NPF: RESPITE

Posted in No Politics Friday on May 11th, 2012 by Ed

I haven't done this in a while, but today is the all-too-brief break between the end of finals week on Thursday and the beginning of the ultra-condensed summer session on Monday. To say that I am not highly motivated to do real work today would be an understatement on the order of, "You know, these "LMAFO" fellows aren't very good." Thankfully it's Friday and you don't want to work either, so here's a sampler of Grade A time-wasters for a Friday afternoon at the cubicle farm.

1. The UK's National Physical Laboratory has a wonderful YouTube channel full of Olde Timey science videos dating back to the late 1940s. This particularly neat one (in color!) details the creation of one of the first atomic clocks:

2. Apparently it's pretty easy for anyone with a decent amount of money to buy a frickin' island and live like Robinson Crusoe. Here's an 86 year old Briton who bought an island in the Seychelles in 1962 for the hefty but not totally outrageous price of £8000.

I kinda want an island.

3. Let's keep going with Britons here. Here is a photo of young Stephen Hawking. Young Stephen Hawking looks like a smartassed hipster.

I find this worth sharing because I've been seeing and hearing Hawking on PBS specials (and even in filmstrips!) since I was old enough to remember, and he has always been the wrinkled man in the wheelchair who talks like a robot. For many of us it's somewhat surprising to see a reminder that prior to his mid-twenties, Hawking walked, talked, and looked like any other 1950s science-nerd stock character. I wonder what his unmodified voice sounded like.

4. If your faith in humanity requires restoration, watch this video of a guy rigging up his bicycle with a compressed air powered train horn. The video description describes this as a test run and tantalizingly promises a "full power demonstration" soon.

5. Oh, and speaking of things that are loud and/or look like Stephen Hawking, Reddit did an Ask Me Anything with…Steve Albini. You won't find a more entertaining way to kill an hour today, I promise.

Work is for suckers.