November 9, 2009
Homeopathy has been discussed on the Blue before, but you've never heard it explained so well as this. You'll learn
lessmore about physics than you've ever believed possible, and see how Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity ties in to homeopathic medicine, and Stephen Hawking's String Theory makes it all happen. [more inside]
In [a recent] essay titled Heil Heidegger! Carlin Romano, a critic for The Chronicle Review, called Heidegger a “Black Forest babbler” and fraud who was “overrated in his prime” and “bizarrely venerated by acolytes even now.” As the NYT noted yesterday, the publication in English of a recent French book on the by now familiar controversy about Heidegger's Nazism is re-igniting an old debate about the influential philosopher's politics.
Confessions of an Independent Film Maker is the video log about a Filipino guy who wants to make a feature film. After a year and a half, he's finally in production. Watch out for this guy.
What's After the Credits? is a handy website which tells you if a movie, television show or video game has any extra or special scenes during the credits or post credits, known 'in the biz' as a Stinger. And if after checking out those websites you're tired of just reading about these post-credit scenes, check out a whole bunch of them by following this link to Youtube.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the appeal of two "math geeks" who were denied a patent for a business method they developed for utility companies. This is one of the most watched cases of the Supreme Court term, drawing some 67 briefs. Although the patent office has recognized that business methods can be patented, it is not clear whether patents, developed to protect innovations like machines and transformative processes, are available for 21st century inventions such as software.
When it comes to roleplaying games, there are your run-of-the-mill CRPGs and then there are Bioware CRPGs. Last week saw the release of the next Bioware CRPG, Dragon Age: Origins. The game has received the expected universal acclaim. [more inside]
Roomba Pac-Man! We've already discussed modding Roombas and Roomba art, but now these guys have made a fully playable real-life Pac-Man game using everyone's favorite robotic vacuum cleaner.
"I don't mean to be rude, but I try everything out on Sylvia, and if she can do it, anybody can." Fortunately, Sylvia is in the kitchen making another cup of tea. In sleepy Sussex is a group of dedicated cryonicists who believe they hold the secret to eternal life. Simon Hattenstone joins them for a demonstration – but first they need to make sure the hosepipe isn't too leaky.
Do you like maps? How about historical maps? Oodles of links to even more maps? Then the PCL Map Collection hosted by the University of Texas might be for you. [more inside]
Futurama Writer Saves Tiny Presidents. Beginning in the 1950's, toymaker Louis Marx released a line of figurines of U.S. Presidents (accompanied by a model White House). Sold as sets and given away as grocery store premiums the figures are still popular collectibles today. The series ended when Richard M. Nixon was president. Patric M. Verrone, writer for Futurama and The Simpsons has carried on the tradition, using appropriate torsos from the old Marx figures and sculpting new heads, he has continued the line up to President Obama. [more inside]
Brynn Metheny is a freelance illustrator based in Oakland, California who loves to draw imaginary creatures. Metheny has taken this fascination with made-up animals and extended it to the point of conjuring up an entire continent, Orcura, through which flows The Morae River. The river basin has a bestiary and a Classification of Species to describe the animals that inhabit it. (via) (speculative zoology previously)
Few men can reach the notes, and few women have the lung capacity to manipulate them. Most of these arias have not been heard since the deaths of the castrati for whom they were written. Mezzosoprano Cecilia Bartoli has released an album entitled Sacrificium. The album is a compilation of 17th-century arias written for castrati--male singers who were castrated in order to sing in a higher register. Commentaries on the work are favorable; commentaries on the history of castrati and Bartoli herself are just as interesting.
Hacking is a Baltimore phenomenon that allows citizens to get cheap "illegal" rides across town. A hack indicates they want a ride by motioning their pointer finger towards the ground as they walk along the street. Inevitably a driver will stop, the two parties will negotiate a price and a ride will be given. It is both a dangerous and necessary part of the blighted Baltimore economy.
MarineTraffic is a live map recording ship traffic based on AIS data. The site mainly covers European and North American coasts and includes info on vessels and ports, plus a gallery with some cool ship photos. Similar: see ShipAIS for live vessel movements from around the UK.
The Polar Discovery team has documented science in action from pole to pole during the historic 2007-2009 International Polar Year, and covered five scientific expeditions. The science projects explored a range of topics from climate change and glaciers, to Earth’s geology, biology, ocean chemistry, circulation, and technology at the icy ends of the earth. Through photo essays and other multimedia, they explain how scientists collected data and what they discovered about the rapidly changing polar regions. From the awesome folks at WHOI.
In the late 1890s, a wooden "cycle-way" was built between Pasadena and Los Angeles for bicycle travel before freeways existed. It ran along the Arroyo Seco and though it was planned for the full ten mile distance, only two miles were completed by 1900 as the popularity of the bicycle waned. In 1983 a bike path was built along the stream basin but is both riddled with glass and debris and dangerous to impassible during a rainstorm. For the last 15 years, a group in Pasadena has been leading the effort to restore a bike path between Pasadena and Los Angeles.
Apple has rejected an iPhone app for making contact with your Congressperson. Why? Because it identifies each US Representative/Senator with a 'bobblehead' caricature by MAD magazine artist Tom Richmond (who, having done 540 not-terribly-disrespectful caricatures, is justifiably pissed). “Obscene, pornographic, or defamatory”?!? Well, maybe the Nancy Pelosi is gratuitously goofy...
Your cafefully separated recycling heads to the dump. Reporters in D.C. follow some of the trucks around town and watch them dump the trash and the recycling together into the same truck. (previously)
Video discussion on being a man with, and The Seven P's of Men's Violence by, Michael Kaufman, International Director of the White Ribbon Campaign. [more inside]
40 years ago today, The Rolling Stones played two concerts at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. In the darkness of the audience was a man known to history only as "Dub"... [audio auto-plays] [more inside]
The Open Road London pioneering colour footage from 1927 (SLYT)
The strength of post-Soviet math stems from decades of lonely productivity. Russian math.
It's been posted before, but on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the stunning photography of Brian Rose is certainly worth revisiting. It's amazing that something like this existed. [more inside]
"Given the number of sins we've committed over the course of 20 centuries, reference to them must be rather summary"
Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world? Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry debate the question with Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Anne Widdencombe. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5