It’s that time again!
Are blue eyes and red hair going extinct? Learn a little bit about genetics
The cure for boredom… I like where this is going – A quote graphic that is right at home here
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: why it really matters – Things get real for a moment, because reality is often better than sensationalism
Watsi: crowdfunding health – A website founded so that you can make donation towards life-saving surgeries, kind of like Kiva for life instead of small businesses
Motion vs Action aka Planning vs Progress on Goals – An article that is a friendly reminder to not fool yourself, planning is good and important, but without action, plans are just plans
How well would your bike lock hold up to a grinder? An article that gives some unfortunate truth about bike safety
Haircuts for the homeless – One man gives back to his community in an admirable way
“Hey, I’m just being honest. That’s how I am!” – If you’ve ever said this to someone, you might want to read this comic
Life without a cell phone – One man goes traveling for 18 months during which he does not have or use a cell phone. These are his insights
Sadness and the Bottle Analogy – Something written by a friend of mine in light of Robin Williams and Depression, that I thought was so well said I had to feature it
One big hockey puck molecule – Science can be very surprising sometimes
In Istanbul you can help feed stray animals with plastic bottles – An ingenius vending machine type device in Istanbul that encourages recycling, and compassion
Creative system for letting your neighbours know what they can borrow – A simple sticker based project from Switzerland that might be helpful to you
Two cool videos of animals being animals – One of the world (sort of) through a dog’s eyes, the other of an animal you don’t see every day
New restaurant staffed exclusively by deaf waiters – Go check out “Signs”, and learn some sign language
Password Myths: your password might not be as secure as you think – Your average 6-8 character password will likely take just a few minutes to crack. Want one that will take over a million years?
Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet – Another quote graphic that resonated so I featured it
More insight for introverts: stimulation – There’s (still) a lot of confusion out there about introverts, here’s a bit more info to help you understand
Repair cafe: community based skills lending – Need something fixed? Want to learn how to do it yourself? This is the place to go (once a month)
Science basics quiz – Wonder how much you remember about science from what you studied in school? Find out
Washoe the Chimp gives us more to think about as humans – Really amazing story of animal intelligence, empathy, and sign language
Insightful quote of the day – Attempting to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth
A science and safety lessons re: microwaves – Why can’t you put metal in a microwave? find out
Heterochromia Iridum aka multicoloured eyes – Ever seen an animal (or person) with two different coloured eyes? Come learn what that’s all about
Want to get more cuddles? There’s an app for that – New app lets you find platonic cuddle partners in your area, since we literally need physical touch as beings and often don’t get it outside of relationships
Political perspective: Liberals and Conservatives really ARE different (but maybe not how you thought) – It comes down to principles and policy
Can’t get no (lasting) satisfaction? Here’s why – Psychology today explains why we always need a goal to work towards
What’s the deal with blood types? If you’ve ever wondered, here’s the answer
Hold your new shiny social network horses – Before you jump on the Ello hype train, this is worth reading
The next evolution of feminism? Taking aim at the Kyriarchy – Oppression is complicated, there are a lot of interlinked, moving parts
Aug 17th, 2014
August was a busy month for me. Some things I did outside of the blog:
Noise in my Head E207 on Network Ops
Noise in my Head E208 no sugar for 500+ days
New writings on Medium
Now, for a review of the posts over the last 3+ weeks!
How Languages Evolve: Visual Guide – A four minute video that illustrates how languages evolve
Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter – 23 things you can do each day to get and be smarter
Tourists beware: scams to watch out for – An infographic of 40 common tourist scams from around the world
Advice for job seekers: Why you need to be interesting – Because sadly, you’re probably not as precious a snowflake as you might hope
Perspective on labels and fixed mindset thinking – Another post about fundamental attribution error, and a good example to help you understand why it matters
Warning signs of bad company culture – More from the user beware realm
Clever way to bridge the language divide – And connect people!
Want (or need) a 3D printing pen? They make those now
Sole power: charge gadgets while you walk – Forward, March!
