Sunday, 26 January 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 20-26/1/14

Hi antihumans,

First up - a mini-essay i wrote, in the week: 'Neuromarketing: Good Or Bad?' which proves that i do finish mini-essays sometimes. And all in one day, too :o)

And a quiz:

Which animal was discovered in Nelson Mandela's ear, this week?

The answer's at the bottom of the page...

What was that, what went supernova in M82? Well, what that was what went, was a supernova in M82!

'Bright Supernova in M82'

"M82 is a mere 12 million light-years away (so the supernova explosion did happen 12 million years ago, [and that light is] just now reaching Earth), making supernova SN 2014J one of the closest to be seen in recent decades."

'Antimatter experiment produces first beam of antihydrogen'

As is probably common knowledge now [said with a Dunning-Kruger-like air] Supersymmetry explains the observation that matter is, fundamentally, made of fundamental particles, but it is also known that they might all have complimentary antiparticles - each of these might have a 'twin' - a mirror-image-like antiparticle that corresponds to it.

Electrons are matched with positrons, for example, and larger structures, such as hydrogen, can have antihydrogen. These are not negatively present - they are corresponding anti-particles - but they do annihilate when they meet their doppelgangers. This makes it incredibly difficult to isolate antimatter, using matter-made equipment, but
they are known to exist.

In order to collect any, it must be held away from its container - this can be done with hugely powerful magnetic fields. The trouble is, those magnetic fields make it incredibly difficult to do spectroscopic analysis i.e. to 'see' what the matter is and how it interacts with light. The solution: to create a beam of antimatter, isolated from its container, but outside the magnetic fields, for long enough that it can be studied.

"the unambiguous detection of 80 antihydrogen atoms 2.7 metres downstream of their production" might seem like a small achievement (certainly small numbers, for Physics!) but it sets the stage for grander discoveries about antimatter. Roll on, 2014! :-)

Happy 10th anniversary Opportunity!

The Opportunity Rover wasn't expected to last until the end of 2004, and it's still going strong!

Held over from last week, because there was so much stuff:

'First instance of ball lightning captured on video and spectrographs'

Ball lightning, though oft-reported, had not been caught on camera before, in such a way as to verify it as a real thing. All those videos on YT could be anything.

...but here's the video of it. The researchers have isolated the image, and presented its spectrum, to the right.

Interestingly, the hypothesis presented for this phenomenon, by the researchers, is the vaporization of silicon oxide, in the soil, which rises up and floats in the air as it burns out.

We've also recently heard about flames hovering above the ground, prior to earthquakes:

'Extraordinary earthquake lights explained -- they're not UFOs'

The explanation they give, in that case, is that the energy of the preceding tremors energises (heats) certain types of rock, causing small amounts of plasma to form, which races up through cracks and out at the surface.

As excited materials tend to do, they give off light. That's how the Sun works. And lamps. Except lamps don't turn into plasma as they illuminate. Candles in microwave ovens, however...

So plasma is involved in both circumstances, the evidence suggests. The difference is that in 'ball lightning', the energy to form it comes from the atmosphere, and in 'earthquake lights', that energy comes from the ground.

Oh, and note the "they're not UFOs", in the title. Due to the lack of a real explanation, and the wont of bullshitters, they have exploited the opportunity to claim all kinds of ridiculous nonsense. [shakes head derisively] :-D

Speaking of bullshitters - a hysterically conservative lunatic in the UK has joined people of less-enlightened cultures in blaming bad weather on dem gayz!!!

'UK storms are divine retribution for gay marriage laws, says UKIP councillor'

The guy defected from the Conservative Party, to the nationalist party UKIP, because they weren't quite homophobic enough for his tastes - David Cameron saw more votes in allowing Queer people to marry each other, than joining his fervent, baying, bloody-toothed peers.

So there you go, Rest Of World - there are nutbags scattered all over the place :-D

...more nutbaggery:

'No, Edward Snowden Did Not Blow the Lid Off the Alien Conspiracy'
"What do Adolph Hitler, Edward Snowden, and extraterrestrials have in common? Who knows. But FARS is a semi-official news agency of the Iranian government, reportedly affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, which suggests that someone in Tehran thinks this new report alleging that Washington is secretly run by a malevolent race of extraterrestrials known as "Tall Whites"—who also, by the way, engineered Hitler's rise to power—will boost their country's geopolitical posture vis a vis the United States."

