November 08, 2011
Best optical illusion ever?
I won't argue.
Note that it's not an animated GIF; whatever appears to be happening on the screen is, in fact, happening inside your head.
Gives pause for thought about whether there is, in fact, a world outside the one each of us creates for ourselves.
"Designed for archery. Plaited straw with synthetic bands."
83 cm Ø x 14 cm thick; weight 8.3 kg.
€89 ("stand and score-card not included").
When chipset factories resemble chipsets
Above, an aerial photo of flooded factories in Pathum Thani Province outside Bangkok taken last month.
The picture appeared in yesterday's New York Times.
I was struck by by how much the pattern of buildings resembles that of computer chipsets on motherboards.
Copper Hot Water Bottle
Hammered waxed copper with brass cap.
Oval 29.5 x 21 cm; height 12 cm (11.6" x 8.3"; 4.7" H).
Weighs 1 kg (2.2 lbs.).
BehindTheMedspeak: The No-Bars People of West Virginia
While most Americans complain when they can't get a cellphone signal, there are a few who seek out places where this is the norm.
Below, excerpts from the BBC's September 12, 2011 story about WiFi refugees hiding out in the mountains of West Virginia.
Dozens of Americans who claim to have been made ill by wi-fi and mobile phones have flocked to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia.
There are five billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and advances in wireless technology make it increasingly difficult to escape the influence of mobile devices.
But while most Americans seem to embrace continuous connectivity, some believe it's making them physically ill.
An estimated 5% of Americans... believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment.
Symptoms range from acute headaches, skin burning, muscle twitching and chronic pain.
Green Bank is part of the US Radio Quiet Zone [below],
where wireless is banned across 13,000 sq miles (33,000 sq km) to prevent transmissions interfering with a number of radio telescopes in the area.
The largest is owned by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and enables scientists to listen to low-level signals from different places in the universe.
Others are operated by the US military and are a critical part of the government's spy network.As a result of the radio blackout, the Quiet Zone has become a haven for people... desperate to get away from wireless technology.
But EHS is not medically recognised in the US.
The World Health Organization, while acknowledging that the symptoms are genuine and can be severe, says: "EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF (electromagnetic field) exposure.
Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem."
However, new research by scientists at Louisiana State University and published by the International Journal of Neuroscience, claims to show that EHS can be caused by low frequency electromagnetic fields found in the environment.
"The study provides direct evidence that linking human symptoms with environmental factors, in this case EMF," says Dr Andrew Marino, a neurology professor who led the study.
"It's a watershed in that regard. There have been no previous studies that scientifically assess whether electromagnetic fields in the environment could produce human symptoms. And the symptoms matter because they are the first steps that show how EMFs produce human disease."
Sweden is currently the only country that recognizes EHS as a real syndrome.
Shredder Guitar Cheese Grater
Red or Black heavy metal (stainless steel).
[via Crooked Brains]
World's largest opal matrix
It was recently discovered in the outback opal fields of South Australia.
It weighs 55,000 carats and measures 30cm x 15-20cm x 4cm.
It is set for auction in the UK, valued at just over one million dollars.
[via Stuart Hughes]
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
Hint: Larger than a bread box.