“Ammo can” style geocache – a guide for UK cachers

“Ammo can” style cache containers are commonplace in the USA but very rare in the UK. As a result, British cachers coming across them for the first time sometimes report difficulty in opening or closing the containers or accidentally removing the lid and being unable to reattach it. This video quickly examines an ammo can cache so that you might know your way around it.

#strawfiechallenge

#strawfiechallenge – 1 minute of simulated breathing difficulty in recognition of sufferers of cystis fibrosis

Today I’m attaching a clothes peg to my nose and breathing through a straw for 60 seconds. As I won’t be able to talk while I’m doing this, I’ll type an explanation why:

Like most people, I’ve spent most of my life lucky enough to not really know anything about cystic fibrosis. I first really became aware of it when my friend Jen‘s son Lorcán was diagnosed with it (you may remember I shared a video of hers previously).

It’s a lifelong disorder with no known cure.

It’s a genetic disorder, and as many as one in every 25 people carries the gene that can cause it. Inherit two genes and you’re a sufferer. Among other symptoms, it causes frequent lung infections and difficulty breathing.

I’m taking part in the #strawfiechallenge as an exercise in appreciating how difficult it can be to cope with reduced lung function. A new drug, Orkambi, is helping to extend the lives of sufferers in other countries around the world. But it’s not yet available in the UK. :-(

CF sufferers want #OrkambiNow. They need your politicians to act.

Find out how you can help: www.cfsupportgroup.org


This video is also available at:

  • QTube (also available for direct or torrent download)
  • YouTube

The most unexpected answer to a counting puzzle

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

Summary: if an idealised weight slides into another, bouncing it off a wall then back into itself, how many times will the two collide? If the two weights are the same then the answer is 3: the first collision imparts all of the force of the first into the second, the second collision is the second bouncing off the wall, and the third imparts the force from the second back into the first. If the second weight weighs ten times as much as the first, the answer turns out to be 31. One hundred times as much, and there are 314 bounces. One thousand times, and there are 3,141. Ten thousand times, and there are 31,415… spot the pattern? The number of bounces are the digits of pi.

Why? This is mindblowing. And this video doesn’t answer the question (completely): it only poses it. But I’ll be looking forward to the next episode’s explanation…

Geohashing expedition 2019-01-08 51 -1 (video)

On the morning of my 38th birthday I set out on an expedition to the geohashpoint in my graticule as a diversion from my way to work: read my full hash log for details (or on the geohashing wiki). Inspired by a spot near the hashpoint, I also hid a geocache (“2019-01-08 51 -1, 09:19”, OK049E, GC827X6). You can download my tracklog [GPX] here.

Also available on YouTube.

Additional Processors

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

Computerphile at its best, here tackling the topic of additional (supplementary) processors, like FPUs, GPUs, sound processors, etc., to which CPUs outsource some of their work under specific circumstances. Even speaking as somebody who’s upgraded a 386/SX to a 386/DX through the addition of a “math co-processor” (an FPU) and seeing the benefit in applications for which floating point arithmetic was a major part (e.g. some early 3D games), I didn’t really think about what was really happening until I saw this video. There’s always more to learn, fellow geeks!

Long-forgotten virus could help solve antibiotics crisis

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

Fantastic lightweight introduction to bacteriophages and how they can potentially be our next best weapon against infection as we approach the post-antibiotic age. Plus an interesting look at the history and the discovery of bacteriophages!