Your weekend reading: Simple secure passwords, an invisible brain

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Some staff picks of smart, funny, bizarre and cool stuff on the interwebs this week:

Super-duper useful mandatory homework: Get a secure password now. As xkcd explains, most people’s approach to secure passwords (a word bastardized with “random” capital letters and punctuation that’s difficult to remember) is wrong. Now go get yourself a good password. If you need to ask why this is important, watch our informative playlist all about hackers.

Scientists reveal a new technique called CLARITY that can render a brain nearly invisible — that is, rid the brain of light-scattering lipids that make it hard to look at in detail. [io9]

A must-watch Frontline documentary on the conflict in Syria, but not like you’ve seen before. A powerful human-interest piece. [PBS]

Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online

Read an eye-opening piece by Gina Kolata on the world of sham academic journals. It’s disturbing that even reputable academics get scammed. [NYTimes] It’s becoming difficult to parse what’s legitimate on the interwebs, as we learn from Markham Nolan’s talk on false Internet stories. Here’s a useful guide to some predatory open-access journals.

We’re a little late on this one, but The Invisible War is a harrowing, Academy Award-nominated documentary about rape in the U.S. military. (Did you know that 25 percent of U.S. servicewomen don’t report their rape because the person to report to is their rapist?) Watch the documentary »

Become a better thinker by applying Bayesian reasoning. [io9]

A riveting data visualization animation of all the drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004. [Pitch Interactive]

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite! Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite!

Download a neat illustrated guide to TED2013 drawn by TED alum and Ford Futurist Sheryl Connelly. Read about her notes or download them from WeTransfer. Sunni Brown, doodle advocate, would approve. Watch her talk on doodling.

A slightly odd story about Rami Abdul Rahman, basically the one-man team behind the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which produces the main casualty reports coming out of the Syrian conflict. [NYTimes]

Completely useless and untimely: The Useless Website generator »