Looking at both digital memory and analog devices, the researchers calculate that humankind is able to store at least 295 exabytes of information. (Yes, that’s a number with 20 zeroes in it.)
Put another way, if a single star is a bit of information, that’s a galaxy of information for every person in the world. That’s 315 times the number of grains of sand in the world. But it’s still less than one percent of the information that is stored in all the DNA molecules of a human being.
Science writer Sam Kean, in his book The Disappearing Spoon, worked really hard on this and after much sleuthing, he landed on a word that comes not from dancing English nannies but from virus-hunting scientists. It’s a protein, found in a virus, but this is a very dangerous, economically important virus, the first ever discovered.
A Canadian woman has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in Beatles studies.
Former Miss Canada finalist, Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy was one of the first 12 students to sign up for the Liverpool Hope University course on the Fab Four when it began in 2009 and was the first to graduate, the university said on Wednesday.
“I am so proud of my achievement,” Zahalan-Kennedy said. “The course was challenging, enjoyable and it provided a great insight into the impact the Beatles had and still have to this day across all aspects of life.”
The launch of the unique MA in Beatles, Popular Music and Society was a world first when it took its first class. Zahalan-Kennedy was the first to accept her degree in person from the university.
7. Weird News of the Week: Two suspected burglars caught hiding inside jail
Two suspected burglars on the run from police in Colombia have been detained while trying to hide inside a jail.
The two were being chased by police after a burglary in a house in the capital, Bogota.
They jumped from rooftop to rooftop and over walls, only to land inside La Picota, one of Colombia’s biggest jails.
More than 65 years after World War Two, Adolf Hitler’s last surviving bodyguard says that he can no longer respond to the continuous deluge of fan mail he receives from around the world, because of his advanced age.
Rochus Misch is 93 and uses a walking frame to move around his apartment. He told the Berliner Kurier tabloid that, with most of the letters he receives asking for autographs, it was “no longer possible” to reply because of his age.
“They (letters) come from Korea, from Knoxville, Tennessee, from Finland and Iceland — and not one has a bad word to say,” said Misch, who is believed to be the last man alive to have seen Hitler and other top-ranking Nazis in the flesh.
12. Image of the Week: Swimming with Polar Bears
Don’t worry, this girl is not really in danger of being ripped limb from limb by a polar bear — there’s a screen of two-inch thick Plexiglass separating them.
The optical illusion is created at a Canadian holiday resort where children are encouraged to swim with the world’s largest land predator.
A diploma doesn’t necessarily indicate expertise. Zoe D Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA, for example, has a wall of diplomas, despite being unable to sign her name. She doesn’t have the opposable thumbs for it.
Steve Eichel, PhD, ABPP, who I can assume earned his degrees the hard way, got upset with the amount of credentialing being given out to uneducated hacks. These degrees were concentrated in the less rigorously controlled professions, such as hypnotherapy and diet counseling, but could branch out to more generalized degrees – hence the ‘Ph.D.’ diploma clutched in the hirsute Doctor Katze’s claws. He wanted to prove that diploma mills were happy to give out diplomas to anyone, giving easy credibility to scammers and a worthless piece of paper to people who wanted to seem educated. All he needed was some money.
Taiwan’s 6.5 million pigs pollute the country’s rivers and require an excessive amount of water to maintain. But after testing a new pig farming practice, Taiwan’s government believes they have a solution: potty train the porkers. The government is encouraging farmers to install pig “litter boxes” after several breeders reduced water usage and environmental problems with the method. It works so well that the government is offering financial aid to farmers who implement the system.
17. Infographic of the Week: An Infographic History of Everyone’s Favorite Breakfast Meat
A “Black Widow” suicide bomber planned a terrorist attack in central Moscow on New Year’s Eve but was killed when an unexpected text message set off her bomb too early, according to Russian security sources.
The unnamed woman, who is thought to be part of the same group that struck Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Monday, intended to detonate a suicide belt near Red Square on New Year’s Eve in an attack that could have killed hundreds.
Security sources believe a message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her at a safe house.
Creativity is a common aspiration for individuals, organizations, and societies. Here, however, we test whether creativity increases dishonesty. We propose that a creative personality and creativity primes promote individuals’ motivation to think outside the box and that this increased motivation leads to unethical behavior. In four studies, we show that participants with creative personalities who scored high on a test measuring divergent thinking tended to cheat more (Study 1); that dispositional creativity is a better predictor of unethical behavior than intelligence (Study 2); and that participants who were primed to think creatively were more likely to behave dishonestly because of their creativity motivation (Study 3) and greater ability to justify their dishonest behavior (Study 4).
22. HistoricalLOL of the Week
“Misery Has More Company Than People Think,” a paper in the January issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, draws on a series of studies examining how college students evaluate moods, both their own and those of their peers. Led by Alex Jordan, who at the time was a Ph.D. student in Stanford’s psychology department, the researchers found that their subjects consistently underestimated how dejected others were–and likely wound up feeling more dejected as a result.
Stefaan Engels, dubbed “Marathon Man”, began his challenge in Belgium a year ago and has since run a marathon every day across seven countries.
He crossed the finish line in the Spanish city of Barcelona after running 15,000km (9,569 miles) in a year.
“I don’t regard my marathon year as torture. It is more like a regular job,” the 49-year-old said.
27. Better Book Titles of the Week – As You Like It
28. How-To of the Week: Build a $4 DIY Solar Battery Charger
The Voynich Manuscript first came to (modern) light in 1912. It is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a rare book dealer who plucked the forgotten tome from a dusty shelf in a Jesuit college near Rome, and made it famous. Illustrations of planets, plants, and ‘bathing’ women decorate its pages. It is also covered with dense text and what seem to be notes and recipes. Why is it named after a book dealer instead of the person who put so many hours into enriching its 230 pages? Because no one knows who the author is. In fact, no one knows anything about the book.
Two months before contacting our center, the patient learned of the intoxicating effects of snake venom through some of his friends and, as reasoned by the patient, he decided to try it in order “to experience the kick the other substances now lacked.”
With the help of the nomadic snake charmers common in India, the patient subjected himself twice to the snake bite over his left forearm over a period of 15 days. There was no local tissue injury at the site of the bite apart from the bite marks.