Ars Technica: Why emergency braking systems sometimes hit parked cars and lane dividers

2018-06-12 bookmarks

Make sure you read the car's manual:

"vehicles are programmed to ignore stationary objects at higher speeds"

"a car's adaptive cruise control system was often a totally separate system—made by a different supplier and using different sensors—from the lane-keeping system"

"a lot of emergency braking systems simply don't try to brake for obstacles when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds"

XKCD What if? Earth-Moon Fire Pole

2018-06-06 bookmarks physics rockets

From some tooltips:

It's common knowledge that Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, measured from sea level. A somewhat more obscure piece of trivia is that the point on the Earth's surface farthest from its center is the summit of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador, due to the fact that the planet bulges out at the equator. Even more obscure is the question of which point on the Earth's surface moves the fastest as the Earth spins, which is the same as asking which point is farthest from the Earth's axis. The answer isn't Chimborazo or Everest. The fastest point turns out to be the peak of Mt. Cayambe, a volcano north of Chimborazo. And now you know.

and

DO NOT USE THIS GRAPH FOR PLANNING PURPOSES. It's not that it isn't accurate, it's just that any kind of plan that involves this type of data is probably a bad one.

and

For aerodynamic reasons, this [protective] gear should probably make it look like you're wearing a very fast airplane.

More or Less: Tulipmania Mythology

2018-05-17 podcast

The story goes that Amsterdam in the 1630s was gripped by a mania for Tulip flowers. But then there was a crash in the market. People ended up bankrupt and threw themselves into canals. This story is still being trotted out when people talk about financial markets lately as a comparison to buying and selling bitcoin. But how much of what we know of the Tulip craze is fact, and how much is myth? We speak to Anne Goldgar at Kings College London who explains all.

Chase

2018-04-17 bookmarks video

Amazing how persistence of vision causes our brains to insist that this has to be the same object moving/changing shape, as we never evolved to consider rapid switching of images to even be a possibility...