When you think about the future, what do you envisage? Rocket boots? Meals reduced down to a pill? Robot servants? Remote control contraception? Yeah it's featured in all the sci-fi movies and films set in the future. In fact in Back to the Future II all the ladies are zapping their contraceptive chips right? That's what the kids will call it. Apparently come 2018 a'remote control' contraceptive chip will be available and I like to think a whole host of family sitcoms will feature baffled dads trying to change the TV channel with their daughter's contraception remote will follow. This form of contraception does not actually appear to be quite as exciting as it sounds, until you hear doctors discussing how the device can't be hacked. Hacked!
Brain in a jar. Image: Kaushik Narasimhan
It has always been my suspicion that IQ might be up there with BMI in questionableness. I am saying this as someone who (according to their mother) got a very high IQ score (she can't remember the exact score “but it was just below genius, no it was GENIUS”) and has a low BMI (according to the BBC I have the body of a woman from the Philippines). At least if BMI doubters turn out to be wrong the question of losing or gaining weight is, though difficult, doable. IQ is another matter, which perhaps contributes to its debatable status.
The fact our collective Intelligenz-Quotient is apparently on the rise according to the Flynn Effect is argument enough against the validity of IQ standardised testing (or perhaps the questions and puzzles are piss easy now, not like in my day...). “In the last 100 years the IQ scores of both men and women have risen but women’s have risen faster” said IQ expert Professor James Flynn. “This is a consequence of modernity. The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ.”
Image: Yutaka Tsutano
You probably heard about the i-Free app Girls Around Me app, no doubt in the form of a tweet or Facebook link annotated with the message: ‘YIKES’ or something more blasphemous. If your friends do not keep you so up to date with creepy social network updates then allow me to explain. Girls Around Me was an app that allowed users to locate nearby women who had ‘checked in’ on the social network Foursquare.
Quite what they then did with this knowledge is a grey area. It is reasonably easy – if you are already outside – to work out where the girls are due to what I like to call Nature’s app, eyes. The app not only allowed users to find out the location of women on a map, but any publicly available data and photographs of the women from Facebook.
I am in love with a new website: nerdaydaytrips.com.
I’m one of those people who follow the brown signs off motorways because they sound vaguely interesting. I will happily go to any museum, the more obscure and special interest the better. I’m interested in other people’s passions and interests, and I love nosing around out of the way places and learning odd facts I can recite at a later date. So this is pretty much my perfect site.
The site was conceived by Ben Goldacre (of Bad Science), and Jo Brodie, and anyone can submit ideas for day trips, anywhere in the world.
The site has only been live for 4 days, and it already has hundreds (possibly thousands) of ideas mapped out. I spent a good hour or so earlier happily investigating new places to visit, and adding a few of my own. If you want to do something different, take a look – I'll be checking it every time I go away.