Friday, April 9, 2010


The BBC explains memristors, apparently the new kind of computer chip.

Financial follies: apparently Repo 105 wasn’t just for Lehman Bros.—all the cool kids were doing it, and other tactics to drive down their leverage right before the quarter ended. And if you’re looking for more into why the financial crisis happened, look no further than Magnetar, a Chicago hedge fund that simultaneously bought subprime mortgages—meaning that more people who couldn’t afford houses got them—and bet against them, leading them to get tons of money. A random tip for the hedge fund wizards: try not to choose a name that sounds like a Power Rangers villain. It’s comical.

A New Yorker slideshow of Kyrgyzstan.

The bubbles of government debt?

Where America’s immigrants come from.

Where we should be looking for extraterrestrials.

The job market still looks weak: jobless claims ticked up this week.

This profile of Usain Bolt ends up being boring, but the beginning of the piece describes the mechanics of racing 100m in fine detail:
He's only been racing this distance for about a year, and the importance of a quick start is one of the things he's still getting used to. His specialty throughout his running career has been the 200 meters, and that's a distance for which the start isn't as crucial. Over two hundred meters, you can make up for lost time. That's not the case in the 100. He's had to work to overcome some of his sloppy starting habits. For example, he has a tendency to brush his left toe along the ground during the explosive burst from the blocks, generating counterproductive friction. He's gotten better, and usually manages to avoid doing that now, but he does it today, the front of his left shoe scuffing the track as he whips his leg forward to take his second stride. The shoe also happens to be untied, a sloppy mistake, no excuse.

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