Monday, January 26, 2009

I used to really be into the outrageously magnificent sounds of G√ľnther. Then Mark Gormley came along and showed me what real music was all about. His absolute awesomeness can't easily be put into words. Thankfully, it can very easily be put into videos. The sheer, unbridled talent of this amazing singer/songwriter will spoil you for his music forever. And he's Canadian, so he's got that going for him too!

For those people searching for more of Mark Gormley's hard rocking sounds, YouTube's got it all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I've only linked to the Boston Globe's The Big Picture once before, when they had amazing pictures of Jupiter. Kottke talks about this feature a lot, and for good reason: the pictures in these sets, without exception, are gorgeous and stirring, And as I'm a huge lover of good photography, I should probably link to this more often.

The set that finally gets a second link is The Next President of the United States, on the eve of his inauguration. These are great photos and exciting times.
Here's a catchy classic from the Muppet Show. You'll be singing it in your head all day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rusting aluminum? PopSci explains the science.
Australia freestyle motocross champion Robbie Maddison performs a crazy stunt on New Years Eve 2008 in Vegas, jumping his bike 96 feet onto a replica of the Arc de Triomphe, and coming back down safely following a 40 foot drop. He makes it look so easy, but it blows my mind every time I watch it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I once went to an astronomy display and saw a model of the Big Dipper. The stars aren't all on the same plane, and are, in fact, all different distances from us. By rotating the display you could really get a picture of how these stars might look like the Big Dipper to us, but it's all just an illusion based on perspective.

Side View Generator works along these same lines. By moving parts of letters out of a common plane, one word might become a different word when rotated. A very interesting idea, if a little hard to explain.
G33k Lite has a short slideshow of 16 pictures called Perception. It's in the same vein as those photos your friends took in Italy where they're holding up (or pushing down) the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And after looking through the photos, it makes me wonder why I don't try to take more pictures like that.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some crows in Japan have found a new way to open hard-shelled nuts. I'm not usually so much about the funny animal videos, but I have a soft spot for birds and this is pretty darn cute.

But this level of creativity shouldn't really come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows birds. I had a flock of "pet" magpies while I was in university who would wait for me to bring them bread on my way to class, and I just recently learned there are a number of birds who've learned how to activate the photo sensors on automatic doors and are living in a local Home Depot for the winter.
Rate your colour sensitivity with this test that asks you to arrange four sets of 22 colour chips in the proper sequence. I got 100% on my first try, but I had to take frequent breaks and it took me more than an hour to finish.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here is a great video showing a talented cartoonist drawing a number of "dirty" pictures. Very funny and very SFW.
Just Hear It is a very interesting and simple site that asks you to type in the name of any song, which it will then play. It' s currently in a private beta, but users can still enter songs and create playlists. I didn't do extensive testing, but I wasn't able to stump it.

Now, if we only still had access to Pandora in Canada....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Here's a cool video from showing an aluminum block falling inside an MRI.

This is an example of the Lorenz Force. There's some discussion in the comments, but essentially the MRI creates an electric charge in the aluminum block (which is conductive but non-magnetic), which in turn creates a magnetic field, which interacts with the magnetic field in the MRI. I got a magnetic experiment kit from Lee Valley for Christmas last year which demonstrated the same effect using a magnetic sphere and a piece of copper tubing. It's eerie!
(Via Ovablastic)
Mark your calendars: Cult Case lists seven great meteor showers to watch in 2009, including dates, frequency, parent comet, and some pretty pictures. They go into some pretty good detail, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

If you're looking for blog ideas, Prompt-a-Day will provide you with a daily writing topic and suggested amount of time to spend on it. Vox was doing this for a while, and I thought it was a great idea. Too bad I'm not posting on Vox.
Landscape + Urbanism Blog has a picture of an explosion that took place after someone that didn't check for underground pipelines ruptured a high-pressure gas pipe with an automated post hol digger. The scale of this is amazing!

Monday, January 12, 2009

If you're at all confused about familial relationships, like I am, then you'll appreciate this chart showing how cousins are related. Surprise everyone at your next family reunion!
Here's a map showing just how big Africa really is.
The Eyeballing Game has you trying to construct shapes and bisect angles just by eyeballing it.Great fun, especially for geeks like me who think they have a good eye for this sort of thing.

Friday, September 05, 2008

It appears that in early 2007, researchers at the University of Alberta found that a compound called dichloroacetate, or DCA, kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. DCA is common, inexpensive, non-toxic, and available at chemistry stores. CTV covered this story in January 2007.

The catch is that DCA isn't patented, so drug companies can't make any money off it. And this makes them reluctant to invest in research, leaving it to universities and private labs. I'm not much for the conspiracy theory, but it is interesting to ask why this hasn't gotten more media play.
(Via Health Salon)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A very cute picture of a spider on a frog on a turtle. You may also wish to read the children's story that sprang from this picture, or the shorter, and much better, account of the rescue.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This has been around for a while, but it can't be overstated that Johnny Lee is a freaking genius. What he's accomplished with the Wii remote in this video is mind blowing. He has a few more interesting projects on his website at

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

YouTube user Levinater25 found what appeared to be a glitch in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 game, allowing Tiger to chip a shot into the hole while standing on water. He dubbed this the "Jesus shot".

In a brilliant marketing move, EA Sports made a video response to Levinator25, letting him know that it wasn't a glitch after all.

The thing to note about this isn't so much EA's video, which is awesome, but the web-savviness of the company. Responding to Levinator25's video this way was a great piece of damage control, showed the company was not going to be heavy-handed toward its users, and practically ensured the video would go viral, creating a small but effective marketing phenomenon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

APOD has a picture of the earth during a solar eclipse, as seen from the Mir space station.