...aaand, again:

'Popular Blood-Type Diet Debunked'
The researchers found no correlation between blood-type and responsivity to any kind of diet, as should be expected by anyone who is aware that blood 'groups' - A, B, AB and O - are, to be pedantic, different to blood 'types', which are defined by the biological features of our blood cells. Of which, there are many, many, many more combinations. Blood groups are only what relate to transfusions.
The blood-type diet is merely a pseudo-scientific fad diet, invented by a naturopath (quack) in order to sell a book - surprise, surprise - 'Eat Right for Your Type', which presented no evidence in favour of the claims within it, at the time.

...aaaaaand, again!

'Knees strewn with gold thread'

"When doctors examined an X-ray image of the knees of a woman experiencing severe joint pain, they found a gold mine: hundreds of tiny gold acupuncture needles left in her tissue."

Look at that picture! Quackupuncturists just don't know how to stop!

"Not only is there no scientific evidence that this form of acupuncture works or does anything resembling what they claim, it’s also dangerous. The needles may migrate and damage other parts, they can cause a reaction or infection as the body tries to get rid of the foreign object and they make Xrays hard to read."

...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, again :-D

'I get that cows are sacred and all, but drinking pee?'
"Urine-drinking Hindu cult believes a warm cup before sunrise straight from a virgin cow heals cancer – and followers are queuing up to try it"
Another claimed panacea -- rule of thumb: claimed cure-alls actually cure nothing!

Well, i knew all religion was batshit crazy... but cowpee crazy, too? Seems like it is... :-D

The side-effects of 'urotherapy' as the quacks call it, can involve anything related to ingredients in your wee. Any chemicals that are not entirely degraded in your body can build up, if you keep feeding it back in. This means it amplifies the hazards in 'herbal medicine', which involves munching on the hundreds of chemicals found in  plant vegetation, potentially meaning overdosing on... pretty much anything. To conclude: don't rely on drinking your own piss, if you don't have to!

And out of the world of bizarre fiction, to...

'Peter Capaldi's first Doctor Who action figure looks great - it's just a shame about Clara'

Nah, she looks good to me... she just looks like someone else... so who is this imposter?? :-D

'JILA Strontium Atomic Clock Sets New Records in Both Precision and Stability'

The new record-holder is 50% more precise than its predecessor, and just as stable... yet the buses still struggle to run on time :-/

For anyone who likes (electric) cars, and shiny things... and maybe even girls that go faster on tiny wings? {Roger Taylor shout-out :-P }

'London to Edinburgh.... in January'

And here's the follow-up, post-trip:

'London-Edinburgh. Mainly Mundane.'

"All-in-all, a 100% successful trip"
"But sir - we lost Mr. Rimmer!"
"...all-in-all, a 100% successful trip!"

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

'Pourquoi j'ai quitté Facebook (Adrien Ménielle)'

'Millions Die from Fukushima Fallout!' - Thunderf00t
This is how comic anti-nuclear hysteria gets... as far as i'm aware. Haha :-D

'Sodom and Gomorrah' - DarkMatter2525
Righteous, my ass! :-D

'Magical vines' via Richard Wiseman

'AO Bloopers - 2014 Australian Open'

Stepanek. Patience... Someone give that man a Guinness :-D

'Dry Ice Depth Charge'
More on the evaporation of liquid CO2, from Nik2K, using a short section of straw, held sideways between tweezers.

'Gollum Singing Wrecking Ball'
Very good. Andy Serkis would be so proud :-D

'Zero S electric Motorbike | Fully Charged'
Bobby Llew's shown an electric bike (as in motorbike) that can do 556 miles per gallon! (equivalent, obviously - no petrol!) With special guest... well, if you don't know who they are, shame on you for not watching Red Dwarf or Death In Paradise :-P

'"Freedom Industries" by Roy Zimmerman'

'Super Bowl 48: The most EPIC Super Bowl ever!'
Dusty explains what's going to make Super Bowl 48 the greatest ever :-D

'"MORE NFL" — A Bad Lip Reading of The NFL'

'Kung Fu Dung Beetles - Operation Dung Beetle - BBC'
Not, strictly-speaking, comedy; and not, strictly-speaking, contemporary; but newly-uploaded by the Beeb, and chuckleatable:

'Weather Phenomenon - Halo 'Three suns' filmed over Russia [sun dog]' via cibertimanios
A stunning parhelion, filmed over Russia. There are more pictures of parhelia, on my tumblr:

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

Word Of The Week: hyperforeignism -- a mistaken translation resulting from the misapplication of foreign linguistic forms e.g. spelling latte with an accent (it doesn't have one) or habanero with a tilde (which it doesn't have)

Tweet Of The Week: "In lift. 2 guys talking. One says he is going to a session on focusing. Presses 9 th floor button. Gets off at 5 by mistake."

