Heli Man —

Add/blend together Leonardo da Vinci, Igor Sikorsky, Rube Goldberg, and Eddie Merckx, and if you are very, very good and very lucky, you get something like this: AeroVelo Officially Awarded AHS Sikorsky Prize! Posted on July 11, 2013 by Cameron in Blog Great news! The American Helicopter Society has officially declared AeroVelo winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered […]

A classic 24/7 Lecture: Eric Lander — THE HUMAN GENOME

Eric Lander delivered one of the early 24/7 Lectures. A 24/7 Lecture is a lecture in two parts: first a complete technical description in 24 seconds, second a simple description anyone can understand in 7 words. At the 2003 Ig Nobel Ceremony, Professor Lander spoke on the topic: THE HUMAN GENOME. His seven-word summary has become a classic […]

Making cheese from humans’ foot, nose, armpit bacteria

“Make hay while the sun shines, but make cheese from places where it does not” is the unstated them of a project described in Christina Agapakis‘s Harvard PhD Thesis (and described more colorfully on her web site): “Descriptions of  human body odors often overlap with those of  cheese; Propionibacterium used to make Swiss cheese is a major […]

Are Humans Hardwired for Feline Servitude?

Even if you’ve never lived with a cat, you can still be subject to their powers of mammalian mind-control. “The Cry Embedded Within the Purr,” Karen McComb, Anna M. Taylor, Christian Wilson, and Benjamin D. Charlton, Current Biology, 19 (13), July 2009, pp. R507-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.033. The authors, from The Centre for Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognition […]

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

The basic laws of human stupidity are ancient. The definitive essay on the subject is younger. Called The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, it was published in 1976 by an Italian economist. Professor Carlo M Cipolla [pictured here, below] taught at several universities in Italy, and for many years at the University of California, Berkeley. He also […]

Sudden population increase in Wilmington, Delaware

The city council of the city of Wilmington, Delaware, USA has just passed a resolution (#12-02, on March 1, 2012) calling for every human sperm and every human egg to have the full set of rights to which each human citizen is entitled. This would instantly increase the population of the city of Delaware from […]

“So-called Spontaneous Human Combustion”

Some people are fascinated with the idea of spontaneous human combustion. If you’re one of those people, grab hold of a fire extinguisher and a copy of this new study: “So-called Spontaneous Human Combustion,” Thierry W. Levi-Faict and Gérald Quatrehomme, Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 56, no. 5, September 2011, pp. 1334–9. (Thanks to investigator […]

The Turing Test and “Bill O’Reilly”

This video clip has been much in the news recently. We believe that people have misinterpreted its nature. Is the “man” speaking here really a thinking human being named Bill O’Reilly?  Or is the “man” really a computer artfully built to look and sound like a “thinking” human? Behold the latest entry in the Turing […]