Saturday, November 15, 2008

Your Brain Goes to Sleep (and Wakes Up) in Pieces

If you're too tired to think straight, it might be because parts of your brain are already asleep at the wheel. Scientists are challenging the belief that a specific region of the brain makes the call to hit the sack. Instead, our brains power down in stages, they say. If a certain group of cells in our brain gets fatigued, it simply shuts off.

read more | digg story

The urban art of the man who turns street objects invisible

Joshua Callaghan disguises utility boxes by pasting pictures onto them of the scenery behind, thereby creating the illusion of an uninterrupted view.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Enchanting Abandoned Theme Parks, Theaters, Schools and Pools

Enchanting Abandoned Theme Parks, Theaters, Schools and Pools: "Abandoned places are great for letting the imagination run wild. Whether they were once used for housing or work, buildings and sites which have been forgotten and allowed to fall into disrepair are fascinating glimpses into the past. Some of the most haunting abandonments, however, are those that were once used to entertain and educate - filled with vast once-vibrant gathering and learning spaces."

The Art of Can Throwing

25 Great Last Songs On An Album

And In the End: 25 Great Last Songs On An Album: "Although less and less relevant in the age of MP3s, an album’s sequencing used to be a vital part of the creative process. Important for pacing, creating a mood, and establishing a cohesive artistic statement, the order of the tracks was often mulled over as closely as the recording itself. Opening numbers have been given quite a bit of attention, especially with the now famous scene in High Fidelity where the employees of the ficticious Championship Vinyl record store debate their favorite Side 1’s, Track 1’s. We even did a similar list based on this scene here at JamsBio. The last songs of an album, however, haven’t been as widely discussed, so the editors at JamsBio have come up with some of the best final album cuts, listed chronologically. Let us know what some of your favorite closing songs are."

Photo Gallery: International Space Station

Photo Gallery: International Space Station

Google Adds Voice And Video Chat to Gmail

Google Adds Voice And Video Chat to Gmail: "ust click on the new “Video & more” menu in a Gmail chat window and select “Start video chat” or “Start voice chat.” You can switch to a full screen view or pop out the chat window and change the size and positioning as you wish. Of course, not everyone has a webcam, but even if you don’t, you can still have voice conversations alongside your email and regular chat"

25 Years Ago Today, Bill Gates Announced Windows 1.0

25 Years Ago Today, Bill Gates Announced Windows 1.0: "Two decades and a half ago today, Bill Gates unveiled Microsoft's first operating systems. Oh, it wasn't for sale yet—no, no, it's still only 1983 and we wouldn't see Windows on store shelves until 1985."

More 5 inch cockroaches expected in Florida -

More cockroaches expected in Florida: "Florida researchers say a hissing cockroach that grows as big as 5 inches inadvertently could be released in the state and, if so, would thrive.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of four species of roach readily available on the Internet to lizard owners who purchase them illegally, said Phil Hoehler, an entomologist with the University of Florida.

Roaches are a good replacement for crickets as reptile food because they are less expensive and don't smell as bad as crickets, Hoehler told the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel in a story published Sunday.

The Turkestan cockroach, lobster roach and the orange spotted roach also are potential invaders, though they have yet to be spotted, Koehler warned pest-control operators in a recent magazine article.

'This is not good news for anybody,' said Hoehler, noting where there are cockroaches, there will be escapees and Florida has the perfect climate for them."

Keith Olbermann on Prop 8

Forgetting Has Its Benefits

Forgetting Has Its Benefits - "There's an old saying that inside every 70-year-old is a 35-year-old wondering, 'What happened?'

What happened is that countless days, nights, meetings, commutes and other unremarkable events went by, well, unremarked. They didn't make a lasting impression on the brain or they were overwritten by so many similar experiences that they are hard to retrieve. In short, they've been forgotten.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Neuroscientists say forgetting is crucial to the efficient functioning of the mind, to learning, adapting and recalling more significant things.

'We focus so much on memory that forgetting has been maligned,' says Gayatri Devi, a neuro-psychiatrist and memory expert in New York City. 'But if you didn't forget, you'd recall all kinds of extraneous information from your life that would drown you in a sea of inefficiency.'"


