We may live in the past of a parallel universe… heavy

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

I’m soon about to disappear for a few week’s break and I guess, after all the cake and watermelon, I’m going to need something to contemplate over the holidays… this sounds like it might fit the bill… the notion that we may live in the past of a parallel universe:

Although the model is crude, and does not incorporate either quantum mechanics or general relativity, its potential implications are vast. If it holds true for our actual universe, then the big bang could no longer be considered a cosmic beginning but rather only a phase in an effectively timeless and eternal universe. More prosaically, a two-branched arrow of time would lead to curious incongruities for observers on opposite sides. “This two-futures situation would exhibit a single, chaotic past in both directions, meaning that there would be essentially two universes, one on either side of this central state,” Barbour says. “If they were complicated enough, both sides could sustain observers who would perceive time going in opposite directions. Any intelligent beings there would define their arrow of time as moving away from this central state. They would think we now live in their deepest past.”

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The feed lots of Texas, but what’s with the colours?

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

Artwork by Mishka Henner

Feedlots is an intriguing collection of works by Manchester based artist Mishka Henner, assembled from satellite photos of cattle feed yards, being the places where livestock are sent prior to slaughter. What to make of those coloured, would they be liquids, accumulating at the lower right hand corner of the image then?

Via Kottke.

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If you only make one film, may it be considered excellent

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

The list of filmmakers who only ever made one movie is probably as long as the reasons why said filmmakers chose not to pursue careers as directors. For some it wasn’t because their efforts were poorly received, at least not the twelve directors whose work is considered excellent by A.V. Club writers.

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The work of collage artist Tristesse Seeliger

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

Artwork by Tristesse Seeliger

Vancouver based artist Tristesse Seeliger creates collages using historical maps sourced from the Geological Survey of Canada.

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Zero waste comes about through one hundred percent effort

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

I was speaking to someone recently who is trying make their home a zero waste house, which in essence is about almost eliminating household refuse through reuse and recycling, while also reducing consumption that gives rise to waste in the first place, being a few of the “five Rs” that I first read about at Zero Waste Home.

If this is the sort of thing you’re looking at as a project or resolution for the new year, then this guide to running a zero waste home is worth looking at. While eliminating rubbish or waste is certainly possible, it takes some planning though.

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Movies set in space, take a bow

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

Set to the music from the Interstellar soundtrack, “Mountains” by Hans Zimmer, and the words of Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”, recited by Anthony Hopkins, Max Shishkin has produced an impressive tribute to movies set in space.

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An account of a summer holiday in North Korea

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

As a holiday destination, North Korea is not entirely out of the question, but it is a place that few end up giving much thought to, at least in the West that is. If you’re prepared however to complete the appropriate paperwork, and adhere to designated itineraries, you may find travel to North Korea enjoyable.

This walk was one of a handful of moments that felt very unscripted. Our guides were noticeably more tense, and were careful to keep the group together. Walking along bustling sidewalks for 45-minutes was fascinating, and we received much more attention than we had previously. Kids waved and screamed hello at us, and compared to any other place I saw in North Korea, the adults were curious, warm, and welcoming. Wonsan seemed gritty and raucous compared to the orderly capital, with a smattering of street hawkers selling a modest selection of food and clothing along the sidewalk. We were a long way from Pyongyang.

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Get your catamaran running, get out on Lake Munmorah

Monday, 15 December, 2014

Despite the amount of time I’ve spent in the proximity of the lakes, Budgewoi and Munmorah especially, on the NSW Central Coast, I’ve never been out on them. Catamarans, as seen this in this Budgewoi Sailing Club footage, filmed by Jason Mead, look like a mighty fine way however to spend time on the water.

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How many days in a month? Simple mathematics will suffice

Monday, 15 December, 2014

January has how many days? What about June? If rhymes and memory techniques can’t help you, maybe this mathematical formula, devised by Curtis McEnroe, will.

What we need here is basically a piece-wise function, but that’s just no fun. This got me thinking of other ways to use a part of a function only over a certain domain. I figured the easiest way to do this would be to find an expression equal to 1 over the desired domain and 0 otherwise. Multiplying a term by this expression will result in the term being cancelled out outside its domain. I’ve called this “masking,” since it involves creating a sort of bit-mask.

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The winner of traffic light pong gets to cross the road

Monday, 15 December, 2014

Pedestrians in the German city of Hildesheim can now play a variation of video game Pong, while waiting to cross the street at certain traffic signal controlled road crossings. All you need is someone on the other side of the street to take on. So, do people still get around to crossing streets in Hildesheim any more?

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