Asteroid Discoveries 1980-Present

Where I work, there is an ongoing debate about the relative merits of actual measurements and statistical modeling.  Measurements tell you what’s _actually_ going on in reality, but in terms of time and money, it’s expensive.  Statistical modeling is faster and cheaper, but less accurately describes what’s _actually_ going on in reality.

I think this video demonstrates one instance of a seamless blend of measurements and modeling.

[…] asteroids that were discovered from 1980 to 2010 appear in the sequence as they were discovered.

Note that a new pattern emerges in 2010,

with discovery zones in a line perpendicular to the Sun-Earth vector. These new observations are the result of the WISE (Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer) which is a space mission that’s tasked with imaging the entire sky in infrared wavelengths.

[via John Farrier @ Neatorama]


August 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.


Pound it.

[via EPICponyz]

August 28, 2010. Tags: , , , . Funny. Leave a comment.

Don’t Get Assassinated

When I tell my wife to be careful, it’s almost automatic. Thinking about it more, I think I seek to communicate the following things:

  • Drive defensively
  • Pay attention on the road
  • Keep your phone about
  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended

These days, people are saying “be careful” to Julian Assange at every opportunity. Of course, I’m talking about the head of WikiLeaks. One of the most recent examples of this commen was during a TED talk a few weeks ago just after the infamous Afghanistan leaks.

Marshal Brain from How Stuff Works weighs in:

Clearly Assange is making waves. He runs a site that exposes secrets kept by powerful people, and he is unlikely to stop exposing those secrets.  […]

What is the next logical step in a chain of escalation? In cases like this, where a person is doing something that powerful people do not like, the next step can be assassination. It is the ultimate way to silence someone. There is no judge or jury, and there is no way to reverse it.

When people tell Assange be careful, they do so with pure earnestness in their eyes. They’re almost pleading. They of course, mean something entirely different than when they say the same words to their spouses. They seek to communicate:

  • Check under your car from bombs
  • Stay away from windows
  • Use a pseudonym at hotels
  • Travel with accessible weapons
  • Be very wary of airplanes
  • Know who prepared your food

August 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Here pigpigpigpig

[via Rats Off!]

August 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

You Tell Me

[via Nedroid]

August 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.

Tomato School

Tomatoes may be ubiquitous today, but they’ve only been a part of Italian cuisine since the 1870s.

There’s this guy see, David Gentilcore. He’s a tomato scholar. He says that Italians didn’t even like tomatoes at first. They saw them as cold and moist and since they grew on the ground they were peasant food. In fact,

In Italy, up until the 1950s, there was a large part of the country, even where they produce tomatoes, where they wouldn’t eat the stuff.

Obviously all that changed. Now,

There’s a demand to eat tomatoes year round. These make money. In July, August, and September, the problem is tomatoes are a cutthroat business. If it weren’t for subsidies, I don’t know what farmers would do. In winter, it’s more of a big business. The Mafia has infiltrated the distribution, especially in the shipping or trucking.

Tomatoes in Winter? Fuhgeddaboudit.

[Devra First @ Boston Globe via The Browser]

[image via befoodled]

August 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.


[via gconnect]

August 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Funny. Leave a comment.

All Rescue and no Play

[via Dueling Analogs]

August 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.

The Future According to Google

I care more about what Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt says about the future than the recently-batty-but-still-very-famous futurist Ray Kurzweil does.

For example, Schmidt thinks that

Every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites.

It’s not all bad news for your unborn grand-kids. More Shmidt:

‘One idea is that more and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type.’

‘I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions, they want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.’

Let’s say you’re walking down the street. Because of the info Google has collected about you, ‘we know roughly who you are, roughly what you care about, roughly who your friends are.’ Google also knows, to within a foot, where you are. Mr. Schmidt leaves it to a listener to imagine the possibilities: If you need milk and there’s a place nearby to get milk, Google will remind you to get milk. It will tell you a store ahead has a collection of horse-racing posters, that a 19th-century murder you’ve been reading about took place on the next block.

Says Mr. Schmidt, a generation of powerful handheld devices is just around the corner that will be adept at surprising you with information that you didn’t know you wanted to know.

[Holman W. Jenkins Jr. @ the Wall Street Journal via The Browser]

[image via buzzpirates]

August 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.


[via the Daily What]

August 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

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