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Things are a lot more interesting when you slow down.

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Researching some stuff for work I happened on a diagram that expresses a simple conceit: we all have 8 basic emotions and 8 advanced emotions (which are each composed of 2 basic emotions).

Truth be told, I fell in love with this diagram because of its overt simplicity, complete fallibility and because PhD Robert Plutchick (God rest his soul) was so optimistic that he firmly believed the complex wash of human emotions can be distilled logically into a pretty flower (where rage is a petal and that petal is fuschia). 

I don’t think it’ll ever be that simple. That’s why people like being human.

Maybe I suffer from a touch of synesthesia because I fell on my head when I was a kid but I’ve always thought of emotions as flavors. Like flavors, they’re hard to pinpoint and language tends to fall short when you try and express them. Even something as unmistakable as rage is different for everyone and it’s rarely as pretty as a tulip.

It’s been a while since the electric pickle so here are some more goodies courtesy the science of awesome.

Back in high school, before I dropped all my science courses, I learned that all matter doesn’t just come in the form of solids, liquids, and gases.

And then I was all like, “Who cares, man? I don’t need to learn this crap. What’s it gonna matter? Lets skip class and smoke butts.”

Skipping class and smoking butts was a far more important discipline to master than chemistry.

If only I had stuck around for the stuff about non-Newtonian fluids.

Here’s the really short explanation: Non-Newtonian fluids aren’t quite liquids and they aren’t quite solids (blood is one of them).

I know, I know. “Who cares, man?”

You will once you watch this dude basically walk on water:

Cool – but when are you going to have half a ton of cornstarch to dump in your neighbor’s pool while they’re away on vacation?

It also has useful applications. A material called D3O (created by a company with the same name) has been introduced with practical applications that include everything from ballet shoes to body armor.

More info (and throw-your-iPod-against-a-wall-and-then-off-a-building-goodness) in this video:

(via NotCot)

Discovered these oddities a while back but haven’t shared them on this blog so here we go:

Sometimes art and science run parallel and never meet. Sometimes they run in opposite directions screaming at each other as they go. But sometimes they meet at a glorious crossroads and create an amazing convergence.

Usually that point is located around porn.

To explain, a while back a Belgian artist, Wim Delvoye, started messing around with x-ray images in his work like this:


Cool, jarring. Intriguing.

And then he started messing around with x-rays of people kissing, licking and fellating each other.



I know. I mentioned fellatio, where’s the fellatio?. The rest of the pics can be seen courtesy of Joseph Brett’s blog here.

All of this coolness was sent to me via @BenjaminAyres so, of course I had to try and one up him with my internet skills (yes, this, as you suspect, is what I look like – though I recently quit smoking):

I know internets

Anyway, my Google-fu was in fine form and I discovered footage of a scientist who captures two people having sex in an MRI machine. Video is below (be patient, the sexin’ begins at 1:30, perv)

Ah, art and science, united once again by porn.


Welcome to new feature on Wakkanew.

Each week we’ll be bringing you a science experiment. I’m not big on boring so each of our featured science experiments must meet rigorous requirements:

1) The experiment must be killer, sick, wicked, awesome.

2) The experiment must be really, really… whatever the next word they invent for cool is (my vote is for “sauce” but that is another post)

On with the show.

This week’s experiment comes from Valérie, an awesome D.O.P I worked with years ago. She told me about this, I thought she was nuts, five years later I remembered it, checked it out and was so amazed that I wrote it into an episode of Degrassi last year.

Enough preamble. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Electric Pickle (explanation follows):

Explanation (in terms I can understand): pickles have lots of sodium. Sodium lights up when it gets excited. Electricity excites sodium. The end.

If you passed grade 11 science (unlike me) here’s a more in depth explanation.

Of course if you’re looking to amp up your electric pickle experience then you just need to swap your pickle for a watermelon and connect it to a massive current.

Which would look like this:

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N.B. Don’t try to replicate these experiments, hurt yourself and sue us – we don’t advise any of the above.


It’s everywhere.  The planet has 326 million trillion gallons of the stuff.  If we shared it equally among all the people living on this world right now then each person would get over 46 billion gallons.

Each person who is, of course, composed of 55% – 78% of water.

Could anything be less remarkable?

Here’s a water droplet photo (courtesy1X via @AmazingPics) that begs to differ – yes it’s real (scroll down for some video awesome)


Yeah, yeah, it’s pretty but who cares?

I’m guessing you in about three minutes.

A preeminent water photographer (yes, there is more than one), Martin Waugh, shows a wealth of absolutely incredible material in this clip – including a rare double water drop.  What’s that?

Check it out:

Martin’s website.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

~ LORAN EISELY, The Immense Journey, 1957

A video has been circulating recently that’s as funny as it is interesting.

Here’s the setup:

1. A child is put in a room on their own for 20 minutes.

2. They are given one tantalizing marshmallow to keep them company.

3. They can eat the marshmallow whenever they’d like BUT if they can wait for 20 miutes then they get another marshmallow – for a total of two.

An easy choice right? Not so much.

It’s turns out that it’s a kind of harmless, delicious torture.

Video is below for your lulz pleasure. The science behind this is fascinating – the geeky stuff follows the vid if you want to know more (and if you want to learn how not to screw up your whole life).

Click subtitles if you’d like (bottom left):

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This video is a recreation of a formal experiment that was run at Standford in the 60’s (popularized by Daniel Goleman) which used the exact same scenario to explore the human ability to embrace deferred gratification.

What’s cool is that, following the experiment, the Standford scientists tracked all of the subjects for decades. So what could a single marshmallow possibly change?

Your whole life.

Check out this video (from the ever amazing Ted) for the dramatic results:

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So what would I have done if I had been presented with this situation when I was 4?

I would’ve cried the minute my mom wasn’t around.

No I’m serious. I wish I was joking.

Brilliant, flash animation reimagining of Mario as heroic son of Communist liberation – heavy on style and on the awesome. Check it out here.

This reminds me of that old legend about the U.S. trying to invent a pen that works in space so astronauts could write. They spend a kajillion dollars on research and development and finally comes up with the miracle pen to proudly present to the world.

Meanwhile, the U.S.S.R., confronted with the same problem, solved it by handing their astronauts pencils.

(that whole story is bullshit by the way)

But this post isn’t about pencils. It’s about laptops. Namely, how not to have yours stolen.

The researchers are at it again: cable locks, gps trackers, BitLocker encryption, auto delete features, serial number tracking, lap top safes, biometrics… Take your pick.

Or you could just use a crazy, cool newspaper. Details here


(kinda relates to that beatbox editing post from yesterday)

What would happen if someone with a good ear for music logged into Youtube and assembled unrelated videos that he/she liked into one cohesive orchestral piece? Probably be pretty cool, right?


And it look like this: