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Science

Statistical Analysis of U of Chicago Graffiti 157

Posted by kdawson
from the off-the-wall dept.
quaith writes "Quinn Dombrowski, a member of the University of Chicago's central IT staff, has been recording the graffiti left in the Joseph Regenstein Library Since September 2007. To date she has photographed and transcribed over 620 pieces of graffiti; over 410 of them are datable to within a week of their creation. She has now published in Inkling Magazine a statistical analysis of the entire graffiti collection covering such subjects as love, hate, despair, sex, anatomy, and temporal fluctuations of each of these. After November, both love and despair graffiti drop off significantly until spring, while sex graffiti reaches its one and only peak in December before declining for the rest of the school year. The story includes links to all of the original graffiti photos, which the researcher has made freely available to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license."
Security

+ - Manhattan Maple-Scent Mystery Solved at Last 1

Submitted by
stupefaction
stupefaction writes "The sweet odor that swept over Manhattan in the fall of 2005 and on several later occasions has turned out to be a harmless factory emission. The pervasive smell, which many New Yorkers compared to the aroma of maple syrup, caused a stir when its source couldn't be identified. Was this a gas attack or a rehearsal for one? Actually, it was the smell of fenugreek seeds being processed into food flavoring. The New York Times describes how a crack olfactory squad captured and identified the scent: "On Jan. 29, when calls began to trickle in about a sweet smell on the Upper West Side, the city swung into action. Four air testers captured samples — three on the West Side and one near the New Jersey entrance to the George Washington Bridge. The samples made their way to a laboratory, where Harry Mayer, the director of technical services at the city's Department of Environmental Protection, spent 40 hours isolating the source of the scent, a compound known for its pleasant smell.""
Handhelds

+ - Sun's jPhone vs iPhone: a pickle vs Quiznos

Submitted by reader
reader (891519) writes "At its JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco, Sun unveiled software for mobile phones that a number of writers heralded as a new competitor to Apple's iPhone. Should Apple be scared? RDM compares Sun's efforts to piggyback its new JavaFX on the OpenMoko phone with the iPhone: Sun Tries to Jump on iPhone Bandwagon with jPhone"
Enlightenment

+ - Could you stop believing in physics?

Submitted by
mlawrence
mlawrence writes "I was watching the original Child's Play last night on TV. The woman saw the doll come to life, but could not convince a police detective. We believe a doll moving on its own (ignoring any religious beliefs) is impossible. This got me wondering how sane and intelligent people would react to a close friend or family member suddenly insisting a wild story that could not be proven. How would you react to the situation? How much could you take before you question what you believe, or lose the friend?"

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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