Faith in humanity has been restored... again

I couldn't help but shedding some (manly) tears while watching this video. See if you can resist.

I love the US of A for these little touches. Did you like it?

The story of the week: the 2008 Booker Prize winner in the category

This is a story by Clare Wigfall, which I found very interesting if a little meandering.

Let me know what you thought, as usual, after the break!

The perfect definition of "wasting time"

This video tells you in less than 2 minutes, things you didn't know before. Don't worry, it is quite entertaining in a trivial, useless kind of way.

I find this kind of videos quite entertaining. Did you like it?

Science Saturday: ok, I cheated a little bit

This is not really a science post, but the video is called Science. Oh, and it's done by Ricky Gervais himself.

I thoroughly (thoroughly) recommend it (it's very NSFW, by the way). See the other parts after this one finishes.

The song of the weekend: some research for you

Once I was going on a business trip, and had some time at the airport. So I packed my Philips GoGear full of songs by The Corrs. All of their discography, actually. I was determined to know which songs were the best ones from the Corrs that were relatively "unknown" by the public. The "hidden gems", if you will. I found three. None of them have official videos (they are "hidden", after all), so I've put the three videos below (two of them after the break), for you to sing.

The first one, and the only "allegro" one, is Confidence for Quiet:

Amazing body painting

I am a sucker for hyper-realism... and while this isn't technically realism, I still like it a lot. Meet Hikaru Cho, a Japanese artist who draws weird things on humans.

The rest, here. Do you like it?

I have given in: my first cat post

Yes, I have given in, and have made a cat post. I guess when a cat has a meow like this one (hint: it sounds like a bleating goat), you have to put it in your blog, it's too cute to resist.


The funniest meme in a while

The funniest meme I have seen in a while is the "2/10 - Would Not Bang" meme, and its counterpart "10/10 - Would Bang". The "Would Not Bang" meme is simple: take a perfect photo of a perfect woman, highlight little details that are not 100% perfect, and based on those, declare that you wouldn't bang said perfect lady. Hilarity ensues:

The counterpart (Would Bang) is thus quite obvious:

I can't stop laughing at these. Find more on the Internet, they are a-mazing.

The story of the week: Two English Poems

I am cheating again, like the last time. True, what is below is not technically a story. But it's beautiful, and I wanted to share them with you. They are from the best writer Argentina gave to the world, Jorge Luis Borges, and they are in English in the original.

This looks poetic, so I put it here.
As usual, after the break. Did you like it?

A bit of sadistic humour for the Sunday

Warning: this video takes out the worst in you. You'll laugh (incontrollably) at the misfortune of people who happened to a) be sleeping and b) have sh*tty friends or relatives.

Oh, what a guilty pleasure.

Science Saturday: the genius himself!!!

In this extraordinary recording, our buddy A-to-the-E-to-the-mc2 (aka Albert Einstein) gives a radio lecture about the Common Language of Science. Funny how his voice is not as I expected (I did expect the heavy German accent, though)...

Amazing, huh?

Song of the weekend: stay strong, USA!

I try to not become too topical with my blog, but this one's special. I believe this moment of hurt and sorrow in Boston should not affect the great nation of the north's character. I say stay strong, US!

This version of the anthem always wets my eyes. Enjoy.

The studio recording after the break.

MUST-SEE one minute video

And when I say "must-see", my friend, you must-see-it. It's less than two minutes, and it shows several cool chemical reactions. I was very impressed with the first one!

Which one did you like the most?

Herding asteroids

This is a video showing how NASA is planning to send a spaceship towards the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter), grab an asteroid and bring it back to use its minerals.

Chalk up a big win for science. However, this doesn't bode well for investors in metals: imagine if the asteroid is made of 10% gold... the prices would plummet!

Timelapse of Earth

Amazing timelapse video, from a Ted talk. You will want to put it on full screen.

It's 16 minutes, but worth every one!

The story of the week: is this the best?

I put in an old post that The Last Question, by Isaac Asimov, was his best story. I have found since one that seriously rivals it. It's called The Dead Past, and it's after the break.

Comic relief.
You tell me what you think.

How big is the Universe, eh?

I always wanted to know for sure... I was pretty sure of the following: "Well, if the Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago, then its size must be around 27.6 billion light-years now, right?"

Turns out I was wrong.

Check the video below to see why.

