Links for 2011-02-09

  • Why The Planet Doesn't Care About Your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

    Co.Exist:What does the average environmentalist get wrong? Wagner: Environmentalists, all too often, think that the best way to go about solving the problem is to get everyone to do as they--we, I included--do. I don't eat meat. I don't drive. But individual do-gooderism won't solve global warming. And it may actually be counter-productive, for two reasons. First, there's a well-documented psychological phenomenon called "single-action bias." You do one thing, and you move on. You carry your groceries home by foot, in a cotton canvas bag, and you think that single act of environmental kindness makes up for other sins.

  • Physicists create new slow-light technique -

    A physical phenomenon that is widely used to slow and store pulses of light in clouds of atoms has been seen for the first time in a system of nuclear-energy levels. The breakthrough has been made by a team of physicists in Germany that has seen evidence for the phenomenon, known as electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), as X-rays pass through nanometre-scale layers of iron. The researchers think their method, which is also the first to achieve EIT using just two energy levels rather than the usual three, could lead to the development of devices for controlling X-rays, which is currently very tricky to do.

  • Two days in Dumpuary -- 'One for the Money,' 'Chipwrecked,' 'The Grey,' and how to go to 14 movies in 48 hours without going insane - Grantland

    Grantland editor Robert Mays loves going to the movies. January and February, or Dumpuary, as we've dubbed the post-holiday, pre-Oscar period when Hollywood disposes of its least promising fare, is a terrible time to see movies. And so, in an attempt to break him the way Kevin Spacey broke that fat guy who loved spaghetti in Se7en, we asked him to spend two consecutive days at the biggest multiplex we could find, seeing everything they had to offer, from the moment they opened to the minute they closed. This is his viewing journal.

  • Photo of the Day [UPDATED] - The Daily What

    President Obama looks on in amazement as 14-year-old Joey Hudy demonstrates his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon at today's White House Science Fair. UPDATE: Now with video goodness, courtesy of Barack Obama's Tumblr:

  • The Disturbing Anti-Animal Nickname Trend in the NFL Playoffs - The Triangle Blog - Grantland

    C. In the past five years, no team with an animal nickname has won the Super Bowl. The odds against this are astronomical. There's only a 3 percent chance it would happen, given a random sample. And that random sample wouldn't include men like Peyton Manning. D. In that same time period, only two animal teams even reached the Super Bowl. They both lost. One, the Arizona Cardinals, lost in mysterious last-minute fashion, and the Saints resorted to trickery to beat the Colts. Both results are more than a little suspicious. E. In the 32 playoff games pitting an animal team against a nonanimal team, the nonanimals are 20-12. Again, the success rate is unrealistic for a random sample. If you're looking at the real world, on the other hand, humans are typically far more successful than animals, a few shark attacks aside.

  • Hollywood is New Jersey with Celebrities | Jeremy and Jin

    The only stories that might make [Asian-Americans] pause and reconsider the paradigm of endings are the ones that provide us with an alien set of destinations--the stand-up comedian, the police chief, the mass murderer, the potential first round pick in the NBA Draft. In other words, those stories that belong to other races. The lineage of Jeremy Lin isn't found in racial pie charts or in the history of unlikely minorities in big-time sports. Yao, Ichiro, Wat Misaka and Eugene Chung are not his context. Neither is Hines Ward. Instead, to understand Jeremy Lin, we must look to Jin, the diminutive Chinese emcee from Jackson Heights who, for seven weeks, dominated the Battle Stage on BET's 106th and Park.


More like this

Photons can carry enormous amount of information, but one of the problems in using them to encode information is that they are difficult to store for even short periods (they are moving at the speed of light after all!). University of Rochester scientists have taken a step in solving the practical…
Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 163601 (2010): Direct Observation of Coherent Population Trapping in a Superconducting Artificial Atom "The phenomenon of coherent population trapping (CPT) of an atom (or solid state "artificial atom"), and the associated effect of electromagnetically induced transparency (…
Here in the United States, it's Super Bowl Sunday, and the Colts play the Saints for the championship of our National Football League. We listen to music that pumps us up, we eat lots of food (it's the second highest day for food consumption behind Thanksgiving), and -- of course -- we watch…
I'm listening to "Mike and Mike" on ESPN radio, as I usually do in the morning, and they just spent the better part of five minutes talking about the point spread for the upcoming Super Bowl. The opening betting line has Pittsburgh favored by seven points, but some Las Vegas organization or another…

Heh, you said "odds against this are astronomical" for a whole 3% chance of something happening? Try a poll for proper definition of "astronomical" magnitude!