DIY google strange

250lbs of Silly Putty

Last week I posted about a dozen miles of dental floss you could order.  Well today I have an equally weird bulk item you can buy – silly putty.  Yes, you can order (or you used to according to Crayola), 5lb bricks of Silly Putty.

Silly Putty

That right there is 250lbs of the pink stuff.  They gave out chunks to various co-workers to do with as they pleased.  Naturally, people copied whole sections of newspaper:

silly newspaper


science video

360° Coffee Harvesting

Nescafe is taking advantage of the 360° video offered by Google and showing the coffee harvest on one of their plantations down in Brazil.  I think it’s pretty cool to see this technology in use in a real world application, as opposed to the regular marketing stunts that they so far have been done with.

{reddit|The Drum}

google internet photo

Border Differences

reddit user adamc4 has spent some time looking through Google Street View along the borders of US States.  He noticed that sometimes it’s pretty easy to tell when you’re entering a new jurisdiction without even needing the giant “Welcome” signs.

MD-DE Border

Other times it’s not as apparent, except for the abrupt end new pavement, and the mis-matched lines.

PA-MD border

It’s a neat exercise and I’m sure there are other examples.  He has a few more border differences in this imgur album.  People on reddit even showed that other countries are similar, except on a country scale.

awesome google internet photo science video

Crowd-Sourced Time-lapses

The internet is an amazing place.  Researchers at Google and the University of Washington have come up with a way to analyzes photos taken, and uploaded to the internet and create history with them.

The first thing they did was download 86 million photos from various points of interest around the world.  Then they align the photos, normalize the exposure, sort them chronologically, and in the end, create a time-lapse of the thousands of photos taken from different people, at different time,s showing different things.  It’s really something cool.

For the most part only largely static things are visible in the generated time-lapses, meaning, no moving clouds, or cars, or people.  That is, except for a Swiss Guard at The Vatican, he (or they actually), stand so still, and in the same spot, that he’s a blurred in there.  The process isn’t perfect, (yet), photos with blury shots, or where the focus is on a different point mess up the video, and photos taken at night, or evening cause strange effects when the exposure is normalized.  But all in all, it’s pretty cool, the video above is only 5 minutes long, watch it.

{Peta Pixel |Paper}

awesome electronic news google internet photo video

360° Video

Google & YouTube have just released the coolest new feature on the site in years.  Sure Performance enhancements, and HTML5 Video are cool and all, but this wins hands down. 360° Pannable video, that’s right, take your mouse, and drag around the screen to move the camera’s viewpoint.  It’s frekin ACE.  It’s too bad it currently only works in Chrome

The Red Bull F1 video is the best of those 6 in the playlist,  if you only watch one, watch that.  The only downside I have is that the resolution is very poor, it reminds me of what YouTube was like when it first launched, not the 1080p stuff we’re used to today.  But these are just the first videos uploaded to show the experience, I’m sure it will get better as more people take advantage of it.  You should take advantage of the viewing,  As I said before, it’s ACE.

{Google Operating System|YouTube Blog}

awesome games google

Smarty Pins

smarty 11

Google has a great trivia game out, Smarty Pins.  They present you with a map of the world (usually zoomed in to somewhere in the area of the answer).   You are given a trivia question.  You answer the question by dropping a pin on the map where you think it should go.  The number of miles off you are from the actual location get deducted from your total start milage, (1,000).  Answering questions quickly gets you extra miles.

It’s surprisingly fun.  However, it’s easy to loose quickly.  I was way off in the answer to one question (wrong coast of the US), and that ended my game completely.


awesome internet science video

What If?

[ted id=1993]

Randall Munroe recently gave a TED talk about things.  Specifically his side blog project, What If?  It’s more or less putting a voice and face to the wildly popular xkcd webcomic.  It’s interesting.  I mean, the video is 2 months old, and he goes over some of the older What If questions.  But it’s still pretty interesting seeing him work through the through process of how he figured out the answers.  I like it.

It turns out that he’s just as smart and interesting as his website makes him seem.

awesome google science

The SKY!

This is a pretty neat idea.  Using NASA’s Gamma-Ray Coordinate Network, a team of developers have hooked it up with Google Sky Map to provide real time information about the heavens above your very head.  It’s pretty powerful.  Now if only we could have faster than light travel, or some sort of photos from these places ourselves, that’d be ace.  But until we invent those things, (or someone from an alternate reality sends us the technology), we’re stuck with our Hi (low) Res photos from Hubble.


electronic news science video


What a magical time we’re living in.  With Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and now castAR, it really seems like in not too long of a time we’ll have something like the Holodeck from Star Trek.

While it’s true that just yesterday I was preaching for scientists to stop their research, and leave things alone.  That was geared towards artificial intelligence.  Because, let’s be honest here, if we manage to make a good representation of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, or even a Holodeck, imagine what it would be like if artifical intelligence was included in the mix?  The Matrix looks more and more likely.  That’s something that we don’t want, trust me.


electronic news google internet

The Internet

Click the image to open the interactive version (via

I’m not entirely sure how accurate this is, but it’s still pretty neat.  It does raise some questions though.  Like where does all this data go?  Who consumes it?  Would someone miss it if it even 0.0001% of it got deleted?

All of this needs to be saved somewhere, it’s all data.  So let’s just assume that every one of those is now replicated 5x (at least).  That’s a heck of a lot of hard disk space.  It reminds me of a 365 Tomorrows story that unfortunately, I can’t remember.  I probably starred it in Google Reader, but that’s gone. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, please let me know!  The gist of the story was that in the future, there’s not enough space left to save digital files.  So everyone is allotted a life quota of GB (or TB, or some other set ammount), and when they run out they can’t do anything anymore.  Well one old woman was reaching her limit, and her family was trying to get her to delete stuff, and she said she would, but she just couldn’t.  I can’t remember what she wouldn’t delete, but it was still an interesting story.