Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Lunar Eclipse Defined by Wikipedia

In celebration of today’s lunar eclipse, Google‘s logo features an animated moon.  When you click through, as usual, you get a page of related search results.

A little while ago, one of the top results included a surprising definition of “lunar eclipse” from Wikipedia:

According to Wikipedia:

Lunar eclipse: A lunar eclipse is when the moon turns black and explodes, releasing a poisonous gas, killing all of humanity.  Of course this can occur only when the Sun, …

The page had already been corrected by the time I saw it.  But the false definition was apparently cached and showing up in Google’s search results, until a little while ago.

I love Wikipedia. But it’s still funny.

Check out the page devoted to Google Doodles.

April Fool’s Tribute to Thomas Edison

Last year, for April 1st, I was asked to make a guest post to a GE blog called Edison’s Desk.  So I made this April Fool’s Tribute to Thomas Edison.  I had a lot of fun with the links – try ‘em all!

I must really be an April Fool because this is a big day for me.  I’ll be on NPR’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow – to talk about science and comedy with my friends Tim Lee and Norm Goldblatt.  The show streams live from 11am to 1pm Pacific/2-4pm Eastern, in addition to airing on your local public radio station.  Listen to it here.

Then later tonight I’m emceeing a great STEM education event (STEM = Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) in the planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences.  It’s called STEMPosium and it’s an evening to honor some fantastic education innovators.  This event will be live streamed from their website at 7:30pm Pacific. Check it out!

Schmahl Science Workshops Fundraiser

Saturday, November 6, 2010.  I’m performing at a fundraiser for a very worthwhile cause - Schmahl Science Workshops offers an after-school career mentorship program that enables pre-K through 12 students to participate in on-going science and engineering research programs.

16th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser:  ”The Science of Success”

Food, wine, live entertainment (that’s me!)

6-10pm, Saturday, November 6, 2010
Quadrus Conference Center
2400 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA  94025

Tickets available at http://sswevent2010.eventbrite.com

More info on Schmahl Science Workshops:

The Bay Area is home to significant innovation in science and technology.  However many local school districts have eliminated science education from their curriculum. The key is more Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educated graduates if we want to continue to be leaders in the global economy. By partnering with schools, institutions of higher education, science based institutions, museums, local governments, and the business community our non-profit, Schmahl Science Workshops (SSW) develops young scientists to participate in the next wave of scientific innovation. We need your help to keep Schmahl Science Workshop strong.  We invite you to join us to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and to learn more about how you can inspire the next generation of scientists.

Tim Westergren of Pandora & the Music Genome Project

My newest video for Time Magazine is about Pandora, the internet radio service.  I visited the Oakland offices of Pandora and spoke with founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren.  We discussed various recommendation engines used by other companies and what makes Pandora’s Music Genome Project different.

Link to the Pandora video on Time’s website

H+ Summit @ Harvard

I’m thrilled to be speaking at the H+ Summit @ Harvard. An amazing lineup of 50 speakers including Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Wolfram, and Aubrey de Grey.

The H+ Summit @ Harvard is an educational, and scientific outreach event that covers the themes of the impact of technology on the human condition. It is hosted, and organized by the Harvard College Future Society, in cooperation with Humanity+.

June 12-13, 2010.

James Cameron Interview About Avatar

New half-hour interview with James Cameron about the making of Avatar. From Popular Mechanics:

Why is Science Important?

Alom Shaha has made a wonderful 28-minute film entitled “Why is Science Important?”

Shaha is a physics teacher at an inner city school in the UK, and also a TV producer who specializes in science programs.  The film was made to be broadcast on Teachers TV (a UK cable channel) but it’s also available online in excellent HD quality – and can even be shared and embedded, as seen below (you can view a larger size if you click over to his site).

The website also contains “a collection of thoughts from leading scientists, public figures …and you.”  Add your thoughts on why science is important and they’ll appear alongside the thoughts of Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, SETI’s Seth Shostak, LabLit’s Jennifer Rohn, and many others.

Visit Alom’s YouTube Channel – sciencefilms – to see more answers to the question “Why is Science Important?” as well as some of his other films.

Links:
Why is Science Important?
Bad Astronomy blog
SETI
Seth Shostak
LabLit

Year of Science – JetBlue and Cell Phones

In conjunction with the COPUS Project’s Year of Science – and the March theme of Physics and Technology – I offer up a bit of humor on bad website usability on the Jet Blue website and also a couple thoughts on cell phones – loud users and shrinking sizes.

Do you think we’ll live to see implantable cell phones?…  or the end of obnoxiously loud cell phone talkers?  When will they realize that technology is here to relieve the strain on their voices?

Hi-Tech Magic Teaser

At the end of the Siftables session, I met Seth Raphael (also here), who was sitting two seats over from me.  We also happen to be sharing a stage together tonight at the LateTech event – I’ll be doing science comedy and Seth presents “a new technological magic show.”

In the three or four minutes we spoke, Seth gave me an absolutely amazing demonstration of his abilities.

He told me that when top hats and handkerchiefs were in style magicians developed presentations making use of them.  But they are no longer in style.  So, as a modern magician, he draws from more modern materials.

His demonstration involved a Google search that I defined.

He asked me to type two random words into the search field but not to hit Enter yet.  I typed “turtle opinion.”  He suggested I add a third word because my two words were going to generate too many hits.  I added “candy.”

He jotted something down on a piece of scratch paper that I provided.

Then he asked me to hit Enter on my Google search and, as I did, he quickly put his paper facedown.   He estimated that it took him about a third of a second to do so.  The Google search took slightly less time.

Now here’s the amazing part:

Seth had written down on the piece of paper the number 2,510,001.

Google returned 2,510,000 results.

Then, apparently off the top of his head, he typed in a url at About.com that he claimed is the one result/page that Google missed.

And, as a bonus, there was another number that he’d first written and then scratched out…  it was 3,540,000.  And, when we removed “candy” from the search, so that it was simply on “turtle opinion,” that was exactly how many results the search returned.

How did he do it?

I can’t wait to see what else he has up his virtual sleeve.

seth-raphael-trick