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Plugged In

The Earthquake App — circa 1859

Screen shot 2011-08-23 at 11.27.08 PM

Okay, so we all had a swell time: the floor starts jiggling like a jello-mold, and those of us who didn’t run outside ran to Twitter, and it was on. Within seconds we were linking to the USGS site, the sites for the impenetrable Richter Scale and the simple, purely descriptive Modified Mercalli Scale (“III. Vibrations similar [...]

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Roots of Unity

Measure Yourself by the Standard of the Capybara

Are you more or less of a fish than this capybara? Image: VigilancePrime, via Wikimedia Commons.

We all know a lot of measurements about ourselves. You are some number of feet or meters tall. You weigh some number of pounds, kilograms, or stone. Your BMI is some number of kilograms per square meter, even though humans are not two-dimensional. You have some number of milligrams of cholesterol in each deciliter of [...]

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