The wall surrounding Oxford Castle has anti-climb paint on it. At least that is what this ominous sign warned me of as I walked past it late one Friday night while I was stranded under the ash cloud. Of course, the rock climber in me was tempted to climb the forbidden wall; a few seconds later, the cops were yelling at me to get down, and I had to apologize so they wouldn't arrest me. "What is anti-climb paint, anyway?" I asked them as I ducked away into the darkness. "Does it work?" After all, I did get up the wall without much of a problem.
The cops (who weren't really that mad) told me that anti-climb paint is kind of like pigeon glue; it has a long-lasting viscosity that makes surfaces sticky, slippery, and just plain unpleasant to perch on. It also sticks to human skin, so back in the day you'd be able to identify burglary attempts by checking the suspects' fingers. But, they said, "it might not be working anymore"; it's been a long time since people actually tried to break into Oxford Castle, which is now a tourist destination.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
In a lead editorial in the current Nature, John Wilbanks (formerly head of Science Commons, now “Chief Commons Officer” for Sage Bionetworks) and Eric Topol (professor of genomics at the Scripps Institute) decry the mass privatization of health data by tech startups, who’re using a combination of side-deals with health authorities/insurers and technological lockups to […]
The Wall Street Journal reports that storytellers—people with a natural inclination to craft concise yet compelling narratives without rambling—were found to be hot by science. Feels good to be a writa. The results were the same across all three studies: Women rated men who were good storytellers as more attractive and desirable as potential long-term […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]
Learning is a 24/7/365 proposition, and it never ends. And if you’re truly serious about leveling up your skill sets and career prospects, get a subscription to Stone River Academy’s massive course collection. This offer normally is worth over $1,400, but is now available for just $89 in the Boing Boing Store.A respected name in information technology […]
Home audio has taken some big leaps forward in recent years–not just in terms of sound quality, but also in the style department. The FRESHeBAR Leather Soundbar, now 56% off in the Boing Boing Store, is proof.The FRESHeBAR comes packing almost all the options you’d ever need for a home sound system, including Bluetooth streaming capabilities.The unit’s 90 […]