As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer!

Why Isn’t the Sky Blue?“, from Radiolab, takes on the language of color. Were the ancient Greeks color-blind, or what? And meet the bugs we smoosh to make natural red dye. 

There’s a nice piece by Cory over at BoingBoing explaining why fingerprints make lousy authentication tokens. Just ask German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble, who had his prints lifted and published by the Chaos Computer Club. They made an informative video of the process. You’ve got some glue and a laser printer, right?

There’s a new tool for finding people trapped under rubble: Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER), developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

So has it or hasn’t it? A new study in the journal Science suggests that Voyager 1 entered the interstellar medium around August 25, 2012. You may have heard other reports before, but Thursday was the first time NASA announced it.

The Voyager 1&2 probes have only about 68 KB of memory on board and their CPU clocks run at only 250 KHz. You can marvel at how modest the CPUs are for other spacecraft here. Most of them make a Furby look like a genius.

Here’s a quaint Babylonian New Year custom we should revive: Akitu and the ritual humiliation of the king. Is once a year enough for this sort of thing?

Slaveholding societies have always lived in fear of the people they kept in bondageThe ancient Spartans declared war on their slaves every year, just to keep them from getting ideas. Here’s Plutarch’s take on the Spartan krypteia.

Some Syria commentary: The main target for Assad’s chemical weapons was always Obama’s red line.

Eat noodles like a boss!

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