Tag Archives: youtube

The Paper Town Copyright Trap Science, Technology & Curiosity 01 MAY 2016

Producing things like maps, dictionaries, encyclopedias and the like take a lot of work if you do everything from scratch. Of course, you could cheat and just build off of someone else’s work, or simply copy them outright. To protect against this, some creators insert what is known as fictitious entries into their work, to act as literal copyright traps. In map making this process is often known as adding in Paper Towns.

Wendover Productions put together this great little video explaining this idea in a bit more detail:

It’s clever, I’ll give them that, but in the same breathe also a little annoying, particularly when you need to trust a map in getting somewhere – i.e. when you are desperately counting on that petrol station being there when you arrive!

paper cityscape

Related Link: Wikipedia | Mother Nature Network | Youtube

Hints of Evolution left behind in Your Body Science, Technology & Curiosity 05 APR 2016

Vox magazine sometimes puts together some pretty interesting, well made and informative videos that have absolutely nothing to do with politics or liberal America in general – like this one for instance in which they highlight some of the very peculiar anomalies in our bodies that seem to indicate some prior use case, i.e. an argument in favour of evolution.

I kind of agree with them on pretty much all of this:

On that note, the art of wiggling one’s ears still eludes me, no matter how much I try.


Related Link: Vox | YouTube

How do modern Vending Machines know what coins You put in? Science, Technology & Curiosity 23 MAR 2016

How do modern vending machines know what coins you’ve inserted? Well, according to this fantastic CG animated segment from the Science Channel, current day vending machines make use of a combination of light sensors to accurately measure the size of the coin being dropped in, and electromagnets to determine the metal type of the coin rolling past. Together this information provides the onboard computer with enough information to make a pretty accurate guess as to what coins have been inserted, allowing it to then calculate and distribute change if necessary.

A bonus for anyone who has ever had a fight with a vending machine before, modern machines detect whether or not an item has dropped into the retrieval chute by means of light beams – and if nothing has indeed dropped down, the computer simply tries again! (That would have saved me a LOT of frustration in my university days!)

Very clever.

vending machines

Related Link: Science Channel

Can YouTube run out of Video IDs? Science, Technology & Curiosity 22 MAR 2016

As you would have noticed by now if you regularly visit YouTube in a browser, each and every video has its own identifier, as seen by the string of letters and numbers at the end of every video URL (e.g. ?v=gocwRvLhDf8).

Technology speaker and tinkerer Tom Scott (whose videos I almost always find interesting) poses the question “Will YouTube Ever Run Out Of Video IDs?”, given the fact that last time Youtube mentioned stats, it was something ridiculous like 400 hours worth of content being uploaded per minute!

Theoretically of course you could, but practically it is near impossible. Plus, YouTube lengthened the odds even more in their favour by using base64 numbers as identifiers, which as Tom so succinctly explains, packs a lot of data in a really small string!

So no. Probably not then.
youtube logo

Related Link: Youtube | Tom Scott

How Does the Cue Ball Stay Separated from the Colour Balls? Science, Technology & Curiosity 17 MAR 2016

I enjoy the odd game of pool every now and then, and if you are the same, then you have undoubtedly at least once given thought as to how the white cue ball remains separated from the colour balls when it drops down a pocket.

As it turns out, the answer is quite a simple trick. Magnets.

Essentially the cue ball contains metal, which then thanks to the pull of a large magnet along the unseen ball tracks beneath the table, is thrown down its own special track each and every time it rumbles down a table pocket.

The Science Channel details this clever trick in their wonderfully animated explanation video:


colour balls for a game of pool

Related Link: Science Channel

How Tortilla Chips are Made Science, Technology & Curiosity 29 AUG 2015

I’m quite fond of Doritos Tortilla chips, so seeing how these crunchy triangles of flavour are made is pretty satisfying.


If you are not familiar with them at all, then: “A tortilla chip is a snack food made from corn tortillas, which are cut into wedges and then fried—or baked (alternatively they may be discs pressed out of corn masa then fried or baked). Corn tortillas are made of corn, vegetable oil, salt and water.

