch fire readily. I guess we can now add "potential motor fuel and cleaning agent" to the things beer can do.

Posted by scott at 01:29 PM
October 23, 2013

Home owner: "Damn these stupid drivers, I'm stopping them ending up in my lawn once and for all."

Drunk idiot: "Challenge accepted."

There's a house in Arlington that's literally at the top of the west-bound Glebe Road exist on I-66. We've always wondered how many cars have ended up in their yard over the years.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM
October 22, 2013
Ancient Eats

A study of tooth enamel may be indicating that our ancient ancestors either used medicinal herbs, or ate the stomach contents of their kills. Nah, doesn't sound very tasty to me either. But I think one of the reasons people succeeded back in the day was they learned to eat absolutely anything that could be eaten.

Posted by scott at 06:39 AM
21st Century Problems

Our long national nightmare is over: Facebook is allowing graphically violent video content to be shared again. I visit LiveLeak regularly, so it's nothing I haven't seen before, but it's yet another reason Olivia won't be getting unsupervised internet access any time soon.

Posted by scott at 06:28 AM
October 21, 2013

Posted by scott at 09:27 AM
Fun with Texts

It's all fun and games until the other person won't answer you back. Comedians who use cruelty to make the joke work don't do much for me, and this is no exception. Still, it does show me that my wife isn't the only one who flips out completely when someone doesn't reply to their texts.

Posted by scott at 06:47 AM
Nightmare Monkeys

And now, monkeys trained to look like people, right down to wearing masks to seal the deal. I wouldn't had that my money because I'd be too busy screaming and rolling the window up. Or, better yet, not roll down the window at all.

Posted by scott at 06:43 AM
October 18, 2013
A Horror Movie, for the Rest of Us

Posted by scott at 08:20 AM
Sort of Want

It's come to this: a bacon beer milkshake. The liquor gang has had the 'sweet frou-frou drink' market all to itself for too long.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM
October 17, 2013

Posted by scott at 02:03 PM
~ Spider Brain, Spider Brain ~

New imaging techniques are allowing scientists to reconstruct ancient life forms in ever-greater detail. Plus they get to create really nifty neural diagrams of critters so old nobody's sure who, if anyone, is directly related to them.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM
October 16, 2013

For most of us, discovering a worm living in our mouth would result in frantic calls and doctor visits. This guy isn't most people. Meh. It's his mouth, it's not like I'm kissing him.

Posted by scott at 06:40 AM
October 15, 2013
Bear Grab

If all else fails just grab its tongue. See, I avoid this altogether by living in this thing they call "civilization." It greatly reduces my chance of getting eaten by a bear. Getting run over by Buffy the Cellphone Slayer? Well, there's always tradeoffs in any decision.

Posted by scott at 06:35 AM
Robot Monkey

It looks like we're getting ever-closer to a real Six Million Dollar Man. I still say we all need to fine The Guardian every time they use the word "boffin." I mean, really.

Posted by scott at 06:27 AM
October 14, 2013
Spidey Sense

Look, I'm just saying if "more prone to sexual cannibalism" is part of a personality profile, that's probably not someone I want to know.

Posted by scott at 04:11 PM
October 11, 2013
Smile for the Camera

Now, my politics says I can't condemn this, because it doesn't violate the Three Rules*. However, can I get a, "EWWWWW!!!!" from the crowd here?

* Stay out of trouble, pay your taxes, keep off my lawn.

Posted by scott at 01:44 PM
Eyebleach, Stat!

Every time I think the movie industry can't get any more self-absorbed they go and prove me wrong again. Here's to hoping the movie has an art-house sized release, because explaining to my 10 year-old why these people look funny is a job I'm not much in the mood for at the moment.

Posted by scott at 09:18 AM
Your Daily Squee

Posted by scott at 07:24 AM
Paint It, Black

It seems women have been in charge of what goes on the walls for a very, very long time. The claim is, of course, contested, and to be honest I'm not sure he really has adequately explained how this doesn't represent teenaged boys.

