It’s been rather, well, amusing to see the news coverage of the test firing of the Large Hadron Collider over the large few days. As somebody who has worked in physics and may occasionally classify themselves as a “physicist”, it’s really nice to see physics making the headlines! But I thought the news coverage was absolutely sensationalist and ridiculous.
The downmarket British tabloid The Sun was ridiculously sensationalist with it’s headline “End of the world due in nine days”. It wrote:
SCIENTISTS are trying to stop the most powerful experiment ever – saying the black holes it will create could destroy the world.
That is why boffins are now trying to stop the project with a last-ditch challenge in the courts.
They fear the LHC experimenters are tinkering with the unknown and putting mankind — and our whole planet — at risk.
I haven’t seen much about this on the internet, so here goes. There is an easter egg in the Google Chrome browser – type in about:internets to see it.
Robert Accettura worked out how this was implemented by exploring the Chrome source code. All Chrome does is to call the Windows Screensaver inside a tab.
If you don’t understand this easter egg, this is what Wikipedia has to say:
“Series of tubes” is an analogy used by United States Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to describe the Internet in the context of network neutrality. On June 28, 2006, he used this metaphor to criticize a proposed amendment to a committee bill. The amendment would have prohibited Internet service providers from charging fees to give some companies higher priority access to their networks or their customers. This metaphor (along with several other odd choices of words) was widely ridiculed as demonstrating Stevens’ poor understanding of the Internet.
Flash 9 comes with a fullscreen mode. It’s used in the YouTube player, BBC iPlayer and so on. When fullscreen mode is opened, Flash displays a semi-transparent message telling you full screen has been activated – the reason for this is so somebody couldn’t spoof a user interface using Flash to steal your personal information.
This prank distracts you from that message and proceeds to scare you using full screen mode. Press Escape to exit.
The only way this could be improved would be with a message saying “Press any key to restart your computer”. That would scare anybody out of pressing Escape. Although it would certainly cross the line of being very evil!
We had the photos from our holiday in America developed and it was a surprise to see this photo of Mount Rushmore. But alongside the four faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, there is one more…
These days, almost every image that is used in marketing and promotion material gets photoshopped before. One of my favourite websites is Worth1000 which is a photoshopping contest website. The galleries contain a whole range of great photoshops. For example, check out the gallery of photoshops on life without electricity.
I found this picture from CollegeHumor really funny. But beyond that, it’s a great commentary on how Facebook and the Social Web is changing people’s relationships and how they communicate with each another.
It’s April Fools day tomorrow so I wanted to share one of my favourite april fools pranks.
When a close friend is away from their computer, minimise all their windows and start moving all the icons around on their desktop into random places. Take a screenshot of this new disorganised desktop and save it as an image. Now go back to the desktop and move the icons around once again. Once you’ve finished, set this screenshot you took earlier as the desktop wallpaper. For extra laughs, hide the system taskbar.
Ryan reminded me of the prediction in the bible code that the world would end in 2006. According to Wikipedia:
Bible codes, also known as Torah codes, are words, phrases and clusters of words and phrases that some people believe are meaningful and exist intentionally in coded form in the text of the Bible. These codes were made famous by the book The Bible Code, which claims that these codes can predict the future.
Fans of the bible code claim to have shown how the bible code has predicted past events such as the assassination of JFK.
So if we believe these bible codes, the world is going to end in the next few days. Michael Drosnin is the journalist who has probably publicised bible codes the most and is one of it’s biggest supporters. He wrote the series of books on the Bible Code in which he claimed the Bible was written by aliens from space.
The best bit?
The third book in the series is to be released in 2007, called The Bible Code III: The Quest. The Bible Code makes numerous predictions and post-diction, such as the coming of the apocalypse in 2006