Bottomless Holes of Curiosity

Although xkcd is right about the dangers of falling into an endless Wikipedia hole, I think the focus on Wikipedia as the canonical bottomless pit allows us to become complacent about the other mental flytraps that lurk on the internet – some of which are eating up your tax dollars as we speak, because UC pays out the wazoo for a subscription and pays for lost worker hours. Yes, I’m talking about Web of Science.

Yesterday, I looked up one reference because the book I was reading charted some data for glass beads, and I wanted to see the equivalent chart for real sand. An hour of fascinated clicking later…

  • The geotechnical investigation for the proposed Dominica international airport
  • OMG gas hydrates!
  • Sandstone compaction bands
  • There’s a place called “Ritchie Ridge”? Hahahahaha! Do all the rocks there have dollar signs on them?

Can anyone guess what my starting point was?


  1. Lab Lemming wrote:

    My guess:
    Grainsize sorting influence on the angle of repose.

  2. yami wrote:


  3. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Effectiveness of burlap sack filling in holding back the Mississippi River?

  4. yami wrote:

    Wait, they use burlap sacks to hold back the Mississippi? That’s hilarious.

  5. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Well, they try:

  6. yami wrote:

    Erm, your link wants me to download a .exe file…

  7. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Odd, I got no such message. Hmmm. If you googlesearch images for “sandbag mississippi flood”, it’s the one labeled “1922 flood”. Great if you like soggy Iowans. Otherwise, you could probably give it a miss.

  8. yami wrote:

    I was a soggy Iowan, back in the day… however, for some reason I was picturing burlap sacks stuffed with other burlap sacks, and not sandbags. Sandbags are not as hilarious.

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