April 9, 2010
Canada was another country before it was born. In the fire of the battle of Vimy Ridge, people who were born in Canada, or who came to Canada, came together, as Canadians, in one of the defining battles of the the First World War. This is the 93rd anniversary of the greatest unifying event in Canadian history.
Tell 'em why you mad, son! Unkut rails on why Nicki Minaj is a terrible rapper, how Gorilla Zoe is an example of premature rap ejaculation and why Wiz Khalifa will never get big, no matter how many times he changes his style.
Nothing succeeds like failure. [H]istory shows that breakthroughs often spring not from carefully laid plans, but from mischance or even sheer, ridiculous accidents. A stovetop spill heralded vulcanized rubber; the potency of uranium was revealed when a rock was left in a drawer among photographic plates. And great research seldom follows an unswerving path. At RCA in Princeton in the 1950s, David Sarnoff exhorted his team to invent a flat television that could hang on a wall. “There were an enormous number of failures,” says Princeton historian of science Michael Gordin — and instead of TVs, the world got the Seiko digital watch in 1973.
Neil deGrasse Tyson : What NASA Means to America's Future. NdGT eloquently, passionately explains the essential importance that the nation have a strong education system driven by a national vision that excites children. He argues for the importance of NASA in capturing the imagination of American children, leading them to excel in the sciences — back in the day. SLYT. [more inside]
International Gymnast Magazine reports the passing of trampoline inventor George Nissen, whose brainchild trained World War II pilots, transformed into an Olympic sport, and became a pop culture fixture.
It's April 9th! Appomattox Day! The day R.E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. Ending the Civil War! Jon Stewart wants to call it Union Victory Month. I'm content with a day. So as Floydd suggests raise a glass of usquebaugh! [more inside]
Ever since Pat and Diane Farla moved into the detached Victorian building three years ago, they'd wondered what lay behind the metre-long rectangle which lay alongside a wall.
A 1999 Texas electricity deregulation statute included, almost as an afterthought, a requirement that the state develop 2,000 megawatts of wind power by 2009. This past February, wind generators delivered a record 6,242 megawatts of power to Texas population centers -- 22 percent of all the electricity consumed in the Texas grid. Could their model transform the nation's utility sector?, Or will it be derailed by special interests and politics? [more inside]
Want to learn how to play piano but can't read sheet music? Synthesia or previously known as Piano Hero. Synthesia FAQ
The Alabama Museum of Wonder. Butch Anthony has a word – a word which he concocted himself. A word which he designed to precisely describe his unique personal style of art and artistic discovery. That word is “intertwangleism.” [more inside]
"There's also a Katamari level where everything is just slightly bigger than you, and a Mario level with a star just out of reach."
A Tale of Two Films. Bertrand Tavernier's In The Electric Mist nee Dans la brume électrique [more inside]
After sending strong signals by hiring just one clerk, Justice Stevens has officially announced his retirement. The retirement, which follows a very distinguished and lengthy tenure, is effective the end of the current U.S. Supreme Court term. President Obama now has his second chance to nominate to fill a vacancy left by a member of the Court's liberal wing. Among the most frequently mentioned possible candidates are Judge Diane Wood, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Merrick Garland, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. [more inside]
If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.
"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
Pigs in Space appeared in over 30 Muppet Show episodes and spoofed contemporary science fiction television series. Most of them are now on YouTube or other video streaming sites. Links inside. [more inside]
The Cat With Hands, a short film not to be watched alone after dark with a cat on your lap.
Does the immediacy of the internet tend to make people more bad-tempered and ill-mannered than they would have been otherwise? Theodore Dalrymple seems to think so, but is comment moderation the answer? (via) [more inside]
Visual Aesthetics in Early Computing (1950-80) - a little look back at plotters and light pens and flow charts, which I found a bit nostalgic. You can watch Lapis, Permutations and Arabesque on YouTube.
‘I no longer wish to parent this child’ – part of the note attached to 7 year old Artem Saveliev sent back to Russia yesterday by his American adoptee mother Torry Hansen who claims she was misled by the Russian Authorities as to the boys mental stability. 'A seven-year-old boy arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on April 8 in the morning. The skinny boy had no luggage with him – he was only holding a letter in his hands.' according to the Russian Media, though other sources suggest a Russian Tour guide was located on the internet and paid $200 to collect Artem from the Airport and take him to the Russian Authorities. The Kremlin's child rights comissioner Pavel Astakhov and Russian Media in general are coming down very hard on the American mother and painting this as cruelty rather than tragedy.
It's official, post-rock giants Godspeed You! Black Emperor were only mostly dead, and will curate and play at the next All Tommorow's Parties, then on for a European and US tour.
Building a Green Economy, Paul Krugman on the economics of Climate change.
Nutriset, producer of Plumpy'nut (a widely distributed ready-to-use therapeutic food), is under attack from two American companies for their patent. [more inside]