Curiosity Kills the Cat

By Anupum Pant

Booby traps play with your mind. They cause fear and uncertainty and can be hidden in anything. For these psychological traps to be the most effective, they are often hidden in the most familiar or the most ordinary things. Especially something that a soldier would decide to move for some random reason.

During the world war one and two the Germans probably demonstrated the most creative booby traps. The most interesting one was booby trapping a framed picture on the wall. The Germans would make the picture skewed and booby trapped it. Knowing that the gentlemen soldiers would come in and straighten the picture without even thinking that it could be a trap, they’d trigger the bomb.

Babies Learning

By Anupum Pant

When babies first start crawling, irrespective of how big a drop is, they’ll just crawl over the edge, not knowing they’d fall. That’s pretty natural. And after a few weeks of crawling they learn that crawling over the edge is not a good thing to do and automatically stop when they see a visual cliff. This works even if there is a visual cliff, but a pane of transparent glass over it. The baby, if it has learned not to crawl over the edge, wont crawl on to the pane of glass because it sees a dangerous cliff.

The interesting part is that the babies do not learn about the cliff at all. They learn about crawling. Doesn’t seem very different, does it? The difference is clear when a baby first starts walking. A newly walking baby would step over the cliff happily, and get hurt. Even when it had learned not to do so while crawling. But after a few weeks of walking they learn not to do it. Just like they learned while crawling.

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

By Anupum Pant

As hard as it may sound and the very fact that there hasn’t been a good one commercially available yet, actually making a holographic display is not very hard if you have a few pieces of plastic (an old CD case) lying around. Yes, that is all you need. Here’s how you can do it at home…

When you are trying to prove someone wrong on the internet, you might not be arguing properly because of a simple fallacy which might be undercutting your own claims. It’s better understood through this parable – That is how it gets its name.

Let’s say a Texan randomly shoots some rounds on a wooden wall. Then he goes to the wall and finds a small area with maximum number of holes and draws a bulls-eye around it. This makes him look like a sharpshooter who shot a couple of shots right in the bulls-eye.