Although first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, tortilla chips were always considered to be a Mexican food, known as totopos and tostadas. Though usually made of yellow corn, they can also be made of white, blue, or red corn. Some manufacturers include many other ingredients including wheat, sugar, and MSG.”

doritos tortilla chips cool ranch

Related Link: Youtube | Wikipedia

Silent but Violent: Why are Silent Farts worse than Loud Farts Science, Technology & Curiosity 28 AUG 2015

Although embarrassing, loud, explosive farts are generally not that big a problem to deal with. Oh no, it’s those faint, almost unheard ones which cause the most anguish and eye watering.

(And thanks to the AsapSCIENCE team of Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, now we all know why!)

Ah, that… explains a lot then.

Bull Fart Sculpture by Chen Wenling

Related Link: AsapSCIENCE | Youtube

How Gummy Bears are Made Science, Technology & Curiosity 16 AUG 2015

In case you skipped childhood and don’t know what a gummy bear is: “A gummy bear (which originated in Germany) is a small, fruit gum candy, similar to a jelly baby in some English-speaking countries. The candy is roughly 2 cm long and shaped in the form of a bear. The gummy bear is one of many gummies, popular gelatin-based candies sold in a variety of shapes and colors.”

Needless to say, as a kid, these things were awesome (and still are) to play with before gobbling up!

And now that we’re all grown up, it’s nice to know how gummy bears are actually made!

So, so much sugar.

pile of gummy bears

Related Link: Wikipedia | YouTube

How Stained Glass Patterns are Made Science, Technology & Curiosity 15 AUG 2015

I remember that my friend Terrance’s dad used to make beautiful stained glass patterns as a hobby, and although I doubt he still does to this day, the art of producing a stained glass piece remains something rather special.

The following video (from How Its Made) gives a great overview of the process of putting together a stained glass panel, showing how the pieces of glass are cut, combined with lead, and then soldered and finally puttied to leave us with the final product:

Clever. (Particularly that last part on how one adds shading to stained glass pieces!)

stained glass window created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in Arlington Street Church (Boston) depicting John the Baptist

Related Link: Youtube | Wikipedia

Suzelle DIY show you How to Declutter Your Life with Gumtree Laugh out Loud! 31 JUL 2015

Suzelle DIY continues to make me chuckle every time I see something of hers on the Internet, and her latest effort is certainly no different.

So here goes: How to declutter your life – Suzelle DIY style!

Brilliant, as always! :)

(Just a note, but this is also a fantastic example of native advertising done right. Nowhere is Gumtree being pushed at you but it is obvious enough that this is a video done at their behest. Subtle, nicely done.)

how to declutter your life suzelle diy

Related Link: Youtube

What is an Hash Algorithm and What are Hash Collisions? Tech News 29 JUL 2015

Tom Scott, who I think is particularly adept at explaining complex computing concepts in very understandable and relatable ways, joins up with Computerphile to explain what exactly the idea behind hash algorithms are, how they can be used to confirm a file’s transmission for the most part, and what things called hash collisions are.

Great, so just in case you were still using MD5 for something meaningful then, best you move over to something a little more modern, no?


Related Link: Youtube

Things to See in Germany: Tropical Islands Resort Travel Attractions 23 JUL 2015

The biggest uninterrupted indoor space on the planet, Tropical Islands Resort is a tropical theme park located in the former Brand-Briesen Airfield in Krausnick, in the district of Dahme-Spreewald in Brandenburg, Germany, 50 kilometres from the southern boundary of Berlin. It is housed in the former CargoLifter airship hangar (known as the Aerium), the biggest free-standing hall in the world. (The hall belonged to the company CargoLifter until its insolvency in 2002.)

tropical islands world's largest indoor waterpark in germany 1

Tropical Islands was built by the Malaysian corporation Tanjong in the former airship hangar known as the Aerium. The hangar was originally designed to protect large airships from the elements. It was purchased by Tanjong on 11 June 2003 for €17.5 million, of which €10 million was a subsidy from the federal state of Brandenburg. The building permit for constructing the theme park inside the hall was granted on 2 February 2004 and Tropical Islands officially opened its doors on 19 December 2004.

tropical islands world's largest indoor waterpark in germany 2

Inside the hall, the air temperature is 26 °C and air humidity is around 64%. Tropical Islands is home to the biggest indoor rainforest in the world, a beach, many tropical plants and a number of swimming pools, bars and restaurants. It is open around the clock, every day of the year.

