January 2, 2008
The body of a Canadian soldier was transported from CFB Trenton to Toronto tonight via Highway 401, one of the busiest highways in North America. Along that 170km stretch of road, citizens gathered at the overpasses to wave flags and pay their respects as the motorcade passed by, as they have been doing since the summer. [Pics of a previous such event, found on a web forum.] Following an online petition, the government officially recognized this stretch of highway as officially designated the Highway of Heroes [pic] . The families appreciate the practice, but some people find the designation overly sentimental.
Questioning the banality of evil. "There is a widespread consensus amongst psychologists that tyranny triumphs either because ordinary people blindly follow orders or else because they mindlessly conform to powerful roles. However, recent evidence concerning historical events challenges these views. In particular, studies of the Nazi regime reveal that its functionaries engaged actively and creatively with their tasks. Re-examination of classic social psychological studies points to the same dynamics at work. This article summarises these developments and lays out the case for an updated social psychology of tyranny that explains both the influence of tyrannical leaders and the active contributions of their followers." [Via Mind Hacks.]
10 Places to Get a Free Business Education Online
The 25 Most Popular Tracks of 2007, as calculated by Billboard and interpreted by DJ Earworm. [more inside]
"GET LAMP is a documentary about Text Adventures (later Interactive Fiction), the storytellers who created them, and their unique place in the history of computer games." Although not completed yet (it will be soon, as filming was completed in October), this documentary will contain 76 interviews with people involved in the industry at the time, including Scott Adams (not the cartoonist), Marc Blanc and Tim Anderson (who both worked on Zork, one of the best known examples of the medium) . Here's a teaser trailer. And here are some fun representatives of the genre to play online.
A guide to prison slang. Texas prison guards' guide to prison slang. Jim Goad's guide to prison slang.(He should know). More prison slang. [more inside]
Massachusetts has Boston Creme Pie. South Dakota has Kuchen. Oklahoma claims Bizcochito as it's own. But should Maryland have an official state dessert? The debate rages on!
Great Training Montages throughout history And a few of my own choosing to inspire you all to keep to your New Year's resolution-mandated training regimens: Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Footloose, Team America: World Police, Karate Kid, the Breakfast Club, Flashdance, and arguably the best of all time, Turkish Star Wars
Happy Introvert Day A Single-Link Op-Ed because... well, this link would just like to be alone, OK?
"The range of derivatives contracts is limited only by the imagination of man (or sometimes, so it seems, madmen)." -Warren Buffet
A primer on the global derivatives market, the City of London, and the credit crunch:
"In 2003 the total size of the world economy was $49,000,000,000,000. The total size of the derivatives being traded was $85,000,000,000,000. In other words, derivatives today are worth far, far more than the total economic activity of the planet. More than $1,000,000,000,000 of derivatives are bought and sold every day. Every single thing that can be traded through derivatives, is."
The Iowa Scam. Christopher Hitchens confronts a system where "only 124,000 Democrats voted last time, less than a quarter of those eligible. So if Barack Obama, say, edges Hillary Clinton by 2,000 votes, he'll be hailed in headlines as a giant-killer despite the tiny margin."
X-Ray Photography Made Easy! Have some radioactive minerals and a Polaroid? Here's a fun little project you can develop at home.
Here. This guy takes pictures of the sun. The actual big shiny one in the sky. Well not my sky right now but you probably know the one I'm talking about. They are stunning. And he did it with some simple gear. You could try it yourself. (How-to's temporarily off line).
Kathe Kollwitz, printmaker and sculptor, on The Peasants War (historical background, prints), war and death, mothers and children, herself and the death of her son Peter in WWI.
Steal this album. "In the dying days of the music business as we once knew it, record labels are waging war on leaks—only to discover that many of the saboteurs come from within the industry itself." It's easy to arrest a geek or lay draconian fines on a single mom; what happens when their witchhunt leads to their own offices? Animal Collective won't always be around to get the culprits off the hook.
As two women were molested by a mob of 70 to 80 men on New Year’s Eve in Mumbai, all Mumbai’s top cop has to say is—it happens everywhere, and admonishes the media for making a mountain out of a molehill. This, after a similar incident had taken place at the Gateway of India, exactly one year ago.
The Checklist - "If a new drug were as effective at saving lives as Peter Pronovost’s checklist, there would be a nationwide marketing campaign urging doctors to use it" [single page]
In 2002 Daniel arap Moi, widely considered corrupt, was replaced as president by Mwai Kibaki, promising reform. Kibaki was up for re-election last Sunday. Alleged election counting fraud has lead to tribally based violence in Kenya - 300 people are dead in the last few days. Recent comments from the challenger seem to be threatening a deliberate increase in the level of violence.
Photos of payphones from around the world. More international payphone photos. Stylized payphones from Brazil. Seen enough photos? Then perhaps you'd like to start calling some of them? [more inside]
Prophet Motive. The Kahlil Gibran phenomenon. (From the New Yorker).
Text of "The Prophet" (flash paper)
Kahil Gibran (wikipedia)
Text of "The Prophet" (flash paper)
Kahil Gibran (wikipedia)
Alex Adventure and Space Barnacle are both freeware platformers that have small cult followings but have possibly been overlooked by a wider audience.