Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Jeff's Bioshock Infinite review: in a class by itself.
- Get that tune out of your head! Scientists find out how to get rid of earworms.
- I rewatched this video over the weekend and it blew my mind.
It's very rare that taking your clothes off does any harm.
Often, it gets the distracted to pay attention and the numb to get excited.
This might well have been the genesis of the thought process belonging to Columbia University Professor Emlyn Hughes when he considered how to introduce his students to quantum mechanics.
As his audience became increasingly rapt, the professor stripped to his underwear, put on a black t-shirt, hoodie and pants, and curled up in the fetal position.
So all fairly normal thus far.
But then someone came out and put two toy puppies on stools … Read more
One of my favorite things about watching old movies is hearing how people might have spoken in eras past -- the expressions they used, their old-school smack talk. But what did the languages from thousands of years back sound like? Hollywood, as far as I know, has yet to make a movie in which characters talk in authentic proto-Austronesian.
The language nerd in me, was, therefore, excited to discover that scientists from UC Berkeley and the University of British Columbia have created a computer program to rapidly reconstruct vocabularies of ancient languages using only their modern language descendants. … Read more
In an emotional memorial service, the widow of the shuttle Columbia's commander recalled their last meeting the day before launch and the devastation the families felt when they learned their loved ones had perished during re-entry 10 years ago Friday.
Speaking in front of the Space Mirror Memorial to fallen astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center's visitor complex, Evelyn Husband-Thompson shared memories of Columbia commander Rick Husband and his six crewmates, saying how proud the families were of the crew's accomplishments during their 16-day science mission.
The night before landing, the families "shared a meal together … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Anthropologist says Apple is definitely a religion.
- Google brings Street View to the Grand Canyon.
- Apple now owns the trademark to The Beatles' Apple Corps Logo.
- What I learned while live-tweeting a friend's funeral.
Video voice mail: Mossimo has a positive update on a previous video voice mail.… Read more
This week, after 20 years at Columbia Journalism School (one as a student, 19 as a professor and seven as a dean), I changed jobs.
I have joined the office of Provost John Coatsworth, who is the highest academic officer of Columbia University. I will be the CU's first Chief Digital Officer, focusing on online learning and social- and digital media.
I will still continue to teach a few classes at the Journalism School, but my priority is going to be dealing with all the dramatic opportunities and challenges in the world of online education. Several units of … Read more
Hand gestures can add a lot to a conversation. They can convey excitement and help you describe a scene or object. And, of course, the simple act of lifting a certain finger can quickly let someone know you're not too happy with them. In all, gestures are an effective form of communication, and now, researchers in Vancouver have found a way to take them to the next level.
A team of engineers from the University of British Columbia has developed a pair of gloves that read hand gestures and convert them to speech and song, potentially giving those with speech and/or hearing disabilities another way to communicate.
The project, called Digital Ventriloquized Actor (DIVA) and led by UBC professor of electrical and computer engineering Sidney Fels, tries to replicate the movements of real vocal cords through the use of hand gestures read by a system of sensors. … Read more
Journalists and engineers could come together to shape the future of news thanks to a new joint Columbia-Stanford media innovation institute funded by Cosmopolitan Editor Helen Gurley Brown.
The David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation will be an East Coast/West Coast collaboration. Housed at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City and Stanford's Engineering School in Palo Alto, Calif., the institute is thought to be a first of its kind initiative aimed at helping the foster a new era of communication between the editorial and technical sides of news organizations.
The … Read more
Columbia University researchers assert that tech breakthroughs in recent years now make sending trash to landfills a waste of energy.
While recycling and energy recovery from plastics is on the rise, about 86 percent of used plastics are still sent to landfills. It's a big waste considering its energy potential, according to the 33-page report, "Energy and Economic Value of Non-recycled Plastics and Municipal Solid Wastes that are Currently Landfilled in Fifty States" (PDF).
About 28.8 million tons of non-recycled plastics were sent to landfills in 2008, the energy potential equivalent of 36.7 million tons … Read more