As a respite from the nonstop flu blogging, I decided it was time to have a little fun and show the lighter side of science.
First up is a story from the Wall Street Journal about the residents of Tuscarora, Nevada, driving off a swarm of insects by blasting Led Zeppelin.
With the help of YouTube, a lap around the legendary (and publicly accessible) Nürburgring in Germany is becoming a new gold standard of auto performance
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.20.2008 at 5:02 pm 2 Comments
Back in 1946, Mechanix Illustrated writer "Uncle" Tom McCahill began measuring cars' performance by how quickly he could launch them from a standing start to 60 miles per hour. That measure, evocative in its simplicity, quickly became the standard for judging a passenger car's performance, and a perfect proxy for advertisers to capture the excitement of driving in a single phrase. Zero to 60 in a scorching 5.5 seconds!
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.14.2008 at 4:09 pm 0 Comments
Your TV just came another step closer to your computer. TiVo has partnered with YouTube to bring its content to broadband-connected subscribers with the Series 3 and HD set-top boxes. This means youll no longer have to drag the laptop downstairs or force everybody to huddle around the tiny screen of your iPhone at parties to show your guests the latest pratfalls. Just flick on your TV and youre set.
Roger Hanlon's cephalopod research hits the mainstream in a popular YouTube video
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.26.2008 at 1:21 pm 0 Comments
You likely don't know Roger Hanlon by name, but you may very well have been forwarded the video clip above in the past year--which means you know his research. Dr. Hanlon studies cephalopod camouflage. In addition to controlled experiments in his lab, he has been on thousands of dives following cuttlefish, squid and octopuses through their natural habitats. Using underwater digital video cameras, he and his team are able to capture the intricate physical patterns these animals display across their bodies when they want to go unseen.
A global YouTube outage is traced to a single country's censoring attempt
By Gregory MonePosted 02.25.2008 at 3:01 pm 2 Comments
All across the globe yesterday, users tried and failed to get their daily dose of yawning kittens and manic explosions. The problem? Pakistan accidentally hijacked YouTube. It started when the government of Pakistan tried to limit access to a video critical of Islam. In order to keep its citizens from playing the clip, reportedly a portion of an inflammatory film by the Danish Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Pakistan Telecom had local Internet service providers block the site by rerouting users—instead of getting the video site, they'd hit a blank page.
By Gregory MonePosted 12.11.2007 at 10:54 am 0 Comments
YouTube, the online video giant, announced plans yesterday to expand its advertising program to a number of amateur movie-makers. Ads will be spliced into the videos, and the creators will get the chance to share the revenue with Google, YouTube's corporate parent.
The ad program itself isn't brand new. YouTube picked a small group of established content producers to test its pilot program. But now the site will let users apply to be part of the revenue-generating machine. The favorites will be those who post frequently, have a loyal following, and stick to YouTube's rules. Currently, it's available in the US and Canada, but will probably expand soon, if the community's demands have anything to do with it. The very first comment to YouTube's blog post on the subject: When are you going to expand this to Slovenia? It's the big question on all of our minds.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 09.11.2007 at 10:19 am 0 Comments
Granted, it's not even in beta yet, so this isn't entirely fair, but if SciVee, a new website being billed as the YouTube of science, is really going to reach the people, the presentations will really need to evolve. Right now the site consists of a few video presentations from biologists. The material is interesting, and there's a cool feature that lets you follow along in the actual published paper as the speaker presents his or her work. But the overall effect is really no different than what you'd get if you trained cameras on presenters at a biology conference, then posted the clips on the Web. And that might be part of the point of this site—it gives scientists a new, slightly less formalized way to communicate the ideas in a new paper to their peers. But part of the stated mission is also to reach a wider audience, and to do that these scientists are going to need a different approach. Step One: Getting rid of the powerpoints. It's not too, too hard to get most scientists to sum up their research in layman's terms, but once they get a few of those slides in front of them, they revert to speaking the very technical language of their peers, not the masses. Again, though, it's only in the alpha phase, and it's a great idea. So let's hope it works.—Gregory Mone
If its not clear already, I cant get enough of the World Cup. Ive been catching as much action as possible during lunch hour, Ive installed a Firefox extension that instantly notifies me of any goals scored, Ive been scouring YouTube for fun nuggets (like this amazing Tiger-esque clip of Ronaldinho showing off his crazy skills), and I wrote about Adidass advanced new ball a few days back.
Today webmistress Megan pointed me to another trove of Cup-related goodness from our friends at NewScientist.com. Theyve assembled a number of soccer-related studies and papers produced by like-minded football-crazed scientists the world over. So check it out—and learn why we humans may never be able to accurately make offsides calls, why teams with red shirts (Spain, Iran, Switzerland) might be the teams to watch this year, advanced synthetic materials (previously covered by PopSci) making better goalie gloves and plenty of other interesting tidbits. As for me, if Im going to do any uniform-based betting, my moneys on the Netherlandss sweet orange crush. —John Mahoney
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