Items of Interest

Our Eyes Can't Focus On Blue

Due to the differing focal points of coloured light, our eyes can't focus on blue as well as green and red light at the same time. As a result, our brain steps in and makes up the difference. Check out Caleb Kruse interesting post that illustrates this with some side by side comparisons of images with and without the blue channel.

The Brain's Musical Expectation

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin used EEG monitors to scan the brain of musicians while they listened to a piece of music and imagined a piece of music they knew. The study found that the brain's electrical activity for listened music and imagined or expected music was the same except for being of opposite voltage. When the listened music matched the expected music in the brain, the positive and negative signals cancel each other out.

Phantom Warships

The AIS (Automatic identification system) is used (under international law) by naval vessels to broadcast and track their position on the water, to avoid collisions and aid search and rescue. The transponders on each vessel broadcast data that is detected by land based AIS stations and satellites. It turns out some AIS ground stations have been picking up phantom warships from different countries in places where they shouldn't be, the waters of other sovereign nations.

Faster Than Wind Travel

A former aerospace engineer turned YouTuber Rick Cavellero designed a land yacht that harnesses the power of the wind to propel itself faster than said wind. After online disagreements with physics professors, one who bet him $10,000 that it wasn't possible according to the laws of perpetual motion, he built the real thing and won the bet!

Harnessing Your Inner Crowd

The Atlantic published an interesting article about how considering the opposite viewpoint when making a decision can lead to better decision making. The piece describes how research about the wisdom of crowds has evolved to demostrate that a change in mindset can help you to harness the power of your inner crowd, which on average leads to better decision outcomes.