Updated sporadically. Obviously, this is teh interweb and links aren’t necessarily going to persist forever.
"Science has been around for centuries trying to debunk most religious beliefs – and yet religion still plays a major role in Western society. If entire education systems teaching millions of people about science haven’t worked, why do you think adding a small fact check disclaimer below a YouTube video would?" https://julian.digital/2020/09/25/is-this-real-life/
This Programming Language Will Surprise You!
Introduction to Spinors
&ldquot;Given the difficulty that we have found for small neural networks to learn the Game of Life, which can be expressed with relatively simple symbolic rules, I would expect that most sophisticated symbol manipulation would be even more difficult for neural networks to learn&rdquot;
Venus is trying to kill you. It’s dense and impenetrable – there could be a whole civilisation a mile away, and you’d never know.
Contrast with Mars …
Which is empty (at least in the imagination). Tabula rasa. It’s dangerous, sure, but in a character-building, life-at-the-frontier kind of way. It’s there, waiting for Will to be imposed on it.
Modelling the future of Earth’s climate
Beyond Global Warming: How Numerical Models Revealed the Secrets of Climate Change, Syukuro Manabe and Anthony J. Broccoli
The Boycott Effect — settling occurs more quickly in a fluid if the vessel is tilted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zjixDxTEN8
Juno at Jupiter
"A new study of an ancient period that is considered the closest natural analog to the era of modern human carbon emissions has found that massive volcanism sent great waves of carbon into the oceans over thousands of years — but that nature did not come close to matching what humans are doing today."+ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200914172931.htm
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Number 42
"They showed the picture in Paris, and my son said, ‘You need to see the picture.’ I was ill to do that. Ill. And then they start to show the picture, and step by step, I was so happy because it was a shitty picture. I realized, ‘Dune’, nobody can do it. It’s a legend.”"
Are all those colours really necessary?
This is a wonderful story about 'hacking' Tony Abbott’s passport number and then getting everyone on board to fix things.
PDFs are a pain if you want to extract the text they contain
"From a coder’s perspective, (La)TeX is a big mess, there is incredible dirt under the carpet, and as such, the development is driven by a few folks which are overworked."
From 2016. Has anything changed?
The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used a numerical experiment to determine the limits of matt structural color—a phenomenon which is responsible for some of the most intense colors in nature—and found that it extends only as far as blue and green in the visible spectrum.
Classed as a light quadricycle, the Ami is, an “urban mobility object”. All-electric, 2.4 m long and 1.4 m wide, with a top speed of 45 km/h and a range of 75 km, it can be driven in France without a full licence by anyone aged 14 or over.
Why online voting is harder than online banking
Who makes money off the Tour de France and how do they do it?
"My favourite trick to illustrate the notion of consciousness as a process is to replace the word ‘consciousness’ with ‘evolution’ – and see if the question still makes sense. For example, the question What is consciousness for? becomes What is evolution for?"
"the more steps you get away from the primary source the more corrupted everything gets. The article is good. The press release is bad. The tweet about the press release is worse. The tweets dunking on the tweet about the press release are terrible."
How to Write Good
Speakeasys make a comeback.
Practical Data Ethics http://ethics.fast.ai/
Lighter, more energy dense batteries for electric flight.
"security researchers say they have proven that the series of audible, metallic clicks made as a key penetrates a lock can now be deciphered by signal processing software to reveal the precise shape of the sequence of ridges on the key’s shaft."
"On Facebook, health-misinformation 'superspreaders' rack up billions of views"
What else could possibly happen in 2020?
How many pieces can a puzzle have?
Humanly traversable wormholes.
"the time it takes to travel between the two mouths on the outside"
The caption on the image of young Sameer is great
"Dunedin boy Sameer Anwar, who stuck a piece of Lego up his nose two years ago." https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/17/lego-piece-falls-out-of-boys-nose-after-2-years
"Our results suggest that artificial eyespots were successful in deterring ambush predators (lions and leopards) from attacking cattle on which they were painted during the study period"
If the archaeologists are right, that means people were making a living high in the mountains of north-central Mexico well before most people in the field thought North America was inhabited by humans.
"He eventually mastered an entirely new digit system (where ⌊ stood for 2, ⌈ for 8, etc.); determined to keep working, he had his computer rigged to present the new numerals onscreen."
How to split a big piece of stone.
The hidden side of Pluto
The machinery of photosynthesis "evolved not for maximum efficiency but rather for an optimally smooth and reliable output".
"we find that the metallic blue appearance of the fruits is produced by globular lipid inclusions arranged in a disordered multilayer structure."
"Recent human activity, including agriculture, has had a greater impact on North America’s plants and animals than even the glaciers that retreated more than 10,000 years ago." +_ https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/08/humans-have-altered-north-america-s-ecosystems-more-melting-glaciers
"without underlying long-term, system-wide decarbonization of economies, even massive shifts in behaviour only lead to modest reductions in the rate of warming"