Stir friction welding (and SpaceX). Take a spinning metal rod, run it down the intersection between two metal plates, and stir them together. It’s amazing that this works.

Greater Wrong, “an alternative way to browse LessWrong 2.0, the Effective Altruism forum, and Arbital with a focus on speed and usability.”

International Guild of Knot Tyers, “an association of people with interests in knots and knotting techniques of all kinds”. This feels like a throwback to the better days of the internet, when it served to connect people with niche interests. Fun to peruse.

Everywhere it’s raining right now

Ikea shares instructions for building comfy homemade forts and tents “Looking at consumer electronics inside and out reveal the fingerprints of the designers, clever engineering tricks, and clues to the priorities of the companies that build them.”

Very comprehensive answer to the question of which battery you should buy (Energizer, probably)

Source for research on police violence:


Have you ever rubbed your fingers over the surface of your laptop and noticed a weird vibrating? I always assumed it was just friction, but it turns out it’s not:

“Julian Jaynes’ The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind is a brilliant book, with only two minor flaws. First, that it purports to explains the origin of consciousness. And second, that it posits a breakdown of the bicameral mind. I think it’s possible to route around these flaws while keeping the thesis otherwise intact. So I’m going to start by reviewing a slightly different book, the one Jaynes should have written. Then I’ll talk about the more dubious one he actually wrote.”

  • Fantastic post. Fascinating theory positing a shockingly recent rise of consciousness.

What I’m Thinking / What I’m Doing. Bryan Caplan on politics and coronavirus. “I’m choosing a 1-in-12,000 marginal increase in the risk of death from coronavirus” — refreshing to see someone actually attempt to quantify their risk and its cost.

Fix-ing regular expressions:

TL;DR: We add variables, let bindings, and explicit recursion via fixed points to classic regular expressions. It turns out that the resulting explicitly recursive, finitely described languages are well suited for analysis and introspection.

The badness of death:

“Shelly Kagan discusses the issue of what makes one’s death bad for the person who dies. After all, if death is the end, how can it be bad (or good)? Nonexistence isn’t some state that is good or bad in itself. It isn’t “like” anything to be dead. As Epicurus famously claimed: “Death is nothing to us, since as long as we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are no more.” Professor Kagan introduces the so-called deprivation account and then discusses a few of the puzzles that arise. Such an issue has implications for various other issues as well, not just one’s own death, including issues regarding abortion and suicide.”

Topologist’s map of the world, Topologist’s map of the US

A modernized, electronic bellows for cooling a PC (surprisingly nice)

Have you heard of a wax motor? It uses the phase-changing expansion / contraction of wax. Used in all sorts of applications from airplanes to HVACs to dishwashers and washing machines.

Supply Studies Syllabus

  • Incredible document of readings on logistics