Return of the Rundown

Timewaster: Typewar.  Think you know fonts? Try this game, which you’ll either find completely boring or riveting. Best aggregated reference word site: Wordnik. My favorite reference site right now. All about words. Maps of Disaster: Informative, curious, unnerving. View map (or maps) of the world, with icons of disaster superimposed. For added effect, project image […]


Of course there’s always debate about invasive species, but usually… Well, usually you don’t think hippopotamus, not in the same mental grouping as zebra mussel and starling. But apparently we live on a place where that can happen; where Colombian drug lords decide to create a haven (of sorts) for hippos; and where, even today, […]

Cleaning House (Rundown)

It turns out computers can figure out what language you’re speaking without actually hearing you.  In at least some controlled circumstances, anyway.  (NewScientist, via Monochrom) “Astonishingly”, (1) people forget their passwords all the time, but (2) the ever-helpful “secret” “questions” are not really either — at least, not as far as security is concerned. If […]


Enter into thought about all the underplaces of London, in an interesting and highly photo-ridden post titled “London Toplogical.” Or entertain the thought of what “to call the food blech is an insult to blech” means, exactly. This and other insults that didn’t make the cut when slicing & dicing entries for Zagat guides. How […]

A fast & furious rundown

Charisma Explained. No, really. A British study lays bare the components of charisma. The BBC News Magazine article gives a few pointers (open body posture, let people know they matter, develop a genuine smile, be forceful and articulate, &c.). (BBC News Magazine) And lack thereof. Another study shows that people are more likely to make […]

random crap

More lies. The BoGlo has a quick & fluffy piece on the relevance of lie detection to modern-day struggles. On the verge of making an interesting statement, the article spends too much time bringing the presumably ignorant reader up to speed on the state of modern lie psychology (or whatever you want to call it). […]

General disorder

Nalgene, forever! Or not. Over at Grist, Umbra makes a case against Nalgene bottles. (Although the column is actually a clarification of an earlier column, so if you’re new to the Nalgene question, you may want to do a little reading.) How about Orangene? A research team at Cornell has apparently discovered a way to […]

Rundown, In Brief

Prisons are America’s “primary supplier of mental-health services.”1 Make a face. Change it. Craft your new identity. Morphases.2 Dolphins and humans are fairly similar, brain-wise.3 Struwwelpeter/Shockheaded Peter, online.4 Tired of original speech? Cliche Finder to the rescue.5 “I think that it could be done.”6 Send me your brains. Sterling Courier Systems, please.7 They have a […]

Fun, fun, fun. The industrious reporter, the origins of Little Red Riding Hood, & swimming through syrup

D.C., where art thou? Rick Lyman cobbles together an article that’s surprisingly readable—and interesting—despite the fact that it revolves around his (Mr. Lyman’s) inability to actually connect with his subject, the inscrutable Dick Cheney. “Desperately Seeking Dick Cheney” is, almost astonishingly, hilarious, and you ought to read it. (NYT: “Desperately Seeking Dick Cheney,” [local version] […]

Bye Aliens, Hello World (Aliens, Stains, Books, Chicken Livers, & Atrocious Bad Luck)

Bye E.T.! Any chances of aliens finding Earth may soon disappear. Which isn’t to say that there ever was a chance, really, but if there was, it’s soon to be gone, mostly thanks to the decrease in signal leakage from the technology around us. Television broadcast antennas—which put out a fairly significant amount of radio-waves—are […]