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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

samzenpus posted 3 days ago | from the less-common-core-math dept.

307

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Imagine the following scenario. The end of civilization has occurred, zombies have taken over the Earth and all access to modern technology has ended. The few survivors suddenly need to know the value of pi and, being a mathematician, they turn to you. What do you do? According to a couple of Canadian mathematicians, the answer is to repeatedly fire a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun at a square aluminum target about 20 meters away. Then imagine that the square is inscribed with an arc drawn between opposite corners that maps out a quarter circle. If the sides of the square are equal to 1, then the area of the quarter circle is pi/4. Next, count the number of pellet holes that fall inside the area of the quarter circle as well as the total number of holes. The ratio between these is an estimate of the ratio between the area of the quarter circle and the area of a square, or in other words pi/4. So multiplying this number by 4 will give you an estimate of pi. That's a process known as a Monte Carlo approximation and it is complicated by factors such as the distribution of the pellets not being random. But the mathematicians show how to handle these too. The result? According to this method, pi is 3.13, which is just 0.33 per cent off the true value. Handy if you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world."

Skydiver's Helmet Cam Captures a Falling Meteor

samzenpus posted about two weeks ago | from the that's-a-close-one dept.

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reifman (786887) writes "Anders Helstrup went skydiving nearly two years ago near Hedmark, Norway and while he didn't realize it at the time, when he reviewed the footage taken by two cameras fixed to his helmet during the dive, he saw a rock plummet past him. He took it to experts and they realized he had captured a meteorite falling during its dark flight — when it has been slowed by atmospheric braking, and has cooled and is no longer luminous."

Darth Vader Runs For President of Ukraine

samzenpus posted about two weeks ago | from the I-find-your-lack-of-voting-disturbing dept.

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First time accepted submitter neuroscroll (579178) writes "An unorthodox candidate presented himself for the future early presidential elections in Ukraine: the Darth Vader himself is promising to make an empire out of a republic. He is the official candidate of the Ukrainian Internet party. From the article: 'The Sith lord, or at least an unnamed costumed protester often seen on Kiev's Independence Square flanked by his loyal stormtroopers during the winter protests, has been chosen as the official candidate of the Ukrainian Internet party (UIP) which has become known for its theatrical public stunts. "After winning intra-party primaries by a landslide, comrade Vader will be our party's candidate," said the UIP leader, Dmitry Golubov, who spent time in prison after being convicted of using the internet to run a credit card fraud scheme.'"

North Korea: Male University Students Required To Get Kim Jong-un Haircuts

samzenpus posted about three weeks ago | from the I'll-get-an-un dept.

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An anonymous reader writes in with one more reason not to accept that full-ride scholarship to a North Korea University. "Male university students in North Korea are now required to get the same haircut as their leader Kim Jong-un, it is reported. The state-sanctioned guideline was introduced in the capital Pyongyang about two weeks ago, Radio Free Asia reports. It is now being rolled out across the country - although some people have expressed reservations about getting the look. 'Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will,' one source tells Radio Free Asia. 'It doesn't always go with everyone since everyone has different face and head shapes.' Meanwhile, a North Korean now living in China says the look is actually unpopular at home because people think it resembles Chinese smugglers. 'Until the mid-2000s, we called it the "Chinese smuggler haircut",' the Korea Times reports."

Website Simulates Amiga OS

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the neat-hack dept.

45

cyclomedia writes "The Decibel Kid — the "AudioVisual Artist" responsible for last summer's Ipswich Zelda Map — has unveiled his new website. Modeled on Amiga OS it supports changing the wallpaper, window dragging, resizing, minimizing, and that z-index shuffle button. The mobile site is a completely different beast, modeling itself as a low-res LCD." There's even a drum machine. If you're pining for the "real" thing, there's always UAE (if you can find a ROM). Update: 03/05 15:45 GMT by U L : polyp2000 pointed out a better simulation, and a simulation of Workbench 1.5.

Apocalypse NAO: College Studies the Theological Ramifications of Robotics

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the why-did-you-program-me-to-sin? dept.

176

malachiorion writes "Have you heard the one about the Christian college in North Carolina that bought a humanoid robot, to figure out whether or not bots are going to charm us into damnation (dimming or cutting our spiritual connection to God)? The robot itself is pretty boring, but the reasoning behind its purchase—a religious twist on the standard robo-phobia—is fascinating. From the article: '“When the time comes for including or incorporating humanoid robots into society, the prospect of a knee-jerk kind of reaction from the religious community is fairly likely, unless there’s some dialogue that starts happening, and we start examining the issue more closely,” says Kevin Staley, an associate professor of theology at SES. Staley pushed for the purchase of the bot, and plans to use it for courses at the college, as well as in presentations around the country. The specific reaction Staley is worried about is a more extreme version of the standard, secular creep factor associated with many robots. “From a religious perspective, it could be more along the lines of seeing human beings as made in God’s image,” says Staley. “And now that we’re relating to a humanoid robot, possibly perceiving it as evil, because of its attempt to mimic something that ought not to be mimicked.”'"

