Tuesday, July 19

The Debunker: Can Defibrillators "Restart" a Stopped Heart?

by Ken Jennings

In July 1820, Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted published a groundbreaking pamphlet on the relationship between electric current and magnetic fields, effectively kicking off our modern electric age. You may think about electromagnetism every July when you look at your power bill and see how it spikes when your air conditioner is on. In honor of everyone getting zapped by the electric company this month, we've asked Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings to set us straight on some high-voltage misconceptions about electricity, correcting all of our shocking ignorance. He knows "watts" up. He keeps current.

The Debunker: Can Defibrillators "Restart" a Stopped Heart?

If TV medical dramas have taught me nothing else, it's this: you can magically turn a dead person into a not-dead person by rubbing two little paddle things together, yelling "Clear!" and jolting them in the chest. L.A. improv classes probably spend at least two or three sessions practicing the "defibrillator jerk" they'll need to master if they're ever going to play Heart Attack Patient #2 on Code Black.

read more…

 

Monday, July 18

Music Monday: Scott Walker

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! There might be no artist with a more unusual career path than Scott Walker. Started as a youngster singing pop in America, moved to England with a bigger fan club than The Beatles, and now lives in quiet solitude creating incredibly weird music. Walk through his magic with our Scott, won't you? Let's try to take the name back from the Wisconsin governor and return it to music.

The Walker Brothers - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More

 

Before the Ramones met in that elevator, three guys named Walker made this lovely smooth pop hit. Of course, in real life, none of them were actually named Walker. Scott Engel handled the vocals here, under his assumed name. Listening to this, who would have expected that this would be coming a few decades later?

It only gets weirder. More Scott Walker after the jump.

read more…

 

Saturday, July 16

 

Friday, July 15

Post O' Data: What We See When We See BoCs

by Primo Joe

Do you like data? Do you like crap? If so, you're gonna LOVE this post.

Now that the dust has settled, we're collecting all the information regarding our crap metrics (perhaps the most fun data point to bring up in a meeting with the boss). and we thought you all might be interested in seeing what we see. For example, here's the view from our Vestibule of Patience, a.k.a. the waiting room that keeps our servers from being demolished by the onslaught of BoC hungry traffic:

 

 

You don't have to be a professional analyst to tell where the big Crap sales happened, do you? And that's not all the data we've got!

read more…

 

Thursday, July 14

 

Wednesday, July 13

 

Tuesday, July 12

The Debunker: Did Thomas Edison Electrocute an Elephant to Discredit AC?

by Ken Jennings

In July 1820, Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted published a groundbreaking pamphlet on the relationship between electric current and magnetic fields, effectively kicking off our modern electric age. You may think about electromagnetism every July when you look at your power bill and see how it spikes when your air conditioner is on. In honor of everyone getting zapped by the electric company this month, we've asked Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings to set us straight on some high-voltage misconceptions about electricity, correcting all of our shocking ignorance. He knows "watts" up. He keeps current.

The Debunker: Did Thomas Edison Electrocute an Elephant to Discredit AC?

In the late 19th-century land rush to light America's cities with electricity, the two biggest players were Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. The Edison Electric Light Company was expanding its direct current (DC)-based system, but Westinghouse Electric Company had licensed inventor Nikola Tesla's patents for an alternating current (AC) grid. This was VHS vs. Betamax writ large, with the future of the 20th century at stake. The stakes were so high, in fact, that the competition quickly got ugly, with Edison's company colluding with "activists" to convince the public that AC was a public health hazard that would soon be electrocuting consumers left and right, and even manipulating the State of New York into executing criminals with Westinghouse AC generators in hopes of sullying the brand.

read more…