• Text-Based Ads / Taming Web advertising MP3

    Like many people, I use the Web to fill needs I formerly met using newspapers, magazines, telephone books, catalogs, printed maps, and reference books. Most of the information I need—whether for work or for personal use—can be found quickly and easily online. And yet, with this wonderful improvement in my ability to find information comes certain annoyances. For example, it’s not uncommon to find articles whose...

    01.01.2016

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    01.01.2016

  • The Dvorak Keyboard Controversy / Chasing QWERTY MP3

    When I was first learning to type, many years ago, I asked the same question everyone else asks: why are the keys arranged so stupidly? Why aren’t they laid out in a more logical order, as in, just to take one random example, alphabetically? The answer I’ve heard countless times is that the first typewriter keyboards were arranged alphabetically, but that caused mechanical problems—once typists became reasonabl...

    09.05.2015

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    09.05.2015

  • Audium / San Francisco's Theatre of Sound MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! Last night I did something I hadn’t done in perhaps 20 years, and thought I’d never do again. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but under the circumstances it seemed like the right thing to do. I…um…drank a cup of instant coffee. Now I realize this will come as a shock to those who know the ...

    01.07.2013

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    01.07.2013

  • Flywheel Batteries / A new spin on energy storage MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! A friend of mine recently installed solar panels on his roof to generate electricity. They were quite expensive, but my friend considers it an investment that will pay for itself in lower electricity bills over a period of decades. Of course, the panels generate electricity only when the sun is shining. The house is still conne...

    28.06.2013

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    28.06.2013

  • The Egely Wheel / Vital energy measurement for the masses MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! In Chinese, it’s called ch’i (or qi). In Japanese, it’s ki. Variously translated using terms like “vital force” and “internal energy,” it is the name for a type of invisible power that circulates through the human body. It can be stimulated through acupuncture or ch’i kung (qi...

    26.06.2013

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    26.06.2013

  • Car Sharing Programs / The stress-free alternative to car ownership MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! For all the benefits automobiles provide, their impact on air quality has been quite harsh. I’m as concerned about the environment as the next person, and as I look out over the smog-filled skies of California, I can’t help but be annoyed at the millions of cars spewing pollutants into the air. I’m driving...

    24.06.2013

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    24.06.2013

  • Automatic Transmissions for Bicycles / Reinventing the two-wheeler MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! When I first learned to drive, I learned on a car with a manual transmission. It never seemed especially difficult because that was what I got used to. In fact, the first time I had to drive an automatic, I remember being very confused. What was I supposed to do with my left foot? Do I not have to shift at all? And if itâ€...

    21.06.2013

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    21.06.2013

  • NextBus / Friendlier mass transit through technology MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! One evening Morgen and I were at a dreams group meeting way across town. The most direct route home was by way of San Francisco’s MUNI light rail line, but as we approached our stop, we saw that we had just missed a train. Knowing how infrequently trains tend to run late at night, a friend who was waiting with us wonder...

    19.06.2013

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    19.06.2013

  • Fortune Cookies / The authentic Japanese-American Chinese treat MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! For reasons I am at a loss to explain, I never tasted Chinese food until I went to college. Around the middle of my freshman year, I decided to make myself a “to do” list of experiences I’d always wanted to have. One of those things was trying Chinese food. Not long afterward, my roommate decided to take my ...

    17.06.2013

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    17.06.2013

  • Pastrami / Cure for the common deli MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! Sometimes the ideas for interesting topics come to me in rather roundabout ways. For instance, I was trying to come up with just one more topic that could somehow be construed as involving things that are stuffed. As usual, I asked my wife, Morgen, if she had any ideas. She made a few suggestions, none of which really grabbed m...

    14.06.2013

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    14.06.2013

  • Piñatas / History of a breakthrough MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! I can’t remember when I first learned of the existence of piñatas, but it must have been at a very early age. Perhaps a kindergarten teacher was demonstrating papier-mâché and told us that people sometimes use it to make colorful candy jars that you can break open with a stick at a birthday party. There’s...

    12.06.2013

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    12.06.2013

  • Modern Mummies / Resurrecting the art of arrested decay MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! We have all heard of people who had their bodies cryogenically preserved after death in the hope that some day, medical science will be able to bring them back to life and cure whatever illness caused their demise. That hope may be overly optimistic, but I can at least respect the logic behind the decision. Unlikely though it m...

    10.06.2013

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    10.06.2013

  • Demosthenes' Stones / Improving your diction, Athenian style MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! It’s a good thing I had never heard of Demosthenes when I was a child. I would have gotten in trouble. My mom would have said, “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” And I would have replied, “Don’t you want me to be a famous orator like Demosthenes? I’m training!” And then I woul...

    07.06.2013

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    07.06.2013

  • The S Curve / What is wrong with success? MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! Guest Article by Rajagopal Sukumar While the saying “success begets success” has almost become a cliché, there is no dearth of stories covering inexplicable failures of extremely successful people and corporations. Reading some of these stories and the books on this topic led me to the question: What if there is ...

    05.06.2013

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    05.06.2013

  • Perpetual Motion Machines / The endless quest for free energy MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! I distinctly remember learning the laws of thermodynamics in a science class—it must have been around eighth grade. After explaining these laws, the teacher added, “…and that is why perpetual motion machines are impossible.” So this fact has been firmly implanted in my brain for a very long time. What ...

    03.06.2013

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    03.06.2013

  • Propeller Beanies / The story of the geek's icon MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! When I write technical books and articles, I generally assume my audience is composed of ordinary people, not programmers or computer experts. I try to provide enough context and detail so that any reasonably intelligent person can get the gist of what I’m saying, even without prior experience in the topic I’m dis...

    31.05.2013

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    31.05.2013

  • The Hurdy-Gurdy / Violin, bagpipes, and kazoo combined MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! Guest Article by Jackie Chappell In 1996, I bought an album I knew next to nothing about, by an artist I had never heard of before, on the strength of the album being issued on Peter Gabriel’s excellent Real World record label. The album was “Big City Secrets” by Joseph Arthur, and from the very first track I ...

    29.05.2013

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    29.05.2013

  • The Story of Doughnuts / The truth, the hole truth . . . MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! In the mid-1990s, I visited Las Vegas for the first time. I was there for an internet conference, and a friend of mine who had been there many times took it upon himself to show me all the standard tourist sites and make sure I got the complete Las Vegas experience. We walked down the Strip, taking in the obligatory pirate sho...

    27.05.2013

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    27.05.2013

  • Sedona's Energy Vortexes / The world's most popular invisible tourist attraction MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! Allow me to get this disclaimer out of the way right up front: today’s interesting thing might not exist. But let’s be fair—I am not one to judge something by its ontological status alone. If it does exist, it’s very interesting indeed, and if it doesn’t, the widespread belief in its existenc...

    24.05.2013

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    24.05.2013

  • The Globe Theatre / Shakespeare's ideal venue, then and now MP3

    Happy birthday to us: Incredible but true: Interesting Thing of the Day is 10 years old! In my senior year of high school, all the students in my English class were required to write two term papers. But two of us were granted a special exception. The teacher gave my friend Nick and me the option of handing in alternative projects in lieu of the second paper. In my case, I had written a funny yet tragic account of...

    22.05.2013

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    22.05.2013

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