This is not a metaphor. It is, in fact, rather difficult to fight invisible fires—as demonstrated by this clip from the 1981 Indianapolis 500, where fuel accidentally sprayed on a hot engine ignited an invisible, smoke-less fire on the car ... and on the racer and his crew. Everybody in this video survived, but it made me curious about what fuel they were using. Also: Why, if it's this difficult to put out invisible flames, would you use a fuel that produced invisible flames to begin with?
You might expect this was just the result of a bad decision. You'd be wrong. From 1965 until 2006, Indy cars ran on methanol, a fuel that's still used in a lot of other car racing categories, as well as in Monster Trucks. (And by the Chinese, who make it from coal.) Mostly made from the methane in natural gas, methanol was actually chosen as a racing fuel because it was safer than gasoline.
University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
In Rich do not rise early: spatio-temporal patterns in the mobility networks of different socio-economic classes, a group of transportation engineers analyze an open data-set about the commutes of people in the Colombian cities of Medellín and Manizales, concluding that the rich and the poor commute the furthest distances, but that the rich have much […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to edit or sign a PDF and not having access to the original document. That’s why PDFpenPRO is a must-have app in our books.With this extremely useful app, you can merge, markup, and create PDF documents without ever having to convert your PDFs into word processor file formats. Type directly onto […]
From self-driving cars to stock market predicting software to the recommendations you get on Amazon and Netflix, machine learning is at the core of modern technology. You could find yourself building technology that is literally changing the world with the skills you’ll learn in The Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This bundle of 10 courses includes 406 lessons that will teach […]