a short thought-experiment by carl sagan

this is a pretty clever little venture into the world of human belief.

here’s a taste of what you’re in for: “Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you’re pretty sure don’t know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages–but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive.”

it’s pretty short, just read it.


amazing shock-absorbing gel pad

check out this video. an egg is dropped off of the top of a building, and it lands on this weird gel pad, so it doesn’t break.

it’s not in english, but it doesn’t need to be. check it.

warning: if you find overly-enthusiastic, giggly tv hosts annoying, you should probably watch it on mute.

crazy youtube artist guy [videos]

phil hansen is an artist who has received some internet fame by posting stop-motion videos of himself making his pieces onto youtube…
some of his stuff is just okay, but some of it is really amazing.
in this piece, he had a giant, spinning, circular piece of wood as his canvas, on which he wrote down moments that had changed people’s lives to create a bigger picture:

and in this piece (which i had seen before, but only just now realized was done by the same guy), a pretty cool portrait of jimmi hendrix made out of matches… and then lit on fire:

he was featured as one of yahoo’s “People of the Web,” you can check out their report and interview with him here.

and check out his personal site: philinthecircle.com
or just browse his youtube videos.

could you follow every rule in the bible for a whole year?

..well this guy did.

from the man who brought you “i read the entire encyclopedia,” comes: “i grew a beard and followed archaic regulations!”

this guy identified 700 rules/prohibitions he found in the bible and stuck to them.

he said of the experience:
“I would say I’m more thankful. I focus on the hundred little things that go right in a day, instead of the three or four things that go wrong. And I love the Sabbath. There’s something I really like about a forced day of rest. Also, during the experiment I wore a lot of white clothes, because Ecclesiastes says let your garments always be white, and I loved it, so I look like Tom Wolfe now. Wearing white just made me happier. I couldn’t be in a bad mood walking down the street looking like I was about to play in the semifinals at Wimbledon.”

..and so how did his wife take it?

“Parts of the Bible say that the man is the head of the household and should make the decisions, which did not translate into reality in our household. She found that a disturbing part of religion.”

..and then he gets deep:
“We all talk about freedom of choice, but there’s something very attractive about freedom from choice. Religion provides structure, mooring, anchoring. Should you covet? No. Should you give 10 percent to the needy? Yes. It really structures your life. After my year I felt unmoored, overwhelmed by choice. I have adjusted, but I’m still overwhelmed by choice, as we all are in America.”

read the whole interview with this guy here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

update: npr interviewed this guy