Infinity is weird. Imagine an infinitely large, flat plane. Now imagine a pole of some height that holds up one end of another pole — one that stretches infinitely far.
If you were to let this infinitely long pole fall against the the ground, it would rest at precisely 90 degrees. That’s because if it were angle at all towards the ground, there would be a point some ways down the infinite pole that it would hit the infinite plane. Of course, you would never be able to see where it’s resting because of infinity and all, so instead, it would appear to float in mid-air.
From Futility Closet.
Jesse Bering has an interesting explanation for belief in God as an evolved trait. Basically, it helps you if you feel like there is always someone out there watching you because sometimes there is.
From the Dish.
Phillip Toledano had a bunch of artworks of dictators recreated with him in the place of the dictator.
By Phillip Toledano, via Booooooom.
Cities that install public toilets run into obvious problems. People leave their garbage in them. Vandals break them. Homeless people live in them.
Portland has managed to deal with all of these problems by rethinking some basic assumptions about public toilet design.
1. Make it open to the elements: we’re talking bathroom stall, sans the bathroom. People walking by on the sidewalk should be able to see the peer’s feet and hear every little splish, splash, and sploosh in that potty. A comfortable, enclosed public bathroom is a bum’s living room, but an open-air crapper is just an open-air crapper.
2. No sink. Bums like to wash clothes in sinks. Instead, provide a spigot outside the stall with cold water.
3. No mirror. People like to break mirrors. It’s just a thing.
4. No nice, homey touches or comfortable detailing. Stainless steel all the way, with a graffiti-repelling coating. People can and will take bats to it; don’t make it easy on them.
From Discoblog and The Atlantic Cities.
Kyocera is an electronics company with a green reputation. They recently declined to hire Ben Stein after asking him his views on climate change. He’s now alleging breach of contract. Incidentally, there was no contract.
By way of response, Stein asked the agency to tell Kyocera that he was not certain that global warming was a man-made phenomenon as “he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather,” because that is how you demonstrate to someone that you are rational. Yet somehow this did not assuage Kyocera’s fears, so they backed out of the deal, creating a storm of controversy not unlike those cooked up by God on a regular basis, up there in his weather whirligig.
New Scientist has a nice, short interview with Stephen Hawking on the occasion of his turning 70.
What do you think most about during the day?
Women. They are a complete mystery.
You see that skinny leg around where you’d expect the elephant’s penis to be? That’s his penis. He’s standing on his penis. It’s prehensile too. Which is nice because full-body humping is difficult with a big elephant body.
From Not Exactly Rocket Science, via Reddit.