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Linky-Links: Miscellany of the Day

Once again, I find my browser with about 40 open windows, so once again, it's time for another dump of Cool Stuff On The Web into the unsuspecting lap of you, my reader.

Today's roundup is all kinds of interesting and fun stuff with no discernible theme. I'l try to categorize them as much as possible, but fair warning...this batch is all over the place.

Onward to the links!


Liu Bolin: The Invisible Man

This might be called "I Can't Believe It's Not Photoshop!" Liu Bolin does the hard way what would be easy in Photoshop; he painstakingly paints himself, then photographs himself from a carefully calculated vantage point so as to vanish into the background. There are other Web galleries of his work as well, and he recently appeared in a real-life art gallery called the Vanguard Gallery, whose Web site seems broken at the moment.

The Underground City on Governors Island

Governor's Island is a small island off the coast of New York City which formerly housed a military base and a small town. In the 1950s, the government transplanted all the town's inhabitants and buried the entire town. Now it's being excavated, and the pictures are amazing. (Edit: Apparently, this place is a hoax.)

Building a Terminator

Or, "what some people with far too much time on their hands do with their action figures."

How-to images for designing a Big Daddy costume from the video game "Bioshock"

Flipping amazing. When I grow up, I want to be half as talented as this guy. I'd never heard of the game Bioshock, and this costume was enough to make me want to play it. Neat feature: the gigantic drill arm actually spins!


New Scientist: How to Cure Diseases Before they Even Start

The advent of antibiotics wrote a new chapter on human health, but effective antiviral drugs are thin on the ground and tend to be extremely specific, often working only against one variant of one virus. A group of researchers is now working on a new class of broad-spectrum antivirals which, if they work, will do for viral disease like what antibiotics have done for bacterial infections.

HPV linked to lung cancer?

A study has found that a significant number of lung cancer tumors express genetic material from the human papilloma virus, the virus responsible for genital warts and cervical cancer.

This does not necessarily prove that HPV causes lung cancer--it's possible that cancerous cells are more susceptible to HPV infection--but it's certainly an interesting correlation. If HPV does in fact lead to lung cancer, this will make immunization against HPV even more valuable, especially in men, who are not often immunized now.

Canadian Startup Proposes Nuclear Fusion at Bargain Basement Price

Nuclear fusion is the holy grail of energy--cheap, clean, safe, and virtually unlimited. Conventional approaches to nuclear fusion as a power source rely on fantastically complex inertial or magnetic confinement of hot hydrogen plasma. This approach, which is simpler and cheap, proposes using a sphere of molten metal as a kind of "anvil" to both contain and compress hydrogen to generate fusion power.

Single molecule pictured for the first time

Scientists from IBM used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within a molecule. What else is there to say? This is cool fucking shit, yo.

Can dogs see colors?

Turns out the answer is "yes;" dogs aren't colorblind the way we've often thought they were. However, they do not see the range of colors human beings do; their color vision seems to be limited to shades of blue, yellow, and gray.

Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens

I've written about this briefly before, I think. The technology is getting closer, and when it's here, it's gonna be a game-changer.


Why the Cops Won't Patrol Brice Street

A motorcycle, two patrol officers, and an insane attack squirrel from the darkest depths of Hell. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself.

Instructions for Baby

Timeless warnings for new parents everywhere.

High Weirdness

Wearable Robotic Eyeball

I...don't know what to think. Apparently, it's linked to the wearer's iPhone and is part of a video game, I guess. Japanese culture is weird.

Cat rides the daily bus for four years

And apparently doesn't have to pay a fare. Neat trick, that. Click the link and go "Aww...."

A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush

So according to Jacques Chirac, in early 2003 President Bush told him that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

Sex Degrees of Separation Calculator

I didn't file this one under "science" because a number of the assumptions that the calculator uses strike me as somewhat implausible, or at least poorly supported, but it's a fun toy anyway. Put in your number of sexual partners and your age, and it tries to figure out how many people are in your extended sexual network. These things scale pretty quick, even if the assumptions the calculator uses are a bit liberal.