Did you like it?

Science Saturday: is this our last century?

This is a question that I generally refuse to answer, as it sounds a bit doom-and-gloom to me (and usually comes preceding some recommendation to modify human behaviour forcefully), but this talk by Martin Rees sounded interesting and doesn't get into silly recipes, so I am sharing it with you.

Do you agree with his views?

Song of the weekend: as if you have a choice

The lyrics of this amazing song contain the phrase of the title of this post. So I decided to give you a choice!

First, the original song by Snow Patrol:

And then, a cover by the amazing Leona Lewis:

See what I did there? Tell me which one you like more!

Funny: Matrix in 60 seconds

It's not entirely accurate, but it's quite funny. I liked the voices and the music as well!

Did you like it?

Faith in humanity has been restored

Watch this video and see if, like me, suddenly you felt you had something in your eyes that was making them all watery. Damn air conditioning!

As Freddie would say:

The invisible man... er, artist

Amazing art by our friend Liu Bolin from China. He mimetizes into the background, with painstaking perspective work, to ensure you can't see him. These aren't Photoshops, by the way.

The rest, here. A-bloody-mazing.

The story of the week: an interesting whodunit

This story (which apparently is a classic) starts with a crime and then moves from there, to a whodunit with some surprises at the end. It is very well written and grips you in almost immediately.

Another timeless classic
Let me know if you liked it!

EDITORIAL: The future of privacy - or lack thereof

In terms of predictions, there is not much difference between the oracles, druids, shamans, astrologists and modern day scientists. Guess it right more than 50% of time and you can probably make a decent living out of it.

Caught an article the other day (to read it you have to subscribe to the FT for free), about a study by a group of Cambridge academics whom analysed some 60 thousand Facebook profiles and compared these with personality tests of those same users. By correlating both sets of data they came up with a number of predictors: for example guessing with an impressive 85% certainty whether the FB user was a democrat or a republican.

Science Saturdays: surely you are joking, Mr Feynman

The above is the title of Richard Feynman's autobiography. He was a genius (got a Nobel prize for his work in quantum physics) and very cool - a hit with the ladeez due to his intelligence and, apparently, his good looks.

But judge for yourself, on this first part of his conference on the relation between Maths and Physics. It's worth watching. Hint: at one point he compares the relation between Maths and Physics to the relation between masturbation and sex. Do you want to miss that?

Let me know if you liked it.

The song of the weekend: a personal favourite

I have liked this song from the first time I heard it, some years ago. The guitar riff is ultra-potent, the video is dark and... funny? and the lyrics are quite intense. From me, to you. Listen with the volume in 11.

Did you like it?

Things you didn't know have names

If you are extremely bored of all the words you know, and want to learn some new, then watch the video below, where you can learn how to call the space between the nostrils... or what the hell is a Purlicue (ha, even the Word corrector of Google doesn't know that one).

How many will you use in daily conversation from now on?

So this is how the world ends...

There is a poem by T.S. Eliot called The Hollow Men, which ends thus:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

I was eerily reminded of these lines when I read that Russians have drilled the Antarctic and reached the underground lake called Lake Vostok (which is 3km below the surface). This lake has been isolated from the surface for 30 million years... well, not anymore, since last week. And apparently, the Russian investigators found life there, which is not related to any life currently discovered on Earth!

An example of the lifeforms we'll find there
Cue uncurable illnesses, anyone?

Half of the silver... is gone!

Believe it or not roughly half of all the silver mined in history has... vanished. The most romantic explanation, shipwrecks, are only a small part of the story. Most of the loss has to do with industrial processes: silver based compounds that are used in photography, catalysers and other applications. There is also the sad fact that a lot of silver may have been inadvertedly discarded or scrapped with larger batches of other metals – think an old ship component, that may include some silver decorations, the workers don’t pick this up, melt the lot and produce a beautiful park bench that is now 0.05% silver – and not a soul knows about it.

The guys at have a great couple of infographies on silver and gold that are worth the detour.

Story of the week: Twitter-sized stories

In the middle of the ultra-short and the long-short stories, we have this new genre, called "Twitter-sized". This is not exclusive to short stories, of course - but as that's the topic for the day, let's meet our new friend, Sean Hill, who has a Twitter handle and a website. He writes 140-character stories... and they are, in general, good! Some of them, below the break.

Did you like them?