Biweekly links for 05/08/2009

  • Clocks, Kids and General Relativity on Mt Rainier
    • “In September 2005… we took several cesium clocks on a road trip to Mt Rainier; a family science experiment unlike anything you’ve seen before. By keeping the clocks at altitude for a weekend we
      were able to detect and measure the effects of relativistic time dilation compared to atomic clocks we left at home. The amazing thing is that the experiment worked! The predicted and measured effect was just over 20 nanoseconds…. Waiting as cesium clocks undergo time dilation is much worse than watching a kettle boil.”
  • The Top 10 Most Extreme Office Chair Videos | Sitbetter Office Chairs
    • I appreciated the fact that this is from the website of a company that sells chairs: “The ingenuity and creative spirit of the overly bored individual should never be underestimated. It truly is amazing. For most, boredom leads to lounging around and, ultimately, to more boredom. But for a few brave souls, this time of ennui is channeled into something much bigger than the rest of us could fathom. When a lazy afternoon leaves you only with a leather office chair, an overactive imagination, and a desire to be extreme, anything can happen. Here is the list of the top 10 extreme office chair videos floating around the web”
  • Roy Fielding Dissertation: CHAPTER 5: Representational State Transfer (REST)
    • The original description of the RESTful approach to web services.
  • Student’s Wikipedia hoax quote used worldwide in newspaper obituaries – The Irish Times
    • “A WIKIPEDIA hoax by a 22-year-old Dublin student resulted in a fake quote being published in newspaper obituaries around the world.

      The quote was attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre who died at the end of March.

      It was posted on the online encyclopedia shortly after his death and later appeared in obituaries published in the Guardian, the London Independent, on the BBC Music Magazine website and in Indian and Australian newspapers.”

  • Larry Page’s commencement speech at the University of Michigan
    • “I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition… The best people want to work the big challenges. That is what happened with Google. Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. How can that not get you excited? But we almost didn’t start Google because my co-founder Sergey and I were too worried about dropping out of our Ph.D. program. You are probably on the right track if you feel like a sidewalk worm during a rainstorm! That is about how we felt after we maxed out three credit cards buying hard disks off the back of a truck. That was the first hardware for Google. Parents and friends: more credit cards always help. What is the one sentence summary of how you change the world? Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting!”
  • Archy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    • “Archy is a software system whose user interface poses a radically different approach for interacting with computers with respect to traditional graphical user interfaces. Designed by human-computer interface expert Jef Raskin, it embodies his ideas and established results about human-centered design described in his book The Humane Interface. These ideas include content persistence, modelessness, a nucleus with commands instead of applications, navigation using incremental text search, and a zooming user interface (ZUI). The system was being implemented at the Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces under Raskin’s leadership.”
  • What’s your open data idea? | David Crow
    • Coming on the heels of the City of Toronto’s announcement that it’ll be sharing a lot more data: “I have started to think about how we inspire and encourage the community to both build applications, but also businesses on top of the newly available data to help improve city services.”
  • SklogWiki: page of resources about the use of wikis in the sciences
  • Shtetl-Optimized » Wanted: Quantum GGM theorem
    • An anonymous commenter provides an insightful suggestion related to Scott Aaronson’s question about a quantum GCM theorem. The future of acknowledgements in scientific papers: “I’d like to thank Anonymous blog commenters for comments 4, 7 and 9 on my recent post.”
  • Milton Glaser: Ten Things I Have Learned
    • Glaser is a well-known graphic artist who came up with (among other things) the “I [heart] New York” design. It’s an interesting list.
  • Feynman at Google Scholar
    • I was looking up an old Feynman paper, and noticed something curious: his most-cited paper appears to be his paper on quantum computing, recently going past the paper where he introduces path integrals.
  • Backyard scientists use Web to catalog species, aid research –
  • Malcolm Gladwell: How David Beats Goliath: The New Yorker

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