Sunday, August 31, 2008

Driving into a dust storm in Australia

Takes a little while for them to get there, but it is quite a sight:

Interesting Product: Sleeptracker

The Sleeptracker is an alarm clock that monitors your sleep stage and awakens you only in the most wakeful moments of REM sleep. You set a target time just as with a traditional clock, and the device picks the optimum time to wake you before that target time. Why is this desirable?

Everyone cycles through a sequence of sleep stages throughout the night. REM sleep is the most wakeful-like stage, when dreaming typically occurs. When awoken from deep sleep stages by a traditional alarm clock, we feel very groggy and disoriented. From REM sleep, it is much easier for the brain to wake up.

I don't know how well it actually works, but it sounds like a great idea. It is expensive ($149 and $179 models), which seems reasonable given the technology involved. You can even download your sleep patterns to a computer.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Most Expensive Item Ever on Antiques Roadshow

Ted from Tuscon strikes it rich, in 2002. More information on Navajo textiles and extraordinary sales prices can be found here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Scuba Cat

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Image of the day: trusty faces

These computer-generated faces are from a study of perceptions of trustworthiness and dominance due to facial features.

Via Mindhacks

Sunday, August 17, 2008

John Williams Plays Heitor Villa-Lobos

Prelude n.1:

Also see this by Narciso Yepes. Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prince Rupert's Drops

When molten glass is dropped into cold water, it solidifies into a tadpole-shaped drop with bizarre properties, due extreme residual stress within the glass. The head can be pounded with a hammer, squeezed between pliers, yet remains intact. However apply the slightest force to snap the wispy, hairlike glass tail, and the entire drop explodes: