A round up of recent, and most important, scientific discoveries

Thursday, 9 April, 2015

A couple of scientific breakthroughs came to light last week, Wednesday, 1 April, as it happened. Given their significance, I thought I’d quickly highlight them.

First up, computations by some super computers, over what seems like an extended period, have revealed the meaning of life. I kept thinking the result of these calculations seemed familar. But that must have been on account of the media coverage the story would have received.

According to inside sources the answer given by the computer was “42”. What this means will be announced later according to a research representative.

Also, scientists at CERN discerned that the force, as seen throughout the “Star Wars” films, is in fact very real, and not, as previously thought, the stuff of science fiction:

Though four fundamental forces – the strong force, the weak force, the electromagnetic force and gravity – have been well documented and confirmed in experiments over the years, CERN announced today the first unequivocal evidence for the Force. “Very impressive, this result is,” said a diminutive green spokesperson for the laboratory.

This I’ve long suspected. No, scrub that, known, but dared not discuss. Until now. For instance, there’s been many times I’ve uttered words like “you don’t want to sell me death sticks, you want to go home and rethink your life”, and whoever I was talking has taken off, vanished.

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Watching a CD shatter, very slowly, very slowly indeed

Thursday, 2 April, 2015

What happens if you spin a CD disc at 28,000 revolutions per minute, while filming at frame per second (fps) rates, that vary from 28,500, up to a notch over 170,000? Well, there’s only one way to find out. By the way, a four second video, filmed at 170,000 fps, would take seven and a half hours to replay in full.

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Some elegant insults… for a more civilised age, via Martin Luther

Monday, 30 March, 2015

Indeed, gibes for a civilised age, sort of… some of more crass sentences penned by Martin Luther, priest, theology professor, and an initiator of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. Here’s one to get started:

You are an extraordinary creature, being neither God nor man. Perhaps you are the devil himself.

Ouch. You ought to know, by the way, that Luther’s… taunts have a certain context.

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This is what happens when Daleks attempt to relax

Tuesday, 24 March, 2015

I guess if you’re a Dalek up against a foe like Doctor Who, you’d need a technique, or five, for relaxing after a hard day’s battle. And in what is surely a rare goodwill gesture, our favourite extraterrestrial mutant cyborgs have adapted these methods especially for humans.

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The head mounted pinhole camera for taking selfies back in the day

Tuesday, 3 March, 2015

Pinhole selfie camera, by Ignas Kutavicius

People who take selfies, especially those who do so often, have much to be thankful for. Consider digital and smartphone cameras, for starters. And where, it must be asked, would we be without selfie sticks?

But what if you had a hankering for taking photos of yourself in the early days of photography, when the photographic process was far slower, and more cumbersome, than it is today? How could you possibly obtain an image of yourself, to post on an early twentieth century version of Instagram, for example?

Lithuanian photographer Ignas Kutavicius gave the problem some thought, and devised a pinhole camera that is attached to a mount that the selfie photo taker fits on their head, as if they were wearing a hat, and as you can see, the resulting images aren’t half bad either.

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Was Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack from “Titanic” a time traveller?

Monday, 2 March, 2015

Last week I linked to a theory that popular TV show character Homer Simpson has been in a coma for decades, this week comes an idea, by way of a fan, that Jack, who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, in James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic, was a time traveller, on a mission to help Rose (Kate Winslet).

He mentions fishing at Lake Wissota – a man-made lake that was built in 1917, five years after the Titanic sank.

What can I say? You’ll never see the story the same way again…

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There’s the Oscars, then there’s the Oscars of everything else

Tuesday, 24 February, 2015

Perhaps the scope of the Oscars, or Academy Awards, ought to be expanded. We’re talking categories such as most kissing, most death, most time, most music, most running, most cast, most crew, among many other items.

While it is unlikely such awards will be incorporated into this year’s event, The Wall Street Journal has prepared a list of winners nonetheless.

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Homer’s in a coma, but my rhyme slips, because I’ve given a tip

Monday, 23 February, 2015

Although denied by one of the show’s producers, the notion that Homer Simpson, of long running TV show The Simpsons, has been been in a coma for some twenty plus years, as advanced by Reddit member Hardtopickaname, remains compelling.

In other words the entire show has played out in Homer’s mind, since going into, and apparently not recovering from, a coma, during the fourth series:

This is clearly Homer’s imagination running wild. With no real world restrictions, Homer’s mind is able to dream up scenarios of him and his family in fantasies involving him winning a Grammy, his father fighting his boss for buried WW2 treasure, his wife getting breast implants, his infant daughter saving him from drowning, etc. The massive amounts of celebrity appearances are easily explained as well. People in comas can sometime hear what people in the same room are saying. While Homer wouldn’t physically react, his mind processes that information and includes it in his dreams.

Perhaps if it is ever decided to cease producing the show, the truth will finally, maybe, come forth, though I suspect any such grand finale would be… inconclusive, to say the least.

Oh, but look, Homer and coma rhyme, what further proof do we need?

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There are millions of pigeons, and each of them has a story

Thursday, 19 February, 2015

There are about a bajillion pigeons in cities across the world, and they each, it would seem, have a story to tell. At least that’s the case for columbidae residing in London it seems…

Via Hypnophant.

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Living life in reverse gear

Tuesday, 3 February, 2015

You’d think that what you were seeing here was footage being played backwards, but no, that’s not the case, we are told…

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