April 2, 2013
Meet Bertha, the world's largest underground tunnel boring machine that will soon begin digging a controversial roadway underneath downtown Seattle, similar to Boston's Big Dig
I have Alzheimer's disease.[more inside]
I’ve probably had it for about two years, but it’s still pretty early in the illness. Most other people don’t notice my illness yet, although my memory is starting to move from a normal “bad memory” that lots of older people have to an abnormal “there’s-something-wrong-with-his-memory.” I don’t feel abnormal, at least not yet. But, in addition to the memory problem, I’m certainly slowing down. As a retired physician who hass seen his share of mentally declining patients, I know what’s most likely in store as the disease gets worse: A long, progressive mental decline (to the point, for instance, where I don’t recognize my family), nursing home care, and early death from complications of the disease. I’m writing because it may be helpful for people to know what one person’s process is like from inside the diseased mind....
Is this a pandemic being born? [Google cache] The H7N9 (Bird) Flu Virus May Have Adapted To Mammals. The WHO is investigating. Four new human cases were identified late Tuesday.
Though reducing hunger in school children has been proven to lead to a "significant increase in educational opportunity and attainment", the Tennessee state legislature believes they have a better plan to improve the performance of underprivileged students: a 30 percent reduction in "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.
Tom Roeser was unhappy about the decline of his town, Carpentersville, IL. So he decided to do something about it. Roeser bought some foreclosed properties, renovated them, and then rented them out for below market value.
On the passing of Jane Nebel Henson, who was, as this piece from a Muppets fansite explains, more than Jim's widow, she was the original Second Muppeteer. [more inside]
The Criticwire Survey: Overrated Masterpieces. Badlands... La Dolce Vita... 8 1/2... The Godfather... Star Wars... Citizen Kane... Taxi Driver... ... [more inside]
On our national poll this week we took the opportunity to poll 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories. Many of these theories are well known to the public, others perhaps to just the darker corners of the internet. (Previously)
Graveyard of the Peaches An Army Ranger and Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations draws up a battle plan in light of Georgia's plan to attempt to claim part of Tennessee, in order to get access to vital water from the Tennessee River and undo a 1818 surveying error.
Amaze your friends! Befuddle your enemies! Impress the miserly old woman you've been crushing on! Ray Hyman's 1977 Cold Reading: How to Convince Strangers That You Know All About Them [more inside]
Mining books to map emotions through a century. Emotion words aren't consistently used through time, it seems. Things got scary in the 80's.
Seems like someone has invented the aim-assist. "Steve has just delivered a .338 Lapua Magnum round directly onto a target about the size of a big dinner plate at a range of 1,008 yards.that's ten football fields, or a tick over 0.91 kilometers. It's his very first try. He has never fired a rifle before today."
Times Haiku Not every haiku our computer finds is a good one. The algorithm discards some potential poems if they are awkwardly constructed and it does not scan articles covering sensitive topics. Furthermore, the machine has no aesthetic sense. It can't distinguish between an elegant verse and a plodding one. But, when it does stumble across something beautiful or funny or just a gem of a haiku, human journalists select it and post it on this blog.
RIP Jesús 'Jess' Franco, the prolific Spanish horror and exploitation writer and director of films such as Vampyros Lesbos and The Awful Dr. Orloff who was once condemned by the Vatican as one of the most dangerous filmmakers in the world. [more inside]
Friends, neighbors, let's drop in on ol' Don Reno, Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cut Ups for a heapin' helpin' of some of that good old time country/bluegrass goodness, shall we? What say we kick it off with their fine rendition of Love Please Come Home? Mmm-MMM, so satisfying! You know, the boys had their own lil' ol' TV show, too, brought to you by the fine folks over at your local Kroger grocery store, and I'll just bet you'd like to watch the pilot episode, now, wouldn't you? Well, here's Part one, and there's... [more inside]
"What happens if you repeatedly run Kafka's Metamorphosis through YouTube's auto-transcription? Structure emerges!" via Sean Roberts
Apologies function as a social lubricant. They smooth hurt feelings and make interactions easier. So why is it so difficult to say "I'm sorry"? It turns out there may be psychological benefits from refusing to apologize.
Political Identification: communist"Dear Bloody Red Heart, Always remember that information is power, and functions as such." [more inside]
Your problem: I have recently started seeing a communist woman, and I really like her, but my problem is that I still have overwhelmingly strong feelings for the communist woman I had a thing with in the summer, and who has gone to fight the good fight in other lands. Should I tell the comrade I’m currently seeing about my divided affections? As we are not yet in full communism, I fear I may not have enough to go round… From: Bloody Red Heart"
In honor of season three, Caldwell Tanner at College Humor made banners for the great houses of the Internet. [more inside]
If the bird is the word, three must be the number. Do you feel you don't have time to read everything you want? What about establishing some ground rules?
Marcello Carlin and Lena Friesen review every UK number one album so that you might want to hear it, starting in July 1956 with Frank Sinatra's Songs For Swingin' Lovers (reviewed August 2008) and so far ending up in September 1981 with Genesis' Abacab (March 2013).