I recently stumbled across Time Scanners, a tech-heavy, pop-science reality show. And, get this you guys, I learned things. I know. From TV. It's crazy.
Shows in this genre have a bad reputation for vapid coverage of science, overuse of bad CGI, wild speculation in the name of drama, and (possibly the most obnoxious part) repeating the same facts and even the same sentences over and over and over for an audience that the show assumes is not really paying attention.
Time Scanners — show about the use of Light Detection and Ranging (or LiDAR) technology in archaeology — manages to avoid all of this, for the most part, while also being really interesting. LiDAR is a pretty cool tool that can produce detailed, 3D models of ruins, including features that really aren't easily visible to the naked eye. Time Scanners gets big points in my book for showing how scientists use this technology while simultaneously emphasizing that the technology doesn't just magically work without the interpretation of skilled researchers and while also showing the audience some really cool discoveries that were made without the aid of LiDAR. That last bit is all the more impressive given the fact that the show is covering archaeological sites we've all heard a lot about before. I watched episodes on the ancient city of Petra (of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fame) and the Great Pyramid.
Here's one of the fascinating things I learned about Petra from the show. The whole city was carved out of the rock walls of a canyon — and it was carved from the top down. How do they know that? Because there's actually an unfinished building at Petra where you can see how the workers must have begun the construction of all the city's buildings. I'd never heard of it before, or seen it. (I wasn't able to find a good Creative Commons shot of Petra's Unfinished Tomb, but you can see several fantastic photos of the place on Flickr.) Definitely a TV series worth checking out.
Princeton University psych prof Susan Fiske published an open letter denouncing the practice of using social media to call out statistical errors in psychology research, describing the people who do this as “terrorists” and arguing that this was toxic because of the structure of social science scholarship, having an outsized effect on careers.
Blue writes, “Peter Watts has be stricken with debilitating pain, loss of range of motion and motor control. Watts’ doctors remain baffled despite a battery of tests, and Watts has reached out to his fans to ask for their theories and ideas as to what might be causing his illness.”
Today, I’ve launched a very special Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad. A year in the making (and many more years on our minds), the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is the first vinyl release of the stunning golden phonograph record launched by NASA in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft, one […]
If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]
With the iPhone headphone jack having gone by the wayside, we’re excited about the addition of the FRANKLIN Bluetooth Headphones in our store. These headphones are foldable so they’re easy to carry around, but most importantly, they pack impressive sound. Our biggest struggle with Bluetooth headphones is the worry of them dying at the worst moment. This pair lasts an impressive 8-10 […]
Evan Kimbrell, founder of the digital agency Sprintkick, recently released a series of online courses that feature some of the best advice we’ve come across. These courses are well worth your time, and will save you from making many typical mistakes down the line if you ever want to start your own business.With this Business […]