January 2, 2010
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Annual John H. Glenn Lecture took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Tickets were in high demand for the event, which featured the Apollo 11 astronauts - among others - discussing the past, present, and future of manned spaceflight. [more inside]
Executive Order 12425 grants INTERPOL "full immunity." Not dipolmatic immunity, but the immunities granted in the The International Organizations Immunities Act. It's causing some alarm.
For the man who has everything: how about getting him his very own pair of SU-27's?
Big Rock Candy Mountain is just a wonderful little song. I don't know many hobo tunes, but this one gets stuck in my head from time to time. It has been covered by Burl Ives, a drunken Tom Waits, and then was reworked as the theme song to the amazingly awesome animated TV show that is The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Welcoming 2010 from the always fantastic The Big Picture. Includes not just fireworks, but heaps of trash, workplace pranks, and small children dressed up as trees.
Visionary Engineer : the Harold 'Doc' Edgerton digital collection consolidates the large body of work by the pioneer of stroboscopic high-speed photography. Iconic pictures, for instance. [via Slice of MIT] [more inside]
Low-Tech Magazine and No-Tech Magazine have some fairly well written/illustrated articles about old and low technologies. The concept being, in a sustainable future due to environmental constraints, carbon taxes, Peak Oil, etc.. these old-school technologies might be used - in some places, in some form - instead of more energy intensive modern high technology. Trolly Canal Boats, Timbrel Vaulting (vs. steel and concrete), Bring Back the Horses (and the bicycle), Tile Stoves, Wind Powered Factories, Sneakernet, more.
Solidarity Economics. (pdf) Strategies for Building New Economies From the Bottom-Up and the Inside-Out. [more inside]
This is a list of the ten best films of the last decade that have advanced a conservative message, ranging from strong support for the military and love for country to the defence of capitalism and the free market. These are all brilliant movies that conservatives can be inspired by, and which are guaranteed to offend left-wing sensibilities in one way or another. [more inside]
In her essay, The Naked and the Conflicted, Katie Roiphe compares the directly sexual writing of Roth, Mailer, and Updike with the more timid approach adopted by America's new batch of male novelists. "We denounce the Great Male Novelists of the last century for their sexism. But something has been lost now that innocence is more fashionable than virility, the cuddle preferable to sex." [SLNYT]
Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy and workers. For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different. The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation's growth. Meanwhile, some of the administration's remedies might be making things worse: U.S. Loan Effort Is Seen as Adding to Housing Woes. [more inside]
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food. Planting trees puts the land in a lower tax rate in many states. And as the fossil fuels that drive the economy becomes harder to get to market unless the Matt Simmons Ammonia Fuel idea becomes widespread a common fertilizer may just not be an option. [more inside]
A decade of digital music Vaguely styled as a timeline, this end-of-the-decade blog post (from UK digital music news source Music Ally) could prove valuable to anyone studying the music business or the intersection between entertainment and technology. The piece links to ten years of stories on digital music - from Napster through to Spotify - allowing us to look back on the issues without the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Gems include the Bluematter scheme from Universal Records in 2000, which comprised 60 non-transferrable, non-burnable tracks for $1.99 each.
Potentially the world's largest spherical panorama, a seamless, 18-gigapixel-sized 360° view of Prague. Zooms in to a mind-blowing level of detail. Also, a treasure hunt. [more inside]
All you need is love - from 156 countries, all at the same time. Join in the chorus; each video leads to a 5-cent donation from Starbucks to the RED Global Fund for AIDS in Africa.