Posted by scott at 06:55 AM
Ski On!

It's all fun and games until you notice what's happening on the hood of that car (SFW). From what I'm reading in various comments, this sort of thing is much more common than you'd at first think.

Posted by scott at 06:47 AM
October 10, 2013

Posted by scott at 09:05 AM

Posted by scott at 06:29 AM

Samsung has unveiled a smartphone with a curved screen. Oh, and a thousand dollar price tag. While interesting, what everyone seems to be looking forward to is fold-out displays that start small enough to fit in your pocket but that can unfold into iPad (or larger) sizes. Living science fiction!

Posted by scott at 06:18 AM
October 09, 2013
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 07:03 AM
Letter to the Editor

Dad to daughter: STFU & GBTW. I'm not sure making such a big splash about what is a very private family matter is a good idea, but I do agree with the spirit of it. I can remember when a TV comedy that included an openly gay character had to be prefaced with a very stern "adults only" warning. Nowadays my daughter and I consider Modern Family one of our favorite shows. What's that? Sophia Vergara in a tight dress? Oh, hush. I'm trying to make some social commentary here!

Posted by scott at 06:42 AM
October 08, 2013
Bouncy Air

Fears that Pluto's atmosphere may freeze and precipitate onto the ground before New Horizons gets there seem to be overblown. The article also seems to imply that, while Pluto isn't really a planet in the way the eight in our solar system are, it's not really an overblown comet nucleus, either. I guess what it is will have to wait for the fly-by, and various new grants that data will need for proper analysis.

Posted by scott at 11:45 AM

Scientists have announced a nuclear fusion experiment has "broken even" for the very first time. No, it's still not putting out more total energy than it's putting in and yes, they're still saying "real" fusion is 20-50 years away, but HEY! Look at all those shiny toys!

Posted by scott at 06:32 AM
Why Not?

A pink Lamborghini, with Richard Hammond at the wheel? It's more likely than you think. 'Scuse me, just a little dusty in here, that's all.

Posted by scott at 06:28 AM
October 04, 2013
Winkie Find

A relief carved into the base of an ancient tower has allowed archeologists to date the founding of an ancient Italian city right down to the day. Bonus: the reliefs are penises that connect (ha!) the city more closely to the emperor Augustus than was previously understood.

Posted by scott at 09:57 AM
I Shall Call Them "Boobie Romeo"

Wow! Look at those cars! No, actually, I've never been accused of being subtle. How'd you guess?

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM
October 03, 2013
Mars Go Boom

What was previously thought to be a giant impact basin may in fact be a supervolcano that destroyed the Martian atmosphere.

Posted by scott at 06:43 AM
Fire Charger

Coming to a campsite near you: a phone charger that works using the excess heat of a campfire. Of course, having power doesn't mean you get a signal, as we found at our last camping trip.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM
October 02, 2013
Old Plant

The discovery of ultra-rare fossilized pollen has pushed the origin of flowering plants back 100 million years. Flowers are widely seen as having evolved as a response to dinosaur predation. So, next time you see a pretty flower on a tree, remember it got there because of the dinos!

Posted by scott at 07:02 AM
Big Ol' Bug

And now, hornets as big as the palm of your hand. And yep, they're big enough to kill people with their sting. Strangely, they don't live in Australia.

Posted by scott at 06:42 AM
October 01, 2013
Meanwhile, in Russia...

Posted by scott at 08:56 AM
Puttin' it Together

If you thought putting an F-1 car together might be pretty neat, you're right. A carbon fiber (or "fibre") gearbox sound pretty darned spiffy.

Posted by scott at 08:47 AM
~ 'Cause It's Only a Plastic Moon ~

NASA space probe Cassini has found the building blocks of plastic in Titan's atmosphere. No, I don't really know what it means either, but dude. Plastic on Titan! How cool is that?

Posted by scott at 06:48 AM