This is part 3 of the series of posts on the odds that life might have arisen spontaneously, as some people believe. This time I plug the result of the previous calculations into the famous Drake equation, with rather scary consequences.
My post on Monkeys, Typewriters, and the Origin of Life has a very active comment stream, but unfortunately WordPress has stopped admitting more long comments, hence this new post where I provide increasingly refined estimates on the numbers of monkeys on typewriters needed to come up with life without anyone guiding their fingers.
You’ve heard it before: “This is as likely as a monkey sitting on a typewriter writing Shakespeare.” It sounds very unlikely but . . . how unlikely, exactly? In this article, I go through the math and use the result to estimate how likely it is for life to have arisen spontaneously out of a primordial soup of chemicals.
This is not a minor update. By popular demand, the interface has moved to the video page itself, rather than reside in a separate window. This means that VideoSkip will no longer load invisibly behind the video. It is also accessible when the video is fullscreen. But there is more. Read on for a list of improvements. Read More
We all remember fondly those board games of our early years: Parcheesi, Sorry!, Chutes and Ladders, and so forth. They were easy to play and a lot of fun, but in the end we outgrew them and perhaps took up other games that involved more thinking. In this article, though, I tell you a simple way to add more strategic depth to the same old games, by replacing “chance” with “fate.” Read More
Recently I’ve run into more apps similar to my own VideoSkip, and I saw that there is a lot in common. In this article, I compare some of their features for the readers’ delight. Naturally, since I’m the original developer of VideoSkip, this app ends up on top. But you’re still curious, aren’t you? Read More
VideoSkip, my video-editing app written during the COVID-19 lockdown, was in need of a nice domain for a while, especially now that it’s gaining some popularity. Because it is based on a not-for-profit community effort, I thought a .org domain was most appropriate. But, alas, videoskip.org was already taken, so I had to make it do with videoskip.net. This is no longer necessary because the previous owner of videoskip.org, Jeremy Plsek, has been kind enough to transfer it to us at no cost, since he’s wasn’t using it. Here’s a big thanks to Jeremy, on the right, the first donor to the VideoSkip effort. And there’s more to it; read on if you want to know. Read More
One of the great things about VideoSkip is that the users themselves can edit movies and share their edits, via .skp files, with other users. I order to facilitate the process, I’ve started hosting a forum, entitled “VideoSkip Exchange” in order to do just that. You can find it at https://videoskip.org/exchange or https://prgomez.com/videoskip/exchange/
BTW, the extension version of VideoSkip is now live. You can install it in Chrome, Firefox, and their derivatives. Unlike the standalone version at https://prgomez.com/videoskip and other links (below), which edits videos that are downloaded to your computer or mobile gadget, the extensions can do the same for movies streaming from any online source.
Here are the links:
Standalone app for computers: https://videoskip.org/app
Standalone app for mobile devices: https://videoskip.org/mobile
With so many people staying at home these days due to the coronavirus pandemic, some are running out of movies to watch. Or, to put it another way, the movies that they or their children still haven’t watched contain objectionable material that they’d rather not see. This is why I have created the VideoSkip player, a browser app that gives users full control over what is shown or heard. The version just released works with videos that have been downloaded locally, and I’ve started work on an extension that will do the same with streaming content from any source. Here’s the link to the player:
If you want to contribute to its development, here’s the GitHub page:
You’ve been hearing seemingly forever that electric cars are the future, that they are inevitable because they solve so many problems, and probably feel guilty to be driving an old, dirty, gasoline vehicle. Leaving aside the fact that there is a quite high-tech combustion technology coming down the pike, this article hopefully will help put things in context and filter out much of the propaganda you’re being bombarded with by considering some physical facts that anyone has access to. Read More