Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Snowball Earth hypothesis proposes that the Earth was entirely covered by ice in part of the Cryogenian period of the Proterozoic eon, and perhaps at other times in the history of Earth.

Cuteness is a kind of attractive beauty commonly associated with youth, innocence and helplessness. See also.

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich With an Iron.

That's from wikiHow, which has improved about a million-fold since I last checked it out. Let's count the ways:

1. The interface no longer looks like it was created by an engineering student circa 1974. If you've got a good adblocker (a big if), it's nicer on the eyes than Wikipedia itself.

2. At the bottom of the page, there's a list of the page's authors and a link that lets you write them a thank-you note.

3. Likewise, there's a visitor count on each page. I wish wikipedia had that hadn't turned that off; I'd love to know how many hits the article I started in 2003 has gotten.

Basically, wikiHow is showing signs that it actually understands how to run a wiki (unlike, say, Wetpaint).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mathias Rust (born 1968) is a German man known for his illegal landing near the Red Square in Moscow in 1987. As an amateur aviator, he flew from Finland to Moscow, eluding the Soviet air defences and landing on Vasilevski Spusk next to the Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the former USSR.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Waggle dance is a term used in beekeeping and ethology for a particular figure-eight dance of the honeybee. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share with their hive mates information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar or pollen, or both, and to water sources.

See also: Bee learning and communication

Whale song

All Ball was the pet cat of Koko, the famous gorilla living in Woodside, California, who communicates through sign language.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Awhile back, I wanted to make a digg-style collaborative filter for wikipedia articles. Still haven't done it. But Thoof is basically the inverse of that idea: it's a generalized digg clone with that's also (sort of) a wiki.

Here's the screencast. There are lots of smart features, but so much friction built into the process that I don't think it'll ever take off the wiki aspect is a little cumbersome. You can submit anonymously, though, which makes the process easier. (Bonus: saying the name of the site out loud makes you sound developmentally disabled.)