NUKEMAP

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Feb 152017
 
The nuclear bomb simulator that lets users nuke their home cities.

NUKEMAP

NUKEMAP is an interactive map using Google Maps API and unclassified nuclear weapons effects data, created by Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology who studies the history of nuclear weapons. The initial version was created in February 2012, with major upgrades in July 2013, which enables users to model the explosion of nuclear weapons (contemporary, historical, or of any given arbitrary yield) on virtually any terrain and at virtually any altitude of their choice. A variation of the script, NUKEMAP3D, features rough models of mushroom clouds in 3D, scaled to their appropriate sizes. NUKEMAP3D doesn’t work on most browsers anymore for NPAPI plugins are no longer supported by them.

The computer simulation of the effects of nuclear detonations has been described both as “stomach-churning” (by Wellerstein himself) and as “the most fun I’ve had with Google Maps since… well, possibly ever” despite the admittedly abjectly grim nature of the subject. Originally intended in part as a pedagogical device to illustrate the stark difference in scale between fission and fusion bombs, more than three million people as of 2012 have exploded some 30 million virtual nuclear warheads; having gone viral, the increased popularity of the website necessitated a move to new servers. The website averages five “nukes” per visitor. According to the site’s own counter, in November 2016 users had simulated over 90 million nuclear explosions.

The NUKEMAP was a finalist for the National Science Foundation’s Visualization Challenge in 2014.

Users can select the location and size of the bombs.
The site shows the spread of the mushroom cloud including casualty numbers.

NUKEMAP
This map created by nuclear weapon historian Alex Wellerstein demonstrates the fallout caused by 2.3 megaton bomb dropped on Washington. It was modeled on the Soviet weapons held during the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1960s

 

Grape Racing

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Feb 082017
 

grape-racingThis is really something for a rainy day, so long as you’re equipped with the essentials. What you need is a microwave oven, some grapes, a small measure of sunflower oil and some friends with whom to compete.

The idea is thus.

First, if the microwave is of the type that has one of those silly rotating dish-like things, which rotates your food to make sure it gets cooked evenly, then TAKE IT OUT and THROW IT AWAY. You won’t need it for this game and, if you get addicted enough, you probably won’t use your microwave for anything else, so you won’t need that dish thing ever again.

OK, next, lightly cover the floor of the microwave with a SMALL amount of sunflower oil. Just generally spread it about, to make a thin, lubricating layer, on which a grape may skate about. Try it with a practice grape to make sure you’ve got it right. Then, line up a number of grapes at one side of the oven, with one grape corresponding to each player. Important tip here – MAKE SURE THAT THE END WITH THE HOLE IN IT IS POINTING AT THE WALL. This is really quite fundamentally important. Next, lay bets – or whatever – on your grape, that it will win/lose/finish in a particular position or state/whatever. Then, set the microwave to full power, and switch on.

What happens is that the inside of the grape heats up, liquefies, and acts as a jet propellant to push the grape along the lubricated floor of the microwave as it shoots out the hole at the back. Thus, each grape travels with varying degrees of speed and/or success across the floor of the microwave. The first to reach the other side of the microwave is judged to be the winner, or, failing this, the one to travel the furthest. Some grapes don’t make it even this far, and either shrivel up or explode messily on the starting line, but this just adds to the fun. Remember to switch off the microwave and remove the competitors before replacing them for the next round.

The game can be varied according to players and their individual tastes, like “Strip Grape Races” for example, or “Stunt Grapes” where the grape must perform a task like jumping over other grapes, etc. These, and other variations, should keep you and your friends amused for hours.

 

Drench

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Feb 062017
 
Drench: The World’s Simplest Flash Game

Dubbed as the “world’s simplest flash game” Drench tasks you turning a board containing a myriad of colors to a single color within a set number of moves. The premise is a simple one, but the execution may not necessarily be that easy.

When the game starts, the board is filled with random blocks consisting six different colors. Begin at the upper left block, select one of the colors on the right panel to match surrounding blocks. Repeat the process until the whole board is covered with paint of one color. The first level gives you 30 moves, and in each subsequent level you get one less move.

 
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Things To Do When You’re Bored

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Jan 262017
 

Things To Do When You're BoredThis List Includes:

  • Things you can do with absolutely nothing
  • Things you can do with very little
  • Things you can do with another person

The amusement potential for each activity is denoted.

