I *knew* it.

950 riding 450x337 I *knew* it.

Riding motorcycles make you smarter according to the inventor of Brain Age. His study found that riders had better mental acuity than non-riders.

Because riding a motorcycle requires a high level of alertness and
rapid problem solving, Kawashima found, “the driver’s brain gets
activated by riding motorbikes.”

The real gist of this piece confirms that there is such a thing as brain atrophy. If you aren’t challenging yourself -and your brain- you’re slowly degenerating. So even if bikes aren’t your thing, finding something challenging for your body and mind has a good deal of fringe benefits. What this piece doesn’t explain is why I do so many stupid things while riding.

Know, Play » 1 Comment

Tricked into learning something…again!

Destin at Smarter Every Day has duped me again. Lured in with the promise of super cool high speed camera footage of exploding glass, I’ve unintentionally learnt something. Damn you Destin!

Know, Play » No Comments

And no mistakes

The sheer number of pieces is just mind boggling. And for a race car of any stripe everything has to be right for there to be a chance of being near the top at the end. In my mind, this is the hardest part of racing. A driver can only make so many mistakes, but for a mechanic the possibilities are almost endless. Think about that the next time you see a race car finish a race. No matter what place the car finishes it is a triumph. It is a triumph of a small group of people against infinite possibilities to screw the pooch.

Know » No Comments

Ride This Robot

Four years into development, Micromagic Systems is officially unveiling the Mantis — a giant all-terrain “hexapod” robot.

It’s powered by a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine, it can be piloted remotely, even via wi-fi. It’s over nine feet tall and can traverse any type of ground, including rocks, mud, and babies.

For more about this robot and our future overlords, head over to the Mantis website. For everything else, check out the About section of this Vsauce2 video.

Know » No Comments

Seven-metre wasp nest found in abandoned house

7 meter wasp nest Seven metre wasp nest found in abandoned house

tl;dr FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FIRE IN THE NUCLEAR CENTER OF THE SUN TO DESTROY THIS ABOMINATION

@Think Spain:

Police in San Sebastián de la Gomera have cordoned off an abandoned house after finding a seven-metre-long wasp nest.

Officers were called out by worried neighbours of the empty home in the island’s capital and say the nest was in an indoor hallway and contained literally millions of wasps.

Experts have examined the nest, which is said to be 21’9” in length, and say the common type of wasp found in gardens would never normally build a nest of this size.

They believe it must be an invasive species of wasp which had migrated from Africa.

The Canary Islands are less than 100 kilometres from Morocco by water.

Headlines, Know » No Comments

Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

boston bomb piece wide 49b52061f07d6a53cfd967d90cc3007dd2f99f3f s4 450x252 Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

tl;dr black powder and gunpowder must be under pressure to properly deflagrate, and they’re unassuming

@NPR:

They are cheap, easy to build and inconspicuous. And as the explosions this week at the Boston Marathon show, pressure cooker bombs can be devastatingly effective weapons.

But why would someone place a bomb inside a common kitchen implement? As we explained two years ago in an article about the increased use of pressure cookers (for cooking, not bombs):

“It works using basic principles of science: Water normally boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit — and doesn’t get hotter. But under pressure, it boils at about 242 F and stays there. Raising the boiling point lets the food cook at the higher temperature, which cuts cooking time by two-thirds or more.”

The same principle that increases the boiling point inside a pressure cooker also can be used to amplify the force of an explosive.

As NPR science reporter Geoffrey Brumfiel notes, “If you seal a pressure cooker, the steam builds up in the vessel. It helps to raise the temperature and cook food, but sometimes when the cooker fails, you get a very energetic release.”

Headlines, Know » No Comments