Stanley Kubrick in the red

Thursday, 27 November, 2014

Red, one colour, many facets, something that late US film director Stanley Kubrick was not oblivious to.

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Instant exercise… just add water?

Thursday, 27 November, 2014

I think, despite the seeming ease and convenience that… exercise in a bottle – a metabolism stimulating enzyme that can be ingested in drink form – offers, I prefer to continue doing things the hard way. That’s just me mind you.

The world’s biggest food company, known for KitKat candy bars and Nespresso capsules, says it has identified how an enzyme in charge of regulating metabolism can be stimulated by a compound called C13, a potential first step in developing a way to mimic the fat-burning effect of exercise. The findings were published in the science journal Chemistry & Biology in July.

Is an endorphin rush on offer here as well?

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When writing job applications becomes a job… an unpaid job

Thursday, 27 November, 2014

Writers beware, when applying for work, seems to be the lesson here… you may be providing a prospective employer with unpaid copy with the applications you make:

But I am a job candidate in a buyer’s market, where the buyers are far less interested in what I’ve produced for others than in what I can produce for them. And so I’ve produced more than 30,000 words of original and highly job-specific material without pay in an effort to prove myself a capable and good sport to the handful of companies that have reached back out to me from the black hole of resume inboxes to give me a chance.

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The Harappan Civilization… war free for two thousand years?

Thursday, 27 November, 2014

The people of the Indus Valley Civilization, or the Harappan Civilization, located in the region where India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are today, three to five thousand years ago, lived for near on two thousand years without taking up armed conflict, or going to war with themselves or their neighbours

Archaeologists have long wondered whether the Harappan civilization could actually have thrived for roughly 2,000 years without any major wars or leadership cults. Obviously people had conflicts, sometimes with deadly results – graves reveal ample skull injuries caused by blows to the head. But there is no evidence that any Harappan city was ever burned, besieged by an army, or taken over by force from within. Sifting through the archaeological layers of these cities, scientists find no layers of ash that would suggest the city had been burned down, and no signs of mass destruction. There are no enormous caches of weapons, and not even any art representing warfare.

I think we could learn a thing or two from these people, don’t you?

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Dr Mann’s incredible “Interstellar” story by Christopher Nolan

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Long story short, without giving away too much in the way of spoilers I hope, stop reading now if that might be a problem though, Christopher Nolan’s last film Interstellar tells the story of a group of astronauts who set off from Earth, to find out how three earlier missions to three seemingly Earth like planets, went.

Their travels take them to the world that a colleague, Dr Mann, played by Matt Damon, was sent to. In the film, Mann’s experiences on this planet after he arrived there are really only hinted at. Working with Nolan himself, US comic book artist Sean Gordon Murphy now tells the story.

Tip: click the right and left sides of your monitor to scroll through the pages. You may also need to use your browser’s zoom feature too see things clearly.

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The midlife crisis… analysed

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

The midlife crisis exists, the midlife crisis does not exist, the midlife crisis does exists… here’s the latest in a long line of thinking on the subject:

Long ago, when I was 30 and he was 66, the late Donald Richie, the greatest writer I have known, told me: “Midlife crisis begins sometime in your 40s, when you look at your life and think, Is this all? And it ends about 10 years later, when you look at your life again and think, Actually, this is pretty good.”

Then I thought, well if you didn’t say have that much to begin with, how could you ask “is this all” later on? I think somehow though you may come back to that same feeling of emptiness, if for other, obvious, reasons.

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Would you believe Kickstarter might put a probe on the Moon?

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Is there anything that Kickstarter doesn’t do? The idea behind Lunar Mission One is to send a probe to the Moon that will bury a time capsule, containing a record of life on Earth.

It’s not entirely about preserving memories though, in drilling below the Lunar surface to place the capsule, the probe will also extract rock, offering scientists access to materials they’ve not previously had an opportunity to study.

We’re going to use pioneering technology to drill down to a depth of at least 20m – 10 times deeper than has ever been drilled before – and potentially as deep as 100m. By doing this, we will access lunar rock dating back up to 4.5 billion years to discover the geological composition of the Moon, the ancient relationship it shares with our planet and the effects of asteroid bombardment. Ultimately, the project will improve scientific understanding of the early solar system, the formation of our planet and the Moon, and the conditions that initiated life on Earth.

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A list of people who have disappeared mysteriously

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Harold Holt was Australia’s seventeenth Prime Minister until he disappeared, presumed drowned, on 17 December 1967, while swimming at Cheviot Beach, south of Melbourne, across Port Phillip Bay. Despite one of the largest ever search operations in Australian history, no sign was ever found of him.

He is but one person on a long list of people who have vanished under mysterious circumstances over the centuries. In some cases it was eventually learned what became of some people, but the fate of many remains unknown.

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On folding up a world record paper airplane

Tuesday, 25 November, 2014

Because, when you build paper aeroplanes, you should strive to build the best paper aeroplanes.

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How many satellites are in Earth orbit? Short answer, a lot

Tuesday, 25 November, 2014

We all know that there are any number of satellites circling overhead, going about their trek around the Earth, as we go spinning our way through the cosmos. Some are active, some stopped functioning decades ago. Some are small, while others, such as the International Space Station, are larger.

But did you have any idea just how crowded that space above our heads is? Here’s hoping the laws of celestial mechanics continue to keep on doing what they’ve been doing so far…

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