Sunday, 23 June 2013

Entertainment stuff from the week 17-23/6/13

Hi, summerians

Felicitations to everyone in the Southisphere - having just passed the Winter Solstice, you're due favourable (brighter) prospects for the coming six months.

For Northispherians like me, however, having just passed the Summer Solstice... doom and gloom. This is the best it's gonna be, and it's all downhill from here....

Pessimist? Me? Nah....

If you'd like to make use of the Summer Solstice, Thunderf00t and thegentlemanphysicist need you, to help them replicate the measurement of Earth's size that was made by Eratosthenes more than 2200 years ago.

'How to Measure the size of Earth!'

All you have to do is measure some shadows and record your position.

You might not have noticed that i've finally finished a News article - for the Pseudoscience section - but there's a lot to catch up on, so don't read it all at once!

'Pseudoscience stuff from the period 28/1 - 21/6/13'

Also, it's Alan Turing's 101st birthday anniversary today.

He's the man who demonstrated that the spots on 101 dalmatians can spontaneously develop from uniformity.

And he was a Disney fan, so i hope he'd like that reference :-P

Have you ever wondered what scientists do in their spare time?

Well, this is what epidemiologists get up to, LOL

'New Zealand Mid Year Meeting, March 2010'

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Almost losing an eye in a chemistry lab!'
How to convince someone that, when you are using a remote-controlled toy car to trigger a nerf gun to fire explosive metal into water, that it is actually both a safety feature and real science!

'Trololo - Anthony Head Vers. // Bad Teeth'
Mr Gently Benevolent's full rendition of Eduard Khil's trololo song :-D

What's that, in the sky? Is it a plane? Is it a train? ...yes!
'TWIE 149: Balloon Internets - YouTube | Contact Lens Display | Plane And Train Combo | Liquid-free Lithium Batteries | Kilometre Elevator Cables | Interplanetary Robot Submarine'

What's that, in the sky? Is it a bike? Is it a plane?'s a kind of not-quite-hovercraft not-quite-bike thingamyjig?!
'Flying Bicycle'

'In A Car Park - The Lion Sleeps Tonight'
The big guy at the back has such pizazz! :D

Another illusion, via Richard Wiseman:

A couple of uploads by me on YouTube:

'Richard Saunders - Skeptic's horoscope'

'Mitch Benn - The Delicate Souls, At The Controls (The Now Show 7th June 2013)'

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Quotes Of The Week:

Rapunzel: "Don't touch my extensions!"

Prince Charles, heir to the throne of Great Britain: "What is wrong with people, nowadays? Why do they all seem to think they're qualified to do things far above their capabilities? This is all the consequence of a child-centred education system which tells people, without the natural ability, that they can become [King]"

{Oh, no - sorry - he actually said that! Except his retort ended "pop stars, high court judges, or brilliant TV presenters", which, arguably, is even funnier}

Robert Maxwell: "...yes, i feel fine. Positively buoyant! Now, let me get on my yacht..."

Word Of The Week: dyskeuomorph -- a word coined by New Scientist's Feedback column, for an anachronistic recreation of a flawed technology e.g. snow in broken YouTube links

Expression Of The Week: "Gordon Bennett", "Christchurch Cathedral", "For Fudge's Sake", etc -- exclamations invented to disguise commenced-swearing, into vanilla phrases

Etymology Of The Week: imminent -- from latin via imminere meaning 'to hang/be near' from in + minere meaning 'to jut out' relating to 'mons' meaning 'hill'

Quote Of The Week: "Good breeding in cattle depends on physical health, but in men on a well-formed character" - Democritus

Fact Of The Week: In 1988, a card magician performed an act at the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques that was so good that the judges thought he must have been using stooges to shuffle the cards. In 1991, he got them to shuffle, and he won

Acronym Of The Week: IPCRESS -- Induction of Psycho-neuroses by Conditioned Reflex under strESS (technically not a proper acronym)

Cocktail Of The Week: Horse's Neck

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

Feedback excerpts:

READER Richard Mallett is impressed by the capabilities of his Russell Hobbs microwave. As shown on page 14 of the instruction manual, the device can be set to operate at 0 per cent cooking power (see
"I have tested this," Richard says, "and I can confirm that the 0 per cent power mode actually works. I 'heated' a cold glass of water for a minute and it remained cold."
He points out that the oven's turntable still spins food around on this setting, but no microwave power is frivolously wasted on heating it up – thus saving on energy bills.
18 May

READER Paul Adkin was feeling a bit under the weather, so his wife gave him a bottle of Source of Life multivitamin and mineral food supplement purchased at their local health food shop.
Examining the label, he was delighted to discover that it contained, among other things, "proprietary soluble whole food complex of prehistoric trace element concentrate".
He had no idea whether this would be good for him or bad for him, but reports that "at least it tastes like it should be doing me some good".
18 May

Readers might be able to help Feedback solve a recursivity problem.
Catherine Walter writes from Oxfordshire in the UK asking for our advice on following her partner's horoscope, published in her local newspaper, the Didcot Herald.
The horoscope read: "Things don't and can't always go to plan, but as long as you keep your sense of right and wrong to the fore then your journey can be a good one. In fact, by trusting in your own instincts and not others' advice you can put your life on a far better path this week."
Catherine wants to know whether or not her partner should trust this advice not to trust other people's advice.
18 May

The screenshot Hugh Lawton sent us shows that his download of the 39.5 megabyte MacKeeper program got to "4,100% complete" before he stopped watching it and did something else
25 May

READER Richard Sturch forwards an email from his cousin Peter Dyer, who bought a remarkable bottle of water with his breakfast in Bacalod airport on the island of Negros in the Philippines.
"I didn't realise what a find it was until reading the label later," he says.
His email quotes the label on the bottle in full – and exactly the same claims are on the company's website at "People's Purified Water undergoes a state-of-the-art multi stage water treatment process that includes carbon, micro, ultra and hyper filtration via a double reverse osmosis, sterilised through ultra violet and oxygenated and stimulated by vortexing process and vitalised through a bio-resonance and quantum science process."
Can anyone tell us what on earth they are talking about?
25 May

Generously, Naomi Ives gives us the chance to take advantage of the offer emailed to her by catalogue company La Redoute: "00% off your favourite item"
1 Jun

ON A pack of colour laundry detergent capsules from Morrisons supermarket, Don Wycherley found, in addition to the standard health and safety warnings, the words "NOT FOR EMERGENCY USE" in large capital letters.
Don says he is now condemned to sleepless nights worrying about what kind of emergency might tempt him to (mis)use a Morrisons colour detergent capsule. And what dire consequences might follow if he did?
He is now thinking of buying some other brand of detergent that does not carry this warning, so that he will be prepared if the worst happens.
1 Jun

The email Adept Science sent Chris McManus began: "Seeing as you've unsubscribed from our email newsletters, you won't have heard about our ultra topical upcoming event..."
Chris asks: "What is it about the word 'unsubscribe' that they don't understand?"
1 Jun
{They might be adept at Science, but clearly little else!}

Brian Robinson sends us a photo of a large sign outside a showroom in what he describes as "rural Virginia". It says: "Antique tables made daily"
8 Jun

A SIGN in Roger Calvert's local ASDA supermarket proclaims "Tried, Tasted and Chosen by You". The two displays it refers to, Roger tells us, are for liquid laundry detergent and plastic bin bags.
8 Jun

What a difference a missing hyphen can make. Anthony Brookes has discovered that his local supermarket sells a product labelled "Lacura Anti-Skin Ageing Sun Cream".
15 Jun

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