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July 21, 2012
He turns to the girl. "It would be really nice," he says, "to have a cigarette now."
"Yeah," she says without looking at him.
"Do you think the shop is open?"
The girl laughs and Adrian laughs, and then they laugh about their water-wrinkled fingers and the cabaret scheduled for tomorrow night that probably won't happen, and they keep laughing, because there is nothing else to do until someone finally gets them off Utøya.
— Sean Flynn writes the story of what happened on July 22nd a year ago [single page]
when Anders Behring Breivik carried out a bomb attack and massacre in Norway that killed seventy seven people, and how those who survived and those who lost loved ones have dealt with the trauma. [Warning: It's not the easiest read, emotionally]
posted by Kattullus at 11:30 PM PST - 42 comments
How Humankind's Theory of Mind Could Have Produced God
"As a direct consequence of the evolution of the human social brain, and owing to the importance of our theory-of-mind skills in that process, we sometimes can't help but see intentions, desires, and beliefs in things that haven't even a smidgeon of a neural system... More than a few of us have kicked our broken-down vehicles in the sides and verbally abused our incompetent computers.... So it would appear that having a theory of mind was so useful for our ancestors in explaining and predicting other people's behaviors that it has completely flooded our evolved social brains. As a result, today we overshoot our mental-state attributions to things that are, in reality, completely mindless. And all of this leads us, rather inevitably, to a very important question: What if I were to tell you that God's mental states, too, were all in your mind?" [more inside]
posted by bookman117 at 8:17 PM PST - 219 comments
While the world ponders the impact of superheroes on the population in the wake of this weekend's tragic (and still unfolding) events in Colorado, and some ponder what a return to the bad of days
of comics might mean, Warner Brothers has released two slightly different trailers for their attempt at latest updating Superman for the modern era: The Man of Steel
, in Pa Kent or Jor El
posted by Mezentian at 7:02 PM PST - 103 comments
On Friday, Baron Sebastian Coe
, the conservative politician, former athlete, and Nike board member who
is chair of LOCOG (the London Organizing Committee) for the 2012 games, ignited a furor
when he said anyone wearing a Pepsi T-shirt is likely to be "booted out" because it would
upset Coca-Cola, who is an official sponsor. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:47 PM PST - 79 comments
Anemia drugs made billions, but with what benefit and at what cost?
'For years, a trio of anemia drugs known as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp ranked among the best-selling prescription drugs in the United States, generating more than $8 billion a year for two companies, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. Even compared with other pharmaceutical successes, they were superstars. For several years, Epogen ranked as the single costliest medicine under Medicare: U.S. taxpayers put up as much as $3 billion a year for the drugs.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 1:29 PM PST - 18 comments
"In 1920, the brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, directors of the Berlin and Munich zoos, respectively, began a two-decade breeding experiment. Working with domestic cattle sought out for their 'primitive' characteristics, they attempted to recreate 'in appearance and behavior' the living likeness of the animals’ extinct wild ancestor: the aurochs
. 'Once found everywhere in Germany,' according to Lutz Heck, by the end of the Middle Ages the aurochs had largely succumbed to climate change, overhunting, and competition from domestic breeds." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM PST - 31 comments
Morton and Vicary on the Categorified Heisenberg Algebra
- "In quantum mechanics, position times momentum does not equal momentum times position! This sounds weird, but it's connected to a very simple fact. Suppose you have a box with some balls in it, and you have the magical ability to create and annihilate balls. Then there's one more way to create a ball and then annihilate one, than to annihilate one and then create one. Huh? Yes: if there are, say, 3 balls in the box to start with, there are 4 balls you can choose to annihilate after you've created one but only 3 before you create one..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:42 AM PST - 78 comments
Woody Allen's 2011 movie Midnight in Paris
tells the story of a modern-day character repeatedly finding himself in the 1920s, in a kind of temporary time travel. As it turns out, this is a real-life phenomenon known as a time slip
. Perhaps the most famous documented case was from 1901, at the Palace of Versailles. [more inside]
posted by mark7570 at 8:13 AM PST - 73 comments
Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow and a dead goat in Turkey? A: Anthrax
posted by Len at 6:46 AM PST - 16 comments
He is unknown. No name, no profession, no identifying details, but he looks out with the calm sternness of one who knows his place in the world. And because of this calmness, this sternness—the skeptical gaze and tight lips—we suspect it might be an image of the artist himself. Why Is This Man Wearing A Turban?
, by Teju Cole
posted by timshel at 6:38 AM PST - 20 comments