April 2, 2011
A girl and her dog play a board game together | a man and the goose who loves him | a girl and her lamb named Bee | a sheep and dog play tag |rabbit and cat (the aww at :58) | Snaggle Puss and baby bunny | duckling feeds carp. [more inside]
The BBC has released the trailer for the new season of Doctor Who and revealed the title of Neil Gaiman's episode. .
The chances that a powerful person will make an error are much greater than those of a weak person. Scott Horton translates Benjamin Constant, references Robespierre, and offers insight on modern efforts to preclude meaningful trials in federal court. [more inside]
John Baez (mathematical physicist and master popularizer, former operator of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, current promoter of the idea that physicists should start pitching in on saving the world) interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky (singularitarian, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality," promoter of the idea that human life faces a near-term existential threat from unfriendly artificial intelligence, and that people can live better lives by evading their cognitive biases) about the future, academia, rationality, altruism, expected utility, self-improvement by humans and machines, and the relative merit of battling climate change and developing friendly AIs that will forstall our otherwise inevitable doom. Part I. Part II. Part III. [more inside]
A 2nd day of riots in Afghanistan over Rev. Terry Jones's trial and execution-by-burning of a Quran leaves a total death total of 20, with at least 80 injuries, including 7 UN aid workers. Thousands participated in the riots across the country. "I don't think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news — the one who burned the Quran," stated the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura. Others defend Jones's right to free speech. (previously)
Revolutionology is the blog of a sociologist in Libya.
Nifty audio projects from Paris Smaragdis, including fascinating method of extracting individual audio samples (say a guitar solo) from a mix by humming the part. [6.4 mb mp4] [via AskMe]
At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence to suggest the proceeds from drugs and crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to banks on the brink of collapse. "Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade," he said. "There were signs that some banks were rescued that way." How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs [more inside]
"I happen to believe that the deadlift is a most beneficial exercise for men and women and athletes of both sexes of all ages ... The deadlift is not only a useful exercise to help build greater hip, leg, and back strength, it’s a movement everyone needs to know how to do properly because it will be done in some form or fashion countless times in a lifetime." Legendary strength coach Bill Starr writes about the deadlift, just as 27-year-old Benedikt Magnusson sets a new world record with a lift of 1015 pounds.
How Slavery Really Ended in America On May 23, 1861, little more than a month into the Civil War, three young black men rowed across the James River in Virginia and claimed asylum in a Union-held citadel.... [T]the laws of the United States were clear: all fugitives must be returned to their masters. The founding fathers enshrined this in the Constitution; Congress reinforced it in 1850 with the Fugitive Slave Act; and it was still the law of the land — including, as far as the federal government was concerned, within the so-called Confederate states. The war had done nothing to change it. Most important, noninterference with slavery was the very cornerstone of the Union’s war policy. President Abraham Lincoln had begun his inaugural address by making this clear, pointedly and repeatedly. “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists,” the president said. “I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” [more inside]
I like urban art fun with a sense of humor: OakOak is a french artist who likes to play with urban elements.
Manning Marrable is dead. Author of a controversial biography of Malcolm X, he was a Marxist professor who wrote regular columns such as this one. Unfortunately, manningmarable.net, a collection of his columns, is no longer up, but he was an influential scholar (Mandatory Wikipedia Link). [more inside]
Melodic wooden sculpture plays Bach in the forest. [3m5s] (Final 25 seconds are advertising and can be skipped.)
With $365 million in debt, mall food court Italian restaurant chain Sbarro has filed for Chapter 11. With nearly 1,000 restaurants in 30 countries, this could impact lovers of congealed pizza everywhere. Let's take a look back at some happier moments in the chain's lifespan.
"I'm proud of being recognized as an artist, but I really want to be known as someone with a special talent for the whip." Simon Tookoome, who passed away last year, was justly celebrated as an artist in his lifetime. You can view 39 of his pieces in The Canadian Art Database (including my favorite of his, the sculpture Shaman Wolf). But whipping was closer to his heart, and in his prime may have been the world's greatest whipper. Sadly, I could find no video of him from before 2000 on the internet, but here he is at 72. You can read a description of him at his peak in this condescending Time article about the 1972 Arctic Winter Games. And you can watch a few more Simon Tookoome videos here.
It's like Evolution of Dance—a collection of kicky songs, just substitute dancing for the tribal drumming of a self-crafted PVC pipe instrument. 19 songs in 8 minutes. [more inside]