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Nevermind that 'no evil' thing - Google gets video ads
Topic: Technology 9:54 pm EDT, Sep  9, 2007

At CitiGroup's Technology Summit in New York this week, Google's Business Product Manager for Ads Quality Nicholas Fox said the company will be moving ahead with integration of video and image ads within sponsored search results. Does that mean you will soon be seeing TV commercials at the top of Google search results page?

Sigh... Okay, everyone meet at my place to work on the next search engine. Then we can sell out.

Nevermind that 'no evil' thing - Google gets video ads

Light Pollution Ends Abruptly
Topic: Science 10:50 pm EDT, Sep  8, 2007

Slashdot is currently carrying an article about light pollution, which is nothing new. But on a whim I did some digging on wikipedia and came up with this map of light pollution to see where the nearest dark sky is to me (it's in the ocean).

What really amazed me, however, is that light pollution in the US kind of drops off right in the midwest. It's light the people who make streetlights started in New York and got bored to tears halfway through the nothingness that makes up much of Kansas and Oklahoma.

I guess the starkness of that line just catches me by surprise. You'd think there was some huge chain of mountains or maybe a giant "trench of light" that you'd fall into - but no, there's really no physical difference between eastern Kansas and Western Kansas. They're both just wheat!

Any ideas?

Light Pollution Ends Abruptly

Implanted RFID Chips Linked To Cancer
Topic: Technology 10:40 pm EDT, Sep  8, 2007

The Associated Press is reporting that microchip implants have induced cancer in laboratory animals and dogs. A series of research articles spanning more than a decade found that mice and rats injected with glass-encapsulated RFID transponders developed malignant, fast-growing, lethal cancers in up to 1% to 10% of cases. The tumors originated in the tissue surrounding the microchips and often grew to completely surround the devices. To date, about 2,000 RFID devices have been implanted in humans worldwide, according to VeriChip Corp." We recently discussed the California ban on companies requiring such implants.

Via SlashDot

Wow! Okay, I'm not a big fan of putting RFID in people to begin with, but my understanding is that they were designed to be as inert as possible. So, if such a tiny little thing causes cancer, what is going to happen with replacement knees, pacemakers, artificial hearts, and other medically necessary implants - not to mention my surgically implanted Internet connection of the future?

Implanted RFID Chips Linked To Cancer

Windowherbs Pots Designed For The Urban Gardener
Topic: Arts 5:59 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

Windowherbs Pots Designed For The Urban Gardener

How much paper would it take to print out Wikipedia?
Topic: Technology 5:55 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

An intrepid Wikipedian named Nikola Smolenski has calculated how much paper it would take to print out the English entries in Wikipedia and produced this handy chart showing the relative sizes of the pile of paper and an adult male. This doesn't include the History or Discuss pages...

Via Digg

How much paper would it take to print out Wikipedia?

Inside-out teddy bears
Topic: Arts 5:50 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

Via Make

Inside-out teddy bears

Disney animators swipe from themselves
Topic: Society 5:48 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

Picture has a gallery of side-by-side screenshots showing how Disney animators re-use animation from their earlier movies.

Via BoingBoing

Disney animators swipe from themselves

Southampton pub declares itself an embassy to skirt smoking ban
Topic: Society 5:46 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

The Wellington Arms pub in Southampton is fighting back against a smoking ban in England by becoming the official embassy for the Caribbean island of Redonda. If the loophole works, then the pub will be considered "foreign soil" and the ban can't be enforced.

Redonda is a "one mile square remnant of the cone of an extinct volcano." According to Wikipedia, "The current title of 'king' of Redonda is disputed by at least nine people." Here's "king" Leo's site.

200706271032Yesterday a spokesman from the Department of Health confirmed that if the pub was granted embassy status then it would be exempt from next month's national smoking ban.

She said: "The new smoke free law will not be enforceable against premises with diplomatic status - as recognised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


Southampton pub declares itself an embassy to skirt smoking ban

Leonardo Da Vinci's lathe
Topic: Technology 5:43 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

Many of Leonardo’s inventions have been put to the test in recent times, indeed a number of them, such as his hang glider have been the subject of absorbing television documentaries. Because it appeared that no one had previously attempted to recreate the great mans lathe, to see if it was a viable and practical machine, the Worshipful company of Turners decided that such a project would be a fitting part of their quarto-centenary celebrations.

I was commissioned to recreate the lathe in time for the June exhibition, ‘Wizardry in Wood’, held at the Pewterers Hall, London. Although the concept is very simple, with the original being a collaboration between turner and blacksmith, the end result is a surprisingly powerful machine. The kinetic energy produced via foot treadle and flywheel is amazing. This is only one small step in historical science but we have proved that yet again Leonardo got there first, and yes it does work!

Leonardo Da Vinci's lathe

Freakonomics: Why Is This Man Charging $4.30 for a Gallon of Gas?
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:42 pm EDT, Sep  4, 2007

There is a Shell station in San Francisco, at Sixth and Harrison, that was recently charging $4.33 a gallon for regular gas and $4.43 for premium. Across the street is a Chevron station that charges about 70 cents less per gallon. Can you guess why?

Freakonomics: Why Is This Man Charging $4.30 for a Gallon of Gas?

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