Yearly Archives: 2012


Klein Bottle Opener

The problem of beer: That it is within a ‘bottle’, i.e. a boundaryless compact 2-manifold homeomorphic to the sphere. Since beer bottles are not (usually) pathological or “wild” spheres, but smooth manifolds, they separate 3-space into two non-communicating regions: inside, containing beer, and outside, containing you. This state must not remain.

A proposed solution: Clearly the elegant course is to introduce a non-orientable manifold, which has one side and does not divide 3-space. When juxtaposed with the beer-bounding manifold described above, it acts to disrupt the continuity thereof, canceling the outdated paradigm of distinction between interior and exterior. This enables the desired interaction between beer and self.Implementation The Klein Bottle Opener shown above is an example. It is palm-sized, durably constructed in stainless steel, effective, and blissfully ergonomic. Q E D You need one.

Klein Bottle Opener.

Awesome Stuff

Fibonacci Cabinet



Fibonacci Cabinet


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


mr. div

All hail the GIF king: mr. div.


Snowy Range Perseids Meteor Shower

Time Lapseof the Snowy Range Perseids Meteor Shower. by David Kingham.

You really get the sense that earth is hurtling through space at incredible speeds.

(Actually velocity of the earth through space is somewhere around 1 kilometer per second)


Space Opera


An Underwater Tree in Jiuzhaigou Valley



Golden hour in brooklyn



The Best WordPress Backup Plugin

Hands down, Backwpup wins.

Supports WordPress network, backs up to multiple different endpoints (dropbox, s3, rackspace, ftp, filesystem, email), and most importantly backs up everything, files, uploads, themes and the whole database.

So full of win.