Things you can do with absolutely nothing

  • Push your eyes for interesting light show
    (Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
    See a variety of blobs, stars and flashes. Try to make out things-is your subconscience trying to send you a message? Can you control what you see by pressing different areas with different forces? Would it be possible to somehow see the same effects on TV?
  • See how long you can hold your breath
    (Amusement Potential: 4-20 minutes)
    Not that much fun, but it sure passes the time. Play with a friend, or try to beat your own personal best. Some tips: hyperventilate before hand, and stay as still as possible. My personal best is 2:00 (exactly).
  • Try to not think about polar bears
    (Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
    This is especially hard, because by trying too much, you remember what you were trying to avoid thinking of. If you try too little, you end up thinking about polar bears anyway.
  • Scratch yourself
    (Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
    Go ahead, scratch yourself now. Even if nothing itches, go ahead. Doesn’t that feel pretty good?
  • Hurt yourself
    (Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
    What is pain? Why is it unpleasant? There’s nothing physical about it – it’s all in your mind. Plus, after pinching yourself for awhile, boredom will seem nice next to being in pain.
  • Try to swallow your tongue
    (Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
    There’s not much to say about this one. It is possible.
  • Look at something for awhile, shut eyes, study after image
    (Amusement Potential: 2-5 minutes)
    Another great time waster. It takes about 30 seconds of staring to create an after image, and the image is then viewable for about the same length of time. Fun to combine this one with pushing on your eyes.
  • Get yourself as nauseated as possible
    (Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
    Best achieved by looking straight up and spinning around. Try to be so dizzy you can’t even stand up. This is also entertaining due to the “makes boredom seem a lot better” effect (see “Hurt Yourself”).

Things you can do with very little

  • See what’s in your neighbor’s trash
    (Amusement Potential: 20-30 minutes)
    You can learn a lot about people by what they throw out. You might uncover some dark secret about them. Plus, they might be throwing out something with value that still works, like a VCR.
  • Watch TV, repeat everything said in Italian accent
    (Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
    Sort of entertaining. Fun to pretend the people on the screen are actually talking that way.
  • Call up people who write editorials you disagree with
    (Amusement Potential: 15-60 minutes)
    I’m surprised no one has thought of this before. Unleash your fury on the person who had the nerve to write a letter like that! I’m pretty sure it doesn’t qualify as a prank phone call, too.
  • Make prank phone calls
    (Amusement Potential: 20-60 minutes)
    Very entertaining, but requires discipline. Remember – vulgarities don’t make a call funny, but getting the other person to believe a ridiculous story will. Even more fun if you get a bunch of people on the line using a Wonderphone and take turns making the calls. One to get you started off: Call McDonald’s, try to make reservations.
  • Pretend all humans will die except for people in room with you
    (Amusement Potential: 10-20 minutes)
    What would you do if this really happened? Would the group stay together, or would there be factions? Who would join what group? Remember, there would only be power for a few days before the plants ran out of fuel or broke. To travel, you would always have to be near cars to siphon gas out of. Best to do with people you know.
  • Step off a curb with eyes shut, imagine it’s a cliff
    (Amusement Potential: 2-5 minutes)
    To get any benefit out of this one, you have to have a good imagination. Don’t step off immediately, build up to the jump. Study the ravine below. Feel the winds at that altitude. Step off and…AHHHHHH!!!!!
  • Burn things with a magnifying glass
    (Amusement Potential: 5-30 minutes)
    Ants are always fun to use for this, but burning the face of someone you don’t like, under some circumstances, can be just as entertaining.

Things you can do with another person

  • Have a water drinking contest
    (Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
    While the competition is fun, you probably won’t feel too good afterward. To give your event an old western theme, slam the cups upside down on the tables after you have emptied them.
  • Stare at the back of someone’s head until they turn around
    (Amusement Potential: 2-5 minutes)
    This works on the “I have the feeling I’m being watched” principle. Conduct an experiment-does this really work?
  • Have a “Who is less competitive” competition
    (Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
    Trying to win at this will make you lose. Trying to lose makes you win which makes you lose. Not trying at all makes you lose which makes you win which makes you lose.
  • Pick up a dog so it can see things from your point of view
    (Amusement Potential: 3-5 minutes)
    Think about it: your dog has only seen the house from a viewpoint from 6″ to 2′ high (15 to 60 cm for all you metric fans). It’s never seen the tops of counters, what you keep on your desk, the tops of shelves, etc. Try looking at things from its point of view, too.
  • Pull out a hair, stick in someone’s ear
    (Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
    Best done to sleeping people. Added challenge in having no one else around, because then you can’t blame it on anyone else. Try to beat your record number of times before the person catches on.
  • Pour water in hand, make sneeze noise, throw water on back of person’s neck
    (Amusement Potential: 5-15 minutes)
    Always a good gag. For an even bigger reaction out of the person, act like you’re not sorry at all for what they think you did. Comment instead on how big that sneeze was or about how there was a lot of mucus in that one.

 

Playing With Text

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Jan 252017
 

Use your mouse to play with the text. Use your keyboard to change the text.

 
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Shake It Up!

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Jan 192017
 

Shake your mouse over the image for hours of fun!

 

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Islamic Roulette

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Aug 122016
 

Islamic Roulette: like Russian Roulette but with six bullets

Islamic Roulette

ISLAMIC ROULETTE

How to play:
1. Load a revolver with six bullets.
2. Aim it towards your head.
3. Say “It has nothing to do with Islam” and pull the trigger. This ends the game.

 
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