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Toasters are Coming. Tarantara!

Toasters are Coming. Tarantara!

If computer scientist Mikko Hypponen is correct, we could soon hear our appliances loudly saying, “let the toasters bray, tarantara, tarantara”. He is not kidding. If you doubt household appliance manufacturers will soon be adding inter connectivity, then you really ought to watch this video.

Good Vibrations from Africa’s Aquifers

Good Vibrations from Africa’s Aquifers

It does not rain that often in parts of Africa where water poverty is endemic. When it does, the dry dust has first share. On slopes, the water trickles down in search of rivers that lead eventually to the sea. On flatlands, it filters through rock and sand until it finds an aquifer or cave.

Deeper Secrets of Jaffa Cakes

Deeper Secrets of Jaffa Cakes

McVities have always called them Jaffa Cakes. Some say they are Britain’s greatest contribution since the steam engine. Dave Edmonds reminded us of the dark days of 1991, when the tax authority wanted them reclassified as biscuits. For some reason they taxed chocolate biscuits, but not cakes.

A Mammoth Task Still Lies Ahead

A Mammoth Task Still Lies Ahead

We gather that the Woolly Mammoth project is still on the go. However, the BBC cautions against claims that they are on the verge of de-extinction in two years’ time. Helen Pilcher thinks it could be decades before surrogate elephants grow long, luscious locks, lay down sumo-wrestler-sized rolls of body fat, and other characteristics

Adrift Across the North Pole

Adrift Across the North Pole

Whereas the South Pole lies on a continental land mass, its northern cousin comprises constantly shifting sea-ice two to three meters thick. The transpolar drift stream is largely in control of this, and the climate. Various people have had a crack at exploring the Arctic, and many lost fine ships to the ice.

Zealandia Takes on ‘Down Under’

Zealandia Takes on ‘Down Under’

In the late 18th Century, geographers declared South and North America separate continents. Since then, we have lumped along with there being seven in all. As the average British school kid suspects, these include Asia, South America, North America, Africa, Europe, Antarctica, and Australia.

Psychology of the British Queue

Psychology of the British Queue

Queues are a strangely British habit, although we did spread them throughout the Empire under Good Queen Vic. Follow this link if you want to know why they spell so funny. Auger is inclined to favour Dave Null’s explanation.

Tales of One Hundred and Four Satellites

Tales of One Hundred and Four Satellites

When 1,001 Nights emerged in the Islamic Golden Age, the world was a place where magic had its place. Pretty much the same was true when the compendium arrived in the west as The Arabian Nights with the naughty bits intact.

Crisis at Oroville Dam, California

Crisis at Oroville Dam, California

The Oroville earth-fill embankment dam has a wall height of 770 feet, and is just over a mile across. The storage capacity is 77,6 million cubic yards. By comparison, Britain’s largest the Kielder Reservoir holds only 5.3. When Oroville Dam is full, the water flows over the spillway into the Feather River far below.

Jeff Hancock’s World Sans Internet

Jeff Hancock’s World Sans Internet

Jeff Hancock is Professor of Communication at Stanford. His particular interest is how people deceive with technology. In the pre-2008 era, Prof Jeff challenged his students to stay off the internet for 48 hours, and then describe the effect this had on them.

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