How Good People Turn Evil, From Stanford to Abu Ghraib

WIRED features an interesting interview with psychologist Philip Zimbardo who conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment. He links his research to actual events like Abu Ghraib or jewish wardens in nazi concentration camps.

Read "How Good People Turn Evil, From Stanford to Abu Ghraib" over at WIRED.

Interactive physics simulations

Remember you days at school and your physics class? Wouldn’t it be great if that sketch of a pendular or that hand-drawn solar system magically turns into an animated physics simulation?

Actually this is possible for some time now, as MIT developed ASSIST, an sketch understanding system for whiteboards.
It lets you draw objects like bricks, balls, and springs. Your sketch is interpreted so that the system gets an understanding what is a moveable object which elements should stay in place.
After hitting "Run" your drawing is feed into a physics engine and magically turns into a nice animation on your whiteboard. Plugin for OS X's Dictionary.App

I just wrote a little Python script that imports the vocabulary data from Paul Hemetsberger's project into Leopard's
This is great if you need this fabulous online dictionary while on the move.

Update: A new and much easier installable version can be found here.

Screenshot of the <code></code> Plugin
Screenshot of the Plugin

The code is quick 'n dirty and some strings aren't processed correctly. This is compensated by the links to OS X's build-in New Oxford American Dictionary.

Regrettably's license prohibits redistributing the vocabulary database. So, if you want to use to translate words from german to english you'll have to build it yourself:

  • get my script (just email me, about 50k download it below)
  • Join the Apple Developer Connection and get the OS X Developer Tools (approx. 1 Gig)
  • get's Database
  • Type make and grab a cup of coffee :)


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