totally useless information
apr 29, 2012; updated apr 05, 2013
Apr 05, 2013
A brief book review of The Bible from the year 2033
Is the Internet changing how we use language? I give you, as evidence, this book review of the Bible that came from twenty years in the future. Don't ask me how I got it.
it's about this guy that creates a whole like universe and everything but stuff goes wrong over and over again so he keeps trying to kill them off first by drowning them all and then he makes them walk around in the desert for forty years then he even sends his own kid but they kill him too and so in the end they all go nuts and have hallucinations and make shit up and the guy just goes off and says i'll be back in a thousand years or so don't call me
Mar 31, 2013
Jesus vs. Bear Grylls
I was watching The Bible last week, where Jesus was out in the desert fasting for forty days, and Satan appears in the form of a snake. The snake is obviously just symbolic, but I couldn't help thinking, “What would Bear Grylls do in this situation?” I think we all know what would have happened to that snake if Jesus had had better survival training. It might have changed our culture in strange ways. Certainly, the Bible would be quite different:
Matt 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, “... If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be ... hey, what are you doing!?”
Matt 4:4 And Jesus replied, saying, Verily, it is written in the survival manual, that you are packed with vitamin C!
Mar 07, 2013
How big would a silver coin be to be worth one dollar?
Silver is currently $1.018 per gram. A one-dollar silver coin worth its weight, if it was one centimeter in diameter, would be 1.2 millimeters thick.
A gold coin one centimeter in diameter worth one dollar would be 0.0115 millimeters thick, at current prices (US$ 1607 per ounce). This is about the same as the wavelength of mid-infrared light, or 1/10 the diameter of an average human hair, which is about 0.1 millimeter thick.
Gold foil is available in thicknesses down to 0.2μm, which is the same as the wavelength of ultraviolet light. A dollar coin made from this thickness of gold leaf would be 2.98 inches in diameter.
Feb 28, 2013
How much does a dollar bill weigh?
A dollar bill weighs slightly less than one gram (between 0.94 and 0.96 grams, depending on the amount of dirt on it). This means a hundred dollar bill, which is the largest denomination currently printed, is worth $2800 an ounce, about 1.75 times that of gold, which is currently valued at $1607 an ounce. So a hundred dollar bill is the only form of US currency that is worth its weight in gold.
The price of silver is currently US$28.51 per ounce or $1.018 per gram. Thus, even though our dollar bills no longer say "Silver Certificate," a one-dollar bill is almost worth its weight in silver.
Feb 27, 2013
How much does a grain of salt weigh?
One grain of Morton Iodized salt from the grocery store weighs about 106 micrograms. This means that there are 264,151 grains of salt in an ounce. Each grain of salt contains 1.1×1018 molecules of sodium chloride. This is roughly 11 million times more than the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
A mass spectrometer, which is one of the most sensitive instruments known, can measure 1 attomole, which is 600,000 molecules. This is equivalent to roughly one trillionth (1×10-12) of a grain of salt.
A typical sample volume for a mass spectrometer is 1 μl (1 microliter). Therefore, the mass spec can measure the amount of salt in one salt crystal diluted in 1814 metric tons of water. At a typical flow rate of 1 μl per minute, it would take 3.44 million years to pump this much sample through a mass spectrometer. This is enough for the mass spec to measure the concentration about 1.1 quadrillion times. Of course, some instruments can handle higher flow rates, up to 1 milliliter per minute, in which case the sample containing a single salt crystal could be analyzed in about 3449 years. This instrument could only measure the concentration 1.1 trillion times.
Oct 28, 2012
Crimes that are their own punishment
Oct 25, 2012
People of color
The original people of color were the Chrome-Magnons.
Oct 23, 2012
Worst headline ever
The Daily Mail, not particularly noted for its proofreading skills, published the following headline yesterday: "Alaskan Forester Mauled to Death by Brown Bear on his Way to Collect Groceries for his Colleagues." However, it is generally believed that the worst headline ever was from an unknown newspaper that printed a story under the heading "One Dead At Funeral."
Sep 05, 2012
Every driver can be above average (almost)
Some people profess to be confused by the idea that almost everyone can be above average. Here is an example of why such a thing is actually very common. Score each driver's skill from 0 to 100. Suppose 99 drivers have a skill of 100 and one driver has a skill of 0. The average skill would be 99, and 99% of the drivers would be above average. The correct statistic to use here is median. By definition, half the population are always above the median and half are below it.
