What I read Today

I’m technically on a vacation day, but our trip didn’t work out. I’ve still been on a computer (at home, in my study), ignoring the gorgeous weather, but I’ve been lost in Photoshop and Illustrator while sprucing up the boyfriend’s website. There’s a parallel universe out there where I have a lucrative career in design.

Speaking of universes, there’s an article on the very, very, very beginning of ours, we’re a step closer to the Robot Apocalypse thanks to the hard work of MIT, and old pagan myths from Ireland are the best thing to listen to on St Patrick’s day. Also, the kitten below terrifies the boyfriend.

Fluffy kitten wearing a green top cat walking towards the camera

MIT News: Soft robotic fish moves like the real thing

“All of our algorithms and control theory are pretty much designed with the idea that we’ve got rigid systems with defined joints,” says Barry Trimmer, a biology professor at Tufts University who specializes in biomimetic soft robots. “That works really, really well as long as the world is pretty predictable. If you’re in a world that is not — which, to be honest, is everywhere outside a factory situation — then you start to lose some of your advantage.”

Youtube: The Story of Cuchulain
One of my favorite old Irish myths, read by Ronnie Drew.

LiveScience: 11 Surprising Facts About the Reproductive System
I find bird reproduction to be very strange.

Wired: Cosmologists Finally Capture an Elusive Signal From the Beginning of Time

“Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today.”

Daily Content Ingestment

Linguists figured out some interesting things about prehistoric populations, the Universe is amazing, Russian search engine Yandex defies the laws of reality, and scientists are wonderful because they retract bad information and fix it.  Also, can we stop with the polar vortex madness now?  It’s the middle of March.

white squirrel

LiveScience: New Clues to How Native Americans Colonized Americas

Native Americans along the Pacific Coast and aboriginal Siberians may have both originated from populations living on the land bridge now submerged under the Bering Strait, a new language analysis suggests.

Youtube Mental Floss: 26 Outrageous Truths About Children’s Television – mental_floss on
Fun trivia bits.

Youtube: The Cosmic Web, or: What does the universe look like at a VERY large scale?
Absolutely breathtaking.  I highly recommend following their source links for more information.

The Millennium Simulation featured in this clip was run in 2005 by the Virgo Consortium, an international group of astrophysicists from Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the United States. A virtual cube of 2 billion light years on a side was “filled” with 10 billion “particles” whose evolution was computed using the physical laws expected to hold in the currently known cosmologies. The initial distribution of matter, that resembled the conditions present when the cosmic microwave background radiation was emitted (about 379,000 years after the universe began) was allowed to evolve, and the formation of galaxies and black holes in the simulation were recorded. After all the computing work was done (28 days, at a rate of 200 billion calculations per second) 20 million galaxies were formed in the initial space. These galaxies and the dark matter around them formed web-like structures that resemble the shapes observed by the most recent data available in cosmic surveys, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Also very importantly: the simulation provided support for our current “standard model” of cosmology, the so called: Lambda Cold Dark Matter Model.

Youtube Honest Trailers: Honest Trailers – Frozen
If you aren’t familiar with Honest Trailers, you need to fix that.  This may be one of their best pieces. Can’t stop laughing.

RussianSearchTips.com: Links stop working for Yandex SEO from today
In Russia, search engine optimizes you.

Google Product Support Forums: Totally insane guy tries to argue with God Google Places for Business policies and it’s hilarious
The only people who will appreciate this are likely my fellow SEO’s. I was researching an issue for work and came across this old post from 2012 from a man raging about reviews on his listing that kept disappearing. He was doing super spammy stuff, but the high level prose with which he ranted about the issue had me rolling around with laughter.

I further feel that this issue should be of major importance to Google, to keep the respect and interest of Google users who havegone to the trouble to support Google’s search quest through contributing their thoughtful input to other searchers through these reviews. I would be summarily insulted if my review were deleted, destroyed, by uncontrolled software behavior after I had gone to the extended effort to install that review in the first place — and this is the exact reaction that my clients have given who discovered this indiscriminate assassination of their efforts at the touch of a Google button somewhere.”

BBC: Stem cells: Scientist asks for research to be withdrawn

“But now that many mistakes have emerged, I think it is best to withdraw the research paper once and, using correct data and correct pictures, to prove once again the paper is right.

“If it turns out to be wrong, we would need to make it clear why a thing like this happened.”

TED Talks Blog: Correcting the overhead myth: How Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk has begun to change the conversation
The increasing influence of TED talks is amazing. And I agree with Dan Pallotta.