Pronunciation Of The Week: Hyundai -- HYUN-day (Korean) Hy-OON-die (British) HUN-day (American) Han-die (Californian Spanish)

Comic Observation Of The Week: The current President of Italy is called Giorgio Napolitano. He has a son called Giulio Napolitano. In 1962, Norman Wisdom played a character called Giulio Napolitani, in the film 'On The Beat'. I wonder whether they're anything alike :-D

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

'John Finnemore - 50 Things You Must Do Before You're 30'

'The Travelling Lemon Goes To Europe'

'WTF Happened to Movie Posters?' via Cibertimanios

'Which words crop up most frequently in song titles?'
Surprisingly, there are more "man"s than "woman"s, but "love" conquers both. How true [sighs] :-D

I agree with the sentiment, but deodorant is really not going to solve complex social problems! :-P

'Could have been worse'
They might be a danger to sick people, and should be banned from hospitals, but as guide animals, there could be far worse than dogs :D

'Divorce happens'
Bloody thumbnails! :-D

'Give it to Jesse Jane'
I'm pretty sure this idea's been done before :-D

On a side note: Birmingham (UK) is proud to be the home of HP Sauce. In celebration of 100 years of production, in 1998, the Queen Mother visited to address workers at the HP factory. Her Majesty was a little frail and unable to get her words out, so they turned her upside-down and smacked her on the bottom. The rest of her speech came out so fast, it was more than her audience could manage! Incidentally, the QM spent the last few months of her life, standing on her head, in a cupboard :-P

'Si miras fijo y de cerca esta imagen, desaparecerá'
Focus on the centre of this image, and the colour will seem to disappear!

'Do you see a nativity scene or two T-Rexes?'
My question: who are the dudes holding up the roof?

'Kinetic Sculpture - Fisher Technical Services, Inc'

'Trevor Noah - Melbourne Comedy Festival'

'Trevor Noah - Live at the Apollo - London'

'Trevor Noah: Crazy Normal - President Jacob Zuma's Speech'

'Trevor Noah: That's Racist - Surfing AIDS'

'Trevor Noah: Crazy Normal - Attention All Passengers'

'Richard Herring: The Racist Origin Of The Belief That Black Men Have Bigger Penises'
Recently uploaded to YouTube, by me. Not so comic, but certainly interesting, Richard expounds the fascinating story behind the myth that Black men are hung like space shuttles.

'Goldtatze: Your cats wants'
I want this for me :o)

I'd rather see them wrapped in

'So, how did you pose the taxidermy crocodile? Oh'

"Just saw this on side of drinks cabinet. Am assuming it means I am fine to stick my thumb up my arse. Am I right?"

'Look at the invisible tree'

'Can you keep and eye on the cross?'

'Ice Tsunami..Glacier like ice moving across Mille Lacs lake, damaging houses, Minnesota' via Cibertimanios
Amazing footage! Glacial ice, apparently, splintering into shards as it's pushed onto land and across these people's lawns.

'Gael Monfils - INSANE Forehands (HD)'

Ridiculously powerful strokes :-D

'Wet floor'
This reminds me of a Mitchell & Webb sketch.
"There is a lot of moisture, but it's not actually a damp problem - it's actually water which the current owners deliberately keep here... i don't know if you can tell, but the floor level actually descends toward this end of the property, and the moisture is even more pronounced here!"

John Howard, former Prime Minister of Oz, gettin' down wiv da yoof, bruv :-D

Googly eyes. Aaargh!

Time-lapse snow, in Connecticut:

'Glen Arbor Ice Boulders in the Making'
Just like with rocks, the rolling and abrasive friction that these lumps of ice experience, is roundening them off into smoothed boulders. Neat :-) Well, not that neat, and they're all dirty, too... [mumble grumble mumble...]

'20 Videos Of Bubbles Crystalizing In Freezing Temperatures'

The answer to the quiz:

It was a little bunny rabbit. The designers of the 10-metre-tall bronze Mandela statue, in Pretoria, were found to have added a tiny rabbit into the cast of his right ear, apparently as a trademark and as a symbol of the speed with which they had to complete the statue. The idea being that the Afrikaans for rabbit is 'haas', which also means 'haste'.

For South Africans who didn't get that answer: [shakes head mournfully] :-P

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