Condensed knowledge for 2007-05-08

Here’s the good stuff:

  • XKCD put together a hilarious map of the online communities. 🙂
  • Steve Jobs published an open letter to Apple users outlining the progress Apple is making toward being a completely “green” company. From the looks of it, Apple is ahead of most other folks in the technology field. Then again, it could also seem this way because of his reality distortion field.
  • A man traveling on a plane from Vietnam to Australia vomited a small bag containing something that looked like drugs. The plane promptly turned back, and meanwhile, the man vomited up two more bags. Apparently, this is quite common, and these people are called “drug mules”. Doctors found 30 more bags containing drugs in his stomach.
  • A flavoring agent used in microwave popcorn, by the name diacetyl, is blamed for bronchiolitis obliterans, an obstructive lung disease that affects popcorn workers. It’s also called “popcorn workers’ lung”, and there is no cure. A transplant is the only solution. Something to think about the next time you eat popcorn…
  • Want to see living conditions for coal miners back in 1938?
  • A remote-controlled robot uses thermal imaging to locate and destroy termites.
  • ProBlogger’s put together a post called “9 attitudes of highly creative people“.
  • Packet Garden is a really cool application that constructs 3D maps of your internet traffic.
  • Mental Floss is running a feature called “8 smooches that shook the world“.
  • Who holds the record for being arrested the most times? It turns out to be a man named Henry Earl.
  • Back in 1946, Mike the Headless Chicken roamed the countryside. Looks like Mike was going to be dinner, but the farmer cut too high, and left just enough brain stem for the chicken to still be a chicken. Although it couldn’t feed, it could walk and “socialize” with the other chickens just fine, and even managed to earn the farmer the equivalent of current-day $50K/week.
  • A Japanese firm has developed special packaging that contains an exothermic agent. Pre-cooked rice placed inside can be warmed up simply by pouring cold water inside the packaging. The reaction with the agent creates steam that warms the rice and gets it ready to eat in about 15 minutes.

Condensed knowledge for 2007-05-06

Here’s the good stuff:

  • Want to watch cheese mature? A company in England wanted to show the process and time involved in making good cheese, so they installed a web cam next to aging cheddar. That hunk of cheese has now become an Internet star.
  • Escape the Meatrix! Watch this movie to find out what it is and how to join the resistance. 🙂
  • Neatorama has a great post on three animals we ate into extinction. Oh, the poor dodo bird, it never stood a chance, even if its meat was gross.
  • This toothless old man from Russia has a really elastic face (and a really long tongue as well). The video is slightly disturbing, and it begs the question, why would you want to lick your own eyes? I can see him now, scaring little kids in his village. The parents, shuddering, will tell their kids, “See, this is what happens if you don’t brush your teeth!”
  • Have you been wondering why no one reads your blog? This post may have the answer.
  • This bird, called the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, has got to be one of the funniest looking animals I’ve ever seen! 🙂
  • Oh, how I wish I were a boy once more (sans school and homework) and got “The Dangerous Book for Boys” as a birthday present!
  • A fire burned through the historic Eastern Market in DC recently. This Washington Post article has photos.
  • Ever wondered just how our sense of smell works? Well, wonder no more, because Wondermark has the answer.
  • Apparently surgeons have started to perform abdominal surgeries through the mouth (and in women, a certain other orifice)… The advantage is that there’s no external scarring, and the recovery time is much, much better. The patient can go home the same day. Still, I’m pretty grossed out by the whole thing. I would not want bits and pieces of my appendix or gall bladder or other such thing pulled through my mouth. It’s just plain weird.
  • A couple of days ago, I started my browser in the morning and saw that the logo on my Google Home page had changed to iGoogle. For a moment, I thought Google and Apple had merged, but later found out the real explanation.
  • A physician from France wrote Linux drivers for 235 web cams, particularly bargain ones made in China, with no proper drivers and no support whatsoever. And he did this all for free, unrecognized, working from his own home. That’s just plain cool!