November 8, 2008
PILLOWDROME NUMBER OF PLAYERS- Standard play: 2 Tournament play: 3 - Infinite. EQUIPMENT: 2 identical pillows 1 suburban-style kitchen island Alcohol (recommended). STRATEGY: There are two known strategies, and infinite unknown strategies: Go fast and try to catch the other guy. The aggresive player will attempt to catch up to the other, focusing on moving as quickly as possible. This strategy relies upon SPEED. Pillow management. This more defensive policy focuses upon preservation of a balanced pillow. The player circles just quickly enough to avoid the other. This strategy relies upon ENDURANCE.
It's only 73 days before Inauguration Day 2009. Planning has been going on for a while. Beyonce wants to perform and the Boss plans to release an album on the day. Be sure to call your Congressperson to get your tickets. Make your plans right away, everybody wants to go. If you go, don't forget to say a rousing good-bye to you know who.
Global Headlines. Yes, we've made history. Here is what it looked like, via the headlines of the newspapers around the world.
SOAPnet.com presents a weekly "Gossip Girl Finger Puppet Parody". Sadly, only season 2 is available.
"We should have got nasty a long time ago,". So the mormon church has decided to get itself involved with the politics in California? Some California residents have decided to attempt to have the church's tax exempt status revoked while others are taking the fight more directly to the church. Some have called for a boycott of Utah while possibly the only mormon in Utah who doesn't give a crap about gay marriage has written a very insightful piece.
India's lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, has just reached the moon. G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, told reporters, "The last 20 minutes were so critically important, I can say my heart skipped a beat or two." Here are some hi-res photos of Earth, taken by Chandrayaan-1.
How far do you plan ahead? Are we careering towards another Dark Age? The Long Now Foundation (subject of many previous posts on Metafilter), has finally solved the technical problems in producing a modern day Rosetta Stone. Orders are now shipping. [more inside]
The 2008-2009 Vendée Globe starts tomorrow from Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Held every four years, this single-handed, non-stop, round the world sailing race is so competitive that the 2004-2005 edition saw the top 3 finishers separated by less than 29 hours after 87 days of racing! [more inside]
A recent study shows that farmer suicides in India have not increased due to introduction of GM crops The Washington based research organization IFPRI claims that "Bt cotton is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the occurrence of farmer suicides. In contrast, many other factors have likely played a prominent role." Their study has been wielded in the empirical arms race by big pharmaceutical corporations such as Monsanto against NGOs that oppose GM modified crops in India such as Gene Campaign and activists such as Vandana Shiva.
It was a dark and stormy campaign... A film theorist's thoughts on the narratives of Barack Obama and John McCain. [more inside]
Celebrated Yup'ik Iron Dog snowmobiler and father of five, Todd, has had an illustrious career in the oil and fishing industries. Now that his latest aspirations have been dashed, what will this well dressed man do now? (18 links)
On a traditional steam locomotive the pistons drive the wheels directly via cranks. An unusual looking series of variants, the geared locomotives, took a different approach - using gears and driveshafts, giving them an advantage in traction at the cost of speed, making them ideal for steap grades and tight curves of logging railroads. The most common was the Shay Locomotive (video), with it's vertical pistons. Other variant included the Climax (video, seen at the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad) and the Heisler, which had it's pistons in a V-formation (video). Many examples of the geared locomotive can be found at the Northwest Railway Museum.
Rethinking Public Opinion - the immense importance of public opinion polling in American politics, and the under-reported problems at the heart of the enterprise, combine to call for a serious critique of the polling industry, its assumptions, and its method