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On entering the hall, visitors choose between different basic admission options with different prices. Inside the hall, payments are made using an electronic chip wristband. Tropical Islands is divided into two main areas, each with its own admission price: the Tropical Sauna & Spa complex, and the Tropical World. Visitors can move from one area to the other by paying an additional daily charge. Additional charges also apply for areas such as the water slide tower, crazy golf course, African Jungle Lift, evening show and internal accommodation area. The entertainment programme comprises a gala evening show, smaller shows during the day (variety acts, kids’ entertainment) and various events.

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Tropical Islands has a number of different themed areas:

  • The Tropical Village, featuring accurate copies of traditional buildings from Thailand, Borneo, Samoa and Bali.
  • The Rainforest, with around 50,000 plants and 600 different species, including some rare plants.
  • The Tropical Sea, a 140 metres pool with an area of 4,400 square metres and a depth of 1.35 metres designed to look like the waters of a coral island, a 200 metres sandy beach and 850 wooden sun-loungers; water temperature 28 °C.
  • The Bali Lagoon, with an area of 1,200 square metres and a depth of less than 1 metre in places, fountains, a current canal, whirlpools and two water slides; water temperature 32 °C.

tropical islands world's largest indoor waterpark in germany 5

Tom Scott also recently featured Tropical Islands on his popular Youtube channel, giving you a bit more of how exactly this giant waterpark managed to come and be:

I guess you’ll have to travel quite far to find something else quite this out of place! :)

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tropical islands world's largest indoor waterpark in germany 7

tropical islands world's largest indoor waterpark in germany 8 bali pavillion

tropical islands world's largest indoor waterpark in germany wasserfall lodge 9

Related Link: Tropical Islands | Wikipedia | Youtube

USA Sport Stadium Funding Sport & Health 21 JUL 2015

Naturally, sports stadiums in the United States are big. Very big. And very expensive too, partly because they keep seeming to try and one-up each other when it comes to newness and features.

miami marlins baseball stadium united states of america usa

Of course, everyone knows that there is very big money in American sports, one just has to look at the salaries earned by top NFL football players, NBA basketball players and MBA baseball players to see that. But what is surprising however is a lot of their mega stadiums aren’t actually self-funded – instead, the trend is very much to get the hosting cities to pay for everything!

John Oliver’s research team over at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took a look and came up with some very surprising (and infuriating) information on the topic:

Obviously here in South Africa we have our own stadium problems thanks to the 2010 FIFA World Cup (which was, admittedly, AWESOME!), but that said, it is rather nice having such a beautiful stadium like Cape Town Stadium around.

I just wish it hadn’t cost quite as much, and somehow become a little more self-sufficient and a little less reliant on my tax money!

Related Link: Youtube

How NOT to Store Passwords Tech News 20 JUL 2015

British presenter and tech personality Tom Scott (whom I’m quite fond of featuring here on my little blog thanks to his likable personality and way of clearly and concisely explaining things) joins up with Computerphile to bring this great 10 minute video on how software developers should not be storing passwords.

The fact is, most of us in the trade would probably have implemented pretty much all of these erroneous methods at some point in our careers! (I know that I certainly have)

Definitely worth watching if you are in charge of writing some or other access-controlled system.

Take away points: Passwords should never be encrypted using a two way algorithm. Passwords should be uniquely salted in order to get differing hash values.

Worth remembering!

username password login screen

Related Link: Youtube

Kids saving the World? #brightFuture
[Partner Content] 14 JUL 2015

Kids have ideas. Kids have ideas on how to make the world a better place. A place where perhaps everyone has food to eat, water to drink, and a safe place to call home.

unilever brightfuture youtube screen capture

Unilever brightFuture is a platform that helps unite and amplify the efforts of a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably.

Kids are the future, kids have ideas, kids would like to make the world a better place. Perhaps we should join in with them and their ideas and see just how we can perhaps change our future for the better?

unilever brightfuture campaign clean beach

unilever brightfuture campaign joshua boy

(Please note that this is a Sponsored Post, placed via the Webfluential advertising network.)

Related Links: brightFuture Video | Facebook | Twitter