Sparks of Life. "That the electric 'spark of life' figured prominently in debates over the nature of life in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is well known. Less well known is the fact that prior to this period, gunpowder was often identified with the substances that were necessary to life, if not as a vitalistic spirit, then as an essential element in the animation of the body. The idea of a spark of life went back to ancient times, likening living beings to the glowing embers of a fire. In the Old Testament, for example, the wise woman of Tekoah begs for the life of her son, pleading 'they will stamp out my last live ember.' But from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, this vital flame was often equated with gunpowder. There was fire in the blood: not electric, but pyrotechnic fire." posted by homunculus at 9:38 PM PST - 11 comments
Two examples of community weblogs that revolve around DIY-comix-by-flash-template: Toonlet, where the comments are in comic form, too; and Pixton, which allows for a bit more creative control (but no comix-comments). posted by not_on_display at 2:04 PM PST - 5 comments
Several months ago, poker player Tom "durrrr" Dwan issued an unprecedentedchallange. In effect, he is offering 3:1 odds—his $1.5 million to the challengers $500,000—that, playing high-stakes heads-up (one on one) online poker, he will be winning after 50,000 hands. The challenge is open to anyone except for durrrr's good friend Phil Galfond; threeplayers have reportedly accepted, and play in the first match began yesterday. The results are being tracked in real time here and here; you can brave the inanity of twoplustwo (previously) and read the ongoing match thread here. posted by cmyr at 4:15 AM PST - 27 comments
Last week when I checked my mailbox, I found that my new neighbour had left me a note stating that he was having a party and to let him know if the noise was too loud.
The problem I have with the note is not that he was having a party and didn't invite me, it was that he selected a vibrant background of balloons, effectively stating that his party was going to be vibrant and possibly have balloons and that I couldn't come. [more inside] posted by Ljubljana at 2:30 AM PST - 108 comments