Sure, you might spend a lot of time on your couch, as you watch the Summer Olympics. And hey, maybe you've drifted a couple pounds above your fighting weight. But there's all kinds of athletes competing in London — one of them has to be around the same size as you, right?
Now you can find that out, thanks to the BBC, whose site has an interactive chart that lets you enter your height and weight — and then tells you which two Olympic athletes you most resemble.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:49 pm
This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:20 pm
We can't help but tune into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's daily news conference about NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
For the most part, it's very much inside baseball. The scientists talk about the nitty gritty details of getting the Curiosity Rover going and onto doing some science. They talk about reorienting antennas and about how a higher-than-predicted temperature won't have a significant effect on the mission.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:34 pm
Everybody knows that one good way to prevent a sunburn is to stay inside, where you're safe from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Right?
Well, that may not be true anymore if your house is lit with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Last month, researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook showed in a paperthat tiny defects in the bulbs can let through UV light that can damage skin cells and lead to cancer.
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:29 am
Allyson Felix has won the women's 200 meter race in London's Olympic Stadium, running a time of 21.88. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver medal at 22.09, as she wasn't able to track Felix down in the closing stretch.
The four center lanes were stacked with speed, with Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce and defending gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown in lanes 4 and 5, respectively. Just outside of them were Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Felix, in lanes 6 and 7. And on the outside, in lane 9, was Carmelita Jeter.
Australia's privacy commissioner is asking Google to delete all personal data its Street View vehicles collected from unsecured wi-fi networks. The directive comes a little more than a week after Google said that in error, it had kept a small portion of the 600 gigabytes it collected.
As we reported, the slurped data is known to include passwords, emails, pictures and web searches.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:25 pm
There seems to be a vague logic that dictates which Olympic sports are conducted against a backdrop of noise, and which operate in a cone of silence.
For the most part, the more a sport depends on a fine motor skill, the quieter the spectators are meant to be. Shooters squeeze triggers before mostly hushed crowds. But in many shooting disciplines, the competitors line up in a group and can shoot at any point during their time allotment. So not only is gunfire ringing in their ears, crowds often become noisy, depending on the results.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:23 pm
Yes, it was an amazing landing, an engineering triumph, a 150-million-mile slam dunk, spectacular in every way, except ... I think my grandpa would be disappointed. I'm not sure of this, since he died 50 years ago, but I have a hunch.
It starts with a handwritten letter he wrote back in 1907. He was a travelling salesman. He sold men's hats, and his job was to visit retailers all over the country. "One evening," he wrote, "train riding between Chicago and Kansas City or St. Louis, sitting the club car, I read a magazine, The Century..."
Tonight, after NBC wraps up its Olympic coverage — at a time currently listed as 11:04 p.m. — they'll be previewing Matthew Perry's new sitcom, Go On, which will then go away until its regular premiere on September 10.
It should come as no surprise that Olympics organizers take brand endorsements and official suppliers very seriously. That extends beyond logos on shorts and shoes — up to, and including, condoms. That's right, the Olympics has an "official" condom — and organizers want to get to the bottom of how a bucket of rogue condoms reached the Olympic Village.
Can we make sense of the world without belief? This is the central question behind the faith and science dichotomy, and one that informs how an individual chooses to relate to the world. Contrasting mythic and scientific explanations of reality, we could say that at the extreme, religious myths attempt to explain the unknown with the unknowable, while science attempts to explain the unknown with the knowable. Much of the tension springs from the belief that there are two mutually inconsistent realities, one within this world (and thus knowable) and one without (and thus unknowable).
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:48 am
Good morning. Only five days remain in the Summer Games, and China leads the United States in the medal count, with a total of 73 (34 gold) to America's 71 (30 gold). Here's other news that caught our eye this morning: