This blog is now rarely updated, but remains as an archive of bits and pieces I've collected from around the internet. To see what's caught my eye more recently, find me on twitter.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

#105; Mind control, Placeboes, Happiness, Data. What more could you want?

Very nicely done, and really interesting video about the Placebo Effect. I find this fantastic. The body's own ability to heal itself is amazing:

via COUDAL

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The scale of some things are completely impossible to fully understand. CLICK HERE for Nikon's "Universcale". This sort of thing exists in many forms, but this one is very slick.

Similar, but better, is this. CLICK HERE and play with the solar system. Solar System Scope. Wicked.

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As Infographics continue to be the supercoolest thing around, Visual.ly is launching, and this is a very pretty video all about it. The smooth animation and typography make me happy:


Very much related, this page here has a lovely collection of visualisations.

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Space Quotations is a great assortment of quotations from people looking on earth from space


It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
— Neil Armstrong

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Action for happiness is a new, interesting, and beautifully designed initiative. I love the idea of using science and our developing understanding to help the most important thing - people's happiness. And these posters are lovely. Simple, obvious advice, but things that everyone would benefit from considering a bit more:

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I can't get over how incredible BrainGate is. The Observer this weekend had a feature on this new technology that's allowing totally paralysed people to move objects with their mind via a chip in their brain. Science fiction becomes science fact, and this is going to make lives infinitely better. Amazing stuff, read more HERE - you won't regret it.

Reminds me of this TED talk - slightly less impressive, but still amazing (perhaps the fact that this is comparatively unimpressive is evidence of how incredible these developments are:


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For science writers, the now classic science writing bible.
"Beware of long and preposterous words. Beware of jargon. If you are a science writer this is doubly important. If you are a science writer, you occasionally have to bandy words that no ordinary human ever uses, like phenotype, mitochondrion, cosmic inflation, Gaussian distribution and isostasy. So you really don't want to be effulgent or felicitous as well. You could just try being bright and happy."
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Got 9 minutes to spare? You couldn't spend it any better than watching this. Seemingly damming of humans for much of the video, Carl Sagan ends with fantastic optimism and foresight. So absorbing:

VIA BRAIN PICKINGS

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Finally, I love this. Superhero alphabet. Brilliant:




That's all for now. I mean to post all of these as I find them in a more constant stream, with proper thoughts on each item, but with exams approaching I haven't really got time, so they all come out in occasional vomit-like bursts. I trust my loyal readers will forgive me...


Oh, and 

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