The Phantom City

Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Science (page 2 of 4)

Mouse in the Machine

Scientists have simulated a mouse’s cortical hemisphere on a supercomputer, running at about 10% of the speed. It doesn’t really have the structure of a mouse’s brain yet, but I suspect with one mouse wandering past the Do Not Enter signs, and one lightning strike, we’ll have an Artificial Mouse Intelligence any day now. Maybe we can use it against the human-brained, cyborg mice?

Link courtesy of Boing Boing.

The Relative Age of Things

From The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci:

Since things are much more ancient than letters, it is no marvel if, in our day, no records exist of these seas having covered so many countries; and if, moreover, some records had existed, war and conflagrations, the deluge of waters, the changes of languages and of laws have consumed every thing ancient. But sufficient for us is the testimony of things created in the salt waters, and found again in high mountains far from the seas.

I’ll get to it later…

I’d like to write something about this formula for predicting procrastination, but I’m just not really motivated right now.

Reversed E equals powerlessness?

According to a recent study, when asked to draw an “E” on their foreheads, people with a sense of power draw the letter as if they were reading it, while others draw it so others can read it.

Great, I just tried to draw an E where I could read it, and I ended up reversing it anyway. 😐

Link courtesy of Collision Detection

From The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

The waters of the salt sea are fresh at the greatest depths. – Page 948

“So dive real deep, take a big gulp of water, and let us know what it tastes like, okay?” 🙂

Sunset on Mars

From Wil Wheaton’s blog:

I love that. NASA kept Spirit awake so it (and we) could watch the sunset. Isn’t that just beautiful? We sent a robot all the way to another planet, and then had it do something humans have been doing since before we touched the monolith. We didn’t even learn anything from it . . . or did we?

The picture which inspires.

Random Stuff, List 2

More random stuff I thought I’d blog about, but haven’t:

Three lies about social software – I can’t state it any better than this: “The ‘team’ represented by a given blog community is actually a collection of incredibly diverse people, with common interests rather than common views.” Link courtesy of Too Many Topics, Too Little Time.

Windows Vista Product Guide – A feature-by-feature guide to Windows Vista, by Microsoft. Link courtesy of OSNews.

Remember the Long Horse – Check out photos of the extinct “long horse,” and ask yourself, “Where have all the long stables gone?” Link courtesy of Boing Boing.

Jim Webb Almost Beats Some Sense Into Bush – Newly elected Senator from Virginia confronts the President of the United States…Why did I get out of political science?

The (un)reliability of Gmail – I haven’t noticed any problems, but then again it’s hard to tell when I’m not getting email, as opposed to Blake Ross.

Asteroid’s Revenge – You’re an innocent floating space rock, and you are viciously attacked by triangle ships. Take as many of them as you can with you. Link courtesy of Boing Boing.

Understanding XML in 15 Seconds (or Less!) – It’s all about the tags.

Ohio’s Columbus Spaceport – Suborbital, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Link courtesy of Bureau 42.

Random stuff from the past

When I run across interesting things to link from my blog, I usually send them to my Gmail account with the best intentions of blogging about them “when I get some time.” Well, that doesn’t happen as often as it should, so I’ll clear out a few items now:

5 Lamest Charlie Brown Cartoons – 10 Zen Monkeys covers the five worst Peanuts animated specials. I can’t agree with the inclusion of Snoopy, Come Home, though. Link courtesy of TV Squad.

The Last Panel – A dedicated fan adds the all-important last panel to some For Better or For Worse comic strips. They finally become funny. Link courtesy of The Comics Curmudgeon.

Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Captured Koala – Wikipedia creates reality. A take-off on the Encyclopedia Brown books I devoured as a kid. Link courtesy of Too Many Topics, Too Little Time.

Ancient Crash, Epic Wave – Did a comet hit the Earth 4,800 years ago?

PHP Eats Rails for Breakfast – Is tracking new lines of code the best way to compare the relative popularity of two languages? That assumes languages evolve to the same level of code complexity when addressing common problems. Might not be a bad assumption, but it would be nice to see some analysis of it. Link courtesy of O’Reilly Ruby blog.

Empires with Expiration Dates – Niall Ferguson examines the short shelf lives of modern empires. Empires are defined as largely political and military entities, with direct power. The question I have is whether global capitalism encourages indirect power, namely economic and cultural. Link courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily.

Myths of British ancestry – Who were the Celts…and does it matter? Link courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily.

synerG Web Site Design Competition – Deadline December 31, 2006.

An Introduction to’s AppExchange – How to build your own hosted application to sell to users.

Election Day 2006 – Whose Side is your Favorite Superhero on? – Dave’s Long Box predicts how superheroes would vote. The Hulk’s a Libertarian…he just wants to be left alone.

Twitter – There’s no way I’m using this, but I can see it being pretty interesting for a lot of folks. Kitta, for one.

Today’s Quote from Leonardo Da Vinci

I subscribe to a feed that supplies one page from The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci each day. At that rate, they’ll have the entire work done in about four years. I was struck by today’s selection:

I reveal to men the origin of the first, or perhaps second cause of their existence.

Fascinating. 🙂


Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, dead at 44 from a stingray’s barb. 🙁

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