Exxon Mobile CEO Sues To Stop Fracking Near His Texas Ranch

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the hoisting-with-his-own-petard dept.

317

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Exxon Mobile's CEO Rex Tillerson's day job is to do all he can to protect and nurture the process of hydraulic fracturing—aka 'fracking'—so that his company can continue to rake in billions via the production and sale of natural gas. 'This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness,' said Tillerson in 2012 of attempts to increase oversight of drilling operations. But now Rick Unger reports at Forbes that Tillerson has joined a lawsuit seeking to shut down a fracking project near his Texas ranch. Why? Because the 160 foot water tower being built next to Tillerson's house that will supply the water to the near-by fracking site, means the arrival of loud trucks, an ugly tower next door, and the general unpleasantness that will interfere with the quality of his life and the real estate value of his sizeable ranch. The water tower is being built by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corp., a nonprofit utility that has supplied water to the region for half a century. Cross Timbers says that it is required by state law to build enough capacity to serve growing demand. In 2011, Bartonville denied Cross Timbers a permit to build the water tower, saying the location was reserved for residences. The water company sued, arguing that it is exempt from municipal zoning because of its status as a public utility. In May 2012, a state district court judge agreed with Cross Timbers and compelled the town to issue a permit. The utility resumed construction as the town appealed the decision. Later that year, the Tillersons and their co-plaintiffs sued Cross Timbers, saying that the company had promised them it wouldn't build a tower near their properties. An Exxon spokesman said Tillerson declined to comment. The company 'has no involvement in the legal matter' and its directors weren't told of Mr. Tillerson's participation, the spokesman said."

Chevron Gives Residents Near Fracking Explosion Free Pizza

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the are-you-mad-now? dept.

207

Lasrick writes "Chevron hopes that free soda and pizza can extinguish community anger over a fracking well fire in Dunkard Township, Pennsylvania. From the story: 'The flames that billowed out of the Marcellus Shale natural gas well were so hot they caused a nearby propane truck to explode, and first responders were forced to retreat to avoid injury. The fire burned for four days, and Chevron currently has tanks of water standing by in case it reignites. Of the twenty contractors on the well site, one is still missing, and is presumed dead.' The company gave those who live nearby a certificate for a free pizza and some soda."

Asia's Richest Man Is Betting Big On Silicon Valley's Fake Eggs

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the tastes-like-what-vegans-think-eggs-taste-like dept.

269

Daniel_Stuckey writes with more news about science making non-human animals obsolete "Li Ka-shing, widely billed as Asia's richest man, announced a $23 million Series B investment in Hampton Creek Foods through his fund Horizon Ventures on Monday, bringing the food technology startup's total take to $30 million after initial investments by people including Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Bill Gates is also an investor and fan. The egg replacement still requires fine-tuning, according to Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick, but the company's mayonnaise replacement is already on shelves at stores including Whole Foods and some of the largest retail brands in the country. (Mayo is usually made with eggs and vinegar.)"

South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the beyond-the-late-fee dept.

467

An anonymous reader writes "Could you imagine being arrested for failing to return a movie you rented 9-years earlier? Well that's just what happened to one South Carolina woman. 'According to a Feb 13 arrest report, 27-year-old Kayla Finley rented Monster-in-Law in 2005 from now defunct video store Dalton video. The woman failed to return the video within the 72 hour rental limit, eventually leading up to her arrest 9 years later.'"

Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the oldest-leftovers dept.

225

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have created a pizza that can be stored for up to three years while still remaining edible. 'It pretty much tastes just like a typical pan pizza that you would make at home and take out of the oven or the toaster oven,' said Jill Bates who heads up the lab. 'The only thing missing from that experience would be it's not hot when you eat it. It's room temperature.'"

Japanese Man Already Lined Up To Buy iPhone 6

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the first dept.

114

zacharye writes "Last year ahead of Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch, lines began forming outside Apple stores weeks in advance. At the time, we thought it was pretty crazy that anyone would line up that far in advance to buy a cell phone — but now we know what crazy really looks like. A Japanese man named 'Yoppy' says he has already lined up to buy Apple's unannounced iPhone 6, which isn't expected to launch for another seven months."

Japan's Alleged Death Threat-Making, Cat-Hacking Programmer Says He's Innocent

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the cat-made-me-do-it dept.

