stíobhart

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Why we all love numbers

We cannot help but react to numbers, but why are odds masculine and evens feminine? Why were Levi's 501s and WD-40 given those names? And is number 3 really 'warm' and 'friendly'? Alex Bellos does the maths<p>Jerry Newport asks me to pick a four-digit number.<p>"2761," I say. "That's 11 x 251," he …

Black Death skeletons unearthed by Crossrail project

<b>Skeletons unearthed in London Crossrail excavations are Black Death victims from the great pandemic of the 14th Century, forensic tests indicate.</b><p>Their teeth contain DNA from the plague bacterium <i>Yersinia pestis</i> and their graves have been dated to 1348-50.<p>Records say thousands of Londoners perished …

Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so…

Ray Kurzweil popularised the Teminator-like moment he called the 'singularity', when artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking. But now the man who hopes to be immortal is involved in the very same quest – on behalf of the tech behemoth<p>See our gallery of cinematic killer robots<p>It's hard to …

Cryptocontracts Will Turn Law Into a Programming Language

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post with 10 things that amazed me about bitcoin (here). I just can’t stop thinking about the idea that I brought up …

Gut feelings? Cold feet? Body maps show where emotions go

Where is the love? Experiments with some 700 people in Scandinavia and Taiwan reveal universal locales for emotions from anger to happiness to pride and shame.<p>Have the winter blues got you down? Is a promotion at work making you swell with pride? Does watching kids take "selfies" (and then use the …

Psychology

Anamorphic 3D Illusion Drawings by Alessandro Diddi

by <b>Kaushik</b><p>Friday, July 19, 2013<p>Read<p>When Alessandro Diddi takes his pencil to paper, he makes drawings come to life. The 42-year-old Italian artist …

The Monster Engine: Children’s Drawings Painted Realistically

by <b>Kaushik</b><p>Wednesday, April 20, 2011<p>Read<p>Dave Devries takes sketches of monsters drawn by children purely from their imagination and renders them …

Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they're now worth $886k

Bought in 2009, currency’s rise in value saw small investment turn into enough to buy an apartment in a wealthy area of Oslo<p>Bitcoin: what you need to know<p>This article was originally published on 29 October 2013. Due to a technical fault, it has been republished here, on a new page.<p>The meteoric rise …

Scientists discover DNA body clock

Newly discovered mechanism could help researchers understand ageing process and lead to ways of slowing it down<p>A US scientist has discovered an internal body clock based on DNA that measures the biological age of our tissues and organs.<p>The clock shows that while many healthy tissues age at the same …

Iranian man who survived execution must be hanged again, judges say

Morgue workers spotted that 37-year-old Alireza was alive a day after he was hanged for possessing crystal meth<p>On an autumnal Wednesday earlier this month, Alireza, a 37-year-old man jailed for smuggling drugs and sentenced to death in Iran, woke up to what was supposed to be his last day alive. …

Human Brain Project: Henry Markram plans to spend €1bn building a perfect model of the human brain

In a spartan office looking across Lake Geneva to the French Alps, Henry Markram is searching for a suitably big metaphor to describe his latest project. "It's going to be the Higgs boson of the brain, a Noah's archive of the mind," he says. "No, it's like a telescope that can span all the way …

Inspiration

Doodling

Andrew Kolb: Mused on Tattoos Series

About Courtney<p>Courtney is the founder of Design Work Life and Seamless Creative, a small design studio she runs with her husband Brian. She now …

Now you're a sharpshooter: The smart rifle arrives

Hit a target at 1,000 yards? No problem. Tracking Point's computer-enabled rifles let novices shoot moving targets at extreme distances with near 100 percent accuracy. The new era of firearms is upon us.<p>"I've been a competitive shooter all of my life, I could do it with a conventional rifle. But …

iPad

Dean Karnazes: the man who can run for ever

Most runners have to stop when they reach their lactate threshold, but Dean Karnazes' muscles never tire: he can run for three days and nights without stopping. What's his secret?<p>From club runners to Olympians, every athlete has a limit. Scientifically, this limit is defined as the body’s lactate …

Blobfish voted world's ugliest animal

Deep-sea creature crowned winner of a competition to raise awareness of endangered and aesthetically challenged animals<p>The blobfish (<i>Psychrolutes marcidus</i>), a species that lives at great depths and is rarely seen but resembles a marine Jabba the Hut, has been voted the world's ugliest animal.<p>More …

Gears evolved in nature long before humans 'invented' them

The gears in the hind legs of an insect called Issus work in a similar way to those of bicycles and car gear-boxes<p>A gear system similar to those used on bicycles has been found in insects, proving that nature developed cogs long before humans.<p>The juvenile Issus – a plant-hopping insect found in …

Stephen Hawking's big ideas ... made simple - video animation

No time to read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time? In just two and a half minutes, Alok Jha explains why black holes are doomed to shrink into nothingness then explode with the energy of a million nuclear bombs, and rewinds to the big bang and the origin of the universe<p>• See more 'made …

The DIY Danes planning to launch a man into space

Shoestring project puts faith in homemade spacesuits and cork-tile heat shields<p>Duct tape, cork tiles, plastic valves from the local hardware shop and a DIY spacesuit are just some of the items strewn around the old submarine berth in Copenhagen's dockyards. Think "space programme" and you probably …