So, today is 10/10/10... hurray for special dates! It's not everyday one can add a post because the numbers in the date is something different/special. It's 10-10-10, it's in binary AND it's binary for 42. Though not only is today 10/10/10, it is also October 10th, or Double Ten Day (雙十節/國慶日) which is Taiwan's National Celebration Day. Just thought I'd like to share that with everyone
ps. A longer, slightly less random (well maybe still random, but more well thought out) post is coming... it's currently in super draft form!
Washing hands is something we all do on a daily basis. Whether you are at work, at home or when you are out and about, you are bound to wash your hands at least once in a day - I hope! So, what do you do after you finish washing your hands? Well, you have to dry them of course! We've all been told that bacteria strives on damp surfaces, so we have to dry our hands. Question is how?
Well, according to research you don't need those fancy hand drying machines that you might find in a shopping centre or at work, all you need is disposable paper towels! In fact, paper towels work better than those high-tech hand dyers - be it the traditional ones that blow warm air, or the cool looking and insanely loud Dyson Airblade.
...the use of paper towels consistently out-performed all the other drying techniques, especially with regard to bacteria left on the palms and fingertips. -Snelling, 2010
Not only do paper towels trump everything else, the study conducted by Snelling found that if you rub your hands while drying your hands with the warm-air hand dryers you can actually increase the bacteria count. The Dyson Airblade fares better than the traditional hand dryers at drying your hands and keeping bacteria at bay; but at the end of the day, paper towels are still the most suited for the job.
So next time when you've finished washing your hand, go and grab a paper towel. Or if none are available, look for a Dyson Airblade. If that is not an option either, go for the traditional hand dryer - remember to leave you hands under it for at least 30 seconds and most importantly, don't rub your hands!
"Time (noun): [mass noun] the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole." -Oxford Dictionary
Time is a funny thing. We, as humans, all seem to be aware of the concept of time. What time did you wake up? What time is dinner? When will the train leave? How long is the movie? We have units to measure time - seconds, minutes, hours, days etc. Despite these well defined units of measurement, I feel time seems to be a very flexible and almost completely open to interpretation...
We are all human, yet we are all different from each other, we are all unique; or as someone put it "You are unique, just like everyone else." However, for the majority of us, no matter how "unique" we are, we are still human...which means most of us are susceptible to quirks in how our brain works.
So what is all this random rambling about? Well for those that are unaware, I enjoy understanding and learning how the human mind works - especially when it doesn't quite work as expected, such as when we see optical illusions. So here are a few that I would like to share.
Impossible Motion: Magnet-Like Slopes
Our brain doesn't always decipher what we see with our eyes in the real world properly. It tries to be too smart and often fails. But that's ok, since it means we can see awesome optical illusions!
You've probably heard of this before - as humans we can be very "blind" to how our environment changes around us. Some rather big changes can occur and we don't notice at all.
Another change blindness example - just for fun
Leaning Tower Illusion
So what about a still image, no videos, just a plain old image. How will your eyes (or should I say brain) trick you now?
That's it for now - hope you enjoyed the random selection above What I find most interesting is that for many of these "brain quirks" even though you know what is happening, even though you know the trick you still can't un-trick your brain to see what is really there.
So, it's April Fools today, and as usual, Google has come up with some random stuff...
Street View...now in 3D!
There seems to be a couple of other April Fool hoaxes Google has provided this year
After having nearly forgotten about Google Wave, today, while talking to a friend we decided to give it a go for some brainstorming/collaboaration. To my surprise when I logged in to Wave, I was greeted with this popup
My first reaction was "Cool, they finally giving us the option to have email notifications.", but then I remembered how Buzz 'spammed' my inbox with all those random messages that I didn't care about, so in the end I just clicked on "No, thanks."
If you, like me clicked "No, thanks" but then changed your mind. The elusive "notification setting" is hidden under a menu which can be triggered when you hover over "Inbox" and click on the arrow icon that appears.
Interesting thing is I do remember that Google making a firm stand on keeping Google Wave and Gmail distinctively separate, guess that is no longer the case!
ps. Compared to when I last used Wave, it seems to have improved a fair bit. The inline commenting is win!
