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10 July 2009

Backlog of Reading

My physics class ended yesterday so I'm back. I have a lot of stuff to write about but until then here's a sample of the best stuff I've read.

DARPA builds a robotic hummingbird... crazy... If you don't know what DARPA is I suggest checking it out.

Great tidbit from Freakonomics about the safety of airliners versus cars... in a round about way.

Also from Freakonomics, a Q&A with University of Chicago Economist and economic adviser to Obama Austan Goolsbee. He was recently on Colbert's show too. This is funny too.

The official White House Flickr account. Here's a favorite.

Robert McNamara died a few days ago. He's the subject of one of my favorite documentaries, The Fog of War. Random note: he was the reason my great uncle (in the photo below he's second from the right with light hair), my grandfather's brother who was a three star general, was forced out of the military during Vietnam. I asked him about McNamara once and he replied that "He was a damn fool. He thought you could set up some sort of trip line across the northern border of South Vietnam and detect incoming VC." Vietnam was the first war America fought in (or really any large nation fought in) where there was no clearly defined war zone. It was the first large scale guerrilla warfare-stlye conflict and according to my great uncle McNamara didn't understand this. Over 58,000 US soldiers were killed as a result.

The results are in on caloric restriction diets for primates. Was this a surprise to anyone? Yes, as previously proven with mice, restricting your calorie intake while maintaining nutrition levels significantly increases health and overall lifespan. So far it's the only proven such mechanism to actually increase your lifespan.

100 skills all geeks should know. No official count yet, but I'd say I can/have/possess roughly half of these.

New class of black hole discovered! Well... I'm excited, but check this out; 4 galaxies colliding. Although colliding is a loose term. They actually more or less pass through one another because there's so much empty space between stars, so when they collide what they really mean is pass through one another and rip and contort one another with their respective gravity.

Evan has misplaced our shared DSLR camera, ouch. Here's Canons newest cheap DSLR that I'm lusting after.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice Freakonomics article about airlines- did you notice the mention of Shopsin's on the right column of "Stuff We Weren't Paid to Endorse"? :)