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10,000 Falling Dominoes That Actually Work as a Simple Computer

YouTube is chock full of falling domino videos, but Numberphile's Matt Parker may have trumped them all with a complicated 10,000 domino setup that just so happens to function as a very crude computer. How is such a thing even possible? This primer video explains the basics. Read More >>

Facebook's Facial Recognition "Approaching Human-Level Performance"

For years Facebook has been working on facial recognition to auto-tag photographs, but has now reached a point where its technology is 'closely approaching human-level performance.' In fact, in some ways it might even be better. Read More >>

There are 1000x More Ways to Knot a Tie Than We Thought

You've got your Windsor, your half-Windsor, and... well, that's pretty much it, isn't it? Except, of course, for the 168,998 other ways that science has determined it's possible to knot a tie. That's a thousand times more than we previously thought. All it took to figure it out was a repeat viewing of The Matrix Reloaded. Read More >>

Facebook Could Die Out Like an Infectious Disease by 2017

If you view Facebook as a plague on social dynamics, you might not be far wrong. Researchers from Princeton University claim that the social network's popularity has spread like an infectious disease—but as we slowly become immune to its charms, it will die out. Read More >>

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You've Never Seen Pi Look So Interesting in So Many Ways

Martin Krzywinski is an artist. No, wait, he's a mathematician. Actually, scratch that: he's both, and he can make the number Pi look insanely beautiful. Read More >>

How the Circumference of Earth Was Accurately Estimated 2000 Years Ago

Born around 276 B.C. in Cyrene, Libya, Eratosthenes soon became one of the most famous mathematicians of his time. He is best known for making the first recorded measurement of the Earth's circumference, which was also remarkably accurate. (And, yes, people at that point had known for some time that the world wasn't flat, contrary to popular belief.) Read More >>

The Math Behind the NSA's Email Hacks

We're all outraged by the NSA's invasions of privacy, sure—but we don't perhaps understand exactly how it managed it. This video explains the maths behind the agency's surveillance. Read More >>

This Algorithm Can Make Pictures of Your Face More Memorable

We all know somebody with one of those faces. You know, the friend who always gets mistaken for someone else. They say, "I know I remember you from somewhere!" But they don't. Turns out there's a science to this sort of thing—and it could make your face more memorable. Read More >>

All Fry-Up Menus Should Work Like This

Eggs and bacon? Eggs and sausage? Eggs and bacon and sausage? Sometimes the choices at breakfast can be paralysing—but a Venn diagram can make that all better. Read More >>

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This Is Why Imperial Units Suck

Imperial units suck. They suck really, really hard. They're archaic, irrelevant, difficult to work with, and, perhaps most stupidly, based on incredibly arbitrary reasoning. As this wonderful video explains. Guys: it's time we all went metric. [Head Squeeze] Read More >>

How Fast Things Travel Compared to the Speed of Light

Sometimes it's hard to put things like the speed of light into perspective: it's a number so large that it's tough to make sense of. Which is why this visualisation, which compares the speed of things you can (kinda) more easily visualise, is massively helpful. Read More >>

What Happens When You Throw Lego Bricks Into a Washer for Science

It's a tale as old as time: Students get together on a Saturday night. Drinks are flowing. Hearts beat fast with excitement. You know, because some masters and doctoral students decided to see what happens when you toss a bunch of Lego bricks into a washing machine. Read More >>

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The Math of The Simpsons: Pi, Algorithms and Counting On Eight Fingers

You might not have realised it, but The Simpsons is crammed with math. In this video, Simon Singh explains how Pi and algorithms crop up in the show—and why the characters work in a decimal world, despite only having eight fingers. Read More >>

Will There Ever Be More Dead People Than Living Ones on Facebook?

Currently, there aren't many dead people on Facebook, which is largely because its user base is so young. But time marches on and death is inevitable, so will there ever be more dead than live people on the social network? Read More >>

What's Wrong With Quantum Computing

You've heard plenty of people by now, including us, banging on about quantum computers, and how they’re the future of high-performance computing. Quantum computing, we're meant to understand, is set to change the world. But despite its promise, it's neither widely available nor particularly useful yet. Here's why not. Read More >>

How Computer Scientists Make Programs Efficient Using Upside Down Trees

How do people manage to write the neatest, most compact code to make programs super-small and lightweight? Well, there are many ways, but one of the most common is to use trees. Upside down trees, to be precise. Read More >>


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