Tails of the Unexpected: "Normality has been an accepted wisdom in economics and finance for a century or more. Yet in real-world systems, nothing could be less normal than normality. Tails should not be unexpected, for they are the rule." An eminently human-readable explanation of why normal models fail to describe the uncertainties of our abnormal world. [more inside]
It's been described as one of the most profound scientific initiatives of the 21st century - building an Earth Simulator. Not to figure out icepack melt, calculate global climate patterns, predict earthquakes or determine once and for all 'What do you get when you multiply six by nine'. No, this one's to prevent another kind of meltdown. [more inside]
Follow the money attempts to detect and visualize the structure of large-scale communities in the US based on the flow of money using data from Where's George? [via]
Self-contained ecosystems on your desk. Eco-spheres strike a perfect balance between members in an environment. Based on NASA studies, they can last past 10 years. Is it feasible to have more complex self-contained systems in the near future? Imagine, a sealed tank with a 'pet' you never have to worry about feeding, watering, or cleaning. That doesn't use batteries. Plus, they look pretty cool.