November 18, 2009
At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, according to Professor Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Greenberg recently presented his findings to the Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society (PDF, Google quick view). Greenberg has written about potential life on Europa before, but his recent calculations suggest that the concentrations of oxygen would be great enough to support not only microorganisms, but also more complex animal-like organisms which have greater oxygen demands. [more inside]
The History of Economic Thought Website contains a wealth of information on the many schools of thought in the history of economics and the issues they grappled with.
The Apidae family of bees includes a large variety species with interesting traits. Bees in Apidae are all long tongued bees. Not all have scopa. Those without a scopa cannot collect pollen and are cleptoparasitic. Some are solitary. Some are colonial. Some are burrowers. Most are not. Most collect pollen and nectar. Some do not and yet still produce honey. [more inside]
Employees of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center presents the Pink Glove Dance for Breast Cancer Awareness. via [more inside]
Tony Award nominated actor Lin-Manuel Miranda presents a rap about Alexander Hamilton from the perspective of Aaron Burr titled "The Hamilton Mixtape." [more inside]
Senators' STATEments: As part of Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic asked United States Senators to draw and label their home states with at least three important places.
TV and Parables of Our Times: Speaking of Faith ( a weekly radio program about "religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas") looks at how tv deals with issues in contemporary life. A link to the main episode (MP3) is on the page along with various support media.
On pinball's downfall; draft Scrabble; strategies for choosing a seat; visiting our old friend, swoopo.com; and meatball theory: various and sundry economical, game theoretical, and miscellaneous morsels from the folks at Cheap Talk.
A message from the future. (SLYT)
November 24th marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Ray Comfort released plans to distribute thousands of free copies to students of the "50 top U.S. universities" on November 19th. His edition includes a 54 page introduction (PDF) written by Comfort. Apparently to thwart protest distribution was moved to today (according to the comments). The National Council for Science and the Environment has set up the website dontdissdarwin.com to counter Comfort's claims. via. previously. [more inside]
Edmunds released data this month on the results of the Cash for Clunkers stimulus. Freakonomics blog commented. Now the Detroit News has offered a state-by-state analysis of how funds were used. Which state was most likely to trade an American car for another American car? You guessed it...
Autocomplete Me: feeling lucky just got weirder.
Ethnic groups of China – that is, the officially recognized ones, in their respective finery. (Photo essay, text mostly in Chinese. Via.)
The nation's Catholic bishops approved a broad new document on marriage. "Since marriage and same-sex unions are different realities, it is not unjust discrimination to oppose the legal recognition of same-sex unions," the letter says. "These unions pose a serious threat to the fabric of society that affects all people." Also Tuesday, the bishops reaffirmed a moral obligation to maintain nutrition and hydration for patients in a persistent vegetative state and approved a document on reproductive technology. "Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology" reaffirms Catholic teaching against in vitro fertilization, egg, sperm and embryo donation, surrogates and cloning. [more inside]
Revenue reality of a bestseller. Lynn Viehl's Twilight Fall was a top 20 mass market paperback bestseller. Here, she analyzes and posts her royalties and discovers "If I published only one book a year, and it did as well as this one, my net would be only around $2500.00 over the income level considered to be the US poverty threshold."
A US Senate Committee just released its report on online loyalty programs. Combined, Webloyalty, Affinion, and Vertrue have made $1.4 billion in the past ten years charging customers $10-$20/month for marketing program memberships. Unfortunately, many of their customers (4 million this year) have no memory of authorizing the charges. [more inside]
Bittmanfilter: 101 Head Starts on the Day-- "The Minimalist" gives us a hundred and one Thanksgiving dishes that can be prepared in advance.
You can see that things gradually become more terrifying : Five of the six alkali metals and their reactions to air and water. Learn more at the Periodic Table Of Videos. Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium (Caesium), and the elusive Francium.
"YOU CAN HAVE THE FURRY ONE, I WANT THE ONE THAT SPARKLES." Fan posters at the Twilight: New Moon premiere.
Book of the Month is a feature that the University of Glasgow Library has been running for over a decade now. The format is simple, a single book is selected from their collections, written up and accompanied by pictures, maps and photographs scanned from the books. With over a 100 books to select from, it's hard to know where to start, but anywhere is good because they're all lovely. Still, here are a few, Charles Darwin's The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, a beautiful 15th century illuminated copy of Livy's Roman history, Treatises on Engines and Weapons, Valentines and Dabbities, The Birds of Australia, Facts and Observations on the Sanitary State of Glasgow, Ibn Jazla's The arrangement of bodies for treatment and finally, The Curious Case of Mary Toft, MetaFilter superstar.
15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee. 17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat. The MotherF**king Pterodactyl. These and various other amusements courtesy of The Oatmeal.
“We send something whenever we have a little extra, at least enough so he can eat." Remittances, the small money transfers a previous FPP called "the most important antipoverty program in the world", are now flowing the opposite direction. Yes, poor families in southern Mexico are having scramble to find money to send north to their out of work relatives in the US.
On November 14 "Robert Erickson" was introduced to the Minnesota Tea Party Against Amnesty as a Minneapolis resident concerned about illegal immigration. Sometimes the devil is in the details, as the supporters of the anti-immigrant Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MINN-SIR) slowly learn. On the other hand, some of them never quite figured out that "Robert" wasn't on their side...
Michelin inspectors have been anonymous as CIA spooks. Until now. And now. The New Yorker has a rare interview with one.