The cockroach of writing

In any “discussion” concerning the “merits” of degrees Celsius versus degrees Fahrenheit, there’s an even chance someone will joke that we should all be using kelvins instead. Well I’m that guy, but without joking. Two principle reasons: it makes more sense, and nothing useful is lost. more sense There’s a lot of talk over how […]

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This video was too good to not share. It covers the entire history of Earth from 4.5 billion years ago to today, showing notable geological and biological events the whole way. There’s a fair abundance of available information on continental drift, atmospheric composition, evolution etc. changing over time, but it’s great to see it together […]

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The riffle shuffle is one of the best card shuffling methods. Mathematicians have done maths to determine that just half a dozen riffles usually provides acceptable randomness throughout the deck, if done properly. A lot of people don’t like it because it bends the cards. It’s worth pointing out that while the “showy” shuffles with […]

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For some reason the Ampere, a unit of electrical current, is a base unit of the SI, and electrical charge – an actual physical property of particles – is a derived unit. It’s quite comparable to defining velocity as a base unit and deriving length from that. Worth noting is that, from 2019 onwards, the […]

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In the realm of colourimetry, some form of chromaticity diagram is a convenient tool to see and understand what coordinates in a given colour space mean and how they relate to each other. Colour is inherently three-dimensional, but by transforming the space such that one of those dimensions represents luminance, it can be reduced to […]

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You’ve heard of Kruger and Dunning’s famous Effect, right? Wherein people who are really bad at something think they’re real hotshots? In fact, let’s ask the internet for some graphical aid: And this isn’t just some internet nobody’s conception of human behaviour – they’re all citing Kruger & Dunning (1999) (but usually less explicitly). Well, […]

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By this point you are perhaps vaguely aware of the presence of feathers on these animals called birds. Does this accurately describe you? Read on! These feathers didn’t come from just nowhere, and it turns out that at least a dozen dinosaur taxa more basal than birds are preserved with some sort of filamentous integumentary […]

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A common objection when it comes to discussion of modern dinosaurs is always phrased the same way: “birds aren’t dinosaurs; they’re descended from dinosaurs.” It’s exactly as helpful, meaningful and accurate an assertion as insisting “birds are descended from animals.” It’s true, but what actual point is it trying to make? Presumably the problem is […]

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It’s long been an established scientific just a theory fact that Rhamphorhynchus was the cutest pterosaur to have ever lived. Unfortunately the general public seems largely unaware of this, responding with criticisms like “what’s a rhamphorhynchus,” “what’s a pterosaur,” or “how do I even spell that?” Well it’s really quite simple: a pterosaur is any […]

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