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Category Archive: Cool Stuff

Apr 02 2014

There Will Be Light

One of the great things about today’s technological infrastructure (well, until the whole thing collapses and we revert to banging rocks together) is that you can have your favorite local radio station somewhere on the opposite side of the planet. Which is the case for me. Which means I get to hear stuff that will …

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Mar 19 2014

“The Squid’s Embrace…”

Down in the depths Of the salty Atlantic A seaglider measured the signs of the sea– Monotonous work, And it isn’t romantic, At least, I’d be bored if the glider were me Up to the surface And down to the bottom Again and again, that was all that it did No chance for a hickey, …

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Mar 16 2014

That’s not a Tree of Life–THIS is a tree of life.

Tree

Neil deGrasse Tyson, on Cosmos, brings up the “Tree of Life” metaphor. I like mine better. Artist: Mike McRae

Mar 15 2014

Meat

Just finished an absolutely wonderful book (about which, more later); in the notes was a mention of Terry Bisson’s wonderful short story “They’re Made out of Meat”. Studio 360 aired a version a while ago–give a listen: Bisson’s site has the transcript (or rather, the original story), for those who want. I love it.

Mar 11 2014

Don’t Panic!

… but it has been thirty years since the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game was released. I remember playing it. A 30th anniversary online version of the game is now available over at the BBC: A word of warning This game will kill you frequently. It’s a bit mean like that. But don’t …

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Feb 27 2014

Godless Gold Is Worth More, Apparently

A couple found a stash of coins In cans half lost to rust Gold coins, so old some even lack The phrase “In God We Trust” There’s one coin, termed “miraculous”, Uncirculated, gold That doesn’t say “In God We Trust” Like others just as old That year the motto first appeared— This coin slipped in …

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Feb 21 2014

A Tasty And Nutritious Sausage, Low Fat and Low Sodium, With Only A *Hint* Of Baby Poop

The latest health craze? Here’s the scoop: It’s sausage made with baby poop. Or (as the press release explains) With cultured pro-biotic strains So you can populate your gut With flora from a baby’s butt The best advice these authors give? For better health… eat shit and live! This is actually a pretty cool paper, …

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Feb 18 2014

Chronic Pain? Take A Peruvian Green Velvet Tarantula And Call Me In The Morning

A lab in New Haven Held biotech mavens Who looked at the functions of nerves Along came a spider With venom inside her So they looked at purpose it serves See, nature is cunning And spiders are stunning— No, really; their bites stun their prey So maybe a toxin Some synapse, just locks in And …

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Feb 13 2014

Backyard Dinosaur Count This Weekend

It’s time to count the dinosaurs— It shouldn’t be that hard Just grab yourself a window That overlooks your yard A pencil and some paper To make a little list A “field guide to the dinosaurs” To name the ones you missed The count begins this Friday, And by Sunday night, it’s done It’s time …

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Jan 05 2014

Because. Just Because.

The American Dialect Society, which does this sort of thing, has voted that the 2013 Word of the Year is “Because”. Because reasons: Presiding at the Jan. 3 voting session were ADS Executive Secretary Allan Metcalf of MacMurray College, and Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society and executive …

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