Sep 01, 2012
Life sucks then you die
According to the Internet, the expression "Life sucks then you die" was first used by Louis Creed in Pet Cemetery by Stephen King.
Jul 17, 2012
Vulcans sleep with their eyes open
In the Star Trek episode Return of the Archons, Mr Spock is depicted sleeping, yet his eyes are open. He is lying on a bed and unresponsive until Kirk awakens him. This episode is full of veiled references to New Orleans, Louisiana, where the Landrieu family has been a powerful political force since the early 1960s.
Jul 09, 2012
Socks in the drier
Many people have noticed that the disappearance of socks in a clothes drier is always accompanied by the appearance of quarters. Experts have found that this phenomenon is not caused by coins falling out of pockets as formerly believed, but rather is proof of the existence of the Sock Fairy.
Jul 08, 2012
Food selection in humans
There are many reasons why people get sick of eating the same food every day. One reason is that we are programmed to seek out a balanced diet. An imbalance in nutrients will cause persons to seek different types of food that contain the missing nutrients. Our variety-craving programming might also have helped our ancestors to avoid eating excessive quantities of foods such as unripe potatoes, which contain glycoalkaloids, and almonds, which contain small amounts of cyanide (which is the main reason why cyanide smells like almonds). Another reason is intestinal bacteria. A change in diet causes different strains of viruses and bacteria to accumulate in the gut, which could prevent accumulation of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Under periods of stress, people also automatically eat more high-fat foods.
Jun 26, 2012
Alcohol in Coke
French researchers have discovered that Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, and many other brands of soft drink contain ethyl alcohol at concentrations of 10 mg per liter. What many people don't realize is that there are almost always trace amounts of endogenous ethanol in the blood of healthy, non-drinking persons. The concentrations range from 0 to 0.08 mg/dl. This is usually attributed to gastrointestinal yeast. Patients with severe yeast infections have been found with blood alcohol levels above 80 mg/dl. This is near the limit of 0.1% level (or 100 mg/dl) for a DUI. To get drunk on Diet Coke, you would need the equivalent of 68 grams of alcohol, or 6,800 liters (1,796 gallons) of cola, which would weigh about 7.48 tons.
It has been claimed that diet soft drinks containing aspartame also contain 55 mg
of methyl alcohol per liter. Methanol is also a major component of cigarette smoke.
Since ethanol is a treatment for methanol poisoning, drinking a few tons of regular
Coke per day could help, in a small way, to protect you against cigarette
smoking. However, many doctors recommend against this.
May 20, 2012
Yoda's mother: "Up your room, clean you must."
Yoda's H/P calculator: "Reverse Polish notation, I English in using am."
May 13, 2012
Recently discovered verse from the Bible
Matt 12:10½ Behold, a man asked Jesus, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? ... And Jesus spake unto him, in that Brooklyn-accented high-pitched falsetto voice that so annoyed the disciples, saying, "What am I, the answer man?"
May 08, 2012
Scientists have estimated that there are approximately 2,550,014 pictures of Pinkie Pie on the Internet.
May 07, 2012
Theme from 2001
The theme from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is just the Woody Woodpecker bird call slowed way down.
May 05, 2012
Fairy dust, also known as pixie dust, is made by grinding fairies into a fine powder, and then extracting the organic components, leaving only the magical dust-like material. Contrary to popular belief, however, baby powder sold in the West is not made from babies, but from a mineral known as talc, which is the softest known mineral. As for other parts of the globe—better check the label.
Apr 29, 2012
On the origins of 'It's quiet ... too quiet'
The expression "It's quiet ... too quiet" is ancient, but it achieved its current status as a stereotypical expression of pre-battle anxiety about possible enemy troop movements in the 1966-1968 TV show The Rat Patrol (Or was it Combat ?). It was made famous to younger viewers by Robert Stack in the 1980 movie Airplane!, who used it while the characters were waiting for the eponymous airplane to appear.
Apr 29, 2012
The phrase that created the Universe:
"Hey, watch this!"
By coincidence, this phrase is also known to have been the last words by the last living human, spoken just before the Universe was destroyed. (In the beginning, God said, "Hey, watch this!")