1. Data storage has always been a bit of a problem. I remember when I was impressed when I got a computer that could manage (small number of megabytes), and now I have a thumbnail drive that can store (small number of gigabytes)! But all of that is a thing of the past, not to mention a laboured joke, as Harvard scientists have figured out how to store 5.5 petabits of data in a single gram of DNA. That’s such a huge amount, Microsoft Word is telling me that it’s not even a word. So how much of not-a-word is it? About 700 terabytes. (And if you’re not familiar with a terabyte – thankfully, Word is – that’s 1000 gigabytes. So a petabit is 700 000 gigabytes. And if you’re really old, that’s 700 000 000 megabytes. So, 700 000 000 000 000 bytes. I’m sorry, I enjoyed typing that way too much.) But I’m burying the lead here, which is data storage in DNA. Your DNA will become a method of storing information! Which, to be fair, is exactly what DNA is. But the fact that we can manipulate it is what’s so exciting. (via Thom Holland)
RT @DiggsWayne Just saw an ice cream truck filling up at the gas station. Strangely disillusioning. In my mind they just floated on childhood desire.
2. When film producer Cassian Elwes took a plane ride from New York to Los Angeles, he had no way of anticipating the events that would unfold. He tweeted his eventful plane ride once he’d landed, and the story, unfolding one tweet at a time, is extraordinary. Take a moment to read it, and make sure you go through to the end. (via Rob Ruminski)
RT @damienkatz A machine dispensing udp packets had a sign saying “Out of Order” (the great thing about udp jokes is I don’t care if you get them)
3. It’s so rare that politicians will decry an entire movement of citizens, as they desperately to be all things to all people. (Take note of how often pro-business politicians cite their policies as being good for workers, and how often pro-workers extol their policies as ultimately being good for business.) So it’s kind-of refreshing to hear Irish President Michael D Higgins destroy the insidious anti-healthcare rhetoric that stems from the US. (via Garth Franklin)
RT @MelissaStetten I hate when I pick up my phone to check my email and end up killing my neighbor.
4. It’s from 1965, but it’s new to the internet. Yesterday, Old Showbiz published a résumé that Woody Allen wrote back in 1965. And it’s everything you’re hoping it to be, provided you’re hoping it to be sardonic and hilarious. (via Leigh Paatsch)
RT @Glinner Every time you have McDonald’s as a kid, it’s a victory. Every time you have it as an adult, it’s a defeat.
5. Ever wondered what would happen if everyone on the planet jumped at the exact same time? Would we go spinning off into the void, or barely notice a thing? Check out this video for the answer. (via Peter Sciretta)
RT @jayeofmanyhats I don’t know about you all, but I know who I’d cheer for in an Illegal Alien VS Child Predator movie.
6. I’ve written a number of ‘Movies That Almost Got Made’ articles for various magazines, so there are very few surprises contained herein for me, but this list of 100 Wonderful and Terrible Movies That Never Existed is definitely worth a look for anyone who doesn’t yet know how close we came to David Lynch’s Return of the Jedi, or James Cameron’s Spider-man, or Godzilla vs Frankenstein. (Although – minor complaint – it should be pointed out that the list is mostly SF/fantasy/superhero oriented, so there’s no entry for the likes of the Coen Bros’s tragically-unmade To The White Sea. Still a good read, though.) (via On the Media)
RT @BillCorbett I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, but the bubblegum-chewing has been so delightful I no longer wish to fight. Namaste.
7. So, what shape would you say the sun is? WRONG! Actually, you’re probably right. Chances are you said ‘round’, and the shocking truth is that it’s slightly more round than you thought. And though this revelation may seem minor, the fact that we’ve been misjudging the shape of the most important bodies in our solar system (voted #1 4.57 billion years running) until one week ago is pretty significant, and completely changes what we know about Earth. It’ll make more sense when you read this. (via Jason Diamond)
RT @GerryDuggan Jenna Jameson endorsed Mitt Romney because he’s been videotaped holding every possible position too.
8. It makes total sense that a soldier heading off to war would write a letter to his family “just in case”. It’s logical, prudent, and wise. And yet, that doesn’t make the letter any less chilling or heartbreaking when it’s ultimately delivered. 19-year-old rifleman Cyrus Thatcher had a letter prepared for his family, and this is what it said. (via Matt O’Sullivan)
RT @BilgeEbiri What if this all turned out to be a ruse to get Hillary Clinton to say the words “pussy riot” on national television?
9. Ray Bradbury, who sadly passed away recently, would have been 92 this week. And seeing as today’s column is quite sciency, it seemed fitting to include a quote from the great man. It’s a quote that is, essentially, about the place the planet is at today, and although he said it in 1963 and was certainly talking about the Cold War, it seems even more relevant now. (via Maria Popova)
RT @andrewducker I am amused to discover that “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram of “My Ultimate Ayn Rand Porn”.
10. This is where this edition of Ten Things comes full circle. Thing #1 demonstrated how data can be stored on our bodies. Thing #10 will now demonstrate how data can be extracted. From our brains. It’s early days, but this is one of those significant breakthroughs that will lead to some extraordinary and frightening things. Take a look at how researches have discovered they can hack your brain. (via MikkoHypponen.exe)
RT @writerbrett I think a better name for shark would be Sea Hitler.
Finally, in the week that we lost Tony Scott, the classier elements of the media (both social and professional) focused on his work and his legacy. Nearly two years ago, I discussed Tony Scott’s filmography on podcast Hell Is For Hyphenates with Paul Anthony Nelson and Luke Buckmaster; a filmography that is now, sadly, complete. The best tribute I read was this small but significant anecdote from actor David Krumholtz.