This is funny — a new site called www.talktoaliens.com now offers intergalactic long-distance telephone service. Simply dial their toll number and record your message. They will then beam it towards a region of high-density stars on a common frequency in the hopes of reaching any intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations that be may listening.… Read More “Now You Can Place Phone Calls to Aliens”
A Chinese satellite rudely crash-landed in a villager’s house. The villagers were unhurt but the house was demolished in the freak accident. The homeowner was quoted as speculating that perhaps this indicated they would have good luck in the coming year…yeah, like maybe a new house will fall from the sky too?
This meme is spreading rapidly across the Net. Someone figured out that the latest Kryptonite U-Locks can be picked in under 30 seconds, using an ordinary ballpoint pen! Yikes. Bikers beware.
In August of 2003, I posted an article that suggested the SETI folks ought to look at our own DNA to see if there happens to be a hidden message from aliens in there waiting to be discovered. Putting a message in human DNA, particularly in the junk DNA regions, is guaranteed (a) not to degrade significantly over long periods of time and (b) to be found by humans when we reached a suitable level of technological development, and (d) to go with each of us wherever we went on earth and beyond.… Read More “Messages in DNA: You Saw it Here First”
Someone sent this to me. It’s disturbing but also hilariously funny in a stupid sort of way. I never saw anything like this on the Web so I’m posting it. I have to admit I fell for it and have been laughing about my reaction for several hours!… Read More “Can You Spot the 3 Differences?”
Note: This experiment is now finished.
(GoMeme 3.0 – Note: This is not an ordinary article. We have added some special information at the end. Read this entire article, and then follow the instructions at the end to pass it on in a new way…)
The US Army has developed a new way to enable soldiers to carry less water. They have created rehydratable food rations that come in a wrapping that is actually a sophisticated semi-permeable membrane. So to rehydrate the food, soldiers can simply pee on it, or even pour dirty water on it if that’s all that is around.… Read More “US Army Food… Just Add Urine”
This just in from Jack Park at SRI…
Get this: a macaque got really sick, darn near died, and when it was all over, the monkey started walking upright like a human. Doctors think it was brain damage. Maybe all upright walking humanoids are similarly “brain damaged?”… Read More “Are We Brain Damaged?”
A Japanese inventor has figured out how to vibrate the leaves and stems of ordinary houseplants so that they can be used as audio speakers. The basic idea is that you can hear music coming directly from the plant itself. Weird.… Read More “Transforming Ordinary Houseplants Into Audio Speakers”
This is a funny article about a virtual reality church on the Internet in which worshipers can participate as avatars in a simulated church service. Unfortunately, some people have been logging in as …. you guessed it… Satan!
It turns out that pets really do resemble their owners, but in fact it’s the other way around! A recent study found that dog-owners choose pets that resemble themselves, rather than owners and their dogs growing to resemble one another over time.
Erik T. Ray is a creative genius, in the classical sense of the word. I first heard about him when I was studying CS at Oberlin College. Many of my classmates were obsessed with something called The Lambda Expressway — an amazing and bizarre serial novel in the tradition of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and The Phantom Tollbooth.… Read More “Erik T. Ray — A Genius You Should Know About”
A Florida fire station burst into flames while the firefighters were out..
Gives new meaning to the phrase, “fighting fire with fire” …
Good news for American Express customers — you can now use those extra points from your Membership Awards Program to fly to SPACE!!!!!. Full sub-orbital flight only costs a mere 20,000,000 points! That’s NOTHING — all you have to do is purchase a single skyscraper, or an F-18 fighter jet, or 2,000,000 movie tickets, and you’ve got yourself a ticket to space!
As I’ve said all along, “The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth.” Here’s more proof. A Michigan couple has just named their new baby as if it were a software upgrade. Read the article.
… Read More “Couple Names Son "2.0"”
Jon Blake Cusack, from Holland, Michigan, told local newspapers the US practice of adding “Junior” or “II” after a boy’s name was too common.
In a conversation today with my friend Bram, a really smart cosmologist, I suggested that maybe the universe is just the output of a software error in a high dimensional program — basically it’s just a big bug! The owner of the computer could at any time detect the bug and simply reboot — that will be the end of it for us!… Read More “Is the Universe a Bug or a Screen Saver?”
Dear Spammers, If you want to send me spam and have me actually look at it, please try to keep the following helpful hints in mind:
– Never send me a message with a blank subject line or only “Re:” or “(no subject),” “hi there” or “Free” + [anything] in the subject line.… Read More “Humor: How to Spam Me More Effectively”
A Japanese telecom has introduced a cell-phone that does bone-conduction to transmit audio through your skull. You are supposed to hold it up to your head so you can hear the phone vibrating through the bones of your skull. Gee, just what I always wanted!… Read More “And Now… The Award for Stupidest Cell Phone Technology, Ever!!!!!!!!!”
This site collects phone numbers from payphones around the world, so you can lookup any payphone anywhere and call it — for example, to practice a foreign language or just to have random conversations with bewildered strangers. Some people have too much free time!
I just came across a wild story about a recent New Year’s prank in which a group of guys used tin-foil to completely cover every object in their victim’s apartment — right down to the individual CD’s in his music collection, individual coins in his spare change, etc.… Read More “Entire Apartment Encased in Tin-Foil: New Year's Prank of Extreme Proportions”
It turns out the Cold War never ended — it just switched from humans vs. humans to humans vs. rabbits. And the frontlines of this new Great Game are in Belgium, where police just captured the latest in secret weaponry on the side of the humans: A new Rabbit Poaching Spy Car that could have been designed by Q himself.… Read More “Belgian Rabbit Poachers "Bond Car" Gadgets”
I was goofing around in Google Groups today, looking up ancient conversations I had in USENET in the long gone days of the 1990’s and I came across a quote of mine which is “I don’t care how many levels of reality you posit, as soon as you posit even one, it’s turtles all the way down!”… Read More “Part of the Lore…”
Our advisor Paul Ford, has replied to Clay Shirky’s critique of the Semantic Web with a truly excellent articleabout why the Semantic Web is indeed practical. I found Clay’s article to be very one-sided. Like Paul, I agree with Clay that the futuristic goals of some Semantic Web researchers in academia are well…futuristic.… Read More “It's About the Meta-Data”