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Links 1 through 10 of 370 by Chad Orzel tagged internet

If you, like me, are a little bit behind Internet fads and belatedly wondering what the heck that "Gangnam Style" video is about, here's the first part of a comprehensive explanation.

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One of my most-visited sites on the web is Reddit.com, and one of my favourite subreddits is HistoricalWhatIf, an online community that debates historical hypotheticals. Earlier today someone asked the question, In a mass knife fight to the death between every American President, who would win and why? Someone beat me to the obvious answer that a final showdown would see Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt doing a dagger-wielding version of a Mexican standoff, so I took it too far and walked through how I thought every president would turn out. An hour later the result greatly exceeded the maximum 10,000 character limit for a post, so I’ve decided to blog about it instead.

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I heard Matt speak at TED in 2009, and it was clear that something still wasn’t quite working for him with the dancing videos. Performing a goofy dance in front of people who’ve got rich and sophisticated dance traditions is a bit like backpacking around the world while eating only McDonalds. At TED, Matt told us that his next video would feature dances from around the world, and he proceeded to try and teach us the short snippet of Indian dance that graces the third video. It didn’t work very well – the TED crowd was insufficiently graceful or silly to pull the moment off – and I found myself wondering whether Matt’s effort to turn a silly project into a genuine attempt at connection would fall short.

It didn’t. Matt’s fourth video was released today, and it’s beautiful.

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Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games. It's partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today's social games, and partly an earnest example of that genre.
You get a cow. You can click on it. In six hours, you can click it again. Clicking earns you clicks. You can buy custom "premium" cows through micropayments (the Cow Clicker currency is called "mooney"), and you can buy your way out of the time delay by spending it. You can publish feed stories about clicking your cow, and you can click friends' cow clicks in their feed stories. Cow Clicker is Facebook games distilled to their essence.

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A woman opens an old steamer trunk and discovers tantalizing clues that a long-dead relative may actually have been a serial killer, stalking the streets of New York in the closing years of the nineteenth century. A beer enthusiast is presented by his neighbor with the original recipe for Brown's Ale, salvaged decades before from the wreckage of the old brewery--the very building where the Star-Spangled Banner was sewn in 1813. A student buys a sandwich called the Last American Pirate and unearths the long-forgotten tale of Edward Owens, who terrorized the Chesapeake Bay in the 1870s.

These stories have two things in common. They are all tailor-made for viral success on the internet. And they are all lies.

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And, once again, the internet has been explained in under 20 words.

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The Maumee High School Physics Club is planning a journey to the edge of space!  We intend to send a capsule attached to a weather balloon to around 90,000 feet (17 miles!) above the earth to inspire children with life-threatening illnesses to dream big.  A digital camera attached to the capsule will record the journey in high definition!  Click here to see how another group did this.
By doing this, we hope to raise money and awareness for Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.  Children with cancer, kidney disease, lupus, brain tumors, and other serious illnesses attend the camp with their families for a week.  Camp activities help families rebuild relationships and bond with other families in similar situations.  Our goal is to raise $2000, which is enough money to send a family to camp for a week.

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"So then I sent her a text saying I think I left my favorite sunglasses in the desk."

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It won't surprise anyone to learn that Internet Explorer still accounts for more page views than any other browser — Microsoft's penetration into the workplaces of the world is a pretty difficult mountain to move. However, what happens at weekends, when people are free from office software and have their own choice of browser? It turns out that Chrome is the major beneficiary here, almost completely at Internet Explorer's expense.

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So today I turned my attention to a bit of institutional homework I was assigned, to find out how some of Swarthmore’s peer institutions approach neuroscience, whether it’s a department or a program, how many positions are dedicated to it, etcetera.

Let’s talk about how someone who knows relatively little about academia might view such a page. Let’s say it was a 16-year old high school student who was absolutely certain they wanted to study neuroscience and also absolutely certain they wanted to attend a small liberal-arts college.

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