In sixteenth-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to historian Norman Davies, "[T]he spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized." Today, such sadism would be unthinkable in most of the world. This change in sensibilities is just one example of perhaps the most important and most underappreciated trend in the human saga: Violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species' time on earth. [pdf] via NPR posted by bigmusic at 9:02 PM PST - 148 comments
British bookseller Waterstones asked its 5,000 staff to name their favourite five books written since 1982, the date Waterstone’s opened its first store. These are the results. posted by unSane at 8:55 PM PST - 53 comments
There are many ways to learn about the life and times of Charles Dickens. There are numerous web pages, biographies and movies. But can any of them compare to the immersion experience of Dickens World.
Don't miss the many attractions. The kids will love playing in Fagin's Den while you visit the Haunted House of Ebenezer Scrooge. And don't leave too early or you'll miss the evening's entertainment. "A series of 'burlesque' evening dinner shows are being especially created to provide a nightly menu of 'naughty delights' in the 'Free and Easy' Victorian Music Hall." posted by saffry at 5:50 PM PST - 10 comments
Remember this? While randomly reading some assorted Digg posts, I saw someone mention the old Toshiba Liberato laptop. On doing a GIS search, up came a link to the "Apple Doomsday Clock".
It just floors me that this anonymous anti-Apple blog (which even predates the word "blog"), is still online. It dates from the period when Jobs retook the CEO chair, and started turning the failing company around--the last posting was in June, 1999. Perhaps it should be treated as a historical site, and preserved for the future amusement of Mac users? posted by metasonix at 10:06 AM PST - 28 comments
On Sunday, April 1, ThinkGeek.com jokingly introduced the 8-bit Tie, and due to customer demand, claims that now it'll be a real product.
On Friday, April 13, apparently due to customer demand, hard drive manufacturer WiebeTech has now introduced the MouseJiggler, and claims it's not a joke. posted by Fofer at 10:00 AM PST - 28 comments
Don Lancaster: energy and small business Lancaster wrote in 'Nuts and Volts', wrote 'The Incredible Secret Money Machine', and has a website that ranges from small business to hydrogen economy to ebay to magic sinewaves. This is the link to his current blog, but take a look at his archived works. His writings on avoiding filing for patents are particularly thought-provoking and perhaps inspirational. posted by dragonsi55 at 6:15 AM PST - 7 comments