February 2011 Archives

Things we learned from the interweb this week...

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It's possible to live buried in snow for over 3 quarters of an hour.

http://dunyanews.tv/index.php?key=Q2F0SUQ9MTAjTmlkPTIxMTU0

You get more for your recycled bottles in Maine:

Linky

90% of people called Washington in the US are black...

http://www.startribune.com/nation/116580738.html

Hawai'ians have many interesting gods:

http://glitternight.com/2011/02/20/the-top-eleven-deities-in-hawaiian-mythology/

We're the smelliest species in the world - according to mosquitoes!

http://www.livescience.com/12981-mosquito-humans-stinkiest-species.html

Quiz-time...

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How's your geography.  This variation on an old internet classic should give you a good idea one way or another.

http://samgine.com/globetrotter-xl/

Animals

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This is a bit silly, but I challenge you to watch it without breaking a smile:


New Quibble Blog Entry

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A couple of years ago, Stephen mentioned a fact about funeral music: we can't verify it.  Can you help??

http://www.qi.com/qi_quibble_blog/2011/02/countdown-conundrum.html

Natural History

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All we have as evidence for some dinosaurs is a couple of bones - as such there have been many corrections over the years.  Listverse gives its top10 of these changes:

http://listverse.com/2011/02/22/top-10-dinosaurs-that-arent-what-they-were/

And speaking of bones - check out this museum in France...

http://ancientshore.com/2010/09/23/skeleton-squadro/

Languages

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Every 14 days a language dies.  Find out more about them here, thanks to National Geographic:

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/enduring-voices/?source=link_tw20110221travel-lang

This isn't really related, but I just found it while writing that last post.  Check out this photograph of the Milty Way, taken in Switzerland one night...  Wow!

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110221.html

Tiny Pictures

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We've linked to Environmental Graffiti before, it's a great blog.  This week they delighted us with a couple of galleries of tiny photographs:

Human scar-tissue

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-unseen-microscopic-world-human-pathology

and some general biological wonders:

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-biology-you-have-never-seen-it

and even smaller - quantum physics as modern art!

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-where-science-inspires-art-and-art-informs-science-incredible-images

Twins

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No, it's not another Schwarzenegger musical!  This animation explains the old twin paradox - that someone travelling near the speed of light would age differently to someone who was stood still...


A Tale of Two Twins from Yuanjian Luo on Vimeo.

Cleverbot

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Have you seen cleverbot yet?  Rather than a program responding to your question, it crowdsources previous answers and gives answers that were previously successful.  After a couple of minutes, I got into a slanging match with it, which was proabably not what was intended!

http://www.cleverbot.com/

Here's an explanation:

http://singularityhub.com/2010/01/13/cleverbot-chat-engine-is-learning-from-the-internet-to-talk-like-a-human/

Predator: The Musical

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Silly.  But fun.  ^_^

IF IT BLEEDS, WE CAN KILL IT! [some NSFW language]


Do Krill have sex?

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It's the question on everyone's lips; and this gorgeous illustration answers...

http://plankt.oxfordjournals.org/content/suppl/2011/01/22/fbr006.DC1/fbr006supp3.swf

Island Life

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We'll be looking at Islands in the forthcoming I-series of QI.  Here's a lovely thing by National Geographic where they take one Island in Polynesia and allows you to zoom into its species, again, and again, and again...

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/pictures/110223-tropical-island-biodiversity-infinite-photo-moorea-biocode/


Art

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This week's art is two-fold.  Firstly, Andrew Myers creates excellent portraits using screws..

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/10/artist-andrew-myers-screws-his-paintings/

While this is a nice, relaxing video, showing some innovative 3-D painting:





Architecture

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Not the most interesting subject, you might think, but of course the QI ethos says that everything is, when looked at in the right way.  These concepts not only look great, they could also help the environment...

http://webecoist.com/2011/02/25/the-future-is-green-12-visionary-architecture-concepts/

It's good for you...

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Livescience.com has a nice list here of some things that are better for you than you think.  Remember the sketch by Mitchell and Webb about tongue-scraping?  Well it turns out that it's not as stupid as they thought...

http://www.livescience.com/12984-5-wacky-good-health.html

And for completeness, here's that great sketch...


Lego

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There's something about Lego that makes it perfect for the internet; and perfect for stop-motion animation especially.  Here's the latest fun example that we've found:


The QI App

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Our iPhone App is going great guns at the moment.  It contains many of our books in bitesize portions and the chance to send QI your own facts!

