The recent rise of coulrophobia — the fear of clowns. (Via @TSchnoebelen) The “heart gambit” was a proposal to embed the nuclear codes in a capsule inside the chest of a White House staffer; to launch a strike, any president would have to kill the staffer themselves first and extract it. A “snow day calculator.” It’s 110 pounds in weight and 16 feet across, on average: Behold the newest species of octopus to be discovered, the “frilled giant pacific”. (Via @harryallen) How adding iodine to US salt may have have boosted the IQ of Americans. There’s an uncanny valley for food, something I once wrote a column about for Wired. The path to $100 LIDAR, or, self-driving everything. Piano hacking.
Some amazing bug photography. Why passcodes are more secure for locking your phone than facial recognition. The ergonomics of astronaut cameras are awesome. How to re-engineer the Iphone so it’s less of an addictive time-suck. Amazing fossil: A 200-million-old baby ichthyosaur that died with “a belly full of squid”. How Google used the “cruising” behavior of cars to predict where parking is, and isn’t, available. Among the articles in this 1937 issue of Your Life magazine are “The Frigid Wives of Reno” and “What I Learned From An Old Man”. A new theory of how deep learning actually works: The most important part is “forgetting”. Shapeshifting, programmable synthetic skin that’s inspired by octopus muscle.
This year’s winners of Scuba Diving Magazine‘s photography contest.
“Are Inventions Inevitable?” A parrot that orders stuff using Alexa, by imitating its owner’s voice. I’ve been digging surfing the web using w3m, an old-school all-text browser; here’s how to instal it on a Mac. Hey, they’ve found two new deep-sea crustacean species! (“Two eyeless species of millimetric proportions,” to be precise.) Ur-drone-photography: A 1920 book on taking photos from biplanes. Here’s “The Coming Software Apocalypse“, a good long piece about how to manage increasingly complex code bases. What do you call a city of octopuses? A Stanford psychologist on the art of dealing with assholes. A wonderful tale of hunting a strange, gnarly software bug.