How close can you get to the sun without dying?

Surprisingly close.

The sun is about 93 million miles away from Earth, and if we think of that distance as a football field, a person starting at one end zone could get about 95 yards before burning up.

That equates to about 3 million miles before you go poof.

[Alessandra Calderin @ Popular Science via John Farrier @ Neatorama]

[photo via NYT]
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July 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.

Layin’ Tracks

This is a bit of a slow burn, but quite interesting and hypnotizing if you have the interest.

A train that lays train tracks:

[via Miss Cellania @ Neatorama]

July 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

3 Billion insects overhead Right Now.

Well, not exactly. According to measurements made by a British scientist, there are 3 billion bugs overhead:

  • In a square kilometer
  • In Britain
  • Over the course of a month
  • During Summer

I did some math and figured that directly over a square foot over the course of a day, there’s about 9 insects. Maybe just a few more than that since we’re closer to the equator. Still, fun to think about.

Watch this excellent animation from NPR for details and delight.

[NPR via Marshall Brain @ How Stuff Works]

July 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.

S-C-O-M-B-E-R-D-A-E

[via The Internet According to Adrian]

July 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Free Money

The premise:

“Poor are poor because, by definition, they don’t have money. So why don’t aid agencies just give them money, instead of pursuing expensive, inefficient schemes to change living conditions?”

Maybe.

Click to read the Boston Globe piece.

Personal thoughts: seems to me that investment in education and infrastructure (thinking about the Guatemalan Cooperation for Education here) are more integral to success than doling out hard cash to the extremely poor… Either way, different flavors of wealth redistribution (either through NGOs, traditional aide programs, or cash handouts) seem to be similar yet divergent pathways towards poverty remediation. I contend that different pathways are required for different circumstances.

In my hood for example, if you hand extremely poor folk cash, they’ll likely go on a short-term drug binge with it with no thoughts on their own long-term betterment. On the other hand, if you provide them with shelter, continuing education, and a sense of self-worth, they just might learn to fend for themselves. The infrastructure required for success is theoretically already in place as long as you don’t count the current state of most major Durham roads.

Thoughts?

[Drake Bennett @ the Boston Globe via The Browser]

July 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 3 comments.

Ibex grants difficult interview.

[via The Daily What]

July 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Cats, dogs, their masters.

The rainbow behind the dog and its master: It’s full on. Get more here.

[via FUCK YEAH FUNNY THINGS]

July 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.

Jumper colons: the future of sentences.

“I would like to hypothesize that a new form of colon has emerged. From the democratic bowels of the Internet, an unknown pair of beady black eyes is staring out at us.”

“For grammarians, it’s a dependent clause + colon + just about anything, incorporating any and all elements of the other four colons, yet differing crucially in that its pre-colon segment is always a dependent clause.

(Yikes.)

For everyone else: its usefulness lies in that it lifts you up and into a sentence you never thought you’d be reading by giving you a compact little nugget of information prior to the colon and leaving you on the hook for whatever comes thereafter, often rambling on until the reader has exhausted his/her theoretical lung capacity and can continue to read no longer.

(Breathe.)

See how fast that goes?”

Read more: here.

[Conor J. Dillon @ the Millions via The Browser]

July 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 4 comments.

The old numbered pig trick, eh?

[via The Daily What]

July 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.

“introverts invented blogging. extroverts ruined it.”

After expressing my disgust at an excessively verbose and narcissistic blog that I won’t link to here, my wife dropped knowledge:

“introverts invented blogging.  extroverts ruined it.”

I unfollowed that blog and resolved to be spare with my language and links.

For more of Erin’s wit and wisdom, look no further.

July 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Smarts. 1 comment.

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