MonthOctober 2001

Study Says Nudism is Un-Hip

Anthropology student and nudist Ellen Woodall spent a summer working as a researcher at a nudist colony and discovered that nudist colonies are just as closed minded and cruel as mainstream society. Ain’t that something?

Ananova: Nudists ‘crude about each other’s bodies’

Do you have stairs in your house?

Jonathon Robinson’s makes some odd flash movies. “The Terrible Secret of Space” features music by the guys responsible for the “All Your Base Song” (which is actually called “Gabber Robots“). He also has a really creepy movie about a dream he had. Check it out.

Virtual Physics Playground

MyPhysicsLab is a place where you can play god with gravity and stuff.

Evil on a Budget

Evil on a Budget … or, How to threaten the free world on fifty dollars a day. I think this link is via Memepool, but I can’t remember…

Space is the Place, Brief History of Time for Dummies

Stephen Hawking is rewritting A Brief History of Time as a kids book (update: this has been published as The Universe in a Nutshell). It will also be targetted towards adults who want to better understand the original book. Meanwhile, Hawking warns the world that space migration is the only way to escape certain doom.

Power Boots

SRI International and the Defense Department are developing these boots that will convert the electric power of walking into electricity that can be used to charge batteries. This sounds like a great way to use energy more efficiently:

At the heart, or rather sole, of the experimental foot-ware is a heel made of a special elastic polymer. A tiny battery positively charges one side of the flexible material and the other negatively. As the material is compressed and released — such as by the foot pressure generated during walking — the distance between the positive and negative sides change, which in turn creates electricity.

Prayer Passes Double Blind Test (Update: This was Falsified)

According to New Scientist, prayer was found to double fertility in a double blind test. Statistical evidence that magic works?

Prayer can double the success rate of IVF treatments, according to a double blind study published in the respected Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

A team in the US asked groups of people around the world to pray for pregnancy in one half of almost 200 women undergoing the fertility treatment in South Korea. The prayer groups were given only photographs of the women, and the women were unaware of the study.

Despite controls for age, length of infertility, type of infertility and number of prior attempts to become pregnant following IVF, 50 per cent of the women who were prayed for became pregnant, compared with 26 per cent of women in the control group. An independent statistician in the US had randomised the women into the two groups.

Update: This was almost certainly falsified.

Wearable computing source

DIY smart glasses

AE Innovations offers a number of homemade wearable computers and other cool hardware hacks. Dope stuff includes: a wearable 386, e-shades, and an open source IDE mp3 player. Link via /.

Encrypt your brain now, before it’s too late

Will high tech brain hacking become the newest info war? Wired News reports this Clockwork Orange-esque mind snooping device. Meanwhile, it seems everyone is talking about The Register‘s coverage of InfoSeek founder Steve Kirch’s mental intrusion scheme to detect “bad” thoughts.

Someone needs to come up with a way to steganograph thoughts.

Mad science: Ig Nobel prizes.

Dig this year’s Ig Nobel prizes, honoring achievements that could not or should not be duplicated. My favorites are the “discovery that black holes fulfill all the technical requirements to be the location of Hell” and the patenting of the wheel in the year 2001.

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