The most popular blog posts published on the New Scientist website in 2007 are a decidedly varied bunch, tackling everything from sexually transmitted diseases to photovoltaic cells. In reverse order of popularity, they were:
Microsoft mind reading described a patent filed by Microsoft for a new way of filtering EEG data. The company plans to use it to "read people's minds" while they are using computers; they claim this will help them design interfaces that are easier to use. The people who commented on the article, however, weren't impressed.Last Word Blog
Counter-taserism asked what an individual could do to reduce the effect of being tased. This prompted a deluge of suggestions from readers, ranging from the simple ("keep moving as fast as possible") to the frankly uncomfortable ("an all-encompassing rubber suit"). We would also like to join reader John Ackroyd in advising everyone not to try the solution he mentions: getting high on crystal meth.
Short Sharp Science blog
Redirect your animal instincts with a French letter contains two images that are just plain horrible. These photos of people apparently engaged in intimate acts with giant scorpions and spiders were part of a French advertising campaign, intended to warn people about the dangers of contracting AIDS. Many people did indeed find the images pretty disturbing and got the message - but there seemed to be a sizeable minority that found them, er, erotic.
Amish are surprise champions of solar technology told the story of how the Amish, who at first glance might not be expected to be at the forefront of new energy technologies, are embracing solar power. The article triggered a lengthy discussion of how societies should deal with new technologies, in particular when they should be embraced and when rejected.
Ghostly Moon events continue to mystify discussed the mysterious phenomena called 'transient lunar phenomena'. These often consist of a temporary brightening of a small region of the Moon's surface. The article discussed the idea that they might be caused by gas seeping out from below the lunar surface: in simple terms, 'Moon farts'. This idea was too simple for some tastes, however - hence the suggestion by one reader that "it's Elvis, angling a mirror to reflect sunlight as a signal for help".
Machine munches bulldozer is further proof, if any were needed, that sometimes the simplest headlines are the best. It describes a gigantic digging machine, 300 metres long and 42,000 tonnes in weight - and what happened to the luckless bulldozer it came across. Oops.