Welcome to the Infinite Hotel where you can always check in

Friday, 27 February, 2015

A breakdown of the concept of infinity, using the would-be Infinite Hotel – where there’s never any vacancy but always room for more – to explain the concept. Once the maths kicks in though, it really gets mind boggling.

My question though, why must people move from their rooms, especially in the middle of the night, why not simply place the infinite number of arriving guests, in one of infinitely available rooms? If you know the answer to that, you can see how bewildered I am by the whole (mathematical) notion of infinity.

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Investing, it’s really all a gamble though isn’t it?

Friday, 27 February, 2015

News headlines tell that stock markets across the world are, for the most part, doing well at the moment. That’s good for those who bought low I guess. Investing though, particularly in risk assets such as shares, doesn’t always appear to be as analytical, or calculated, as your financial advisor might have you believe though

The betting market in Las Vegas isn’t much different from Wall Street. Fed by rumor, speculation and greed, teams, like investments, can grow hot or cold for no good reason. Moving lines is remarkably similar to market bubbles. Walters insists that “[b]etting on a ball game is identical to betting on Wall Street.” Walters even claims that he has lost a lot of money in the markets and thinks the Wall Street “hustle” is far more dangerous than that in Las Vegas.

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If extraterrestrials invade, how much warning might there be?

Friday, 27 February, 2015

On the off chance you had been wondering about this very matter… a Slashdot discussion regarding the Earth’s distant early warning capabilities, as it were, if such a term is even applicable, and just how effective it might be:

My question is how good are we at the moment in detecting an alien ship/fleet that jumps into our solar system. Do we have radio dishes around the globe such that we can detect objects in space in all longitude and latitude degrees? I know we have dishes pointing to the skies but how far can they reach? Do we have blindspots perhaps on the poles? I also wonder if our current means, ie radio signals, are relatively easy to be compromised with our current stealth technology? To formulate it in more sci-fi terms, how large is our outer space detection grid, and what kind of time window can they give us?

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It’s all about shades of grey, even if we can’t see all of them

Friday, 27 February, 2015

Obligatory Fifty Shades of Grey mention, since everyone seems to talking about it… there might be a million shades of grey, or fifty come to that, but seemingly the human eye can only discern about thirty shades of grey:

Of course, that’s a rough estimate. Depending on the lighting conditions, surface texture, and background color, people may be able to distinguish a few more or a few less shades.

While fifty sounds like more fun, thirty is probably better than nothing…

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Timelapse footage of aquatic wildlife, quite spectacular

Thursday, 26 February, 2015

Stunning, what else to say… this timelapse footage of marine creatures, filmed by Sandro Bocci.

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Films adapted from magazine articles

Thursday, 26 February, 2015

Argo, Ben Affleck’s 2012 film about the efforts of Tony Mendez, a CIA agent, to try and smuggle a group US embassy workers out Tehran during the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis, may be the best known film of recent times to be based on a magazine article, but it’s by no means the only one.

Saturday Night Fever, The Bling Ring, The Insider, and Coyote Ugly, are among a number of features based on magazine write-ups. And a question for bonus points, how faithful do you think these adaptations are?

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Wes Anderson; A Group Exhibition, in Adelaide, South Australia

Thursday, 26 February, 2015

Wes Anderson; A Group Exhibition

It’d be fair to say I’m a fan of the work of US film director Wes Anderson, so it’s a little unfortunate that I’ll more than likely miss Wes Anderson; A Group Exhibition, unless I can get myself to Adelaide, at a point between the time the art show opens on Thursday, 5 March, through to its close on 1 April.

Lisa King is among artists whose work will be featured at the show, being held at Sugar Nightclub, Level 1, 274 Rundle Street, Adelaide.

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Idioms from languages other than English

Thursday, 26 February, 2015

Idioms. Where would we be without them? We probably use them so frequently that we’re not aware we actually are. “Add insult to injury”, “back to the drawing board”, “costs an arm and a leg”, or “kill two birds with one stone”, to reference but a few, that English language speakers commonly use.

I doubt we could go too wrong by incorporating such phrases from other languages into our vernacular though, even if their meaning may not be entirely clear, at least at first.

For starters, there’s “to buy a cat in a sack”, from German, or “to slide in on a shrimp sandwich” from Swedish, or “to jump from the cock to the donkey”, from French, although there are many more to choose from.

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Rising sea levels may see the River Thames become London Bay

Wednesday, 25 February, 2015

Image by Jeffrey Linn

If sea levels rose by forty metres, on account of melting polar ice sheets, this is what London might look like… the River Thames would form the basis of what might become London Bay.

Needless to say, London wouldn’t be the only city to change drastically, if sea levels were to rise by so much, as these maps by Jeffrey Linn illustrate.

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The spookiest place in an empty museum at night time is…

Wednesday, 25 February, 2015

A museum night guard writes about his work. If you thought the job may at times be a tad spooky, you’d be right. Imagine, after all, wandering about a large, deserted, building, in the dead of night, by yourself. All those ancient artifacts, all those ghosts possibly lingering there, lurking on the cusp of this world and theirs.

It’s the administration offices however that takes out the award as the scariest place in the complex, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, should it? It certainly doesn’t to me…

The building is strangely full of people, despite being so huge. They’re all working like oompa loompas to get everything polished and ready for the next day. But, depending on where you are, you might be quite a ways from the next person. And you end up by yourself for hours at a time. There are certain areas of the museum where I get the heebie jeebies when I walk through at night. The offices are especially creepy. On one floor of offices – every time I go up there, my hackles get raised immediately. I get the jibblies so hard when I get there, and it’s always that one spot.

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