Here is a link if you want to join the fun:

http://j.mp/QIno1

and here is a link to the top 10 most popular facts that have been sent to us:

http://www.qi.com/app/index.php

Congratulations to Jimmy V who sent the most popular nugget this week:

"The planet Neptune orbits the Sun so slowly, it hasn't even completed one orbital period since its discovery in 1846."

Things We Learned from the Interweb this week...

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New Quibble Blog Entry

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Would any animals other than humans laugh at QI?  Find out the skinny here:

http://www.qi.com/qi_quibble_blog/2011/02/oh-rats.html

Art

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Tom McLellan takes things apart.  It's quite a sight...  Click on the "New Work" hyperlink in the top left corner:

http://www.toddmclellan.com/

Advertising

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Some of the most creative and funny people in the world are advertisers.  If you don't believe me, then check out these genius ads...

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/11/40-seriously-funny-print-ads/

Car

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It's a car being made, in somewhat labour-intensive stop-frame animation.  Unlike many such Youtube ads, I think the soundtrack adds a little something...


A load of bollards

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Of course there's a site on the internet for all the best bollards in London.  And of course, it's brilliant...

http://bollardsoflondon.blogspot.com/

It's quintessentially British, you might say.  As is this site, with some of the funniest place-names in the UK:

http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2010/11/lesser-spotted-britain-quirky-signpost-photography-dominic-greyer/

Games

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These games will keep you going for a while.  Perhaps too long!  The first one, while maybe a little less playable, is probably more QI.  A SuperNES-style game based on The Great Gadsby!

http://greatgatsbygame.com/

The next, Attractor, is more addictive - but probably best to turn the musak off!

http://www.9puz.com/Games/7-3166-Attractor.aspx

Where are you watching?

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Here's an interesting video.  Eye tracking software followed people's gaze as they watched the movie "There Will be Blood."  It makes fascinating viewing...


There Will Be Blood with gaze locations of 11 viewers from TheDIEMProject on Vimeo.

Seed

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Beginning with a seed, and having two choices every time, here's a fun way to waste a couple of minutes.

http://baboon.co.il/mitoza/

Watson

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You've probably seen the news that a computer has defeated two human champions in the USAian quiz show "Jeopardy!"

Here's the story, if not:

http://www.livescience.com/12873-post-game-analysis-watson-1-jeopardy.html

and a neat parody by SlateV

http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/permalink/watson_before_jeopardy_a_slate_parody/

Things We Learned From The Interweb This Week

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Stomp Your Feet

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This is fun - an instillation of shoes that stomp out a rhythm...


Les Souliers from Arno Fabre on Vimeo.

Tiny People

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The Little People Project is a great blog that photographs tiny models in the real life:

http://little-people.blogspot.com/

And this art is supposed to be landscapes which you then notice are actually based on naked bodies.  To me, they just look like naked bodies.  (a little bit NSFW)

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-bodyscapes-photography

Microbes

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Sauerkraut, tea, cheese, Penicillium and more here.

These food microbes come from a series of photos taken by harvard students:

http://scienceblogs.com/oscillator/2011/02/microbial_landscapes.php

Photos

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National Georgraphic has a great gallery here of their top news photos from 2010:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/pictures/110211-world-press-photo-best-pictures-contest-2011/

The photo of the year was the tragic portrait of 18-year-old Afghan Bibi Aisha, whose nose and ears were cut off by the Taliban husband she'd fled.

Meanwhile, here are some photographs from probably the most important news event of 2011 so far...

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/02/egypt_the_wait.html

New Quibble Blog Entry

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We apologise to Andy Hamilton.  Find out why, here:

http://www.qi.com/qi_quibble_blog/2011/02/liberty-buzzer.html

Video Games

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...with a Quite Interesting twist. 

A great video here which marries Mario with the Violin.  It's a great idea, and very well executed:


Waterfalls

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They can freeze, dontchaknow?

Here are some photos that show that they don't always fall...

http://webecoist.com/2011/02/08/freeze-frame-10-very-cool-frozen-waterfalls/

I can haz arms

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It's the internet summed up in one Youtube video.  Can you watch this without breaking out in a smile?


