Internet Detritus #5
Radio Berkman – Facts Are Boring – via itself
This week we tear apart the difference between Truth, Fact, and Evidence, and the quiet, but irreplaceable, role of the humble factchecker in our media:
Author/factchecker Jim Fingal on the Lifespan of a Fact
Former GQ intern and factchecker Gillian Brassil
Veteran Atlantic Monthly factchecking department head Yvonne Rolzhausen
David Weinberger, author of the recent book Too Big To Know
From the New Blogs
Why was melamine so toxic? “Because it’s not, really. It’s not supposed to be absorbable by the human body,” Jia says. Its LD-50 (“lethal dose-50?), or the dose at which 50 percent of those exposed would die, is 3161 mg/kg in rats, an incredibly low toxicity. So why had so many children gotten sick?
National Geographic’s Phenomena
There are so many things memorized in school but never understood at all.
“If you were standing at arm’s length from someone and each of you had one percent more electrons than protons, the repelling force would be incredible. How great? Enough to lift the Empire State Building? No! To lift Mount Everest? No! The repulsion would be enough to lift a “weight” equal to that of the entire earth!”
Richard Feynman; The Feynman Lectures on Physics
In order to detect prey it senses slight changes in air currents with bumps on its skin and chemical sensors on its antennae to let them essentially taste something to determine if its food. When a prey item is eventually encountered, the slime is forcefully squirted through oral papillae near the head and launched up to 30cm in a sort of spray-and-pray manner. Once the slime contacts the victim, it quickly dries ensnaring it, where now the worm then seeks to eat the organism by injecting its saliva and digestive enzymes turning the innards into a slurpee. Mmm delicious.
The velvet worm are primarily nocturnal ambush predators and their senses and locomotion allow them to hunt. They move silently and fluidly with pneumatically inflated sets of valves to inflate/deflate their legs, meaning they don’t really rely on muscles for movement and is why it looks so cool as they glide along the ground. Another awesome thing about them is they have a tubular heart that extends almost the entire length of the body creating an open circulatory system.
Essentially, you have the perfect horror movie monster- nocturnal, crazy attack method, liquifying victims, silent and creepy method of transport, non-standard circulatory system (not sure if this would make them easier or harder to kill – heart shot would be anywhere but would it matter?). Use as writing prompt or as encouragement for research on anything that could be worse if only it was large enough to eat humans.
“An online forum for elderly people has been shut down because of “racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic comments”.”
. But Mr Green said that despite “vicious” debates on subjects such as the Middle East, the network was “closed more in sadness than anything else”.
via Boing Boing