A History of Orgies

Kind of a fun article, even if it does end on the socially mandated "the orgy just does not seem such a good idea any more" note.

>Disabled Kids Walk With Jesus, Lefty Journos With Satan

An...interesting bit of artwork, supposedly inspired by a vision from God, in which we learn that the US Constitution was written by Jesus himself, the Founding Fathers were all devout Christians, and TV journalists are the tools of Satan. I wonder if I can buy it on black velvet?

Movie Mashups

Movie posters for one movie, done in the style of a different movie, funnier than you might think.

The Cost of Sexual Weirdness

My Human Sex Map project inspired someone to write about the social cost of expressing the variability and range of the human sexual experience.

And finally... Warning: If the Help Desk Thinks Your Question is Stupid, We Will Set You on Fire


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
I'm not sure where I read it now, but I think Rebecca Watson tweeted about it ... That buried town in NY wasn't actually a buried town. It's a giant piece of art with a political message or something.

I was sorely disappointed when I found out, since I was actually willing to plan a trip up to NY to see it with datan0de.

And I LOVE finding out all these other cancers are somehow related to HPV - not because I want more HPV, but because, even with the news that HPV causes most head and neck cancers, people are STILL calling it the cervical cancer virus and saying that boys don't need the vaccine and it's FRUSTRATING!
Oct. 10th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
Could you provide the link for the buried town not being a buried town?
Oct. 10th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
If I had the link where I read that, I wouldn't have said "I'm not sure where I read it now". Try doing a google search for the name of the exhibit and "fake" or "art exhibit"
Oct. 10th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
In the time it took between sending that last response and this response, I did a google search and came up with an article written by the same person who wrote the original article, in which he admits it's a fake:


I also found:
http://www.notfortourists.com/ViewRadarPrint.aspx?city=NY&print=yes&radarID=26528 and http://myheadlines.mytestbench.com/sample/index.php?y=0&myh=user&myh_op=click&cid=498114
Oct. 10th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I was just in the process of googling it when your mail came through. It's a very clever fake - and I am admittedly, a bit disappointed it isn't real. *sigh*

Oct. 10th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Baby Tips
The baby tips are very cute, and actually come from a pair of books from Wry Baby. Looks like someone did some scans and posted them online.
Oct. 10th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
Would you kindly go play Bioshock now?
Oct. 10th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
Just in case you want to store *more* tabs, because clearly you're the same kind of web surfing research monkey as myself - checkout the firefox addon of Doom!


Oct. 10th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
Cool links! Birds and some reptiles have four types of retinal cones, one of which can sense well into the ultraviolet. While we pity dogs (and other nonprimate mammals, who also have only two types of cones) for missing out on the complexity and beauty of the rainbow, birds pity us for the same reason.
Oct. 10th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
Bioshock is a great game.. I hear (some) Randians love it, which kind of horrifies me because it's definitely free market horror.

Unless of course ones idea of the perfect world is having ammunition vending machines in an underwater city made of glass :)
Oct. 11th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Not to subvert the conversation entirely, since I think my latest LJ post makes my attitude towards Bioshock most clear, but one of the things I loved about the social and economic commentary in the game was that it was a) relatively robust and b) relatively ambivalent. There's still some very pro-rational-self-interest arguments that can be made from the game, probably the most poignant being: You don't build a free market paradise on the bottom of the ocean, Andrew Ryan, you fucktard.
Oct. 10th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
I like this one.
Oct. 11th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
I loved Bioshock! Doooo iiiiit. :)
Oct. 13th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
"The Underground City on Governors Island"

Ontario has a series of underwater villages, created when the government bought the villages in order to make the St Lawrence Seaway. The images from there are really striking, and it's real. :-)

Nov. 26th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
Very cool!

Btw, I've added you. I like your website.
Nov. 26th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
HPV causes all types of warts. Different HPV types tend to affect different body parts, which btw is also the case for HSV.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )