Relatively Interesting http://www.relativelyinteresting.com Wed, 23 May 2018 19:32:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 39163838 What are the fastest ships in the universe? http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/what-are-the-fastest-ships-in-the-universe/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/what-are-the-fastest-ships-in-the-universe/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 19:30:06 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10259 What’s are the fastest ships in the universe? Let’s take a look at science and science fiction’s fastest fleet, beginning with NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft (or so-called “relativistic ships”) all the way through to the faster-than-light ships found in comics, movies, and shows.

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What’s are the fastest ships in the universe?

Let’s take a look at science and science fiction’s fastest fleet, beginning with NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft (or so-called “relativistic ships”) all the way through to the faster-than-light ships found in comics, movies, and shows.

What are the fastest ships in the (science fiction) universe?
Source: Fatwallet.com

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17 more GIFs that explain how things work http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/17-more-gifs-that-explain-how-things-work/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/17-more-gifs-that-explain-how-things-work/#respond Thu, 10 May 2018 20:35:34 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10492 We’ve already used GIFs to explain how things work:  like how a lock and key works, how zippers work, and how sewing machines work.  But now we’ve got 17 more GIF explainers.  Ever wonder how a massive cruise ship is launched, and how it makes it through the Panama Canal?  Ever wonder how a gun […]

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We’ve already used GIFs to explain how things work:  like how a lock and key works, how zippers work, and how sewing machines work.  But now we’ve got 17 more GIF explainers.  Ever wonder how a massive cruise ship is launched, and how it makes it through the Panama Canal?  Ever wonder how a gun or grenade fires?  What about Big Bird’s suit?

Look no further, it’s all here:

How a ship is launched

How a cruise ship is launched

 

How a ship goes through the Panama Canal

How ships go through the panama canal

 

How the solar system moves through space

How the solar system moves through space

 

How a sawfish cuts things up

How a sawfish cuts things up

 

How Big Bird’s costume works

How Big Bird's costume works

How kneecaps work

How kneecaps work

 

How coin sorting works

How coin sorting works

 

How a baby grows in the womb

How a baby grows in the womb

 

How a gun works

How a gun works

 

How a grenade works

How a grenade works

 

How a puffer fish deflates

How a puffer fish deflates

 

How the valve in a tire works

How the valve in a tire works

 

How to parallel park

How to parallel park

 

How a pine code expands

How a pine code expands

 

What WIFI distributes in a room

What WIFI distributes in a room

 

How a rotary engine works

How a rotary engine works

 

How an oscillating fan works

How an oscillating fan works

 

How a vending machine detects fake coins (not a GIF though, sorry)

 

But wait, there’s more –  25 more!

25 GIFs that explain how things work

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10 easy science questions that stumped college grads http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/10-easy-science-questions-that-stumped-college-grads/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/10-easy-science-questions-that-stumped-college-grads/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 19:01:09 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10472 The National Science Foundation conducts a survey every few years to evaluate how good Americans are at science and compared to other countries. The questions vary slightly from year to year, but they all have to do with basic facts in physical and biological sciences. Both the general public and people who have obtained bachelor’s degrees were […]

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The National Science Foundation conducts a survey every few years to evaluate how good Americans are at science and compared to other countries. The questions vary slightly from year to year, but they all have to do with basic facts in physical and biological sciences.

Both the general public and people who have obtained bachelor’s degrees were stumped by the quiz. College graduates consistently scored higher than the general public, but didn’t earn a perfect score on any question.

See if you can pass the most recent version of the test:

 

1 – True or false? The center of the Earth is very hot.

Of the general public, 85% got this right, as did 89% of college grads surveyed.

This is true.  The temperature of Earth’s core is an estimated 10,800 degrees Fahrenheit— as hot as the surface of the sun.  The Earth consists of four concentric layers: inner core, outer core, mantle and crust.

 

2 – True or false? The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move.

Plate tectonics

Of all those surveyed, 81% answered correctly, and 87% of college graduates specifically.

True.  Earth’s outermost layer, called the lithosphere (or crust), is broken into tectonic plates that shift several centimeters every year. Earthquakes and volcanoes are most likely to occur at plate boundaries.

The theory of plate tectonics says that the supercontinent Pangea broke apart and that individual continents are still moving thanks to the motion of these plates.  But Pangea wasn’t the supercontinent – several existed before, and will likely exist again.

 

3 – Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?

Solar system

Overall, 73% chose the correct answer. College grads scored 10% higher with 83%.

The earth goes around the sun.  Before the Space Age gave us photos of the solar system, astronomers observed the phases of Venus, moons of Jupiter, and stellar parallax— the changing positions of stars over time — to prove that the Earth is not stationary and that it orbits the sun.

 

4 – True or false? All radioactivity is man-made.

In total, 70% of respondents got this right. People with college degrees pulled ahead by 10% again with 80% correct answers.

As Dwight would say:  FALSE.  Stars, like our Sun, emit cosmic radiation that interacts with Earth’s atmosphere. There’s also natural radioactive material in soil, water, and vegetation.

 

5 – True or false? Electrons are smaller than atoms.

Less than half of Americans got this right at 48%. College graduates did a little better with 59%.

Electrons are much less massive than the protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus of an atom.  Electrons are so small that they act by rules completely different from those that govern objects you can perceive directly. No one has been able to determine their size, but they have calculated the largest their radius could be, and that’s one billionth billionth of a meter.  Atoms have a radius of roughly one ten billionth of a meter. That is, they’re about 100 million times bigger than electrons.

 

6 – True or false? Lasers work by focusing sound waves.

Again, less than half (45%) of Americans picked the right answer. Just over half of college graduates (52%) got it right.

False.  “Laser” stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. As such, lasers concentrate light waves, not sound waves.

 

7 – True or false? The universe began with a huge explosion.

Hubble Deep Space

39% of those surveyed got this right compared to 44% of college grads.

The Big Bang was more of an expansion/inflation than an ‘explosion’, but the correct answer is “true.”

 

8 – True or false? It is the father’s gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

DNA

Overall, 59% percent answered correctly, as did 71% of those with a bachelor’s degree.

True.  A baby’s sex is determined at the time of conception. When the baby is conceived, a chromosome from the sperm cell, either X or Y, fuses with the X chromosome in the egg cell, determining whether the baby will be female (XX) or male (XY).  It is the Y chromosome (from the male) that is essential for the development of the male reproductive organs, and with no Y chromosome, an embryo will develop into a female.

 

9 – True or false? Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria.

Antibiotics

Just over half of Americans chose correctly at 51% in contrast to 73% or almost 3/4 of college grads.

Antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses, so this is false.  This is why doctor’s don’t prescribe antibiotics for the common cold, because it is a virus.

 

10 – True or false? Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.

In total, 52% percent got this right. As for college graduates, 63% were correct.

True.  Evolution by natural selection is one of the best substantiated theories in the history of science.   While the theory of evolution is well accepted in the UK compared with the rest of the world, a survey in 2005 indicated that more than 20% of the country’s population was not sure about it, or did not accept it.

Perhaps it’s because evolution is not fully understood.  For example, some question the theory by asking, “If humans evolved from apes, why do apes still exist?“.  The simple answer is that humans did not evolve from apes: both apes, humans, and other primates evolved from a common ancestor.

 

For the full results of the test and to see how your country fared, download the PDF.

 

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Black swans and other deviations: like evolution, all scientific theories are a work in progress http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/black-swans-and-other-deviations-like-evolution-all-scientific-theories-are-a-work-in-progress/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/black-swans-and-other-deviations-like-evolution-all-scientific-theories-are-a-work-in-progress/#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 19:37:49 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10463 Paul Braterman, University of Glasgow Discussions about the nature of science and scientific theories are often confused by the outdated view that such theories are rendered false when anomalies arise. The notion of a scientific theory as a static object should be replaced with the more current view that it is part of a living […]

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Paul Braterman, University of Glasgow

Discussions about the nature of science and scientific theories are often confused by the outdated view that such theories are rendered false when anomalies arise. The notion of a scientific theory as a static object should be replaced with the more current view that it is part of a living research program, which can broaden its scope into new areas.

For example, take the hypothesis that all swans are white, which seemed pretty good to Europeans until Dutch explorers found black swans in Australia in 1636. So what happens to our hypothesis? There are a number of options.

1) Redefine swan-ness to include whiteness. Then black swans aren’t really swans, and the hypothesis remains true by definition.

2) It’s been disproved. Discard it.

3) Compare different species of swan the world over, and see how well black swans fit in.

(1) is the least useful. Definitions can only tell us about how we are using words. They tell us nothing about the world that those words attempt to describe. (2) is based on the common-sense idea that hypotheses should be discarded when falsified by observation. This was the idea put forward by philosopher Karl Popper in the 1930s, to distinguish between science and pseudoscience.

He saw psychoanalysis, for example, as pseudoscience because disagreement with its findings can always be explained away as a result of repression. Popper’s 1930s view has a great deal to commend it, but throws out a lot of babies with the bathwater. (3) is how science actually works, as Popper and his colleagues, who challenged traditional views of how science works, had realised by the 1970s.

GoJo Media/YouTube.

In our example, the black swan was an anomaly, but any major scientific theory will have anomalies. Newton’s theory of planetary motion could not explain the orbit of Mercury, an anomaly that was known for decades before Albert Einstein explained it with his general theory of relativity. Despite this anomaly, Newton’s theory was retained because there is so much that it does explain. A theory is not meant to be a final statement of how things are, but just the latest stage of a research programme in continual progress.

Evolution as theory and research

In the 18th century, the existence of family relationships between different species was spelt out in the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus’s grouping of living things into species, genera, orders and so on, but there was no suggestion of how things got that way. By the 1820s, the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was talking about inheritance of characteristics acquired as the result of striving (as the giraffe’s ancestors strived to reach higher into the trees).

By 1859, naturalist-biologists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace independently came up with the idea of natural selection as the primary driver of evolution. Natural selection, that is, operating on variation, but with no understanding of where the variants came from, or how that variation was inherited.

In the early 20th century came the discovery of mutations as a source of variants and the incorporation of the Austrian botanist Gregor Mendel’s genetics into evolution science, but as yet without knowledge of the material basis of mutation and inheritance. This emerged in the 1940s, when DNA was recognised as the genetic material. Then from the 1950s onwards there was the determination of its structure and the cracking of the genetic code that revealed how it directs the formation of proteins.

Alfred Russel Wallace helped to discover the theory of evolution.
The research of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) played a pivotal role in developing the theory of natural selection. But over time, Charles Darwin became almost universally thought of as the father of evolution.

Since then, we have recognized that evolution is governed by chance as well as by selection, that inheritance is complicated by things like gene duplication (where a chunk of DNA is copied twice and each copy can then evolve independently), horizontal gene transfer (where DNA is transferred between species), and even the incorporation of genetic material from viruses into our own genetic material. And of course there are plenty of other things that we still don’t understand … Yet.

So at every stage, we have an imperfect theory, full of gaps and inconsistencies, but one that emerges all the stronger from scrutiny of its imperfections. Like atomic theory, it has developed in ways that its originators could not even have imagined, with growing understanding at all levels from individual molecules to the genetics of populations. And like atomic theory, it is fundamental to our understanding of the science that has grown up around it. Biology without evolution is like chemistry without atoms.

The possibility of correction

Sometimes we tells students that “the scientific method” consists in gathering data, formulating hypotheses to explain them and then collecting more data to see if the hypotheses stand up. At other times, we tell them that it consists in formulating hypotheses, collecting data and rejecting the hypotheses if the data don’t fit. Such views are much too simple and make scientific research sound like following a rather boring recipe.

The first step in any scientific enquiry is deciding that something is worth looking at. So the possible results must be worth having and the research programme must have some prospect of success. The next thing is continual dialogue between hypotheses and data. The hypotheses must be open to modification in the light of the data and must always remain open in principle to correction in the light of further knowledge. This commitment to the possibility of correction is known as fallibilism, and is one thing that all scientific endeavours have in common.

Beyond that, I see no point in pretending that science has a single method (it doesn’t), or in trying to draw a hard and fast line between scientific knowledge and other kinds of knowledge about the world (there isn’t one).

LiveScience/YouTube.

What about the swans?

Meantime, DNA evidence shows that the different white swan species whooper swan, tundra swan and mute swan are closely related, with the Australian black swan as their first cousin. Surprisingly, the black-necked swan of South America is a more distant relation.

Europeans thought swans were white until Dutch explorers discovered black swans in Australia in the 17th century.
EPA, CC BY-SA

Other questions suggest themselves. Is there any link between geographical distribution and closeness of relationship? When and where did the separate species arise? Do the differences in colour have any survival value, and if so, what?

The ConversationSo by now, our original swan hypothesis, based on appearance, has been greatly modified, and given rise to a whole range of new questions involving molecular similarities, adaptive evolution vs neutral drift, biogeography and the fossil record. That’s science.

 

Paul Braterman, Hon. Research Fellow; Professor Emeritus, University of Glasgow

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

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Puzzle: What fraction is shaded? http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/puzzle-what-fraction-is-shaded/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/puzzle-what-fraction-is-shaded/#respond Sun, 29 Apr 2018 22:25:51 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10457 There’s nothing like a great geometry puzzle to get the Internet into a frenzy.  Ed Southall, author of “Geometry Snacks,” shared a photo of a pink triangle inside of a square and challenged people to figure out how much of the square is shaded pink. Here’s the puzzle: What fraction is shaded? The Solution: According […]

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There’s nothing like a great geometry puzzle to get the Internet into a frenzy.  Ed Southall, author of “Geometry Snacks,” shared a photo of a pink triangle inside of a square and challenged people to figure out how much of the square is shaded pink.

Here’s the puzzle:What fraction of this shape is shaded in pink? A puzzle!

What fraction is shaded?

The Solution:

According to Business Insider’s quant reporter Andy Kiersz, the key to solving the problem is the height of the pink triangle.

Start with what you know:

The area of a triangle is 1/2 (base x height).

If we assume that the square is a 1 x 1 unit, we can see that the base of the pink triangle is 1, the length of the square.

So wll we need to figure out now is the height.

“The key trick is that the little triangle up top is similar to the pink triangle, which means that the little triangle is just a smaller version of the pink triangle,” Kiersz said.

“A property of similar triangles is that the ratio of the triangles’ heights will be the same as the ratio of their bases. Since the pink triangle’s base is twice the little triangle’s base, its height is also twice the little triangle’s height. But we know that the little triangle’s height plus the pink triangle’s height is 1, so that means the pink triangle’s height is 2/3. Plug that on in and we get our area = 1/2 x base x height = 1/2 x 1 x 2/3 = 1/3.”

Hedy Lim‘s solution is neatly written out, which helps to visualize:

Pink triangle shading puzzle solution

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Listen to the Shepard Tone Auditory Illusion http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/listen-to-the-shepard-tone-auditory-illusion/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/listen-to-the-shepard-tone-auditory-illusion/#respond Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:23:37 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=9086 Our brains are incredibly powerful, but as we all know, they can be fooled with illusions of any sense.  You’re likely more familiar with optical illusions, as they are frequently shared in social media circles.  But auditory illusions can also occur – and they’re just as weird. One of the more famous auditory illusions is […]

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Our brains are incredibly powerful, but as we all know, they can be fooled with illusions of any sense.  You’re likely more familiar with optical illusions, as they are frequently shared in social media circles.  But auditory illusions can also occur – and they’re just as weird.

One of the more famous auditory illusions is the Shepard Tone auditory illusion.

Listen to the following:

 

This sound is known as a Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, and is a sound consisting of “a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upward or downward, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.”

In other words, it sounds very much like a tone that is continuously going down… only, it isn’t.  It’s actually a much smaller loop of a sound that begins at a high point and then drops down, going lower and lower. These loops have been placed one after the other – or stitched together – much like a panoramic image you might take with your smartphone.

Unless if you carefully listen to the clip, you’ll never quite be able to find the exact point at which one loop ends and the next loop begins. Your brain will be fooled and will interpret it as a a sound that is continuously “going down”.  This is, of course, impossible, because after a short time, the sound would be so low that you wouldn’t be able to hear it anymore.  But with this illusion, you do.

The Shepard Tone Illusion:  Described with an image 

If we could visualize what was going on, it might look something like M.C Esher’s Penrose stairs:Endless Stairs Illusion

Here’s what a spectrum view of an ascending Shepard done looks like on a linear frequency scale:

A spectrum view of ascending Shepard tones on a linear frequency scale.

The Shepard Tone is used in film to convey a sense of growing intensity. Take, for example, Hans Zimmer’s score in Dunkirk:

Zimmer told Business Insider:

“There’s an audio illusion, if you will, in music called a ‘Shepard tone’ and with my composer David Julyan on The Prestige we explored that, and based a lot of the score around that.“It’s an illusion where there’s a continuing ascension of tone. It’s a corkscrew effect. It’s always going up and up and up but it never goes outside of its range.

“And I wrote the [Dunkirk] script according to that principle. I interwove the three timelines in such a way that there’s a continual feeling of intensity. Increasing intensity. I wanted to build the music on similar mathematical principals. So there’s a fusion of music and sound effects and picture that we’ve never been able to achieve before.”

What did you hear, and how did it make you feel?

 

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A list of failed technology predictions http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/list-of-failed-technology-predictions/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/list-of-failed-technology-predictions/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:50:12 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10441 Predicting the future is hard, and, unless if you’re a psychic (which you’re not, because they don’t exist), then it’s even harder to predict the outcome of certain technological advancements.  Which will survive?  Which will be adopted by the masses and become part of mainstream technology?  Think about that while you watch a movie on […]

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Predicting the future is hard, and, unless if you’re a psychic (which you’re not, because they don’t exist), then it’s even harder to predict the outcome of certain technological advancements.  Which will survive?  Which will be adopted by the masses and become part of mainstream technology?  Think about that while you watch a movie on your LaserDisk or Betamax players.

Here’s a list of failed technology predictions that were oh-so-wrong:

“With over fifteen types of foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself.” — Business Week, 1968

“By 1985, machines will be capable of doing any work Man can do.” — Herbert A. Simon, 1965

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Charles Duell, US patent office, 1899

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

“We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” — Bill Gates

“Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public … has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company …” — a U.S. District Attorney, prosecuting American inventor Lee DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company in 1913.

“There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” — T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

“To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth – all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.” — Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, in 1926

“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.

“Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical (sic) and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” – Simon Newcomb; The Wright Brothers flew at Kittyhawk 18 months later.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.

“There will never be a bigger plane built.” — A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people

“Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.” -– Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955.

“This is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.” — Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy during World War II, advising President Truman on the atomic bomb, 1945.  Leahy admitted the error five years later in his memoirs

“The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.” — Ernest Rutherford, shortly after splitting the atom for the first time.

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein, 1932

“The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.” -– Charlie Chaplin, actor, producer, director, and studio founder, 1916

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.17. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — A memo at Western Union, 1878 (or 1876).

“The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.” — IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.

“I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.” — HG Wells, British novelist, in 1901.

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” — Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

“The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.” — Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916.

“How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.” — Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton’s steamboat, 1800s.

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power).

“Home Taping Is Killing Music” — A 1980s campaign by the BPI, claiming that people recording music off the radio onto cassette would destroy the music industry.

“Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” — Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.

“[Television] won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

“When the Paris Exhibition [of 1878] closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” – Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson

“… As you may well know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.” — Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1830(?).

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.” — Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” — Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio in 1921.

Look into the black mirror

Predicting today’s technology is just as difficult.  Shows like Black Mirror or Altered Carbon, paint a high tech, bleak future.  So what does the future have in store for today’s tech trends, like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, genetics (CRISPR), nano-technology, space travel, cryptocurrencies, and autonomous vehicles?

We simply don’t know… yet.

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See how every movie monster and robot compares in size http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/see-how-every-movie-monster-and-robot-compares-in-size/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/see-how-every-movie-monster-and-robot-compares-in-size/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:01:44 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10253 Movie robots and monsters come in all shapes and sizes, from the very small to the impossibly large. But just how wide is that range? How gargantuan are giant big screen creatures compared to one another? Is Colossal Titan bigger than a kaiju from Pacific Rim? How does the Iron Giant stack up against Optimus […]

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Movie robots and monsters come in all shapes and sizes, from the very small to the impossibly large. But just how wide is that range? How gargantuan are giant big screen creatures compared to one another? Is Colossal Titan bigger than a kaiju from Pacific Rim? How does the Iron Giant stack up against Optimus Prime?  And where does the King of the Monsters, Godzilla, fit into all of this?

Stop arguing, because now you can see firsthand with these fantastic size comparison videos.

Robot Movie Size Comparison

The YouTube channel MetalBallStudios has lined up some of cinema’s most famous robots so you can appreciate just exactly how big they are compared to each other, starting at the bottom with the Minority Report’s spider bots (seven inches), all the way up to Doctor Who’s CyberKing (525 feet).

Monster Movies Size Comparison

But what’s a giant robot without a memorable leviathan to fight, which is why we also got this monster size comparison video, which goes from Monsters, Inc’s Mike Wazowski (a little over two feet tall), all way up to the Exogorth from The Empire Strikes Back, a creature so large that… we don’t want to spoil it for you.

 

 

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The Periodic Table of Elements in Pictures http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/periodic-table-elements-pictures/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/periodic-table-elements-pictures/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2018 14:43:02 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10417 This pictorial periodic table is colorful, fun, and packed with information for anyone with an interest in chemistry. In addition to the element’s name, symbol, and atomic number, each element box has a drawing of one of the element’s main human uses or natural occurrences, making this version of the periodic table practical and easy […]

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This pictorial periodic table is colorful, fun, and packed with information for anyone with an interest in chemistry. In addition to the element’s name, symbol, and atomic number, each element box has a drawing of one of the element’s main human uses or natural occurrences, making this version of the periodic table practical and easy to digest.

The table is color-coded to show the chemical groupings. Small symbols pack in additional information: solid/liquid/gas, color of element, common in the human body, common in the earth’s crust, magnetic metals, noble metals, radioactive, and rare or never found in nature.

It is produced by Keith Enevoldsen at elements.wlonk.com, and is available for purchase as a poster.  Visit the site to take an interactive tour.  Click on the images below for a larger, more legible version.

Periodic Table of Elements in Pictures
Periodic table of elements in pictures

This textual periodic table is packed with even more information.

In addition to the element’s name, symbol, and atomic number, each element box contains a textual description of the element’s physical properties and a list of several of its human uses and/or natural occurrences.

The table is color-coded to show the chemical groups, and each group is described in a panel of the same color.

Other info panels describe atomic structure, chemical bonding, and radioactivity. It provides some simple rules-of-thumb about atomic weights and valence numbers.

Periodic Table of Elements in WordsPeriodic table of elements in text

Speaking of Periodic Tables… What is the Periodic Table?

Here’s a simple definition from the Wikipedia:

The periodic table of the chemical elements is a list of known elements.  In the table, the elements are placed in the order of their atomic numbers starting with the lowest number. The atomic number of an element is the same as the number of protons in that particular atom.

In the periodic table, the elements are arranged into periods and groups.

  • A row of elements across the table is called a period.   Each period has a number; from 1 to 8. Period 1 has only 2 elements in it: hydrogen and helium. Period 2 and Period 3 both have 8 elements. Other periods are longer. Elements in a period have consecutive atomic numbers.
  • A column of elements down the table is called a group. There are 18 groups in the standard periodic table. Each group has a number: from 1 to 18. Elements in a group have electrons arranged in similar ways, which gives them similar chemical properties (they behave in similar ways). For example, group 18 is known as the noble gases because they are all gases and they do not combine with other atoms.

The periodic table has been used by chemists to observe patterns and relationships between elements. There are 3 main groups in in the Periodic Table; metals, metalloids, and gases.  Elements to the bottom and far left of the table are the most metallic, and elements on the top right are the least metallic. (e.g. cesium is much more metallic than helium).

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Why you’re terrible at fact-checking http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/why-youre-terrible-at-fact-checking/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/why-youre-terrible-at-fact-checking/#respond Fri, 30 Mar 2018 19:33:03 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10413 Why you stink at fact-checking Lisa Fazio, Vanderbilt University Here’s a quick quiz for you: In the biblical story, what was Jonah swallowed by? How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the Ark? Did you answer “whale” to the first question and “two” to the second? Most people do … even though […]

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Why you stink at fact-checking

Lisa Fazio, Vanderbilt University

Here’s a quick quiz for you:

  • In the biblical story, what was Jonah swallowed by?
  • How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the Ark?

Did you answer “whale” to the first question and “two” to the second? Most people do … even though they’re well aware that it was Noah, not Moses who built the ark in the biblical story.

Psychologists like me call this phenomenon the Moses Illusion. It’s just one example of how people are very bad at picking up on factual errors in the world around them. Even when people know the correct information, they often fail to notice errors and will even go on to use that incorrect information in other situations.

Research from cognitive psychology shows that people are naturally poor fact-checkers and it is very difficult for us to compare things we read or hear to what we already know about a topic. In what’s been called an era of “fake news,” this reality has important implications for how people consume journalism, social media and other public information.

Failing to notice what you know is wrong

The Moses Illusion has been studied repeatedly since the 1980s. It occurs with a variety of questions and the key finding is that – even though people know the correct information – they don’t notice the error and proceed to answer the question.

In the original study, 80 percent of the participants failed to notice the error in the question despite later correctly answering the question “Who was it that took the animals on the Ark?” This failure occurred even though participants were warned that some of the questions would have something wrong with them and were given an example of an incorrect question.

Who lined the animals up two by two?
Edward Hicks

The Moses Illusion demonstrates what psychologists call knowledge neglect – people have relevant knowledge, but they fail to use it.

One way my colleagues and I have studied this knowledge neglect is by having people read fictional stories that contain true and false information about the world. For example, one story is about a character’s summer job at a planetarium. Some information in the story is correct: “Lucky me, I had to wear some huge old space suit. I don’t know if I was supposed to be anyone in particular – maybe I was supposed to be Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.” Other information is incorrect: “First I had to go through all the regular astronomical facts, starting with how our solar system works, that Saturn is the largest planet, etc.”

Later, we give participants a trivia test with some new questions (Which precious gem is red?) and some questions that relate to the information from the story (What is the largest planet in the solar system?). We reliably find positive effects of reading the correct information within the story – participants are more likely to answer “Who was the first person to step foot on the moon?” correctly. We also see negative effects of reading the misinformation – participants are both less likely to recall that Jupiter is the largest planet and they are more likely to answer with Saturn.

These negative effects of reading false information occur even when the incorrect information directly contradicts people’s prior knowledge. In one study, my colleagues and I had people take a trivia test two weeks before reading the stories. Thus, we knew what information each person did and did not know. Participants still learned false information from the stories they later read. In fact, they were equally likely to pick up false information from the stories when it did and did not contradict their prior knowledge.

Can you improve at noticing incorrect info?

So people often fail to notice errors in what they read and will use those errors in later situations. But what can we do to prevent this influence of misinformation?

Expertise or greater knowledge seems to help, but it doesn’t solve the problem. Even biology graduate students will attempt to answer distorted questions such as “Water contains two atoms of helium and how many atoms of oxygen?” – though they are less likely to answer them than history graduate students. (The pattern reverses for history-related questions.)

Many of the interventions my colleagues and I have implemented to try to reduce people’s reliance on the misinformation have failed or even backfired. One initial thought was that participants would be more likely to notice the errors if they had more time to process the information. So, we presented the stories in a book-on-tape format and slowed down the presentation rate. But instead of using the extra time to detect and avoid the errors, participants were even more likely to produce the misinformation from the stories on a later trivia test.

Next, we tried highlighting the critical information in a red font. We told readers to pay particular attention to the information presented in red with the hope that paying special attention to the incorrect information would help them notice and avoid the errors. Instead, they paid additional attention to the errors and were thus more likely to repeat them on the later test.

The one thing that does seem to help is to act like a professional fact-checker. When participants are instructed to edit the story and highlight any inaccurate statements, they are less likely to learn misinformation from the story. Similar results occur when participants read the stories sentence by sentence and decide whether each sentence contains an error.

It’s important to note that even these “fact-checking” readers miss many of the errors and still learn false information from the stories. For example, in the sentence-by-sentence detection task participants caught about 30 percent of the errors. But given their prior knowledge they should have been able to detect at least 70 percent. So this type of careful reading does help, but readers still miss many errors and will use them on a later test.

Our natural mode isn’t to critically push back against all information we encounter.
hitesh014/Pixabay.com, CC BY

Quirks of psychology make us miss mistakes

Why are human beings so bad at noticing errors and misinformation? Psychologists believe that there are at least two forces at work.

First, people have a general bias to believe that things are true. (After all, most things that we read or hear are true.) In fact, there’s some evidence that we initially process all statements as true and that it then takes cognitive effort to mentally mark them as false.

Second, people tend to accept information as long as it’s close enough to the correct information. Natural speech often includes errors, pauses and repeats. (“She was wearing a blue – um, I mean, a black, a black dress.”) One idea is that to maintain conversations we need to go with the flow – accept information that is “good enough” and just move on.

And people don’t fall for these illusions when the incorrect information is obviously wrong. For example, people don’t try and answer the question “How many animals of each kind did Nixon take on the Ark?” and people don’t believe that Pluto is the largest planet after reading it in a fictional story.

The ConversationDetecting and correcting false information is difficult work and requires fighting against the ways our brains like to process information. Critical thinking alone won’t save us. Our psychological quirks put us at risk of falling for misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. Professional fact-checkers provide an essential service in hunting out incorrect information in the public view. As such, they are one of our best hopes for zeroing in on errors and correcting them, before the rest of us read or hear the false information and incorporate it into what we know of the world.

Lisa Fazio, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Here’s what ancient ruins from around the world would look like if reconstructed today http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/heres-what-ancient-ruins-from-around-the-world-would-look-like-if-reconstructed-today/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/heres-what-ancient-ruins-from-around-the-world-would-look-like-if-reconstructed-today/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 19:17:10 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10395 Ancient ruins give us a fascinating window into the past: how people lived, the spaces they inhabited, and what they did during their daily lives. Historians, architects and travelers alike marvel at these remnants of time past, but it’s often hard to get a sense of what these spectacular buildings would have looked like at […]

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Ancient ruins give us a fascinating window into the past: how people lived, the spaces they inhabited, and what they did during their daily lives. Historians, architects and travelers alike marvel at these remnants of time past, but it’s often hard to get a sense of what these spectacular buildings would have looked like at their peak.

Let’s take a look back in time and recreate some of our favorite ancient ruins in their original locations to see what they might look like today.

The Parthenon, GreeceMilecastle 39, England

Luxor Temple, Egypt

The Temple of Jupiter, ItalyArea Sacra di Largo Argentina – Temple B

The Pyramid of the Sun – Teotihuacán

Nohoch Mul Pyramid, Coba

 

Source:  Expedia

 

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32 of the most bizarre deep-sea creatures discovered so far http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/32-of-the-most-bizarre-deep-sea-creatures-discovered-so-far/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/32-of-the-most-bizarre-deep-sea-creatures-discovered-so-far/#respond Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:00:12 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10381 Science fiction writers don’t need to imagine what aliens from other planets might look like – they only need to look into the depths of the Earth’s oceans for inspiration.  From giant spider crabs, goblin sharks, and anglerfish to colossal squids, binocular fish, vampire squids and more; the deep-sea is home to a wide variety […]

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Science fiction writers don’t need to imagine what aliens from other planets might look like – they only need to look into the depths of the Earth’s oceans for inspiration.  From giant spider crabs, goblin sharks, and anglerfish to colossal squids, binocular fish, vampire squids and more; the deep-sea is home to a wide variety of creatures.

Source: https://www.nwf.org/Magazines/National-Wildlife/2018/Dec-Jan/Animals/Vertical-Migration

This infographic shows 32 of them, and the depths at which they live.  Thankfully, no human could ever achieve those depths, so don’t let these guys ruin your next beach vacation…

32 of the most bizarre deep sea creatures discovered so far
32 very bizarre deep sea creatures

Source: Alan’s Factory Outlet

Surprise!

How a sea monster catches its prey...

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The science behind the hardest hitter in boxing http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/the-science-behind-the-hardest-hitter-in-boxing/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/the-science-behind-the-hardest-hitter-in-boxing/#respond Sat, 24 Mar 2018 16:42:15 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10365 At its core, boxing is a very simple sport: best your opponent by knocking them out or impressing the judges with your skill. Because of this, and because of the weight restrictions enforced through the divisions, the best boxers have to hone their skills and their power to the highest level to come out on top. […]

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At its core, boxing is a very simple sport: best your opponent by knocking them out or impressing the judges with your skill. Because of this, and because of the weight restrictions enforced through the divisions, the best boxers have to hone their skills and their power to the highest level to come out on top.

So, just how powerful is the hardest hitting boxer, and what impact do they have on their opponents when they land their punches?

The hardest hitter in boxing

Coming up on May 5, two of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world will fight for a second time following a contentious draw decision in their first fight last year. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alverez is known as a great technical boxer with strong defensive skills. His opponent, Gennady Golovkin, is widely considered to be the most dangerous boxer in the sport, and one of the hardest hitters.

Golovkin is a dreadnaught in the ring: he’ll stalk his opponent, lay down his battering ram of a jab, land precision combinations at speed, and devastate with stone-fist shots to the body.

The science behind Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin has been boxing for a very long time. His professional boxing record may read 37-0-1, but he also racked up over 345 wins as an amateur. The Kazakh pugilist has perfected his technique and body into becoming a formidable force in boxing.

At peak force, Golovkin’s right hook deals a massive 2,159 pounds of force. On the other end, this is similar to being in a 35 mph car crash while sitting in the driver’s seat. It’s also a greater pounds of force measure than that of a 12-foot American alligator’s bite, which has been recorded at a bone-crunching 2,125 pounds of force.

Golovkin’s hand speed clocks in at 28.5 mph, taking just 0.125 seconds to hit that speed. The boxer’s hand speed acceleration hits 102 m/s2, which is far greater than that of a 2006 Bugatti Veyron (11.59 m/s2).

Like all others who came before him, Golovkin was unable to knock out Alvarez. But, given that the first fight ended with an incredibly dubious split decision, Golovkin will be looking to end this fight before the judges have their say. With his incredibly hard hits backing him up, Golovkin is an outsider here to win by knockout, technical knockout, or disqualification over Alvarez at +162.50. But he is expected to win at -187.50.

On the other end of Golovkin’s glove

One of the main elements that boxers train early on is how to get hit. They have to overcome their natural urges to flinch, close their eyes, or flap at the incoming punch because all of this can lead to them being exposed by real punches and dummies.

Strength and conditioning training for the head and torso is focussed upon, as is muscular endurance, as the muscles need to continue to operate despite taking hits throughout a fight. While boxers will train their necks to become stronger, and so limit the impact of punches to the head, they can’t always be fully effective.

 

Because the brain doesn’t fill the entirety of the cranial cavity, it can move around. When a boxer is hit in the head, the skull will first move because of the impact, but then the brain will also bounce within the skull.

Many different reasons could cause a knockout to occur from a punch to the head. Explanations range from the brain simply shutting down due to it being overwhelmed by chemical imbalance caused by the impact, to the blood and oxygen supply to the brain being altered by a sharp hit that in turn triggers the reflex of the carotid artery and results in unconsciousness.

When it comes to boxing, the fighters at the peak of the sport generate huge amounts of power, while their opponents have to suffer the massive amount of force thrown their way.

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5 Ways the Ancient Egyptians Continue to Influence Our Modern Lives http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/5-ways-the-ancient-egyptians-continue-to-influence-our-modern-lives/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/5-ways-the-ancient-egyptians-continue-to-influence-our-modern-lives/#respond Sat, 24 Mar 2018 16:41:21 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10363 As ancient civilizations go, the Egyptians are undoubtedly one of the most well-known and influential in the history of our world. Famed for their building prowess, beautiful picture writing, and cosmetic artistry, the footprints they left behind continue to fascinate us even today. We know many of their names better than we do those of […]

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As ancient civilizations go, the Egyptians are undoubtedly one of the most well-known and influential in the history of our world. Famed for their building prowess, beautiful picture writing, and cosmetic artistry, the footprints they left behind continue to fascinate us even today.

We know many of their names better than we do those of our own rulers and politicians: Ramses the Great, Tutankhamun, Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, Cleopatra… Their lives and times enchant those with an appreciation of art and culture, with many of their finest works rivalling modern masterpieces to this very day.

But they didn’t just leave behind a legacy of crumbling papyrus and towering pyramids. In fact, they continue to influence us even now…

Mathematics

Source: http://www.storyofmathematics.com/egyptian.html

You may have spent most of your school days inwardly cursing the inventors of mathematics, but did you know it was the Egyptians your vitriol was aimed at? Responsible for developing new and efficient ways to carry out both multiplication and division, as well as originating the principle of fractions, they so lauded the numerically talented that they had a special name for them: arpedonapti. Tasked with calculating the area of land, it was these much-valued professionals who would eventually pass their knowledge on to the Greeks.

Bowling

Source: Ancient Pages

If you’ve ever enjoyed a game of bowling with friends, you have the Egyptians to thank for this too. The creators of a very similar game, they left archaeological evidence of how they liked to entertain themselves behind for us to discover again thousands of years later, in the form of a “bowling” room dating back to the second century. Crude pins and small marbles were also uncovered in the grave of an Egyptian child, suggesting this was a pastime enjoyed by people of all ages, just as it is today.

Style

Source: Video from “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry

Perhaps the most famous remnant of yesteryear that they left behind was their inimitable style. To this day, we associate this ancient culture with blunt-fringed bobs, winged eyeliner, and loose, floating dresses, as well as beautifully drawn hieroglyphics, towering pyramids, and desert sands. This aesthetic can be found everywhere, from themed restaurants to casinos where you can enjoy exciting Egyptian online slots. No matter where these hallmarks are, we recognize them instantly.

Toothpaste

Personal hygiene may not be something we typically envisage when we think of ancient civilizations, but unlike the denizens of later eras, the Egyptians were actually a lot cleaner and more concerned with this than one might expect. In fact, it’s they who were responsible for inventing toothpaste, with a perfectly preserved recipe for this found in papyrus documents, and dozens of toothbrushes discovered in tombs to date.

Alphabets

Numerous alphabets are in existence today, and modern civilizations have the Egyptians to thank for inventing them. The first to use a phonetic alphabet (one in which each symbol represents a sound rather than a word), they developed 24 unilateral signs to indicate pronunciation. This idea would eventually catch on with the Phoenicians, who passed it to Greece and the Near East, and thus brought into being the prototype for all contemporary alphabets.

 

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Words for emotions people feel… but can’t quite explain http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/words-for-emotions-people-feel-but-cant-quite-explain/ http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/words-for-emotions-people-feel-but-cant-quite-explain/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:10:56 +0000 http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/?p=10357 Have you been to Times Square, or another place that’s usually extremely busy, and it’s just… quiet? The place is usually bustling with people, but now, at this moment while you stand there, it’s eerily quiet.  That emotion – that feeling – has a name:  kenopsia. Here’s a collection of other strange and obscure emotions […]

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Have you been to Times Square, or another place that’s usually extremely busy, and it’s just… quiet? The place is usually bustling with people, but now, at this moment while you stand there, it’s eerily quiet.  That emotion – that feeling – has a name:  kenopsia.

Here’s a collection of other strange and obscure emotions and their names:

  1. Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
  2. Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
  3. Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
  4. Enouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turned out, but not being able to tell your past self.
  5. Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.
  6. Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
  7. Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
  8. Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
  9. Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
  10. Chrisalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
  11. Vemodalen: The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.
  12. Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening.
  13. Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.
  14. Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.
  15. Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster, like to survive a plane crash or lose everything in a fire.
  16. Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.
  17. Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.
  18. Ruckkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.
  19. Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.
  20. Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body that inhabits only one place at a time.
  21. Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.
  22. Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.
  23. Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.
  24. Déja Vu: The feeling that you’ve been someplace before or that you are repeating an event.
  25. Fugue State: A psychological condition in which the individual moves about and speaks, but without conscious awareness.
  26. Mal de Coucou: Having an active social life but very few close friends.
  27. Ambedo: A melan cholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details, like raindrops on a window or trees swaying in the wind.
  28. Nighthawk: A recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night.
  29. Silience: The kind of unnoticed excellence that carious on around you every day, unremarkably, like the hidden talents of coworkers, the unseen portfolios of aspiring artists.
  30. Fitzcarraldo: An image that somehow becomes lodged deep in your brain, perhaps from a dream or book or conversation, which then grows into a wild impractical vision that scrambles back and forth in your head.
  31. Gnossienne: A moment of awareness that someone very close to you, that you’ve known for years, still has a private and mysterious inner life.
  32. Catoptric Tristesse: The sadness that you’ll never really know what other people think of you – good, bad, or at all.
  33. Mimeomia: The frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype, even if you never intended to, or if unfair, or if everyone else feels the same way.
  34. Semaphorism: A conversation hint that you have something personal to say on the subject but don’t go any further, like an emphatic nod, a half-told anecdote, or an enigmatic ‘I know the feeling”.
  35. Heartworm: A relationship or friendship that you can’t get out of your head, which you thought had faded long ago but is still somehow alive an unfinished.
  36. Xeno: The smallest possible measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers.

Source:  The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

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