Want to help animals? Can’t adopt? Here are some other ways – There are always more ways to help than you might think
Gender Marketing aka Why is there a male and female version of everything? – A video (with transcript) that might open your eyes to just how dumb advertisers basically think we are
Functioning Labels and Person First may do more harm than good – Something I’ve posted about before and had to post a correction/update now that I’ve learned better
Terms to Know if Your Child Struggles With Executive Functioning Issues – Identify the signs and get help to give your child the best chance to function effectively
To “Like” or not to “Like”, turns out there’s really no question – Two separate experiments, and the lessons that can be learned from interacting with content via the “Like” button on Facebook
Rethink Homelessness – If you think homeless people are all just lazy and aren’t trying to be useful to society, you may want to think again
Playing violin during brain surgery – Because that’s how the doctor would be able to find the root of the problem
The Gender Map: How well do we really understand gender? (not very) – A short little video (and transcript) that helps us navigate the complex world of gender, hopefully just a bit more effectively
How the sun sees you, and why you should wear sunscreen! – UV light is not a friend of our skin, this is a pretty startling demonstration of what some innocent sunlight exposure does to us
Glitch Textiles: hacking a circuit board to make unique art – The first entry into a new category here on the site: “Art Driven by Curiosity”!
Learn about some very cool physics phenomena with Derek Muller – Veritasium does some of my absolute most favourite videos. Come, watch magnetic cereal, and other cool stuff!
There are no stupid questions when you are learning something new – A poster (and soon to be t-shirt) that fits in with the philosophy and spirit of this site!
Cell Fate Conversion in the form of a subway map – Seeing it in this form makes it a lot easier for my puny mind to begin to “understand”
Humans Need Not Apply – Will automation render humanity “unemployable”? CGP Grey seems to think so, and he makes a very strong case
Body Acceptance like you’re probably never seen before – A true instance of leading by example
This concert is for the birds – When nature decides to be a part of human art
Last month’s recap –
July 20, 2014
Things have been slower here for a few weeks while my attention has been pulled elsewhere, and the focus of the blog may change again, but for good reasons.
Also, I just published my latest
Medium piece “The Real Root Problem Behind ‘I’m Bored'”.
Should a Scanner run their own business? Revisited – Still pondering this question, shared some new ideas and insight
“I’m just handing out sticks, you’re the one surviving” – a quote graphic to help those just trying to get by
Niche Markets: An imperfect analogy for the melting pot of social society – my prior Medium article
Productivity Apps, Resources page update and I’m working on a business plan! – Another “update from the field” so to speak. I briefly review a few self organization/productivity apps and the Resources Page has been overhauled
What a Novel(ist) idea – An image from social media inspires me to write a post about writing, and ‘getting over the hump’
Another look at meal replacements – A second, more comprehensive post about Soylent, and another similar (arguably more “natural”) product called 100%Food.
Jewellery for the science nerd – a few pieces I’ve come across in my travels that you might enjoy
MBTInaccurate? – I found an article detailing why Myers-Briggs is both unscientific and inaccurate, so look into that
Stay tuned for some new podcast episodes soon. Scheduling has been making them difficult to record, but they are coming.
Sorry for breaking routine folks, doing my best to roll with some punches and shifting priorities. This blog will be morphing slightly going forward as I begin working on some new projects, which I’ll be very excited to announce when I can. Also, the latest episode of
Noise in my Head is a two parter full of all kinds of good information.
In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been posting about on here for the last few weeks:
The Deepest Hole on the Planet – What we learned from drilling 0.02% of the way into the earth’s crust
How or why does a hot shower clear your sinuses? – I reflect on the nuisance of having a headcold, and one simple, but brief remedy
Listen to Adam Savage talk about hearing loss and the state of hearing aids – Some wisdom from one half of the Mythbusters
Soylent: An alternative to food if you’re looking for one – Do you consider having to stop being productive to cook, and eat? If so, this might be a solution for you
Consumer Awareness: Don’t fall for the decoy! – Something from the psych files here, the more you know, the less you get conned out of your hard earned money!
Five creatures that aren’t dinosaurs – Just what the title implies. We mistake a lot of creatures for dinosaurs
Are some animals psychic? Spoiler alert: No – Another podcast spotlight to teach us about our psychological fallibility and biases
Multiply big numbers easily, using lines (not calculators!) – A really simple, easy math trick that made me go “heck yes!”
Ten things everyone should know about science – including shortened, tweetable versions
Pink and Blue and Other Colours Too – An entrepreneur spotlight, a look at gender issues, solutions, and the latest episode of my podcast
Reviving Old Technologies – time to dig out your old cassette tapes – Sony is bringing back magnetic tape, and putting blu-ray to shame in the process
Some words of inspiration for the students out there – One teacher tells you what good teachers are really thinking, and it may surprise you
Why it’s good to be a Jack of all Trades – Tim Ferriss gives us 5 great arguments in favour of not specializing. Polymaths rejoice
Previous Recap – May 4, 2014.
New episode of the Noise in my Head Podcast is out today, this time I talked to Mark Tang ( @maplehutt) about working in radio. Check it out!
