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Jokes & Trivia

Locally Inept, Globally Practical

This isn’t really a joke. It falls more into the category of funny musings of the wacky type.

A bunch of years ago, I entered a pastry shop in a small European country. I felt like eating something…

In the Recesses of our Archives

These are just a few samples of posts in our Archives, we feel are noteworthy but that you will not find unless you dig for them. Read these, or dig the Archives for more.

Blow Up the Moon

Physics

If Stephen Fry wanted to Blow Up the Moon

Fiction Stories

The Tranquil Commander
Frank by Google

Chronicles

The GooVista Nightmare and The Emergence of IP Cages














We do not write on a regular schedule. Because writing here is simultaneous with brainstorming the world, and other tasks we see ourselves involved, and because each post requires widely differentiated levels of effort, we publish when we have something ready, and not before. If you take an interest in future posts, the best thing is really to subscribe to our word of mouth, the newsletter delivered if you signup for it, that will hit your mailbox every time a new story is out.

We are always tinkering with something, but I can't promise the release of new posts will be prompt. Actually, they usually take a while to write. These ought to be wondrous, amazing stories (that's the reason we go after them) but we can't really tell. We can't say that, not until the research is done, and the sentences written.

Stay tuned.

[Updated May 2013]

Physics

Boat Compass

The Origin of Magnetism

Back in the day, magnetism would be a buzzword for something to sound scientific but a bit mysterious to ordinary people. This was so because though electricity is easy to understand as electrons moving in wires and pretty straightforward, magnetism is a bit more complicated to describe, requiring mathematics, and even if everyone knows and [...] [continue reading]

attitude - 3 axes

The Physics of moving About

The motto of the WordPress team is CODE IS POETRY. If you decide to have a go at this post, you may discover that PHYSICS IS SO MUCH MORE. Enjoy! In a previous post, The Physics of moving Onwards, we discussed how Forces acting in a given direction on a point with mass, allow us [...] [continue reading]

EarthMoon Drift

The Drifting Away of the Moon

Angular momentum is one of the coolest things in classical mechanics. It affects how ice skaters spin; why you can ride a bicycle; why spinning tops don’t fall; why gyroscopes allow for guidance in missiles and satellites; it affects the trajectory of bullets extending your sharp shooting; why cats always fall on their feet; makes [...] [continue reading]

History Tales

Satellite Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

Recommended: Guns, Germs and Steel

Few books can claim the distinction of describing notions at the root of contemporary understanding. This one does just that. If you ever wondered why some places developed faster, why some regions of the planet got the leading edge of History, you will find answers in it.

 
 
 
The landing of King Harald Hardradi near York. From "The Life of King Edward the Confessor."

The King Who Gouged the Emperor’s Eyes

In 1030, Harald Sigurdsson a.k.a. Hardradi, the Ruthless, fled Norway as a boy of fifteen, after his half-brother and king Olaf Haraldsson (later St. Olaf) was defeated in battle and killed, in just one more of the apparent continuous claims for power laid by one or another contender, in the Scandinavia of the time.

 
 
 
Pullo and Vorenus

Ancient Rome reexamined

At some point in 1980s the academic community started taking interest in retelling History focusing on the lives of people, mostly ordinary people, but also the vivid details in the small actions of big players, in the realization that: first, watershed change was built by day to day decisions; second, traditional history told us very little about how actual people really lived, what they thought, how they saw themselves, what they believed.

 
 
 
The Scream

The Inevitability of Horror

Tomorrow, next year, 50 years, 3000 years from now, nuclear weapons will be used on civilian targets, very easily by rogue groups or nations, like they have been after careful consideration in Nagasaki, and Hiroshima. Unspeakable horrors have been perpetrated by humans throughout History and I can’t see anything in our nature changed significantly.