Tech

Category archives for Tech

Reading a term paper by one of my Växjö students, I learned something surprising. Being a well-read and erudite sort, Dear Reader, you may not be surprised. You already know that Japanese women have been having very few babies each since the 1950s, and that thus there’s a growing shortage of strong young people to…

Dynamic Map of Chinese Unrest

The Chinese Twitter equivalent Weibo censors searches for the names of places where there are protests (currently Shenzhen). You could write a script that searches for the main Chinese cities on Weibo and plots the ones that are censored on a map. Presto, a dynamic map of Chinese political unrest! With data supplied by the…

Flew To Öland

Yesterday I went to Öland and showed my students some sites and landscape. We were joined by human geographer Carl-Johan Nordblom who knows all the post-Viking stuff. Lovely day! Though we couldn’t find our way to the best-preserved of the Resmo passage tombs. The land owner has tired of visitors and closed off the driveway…

The people behind the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone made an odd design decision. They got rid of the standard fastening point for a strap. And the backshells on the market don’t have a fastening point either. But I really want a strap to be able to pull my phone out of my pocket and…

Rare Plane

Rode a pretty rare/air plane Bromma – Kallinge on Friday morning. It was a Saab 2000, a 1992 Swedish turboprop model of which only 63 where ever built. (Apparently they saw daylight in the mistaken hope that customers would want a turboprop this size, rather than the ubiquitous jets, and lost Saab a lot of…

Junior’s been through an extended period of various lighter ailments that have affected his school attendance record (but not his grades) considerably. I believe this may be partly due to his sedentary lifestyle. He’s thin as a rake, like his old man, but also like his old man he’s not exactly spending his free time…

The True Steel of the Ancestors

Above-ground atomic explosions and reactor leaks during the past century have produced a pretty funny atmosphere full of exotic heavy isotopes. In radiocarbon calibration this error source is called “bomb radiocarbon”. A few years ago it was suggested that a person’s age might be determined through looking at the amount of various isotopes in some…

Car question. When I turn on my windshield wipers, the energy for those two step motors comes from the battery. And it comes to the battery from the gas tank via the alternator. This means that if I drive with my wipers on, I will run out of gas sooner. But doesn’t the alternator constantly…

2011 Enlightener & Obscurantist Awards

The Swedish Skeptics, of whom I am the chairman, have just announced their annual awards for 2011 [a – b]. The Swedish public TV show Hjärnkontoret receives the Enlightener of the Year award, “…for their excellent science coverage directed towards children. Hjärnkontoret has aired for 16 years and thus contributed to the upbringing of the…

Take Cover, Yacht Cover Aloft

The Dear Reader may remember that I recently reported from the hibernation grounds of the local yachting club. Here’s a photograph from the same site, taken by my dad. It demonstrates why you might want to weigh the winter cover for your boat down with water tanks like everybody except this one member has.