Stuff

Why Did this Image Cause a Traffic Spike on TomRoelandts.com?

Figure 1. Floating Ship.

At first sight, this image has nothing to do with my site. I have not posted it or mentioned it. The picture is real, by the way, it is not “Photoshopped”. It is from TV coverage of the Scottish Open golf tournament in Aberdeen, and the effect is caused by atmospheric refraction. But the details of… read more

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Submitted on 31 July 2014

Introducing Clippy!

Clippy

I’ve decided to introduce the world-famous Clippy to improve the interactivity of this site. After all, who am I to doubt the wisdom of Microsoft when they introduced it as the friendly helper that it is, and that already in 1997. You might be skeptical about this, but trust me, it’ll be cool! I haven’t decided yet whether… read more

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Submitted on 1 April 2014

The Clustering Illusion

The clustering illusion is the human tendency to expect random events to appear more regular or uniform than they are in reality, resulting in the assumption that clusters in the data cannot be caused by chance alone. An important example of this is that the stars in the night sky seem clumped together in some regions, while… read more

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Submitted on 5 March 2014

How is the Size of A4 Paper Determined?

The most common size of ISO A series paper is A4, of which the exact size is 210 × 297 mm. How is that size determined? Amazingly, you can exactly compute all the sizes of the A series sheets from the following two simple rules… read more

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Submitted on 4 December 2013

Astrology For Teh Win!

Symbol for Spaghittarius, one of the twelve astrological signs

I’ve had it with science and plan to convert this site to be completely about astrology. Astrology (as Wikipedia puts it: “Not to be confused with Astronomy.”) is a shortcut to the truth. After all, if the truth is in the stars (“De Trut Is Uit Daar” as we paraphrase the tagline from The X-Files in Dutch), gathering and analyzing data… read more

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Submitted on 1 April 2013

The Looming Effect

Motorbike

The animation demonstrates the looming effect that you get when something (a motorbike in this case) approaches you at a constant speed. At first nothing seems to happen, but then the bike suddenly jumps into view. A general explanation of this dangerous effect that often causes motorbikes to be missed by other drivers is… read more

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Submitted on 4 March 2013

Skill Bubbles

Skill Bubbles

This colorful bubble chart is a simple way of freshening up your CV by adding the time dimension to your skill list. A simple list has relatively little value, since it doesn’t indicate the importance of each skill. This can be improved by including an estimate of its strength. To do this, you could simply add the number of years of experience, but I propose to go a bit further… read more

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Submitted on 1 February 2013

To the Guys that Stole My Car

To the guys that stole my car: I feel that your action was suboptimal with respect to building a better society. Also, breaking open a locker while a guy is in the swimming pool is not generally considered a nice thing to do. I do agree with your point of view that… read more

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Submitted on 4 October 2012

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