October 7, 2007
It's 1984. Let's spend 32 curious minutes with Devo as they convince us to purchase a Pioneer Laserdisc system.
Growing drugs in space. If the rainforest runs out of undiscovered medicines, just grow new drugs in space: Wired reports that "a swaggering Texas investor" wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting drug lab: "If people knew what I already know," he says, "the International Space Station would be considered one of the most valuable resources our world possesses." Think of it as New Jack City in zero-G – full of weird, crystallized proteins (and billion dollar cures).
Swamp Ghosts. Of all the wrecks on Papua New Guinea (PNG), none is as fabled as the "Swamp Ghost," a B-17E Flying Fortress that ran out of fuel on an ill-fated bombing mission in early 1942 and was ditched in the Agaiambo Swamp about eight miles inland on the northern coast. There the plane rested, intact and more or less unmolested, in soggy splendor for 64 years—that is, until May 2006, when an American salvager took it apart and removed it. This caused such a controversy that the plane was stopped from leaving the country. The story of the Swamp Ghost illustrates the international debate over ownership of salvaged wrecks and war surplus, told from a personal perspective by a journalist whose war-correspondent father died in PNG during WWII.
This article, about rape in the Eastern Congo, (nytimes, bugmenot here) makes for hard and disturbing, yet important, reading. [more inside]
In one fell swoop, some 16,000 hyphens have been eliminated from the sixth edition of The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, published last month.
The Happy Endings Foundation aims to eradicate sad thoughts from all literature.
Bored? Here's an online virtual Rubiks cube for you to play with. Stumped? Here's a step by step guide to solving the damn thing. And here's two more, previously.
The number of handicap tags has been increasing in recent years and so has abuse, for example nearly one-third of temporary placards found on cars parked in downtown Boston were being used by people who were not disabled. Handicap Fraud is a website for anonymously reporting seemingly able-bodied people who park in handicap spots. Free post-it-notes "You've been reported" available. [more inside]
Reporter whacks man with shovel [video]. d30 (dee-three-oh) is a specially engineered material made with intelligent molecules. They flow with you as you move but on shock lock together to absorb the impact energy.
"A Ghostbike is a junker bike that has been painted stark white and afixed to the site where a cyclist has been hit or killed by a car driver." [more inside]
This is what happens when paranoia overwhelms common sense. A high school in NY state banned backpacks and bags from the student body. The whole situation reached a critical mass when a security guard pulled a young woman out of class because she had a small purse. He asked her if she was on her period. Way to humiliate teenagers. [more inside]
Bre and his friends make things like space ballons. Sometimes they launch them and are unable to find them. Although the project has been abandoned the videos are very informative and show what amazing things a small team with a little money and off-the-self technology could do. Earlier this year a Canadian team had success with their space balloon and got some amazing aerial photos.
WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier This blog is made up of transcripts of Harry Lamin's letters from the first World War. The letters will be posted exactly 90 years after they were written. "Dear Kate, Just a line to let you know I’m going on alright. We had an exciting time and this time up the line. We had only been in about six hours when fritz’s came over to us. We had an hour and a half of it but we beat them back and they lost a good many men too not many got back I can tell you. We lost #### (pencilled out –censored?) which I’m sorry to say and about #### wounded. I think the mug will be all right for Willie which Jack is getting for him. If you send me anything it will come in very nice the chocolate is very good I should like a bit of cake, if you could afford it really gets crushed so if it is not packed careful. With best love from Harry"
The logo for the 2008 GOP convention was unveiled this past week. People are like, what? “Wide stance? Check. In Minneapolis? Check. Prison stripe-wearing? Check. Starry eyed? Check.”* [more inside]
During the 1858 senatorial campaign, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas faced each other in a series of seven official political debates. The first debate took place in this north-central Illinois town on August 21. [more inside]
"My first day on the job was the Amish school shooting at Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pa. in October of 2006. Here is some video of what I saw that day." Raw footage from that terrible day, recently posted to YouTube. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 [more inside]
More fun from the Daily Mail. Apparently Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones has decided to post bits from his upcoming autobiography. 1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 [more inside]
"Humanity will wither and die. It’s inevitable now..." It's a work of fiction, or so one would hope. I humbly submit for your perusal if not approval, Humanity’s Final Message to Those Who Would Come After by Jeff Harrell. "It’s not hard to understand why. The big picture is scary. The big picture is that we’re all dying. Every last one of us." [more inside]
Flamenco guitar is such a subtle and delicate mean of expression that it looks like arranging flamenco music for a number of musicians isn't practical or efficient. Nevertheless, many attempts have been made to use flamenco phrasing or colors within large ensembles : in a classical piece like The Aranjuez Concierto, in jazz when Gil Evans teamed with Miles Davis to greate several pieces entitled Sketches of Spain, or more recently, with the beautiful work of Maria Schneider, or the small units of Louis Winsberg. One of the most convincing score has been recently produced by Juan Carmona, a gipsy guitarist from Marseille, a work performed by many philarmonic orchestras.
The KaosPilots, deemed "the world's most adventurous alternative business school", teaches social entrepreneurship and leadership through real-life situations. [more inside]