69

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Inside the memory card in the cat's collar, authorities found a resentful message criticizing the police along with versions of the virus (iesys.exe) used to carry out the threat messages, which were made remotely, through other people's computers. If you hadn't heard about the story in the news, you'd be forgiven for confusing it with the plot of a Haruki Murakami novel. In Tokyo District Court Wednesday, the former employee of a Japanese IT company wore a black suit, a wide smile, and pleaded not guilty to 10 charges brought against him. The Japan Times explained the string of threats were directed at 'schools and kindergartens attended by the Emperor Akihito's grandchildren,' as well as a Japan Airlines jet headed for New York. The plane had to stop mid-flight, costing the airline ¥9.75 million (about $93,000)."

Sinkhole Swallows 8 Vehicles Inside Bowling Green KY Corvette Museum

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the mole-man's-new-ride dept.

97

OakDragon writes "A sinkhole about 40 feet wide — and 30 feet deep — opened up inside the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY early Thursday morning, swallowing eight vehicles that were sitting inside. At least one of these cars is one of a kind, and due to its location the fire department allowed its removal. The sinkhole is remarkable in that it has left the surrounding ground which supports the circular structure intact, although that assessment may change up on investigation. Security footage from inside the museum shows the collapse as it happened."

Skinny Puppy Wants Compensation For Music Used in US Interrogations

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the no-need-to-argue-whether-it's-torture dept.

271

First time accepted submitter time_lords_almanac writes "A Canadian band has sent an invoice to the U.S. Department of Defense after learning that its music was used without permission in 'interrogations' of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The members of Skinny Puppy, who specialize in electronic music, were originally going to make the invoice the cover of their next album until they discovered they could bring legal action against the department. They were also none to happy to learn the purpose their music was being employed for, let alone illegally. The amount of compensation requested? $666,000, of course."

The Scent Rhythm Watch Tells Time By Releasing Fragrances

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the smells-like-dinner-time dept.

79

Zothecula writes "Glancing at a clock face in one form or another has been the de facto way to measure the passage of time. Aisen Caro Chacin though, is exploring a different perspective. She wants to give everyone the ability to tell time using their noses. Her chemical-based watch called the Scent Rhythm emits specially-designed fragrances in minute doses, in tune with circadian cycle of the human body. You get a fragrance of coffee in the morning, the smell of money in the afternoon, a relaxing whiskey scent in the evening, and a soothing chamomile fragrance at night. More than being merely pleasant, each chemically-supplemented scent aims to induce action appropriate to the time of day; the caffeine in the coffee scent for example, aims to trigger the person into being more active."

Historical Carbon Emissions From Dragons In Middle Earth

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the dragons-less-bad-for-environment-than-americans dept.

69

An anonymous reader writes "The climate of Middle Earth has recently been under the spotlight, with the current and future climate of Middle Earth simulated using the HadCM3L General Circulation Model. However, to the best of our knowledge, there has been little work investigating the historical carbon emissions of Middle Earth. Specifically, what impact has the demise of dragons had on carbon emissions? To shed some light on this question, we start by considering the carbon footprint of the antagonist, Smaug." Smaug is surprisingly environmentally friendly.

Surrey Hit With Catnado

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the raining-cats-and-more-cats dept.

95

taikedz writes "A "mini-tornado" brought down trees, damaged property and even lifted cats in the air, an eyewitness has said. Shirley Blay, who keeps horses at the Jolly Blossom Stables on Station Road, Chobham, told BBC Surrey: 'It was a mini-tornado, I can't describe it as anything less. It started with very heavy rain, hailstones and very strong wind and all of a sudden, the wind was very, very strong, to the point of lifting roofs. We've got four feral cats in the yard and they were being lifted off the ground — about 6ft off the ground — they just went round like a big paper bag.' She said the people and animals who were caught up in the storm were uninjured. A spokesman from Valgrays Animal Rescue in Warlingham said: 'It was like something out of a Steven Spielberg film.'

Searching the Internet For Evidence of Time Travelers

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the bill-and-ted-approved dept.

465

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Here's an interesting paper by two physicists at Michigan Technological University who have come up with a practical methodology for finding time travelers through the internet. 'Time travel has captured the public imagination for much of the past century, but little has been done to actually search for time travelers. Here, three implementations of Internet searches for time travelers are described, all seeking a prescient mention of information not previously available. The first search covered prescient content placed on the Internet, highlighted by a comprehensive search for specific terms in tweets on Twitter. The second search examined prescient inquiries submitted to a search engine, highlighted by a comprehensive search for specific search terms submitted to a popular astronomy web site. The third search involved a request for a direct Internet communication, either by email or tweet, pre-dating to the time of the inquiry. Given practical verifiability concerns, only time travelers from the future were investigated. No time travelers were discovered. Although these negative results do not disprove time travel, given the great reach of the Internet, this search is perhaps the most comprehensive to date.' Stephen Hawking's similar search (video) also provided negative results."

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