Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 47)

What If The Moon Was Replaced By Other Planets

A clear starry night sky is already beautiful as it is - yet some space enthusiasts still have the imagination to see it in a different way. Minnesota-based artist and writer Ron Miller got curious about what the night sky would look like if the Moon was replaced with any other planet from the Solar system. To grasp the difference better, he replaced the Moon with 7 other planets, keeping them at the same distance as the Moon is from the Earth (which is around 240,000 miles), and did not alter the size proportions of the planets.

What If The Moon Was Replaced By Other Planets

Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine

I got to know Richard through his son. I was a graduate student at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab and Carl was one of the undergraduates helping me with my thesis project. I was trying to design a computer fast enough to solve common sense reasoning problems. The machine, as we envisioned it, would contain a million tiny computers, all connected by a communications network. We called it a "Connection Machine." Richard, always interested in his son's activities, followed the project closely. He was skeptical about the idea, but whenever we met at a conference or I visited CalTech, we would stay up until the early hours of the morning discussing details of the planned machine. The first time he ever seemed to believe that we were really going to try to build it was the lunchtime meeting.

Fukushima radiation: none dead, none sick

Heard much about Fukushima lately? You know, the disaster that spread deadly contamination across Japan and spelt the end for the nuclear industry.You should have, because recent authoritative reports have reached a remarkable conclusion about a supposedly "deadly" disaster. No one died, nor is likely to die, according to the most comprehensive assessments since the Fukushima nuclear plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The Banality of Don't Be Evil

The section on "repressive autocracies" describes, disapprovingly, various repressive surveillance measures: legislation to insert back doors into software to enable spying on citizens, monitoring of social networks and the collection of intelligence on entire populations. All of these are already in widespread use in the United States. In fact, some of those measures -- like the push to require every social-network profile to be linked to a real name -- were spearheaded by Google itself.