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September 2010

  1. Google Translate Now Works for Latin

    Gotta love Google for undertaking geeky projects with little commercial value for their own sakes: The company announced that Google Translate will now work for Latin. Appropriately, the post by "Jakob Uszkoreit, Ingeniarius Programmandi" was written entirely in Latin. Aside from being a nifty curiosity that will probably drive high school Latin teachers with lazy students crazy, there are two things worth noting about this.

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  2. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Slide Whistles

    YouTube user Joe Penna, otherwise known as MysteryGuitarMan, has released what is quite possibly his best video yet, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" performed with slide whistles. This video showcases why he is so popular on YouTube: I mean, there's a kazoo.

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  3. Sheet Music for the Super Mario Bros. Coin Sound

    Simple as it might look, the above sheet music is part of a painstaking project by Joseph Karam to transcribe what he says is a faithful transcription of Koji Kondo's score to the original Super Mario Bros.

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  4. 10 Sci-Fi Novels that Were Banned

    This week, we give you ten science fiction novels that have been or have been threatened with being removed and banned from libraries and schools. Some of these are among the most popular and beloved science fiction works of the last century. They've told us how bad the future might be before we get there, how free you can be if you don't follow blind belief, and that children are perfectly capable of digesting some pretty heavy concepts, actually. Have a good Banned Books Week. Read something. >>>See the list.

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  5. Today Is The Flintstones’ 50th Birthday

    50 years ago today, on September 30th, 1960, the first episode of The Flintstones aired on ABC. Google is celebrating the show's birthday/anniversary with the above doodle, which I didn't even notice spelled out 'Google' at first. (Pretty subtle.)

    The Telegraph has put together a nifty list of Flintstones-related trivia that's worth checking out. The most interesting item by far (and the most surprising, given the wholesome, family-friendly image which we associate with The Flintstones) is that for its first two seasons, the show was co-sponsored by Winston cigarettes and was aimed at a more adult audience. When Welch's grape juice became the primary sponsor for Season 3, baby Pebbles was born, and the show shifted from animated Honeymooners clone to something more watchable by kids.

    Surreal Flintstones cigarette commercial below:

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  6. Gliese 581g: An Earth-Like Planet Has Been Discovered that Could Sustain Life

    An Earth-like planet has been discovered just 20 light-years away in the Gliese 581 system following an eleven-year observation, and NASA says that this could be "the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered and the first strong case for a potentially habitable one." Dubbed Gliese 581g because it is the sixth planet orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581, the planet has a mass of three to four times Earth's, orbits its star in just 37 days, and is "tidally locked" to the star, meaning that one side is always facing the star and it's always light on that side, while one side is always facing away and it's always dark. Sci-fi sounding details aside, the reason Gliese 581g has scientists so excited can be summed up in one word: Water.

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  7. Unbelievable Gymkhana Driving Video

    Unbelievable 2008 video of Ken Block practicing gymkhana driving. Skip to the 3:00 mark to get to the really good stuff. (via Kottke)

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  8. Geekolinks: 9/29

    The goods on Nintendo's 3DS. (IGN) Wikipedia adds BitTorrent-powered video (TorrentFreak) Every Mad magazine cover (Mad Cover Site) Dating site where gamers pay to play with girls opens for business (Mashable) How to shower like a badass (THD) Michael Caine explains the ending to Inception (Blastr) Inside ThinkGeek (Wired) (title pic via Topless Robot)

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  9. Germany’s World War I Reparations Finally End This Weekend

    This weekend, Germany will finally finish paying off its reparations from World War I. Following Germany's defeat in the war, the Allied Powers hit it with a steep bill in the form of the Treaty of Versailles, which mandated that it pay £23.6 billion ($393.6 billion in today's dollars). Reparations plunged postwar Germany deeply into debt, and as Wikipedia summarizes, came in the form of "coal, steel, intellectual property (eg. the trademark for Aspirin) and agricultural products" as well as money.

    Resentment over reparations helped propel Hitler into power and sparked anti-Semitic propaganda like this cartoon (via); when Hitler took power, the payment of reparations ceased, although they were reinstated by West Germany in 1953.

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  10. An Intricate Study on the Use of Pens

    The above graphic was probably the result of a twenty-three-year-long study involving beakers and multimillion dollar government funding. Or not.

    Doghouse Diaries also has conducted a detailed study on a similar phenomenon. (reddit via The High Definite)

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