A tidal wave of bananas, magnets and other miracles

This is just too hilarious to ignore. Bill O’Reilly, an American TV talk show host on the Fox News Channel, has recently offered an argument for the existence of God:

I’ll tell you why [religion]’s not a scam, in my opinion. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.

Well, there you have it. Shapely bananas, f*cking magnets and inexplicable tidal waves. Ours is a world full of miracles indeed.

Superheroes aren’t what they used to be

According to The Connexion:

A MAN dressed as Superman has died after falling from a fourth-floor balcony in Paris …

Meanwhile, France’s ‘Spider-man’ Alain Robert has been arrested in Sydney after climbing the 151m Lumiere Building.

And according to the National Post, earlier this year:

Man dressed as Captain America arrested with burrito, joint in his pants

Is that a burrito in your pants or are you just happy to see me? The answer was both for one Florida man who was arrested after asking women at a bar to touch a burrito that was stuffed down the pants of his Captain America costume.

Doctor Raymond Adamcik, a 54-year-old family physician, was dressed as the comic book superhero while he partied with other medical professionals on a costumed pub crawl. At one bar, Adamcik asked women if they wanted to touch a burrito that he had tucked into the waistband of his blue tights. When one woman refused, he groped her …

Out of the superhero lineup, the woman fingered Adamcik…

Now that’s a lineup I’d like to have seen.

You are what you blog

Well, you are, if you believe the Typealyzer, which is some sort of text analyser. They don’t give any details of what it is that they do exactly, and should probably not be taken too seriously. Still, having typed in the URL of my own blog, it concludes the following about me:

The logical and analytical type. They are especialy attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

So while I’m logical, creative and intellectual, I’m also an insensitive, arrogant bastard. That should make some people very happy to hear, I suppose.

IgNobel 2008

This year’s IgNobel prizes have been awarded (last Thursday). Each year, they reward scientists for truly tought-provoking discoveries. For instance, last year J.M. Toro, J.B. Trobalon and N. Sebastian-Galles won a linguistics prize for demonstrating that rats cannot differentiate between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards. (You can download their report here.)

My personal all-time favourite, however, is the 2003 physics prize, which went to J. Harvey, J. Culvenor, W. Payne, S. Cowley, M. Lawrance, D. Stuart, and R. Williams, for their work in analysing what it takes to drag sheep over various surfaces. (Their highly technical report can be downloaded from here.)

This year’s winners include:

M. Zampini and C. Spence, who won a nutrition prize for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make it appear crisper and fresher than it really is.

T. Nakagaki, H. Yamada, R. Kobayashi, A. Tero, A. Ishiguro, and A. Toth, who won a cognitive science prize for "discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles".

G. Miller, J. Tybur and B. Jordan, who discovered, after extensive field work one would assume, "that a professional lap dancer’s ovulatory cycle affects her tip earnings".

And the people of Switzerland, apparently, who won this year’s peace prize for "adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity". (I’ll keep that in mind the next time I eat vegetarian.)

Full list of this year’s IgNobel winners is here.

How to play with your food

Are you one of those parents that keep telling their kids not to play with their food? You might want to rethink that.

Over at YouTube, Mr Heita3 would much rather play with his food than eat it. In fact, he does it very well. He builds musical instruments out of vegetables such as broccoli, carots, cucumber, paprika, radish, cabbage, and more, even mushrooms and eggs.

C’mon, you play with your food, too. You know you want to.