Mind Reading: The Researchers Who Analyzed All the Porn on the Internet. "Searching all the porn on the Internet might not seem like the most scientifically productive activity, but computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam did it anyway. For their new book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire, Ogas and Gaddam analyzed the results of 400 million online searches for porn and uncovered some startling insights into what men and women may really want from each other — at least sexually." [more inside]
The concept of time as a way to measure the duration of events is not only deeply intuitive, it also plays an important role in our mathematical descriptions of physical systems. For instance, we define an object’s speed as its displacement per a given time. But some researchers theorize that this Newtonian idea of time as an absolute quantity that flows on its own, along with the idea that time is the fourth dimension of spacetime, are incorrect. They propose to replace these concepts of time with a view that corresponds more accurately to the physical world: time as a measure of the numerical order of change.
The BBC looks at time zones - how they are worked out, why they cause so many arguments, and how they affect us all. (via)
The Time Hack: A web-based effort to challenge one person's perception of time through new and unusual experiences.
New math theories reveal the nature of numbers [1,2] - "We prove that partition numbers are 'fractal' for every prime. These numbers, in a way we make precise, are self-similar in a shocking way. Our 'zooming' procedure resolves several open conjectures, and it will change how mathematicians study partitions." (/.|via) [more inside]
101, images of males from age 0 to 100 by Danish photojournalists Sofia Wraber and Nanna Kreutzmann.
"Normal" human pregnancies last 40 weeks, right? Well, no; they can vary quite a bit by the mother's race, age, number of previous children, family history of delivering early or late, home state, work habits, and even the fetus' HLA type. So where does that "40 week" thing come from? Oh, dear. So check out this super-nerdy pregnancy statistics website, from an engineer mom who is collecting data from the public (see the raw data and auto-generated graphs, and read the FAQ about the survey, with more cool graphs). Looking for day-by-day probabilities on when that baby's due? This would be your stats table with daily prediction (adjust dates at top of page as needed). Of course, you could always shut up your constantly inquiring relatives and friends another way.
"For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME's 2010 Person of the Year."
The Galaxy Garden is a 100-foot diameter outdoor scale model of the Milky Way, mapped in living plants and flowers and based on current astrophysical data. [more inside]
A DNA test has proven that a man was executed for murder by the State of Texas on the basis of false forensic evidence. [more inside]
A Search Service that Can Peer into the Future. A Yahoo Research tool mines news archives for meaning—illuminating past, present, and even future events. Showing news stories on a timeline has been tried before. But Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine created as a venture of Yahoo's Research Lab and the Living Knowledge Project, generates timelines that will stretch into the future as well as the past. Here is what a search for MetaFilter produces. [more inside]
Asteroid Discovery From 1980 - 2010: an animation of the solar system that highlights asteroids as they are discovered. I would suggest watching it in a high resolution.
This will be helpful if crossing out to-do lists and calendars work for you when you want to get organized... [more inside]
Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, wanted to find out how the human brain processes time in a near death situation. [more inside]
It has applications in Economics, Biology, Pharmaceuticals, and is rooted in State Space Modeling, which with Kalman Filtering (paper, breakdown [warning: long]) was used in the Apollo program. Dynamic Linear Models are gaining in popularity. There exists an R package, and both a short doc and a really great (read: worth buying) book (sorry, not a download, but here's chapter 2) by Giovanni Petris, Sonia Petrone, and Patrizia Campagnoli with its own little website.
"She wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan."
"I showed it to my two young sons, 9 and 12, who both immediately felt sorry for Aisha and asked why anyone would have done such harm to her." [WARNING: Graphic image.] Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, on why he chose to run on the magazine's cover a photo of a young woman whose nose and ears had been cut off at the insistence of the Taliban. It accompanies the article "Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban."
A time lapse video of the immersing, beautiful world of the critically acclaimed video game Red Dead Redemption.
Year On Earth breaks it down, explaining the complicated mechanics involved in trying to determine how long a year really is, why seasons and ice ages happen, and how not all years are created equal.
Live Google map of trains running on the London Underground, created using the Transport for London API. From the makers of the highly-useful accessible, bookmarkable UK train timetables.
Time's comprehensive archives allow us to see how the magazine's discussions of homosexuality have evolved from pathologizing and stereotyping . . . to awkward attempts to view gays humanely while continuing to refer to their sexual orientation as a disease . . . to a gradual acceptance of gays as upstanding members of society who are struggling for equal rights. Articles from 1956, 1966, 1969, 1975, and 1979 inside. [more inside]
The Secret Powers of Time An animation of a lecture by Philip G. Zimbardo (previously). [more inside]
Martian clocks and calendars have been discussed in the writings of various authors over the past one hundred years. This article recounts the history of Martian timekeeping from 1880 to 1998.
The Wisdom Of Rats - A personal essay on art and time and everything, by Charles Bowden for Harper's.
Remember Adventure Time with Finn and Jake?! Cartoon Network starts airing it Monday, April 5th. Go watch the promo and then play the totally awesome game!