Griffin Technology: AirCurve: "Your iPhone, that is -- and without using speakers. AirCurve is a cleverly-designed acoustic amplifier that turns your iPhone into a no-power-drain alarm clock on your nightstand, or a mini sound system that never needs batteries or adapters."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Slinky Cat Goes Down The Stairs

Why a Speeding Shark is Like a Golf Ball

Why a Speeding Shark is Like a Golf Ball: "Shortfin mako sharks can shoot through the ocean at up to 50 miles per hour (80 kilometres an hour). Now a trick that helps them to reach such speeds has been discovered – the sharks can raise their scales to create tiny wells across the surface of their skin, reducing drag like the dimples on a golf ball."

Wine may 'protect against dementia'

Wine may 'protect against dementia': "Wine may protect against dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, according to a study by Gothenburg University in Sweden.

The study, which started in 1968, has followed the drinking and lifestyle habits of 1,458 women. Women were categorised according to types of alcohol consumed and frequency of consumption.

162 of the women in the study eventually developed dementia. The results showed that within the wine drinking group there was a significantly below-average rate of dementia, whereas no such correlation was found for women who regularly drank beer or spirits."

Top 10 Useless Limbs (and Other Vestigial Organs)

Top 10 Useless Limbs (and Other Vestigial Organs)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On store shelves, stealthy shrinking of containers keeps prices from rising

On store shelves, stealthy shrinking of containers keeps prices from rising: "It is hard to spot what happened this year in the peanut butter aisles of local supermarkets.

But a careful look at the jars of Skippy on the shelves may reveal a surprise. The prices are about the same, but the jars are getting smaller."

Tennis for Two, the World's First Graphical Videogame

Tennis for Two, the World's First Graphical Videogame: "Designing the circuit board and its components took Higinbotham a few days, and building the machine took about three weeks. On October 18th, 1958, hundreds lined up to play the newly christened Tennis for Two. It used a whopping five-inch oscilloscope screen, and featured play mechanics pretty similar to 1972's Pong, though the game was viewed from the side of the net rather than an overhead vantage point."

Journey's Timeless Power Ballad "Don't Stop Believin'" Becomes First Catalog Track Ever to Reach 2 Million Mark in Digital Sales

What’s the most downloaded catalog track in iTunes history? Before you jump out your seat and guess ‘Jack Johnson’, keep in mind that a catalog track refers to a song released in the pre-digital era, but later re-released as a digital download. So any guesses? Here’s a hint: think Power Ballads. Well, it turns out that the most downloaded catalog track in iTunes history is actually “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. In fact, it’s the first catalog song to ever reach 2 Million in digital sales. Originally released in 1981, the song topped the Billboard charts at #8. The song, however, has made a modern day comeback and has become something of a pop culture phenomenon after being featured on popular TV shows such as Laguna Beach, and more famously on The Sopranos. In fact, after the song was featured on the last episode of The Sopranos, sales of the song on iTunes increased by over 428% in just 3 days. SoundScan has the full scoop over here. And below, check out the final scene from The Sopranos.

Flat bulb

'flat bulb' is designed by korean designer joonhuyn kim. unlike ordinary bulbs its volume is 1/3 smaller, reducing the cost of packaging and transport. its slim shape allows bulbs to be easily stacked and prevents breakage as it does not roll. his work was on display as part of 100% design tokyo.

Swedish Dance Bands From the 70's

Marine census discovers more than 200 new species

Marine census discovers more than 200 new species: "Scientists have discovered more than 200 new marine species, including giant sea stars, during work on the first global marine-life census. They have also documented novel fish behaviours, such as the deep-sea diving habits of the great white shark, and have revealed new ocean habitats."

Healthy people may benefit from statins too

Healthy people may benefit from statins too: "In results from an eagerly anticipated study that could dramatically change the treatment of cardiovascular disease, researchers have found that statin drugs -- now given to millions of people with high cholesterol -- can halve the risk of heart attacks and stroke in seemingly healthy patients as well.

The study of nearly 18,000 people with normal cholesterol found that the drugs, already among the most widely prescribed in the country, also lowered the risk of death from heart disease by 20%, suggesting that millions more people should be put on a daily regimen."

"Star Wars" - an a capella tribute to John Williams

The power of propaganda: wartime posters

The power of propaganda: wartime posters

America's First Transgender Mayor

ABC News: America's First Transgender Mayor: "The first time Stu Rasmussen was elected mayor of Silverton, Ore., he wore shirts and pants. This time around, after a landslide victory, he will be stepping into office donning a dress and makeup."

50 Strange Buildings of the World

50 Strange Buildings of the World