My answer: Google. Why? Because it's simple, loads quickly and most of the time gives me results that are relevant to what I want. Chances are a good majority of people will also answer Google. As far as I know people use 'Google' as a verb, while other search engines, eg. Yahoo, Bing do not get the same treatment.
To be honest, I just took the use of Google for granted and never really thought much about it until I went to Ignite Sydney last week. One of the awesome talks "Everything I know about you" by Michael Kordahi tested to see if our perceptions to the search results (he comapred Bing, Google, Yahoo) would be the same if the branding was removed. The results of preference (and the search terms people looked for) are indeed very interesting - definitely worth watching!
Interesting thing was after the night I went home and gave it a go myself. For simple/basic searches (which were essentially keyword searches) all three search engines were roughly the same for me - but in picking the preferred one I actually rarely picked Google! Though for more complex searches (eg. ones which I just typed in a question) Google was the clear winner. The other two were nowhere close.
Random footnote - I hear some of you may be asking, what is Ignite Sydney? No, it is not an event where pyromaniacs go and set fire to Sydney landmarks. Ignite Sydney is a series of presentations with one very simple idea behind every presentation:
Make the presenters stick to a rigid format of 20 slides, each of which changes automatically after 15 seconds, giving a guaranteed 5 minute presentation.
This means no death by powerpoint - yay! and generally very interesting, entertaining and well thought out presentations - double yay! If you don't live in Sydney then don't worry - there are Ignite events all around the world. Have a look here for the full list
As you may have guessed from the title, this post is going to be a rant/complaint about the absurd fees we need to pay to use the Sydney Airport Link.
Firstly, a couple of quick facts:
- Sydney Airport is the busiest Airport in Australia
- It costs $15.00 to travel by train between Central Station and the Domestic Airport (6.7km)
- It costs
$15.40$15.00 to travel by train between Central Station and the International Airport (8.2km)
- The above mentioned train is the only direct method of transport between Sydney Airport and Sydney CBD (excluding taxis, private coaches)
- This train service is not a dedicated Airport Train and therefore there is no dedicated area/space for luggage
- The only real 'pure' public transport that passes through the Airport is the 400 bus that travels between Burwood and Bondi Junction
Slightly belated Happy Chinese New Year... and a very belated Happy New Year to all
Hopefully everyone has had an awesome start to 2010 and that new year resolutions are still going strong!
As the subject of this post suggests, I have migrated my blog, from one host to another - simply because the new host is slightly cheaper and offers more! But as with all migrations there is bound to be some things that have been broken So, it would be great if the awesome readers of my blog (yes you!) could comment/email me if you notice anything broken.
At the moment I've realised one thing that is broken, and embarrassingly it is my "More link modifier" plugin! Well, it works on the default theme, but doesn't seem to work with the Lightword theme I am using (I swear it worked before the migration, but looking at the code it seems 'impossible' that it would have worked...)
Unfortunately it seems like the WordPress import function doesn't take into account the blogroll nor inform you of what plugins you have installed. So at the moment I've removed blogroll from the sidebar, and trying to remember which plugins I had previously installed and would still need/use.
Update: The not-working more link plugin really annoyed me, so I looked more carefully and indeed with the Lighword theme it is impossible by default for the more link modifier to work! Back when I initially changed the theme I had modified the theme files and forgotten all about it! So now the theme files have been re-modified and all is happy
A short musing for the holidays (just because I feel lazy), in fact only one...
Why is the flight attendant call button on the ceiling of the plane?
Flew JetStar few days ago and while reaching up to the ceiling to close the reading light realised that the call button to get the attention of a flight attendant was also there on the ceiling. My understanding is that one of the usages for this call button is when there is possibly some emergency/important matter you need to tell the flight attendant. So is it just me who thinks it is rather silly that this button is up on the ceiling making it rather hard to reach? (It would be quite bad if there was severe turbulence and a kid stands up to try and push this button to get some help...)
Ok, maybe that was a bit too short - but here are two quotes that I've came across in the recent few weeks that I thought are worth sharing:
"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original."
- Sir Ken Robinson
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
- Albert Einstein