I Used To Be Younger (single link tumblr post)
"The story of the year was a weak economy that could have been much, much weaker. Thank the man who runs the Federal Reserve, our mild-mannered economic overlord." Ben Bernanke is Time's 2009 Person of the Year. Runners-up include General Stanley McChrystal, Nancy Pelosi, and Neda Agha-Soltan.
"The one thing more difficult than following a regimen is not imposing it on others." - Marcel Proust.
People have studied many things relating to, and regarding Marcel Proust; what they may never have told you is... Proust is funny!! (just not "Lucky Jim" funny.) [more inside]
Tim Macmillan has been slicing time for more than twenty years now. His early attempts and the recent applications of his technique in nature documentaries, commercials, sports, music videos and his own short films can be watched on his vimeo page. His technique later mutated into the Bullet Time effect made popular by the Matrix movie. Watched enough? Then read an interesting article about him. Via Fleischfilm. [more inside]
These files, I thought, only tracked daylight savings time for all the different timezones & offsets from Greenwich Time. Actually, they have a detailed, fascinating history of timezones scribbled in the margins. (via)
Ben Wiggins features stunning time-lapse photography. From the strange colorings of the Cnidarian and Montipora coral species, to summer cloud transformations in and around San Francisco. Couldn't make it to Burning Man 2009? See it... in just two minutes (2008, 2007).
In 1883, they took control of time ITSELF. They ran the railroads, and they got what they wanted. [more inside]
Time is the universal frequency of synchronization, mathematically expressed as a ratio constant, 13:20
Welcome to the official website of the Galactic Research Institute of the Foundation for the Law of Time (via i09)
Getting Real About The High Price of Cheap Food. Why the food we're eating is hurting us, the animals we eat, our world, and what people are trying to do about it.
Long form journalism on the Web is "not working." - TIME.com Managing Editor Josh Tyrangiel ..Among the detractors of this statement is David Sleight, Deputy Creative Director of BusinessWeek.com: "Really? It’s 2009 and we’re still having this conversation?" Scattered industry advice on this topic varies from moderate to extreme, and while web analytics paint a convincing picture of web readers, some wonder if long form journalism has EVER worked. Of course there seem to be other factors at play, like methods of presentation and quality of content.
The Environmental and Economic Pluses of the 4-Day Workweek: "Forget everybody working for the weekend. In Utah all government employees have shifted to a four-day workweek, and the state is calling it a win-win-win for its budget, workers and clean air. Utah has saved $1.8 million in electrical bills in the last year, the air has been spared an estimated 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, and workers are thrilled. Eighty-two percent of them say they prefer the new arrangement, which still enforces the 40-hour week by requiring 10 or more hours a day Monday - [Thursday]. Is it time to ask your boss if you can take off Friday .... forever?" (via)
How are Americans spending their time? An informational graphic from The New York Times.
Bill Maher's criticism of Obama? Be more like Bush. ...And just like Lindsey [Lohan], we see your name in the paper a lot, but we're kind of wondering when you're actually going to do something. Follow up of his statements with Keith Olbermann. ...But where's the beef? And it's easy to make speeches; what's hard to do is stand up against corporations. Corporations and their incredible strength are what have ruined this country so far, and this president -- we thought -- might be the one to stand up to them. I'm losing hope. I still have audacity, but my hope is fading.
Timepieces! Ancient calendars, ancient clocks, beautiful clocks, atomic clocks and the clocks built into your brain that determine how you perceive time and form memories. All the good stuff is inside: [more inside]
Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]
Voting for the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's most influential people in government, science, technology and the arts, has taken a bizarre turn. Rather than the expected dance-off between Stephen Colbert and Korean pop star Rain, the top spot is currently occupied by moot, the owner and operator of 4chan. Hear Time's own take on it, and then, learn who hacked the vote.
A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World "In many of the scores of countries that are predominantly Muslim, the latest generation of activists is redefining society in novel ways. This new soft revolution is distinct from three earlier waves of change--the Islamic revival of the 1970s, the rise of extremism in the 1980s and the growth of Muslim political parties in the 1990s. Today's revolution is more vibrantly Islamic than ever. Yet it is also decidedly antijihadist and ambivalent about Islamist political parties. Culturally, it is deeply conservative, but its goal is to adapt to the 21st century. Politically, it rejects secularism and Westernization but craves changes compatible with modern global trends. The soft revolution is more about groping for identity and direction than expressing piety. The new revolutionaries are synthesizing Koranic values with the ways of life spawned by the Internet, satellite television and Facebook. For them, Islam, you might say, is the path to change rather than the goal itself."
Cool video of an undersea volcano erupting off Tonga. Spectacular clouds began spewing out of the sea on Monday about 10km from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu, where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. More on these volcanism blogs.
These subjects still fascinate me after a lifetime of interest: faster-than-light speed, alternate time streams, parallel universes, time travel, antiparticles moving backward in time, time loops, and the recurring themes of paradox -- all serious but astonishing ideas of science. Something about them inspires infinite possibilities. Am I not alone?