Posts Tagged "compelling read"

Writing the Right Stuff: NASA’s Elite Coders

Near the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake, Texas, a group of programmers enter line after line of near-perfect code for NASA. Known as the “on-board shuttle group,” these coders make the software that handles over $4 billion in equipment – where a miscalculation that’s 2/3 of a second off can put the space shuttle 3 miles off course. Charles…

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Ant Invasion

In his Esquire article Invasion, Tom Junod writers a harrowing account of how Argentine ants invaded (and infested) his home. I’m a fan of ants, and am really awed at how they work as a collective. That said, there were still some cringe-worthy moments that had me shaking my head in disbelief. The sheer number of ants in general, compared…

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Japan’s Hikikomori: Teens Who Have Withdrawn From the World

The Japanese term hikikomori roughly translates to “withdrawal,” and refers to a person who has shut themselves in their rooms for six months or longer, with little to no social contact. More than just a phase or typical teenage brooding, the length and depth of withdrawal is incredibly alarming, particularly for those young men who feel there is no place…

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The Turn: Elegant, Mysterious and Deceptive

The Turn is an incredibly compelling article about a procedure that seems routine to anyone who’s traveled by plane. But there is a great deal more that happens when plane executes a banked turn. Pilot and writer William Langewiesche tackles a complex topic, but does so in a way that makes it easily understandable by the layman. There’s a mixture…

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Can IBM’s Watson Beat Humans in a Game of Jeopardy?

In 1997, IBM created a computer named Deep Blue, and set up a chess match with the then world champion Garry Kasparov. After a mistake by Kasparov in the opening of the sixth game, Deep Blue became the first computer to ever beat a chess grand master. The latest computer to emerge from IBM is nicknamed Watson, and boasts the…

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The Price Is Perfect

Terry Kniess did whaat no one else has done, in the thirty-eight years that the Price is Right gameshow has been on television: he came up with the perfect number. In the final event on the show (the Showcase Showdown), two contestants are shown different sets of items. They sometimes include vacation packages, cars, a mixture of items. Each contestant…

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Reality Trip: Slaterspeed’s Urban Exploration Blog

Wow. Stop what you’re doing, and head over to Reality Trip, the blog of urban explorer that documents his findings in both images and words. There are some breathtaking shots on there, and entry after entry is incredibly compelling. You know how you just can get sucked in to a website – the more you see, the more there is?…

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Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

According to Mario Vittone, the normal images we associate with drowning come from the movies and television… and they’re all wrong. His article, entitled Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning is definitely a must-read, if you’re going to be anywhere near the water. There’s a difference between aquatic distress and actual drowning: a person in aquatic distress can yell or signal…

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The Thriller Diaries

The Thriller Diaries is a nice look back on the seminal 1983 music video by Michael Jackson – a 14 minute horror spoof that changed the way everyone saw music videos ever after. There’s a lot of behind the scenes stories in the article, and it very much feels like you’re able to glimpse the inner workings of how the…

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William Wesley: The Most Powerful Man in Sports?

I’m not a big sports person but I found this GQ article about William Wesley, entitled Is This the Most Powerful Man in Sports? pretty fascinating to read. Wesley seems like the ultimate person who knows everybody, able to ring up Michael Jordan or Jay-Z on a whim. He seems to be ever present, in the most unlikely of places….

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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a story about Chris Kenneth Gerhart (a film student at the University of Wisconsin) and Christopher Chichester, a member of British Royalty descended from Lord Mountbatten. It also involves Christopher Crowe, who was hired as a computer whiz for a Connecticut brokerage firm… and later hired as a department head at Nikko Securities,…

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The Enemy Within: Fascinating Article About the Conficker Computer Worm

We’re dealing with one of two things: either we’re dealing with incredibly sophisticated cyber criminals, or we’re dealing with a group that was funded by a nation-state. Because this wasn’t the kind of team that you could just assemble by getting your five buddies who play Xbox 360 and saying, ‘Let’s all work together and see what we can do.’…

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Raising the Dead: The Incredible Story of Extreme Diver Dave Shaw

Yesterday, on the way home from work, I got sucked in to a captivating, gripping and heartbreaking story about extreme deep sea divers entitled Raising the Dead: The Incredible Story of Extreme Diver Dave Shaw. It was one of those articles that I simply couldn’t stop reading. While diving at Bushman’s Hole (a remote sinkhole in South Africa), at a…

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Ronald Mallett – Physics Professor, Son and Secretive Time Traveler

A few days ago, I came across a pretty fascinating article that I simply couldn’t stop thinking about. Ronald Mallett is a UConn physics professor who has kept a pretty big secret his entire career (and his entire life pretty much). Afraid of being ridiculed by his colleagues, he only recently let it be known that the primary reason he…

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