Taking a closer look at two social concepts – “How to be a good depressive citizen” and “The myth of nobody can make you feel bad without your permission”
Music + Fire + Science = Awesome – A video from Veritasium that combines science, music and fire to make learning about sound and physics fun, groovy and hot!
Veritasium tells us how you might not be getting what you paid for (on Facebook) – can you really pay for legitimate likes for your page on facebook?
Stupid Question: Curiosity + Misunderstanding – I examine this concept brought forward by Craig Fay, and talk a little bit about the difference between ignorance and stupidity, and how we should encouraging people asking questions, not shame them for not knowing
Are we inadvertently teaching kids that consent doesn’t matter? – this question is addressed in a video and article, and I share some thoughts as well
“The Never-Ending Career/Major Dilemma” aka INFJ problems, aka Scanner Problems – more life and career insight/advice for people who just can’t figure out what want to do/what they’re supposed to be doing
Search the Internet, Plant a Tree, Save the World – I found a search engine that plants a tree for every search you conduct. It’s a great little tool that doesn’t require any extra effort from you that effects positive change
Spray on Clothing: Technology of the Future, Today! – Pretty cool new technology with lots of great applications
HabitRPG: Round 2 – I take a second look at this productivity app thanks to a friend, and I recommend it much more now
What can you do without a brain? – Vsauce on YouTube attempts to answer this question
Self Defence of the Artistic Kind – A photographer gets jerked around by a band, but gets justice in the end
Visual, Technology Metaphors for Heartbreak – An amusing and accurate depiction of heartbreak using software errors and messages
High-Resolution Microscope You Can Fit In Your Pocket? – A professor and his students at Stanford are working on something called “Foldscope”, and it could be a big deal
Nerd Nite Presentation Recap: Life as a Polymath – The video and semi-transcript from my recent presentation
The History of Light, from an Economic point of view – I highlight an episode of the Planet Money podcast that explains briefly how we got from candles to now, and what that has meant for the working world
Mike Rowe gives life advice far better than I do – another post featuring perspective, insight and advice that may help you if you feel lost and confused and not sure what to do with yourself
Recap – April 20, 2014.
For convenience, the video from my presentation:
Episode 2 of my podcast “Noise in my Head” is available now. This time around, go learn about Opticianry, or the science behind how glasses are made and how they work. Really interesting stuff!
Also, stay tuned for a written recap (and YouTube video) of a presentation I gave this past week about being a Polymath.
Due to preparing for the presentation, I didn’t post as much as I typically do this time around. But here’s what I did post:
The Noise in my Head Podcast returns with Season 2 – My interview podcast returns, come learn about things other people do!
“Should a Scanner Personality Type run their own business?” – Someone found this blog using that search term. I attempt to answer their question
To raise your chicken and eat it too? – I recently came across two podcasts discussing the potential upsides of becoming a vegetarian/vegan. It has given me a lot to think about
A small change can make a big difference – A nice inspirational video to gently adjust your perspective
Tips from your proverbial hairstylist – I find an article that explains several things everyone should know before visiting their barber
How to Spot “Bad Science” in 12 easy steps (an infographic) – Something I am always trying to get better at, here’s something to help
Getting scratched hurts, but not as much as a bone excision (Declawing Your Pet) – Knowing what I know now, I will never get a pet declawed again. Here’s why
More clever animals, this time: Goats – Humans may invent stuff, but we aren’t the only clever creatures on this space rock
Seawater as fuel? Well, that’s good news! – And it’s carbon neutral!
Interview with a Scanner, Advice for other Scanners – I share the insights that came out of an interview I did recently with someone else in the Scanner community
Misophonia: Hatred of Sound – An uncommon and unpleasant condition, but interesting
Speaking of alternative fuel sources: Urine. Yes, Urine – Good news for astronauts, and possibly also for us here on Earth
ASMR: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (aka nice feels) – Science hasn’t gotten to the bottom of this phenomenon yet, but it’s pretty interesting to think about
Flux: No more eye strain or being kept awake at night by bright screens – I discover a free software app that may just change your life if you are often staring at bright screens after dark
Technology Time Out for Children? – Should kids not be allowed to use hand held devices? One mom/librarian/teacher thinks they should and here’s why
Recap Apr 6, 2014.
Cultural perspectives, space stuff and visual processing this time around!
Brain Myth #3: Once we are adults out brains are “final” – Good news is you can pretty much keep learning forever, if you want to!
I have always wanted to try an anechoic chamber – Why would I want to go into a room that doesn’t echo? Because it’s cool!
