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Science Links:
A trick to help break habits. Changes of scenery go a long way to help change associations of familiarity with the habit, even for drug habits.

Appendices are useful after all! Looks like the appendix is a good way to reinoculate the intestines with the natural microbiota after big environmental perturbations. It just goes to show how life often has unexpected uses for things that we've thought of as "junk."

A Chart of Money. A wonderfully done representation of the scale of stuff related to money. It certainly helps put things in perspective.

The race to grow artificial chicken. The game is on to make synthetic meat a la "Better of Ted." Still fairly far off, but it's interesting to think about how the public will take it once it is made into reality. I suppose that we already eat some pretty weird stuff, but this does take it to a different level.

A Time Cloak. A group has created a tiny pocket of time with lasers that can hide whatever is happening within from outside observations. Very Time-Lordy.

Crowd-sourcing animal love? Not sure if much will come out of that, since love itself is so hard to quantify. It's almost like an extension of the "is everyone else an automaton" conundrum.

Women feel more pain than men. It's interesting that they've managed to find this to be true consistently across multiple diseases. I wonder how that came to be the case?

Arsenic-based life is a bust. Looks like the original experiments don't stand up to repetition.

The Earth is getting lighter. A fun back of the envelope calculation.

Fluffy Hum:

The Obliteration Room. What a lot of kids and stickers can do:
Yayoi Kusama’s ‘The obliteration room’

On a similar vein, Room of Heights. It's cool to see the (roughly) Gaussian nature emerge from the markings.

Picking out good violins might be placebo-ish. Apparently, even professional violinists have a lot of trouble discerning.

A cute spur of the moment variation on a theme of Nokia.

Weird and Wonderful:

First Lego man in space. From a home-made set up by two Canadian teens. Inspired!

The house that a billion euros built. Constructed quite literally from a billion decommissioned euro notes and coins. The walls are sort of a papier mache of shredded notes.

Kopimism. A newly recognized religion in Sweden that's based on sharing all materials by copying. Interestingly played.

Six coincidences that created the modern world. It's funny to read with the benefit of hindsight how so many important things were hinged upon such trivial fixed points in time, such as for the want of a sandwich or an admission letter to art school.

20 Predictions for 2100. Some of those predictions seem pretty far-fetched (e.g. the thought transmission), but Internet and smart phones would probably have seemed similarly absurd from the year 1900. The immortality bit is far more unlikely than the panelists deem, I think. We've been fairly bad at predicting advances in medicine (we still know very little about biology, and we're still taking baby steps in fighting off infections and cancer, even after 40-odd years of study).

2012 is the year of the Friday 13ths . There are three of them this year (the maximum number possible) spaced 13 weeks apart.
Video game reality can alter perception of the real world. Apparently, too much Tetris can lead players to hallucinate falling brick-like behavior in the real world. Beware trembling bath tiles and falling bookcases.

Two particularly amusing (and sadly true) videos related to the "Shtuff X says to Y" meme:

The second one is so true, I'm almost heartened that at least others go through those same quandaries.

Such a cool idea to make music from tree rings. They've done a great job choosing melodic sounds to better showcase the singing trees.

Pecan Pie Cupcakes. Will have to try this out some time with my pecans.


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