Sex

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Everything you wanted to know about dinosaur sex:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Everything-You-Wanted-to-Know-About-Dinosaur-Sex.html

And animal sex?  Well, how much do you know?  Here's a quiz - something that will be much easier for anyone who's read the QI Book of Animal Ignorance!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12409270


Erm.  And while we're at it.  Elephant sex has been recorded for the first time.  This is NSFW.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/02/time-lapse-video-captures-elephant-sex.html

Quizzes

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'Dr Bob's Quiz' is the best quiz on the internet. 

Dr Bob is an Australian Skeptic who sets Quite Intereresting questions galore, and the point is not really to get the answers right, but to give amusing responses.  Very close to our heart.

Why not have a go here:

http://www.skeptics.com.au/features/dr-bobs-quiz/

And check out some of the former answers - they're great at times.

Baby Cheetahs

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The Smithsonian National Zoological Park has some new baby cheetahs and lucky for us they have set up a webcam.  Get your fix of cuteness here:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AfricanSavanna/default.cfm#cam

Eyelashes

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The QI ethos basically says that every subject is interesting if you look into it hard enough.  Proving that fact with eyelashes here are Oddee.com:

http://www.oddee.com/item_97496.aspx

Things we learned from the interweb this week

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Mona Lisa may have been a man

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/02/was-the-model-for-leonardo-da-vincis-mona-lisa-a-man/

Finally a way to see who's checking your facebook - without being scammed

http://www.science20.com/alchemist/who_stalking_you_facebook_who_your_biggest_fan-75911

George Bernard Shaw had a rotating shed!

http://honestarchitecture.blogspot.com/2010/05/george-bernard-shaw-and-marvelous.html

Is this real?  From China's Got Talent:

http://web.orange.co.uk/article/quirkies/Monk_shows_off_balls_of_steel

A 9 letter character password with numbers and letters would take 44,530 years for a hacker to guess:

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_06/b4214036460585.htm

New Quibble Blog Entry

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We look at a common complaint - that we once made a mistake when translating Chinese patronyms...

http://www.qi.com/qi_quibble_blog/2011/02/a-taste-of-our-own-chinese-medicine.html

Venice

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Have you been?  You can either re-live the trip, or visit the city for the first time from the comfort of your own home with this great interactive site:

http://maps.veniceconnected.it/en

Fire

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This animation is pretty cool - just what Youtube was made for, I think...


The Solar System

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This site is just an orrery, but it's nicely done with a number of different functions (the Tychonian View is a good one).  Very relaxing.

http://dd.dynamicdiagrams.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/orrery_2006.swf

Shoes

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Here's a gallery of odd shoes, posted in part as an excuse to tell you one of my favourite QI factoids:

"In 1367 the French king, Charles V, prohibited the wearing of shoes shaped like penises."

http://gwenmurphy.blogspot.com/

Games

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For all the 'fun' of fishing without any of the coldness and wetness, here's a game:

http://discoverylake.discoveryeducation.com

And if that doesn't tickle your trout, then maybe this is more up your street - a beer label quiz with a few nice little factoids about each answer:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/multimedia/html_d5d59296-1e8f-11e0-a5d7-0017a4a78c22.html

You can't hurry interpretive dance

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Excellent clip from the new BBC improvisation show "Fast and Loose", no explanation needed...


Plants

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Cracked.com has a list of 10 plants that shouldn't exist.  They're certainly interesting looking... as in - "That's interesting looking - so I won't go near it."

http://www.cracked.com/article_18979_10-creepy-plants-that-shouldnt-exist.html

Ice Skating

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If anyone else has ever been ice skating for the first time in their 30s, then you'll understand this guy's pain.  It doesn't always end how you expect though...


McBain

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As a human being, presumably you like The Simpsons.  The occasional action hero, McBain, is usually shown in very short clips, but it turns out that if you put them all together they make an actual story.  Watch it here:

http://warmingglow.uproxx.com/2011/02/reminder-old-simpsons-is-the-best-thing

Illusion

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A rather nice illusion based on a curve by Richard Wiseman.  Can anyone explain how this works??

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/02/friday-illusion-test-your-sense-of-size.html

You should walk...

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...it's what humans do, after all.  This nice animation shows all the different forms of walk, and tries to get you to leave the car at home...


Superbowl

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By the time you read this, you'll know who won Superbowl XLV - my money's on the Packers - but more importantly, you'll know what advertisements have been shown at half time.  Here are some classics courtesy of oddee.com...

http://www.oddee.com/item_97444.aspx

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