idea.improv

Funny Visualizations of Your Favorite Songs

Posted in funny by R Bucao on February 18, 2010

[more graphs on The Huffington Post]

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Herring Communicate By Passing Gas

Posted in funny by R Bucao on February 12, 2010

Herring Arguments: Smelly

It was found that herring talk to each other via underwater sounds created by bubbles of air streaming from their, uh, backends. The term for the behavior? Fast Repetitive Ticks (FRTs, for short).

Other bizarre scientific studies can be found here.

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22 (Very) Addictive Flash Games

Posted in timewaster by R Bucao on February 11, 2010

Kongai. Very addictive.

I really don’t think much about flash games. For one, I have to go online just to get a hack at them. For another, I still need a browser to play.

Boy, was I in for a surprise. Needless to say, these games changed my mind. Have a go at Kongai or Dark Base and you’ll know what I mean.

[22 Flash Games Worth Getting Addicted To via Maximum PC]

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50 Great Open Courseware Collections Online

Posted in education by R Bucao on February 10, 2010

Right at your fingertips.

Open courseware have really gone mainstream, what with this easy top 50 list. If you’re still wondering how all this makes sense, scoot on over now and get a glimpse at one of the most innovative concepts in education.

[Top 50 University Open Courseware Collections]

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Why Aliens Aren’t Among Us

Posted in interesting by R Bucao on February 10, 2010

Night Sky from NASA

Geoffrey Miller’s analysis on why we haven’t met any aliens seems far-out, but it makes sense once you take normal human behavior into consideration. It does have a problem though, because it assumes that aliens think the same as ourselves, a claim that maybe too difficult to verify.

Here’s an excerpt:

I suggest a different, even darker solution to the [Fermi] Paradox. Basically, I think the aliens don’t blow themselves up; they just get addicted to computer games. They forget to send radio signals or colonize space because they’re too busy with runaway consumerism and virtual-reality narcissism. They don’t need Sentinels to enslave them in a Matrix; they do it to themselves, just as we are doing today. Once they turn inwards to chase their shiny pennies of pleasure, they lose the cosmic plot. They become like a self-stimulating rat, pressing a bar to deliver electricity to its brain’s ventral tegmental area, which stimulates its nucleus accumbens to release dopamine, which feels…ever so good.

My take: the jury’s still out on this one.

[Why We Haven’t Met Any Aliens via Seed Magazine]

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Mind-reading Technology in the Works

Posted in interesting by R Bucao on February 10, 2010

Well, it’s not really mind-reading per se, but with the correct equipment and sophisticated software, we now have the technology to ‘read’ what a person is thinking straight from a brain scan.

The whole thing works by first establishing a baseline from a person’s brain. While on an fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), the subject is made to look at lots of pictures. While this is happening, brain activity is recorded to find out what specific areas of the brain fires up whenever a particular picture is presented. These results now allow a certain amount of predictive power: whenever a brain area becomes stimulated, it means that the person is ‘seeing’ that image in his mind’s eye.

Of course, this isn’t enough to know what a person is really thinking – images don’t always have the same meaning for everyone. But it certainly is in the right direction. (Whether it’s in the right direction ethically is another thing altogether)

[The Quest to Read the Human Mind via Popular Science]

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Cool Mythbusters Poster

Posted in funny by R Bucao on February 9, 2010

Mythbusters: (geeky) action heroes

I want one, too.

[via Accordion Guy]

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Homer Simpson has an iPhone

Posted in funny by R Bucao on February 9, 2010
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Something for the WiFi Mooch

Posted in funny by R Bucao on February 9, 2010

The name says it all.

[via Passive-Aggressive Notes]

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Lost Generation

Posted in interesting by R Bucao on February 9, 2010

A brilliant idea encapsulated in a simple video. Must watch!

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