“Ugly is a construct” – I found a great article for perspective on beauty standards
Understanding Anxiety – Another visual explanation of something many people struggle with, that will, hopefully help you understand and being more compassion with them
Positive thinking not so useful afterall? I found a couple of articles that say that positive thinking could actually hurt your performance
Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? It makes a HUGE difference
Did you know you might be breathing wrong, among other things? Some minor tweaks might mean some noticeable health improvements
You might be a scanner if… A list of things that tends to be common among people who are scanners (aka multipotentialites, aka polymaths)
Makers: Women Who Make America – A video series of entrepreneurial and trailblazing women in various fields
One step closer to knowing what it’s like to be someone else – Visual tech is used to simulate 2 people trading bodies
Comedian Aamer Rahman explains why “Reverse Racism” isn’t a thing – And you get a bit of a sociology and history lesson
Wil Wheaton gives the best advice you’ll ever need if you’re a nerd – How to deal with people who think being a nerd is a bad thing
Laci Green deftly explains why Sexual Objectification is bonkers and needs to stop – A six minute video jam packed with more information than you can shake a stick at
Know your enemy, more importantly know who is not your enemy – Men’s rights activists, fasten your seatbelt
There’s socially awkward, and then there’s creepy. It’s an important difference – A great post from Dr. Nerdlove’s blog highlights the difference so you have no excuse to be better
You’ll never look at your own bedroom the same way again – A link to a photo series that makes even the most hole-in-the-wall bachelor apartment seem like a palatial estate
A different way to look at mating as a ritual – What if humans get freaky like some of the animal kingdom’s more open-minded creatures?
Ocean on Saturn’s moon and Asteroid with Rings – Two big space discoveries that are pretty darn cool
Habitable Planets 101 – SciShow explains to us in a video what makes for a habitable planet and why we haven’t found a whole lot of them besides Earth
Prank it Forward – An April fools day gag that is actually really nice and heartwarming, just how I like them!
Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome – Some people are more sensitive to light than others, which can create a range of mental and health issues. Come learn a little more and maybe see if light has been holding you back
Take a Yale Psychology Course for Free Online (without getting the credit though) – Free online education is one of the best things about the internet now. Take advantage, why not? There’s so much to learn!
Side note – As of today, my interview podcast has officially resumed. I interview someone in a different field roughly every 2 weeks and produce an episode a bit like an NPR program. If you’re interested,
check it out!
Recap for Mar 23rd, 2014
An unexpected injury gave me lots more time to write this week.
“Fair use” does not mean you can use it just because you said “fair use!” – A blog post about what constitutes fair use, including an example from this very blog
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Wrong, Be Afraid to Not Know Better – my latest original article, cross posted on Medium
Teach your kid how to build a bridge – a do it at home science project for teaching your kids
Think fast, smarty! – Can you measure your intelligence with a ruler? Sort of
Do you spend a lot of time sitting? You should read this (it’s good news) – Sitting too much is bad for you, but there is a solution that’s totally doable
Dark chocolate is good for your heart – I’m not a fan, but if you are, now there’s something to be happy about besides just the joy of eating it
Introversion vs Shyness – If you’re reading this site, chances are more likely that you’re an introvert. That’s not a bad thing, and the good news is, shyness can also be overcome!
Superstitions, Phobias, Luck and Fear – I did some research for a discussion group I hosted and moderated. Here’s what I learned, for your benefit
So it turns out we have two nostrils for a reason – Yup, and I bet you can’t guess what it is
It’s just a game man, don’t think so hard about it! – A video titled “Why Do We Play Games?” will make you think, possibly harder and deeper than you normally choose to. Be brave, you’ll learn!
If this doesn’t convince you that gay people are alright, maybe nothing will – An experiment filmed for our benefit that shows us the best way to deal with something that makes us uncomfortable
Untranslatable words give us a unique window into other cultures – My post doesn’t have pretty pictures, but the original does
Double Brain Myth – Alcohol kills brain cells and the human body replaces all cells every 7 years – Spoiler alert, “myth” means it’s not actually true. But the why is interesting!
Speaking of drinking, lets talk microaggressions – They seem innocent to everyone except the person they hurt
The perils of insufficient sleep are many and varied – Most you probably already know
Carbon Footprint Calculator – with practical suggestions for several areas of life, so it can actually be quite useful
Thinking about a career change? This could help – I think about career changes like every other week. Always good to know your options!
Synaesthesia – Can you see time? Can you hear with your eyes? – I found a fascinating article about a fascinating condition that crosses your wires and mixes your senses
Animal Drinking Physics, just as cool as it sounds – slow motion can teach us some really cool things
Advice for single people to do what’s right for them – A recap and a bit of OpEd related to a great article about being single
Recap – Mar 9, 2014
I have switched to doing these recaps every 2 weeks as I don’t get to post as much anymore and it seems a bit silly to me to do a recap of just a handful of posts.
Eyeball floaters – If you’ve ever wondered about them, wonder no more!
Adrienn Banhegyi Master Jump Roper – you’ve never seen someone jump rope like this!
Thinking about a new computer or hard drive? – A review of 3 top hard drive manufacturer’s and their failure rates. Hooray consumer protection!
The problem with Facebook – Veritasium on YouTube breaks down how the social network works, and how it is actually doing you a disservice
The energy we use is the energy it loses – how energy works in chemical bonds, some logic problems, and some things you didn’t know about skunks
22 Amazing natural land formations around the world – planning to go travelling? Check this out
When clever quotes don’t hold up – no matter how clever, no quote frees you up from having to be a decent human being
Casual Love – a blog post about taking some of the pressure off the word love, and how to approach someone you’re interested in if you’re not necessarily looking to get serious right away
You can’t re-invent the wheel, but you can re-invent table tennis – One man does a pretty good job of having as much fun during competition as he can, and manages to get others to join him
Some interesting ways to hack your home – here are 33 neat ideas for upgrading your living space, though most of them probably aren’t especially cheap
Browser extension to stop clickbait headlines – Downworthy aims to help make the internet less sensationalistic
Not your average book club – I attend a book club based around science and philosophy, and get my mind bent in a fun way
Consciousness and Music – learn a little bit more about consciousness through this video
When the going gets tough, the tough get going – 19 hard things that can help you be more successful if you do them
Curious about Geology? Listen to this – I find a new podcast about science, and a particularly good episode about geology
Beat procrastination, gamify productivity? – if you like games but have trouble getting things done, maybe HabitRPG can help
Petroleum Jelly – more interesting than you’d think – I got randomly curious and researched petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline), and was pleasantly surprised
Did You Know Animals Think Like People – Animal fMRIs and speech pathology
“Curiosity is the greatest human quality” – Hank Green – And I couldn’t agree more.
Two interesting uses of light – make internet go faster, make huts less dark.
Resources Page Update – added 2 new items to the resources page. Podcast + YouTube.
More great life advice in a handy list – 10 great tips for everyone to be happier and more successful in relationships.
Did You Know – A Pacemaker can be Hacked? – Apparently, yes.
Girls + Soccer = Science? – A short post about how there is a link between kids getting more exercise and being better at science in school.
On letting go – Everything from ideas to people or relationships, we need to know our limits, because if we over-extend, the stuff that really matters will suffer. (See also: this)
Did You Know – Prime Numbers and Encryption – I heard on a podcast that prime numbers make for great encryption tools and explain why in my cute little non-expert way. Also a couple good reader comments on this one!
The first photograph ever taken – close encounters of the visual (and old) kind
Helping Instead of Arresting – a nice short human interest story 🙂
Another reason to hate bras – Found a funny little fact on twitter. Bra haters rejoice.
Don’t like doing your quote homework? Let this guy do it for you – I found a website dedicated to researching the origin of quotes. How convenient!
So, what’s the deal with Polyamory? – I take a look at, and try to understand and explore the merits of Polyamory, as an open-minded monogamous person, just trying to be aware of my options.
Did You Know – The Great Search for the Loch Ness Monster – Was reminded this was a thing, did some quick research to see what the latest news is.
Artist Focus – I shine the spotlight on the work of 4 artists who I think are worth checking out. 3 visual, 1 auditory.
Resource Round-Up (Week 2) – A list of the links I added to the resources page this week.
Face-a-Fear Friday – the latest installment, this week, fear of posting something controversial!
IMPORTANT > Before you share a missing person photo on social media – What you should know before you do this. You could endanger someone’s life if you aren’t careful.
A good slam poem about body image issues – Lily Myers breaks it down for us, with personal insight.
Last week’s recap.
This entry was posted in
Cool Science Stuff, Culture Clarity, Did You Know, Do Your Research, Facing Fears, Food for Thought, Fun Fact for You, Know Thyself, Leading by Example, Myth Communication, OpEd (Thinking out Loud), Perspective and Life Wisdom, Resource Relay, Science in Cinema, Steering the Relation Ship, Tracing History and tagged factoids, facts, history, polyamory, recap, resources, science on . October 26, 2013