Monthly Archives: October 2012

Science

Why do children hide by covering their eyes?

Because they believe that to be “seen” they have to see the other person.

… it would seem that children apply the principle of joint attention to the self and assume that for somebody to be perceived, experience must be shared and mutually known to be shared, as it is when two pairs of eyes meet

Fascinating.

Why do children hide by covering their eyes? from the British Psychological Society.

Random

Baseball as a road to God

As it turns out, there are 108 Taoist Heavens, 108 beads on a Catholic Rosary and 108 beads on a Buddhist Mala. Also, 108 is said to be the number that somehow unlocks the Zodiac calendar. The kicker, though, is this: there are 108 stitches on a baseball.

The Church Of Baseball By David Larson

Awesome Random

Incredible Contact Juggling


2012 Japan Juggling Festival Championship

Politics Technology

The Thing: a Soviet analogue listening bug

In the American Embassy in the Soviet Union, installed in the Great Seal of the United States, was a secret, analogue bug that transmitted sound from inside the embassy without any electronics or batteries. Oh, and the it was invented by the same guy that made the Theremin instrument, Leon Theremin. Amazing.

The Thing, designed by Léon Theremin,[2] was very simple by today’s standards. It consisted of a tiny capacitive membrane connected to a small quarter-wavelength antenna; it had no power supply or active electronic components. The device, a passive cavity resonator, became active only when a radio signal of the correct frequency was sent to the device from an external transmitter. Sound waves caused the membrane to vibrate, which varied the capacitance “seen” by the antenna, which in turn modulated the radio waves that struck and were retransmitted by The Thing. A receiver demodulated the signal so that sound picked up by the microphone could be heard, just as an ordinary radio receiver demodulates radio signals and outputs sound.

Thing (listening device) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Technology

WordPress cache priming for great justice

Lets say you’ve got this awesome wordpress blog, and you’ve tuned the hell out of it, even though no one visits. You’re using w3-total-cache, nginx with fastcgi caching, the works. Unless your cache is primed, it’s just not as fast as it could be. This sucks on multiple levels, but mostly insofar as the googlebot ranks on performance and is most likely the first thing to load any given page on your site. How do you solve this problem?

Prime your cache.

Optimus Cache Prime is a tremendously handy little script that reads your sitemap.xml and will regularly prime your cache, loading each page in your sitemap.xml, keeping your cache hot and your blog speedy.

 

 

Awesome Science

Octopi

Octopus are truly the closest thing to alien intelligences that exists on this planet. If we ever do meet creatures from another world, the experience will be less like trying to communicate with someone from another country or even like trying to communicate with an elephant or a dolphin, and much more like trying to get inside the squishy, gelatinous head of an octopus.

from Scientist from an excellent discussion of Octopi.

Politics

Death and Taxes 2012

The 2012 discretionary federal budget, in handy infographic format. Perfect when someone wants to shut down NPR to balance the budget, and you wonder, wait a second, would that even matter? The answer is no. No it wouldn’t.